Hotels: Hotel Occupancy Rate Increases Year-over-Year

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 29 April

The U.S. hotel industry reported positive results in the three key performance metrics during the week of 23-29 April 2017, according to data from STR.

In comparison with the week of 24-30 April 2016, the industry reported the following:

Occupancy: +3.7% to 70.3%
• Average daily rate (ADR): +5.1% to US$127.50
• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): +8.9% to US$89.65

STR analysts attribute the level of performance growth to a comparison with Passover week last year.
emphasis added

The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four week average.

Hotel Occupancy RateThe red line is for 2017, dashed is 2015, blue is the median, and black is for 2009 – the worst year since the Great Depression for hotels.

2015 was the best year on record for hotels.

For hotels, occupancy will now move mostly sideways until the summer travel season.

Data Source: STR, Courtesy of HotelNewsNow.com

via Calculated Risk

Ted Cruz booed lustily as he refuses to endorse Donald Trump

CLEVELAND (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tried to link arms with Republicans at the party’s national convention but was booed lustily by delegates when he ended his speech without offering Donald Trump his endorsement — or even saying he would vote for the New York billionaire.

As he appeared on stage Wednesday night, Cruz basked in a minute-long standing ovation. Cruz finished second to Trump in the crowded Republican primary campaign and congratulated the GOP nominee on his victory.

But as close as Cruz came to saying he wanted Trump to win the White House was when he said: “I want to see the principles that our party believes in prevail in November.”

Cruz didn’t tell the convention crowd that he plans to vote for Trump. Nor did he ask his supporters, hundreds of whom encouraged him to run for president in four years at an event on Wednesday afternoon, to vote for the newly minted Republican nominee.

Interrupted by chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump,” Cruz paused and said with a smile, “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.”

But as Cruz closed his remarks, and as the crowd of more than 2,000 delegates at the Quicken Loans Arena waited for Cruz to say something — anything — kind about Trump, he demurred.

“And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November,” Cruz said. “Stand and speak, and vote your conscience. Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

The delegates responded with angry boos, and Cruz backer and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli escorted Heidi Cruz off the convention floor as she was heckled by Trump delegates.

But Trump said later on Twitter that Cruz’s lack of an endorsement was “no big deal!” But he said Cruz “didn’t honor” the pledge that Republican primary candidates had made to support the eventual GOP nominee.

A source familiar with the campaign inner circle’s thinking but not authorized to speak publicly said Trump, his relatives and closest advisers were angry at Cruz’s move and had expected, while not an endorsement, a warmer embrace of the nominee and less showmanship from the senator.

“He’s a chicken,” said Eugene Delgaudio, a delegate from Sterling, Virginia, who clucked like a chicken when asked about Cruz’s decision. “He needed to toughen up like every other Republican loser of any nomination battle in the last 100 years since Abraham Lincoln and just suck it up, be a man and back the nominee that he was beaten by, fair and square.”

The crowd’s boos quickly switched to cheers as Trump entered the arena at the moment Cruz finished. His daughter Ivanka and other members of the Trump party turned their backs on Cruz to stand and applaud Trump, who sat down in the front row of his VIP box to watch his son Eric deliver the next speech.

Cruz aide Jason Johnson said the Texas lawmaker told Trump in a phone conversation two days ago that he would not endorse him during his speech, a decision New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called “totally selfish.” The outspoken Trump backer, like Cruz bested by the real estate mogul in the GOP primaries, said the voters made clear that Trump is their choice.

“If we’re not going to do that, why do we have elections? Because Ted Cruz has decided that he knows better? Than all of the people who voted in the elections?” he said.

The booing was so intense the Trump campaign encouraged its many staffers on the convention floor to try to calm the delegates down, said a Trump aide speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal campaign discussions.

Cruz halted his campaign two months ago, having outlasted all but Trump in a field that once numbered 17 candidates. He finished a distant second in the delegate accumulation during the Republican nominating process.

He used his convention speech as the foundation for a fundraising email for his Senate campaign: “Will you stand with me by making an immediate donation $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can afford today?”

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What political news is the world searching for on Google and talking about on Twitter? Find out via AP’s Election Buzz interactive. http://ift.tt/1OLH0Ll

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Follow Thomas Beaumont and Steve Peoples on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/tombeaumont and http://twitter.com/sppeoples

via Yahoo News – Top Stories

These 10 Rules Will Help You Get Discovered (and Hone Your Craft)

austin-kleon-photo-by-ryan-essmaker-760px.jpgIn his New York Times bestseller, Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed us how to steal ideas, combine them, and create something new of our own. It’s the perfect book for those who want to create something, but don’t know where to start or fear they don’t have any good ideas.

This time around, Kleon tackles the challenge of promoting the work you’ve created. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered outlines several strategies to promote yourself and/or your work, even if you hate the idea of self-promotion.

Following the same approach as his previous book, Show Your Work is a quick read – concise and jam-packed full of actionable advice. In fact, you could build an entire marketing strategy around each chapter if you wanted to.

“I’m going to try and teach you how to think about your work as a never-ending process, how to share your process in a way that attracts people who might be interested in what you do, and how do deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out in the world”

-Austin Kleon

Below is a summary of each of Kleon’s 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered.

1. You don’t have to be a genius.

Although the term “genius” is thrown around often, very few people are actually geniuses. Instead of trying to become a genius, Kleon suggests you find a “scenius.”

When you look at many of the most respected and accomplished creatives in the world, more often than not they started as part of a group of creative people. You don’t have to be extremely smart or have a special talent to be part of a scenius, you just need to share ideas, build connections, and start conversations.

Embrace being an amateur. The true meaning of “amateur” is someone who does something for the joy of doing it, not for fame and notoriety.

Being an amateur gives you an advantage over the pro because you can be flexible and experiment without worrying that your mistakes are going to crush you. People expect amateurs to make mistakes.

You’ll never find your voice by looking for it. You have to use your voice and let it find you. 

2. Think process, not product.

Social media and blogging have completely changed the game for marketers because it allows us to take prospects and customers behind the scenes in real-time. More than ever, people want to see the real process behind the products they purchase.

Perfection is no longer necessary and, in some ways, it can actually work against you because it seems fake. Stop listening to your ego and start showing your authentic side.

3. Share something small every day.

“A daily dispatch is even better than a resume or portfolio, because it shows what we’re working on right now”

-Austin Kleon

Turn your flow into stock. Your flow is the feed of posts, tweets, and daily updates that remind people you exist — help you stay top-of-mind. Your stock is the content you produce that’s just as interesting in two months (or years) as it is today; it’s evergreen.

Maintain your flow while working on your stock in the background.

4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities.

People who get into creative work usually have good taste, big ideas, and vision, however, it takes some time before the quality of your work reflects your taste.

In the meantime, Kleon suggests you not be a hoarder and share what inspires you with the world. Not only does this help your audience understand the inspiration behind your work, but it helps you connect with people who share similar interests.

Most importantly, it gives credit where it’s due. You can’t expect others to give you credit for your work if you haven’t made a habit of doing so yourself.

To continue on to rules 5-10, click “keep reading” below.

via The IMPACT Blog

5 Digital Marketing Factors That Compel Online Audience to Buy

In today’s competitive online marketing space, every organization wants to secure top ranking when it comes to gaining online presence. Digital marketing is the most effective means by which online promotions are done. For online businesses, success is often measured in the number of generated and converted leads. Companies nowadays are looking to build strategies to grasp more audiences so they can maximize their online traffic to attain popularity and deserving profit.

For staying ahead of the competition, businesses are running from pillar to post, putting in all possible efforts to attain maximum audiences. Gone are the days when having a website was enough to get online visibility. Today, the scenario of marketing has been entirely changed, and numerous companies across the globe have realized it very well As a result, competition is at its peak, and a lot more and constant development is happening in the world of digital marketing. Chances for getting assured success heavily depend on the way companies carry out their digital marketing efforts and practices. In the end, the success of a business counts on the number of leads that a company succeeds to convert.

Let’s unfold the digital marketing factors that prompt potential buyers to buy. Take a look on these factors:

Mobile-Friendly Website

Having a responsive website is an excellent requirement of mobile-friendly sites. A mobile-friendly site brings several advantages for businesses as it has become one of the essential ranking factors in search engine result pages as announced by Google. The mobile-friendly website has been made mandatory because online searches through mobile have already surpassed searches through desktops. Thus, targeting mobile audience can yield outstanding results for your business. You can customize your content and call-to-action button the way you want, so you capture the direct response of potential buyers.

Smart Content for Mobile Audience

To the grab their attention and to sustain potential buyers on your site, smart content is key. You should allow the publishing of content on your site that captures the attention of visitors. Your focus should be more on the products or services you offer which must include the benefits that your customers can get if they choose your product or service. Thus, instead of showing how big your company is and what you have achieved since its inception, you should feed them the content that matters them.

 

 

Video Marketing with Enticing Narration

Posting a video with enticing narration can do a lot for your business. While content plays a significant role, you should also pay attention to the medium through which you deliver your content. Video marketing is considered one of the most powerful ways to deliver useful content. You can also include psychological factors like emotions that touch your audience and motivate them to take action that is beneficial for your business. Including psychological elements is a good practice, but it should be done carefully. Remember, it takes years to earn trust but only moments to lose it.

Adaptive Pricing

Price matters the most and is an important decisive factor for potential buyers. You cannot escape from the reality that today, before purchasing any product, audiences are likely to do online research, so that they can make the best buy. For surviving in today’s business environment where buying decisions are based on price comparison, you should make an offer that is irresistible. Keep in mind that if you offer a lower price than your competitors, then people may think you are compromising quality. Furthermore, if you are offering high prices, people will approach those who offer them less than your price. Moreover, if you are offering a competitive price, then you should supply reasons to compel them to think about your products or services. Thus, it is advised to know the taste of your audience and what your competitors are offering, so you make an offer that the potential buyers cannot deny.

Discount Coupons

Offering discount coupons to your clients is the best way to attract them to your products or services. For attracting audiences, numerous websites offer discounts on the very first buy. Once trust is established and your audience starts liking your website, you can identify their choices and shopping habits, so that you can offer them discount coupons to sustain them as a permanent buyer.

Final Words

The points mentioned above depict how you can compel online audiences to buy. Following these guidelines definitely can make a difference for a business’s success.

 


revcontent-98%-of-sites-get-denied-are-you-in-the-2%

via Relevance

How to Use Facebook Live: A Complete Guide

facebook-live-guide.jpeg

In their continued effort to promote video content in the News Feed, Facebook recently launched Facebook Live, a live video streaming service that lets anyone broadcast live videos from their mobile device straight to their Facebook News Feed.

Why are marketers getting so excited about Facebook Live? Because it’s an awesome way for them to use the power of live video to communicate their brand stories and build authentic, intimate relationships with fans and followers. 

However, for such a simple concept, Facebook Live has a lot of little nuances that marketers will need to learn if they want to get the most out of the platform. This guide is meant to help you learn the best tricks and tricks that can make a big, big difference in how many people see your live broadcast, how they engage with it, and how it performs.

In this post, we’ll walk through how to broadcast on Facebook Live, how to analyze your live video’s performance, and the top tips and tricks for getting the most out of the platform. (Click here to skip down to the tips.)

How to Broadcast on Facebook Live

Historically, you’ve only been able to broadcast live videos from iOS or Android mobile devices. However, Facebook recently announced that the Live Video publishing tool for Pages now lets you use your existing video software or hardware to create professional-looking live video content. We’ll cover that in a later post, but for now, let’s focus on broadcasting from your mobile device.

So to get started, get out your mobile device and open up the Facebook app.

Step 1: Go to your own Facebook profile and open up the status bar by clicking facebook-write-status-update.jpg, as if you’re going to write a new post.

Step 2: Tap the "Live" icon, which looks like a human silhouette.

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Step 3: Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted.

You’ll stop receiving these prompts after the first time you use it.

Step 4: Press the blue "Continue" button on the introductory page.

Don’t worry — pressing "Continue" won’t start the recording. The next few steps will be preparing your live video before you go live.

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Step 5: Choose your privacy setting.

If you’re posting for a brand, you’ll probably want to make it public. But if you’re new to Facebook Live and want to test it out first, or want to see what something will look like, then switch the privacy setting to "Only Me." You can find the "Only Me" option by clicking "More" and scrolling all the way to the bottom.

change-privacy-settings.png public-privacy-setting.png

Step 6: Write a compelling description.

