Harry, yer a [reporting] wizard; Monday’s daily brief

Posted by on Oct 25, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Harry, yer a [reporting] wizard; Monday’s daily brief

Harry, yer a [reporting] wizard; Monday’s daily brief

Search Engine Land’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s search marketer. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.

Good morning, Marketers, and Google Ads (the artist formerly known as AdWords) turned 21 this weekend.

Did you know that Google Ads started as a service where marketers paid a monthly fee and Google would set up and manage the ad campaigns? Quite ironic considering many advertisers today are lamenting the loss of control and data as Google Ads invests in more automation and is managing many elements of ad campaigns itself. The company offered a self-service option for small businesses “who wanted to manage their own campaigns,” which is the foundation of our current Ads platform today. 

What was AdWords like when it first ramped up? “The AdWords program provides low-cost exposure on one of the industry’s leading search engines with CPMs from $15 or 1.5 cents an impression, $12 or 1.2 cents an impression, and $10 or 1 cent an impression, for the top, middle, and bottom ad unit positions, respectively,” stated the announcement.

Not only that but, “Google’s quick-loading AdWords text ads appear to the right of the Google search results and are highlighted as sponsored links, clearly separate from the search results.” It seems a lot has changed with Google’s ads product since inception, and yet we’re almost coming full circle in many ways too. 

Carolyn Lyden,
Director of Search Content

How to solve the marketing reporting conundrum without being a magician

In a recent survey shared at SMX Report, C-Suite executives said sales and leads are top performance indicators for marketing teams. ​​If sales and leads are what our leadership teams, whether internally or externally, care most about, what does this mean for PPC marketers? 

Such preferences can lead to a level of expectation that marketers are going to create a magic sales faucet, a fountain of fortune, or that there’s a secret Google leads button hidden in our toolbox somewhere. 

And hey, PPC marketers can help make some pretty magical things happen, but we’re definitely not magicians, at least not in the Gandalf the Grey or Albus Dumbledore kind of way. In this how-to, SMX speaker and Aimclear’s VP of Growth, Amanda Farley deep-dives into the steps to get reporting and measurement right for your audience.

Read more here.

Navigating Google’s title changes: The rollout, what’s happening now and what you can do about it

In August, Google introduced a new system for generating title links (the title of a search result in Google Search). “This is because we think our new system is producing titles that work better for documents overall, to describe what they are about, regardless of the particular query,” the company explained.

However, during the new system’s initial rollout, SEOs provided example after example after example of titles that not only failed to describe what the page was about, but may also confuse users and deter them from clicking through. Fortunately, the situation has since improved, but placing blind faith in Google’s new system can mean that you’re ceding control over a crucial aspect of your content, which could ultimately affect your business. Below, you’ll find a synopsis of how Google’s title changes have evolved, how you can verify whether your titles have been changed and what you can do to regain control over them.

In this in-depth analysis, editor George Nguyen covers what’s changed, what to do if you suspect Google is changing your titles, what to do if you dislike the changes Google is making, and what these changes mean for the future.

Read more here.

How to fix the SEO issues that keep you from achieving your goals

At this year’s SMX Report, JR Oakes, Senior Director of Technical SEO at Locomotive, provided an overview of SEO Issues that hold us back from achieving our goals. He took a holistic look at resources, communication and mental constructs around SEO that often hinder progress. Oftentimes we look for the quick fixes that drive major ranking improvements. These still exist, but the relationships involved with connecting us to clients, and the website to users are where the most sustained value can be found.

In this article, Oakes goes through the 8 ways that SEO teams can break through major issues and reach their KPIs and achieve their goals:

Companies need the team buy-in and resources to succeed with SEO.SEO teams should focus on clarity of communication and efficient prioritization.The key areas to consider in SEO strategies are Links, Content (page satisfaction), Experience, and Relevance.GIGO is a real thing. Taking time to go slow with accurate XML sitemaps, custom metrics, user feedback mechanisms, etc can make your life easier and give you data to inform growth.Spend some time watching user sessions. You will thank me.Work hard to ensure your pages solve a problem or provide the right answer.Look at how your page’s content aligns with user searches provided by Google. Write to support and build your site’s subject matter expertise. Credibility is key.

Read more here.

Jobs: On the hunt for something new? Check out the latest jobs in search marketing

Marketing Automation Strategist @ The Keller Group (Greater Phoenix Area, remote)

Salary: $75k-$90k/yrStrategize & build multi-channel campaigns across email, social, web and paid mediaPresent innovative digital strategies to peers, potential clients and existing clients

Head of Growth and Marketing @ Insight Global (California, U.S., remote)

Salary: $130k-$150k/yrLead customer acquisition initiatives by strategizing and executing growth marketing campaigns via paid, organic, social and search ads.Analyze and optimize campaign performance across major platforms like Twitter, Linkedin, Blog, Google Search, etc.

Ecommerce Associate Director @ Havas Media Group (London, England, UK)

Salary: £50k-£60k/yrSupport our existing and future Clients with Ecommerce consultancy services – concentrating (albeit not exclusively) on new product development, roadmap definition, experience management and support in the creation of business casesHave in depth experience of eCommerce tactics and how to influence the physical and digital journeys.

Content Marketing Manager @ GoHealth (Texas, U.S.)

Salary: $85k-$90k/yrDevelop a master content plan that meets lead generation and strategic brand goals; translate this plan into an editorial calendar and manage the workflow to executeCreate short-form and mid-length direct response content for lead generation including native articles, landing page copy, and paid social advertisements

Want a chance to include your job listing in the Search Engine Land newsletter? Send along the details here. 

What We’re Reading: What does “shoppable” content mean for the upcoming holiday season?

We’ve mentioned it a thousand times, probably, but the pandemic has accelerated e-commerce and online retail. It’s a fact of life that the trends of COVID shopping have just become a way of life now. People expect to find what they need online (whether they plan to have it delivered or pick it up on location), and that reality coupled with advances in AI and VR technology means retailers are looking to “shoppable content” to boost their online sales this holiday season.

How are platforms doing it? Mike Boland covers the top 3 for StreetFight here.

Pinterest. “Pinterest recently rolled out the ability for merchants to automatically create videos from the products they’ve already displayed on their accounts. This creates a slideshow that taps into the demand around videos and stories-based formats in social feeds. The videos also link directly to merchant check-out pages.” Along with this Pinterest Creators can tag brands in their pins which is a useful addition for affiliate and influencer marketers.TikTok. TikTok is continuing to expand their shopping options, ads, and integrations. One example is TikTok Shopping, which “lets Shopify merchants that have a TikTok For Business account add a ‘Shopping’ tab to their TikTok profiles. That in turn lets them sync product catalogs and create mini storefronts on TikTok. So the integrations continue to expand in several directions,” said Boland.YouTube. “YouTube just this week announced that it’s expanding its program for live shopping. This gives merchants a QVC-like format to stream product demonstrations. It’s rolling the whole thing out through a week-long event called ‘YouTube Holiday Stream and Shop’ starting November 15.” The move elevates YouTube to a shopping destination.

Shopping doesn’t just happen on e-commerce sites anymore. Social and streaming platforms are becoming retail destinations (especially as we near the holiday season) with shoppable content. Retailers will have to take advantage of the integrations to ensure they’re found across channels this shopping season. 

The post Harry, yer a [reporting] wizard; Monday’s daily brief appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Press Release: Bounteous Announces Activate for Adobe Campaign Ensuring Platform Implementation Expediency, Compliance, and Time to Value

Posted by on Oct 25, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Press Release: Bounteous Announces Activate for Adobe Campaign Ensuring Platform Implementation Expediency, Compliance, and Time to Value

Bounteous announces the release of its Activate for Adobe Campaign offering a digital marketing foundation kit conceived of and built specifically for Adobe Campaign Classic.

Google Search Console Search Analytics API gains Discover, News and Regex

Posted by on Oct 25, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google Search Console Search Analytics API gains Discover, News and Regex

Google has added new support, data and features to the Google Search Console Search Analytics API. The API now supports showing data for Google Discover, Google News and also supports Regex commands – all of which was supported already in the web interface.

Google announced this morning this support has been added to the Search Analytics API after many requests from the industry to add it.

