SEO and Content Marketing Trends

SEO and Content Marketing Trends


Content is more important than ever. More specifically, quality, media type, authenticity, and audience targeting all come into play if you want to win with readers and Google.

These are the five content marketing and SEO trends you need to know.


1. Go Beyond (WAY Beyond) Superficial Content

We’re seeing brands leave superficial content behind in favor of blogs and articles that plumb the depths of a topic.

That means more and more blogs are comprehensive, thoroughly researched and – you guessed it – long.

For instance, look at the SERP for the query [content marketing examples]. The top 4 results have an average length of 2,207 words.


5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing


Furthermore, all these results are chock-full of real-world examples, studies, statistics, and facts.

This research had to be accurately and carefully compiled, referenced, and cited.

This Optinmonster blog (result #2 and a featured snippet) is well-researched, meaning it includes lots of examples, links to sources, and screenshots. It also clocks in at over 3,000 words:

This is what is necessary to rank well with readers and search engines these days.

Still publishing unplanned, unresearched, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants content?

Not going to work anymore. In fact, I could argue this method never worked in the first place.

Superficial content will get you superficial results, at best. There is rarely any value in content that skims the surface of a topic.

No value = no audience interest. No audience interest = no results.



2. Invest in Content Creation Processes

To create best-of-the-best content, more brands than ever are investing in content creation processes.

According to Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 B2C research, 56% of content marketers increased spending within the last 12 months on content creation.


5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing

That might involve:

  • Researching keywords and topics.
  • Planning what the content will cover (and why).
  • Writing the content.
  • Optimizing.
  • Editing.
  • Creating graphics, pulling screenshots, or leveraging the written content into multimedia.
  • Posting and promoting the content across multiple channels.

The interest in creating content is a matter of course.

Content marketing has reached peak popularity over the last few years, according to Google Trends.

Most marketers want a piece of the promised land.


5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing

Investing more dollars in content creation processes makes sense:

How else can you create the type of value-packed, high-quality content that readers love and search engines rank?

If you don’t invest, you won’t have the resources to do it right.

End of story.


3. Use Content Personalization for Ultra-Targeted Content

Another widely-adopted content marketing trend is content personalization.

According to a survey from Evergage, 93% of marketers use personalization for at least one channel in their digital marketing strategy.

5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing


This practice focuses on tailoring the content your site serves to different users based on readily available personal data like demographics, preferences, and search/browsing history.

According to the Evergage survey, most marketers agree that this tactic:

  • Helps deliver better customer experiences.
  • Increases customer loyalty.
  • Generates measurable ROI.

5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing

The point is, the content that speaks to one type of user won’t speak to another. A first-time visitor to your page has different needs than a visitor on their 20th session, for example.

Content personalization gives each of them slightly different pages filled with content that will appeal to their personal needs.


Conversion XL Chart

This chart from ConversionXL shows how two different versions of content are served to two different users.



4. Double-Down on Building Customer Loyalty with Authenticity & Transparency

According to a 2019 Stackla survey, 90% of consumers agree that authenticity matters for the brands they like and support. Most marketers are aware of this trend and want to be that authentic voice people crave.

The problem? 92% of marketers think the content they create oozes authenticity, but 51% of consumers think less than half of all brands accomplish this.

5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing

However, when brands get authenticity right, the rewards are huge. A Cohn & Wolfe survey found almost 90% of consumers are willing to reward a brand’s authenticity by taking action:

  • 52% said they would recommend the brand to other people
  • 49% would give the brand their loyalty

If marketers are often mistaken about the authenticity in their content, how can they get past their overconfidence and reach what works?

Brands that understand what authenticity actually means will come out on top. Michael Fertik for Forbes defines it like this:

“Being authentic means being accountable and upholding your brand promise. It requires transparency and a dash of vulnerability. When a brand is authentic, consumers know it, appreciate it and prioritize their spending accordingly.”

For examples of authenticity in big-name brands, look at Amazon, Apple, Lego, and Intel – all of these appear in Cohn & Wolfe’s list of the 100 Most Authentic Brands ranked by consumers.


5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing


5. Expand Your Horizons Past Just Blogging

Blogging is a big deal in content marketing, but it’s not the end-all, be-all.

Blogging is awesome, don’t get me wrong.

My agency has seen 99% of our leads and sales come through our organic content rankings.

That said, we are living in a dynamic, multi-channel, multi-experience digital world.

If you only target people who read blogs and articles, you’re missing out on all the people who prefer only video, only audio, or a mix of two or three in their browsing adventures.

According to Nielsen, U.S. adults over age 18 now spend nearly half of their days – over 11 hours total – consuming content. (Over 6 of those hours are devoted to video content!)

They get their content everywhere: On live TV, time-shifted TV, the internet, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, radio, DVD/Blu-ray devices, and other internet-connected devices.


5 Trends to Know in SEO & Content Marketing

Most marketers are wise to this trend and are diving into the uncharted waters of YouTube, podcasts, webinars, and live streaming along with their blogging strategies.

If you’re still only blogging, it’s time to start thinking about adding on a YouTube channel, a podcast, or some other form of dynamic media to your content strategy.

For best results, go where your audience lives.


Trending Content & SEO Tactics Are Just the Beginning

As content marketing evolves, these trends are just the start of new shifts in the industry.

Over the last year alone, we have seen brands reprioritizing their audiences, refocusing on telling authentic stories, and shifting to include more channels in their content strategy.

Credit :


Read More

Trends Shaping Email Marketing 2020

Trends Shaping Email Marketing 2020

Shaping Email Marketing – A new report from eMarketer reveals the trends that that will shape email marketing practices throughout 2020.

Here’s what should remain at the top of mind for marketers, especially retailers, who will be utilizing email marketing next year.



Personalization has been identified as a leading trend across marketing communications, however, most emails are still not tailored to the person receiving it.

Cross-channel personalization software firm Smarter HQ, which has been tracking retail emails for a study, found that out of 25 emails received by Walmart in August, just one was personalized based on behavior.

By comparison, Target sent 23 behaviorally personalized emails out of a total of 41 for the month of August.

