VidIQ Chrome Extension Review (+ How to Use It)

Posted by on Oct 27, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on VidIQ Chrome Extension Review (+ How to Use It)

Have you heard about the VidIQ Chrome extension? Read further to learn how to get more views on Youtube. YouTube is an excellent marketing tool and way to engage and connect with your audience and get more Youtube followers. The visual and educational appeal is like no other platform out there. However, if you want …

Read moreVidIQ Chrome Extension Review (+ How to Use It)

Increasing Time on Site

Posted by on Oct 20, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Increasing Time on Site

Increasing Time on Site

Changing User Intents

Google’s search quality rater document highlights how the intent of searches can change over time for a specific keyword.

A generic search for [iPhone] is likely to be related to the most recent model. A search for [President Bush] likely was related to the 41st president until his son was elected & then it was most likely to be related to 43.

Faster Ranking Shifts

About 17 years ago when Google was young they did monthly updates where most of any ranking signal shift that would happen would get folded into the rankings. The web today is much faster in terms of the rate of change, amount of news consumption, increasing political polarization, social media channels that amplify outrage and how quickly any cultural snippet can be taken out of context.

Yesterday President Trump had some interesting stuff to say about bleach. In spite of there being an anime series by the same name, news coverage of the presser has driven great interest in the topic.

And that interest is already folded into the organic search results through Google News insertion, Twitter tweet insertion, and the query deserves freshness (QDF) algorithm driving insertion of news stories in other organic search ranking slots.

If a lot of people are searching for something and many trusted news organizations are publishing information about a topic then there is little risk in folding fresh information into the result set.

Temporary Versus Permanent Change

When the intent of a keyword changes sometimes the change is transitory & sometimes it is not.

One of the most common ad-driven business models online is to take something that was once paid, make it free, and then layer ads or some other premium features on top to monetize a different part of the value chain. TripAdvisor democratized hotel reviews. Zillow made foreclosure information easily accessible for free, etc.

The success of remote working & communication services like Skype, Zoom, Basecamp, Slack, Trello, and the ongoing remote work experiment the world is going through will permanently change some consumer behaviors & how businesses operate.

A Pew survey mentioned 43% of Americans stated someone in their house recently lost their job, had their hours reduced, and/or took pay cuts. Hundreds of thousands of people are applying to work in Amazon’s grueling fulfillment centers.

To many of these people a lone wolf online job would be a dream come true.

If you had a two hour daily commute and were just as efficient working at home most days would you be in a rush to head back to the office?

How many former fulltime employees are going to become freelancers building their own small businesses they work on directly while augmenting it with platform work on other services like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Upwork, Fiverr, 99 Designs, or even influencer platforms like Intellifluence?

If big publishers are getting disintermediated by monopoly platforms & ad networks are offering crumbs of crumbs there’s no harm in selling custom ads directly or having your early publishing efforts subsidized through custom side deals as you build market awareness and invest into building other products and services to sell.

WordPress keeps adding more features. Many technology services like Shopify, Stripe & Twilio are making most parts of the tech stack outside of marketing cheaper & easier to scale.

Some universities are preparing for the fall semester being entirely online. As technology improves, we spend more time online, more activities happen online, and more work becomes remote. All this leads to the distinction between online and offline losing meaning other than perhaps in terms of cost structure & likelihood of bankruptcy.

Before Panda / After Panda

Before the Panda update each additional page which was created was another lotto ticket and a chance to win. If users had a crappy user experience on a page or site maybe you didn’t make the sale, but if the goal of the page was to have the content so crappy that ads were more appealing that could lead to fantastic monetization while it lasted.

That strategy worked well for eHow, fueling the pump-n-dump Demand Media IPO.

Demand Media had to analyze eHow and pay to delete over a million articles which they deemed to have a negative economic value in the post-Panda world.

After the Panda update having many thin pages laying around and creating more thin pages was layering risk on top of risk. It made sense to shift to a smaller, tighter, deeper & more differentiated publishing model.

Entropy & Decay

The web goes through a constant state of reinvention.

Old YouTube Flash embeds break.

HTTP content calls in sites that were upgraded to HTTPS break.

Software which is not updated has security exploits.

If you have a large website and do not regularly update where you are linking to your site is almost certainly linking to porn and malware sites somewhere.

As users shifted to mobile websites that ignored mobile interfaces became relatively less appealing.

Changing web browser behaviors can break website logins and how data is shared across websites dependent on third party services.

Competition improves.

Algorithms change.

Ads eat a growing share of real estate on dominant platforms while organic reach slides.

Everything on the web is constantly dying as competition improves, technology changes and language gets redefined.

Staying Relevant

Even if a change in user intent is transitory, in some cases it can make sense to re-work a page to address a sudden surge of interest to improve time on site, user engagement metrics & make the content on your page more citation-worthy. If news writers are still chasing a trend then having an in-depth background piece of content with more depth gives them something they may want to link at.

Since the Covid-19 implosion of the global economy came into effect I’ve seen two different clients have a sort of sudden surge in traffic which would make little to no sense unless one considered currently spreading news stories.

News coverage creates interest in topics, shapes perspectives of topics, and creates demand for solutions.

If you read the right people on Twitter sometimes you can be days, weeks or even months ahead of the broader news narrative. Some people are great at spotting the second, third and fourth order effects of changes. You can spot stories bubbling up and participate in the trends.

An Accelerating Rate of Change

When the web was slower & easier you could find an affiliate niche and succeed in it sometimes for years before solid competition would arrive. One of the things I was most floored about this year from a marketing perspective was how quickly spammers ramped up a full court press amplifying the fear the news media was pitching. I think I get something like a hundred spam emails a day pitching facemasks and other COVID-19 solutions. I probably see 50+ other daily ads from services like Outbrain & similar.

The web moves so much faster that the SEC is already taking COVID-19 related actions against dozens of companies. Google banned advertising protective masks and recently announced they are rolling out advertiser ID verification to increase transparency.

If Google is looking at their advertisers with a greater degree of suspicion even into an economic downturn when Expedia is pulling $4 billion from their ad budget & Amazon is cutting back on their Google ad budget and Google decides to freeze hiring then it makes far more sense to keep reinvesting into improving any page which is getting a solid stream of organic search traffic.

Company Town

After Amazon cut their Google ad budget in March Google decided to expand Google Shopping to include free listings. When any of the platforms is losing badly they can afford to subsidize that area and operate it at a loss to try to gain marketshare while making the dominant player in that category look more extreme.

When a player is dominant in a category they can squeeze down on partners. Amazon once again cut affiliate payouts and the Wall Street Journal published an article citing 20 current and former Amazon insiders who stated Amazon uses third party merchant sales data to determine which products to clone:

Amazon employees accessed documents and data about a bestselling car-trunk organizer sold by a third-party vendor. The information included total sales, how much the vendor paid Amazon for marketing and shipping, and how much Amazon made on each sale. Amazon’s private-label arm later introduced its own car-trunk organizers. … Amazon’s private-label business encompasses more than 45 brands with some 243,000 products, from AmazonBasics batteries to Stone & Beam furniture. Amazon says those brands account for 1% of its $158 billion in annual retail sales, not counting Amazon’s devices such as its Echo speakers, Kindle e-readers and Ring doorbell cameras.

Amazon does not even need to sell their private label products to shift their economics. As Amazon clones products they force the branded ad buy for a company to show up for their own branded terms, taking another bite out of the partner: “Fortem spends as much as $60,000 a month on Amazon advertisements for its items to come up at the top of searches, said Mr. Maslakou.”

Amazon has grown so dominant they’ve not only cut their affiliate & search advertising while hiring hundreds of thousands of employees, but they’ve also dramatically slowed down shipping times while pulling back on their on-site people also purchase promotions to get users to order less.

While they are growing stronger department stores and other legacy retailers are careening toward bankruptcy.

Multiple Ways to Improve

If you have a page which is ranking that gets a sudden spike in traffic it makes a lot of sense to consider current news & try to consider if the intent of the searcher has changed. If it has, address it as best you can in the most relevant way possible, even if the change is temporary, then consider switching back to the old version of the page or reorganizing your content if/when/as the trend has passed.

One of the pages mentioned above was a pre-Panda “me too” type page which was suddenly flooded with thousands of user visitors. A quality inbound link can easily cost $100 to multiples of that. If a page is already getting thousands of visitors, why not invest a couple hundred dollars into dramatically improving it, knowing that some of those drive by users will likely eventually share it? Make the page an in-depth guide with great graphics and some of those 10,000’s of visitors will eventually link to it, as they were already interested in the topic, the page already gets a great stream of traffic, and the content quality is solid.

