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Don’t Kill Your Audience’s Vibe with These Content Marketing Turn-Offs

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As of 2017, the overwhelming majority (89%) of B2B marketers use content marketing in some form.

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As you can imagine, how well marketers execute their campaigns varies quite a bit.

Or, as The Content Marketing Institute would put it, there are differences in “content marketing maturity levels.”

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As you can see, a fairly small number (28%) would be considered either mature or sophisticated.

The rest could definitely use some improvement, and there’s a lot of room for growth for many content marketers.

One thing I’ve noticed (especially when it comes to those new to the game) is that many brands engage in tactics that could be considered turn-offs.

This doesn’t necessarily mean being unethical or using black-hat techniques.

It means unknowingly using tactics that annoy site visitors and slowly but surely drive a wedge between the company and its audience.

At best, this results in diminished engagement, a lower follower count, etc.

At worst, it can lead to dwindling traffic numbers, fewer leads, decreased sales, and diluted brand equity.

The bottom line is you don’t want to kill your audience’s vibe with content marketing turn-offs.

Here are some common mistakes I see marketers make and how to avoid them.

Fatiguing your audience

The amount of content on the Internet is mind-boggling.

According to Marketing Profs, roughly two million blog posts are written every single day.

If you really want to get a sense of how much content is being created, check out Every Second on the Internet. It’ll really put this phenomenon into perspective.

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Here’s the thing.

Everyone is trying to outdo one another to claim their piece of the pie and get traffic.

What’s the result?

Many content marketers are grinding out content.

They have the mindset that if they slap up enough content, the leads will come.

They end up flooding their blogs with mediocre content and their social media followers’ feeds with sub-par updates.

This all results in one thing. Content fatigue.

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They fatigue their audiences as well as themselves in the process.

Don’t get me wrong. Fresh content is great.

Of course, you want to post new content consistently.

But I know I feel overwhelmed when someone I follow is constantly blasting me with new content just for the sake of having new content.

I don’t have the time to consume it all.

What I suggest is to chill out with the frequency of your content creation.

Don’t worry so much about constantly populating your blog and social media with new content.

Instead, focus on creating fewer but higher quality pieces.

Try to find the sweet spot between updating your content regularly and giving your audience time to catch their breath.

The sweet spot will differ depending on the nature of your brand and the platform you’re using. Finding it requires a certain level of experimentation on your end.

I also suggest checking out this post from Buffer for advice on this topic. It will give you a better idea of how much you should be posting and how much is too much.

Being too content-centric

I love this graphic that illustrates the difference between being content-centric and audience-centric:

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The difference between the two is to whom your content caters: yourself or your audience.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say your brand is passionate about obscure industry trends, so you frequently write about these topics.

That’s all well and good, but if those topics don’t resonate with your audience, you’re unlikely to gain any real traction.

It’s a fairly widespread issue, considering that creating more engaging content is a top priority for 73% of content creators.

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Over time, being too content-centric will minimize the impact of your campaign.

It hinders engagement, lowers readership, and gradually drives your audience away.

Make sure you’re on the audience-centric side of the spectrum— not the content-centric.

How do you accomplish this?

Two words: qualitative research.

If you’re unfamiliar with this term, let’s start with a definition:

Qualitative research is designed to reveal a target audience’s range of behavior and the perceptions that drive it with reference to specific topics or issues. It uses in-depth studies of small groups of people to guide and support the construction of hypotheses.

Rather than merely observing what’s happening, qualitative research seeks to understand why it’s happening.

This type of research enables you to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and be highly informed when creating your content.

I’m not going to launch into a long-winded discussion of every facet of qualitative research, but let me offer a few key strategies:

  • Ask your blog readers what topics they would like you to cover.
  • Use analytics to identify content trends. See which posts are getting more traffic and engagement.
  • See which keywords your visitors are searching before landing on your blog.
  • Pay close attention to readers’ comments. Look for direct feedback. Note the number of comments on a post—it’s usually indicative of interest level.
  • Check your social media analytics. See what types of content are getting the biggest response.

I also recommend checking out two specific posts on this topic:

Go Beyond Analytics to Give Customers the Content They Crave from The Content Marketing Institute.

Find Out What Your Audience Wants Using Qualitative Research from Positionly.

Being pretentious

Does your content consist of a steady stream of douchey buzzwords and complicated industry jargon only a handful of individuals will actually understand?

If so, this is guaranteed to turn off your audience.

Don’t get me wrong.

You want to come across as being intelligent, knowledgeable, and generally knowing your stuff.

But I feel there’s a fine line between being smart and being pretentious.

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It can be an issue especially for certain industries such as medical, legal, and finance, where complex subjects are routinely discussed.

If you’re not careful, you can easily launch into some needlessly complicated rant and lose the majority of your audience.

It makes you appear insincere, alienates your audience, and makes it much more difficult to get your point across.

To be totally honest, I have been guilty of it myself at certain times.

However, it’s something I seriously strive to avoid these days.

What’s the solution?

First, try to stick with a natural, conversational tone when it comes to your content.

I try to approach it as if I’m sitting down with someone face-to-face and having a conversation.

That seems to work for me.

Also, don’t try to jam-pack your content with big words just for the sake of using big words.

Always look for the most direct way to say something without using needless buzzwords and industry jargon.

I also recommend asking yourself the following questions when proofreading your content:

  • Will my average reader understand what I’m saying?
  • Am I writing in my own—unique—voice?
  • Can I simplify what I’ve written?
  • Did I use any overly annoying buzzwords?

Always going for the sale

Ever feel like a sleazy used car salesman when creating content?

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It’s not a good path to be on.

In fact, this is perhaps the number one way to turn off would-be readers and lose the readers you’ve currently got.

No one wants to be bombarded with “Buy Now!” messages when they’re trying to kick back and read some content.

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It’s distracting and detracts from the overall user experience.

Here’s the thing about content marketing.

It’s one of the more long-term inbound strategies.

It doesn’t typically involve going for an instant sale.

Content marketing is about building relationships, creating rapport with your audience, and establishing trust over time.

The mentality is that if you take the time to create awesome content that’s genuinely useful, you’ll be primed to make a larger volume of sales down the road.

Therefore, it’s important to have the right mindset when approaching your content.

Here are a few techniques that I recommend:

  • Avoid using interstitials on your website. Google actually started penalizing certain sites that use them.
  • Place your focus on educating rather than selling. Believe me. If you educate your audience and solve a problem for them, the sales will follow.
  • Don’t plug your business or include a CTA until the end of your content.
  • Work on building rapport and establishing trust before asking your audience to buy anything.

Conclusion

Content marketing has been proven to be less costly and get more leads than outbound marketing.

It also tends to yield higher conversion rates.

But using the wrong tactics and not understanding what your audience does and doesn’t want can marginalize the impact of your campaign.

You don’t want to kill their vibe unwittingly and create a rift between your brand and your audience.

But steering clear of the issues I mentioned above should prevent any missteps on your end and lead to deeper relationships and a more receptive audience.

What’s your number one content marketing turn-off?

Clickbank Commissions On Autopilot

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CB Passive Income by Patrick Chan is an automated system that is suppose to create passive income on auto pilot. It is most effective for newbies who has not made any income on the internet or have no experience in online marketing. Patrick claims that he will be doing all the work for you so you won’t have to worry.

So How Does It Work?

When you become a member in CB Passive Income, you will instantly have access to almost everything you need to start a business. CB Passive Income may seem like a very complicated system that involves a lot of work on your end. However, the only thing that you really need to do is give away a free quality report. That’s IT! After you have given away the free report, Patrick and his team will do the rest for you. The next step for you is to give away another free report to another person then rinse and repeat.

Why you should join CB Passive Income

As a member of CB Passive Income, you will have all of these or free!
1. A top notch web page that has been tested to convert at 50%
2. An attractive free offer that will entice visitors to subscribe.
3. Free hosting
4. Once visitors have opted in, Patrick’s auto responder will do all the work for you
5. Crafted emails and more free reports will be emailed out to this list with your unique code. This means all promotions will have your very own Clickbank ID in them. So when the people in this list buys a product, you get the commission.

You see, this system is actually quite simple. The reason why it is so powerful is because you are leveraging Patrick’s credibility and services. Of course you can just create a squeeze page, get some opt ins and promote products yourself. However, this is very time consuming and your subscriber list would not know who you are. On top of that, email marketing is one of the hardest method to sell anything. If you do not give enough value, don’t know how to craft compelling emails and know the exact timing on when to promote. Most likely, you will have more unsubscribes then sales.

Additional Training

CB Passive Income’s members will also have access to some unique traffic courses. Some of these training includes:


1. Youtube Marketing, which includes everything you need to know from ranking on Google to ranking on Youtube.
2. Learn how to combine Youtube videos to other social medias and get lots of traffic. This includes Facebook, Google +, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Squidoo and heaps more.
3. Solo ads
4. Facebook Marketing
5. Guest blogging
6. Press release
7. StumbleUpon
8. Forum Marketing and heaps more

There are also many banners and email swipes that members can use to help them promote their free report website.