Michael Osborne, CEO and president of SmarterHQ, speaks on why retailers are so behind on personalization:

“Either they find it difficult, or they’re addicted to the way that they’ve always done it. Every extra dollar of revenue counts, even if it’s detrimental in the long term for their customer base and loyalty.”


Consumer Privacy Regulation

The recent round of consumer data regulations like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the US, is sure to have an impact on email marketing programs in 2020.

This is especially true when it comes to the previous section on personalization, as it affects the level of consent needed to send personalized email communications.

Further, if marketers are measuring the results of their email program by tying an individual’s metrics to that same individual’s data across other channels, they would also need consent for that.



Customers want more control over email frequency, but just 10% of retailers say they’re meeting that expectation.

New Report Reveals the 3 Trends Shaping Email Marketing in 2020

According to interviews contained in the report, most email marketing practitioners determined messaging frequency through some type of data-driven approach.

In general, marketers tend to agree that fewer emails work best. Although leaving the frequency up to the individual customer sounds like it would improve satisfaction overall.

Credit :


Read More

How to Sell a Product using Social Media?

How to Sell a Product using Social Media?


Is to use social media the right way. In the process of telling the world about my writing course, I learned a lot about how to use social media to promote a product.

Now, it isn’t my first time to the course rodeo – I’ve wrangled a five-figure launch with another course I published, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course, which went hand-in-hand with a book I published on Amazon that became an industry bestseller.

I learned what to do (and what not to do) after hiring a lot of so-called experts when launching that first course. In other words, I learned from my mistakes and focused on DIY-ing a lot of the social media side this time around the ring. That also means I set a tiny budget for myself to promote the writing course.

Guess what?

The variation in strategy paid off!

My approach resulted in great ROI and lots of interest in my product.

So, what, exactly, did I do to make this such a success?

How did I approach social media promotion this time?

Well, I’m here to share that with you right now.


4 Ways to Use Social Media to Earn Product Sales Without Turning Your Customers Off

The following tips apply to a 10-day launch, which I did for my course, so these tips specifically apply to an open and closed product launch.

For evergreen launches, you can set this up the same way, except with evergreen copy.

Ready to learn how to promote a product/service on social media on a low budget?


1. Warm Up Inbound Leads with a Strong Product & Message

For one, it’s far, far cheaper to re-target existing leads when you sell a product or service using social media, than it is to target cold leads.

In the next four points, which contain actionable tips you can use right away, I’ll show you exactly how to target these kinds of leads.

So, start by thinking inbound – it’ll be so much easier than outbound.

Next, the quality of the content in your messaging matters so much for an effective “selling presence” on social media.

Don’t shortcut your product. Build a good one. And don’t shortcut the message, copy, videography, and marketing around it, either.

Marketing and product fundamentals, 101. Build a great product. Promote with great marketing.

Your product and your message must be equally strong.

I’m a professional copywriter and content marketer, yet I still enlisted the help of several of my top writers with the social media copy around the course. I wanted excellence.

Here’s the kind of effort a high-quality message around a high-quality product looks like:

  • Scripting every single video.
  • Taking the time to film product videos in a nice studio.
  • Enlisting a conversion copywriter to help you compose every message that goes out on social media or email about your product.

Yes, that takes a lot of time and money, but it’s exactly what I did when launching my new writing course. And we made huge ROI during the launch – 10x ROI from the costs put in.

Quality will pay off.

This care and attention to detail left a great impression with my leads.

When people saw that I’d invested in my marketing quality, they were more apt to invest in my product. (Interesting!)

High quality is huge.

This is one error I made with my first product launch. I didn’t put in the necessary quality when it came to really scripting and creating great messages for social media.

For your own launch, don’t slap together some social posts and call it done.

Carefully plan out what you’ll say, when you’ll say it, and how you’ll say it.

For best results: aim to make the quality of your promotion match the quality of your product.


2. Do Low-Budget Facebook Re-targeting

One of the best tips I have for social media promotion is to do a low-budget re-targeting ad on Facebook.

This ad technique simply targets all the existing visitors you received on your website (ideally, this will be the site where you’re selling your product) as soon as they log into Facebook.

This tactic is incredibly effective. Re-targeted ads get an average click-through rate that’s 10x higher than the average CTR for display ads.

Plus, it’s easy to set up and a great way to keep your product “top of mind” for very little money.

On a budget of only $5/day, I achieved 250x ROI in sales on average.

Small investment, big returns.


3. Tell True, Inspiring Stories

Another hot tip for social media promotion: Use your platforms to tell stories.

Don’t just write two sentences – dig in and get real.

I did this with organic written “stories” to my Instagram and Facebook accounts. I posted before, during, and after the product launch.

I focused on telling a true, behind the scenes story, and everyone in my follower list resonated with it.

That’s the beauty of selling a great product to the right niche – it can be easy to position correctly.

A few tips for writing stories in social media posts:

  • Keep it simple, true, and inspiring
  • Keep it product-related, including:
    • Why you’re launching your product
    • What problem you’re trying to solve
  • Include a non-stock image (ideally, this will be a photo of you or your product in the real world – I see a lot of digital product creators do these, but not enough)

4. Follow This Proven Copy writing Formula to Write Social Media Posts and Ads

My final tip is all about making your social media posts and ads the best they can be.

Don’t feel like you have to start from scratch – instead, use a proven copy writing formula to create irresistible messages.

One I love in particular is PASOP:

  • Problem
  • Agitation
  • Solution
  • Outcome
  • Problem.


How to Use Social Media to Sell a Product Without Turning People Off


This is how it works:

  1. P: Start by talking about a problem particular to your audience.
  2. A: Agitate the problem for the reader. Make it sting. Underline why the problem hurts the reader, and make them want the solution urgently.
  3. S: Present the solution. This is how the reader makes the pain you outlined in step #2 go away.
  4. O: Show the reader the outcome of using your solution. What great benefits will they enjoy?
  5. P: Present another problem, but leave it there. It doesn’t have to be related to the problem you just addressed, but it should be relevant to your audience. This acts as a cliffhanger you can connect to your next social media post.


