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How to Become a Content Marketing Specialist in 2020

Posted by on Jun 13, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Become a Content Marketing Specialist in 2020

How to Become a Content Marketing Specialist in 2020

This guide will show you exactly how to become a content marketing specialist.

I’ve been working as a content marketing manager for the last 10 years and in this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about starting a career in content marketing.

I will explain what a content marketing specialist is, what skills are needed to become one, what jobs you can get, and how much money you can make as a content marketing expert.

What is a Content Specialist?
What Skills Should a Content Marketing Specialist Know?
How Do You Become a Content Specialist?
How Much do Content Specialist Make?
What Jobs can you get as a Content Marketing Expert?

What is a Content Specialist?

A content specialist (also known as a “Content Marketing Specialist”) is the person responsible for writing, editing, and developing content for the needs of digital campaigns.

Content marketing specialists work in close co-operation with the SEO and Digital marketing professionals to ensure that the produced content is aligned with the overall goals of a digital marketing campaign.

Depending on the skills and experience, the content marketing specialist role has different variations.

For big companies, this also defines the career path of a content marketing professional.

The most important are:

Content Marketing Specialist – Researching and writing content.
Content Marketing Strategist – Designing the overall content marketing strategy of a company.
Content Marketing Manager or Content Marketing Director – Responsible for the smooth running of the content marketing department.
Content Marketer and Content Marketing Expert – professionals with years of experience in content marketing campaigns. May work in a company or as freelancers.
Content Marketing Consultant – Established content marketing experts who provide consultancy on how businesses can use content marketing to increase their traffic and sales.

What Skills Should a Content Marketing Specialist Know?

To become a content marketing specialist, you need to have the following qualifications and skills:

College degree – Optional if you plan to work as a freelancer but a requirement if you want to work in a company. Usually, it is required to have a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, journalism, or communications.

Content marketing certification – Optional but can increase your chances of finding a job when you have no experience or success stories to showcase in your CV. The best way to get certified is to follow a content marketing course.

Writing skills – A large portion of your time will be spent in content writing (whether this is blog posts, video scripts, or ad copies), and thus is important to have basic writing skills and of course enjoy writing!

Keyword research skills – Writing for the web starts with a keyword. To succeed as a content specialist, you need to know how to do keyword research to find out the content needs of online users so that you can create content to satisfy their intent.

Basic SEO skills – If you work as part of a content marketing or digital marketing team, then most probably the SEO specialist will take care of optimizing the content for the web but nevertheless, it is necessary to have some basic SEO skills.

If you plan to work as a copywriter or content marketing freelancer, then you need to know how SEO blog writing works and how to create SEO optimized content.

Web analytical skills – This is a critical skill for content marketing managers and consultants. They know to know how to analyze the data and effectiveness of a campaign and how to create reports to present their findings to the management or clients.

How Do You Become a Content Specialist?

These are the steps to follow to become a content marketing specialist in 2020.

Understand what content marketing is and how it works
Improve your writing skills
Learn how to use content marketing tools
Master the keyword research process
Learn SEO copywriting
Start your own blog
Apply to work in a digital marketing agency
Work as a content marketing freelancer
Publish your written work on reputable websites
Stay current with the latest trends in content marketing

1. Understand what content marketing is and how it works

To start a career in content marketing, the first thing you need to do is learn what content marketing is, how it works, and why it’s an important process for all kinds of online businesses.

If you’re a beginner, you might think that content marketing is the same as blogging or writing content for the web, but it’s more than that.

Content marketing is an on-going process that involves understanding your target audience and creating the right type of content that can satisfy their intent at the different stages of their journey.

Content Marketing Lifecycle

So, as a content specialist, your job is not just to throw words on a page and hit the publish button but to make sure that whatever you write or create has a specific purpose and goal.

To do that, you need to know the bigger picture which is the driving force behind any online marketing campaign and this is digital marketing.

The digital marketing strategy of a company will define the content needs for each of the channels participating in a campaign. It’s the job of the digital marketing manager to design the strategy and the job of the content marketing manager to implement the strategy with content.

In big companies, these roles are clearly defined but if you work in a small team or as a freelancer, you’ll have to play both roles.

So, if you want to get into content marketing and gradually advance from a content marketing specialist to a content strategist or even a digital marketing expert, you need to learn digital marketing and not just how to create content for the web.

Resources to Learn More About Content Marketing

Digital Marketing Courses – The 10 best courses to follow to learn digital marketing and understand how to practically use content marketing in real-life scenarios.
Content Marketing Checklist – A comprehensive checklist that covers everything you need to know about content marketing.

2. Improve your writing skills

As a content marketing specialist, you’ll be asked to write content for different audiences and content platforms. To execute this task successfully, you need to have good writing skills.

This means good knowledge of the English language (or the target language of your audience) and the ability to write content that is free of spelling and grammar mistakes.

From experience, this is a skill that can be improved through practice. Some people are born to be writers and they can produce great content with minimum effort but for others, its a tedious task.

The best way to learn how to write better content is to read other blogs or books related to your chosen niche and to do a lot of writing.

In the beginning, it may take you 3-4 hours to write 1000 words but as you become more experienced, this rate will dramatically improve.

Resources to Improve your Writing Skills

How to Improve Writing Skills in 15 Easy Steps – A nice guide by Grammarly outlining ways to get better in writing.

3. Learn how to use content marketing tools

If you want to be a content specialist, you MUST know how to use tools.

In fact, experience with tools is so important that most content marketing related job postings list “experience with content marketing tools” as a requirement:

Content Marketing Job Posting

There are a lot of tools in the market and each company is using its own set of marketing tools, but some tools/platforms are common to all like:

Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
Google G Suite Products (Docs, Sheets, etc)
Google Analytics
Google Trends
Google Keyword Tool
Google Data Studio
Google Search Console
Grammarly
WordPress

Other popular tools that most companies and freelancers use are:

SEMRUSH
Ahrefs
BuzzSumo
Moz
HubSpot
MailChimp

The best way to learn a tool is to use it in real-life scenarios and you can easily do that with free tools like Google docs, Google Analytics, Google Keyword Tool, and WordPress.

Other premium tools like Semrush, have a number of resources and online courses to help you learn how to use them.

Exclusive Offer for Reliablesoft Readers – 14 Day Free Trial
4. Master the keyword research process

A skill that you definitely need to master is topic and keyword research. The outcome of keyword research is used in all stages of the content marketing lifecycle.

From campaign design to creating the actual content, keywords play a vital role in the success or not of a campaign.

To give you an idea of what we mean by keyword and topic research, here is an outline of the process:

Find content topic ideas – Through researching your competitors and using a number of tools, you create a list of topics that are aligned with your digital marketing goals.

Perform keyword research – You analyze each topic in detail and find out the actual search terms people use when searching for your topics on search engines, social media platforms, and forums.

Examine the user intent – For each of the keywords identified from keyword research, find out what kind of content you need to create to satisfy the intent of the user.

User Intent in a Typical Marketing Funnel

A great way to learn keyword research fast is to follow a good course, like the ones listed below.

Resources to Learn More About Keyword Research

Keyword Research Courses – 5 highly actionable courses to learn the secrets of keyword research.

5. Learn SEO copywriting

As a content marketing specialist, you don’t have to be an SEO expert but you need to have excellent SEO copywriting skills. SEO copywriting is the process of writing content that search engines can understand.

There are various techniques you can use while writing for the web to help search engine spiders understand what your content is all about.

This does not mean stuffing keywords into your copy but using keywords intelligently in a way that will make your writing friendlier to both users and search engines.

The most important SEO writing principles are:

Adding your main keywords in the page title
Including keywords in the page URL
Mentioning your keywords in the opening paragraph
Adding related keywords in your section headings
Adding LSI keywords in your content
Adding relevant ALT text to images
Linking to other pages of your site using optimized anchor text
Linking to other authoritative websites

When you apply the above principles while writing the content of a page, you increase your chances of achieving high search engine rankings for your desired keywords.

You need to know how SEO copywriting works, even if you’re not the person writing the content.

As a content marketing manager or consultant, you’ll have to review and approve content before it’s published.

Resources to Learn More about SEO Copywriting

How to write SEO friendly articles – Tips on how to write SEO friendly content.
On-Page Optimization Tips – Learn how to optimize your web pages (not just content) for search engines.

6. Start your own blog

One of the most efficient ways to learn any digital marketing discipline, including SEO and content marketing, is to practice.

Through a course you can learn the theory and go through examples, senior content marketing professionals in your team can help you with the process but the best way to find out what you really know is to start a website and publish content.

Creating your own blog will benefit you in a number of ways:

It’s a great way to practice what you have learned in a course
By writing, you will gradually improve your skills and become faster and better
It’s a great way to showcase your skills to potential clients or employers
It’s a great way to make money online
You’ll have a website to experiment with different SEO techniques and tools

In addition, when applying to work as a freelance writer, potential clients will need to see samples of your work.

If you have no other experience, showing blogs from your website will help you a lot in securing the job.

Resources to Learn More about Blogging

How to make money blogging – A detailed guide on how bloggers can make money online from their blogs.
WordPress blog for beginners – A step-by-step guide on how to start a WordPress blog from scratch.

7. Apply to work in a digital marketing agency

Digital marketing agencies are always looking for good content specialists. I know this from experience. In our agency, we’re always in search of passionate content marketing specialists and sometimes we consider applications even if we don’t have any job openings.

There are many advantages of working in a digital marketing agency regardless of your experience and job title:

If you’re starting out now, you’ll get a chance to see how content marketing works in real-life scenarios – Established agencies have processes in place, dedicated job roles for each task and this will help you understand how content marketing works.

You can advance the ladder and make more money – You may get an entry-level job as a content marketing specialist and then become a content strategist and eventually a content marketing manager.

If you don’t want to work for an employer but want to become your own boss, then why not start your own digital marketing agency. It’s not easy if you’re new to the digital marketing world, but it’s not impossible either.