Last week a client had a big spike from a news topic that changed the intent of a keyword. Their time on site from those visitors was under a minute. After the page was re-created to reflect changing consumer intent their time on site jumped to over 3 minutes for users entering that page. Those users had a far lower bounce rate, a far better user experience, are going to be more likely to trust the site enough to seek it out again, and this sends a signal to Google that the site is still maintained & relevant to the modern search market.

There are many ways to chase the traffic stream

create new content on new pages
gut the old page & publish entirely new content
re-arrange the old page while publishing new relevant breaking news at the top

In general I think the third option is often the best approach because you are aligning the page which already sees the traffic stream with the content they are looking for, while also ensuring any users from the prior intent can still access what they are looking for.

If the trend is huge, or the change in intent is permanent then you could also move the old content to a legacy URL archived page while making the high-traffic page focus on the spiking news topic.

The above advice applies to pages which rank for keywords that change in intent, but it can also apply to any web page which has a strong flow of user traffic. Keep improving the things people see most because improvements there have the biggest returns. How can you make a page deeper, better, more differentiated from the rest of the web?

Does Usage Data Matter?

Objectively, if people visit your website and do not find what they were looking for they are going to click the back button and be done with you.

Outdated content that has become irrelevant due to changing user tastes is only marginally better than outright spam.

While Google suggests they largely do not use bounce rate or user data in their rankings, they have also claimed end user data was the best way they could determine if the user was satisfied with a particular search result. Five years ago Bill Slawski wrote a blog post about long clicks which quoted Steven Levy’s In The Plex book:

“On the most basic level, Google could see how satisfied users were. To paraphrase Tolstoy, happy users were all the same. The best sign of their happiness was the “Long Click” — This occurred when someone went to a search result, ideally the top one, and did not return. That meant Google has successfully fulfilled the query.”

Think of how many people use the Chrome web browser or have Android tracking devices on them all hours of the day. There is no way Google would be able to track those billions of users every single day without finding a whole lot of signal in the noise.

Categories: publishing & media

10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

Posted by on Oct 20, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post

As with all writing, writing blog posts requires skill. To keep your reader interested, you should think about the structure of your piece and write appealing articles. If people like and understand an article, they will be much more inclined to share it with others – and that will increase your rankings. So, if you want to improve your rankings, improve your writing skills. Start with these tips on how to write an SEO-friendly blog post!

Table of contents

Before you start: do keyword researchWriting tips for SEO-friendly blog posts1. Think before you write!2. Devise a structure for your post3. Use paragraphs and headings4. Use transition words5. Use related keywords6. Optimize the length of your article7. Link to previous content8. Let other people read your post9. Add content regularly10. Use our Yoast SEO pluginConclusion

For some, writing for SEO purposes and writing to attract and captivate your audience seem like two conflicting goals. I totally disagree. Sure, the words you want to be found for should be in a prominent place if you want an SEO-friendly blog post. But, over-using keywords severely hampers the readability of your text, which you definitely don’t want to do. In fact, a high keyphrase density can even be a signal to Google that you might be stuffing keywords in your text and this can negatively affect your rankings.

This post provides tips on writing blog posts that are SEO-friendly and readable. These two goals should always go hand in hand as we believe that writing in understandable language gets you more visitors and keeps them on your site.

Master SEO copywriting and other vital SEO skills by getting a Yoast SEO academy training subscription. This gives you access to our courses and SEO News videos which help you stay on top of the latest changes in SEO!

Before you start: do keyword research

Before you start writing, you have to do keyword research. If you want to dominate the search results, you’ll have to figure out which words your audience actually searches with. These are the topics you should write about and the keywords you should use in your text.

When you’ve done your keyword research and have a list of focus keywords to write about, it’s time to get writing. Here are 10 tips to help you end up with an awesome blog post!

Writing tips for SEO-friendly blog posts

Above all, your blog post has to be a good piece of writing. When starting a new blog post, many bloggers just start writing, typing whatever comes into their heads. While this may work for some people who have natural writing talents, others may need some help. Personally, I always follow these ‘rules’ when I write a new blog.

1. Think before you write!

Before you start, think carefully about the message of your piece. What do you want to tell your readers or which central question do you want to answer? What’s the purpose of your article? And what do you want your readers to do at the end of the page? Write down the answers to these questions before you begin and think about the search intent someone may have.

2. Devise a structure for your post

To write a readable and SEO-friendly blog post, you need to create a clear structure. This means that every post should have:

some sort of introduction (in which you introduce your topic);a body (in which the main message is written);a conclusion (in which you summarize the main ideas or draw a conclusion).

In a few sentences, write down what you want to say in all three sections. You’ve now created of summary of your post, this will help you create a structured and readable blog post. Now the real writing can begin.

3. Use paragraphs and headings

Everybody uses paragraphs, but not everybody uses them well. Don’t start each new sentence on a new line, just because it looks nice. Also, try not to make them too lengthy, as each paragraph should have its own idea or subject. Ask yourself what the main idea of each paragraph is. You should be able to summarize that main idea in one sentence. If that’s not possible and you need more sentences to explain the main idea, you simply need to use more paragraphs.

Proper headings also help your readers understand what a specific part of your text is about. If you want people to find their way through your articles, use subheadings to lead them, help them scan your page, and clarify the structure of your articles. They’re not just important for readability, but for SEO as well. That’s why I would also advise using your keyword in some of the subheadings. I do mean some of them, as using your keyword in every heading will make the text clunky and unnatural. This will put people off reading further.

4. Use transition words

Transition words help people scan through your text and understand the relationship between sentences and paragraphs. For example, let’s say that there are three reasons for people to buy your product. You should use signal words like: ‘first of all’; ‘secondly’ and ‘finally’. Also, words like ‘however’, ‘similarly’ and ‘for example’ give a clear signal to your readers. Readers will instantly get that a conclusion will follow after words like ‘to sum up’ or ‘in short’. Transition words are therefore very important to add structure to your text.

5. Use related keywords

Stuffing your article with your focus keyword makes it less attractive to read, but it can also hurt your rankings. Google is getting smarter and it wants you to write content that users will love. It doesn’t want you to use your focus keyword in every other sentence and has other ways to analyze what your text is about. One of the ways that Google understands the topic of your text is by recognizing synonyms and other keywords that are related to your focus keyphrase. That’s why you should use synonyms and related keywords throughout your copy.

Synonyms are relatively easy to think of, but thinking of the right related keywords is a bit more challenging. That’s why we’ve introduced a new feature in our plugin that helps you find related keyphrases right away. Based on your focus keyword, our plugin can generate a number of related keyphrases with the click of a button! Along with how many times that keyword is searched for and what the search trend looks like. This feature is powered by SEMrush and can be used in both our free and Premium plugin. So use this related keyphrase feature!

6. Optimize the length of your article

Make sure your blog posts have a minimum of 300 words but keep the length of your article balanced. Google likes long articles, however, if your article is too long it can scare users away. I would advise to only write long articles when you know you’re a skilled writer. It’s asking a lot of your visitors to read your entire post when it’s lengthy. Check out this article if you’re not quite sure how long a blog post should be. And remember to keep using your focus keyphrase throughout your text to make sure you end up with an SEO-friendly blog post!

7. Link to previous content

If you’ve already written content on the same topic as your current post, don’t forget to link to and from these posts. It will make your new blog post, and the existing posts, stronger because you’re showing authority on the subject. As well as that, your link structure is also important for your rankings in Google. And let’s not forget that linking to other content about a subject is great for your readers, as they may be interested in reading these related posts too. It helps them navigate your site.

We call this internal linking and both your readers and Google will thank you for it. It helps them manage your content and understand relationships between different content on your site, so take some time to link to and from your previous content. Our internal linking tool can help you by suggesting relevant pages and posts on your site that you can link to.

8. Let other people read your post

Before publishing your post, make sure to let someone else read it first. Ask them whether they understand the main concept of your post and invite them to correct any typos and grammatical errors. This can help you by providing an objective view of the readability and attractiveness of your text. If you have someone in your team who happens to be an expert on the topic you’re writing about, make sure to run your post past them. That way they can check whether you’re covering everything you need to and give suggestions to make your post even better.

9. Add content regularly

Regularly adding new blog posts to your website tells Google that your website is alive. This is important because if your site isn’t active, Google will crawl it less often and this might negatively affect your rankings. But don’t just post for the sake of posting. Make sure that everything you post is high-quality content: informative, well-written articles that entertain readers and fit their search intent.

If you have difficulty posting on a regular base, it might be a great idea to create an editorial calendar for your blog. This allows you to structure this process in a way that fits you and your team.