How to Use Social Media to Sell a Product Without Turning People Off




Stand Out with Smart Social Media Promotion

You don’t have to be an expert in social media marketing to effectively promote a product.

And, you can make social selling work on a low budget without being pushy, annoying your potential buyers, or moving too far out of your comfort zone.

Whether you’re a self-starter or a marketing newbie, you can take social media promotion into your own hands. Follow these tips – then watch and see what happens.



How to Create a Facebook Retargeting Ad:


1. Set up a Facebook Pixel

Before you can retarget to existing website visitors, you need to install a snippet of code on your website.

This code places a cookie on the user’s computer, which will send information about their browsing history (like which pages they viewed on your website) back to Facebook.

To set up the pixel, go to your Facebook Ads Manager and click on “Audiences”.

Click “Create a Custom Audience”. On the next screen, click “Website Traffic”.


How to Use Social Media to Sell a Product Without Turning People Off

On the next screen, you’ll be able to choose exactly what kind of website traffic you want to retarget.

When you’re ready, click “Create Audience”. (This will create your pixel, which will now be available to select when you choose the audience for your retargeting ad.)


2. Add the Pixel to Your Website

To add your newly-created pixel to your website code, in Ads Manager return to the “Audiences” section. Your new campaign should be listed.

Select it, then click on “Actions” and “View Pixel”.


How to Use Social Media to Sell a Product Without Turning People Off



Follow the instructions on the next screen to install your pixel code on your website.

How to Use Social Media to Sell a Product Without Turning People Off



3. Create an Ad Using Your Pixel

Once you have the pixel added to your Facebook account in Events Manager and installed on your site, it’s time to create your retargeting ad.

You’ll select your pixel under “Audience” as you set up your ad with a budget.

Here’s how I set up my ad:


How to Use Social Media to Sell a Product Without Turning People Off


My budget was $5/day and the ad was set up to run within a specific timeframe.

During this step, you also need to choose your ad format. Mine was set up for an offer and a video.


How to Use Social Media to Sell a Product Without Turning People Off


The offer was set up to expire on the day the course closed for enrollment.

I went in and edited the ad text every day for the 10-day launch.


How to Use Social Media to Sell a Product Without Turning People Off

Boom. There you have it – a super low-budget way to remind people who have already engaged with your brand about your product launch.

Credit :


Read More

Create a Holiday Content Strategy

Create a Holiday Content Strategy


Holiday Content Strategy – Without proper planning, your business’s holiday marketing may be about as effective as a lump of coal. It’s never too early to start planning your holiday content.

Whether it’s Black Friday or Christmas or New Year’s Eve, every holiday presents an opportunity to stand out from your competitors and grab some of that holiday traffic.

Having a content game plan even months in advance ensures that you won’t be stressing when the holidays come around.

Want to get a head start and create a content “advent” calendar of your own?

Here’s how to plan out all of your holiday marketing content while still having time to enjoy the festivities.


Anticipate the Trends

The holidays come around every year, so whether you have been in business for a while or are just starting out, it’s likely that you’re aware of some yearly trends. If not, it’s worth a Google search to pull up studies that have the stats from previous holiday seasons.

For example, one study found that mobile app usage and mobile shopping go up during the holidays – likely because people are trying to avoid the crowds and the inconvenience of making multiple shopping trips.

At the same time, marketing trends show that more consumers are on the prowl for deals during this time of year, trying to strike a bargain to save some cash.

What does this mean for your content strategy?

Well, by staying in tune with the trends, you can better anticipate what type of content will strike a chord with your audience.

  • Do you need more articles optimized for mobile search?
  • Need to launch some sweet discounts?
  • Are users searching for holiday gift guides?

With the numbers in front of you, you can create content that you know people will be looking for.


Ask Your Audience

Can’t find data regarding holiday trends in your industry? Ask your audience what they want.

Many marketers and content creators skip the market research step even when it comes to regular content planning, thinking that they already know what their target audience wants.

The truth is, the best way to know is to ask them directly.

Prior to creating your holiday content strategy, send your audience surveys regarding what kind of content they are hoping to see during the holidays.

They may not tell you outright, but you can brainstorm some of your own ideas based on their answers to questions like:

  • What’s your #1 concern going into this holiday season?
  • How are you planning for the holidays this year?
  • What are you most looking forward to during the holidays this year?
  • How could [your brand] help your holidays run smoother?
  • What’s your best holiday memory?

The list of questions can go on and on, but the goal is to get a better idea about their goals/concerns/struggles/interests going into the holidays. With this information, you can plan out content that is of interest to your audience.

Further, sharing a survey is a great opportunity to tell them, “Hey! Look out for our great holiday content coming out soon!”


Audit Your Existing Content

Before you create any new content, you need to audit your existing content to assess what you already have, what content could be updated, and what new content should be created.

If you have been in business for a while and have published holiday-related content before, it may be possible to update your content for the new season. Or, it may make sense to start from scratch.

Ultimately, it depends on whether the content is current enough to be relevant for the upcoming holidays and whether there is ample traffic potential.

For example, with holiday content, often users are looking for tips, gifts, news, and trends for the current year. They may be searching for “2019 holiday guide” or “best new years party ideas 2019”.

Your 2018 guides may be chock-full of last year’s keywords. The tips or products on the list could be outdated. You should decide whether you should optimize it for the current year, or write a completely new piece of content.

You should also factor in existing content for internal linking purposes to help drive traffic to additional pages on your website.


Activate Creative Content Planning

Once you have some past holiday data on-hand and some tip-offs from your existing audience, you can dive into the fun part of content planning.

Now’s your chance to think outside the box and brainstorm content ideas that are relevant to the holidays.

Keyword research is a great place to start.

You can play around with holiday-related terms and identify keywords that are work creating content around for your site.

If your marketing strategy involves search engine optimization, this is the way to go.

However, you may want to create content for other marketing channels as well. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and email marketing are all channels to consider.

  • What topics would really grab your audience’s attention on these platforms?
  • In what ways can you repurpose the content for wider circulation?
  • Are there any killer content ideas that you can think of that would stand out from the competition?