API updates. Google said “the searchType parameter, which previously enabled you to filter API calls by news, video, image, and web, will be renamed to type and will support two additional parameters: discover (for Google Discover) and googleNews (for Google News).” Google is still supporting the old name searchType for the time being, so it is backwards compatible.

Also, Google explained that “some metrics and dimensions are compatible only with some data types; for example, queries and positions are not supported by the Google Discover report.” This would also apply with the API and the API would thus return an error message.

Regex API support. Google has adde Regex support to the API, specifically to the query and page dimensions. Two new operators have been added to the existing match operations, they are includingRegex and excludingRegex.

More documentation. You can learn more about the API in the help documents over here.

Already in web interface. Like we said above, these features have been in the web interface for a while. Google has now brought support to the API. Google News performance reports were added in January 2021, Google Discover performance reports gained full data in February 2021 and Regex support was added in April 2021.

Why we care. Many of you use APIs to help automate and streamline your day-to-day SEO practices and reporting. Having access to these additional data points and adding in Regex controls, should make these reporting tasks easier and more automated.

This should save you time to do other SEO related tasks, tasks you might have a harder time automating.

The post Google Search Console Search Analytics API gains Discover, News and Regex appeared first on Search Engine Land.

20211025 SEL Brief

Posted by on Oct 25, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 20211025 SEL Brief

The post 20211025 SEL Brief appeared first on Search Engine Land.

4 ways marketers can turn innovation into action

Posted by on Oct 25, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on 4 ways marketers can turn innovation into action

4 ways marketers can turn innovation into action

Consumer demands are ever-evolving. It’s what makes the role of the marketer equal parts exciting and frustrating. As the world has changed rapidly in the last 18 months, so has the game for B2C marketers – making the concept of engaging consumers across the entire customer lifecycle in a unified approach essential. This article will look at four key tenets to delivering just that.

The value exchange economy 

Acquiring new customers, and gathering the personal and preference data required to deliver better offers, content and experiences are significantly more effective when you’re able to articulate the value you’re offering in return – this is the value exchange economy. 

This can be something immediate and tangible — a prize, discount or personalized recommendation — or slightly more long-term, where you ask about specific interests and needs in order to deliver bespoke news, tailored advice or exclusive access and so on. 

Marketers can deliver this through interactive experiences that ask pertinent questions and incorporate reward mechanics that give consumers a genuine reason to engage and submit their data. 

Real-time engagement 

Digitally savvy consumers who have long demanded next-day shipping, live-tracking of their brunch and dates at the swipe of a finger expect real-time engagement.

Consumers interact with a brand on multiple channels, oftentimes unpredictably. The way to engage with these consumers is through real-time, hyper-personalized experiences powered by machine learning. 

That means providing the right offer, on the right channel, at the right time, a strategy which, according to Gartner, is 10x more effective than traditional outbound campaigns.

Unified loyalty 

A loyalty program shouldn’t be a standalone, isolated tactic that sits siloed from the rest of your marketing strategy.

An effective loyalty program must be connected to an omnichannel engagement system, at the heart of your marketing function. This empowers you to talk to customers and prospects differently and gives you the tools to stand out from competitors, grow profitability and create long-lasting, more meaningful relationships. 

To the customer, this should appear seamless, but to be done effectively, SMS, mobile wallet, website, email, POS and social media are all talking to one another and delivering a consistent experience. 

Learn more on omnichannel personalization

Truly knowing your customer

The ability to deliver all we have discussed above requires these strategies to be powered by up-to-date data, housed in a sound ecosystem. However, 27% of marketers believe data is the key obstacle to personalization. 

Changes in the buying journey from linear to multi-channel have required new methods to understand customer behavior. Adding AI and ML to your programs enables highly relevant, personalized, and contextually aware offers and empowers you to truly understand your customers’ behaviors, past histories, and what action they will take in the future.

Signals21- the award-winning virtual content series for marketers – is live. Whether you’re seeking that utopian single source of truth of the customer, how to use mobile across the entire customer lifecycle, or just want to be entertained and motivated by world-leading brands, we have a session for you. 

Register for Signals21

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Best Free Online Courses With Accredited Certificates

Posted by on Oct 25, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Best Free Online Courses With Accredited Certificates

Best Free Online Courses With Accredited Certificates

You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to get an accredited certification. Actually now is the perfect time to enroll in an online course and get certified, for free.

Reputable academies, institutions, and universities all over the world are offering great online courses with certificates to help people build employable skills. It’s a trend that started a couple of years ago and has shaken the online education industry.

The problem is that high-quality courses (with free certifications) are hard to find.

If you search Google for “free online courses with certificates”, you’ll get an endless list of courses but if you carefully examine the results, you’ll see that the courses are indeed free but you have to pay to get the certification.

The good news is that we solved this problem. We did thorough research to find the best high-quality online courses that come with 100% free certificates from accredited organizations.

ALL online courses listed below are free to enroll and they offer a certification without any additional charges.

The best part of all? You can build job-ready skills and start a career in the marketing or IT industry from the comfort of your home.

Top Free Certification Courses

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Computer Programming for Everyone
IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional
Facebook Certified Marketing Science Professional
Inbound Sales Certification
Introduction to Cloud Computing
IT Support Professional Certificate
Responsive Web Design Certification
Principles of Marketing

1. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Google Digital Marketing Certification

The first online course with a certificate worth considering is the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing offered by Google. It’s the official Google Digital Marketing Certification and is accredited by Open University and IAB Europe.

What you’ll learn

By enrolling in this digital marketing course you can build or improve your digital marketing skills and start a career in digital marketing.

In particular, this certificate course will teach you:

How to start an online business
How to increase the visibility of your business on the Web
How to get customers to your door (for local businesses)
How to get more customers through paid advertising methods
How to track and analyze your traffic
How to expand your business globally

Career Opportunities

This course is suitable for anyone wishing to break into digital marketing without a degree or prior working experience.

Once you get certified, you can work as a digital marketing specialist and earn an average salary of $50K per year.

How to get certified?

You have to complete all 26 modules (duration is approx 40 hours) and pass a final exam. The exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions.

When you successfully pass the exam you can get a printable certificate (pdf) and a link to share/add the certificate to your social media profiles.

In general, this is one of the best google certifications to pursue because it is globally recognized by employers and companies.

Despite the advantages offered by this course, it won’t make you an expert. This is a great course for beginners but to become a digital marketing expert and aim for a higher salary, you need to continue your learning journey with a more advanced digital marketing certificate.

Explore This Certificate

2. Computer Programming for Everyone
Computer Programming Free Certification

Having computer programming skills can almost guarantee a job in the IT industry. Good and experienced programmers earn more than $100K per year and are high in demand.

The Computer Programming free certification course by Future Learn is a great starting point if you want to become a professional coder.

It’s an online course offered by the University of Leads and the Institute of Coding. It’s also one of the courses recommended by the UK government for improving your digital skills.

What you’ll learn

By enrolling in this course, you’ll learn:

How computers and computer languages work
How programing languages can help you solve common problems
What kind of coding languages are available
How to write your first computer program

Career Opportunities

This is an introductory course to computer programming and alone cannot help you get a job as a computer programmer. This is suitable for those that know nothing about computers and programming languages and want a course to teach them the basics.

How to get certified?

To get your certification, you need to complete all lessons (approx 4 hours) and achieve an overall score of at least 70% on the final exam.

The issued certificate, among other information, will include the logos of the Universities offering this program. There is also the option to get a printable certificate.

Explore This Certificate

3. IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate
Data Analyst Free Course With Certification

If you want to build job-ready skills, this free online course and certificate offered by IBM is a great choice.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for Data Analysts will grow by 20% in the next few years. This means that if you start a career now as a junior data analyst, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to grow and advance your career.

What you’ll learn

This professional certificate includes 9 courses that will help you build the necessary skills to work as a Data Analyst. In particular, you’ll learn:

How to use spreadsheets in Excel for data analysis and data mining tasks
How to create data analysis dashboards in Excel and Cognos
How to use Python to query SQL databases
How to combine data from different sources into reports

Career Opportunities

According to Coursera, 25% of learners started a new career after completing this course.

Jobs you can apply for include:

Junior Data Analyst
Data Analyst
Data Science
Data Engineering

The salary for junior Data Analysts is between $40K – $50K per year and for experience Data Analysts between $70K – $80K per year.