8. Work as a content marketing freelancer

One of the most popular ways to start a career in content marketing is to become a content writer and work as a freelancer.

Content Marketing Related Jobs for Freelancers

If you search job posting sites like FlexiJobs, UpWork, and Problogger Job Board, you’ll see hundreds of jobs related to content writing. It’s perhaps the most wanted job in the market today.

What are the benefits of becoming a content marketing freelancer?

You’ll earn money and depending on how fast you can work, a lot of money
You can work from home
You can build references for your CV if you decide to work for a company or agency
You’ll build the skills the experience needed to secure bigger projects
It’s the first step in setting up your own content marketing agency

Three tips for you:

1. As mentioned above, when you apply for a job, you’ll be certainly asked to provide samples of your previous work so make sure that you have some great articles published on your blog.

2. Apply for job postings fast and provide accurate information. When you post a content marketing related job on any site, you get hundreds of responses in a matter of hours. To increase your chances of being considered for the job, reply as fast as possible, and answer any questions precisely.

3. Be prepared to participate in a pilot project. Employers before hiring a content marketer, ask for writing samples on their chosen topics so be prepared to accept the invitation and deliver the work fast.

9. Publish your written work on reputable websites

If you want to differentiate yourself from other content marketing specialists and become a true expert, then you need to get published by reputable websites.

Publishing content on your own blog is great but that limits your reach and reputation to your blog audience.

What companies and clients want is to work with professionals that are recognized as experts in their field and one of the ways to do this is to get featured on well-known and big websites.

For example, if your work is published on Forbes, Entrepreneur, or other popular publications, it will be very easy for you to get hired by a company or get paid a higher rate for your work as a freelancer.

The process is not easy, there are hundreds of people that need to be featured on famous websites but it can really make a huge difference in your career.

Here are some tips that helped me get featured on websites like the Content Marketing Institute.

1. Find websites that accept contributions from guest authors. You can easily find them by searching Google for terms like “Write for Us”, “Blog Contributors”, “Guest Post Authors”

Establish yourself as a Content Marketing Expert.

2. Start by pitching websites that are less popular than Forbes or CMI. Your goal at this stage is to build references so that you can gradually apply to bigger websites.

3. Read their requirements carefully and apply to become a guest author.

4. Once accepted, write your best content and send it for approval.

5. Once you have a couple of published articles, try to find out the details (email, Twitter, LinkedIn) of authors and editors of the sites you want to be featured.

6. Connect with them on Twitter and LinkedIn, read their author requirements carefully, and send your pitch.

Some will not even reply but a few will give you a chance to send them a sample.

If the above process sounds like too much work, it’s because it is but in the end can be a huge difference in how much you can get paid, especially if you work as a freelancer.

Writers that have a good reputation may get paid $2000 for a 2000 word article, compared to $300 for writers that have not taken the effort to promote their personal brand.

10. Stay current with the latest trends in content marketing

If you ask any successful content marketing expert on what is important to do on a daily basis in order to survive in the industry, they will tell you to stay informed of the latest trends in content marketing and digital marketing in general.

The digital marketing industry is not a static industry but it’s continuously evolving. New content platforms rise to the surface, SEO ranking factors are changing and you need to follow these changes if you want to become more than just a content writer.

The best way to do this is to follow websites that cover the changes in our industry. If there is something happening, you’ll be the first to know it. These are the websites that I follow and visit on a daily basis:

Content Marketing Institute
Search Engine Roundtable
Search Engine Land
Marketing Land
ThinkWithGoogle
Google Blog

How Much do Content Marketing Specialist Make?

The average salary of a content marketing specialist is between $35K and $62K per year. This can rise to $59K-$139K for a content marketing director.

Content Marketing Manager Annual Salary

The salary of content marketing professionals depends on three factors: skills, experience, and location.

According to payscale.com, the average annual salary of content marketing professionals per job role is the following:

An Online Marketing Content Writer, Copywriter, and Web Content specialist typically make between $35k – $72k.
A Content Marketer typically makes between $36k – $81k.
A Content Strategist typically makes between $41k – $95k.
A Content Marketing Manager typically makes between $46k – $98k.
A Content Marketing Director typically makes between $59k – $139k.

What Jobs can you get as a Content Marketing Expert?

When you search for “Content marketing jobs” in popular sites like FlexiJobs, Payscale, and Glassdoor, you’ll get a number of marketing jobs with different titles.

To avoid confusion, these are the most popular content marketing job types and their meaning.

Web Content Specialist / Content Writer / Content Marketing Specialist – They are looking for writers that can write, edit, and develop web site content.

Content Strategists – Content strategists typically develop a content marketing plan and oversee a team of content writers.

Content Marketing Managers / Content Marketing Directors – Responsible for designing a content marketing strategy and coordinating with other teams (SEO team, social media management team).

Key Learnings

Becoming a content marketing specialist is a great career option. Content marketing professionals can work from home as freelancers, start their own digital marketing agency, work for a digital agency, or work in any kind of business that uses content marketing.

The process is straightforward and can be summarized in three steps:

Learn how to write great content that online audiences will love to read.
Improve your analytical skills and learn how to use content marketing tools.
Build your portfolio and establish yourself as a content marketing expert.

When you do the above, you can get a job at any level of the ladder and earn a good salary for doing what you love.

I hope this guide helped show you how to become a content marketing specialist. If you have any questions or need help with a specific step, let me know in the comments below.

The post How to Become a Content Marketing Specialist in 2020 appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

The 4 Ps of Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Examples)

Posted by on Jun 12, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The 4 Ps of Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Examples)

The 4 Ps of Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Examples)

The 4 Ps of marketing…

You’ve probably heard about them from a friend, a textbook, or even at school.

I know it sounds like a boring topic that’s common sense, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

And no, it’s not just for large companies… the smaller you are, the more important for you it is to leverage the 4 Ps.

So before we dive into it, let’s first break down what they are…

What are the 4 Ps of marketing?

The 4 Ps of marketing is a famous concept that summarizes the 4 basic pillars of any marketing strategy: product, price, place, and promotion.

It sounds simple and it really is (the harder part is implementing it, which we will get into later).

The idea behind the theory is that if you implement them, you will generate more sales. But sadly nothing is that easy. :/

The origin of the concept, also known as marketing mix, goes back to 1960 when McCarthy introduced it in his book Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach.

I know that’s ages ago, but it is just as valid today.

Let’s dive into each P…

Product

The product is what the company sells.

It might be a product like a soft drink in the beverage industry or dresses in a clothing store. Or these days it may even be software like Ubersuggest.

It could also be services, such as consulting or a paid speaking gig or even a therapy session.

In short, the product is everything that is made available to the consumer.

In the 4 Ps strategy, defining this means understanding what your offer needs in order to stand apart from competitors and win over customers.

In other words, what makes your product so great or unique? Because if you don’t stand out it’s going to be hard to thrive.

For example, you may know about my product Ubersuggest, but you probably already know about a handful of my competitors?

So what’s the big thing that makes my product stand out from everyone else?

I don’t focus on features… I don’t have 100s of reports… instead, I focus on usability. My goal is to make Ubersuggest really easy to use, especially if you are new to marketing.

On the flip side, my competitors focus on ad agencies and really advanced marketers. I built something for a different target market, even though I am in a crowded market place.

How to create an amazing product that your customers love

I want you to do something simple… go to Hotjar, signup for a free account, and run a poll. Just like the one below.

I’ve been running polls for a while now, but if you are starting off I would ask open-ended questions like:

What’s the biggest problem I can help you solve? (This will give you an idea on what your product needs to do)What’s your favorite marketing product and why? (You’ll want to replace the word “marketing” with whatever industry you are in… this question gives you an idea about who your competition is and what they are doing right)Why did you come here today? (This will tell you why people come to your site and what they are looking for)How can we make our product better? (This is great if you already have a product up as you will get real feedback)What don’t you like about COMPETITOR ABC? (Replace competitor ABC with your competition’s name… this question tells you where there is an opportunity)

I want you to pay special attention to the last question. It really helps you identify how you can differentiate yourself from the competition.

Now, before you go and build a product (or make yours better if you already have one), don’t invest too much time and money without getting feedback.

For example, if I were to add a new feature to Ubersuggest, I wouldn’t just build it. I would get it designed, show you first, get feedback, and then adjust from there.

That way I won’t waste months’ worth of time building a product you don’t want to use.

Price

Price is simple, it refers to how much you charge for your product (or service).

And although it’s simple to understand, it’s really hard to come up with the “right” price. The one that doesn’t just drive the most amount of sales but also drives the most profit.

The real question is, how do you want to be perceived?

Amazon wants to be the place where you can get the best-valued products from A to Z. And of course, delivered at a fast pace so it’s convenient for you.

My buddies’ company, Imperia Caviar offers high-end caviar at low prices. He’s able to get the same caviar that big brands charge thousands of dollars.

You would think that by having a cheap price he is cheapening his brand, but instead, he is bringing transparency to the market and educating people on how caviar isn’t really expensive… it’s actually just a marketing ploy.

I take a similar approach to Ubersuggest. I don’t think marketing software and education should be so expensive. So I give a lot away for free or super cheap.

Do you think that has cheapened my brand or hurt it? Well, let’s look at the data:

I guess not. 🙂

But on the flip side, would Ferrari be Ferrari if their cars were selling for $10,000? Probably not.

How to pick the right price for your product

By no means am I a pricing expert so I don’t want to tell you what to price your product at. But I will tell you to read the Price Intelligently blog. Those guys know to price like the back of their hand and they have dozens of articles that will teach you exactly how to price your product.

It’s important to think about pricing, especially if you are in a crowded space. My rule of thumb is: If you are in a new space or already a leader, you can charge a premium amount.

On the flip side, if your space is saturated and you are late to the market, you’ll want to consider having a cheaper price (if not the cheapest price).