As with Periscope, you give your broadcast a description, which will show up on people’s News Feeds like a status update above the video. To get people to tune in, write an attention-grabbing headline and help them understand what your broadcast is about. Check out the example below from The White House’s live broadcast.

write-caption.png white-house-facebook-live-description.jpg

Image Credit: Facebook

Step 7: Set up your camera view.

Before you click "Go Live," be sure your camera’s pointing in the direction you want it to. The background of your setup screen will show you what your camera sees. If you want to change the camera view to selfie or vice versa, simply click the rotating arrows icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

set-up-camera-view.png

Note: The video will be a square, so it doesn’t matter whether you hold your mobile device vertically or horizontally.

Step 8: Click the blue "Go Live" button to start broadcasting.

Once you click it, Facebook will give you a countdown — "3, 2, 1 …" — and then you’ll be live. As soon as you start streaming, your live video will appear in your News Feed — and others’ News Feeds — just like any other post. (Note that Facebook does currently rank Live videos higher than other videos.)

go-live-1.png

Your broadcast can be up to 90 minutes long. Keep in mind that the longer you broadcast, the more people who are scrolling through their News Feeds on Facebook will stumble upon your post.

Step 9: Interact with viewers and commenters.

To keep your viewers engaged, encourage them to interact with your live video (which will help your ranking in others’ News Feeds). You can also interact with them both by speaking directly at them in your video and, if you want, by having someone else respond to comments from a desktop computer elsewhere.

Where can you see these comments? While you’re broadcasting, you’ll see the time elapsed on the top left along with the number of viewers, and comments will show up live on the bottom of your feed. They’ll appear in reverse chronological order, like on Twitter, so keep in mind that the earlier ones may be farther down.

Facebook_Live_Comments.png

Image Credit: Facebook Newsroom

Note: You can also block viewers during a live broadcast by tapping the profile picture next to a viewer’s comment and then tapping "Block." You can unblock someone you’ve previously blocked, too.

Step 10: Click "Finish" to end the broadcast.

Once you do this, the video will stay on your Timeline or Page like any other video post. 

Step 11: Save the video to your camera roll.

Once you finish your broadcast, you’ll be met with a screen similar to the one I’ve screenshotted below. Be sure to toggle the option to save the video to your camera roll so you have a copy of the original for safekeeping.

congrats-finished-live-video.png

Step 12: You’re done!

Voilà! You can always go back to the post on your Timeline or Page and edit the description, change the privacy settings, or delete the video, just like you would any other post.

edit-facebook-live-post.png

How to Analyze Your Live Video’s Performance

The performance analytics available for Facebook Live videos are similar to that of normal videos on Facebook, with some cool additions.

  • For Pre-recorded videos: Facebook lets you analyze minutes viewed, unique viewers, video views, 10-second views, and average % completion.
  • For Facebook Live videos: Facebook let you analyze all the metrics listed above, plus peak live viewers, people reached, reactions, comments, and shares.

facebook-live-video-details.png

In addition to all these static numbers, you can click in to each metric to see how it changed over time when the video was live. For example, if we click in to "Peak Live Viewers," we’ll see this interactive graph of video viewers over time:

facebook-live-analytics-1.png

You can see graphs over time like the one above for any of the metrics I mentioned.

How to Access These Analytics on a Business Page

Step 1: Go to your Page and click the "Insights" tab.

insights-tab.png

Step 2: Choose "Videos" from the menu on the left-hand side of your screen.

Step 3: Scroll down and click "Video Library" to open up all of your videos and their analytics in a new window.

In the "Video Library" window, videos recorded with Facebook Live will be indicated by that human silhouette icon, as shown below.

facebook-video-library.png

Step 4: Click the video you want to see the analytics for to open it.

Again, you can click into any of the metrics to see a graph of those numbers over time when the video was live.

Now that you’ve got the steps down, let’s get into some tips and tricks.

11 Tips & Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Facebook Live

There are a lot of little things you can do to squeeze the most out of your Facebook Live videos. Before we get into them, check out the example below of a great Facebook Live video from Refinery29. This was the first video of a five-part live video series called "Chasing Daylight," showcasing a typical night out for women in five different cities around the world. I’ll be referring to this video in some of my tips.

Warning: Some NSFW language.

1) Test out live video using the "Only Me" privacy setting.

If you want to mess around with live broadcasting without actually sharing it with anyone else, you can change the privacy setting so you’re the only one who can see it — just like with any other Facebook post.

To switch the privacy setting to "Only Me," follow steps 1–5 in the instructions above.

change-privacy-settings.png public-privacy-setting.png

2) Space out live videos with other Facebook posts.

Here’s a tip from HubSpot’s social media manager Chelsea Hunersen. Because Facebook ranks Live videos higher than other videos and other types of posts, Hunersen recommends spacing out your Facebook Live videos with other Facebook content you post.

"Wait at least two hours before or after you post a Facebook live video," she says. "Otherwise, your Facebook Live video may cannibalize additional traffic."

3) Keep reintroducing yourself.

When you first start the video, take a minute to introduce yourself and what the video’s about. But keep in mind that when you first start live streaming, you may have zero people watching. Even a few seconds in, you could only have a handful of viewers. As people find your video on their News Feeds, they’ll join in — but that means you’ll want to reintroduce yourself a second, third, and even a fourth time to catch people up.

For example, in the Refinery29 video above, the host Lucie Fink introduces herself three times in the first few minutes, and several more times after that.

One second in:

Hello, Facebook Live! Hey! Lucie Fink here. I don’t know if we have anyone on the broadcast yet, so I’m going to wait about one minute to see who joins us."

One minute in:

Hello to the 309 viewers in here right now. I’m Lucie Fink from Refinery29. Just to recap what’s happening right now, this is Episode One of Refinery29’s new global initiative, ‘Chasing Daylight.’"

A few minutes in:

Just to give a quick recap on who I am, in case you guys don’t know — I’m Lucie Fink. I work at Refinery 29. Today, I’m doing this whole new series, and this is essentially giving you guys a glimpse into the lives of women all over the world."

15 minutes in:

So now that we have 3.5 thousand people in this broadcast, let me just start from the top because some of you might not know what is happening. I’m Lucie Fink from Refinery29, and you might know me from some videos, you might not. Either way, it is nice to meet you. Today, we are starting a new video series on Refinery’s Facebook Live platform. It’s called ‘Chasing Daylight,’ and it’s gonna be on every night this week."

25 minutes in:

That’s what I think is so cool about ‘Chasing Daylight.’ For the people who are new and don’t really get why I’m sitting on my toilet, the answer is, I am Lucie Fink, and I am Episode One, the New York version of ‘Chasing Daylight,’ which is Refinery29’s new live Facebook series that’s starting right now."

4) Make the video visually engaging.

Although all videos on Facebook autoplay in people’s News Feeds, they’re on mute until the viewer manually turns the volume on. That means you have to be visually engaging — not just at the very beginning of your broadcast (although that’ll be important for when folks view the video later), but throughout the video as more and more people join in.

The more visually engaging you can be, the more you can entice people to stick around. That means keeping the camera moving and not just sitting in one place — something Lucie did really well in that Refinery29 video.

Not only will you get more viewers this way, but you’ll also get your broadcast ranked higher in other people’s News Feeds. Why? Because Facebook started monitoring signals of video engagement — like turning on the audio, switching to full-screen mode, or enabling high definition — interpreting that as users enjoying the video. As a result, they’ve tweaked the algorithm so videos that are engaged with in these ways will appear higher up on the feed.

5) Make it spontaneous.

What makes a live video special? The spontaneous, interactive nature of it.

"People love the ability to interact," says Hunersen. "They love the novelty of viewing someone in a live moment when anything could happen. It’s the new reality TV."

A big part of what makes Refinery29’s live video so great is how much Lucie and her friends embrace the "live," spontaneous nature of it. For example, at one point, Lucie calls on her friends to reenact a scene from the Broadway show Hamilton. It was scrappy, unrehearsed, and really funny. Her other friends were laughing at her. It reminded me of a fun night with my own friends. "This is literally what we do at the office," Lucie said about the performance through laughs.

Later in the video, someone commented asking Lucie and her friends to tell a joke. They scrambled. "I’m not funny!" said one of Lucie’s friends. But after a few moments, you can hear Lucie say, "Oh, we have a joke! Go ahead, Deb."

"Dating in New York."

There was a pause, then everyone burst out laughing: "OHHHH!"

These moments are what make live video special, and they’re exactly what differentiates it from scripted, edited, or otherwise pre-recorded videos. Embrace the platform. Banter is always, always good.

6) Encourage viewers to Like and share the video.

One of the primary ways Facebook’s algorithm ranks a post is by how many people Like and share it. The more people who Like and share your live broadcast, the more it’ll show up in people’s News Feeds.

But when people are watching a video, they may be more distracted from Liking and sharing it than they would a text or photo post. (That’s something the folks at Facebook noticed about video content early on, which is why they began monitoring other video engagement signals as well, like turning on the volume.)

In Refinery29’s video, you’ll notice Lucie explicitly asks viewers to Like and share the video many times throughout. Here are a few examples:

  • "If you like this broadcast and share it right now, you guys will be part of this brand new series that’s starting right now on Refinery29."
  • "If you guys share this broadcast, you’ll be part of history. And what’s better than being part of history?"
  • "Thumbs up if you like Hamilton!" 
  • "Thank you guys for all these Likes. My screen is absurdly blue right now because I’m getting tons of thumbs up."
  • "Share this with your best girlfriend who you think is strong and powerful."

I like the last example the best because she’s asking viewers to share it with a specific type of person — in this case, a best girlfriend. This might prompt viewers to think, "Hey, she’s right, my friend Stacy might like this!" and then share it with that specific friend.

7) Engage with commenters, and call them out by name.

The number of comments on your broadcast is another way to get Facebook to give it a higher relevancy score, making it more likely to show up on people’s News Feeds. So encourage your viewers to comment, and engage with people who are commenting by answering their questions and calling them out by name. Not only will it get more people to comment, but it’s also a fun way to include your viewers in the live experience, which could make them stick around longer.

"Your audience will be thrilled to hear you mention their name and answer their questions when you are live," says Hunersen.

In the Refinery29 video, Lucie was constantly engaging with viewers and commenters. At one point, for example, she said, "We’re so excited to see you guys! Do you have any questions for someone who lives in New York City?" Then, she read a few of the comments that came in and responded to them — using commenters’ first names.

At another point in the video, she started talking about which outfits she might wear to go out. Her friend, who was holding the phone at the time, said to viewers, "You guys, comment if you like what Lucie’s picking out." As Lucie began taking shirts and skirts out of her closet to show, her friend read off comments and she responded. At the end of the exercise, she chose her outfit based on commenters’ feedback.

8) Have someone else watching and responding to comments on from a desktop computer.

When you’re the one holding the camera for a Facebook Live video, it’s really hard to see the comments popping up on the mobile screen. If the comments are coming in fast, it’s especially easy to lose sight of them as they disappear below the fold. Plus, you’re probably occupied by recording and entertaining viewers.

Because of this, it’s always a good idea to have an additional person logged in to the primary account to monitor the comments on a desktop computer. That way, they can take care of responding so the person recording the video can concentrate on creating a great experience.

9) Ask viewers to subscribe to live notifications.

In addition to asking for Likes, shares, and comments, ask viewers to subscribe to live notifications. To do that, all viewers have to do is click the small, downward-facing arrow in the top right-hand corner of the live video post, and choose "Turn On Notifications."

You can also ask them to Like your brand on Facebook, which will make it more likely that they’ll be notified of your next live broadcast. Lucie does this in the Refinery29 video. 

10) Broadcast for at least 10 minutes.

As soon as you begin recording your live video, you’ll start slowly but surely showing up in people’s News Feeds. The longer you broadcast — especially as Likes, comments, and shares start coming in — the more likely people are to discover your video and share it with their friends.

Because timing is such an important factor for engagement in these live videos, we recommend that you go live for at least 10 minutes, although you can stay live for up to 90 minutes for a given video.

11) Say goodbye before you wrap up.

Before you end your live broadcast, be sure to finish with a closing line, like "Thanks for watching!" or "I’ll be going live again soon."

Lucie from Refinery29 checked a few other engagement requests off the list at the end of her broadcast:

So, we are about to sign off. It’s been such an amazing first episode of ‘Chasing Daylight.’ . . . Don’t forget to share this to your friends right now so you can always find this series and go back to it. . . . We’re so happy that you tuned in to our episode in New York. . . . Goodnight from New York City!"