10. Use our Yoast SEO plugin

The analysis tool in our Yoast SEO plugin helps you write readable and SEO-friendly blog posts. Start by choosing the most important search term you want people to find this particular page for. This is your focus keyphrase and after you fill this in our plugin runs all kinds of checks to see whether your post is optimized or still needs improving:

Our plugin checks your post to see whether you’ve used the keyphrase in the right places, like your copy, title, meta description, alt text and URL. Yoast SEO Premium also recognizes different word forms of your keyphrase.It gives you suggestions for related keyphrases that you can add to boost the quality and relevance of your content.It checks the readability of your text: Are your sentences or paragraphs too long? Do you use transition words?It checks the internal and external links in your article. Yoast SEO Premium even provides suggestions for links to related articles on your site.It calculates how often you use your keyphrase throughout your text: not enough or too often? When you have Premium it also checks if you’ve distributed your keyphrase evenly throughout your post.It also checks if other pages on your website use the same focus keyword, to prevent you from competing with yourself.

If you write a relatively SEO-friendly blog post (based on the aspects discussed above) the plugin will indicate this with a green bullet. Posts and pages with green bullets will help you improve the ranking of the pages on your website.

Note that not every dot has to be green for the overall SEO score to be good. For instance, these are the results of this post, which does have an overall green bullet for our focus keyphrase “SEO-friendly blog post”:

Analysis results as shown in the Yoast SEO sidebar

Kind of a cool way to get feedback on your content, right? When you use the Yoast SEO plugin you’ll find this feedback in the Yoast SEO sidebar next to your post and in the Yoast meta box under your post (while editing). If you’re interested in learning more about all the aspects this analysis tool looks at, read our article on how to use the Yoast SEO content analysis tool.


The days when a few SEO tricks were enough to get your website to rank well in Google are long gone. Nowadays, quality content is king. And good content also leads to more links, shares, tweets and returning visitors to your website. Of course, there are always other things you can do to maximize the SEO friendliness of your post, but the most important thing is to just write very, very good posts! Still not sure if your blog post is ready to publish? Take a look at this checklist for your blog post to make sure you’re good to go!

Read more: SEO copywriting: the ultimate guide »

The post 10 tips for an awesome and SEO-friendly blog post appeared first on Yoast.

8 Steps to Gain Authority Backlinks; A Detailed Guide

Posted by on Oct 16, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 8 Steps to Gain Authority Backlinks; A Detailed Guide

8 Steps to Gain Authority Backlinks; A Detailed Guide


You won’t believe this, but, according to Impact Bound, up to 55.24% of all websites on the internet didn’t have a single backlink as of December 2019.

That’s over 750 million sites, given that there are about 1.5 billion active websites at the moment.

Hopefully, you’re not part of the 55.24%, because you’d be missing a huge opportunity and leaving lots of money on the table. Backlinks can help you;

Increase web trafficGenerate new leadsClose more sales

Moreover, backlinks gradually boost your perceived authority, often leading to better search engine ranking.

In this guide, we discuss simple strategies on how to get backlinks for your marketing campaign. First though, a definition.

What are Backlinks?

A backlink is essentially a hyperlink connecting two different web resources. What makes it a “back” link is that it points to your site rather than coming from your site.

Think of it this way; you sell running shoes and recently released a new brand. Then, you also have a friend who doesn’t sell shoes, but instead deals in fitness trackers.

While blogging about their fitness trackers, if the friend mentions running shoes, she may choose to link your e-store so that those interested in running shoes can click and check out the options on your website.

When this happens, in marketing, we say that you’ve received a backlink from the friend. It’s worth mentioning that not all backlinks are sales-focused.

Why are Backlinks Important? A Case Study

In 2019, a hosting company approached one of their friends who helps clients design and execute link building strategies. The client was struggling to differentiate itself because of the competitiveness of the hosting industry.

Being a small company, they had;

Limited marketing resourcesNo time to run a full-out campaign

After a period of research and out-of-the-box thinking, the link-building provider discovered an untapped market for specific keywords. So, they began with keyword research, wrote high-quality, SEO-optimized articles for the client, then followed up with a link building drive.

Long story short, the first article they created is now the 4th most visited page on the client’s site. In total, the site’s traffic jumped 55.9% – within just months.

Benefits of Running a Backlink Campaign

As you can tell from the above case study, you stand to benefit immensely from backlinks. Among other things;

Link building improves organic ranking    

If you search the term “SEO backlinks” in Google, for example, you’ll find that the top three articles/blogs all have hundreds of backlinks. Currently, the result in 2nd spot has over 8,000 backlinks.

The reason is simple – backlinks are one of Google’s most trusted rank signals. According to the search engine, a page with plenty of backlinks is a page with authority.

Backlinks help with faster indexing 

One of the ways search engines discover new websites is by following backlinks from existing web pages. It means that it’s more difficult for search engines to discover your website if you don’t have any backlinks.

This is especially important for new websites. If you want search engines to discover your site faster and begin showing your content in result pages, you need backlinks.

Backlinks generate referral traffic 

This is, perhaps, the biggest benefit of backlinks – they can help you generate tons of referral traffic. Think of the number of people who read articles on the Forbes website, for example.

In the U.S. alone, Forbes has 74 million+ monthly readers. Worldwide, 111+ million people visit every month.

Now, imagine if a few links to your site appeared on the Forbes website every few weeks! You’d have at least a few hundred thousand people clicking through to visit your site.

How to Get Quality Links

There are endless ways to get backlinks for your website. The following are eight simple strategies to get you started;

1. Write guest posts 

A guest post is a piece of content that you create to be posted on other people’s blogs or websites – with a backlink to your site. The process itself is known as guest posting.

You must, however, engage in genuine guest posting, devoid of shortcuts such as automation. Also, ensure to create high-quality guest posts. Don’t just do it to get backlinks.

You can refer to our detailed guide on this topic here: Guide to Guest Posting

2. Get an interview 

Interview With The Co-Founder Of A Revolutionary SEO Suite, BiQ

Readers love interviews because interviews are authentic. As such, interviews often get a lot of views.

Getting interviewed by a popular news outlet or industry leader and having the interview posted on the interviewer’s site can, therefore, earn you plenty of attention.

Always insist on having backlinks to your site included in the published interviews.

3. Get backlinks from press releases 

MarketersMEDIA Press Release Distribution Service

Press releases are a goldmine for traffic and, yes, backlinks. But, as with many other tactics on this list, there are a lot of marketers sending out press releases currently, so you need to be smart.

We recommend choosing multiple and strong keywords to increase the chances of your press release being found. Also, consider using industry bloggers and influencers to distribute the release.

4. Learn from your competitors’ backlinks 

Analyzing your competitors’ backlink profiles will help you assess the competition, see what’s working in the industry, and identify strategies to use for your own backlink campaign.

You want to focus on the number of backlinks, authority sites linked, and sites driving the most traffic. Then, save your findings and steal some of the ideas.

5. Find hidden link building opportunities 

Two high-return options here are fixing broken links and linking unlinked mentions.

Fixing broken links involves finding broken links on other people’s websites, creating something similar to the broken resource, and asking the owner of the dead resource to instead link to your working resource.

Unlinked mentions, meanwhile, are instances where other people mention your name or brand but don’t include a link. You can ask them to link to your site.

6. Leverage popular Q&A platforms 

Community sites such as Quora and Reddit are especially good platforms to get backlinks.

On Quora, for example, in your answers, you’re allowed to leave a link to your resources, such as your website or app. The same applies to Reddit.

People who love your answers can then click on the link to visit your site for more information.

7. Invest in social media marketing

All the major social media platforms now allow users to post links to their resources (blogs, websites, etc.).

Even Instagram which initially restricted outbound links currently permits one such link in the user bio.

Instagram allows one link in the author’s bio

Use this opportunity to leave links not only to your products and promotions but also other valuable resources such as industry reports and guides.

8. Create infographics 

Aren’t they eye-catching?

Infographics are currently one of the best performing pieces of content. For starters, an infographic is 30x more likely to be seen and read to the end compared to plain text content.

To earn backlinks from your infographics, provide an embed code that other people can copy and paste to embed the infographic on their own websites. Also, provide prominent and easily-visible share buttons.  


If you can implement all the above tips, you’re guaranteed to get backlinks in plenty to propel your marketing campaign to the next level. 

And when you’ve tried them out, do share with us your results down the comment section below. We look forward to seeing them!  

What Even Is An SEO? (Can We Please Stop Talking About HTML)

Posted by on Oct 13, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on What Even Is An SEO? (Can We Please Stop Talking About HTML)

Hi friends, it’s me Dan. Your friendly SEO curmudgeon in training.

Recently the SEO community (cough cough, SEO Twitter) has been caught up in a veritable tizzy about knowing HTML. Beyond the obvious epistemological considerations, I think there is a real ontological question raised by the primacy of HTML as a programming language in the SEOs toolkit.

It’s hard to have these conversations when we probably aren’t all on the same page about what “knowing” something means.