Have a brainstorming session and see what you can come up with.


Align Topics with Your Goals

Not every content idea is going to be gold.

After generating an exhaustive list of ideas, it’s time to narrow it down. It helps to start by identifying which content ideas most closely align with your business goals.

For instance, if your goal is to generate more organic traffic, sending gift boxes to Instagram influencers may not be the way to go.

Similarly, if you are hoping to create a buzz on social media, pouring all of your energy into a 30 Days of Holiday Deals email campaign likely won’t get you there.

Pick out the content ideas that:

  • Align with your existing business goals.
  • You know you can execute successfully.

Diving into new waters during the thick of the holiday season could result in a dire sink or swim situation for your content marketing.


Arrange Topics by Timeliness & Priority

On theme with the point above, your holiday content needs to “make sense” for your business.

In other words, it should strategic, planned out, purposeful, and on-brand. Simply creating content for the sake of being festive won’t do much for your marketing.

That’s why it’s recommended to also consider arranging your content in terms of timeliness and priority.

Not only should the content be ready for launch prior to the actual holiday, but if you are creating multiple pieces for a single holiday, the content should make sense in progression.

For example, a “Complete Guide to Getting More Holiday Traffic” would naturally come before the “Ultimate Guide to Converting Holiday Traffic into Leads”.

Assuming your audience will encounter multiple pieces of content from your brand, it’s best that your content is organized in a sensical and strategic way.


Add Seasonal Photos

The holidays are full of feelgood smells, sights, and sounds. Tap into that nostalgia and the holiday spirit by adding seasonal images to your content.

Images have been found to make content more engaging, and one of the best ways to snag some of that holiday traffic is to engage users with some festive, attention-grabbing images.

If your budget allows, ditch the stock photos and capture some high-quality images of your own.

Or, hire a graphic designer to make some on-season images for your blog posts, social media posts, and ad campaigns.

You can then repurpose this content across platforms, saving you time and money on your holiday content marketing.


Advertise Your Content Across Platforms

When it comes to content creation, I’m not a big fan of the “post and pray” method myself.

Why rely on one platform when you could generate traffic from multiple channels with a single piece of content?

Some platforms worth sharing your content on include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Your blog
  • YouTube
  • Email
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Paid ads
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Guest blogs

Map out a content plan and schedule that includes when and how you plan on posting your content across multiple platforms.

With tools like Buffer and Hootsuite, you can even write your captions and set the featured images in advance.

Simply schedule it out ahead of time and you won’t be scrambling to post content during the holidays.


Analyze Results

To truly make the most of your holiday content marketing, it’s best to monitor progress and adjust your content accordingly.

While it may be tempting to simply publish and put up your feet, it’s likely that readers will have questions, and inquiries will come flooding in.

You should be prepared to handle an influx of new leads and traffic.

On the other hand, you may find that your content doesn’t go viral and that you need to tweak things to give it a boost.

You or someone on your team should be available to respond to readers’ comments, fix technical issues, further optimize content, and put out any fires that may come up.

Information is power. Having the data at your fingertips will give you the power to make major improvements in your content and learn valuable content planning lessons for the future.


Apply Past Lessons to Future Content

If creating a holiday content strategy isn’t your first rodeo, it’s likely you have a few tips and tricks that you have picked up from previous years.

If so, it’s best to avoid making the same mistakes twice. Some risks just don’t pay off, especially when paired with the stress of the holidays.

On the other hand, maybe your content strategy has always gone off without a hitch, or you are diving into the world of holiday content planning for the very first time.

Even so, be sure to align your content with your business goals, create content that your audience is interested in, and add that special, festive touch for the holiday season.

Credit :


Read More

link building strategies to consider in 2019

Top 6 local link building strategies to consider in 2019


local link building is the key, let’s proceed with the actual strategies. By the way, it’s totally OK to use ordinary link building tactics for local SEO as well. However, I suggest taking a slightly different approach. It’s hard to doubt that in 2019 links still have a massive influence on rankings. But even though it’s a well-known fact, a lot of small business owners still underestimate and even deny the power of link building. The truth is, links define the authority of your webpages and domain— the two factors that Google considers when ranking pages. So if you don’t want to kiss your rankings goodbye, make sure to invest your time and effort in quality link building.


What’s more, every expert in the survey confirmed that link building boosts local search rankings, with more experts this year calling this activity “very effective”.

Why local link building should be different

The reason why local SEO and local link building in particular need to be done a bit differently can be boiled down to one core thing— when you type in keyword phrases with “local intent” like “pet store near me”, Google uses a separate algorithm to come up with location-specific results.

As Greg Gifford, the Director of Search and Social at DealerOn clearly stated, the source of links pointing to your site can be totally irrelevant to your business— location is what matters the most. In other words, keep it local— the best practice is to hunt for links that come from the same geographical area as you. However, collecting links that are relevant both industry and location-wise is only a bonus.

So let me introduce you 6 powerful link building strategies that will help you acquire new backlink opportunities to boost your local business and make your rankings go through the roof.

1. Uncover your competitors’ backlinks

Who doesn’t like spying on their competitors? Not SEOs. Revealing your top competitors’ backlink profiles is the best link building strategy to start with for two reasons:

  1. it’s a good opportunity to explore your local competition
  2. you don’t need to go this extra mile and search for new backlink sources yourself.

Armed with SEO SpyGlass, you can instantly see all the links pointing to your competitors’ sites.

How to:
  1. Fire up SEO SpyGlass, create a new project for your site or open the existing one.

  1. After that, switch to the Domain Comparison module and click on Add Domains. In a popup window, enter your top competitors’ websites and hit OK.

  1. Now you can clearly see how your site stacks against competition and understand what it is that makes a given competitor stronger than you.

  1. Now that you have a clear understanding of what aspects need to be improved in your backlink profile, it’s time to move to the Link Intersection to see what backlinks you have in common.
  2. To look for new backlink opportunities, just hit Prospective domains in the drop-down menu on the left, and SEO SpyGlass will shortly come up with a bunch of new backlink sources that are worth checking out.