In Summary: If you are a newbie who has not made any money or very little money on the internet. I highly recommend you give CB Passive Income a shot. There are four main reasons why you should join CB Passive Income.

1. The only job you need to do is give away a free report and get subscibers
2. You do not need to set up any other software or programs, everything is done for you.
3. Patrick has lots of quality free report to give away to this list, this will build trust between the 2
4. Patrick is a known “Guru” and people will more likely buy from him than you.

 

What’s Working in Ecommerce? 6 Experts Discuss Video, Targeting, Engagement, and Attribution

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With the first quarter of 2017 behind you, how’s your ecommerce business doing?

Do you have…

  • All the customers you could ever want?
  • Campaigns that convert like crazy?
  • An audience that loves nothing more than sharing your content with their followers?

Chances are, you didn’t shout a giant YES to all those questions, which means…

You need to watch this 3-minute video featuring 6 ecommerce experts sharing their insights on what’s working right now in ecommerce.

DigitalMarketer’s Director of Communications, Christine Haas, sat down to interview some of the brightest minds in the industry at Content & Commerce 2016 and the result was plenty of actionable information you can implement in your business today.

You’ll hear from…

If You Give Away Your Best Content, Your Business Will Grow by 290%

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If you give it away—offer it free—they will come.

This should perhaps be the quote to encompass the business model of freeconomics.

It’s a model that involves giving away your best content.

Believe it or not, more and more companies are integrating and seeing amazing results with freeconomics today.

At first thought, it may seem ludicrous.

I mean, how can you expect to turn a profit if you’re getting no direct return on your content?

You’re spending loads of time and exerting a ton of energy to earn a big fat $0.00.

It just doesn’t make sense.

But when you look at the big picture, giving away your best content—offering it free—makes total sense.

It’s a catalyst for business growth, and I’ve even had clients who’ve grown their businesses by as much as 290% by going this route.

Allow me to explain.

How content impacts a buyer’s decision

Seldom do today’s consumers whip out their credit cards and blindly make a purchase.

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No, most perform a considerable amount of research beforehand.

Besides researching the product itself, many consumers want to know more about the company behind the product.

They want to be sure that the company is legit, knows its stuff, and is trustworthy.

But how do they learn more about a company?

Besides simply reading the About page on the company’s website, consumers look at content.

In fact, Demand Gen Report found

47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.

The report also discovered that

51% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago.

This means that content has become an integral part of the buying process, and it’s now a trend that’s likely to continue growing.

By making your best content easily accessible to your audience, you can pull more leads into your sales funnel, which should eventually increase sales.

To gate, or not to gate?

This is a question posed by Vertical Response in an article discussing the benefits of giving away content.

By gate, they mean putting an obstacle in front of content (e.g., filling out a form to get it).

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In this article, they point out two specific instances when not gating your content is a smart business decision.

Point #1

Internationally acclaimed marketing and sales strategist David Meerman Scott says that according to his statistics,

a white paper or eBook will be downloaded 20 times and up to 50 times more without a gate in front of it.

And why wouldn’t it?

By removing the gate and making content accessible to everyone free, you’ll naturally generate more downloads.

Point #2

Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and one of the most respected names in content marketing.

Here’s a quote from Joe regarding gated and non-gated content:

Let’s say you received 1,000 leads via your white paper download. From David’s numbers, let’s even take a more conservative 10x more downloads if we remove the gate.

This would give us 10,000 downloads with no lead data. Of all those people, let’s say that 1 percent would share this with their audiences (with a VERY conservative audience of 100 people, although most blogs get much more).

With those numbers, the total possible content reach for gated content would be 2,000 people. Non-gated content would be 20,000 people.

When you break it down, you see that gating the content would result in 2,000 people viewing the content, and not gating it would result in 20,000.

By simply giving it away, you’re theoretically getting ten times the leads.

Just think of the impact on your sales figures!

In it for the long haul

Here’s the thing with freeconomics and giving away your content.

There’s no immediate payoff.

It’s intrinsically a long-term strategy that involves making sales and growing your business over the long run.

It’s about building rapport and trust now so that you can make sales at a later date.

You could liken it to growing a crop:

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When you plant a seed, you don’t expect to harvest the next day.

It takes time. But when you consider the bounty, it’s well worth it.

I realize this can be an issue for some people, considering the instant gratification culture we live in: we want results, and we want them now.

And I get it. It’s not easy spending an immense amount of time and energy working on something that will not give you visible results for six months or even a year.

But when you follow the right formula, the payoff is huge and makes way more sense than gating your content.

My own experience

Long ago, I realized the power that content marketing can yield.

That’s why I’ve made valuable content the cornerstone of my marketing.

More specifically, I’ve made it a point to give away the bulk of my content.

For instance, on Quick Sprout, I offer a sizable library of free content with Quick Sprout University:

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This is where my audience can find in-depth information on everything from SEO and link building to reputation management and conversion optimization.

It also provides content for all knowledge levels (e.g., beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

On NeilPatel.com, I have a free podcast called Marketing School, where listeners can learn everything they need to know about online marketing:

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Of course, I maintain blogs on these sites as well.

And you know what? It has completely paid off.

Although I didn’t get massive results right off the bat, giving away content has gotten me an insane number of sales.

Without it, I doubt I would be where I’m at today.

Another example

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk.

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He’s an incredibly successful entrepreneur, author, speaker, and a major influencer.

He also swears like a sailor and makes no apologies for it.

Gary basically built an empire from scratch largely by giving away loads of quality content (e.g., YouTube videos, blog posts, infographics, etc.).

He even wrote a post called, Why You Shouldn’t Charge for Your Best Work.

Here’s a screenshot of his opening intro that captures his reasoning behind giving away content:

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In other words, this tactic allows you to create real trust and boost your brand equity so that prospects feel comfortable doing business with you.

Even though you’re not earning any money initially, you’re investing in the long-term success of your company.

The full spectrum of benefits

Just so you’re aware of the impact that this tactic can have, I’d like to point out a handful of specific benefits:

  • It’s one of the best ways to nurture leads. According to Marketing Sherpa, “73% of all B2B leads are not sales ready.”
  • You can position your brand as an authority. “45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it.”
  • It enables you to tell your brand’s story and convey your philosophy and values.
  • It reduces skepticism. “In 1997, consumers indicated that they had a high level of confidence in 52% of brands. By 2008 that percentage dropped to 22%.” This is a great way to slash through any doubts your prospects may have.
  • It’s an excellent way to educate consumers on your product’s features and the way it differs from the products of competitors.
  • You can address any objections that may arise.

Which types of content most influence buying decisions?

Let’s say you’re on board with the concept of freeconomics and you understand the logic behind giving your best content for free.

This brings us to one important question.

What type of content should you create? Do certain types of content influence buying decisions more than others?

To answer these questions, I’d like to point out some additional statistics from Demand Gen Report.

Take a look at the type of content used in the past 12 months to make B2B purchasing decisions:

  • White papers – 82%
  • Webinars – 78%
  • Case studies – 73%
  • E-books – 67%
  • Blog posts – 66%
  • Infographics – 66%
  • Third-party/analyst reports – 62%
  • Video/motion graphics – 47%
  • Interactive presentations – 36%

This doesn’t necessarily mean this is the order in which your company should prioritize its content, but it should serve as a general guideline.

Conclusion

Although the concept of freeconomics and giving away your best content may go against conventional business wisdom, there’s no denying the impact this approach can have.

The results are convincing.

I can speak from personal experience and say this is absolutely one of the best ways to grow your business. It’s done wonders for me.

But in order to make this strategy work for you, it requires a long-term commitment.

You need to treat it as an endurance race—not a sprint.

If you stay the course with your content marketing, you can grow your business by as much as 290%.

What type of free content has resonated the most with your audience?

How to Do an Online Giveaway That Doesn’t Suck

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Who doesn’t want something for free?

It’s a very enticing proposition.

Some of my best business-boosting hacks have taken place when I’ve offered something free.

I’ve given away free tools, free software, free headphones, free trips, free cash, and hundreds of free resources.

Free is amazing.

And hardly anyone will turn down a free gift, discount, etc. when it’s bestowed upon them with no strings attached.

Research from Kontest proves that an online giveaway can have a profound impact on your marketing campaign.

More specifically, they found that one-third of entrants will agree to receive information from brands and partners:

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On top of that, they found that new campaigns acquire a 34% audience increase on average:

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That’s pretty serious.

But I’ll be honest. There’s a lot that goes into a successful online giveaway.

There’s more to it than throwing something together, slapping up a prize, and expecting people to sign up in droves.

It doesn’t work that way.

The last thing you want to do is create an online giveaway that sucks. This can end up detracting from your brand.

Online giveaways have been around as long as the Internet has existed. And, let’s be honest, people are kind of tired of cheap and scammy giveaways.

In fact, a lot of people think giveaways are dead.

But are they? I’m not convinced. Why? Because I still use giveaways to generate massive traffic and huge amounts of revenue!