12) Add a link to the description later.

Once you’ve finished the live broadcast, you can always go back and edit the description, change the privacy settings, or delete the video, just like you would any other post.

Here’s where you can add a trackable link to the description in the post, which can direct future viewers to your live video series page, the site of whatever campaign you’re using the video to promote, or somewhere else. (Learn how to create a trackable link here.)

To edit the description of a video: Find the video on your Timeline or Page and click the downward-facing arrow in the top right-hand corner of the post. Choose "Edit Post" from the dropdown menu, and edit the description accordingly.

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There you have it!

We hope this has been a helpful guide. We’re curious to see how Facebook develops their live video platform to help brands connect more deeply with fans and followers, and individuals connect more deeply with friends, family, and community.

What other tips do you have for using Facebook Live? Share with us in the comments. 

free guide: how to maximize your facebook reach

via HubSpot Marketing Blog

7 Useful Reporting Hacks to Try in Google Sheets

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While it might not be as powerful as the industry standard, Microsoft Excel, Google’s online spreadsheet tool, Google Sheets, provides several other advantages. From offering more collaboration capabilities, to having a more attractive price point (re: free), it’s no wonder that more and more marketers are turning to Google Sheets for their reporting.

Whether you’re just getting started with Google Sheets, or you’ve already played around with it a bit, there are several "hacks" you can use to make the reporting process easier. Let’s walk through them.

(Want to uncover some useful Google Doc tricks while you’re at it? Check out this post for 15 Google Doc features you probably didn’t know existed.)

7 Google Sheets Hacks to Make Reporting Much Easier

1) Use keyboard shortcuts.

Want to undo that change you just made in your report? There’s a shortcut for that (Command + Z on a Mac / Control + Z on a PC). Want to quickly find a particular word or figure in your report? There’s a shortcut for that, too (Command + F on a Mac / Control + F on a PC). And the list goes on, and on, and on.

The most important shortcut to remember for Google Sheets, however, is Command + / on a Mac, or Control + / on a PC. That’s the shortcut for pulling up the master list of Google Sheets keyboard shortcuts. In the screenshot below, you can see some of the most popular shortcuts on the list.

google-sheets-shortcuts.png

2) Create a heat map with conditional formatting.

Setting up a heat map in Google Sheets is a great way to make trends and important data points easily identifiable. At its most basic, a heat map can show the highest values in your report in one color, and show the lowest values in a different color. All the values in between, meanwhile, will appear as a mix of both colors.

Confused? Don’t worry, it will all make sense after we walk though the steps. Step 1: Select your data, navigate to the "Format" menu in the top nav, and choose "Conditional formatting."

conditional-formatting-sheets.png

Next, you’ll want to select the "Color scale" tab from the menu that pops up. Once you do that, Google Sheets will automatically apply some default colors, and you’ll be able to see your heat map.

color-scale-sheets.png

At this point, you could simply hit that blue "Done" button and call it a day. Alternatively, you could spend some time fine-tuning your settings. For example, by clicking those paint bucket icons, you can customize your heat map colors (see example below).

color-scale-custom.png

3) Easily add an image to a cell.

If you need to add a logo, screenshot, or other image to a report in Google Sheets, the standard protocol is to navigate to "Insert" on the top nav, choose "Image," and then upload an image from your computer. However, there is a much quicker solution available. Here’s how you do it:

First, select the cell you want to insert the image into and type "=image."

insert-image-cell-sheets.png

Next, add an open parentheses, followed by an open quotation mark, and paste in the URL of the image you want to insert. You’ll then need to close the quotation marks and close the parentheses.

image-url-in-sheets.png

Hit enter, and voilà: your image will appear.

add-image-sheets.png

4) Add international currencies.

If your company does business internationally, being able to work with international currencies in your reports is essential. Fortunately, Google Sheets has got you covered.

To access Google Sheets’ massive A-to-Z list of currencies — from the Afghan Afghani to the Zimbabwean Dollar — you first need to click that "123" icon in the top nav.

123-icon-google-sheets-1.png

From there, head down to "More formats" and select "More currencies."

more-currencies-sheets.png

You can now choose a currency from the list and click the blue "Apply" button to set it.

currency-menu-google-sheets.png

5) Set up email notifications.

Want to know when a coworker makes changes to your report? Or are you looking for a way to get daily progress updates from a report a coworker is working on? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of those questions, then this is the hack for you.

To set up email notifications in Google Sheets, first head to "Tools" in the top nav and select "Notification rules."

notification-rules-google-sheets.png

Next, select what notification rules you want to put in place and click the blue "Save" button. 

set-notification-rules.png

(Note: Notifications can be triggered based on changes made to your spreadsheet as well as form submissions. To add a form to your spreadsheet, simply navigate up to "Tools," then select "Create a form.")

6) Validate Emails & URLs

Sorting through and making sense of hundreds (if not thousands) of email addresses and website URLs is no easy feat. And in some cases, this task can get even more complicated when, late in the game, you discover that some of those emails and URLs are invalid.

Once again, Google Sheets has got your back. Using the ISURL and ISEMAIL functions, you can quickly check whether email addresses and URLs are valid or not. For example, if you wanted to check if "hubspot.com" was a valid URL, you could select an empty cell, type in "=ISURL" and then put "hubspot.com" between parentheses like you see in the screenshot below. Even before you hit enter, Google Sheets will return a "TRUE" (valid) or "FALSE" (invalid) message.

is-url-true-google-sheets.png

You can follow the same instructions for the ISEMAIL function, just use an email address instead of a URL. Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like:

is-email-true-google-sheets.png

For a full list of Google Sheets functions, check out this Google support webpage.

7) Unlock a ton of additional features with add-ons.

Did you know that you can sync Google Sheets with your Google Analytics account? Or that you can use Google Sheets to plot data onto a Google Map? These features — and many, many more — don’t come standard with Google Sheets. However, you can easily add them by heading up to "Add-ons" in the top nav and selecting "Get add-ons."

add-ons-google-sheets.png

From there, you’ll be able to choose from tons of free features. You can use the dropdown at the top left to narrow down the category of add-on your looking for, or you can search for it directly using the search field at the top left. For example, if you wanted to find that maps add-on I mentioned (which is called "Mapping Sheets," FYI) you could do a search for "maps."

google-add-ons-menu.png

Know any other tips or tricks for making reporting easier in Google Sheets? Share them below.

free marketing reporting templates

via HubSpot Marketing Blog

How to Perfect Your Customer Journey Maps to Increase Conversions

Want more conversions?

Increase the quality of your consumer interactions.

Salesforce reports that “86% of senior-level marketers say that it’s absolutely critical or very important to create a cohesive customer journey.”

To understand how your team interacts with every customer, it’s vital that you design a customer journey map that highlights every part of the purchasing experience.

“Journey mapping is a holistic approach to understanding the flow of experiences a customer has with an organization; it uses pictures to represent a process that cannot be adequately captured with words,” writes Adam Toporek, author of Be Your Customer’s Hero.

Let’s explore how to earn more sales. It starts with your journey map.

What’s the Purpose?

E-commerce businesses must be ready to adapt quickly to convert prospects. It’s one of the few ways to stay competitive in the market.

CSO Insights found that “companies with ‘dynamic, adaptable sales and marketing processes’ reported an average of 10% more sales people on-quota compared to other companies.”

You can’t box a sales transaction into a one-time occurrence. It involves more than just exchanging money for a product.

It’s called the customer’s journey for a reason. The cycle encompasses all the interactions and decisions leading up to the purchase and after the sale.

“Customer journey maps allow you to walk in your customers’ shoes by traveling with them as they interact with your company. When based on sound research, they provide an accurate outside-in view, focusing on desired outcomes from the customer’s perspective,” states Michael Hinshaw, CEO of McorpCX.

Decades ago, companies worried about gaining new customers. But today’s business climate requires your SaaS to retain consumers. Therefore, nurturing the customer through the cycle holds greater purpose.

Identify the touch points where customers interact with your brand. Understand how each interaction affects one another. Develop a buyer journey map using the five W’s: Who, Why, When, What, and Where.

buyer-journey-maps
Image Source

Learn where your team can fill in gaps and exploit opportunities to increase conversions. A customer journey map gives your team context.

For example, if a customer calls your phone support line and waits 12 minutes without receiving assistance, then how should your team respond to a not-so-nice email from the person?

Connect the dots in the customer experience. It will guide your business forward.

Infusing Data

Research shows that “74% of buyers choose the sales rep that was first to add value [and] insight.” Customers want to be educated, not sold.

And for your SaaS to offer value-added information, your team needs to focus on consumer data. You’ll uncover what matters to your customer, when to give specific content, and how to present your content.

So, if data is an afterthought in your customer journey, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Quantitative and qualitative data is a stepping stone to giving your customers value.

Dom Nicastro, staff reporter at CMSwire, suggests the following methods to collect data:

  • In-person focus groups
  • Online moderated forums
  • In-depth, one-on-one phone interviews

As your team analyzes customer interaction data, you will master how to “accelerate customer acquisition, encourage repeat business, and improve customer loyalty.” This leads to adopting new product features, defining customer segments, and identifying churn signals.

big-data-analytics-credit-card-company

Monitor how you acquire data. Ensure that it’s accurate.

Paul Boag, author of Digital Adaptation, says, “Be careful to make clear what has research behind it and what does not. Making many decisions based on assumptions is dangerous. Once management sees the benefits of research, they will be willing to spend more time on it.”

Moreover, integrated customer journeys provide a competitive edge. Harvard Business Review cites Oakland-based Sungevity for their personalized digital customer journey. It helped the company’s sales double to more than $65 million.

Gather data to learn more about your customers’ behaviors. Analytics is necessary for understanding the customer’s journey.

The Blueprint

Despite the effectiveness of customer journey mapping, only 34% of companies have undertaken the process. It’s an opportunity for your SaaS to take advantage of the benefits.

The value of mapping includes recognizing functional silos, identifying growth factors, and establishing development priorities. If you don’t know how your customers flow through the sales cycle, it’s harder to serve their needs.

The customer journey map doesn’t have to be elaborate. Initially, forgoing specific data may be an option for your company. Here’s a recommendation from Forbes contributor Micah Solomon:

“Your customer journey map needs to be, or at least needs to start out its life being, independent from all considerations of internal processes and departments, because your customer will never have precisely the same viewpoint as the viewpoint you have internally, nor fully match up to the inevitably awkward divisions of task in your organization.”

And every journey map isn’t the same. Maps can vary based on the industry, customer base, or management style. Several types exist, including business to business and tactical.

buyers-journey-stages
Image Source

But all journey maps should serve the same purpose: Illustrate how the customer engages with you brand.

It shouldn’t be rooted in what your business thinks. Your team needs to document real experiences.

“Actionable journey maps clearly identify both positive and negative customer emotions throughout their journey and put them in context of customer behaviors, goals, and expectations. Businesses use their data to identify opportunity areas and to assess the impact of current and future CX/UX investments,” writes Kathleen Hoski and Phil Goddard of TandemSeven.

Build your plan to gain deeper insights to earn more conversions.

Facing the Challenges

Consider your journey map a living document that will continue to evolve. Get ready to add, subtract, and maybe even multiply your blueprint.

In this digital age, customers are becoming more sophisticated. Their interests pinpoint to niche markets. And their problems need customized solutions.

The key is to anticipate change. Recreating a linear path of the customer experience is only a waste of time, because we know customers take many routes to complete a sale. That involves research, justification, and cost analysis.

Your team also should aim to build ongoing trust with your customers. CMO Council’s Content ROI Center reports that no more than 9% of B2B buyers fully trust vendor content.

“They trust information that comes from people they trust: friends, family and network connections. You can’t be everyone’s friend, but you can stay in contact with a vast number of potential buyers on a regular basis thanks to social selling and automation,” says Daniel Ku, content marketing manager at Sales for Life.

And lastly, possess a full perspective of the customer. Avoid making one-sided decisions.

“Disparate systems and questionable data inhibit marketers from knowing and understanding who their customers are every time they engage. Without the single customer view, marketers face huge barriers from the very start,” says Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe Campaign.

Challenges will arise. Prepare accordingly.

Start Mapping

Every SaaS team needs a path to sales. Build customer journey maps to facilitate the buying process.

Learn how your SaaS is currently engaging with customers. Use data to pinpoint unknown consumer behaviors. And develop a blueprint that illustrates your buyers’ needs.