Some questions you should ask yourself are:

What would be the lowest price you are willing to sell your product?What would be the highest price that consumers would be willing to pay?How sensitive to price are your customers?What prices do current leaders in your niche charge?How does your price compare to the competition?

Place

“Place” is another word for location.

As they say in marketing, it’s all about the… location, location, location.

I once ran a tech conference in Los Angeles called Twiistup.

It was a cool event with LA vibes and celebrities. I didn’t create the event, I bought it out years ago.

But you know what? It failed.

It wasn’t because the event wasn’t good, it was more so that I moved it to a terrible location.

I moved it from Santa Monica, which is the heart of the Los Angeles tech scene, to the valley, which is an hour drive from where all the tech companies are located.

In other words… location, location, location.

You have to pick a location where your customers are. Don’t expect them to come to you, you have to go to them.

How to pick the right place

The web is this virtual world. And although the location (place) may seem irrelevant, it really isn’t.

Just think of it this way… if I put my company all over Tiktok, what do you think would happen?

Well, I wouldn’t generate any new clients for my ad agency because none of my ideal customers are on Tiktok.

Do you think a bunch of 16 to 24-year-olds are looking for marketing services? If we offered services where we helped you get more social followers, sure… but we don’t offer that.

Think of the platforms and places your ideal customers are and be there.

That could be a specific site like Google or even an offline venue like conferences. Don’t try to bring your customers to you, go to where your customers are… it’s much easier.

Here are some simple questions to ask yourself so you can find the right place.

Where is your customer?Which outlets (online and offline) sell your product?Which distribution channels are currently working for you?Do you sell directly to businesses or consumers?Do you sell directly to your end customer or do you have to go through middlemen?Where are your competitors?

The customer should always be at the center of your decision, but it’s important to also include aspects of the other Ps that we discussed.

Promotion

My favorite P… and the one I tend to blog about the most.

Promotion!

Once you’ve optimized the previous 3 Ps, it’s time to promote your offer.

And to be clear, when I talk about promotion I am not just talking about getting your brand out there… I am talking about generating revenue.

What’s the point of promotion if you can’t drive sales?

But with all of the channels out there on the web, which ones do you start with first?

Well, I want you to go here and put in your competitor’s URL.

If they are big, you’ll see data on how much traffic they are generating… which keywords they rank for on Google… the sites that link to them and talk about them… and even how many social shares they are generating.

If they are small, you won’t see any data. You’ll have to put in a bigger competitor.

Another site that you should use is Similar Web. Put in your competitor’s URL and you’ll see tons of data on how they promote themselves.

What’s cool about the web today, versus when I first got into online marketing, is that there are tons of tools that make your life easy. So use them to your advantage. 😉

How do you promote well?

I want you to start off by asking yourself the following questions:

Which channels does your audience use the most to consume information?What kind of message tends to be more effective when promoting your solutions?What is the ideal period for promoting your product?Is there any concern about seasonality?How do your competitors plan and carry out their promotion?

Again, you can use the tools I mentioned above to get a jump start. Another thing I would highly recommend is that you look at Facebook’s ad library.

It will show you the ads that your competition runs and, more importantly, the messaging that they use.

Now, I won’t bore you to death about promotion tips as I already have tons of blog posts on that. But I would start off with these:

Online marketingSEOSocial mediaGoogle adsFacebook adsAffiliate marketingContent marketingEmail

Conclusion

The 4 Ps of marketing may seem boring, but they are essential.

Without them, how are you going to differentiate yourself from the competition? It really is important to stand out.

No one cares for another me-too company. We all want something unique, special… something we resonate with.

And how do you get that? You leverage the 4 Ps.

How are you leveraging the 4 Ps of marketing?

The post The 4 Ps of Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide (With Examples) appeared first on Neil Patel.

Is it Worth Taking a Digital Marketing Course?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Is it Worth Taking a Digital Marketing Course?

Digital Marketing Training

Is it worth taking a course in digital marketing? Are there any benefits from learning digital marketing through a course and getting a certification?

The short answer to the above questions is Yes, digital marketing courses are worth it. I’ve been a digital marketing professional for many years and during my career, I’ve been involved deeply in digital marketing training. I have reviewed several courses, talked with a lot of students, and eventually created my own courses.

The long answer is, it depends on your primary objective from taking a digital marketing course.

  • Is your goal to learn digital marketing?
  • To enrich your CV with a good certification?
  • To increase your chances of getting a digital marketing job?
  • To become a digital marketing professional?
  • All of the above?

And to other factors like the cost and time investment required to go through a training program.

In this post, I’ll help you decide whether you should follow a course on digital marketing by explaining the benefits of enrolling in a course, the costs involved, and what to consider before choosing a digital marketing course.

Benefits of Digital Marketing Courses

There are several advantages from following an online course, classroom training, or even ebooks, and these are not limited to digital marketing courses but are applicable to all types of structured learning.

It’s a great way to learn digital marketing

If you don’t know what digital marketing is, enrolling in a course is a great place to start. There are many courses aimed for beginners that will teach you the basics and help you get a very good idea of how digital marketing works.

It’s more efficient than spending time on Google

Nowadays when you want to learn something, the first thing that comes in mind is Google.

While this is a great method, it’s not as efficient as getting all the information you need in one place.

A well-structured digital marketing course will teach you everything you need to know without spending your time reading hundreds of random blog posts, each taking a different approach to digital marketing.

It’s good for your career

Although a certification alone does not make you a digital marketing specialist, it’s good for your career. Employers like and encourage their employees to build new skills and getting a digital marketing certification can open up new career opportunities.

It can help you get an entry-level job

When you are a beginner and have no experience, one of the ways to prove your future employer that you have the digital marketing skills needed for the job, is to get a digital marketing certification.

Related

Best entry-level digital marketing jobs – a list of the best jobs you can get as a junior digital marketer. Includes salary and job responsibilities.

Learn from the experts

Courses created by industry experts will help you not just learn the theory of digital marketing but how to use it in practice. Through the course, you can learn tips, tricks, and secrets that they only share with their students.

Build the skills necessary to start your own marketing agency

After surveying our students on what was their goal from taking our digital marketing course, a large percentage replied that they wanted to build the skills to eventually start their own digital marketing agency.

The digital marketing industry is growing at a 9% compound annual growth rate as more and more businesses are moving online. This creates an increased demand for digital marketing professionals (both agencies and freelancers).

How much do digital marketing courses cost?

The cost of a digital marketing course is between $19 and $5995.

The main reasons there is a huge price cap are:

The organization offering the course – A digital marketing course from Harvard University (although it comes with no certification) costs $5995 but an online course from Udemy is $19.

The two courses are not the same (they differ in many ways) but you do pay a premium amount to Harvard because of their reputation.

The instructor of the course – Another factor is the reputation and experience of the course instructor.

The type of course – Online courses tend to cost less than classroom-based training. Courses with downloadable material and videos are more expensive than video-only courses.

Topics covered – a digital marketing full course is expected to cover all digital marketing channels including (SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing) and thus is expected to cost more than a dedicated course on SEO.

Here are some examples of the best digital marketing courses in the market and their cost:

  • Digital marketing full course (by Reliablesoft Academy) – $312
  • Digital Marketing Pro (by Digital Marketing Institute) – $1995
  • Digital Marketing Strategy Program (by Harvard University) – $5995
  • Digital Marketing Specialization (by Coursera and University of Illinois) – $1368
For a full list and details for each course, read: The best digital marketing certificate programs.

How to choose a digital marketing course?

What makes a digital marketing course worth taking? When choosing a digital marketing course, you should take into account the following factors:

  • Delivery format
  • Learning format
  • Course structure
  • Course syllabus
  • Course instructor
  • Cost and money-back guarantee options
  • Support during and after course
  • Certification options

Delivery format

You have three options: Classroom training, on-demand online training, and virtual classes.

Classroom training – usually offered by universities or local institutions. The course duration is, in most cases, 5 days and the cost considerably higher than online training.

On-demand online training – this is the most commonly used delivery format. Once you register for a course, you can access the material online, anytime you want. Some courses offer life-time access while others charge per month.

Virtual classes – this is the same as classroom training but instead of attending a course physically in a class, you watch the instructor through live streaming.

The best format is on-demand online training. It’s more flexible, it costs less and it’s more convenient. You can follow the course from home and at your own pace.

Learning format

This is an important factor to consider when choosing a training course. The most commonly used format is video but it’s not the most effective.

If your goal is to enroll in a course that will not only teach you the basics of digital marketing but to use it as a reference when working on your campaigns, then you need to choose a hybrid course.

A hybrid course includes both text material, videos, and downloadable checklists you can easily reference when in need. Video-only courses are good to watch once but not a good option when you want to go back and re-read about a technique.

Course structure

Digital marketing is a huge topic and usually something that cannot be covered in a single course. It’s a common practice for an academy to offer a digital marketing bundle, consisting of one or more courses.

While this is a good option, you should check that the different courses are related to each other. In cases of big training provides like LinkedIn and Udemy, they group several courses together to form a bundle but those courses are written by different instructors and this makes learning difficult.

It’s better to choose a bundle that was created by the same company and the same instructors. This way the material will not overlap and learning will be continuous.

Course syllabus

Digital Marketing Course Syllabus
Example: Digital Marketing Course Syllabus

A good digital marketing course should cover (at least) the following areas:

Some courses cover some of the areas and some courses cover even more. If your goal is to take a digital marketing course that is worth it, then make sure that the above topics are part of the course syllabus.

Course instructor

There are many talented instructors, there is no doubt about that. When it comes to digital marketing training you should check the bio of the instructor and make sure that they have working experience with digital marketing campaigns.

It’s easy for anyone to study and then explain in a class the theory of digital marketing but working in the field and running campaigns for companies, it’s a totally different story.

An experienced digital marketer can teach you tricks and give you advice that a teacher cannot give you.