What I’d like to do now is walk you through the process of setting up an online giveaway.

I’d also like to offer some tips I’ve learned along the way so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Determine your specific goal

Before you can figure out the logistics of your campaign, you must first decide what you’re trying to accomplish.

Here are some examples of common campaign goals:

  • Get new email subscribers
  • Increase social media engagement
  • Get more social media followers
  • Increase blog engagement
  • Get more backlinks

Knowing your specific goal will dictate the specific approach you take later on.

Choose a prize

Coming up with an idea sounds pretty straightforward.

But I feel this is an area where a lot of brands drop the ball.

One of the main mistakes I often see is giving away something irrelevant to the industry.

As I said before in another guide on Quick Sprout, not every contest should consist of an iPad giveaway.

Please. Can we stop with the iPads already?

What you want to do is offer a gift that represents you.

For instance, Airbnb might offer a free stay at an awesome location:

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A clothing brand might offer a free t-shirt.

An outdoor gear company might give away a sleeping bag or tent.

You get the idea.

Why is this so important?

If you’re gathering email addresses as part of the online giveaway, you want to ensure you’re getting people who represent your demographic.

Otherwise, you’ll have a junk list of unqualified leads who will probably never convert when you attempt to move them through your sales funnel later on.

Make the prize match the entry

Here’s something else to consider.

Some entry requirements are quick and easy, e.g., liking a post on Facebook.

Others are more long-winded and laborious, e.g., filling out several forms of questions, submitting a photo, and so on.

I suggest choosing a prize that matches the level of effort it requires to enter.

After all, offering a mediocre prize for completing an arduous entry process may result in very few entrants.

In other words, as an article from Wishpond states, “The prize value should always be equal to the effort required to win it.”

Consider bundling items

Wishpond also makes another interesting point.

They say offering a bundle of items can have a bigger impact than offering only one item.

It seems that a bundle is deemed higher value (even if it’s not, necessarily) than one single item. Plus more variety appeals to a wider audience.

This logic makes sense to me.

Most people have a tendency to think more is better.

So, even if you offer three gifts that combined are worth less than a single gift, the perception would still be that the three gifts are of a higher value (even if they’re not).

This isn’t to say that you have to follow this formula, but it’s definitely food for thought and could help you increase your number of entrants.

Consider offering multiple prizes

Let’s be real.

What are the odds of winning a giveaway with only one grand prize?

Pretty microscopic.

And people know this. They won’t jump through a bunch of hoops just to enter a contest where the chances of winning are slim to none.

But when there are prizes for first place, second place, and third place, the odds of winning increase a bit.

I suggest you offer smaller prizes for runner-up entrants in addition to the grand prize.

This makes people feel like they do have a chance, and even if they don’t win the grand prize, they can still get something.

I’ve found this to serve as motivation for people to sign up.

Contest duration

Okay, so you’ve got a goal, and you know what prize you’re going to offer.

The next thing to determine is how long your giveaway will last—its duration.

Now, there can be a huge variation in terms of duration.

But according to Kontest, the best duration for your campaign is either 25 or 60 days:

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Research has found that these two lengths of time are the “sweet spots,” allowing you to get the maximum number of applicants.

But if it’s your first campaign and you’re still getting your bearings, I would definitely suggest sticking with 25 days initially.

Go any longer, and you might minimize the impact because some entrants may forget about the giveaway.

There’s a fine line between too short and too long. You’ll be able to pick the right duration based on how much exposure your giveaway has.

Create an epic landing page

Design plays an integral role in just about every element of marketing and branding.

And it’s no exception when it comes to your giveaway’s landing page.

It needs to pop.

But I realize that me telling you to create an epic landing page is a loaded statement.

Here are a few specific traits of a great giveaway landing page:

  • It’s simple
  • It thoroughly explains what it takes to enter and what the prize is
  • It’s easy to understand
  • It contains high-quality images
  • People can enter quickly and easily

Now, let me provide you with a few examples.

Example #1 from Startup Pirates

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Example #2 from Cadence Watch

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Example #3 from Cocoon Spa

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Gather the right information

Here’s a biggie: choosing which information to ask for from entrants.

You need to proceed with caution here because this can often make or break your campaign.

On the one hand, the more info you ask for, the more effort it takes for someone to enter and the fewer entrants there will be.

On the other hand, you want to ensure you’re getting adequate info so that you can effectively enter giveaway participants into your sales funnel.

How much is too much info to ask for?

Let’s take a look at what Kontest found:

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As you can see, no one has an issue providing their email address.

And most are totally fine giving their first and last names.

But once you start getting to age, country, and address, the number of entrants drops off significantly.

The bottom line is that you should ask only for the most important information you’re legitimately going to use.

Otherwise, getting too personal and requiring too many steps can scare off many would-be entrants.

Make a big announcement about the winner(s)

A lot of time and energy goes into creating an online giveaway.

You want to make a big deal about the winner and put the spotlight on them.

I suggest asking them to take a photo with your product and posting it on your social media accounts.

This serves as added brand exposure and lets other entrants know that the giveaway was legit.

Both of which should help you build more buzz if you decide to create another online giveaway in the future.

Choosing a platform

There’s one last and extremely important detail.

Which platform should you use to run your online giveaway?

Although there are several different options to choose from, there are two in particular that I recommend.

The first is Gleam.

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It’s fairly easy to use, and it integrates with most major social networks.

It’s also super customizable and makes it simple to incorporate great looking pictures.

I love the fact that Gleam is fully responsive, which is crucial for keeping mobile users happy.

In fact, you can increase your number of entrants 8x by running a mobile contest.

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The second platform is Rafflecopter, which, according to its site, is “the world’s easiest way to run a giveaway.”

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It’s also user-friendly and customizable.

Even if you have zero experience with online giveaways, you can usually get one up and running quickly.

Conclusion

I love online giveaways and think that when done correctly, they can rev up your marketing.

Just think about it. An online giveaway kills multiple birds with one stone.

You can:

  • Get great brand exposure
  • Increase social media and blog engagement
  • Build your audience
  • Establish brand advocates in the people who win your giveaways

And when you think about the money you would spend on other marketing techniques, such as paid advertising, you’re usually getting more bang for your buck with this strategy.

It’s usually a win-win situation.

But quite frankly, the strategy you devise is equally as important as the prize itself.

You need to cover all your bases and ensure you’re offering a prize that people actually want and that will motivate them to enter.

Once you’ve got that covered, the rest should fall into place.

Have you ever experimented with an online giveaway?

18 SEO Tactics That Take Only 30 Minutes Each

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I feel SEO has a reputation for being meticulous and painstaking.

And perhaps that’s true to a certain extent.

The initial phases of an SEO campaign can, in fact, be grueling.

There’s on-site SEO, off-site SEO, and—everyone’s favorite—technical SEO.

So, yeah, it can be kind of a pain.

But here’s the thing.

There is a multitude of “quick fix” SEO tactics that take hardly any time.

Many can be completed within 30 minutes.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that any specific technique will bring about massive results on its own.

But when done in conjunction with one another, they can have a significant impact and give your overall SEO campaign a nice boost.

So let’s get right down to it.

Here are 18 SEO tactics that will take you no longer than 30 minutes each.

1. Get set up on Google My Business

Local SEO is important, especially if you’re a brick-and-mortar business.

If you’ve been skimping on this aspect of SEO, you’ll want to spend a few minutes setting up an account on Google My Business.

This allows you to edit the info on your business, verify contact info, add images, monitor reviews, and more.

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This can give you a huge advantage over competitors who fail to capitalize on this powerful resource.

2. Optimize your profile

Already have a profile on Google My Business?

Why not spend some time sprucing it up and making sure that everything is “just right?”

Here are a few specific things you can do:

  • Make sure all your business info is up-to-date
  • Add additional info such as hours, parking location, menu details, etc.
  • Choose specific categories (e.g., “fresh organic grocery store” instead of just “grocery store”)
  • Replace any amateurish looking images with newer, more professional ones
  • Encourage loyal customers to leave reviews

3. Get set up on Google Search Console

I love Google Search Console!

If you’re not using it, you’re leaving money on the table and not getting the most from your SEO campaign.

Here’s a screenshot explaining exactly what Google Search Console is:

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Although there is a wide array of features, here are some specific things you can do to improve your SEO:

  • Check who’s linking to your site
  • Check index status
  • Monitor crawl errors
  • Manually submit new content to be crawled

I recommend reading this post from Quick Sprout to learn how to use Google Search Console like a boss.

4. Check your site’s speed

I’m sure you know just how critical site speed is.

Even a one-second delay can have an adverse impact.

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If you’re not sure what your website’s speed is, you can check it with Pingdom’s Website Speed Test.

It only takes a few seconds, and it will provide you with details on what you can do to speed it up.

Here’s the info I got when I did a speed test for Quick Sprout:

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5. Check your site’s mobile-friendliness

I think it’s safe to say that smartphones aren’t just a fad.

In fact, many experts labeled 2016 as “the tipping point” for mobile search, when it finally eclipsed desktop search.