How to get certified?

To get this professional certificate, you need to complete all 9 courses. The total duration is 3 months (3 hours per week).

Explore This Certificate

4. Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional
Microsoft Free Professional Certification

Another online certification worth considering is the Microsoft Advertising certified professional. The course is delivered by Microsoft Advertising Learning Lab and it’s free.

What you’ll learn

By taking this course you can build the skills needed to become a Microsoft Ads Specialist and run paid campaigns on the Microsoft network.

You’ll learn how to design, set up, and optimize Microsoft Ad campaigns.

The material covered in this course is similar to the Google Ads exams offered by Google Skillshop but adjusted to the Bing Ads platform.

Career Opportunities

This is a great certification if you want to make a career as a PPC expert. Bing Ads is not so popular as Google Ads but having a Bing Ads certification can be used as an additional qualification when applying for PPC-related jobs.

To increase your chances of getting hired, it is highly recommended to also pursue a Google Ads certification and pass the exams to become a certified Google Ads specialist.

How to get certified?

To get certified, you need to pass the final exam with a score of 80% or higher. To prepare for the exam, Microsoft offers a free study guide (230 pages PDF) that you can use to learn everything you need to know for the exam.

There is no time limit when taking the exam and Microsoft recommends using the study guide as a reference during the exam.

Upon completion of the exam, you can get a printable certificate (PDF) to add to your CV and share on your social media profiles.

Explore This Certificate

5. Facebook Certified Marketing Science Professional
Facebook Online Certifications

Many people are not aware of it but Facebook besides being the king of social networks it also has a learning academy, Facebook Blueprint, offering a range of accredited online certifications.

One of the most popular Facebook blueprint certifications is the Facebook Certified Marketing Science Professional.

What you’ll learn

Despite being a Facebook certification, the learning objectives of this course are not limited to Facebook. By enrolling in this certification course, you’ll learn how to use data, insights, and measurement to make informed marketing decisions.

The preparation guide includes 6 free courses covering topics related to data analysis, conversion rate marketing, and marketing strategy.

The most important learning outcomes are:

Define a Measurable Business Goal
Conduct Experiments to Measure Ad Effectiveness
Evaluate Advertising Effectiveness with Observational Methods
Develop a Hypothesis to Test
Optimize Campaigns with A/B Testing
Evaluate Your Marketing Strategy with Marketing Mix Models

Career Opportunities

There are several marketing jobs to apply to after completing this course. The most important are:

Media analyst
Data scientist
Data analyst
Quantitative researcher
Measurement FMP analyst

This certification is a great addition to your CV as Data Analytics jobs are being very popular these days and are high in demand.

How to get certified?

To get certified, you need to pass the final exam with a score of 700/1000 or higher. The exam duration is 105 minutes and it’s multiple-choice.

All Facebook exams can be taken online or at a Pearson Vue testing center and must be scheduled in advance. Exam results are made available via CertMetrics 24 hours after the exam.

Explore This Certificate

6. Inbound Sales Certification
Hubspot Academy Courses

One of the best free online courses to follow and start a career in sales is the Inbound Sales Certification offered by Hubspot Academy.

Hubspot is considered a leader for inbound marketing and this adds credibility to Hubspot Academy certifications.

What you’ll learn

Through this course, you can build new skills related to customer prospecting and inbound sales. It includes 5 lessons covering the following topics:

Inbound Sales Fundamentals
Prioritizing Active Buyers Over Passive Buyers
Earning the Attention of Today’s Empowered Buyer
Understanding the Buyer’s Context
Delivering Personalized Sales Presentations

Career Opportunities

This certification will help you get a job as a Sales Manager or Sales representative. If you’re good at sales or interpersonal communications, this course will help you close the gap between offline and online sales.

How to get certified?

To get this certification, you need to complete the course (total duration is 2.12 hours) and pass the final assessment.

Hubspot certifications are globally recognized and can be added to your LinkedIn profile or printed.

Explore This Certificate

7. Introduction to Cloud Computing
eDx Online Courses

Cloud computing is reshaping the IT industry both in terms of infrastructure but also for career opportunities. All major computer companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM are moving their systems to the cloud and this creates an increased demand for cloud administrators and professionals.

One of the free certifications worth considering if you want to pursue a career in cloud technologies is the Introduction to Cloud Computing offered by IBM and delivered by edx, a popular online learning platform.

What you’ll learn

This is a course for beginners that will teach you the basics of cloud computing including:

Service and deployment models
Cloud architecture
Cloud security
Cloud technologies

Career Opportunities

This certification alone cannot guarantee a job position but it’s the first step you can take if you want to start a career in cloud computing as an administrator, developer, analyst, or architect.

Edx offers a number of programs (including a bachelor’s degree and professional certificates) to continue your learning journey and become a cloud computing professional.

How to get certified?

To be awarded this digital certification, you need to complete the course. The total course duration is 3 weeks.

Explore This Certificate

8. IT Support Professional Certificate
Google IT Support Professional Certificate

One of the online certifications that can guarantee a job is the Google IT Support Professional Certificate.

According to Google, there are more than 300K jobs listed in the US looking for IT support professionals, and finding a job would not be difficult.

The course is designed and delivered by Google employees and offered through Coursera.

What you’ll learn

By completing this Google career training program, you’ll build the skills needed to

Succeed as an entry-level support specialist
Perform basic IT support tasks (including software installations, wireless network setup, etc)
Perform debugging and problem-solving for common IT support problems

Career Opportunities

There are many entry-level and intermediate jobs you can apply to including:

Help-desk specialist
System analyst
IT support technician
Junior DBA
IT user support specialist

This certification also prepares you for the CompTIA A+ certification, which is an industry-wide certification for IT professionals.

How to get certified?

To become an IT certified support professional, you need to complete the 5 courses that are part of this professional certificate. The total duration is about 6 months (allocating 10 hours per week).

All courses are 100% online so there is no need to attend a physical classroom or show up for training at a specific time.

Explore This Certificate

9.  Responsive Web Design Certification
Freecodecamp Free Courses and Certifications

If you want to get a job as a web designer or web developer, you’ll find a lot of value in the Responsive Web Design certification offered by Freecodecamp.

What you’ll learn

This certification includes 8 courses that will teach you:

How to use HTML and CSS to build sites
How to create usable and accessible web forms for data input
How to create mobile-friendly websites
How to make web pages responsive

Career Opportunities

Web development and design are some of the most popular work-from-home jobs. Web developers earn a good salary and they can work remotely without having to attend a regular 9-5 job.

Even if you’re not thinking of starting a career as a web developer, you can still take this course and build your web development skills. Having such skills is an additional advantage for many jobs including SEO managers, social media professionals, digital marketing freelancers, and many others.

How to get certified?

To get the certification, you need to finish all courses (about 300 hours) and complete 5 required projects.

Unlike other certifications, this is a highly practical and hands-on program. It takes a lot of effort to complete all lessons and projects but it will really help you build job-ready skills.

Freecodecamp certifications are worth it because during the process, you’ll gain valuable hands-on experience and build projects you can use to showcase your skills.

Explore This Certificate

10. Principles of Marketing
Saylor Academy Free Online Courses

A free certification you can take online if you want to start a career in Marketing is the Principles of Marketing offered by Saylor Academy.

Saylor Academy is a nonprofit institution offering free and open online courses since 2008.

What you’ll learn

Upon completion of this course, you’ll gain a good understanding of how marketing works. You’ll learn about:

The marketing process
How marketing works within an organization
How to use marketing to sell products or services
How to identify what consumers need
How to communicate with consumers
How to create products that solve consumer needs and wants

Career Opportunities

Despite the fact that online marketing is trending, having traditional marketing skills is still a requirement for many job positions.

Digital marketers can take this course to enrich their skills and complete beginners can take this course and start a career in marketing or sales.

This free course gives you college credits for continuing your studies in one of the participating universities and colleges.

How to get certified?

The total time to complete this course is 82 hours. To get certified, you need to pass a two-hour exam with a score of 70% or above. The exam consists of a series of multiple-choice questions.

Explore This Certificate


Despite what many people think, it is possible to get an accredited certification for free. Globally recognized companies such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM are offering online certification programs to help people build job-ready skills to meet the increased demand for certified and skilled IT professionals.