If your goal is to start a career in digital marketing or use the course as a way to get a digital marketing job, then following the advice of an experienced marketer will make a big

Cost and money-back guarantee options

As mentioned above, you can buy a course for as low as $19 or as high as $5,995. When making a selection consider the following:

The price does not always reflect the value you can get from a course – Companies price their courses differently based on a number of factors (already explained above).

What you should do is go through the course syllabus and assess the value of each course, the experience of the instructor, topics covered, student reviews, learning format, delivery format, access period, how updates and upgrades work and choose a course that you feel it will help you apply digital marketing in practice.

Money-back guarantee – One way to understand how confident a company is with its course offering, is its money-back guarantee policy.

Companies have different policies, no money-back, 7-days trial, 14 days or in some extreme cases (like our academy), 60 days.

From experience, companies that offer no money back or only 7 days (with many conditions) are not confident about their courses and they try to protect themselves from having a high refund rate.

Stay away from these, especially if you choose to pay more than $1000 for a course. You don’t want to register for an expensive course and then to realize that it’s not what you want and have no way to get your money back.

We are giving a 60-day unconditional guarantee because over the years we know that students are happy with their purchase and our refund rate way below the industry average.

Support during and after course

When you buy a course from a big company, you shouldn’t expect much in terms of support, during and after the course. For them, you’re just another client. Even if they have a support center, you’ll get a reply from an agent-based on a script.

This is especially true for companies where the instructor is just a contributor and has no other relationship with the company.

Smaller academies provide better support because they care about their customers and because they can offer one-to-one support. In most cases, the instructor is also a member of the company and for them providing support to students is the same as providing support to clients.

Certification options

Digital Marketing Certificate
Example of a Digital Marketing Certificate

Some courses offer certification, some offer a certificate and some offer either. What the difference and is a digital marketing certification worth it?

A certification is given for successfully completing the course material. This means at the end of a course (can be classroom or online training course), you’ll get a certification that you followed the course.

A digital marketing certificate is given to students that have completed the course material and successfully passed the course exam. This is more difficult to get because, in order to become digital marketing certified, you need to pass the exams.

It goes without saying that getting a digital marketing certification after passing an exam, is more valuable than getting a certificate of attendance or a certificate of completion.

You can showcase your certificate on your CV and increase your chances of getting a digital marketing job or get a promotion if your company recognizes the certification.

My recommendation is to take a course that offers a digital marketing certificate. It will require more work from your part but preparing for the exam, is a great opportunity to understand what you have learned and how good you have learned a topic.

Key Learnings

Digital marketing courses are worth it. Taking a course or multiple courses (in the case of digital marketing) is a fast and effective way to build new skills or enhance your knowledge about a topic.

From my experience, some companies tend to over-price their courses. A good price for a digital marketing course is below $500. Anything above that range does not add anything to your learning but you’re paying the extra money to cover their expenses and increase their profit.

When choosing a course, go through their syllabus and check the instructor’s bio. Buy a course (or a bundle) that was created by the same experience instructor.

It’s wiser to register for a course that offers a digital marketing certificate. It’s a better use of your time and you’ll have another great resource to enrich your CV.

The post Is it Worth Taking a Digital Marketing Course? appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

Digital marketing during COVID-19 times: Data-driven insights

Posted by on Jun 11, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Digital marketing during COVID-19 times: Data-driven insights

30-second summary:

  • More than 4500 digital marketing professionals from the USA and Europe participated in the anonymous survey. We asked them about the impact of COVID-19 on their business and the working routine.
  • 63% of participants reallocate budgets to activities that bring results in the short term.
  • Most entrepreneurs in the internet marketing believe that it is necessary to adapt as much as possible to new conditions not to lose current customers and quickly return to pre-quarantined indicators.
  • Some respondents talk about increasing the volume of work and improving business indicators: 18% of respondents noted an increase in sales, 27% reported an increase in traffic, and 12% received new customers.

We can see and feel the impact of COVID-19 on a company of any size. By now, many have refactored their business logic by cutting expenses as much as practical, offering contactless delivery options or curbside pickup, etc. Internet marketing transformation is another key point in the list of business alterations.

In this article, we’ll share the results of Serpstat’s research on the effects of quarantine on digital marketing. Read on to keep your businesses ahead of the curve and adapt your strategic planning.

About the study

More than 4,500 respondents from the USA, Germany, Spain, and other European states participated in the anonymous survey. They were Serpstat platform users, which includes, digital marketing professionals that work for or run small or medium-sized businesses, agencies, or teams. Niche freelancers were also among the respondents.

The strategic aim of the Serpstat research was to use a numbers-driven approach and highlight insights that go beyond subjectivity.

Survey highlights reel

 Here are the key results of the research:

  • In 60% of companies, no employees were dismissed from their positions. What is more, there were no such plans in the roadmap. Meanwhile, 24% of the survey participants confirmed that they or their colleagues were laid-off for COVID-19 related reasons.
  • 64% said they started working remotely.
  • 63% of companies opted for diverting SEO budgets to PPC.
  • 46% of businesses lost essential customers for the last several months, while 12% claimed they enjoyed a surge in new ones.
  •  40% of respondents confirmed their salaries were cut, while 9% of businesses had plans to turn such changes to reality.
  • 28% observed a decrease in traffic compared to 27% that experienced the opposite.
  • Anti-crisis plans were developed and brought to life by 19% of companies.

Survey participants

Precisely 4,511 respondents opted for the survey. The USA, Germany, and Spain are the countries where most participants are based.

The majority of respondents were aged between 22 and 35, and more men participated in the study. For more details about the gender and age distribution of the respondents, please refer to the charts below: 

SEO and PPC specialists, digital marketing specialists, social media, content, and email marketers were among the participants. Their professional experiences ranged from one year to more than 10 years in the field. 

digital marketing survey - participant details
digital marketing survey - participant job details
digital marketing survey - participant expertise level details
digital marketing survey - company type

What are the changes?

SEO budget redistribution

To avoid losses in online sales, 63% of respondents confirm their SEO budgets were redistributed. Thus, contextual advertising gains maximum attention.

This goes to prove that businesses rethink their long and short-term objectives. The shift to short-term goals signifies that companies intend to minimize the influence of quarantine on their key business performance indicators. 

Work from home

Now, as this article gets typed out, many of us stay at home and work remotely. It didn’t take much time for the many to adjust their businesses and tweak the internal processes quickly. This has helped many business owners to keep their businesses running while staying safe.

digital marketing survey - work from home stats

Thus, 64% of respondents confirmed they worked from home, while as few as 6% of Marketing Managers kept working in offices. Additionally, some employers allowed their employees to choose where they wanted to work.

Changes in customer churn

46% of respondents said that they didn’t have the luck to keep several of their customers. These discouraging numbers have led many businesses to focus on improving their products and services, thus doing their best to retain a loyal customer.

Meanwhile, 12% of the survey participants said they had managed to attract new customers during the quarantine.

customer churn stats

Fluctuations in sales

An insignificant drop in sales was recorded by 27% of respondents, while 26% claimed a dramatic decline in sales.

There are also some comforting numbers as the effects of the pandemic are different depending on a business niche. 18% of the survey participants mentioned a sales uplift.

For as many as 13%, there was no change in the number of sales. No news is good news. Well, it might be so during these tough times for many entrepreneurs.

Shifts in online traffic volumes

According to the survey results, online projects enjoy a traffic boost in 27% of cases. 15%  of respondents shared data about a dramatic decline in their online projects, while 28% suffered a slight sales dip.online traffic volume stats

What actions have companies taken to adopt?

Changes are inevitable. Practically 70% of businesses agree with that. Today, customer retention is having the upper hand. We all know that it’s easier to retain a customer than to acquire, and businesses start paying more attention to their loyal customer bases.

As a result, we can see them:

  • Offer discounts (23%)
  • Provide anti-crisis deals (19%)
  • Make specific products or services free (18%)
  • Adapt products/services costs to local currencies (8%)

customer retention efforts of digital marketing companies

Factually, customer-business relationships become more omnichannel and personalized. More than ever before, entrepreneurs need to acknowledge their customers’ needs and make data-driven decisions at every step of interaction with the clients.

Bottom line

Many companies are concerned about the new reality we live in and the new conditions of running a business. Most marketing professionals are convinced that changes in how we do marketing must be made, which also implies an increase in the work volumes. This will allow taking down the harmful effects of the coronavirus pandemic, stabilizing sales, and quickly returning to pre-quarantine business performance indicators.

Eugene Lata is the VP of Marketing and Board Member at Serpstat, an all-in-one SEO platform. His expertise includes marketing, lead generation, SEO, and building smart, innovative marketing teams.

The post Digital marketing during COVID-19 times: Data-driven insights appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

301 Redirects: The Ultimate Guide for 2020

Posted by on Jun 10, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 301 Redirects: The Ultimate Guide for 2020

Understanding how to execute 301 redirects is a fundamental SEO skill. That’s what this guide is all about. Make sure you read until the end because I’m going to show you two of my favorite 301 redirect tactics (that produce massive results). Let’s jump in: What are 301 Redirects? Do 301 Redirects Affect Your Google …

Read more301 Redirects: The Ultimate Guide for 2020

Buck Up, Even Google Screws Up Technical SEO

Posted by on Jun 9, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Buck Up, Even Google Screws Up Technical SEO

GMB Arab Spring

I am located in the U.S. yet yesterday afternoon when I searched for “Google My Business” in Google, the first result I got was the UK URL for GMB: https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/.

It wasn’t like that yesterday morning. So what changed?

A canonical tag.