2. Submit guest posts to local websites

Needless to say, in 2019, content marketing is still on the rise, and it’s hardly going to change any time soon. Although guest blogging requires time and effort, it will definitely pay off with links, visibility, new audience, and relevant traffic. But first and foremost, quality guest blogging starts with searching for relevant opportunities. And with LinkAssistant on your side, this task can be accomplished in almost no time at all— just pick a corresponding search method.

How to:

Since we’re talking about local link building here, it’s only right to hunt for some local blogs. To do that, we need to set up a custom search engine so that the tool only collects blogs in your geographical area.

  1. To do that, start LinkAssistant and create a new project for your site.
  2. After that, in the top left corner, click on Preferences and then Personalization.
  3. Switch to Project Preferences and hit Search Engine Settings.

  1. Now move to Settings next to the search engine of your choice, type in your geographical area in the Preferred Location field, and hit Apply. After that, just give it a short name and hit OK.

Now that you’ve set up your custom search engine, let’s get down to collecting guest posting opportunities for you.

  1. To do that, go to the Look for Prospects tab, choose Guest Posting as a search method, and hit Next.

  1. Now enter a couple of keyword phrases that describe your niche. In the Search engine field, choose your custom search engine and hit Next.

  1. At the final stage, don’t change any settings and hit Finish. Now give the tool some time to collect a bunch of new local guest posting prospects for you.

The only thing left to do is to write an awesome post with a couple of links to your site and pitch it to editors. By the way, you can now email your prospects directly from LinkAssistant.

3. Make profit from unlinked mentions

Sadly enough, a lot of customers who talk about your product or service on the Internet don’t bother to link to your website. Therefore, chances are high that there are tons of unlinked brand mentions, bringing you much less profit than they could. So what I suggest doing is spotting unlinked mentions and turning them into linked ones.

Back in the day, it was really hard to keep track of unlinked brand mentions. Now with the help of a tool like Awario, you can effortlessly track, segment, and take more advantage of your mentions.

How to:
  1. Open Awario and create a new alert by clicking on the Add alert button next to the Mentions tab.

  1. After that, you need to enter keywords that you want to track mentions of, and the tool will shortly come up with the full list of mentions.

  1. Now you need to go through them to spot the ones that are not linked. The only thing left to do is to get in touch with editors, asking them for the minor adjustment of linking the text that mentions your brand.

Obviously, to reach out to these people, you will need their email addresses. This is where a tool like comes very handy.

4. Get listed in local business directories

Citation building is another great strategy for collecting local links. Local citations do a very good job helping users to discover local businesses. But most importantly, they can significantly boost your local search engine rankings. For those who don’t know what citation is, it’s when the name, address, and phone number of your business are mentioned together.

Citations may appear on local business directories, websites and apps, and social platforms. However, the easiest way to build citations is through local business directories, which is exactly what we’re going to do now.

As a rule, every city has some small directories, so it’s quite easy to find relevant ones and have your business listed. The fastest way to spot local business directories is by running searches like:

Location “recommended links”
Location “add your site”
Location “add your business”
Location * directory

However, the same task can be done with a lot less time and effort wasted with the help of LinkAssistant.

How to:
  1. Open LinkAssistant, Click on Look for Prospects in the upper left corner, specify Directories as a prospect search method, and hit Next.

  1. At the second step, enter keywords that best describe your niche to make the tool collect only relevant directories. And don’t forget to specify your custom search engine to make the tool collect only local business directories.
  2. After that, move to the Search engine tab, click on Google advanced search, select your custom location, and hit Next.

  1. At the third step, just leave the settings as they are and hit Finish.

Congrats, a whole bunch of local business directories are on the way!

5. Write about local events

Creating link-worthy content is yet another way to feed your backlink profile. Knowing that people are always interested in events going on in their geographical areas, you may think of adding a “blog” section to your site, for instance.

There you can publish information about local events or news. Most probably, people who are interested in local markets or garage sales, for example, will link to you. This is how you kill two birds with one stone— drive traffic to your site and earn local links.

6. Reach out to local influencers

Needless to say, influencer marketing is still on the rise. According to BrightLocal, the most valuable strategy for building local backlinks is through relationships with businesses and influencers.

When looking for local influencers in your niche, you may think of some government sites, local news media, or just bloggers in your area. The best practice is for them to be relevant to your niche. If you run a local coffee shop, try to reach out to some sites that overview local restaurants, for instance. Speaking of bloggers, you can offer them collaboration— you can offer them your product or service for a link in return.

But there’s also another approach— once you decide whom you’re willing to reach out to, search for events they may be hosting in the nearest future. After that, attend the event, meet them in person, and see how you can help each other.

Track your results

Surely, link building is an uber important activity, but keeping an eye on your links is by no means less important. So, in order to know whether your links are still live and haven’t turned into nofollow, they need to be tracked. And there’s no better tool for that than SEO SpyGlass.

How to:
  1. Open SEO SpyGlass and create a new project for your site.
  2. After that, move to Backlink Profile > Backlinks, right-click a header of any column and add the Backlink status and Links back columns to your workspace.

  1. Once the columns are there, hit the update button and select Backlink Page Info, Linked Page Info, and Penalty Risk factors to be updated.

  1. When it’s done, pay your special attention to the link with the nofollow statuses and to the ones with Penalty Risk over 70%— these links need to be investigated in the first place.
  2. I would highly recommend keeping fingers firmly on pulse with your links and monitoring your link building progress on a regular basis.

Most Valued Link Building Strategies

  1. Building relationships with local businesses and influencers (#4 last year)
  2. Creating research-based content (#5)
  3. Sponsoring local charities and organizations (#1)
  4. Creating resources with a local focus (#3)
  5. Hosting community events (#6)

Least Valued Link Building Strategies

  1. Sharing on social media
  2. Links in social profiles
  3. Creating infographics
  4. Advertorial
  5. Commenting in blogs and forums

This year, building relationships with local businesses and influencers has become the most highly-valued local link building strategy.

Creating research-based content has also become more valued by link building experts. Local businesses can attract a lot of links by demonstrating their expertise, and providing original insights into industry-relevant topics. However, this can require a higher time investment than some of the other ‘paid for’ strategies.