Map out the customer journey. Increase conversions.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.

via The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

The 36 Most Powerful Blog Promotion Tips You’re Ignoring [Infographic]

blog-promotion-tips.jpgYou could have the greatest blog this side of the Mississippi, but if no one’s reading it, what good is it doing your business?

To truly succeed at blogging for business long-term, you need to find and keep an avid audience.

While a great deal of this comes back search engine optimization, there are also many other actionable things you can do before and after you hit publish to get more eyes (and new eyes) on your content.

In this infographic by ReferralCandy, 36 of the most effect blog promotion tactics uncovered by Brian Lang of the Small Business Ideas Blog from dozens of industry experts. Ranging from targeted distribution to milking old content, the piece is full of invaluable advice.

The 9 Most Powerful Blog Promotion Tactics From Top Marketing Experts [Infographic]
ReferralCandy – Refer-a-friend Programs for Ecommerce Stores

 

Here’s a breakdown of everything covered:

#1: Before Everything Else, You Blog’s Gotta Rock

  • Be helpful
  • Be unique
  • Tell stories
  • Quote experts
  • Respond quickly to trends

#2: Make Sure Your Content/Blog is SEO-optimized

  • Do proper keyword research

#3: Incorporate Visuals

  • Create original images
  • Make images more effective with text overlay
  • Use Images to attract traffic
  • Invest in your content’s design
  • Create visual content

#4: Build & Use Relationships

  • Build real relationships with people first
  • Build a loyal audience
  • Share other’s content
  • Use social media to network and engage — not spam!
  • Be human on social media

#5: Know Your Target Audience

  • Really, really understand your audience
  • Match your content to the needs of your targeted audience

#6: Reach Out Via Email

  • Email people that you mentioned
  • Collect leads
  • Send better email
  • Email people according to content topic and interest

#7: Perform Targeted Distribution

  • Share with those who have already shared similar content
  • Send your content to specific targets
  • Reach out to Influencers
  • Prioritize promoters
  • Tag/mention relevant people
  • Add content when sharing
  • Get as much personal exposure as possible

#8: Capitalize on Social Media

  • Take note of timing
  • Share in more places
  • Retweet for visibility
  • Multiple tweets/shares at intervals
  • Milk older content for its worth
  • Use Pinterest

#9: Make it Happen

via The IMPACT Blog

#EmailChat with Litmus: Writing Emails That Sell

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “sales” or “selling”?

…Not good, right?

But when you have a product to sell, sales are kind of crucial to your business model. That’s why we asked John Bonini, Growth Director at Litmus, to help explain the difference between creating “sales-y” emails and emails that sell. (Trust us, there’s a difference.)

Missed out on the chat? Here are the 7 takeaways you should know before you hit ‘send’ on your next campaign:

Here’s what we really think about sales-driven emails.

We’re not just marketers, we’re consumers. And consumers don’t like being sold to – at least not in the way we traditionally think of sales.

“When I hear ‘sales’ I automatically think $$$ – which isn’t necessarily the mindset you want consumers to be in.”

“When I hear ‘sales/selling,’ I think, ‘You want something from me,’ not ‘You have something for me.’”

Sound familiar?

As John explained, it’s easy to let the consumer-perspective of “sales” affect the way we promote ourselves. Many of us have become fearful of coming across too aggressively in our sales approach – which can cause us to use more passive language that might lead to missed opportunities.

There’s a difference between being influential and being “sales-y.”

Here’s where sales gets a little fuzzy for most people. How do you know when you’re pushing too much? How do you know if you’re doing enough?

John says influence comes from uncovering people’s needs and wants – and delivering value that helps address them.

Another great way to avoid sounding like a salesman? Speak as though you’re talking to a friend, human to human. In other words, keep your content personal and aim to solve the problem of each individual you’re reaching out to.

Be both brand- AND subscriber-centric.

You can’t be brand-centric without being subscriber-centric. After all, your subscribers are the heart of your brand.

The folks at Really Good Emails have a really good formula for keeping your content focused:

“We like subscriber-centric content with brand-centric email design. Keep the messaging personalized and experience consistent.”

The right time to make your pitch.

Not sure when you should go for the sale? The answer is…

“When it makes logical and/or economic sense for someone to buy something from you.”

There’s no right way to answer this question. Every subscriber is unique and some may take a bit more convincing than others. That’s why it’s always good to offer value from the start – for free. Segmentation also comes into play here. Subscribers that consume more of your content than others early on are more likely to buy from you sooner, so keep this in mind when planning your email strategy.

Avoid using these terms and phrases in your emails.

ROI. LTV. ARPU.

What do these words even mean to the average consumer? Avoid sales and marketing jargon and talk like a human.

Also consider the tone of your emails. Nobody likes to be talked down to.

Take note from these brands.

Think about the brands that you buy from most frequently. What’s their secret?

Personally, I love being shown the versatility of a product. If you can tell me how to use it and why it will make my life better, I’m sold.

Free shipping/free returns? I’m in.

Oh, that product plays well with this one? Add it to the cart.

Don’t be afraid to sell.

A few bad experiences shouldn’t keep you from promoting your product and services. There are many reasons why people don’t make a purchase. Maybe it wasn’t the right time/place/etc. If you’re sending your stuff to the right people, you’ll be fine.

“Don’t think of it as selling. When you “sell” to people for whom it makes logical and economic sense for, you’re not selling.”

#ComingUp

Join us Thursday, May 19th for the next #EmailChat – Guest Host TBA. And stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and announcements by following us on Twitter.

What topic do you want us to chat about? Send me a tweet with your ideas and you could see it in an upcoming #EmailChat.

The post #EmailChat with Litmus: Writing Emails That Sell appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

via Email Marketing Tips

How to Turn Your Workspace Into a Den of Productivity

How to Turn Your Workspace Into a Den of Productivity

When it comes to improving productivity in the workplace, much of the advice we hear centers around the mindset or motivation of the individual in question — advice like “You need to set goals for yourself,” or “You need to focus on your passion,” or “You need to meticulously plan every portion of your day down to the millisecond.”

And while such advice can potentially be helpful, there’s one aspect of improving productivity that we often overlook: our environments.

via HubSpot Marketing Blog

7 Reasons Your Outreach Emails Arent Getting Responses and How to Fix That

Almost any online marketing campaign these days includes email outreach. While social media has its place, email is universally the most personal form of contact you can make online. Well-written outreach emails can get links, joint venture opportunities, clients, and just about any other good result you can think of. The only problem is that  [click to continue…]

via Quick Sprout

This Week in Growth: 5 Marketing Bullets 4/22/2016

This post originally appeared on Growth Everywhere, a marketing and business growth blog. Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you are all prepared for an awesome weekend! But first, here are my top five favorite marketing pieces from this week: Battleground Mobile: Why (& How) to Prepare for the Future – Author Eric Enge states that the mobile […]

The post This Week in Growth: 5 Marketing Bullets 4/22/2016 appeared first on Single Grain.

via Single Grain

5 Steps to Performing a Competitive Analysis & Establishing Your Presence

via The IMPACT Blog

Social Media From Your Couch and Other Tips For Managing 100 Social Profiles

Some people go to great lengths to find the best ways to share to social media.

Social media management tools definitely help, and so too do the workflows and tactics that social media marketers discover to save time each and every day.

This is especially true for busy marketing agencies who run social media marketing in addition to a host of other duties. The folks at iM Image Marketing, a digital agency from Youngstown, Ohio, most definitely fit this description, juggling social media …

The post Social Media From Your Couch, and Other Tips For Managing 100+ Social Profiles appeared first on Social.

via Social

How to Get Extra Organic Search Traffic with Google’s “Related Questions”

Most SEOs go after the most competitive traffic from Google. Years ago, that’s all there was, but Google has created many new features—many of which can be used to get extra search traffic. The best part about these features is that most SEOs never even try to take advantage of them. If you’re smart, you’ll  [click to continue…]

via Quick Sprout

AdWords Extensions Are No Longer Decorations: The Definitive Guide To Outclick the Competition

AdWords Extensions Are No Longer Decorations: The Definitive Guide To Outclick the Competition

Google identifies them as the “I want ­to ­know,” “I want ­to ­go,” “I want­ to ­do,” and “I want­ to ­buy” moments. These describe the moments you search for something on Google – no matter what it is.During one of your recent searches, you may have noticed that the text ads, which used to appear to the right of the search results, are no longer there. Google has eliminated these ads, instead adding a fourth ad above the results for "highly commercial queries.

via SEMrush blog

Are You Making These 8 AdWords E-Commerce Mistakes?

AdWords is one of the most effective methods of driving traffic to your e-commerce website. However, if poorly managed, it can result in a huge waste of money. In this post, I’ll teach you 8 mistakes that could be frustrating your AdWords efforts. I’ll also show you, step by step, how to fix the mistakes […]

via The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

9 Conversion Rate Optimization Principles to Get You Started (If You Can’t Test)

According to Google Trends, the term “conversion rate optimization” is an official “breakout”, meaning “searches for that phrase have jumped by +5,000 percent” over the last few years. While this proliferation of all things CRO is good news for the industry, it does have one painful drawback. For most websites, the biggest barrier to CRO […]

The post 9 Conversion Rate Optimization Principles to Get You Started (If You Can’t Test) appeared first on ConversionXL.

via ConversionXL

The Biggest Customer Acquisition Mistake That Your Company is Probably Making

Generating new sales leads and acquiring new customers are the biggest obsessions of every sales team and startup founder. Companies spend big money on lead generation, PPC ads, social media marketing, sponsored posts, content marketing, and other varieties of inbound lead generation techniques to get new customers. But what if I told you that the […]

via The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

6 Best SEO Keyword Research Tools For Startups

Original source: 6 Best SEO Keyword Research Tools For Startups via DailySEOblog.

Let’s be honest about it. Keyword research is the basic foundation to any SEO strategy. With several type of keyword research tools available today, many SEOs end up using more than one tool for keyword research, often times leading to loss of data and difficult workflow processes. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best SEO keyword research tools available for all platforms that will help you manage a scalable and easy SEO keyword research process. No more switching between tools and managing multiple spreadsheets! Which is better? Online Keyword Research Tools or Local? Keyword research tools are all […]

via DailySEOblog

Linking Internally and Externally from Your Site – Dangers, Opportunities, Risk and Reward – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

[Estimated read time: 9 minutes]

Navigating linking practices can be a treacherous process. Sometimes it feels like a penalty is lurking around every corner. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand talks about the ins and outs of linking internally and externally, identifying pitfalls and opportunities both.

Linking Internally and Externally from Your Site: Dangers, Opportunities, Risk and Reward Whiteboard

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about linking externally and linking internally, and some of the risks and rewards that are involved.

So some of you probably have seen April 11th, Google made this big move. They sent out a bunch of penalties to, well, a noticeably large number of websites — it was covered on a bunch of the SEO forums and in the SEO news — basically saying, this is Google sending out these warnings saying, "You are linking to unnatural looking sites or in unnatural patterns, and we’ve noticed and we think that those links shouldn’t be there. We may be penalizing your site, or we may not be passing PageRank or other types of link mechanisms, link value through your website anymore."

This isn’t the first time Google has done this. They’ve done it many, many times over the last 10, 15 years. We’ve seen plenty of this. This was just another explosion in that.

It is also the case that we’ve seen some other cool things on the other side of the aisle, which is Google rewarding internal links in a way we had not seen previously. In fact, some cool experiments were done recently — hopefully they’ll be made public soon, and then we can link over to them — around internal links and the power that internal links still have.

So we know that it still matters and it’s still important to consider who we link to and what we link to from our sites and pages. So I thought maybe we’d talk through a few of those scenarios.

1) When you’re linking to external sites and pages.

Let’s say I’ve got my mobile phones compared website here. It is actually a very positive thing to link out to places like the official website of maybe Samsung’s S7, or to link out to the Engadget review if I’m collecting a bunch of reviews and aggregating that data there to give the reference point. This is positive.

However, if I’m linking, let’s say I’m getting some affiliate value or someone’s paid me to link, or I’m linking to the site because it turns out that I own it or someone connected to me owns it and I’m getting some benefit from it, this "mobile info 4 UR life," maybe that could be a little suspicious.

It is the case, it is true and we’ve seen plenty of evidence to support this. I think ever since Marshall Simmonds from Define came in here many years ago and did his Whiteboard Friday about how The New York Times saw so much benefit from linking out, lots of folks have been investigating that and seen that benefit repeated over and over. So good external pointing links can give a boost to your site’s relevance, to how search engines consider you, and even to your rankings. Linking out is a positive thing.