Research found that the average American spent 87 hours browsing on their smartphone in August 2016.

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If you haven’t done so already, take the time to run a mobile-friendly test.

This will let you know what shape your site is in and what steps you need to take (if any) to resolve any issues.

6. Improve URL structure

Here’s the scenario.

You’ve been blogging for awhile, maybe several years.

Back in the day, you didn’t pay all that much attention to the URL structure of your blog posts.

As a result, they look something like this:

www.yoursite.com/blog/348303203204834

It’s fair to say this isn’t going to do your SEO any favors, and it’s going to make it unnecessarily difficult for search engine robots to decipher the meaning of your content.

To make your site more SEO-friendly, go back and improve these URLs so they look more like this:

www.yoursite.com/blog/content-marketing-101

7. Improve mediocre titles

I’ll be honest.

Coming up with epic titles for blog posts can be a little tricky at times.

Maybe in the past, you ended up settling for less than stellar titles.

A good way to make use of 30 minutes is to look over your posts to identify any titles that could use improvement.

One helpful resource for streamlining this process is Title-Generator.com.

Simply enter your main keywords, and it will generate 700 potential titles with one click.

Here’s what happened when I entered “content marketing:”

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8. Study AdWords ads to optimize titles and tags

Here’s a little hack I learned from Brian Dean of Backlinko.

It’s simple but genius.

Enter a keyword in Google, and check out the ads that pop up.

Then look for awesome copy that you could potentially use for titles or tags.

Here’s the example Brian uses.

He searches for “glass water bottles” and comes up with these ads:

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From there, he comes up with these phrases:

  • BPA-free
  • Keep you hydrated
  • Durable
  • Reusable

So, why is this so smart? Just think about it.

The phrases used in ads like these are the result of extensive A/B testing, so you know they get clicks and conversions.

You can save yourself an immense amount of time and energy by incorporating the phrases you find in ads.

9. Find dead links

Dead or broken links can be a real buzzkill.

Not only can they be disruptive to your website’s visitors, but they also won’t do your SEO any favors.

But you can quickly identify any of these links with the Online Broken Link Checker:

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Just type in your site’s URL, and it’ll do the work for you in seconds.

Then go back, and make any necessary repairs.

10. Do some internal linking

In an article on NeilPatel.com, I mention that I wrote a blog post every day for five years and amassed hundreds of posts.

But I made one major mistake. I never linked to any of my relevant articles!

Fortunately, I eventually figured out that I could greatly improve my SEO by simply linking new articles to relevant older ones.

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If you made the same mistake with your older content that I did with mine, I highly recommend taking a bit of time to set up some internal links.

Even a 30-minute session should leave your SEO in much better shape than before.

You can learn more about this process by reading this article.

11. Find link opportunities on Alltop

If you’re unfamiliar with Alltop, it’s basically a blog directory where you can find some of the world’s best content in one convenient location.

Here’s what pops up when I enter “content marketing:”

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Not bad, huh?

What you want to do is spend some time looking for potential link prospects.

Search for relevant blogs in your industry to see if there are any bloggers with whom you could build relationships.

12. Find link opportunities on BuzzSumo

You can use the same process with BuzzSumo.

Just enter your search phrase, and you’ll get a list of results.

Here’s what I get with “content marketing:”

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From there, click on “View Sharers” on any articles that interest you.

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You’ll then see a list of people who shared that article.

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These can all be potential people with whom you may want to form relationships, which could eventually translate into link-building/guest-blogging opportunities.

13. Give your lower-ranking pages a boost

I’m sure you know that having content ranking below the first page of SERPs is essentially worthless.

Here’s what I mean:

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If a post is ranked say #42, it might as well be ranked #20,000,000.

Here is how to improve that.

Identify a few of your posts ranked on the second or third pages of Google.

These have obviously gained some level of traction but need a little boost to get onto page one.

To get that boost, set up some internal links pointing to them.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get them “over the hump” and onto prime search engine real estate.

14. Target two leading industry blogs

This might be an old school tactic, but it can still prove to be quite fruitful.

It involves finding two A+ industry blogs you were previously unaware of.

Once you find them, leave a couple of awesome comments with a link pointing back to your site.

On top of this, I recommend subscribing and following some of their best writers on Twitter with the hopes of eventually building relationships.

15. Claim your Bing listing

I feel a lot of marketers totally discount Bing.

And I get it.

It’s like comparing David to Goliath in terms of search engine market share.

But pump the brakes.

Bing still receives a decent percent of overall searches.

In fact, a 2016 article from Search Engine Journal reported:

Bing’s share of the search market grew more than Google’s this past April. To be exact, Bing’s market share rose by 0.2 percent while Google’s dropped by 0.2 percent.

Google’s total share of the US desktop search market has dipped below its previous 64 percent to 63.8 percent. Microsoft’s share of desktop search is now sitting at 21.6 percent.

Will Bing be overthrowing Google any time soon? Probably not.

But there’s still SEO juice to be had by claiming your Bing listing.

Sign up for Bing Places to claim, complete, and verify your listing.

This can be especially helpful if you’re a local brick-and-mortar business.

16. Write comprehensive descriptions for videos

Do you post any videos on your website?

If so, you may be missing out on a golden opportunity.

What I mean is that you’re probably failing to extract all the SEO potential from your videos.

And this all boils down to descriptions.

Rather than writing a brief description like this:

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Brian Dean recommends leaving a 200+ word description like this:

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Not only will this help you improve your ranking in YouTube, but it can also improve your ranking in SERPs.

And it really doesn’t take that long.

17. Turn a standard post into a long-form post

I’m not going to insult your intelligence by stating the obvious fact that long-form content ranks better than, say, a typical 500-word post.

You already know that.

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But here’s a nice little trick you can do with thin content.

Look for a shorter post, under 1,000 words, that’s pretty good but never lived up to its full potential.

Then spend 30 minutes “beefing it up” by adding more content, charts, graphs, visuals, etc. until it’s bona fide long-form content.

For more on this, check out this post from NeilPatel.com.

18. Spy on competitors

Finally, it’s time to tap into your inner James Bond.

By this, I mean “spying” on a few of your key competitors.

Just go to SEMrush and type in their URL.

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Within seconds, you can find info on their:

  • Top organic keywords
  • Organic position distribution
  • Backlinks
  • Top anchors
  • Indexed pages

This will provide you with valuable intel that can guide your SEO campaign and enable you to be more effective.

Conclusion

SEO doesn’t have to be back-breaking, mind-numbing work.

In fact, there is a plethora of smaller SEO tasks you can easily complete in 30 minutes.

The ones I’ve outlined in this article will help you step up your SEO without an insane amount of effort.

And when you do several (five or more), it can potentially lead to a major breakthrough.

Do you have any other quick and easy SEO tactics up your sleeve?

11 Ways You Can Wield the Power of Web Push Notifications

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Think web push notifications are only for blogs or businesses with blogs?

Think again.

Web push notifications can be used in a variety of different ways beyond letting your audience know about your latest blog article.

As a marketing analyst at PushCrew, I’ve seen push notifications not only drive repeat traffic but also repeat and real-time engagement.

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And web push notifications can have click rates that FAR SURPASS email’s average 1-2% click rates.

In fact, web push notifications often receive click rates as high as 33%.

(If you’re paying attention, this means a new communication channel with higher click rates than your traditional mode of communication is available to you…)

The benefit of higher engagement that web push notification can offer is accessible to several different industries. In this article, we’ll focus on the following 11 industries that can use push notifications to wow customers:

  1. Blogging
  2. Online forums
  3. Ecommerce
  4. Food
  5. Travel
  6. Logistics
  7. Nonprofits
  8. Airlines
  9. Academics
  10. Gyms and fitness
  11. Internet of things

I’m going to show you how you can use push notifications in each of these industries so you can drive more traffic and increase engagement.

(RELATED:  Website Push Notifications: A New Way to Follow Up with Website Visitors (Without Getting Their Contact Information))

But first, let me explain how this information will benefit you…

The 3 Main Benefits of Web Push Notifications

The reason I am emphasizing so much on using web push notification is threefold:

1. Web Push Notifications Are Easy to Set Up and Are Cost-Effective

Web push notifications take away the cost of developing and maintaining a dedicated mobile app for every platform.

Also, implementing web push notifications doesn’t take much effort.

You only need to paste a snippet of code on your website and that’s pretty much all it takes to get started with utilizing the immense power of web push notification.

2. They Are Platform Independent

Web push notifications are only browser dependent. This feature enables you to send push notifications even on the desktop, facilitating multi-device engagement with your subscribers.

3. Security

Web push notifications are unique in that subscribing to them does not require end users to submit their private information.

Unlike email subscription, which requires the email ID (which can be sold to black hat agencies who then use it to send spam emails), web push notifications create a unique alphanumeric subscriber ID for every individual subscriber through an algorithm.

Even if one gets access to this subscriber ID, they cannot send spam notifications unless s/he is an authorized sender.