As you can see in the table below, there are free certifications covering different areas of IT like marketing, digital marketing, sales, cloud computing, software development, and IT support.


Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing

Computer Programming for Everyone
Future Learn

IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate

Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional
Digital Marketing

Facebook Certified Marketing Science Professional
Digital Marketing

Inbound Sales Certification

Introduction to Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing

IT Support Professional Certificate

Responsive Web Design Certification
Free Code Camp
Web Design

Principles of Marketing
Saylor Academy

Before enrolling in a course, make sure that you check the certification requirements and that you create a realistic learning plan to complete the course and get certified. Some courses may take a few hours to complete while others may need a time investment of up to 300 hours.

If you know of a free online course that is a good candidate for including in our best free online certificates programs list, let me know in the comments below!

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Google throttled AMP page speeds, created format to hamper header bidding, antitrust complaint claims

Posted by on Oct 25, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Google throttled AMP page speeds, created format to hamper header bidding, antitrust complaint claims

Newly unredacted complaints against Google allege that the search giant’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which the company claimed would “dramatically improve” mobile web performance when it launched in 2015, was in fact a scheme to coerce publishers into using the format in order to limit advertising dollars not spent on its own ad exchanges.

The complaint, which is led by the State of Texas on behalf of 12 mostly Republican states, goes so far as to allege Google even throttled the load speed of pages not using AMP in order to give a “nicer comparative boost” to AMP.

“Throttling non-AMP ads slows down header bidding, which Google then uses to denigrate header bidding for being too slow,” it reads. “‘Header Bidding can often increase latency of web pages and create security flaws when executed incorrectly,’ Google falsely claimed. Internally, Google employees grappled with ‘how to [publicly] justify [Google] making something slower,’” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit, which cites internal Google documents, was originally filed on Sept. 9 and was heavily redacted. However, a ruling by a Manhattan judge forced the release of the mostly unredacted version on Friday.

Google had not responded to Search Engine Land’s request for comment by the time this article was published.

Targeting header bidding. At the center of the issue is header bidding, an advertising practice where publishers can place their ad inventory on numerous ad exchanges at once. It’s a method meant to sidestep Google’s “waterfall” approach to bidding, which often favors Google’s ad servers. Publishers generally like header bidding because of its potential for higher revenue and transparency. 

However, header bidding requires publishers to place JavaScript on their pages to trigger the auction, and AMP pages do not support that JavaScript.

“To respond to the threat of header bidding, Google created Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMP”), a framework for developing mobile web pages, and made AMP essentially incompatible with JavaScript and header bidding. Google then used its power in the search market to effectively force publishers into using AMP,” the complaint alleges.

A damning indictment of AMP. The complaint is not wrong that publishers have held a love/hate relationship with AMP. The premise itself goes against publisher instincts. AMP requires us to create versions of our content on servers we do not own using templates we have limited control over. The tradeoff meant improved user experience on mobile and a greater likelihood of showing up in Top Stories, a placement that can yield significant traffic. Using AMP wreaks havoc on internal analytics, too,  since it makes it very difficult to track users migrating across a site’s AMP and non-AMP pages.

The complaint, however, claims the speed benefits are both exaggerated and manipulated due to Google’s alleged throttling of non-AMP pages.

“All those years, all those Googlers, devs, & SEOs defending AMP… And this is just the tip of the iceberg,” wrote SparkToro founder Rand Fishkin on Twitter, sparking a thread of outrage and disgust over the allegations.

Google earlier this year stopped requiring publishers to use AMP in order to score Top Story placements. But it also rolled out its Page Experience Update this year too, which it claimed made factors like site speed a ranking factor. The combination surely had publishers wary of ripping out their AMP architecture (it certainly does for us).

Why we care. First, these are allegations made in a highly politicized lawsuit, and without access to all of these internal documents it is difficult to tell whether some of these claims represent flawed interpretations. But Google’s lack of transparency has always worked against it in terms of public trust.

This lawsuit, one of four antitrust complaints now, highlights way more than possible manipulation around AMP. It also highlights alleged collusion with Facebook to give the social media giant unfair advantage in ad bidding. All of this supports a growing concern over the toxic relationship between Google, the only search platform that frankly matters for publishers, and the content creators and search marketers looking to compete fairly for placement on its platform. Whether it’s the favoring of Google properties in results, the ad-position takeover of the SERP, the rise of on-SERP elements that stifle clicks to actual content creators and the ham-fisted rewriting of publishers’ titles, creators are fed up.

“I’m so sick of Google. And I unfortunately make a decent part of my living working with it. That makes me sick to my stomach,” wrote SEO Sam Insalaco in response to Fiskin’s Tweet.

The AMP allegations also strike a nerve for publishers, whose businesses have seen incredible disruption in the past decade as advertising shifted to search and social and reach became so dependent on Google. AMP was heralded as a way to give publishers a chance to stand level with its competition. If these allegations are true it’s hard to believe publishers would ever trust Google again.

The post Google throttled AMP page speeds, created format to hamper header bidding, antitrust complaint claims appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Courses (Free & Paid)

Posted by on Oct 24, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Best Conversion Rate Optimization Courses (Free & Paid)

Traffic and marketing is one thing…but converting traffic is a whole different beast!

If you want to see success in converting your website or landing page visitors you should become an expert in conversion rate optimization.

Learning CRO is not easy and that’s why most marketers struggle with it. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are many online CRO courses that can help you learn how conversion rate optimization works without having to spend endless hours trying to figure it out on your own.

So we’ve scoured the internet and reviewed many courses to find the 10 best CRO courses to enroll in. The list includes both free and paid courses with conversion optimization certifications.

And by the end of this guide, you’ll know the #1 best conversion rate optimization course to enroll in.

Let’s get started with the benefits of conversion rate optimization courses.

Why enroll in a CRO Course?

Enrolling in a CRO course can be the exact step you need to improve your ability to convert visitors.

Whether you’re a business owner or looking to become a CRO specialist, enrolling in a course will give you the know-how to plan marketing campaigns, design landing pages, A/B test them, track results, and understand conversion rate marketing.

Many CRO courses give you a certification, which you can also use to verify your skillset to clients, employers, and enrich your CV.

The most important benefit of all is that as time goes on, the return on investment you gain from your chosen CRO course will pay dividends.

A potential increase in your landing page conversion rate can drive more sales and revenue to your business without increasing your traffic.

So without further ado, let’s go over the top CRO courses to look out for.

Top Conversion Optimization Courses

Conversion Optimization Training & Certification (CXL)
Certified Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist (Digital Marketer)
The Complete Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Udemy)
Advanced Website Conversion Rate Optimization (SimpliLearn)
Foundations of CRO (CXL)
Marketing: Conversion Rate Optimization Course (LinkedIn)
Advanced Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Market Motive)
CRO Course (Directive Institute)
CRO Unlocked (Neil Patel)
Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Fiverr)

1. Conversion Optimization Training & Certification (CXL)
Conversion Optimization Training & Certification (CXL)

Conversion Optimization Training & Certification is a 3 Months (10-15 hours per week) course.

It’s taught by Peep Laja, founder of CXL, and numerous other instructors like Joel Klettke and Talia Wolf.

This CRO course covers giant pillars of CRO, including:

Conversion research
Quantitative bits
A/B Testing

These topics are condensed into 5 “mini degrees” (individual courses within this one). Along with 1 final exam:

Conversion Research
Optimization Strategies
Conversion Optimization Program Management
Final Exam – CXL Certificate Exam

Why enroll in this course?

This course is the perfect fit for serious aspiring CRO experts.

The training is in-depth and also lengthy (3 months) so that the principles you learn become second nature when it comes time for you to apply your skill set.

You’ll also learn from multiple experts, which means you’ll have numerous explanations of CRO topics.

If you’re ready for a beginner to advanced level of CRO understanding, this is for you.

This course offers a 7-day refund policy if the course doesn’t match your expectations. You can contact their support to get this done.

Vendor: CXL
Cost: $899
Duration: 3 Months (10-15 hours per week)
Certification: Yes, conversion optimization certification.

Learn More About This Course

2. Certified Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist (Digital Marketer)
Certified Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist (Digital Marketer)

Inside this 7-hour course, Justin Rondeau (Director of Optimization at DigitalMarketer) teaches you powerful and practical elements of CRO.