It’s also the case that sites and pages that link out tend to earn more links back in, which seems obvious. They’re more helpful and relevant to people, they can serve as better resources, and it’s also the case that often that’s a very direct correlation because linking out might drive traffic to other websites who then notice it and say, "Oh yeah, I’d like to check you out. I might link to you."

Engadget might see my link and say, "Oh, you guys do a great job of that comparison stuff. Maybe we’ll link to one of those in a future blog post that we do." Or Samsung might see our comparison and say, "Hey, that’s some pretty cool data you’ve got. Do you think we could partner with you on a future research project and maybe we’d link to you from that project?" Very cool things.

That said, manipulative linking is dangerous. This is sort of the inverse of what we classically think of as link penalties, where we’ve gotten links that have pushed us up in the rankings, and they are from bad places, linking out to bad places or to good places for bad reasons, bad reasons being manipulative reasons, someone’s paid you, you’re getting some benefit from it. Google recently, a few months ago, made this announcement around how if bloggers are receiving free items from companies, and then they’re linking back to those products, that could be penalized or could be perceived as violating FTC rules if there’s not an advertisement or advertorial sponsor message on there. So all kinds of things here.

2) Linking to internal pages or other sites you own or control.

All right. Let’s move over to internal links. On internal links, we’ve got a little bit of the same story but with some caveats. So again, my mobile phones compared page is here.

I could be linking off to my own review. I could be linking off to my video category, maybe if I’ve got a video at the bottom of this page. I’m providing navigation. I’m helping visitors go where they want to go. This is a very positive thing. It cannot only help to get those pages indexed and crawled, it may also help them rank higher with a few caveats. So the right internal links, good ones, can have a large positive impact across a big website.

Internal links that tend to perform the best, the ones that help the most tend to be the ones that drive real traffic, and they sort of continue a visitor’s journey. They help people find what they’re looking for, and it’s also the case that the ones that don’t drive traffic, that aren’t perceived as helpful seem to have less of an impact on the pages they link to.

Now, I will point this out. If you’re worried about like, "Oh, should I add one more link on here to another category page, or should I reference another page from here," you generally don’t need to worry about that. As long as you think that some small portion, even a small portion of your audience would be potentially interested in that and it makes sense from a usability perspective, you should go ahead and add the link. I don’t tend to worry at all about like, "Well, the difference between 52 links on a page and 53 links is those 52 links will get a little bit less PageRank or a little bit less link energy, whatever it is, voting power than the 53rd link." I would not sweat that at all. Those days are long since gone.

But it is true that internal links tend to have the largest impact on already authoritative sites. If you’ve already got a lot of authority on your site, you can help many of the pages deep in your site structure to get crawled and indexed and to rank better by linking to them. We’ve seen this pretty substantially with some very big websites lately where they’ve gone through these redesigns and had remarkable results.

That said, manipulative links, for example, let’s say I went through and I just wrote a little bot that crawled my entire website, found every instance of the word "LG," the manufacturer, the phone manufacturer and linked to my LG page. It gets a little manipulative. There’s probably some places where it makes great sense, but every single time the word is mentioned — you’ve probably seen some websites like these, although fewer of them in the last three or four years than in the five years before that when this tactic was really prevalent and Google wasn’t penalizing for it.

We’ve actually seen examples where people removed that, and they made it much more subtle. They only did it on the first instance of the word on a page, and they only did it on category-level pages or blog-level pages, not deeply index pages or paginated versions of things, that kind of stuff. In fact, they saw their rankings rise. I love this. They saw their rankings rise like almost immediately. There was a really a cool example a few years back. I think I might have done a Whiteboard Friday about that (correction: I didn’t do a WB Friday on this topic after all – apologies!).

So with manipulative internal links, especially ones that are stuffed into footers or jammed into every word instance or those kinds of things, Google tends to perceive that as manipulative, which in fact it really is. You’re not doing that for visitor’s benefit. You’re hoping that it helps you with your rankings, and in fact it’s probably doing the opposite.

General rule of thumb: If you can’t find any way to justify how something that you’re doing for SEO also benefits a visitor, maybe you should reconsider it, with a few exceptions. XML sitemaps might be a reasonable one.

It’s the case that oftentimes the ones that are in footers or in structured template areas of a website that tend not to get clicked by people, sometimes a sidebar can do it, sometimes top nav can do it, sometimes even in-content stuff that’s wrapped around can do it, that tends to be the most dangerous places, but it’s not the only kind that gets penalized. In fact, it’s not even always bad.

We’ve seen instances again on very big websites where they’ve done very significant footers and linked off to all their properties that the site or the company owns and controls. We’ve seen it where they use it to get greater indexation, and in fact it’s positive because the footer is well done, because it tends to link to good places, because it’s clearly a high-quality one, and it’s not anchor text stuff. Anchor text is again a big risk here with internal linking.

So this is a very fine line, and it’s a fine meandering line. I can’t give you a clear-cut "never do this, always do this." It’s a considered process. That’s true for internal linking, and it’s true, maybe a little less true for external linking.

If you’ve got great advice that you’d like to share, or some experiences, or you want us to take a look at some of your internal or external linking practices, feel free to leave a comment. We’ll check them out, and I’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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

via Moz Blog

How to Write a Marketing Email: 10 Tips for Writing Compelling Email Copy

Email marketing has come a long way in just the past few years. But with all the fancy new functionality brands are utilizing, you know what’s kind of funny? A well-written, plain-text email can perform just as well (if not better) than a highly designed email with tons of bells and whistles.

In fact, no matter how fancy your marketing emails look, if they’re devoid of well-written content, your subscribers will stop opening — and start deleting — your messages. 

via HubSpot Marketing Blog

3 Resources to Help You Produce Stunning and Persuasive Content

Eenie meenie miney mo … You likely have used the “eenie-meenie-miney-mo method” when making an inconsequential decision. That’s the opposite of how you should make decisions regarding the look of your content and the message you want to communicate. Your content needs to be a carefully crafted presentation that is the result of intentional choices.
Read More…

The post 3 Resources to Help You Produce Stunning and Persuasive Content appeared first on Copyblogger.

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SEO Vs. CRO: How to Drive Search Traffic That Converts into Customers

CRO is important in today’s SEO. And yet, eConsultancy estimated that for every $92 spent on acquiring customers in the US, only 1$ is spent on conversion. Oops! That’s a big loss for most marketers whose only focus is SEO and its by-products (clicks, traffic, rankings, etc.). Not all search traffic is created equal. Sometimes, […]

via English – Neil Patel

Who’s to Blame for Your Bad Website Performance?

Who’s to Blame for Your Bad Website Performance?

The last time you launched a website, the performance didn’t turn out quite like you expected, did it? You expected it to be an upgrade. Conversion rates would be higher. There would be an immediate lift in sales. It’s so disappointing because a lot of people put a lot of hard work into designing and developing it; including you. You fought through all the discussions (probably arguments!) about color schemes, layout, navigation, content, calls to action, and on and on.

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Where is Your Website Traffic Really Coming From? [Infographic]

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11 Alarming Online Marketing Stats That Should Influence Your Strategy in 2016

The first ever TV ad was for Bulova watches and was broadcasted in 1941 on American screens. But, do you know how digital marketing started? Commercially available desktop PCs started to enter homes in the 1980s. And, in the 1990s, web 1.0 platforms and the internet started to take shape. Soon enough, Google and Blogger […]

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10 Stats on a 10-Year-Old Twitter

Today, Twitter turns ten. It’s accomplished a lot in its short life. Since the first tweet was posted by Jack Dorsey ten years ago, it’s become the champion of brevity, influenced the way we speak, been central to sharing news and opinion on politics and pop culture, and forced businesses to learn how to engage audiences and drive results with a …

The post 10 Stats on a 10-Year-Old Twitter appeared first on Kapost Content Marketing Blog.

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6 Signs Your Content Marketing is Successful

There’s that word again: Content. Every year, there are marketing conferences devoted to it, and content often dominates conversations across multiple departments of your business. Every brand knows they should be producing it, but no one wants to be simply creating content for its own sake — they want to know how it can add […]

The post 6 Signs Your Content Marketing is Successful appeared first on SEMrush Blog.

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7 Free Tools That Will Take Your Business Development Game to the Next Level

You’ve probably seen it on a salesperson’s business card. Or used in the context of creating partnerships. Sometimes it even falls in the realm of PR.

But don’t let its ambiguity undermine its importance—"business development", as the name suggests, is about creating and maintaining long-term relationships that help you grow your business.

From research to outreach to following up, here are 7 free tools that’ll help you take your biz dev efforts up a notch.

More

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Managing Multi-Channel Marketing (Without Losing Your Mind!)

Remember back in simpler times when online advertising was just web and email? While the marketing was much simpler, the opportunities were also very limiting. You essentially could only reach the user while they were on their computer – and even then, countless other emails and ads were competing for their attention. Fast-forward to today […]

via The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

The 6 Laws Of Landing Page Optimization: Do You Know The Basics?

No matter what stage you’re at as an optimizer, it always pays to go back to the basics. Landing page optimization is a really important skill to have. There’s a lot at stake. That’s why I’ve chosen to treat the topic again, this time from the perspective of the basics. Want to know why I’m going back to the basics? Because these are things that we all need to be reminded of. Because I realize that a lot of marketers who read Crazy Egg might not be familiar with all the principles of landing page optimization. Because there has been…

The post The 6 Laws Of Landing Page Optimization: Do You Know The Basics? appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Why You Need to Create Case Studies (a Data Driven Answer)

Imagine this scenario: You want to buy a new pair of running shoes online. So where do you start your search? Probably Amazon. After trying a few search queries, you narrow down to three to four choices. Besides having a penchant for a certain brand and your budget, what is the number one factor that […]

via English – Neil Patel

4 Ways to Perfect Your Search Strategies Without Keyword Stuffing

We’re in the age of uncertainty when it comes to keywords. Utilizing them in content is still crucial for search engines to interpret subject matter and relevance, but relying too heavily on sprinkling these buzzwords into your content can land you in serious trouble. The Google Hummingbird update in 2015 signaled a deepening shift toward […]

The post 4 Ways to Perfect Your Search Strategies Without Keyword Stuffing appeared first on SEMrush Blog.

via SEMrush Blog

What 6+ Years of Landing Page Optimization Taught Oli Gardner [VIDEO]

When you’ve seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet, the things you learn start to color your experience of the entire world — from hardware store visits to interactions with your boo. In this special video edition of the Call to Action podcast, Oli Gardner of Unbounce tells all about what 6+ years of landing page optimization has taught him about marketing (and life).

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5 Google Algorithm Changes I’ve Learned to Love

Google’s algorithm has gone through many changes over the years. Many of the updates were quite disruptive in the SEO community when they first rolled out, especially because Google tends to announce changes retroactively, if they announce them at all. But as time goes by, we’ve become accustomed to the changes and even grown to […]

The post 5 Google Algorithm Changes I’ve Learned to Love appeared first on SEMrush Blog.

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RankBrain Judgment Day: 4 SEO Strategies You’ll Need to Survive

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A 5-Step Plan for Finding & Engaging With Influential People Online

These days, collecting email addresses from people isn’t easy. After enduring their fair share of spammy messages, people have become hesitant about handing their information over to just anyone.

For marketers, this presents a unique challenge. When people aren’t willing to open up a line of communication with you, it becomes difficult to stay in touch with them.

via HubSpot Marketing Blog

Which Email Clients Are People Using Most? An Analysis of 13 Billion Email Opens [Infographic]

As more and more people use their mobile phones to surf the internet, marketers have had to rethink how and where we create, share, and optimize content on the web — including email.

In the past year or two, we’ve seen a number of notable changes in the way people check and read their email.

via HubSpot Marketing Blog

4 Badass Customer Delight Examples Every B2B Marketer Can Learn From

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How to Cross-Channel Market with the Customer Experience in Mind

The B2B customer experience used to be simple: the customer would go into a store or attend a networking event and interact with the business in person. Or, lines of communication would be built through the mail or telephone. Over time, the customer experience has become increasingly fragmented because of the plethora of marketing opportunities presented on the Internet. It …

The post How to Cross-Channel Market with the Customer Experience in Mind appeared first on Kapost Content Marketing Blog.