Now that the benefits are clear, let’s take a look at how web push notifications fit into each of these areas. We’ll start with the one I’m sure most of you are familiar with…

1. Using Web Push Notifications for Blogging

Blogs are a very powerful medium for both individuals and businesses.

Not only do blogs help build credibility and authority, they facilitate in generating leads.

There are a few ways blogs can communicate to their readers through web push notifications.

1. New Posts

Web push notifications are an innovative method of letting your users know there is something new and exciting on your blog.

While emails to your subscribers may get overlooked or remain unread in inboxes, web push notifications reach out to your subscribers wherever they are on the world wide web, as the example below shows…

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2. Old Posts

You can use web push notifications to drive more traffic to your blog by pushing well-performing articles from the past.

Not only does this help bring more traffic to your site, it reminds subscribers of old, yet relevant content.

3. Generate New Email Subscribers

Complement your other communication channels with web push notifications. Urge users to subscribe to your email newsletter so you can engage with them through the email channel.

2. Using Web Push Notifications for Online Forums

Online forums, such as Inbound, are a great place to share and gain valuable insights on different topics.

Currently, most forum owners notify users about updates on their threads through email.

But here’s the catch.

With email platforms becoming more intelligent, most such emails fall into the forum category – away from the main inbox – where they can remain unread.

Web push notifications circumvent this and can be used to send instant notifications about thread updates by pushing relevant content.

1. New Thread

With web push notifications, users could be notified of new threads in their preferred categories.

2. New Replies

If a user has opted in to receive web push notifications, they could then receive notifications for new replies to thread(s) they follow, and/or be notified of any replies to their own comments on the thread.

3. New Followers

Web push notifications can be sent to notify users about new followers they have gained – a feature many will enjoy. People love it when other community members follow them.

4. Hot Discussions

Part of the appeal of a forum is that users have a chance to contribute. As such, users are always in search of new and interesting discussions to join in!

Sending periodic pushes regarding new discussions that are getting a good amount of user interest or responses can help you keep users engaged.

3. Using Web Push Notifications for Ecommerce

My company, PushCrew, recently published “The State of Web Push Notifications 2016” report that found approximately 21% of web notifications users belong to the ecommerce industry.

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In 2014, Localytics had reported that ecommerce websites enjoyed a 278% increase in engagement from users who had turned on mobile push notifications on their devices as compared to those who didn’t.

To replicate similar success on the web, here are several ways ecommerce websites can send web push notifications:

1. Fresh Arrivals

Be it the new iPhone or a new dress, many love to be among the first ones to own it.

Inform the early adopters on your list of your latest inventory to generate a boost in sales and maintain a good user engagement rate.

2. Offers and Deals

Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on items from their wishlist if they were available on discount? I would.

This single type of web push notification is capable of bringing a lot of repeat traffic to your website.

Web push notifications are even more effective in communicating deals that are time bound. They create an urgency to check out a limited offer before the stock or the duration of the deal runs out.

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3. Order Status

Promptly informing users about the status of their order(s) will help maintain a positive relationship with your users.

4. Cart Abandonment

An average of 69.23% users abandon their carts at the last stage.

A big number to say the least!

The best way to prompt such users to come back and complete the purchase is by sending them, through a web push notification, an offer on an item in their cart or a discount on their purchase as a whole.

4. Using Web Push Notifications for Food

With a multitude of food ordering options, restaurants and online ordering services face stiff competition in their industry.

These businesses could leverage web push notifications to stand out from their competition, increase engagement with their patrons, and get the order:

1. What’s New

I personally love it when there is something new on the menu at my favorite restaurant!

Telling your users there’s a new flavor on the table is a great way to bring them back to your website.

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2. Offers

Users love to be pampered with offers. Sending them mouth-watering deals can urge your users to place an order on your website and keep you top of mind.

3. Order Status

A hungry customer can quickly turn into a “hangry” customer.

This usually happens when users have no idea if their pizza is on its way. Informing users, in real-time, the status of their food order can help them stay calm.

5. Using Web Push Notifications for Travel

Travel is an industry on the rise.

Since 2005, the number of tourists has increased from 528 million to 1.13 billion in 2014, and is forecasted to reach 1.18 billion by 2030.

To capture the attention of their users, online travel agencies can grab the following opportunities to send web push notifications:

1. Reminders

People are busy and traveling is stressful, so things tend to be forgotten.

You can help people stay up-to-date of their nearing trip by sending web push notifications.

A timely reminder of an upcoming hotel reservation would make your users happy and make them feel that you care for them.

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2. Destination Information

Use web push notifications to send relevant suggestions about places to visit to help users plan their future trip.

6. Using Web Push Notifications for Airlines

In the same vein as the online travel agencies, airlines can help users plan their trips and stay on top of their upcoming flight with the following web push notifications:

1. Flight Reminder

Reminding passengers to check in or sending a notification at the right time could help passengers plan their commute to the airport so they don’t miss their flight.

2. Flight Status

Due to unforeseen circumstances, flights have a tendency to change. Send an instant notification to inform passengers of any updates in flight times or gate changes.

3. Destination Information

Even a weather update of the destination would create a sense among passengers that you pay attention to the details and care about their trip.

7. Using Web Push Notifications for Logistics

The best way a logistics company can use web push notifications is by sending tracking updates.

From processing to packaging to delivery. Notifying users about each stage and where their order has reached keeps users hooked to your service.

8. Using Web Push Notifications for Nonprofit Organizations

Due to budget constraints, it could be hard for nonprofit organizations to maintain a mobile app.

With web push notifications, nonprofits can effortlessly reach a wide array of users on both desktop and mobile devices:

1. Campaign Announcements

Informing people about new campaigns and initiatives your organization is undertaking will help you remain connected to your followers and ensure consistent support from the people who care about the issues you are trying to solve.

2. Fundraising

Starting a new fundraiser or charity drive? Send a web push notification.

Sending out web push notifications and informing users of fundraising events or donation drives will help you achieve your goals.

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9. Using Web Push Notifications for Academics

Academics are no longer restricted to the classroom.

More and more learning aspirants are signing up for online courses from the comfort of their homes.

To keep such users engaged, online academic platforms can send web push notifications in the following cases:

1. Thread Discussion Updates

Candidates often seek help from others who have signed up for the same course.

Sending a notification regarding updates on the threads they have created or followed would help maintain users’ interest in the courses they’ve opted in for, which will increase the value they get from your course.

2. Reminders

“Oh! There was a quiz today?” You definitely wouldn’t like your users asking themselves that question in panic.

It is indeed your job to remind them of looming deadlines. Send a notification to your students reminding them of the upcoming quiz or project due date.

3. New Course Announcements

If a user has taken a course of yours and gotten value from it, he or she is likely to take another course with you.

Notifying your users of upcoming courses related to the ones they’ve already taken will bring them back.

10. Using Web Push Notifications for Gym and Fitness

If you are a gym and fitness service provider, these are the best ways for you to maintain a healthy (no pun intended) relationship with your users through web push notifications:

1. Training Session Schedule Reminders

Keep your customers engaged and help people stay on top of their personal training with web push notification reminders.

This can be especially helpful for those trying to establish a new, healthy habit or for those whose motivation is waning.

2. Diet Suggestions

Exercise is only half the battle when it comes to exercise. What someone eats can make or break their gym gains.

Use web push notifications to share tips on diets and recipe ideas that would suit your users’ workout patterns.

11. Using Web Push Notifications for Internet of Things (IOT)

IOT is currently a hot topic of discussion, and it is estimated by Gartner that there will be 26 billion connected devices by 2020. Even IOT enabled devices can find utility in web push notifications:

1. Home Automation Systems

Think about how wonderful it would be if your ceiling fan reminded you that you forgot to switch if off while leaving the house?

Web push notifications have the capability to play this supporting role.

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2. Healthcare Devices

The major benefit of IOT devices is that it reduces the gap between the end device and the user.

Web push notifications could be used to communicate data from the medical equipment, allowing the user to receive health updates from the comfort of their homes.

Time to Test

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of the possibilities for web push notifications. Nor are web push notifications limited to these 11 industries above.

Truly, we’ve just scratched the surface with web push notifications and the possibilities are endless.

Your business might belong to an industry not already mentioned above. That does not mean you should not try out this new marketing channel to engage and re-engage your audience.

Test it out and you will see an increase in engagement with your audience.

The Best of Traffic & Conversion 2017: 59 Insights, Marketing Content, and Actionable Strategies

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This may shock you…

Ryan Deiss hasn’t run Facebook ads in years.

And the reason why he hasn’t was one of the biggest takeaways from his opening keynote at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017.

Read on to learn Ryan’s words of wisdom from his Day 1 keynote along with the highlights, insights, and strategies from the 3-day Traffic & Conversion Summit Days 2017.

Traffic & Conversion Summit Day 1:

What’s Your Story?

Day 1 kicked off with an opening video that asked the audience what their story was.

Everyone has a story, the video reminded the crowd.

Every customer, every business, and every marketer.

Like many before you, this is where your story begins… at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017.