According to Archive.org, yesterday morning the canonical tag for the URL that usually ranks #1,  https://www.google.com/business/, was https://www.google.com/intl/en_us/business/. But looking at the source of that URL now shows the canonical tag has changed to https://www.google.com/intl/en_ae/business/:

GMB Canonical

I’ll leave it you all to figure out how this set-up confused Google enough so that it had to show me the UK URL instead of https://www.google.com/business/, or why previously Google was ignoring the canonical to the /intl/ URL, or why this morning Google is again showing https://www.google.com/business/ at the top of that SERP even though the AE canonical tag is still there.

My only aim in pointing this out is that while SEO is not always rocket science, it is often tricky.

UPDATE:

Famed tech SEO nerd extraordinaire Patrick Stox couldn’t resist digging into the canonicalization issue on Slack.

ohhh, I can answer your last part. The canonical that was https://www.google.com/intl/en_us/business/ is sort of correct, in that the page is a duplicate and the duplicate cluster lead for this is https://www.google.com/business/ so it “technically” pointed to the right page. /business is what is specified in the sitemap for hreflang for en-us and x-default. They likely have a bit of a mess by breaking both duplicate and hreflang clusters that will take some crawling by googlebot to sort out which is why you’re seeing 2 results in your search instead of just 1 that swaps with the right version now.

The post Buck Up, Even Google Screws Up Technical SEO appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

10 Advanced SEO tactics to drive more traffic to your website

Posted by on Jun 8, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 10 Advanced SEO tactics to drive more traffic to your website

30-second summary:

  • SEO has evolved to cover a wide range of efforts that contribute to traffic generation. 
  • The easiest way to improve search visibility is to have an arsenal of tactics at your disposal for creating a top-ranking page. 
  • Improving the quality of content and backlinks are prime ranking factors that influence the placement of a page in a search result and can be done in a variety of ways. 
  • Founder of Digital Ducats Inc, shares in detail 10 different advanced SEO tactics to drive traffic by improving the quality of the content you’re publishing for users.

Learn how to drive more traffic to your website and you will have learned how to ensure the growth of your business. Driving more relevant traffic is the overarching goal of every website owner that wants to increase revenue. 

The success of your website relies on the volume of relevant traffic that you’re able to generate on a regular basis. Here are 10 advanced SEO tactics to increase the traffic to your website on a regular basis. 

1. Increase content production

Did you know websites that publish SEO optimized blog posts two-to-four times a week produce the highest number of leads and conversions? Increasing your content production allows your website to expand the range of keywords it targets and provides more answers to the questions people are searching for. 

The frequency of the content you create should align with the goal you’ve created in your overall content strategy. Neil Patel had the goal of increasing his page views to hit 100k. 

When he was publishing once a week his views were at 46k page views. After increasing his content production to twice a week he was able to hit 100k page views in under a year. 

Don’t mistake frequency as the only factor that will improve your website traffic. Learn how to write articles for marketing to build trust and accumulate backlinks.  

Aim to publish informative articles and provide value to your audience. According to Conductor, even a week after reading educational content, people are 48% more likely to buy from the company that educated them. 

Pumping out low-quality blog posts that lack quality will eventually hurt your website. Publish content with the intention of providing solutions to problems and relevant questions. 

2. Cluster your content to drive more traffic

A web page ranking is highly influenced by the topical relevance of the page to a search query. Google favours sites that demonstrate Expertise, Authority & Trust (E.A.T.). This makes establishing topic clusters using pillar page best practices ideal for driving more traffic. 

A topic cluster consists of pillared content (central keyword theme) and clustered content (articles with a narrow focus).  

The pillar pages are typically long-form and cover a broad keyword topic. Pillar pages link to clustered content to go deeper into detail about more specific topics that share the central keyword theme. 

The clustered content links back to the pillar page, lifting the authority of the pillar page which highlights its importance. Clustered content will also link to other clustered content on relevant topics. 

SEO advanced tactics: Pillar page topic cluster

This internal linking strategy strengthens the topical relevance of your pages and contributes to improved ranking, increased traffic and higher click-through rates. 

Tips for creating effective topic clusters

  • Select well-researched keywords to create the most effective topic clusters. Target long-tail keywords in your clustered content to lower competition and drive traffic that is a better match to your website.  
  • Publish 10X content that solves a specific problem to rank highly and be the best solution in a search result. 
  • Perform a content audit to make sure you use existing content to target keywords in your cluster and avoid keyword cannibalization. 

3. Optimize for featured snippets

Featured snippets appear for just about every question that is searched on Google. Drive more traffic using pages on your site that already rank on the first page of Google.  

According to a study by Ahrefs, if your site is featured in the snippet (also referred to as position zero) it adds an additional 8.6% of the available traffic to your site. 

Identify every keyword that your site ranks for on the first page. You can use Moz, SEMRush, or Ahrefs or any keyword-tracking tool to get a list of your first page appearances. 

Keep in mind that with the new format, if your site is in the number one position, there is some debate on which position is more valuable in terms of traffic. 

Tips to win position zero

  • Duplicate the current snippet’s optimization. 
  • If there’s a paragraph answer, provide a paragraph answer immediately after your featured snippet heading. The sweet spot is between 40-60 words. 
  • If there’s a list featured, use the HTML for an ordered list 
  • Use title tags for the question or title that represents the snippet. 
  • Use title tags for subtitle headings that Google could possibly use as a list. 

4. Add FAQ structured data markup to performing pages 

Google introduced FAQ structured data markup that shows up as a rich result. You can use FAQ schema to increase the click-through rate that your page receives. The rich result displays each of the questions you have listed in an interactive drop-down styled format.

SEO advanced tactics: FAQ Schema

This can be useful to sites for increasing the click-through rate because of the extra space that is being taken up by the SERP result. 

You can use the following markup found on Google’s developer reference page to make your FAQs eligible to show up as a rich result.  

You can also test the markup to make sure it works: 

FAQ schema code test

Tip for adding FAQ schema 

If you’re using Yoast, it has a feature specifically for adding these to your content. It can save you the time of cutting and pasting code to your content. 

  • Target the PAA box by publishing a FAQ page: The PAA box (People Also Ask) requires similar optimization to the featured snippet. The PAA box can drive additional traffic when users click through to your site. Increase the likelihood of being featured by publishing a Frequently Asked Questions page. 
  • Research commonly asked questions: Research the questions that are appearing in the top 3 or 4 spots in the PAA box. Click on any relevant questions that you will use on your FAQ page. Every time you click a question you should get another three or four questions that are added to the bottom of the box.  
  • Optimize your answers: The first paragraph answer you provide should be roughly 50 words in length. Use the Inverted Pyramid style of writing to improve the likelihood of your answer being selected. Give people what they need to know in the first paragraph and what is nice to know afterwards

Advanced SEO tactics: Inverted pyramid

Tips for driving more traffic from the PAA box 

  • Never use one-sentence answers as responses. Make each response to a question detailed enough to be a complete answer.  
  • Provide links to relevant content within your site to promote a higher CTR. 
  • Enhance optimization with jump links at the top of the page. Not only does this improve the UX (user experience) but it also helps search engines locate specific content on your page. 

How to create a jump link

The HTML of a jump link can be implemented using the following code: 

Choose a name to use as the link ID. In this example, the link ID is “jump”. Use the following HTML code to add the link to your questions at the top of your page: 

<a id=”jump”>Question and answer you want to jump to</a> 

Next, you will need to place the code for the linked target before the beginning of your answer in order to take users directly to that spot on your page: 

The HTML code for the linked target is: <a id=”jump”></a> 

Alternatively, you can insert the answer within the code as the linked target: 

<a id=”jump”>ANSWER</a>

5. Repurpose top-performing content

Use the top-performing pages on your site to create new variations of the same content. By creating a new version of popular content you’re guaranteed to spark interest and encourage more traffic. 

Identify the pages that receive the most traffic on your site. You can do this by checking Google Analytics. On the left navigation panel, click on the following: Behaviour > Site Content > Pages. 

Analytics navigation

The report will give you a break down of the volume of page views and the time spent on the most popular pages.  

Select the period of time you want to compare pages (six months to a year).  

Make your decision based on the pages that attracted the most clicks and that people spent the most time on. 

You can take any blog article and create an infographic, video or slide presentation in order to mix things up.  

Use your new multimedia such as a video or slide presentation to post to external sites and social media to generate new streams of traffic. 

6. Guest post on healthy relevant websites

Backlinks fuel the ranking ability of your content. Good content attracts backlinks, however, if you don’t want to wait around for links to appear, you need to take action. 

Use guest posting as a strategy to build links to internal pages on your site to create more entry points for visitors to find your content (referral traffic). 

Building links from high traffic websites earn streams of targeted traffic as well as a boost in authority and credibility by linking to your content. 

The links you receive from guest posting are contextual, which is considered the best type of link. Include links to relevant content on your site within the article to provide your reader with a reference that enhances their experience.  

Tips for guest posting

  • The most ideal sites to guest post on are healthy, authoritative and have high subscribership for referral traffic. 
  • Topical relevance is key in providing the most impact on links you point to your site. Link to content that enhances the user experience. 
  • Create alliances with authors or websites to scale up your efforts. If you include a link in your content to a partner’s site, and they do the same for you-your efforts are doubled with every article you publish. 

7. Build your local presence

Drive more local traffic by brushing up on the essentials of local SEO. Ask clients for reviews, keep your NAP details consistent and your GMB profile updated and accurate. One of the most powerful tactics that will help surface your website in localized searches is acquiring local backlinks.

Apart from the common places to link from, such as structured citations (directories, review sites, profile links, etc.) aim for unstructured citations on local business blogs.  

12 Web Design Trends by Toronto Experts is an example of an infographic that was used in a local outreach campaign. This local SEO strategy combined an expert round-up with an infographic to result in a 63.64% increase in traffic to local landing pages. 

Add the fact that infographics generate 172% more backlinks than your typical blog post, and there’s a pretty convincing argument to incorporate them into your local link building strategy.   