You get 7 modules (complete-time 3-7 days) that explain the different steps of conversion rate optimization, which also includes:

An 8-step optimization cycle
More Optimization Tactics
Helpful quizzes that test your understanding

Here are the modules:

Course introduction
Introduction To Optimization
Identifying & Prioritizing Tests
Element Selection
Hypothesis Construction
Optimization Methods

Why enroll in this course?

Certified Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist proves ideal for all kinds of marketing professionals from digital marketing specialists, VPs, CEOs, Team leads, and agency owners.

This course takes a systematic approach to CRO that you can repeatedly apply in your campaigns.

On top of that, you learn from an instructor who runs conversion rate optimization and split tests at Digital Marketer all the time.

When finished, you gain a conversion rate optimization specialist certification.

With this course, Digital Marketer also gives you a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Vendor: Digital Marketer
Cost: $495
Duration: 7 hours
Certification: Yes, Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist Certification.

Learn More About This Course

3. The Complete Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Udemy)
The Complete Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Udemy)

This is a Udemy course created by Ruben De Boer, a conversion rate specialist with 10 years of industry experience. It’s geared more towards a beginner level of understanding when it comes to CRO.

It’s about 6.5 hours long and features 9 modules with 3 that focus solely on A/B testing.

Enrolling means, you get to learn sound topics like:

Conversion rate optimization research
Analyze websites
A/B testing
Tracking results
Creating hypotheses that will make your conversion campaigns effective

Why enroll in this course?

This course is priced well, and you gain resources and learning checklists that will help you understand the material even better.

If you’re looking to just dip your toes into CRO (and see if it’s right for you), I recommend you start with this one.

You can expect a certificate of completion, and Udemy offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Vendor: Udemy
Cost: $89.99
Duration: 6.5 hours
Certification: Yes, Certificate of Completion

Learn More About This Course

4. Advanced Website Conversion Rate Optimization (SimpliLearn)
Advanced Website Conversion Rate Optimization (SimpliLearn)

This 5-hour course takes you from A-Z when it comes to conversion rate optimization training.

It’s taught by Lilach Bullock, a Conversion Optimization Faculty Chair at Simplilearn, and she shares her extensive industry knowledge.

You’ll learn:

Conversion planning
Web analytics and measurement
Conversion with PPC
Product optimization
Heatmap analysis

Why enroll in this course?

If you’re looking to be a media buyer with platforms like Google ads (PPC), this is a great course to help you convert traffic that has clicked on your ads.

And you read that right — this course is absolutely FREE. You get self-paced content 90 days of complete access and a completion certificate when finished.

I see this course as a fantastic opportunity if you’re a beginner or intermediate with CRO. A certificate of completion is given to you when you finish the course.

Vendor: SimpliLearn
Cost: Free
Duration: 5 hours
Certification: Yes, Certificate of Completion

Learn More About This Course

5. Foundations of CRO (CXL)
Foundations of CRO (CXL)

This free course is a quick and to-the-point explanation of conversion rate optimization topics.

It’s taught by Peep Laja, the founder of CXL, and runs about 15 minutes long.

It’s packed with 6 short lessons, which include:

What your mindset should be going into your campaigns
What a CRO process looks like
Conversion hierarchies
The overall big picture of CRO

Why enroll in this course?

This will help you fill small knowledge gaps and give you actionable information you can apply right away.

If you have a busy schedule, this quick course is an ideal starting point.

Enrolling is also simple: When you go on the course page, simply enter your email, and you’ll be ready to begin the course.

Vendor: CXL
Cost: Free
Duration: 0.2 hours (15 minutes)
Certification: No

Learn More About This Course

6. Conversion Rate Optimization Course (LinkedIn)
Conversion Rate Optimization Course (LinkedIn)

In this LinkedIn course, GrowthHit CEO, Jim Huffman, walks you through how to use data, surveys, and testing to pinpoint your ideal audience better.

You will understand CRO practices (like hypothesized, tests, and prioritization) that will have a positive impact on business profits.

The course has 7 lessons, and the total duration is 1 hour. The modules include:

Overview of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Setting CRO Goals
Conducting CRO Research
Prioritizing Testing Opportunities
Setting Up Your Tests
Analyzing and Optimizing Experiments
Culture of Testing

Why enroll in this course?

This is an essential course for small business owners and practically anyone that wants nuanced conversion rate optimization training.

It’s priced well and isn’t too long, making it a smart investment in your CRO understanding.

LinkedIn Learning offers you a 30-day money-back guarantee on this course as well as any course you take on their platform.

Once you complete the course, a certificate of completion is awarded to you.

Vendor: LinkedIn Learning
Cost: $34.99
Duration: 1 hour
Certification: Certificate of Completion

Learn More About This Course

7. Advanced Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Market Motive)
Advanced Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Market Motive)

This course by Market Motive delves deep into conversion rate optimization principles, and strategies:

Conversion planning
Design concepts of conversion
Creating conversion structure
Web analytics
Optimizing your product
Conversion with PPC

You’ll be taught by Bryan Eisenberg, a CRO consultant and author of the book “Always Be Testing.”

This 9 section course is 25 hours long and features 5 projects, along with assessments and quizzes to gauge your understanding of the material.

Why enroll in this course?

If you’re in the category of people that want a deep understanding of CRO, this is for you. It’s also ideal if you’ve gone through any previous shorter CRO courses and want to better your knowledge base.

And there’s another plus:

By the end of this course, you gain an advanced CRO certification, and you’ll leave with techniques and knowledge that will help you convert website visitors all the better.

The CRO course offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Vendor: MarketMotive
Cost: $299
Duration: 25 hours
Certification: CRO Certification

Learn More About This Course

8. CRO Course (Directive Institute)
CRO Course (Directive Institute)

It contains CRO best practices, testing examples, and video tutorials to ease the learning curve.

There are also lessons on:

Optimizing your PPC efforts,
Improving landing page copy
A/B testing your pages
Creating high-converting CTAs

You can gain access to this course for $99 a month (7-day money-back guarantee), or you can get a 4-lesson free trial (no card required).

Why enroll in this course?

Directive Institute offers you 4 extensive lessons for FREE.

On top of that, This is a versatile course made for beginners, all the way to advanced-level CRO experts.

Although there isn’t a certification, you leave the course with profound CRO knowledge that will allow you to create great results for future clients, employers, and partners.

Vendor: Directive Institute
Cost: 4 Lessons Free / $99 per month
Duration: 25 hours
Certification: No

Learn More About This Course

9. CRO Unlocked (Neil Patel)
CRO Unlocked (Neil Patel)

Neil Patel is a household name in the world of marketing, and in CRO Unlocked, he gives you a 2-week course that will help boost your conversion rate strategy and results.

Module 1 and 2 both consist of 3 lessons where you understand things like:

Typical Customer’s Buying process
Consumer Preferences
Industry Benchmarks
Heatmap analysis
Landing pages
Multi-channel marketing

This course also comes with a CRO fact document that lets you see real-world examples of how big companies have increased profits using CRO best practices.

Why enroll in this course?

Although there’s no certificate at the end, I still see this as an extremely valuable add-on to any other CRO course you may be enrolled in (especially if you’re in the eCommerce space.)

Although this is a free course, I believe the information it offers rivals a paid course.

Vendor: Neil Patel
Cost: Free
Duration: 2 Weeks
Certification: No

Learn More About This Course

10. Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Fiverr)
Conversion Rate Optimization Course (Fiverr)

You learn from Rita Cidre, a marketing professional and conversion rate specialist with over 10 years of experience.

Here, you gain CRO lessons including:

Landing page optimization
Funnel building best practices
A/B testing
Managing KPI goals for the best campaign results

Why enroll in this course?

This course is ideal for any CRO experience level, and you even get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you so choose.

Many students have reviewed this course as 5-stars, making it a solid contender when it comes to CRO courses on the web.

In just 2.3 hours, Cidre teaches you CRO fundamentals that never change, along with practical strategies that leverage data to help you convert buyers.

There’s no certification — however, the CRO training is still in-depth, and Fiverr offers you a 30-day money-back guarantee for this course and all other courses on its platform.

Vendor: Fiverr Learn
Cost: $48
Duration: 2.3 hours
Certification: No

Learn More About This Course

How to Choose the Best CRO Course?