Watch the full opening video below:

Exclusive Interview with Ryan

Before DigtialMarketer’s co-founder and CEO, Ryan Deiss, delivered his opening keynote presentation, Christine Haas, DigitalMarketer’s Director of Communications, exclusively interviewed him backstage.

Watch the video below to get a look behind the curtain and to learn Ryan’s thoughts just before he goes before the crowd at the largest conversion conference in North America:

Are You Focusing on Your Job?

The reason Ryan hasn’t run Facebook ads in years is because he’s focusing on his job – running DigitalMarketer as CEO.

His team is busy running Facebook ads and focusing on THEIR jobs. 3.13_Quotebox1

In his Day 1 keynote, Ryan told the audience that the digital marketing profession is constantly changing and that can be distracting and overwhelming.

Many marketers may find themselves with “shiny object syndrome” as they try to do all things.

But those who allow themselves to get distracted aren’t focusing on their job.

To get ahead, you need to spend the bulk of your time focusing on your job, not on all the distractions that pull you into many, many different directions.

Ryan also shared what the goal of your business should be… no matter your industry:

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Because…

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Ryan reminded attendees that all businesses are made up of people.

Your business is more than B2B or B2C – it’s H2H (Human to Human).

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Remembering that is what will set your business apart.

After Ryan’s keynote, people set off to explore the rest of Traffic & Conversion Summit…

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(Photo by Steve Hall Photography)

What else happened during Day 1 of #TCS2017? Let’s see…

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Why Do People Buy Things?

There are two things that are happening at Traffic & Conversion Summit that cannot be debated: lots of hand sanitizer is being used and people are LOVING Perry Belcher’s presentations.

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Here, our attendee, Mav Barrena, shares one of her biggest takeaways from Perry’s talk on The $500 BILLION Dollar “Madmen” Marketing Method That Creates Perfect Marketing Campaigns in 4 Easy Steps.

And this from Michael King at Perry’s Master the MAGIC Headline Formula that ALWAYS Works and Geta KILLER Hook for Your Product or Service in the Process:

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What a Children’s Book Can Teach You About Your YouTube Ads Campaign

When figuring out how to get people to engage with YouTube ads AND have an amazing experience, Tom Breeze drew inspiration from books he read as a kid: the Choose Your Own Adventure series.

In the books, the reader assumes the role of the protagonist and is offered choices that determine the outcome of the story. So, if you wanted to fight the dragon you’d turn to Page 6, or if you wanted to run away you’d turn to Page 38.

And Tom thought this format could be applied to YouTube ads.

In his presentation, The YouTube Ads Framework: How to Find Your Customers, Know What They’re Thinking, and Get Them to Buy, Tom explained how he tested the “Choose Your Own Adventure” campaign with a client who offers guitar lessons.

In the YouTube ad they ran, viewers were offered a choice: to click the video for those new to playing the guitar or to click the video for those in a “guitar rut” and were looking to take their guitar playing to the next level:

Tom Breeze Choose Your Own Adventure Campaign

The choice between the two was the YouTube ad’s call-to-action (CTA).

This campaign style resulted in 1.5 million views, and when compared to the previous campaigns they had been running for this client, the Choose Your Own Adventure campaign generated:

  • 33% more registrants
  • 52% more sales
  • 39.3% increase in view rate

For Tom and his team, the Choose Your Own Adventure campaign will be a big focus for them in 2017.

I Will Walk 500 Miles…

We held a contest as we geared up for the big event centered around how far Traffic & Conversion Summit attendees were traveling and we’re FINALLY able to announce the winner!

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The winner was announced The Price is Right style during Ryan’s keynote…

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Pedro Vieira (right) flew all the way from Lisbon to attend Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017. Check out Pedro posing with DigitalMarketer’s Director of Sales and Monetization, Marcus Murphy (left), and the Amazon Echo Dot he won.

Minds Were Blown

Can you blame them?

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Connections Were Made

This is the spirit of Traffic & Conversion Summit. Yes, we’re sharing content and, yes, we want you to go execute so you can grow your business. HOWEVER, the networking and relationship-growth possibilities here are endless and we love when we see our guests taking advantage of them!

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Evening Party: Maropost Reception

Day 1 culminated in a networking party on the pool deck with a spectacular view…

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Guests enjoyed the live band, the taco buffet, and the opportunity to network with old and new friends!

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(Photo by Steve Hall Photography)

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Traffic & Conversion Summit Day 2:

We started off Day 2 with asking attendees what their biggest takeaways from the previous day were…

I Learned Something Today

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And it wasn’t long before people were sharing their biggest takeaways from Day 2:

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After people shared their biggest takeaways, Ryan Deiss took the stage to deliver the second day’s keynote called…

Don’t Call Me a “Marketer”

Do you know why members of the sales team and the marketing team so often disagree?

It’s because they don’t know each other’s respective vocabulary or have a true understanding of what each team does. RyanTCS2017

Because of this misunderstanding, there’s often miscommunication and a lack of empathy between the sales and marketing teams (or other teams like content and customer care).

Ryan recognized this issue within DigitalMarketer, and in his Day 2 keynote, he spoke on how he and the DigitalMarketer crew have addressed this issue to make a more cohesive, and lucrative, company.

Four main teams make up DigitalMarketer:

  1. Acquisition (the marketing team)
  2. Monetization (the sales team)
  3. Content (the editorial team)
  4. Success (the customer care/service team)

But Ryan noted, they aren’t different teams – they all make up the same team: the Growth Team

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They’re different positions, but the same team. 

And when this idea was put into action, DigitalMarketer saw miscommunication between the respective positions fall.

The Growth Team isn’t just in charge of growing revenue, they own the entire Customer Journey

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Swipe your own Value Journey Worksheet here and fill it out for your company.

And when Ryan’s mic kept going out, he took it in stride…  :)

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Let’s see what else happened on Day 2…

How to Get Traffic the Right Way

“Don’t fight againt this. Just do it the right way and you’ll get traffic.”

That’s what DigitalMarketer’s Director of Editorial, Russ Henneberry, told the audience during his Search Marketing in a NutshellRussQuoteTCS2017

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t dead, not by a long shot. But it certainly has changed.

In the past, black hat SEO tactics like keyword stacking and stuffing were at war with search engines like Google.

But the war is over – the algorithm WON.

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Search marketing is now white hat only.

The only way to win with Google is to do things the right way. And that’s white hat SEO tactics.

(Related: How to Do On-Page SEO in WordPress)

Russ also went on to explain that what you should be thinking about right now is, “What are the intents of my customers?”

  • What are your customers thinking as they search?
  • What keywords are they typing in?
  • What’s their goal they’re hoping to accomplish by completing this search?

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By anticipating intent, you’ll better be able to create the necessary content that your customers are searching for.

He also advised to place a CTA on all of your pages, where appropriate, as it will generate leads, like the example page below has done in two instances.

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“It’s free money,” Russ said of including CTAs.

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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The Future of Ecommerce

In his Facebook Messenger Bots: Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Profit presentation, Ezra Firestone shared that the future of ecommerce is bright.

And this bright future can help you reach your customers in a whole new way!

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According to Ezra, bots are the future of the way we communicate, shop, travel, book things, and use other services.

Bots you can use with Facebook Messenger.

(Related: Facebook Messenger Ads: How to Use Them in Your Business)

Through the use of bots, you can better serve your customers and reach new leads. And this is important because…

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And Ezra says to keep this in mind with your ecommerce business…

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The Perfect Pitch

When Kevin Harrington took the stage, he had everyone on high alert.

DigitalMarketer’s Russ Henneberry and the AV team backstage were no exception as Kevin delivered the 10 Steps to the Perfect Pitch:

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The original shark on ABC’s Shark Tank had many great insights, including:

  • One of the most powerful ways to sell is by showing a “Before” and an “After” picture.
  • When you’re pitching, you need to talk about the competition and what else is out there.

Kevin also went on to explain the five types of testimonials for a powerful pitch…

  1. Consumer
  2. Professional
  3. Celebrity
  4. Editorial
  5. Clinical

It’s Not About You…

DigitalMarketer’s community manager, Suzi Nelson, caught us up on how to have the best community online in her presentation, How DigitalMarketer Uses Facebook Communities to Increase Conversions, Reduce Churn, and Change People’s Lives.

She spoke about the difference between an audience and a community.

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Her biggest takeaway to remember?

It’s not about you. It’s about your members. 

And speaking about community… check out how ours (DigitalMarketer Engage) is working to keep each other included and network while Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017 is going on!

(NOTE: Not a DigtialMarketer Lab Member? You’ll need to be one to access the DM Engage community. Don’t worry, you can give it a shot for just a $1! Find out more here.)

Killer Traffic Campaigns

Molly Pittman, Ralph Burns, Keith Krance, Tom Breeze, and Mike Rhodes helped bring Day 2 to a close with 5 Killer Traffic Campaigns to Swipe and Deploy in Your Business.

One of the things Ralph Burns shared was a strategy on video ads he uses:

“Get attention through motion. Educate, entertain, and inform. Then close the deal!”