8. Become an expert on Quora

Quora is a site that gets over 300 million unique visitors every single month. There are loads of questions that are asked on a daily basis that fall into your area of expertise. If you consistently answer a few questions a day, you can build a reputation that ultimately leads to referral traffic. 

All links on Quora are no-followed but you can still leverage the opportunity to send people to your site with high quality, in-depth answers. The idea is to go above and beyond the quality of a standard response to get your answer upvoted. 

The answer with the most upvotes will float to the top of the answers. This means when other people search the question, your answer will be the first one they see.  

If it’s really good, it should also be the last one they see. 

9. Use the Barnacle SEO method

Where you can take your traffic generation to another level is to combine Quora’s traffic with the traffic from Google search. There are literally hundreds of thousands of questions that Quora ranks for on the first page of Google.  

Not only can your answer receive thousands of views from Quora, but you’ll also get users to find your answer on Google as well.  

You can use tools like SEMRush to get a list of the keywords Quora ranks for and filter the results to search for your keywords in the top ten organic results.

SEMRush Quora keywords

Tips for getting more referral traffic from Quora 

  • When choosing questions to answer, look for the ones that already have a high number of followers. The number of followers on each question will mean they will be notified every time the question receives a new response. Choose questions with a minimum of 15 followers to guarantee a decent-sized audience as a long-term strategy. 
  • Optimize your profile by including a detailed bio with a link to your website. When users read the answers you’ve provided, they will want to know more about you. Don’t disappoint them by leaving a blank bio with no way of getting to your site. 
  • Too many self-promotional calls to action may put your account at risk. Users get suspended and even banned from Quora for leaving affiliate links or too many links that lead people off-site.  

10. Invite guest authors 

Inviting authors to write an article on your site is a great way to spice up your content with a fresh perspective. Publishing articles from guest authors contribute to increased content production, attract a new audience and backlinks. 

Increased focus on topic coverage

Your content production increases with submissions from guest authors. This can allow you to focus more on the topics your blog is covering and the keywords you’re targeting. The added depth to your content production will contribute to an increase in traffic. 

Attract a new audience

Authors who are publishing regularly share their content with their network. This brings a whole new audience to your site.

Most authors share their published work with their social network or even on their own website. This can be worth a nice addition of new visitors if you have a contributing author with a large network. 

Acquire more backlinks

It’s common practice for a regular blogger to reference a previously published article with a link. If your contributors are publishing regularly on other sites you should inevitably acquire a few links you wouldn’t have received otherwise. 

Create a “write for us” page

Create a page on your site that invites authors to contribute. Use “write for us” in the URL and title. Guest bloggers use that phrase to find sites to contribute articles.  

Define your requirements for posting on your blog to give contributors an idea of what is expected to get an article approved. 

Recruit your writers

Reach out to writers that are regularly publishing content in your niche. Whenever you read a good article on a topic that’s relevant to your site, make the connection and invite them to write for you. Most authors leave a link to their site or social media or website so it isn’t too difficult to make contact. 

Explore, experiment and do what works for you

There are so many ways to drive traffic to a site that it’s worth exploring new options and experimenting with new tactics to see what works for you. 

Whichever advanced SEO strategy you use, make sure you give it a fair shot by seeing the process the whole way through. 

Thre’s a learning curve to every new tactic but you’ll learn the most through personal, hands-on experience. Whenever something works, stick with it and scale-up. You now possess the knowledge of using 10 different strategies to drive more traffic to your website.  

Choose wisely and drive safely. 🙂

Christian Carere is an SEO consultant and the founder of Digital Ducats Inc. He can be found on Twitter @DigitalDucats.

The post 10 Advanced SEO tactics to drive more traffic to your website appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Google’s New Algorithm: Page Experience

Posted by on Jun 3, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google’s New Algorithm: Page Experience

Don’t worry… your traffic hasn’t gone down (or up) because of the Page Experience algorithm update hasn’t rolled out yet.

But it will in 2021 according to Google.

Due to the coronavirus, they decided to give us all a heads up on the future algorithm update and what it entails… that way you can adjust your website so your traffic doesn’t tank.

So, what’s the Page Experience update and how can you prepare for it?

Page Experience

In Google’s own words, here is what it means…

The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.

In other words, they are looking for how usable your website is.

Here’s an example of what they don’t want…

As you can see from the graphic above, the user was trying to click on “No, go back”, but because an install bar popup up at the top, it pushed the whole page down and caused the user to accidentally click on “Yes, place my order.”

The purpose of this update is to make sure that sites that rank at the top aren’t creating experiences that users hate.

The simplest way to think about this update is that user-friendly sites will rank higher than sites that aren’t user friendly.

But this change is the start of a big shift in SEO.

Why is this update so important?

What sites do you think that Google wants to rank at the top?

Take a guess…

Maybe sites with the best backlinks?

Or sites with the buttoned up on page code?

It’s actually none of those.

Google wants to rank the sites at the top that users love the most.

Here’s what I mean…

When you want to buy athletic shoes, what brand comes to mind?

If I had to guess, I bet you’ll say Nike.

And if you were to get a credit card… I bet Visa, American Express, or Mastercard will come to mind.

This is why brand queries (the number of users who search for your brand name on Google and click on your website) impact rankings, which I’ve broken down as one of the most important SEO lessons I learned.

Just look at how the Neil Patel brand has grown over time… the graph below shows the number of people searching for my name over time:

And here is my SEO traffic over time:

As your brand grows so will your SEO traffic.

But that is old news, that’s been part of Google’s algorithm for years now.

Here is the thing though, most sites don’t have large brands and Google knows that. So, if you don’t have one, you can still rank.

At my ad agency, when we look at our clients and their growth over time, only 4% have large well-known brands. The other 96% are still seeing traffic growth.

What Google is doing is adapting its algorithm to more closely align with the mission of showing the sites first that users love the most.

And yes, brand queries are one of the ways they can do this, but user experience is another metric.

Over the next few years, I bet you will see many algorithm updates focusing on user experience.

So how do you optimize your user experience?

It’s starts with each page

If you look at the original article Google posted about the future algorithm change, they emphasize “page experience” or “website experience.”

It doesn’t mean that your whole website shouldn’t have a good user experience, but instead, I bet they are going to focus on their algorithm from a page-level basis.

Because if you have a few pages on your websites that have a poor experience, but the rest are good, it wouldn’t make sense for Google to reduce the rankings of your whole site, especially if many of your pages provide a much better experience than your competition.

Here’s how you optimize your user experience:

Step #1: Optimize your speed and reduce 400 errors

The faster your website loads, the better experience you’ll have.

Go to this page and enter in your URL.

You’ll then see a report that looks like this:

You’ll notice two important aspects of that report that impact user experience that I’ve highlighted in the screenshot above.

In the health checkbox, you’ll want to make sure there are no broken pages. Broken pages create bad experiences.

In the site speed box, you’ll see the load time of your site. The faster your site loads the better. Try to get your website load time for both desktop and mobile under 3 seconds.

Ideally you should be in the 1-second range if possible.

Step #2: Compare your experience to your competitions’

You may think you have an amazing user experience, but how does it stake up to your competition?

So go here and type in your biggest competitor.

I want you to go into the navigation and click on “Top Pages.”

You should see a report like this:

The Top Pages report shows the most popular pages on your competition’s site from an SEO perspective. The pages at the top are the ones with the most SEO traffic, which means they are doing something right.

I want you to go through their top 50 pages. Seriously, their top 50 pages, and look at the user experience of each of those pages.

What is it that they are doing? How does their content quality compare to yours? What are the differences between their website compared to yours?

For each page that ranks, I also want you to click on “View All” under the “Est. Visits” heading. This will show you all of the keywords each page ranks for.

When evaluating your competition’s user experience, keep in mind how they are delighting people who search for any of those keywords. This will give you an idea of what you need to do as well.

But your goal shouldn’t be to match your competition, it should be to beat your competition.

Step #3: Analyze your design

Remember the graphic I showed above of what Google doesn’t want? Where the user tried to click on “No, go back” instead of “Yes, place my order” due to design issues.

In most cases you won’t have that issue, but you will have other usability issues.

The way you find usability issues is through heatmaps. Just like this one:

What you can do to find usability issues is run a Crazy Egg test on your site.

Once you log into Crazy Egg, you’ll see a dashboard that looks like this:

On the top right, I want you to click on “Create New” and select “Snapshot.”

Then select “Multiple Snapshots.”

From there, you’ll want to add at least 3 popular URLs on your site. Over time you’ll want to do this with all of your popular pages.

Then you’ll see settings like the image below, you don’t need to do anything here. Just click “Next.”

You’ll then be able to review everything. If it looks good, you can click the “Create Snapshots” button in the bottom right.

Last but not least, you’ll have to install your tracking script.

So, click on “Install Tracking Script.”

Select the option that works for you and then you are off and to the races. For example, for NeilPatel.com I use WordPress so I would select the WordPress option.

Once you are setup, it will take at least a day to see results, if not a bit longer. It depends on your traffic.

If you get thousands of visitors to your site each day you’ll see results within a few hours.

After you set up your test and it has been a few days, log back into Crazy Egg and click on Snapshots in the sidebar.

Once you are there you will see a list of snapshots you have created.

Click on any of your snapshots and you’ll see a heatmap of how people are engaging with your web page.

What’s cool about snapshots is they show you every single click, or even scroll that people take. Just look at this example from the NeilPatel.com site.

As you can see, people are clicking on those images above the text. But there is an issue… can you guess what it is?

If you click those images, nothing happens. But for all of those people to click on those images, it means that they believe they are clickable and that something should happen when they click on them.

An easy fix for me is to make them clickable and when a user clicks maybe I would take them to a page that goes into detail on each of those features. Or maybe I could expand upon each feature right there on that page.

Once you make the fixes to your page, you will want to re-run a new Crazy Egg snapshot on the same page to see if the changes helped improve the user experience.

Step #4: Install the Ubersuggest Chrome extension

If you haven’t already, install the Ubersuggest Chrome extension.