When can I say I “know” a language? How technical do I have to be to be a “Technical” SEO? It requires a conversation within a conversation.

— Kim Doughty (@howdydoughty) September 3, 2020

So I ask you:

What even is an SEO, and can you even be one if you reject the fundamental nature of HTML?

Spoilers, yes and I do.

Let’s start up front, HTML is a front end web development language. If you don’t do front end work, things like HTML don’t really mean much to you. Here is a spoiler for you; not all SEO roles involve front end auditing. I guess I can see why this is a little controversial, as the traditional conception of SEO is based around this idea of an SEO freelancer jill-of-all-trades. However, this doesn’t make much sense as a way to organize modern SEO functions. First of all, because teams are cool, and collaboration is cool. Even if your teams have 10x SEOs (think mythical 10x engineer) the idea of a freelancer centric model of SEO feels very dated. I think Local SEO Guide CEO Andrew Shotland (sound trumpets) is the perfect person to get a quote from here. Andrew has been in the SEO game a long time and here is what he has to say about how it has changed over time:

In some ways, how I help our clients succeed at SEO hasn’t changed since I started doing this strange form of marketing almost fifteen(!) years ago. The advice we are delivering to clients this week could easily be in an audit from 2005. But whereas in 2005 you only needed one guy behind the curtain turning the knobs, these days there is a entire team of Oompa Loompas, and they all are really good at turning their specific knobs, and the don’t need to be masters at every other knob.

Nowhere is this shift in how SEO is organized more clear then the difference between how successful in-house teams work and how SEO agencies generally work. More and more in-house marketing and SEO teams have analytics and data roles and are becoming cross functional. A lot of the work they are doing is to integrate SEO more fully into their internal business intelligence systems. That is often a full time data role, and some of the most cutting edge enterprise SEO orgs have multiple full time team members with analyst-type pokemon skill sets. But don’t take my word for it just look at this job posting Adobe has for an SEO Insights Manager. Nowhere in there is HTML, but Python/R/SQL are def core to this job. I reached out to enterprise SEO badass Jackie Chu (Senior Manager SEO; Uber) to get her thoughts:

Funnily the core charter of my team (Intelligence) is to build bespoke tooling for the SEO team, so I’m no longer in the day to day “traditional SEO activities” around ideating new page types or localization. The majority of my day is spent cleaning up data, feverishly checking Kibana, QAing dashboards and working on setting requirements for the future of tooling for the team. We’re currently hiring for another headcount, but outside of this person my team will mostly be supported by adtech product and engineering to see the bespoke tooling and warehousing of the underlying datasets to fruition.

At other companies like Square and Dropbox, it was pretty standard to get at least partial Analyst support for business exercises like forecasting and reporting, and also for measuring A/B tests, experiments, and the impact of traditional SEO efforts like optimizing page templates or link building. Most of these companies use their own internal data warehouses, and while you inevitably need baseline SQL skills most SEOs won’t be able to pull the data with the same rigor and speed as someone who is in the tables day in and day out. It’s also great to have hard numbers provided by an unbiased 3rd party to use to get resourcing in the future and quantify your contribution to the company’s bottom line. After some successes my old colleague, Chris Yee, even secured data science hours to build bespoke SEO research tools. The pilot was so successful that the Data Science lead later went on to another company and immediately added an SEO-dedicated headcount to his team.

I think when you work in enterprise, you want to break down the walls of SEO being seen as something only the “SEO team” does. Whether your peer’s skillset is Analytics or Engineering, If their success metric is growth realized organically on the website, then they’re part of the SEO team.

I saw Jackie give a talk entitled “Soft SEO: How to Win Friends and Influence Leadership” and I think it’s one of the best SEO talks I have seen recently. Everyone should bug her on Twitter to put the slides online.

This isn’t just relegated to in-house teams. We have 3 backend/analyst roles ourself. While they all “know” html it is totally irrelevant to their day-to-day work (except for Sam who owns our Puppeteer instance.) And it’s not just us. Orgs like Merkle, SEER etc all have dedicated analytics teams that are exclusively data roles. Python/R/SQL are all more useful across these roles than superficial knowledge of HTML. These are the very normal and very traditional tools of the trade for data analysts.

Before you are like “but that isn’t SEO!!”.

Now we are firmly back at the ontological question of the day; What even is an SEO?

Just to be totally transparent, I’m going to just flat out reject definitions related to “what is an SEO” that marginalizes team members across our organization. And that is exactly what people are saying when they say HTML (or insert X skill here) is critical to be an SEO. For some roles HTML or general front end auditing skills are not critical. Some examples of these roles that we have in our org are:

Technical Development
Data Analysis
Content Optimization
Content Production
Project Management

In fact, in a not so funny quirk, linkbuilding and technical development/data analysis overlap with us in terms of leadership which should tell you that linkbuilding is super technical, and the most core function of SEO (getting links) is 100% detached from front end auditing. Here, they count as real SEOs.

None of the SEO work we do as an org would be able to happen without being able to integrate people with non-front end skill sets into our SEO flow. For more about this, and how this has led to a huge empowerment of people and teams across our org, I highly recommend you check out my talk at VirtuaCon on going from Automation Zero to Hero. Andrew is going to be giving an updated version of this talk at Whitespark’s Local Search Summit next week. In fact, just yesterday I had a call with Tealium in order to work on integrating some client data into our Google Big Query stack so we can use it to do analysis. No HTML required.

Alright, I’ve said basically everything I have wanted to say here so let’s bring it home. SEO is a rapidly diversifying role/function and needing to know how to do everything doesn’t equate being able to do everything well. To succeed in SEO moving forward the discipline needs to throw off the shackles of its past and embrace new ways of thinking.

Oh, and we are hiring. So if this sounds like an interesting place to work you may want to apply.

The post What Even Is An SEO? (Can We Please Stop Talking About HTML) appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

How Gael Breton Escaped Client SEO & Built a Full-Time Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Posted by on Oct 7, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How Gael Breton Escaped Client SEO & Built a Full-Time Income Through Affiliate Marketing

Who Gael Breton and why should you listen to him? Well, first Gael is a tremendously talented affiliate marketer who specializes in building “authority” websites. Gael got his start in the SEO agency world and transitioned into owning his own properties. In this discussion, you’ll learn: How Gael started and grew his first SEO agency …

Read moreHow Gael Breton Escaped Client SEO & Built a Full-Time Income Through Affiliate Marketing

What’s changed in Google Ads Locations reporting and why you need a custom report

Posted by on Oct 6, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on What’s changed in Google Ads Locations reporting and why you need a custom report

What’s changed in Google Ads Locations reporting and why you need a custom report

Google has been rolling out “simplified” location reports in the Google Ads UI over the past month or so. Any time a platform uses “simplified” or “streamlined” to describe a change, we have to wonder if it’s a red herring. Does it provide an easier way to get at the same access, data and functionality? Or is it “simplified” — wink-wink — with features and data stripped out?

Before we get into these changes, first a reminder about why location settings and reporting are important.

Google’s default Location options (hidden below a dropdown under campaign Settings) is set to target “People in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations.” This is the most expansive option and often leads to spending in locations that don’t convert, particularly when you’re targeting at the country level. For example, if you’re targeting the entire U.S., your ads can potentially be eligible to show to someone in another country who has expressed some interest at some point in the U.S. — even if they don’t use a location qualifier in the search that triggers your ad. If you’re using this setting, then location reporting is very important.

The default settings for “Location options” in Search campaign settings.

Last year, Google expanded the “People in your targeted locations” targeting option to “People in or regularly in your targeted locations” to capture people who commute to or visit the locations you’re targeting. Users don’t need to be physically located in the area to see your ads. That can be a good or bad thing, but again, it’s more reason to audit performance by user location; which now brings us to what’s new.

What’s changed in Locations reporting

Google has consolidated Locations reporting into one report. The old Geographic and User location reports are rolled up into it — sort of.

A dropdown on the Locations report shown below allows you to filter performance data by the locations you’re targeting or the matched locations (for a campaign or the full account). Per Google’s updated help page:

Targeted locations show performance of the locations you’re targeting.Matched locations show the locations matched based on either the user’s physical location or location of interest.

For example, if someone in New York searches for “restaurants in Paris,” Paris would show as the matched location, if that’s what’s being targeted in the campaign. But how does the advertiser see the user location of “New York” now? That’s no longer available in this reporting. You’ll have to create a custom report in Report Editor. (More on that below.)

Matched locations detail. It can be a bit easy to miss, but if you click on the box at the top of the locations list or on an individual location, you’ll have the option to narrow the matched location view and drill into detailed locations such as Nielsen DMA regions, postal codes, neighborhoods, and more.

Again, this is matched data, which means it can show both the location of users in your targeted locations and their location of interest. It still won’t let you see the user location of those who showed interest in the location you’re targeting. (That’s in the next section.)