In conclusion, I want to emphasize that link building is not going anywhere any time soon. Of course, links take time to build, but if you want to boost your rankings and keep them high, link building should become your long-term commitment.

Please don’t forget that since you are doing local link building, it’s better to hunt for links coming from your location. What’s more, try to give preference to quality links that are relevant to your niche and your rankings won’t take long to grow.

Credit :


Read More

Affiliate Link Building

Affiliate Link Building: How to Do It the Right Way

Affiliate link building is like commissioned sales for the 21st century.

The concept is simple: With an affiliate marketing program, brands and businesses select leading influencer’s to promote a service or product by using a unique affiliate link. Affiliate link building provides businesses an opportunity to earn additional sales through user-generated content. Profits are shared with influencer’s based on the number of links clicked or purchases made.

3 Benefits of Affiliate Link Building

Affiliate marketing is an effective way to gain exposure, drive traffic, boost conversions, and increase sales.

Let’s take a look at the three main reasons your business should be using affiliate link building strategies.

1. Easy Tracking

Affiliate marketing tracking software

  1. Affiliate marketing tracking software monitors the affiliate program and tracks links. When your company joins an affiliate network, the network’s program tracks the numbers for you.
  2. Being able to track the effectiveness of each campaign or influencer is an essential part of an effective affiliate marketing strategy.
  3. Some affiliate marketing programs provide detailed reports based on different marketing tools used, such as text links or banners.

2. Targeted Ads

  • If your business is running an in-house affiliate program, you have the freedom to accept influencers to join your program based on their reach and relevance.
  • When your business is partnered with an influencer through an affiliate network, there are steps in place to ensure that the influencer will reach your target audience through their content.
  • When an influencer creates new content using their affiliate link, their campaign (your advertisement) has the potential to reach your target audience in high volumes through channels like social media and the influencer’s website.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

Affiliate link building can boost conversions and increase sales with minimum effort and investment.

When setting your business’s marketing budget, consider these four costs for affiliate marketing:


Will you be running an in-house program, or joining an affiliate network?

Running an in-house program may be more expensive and take more time initially, but is lower-cost in the long run.

It gives your business full control over every aspect of the affiliate program and enables you to communicate directly with your influencers.

Joining an affiliate network is much cheaper to begin with, but might not be as cost-effective in the long run, since the network itself does take a fee.

This means a lot of the initial work is done for you, including selecting influencers, tracking, reports, and even issuing payments.




Whether you choose to run an in-house program or join a network, your affiliate marketing program will require creatives.

That is, graphics and images for banners, copy for text links, videos and flash content, and any other tools that your influencers may use to promote your service or product.

Product Feeds or Landing Pages

If you’re running an in-house program, provide a detailed product feed to your influencers, including product names and descriptions, prices, categories, and creatives associated with the product.

The product feed serves as a resource for influencers when they’re preparing a new campaign.

If your business is selling a service or has a limited number of products, another option is to set up a unique landing page for each influencer.


Product Feeds or Landing Pages

Program Management & Compensation

Your business will need to hire an Affiliate Marketing Manager to:

  • Recruit and onboard influencers.
  • Create and monitor rules and policies.
  • Communicate with affiliates (or with the network).
  • Regularly update and optimize the affiliate program.
  • And more.

And you’ll need to compensate your influencers!

Profits are shared with influencers based on the number of links clicked or purchases made, at a rate that you choose.

Keep in mind that if the commission rate is too low, many influencers may opt-out.

How to Start Affiliate Link Building (Correctly)

Keep in mind that like any other marketing tactic, there’s a right way – and a wrong way – to start affiliate marketing.

Now that you understand why your business should be using affiliate link building strategies, let’s take a look at how to implement affiliate link building strategies.

1. Have a Plan

Your first step is to get organized.

Implementing any new marketing strategy without a plan of action is a recipe for disaster, and it isn’t any different for an affiliate marketing strategy.

Plan your budget, decide which platform you’ll use, determine how you’ll select influencers, and set your commission rates.

Create a timeline and a content calendar, design your creatives, and watch your competitors. The time you put into planning your strategy is invaluable and will set you up for success.

2. Communicate Consistently

Your Affiliate Marketing Manager should be an expert communicator.

They need to:

  • Be willing to reach out to your influencers personally.
  • Always keep your influencers updated on new products or campaigns.
  • Provide current copy and creatives.

Many companies use forums or private Facebook groups to communicate with their influencers.

3. Build Relationships

  • The Affiliate Marketing Manager needs to be willing to assist your influencers and provide support when needed.
  • Asking your affiliates questions and sending polls to request feedback will let them know that your business can be trusted, you’re listening, and you want to work with them.
  • When you begin affiliate marketing, your influencers are partnering with you. Their voice is your asset.

4. Be Open to Change

  • Monitoring and checking numbers and metrics is crucial to the success of an affiliate marketing program.
  • You need to be able to understand what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll have to make decisions based on new information about your KPIs and ROI.
  • Follow each campaign with a keen eye. Run some A/B tests with different campaigns and different influencers.
  • Using affiliate marketing doesn’t mean a business gets to sit back and watch while their numbers increase. Get involved and be open to making changes to your strategy.

It’s Time to Build Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy

  • Affiliate link building is a growing and ever-evolving channel of marketing that more brands and businesses are integrating into their overall marketing strategies.
  • There’s a lot of freedom with affiliate marketing: you decide which strategies to implement – and which influencers you want to work with – for your content and exposure.
  • Affiliate link building is about performance marketing, with a focus on content that is going to reach your target audience naturally, benefiting both your business and your affiliates.

Read More

10 Email Marketing Tips to Boost Holiday Sales – 2019

Adding email to your holiday marketing mix is a must.

Email continues to generate the highest ROI of all digital channels, with some sources reporting averages as high as $44 for every dollar spent.

But competition for consumers’ attention in the inbox is fierce year-round, and never more so than over the holidays.

With the promotional period kicking off earlier each year (cue the Christmas music in October), it’s never too soon to start strategizing for holiday.