Here’s why…

When you do a Google search, you’ll see data on each ranking URL.

When you are naturally using Google throughout your day and searching for keywords related to your industry, I want you to look at 2 main metrics in Ubersuggest:

  1. Domain score – the higher the number, the more authority a website has.
  2. Links – the more links a website has, usually the higher it will rank.

So, when you are doing searches, look for sites that have a lower domain score and fewer backlinks than the competition, but yet still rank high.

Chances are, they rank high because of things like user experience. Maybe their text is more appealing than the competition, maybe their bounce rate is lower… it could be a wide variety of reasons, but these are the sites you want to look at and analyze.

In the image above, you see that the result from the AMA ranks higher than Hubspot yet they have fewer links and a lower domain score. So, if you were trying to rank for that keyword, you would want to spend more time analyzing AMA because they are doing something right.

Conclusion

User experience is going to be more and more important over time.

If you love a site and everyone else loves that site, Google will eventually want to make sure that the site ranks high.

On the flip side, if everyone feels a website has a terrible user experience, then Google won’t rank that website as high in the long run.

Just like any algorithm update Google does, expect to see multiple revisions over time. As they learn, they adapt to make their algorithms more effective over time.

But what is unique about this update is you have advanced notice, which is nice. So, take the opportunity and fix any usability issues you may have.

What other ways can you make your website more usable?

The post Google’s New Algorithm: Page Experience appeared first on Neil Patel.

11 Simple WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by on Jun 2, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 11 Simple WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO is one of the most complex and intricate things website owners have to deal with. It covers so many facets of websites that it is often easy to overlook some very common SEO mistakes and tank your own site ranking.

Today we’re going to look at some of the things we can focus on to ensure that you cover the majority SEO mistakes that are often overlooked. Follow this guide and you will at least fulfil the basic requirements with ease.


1. Host With a Reputable Provider

You might wonder what your web hosting provider has to do with SEO. The fact is that the performance of your hosting server covers one of the most critical elements of SEO – site speed.

Google places a strong emphasis on site loading speed and penalizes websites that are too slow. This means that if your site is slow, the more likely it is that you will lose some ranking in search results.

Although it is true that how you design and code your site will affect loading speed. The first element of the overall site load time that comes into play is Time to First Byte. This is how quickly your web server responds to a request on the web.

The better quality your server is, the faster it will respond. This is why it can be very helpful to use a site like HostScore which actively monitors web hosting servers to share their average response speeds with users.

Simple WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Caption: HostScore shows tracked data from multiple server locations.

Take for example the HostScore performance graph for InterServer above. This lets you see how fast their shared hosting response speed is over a period of time. It also shows you response speeds from varying places around the globe.

Working with information like this can help you identify the ideal web host for your needs. The faster your web host can respond, the faster your overall website loading speed will be.

To see how fast your current web server response is, use a website performance monitoring tool and pay attention to your TTFB. Some free tools you can use include;


2. Publish Content Regularly

There is a very direct relationship between SEO and content. Search engines like Google rely on algorithms to rank web pages and content is what helps them to decide where your page fits in.

Content offers Google a glimpse into the quality and scope of your website, allowing it to help you reach out to the right audience. As you publish more content on a regular basis, the number of keywords you’ll likely rank for will increase, bringing in more traffic.

The relationship between visitors and Google directing them to your site is symbiotic. If your site has more visitors, then Google will crawl it more frequently to check for updates. This is the key reason why your content base should grow steadily.

It is understandable that not all of us are writers, so if you’re a small operation and looking for content providers with which you can easily manage cost, consider outsourcing. Some good sites you can find freelance writers include;

  • Upwork – Freelancers that charge hourly
  • Fiverr – Great resource for those on a tight budget
  • ClearVoice – Lots of excellent quality talent

3. Produce Quality Content

Information that is current is always preferred so even if you have a page that ranks well, do make sure to review it periodically to ensure that it is top quality. As mentioned in Google quality rating guidelines that sites on the top end of the spectrum are having high-quality content.

If visitors reach your site and realize the content they are seeing is poor or out of date, they might bail quickly to look elsewhere. This kind of information will let search engines know that your page is lacking quality and you might find your search rankings drop for no apparent reason. Your value to readers is a key reason for your rank on search.


4. Optimize Your Content (on-page SEO)

Simple WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Caption: Schema markup and data structure can help with click through rates

Many new website owners tend to make the mistake of trying to ‘bulk up’ their sites quickly with a high volume of content. Unfortunately, this usually results in lower quality content which might also not be optimized correctly. Weak, poor quality, under optimized content can do your site more harm than good.

Remember again that Google relies on algorithms, so not just volume is important, but also how you structure it. Failing to fine-tune excellent content means that you’re not utilizing it to the fullest potential.

Do Your Keyword Research

Make sure to do your research and identify what keywords you want your articles to rank for. Knowing that, you can keep your content strategically oriented and flowing in the right direction. Include keywords in headers and text where appropriate.

Pay Attention to Image Attributes

Visuals are important to readers as well and hence, they matter to Google. When including visuals, always make sure they are tagged correctly with clear image titles, caption, and attributes so that search engines know you’re using relevant images to support your text.

Make Use of Schema Markup

Schema markup is code on your site that helps identify content segments to search engines to deliver more accurate results to potential visitors. Although this doesn’t directly affect search rankings, having accurate schema markups can increase your click-through rates if readers can see you have what they are looking for.

Some examples of this are star rating systems for reviews or FAQ segments on more comprehensive articles.

Make Sure to Optimize for Mobile

In today’s digital age, Google has recognized that much of its search traffic is now coming from mobile devices such as smartphones and tables. The format of content for these devices needs to be different – more lightweight and designed for smaller displays. This means that site owners now have to optimize content not just for desktops but also for mobile devices.

If you’re using WordPress, there are a huge number of options that are available to help you with content optimization. These include;


5. Aim for the Right Keywords

Keywords are how search engines know what the focus of your content is. Using the right ones in the right places and with the right frequency will help boost the SEO of your content. Choosing the right keywords can be a bit of a challenge. Keywords that should be important to you ideally will match the search terms frequently used by your target audience.

The Internet is made up of many sites, all competing for the same amount of traffic.Popular topics often have a huge amount of competition in keywords, meaning that it can be supremely difficult for new sites to rank for them.

Always try to rank highly for your chosen keywords. It is better to aim for a high ranking on a lower value keyword than rank terribly for a super popular keyword.

This is where keyword research factors in. By doing some background research, you can get an idea of how competitive a keyword is. If it seems to be challenging for you, consider using an alternative instead that you can rank well for.

Some common mistakes that website owners do include;

  • Trying to rank for highly competitive keywords
  • Choosing keywords that are too generic
  • Aiming for keywords which have no real value

My personal preference for keyword research is Ahrefs, but this is a commercial tool and the price may be a bit prohibitive for newer sites just starting out. Some other resources you can use to gauge keyword potential include;

While these may not be the most accurate around, they are good enough to give you an idea of what to try. Remember that SEO is a bit of art mixed with science. Failing one experiment isn’t the end and you can always try again.


6. Remember to do Off-page SEO

On-page SEO is such a broad field itself that many people get engrossed in those details and completely forget about off-page SEO. Remember that your website isn’t a standalone entity, but is assessed as a sum total including of its interactions with other assets on the world wide web.

For example, search engines also take into consideration how well regarded your site or content is and tracks all external content that links to yours. The more links your site and content gets, the better it will be for your ranking.

This means that building backlinks from a variety of sources is very much desired. Naturally, the better the quality of the sites that link to yours, the more weight it carries. Unfortunately, link building isn’t something there is a quick fix for. Some ways you can focus on this area are;

  • Building shareable content such as infographics
  • Offering to write as a guest on other sites
  • Contributing thoughts on relevant forums

Important Note: There are many sites around offering to sell backlink packages. These are often ineffective and in many cases can lead to serious SEO consequences. Use them at your peril!


7. Create and Submit a Sitemap

Sitemaps are literally directories of your website. Using professionally designed sitemap templates help search engines quickly identify what content you have and what emphasis you place in each area of content.

The XML sitemap that search engines need will essentially list every single asset on your site from page to post to media file. You can create and submit it on your own, but if you use WordPress there are many plugins that can do this for you, such as Yoast.


8. Work With the Right WordPress Themes

One of the greatest wonders of WordPress is how highly modular it is. This means that it works with a massive number of themes and plugins – not all of which are great. This makes it very important to choose the right theme since it provides an essential part of your site structure and layout.

Your chosen theme can affect your SEO more than you know, including affecting your site performance, having the right schema markups in place, and more.


9. Leverage on Social Media

Caption: Social Media integrators like Hootsuite can save you lots of time and effort

Another often forgotten element of SEO is social sharing. Having your content shared and interacted with on social media channels such as Facebook can not only increase your traffic organically, but also count towards your SEO. How many times your social posts are shared, clicked, or viewed is a factor.

The best part of all is that establishing many of these social media channels are free. The only problem is that it increases the scope of your work dramatically and can eat up a huge amount of time. This is where social media integrators can come in handy.

Some web-based applications or plugins for WordPress can help you tie your WordPress activities into social media channels for easier management. Take for example Yoast, which can help you pre-format your WordPress posts for social and share articles at the same time you post them.

While this might not be the most optimal and effective way to do it, it does cover one of your bases with little effort on your part. Consider using some of these tools;

  • HootSuite – Integrates your social media channels and lets you schedule posts
  • Sassy Social Share Plugin – Let your visitors do the sharing
  • AddtoAny – Social share and Google analytics tie-in

10. Don’t Forget the Search Console

Simple WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Caption: Google Search Console is a powerful tool you can use to identify and fix site ranking problems

One hugely powerful tool that can help you fix problems with your search ranking is directly from Google itself and is often overlooked by many. The Google Search Console is a dashboard that gives a detailed account of how your site and pages are handled by google.