Click on a location to drill down to more detail.

Location Type. Location Type is no longer a Segment option in the main Google Ads UI. This allows you to see performance data broken out by “location of interest” and “physical location”. However, Location Type is still an option in Report Editor. Using this in a report shows you the aggregated performance data for each option. But note that you can’t get a report that shows user location filtered by “location of interest.”

Distance reports. If you’re using location extensions, you’ll find the distance report available as a pre-defined “Distance” report in Reports. This shows the distance between the location that triggered the ad and the closest business location.

How to get user location reporting in Google Ads

If you’ve kept reading to find out how to see user location data — and not just matched location data — you’ve arrived. We can still get user location data in Google Ads, but we have to work for it by setting up a custom report in Report Editor.

There are five levels of “user location” data in Report Editor: Country/Territory, Region (state, province, etc.), Metro area, City, Most specific location target (zip code, city area, etc.).

When you add “user location” options to your report, it might look something like the example below. Add filters to weed out zero-click or impression locations to see where you’re spending money. Depending on your location option settings, you may see a wide range of user locations.

A custom report in Google Ads Report Editor showing “user location” performance data.

You can filter for ad groups with one or more conversions to see user locations that are converting and/or filter ad groups with zero conversions to see what user locations are not converting. (Note: I have better luck making filters work by clicking on the column I want to filter rather than using the Filter function at the top of the report.)

The takeaway

The ability to drill into matched locations with the “Narrow by” functionality and add bid adjustments and exclusions from the Edit option in the Locations report is certainly handy. But “matched locations” skirts the nuance and value of knowing the (anonymized and aggregated) user location.

If you’re scratching your head wondering how having to create a report from scratch is a “simplification,” you’re not alone. I recommend every advertiser create a User Location report in Report Editor and regularly audit it to ensure you aren’t wasting money in unexpected places. Add undesired locations to the Excluded list, and be sure to take another look at your Locations options settings.

The post What’s changed in Google Ads Locations reporting and why you need a custom report appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to Become an eCommerce Specialist (Complete Guide)

Posted by on Oct 6, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Become an eCommerce Specialist (Complete Guide)

How to Become an eCommerce Specialist (Complete Guide)

When I received my eCommerce master’s degree (that was a long time ago), eCommerce was much different than today. eCommerce is now a trillion-dollar industry and while everything else has changed since then, one thing that remained constant is the need for good eCommerce specialists.

As small and large companies continue to transition online, eCommerce Specialists are becoming increasingly important.

In this guide, you’ll learn what an eCommerce expert is, what does it do, what skills are needed to start a career in eCommerce, and how much money eCommerce specialists make per year.

What does an eCommerce Specialist do?

An eCommerce specialist is responsible for the design and execution of an eCommerce marketing strategy to promote the products and services of online businesses using all available marketing channels.

Imagine this:

You’re a business owner who decides to sell your products online. You want to make this change, but don’t know how to do it.

An eCommerce expert helps business owners optimize their eCommerce marketing strategy to increase product sales.

An eCommerce Specialist takes charge of the following:

Website marketing
Website management
eCommerce marketing campaigns
Increasing rankings and traffic through eCommerce SEO
Optimizing landing pages to increase sales
Optimizing product pages for greater visibility in search engines
Running paid campaigns on Google, Facebook, and other channels
Dealing with email marketing funnels
Running up-selling and cross-selling campaigns

In general, an eCommerce specialist is responsible for the smooth running of the eCommerce department of a business.

In large companies, the eCommerce manager is directly under the supervision of the digital marketing manager.

What skills do you need to become an eCommerce Specialist?

Besides the specialized skills that we’ll see below, an eCommerce Specialist needs to have analytical, communication, and critical thinking skills.

Analytical skills – A successful online business strategy analyzes web data and online traffic to increase sales and ROI. This includes analyzing website metrics, customer relationships, and competitor’s information.

Communication – A successful online business builds lifetime customer relationships. An eCommerce expert understands what marketing strategies will communicate best with an audience.

Critical thinking – Ecommerce specialists don’t make decisions off on general ideas. Instead, they use data and research to identify the most effective online strategies.

10 Steps to Become an eCommerce Specialist

These are the 10 steps to follow to become an expert in eCommerce.

Understand how eCommerce works
Learn the basics of SEO
Become an expert on eCommerce SEO
Get to know popular eCommerce Platforms
Build PPC Campaign Management Skills
Learn how to run content marketing campaigns for online shops
Build Email Marketing Skills
Master Conversion Optimization Techniques
Get an entry-level eCommerce job
Start your own eCommerce business

Step 1: Understand How eCommerce Works

The first step to anything new is to learn as much as you can about it. In the case of eCommerce, the best approach is to follow a good eCommerce course.

An eCommerce course teaches you the basic building blocks for your eCommerce career. Plus, most courses offer a certification—future clients will find you more credible and it can be a great addition to your CV.

The key here is not to follow a course to learn just the theory but use the acquired knowledge to build your skills. To get the most out of an eCommerce specialist training you have to apply each key learning in practice.

Practice what you learn with your own website or project and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’ll be a process of trial and error, but eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.

When choosing an eCommerce course, make sure that:

It covers all areas of eCommerce (eCommerce SEO, tools, etc)
It is taught by experienced eCommerce marketers – only marketers with experience in the industry and teach you strategies that actually work in real-life scenarios
Comes with an eCommerce certification – since you’re willing to take the time to go through a course, it’s good to have a way to prove it.
It’s updated to take into account the latest techniques and best practices

You can find a good course to follow in these two guides:

Best digital marketing courses – many of the top digital marketing course bundles include eCommerce as a separate course.
Best eCommerce courses – a list of courses dedicated to eCommerce.

Step 2: Learn the Basics of SEO

SEO is crucial for eCommerce businesses. If an online store doesn’t implement SEO strategies, they’ll miss out on a big chunk of their audience.

According to statistics users start their buyer’s journey through a search engine and if your website doesn’t have a presence on the top position of the results, it’s at a great disadvantage.

A quick look at the graph below shows that organic traffic is the most important traffic source for eCommerce websites (excluding direct traffic which is related to how strong a brand is).

SEO is an important source of traffic for eCommerce websites.

Before you dive into SEO for eCommerce websites, you should have a full understanding of the following:

On-page SEO – Content and page optimization
Off-page SEO – Website promotion
Technical SEO – Optimizing a website for the crawling and indexing phase

You should know how each of the SEO types works and how to apply it to a business.

Once you get a good idea of how SEO works, you can then pay special attention to SEO for eCommerce websites, otherwise known as eCommerce SEO.

Additional resources to help you learn the basics of SEO

What is SEO and why it’s important
How to learn SEO from scratch

Step 3: Become an Expert on eCommerce SEO

This is a critical step in the process. If you want to become an eCommerce consultant, you’ll need to master eCommerce SEO.

eCommerce SEO Basics (source:

eCommerce SEO has to do with specific SEO techniques applicable to online shops. Things like product page optimization, site structure optimization play an important role in ranking your products page on Google.

So, before you continue any further, spend some time, and get a good understanding of all SEO practices specific to eCommerce websites.

Our eCommerce SEO course has all the details. If you don’t want to follow a course, this guide is a great starting point.
Step 4: Get to Know Popular eCommerce Platforms
eCommerce Platforms Market Share

When you search for eCommerce Specialist careers, you may notice how some companies require knowledge about an eCommerce platform.

An eCommerce platform is the core of an online business. It handles all business operations and drives sales with automated technology.

Different eCommerce platforms work well for certain online businesses. You should become familiar with the following 4 platforms:

WooCommerce – This platform is designed for WordPress users. WooCommerce is a great online store builder and you can install it as a free WP plugin.

Shopify – Built specifically for eCommerce, Shopify helps users build their online store from the ground up.

Keep in mind that both Shopify and WooCommerce’s US market share combined make up 44%. As a majority of your clients use one of these platforms, I highly suggest learning how to use both.

BigCommerce – Similar to Shopify, this platform is specifically designed for eCommerce businesses.

BigCommerce isn’t used nearly as big as Shopify, but it’s still worth learning about.

Amazon – Not only is Amazon the world’s largest retail platform, but millions of retailers actively sell products through Amazon.

While Amazon sellers don’t have to handle the order and shipping process alone, they still need to optimize product listings, inventory, and reviews.

Ecommerce specialists have a good understanding of each platform. They know how they work and what strategies each platform needs.

Step 5: Build PPC Campaign Management Skills
Facebook Dynamic Ads

Also known as pay-per-click ads, PPC is essential for an eCommerce business. Through PPC campaigns you can drive traffic and make sales in a short amount of time.

You’ve probably heard of Google search Ads or Bing Ads, but how do they work?