Keith spoke on the hook and ad copy he used to generate 217 shares and reach 200,668 people on Facebook. And shared this slide with the audience…

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Molly Pittman closed the presentation with the content first video campaign that was able to acquire 12,006 leads at $4.49/lead.

See the original Facebook ad and the video below:

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And its video:

We Could Get Used to This…

And how about that San Diego view?

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Evening Party: VIP Reception

The final networking party of Traffic & Conversion Summit was the VIP Reception, and, like the previous night’s party, was hosted on the pool deck.

At the center of the party was the T&C ice sculpture…

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A fun evening ensued filled with live music, great food (salmon, steak, and dessert!), and bonfires (to offset the chilly, spring night)!

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(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Traffic & Conversion Summit Day 3:

Fog rolled in on the third morning of Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017, but by the time of the opening keynote, the sun was up and the knowledge bombs were being dropped by DigitalMarketer’s Co-Founder, Roland Frasier, because…

It’s tool time!

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In Tool Time: The Hottest, Most Effective Marketing Tools & How to Use Them, Roland gave an overview of the many, many tools digital marketers can use to gain insight on their customers and make their jobs easier.

He shared digital marketing tools on…

…and many more – including some of his favorites.

Here are several of the essential tools he spoke of and included in his opening keynote:

Competitive Intelligence Tools

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Content Marketing Tools

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Social Media Tools

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Let’s check out what else happened on the final day of the Summit…

Have You Heard of Conversational Selling?

DigitalMarketer’s Molly Pittman and Marcus Murphy presented on what they’ve done to increase communication between their respective teams: the Marketing Team and the Sales Team… and DigitalMarketer as a whole.

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In their Conversational Selling: How to Use Facebook Messenger, SMS & “Personal Emails” to Close More Sales (Without Being Salesy), the duo spoke about a new concept they’ve implemented at DigitalMarketer. They call it, the Growth Committee.

Molly and Marcus were proactive in ensuring communication ties between the Sales and the Marketing teams at DigitalMarketer were strong. Marcus said he and Molly are always talking and always working together.

But they realized, it wasn’t just the Sales and Marketing teams that needed to communicate more. It was ALL the departments. 3.13_Quotebox3

And thus, the Growth Committee was born.

The Growth Committee consists of an “ambassador” from each team within DigitalMarketer. That ambassador is responsible for representing their team during the weekly Growth Committee meetings.

During Growth Committee meetings, ambassadors…

  • Address miscommunication that may have arisen and offer clarification
  • Speak to product launches and new initiatives a team is taken on
  • Give status updates of ongoing projects and how other teams can help

Then, ambassadors report back to their team what was discussed in the meeting – and it has significantly reduced miscommunication between departments.

3.13_Quotebox2“We created the Growth Committee and it’s changing everything,” Marcus said to the crowd.

Molly added, “[The Growth Committee] is giving everyone ownership on the products we launch.”

Inner-department communication wasn’t all they talked about in their info-packed speech.

To start a conversation, DigitalMarketer is using Facebook Messenger.

This Facebook Messenger conversation is generating subscribers, engaging customers, and helping DigitalMarketer follow-up with leads.

You can learn more about that strategy in Episode 80: Facebook Messenger Ads: Everything You Need to Know.

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Ask Me Anything with Mari Smith

During her ask me anything, social media thought leader, Mari Smith, talked about emotional intelligence and customer care.

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(Photo by Steve Hall Photography)

On emotional intelligence, Mari shared:

  • Emotional intelligence is about having true acceptance of yourself and your life.
  • When emotions go up, intelligence goes down. So, make sure you’re training your staff to be emotionally intelligent.

Mari went on to ask, “When was the last time you surprised and delighted your top ten customers?”

She said that…

“The main element missing from most customer care is emotion.”

Emotion is what your customer care team needs to introduce when messaging your customers because the goal for messenger customer care is to get that word of mouth.

Less Content, More Traffic

Towards the end of the final day, Russ Henneberry and Lindsay Marder presented on the third installment of Content Engine: How to Quickly Crank Out High Quality Blog Content.

In 2016, traffic to the DigitalMarketer blog increased, Russ and Lindsay reported. The blog saw:

  • 4.2 million sessions – a 44% increase over 2015
  • 1,287,674 organic SEO sessions – 117% increase over 2015

And yet… the blog shrank…

At the end of 2015, there were a total of 1,189 posts on the blog. By the end of 2016, that number had been reduced to 312 published posts. A 74% decrease.

And only 58 new posts were published in 2016, a 39% decrease from 2015.

How was blog traffic increasing while there were FAR fewer posts on the DM blog?

Russ and Lindsay went over the strategy they implemented in 2016 to increase blog traffic with less content.

First, they did spring cleaning on the blog.

Using Google Analytics, the blog was accessed to see which posts were getting traffic and which posts weren’t.

3.13_Quotebox5Posts that continued to strongly perform became known as pillar posts and posts that were receiving little to no traffic were examined…

Posts with little to no traffic were often older. These posts had become outdated or no longer met DigitalMaketer’s quality standards. Therefore, a 301 redirect was applied to them.

These old posts were redirected to the most relevant new post. This strategy helps to focus users and search engines on the good content that deserves traffic.

Next, instead of only focusing on creating new blog posts, Russ and Lindsay worked on the pillar posts.

They decided to update the pillar posts that continued to perform well in order to strengthen these posts overall. Updates included:

  • New videos were added to the article
  • Outdated sections of the article were deleted or updated
  • Additional copy was added to the article
  • New images were added to the article

One or all of these updates were applied to pillar posts, and the results speak for themselves…

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Remember those numbers from earlier?

  • 4.2 million sessions – a 44% increase over 2015
  • 1,287,674 organic SEO sessions – 117% increase over 2015

This has led us at DigitalMarketer to believe that…

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Our Favorites of #TCS2017

Throughout the course of Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017, people took to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, the Traffic & Conversion app, and more to share their Traffic & Conversion experience.

These are some of our favorite social shares:

We love hearing how much you learned and what you learned!

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And we love it even more when you share what you learned with others because it’s one of our core values…

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At DigitalMarketer, we all get a little starstruck when we see Russ Henneberry…

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And of course, we love the fun and the silly…

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Closing Ceremonies

Traffic & Conversion Summit is a special place where many attendees can exclusively focus on digital marketing strategies and not worry about the distractions of the outside world.

But when you leave the breakout sessions, the outside world is waiting for you. 3.13_Quotebox4

What will you do to keep the same focus you may have found or experienced here at Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017?

Write it down.

That’s what Ryan advised in his closing keynote.

Before you leave the conference, write down what you’re going to do:

  • What’s the main thing you want to accomplish?
  • What are you going to start on first?

Ryan said, writing down what you plan to accomplish before you leave and get back to the “real world” is the difference between leaving with great memories and leaving with results.

And during the closing ceremonies, the video below, produced by DigitalMarketer’s Christine Haas and her team, played. We feel that this video perfectly sums up the Traffic & Conversion Summit 2017 experience:

To everyone who attended or watched on Livestream, thank you all! Thank you for spending time with us. We hope what you learned at Traffic & Conversion Summit will help you double the size of your business and help others do the same!

See you next year!

(NOTE: Can’t get enough of Traffic & Conversion Summit? Join the waitlist for Traffic & Conversion Summit 2018 and be among the first to receive details about next year’s event, including specials on tickets. Sign up here.)

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Advertising on Facebook? This Little Tweak Cut Our Lead Cost in Half

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I’m so happy we decided to test this…

As you’ll see in this case study, we changed one option in the Facebook Ads Manager and started getting leads for half the cost… but not on Facebook.

3.21_Quotebox1Instead, our ads started to run (automatically) on Instagram.

If you weren’t aware, Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for about a billion dollars in cash and stock and they have since made it super simple to use the Facebook Ads Manager to advertise on Instagram.

You’ll see the ads, ad copy, and the results (leads for $1.76 anyone?) we used in these “hybrid” campaigns. I say hybrid because these ads run on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously.

I’ll also give you some pointers on getting started with your Instagram advertising.

But first, you need to how to…

Generate Leads Using “Value First” on Instagram

Our goal for paid ads has always been to present an offer for something free in front of an audience who would be thrilled to learn more.

So, when Instagram ads became an option for us, we already knew what our strategy would be. REtargetingZimmerman

We have an Instagram Marketing Strategy Guide we use as a Lead Magnet and ran paid ads to it throughout the year.

The guide acts as the very top of our sales funnel.

Once someone opts into the guide, whether through a paid Instagram ad or a form on our website, they are brought through the same follow-up sequence of onboarding emails.

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During our last list building campaign, my team and I decided to test out results using Facebook’s “Automatic Placement,” so the ad was fed to all the placement options.

This option is found under “Ad Set” when you are setting up your Facebook ads.

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By selecting this ad placement, your ad can be seen on BOTH the Facebook newsfeed and on Instagram.