So I’ve covered several courses. Some for all experience levels, some more for beginners, and others that get more advanced.

So it begs the question: “Which CRO course should I choose?”

It really depends on the following:

What your goals are
The way you learn
Your budget
The time you have to invest in the course

If you’re looking to be a professional CRO specialist or even a marketing specialist, an advanced course will be more appropriate for you.

If you’re a business owner, you may fall into that group as well, depending on your industry. But you can also learn a lot from intermediate courses like the LinkedIn, Udemy, or Simplilearn CRO courses.

Maybe you’re just curious about CRO and would like to learn just the basics,  in that case, shorter courses like Neil Patel’s CRO unlock are ideal.

Best Paid Conversion Rate Optimization Course

The best conversion rate optimization course is the Conversion Optimization Training & Certification by the CXL Institute. It provides the most in-depth information, resources, and intelligent marketing mentors that make everything worth the investment.

The length of the training paired with your dedication to the material can completely transform your understanding of CRO and help you drive conversion results that matter.

Best Free Conversion Rate Optimization Course

The best free CRO course is CRO Unlocked by Neil Patel. The course provides tons of real-world applications to CRO, which lets you see how your skillset can change a business when you improve a site’s conversion rate by just 1%.

The ideal of 1% marginal gains makes whoever takes this course change the way they view conversion rates optimization.

CRO Unlocked is also very applicable as most of the modules are “best practices.”

Here is a summary table showing the cost of the most popular CRO courses available online.

CRO Certification

Conversion Optimization Training & Certification

Certified Conversion Rate Optimization Specialist
Digital Marketer

The Complete Conversion Rate Optimization Course

Advanced Website Conversion Rate Optimization

Foundations of CRO

Conversion Rate Optimization Course

Advanced Conversion Rate Optimization Course
Market Motive

CRO Course
Directive Institute

CRO Unlocked
Neil Patel

Conversion Rate Optimization Course

Any good conversion rate optimization course missing from the above list? Let me know in the comments below.

The post Best Conversion Rate Optimization Courses (Free & Paid) appeared first on

How to Build Your Digital Marketing Portfolio Fast

Posted by on Oct 22, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Build Your Digital Marketing Portfolio Fast

Having a portfolio of your previous work is crucial for professionals in any industry.

Digital marketing is no different. Freelancers and agencies alike need to keep a detailed history of their past projects as a way to prove their ability to others that may be interested in their services.

In this guide, I will show you how to quickly build an impressive digital marketing portfolio, even if you are early in your digital marketing career.

It includes the techniques we have used to build a portfolio full of successful projects for clients across the globe.

What is a Digital Marketing Portfolio?

A digital marketing portfolio is a collection of content that showcases examples of your work involving digital marketing and its associated channels such as search engines, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and social media networks.

The portfolio contains past projects that you’ve worked on, your qualifications and awards, testimonials and written reviews from past clients, and anything else that highlights your abilities as a digital marketer.

Why Do You Need a Digital Marketing Portfolio?

Digital marketing portfolios are a key component to winning new business as a digital freelancer or digital marketing agency.

When searching for a marketer to help them grow their business, most companies will review the marketing portfolios of potential partners.

You can spend as much time as you want to tell your prospects how good of a digital marketer you are, but at some point, you will need to provide the details into your competency.

With a portfolio, potential clients can review your past work to get a better understanding of what they can expect to achieve when working with you.

If you can show successful results in previous projects, potential clients reviewing your portfolio will be more confident in paying for your services.

It is always a good idea to continue building your digital marketing portfolio. An out-of-date portfolio can make it seem like your digital marketing agency is no longer active and looking for a business.
How to Create a Digital Marketing Portfolio

Here are the steps to creating a digital marketing portfolio:

Set up a website to host your online portfolio
Ask your clients to feature their work
Organize the stories for your portfolio
Use blogging and SEO to reach more clients
Offer free services or start with low prices
Build your portfolio with work from your own projects
Network with potential clients through social media and email
Get referrals from existing clients

1. Set up a website to host your online portfolio

The first step to creating a digital marketing portfolio is to set up the website you will use to organize and display your work to interested visitors.

If you already have a digital marketing blog or website, you should be ready to create a new web page dedicated to just your portfolio.

If you do not have a site, you will need to get a domain and choose a platform to host your site.

There are a wide variety of cost-effective platforms you can use to start a website for your digital marketing business.

If you want something that offers a high level of customization and the best options for creating content, you should build your site using WordPress.

Once you have the core parts of your site in place, you can begin creating a sample digital marketing portfolio page. You can add some placeholder images and stats to get a sense of what the page will look like as you begin to add your own client stories.

If you do not have any past projects to add, you can leave the page unpublished until you are able to grow your portfolio.

In addition to highlighting your previous work, the portfolio page should include links to other important areas of your site such as your homepage, services page, and the about page.

It is a common practice for the portfolio page to link to individual case studies where visitors can review greater detail for each project.

By listing out the more granular specifics for each project on a separate page, the portfolio stays clean and easy to navigate.

2. Ask your clients to feature their work

If you are building your first digital marketing portfolio, you may be wondering whether it is acceptable for you to display work and projects for other clients on your site.

As a general rule, it is a good practice to ask your clients before displaying details about them in your portfolio.

It’s a small gesture, but simply asking for the okay can help you avoid the client unexpectedly finding unwanted information on your website.

When you reach out to clients, it is also a good time to ask them to provide you with a written testimonial.

Testimonials and reviews are some of the most powerful ways to stand out to potential clients.

In their testimonial, your past customers can explain in their own words how you were able to help their business achieve its goals.

3. Organize the stories for your portfolio

As you start to build a record of successful client projects, you will need to decide how to best present your success through your digital marketing portfolio.

You want your portfolio to reflect the full range of services that you provide as this will give your visitors a clear picture of all that you are capable of doing.

After you have compiled the work that best represents your abilities, you can organize your projects in a way that tells a story.

With a compelling story, you will make your past work more interesting, allowing you to connect with customers on a deeper level.

When you’re describing your services, you should look for the unique selling point that makes you different from the other agencies out there.

I will give more detail into everything your portfolio page should include later in this guide.

4. Use blogging and SEO to reach more clients

Creating a digital marketing blog is an effective way to grow your client list and the number of projects you can add to your marketing portfolio.

With a blog, you can use your website to generate organic traffic from people searching for digital marketing keywords.

When they arrive on your site, you can provide them with useful marketing insights to help establish you and your agency as a digital marketing thought leader.

The benefits of blogging are not limited to your own site. You can reach more potential clients and bolster your image even more by writing guest blogs for other sites.

When guest blogging, you should look for reputable sites that are read by business executives and digital marketing professionals.

5. Offer free services or start with low prices

Early in your digital marketing career, landing clients, particularly larger clients, will be more challenging.

Until you have an extensive record of proven successes, most companies will not want to risk investing their money to work with you.

One way to overcome this aversion is to offer your services for free. Or, at a very low introductory price.

By offering free or low-cost services, the business can benefit from your marketing expertise without the financial risk.

If the project goes well, you can add the success story to your digital marketing portfolio as an example of your marketing skills.

6. Build your portfolio with work from your own projects

You can still start making a marketing portfolio even when you have limited client experience.

One of the best ways to begin accumulating material for your portfolio is to feature the work you have done on your own websites and projects.

You can use these to showcase your abilities and the potential services you could provide to clients.

In addition to your own sites, you can also create a social media profile to include in your portfolio to show potential clients your creative ability and how you engage with your target audience.

Going beyond digital marketing projects, you can get useful material by creating a passion project in which you run the marketing. For example, maybe you like cooking and would be interested in creating a cooking blog.

You could find related keywords and begin making posts to target those terms. Over time, when your blog begins to rank, you can include it as an example along with the metrics for the traffic you were able to generate.

7. Network with potential clients through social media and email

Social media is an important component to growing your client base as a digital marketer.

You’ll want to create content for the most important social channels to begin growing your online presence.

While many digital marketers create their own social profiles, not all actively engage with their audience by taking the time to comment and share content from others.

Look for companies that match your target customer profile on social media. Once you find some good potential clients, follow their social profiles and start engaging with their content on a regular basis.

It doesn’t take a lot. A few comments per week is enough to make a difference.