To put it simply, PPC campaign managers bid for ad placement at the top of a search engine. You pay a certain amount of money each time a user clicks on your ad.

Besides search ads, there are other ways to reach your target audience. You can take advantage of Google shopping ads, Facebook dynamic product ads, and retargeting ads.

As a modern eCommerce specialist, it is important to know how these campaign types work on each platform.

As Google Ads, Google Shopping, and Facebook Ads are the most popular forms of PPC, I suggest learning those first.

Resources to learn more about paid advertising

A beginner’s guide to Google Merchant Center – how to get started with Google shopping feed (organic and ads).
How to advertise on Google for Free – Other ways (besides creating a Google Merchant Account) to advertise your products on Google.
A beginner’s guide to Facebook dynamic Ads – how to get started with advertising your products on Facebook.

Step 6: Learn How to Use Content Marketing for Online Shops

I’m sure you’ve heard of content marketing for bloggers, but what about eCommerce shops?

Content marketing is a great addition for eCommerce—it deepens brand awareness and builds long-lasting customers by providing valuable content for each stage of the buyer’s journey:

Content Marketing and the Buyer Journey

Awareness – A user becomes aware of your site and products, “Who is this brand, and what do they sell?”

Consideration – A user considers your products and other competitors, “Why should I buy from this brand?”

Purchase – A user buys your products, “Am I satisfied with this brand’s product? Will I buy from them again?”

Retention – A user turns into a returning customer, “When will I buy a product from this brand again? Who should I recommend this brand to?”

Content marketing guides customers through this journey and answers the questions above with informative and user-friendly content.

Plus, PPC and content marketing work great together in eCommerce. PPC improves short-term sales while content marketing improves for long-term sales.

Resources to learn more about content marketing and eCommerce

How to create an eCommerce blog

Step 7: Build Email Marketing Skills

As I mentioned in the introduction, a good eCommerce specialist should know how to use email marketing funnels to increase product sales.

Email is the most commonly used communication medium and a great sales tool for digital marketing professionals. You can use email to engage and inform customers about your business. In the long-run, this builds a loyal customer base who won’t buy from your competitors.

You can also use email marketing to follow up with anyone who interacts with your PPC ads. It’s a great bridge between PPC and content.

Resources to build your email marketing skills

What is email marketing – an introduction to email marketing for beginners.
What is email automation – how to get started with email automation.

Step 8: Master Conversion Optimization Techniques
Conversion Optimization is a critical skill for all eCommerce specialists.

Imagine selling a group of 50 people one product each. Now, imagine selling a group of 20 people 3 products each.

In the second scenario, you sold more products with only 20 people. Conversion optimization increases your business’ product sales with less money and users.

When you do it right, conversion optimization can save you a ton of money and time spent on marketing. Plus, you’ll increase your ROI.

Why spend more money on advertising and products when you can optimize what you already have?

Resources to build your conversion optimization skills

Landing page optimization – how to optimize a product landing page for conversions.
A/B testing – how to get started with A/B testing and improve your conversion rates.

Step 9: Get an Entry-level eCommerce Job
Digital Marketing Jobs

Now that you’ve learned all the necessary skills to become an eCommerce expert, it’s time to put it to the test.

Entry-level eCommerce jobs give you the opportunity to work with a variety of clients. You’ll gain the right experience to build your eCommerce career and eventually build your own business.

You can work with a few different types of eCommerce businesses:

In-house – As an in-house eCommerce Specialist, you’ll optimize the company’s eCommerce strategy only. In-house is great if you want to dig deep into one industry.

Agency – Agencies work with different clients, sometimes in a variety of industries. This is a good choice if you want to learn how to apply eCommerce to different clients.

If you’re not sure what type of business to work for, consider the following questions:

Do you want to work with small businesses or enterprise companies?
Do you want to work with a specific industry?
How do you want to run your future eCommerce business?

These questions will help you think more about what job will work best for you.

On that note, It’s ok if you don’t know the answer to all or any of these questions. The point of finding an entry-level digital marketing job is to learn more about your likes and dislikes within eCommerce.

If you’re serious about becoming an eCommerce expert, I recommend applying the skills you learn from your job to your own project.

This gives you room to try out different strategies and techniques. Plus, you’ll accelerate your eCommerce skills for your future business.

Step 10: Start Your own eCommerce Business

Applying your skills to an entry-level job will give you the confidence to start your own eCommerce business.

Does the thought of building your own eCommerce business intimidate you?

Starting a business can be a big leap, but think about all the pros:

You choose your clients
You choose your hours
You choose your workflow

Everything is up to you. It might be overwhelming at first, but you’ll earn more freedom in the long run. As long as you have the experience and confidence to prove yourself, you’ll be on your way.

Plus, you can use the eCommerce skills you’ve strengthened to optimize and build your business. If you have more questions, our guide (how to start a digital marketing business) takes you through each step to build a successful online business.

eCommerce Specialist Salary

How much do eCommerce specialists make?

The average eCommerce specialist’s salary is $58K per year. This average may change depending on your location and experience.

eCommerce Specialist Salary

It is comparable to the average salary in digital marketing which is $55K per year but less than the highest paying positions in digital marketing. For comparison purposes:

Digital Marketing Specialist (5 to 9 years of experience) – $55K per year
Digital Marketing Manager (10+ years of experience) – $90K per year
SEO Specialist – $64K per year
Content Marketing Specialist – $84K per year
Social Media Manager – $65K per year
PPC Specialist – $60K per year
Affiliate Marketing Manager – $71K per year

A good way to increase your salary is to start an eCommerce career and then as you get more experienced to move on to become a digital marketing specialist or a digital marketing consultant and make more money per year.

Key Learnings

Becoming an eCommerce Specialist isn’t easy but it’s not impossible either. Each step is a long learning process and requires trial and error.

If you start feeling discouraged, think about the end of the tunnel. Imagine how accomplished you’ll feel once you’ve established your own eCommerce career. The work you put in will be worth it.

As you start your journey to becoming an eCommerce Specialist, remember to:

Practice – Start a website or business and apply everything you learn to it

Get experience – Once you’ve learned the required skills, apply for an entry-level eCommerce job, or find clients on your own.

Take new opportunities – Don’t be afraid to try new things along the way. Always be on the lookout for new opportunities, and put yourself out there.

As long as you follow each step and apply each strategy, you’ll become an eCommerce Specialist in no time.

The post How to Become an eCommerce Specialist (Complete Guide) appeared first on

Reputation Management Consulting

Posted by on Oct 5, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Reputation Management Consulting

Reputation Management Consulting

How would you feel if your conversion rate grew by 120 percent? 

Research from Uberall shows that companies that move their aggregate review rating from 3.5 to 3.7 stars experience a 120 percent growth in conversions. If your review rating increases by 0.1, you can experience a conversion rate boost of 25 percent! 

If you’re familiar with reputation management, you understand the impact it can have on your business. If you’re like most business owners, you’re unsure how to build, protect, and use your reputation effectively. 

Reputation management solves that problem. 

Reputation management consulting gives you an actionable plan showing you how to build, protect, and amplify your reputation. 

7 Ways a Reputation Management Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business

When most people think of reputation management, consulting isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Most businesses automatically assume that they have the skills and training they need to manage their company’s reputation on their own. 

Many people think it’s just about getting reviews. 

Ask your customers to write reviews for you on Yelp or Google Reviews, and your reputation grows automatically. It’s fast, simple, and easy, and to a certain extent, it works. 

But it’s also not enough. 

This is why you need reputation management consulting. With the right support, you’ll: 

Understand the different types of reputation: Consultants will help you identify whether your reputation is positive, mediocre, negative, or positive and negative. They’ll show you what the impact of each will be and how each will impact your business. Understand where your reputation is strong or weak: Your reputation management campaigns should start with benchmarks. You’ll need to know where you’re doing well and the areas that need improvement. Your consultant should be able to prioritize the areas in your business that require your attention first. Do you need to improve product quality? Or should you focus on improving customer service first? Which review platforms will have the biggest impact on revenue? They should be able to answer these questions and provide you with a plan you can follow. Know how to build your reputation: You build your reputation in several ways — product and service quality, customer service, awards and accolades, financial performance, results achieved for customers, etc. They’ll point out obvious but missed details; if your reviews are positive but your customer service is poor, it’ll eventually catch up with you. Identify the tools, resources, and people you’ll need to build your reputation. Will you need third-party review management tools? Will each of these tools need login credentials? They should provide you with a list of the items you’ll need to run a reputation management campaign successfully. How to use and amplify your reputation to grow your business: Most companies that understand the value of reputation management focus their attention on getting reviews. They’re not sure what to do with the reviews once they have them. Your consultant will show you how to use your reviews to attract more customers and lower advertising costs. They should also provide you with a plan that uses your reputation to increase your conversion rates and revenue. Have what you need to protect your reputation: Your company can make all of the right moves and still end up with a poor reputation. Bad review blackmail, competitor fraud, bad customer behaviors, social or political missteps, and general crises are all issues that need to be addressed and prepared for. Know how to repair your reputation: Your consultant will provide you with a crisis management plan that deals with any major or minor problems, and provides you with a recovery plan to bring your company back from any reputational disasters. Your consultant will provide you with a realistic timeframe. 