From here, you can get a bird’s eye view of your site performance in search rankings and click throughs. Even better is the fact that Google alerts you on performance issues and even lets you know why it considers them a problem and how to fix the issues.


11. Build Branded Anchor Text

Earlier we discussed the importance of link building and part of that is also a focus on how you link your own anchor text. Using branded anchor texts helps you establish your brand authority and improve overall search results for your site.

Branded anchor text is essentially just linking your brand name in your anchor text at strategic locations. One way of doing this is by including it in your site footer. This will establish it as a constant on all the posts and pages your site has.


Conclusion: Simple WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid

I’ve built a number of sites over the years, some with greater success than most. Admittedly, a good part of this has been due to the proportion of time I’ve spent on content building and other optimizations.

This leads me to a very good note for new or potential site owners. The value of your site is directly proportional to the amount of effort you put into it. Optimizing for SEO may not be a perfect science (since Google holds secrets closely) but there are established lines you can follow as a start.

Other than that, it is a matter of fine-tuning and painstaking trial and error that will lead you to the top of search results. Remember, there are no shortcuts.

The post 11 Simple WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid appeared first on WP Fix It.

Crisis Adaptation – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by on May 29, 2020 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Crisis Adaptation – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BritneyMuller

Businesses all over the globe are struggling with new challenges as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With consumers turning to the internet for the majority of their needs, it’s never been more vital to ensure your online presence is easily found and your business updates clearly communicated.

In this special edition of Whiteboard Friday, Britney Muller outlines a checklist that businesses can use to meet the changing needs of consumers and improve visibility for local searches.

Bonus — We’ve adapted these tips into a free checklist you can download and share:

Get the checklist

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

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re going over crisis adaptation, and I first have to give a huge shout-out to Miriam Ellis, who really helped me package all of this up to deliver to you today.

If you’re not already following Miriam on Twitter, I highly suggest you do. She is a local SEO genius. So let’s dive right in. 

Meet your customers where they are

You often hear this phrase in marketing and in SEO about meeting your customers where they are. This might be important now more than ever because the current landscape, it’s changed so much.

Listen to your customers & understand how their needs have shifted

In order to better meet your customers where they are, you really first have to listen and understand how their needs have shifted, how have their concerns shifted. What are they searching for now? Just really paying attention and listening online to your current target market.

One of the things I also like to suggest is listen to competitive reviews. Keep an eye on competitive reviews being posted on Google and other spaces to get a gauge of how desires and concerns have shifted. 

Know where your audience is

This could have also shifted a bit. Whiteboard Friday’s OG, Rand Fishkin, launched SparkToro that does exactly that. So you can really deep dive into real-time data around what your audience is listening to, who they follow, all sorts of great stuff for you to leverage in today’s climate.

Connect with potential customers in meaningful ways

Now is a great time to reach out and engage with not only potential customers but current customer base and remind people that you are still here and serving them in various ways. This is key.

Partner with relevant businesses

I’ve seen this do really well in some great examples of pivoting, where a fruit delivery company partnered with a bakery to include these free cakes within orders. What a great way to get some visibility for that bakery, and vice versa. I think it’s a great time to leverage industry relationships and help one another out. I absolutely love that tip. 

Communicate all changes and updates

Now the other big, big priority right now is all around communicating changes and updates to your website visitors. So what do you need to cover?

  • Changes to hours is so important right now. It’s essential that you have that information readily visible to anyone visiting your website, if this applies to you. All forms of availability, video, curbside, no touch delivery, have that information available.
  • Any expected delays and product availability challenges. 
  • Sanitation and any adopted safety precautions. 
  • Payment methods accepted. 
  • Any philanthropic efforts that you’re doing to help support people in need.

I’m seeing a lot of these show up in banners and readily available information for people visiting websites. I think it’s great to consider making sure that this information is easy for people to access. 

Immediately communicate this information:

Set up online orders and catalog inventory/services

In addition to these things, set up online orders. At the very least, catalog your online inventory or services for people to let people know what you’re currently offering.

If you’re a struggling business and you don’t want to go into a huge website build, you can absolutely check out and explore things like Squarespace or Shopify. 

I would have never thought I would be suggesting these platforms a year ago (just because they’re not usually great for SEO reasons). But they can do a beautiful job of solving this problem so quickly, and then you can roll out V2 and V3 down the road when you’re ready to make those improvements. But I think just getting businesses off the ground is so important right now. 

Add products for free on Google Shopping

This was such a neat thing that Google offered several weeks ago, and it’s doing great. It allows you to list products for free on Google Shopping, giving you that extra visibility right now. So if you’re an e-commerce brand, definitely check that out. 

Create maps showing delivery radiuses

Miriam had this great idea to create maps showing delivery radiuses, if that applies to you, so really giving someone visiting your site quick information about the areas that you serve. Sometimes when you see the ZIP codes, it’s a little overwhelming.

Routific

Then this was mentioned in a recent GatherUp webinar by Darren Shaw — Routific. So if you are doing local deliveries and they’re getting a little out of hand, Routific is a company that creates delivery routes to make them most efficient for you, which I thought was so cool.

I didn’t even know that existed. 

Double down on SEO and content marketing

I absolutely loved Mike King’s correction: Nathan Turner’s post on this — I think it was a couple weeks ago — where he explains why economic downturns favor the bold. It’s brilliant. There are incredible use cases around this, and we’ll link to that down below. 

Someone who has impressed the heck out of me the last couple of weeks is Kristin Tynski — I hope I’m saying that right — over at Fractl. She is going above and beyond to create content pieces that are not only genius but are link building opportunities, apply to various clients, and use traditional journalism tactics to gather offline, unique data to present online. I highly suggest you pay attention to what Kristin is up to. She is a genius. Kristin, we have to meet sometime. I’m a huge fan of you. Keep up the great work. 

Local & Google My Business

Now let’s dive into some GMB stuff. While this might not apply to you if you’re not a local business, I think there are still things to take away for larger companies that also either have a local listing or just to be aware of.

So here’s an example of Uptown China Restaurant, a local Chinese restaurant. 

Correct any GMB errors

Just correct any GMB errors. Make sure that the current data shown and information is correct and up to date.

Add special business hours to remove warning

Then this is probably my favorite hack of all, from Joy Hawkins, about this warning that we see on all businesses currently, because of the pandemic, that says hours or services may differ. You can get this removed simply by adding special business hours (towards the bottom of your business info). How incredible is that?

Highly suggest you add special business hours. Joy also mentioned in this webinar I keep referring to, that was so good, she suggests using the hours that you are available to take phone calls. Google has never had an issue with that, and it tends to make the most sense. So something to think about.

Respond to reviews

Now is also a great time to invest and be engaged with these reviews. I think it’s one of the most overlooked PR and marketing tactics available, where customers exploring your brand, exploring your location want to know that (a) you care and that (b) you’re going to engage with a customer and that you have a timely response. 

Confirm or reject any new Google My Business prompts

We’re going to continue to see new GMB things roll out (these changes rolled out right before posting this WBF). Senior hours available were added to various businesses. No-contact delivery. These things will always be changing. 

I’s important to frequently keep an eye on any new Google My Business options that you can activate or clarify (perhaps put a reminder in your calendar). Google loves that, and it also helps fill out your listing better.

Update menu and product listings

What a great time to take some good new photos. Update your menu items. I wish Uptown China Restaurant did this. They can add those things to make their GMB listing more robust and entice interested individuals.

Use Posts

Posts have always been really, really great for Google My Business listings because they give you a big photo. +They last for around 14 days. It’s very prevalent when you see it. 

Now, Google has also been offering COVID-19 posts!

There isn’t an option to add an image with the COVID-19 posts. It’s text only, but it lasts longer and it’s more prominent than a regular post. So it will show up higher in your Google My Business listing, and we’ve also seen it pop up in the organic area of SERPs. You have control over the messaging.

Use Product Posts

So a shout-out to Darren Shaw, who noticed this.

People are getting really savvy with product posts, which again it would show up in your Google My Business listing with a big photo and a description. What he’s seen people do is have a photo of a car with text on it that says “No-Touch Delivery” or different service options as the product.

Google is currently letting that slide. I don’t know if that will last forever. But it’s an interesting thing to explore if you really want that visibility (if someone is struggling with their business right now), and you can kind of get that to pop up on the SERPs. 

Enable text messaging

I’ve heard from so many SEOs and businesses that GMB text messaging has continued to go up and to the right during the pandemic, and it makes sense.

People want to quickly get information from businesses. You can create a welcome message. So I highly suggest exploring this if that’s available to you. 

Update images

Again, I think I’ve said this like three times, but update images. It’s a great time to do that, and it can really help make your stuff pop. 

Share these tips with businesses in need!

Lastly, don’t forget to share these tips with businesses.

Understand that there are a lot of people in need right now, and if there’s anything that we can do to help, by all means let’s make all of that stuff happen. The fact is that you’re not alone. So whether you’re doing this work on behalf of a client, or you yourself or family or friends are really struggling with a business right now, there are different support groups and options as far as financial support.

We’ve created a free PDF checklist of all this information that you can download and share with any marketers, clients, or businesses in need:

Download the free checklist

I know we at Moz are going to be putting everything we have into helping you and others during this time, and so I created a form at the bottom of this post where you can fill in some information and let us know if there are specific problems that we could help with. We’re in this together.

We want to help you all as much as we can. I will be taking that very seriously and spending lots of time on replying or creating material to help individuals struggling. So please fill that out. Also, feel free to leave comments and suggestions in the comments. I think some of the best, most valuable takeaways sometimes happen in the comments where you’re either clarifying something that I said or adding something really great. I would really appreciate that. Just want to get all the good information out there so that we can help everyone out. I really appreciate you taking the time to watch this edition of Whiteboard Friday, and I will see you all again soon. Thanks.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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