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How the HubSpot Marketing Blog Actually Generates Leads (Hint: It’s Not How You Think)

Business blogging "best practices" instruct bloggers to include a relevant call-to-action at the bottom of every blog post. This is nothing groundbreaking — it’s how you convert visitors to your blog into valuable inbound leads for your business.

But are those end-of-post calls-to-action (CTAs) really the best option? After all, any conversion rate optimization expert worth their salt knows to take industry "best practices" with, well, a grain of salt.

via HubSpot Marketing Blog

7 Powerful Social Media Experiments That Grew Our Traffic by 241% in 8 Months

If you’ve asked this before…

“How can we get more visitors to our website?”

… You’re certainly not alone, as increasing traffic is often the number one problem faced by marketers today.

The bad news? Saying “get more traffic” is easier said than done. You could write guest posts (Leo wrote 150 articles in 9 months when Buffer first launched), optimize for SEO traffic, or drive visitors through social media. The options are endless. This article focuses on the latter, though.

In this post, …

The post 7 Powerful Social Media Experiments That Grew Our Traffic by 241% in 8 Months appeared first on Social.

via Social

Osborne prepares to deliver Budget

George Osborne will set out £4bn in extra spending cuts and announce investment in the UK’s infrastructure when he presents his Budget to MPs later.

via BBC News – Home

Sorry, Growth Hacking Alone Won’t Let Your Business Prosper. Here are the Other Spices You Need.

For technology businesses, traditional advertising outlets now sound boring, intrusive and expensive. So what do startups like? 10x growth hacks used by companies to acquire millions of users within a couple of months. Major billion dollar brands like Facebook, AirBnb and Dropbox have used such unconventional growth strategies to gain huge exposure. They’re a source […]

via English – Neil Patel

Modern Link Building Includes Only 3 Viable Tactics: Here They Are

Few online marketing strategies have gone through as radical an evolution as link building. What originally started as a cut-and-dry, quantity-based strategy almost guaranteed to increase your rankings has turned into a much more complex system thanks to Google’s sophisticated, ever-advancing Penguin update. But here’s a secret about modern link building you may not be […]

The post Modern Link Building Includes Only 3 Viable Tactics: Here They Are appeared first on AWR.

via AWR

Modern Link Building Includes Only 3 Viable Tactics: Here They Are

Few online marketing strategies have gone through as radical an evolution as link building. What originally started as a cut-and-dry, quantity-based strategy almost guaranteed to increase your rankings has turned into a much more complex system thanks to Google’s sophisticated, ever-advancing Penguin update. But here’s a secret about modern link building you may not be […]

The post Modern Link Building Includes Only 3 Viable Tactics: Here They Are appeared first on AWR.

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How To Block Google Analytics Spam Traffic With These Tools

Analytics spam was one of the hot analytics topics in 2015 (peaking during the summer of 2015). It seems the topic regained some popularity during November and it appears that the traffic spam problem is not over just yet. Google Trend for Analytics Spam Google created a traffic spam support page, so this means they […]

The post How To Block Google Analytics Spam Traffic With These Tools appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Grow Your List with Facebook Lead Ads and Zapier

For growing companies, reaching potential customers can be tough. Blog and social media posts often aren’t enough, and there isn’t always room in the budget to launch an ad campaign. That’s where Facebook’s ad features come in. For years, Facebook has helped empower businesses of all shapes and sizes by providing an affordable means of …

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7 Ways to Measure Your Website’s UX

Website UX, or user experience, covers a wide range of factors. But at its core, UX is essentially about the human experience on a website. So how do we know that a website offers a good user experience? We may think we’ve done everything right, but how can we really know without some measurement? Eyeball […]

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Beyond the False Bottom: How to Avoid This Costly UX Mistake

UX mistakes often go undetected because they are quiet. They aren’t a broken image or a misspelled word or a form that isn’t sending. No, UX mistakes are foundational. To visitors, UX mistakes are loud, whether they consciously detect them or not. In fact, IBM is credited for the saying, “Ease of use may be invisible, […]

The post Beyond the False Bottom: How to Avoid This Costly UX Mistake appeared first on ConversionXL.

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11 Types of Marketing Emails That Actually Generate a Response

Are you the type of person who is willing to make 50+ phone calls per day in an attempt to add qualified prospects to your sales pipeline? Cold calling will always have a place in the business world, but it’s not the only strategy worth considering. With a growing number of buyers interested in a […]

via English – Neil Patel

How to Feed a Hummingbird: Improve Your On-Page SEO with Related Topics in Moz Pro

Posted by jon.white

SEO is changing. We can no longer rely on keyword targeting alone to optimize our content. Whether we should focus on topics or keywords is a debate in progress. But figuring out which topics can influence the SERP is, at best, a manual process; at worst, it’s a timesuck that can take hours out of your day.

TL;DR

Today we’ve launched Related Topics, a new feature in Moz Pro that can help you make sense of how search engines understand topics and phrases.

You can use data like this to build deeper content, improve your topical authority, find keyword ideas, and generally better understand the SERP. It uses machine learning and topic modeling to mine related topics from the SERPs.

We see this as another step on the journey to help marketers better understand the complex world of SEO in 2016. As of this moment, Moz Pro is one of the only places you can get this kind of data.

Want the quick run-down? Tori explains it all in this brief 1:39 minute video, complete with snazzy music.

Can’t wait to dive in? Already an avid Moz Pro user? Head to the Keyword Rankings section of any campaign and get started. And if you’re not a Moz Pro subscriber, you can satisfy your curiosity with a free trial, too:

Try it for 30 days!

Pandas, Hummingbirds, and the relationship between keywords and pages

We’ve all noticed that SEO has become a lot more complex in the last few years. When Google started to figure out the meaning of words and phrases, simple keyword usage alone no longer guaranteed us results. Then Hummingbird spread its wings, and now in some cases, pages in the SERP don’t contain the keyword at all. Utter chaos, right?

Panda made sure we put effort and research into our content. And while it’s still a good idea to ensure your target keywords appear in key parts of your page, the simple on-page optimization of the past can no longer move the rankings needle on its own.

Related Topics is a new feature in Moz Pro that helps you understand how phrases and topics influence the SERP, allowing you to broaden your content and build out pages instead of devoting yourself to time-consuming (and let’s be real, sort of boring) research.

That all sounds well and good. But how do we get insight into how Google understands the relationship between topics? Well, it turns out they give us a handy clue: the SERP itself.

Related Topics examines all of the pages that rank in the top 20 for a given keyword. Using machine learning and topic modeling, it figures out which unique sets of terms and phrases those pages include. It then removes the topics that your page already talks about and presents the resulting list, along with the ranking URLs. Armed with this mighty list, you can now understand which topics have influence in the SERP and decide whether to integrate these into your own pages and content. It lives within the Page Optimization feature in Moz Pro, which you can now get to by clicking the "Optimize" next to any keyword in the ranking table.

While it’s impossible to say for sure that including topics in your page will result in a higher ranking (that ol’ correlation versus causation thing), we do know that pages that rank well are already including these topics in their content. If you’re looking to diversify and broaden your page’s subject coverage to try and win more authority, Related Topics is the place to start. Bonus points: it’s also quite likely that including coverage of these topics will improve the user’s experience of your content.

How can I use this data to get ahead?

1. Experiment with including different topics and content to build authority

Adding topically similar content to your page can help Google understand what that page is about, establishing yourself as an authority on those topics.

I’m a fan of Tim Ferris and his productivity hack blog, fourhourworkweek.com. Let’s take this article on speed reading. Looks like the page is optimized pretty well for the target keyword and has a decent link profile and PA. Now, let’s look at some other topics that have influence on the SERP.

Here I can see a couple of variations I might want to play around with, but a couple in particular catch my eye. I notice the topic “reading comprehension” seems influential (it’s included in 3 of the top 5 ranking pages), and it’s not syntactically related — this is a topic I might not have discovered manually by looking at variations of the target keyword. I also see “subvocalization” being influential. This is a term I might not be familiar with, but using Related Topics, I can drill into the actual URLs mentioning that topic, learn about it, and get some inspiration for how I could build out my content to include it.

This is a particularly interesting case, as “speed reading” has a somewhat reasonable search volume of 9,900 (from Keyword Planner). In contrast, “reading comprehension” has a search volume of 18,100. If I can integrate it well, I have an opportunity to broaden my audience.

2) Avoid thin content and go deeper

You’ve got to pacify the Panda. If you’re looking for ways to expand on thin content, go deeper or broader on an existing page, or convert shorter content to long-form, using Related Topics suggestions can give you inspiration for subject-matter expansion. Multiple studies have shown that deeper and more topically relevant content correlates with better ranking performance.

In the example below, I have a page about Product Management Events, if I wanted to make it broader I might do a deep dive on the subject of Product Design, or even talk about some of the branded topics that were discovered.

3) Save time on topical, competitive, and SERP research

This can be especially helpful when you’re wearing many hats, and tackling a new domain you’re not as familiar with. Using Related Topics — and especially researching the ranking pages they appear on — can give you a head start for topic-appropriate language to use, or inspiration for areas to research.

At Moz, we all think we’re experts on the housing market since we watched "The Big Short." But challenge us to write about the more technical terms and we might struggle! Here’s another example using a US real estate blog recommended by our own in-house real estate guru Tim Ellis.

Let’s say we want to understand a bit more about the SERP for the keyword "real estate forecast," and perform some industry research on terminology. Here are some topics that have influence:

I notice there are a few technical terms in here that I’m not familiar with, and if I want to learn more I can jump right into the ranking URLs that contain the topic and research them instead of trying to manually pull them out of the SERP.

4) Keyword Ideas

The list of topical suggestions also double as suggestions for other keywords to target, or as seed keywords for keyword research (we have some new keyword research tools coming very soon).

How does it actually work? (Tech jargon alert!)

Wondering how Related Topics knows just which content is on the page? Well, we use Moz’s proprietary Context API, which also powers other tools around here (such as Moz Content). Here are a few words from Dr. Matt Peters (Moz’s Chief Data Scientist) on how it works:

Moz’s topic modeling algorithm extracts relevant keyword phrases from English language web pages. We use natural language processing algorithms to analyze the page content and create a list of candidate topics. Then, a machine learning model assigns each candidate phrase a relevance score and ranks them from most-to-least relevant. The relevance score is a combination of traditional information retrieval techniques like term frequency–inverse document frequency (TF-IDF) and language modeling, syntactic and semantic signals such as part of speech tags, and graph-based features. The resulting lists of highly relevant topics and relevance scores are used in both Moz Pro and Moz Content.

As mentioned above, Related Topics takes the top 20 ranking pages on the SERP, extracts topics from them using the Context API, and then applies a series of filters and rules to show topics that we think are relevant. We exclude topics we find on any URLs that you rank with for the keyword. During feature development, we were faced with a choice: show topics that occur more frequently, but show less of them; or show more topics with varying ranges of frequency. We decided that our customers prefer having more data, and often we find gems near the bottom of the list. For this reason we went with the “more data” option. You might find the odd strange suggestion in there, but we think that’s outweighed by having more data to choose from.

See it in action!

Want to take it for a spin? If you’re already a Moz Pro subscriber (hey, pal!), head to your Keyword Rankings section in any Moz Pro campaign and hit the "Optimize Keyword" button.

Curious but not ready to commit? Check it out with a 30-day free trial:

Try it for 30 days!

As always, we want your feedback / comments / experiences in the comments below!

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

via Moz Blog

5 Ways to get SEO Traffic in a Hard Niche

It’s one of the biggest challenges when it comes to SEO. You can read about tons of different SEO tactics on various blogs, but will they work for you? After all, that’s the important part. Not everyone wonders about this because they know that common SEO tactics will work for them, no problem. But you  [click to continue…]

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Beyond Lead Gen: How To Optimize B2B Sales Enablement

We often talk about online conversion optimization without mentioning that many businesses, especially B2B, rely on offline sales to produce revenue. The two aren’t disconnected, though. There’s a lot we can do online to help our sales teams close deals. It starts with sales enablement. What Is Sales Enablement and Why Should You Care? Technology […]

The post Beyond Lead Gen: How To Optimize B2B Sales Enablement appeared first on ConversionXL.

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Big Takeaways from Google’s Doorway Page Algorithm Update

Last year, the search engine giant released an update on Doorway Pages. The very first line of the blog announcing the update reads “Google’s Search Quality team is continually working on ways in which to minimize the impact of webspam on users.” The first line says it all; the update shouldn’t be looked at in […]

The post Big Takeaways from Google’s Doorway Page Algorithm Update appeared first on SEMrush Blog.