These are areas that you’ll need a consultant to help you with. 

How to Get Started With a Reputation Management Consultant

The consultant you choose can help you get started with the items you need ahead of time. But it’s better if you come into the relationship prepared and ready to work. Here’s a list of the items you’ll want to prepare ahead of time. 

Set goals, objectives, and KPIs for your campaigns: These will most likely change once you bring your consultant on, but you’ll want to have an idea of the goals you’re looking for ahead of time. Focus your attention on both internal and external goals. For example, an internal goal would be improved customer service ratings from customers who contact you via phone, live chat, or email. An external goal would be more four and five-star reviews on Yelp or Google reviews. Choose a point-of-contact and team that’s responsible for review management. Typically marketing, customer service, or sales receive the responsibility for review management. You’ll want to choose a single department and team, give them the decision-making authority and autonomy they need to manage your reputation. Create a governance policy: You’ll want to determine the specific people who will work with your consultant to implement the changes they recommend. You’ll also need to set legal guidelines that specify what your team should respond to, when they should respond, and how to do it. It can be as simple as deciding that you’ll respond to all reviews. This is also likely to change a bit once you have your consultant on board. Create and claim all of your review profiles: Make a list of the review sites in your industry; create an account for the mainstream, niche, industry-specific, and specialty sites. If you need to create an account specifically for your consultant, get that ready ahead of time. Share credentials and access: Your consultant may ask for access to third-party tools (i.e., Google Analytics). If you’re using third-party review management tools, they may request access for those as well. Depending on the consultant you choose, they may also need access to content management or web development tools. Set reporting requirements: You’ll want to set guidelines on your campaign reporting. How often do you want your consultant to provide you with campaign updates and reporting? Who should receive these reports? Owners and management, in addition to the team that’s responsible for reputation management? 

Your reputation management consultant will tell you what they need to get started, but it’s always best if you’re prepared ahead of time.

Measuring the ROI of Reputation Management Consulting Services

Measuring ROI is one of the biggest hurdles in consulting. Research from points to ROI as a problem. They found that 27 percent of the companies surveyed refused to hire consultants because it’s too hard to measure ROI. 

This doesn’t have to become a problem that keeps you from hiring a reputation management consultant. In fact, you already have the information you need to measure the ROI of reputation management. If you’ve done the upfront work of setting goals and KPIs for your campaigns, you already have what you need to measure your ROI. 

Work with your consultant to calibrate your goals upfront. 

You’ll want to get your consultant’s help with the goals, objectives, and KPIs you’ve set with your team. Your consultant should be able to tell you, at the beginning of your campaigns, whether your goals, objectives, and KPIs are realistic and in line with reality. 

If your goals aren’t realistic, your consultant should be able to explain why. 

If they are realistic, and both of you come to an agreement with the goals that you’ve set, measuring your ROI is easy. Just refer to the goals you set at the beginning of the relationship, then verify that your consultant has helped you to reach those goals. 

It’s a simple and easy way to make sure you’re getting the ROI you need to be profitable. 

4 Point Checklist For Finding the Right Reputation Management Consultant

Choosing the right reputation management consultant doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. You can approach the vetting process the same way you would for any other consultant or professional. You outline your values, expectations, and requirements ahead of time; then you find the providers that meet your criteria. 

Here’s a shortlist of the criteria you can use. 

1. A Stellar Reputation

Your reputation management consultant should have a stellar reputation in the industry. There shouldn’t be any questions about their legitimacy or doubts about their integrity. If a consultant has lots of negative reviews, poor feedback, or concerns about their standards, they’re not a good fit for your business. 

Look for customer feedback on public sites, forums, or social media. There should be a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative feedback about their business. Ideally, you’re looking for a large mix of reviews, positive feedback, and buzz around their business online.  

2. A Proven Track Record

Your consultant should be able to provide you with case studies, testimonials, or references. You’ll want to hear from clients directly. You’re looking for evidence that shows you: 

How they workThe problems they solvedThe results achievedThe way they served their clients

These details provide you with lots of materials you can work with. Some reputation management companies may write case studies where they conceal their client information, ignore those. Ask your consultant to provide you with one or two examples from clients who’ve decided to share their story. This makes it easier to do some basic fact-checking if something doesn’t sound right. 

3. Their Plan For Your Campaign

A great consultant will be able to give you a high-level overview of the strategies and tactics they’ll use to improve your reputation. They should lay their plans out in detail, covering important details like: 

The content they’ll create for youHow they plan to improve your reputation (with specifics)Who they’ll ask to write about your businessHow they’ll get others to talk about your businessHow they respond to reviews and feedbackTheir approach to SEOWhether they’ll share content with you before posting it online

They should be open and completely transparent with you about your campaign. Anything less than that is a serious red flag. If your consultant is doing anything on your behalf, they must be transparent with you about their work. 

4. They Answer Your Questions 

You should be able to ask your consultant important questions about your campaign. They should provide you with clear answers to each of your questions and concerns. Here are some questions you may want to ask your consultants ahead of time. 

Will you see the content they post before it’s posted?Do you have experience helping other clients in my industry? How would you respond to a legitimately angry customer? How do they plan on improving your reputation? How will an improved reputation accomplish your goals?

If the consultants you’re considering refuse to answer your questions or they’re evasive, it’s probably a good idea that you choose a different consultant. 

Feel free to expand on these criteria and add the details you’re looking for on an as-needed basis. 


Reputation management has a huge impact on your business. If you’re looking for a consultant to help you with your campaigns, you probably already know that. 

When most people think of reputation management, consulting isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Many companies aren’t interested in hiring consultants because they don’t know how to measure ROI.  It’s common for businesses to assume that they have the skills and training they need to manage their company’s reputation on their own. 

Use this guide to find the reputation management consultants you need.  Choose your values, expectations, and requirements first; then create a list of consultants who fit that list. The consultants you find will be able to help you meet your goals. 

The post Reputation Management Consulting appeared first on Neil Patel.

How to Choose The Right Facebook Ad Agency

Posted by on Sep 30, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Choose The Right Facebook Ad Agency

How to Choose The Right Facebook Ad Agency

Facebook isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

With more than 2.6 billion users worldwide – or nearly 28.5% of the total global population – the platform has seen unprecedented success.

This also translates to several other advantages that you may not be familiar with:

Approximately 1.65 billion users see Facebook ads, out of which 1.21 billion are between the ages of 13 and 34.An average Facebook user clicks on 12 ads per month.Facebook users watch around 100 million hours of video a day.

Plus, nearly 70 million businesses have a Facebook page, which sheds ample light on its importance in today’s world.

In short, Facebook is still a force to be reckoned with – at least where ads are concerned.

With such excellent stats, converting visitors into customers should be easy, right?


You see, there can be various reasons why your Facebook ads don’t convert.

One of the more prominent reasons is the lack of expert guidance – something that hiring the best Facebook ad agency can help overcome.

This brings us to our next question: How do you choose the right Facebook agency for your needs?

Our team at Neil Patel Digital has created this guide to walk you through the whole hiring process that can help you generate more leads and score higher conversions.

Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes

Remember the saying that knowing your destination is half the journey?

Well, the same logic applies when you‘re looking to hire a Facebook ad company.

Every ad agency has different specialties, along with budget and project sizes. This is precisely why you should know your business goals and the objectives you want to achieve by working with a specific agency.

Once you get the right lens to evaluate different agencies, you’ll be able to determine your perfect match easily.

The following are a few examples where you can break down the whole process by using a deliverable-goal-end result approach. In other words, you understand your deliverables, then determine the goals of these deliverables, followed by the outcomes you hope to achieve.

Example #1: Getting More Leads Despite Tight Budget

You want to hire an agency to develop an efficient Facebook advertising strategy for your company. The catch here is that you only have $500 per month to spare, but you want more leads.

So, in this case:

Deliverable: Using unique, eye-catching ads to get high-quality leads.Goal: An agency that has the expertise and is open to accepting clients who have a tight budget.End Result: Generating more leads without overstepping the $500 threshold.

Example #2: Expanding Reach Through Visually Appealing Videos

You want to create engaging video ads that you can use on Facebook. The problem here is that you don’t know where to start.