1. Review Past Years’ Wins & Losses

Who better to tell you what resonates with your audience than your own audience?

Before looking ahead, look back at the last couple of years’ worth of holiday engagement and conversion data to identify wins to replicate and areas of opportunity to course correct.

Key into trends in top-performing subject lines, calls to action, and promotions and use these learnings to make data-driven decisions for the upcoming season.

2. Conduct a Competitive Analysis

While looking at your own past performance is a great starting point, it’s important to know what you’re up against.

Identify your top competitors and review their holiday marketing strategies.

If you weren’t subscribed to their mailing lists last year, tools like Milled or MailCharts can offer a comprehensive look back at your competitors’ cadence and promotional strategy.

Consider how your plans compare and ratchet up your strategy as needed to lay claim to a greater share of wallet.

3. Run Pre-Holiday Testing

It’s generally best to avoid testing during holiday as the volume, make-up, and intent of your audience isn’t typical and can skew results.

Instead, utilize A/B tests in Q3 to glean actionable insights pre-holiday that can be carried through your holiday strategy.

A few testing opportunities sure to yield good bang for the buck include:

  • Subject Line: Short vs. long, personalized vs. generic, offer vs. no offer. Don’t forget to test on triggers like cart/browse abandon; these behavioral messages will see a spike in volume with increased traffic, representing a big opportunity to turn window shoppers into customers.
  • Promo Type: $ off vs. % off, buy-more-save-more, gift with purchase, free shipping, etc.
  • Timing/Logic for Triggers and Series: Test time between behavior and first mailing, time between follow-ups, and how many touches are included.
  • Average Order Value: Test the number of products, inclusion of dynamic recommendations, or promotion of complementary product to lift AOV.

4. Scrutinize Your Promotional Strategy

Black Friday/Cyber Monday no longer define the season.

With steep discounts and holiday messaging spanning 8 weeks or more, it’s important to mix up promos and content to keep your audience engaged.

Your Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers should be outstanding; consumers are expecting deep discounts, so be cognizant of the offers you’re running before these key dates to ensure major promos remain impactful.

Use the holiday season as an opportunity to treat your VIP customers to special promotions or early access to sales, prompting them to consider your brand first for gifting, or treating themselves.

Utilize VIP messaging to stand out in the inbox and offer an additional promo or gift with purchase during holiday sales to further build affinity amongst this already loyal group of customers.

Just look at this VIP Early Access email from Carved:

VIP Early Access email from Carved

5. Hone Your Message

Make sure your emails capture attention and generate clicks by keeping creative simple and to-the-point.

Focus on one main story per message to help users process information quickly.

Utilize clear and prominent offers that catch the eye.

In short, don’t make your readers think too much.

Take a look at this clean, simple and outstanding Black Friday offer from J.Crew:

10 Email Marketing Tips to Boost Holiday Sales

Above all, make sure your messages are timely and play up urgency.

Highlight sell-out risk, end of promotions, and shipping deadlines for holiday delivery to motivate consumers to complete transactions immediately rather than shopping around.

See this shipping deadline email:

shipping deadline email

6. Ramp Up Your Mailing Cadence

Email subscribers have a higher tolerance for an increased mailing cadence throughout the holiday.

If your brand typically mails a couple of times a week or less, up your cadence to keep your brand top-of-mind and allow for timely messages during every seasonal milestone.

In some cases, you’ll want to send more than one email per day (Thanksgiving morning + after dinner when people are sitting around on their phones too stuffed to move, for instance).

Any increase in mailing should be approached thoughtfully to avoid upsetting subscribers, leading to contact loss or, worse yet, spam complaints that could impact deliverability for your entire program.

Get started with a steady ramp-up in late October, keeping a close eye on open and contact loss rates for a read on how your audience is reacting.

Plan to decrease cadence in early January to soften the expected spike in unsubscribes that follow holiday.

7. Audit Your Segmentation Strategy

To mitigate fatigue from an increased mailing cadence, review your segmentation strategy and limit how often you mail to your full list. Consider re-sends of the same promotion only to non-openers or non-converters.

As always, unengaged subscribers should be suppressed to prevent issues with deliverability, which could cripple your entire program during the busiest time of year.

On the other side of the segmentation coin, determine where it might be appropriate to lift suppressions.

If you normally suppress contacts in the welcome series, they might miss some of your best holiday offers.

Try lifting these types of suppressions over Black Friday/Cyber Monday, if not throughout the entirety of November and December.

8. Grow Your List with Increased Traffic

The increase in traffic from holiday shopping represents a great opportunity to build up your email list for retargeting throughout the year.


Tease sign up as a way to gain early access to sales or “VIP only” promotions. This can be carried through onsite capture points, transactional emails, and social campaigns.

During Holiday

If you’re running an incentive for email sign-up onsite, reassess the depth of the discount on offer.

Consider sign-up promotions that sweeten the deal for new subscribers, like:

  • Free shipping or shipping upgrades.
  • Gifts with purchase.
  • An additional percentage off of already spectacular holiday savings.

Update the imagery and messaging to speak to holiday to get shoppers in the holiday spirit, and keep gifting top of mind.

A few examples:

Business as Usual Creative

Business as Usual Creative

Holiday Creative

Holiday Creative

9. Don’t Neglect Your Triggers

Some marketers tend to think of triggered messages as a set-it-and-forget-it.

While there’s a myriad of reasons to regularly revisit these messages, holiday is a crucial time of year to entertain changes to automation:

  • Lift suppressions to ensure contacts are able to take advantage of the best deals possible, regardless of where they are in their subscriber journey.
  • Update cart/browse abandon messaging to have holiday look and feel and speak to gifting others or yourself.
  • Tighten up the timing (trigger earlier, decrease the duration between touches) to take a more aggressive approach.
  • Launch re-engagement / win-back automation pre-holiday to stem the tide of unsubscribes likely to come in Q1.

Business as Usual Cart Abandon:

Business as Usual Cart Abandon

Holiday Cart Abandon:

Holiday Cart Abandon

10. Have a Contingency Plan

If you want to make the retail gods laugh, tell them your plans.

But seriously, even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry.