Eventually, your engagement will get you in front of the business and you will be better positioned to reach out to them with an offer for your services.

Engaging via email

Another great way to engage with potential clients is to use email.

Start a weekly newsletter where you share useful marketing tips and updates with changes throughout the industry.

Over time, you will build a connection with your email subscribers that are able to benefit from the guidance you provide.

When they need to hire a digital marketing professional, you will be the first one that comes to mind.
8. Get referrals from existing clients

Referrals are one of the best ways to get more clients that you can use to build your digital marketing experience (and portfolio).

When a previous client refers you to someone in their network, it serves as a powerful sign of social proof. Referral prospects trust the advice of their network and will be more likely to give your business serious consideration as a result.

If you provide your customers a great experience then some referrals are bound to happen on their own. However, if you want to maximize the number of referrals you get, you will need to make a conscious effort to encourage them from clients.

Simply asking if they know anyone who would be interested in your services is a good start. Most clients will be happy to help introduce you to new prospects and leads.

You can take this a step further by creating a pre-made template for clients to use. This can save them time and increase the chances they actually reach out to others in their network.
What to Include in Your Marketing Portfolio?

When creating a digital marketing portfolio, what you should include maybe a little less obvious than in other professions.

It isn’t as simple as a writer who can add their articles. Or a photographer that can add a curation of their images.

As a digital marketer, much of your work is strategy-driven, involving extensive planning and multiple creative elements per project.

Because of this, when designing a digital marketing portfolio, it is essential to not only provide a detailed description of the work performed but to also explain the purpose behind it and the results it ultimately experiences

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most important things you should include in your digital marketing portfolio:

A dedicated portfolio page on your website
Success stories
Customer reviews and testimonials
Client name and website
Call to action buttons
Awards and certifications

1. A dedicated portfolio page on your website

To start, your digital marketing portfolio should have its own standalone page on your website. Doing so gives it the attention it deserves and helps prevent visitors from being distracted by other parts of your site.

The page should be visually pleasing and easy to navigate. You don’t want to clutter the page with too many images or other unnecessary elements.

The goal is to concisely highlight the success that you’ve had while seamlessly pointing users to where they can go to get more details.

This means each portfolio item should include a description of the work performed along with clear links to the individual project that visitors can use to learn more

2. Success stories

The main part of your digital marketing portfolio is the stories of previous successes that you have generated for clients.

As your digital marketing business grows, you will get more and more projects to choose from.

It may be tempting to include as many projects as possible, however, it is a better idea to carefully select the projects you choose to show to potential customers.

Visitors have limited time to look through your portfolio so you increase the chances of them leaving your site impressed by curating your best work.

You should focus your efforts on showcasing the projects that best highlight your diverse skill set as a digital marketer.

Look through your past projects to find the ones that brought the most success. You can also showcase work where you overcame a more challenging situation.

For example, maybe you had to build a company’s digital marketing strategy from the ground up or had to work with a client in a hyper-competitive industry.

When you display your success stories, measurable data is critical to quantify the value you have provided to your previous clients.

This information is easily relatable to potential clients and it makes the impact of your marketing abilities clear.

3. Customer reviews and testimonials

Your words on your past success are nice but sometimes the words of your customers are more persuasive.

First-hand reviews and testimonials are very effective at conveying the value of your services to prospects.

You should make an effort to collect reviews from all your past clients after the completion of a successful engagement.

In the review, the client can describe the services performed, how they helped their business, and what it was like to work with you as a professional.

4. Client name and website

Each of your past clients has a unique business and set of needs when they hire you to provide digital marketing services.

It is important to include the name of their company along with a link back to their website.

This will allow all of your web visitors to easily visit the company’s site to learn more about the business and the context of your marketing services.

5. Call to action buttons

With all the attention given to prove your value to potential clients, you do not want to overlook the important step of directing your users to the action you want them to take.

You want your visitors to learn more about your business, but ultimately want to turn them into a prospect themselves.

You should include calls to action (CTAs) throughout the page that entice people to give you their contact information and reach out for more information.

These buttons can contain simple and direct text like “Contact Us” or “Sign Up Now”.

It can also be helpful to provide your contact information directly on the portfolio page. This way interested prospects can quickly get in touch to learn more about why you’re the best digital marketer for them.

6. Awards and certifications

If you or your business have any awards or certifications, you’ll want to showcase them somewhere in your digital marketing portfolio.

For example, you may have received Google Partner Status. Adding this badge to your portfolio page can help you position yourself as a digital marketing authority and boost credibility with your audience.

Digital Marketing Portfolio Examples

Here are a few good digital marketing portfolio examples:

Marketing Portfolio Example for a Digital Marketing Agency

Digital Marketing Portfolio Example

Web FX is a digital marketing agency that provides a range of SEO, PPC, social media, web design, email marketing services to clients across a variety of industries.

Their digital marketing portfolio features case studies detailing the work they performed for some of their most prominent clients.

Next to each client name, there are tags indicating the type of service performed. For instance, content marketing, PPC, local SEO, etc.

There are also stats highlighting the results of the project. For example, next to Maryland Sunrooms we can see that Web FX drove an increase of 670% in paid conversions.

Each case study has a CTA button you can follow to learn more about the project. The subsequent page provides context into the business and the project. There are also more stats and details into the exact nature of the work the agency undertook.

Further down the portfolio page, there are customer testimonials and quotes from past projects. At the bottom of the page, there is a simple contact form where interested prospects can reach out to get in touch with the agency.

Badges for Google Partner, Facebook Marketing Partner, Inc. 5000, and other reputable organizations are displayed on the site multiple times.

Overall, the page is easy to navigate and the case studies are arranged in a way to paint a holistic picture of the agency’s capabilities.

Example of a Portfolio for a Digital Marketing Consultant

Example of a Digital Marketing Portfolio Page

Ryan Stewart provides omnichannel digital marketing services for brands looking to maximize growth. His website offers a great example of a portfolio for a digital marketing consultant.

On the portfolio page, you can find a list of case studies highlighting Ryan’s previous successful digital marketing projects.

Next to each project, there are stats showing some of the results and clear CTA buttons directing users to review the case study in more detail.

When you click to learn more, you can see the background information for the company, Ryan’s plan for solving their problem, and how the plan was executed.

Further down the portfolio page, there are video testimonials from previous customers. This includes CEOs from various companies detailing how Ryan was able to help their business grow.

The page includes an “As see on” section to display badges from major companies like ahrefs, Forbes, and Inc., among others.

This digital marketing portfolio is another one that is easy to navigate. Everything is broken into clear sections and there are readily accessible links to the blog, homepage, and contact form.

Key Learnings

Digital marketing portfolios are key to showing your worth to potential clients. Prospects can review your portfolio to see the work you’ve performed for others and the exact results your efforts yielded.

By effectively showing your past success, you position yourself to win more business in the future.

It won’t happen overnight as building a strong digital marketing portfolio isn’t a one-time thing. But, it will come in time if you continue to consistently provide great service to your clients.

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Navigating Google’s title changes: The rollout, what’s happening now and what you can do about it

Posted by on Oct 22, 2021 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Navigating Google’s title changes: The rollout, what’s happening now and what you can do about it

Navigating Google’s title changes: The rollout, what’s happening now and what you can do about it

In August, Google introduced a new system for generating title links (the title of a search result in Google Search). “This is because we think our new system is producing titles that work better for documents overall, to describe what they are about, regardless of the particular query,” the company explained.

However, during the new system’s initial rollout, SEOs provided example after example after example of titles that not only failed to describe what the page was about, but may also confuse users and deter them from clicking through. Fortunately, the situation has since improved, but placing blind faith in Google’s new system can mean that you’re ceding control over a crucial aspect of your content, which could ultimately affect your business. Below, you’ll find a synopsis of how Google’s title changes have evolved, how you can verify whether your titles have been changed and what you can do to regain control over them.

Title changes: Then and now

A tale of two title changes. Google has been adjusting titles links for a long time. In 2014, the company explained that it might change a title to match the query (to a certain extent). This is an important detail because Google would later cite these historical practices as precedent for its new system — a justification that some SEOs found misleading as the magnitude and impact of the changes contrast sharply.

