Ever followed someone Live-Tweeting at a conference? Worse, ever followed someone Live-Tweeting and actually been at the same conference? Twitter is a great vehicle to push out content, but the biggest mistake we see people making is simply re-hashing of previously available content. The Re-Tweet feature is a great way to let your followers know you think something is important, but always make sure to add your own little spin on the why! Recently our thoughts on Twitter engagement were confirmed when we added our own spin to a Live-Tweet. Instead of simply pushing out verbatim what speakers were saying our own Brandon Hess decided to doodle away and cover the main themes of each presentation in a creative way. We both weren’t sure if people would think it was stupid or not, but hey, why not. It was something different, something creative, and something more interesting than the simple Live-Tweet. Apparently this resonated with our Twitter audience because we were able to increase our Tweet Impressions by 30,000% (seriously, those 0’s are real) because several different influencers found this more interesting than the myriad of other mundane tweets coming out of MozCon. So let this be a reminder to stand out in the crowd, don’t just do what everyone else is doing, be weird, be noticed, get exposure!
I’m a fan of paddle boarding while my buddy can barely stand up on one. We are both the same age, males, similar household income & educations levels. If you were a travel site and showed a picture of paddle boarders you’d certainly peak my interest, but what about his? Understanding your audience is more important than ever but all too often the step of developing personas for your audience goes undone. Here a few quick things you can do without going too in-depth.
- Write down a list of all the different types of customers who engage with you
- Highlight the ones that drive the largest value to your business
- Jot down the needs & wants of those audiences, not just of your company, but in life
- Write a positioning sentence for each audience that you feel they’d be receptive to
- Review the differences between them all
This short exercise can provide so much insight into how you ‘should’ be marketing to your audiences. The next step is to understand how to reach your audiences with the messaging you develop and you’ll be surprised at how this might differ across personas as well. Take the time to do some targeting and your strategy will thank you (and so will your CEO).
Using online video has become the rage over the last few years whether you’re looking to add some excitement to your homepage, social or search campaigns.
Yet, one of the biggest hurdles in creating video content compared to image and text content is the heavy-lifting required to either create or purchase high-quality video content.
Pros: Mazwai offers a long list of short-duration high-definition stock videos ranging from aerial landscape to city life which are organized in a stunning and modern layout. The majority of videos Mazwai offers have a modern and non-typical cinematography compared to other more typical, corporate stock video catalogs.
Cons: Currently, Mazwai lacks a search component making it difficult to find videos by keyword.
Pros: A large catalog of high quality stock video that hits on nearly every keyword and theme possible.
Cons: Their search results intermingle paid Shutterstock videos and can be confusing when trying to find free stock videos using their search.
Pros: These videos are specifically designed to act as background videos for your homepage or landing page and while they can be used for other purposes, Coverr is a great resource if you’re looking for a high quality background video.
Cons: With new videos every week, it can be a bit difficult to find specific video themes due to a lack of search function.
What are you favorite free stock video sites?
As more marketers begin to rely on video for their content while struggling to increase their content budgets, there seems to be wave of free stock video sites trying to fill that gap.
What are some of your favorite stock video sites or resources? Do you rely more on in-house video creation or have you found a better way to make quick video content on the fly?
As anyone fluent in Google AdWords knows, Quality Score is the great and powerful Wizard behind the curtain.
Google AdWords has added seven new Quality Score related data columns for reporting, including:
- Expected CTR
- Ad Relevance
- Landing Page Experience
- Quality Score (Historic)
- Landing Page Experience (Historic)
- Ad Relevance (Historic)
- Expected Click Through Rate (Historic)
Until this week, there were a number of ways to ascertain if a change to keywords, ads or a landing page impacted your Quality Score directly. However, these were 3rd party workarounds and prone to error.
How does this help my AdWords campaigns?
As stated by Google in their official announcement, this data allows marketers to understand how changes to ad relevance, landing page experience and keyword optimization directly impacts Quality Score.
Being able to tie account changes directly to changes in Quality Score will allow a great efficiency in split testing and vastly increase data-supported best practices across the board.
While historical data for Quality Score will only be available from January 22nd, 2016 forward, this gives marketers a chance to begin to tie specific optimization efforts to AdWords Quality Score and understand at a deeper level what elements (ad relevance, landing page experience, etc) of Quality Score are holding back select keywords.
Until now, trial and error had been the main tactic in improving Quality Score and while the relationship between keywords, ad relevance and landing page experience isn’t a new theory, the ability to view historic impact from these optimizations has been a gaping hole in the process.
You can learn more about this update below:
Let us know how you’ve improved your AdWords campaigns based on this new update in the comments below.
The smart people at Unbounce recently released their 2017 Conversion Benchmark Reports detailing an in-depth breakdown of lead generation benchmarks per industry.
While it’s an amazing benchmark report to download (and you all should), one of the biggest items the document covers is the answer to a question most marketers get asked frequently.
What is the average landing page conversion rate for our industry?
Median Landing Page Conversion Rates by Industry
- Business Consulting 5.0%
- Business Services 3.4%
- Credit & Lending 5.5%
- Health 2.8%
- Higher Education 2.6%
- Home Improvement 3.3%
- Legal 3.2%
- Real Estate 2.8%
- Travel 5.0%
- Vocational Studies & Job Training 6.0%
How Does Your Landing Page Stack Up?
Are you meeting these benchmarks? They may seem like small numbers, but we’ve seen worse. There are a few reasons landing pages aren’t quite as effective as they should be. Take a moment to think about if these issues are affecting your landing pages and take steps to correct them:
- Asking for too much personal information : Do you ‘really’ need to collect gender or their affinity for Batman vs. Superman
- Lost Call To Action (CTA) : Are you directing people to a specific action? If you look at the page for 3-seconds can you easily spot the directive?