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Still Confused About Google’s Recent Changes? Erin Sagin Explains [VIDEO]

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Landing Page Optimization: A Step-by-Step Guide for Everyone

Search engine optimization. Conversion rate optimization. Landing page optimization. Sometimes it’s enough to make you wonder: whatever happened to just building a good website? Since when did everything start to be about “optimizing?” The answer: ever since marketers began to realize that even small improvements to a web page could result in huge gains in […]

The post Landing Page Optimization: A Step-by-Step Guide for Everyone appeared first on LeadPages Blog | Free Landing Page Templates.

via LeadPages Blog | Free Landing Page Templates

How to Make the Last Hour of Your Workday the Most Productive

This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this,subscribe to Sales.

The important thing to remember about productivity is that it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. If you’re super-productive for one hour but slack off the next two, you haven’t been productive. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.)

via HubSpot Marketing Blog

23 Essential (and Free) WordPress Plugins for Marketers

Did you know that there are tens of millions of websites powered by the WordPress content management system? From individuals and small companies to some of the biggest brands in the world, such as the National Football League and CNN, WordPress users come from all walks of life. Marketing professionals love WordPress for many reasons. It’s […]

via English – Neil Patel

Stay Put: How to Maintain Your SEO Rankings After Reaching The Top?

Can you guess the subject that is the most written about in the internet marketing niche? It’s probably building traffic to your website. Just look at the number of search results on the subject. I, myself have written many articles on marketing strategies that ultimately help you in getting more traffic. Some examples include guest […]

via English – Neil Patel

12 Google Analytics Custom Reports to Help You Grow Faster

“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital,” said Aaron Levenstein, a former professor of business administration at Baruch College. [Tweet It!] The same is true of your data in Google Analytics. Most of what you spend your time looking at (and re-looking at) is merely suggestive. That’s not the data […]

The post 12 Google Analytics Custom Reports to Help You Grow Faster appeared first on ConversionXL.

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The Ultimate Guide to Removing Google Analytics Referral Spam

It started out simple enough with semalt and buttons-for-websites. Then the ilovevitaly attacks began. Pretty soon Ranksonic began mocking us with fake events and organic search terms. Before we knew it there was a full-frontal assault of fake referral spam masquerading as legitimate website visitors compromising the accuracy of our Google Analytics reports. We all […]

via The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog

5 Split Tests You Can Run Today to Write More Engaging Email Content

Will including your subscribers’ names in the copy of your emails increase your click-through rate? Find out how to run 5 split tests to answer this question and many more.

The post 5 Split Tests You Can Run Today to Write More Engaging Email Content appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

via Email Marketing Tips

5 Mistakes Bloggers Make with SEO and What to Do About Them

Search Engine Optimisation and all that goes with it is an incredibly important part of successful blogging, but it’s also a topic than many find too advanced – particularly for beginners. It’s not unusual to get expert help in the area, and my guest on today’s ProBlogger podcast is the person I turn to for help with […]

The post 5 Mistakes Bloggers Make with SEO and What to Do About Them appeared first on ProBlogger.

via @ProBlogger

4 Tips and Tricks for Financial Marketing on Facebook

Fortune 500 brands prove that Facebook is a core competency for financial marketing. Here are four helpful Facebook hacks for financial services brands.

The post 4 Tips and Tricks for Financial Marketing on Facebook appeared first on TrackMaven.

via Blog – TrackMaven

Overcoming Your Fear of Local Landing Pages

Posted by MiriamEllis

[Estimated read time: 12 minutes]

When tasked with developing a set of city landing pages for your local business clients, do you experience any of the following: brain fog, dry mouth, sweaty palms, procrastination, woolgathering, or ennui? Then chances are, the diagnosis is a fear of local landing pages. But don’t worry! Confusion and concern over this common challenge have made it an FAQ in the local column of the Moz Q&A forum, and my goal here is to give you a prescription for meeting these projects with confidence, creativity, and even genuine enjoyment!

Up ahead: a definition, a "don’t" list, a plan of action, and a landing page mockup.

Quick definition: What’s a local landing page?

Local landing pages (aka city landing pages) are pages you create on a website to highlight a geographic aspect of a business for its customers. Local landing pages are most appropriate for:

  • Service area businesses (SABs) that need to publicize the fact that they serve a variety of cities surrounding the city in which they are physically located. In this scenario, the goal of most local landing pages is to gain organic rankings for these service cities, as they’re unlikely to earn local pack rankings unless there is minimal geographic competition for the services offered.
  • Multi-location brick-and-mortar businesses that need to publicize the fact that they have more than one forward-facing office. In this scenario, the goal will often be to get multiple offices ranking in the local packs by linking from the Google My Business listing for each office to its respective local landing page on the company’s website. You may also achieve organic visibility, as well, depending on the competition.

Diminish your fear by knowing what to avoid

Knowledge is power. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you’ll feel confident knowing that you’re developing a new set of pages that will help your client’s website, rather than harming it.

1. Do not publish fake addresses on local landing pages.

Tell clients that PO Boxes and virtual offices are considered ineligible in Google’s guidelines, so it’s not a good idea to use them on the website in an attempt to appear more local.

Be especially cautious here if your client is an SAB and gives you a string of addresses. Of course, an SAB can have multiple legitimate locations (like a pizza delivery chain) but if it’s a small business, your due diligence is required to make absolutely sure the addresses are legitimate and do not represent your client’s brother’s house, aunt’s house, friend’s house, etc.

Look the addresses up via Google Streetview. Do you see residences, or even empty lots? Red flag! Let such clients know that Google can read street-level signage and doesn’t take kindly to falsified address information. Google understands that SABs may operate out of a single home, but operating out a string of homes may look (and be!) spammy.

2. Do not engage in creating local landing pages for clients who lack a reasonable amount of time to discuss their business with you.

A minimum requirement is that they can have a phone session with you for each city you’re going to cover, but a much better hope lies with clients who are willing to make an active contribution to the project. *More on this later.

3. Do not engage in creating local landing pages if you don’t have enough information about the business to avoid creating thin or duplicate content.

This is related to point 2. Writing a paragraph and swapping out the city names on a set of pages is not a good plan, and you’ll encounter this lazy scenario on countless local business websites. Don’t be tempted to go this route just because your client’s competitors are getting away with it. Properly view them as weak competitors whom you can surpass with a superior effort.

4. Do not create city landing pages if no one involved in the project (including yourself) can discover a genuine reason (apart from a desire to rank) to differentiate cities and services from one another.

Don’t create these pages unless you can honestly say that you believe they will be useful and interesting to the company’s customers. *Suggestions for inspiration to follow.

5. Do not stuff local landing pages with blocks of city names, zip codes, or keywords.

Google’s Webmaster guidelines specifically state that they do not like this.

6. Beware call tracking numbers.

If your client wants to use call tracking numbers, be sure you fully understand the risks and options.

7. Do not bury your local landings pages somewhere deep within the architecture of the website.

Link to them from a high-level menu.

8. Finally, do not build an unreasonable number of landing pages.

At some point in your work as a local SEO, you will be contacted by a company that serves most or all of a state, or multiple states. They will say, “Our goal is to rank for every single town and city in our service area.” If your client serves California, there are some 500 incorporated cities in the state, not to mention thousands of tiny towns.

Can you honestly build thousands of unique, high-quality pages?

With enough funding and a large staff of copywriters, this might be possible, but it’s going to be the exception rather than the rule for small-to-medium local businesses. It’s generally more reasonable to have the client designate their most important cities and target these first. Then, if need be, move on from there, provided that you can avoid all 7 of the above pitfalls in creating further landing pages. Recommending PPC for more minute coverage may be a wiser alternative to prevent website quality from suffering.

Sigh of relief! Now that you know the major errors to avoid, you can move forward with the landing page development project feeling confident that your work is going to help your client, rather than harming them. Gather that tension up into a ball and cast it away!

Jump-start landing page inspiration with tools, talk and action

Here’s a ready-made process for generating ideas for the content you’re going to be developing. I’m going to make the assumption that you’ve already had your client fill out some sort of questionnaire prior to taking them on. This questionnaire may have been really detailed, or kind of generic. If it missed geo-specific questions, the following process will help you glean the initial information you need from the business owner.

1. Ask your client (more) questions

By now, you’ve assessed that your client is willing to be engaged in the landing page process. Now, either create a second questionnaire, or, if preferable for both of you, get on the phone and cover all of the following:

    • Every service offered
    • Every major city/town served
    • Most typical type of client
    • Most typical client requests/needs/questions
    • Services, tips, or advice that are unique to each city (such as different requirements based on laws, weather, terrain, style, precautions, codes, etc)
    • Types of satisfaction guarantees offered
    • Specials offered
    • Why the business is better than its competitors
    • Who those competitors are
    • Participation in or support of local events, teams and organizations

*As you take notes, be sure you’re jotting down not just what your client says, but how they say it. Language matters, not only as a means of learning the lingo of your client’s industry, but in discovering whether corporate lingo actually matches customer speech.

2. Assess their local landing pages

From your notes from conversation #1, you’re ready to first pay a virtual call to the websites of every major local competitor your client mentioned. Assess their local landing pages, if they have them, for content quality, usability, and usefulness. There’s a good chance that you’ll see lazy efforts that you can surpass with your own work. Take notes about what you like and don’t like in the competitors’ landing pages. Note, too, what keywords they’re targeting.

3. Transform your notes into content

Now, it’s time to take your notes and turn them into:

    • Unique, introductory text regarding the client’s services in each city
    • At least one unique customer question and owner answer per page
    • Specific advice/tips for that city that are unique to that city

4. Discover common questions and find their answers

Next, let’s fire up a really awesome tool to start generating additional topics. Hat tip to Linda Buquet who first alerted me to AnswerThePublic.com, a free tool that enables you to type in a keyword and generate the best list of related questions I’ve ever seen. It’s available in 5 countries, and even a simple search like "house painting" turns up 24 questions you can sort through to discover what types of queries people are commonly making about your client’s business model.

Return to the business owner for expert answers. Bingo! By now, you’ve got some very useful content already taking shape to help differentiate one landing page from another. I also like combing through Google’s "related searches" at the bottom of SERPs for further ideas.

5. Incorporate appropriate visuals

Now we turn to the visual documentation of your client’s business. Have them equip a designated staff member with a camera, either to take before-and-after photos of projects or to do a full video documentary of a minimum of 1–3 projects per city.

If your client’s industry isn’t of exceptional visual interest (plumbing, HVAC, accounting) a modest visual documentation, accompanied by a text transcript, should be sufficient to give customers a good idea of what it would be like to work with the business. If your client’s industry is highly visual (landscaping, architecture, home staging), the more you can show off their best work, the better. For the sake of authenticity, be sure that photo labeling and tagging are specific to the target city and that video narratives mention the target city.

    • While you’re shooting footage, consider getting 1–3 video testimonials in each city from very happy clients and write transcripts. If competition isn’t stiff, even a single video testimonial can set the business apart. In tougher markets, go to extra effort with this step.
    • An alternative (or addition) to video testimonials is use of an on-page traditional review app. And don’t forget that brick-and-mortar businesses can link to their various profiles on third-party review sites (Yelp, Google, etc).
    • Have widely recognized customers? Get their permission to brag about it! For example: “We clean the carpets at every branch of Bank of America in San Diego,” “We designed the Transamerica building in San Francisco,” or “We groomed the Pomeranian who won Best in Class at the Boston Dog Show.” Be city-specific with this content.
    • Consider the usefulness of interviewing staff who either operate each brick-and-mortar office or who travel to serve the SAB’s customers. A short, welcoming video that displays professionalism, approachability, and company ideals can help customers feel comfortable even before a transaction occurs.
    • If there is an element of the business that changes from location to location (brick-and-mortar) or from city to city (SAB), be sure you are aware of this and describing this on the page. Some examples would be a class schedule for a yoga studio that’s unique to each location, or a landscaping company’s recommended schedule of yard cleaning at high elevations versus valley floor locations. This content should be highly visible on the page, as it’s highly relevant to city-specific user groups.
    • Finally, think back to your assessment of your client’s competitors. Is there something they weren’t doing and that isn’t mentioned above that your client’s business inspires you to showcase? Maybe it’s something funny, extra persuasive, or extra local in flavor that would help your client stand out as particularly individualistic. Don’t hesitate to go beyond my basic suggestions to provide a creative edge for your client.