“[More recently,] I’m rarely seeing examples in the wild of noticeably worse rewrites for large-scale sites that I’ve done in-depth audits for,” said Brodie Clark, Australian SEO consultant, “This was definitely not the case initially (for about a month post-update), but Google seems to have since turned down the dial and made the update work as intended.” The other SEOs that spoke to Search Engine Land for this article shared similar experiences.

The first weeks of the title change rollout. When the new title change system rolled out in August, SEOs took to Twitter to share examples of poorly rewritten titles in the search results. “While many of the title overwrites made sense and were unlikely to negatively affect performance, there were many (too many) examples of title overwrites gone awry,” said Lily Ray, senior director, SEO and head of organic research at Amsive Digital.

SEOs feared that rewritten titles might be inaccurate or simply worse than what was in the title tag. While the title changes do not affect rankings, the title itself can influence clickthrough rates (CTR), thus also potentially impacting business KPIs such as revenue. Consequently, Google’s botched rollout of title changes fueled a movement among some SEOs who demanded a way to opt-out of the changes.

Do you want to see an opt-out option to be usable with the robots meta tag (and x-robots-tag) which tells search engines to not rewrite the page title (e.g. notitlechange or usetitle) for their SERPs, like max-snippet?

— Fili Wiese (@filiwiese) August 26, 2021

At one point, Danny Sullivan, a cofounder of Third Door Media (Search Engine Land’s parent company) and now public liaison for Google Search, also advocated for a similar feature: “As a site owner, I hate this. I want Google to use whatever page title I give it. Google argues back that it has to be creative, especially in cases where people have failed to provide titles. I’ve argued in the past that as a solution, Google should provide site owners with some type of ‘yes, I’m really really sure’ meta tag to declare that they absolutely want their page titles to be used.”

The nature of Google’s title rewrites. “It appeared that Google was truncating some article headlines in strange ways that changed the meaning of the title,” said Ray, “In other cases, it seemed that punctuation, like quotation marks or dashes, caused the title to break early. In even rarer and stranger situations, Google would choose anchor text or other article text to display as the title, which was occasionally taken out of context and was a poor representation of the full page content.”

“[Google] seemed to latch on to any type of header tag and really didn’t like the pipe character and overt branding,” said Colt Silva, SEO engineer at iPullRank. During our own analysis of Search Engine Land titles that changed in the search results, we also noticed that Google had a proclivity for removing the pipe character.

Google has since improved its system for rewriting titles (more on that below). To illustrate some of the types of title rewrites that we’re still seeing in the search results, Clark assembled a collection of examples from Search Engine Land article titles.

Examples of Search Engine Land titles that were changed by Google. Image: Brodie Clark.

Here is Clark’s analysis of some of the changes:

There were many instances of adding the site name with a hyphen when the site name wasn’t included in the <title> tag. And additional examples where the vertical bar with the site name was changed to a hyphen (a commonality among sites that I’m seeing). Interestingly, most SEOs still prefer the vertical bar post-update.Long title tags that result in truncation are simplified at key sections of the snippet. For example, #3 has the removal of a complete section of the title link, with the site name then added in with a hyphen.Complete replacement was happening rarely for Search Engine Land, but there was the odd instance where Google was replacing the title link, such as for #4. In this example, the H1 was taken to replace what had been written in the <title> tag. 

Google has since improved its title rewrites. After the initial blowback from the SEO community, Google’s Danny Sullivan published a post explaining why Google made the title changes. Several weeks after that, the company published more help documents on controlling titles and descriptions in Search. Just as important, Google’s explanations seem to be accompanied by improvements to its title change algorithm.

“Fortunately, many people submitted feedback and examples to Google, which caused them to acknowledge that they were still refining the title change,” Ray said, “Since then, it’s clear Google has made improvements to the title overwrites and even reverted many of the worst offenders back to their original <title> tag.”

“As soon as title-change-mania started, we saw one of our biggest e-commerce clients have 5% of their title tags changed without any real effect on their CTR,” Silva said, “Shortly before the Google announcement of rollbacks, we saw it drop to 2%. The client was concerned about a couple of high-traffic keywords, but those have since been rolled back and it’s no longer a point of discussion in any of our meetings.” 

What to do if you suspect Google is changing your titles

If you’ve noticed fluctuations in your CTRs, it may be worthwhile to investigate whether Google has changed your title link. SEOs and tool providers have come up with numerous ways to do this — we’ll discuss a few of them below.

“Essentially, you’ll need a way to start tracking and trending titles. You’ll need to collect your site’s popular search terms, and then gather the Google SERPs title and compare it to the actual title,” Silva said, adding, “This Search Engine Land article is a solid highlight of options to track title changes. In addition to that, there’s Thruuu, Keywords in Sheets solution, and this creative bookmarklet to inject titles into a SERP.”

Ahrefs users also have a new tool that enables them to export title changes for deeper analysis. Brodie Clark has provided instructions on how to get started with it and how he analyzes the data.

Want to analyse your title rewrites post-update? Using @Ahrefs is the fastest & most effective way:

1. Select 'top pages'
2. Turn 'SERP titles' on
3. Change date comparison
4. Export

Note: make sure to remove new + lost rankings in Sheets/do spot checks for manual updates.

— Brodie Clark (@brodieseo) October 2, 2021

The new tool is in the “Top pages” tab underneath the “Site Explorer 2.0” heading. Once you’re there, you’ll have to toggle the “SERP titles” button and change the date for comparison. Next, you can export the data for analysis.

“There are important aspects to keep in mind when interpreting the data to ensure you’re getting an accurate depiction,” Clark said, recommending that SEOs remove new URLs and URLs that are no longer ranking so that they’re only looking at titles that are eligible for comparison.

“Changing the grouping of the rows to the top pages based on est. traffic that has had a title link change, we can see trends for what has changed,” Clark said. At this point, you’ll have to perform a manual review. “When completing the manual review, you’ll also need to look out for titles that have manually changed for pages during the comparison period,” he added.

What you can do if you’re unhappy with how Google changed your titles

Some titles may still be unsatisfactory — it can be argued that the example in line #3 from the chart above is less informative than the original title, for example. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to directly change Google’s title links, but embracing a more holistic view of the issue can help you craft more informative titles and avoid bad rewrites from Google.

One thing you can do to bring a particularly inaccurate title change to Google’s attention is to submit feedback: “Google created a form where you can submit your feedback for incorrect or egregious titles,” Lily Ray pointed out, “Otherwise, pay attention to when the overwrites take place and what they look like; this could provide insight into potential issues Google may have with your titles and offer some inspiration about how to adjust them. Google also offers clear examples about the types of titles it intended to overwrite, so you can evaluate whether your titles fall into any of those categories.”

“If you’re seeing poor title links for your site, try to look at it from a non-biased point of view,” Clark recommended, “Are you keyword stuffing? Is the title accurate enough? Is the text using too much boilerplate content? All are important aspects to consider before making the judgment that Google has done something wrong. If you’re confident that they are at fault, try to make the on-page content more closely aligned with what you’re trying to achieve.”

“This is the perfect opportunity to start testing,” Silva said, recommending that SEOs “Follow the scientific method from hypothesis to conclusion and find why an algorithm has latched onto a specific block of text [to replace your title tag]” Since you’re likely in control of your title tags and on-page content, you can use these levers to see what works for your business, your audience and Google’s algorithms.

The more things change, the more they stay the same

For SEOs. We’re now accustomed to optimizing for rich results, featured snippets, knowledge panels and dozens of other non-traditional search features, but titles — as Google has now reminded us — are one of the oldest forms of on-SERP SEO. While its system for title links has improved, SEOs will have to double-check their titles moving forward to ensure that they follow Google’s guidance so users see what we intend for them to see, instead of an inferior title scraped from anchor text, for example. This will simply have to become part of your workflow and best practices will adapt to account for Google’s title changes.

For the industry. We rely on Google for traffic and Google relies on us for content to show users. When the title changes rolled out in August, Google said it wasn’t new, which was only half-true as the search engine has been known to replace titles, but had not done so to the extent that we’ve recently experienced. What’s more, it was showing title links that could have confused users and deterred them from visiting our pages. It cannot be said for certain that SEOs holding the company accountable for the flaws in its new system was what moved the needle and got Google to “revert many of the worst offenders back to their original <title> tag,” as Ray put it, but it is something that search marketers will likely have to continue to do in order to advocate for our businesses and the audiences they serve.

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