- Missing information or lack of relevancy : Consider ‘how’ visitors are arriving on this page. Are you teasing them with an offer or information that isn’t present on the page? Don’t laugh, this happens ALL THE TIME!
Recently a friend asked me to help him evaluate some SEO agencies much larger than we are (so we weren’t upset…). As we went through the process a theme developed over and over again. Nearly every agency focused on Technical SEO at the outset and then a ‘pass the buck’ approach with ongoing optimization. So I figured it was important to jot down some things you should consider when evaluating SEO agencies so that you don’t get caught in their margin game.
A Solely Technical SEO Focus
Not to discount this tactic, as it is incredibly important, but it is not the sole thing you should focus on. A solid technical foundation helps your site get found and ensures that your content is able to be read by the search engines. But that content it is reading must still be well-written and supporting a keyword theme. Therefore, having perfect technical SEO on a site won’t get you far if you sacrificed content. Make sure your agency is focused on a holistic content strategy as opposed to just fixing the technical stuff! Ask them how they approach keyword research, do they have content writers on staff, do they conduct voice exercises, etc.
Here’s a Report For You
Ongoing SEO requires vigilance to searcher behavior, search engine algorithm changes, content-writing, and back-links. There’s plenty more, but the main thing you do not see listed there is “reporting”. Is reporting important? Absolutely. BUT, you can go buy one of the tools yourself. We use Moz, SEMRush, Screaming Frog, among others. Go download or use them. They are awesome. OK, now that we gave you our secret sauce, how’s your SEO? Hiring an agency is more than the tools they bring to the table. It is the experience and strategy that they bring. Ask your agency what a typical monthly engagement looks like. How often are they re-evaluating keywords, do they have a strategy for algorithm pivots, how often are they writing or suggesting articles, and how many websites do they typically go after for back links?
What Does it all Mean?
A solid >90% of agencies out there push as much work as possible upon lower cost resources in order to increase margins. Everyone does it, even at the grocery store. The issue in the agency world is that often this results in a lack of strategy to the client. Our advice, constantly challenge your agency on new ideas, industry news, keyword suggestions. Don’t just accept a monthly report of numbers, but request an action plan of recommendations and how they are keeping you on the forefront of the SEO world!
Website navigation gets a lot of attention when it comes to usability and SEO.
- Is it intuitive?
- Is it responsive?
- Is it crawlable?
- Are your breadcrumbs optimized?
If my own experience with hundreds of websites is any indication, that fourth one likely stands out for some of you.
Do Breadcrumbs impact SEO?
Yes. As with most on-page content, when breadcrumbs are properly optimized they can improve the overall SEO health and usability of your site in a few ways:
- Breadcrumbs influence triggering site hierarchy in your search results
- Improves a Search Engine’s ability of crawl your site
- Improves a Search Engine’s ability to attribute links more efficiently based on site hierarchy
- Improves and supplements the usability of your complex navigation
How do I optimize my Breadcrumbs for SEO?
- Ensure that your breadcrumbs are accurately displaying across your site with an accurate category hierarchy
- Add structured markup to your breadcrumbs using the BreadcrumbList schema
- Follow Google’s guidelines on Breadcrumb optimization.
Matt Cutts also provided some insight into why, if you already have Breadcrumbs on your site, why it may not be showing in search results:
Now that winter is seemingly on the retreat, we’re gearing up to start making a few stops on the Conference tour this year to stay ahead of trends, speak, meet, greet and hear from incredibly talented individuals in the space
Next Wednesday, we will be kicking the season off by attending the 2017 NowWhat Conference April 26-27th. (http://2017.nowwhatconference.com/).
Let us know if you’ll be attending as we’d love to meet.
This week I drove across the country visiting our offices and taking in the good ole US of A. Driving that long and that far in between meetings and other obligations meant I really had to know when and where I would be. Before I started the journey I planned out where I would stop for the night as well as rough estimates as to where I’d need gas. Excessive? Maybe, but I never ran out of gas, never went starving, and had a warm bed every night. This reminded me about how important having a plan is. How do you know where to go if you don’t know where you’re going?
Before you begin any digital marketing campaign it is imperative that you develop a plan, such as:
- Who are we targeting?
- How do we target them?
- What do we say to them?
- Where do we send them?
- What is their goal?
- How do we track them?
If you do not have the answers to all of those questions then you ARE NOT ready to launch your campaign. More importantly, don’t look at these within a vacuum. The question that is not listed above is “How does this campaign fit in with our overall strategy?” That question is so important but is rarely asked. If you do not stop and ask yourself these questions you will have gaps within your digital marketing and you’re missing out on opportunities. Do us a solid… ask these questions each and every time you launch a new campaign. You’ll be better off for it and you won’t have to pull off to the side of the road on your tip to more conversions!
When should I use a 301 redirect, a 302 redirect or a canonical tag? Don’t they do the exact same thing?
If you work even remotely close to SEO, you’ve heard these questions in one form or the other multiple times.
- Are 301s, 302s and canonicals the same thing? No.
- When should I use 301 redirects? Whenever you’re permanently moving content to a new domain or URL, have multiple paths to the same page or when merging two sites together.
- When should I use 302 redirects? Rarely. Commonly used whenever an unexpected or limited time event requires redirecting traffic from a URL to a new URL temporarily.
- When should I use Canonical tags? When you have duplicate pages and want to tell a search bot what page you’d prefer they display in results.
While I could spend time reinventing the wheel, Moz put together a fantastic whiteboard post titled “Aren’t 301s, 302s, and Canonicals All Basically the Same?” that covers the long-form answers to this question.