Below is the ad we ran on Facebook for the 2017 Instagram Strategy Guide…

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And this is how the ad appeared on Instagram…

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For this campaign, we spent $1,096.02 for 534 leads, an average of $2.05 a lead, which we were happy with.

When we went back to the reports to analyze what made the difference, Instagram placement beat out Facebook placement on cost per conversion significantly.

In 14 of the 17 targeting audiences, cost per conversion was HALF on Instagram than its Facebook counterpart.

On average, a lead from an Instagram ad ran us $1.76/lead – 89¢ fewer than those shared to Facebook.

Moral of the story?

It’s worth it for business owners to test BOTH platforms.

We don’t only use Facebook and Instagram Ads for our lead generation, but also to directly convert sales.

There is a BIG opportunity for selling on Instagram…

Generate Conversions Using Retargeting on Instagram

Two of our lower priced products, The Hashtag Handbook and Social Media Class Tickets, have sold well with Instagram ads.

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We served these ads only to warm audiences, retargeting the visits to our sales page.

In a quick test of retargeting ads in January 2017, they converted at a cost of $8.77. With the Handbook priced at $27.99, that is a $19.22 return per sale.

Any small business owner can benefit from running retargeting ads.

Unlike the Instagram Strategy Guide ads from above, which can focus on cold and warm audiences, retargeting ads can take a lot less time to set up because it only requires setting up targeting once.

(RELATED: [DOWNLOAD] The Complete Guide to Facebook Ad Targeting)

(NOTE: Want The Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library? Copy & paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

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3 Tips For Getting Started with Instagram Advertising Campaigns

1. Test on Both Platforms

Like we did with the Strategy Guide above, test your ads on both Facebook and Instagram.

Running on both platforms is easy to set up and will help you target where your efforts should be spent.

For instance, we ran a retargeting campaign for our Hashtag Handbook in January 2017. We started by running the following ads on both platforms:

On Instagram…

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And on Facebook…

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It turns out, these ads were super successful on Instagram and the actual cost per conversion was $1.09!

With this information, I now can make a decision about where my budget is more wisely spent, and for this campaign it is Instagram.

If you are going to test the two platforms for your retargeting ads, you can save yourself even more time by ensuring the ad copy you write for your description will work well on both platforms.

What do I mean?

On Instagram, only 300 characters of your description are visible, the rest is hidden behind a “read more” button.

Because of this, you need to make sure you use that real estate wisely and include a hook right at the beginning of the ad

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For example, in the Hashtag Handbook retargeting ad, you can see we come right out and tell people to stop wasting their time.

The sentence tells our audience we want to help them get a precious resource back: time.

The copy continues to explain the selling points of the handbook, which someone can view if they hit “More,” but to get them there, you need something to attract them in the first place.

It is easy to test out where the copy on your ad would be cut off, take a peek at your ad and with “ad preview” in the Ads Manager or Power Editor.

2. Start with a Small Budget

Nervous to invest in ads?

Keep the budget low.

We ran the Hashtag Handbook retargeting ads for 3.5 days at $10.00 a day.

(RELATED: How 6 Pro Marketers Would Spend $10/day Buying Website Traffic)

This is an ad spend that anyone can afford, and at this pricing and conversion rate, you stand to more than double your investment in 7 days.

You are also gaining increased visibility for your accounts when you are running ads, so the ad return is not just in cash earned but also in brand awareness and account followers.

3. Set Up Two Audiences

Remember, in order to retarget visits to a sales page, you need to add your Facebook pixel to the page and set up the Facebook custom audience to start collecting data.

(RELATED: How to Use Facebook Advertising Pixels to Create High Converting Ad Campaigns)

We suggest setting up not one audience, but two.

The first is obvious: People who visit the specific web page. ZimmermanInstagram2

The second is an audience to use for exclusions.

The purpose is to exclude people who decide to purchase your product from being served ads for a product they already own.

The easiest way to do that is to create a second custom audience, one for those who visit your Thank You page. Anyone who visits that page is a customer of the product.

When you create the ad targeting under your ad set, select your custom audiences, the first under “include” and the second under “exclude,” and you are good to go!

Try out these tips to get your Instagram paid advertising off the ground.

(NOTE: Want The Ultimate Facebook Ad Template Library? Copy & paste these 7 proven Facebook ad campaigns to create low-cost, high-converting ads on demand. Get them here.)

Facebook Ad Templates

Get the 3-Step Pinterest Jumpstart Plan that Led to a 40% Increase in BabyList’s Revenue

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It’s easy to push Pinterest under the rug.

Yes, more people use Facebook. BrittanyMurlas_Pinterest2

However, users on Pinterest are signing onto the platform to plan, buy, and do. That’s a much different intention than users signing onto a platform to watch cat videos.

And, when you consider that 50% of women and 50% of dads in the United States are using Pinterest—that’s some buying power. (Hint: that’s 47,000,000 American users.)

See where I’m going with this?

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If you need more reason to pay attention to Pinterest, then let me let you in on a little secret: Very few marketers get Pinterest, which means there is opportunity left on the table, and you can rake it in by learning the basics.

(RELATED: How Ezra Firestone Generated $41,254.34 in Ecommerce Sales From $775.50 in Pinterest Ad Spend)

This is exactly how I got started establishing a Pinterest presence for BabyList during my time as their CMO.

Using the incredible results from the three strategies below, we were in a great position when we were given access to Pinterest Promoted Pins—a venture that resulted in a 40% increase in revenue during its first five months!

Those steps were basic, but powerful, and they’re what I’ll be sharing today.

Let’s get started.

Step #1: Forget Your Profile

Everyone thinks you have to start with a Pinterest profile, and then you have to find and save cool pins to your profile day and night to gain followers.

These people are WRONG.

And I understand their confusion.

Every other social platform makes you start with a profile and encourages businesses to build their number of followers.

But Pinterest is different.

While you do need a Pinterest profile to spend advertising dollars on Pinterest, you DON’T need a profile to get tons of traffic from Pinterest.

Let me give you an example. 3.23_Quotebox1

The grocery store Trader Joe’s does not have a Pinterest profile, but I know they get tons of traffic from Pinterest.

How do I know Trader Joe’s gets tons of traffic from Pinterest?

Here’s the trick: You can go to “www.pinterest.com/source/[enter_url_here]” to see what people are pinning from ANY website.

So, let’s see what people are pinning from traderjoes.com by typing in www.pinterest.com/source/traderjoes.com:

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Look at that! Recipes from the Trader Joe’s website are being saved to thousands of Pinterest profiles, all without Trader Joe’s having a Pinterest profile. Huzzah!

(NOTE: Want a 5-step process to bring a flood of shop-happy traffic to your ecommerce site? Get started with Pinterest’s new ad platform and get a proven system you can follow to fast-track your way to quick results and measurable ROI. Learn more now.)

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Step #2: Figure Out What People Like Pinning

Okay, now you know you don’t have to create a profile to get Pinterest traffic.

What’s next?

Start by getting a feel for your competition on Pinterest.

To do this, type your best search terms into the Pinterest search bar.

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For example, if I have a toy company, I’d type “toys” into the Pinterest search bar. If I’m a motivational speaker, I’d start by typing in “motivational speaker” into Pinterest.

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What comes up for your search terms? Which pins have the most re-pins?

Now, a lot of people think of Pinterest as a social media site, but it really functions as a search engineBrittanyMurlas_Pinterest1

So, treat Pinterest like Google.

Type in your search terms, see who wins them, and strategize on the content you can create to get you to appear among the results.

(Related: Episode 66: Creating Content that Converts with Laura Hanly)

To illustrate, during my time as CMO of BabyList, I realized there was a lot of potential for us when it came to baby gear searches on Pinterest.

Search terms like…

  • “best stroller of 2016”
  • “baby swaddle blanket”
  • “how to cloth diaper”

So, we created blog posts to target these searches… and it worked.

We got 100,000 more visitors to our site as a result.

(Related: How To Write Blog Posts That Sell)

Step #3: Add Vertical Images to Your Posts

Once you have blog posts that match well with Pinterest search terms, you have to make sure there is an awesome VERTICAL image included in the post.

Buzzfeed has some great examples.

When they write a post they think will do well on Pinterest, they always include a vertical image with the post, as they do in the article below:

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See the vertical image/collage that’s featured at the top of the post?

At this point, you might feel overwhelmed – I have to add vertical images to all my blog posts now?

Believe me, this can be simpler than it seems.

You just need…

  1. A portrait image that matches your blog post theme (I love Stocksy for finding images).
  2. A way to overlay the title of your blog post on top of the image (I love picMonkey for adding text overlays – you don’t even need a designer).

Your pins don’t even have to be professionally designed.

In fact, I believe the pins that look homemade do better than the super well-designed ones because they look less like ads.

Try these simple three steps and take your Pinterest game to the next level and leave your competition in the dust.

(NOTE: Want a 5-step process to bring a flood of shop-happy traffic to your ecommerce site? Get started with Pinterest’s brand-new ad platform and get a proven system you can follow to fast-track your way to quick results and measurable ROI. Learn more now.)

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