So, in this case:

Deliverable: A series of on-brand ad videos that increase brand awareness and click-through rates.Goal: An agency that has the expertise to create engaging videos, which talk about your new offers and encourage the viewer to click on the link.End Result: A finished set of effective video ads.

If you see both examples, you’ll find there are different limitations and requirements.

While the budget is super strict in the first case, it’s more flexible in the second. Similarly, there aren’t any specifications with regard to the ad type in the first example, but the second one explicitly states video advertisements.

Essentially, when you know what you want, finding the right agency for your businesses will become very easy. Plus, it’s much better to avoid the disappointment of hiring someone only to realize that they can’t give you what you want.

Another way to vet Facebook ad agencies is by looking for specific characteristics that are relevant to the business and can understand your goals and desired outcomes.

4 Characteristics That Make a Great Facebook Ad Company

There are all sorts of ad agencies operating on the market today, with everyone claiming to be the best.

That said, you should know the characteristics that make up a good Facebook ad agency to find one that can provide tailor-made solutions as per your requirements.

Team Members With Relevant Experience

Everybody claims to be the best, but only a few have the experience to back its claims. 

You must hire a Facebook ad agency that is well-equipped with the brain and muscle to help you achieve your goals.

For instance, if you want to carry out paid social media campaigns with minimal to no effort from your side, you need a team that has the experience and knowledge to carry out these campaigns.

Additionally, they should also take care of customer targeting, keep in touch with your customers and prospects, as well as recommend creative, and copy best practices.

You can find out more about a company‘s team by going through their ‘About‘ page or LinkedIn ‘People’ page.

While this may not show you every contractor or freelancer that the agency might work with, it‘s still an excellent place to start. You can always ask follow-up questions during your consultation if you want more clarity.

Their Arsenal Should Include Latest Technologies and Best Practices

Ad agencies need to be familiar with the latest software. For Facebook, in particular, Facebook Pixel, Facebook Ad Manager, and so on are useful tools that can assure faster results through in-depth insights.

Having ad software expertise, along with familiarity with third-party data sources and creative testing tools, is also helpful. Ultimately, this will help your brand gain more popularity through better ads – both in terms of creativity and effectiveness.

Skills to Create Engaging Ads that Fulfil Your Objectives

Why do you want to hire a Facebook ad company? Results.

The only way that you can get results is if you enlist an agency that knows the art of producing engaging and objective-specific ads.

The company should have the skills to help you fulfill your goals – whether it’s getting more quality leads, boosting engagement, increasing store visits, or getting more click-throughs.

The idea here is to hire an ad company that can help you meet your goals, and the best way to ensure this is to look for a diverse portfolio.

Plus, the portfolio is the best way for the agency to show off their best work. This will help you get an idea of the type of work they do and the type of clients they choose.

Since it‘s FB advertisements that we’re talking about, give brownie points to agencies that have Facebook on their client list.

Solid Social Proof in the Form of Client Testimonials

Having social proof, such as testimonials and previous client reviews, can be an excellent way to gain insights into an agency’s work ethic.

Considering that 93% of customers go through testimonials and customer reviews before purchasing something, it can also be beneficial from the agency’s point of view. 

In fact, displaying social proof is an effective tactic to convert visitors into buyers. So if you don’t find any testimonials on websites, it means the following:

One, the company may not have previous clientsTwo, they aren’t the experts that they claim to be

Good testimonials are indicative of a similar experience for future customers. Also, getting testimonials shouldn’t be difficult for agencies who have satisfied clients.

How to Work With a Facebook Ad Agency 

When you narrow down your options – or even make a final choice – you should be aware of the working etiquette to follow.

The following are a few steps that can ensure you enjoy a fruitful partnership for the well-being of your business.

Filling Out the Inquiry Form

No Facebook ad agency will send you a contract without understanding your pain points – if they do, run (not walk) as far as you can.

Reputable agencies will want you to fill an inquiry form to understand your objectives and requirements. After filling the form, the team will get in touch with you to hear your vision and then think of ways to achieve it.

You have to communicate properly here, being as explicit as possible. Remember, the agency wants to meet your expectations and goals.

Hearing Out the Best Practices for Effective Results

After understanding your pain points, the external team should use their expertise and experience to create a campaign framework. This, of course, should be done after carrying out in-depth research to figure out the best practices for better results.

The idea behind creating this draft is to make sure your target audience, niche, and business are all on the same page. You should expect multiple meetings focused on making strategic recommendations.

Receiving Project Deliverables

In the world of business, everything needs to be in writing – even the contract. Since every campaign spans over a couple of weeks or months, a well-drafted contract needs to be in place.

So if both you and the agency are comfortable with each other, you can expect to receive a contract, along with project deliverables from the agency, before kicking off the campaign.

Final Onboarding

After signing the contract, you’ll have to introduce the external team to your in-house staff. Agencies will also ask you for access to your website, social media platforms, relevant software, analytics tools, etc.

Once this is done, the Facebook ad company will chalk out timelines and task lists to organize and manage the whole project.

Aligning Your In-House Team With the Agency

Your chosen Facebook ad agency doesn’t have to replace your in-house team.

Instead, you can have both the teams working in sync to maximize results. For this purpose, you can do the following:

Holding frequent meetings.Elaborating the scope of the agency’s as well as the in-house team‘s work, and clearly communicating the importance of both.Appointing additional employees, if required, to work with the external agency.

In the end, the agency will be fully aligned with your company‘s values and culture, making it an extension of your in-house team.

How to Find The Right Facebook Ad Agency For You

With so many available options, choosing the right Facebook ad agency can be a bit difficult. 

Nevertheless, you should always prioritize a good reputation with a specialized approach. In addition to this, we would recommend the following:

Work on determining your business goals and desired outcomes.Look for agencies that satisfy our above-listed characteristics – each one of them is essential.Make sure the agency is in sync with you and your in-house team.

To make it easier for you, we reviewed hundreds of agencies to bring the five best Facebook ad companies. No matter who you choose, you’re assured of excellent service and unmatched expertise.

The 5 Top Facebook Ad Agencies

#1: Neil Patel Digital – The Best Overall Facebook Ad Company

You need access to top-level expertise and experience if you want advertisements that convert – something that Neil Patel Digital specializes in.

Our team of top-level and in-house marketing managers, led by our co-founder, Neil Patel, know the ins and outs of Facebook. 

We can deliver ad campaigns that suit your marketing objectives without overstepping your budget. Plus, we take care of everything: brainstorming attention-grabbing headlines, choosing the right graphics and CTAs, and carrying out A/B testing.

We also have a dream clientele, which includes Facebook, who are more than happy with what we’ve done for them. We’re also fully transparent with what we can deliver and how we work our magic.

#2: Hibu – The Best Facebook Ad Company for an All-in-One Solution

Hibu can be an excellent option if you’re looking for a comprehensive Facebook advertising solution, which includes campaign set-up, management, optimization, and reporting.

It also has a very flexible pricing strategy, offering services that start at $250 per month. The company has a dedicated team that works hard to create highly targeted ads that are capable of converting visitors.

#3: Voy Media – The Best Facebook Ad Company for À La Carte Services

Voy Media comes highly recommended. More so, if à la carte services and maximizing returns are your top priority.

The team uses proprietary AI software that can help you optimize and scale your Facebook campaigns in addition to crafting carefully thought-out strategies. You can join the likes of Lacoste, Big Life Journal, and too – provided you have a minimum $5000/month budget for advertising.

#4: MuteSix – The Best Facebook Ad Company for Innovation Graphic Design 

MuteSix really needs no introduction when it comes to churning out creative ads that can drive conversions. It’s a full-funnel ad agency that has an in-house video studio and graphic design team to widen their clients’ reach.

Over the years, the company has added many renowned companies to its portfolio, and has received quite a few accolades as well! However, MuteSix is better suited for larger companies, preferably ones with budgets over $20,000 in ad spend.

#5: Lyfe Marketing – The Best Facebook Ad Company for Small Companies

This is an excellent option for small companies with limited budgets. Having a talented team of fewer than 50 members, Lyfe Marketing can be a driving force to help you enhance your marketing efforts.

It can provide you with quality, cost-effective advertising solutions, along with excellent communication and complete transparency to establish a healthy and professional working relationship. The agency has driven over 2,137,349 leads from the time of its inception.

Wrapping Up

Advertising can be a very challenging task. If you don’t have the expertise or know-how at your disposal, all your efforts will go to vain and you may also incur losses.

It’s much wiser to get a reputable Facebook ad company that can help you achieve your goals.

“Reputable” being the operative word here since you need an efficient team that can create unique and exciting ads to convert your visitors into customers.

Hence, it’s best to work with an agency with demonstrated expertise when it comes to keeping up with a dynamic platform like Facebook.

The post How to Choose The Right Facebook Ad Agency appeared first on Neil Patel.