Pulling it all together

Fear is now a thing of the past. While you may be a bit buried under a heap of notebooks, spreadsheets, and docs, you’ve gathered both confidence and a wealth of resources for getting these local landing pages built. Whether you’re working with the owner’s webmaster or are implementing the development yourself, I hope the following basic mockup will help you get organized.

*I’m using an SAB for my example — a fictitious house painter who is targeting the town of Mendocino, California as part of his service area. If your landing pages are for a multi-location brick-and-mortar business, be certain that the very first thing on the page is the complete name, address and phone number of the respective location, preferably in Schema.

Click the image for a larger version in a new tab.

Key to the mockup

  1. This section covers your introductory text — including a basic description of what the company does — plus geographic-specific advice, satisfaction guarantee information, and a mention of well-known clients served.
  2. Here is a vertical section featuring 3 project showcase videos + text project summaries.
  3. The reviews section features an on-page review widget, a request for customers to leave a review, and an invitation to see further reviews on third-party platforms.
  4. Here’s where we put our question research to work, with the owner answering questions he says customers frequently ask, plus questions generated by a tool and other research.
  5. Here’s an area for extra creativity. We’re featuring a "Meet the Owner" video, some relevant local news, and mentioning company support for local entities, including a special deal.
  6. While we’ve sprinkled calls-to-action throughout the page, never forget that final CTA in closing up!

Speaking of closing up…

Your landing pages won’t look exactly like my sample mockup (hopefully they’ll be a lot nicer!) but I do hope this exercise has helped you gain confidence in moving fearlessly forward with these projects. I want to stress again the importance of owner involvement in this scenario. Your questionnaires and phone conversations are invaluable, and even if you have to use a crowbar with some clients, the effort truly shows in the authenticity, usefulness, and persuasiveness of the finished product.

I did want to take a minute to talk about scale, because this also comes up pretty frequently in our forum. Depending on available funding and creativity, the approach I’ve described is likely scalable for a medium-to-large business with anywhere from two to a few dozen target cities. Once you get beyond that, the project might get out of hand in terms of ROI, but I want to provide a couple of real-world examples.

  1. I’ve cited REI before, but I’ll do it again. They operate 143 stores across 36 states, and I continue to be impressed by the effort they’ve made to differentiate their landing pages for each location. An interactive map drills down to pages like this: http://ift.tt/1OKOmyw. They’re not quite as text-intensive as my mockup, but the inclusion of a schedule of interesting local events makes these pages feel cared-for and worth visiting.
  2. If you’re operating at a similar scale, like Orchard Supply Hardware with 91 stores, and don’t feel you can or should make the investment in landing pages, you’ll likely end up going with something like a city/zip code search that shows store NAP in a given radius. Granted, this approach is going to be lacking in SEO opportunities, but if your brand is big enough and your competition isn’t too tough, it’s an option.

Do you have any other good ideas for making your local landing pages valuable? Please share them with the community!

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How to Optimize for Competitors’ Branded Keywords

Posted by randfish

It’s probably crossed your mind before. Should you optimize for your competitors’ branded keywords? How would you even go about it effectively? Well, in today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains some carefully strategic and smart ways to optimize for the keywords of a competitor — from determining their worthiness, to properly targeting your funnel, to using third-party hosted content for maximum amplification.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about optimizing for your competitors’ branded terms and phrases, the keywords that are your competitors’ product names or service names. This gets into a little bit of a dicey area. I think it’s challenging for a lot of SEO folks to do this and do it well, and so I’m going to take you through an approach that I’ve seen a lot of folks use with some success.

A strategic approach

So to start off with, let’s go to the strategy level. Is it actually the case — and sometimes it’s not, sometimes it is not the case — that branded keywords are driving high enough volume to actually be worth targeting? This is tough and frustrating, but basically one of the best thing that I can recommend in this case is to say, "Hey, if we are…"

I’m going to pretend for the purposes of this Whiteboard Friday that we’re all working together on the SEO campaigns for Wunderlist, which is a to-do app in the Google Play and iPhone app stores, bought by Microsoft I think a little while ago. Beautiful app, it looks really nice. One of their big competitors obviously is Evernote, certainly an indirect competitor but still.

Are branded keywords driving high enough volumes to be worthwhile?

Essentially what you might want to do here is actually go ahead and use AdWords to bid on some of these keywords and get a sense for how much traffic is really being driven. Can you draw any of that traffic away? Are people willing to consider alternatives? If there’s almost no willingness to consider alternatives — you can’t draw clicks here, you’re not getting any conversions, and it is the case that the volume is relatively low, not a lot of people are actually searching for Evernote, which is not the case, there are tons of people searching for Evernote and I’d probably tell Wunderlist they should go ahead. Evernote is actually bidding on Wunderlist’s terms, so turnabout is fair play. Bidding on AdWords can answer both of these questions. That can help them get us to:

What do you need to solve?

All right, now what is it that we need to solve? What are potential customers doing to compare our products or our services against these folks, and what are they interested in when they’re searching for these branded names? What makes them choose one versus another product?

Related searches can help us here, so too can normal forms of keyword research. So related searches is one form, but certainly I’d urge you to use search suggest, I’d urge you to check out Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, if you like keywordtool.io or if you like Huballin or whatever it is that you think is a great keyword tool, check those out, go through those sources for your competitor’s keywords, see what’s coming up there, see what actually has some real volume. Obviously, your AdWords campaign where you bid on their branded terms can help tell you that too.

Then from there I’d go through the search results, and I’d see: What are people saying? What are the editorial reviews? For example, CNET did this Wunderlist review. What does their breakdown look like? What are people saying in forums? What are they saying on social media? What are they saying when they talk about this?

Ask the same questions of your competition

So if I’m seeing here’s what Wunderlist versus Evernote looks like, great. Now let me plug in Evernote and see what everyone’s saying about them. By the way, you don’t just have to use online research. You can go primary source on this stuff, too. Ask your customers or your audience directly through surveys. We’ve used here at Moz Google Custom Audience Surveys, and we’ve used SurveyMonkey Audience’s product. We like both of those.

Once you’ve got this down and you say, "Hey, you know what? We’ve got a strategic approach. We know what we need to talk about in terms of content. We know the keywords we’re targeting." Great. Now you get to choose between two big options here — self-hosting some content that’s targeting these terms, or using third-party hosting.

Self-hosted content

With self-hosted content we’re going to try and go after those right terms and phrases. This is where I’ve seen some people get lost. They essentially go too high or too low in the funnel, not targeting that sweet spot right in the middle.

1. Target the right terms & phrases

So essentially, if someone’s searching for "Evernote review," the intent there is that they’re trying to evaluate whether Evernote is good. Yeah, you know what? That’s right in the middle. That’s right in the sweet spot, I would say that is a good choice for you targeting your competitors’ keywords, anything around reviews.

"Evernote download," however, that’s really at the bottom of the funnel. They’re trying to install at that point. I don’t think I’d tell you to go after those keywords. I don’t think I’d bid on them, and I don’t think I’d create content based on that. An Evernote download, that’s a very transactional, direct kind of search. I’d cross that one off my list. "How to use Evernote," well, okay that’s post-installation probably, or maybe it’s pre-installation. But it’s really about learning. It’s about retaining and keeping people. I’d probably put that in the no bucket as well most of the time. "Evernote alternative," obviously I’m targeting "Evernote alternative." That is a great search phrase. That’s essentially asking me for my product. "What is Evernote," well okay, that’s very top-of-funnel. Maybe I’d think about targeting some content like, "What do apps like Evernote, Todoist and Wunderlist do?" Okay. Yeah, maybe I’m capturing all three of those in there. So I’d put this as a maybe. Maybe I’d go after that.

Just be careful because if you go after the wrong keywords here, a lot of your efforts can fail just because you’re doing poor keyword targeting.

2. Craft content that delivers a superior user experience

Second is you need to craft that content that’s going to deliver a superior user experience. You’re essentially trying to pull someone away from the other search results and say, "Yeah, it was worth it to scroll down.

It was worth it to click and to do the research and to check out the review or check out the alternative." Therefore, you need something that has a lot of editorial integrity. You need that editorial integrity. You can’t just be a, "Everything about them is bad. Everything about us is great. Check out why we kick their butt six ways from Sunday." It’s just not going to be well-perceived.

You need to be credible to that audience. To do that, I think what’s smart is to make your approach the way you would approach it as if you were a third-party reviewer. In fact, it can even pay in some cases to get an external party to do the comparison review and write the content for you. Then you’re just doing the formatting. That way it becomes very fair. Like, "Hey, we at Wunderlist thought our product compared very well to Evernote’s. So we hired an outside expert in this space, who’s worked with a bunch of these programs, to review it and here’s his review. Here are his thoughts on the subject."

Awesome. Now you’ve created some additional credibility in there. You’re hosting it on your site. It’s clearly promoting you, but it has some of that integrity.

I would do things like I’d think about key differentiators. I’d think about user and editorial review comparisons. So if you can go to the app stores and then collect all the user reviews or collect a bunch of user reviews and synchronize those for folks to compare, check out the editorial reviews — CNET has reviewed both of these. The Verge has reviewed both of these. A bunch of other sites have reviewed both of them. Awesome. Let’s do a comparison of the editorial reviews and the ratings that these products got.

"Choose X if you need…" This is where you essentially say, "If you’re doing this, well guess what? We don’t do it very well. We’d suggest you use Evernote instead. But if you’re doing this, you know what? Wunderlist is generally perceived to be better and here’s why." That’s a great way to do it. Then you might want to have that full-feature comparison breakdown. Remember that with Google’s keyword targeting and with their algorithms today they’re looking for a lot of that deep content, and you can often rank better if you include a lot more of those terms and phrases about what’s inside the products.

3. Choose a hosted location that doesn’t compromise your existing funnel

This is rarely done, but sometimes folks will put it on their main homepage of their website or in their navigation. That’s probably not ideal. You probably want to keep it one step away from the primary navigation flow around your site.

You could conceivably host it in your blog. You could make it something where you say, "Hey, do you want to see comparisons? Or do you want to see product reviews?" Then we’re going to link to it from that page. But I wouldn’t put it in the primary funnel.

3rd-party hosted content

Third-party hosted content is another option, and I’ve seen some folks do this particularly well recently. Guest content is one way to do that. You could do that. You could pay someone else, that professional reviewer and say, "Hey, we want to pitch this professional reviewer comparing our product against someone else’s to these other outlets."

Sometimes there are external reviewers who if you just ask them, if you just say, "Hey we have a new product or we have a competing product. We think it compares favorably. Would you do a review?" A lot of the time if you’re in the right kind of space, people will just say, "Yeah, you know what? I’ll put that on my schedule because I think that can send me some good traffic, and then we’ll let you know." You kind of knock on wood and hope you get a favorable review there. You could contribute it to a discussion forum. Just be open and honest and transparent about who you are and what you’re doing there.

Native ads

Today you can do sponsored content or what’s called native ad content, where essentially you’re paying another site to host it. Usually, there’s a bunch of disclosure requirements around that, but it can work and sometimes that content can even rank well and earn links and all that kind of stuff.

Promotion & amplification

For promotion and amplification of this content, it’s a little trickier than it is with your average content because it’s so adversarial in nature. The first people I would always talk to are your rabid loyal fans. So if you know you’ve got a community of people who are absolutely super-passionate about this, you can say, "Hey, guess what? We released our comparison, or we released this extra review comparison of our product versus our competitor’s today. You can check it out here."

You can pitch that to influencers and pundits in your space, definitely letting them know, "Hey, here’s this comparison. Tell us if you think we were honest. Tell us if you think this is accurate. Tell us if this reflects your experience." Do the same thing with industry press. Your social audiences are certainly folks that you could talk to.

Give them a reason to come back

One of the key ones that I think gets too often ignored is if you have users who you know have gone through your signup flow or have used your product but then left, this is a great chance to try and earn their business back, to say, "Hey, we know that in the past you gave Wunderlist a try. You left for one reason or another. We want you to see how favorably we compare to our next biggest competitor in the space." That can be a great way to bring those people back to the site.

Consult your legal team

Last thing, very important. Make sure, when you’re creating this type of content, that you talk to your legal professional. It is the case that sometimes using terms and phrases, trademarked words, branded words, has some legal implications. I am not a legal professional. You can’t ask me that question, but you can definitely ask your lawyer or your legal team, and they can advise you what you can and cannot do.

All right, everyone. Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Whiteboard Friday, and we will see you again next week. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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