It’s in your best interest to plan for the worst by building out contingency plans for a few key scenarios:

Your Offer Tanks

If your Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaigns don’t perform as expected, it’s helpful to have back-up campaigns at the ready.

Have a steeper discount, compelling add-on, or “offer extended” email in your back pocket and ready to deploy as needed.

Your Offer Does Better Than Expected

This is a good problem to have, but you might want to give shoppers more time to take advantage.

Have an “offer extended” message ready to go to capitalize on surprise successes.

You Send an Email with an Error / Have Site Issues

Take some time to map out the criteria for sending an “oops” email.

Only mail an apology if the issue prevented customers from shopping or caused a negative customer experience (site outage, wrong promo code, broken link).

If the issue is a typo, however cringe-worthy it might feel, you’re only going to annoy subscribers with a follow-up.

Have the bones of an apology email built out and ready to customize with specifics.

Wrapping Up

There’s no shortage of opportunities to optimize your email program for the holiday season, so don’t feel like you have to do it all.

Pick out the strategies above that are relevant to your business and score them based on the level of effort and the potential return to guide prioritization of projects.

Get a holiday postmortem on the books for January to review analytics, celebrate wins, identify opportunities to improve in future years, and streamline your planning efforts for holiday 2020 when we do it all over again…

Happy mailing!

Read More

Search Ranking & Traffic Might Drop

20 Reasons Why Your Search Ranking & Traffic Might Drop


In today’s technical and online environment, the only way to be successful is to have a steady flow of traffic to your website.

Because Google is a major source of traffic, ranking high in the search results is critical.

You need to set up your website correctly to bring in qualified leads that can then be converted into paying customers.

If you rank better in organic search, then you should get more website traffic from search engines.

But when your website experiences a significant drop in organic search rankings, you will lose traffic, business, and revenue.

There are many causes of sudden drops in website traffic.

Being able to diagnose and identify the reasons will determine whether your business suffers what could be a disaster or you get your web traffic back on track.


1. You’re Tracking the Wrong Rankings

If your site has been online for many years, you might have used keywords that are no longer relevant or are outdated.

Think about your own searching behavior. Have you ever tried to use fancy or more sophisticated language to find the answer to your question in a search query only to get frustrated because you don’t get the desired results?

Many people will search different variations of the same question and still be unable to find an answer or solution to their problem.

Then, as a last resort, they simply type their problem in very simple or more natural language and up pops their answer in the top search results.

The search engines also picked up on this phenomenon in recent years. Rather than relying on just a few keywords, complete sentences with language that is more natural are the way search engines are ranking websites.

Look at your keywords and keyword phrases. If you are using old or more generic keywords, then you’re tracking the wrong rankings and need to update your strategy.


2. Lost Links

Another reason your site ranking might have dropped is that you have lost links.

Check your site for lost links over the last 90 days, using a tool like Majestic or Ahrefs.

CognitiveSEO also offers a free backlink checker that will produce near real-time information where you can analyze your links profile.

If you see that you have lost a lot of links, this might be the reason for your drop in rankings. You will need to delve deeper into more specifics about lost links such as:

  • Is the link drop sitewide?
  • Are the lost links located on the same pages of your site where you have seen a drop in rankings?
  • Has there been a drop in inbound links to your pages that have lost their ranking?
  • Do you see dropped links to pages on your website that link other pages that have lower rankings?

If inbound links to your site are broken or lost, you will need to determine exactly where those links are coming from and why they are broken. You can then either remove, replace, or retain them.

Each link should be checked individually to determine your next steps:

  • If the links were removed intentionally, it could indicate that they were not natural links and could, if they weren’t already, be flagged and penalized by Google. Let these links go.
  • Sometimes links break or change during a site update. In these cases, you might have a chance of convincing the site owner to restore them.
  • If the internal links were replaced with new links to a different source, you have the option to link to the new source, too.
  • You can always replace the old links with new ones that work.

To prevent lost links affecting your rankings in the future, it is worth the effort to invest in link monitoring software or programs to actively track lost links. This way you can be proactive and take corrective measures before you lose your rankings.


3. Broken Redirects

If you are launching a new website, migrating to a new server, or do any structural changes to your site, unless you have a proper 301 redirect plan in place, you are likely to see a drop in your rankings.

When using a 301-redirect, you must make sure that XML sitemaps, canonical tags, and links are also updated.

A 301 redirect is akin to a change of address notice for the web. This notice tells search engines that a page, several pages, or your entire website has been moved. You are asking that your website visitors be sent to your new address and not your old one.

If done correctly, you won’t lose your rankings, nor will you get penalized for duplicate content because search engines are indexing both your old and new web address.


4. Manual Actions

If you see an abrupt and significant drop in your website rankings, it could indicate that Google is penalizing your site. Manual actions are ones that are applied by an employee rather than the result of algorithmic updates.

If your site continues to rank on other search engines like Yahoo or Bing, this is an almost sure sign that you are suffering from a Google penalty.

Whether your penalty is manual or automatic, you will want to fix the problem and get the penalty removed.

The best way place to start is to look at notifications from inside your Google Search Console account.

Look for warnings in the messages menu and the Manual Actions Section. Here you will find listed in a report instances where a Google employee has found that certain pages of your website are not in compliance with their guidelines. You will be able to find suggestions and information on how to fix the problems.


5. Algorithm Changes

Google is always looking for ways to improve strategies and results by making algorithm changes.

Many sites have been hurt by these changes and suffered from lower site rankings.

To avoid being crippled by Google’s updates, use an effective cross-channel marketing and traffic strategy that includes social media and other marketing channels.


6. Natural Changes in Google

There are times when you might notice a drop in your search engine rankings that are not a result of anything directly related to your website.

Google has often made changes to the type of results based on user behavior.

For example, if there is a sudden increase in search for a specific topic, Google may bring up newer results first and push the more static content down. If your content falls into the second category, you will see a loss in your ranking.


7. Geolocation Discrepancies

Your rankings will be different depending upon the location where the search was made. If you check your rankings in one geographic area, you will need to check them in several other areas to get a more precise and more accurate understanding of your rankings.

For example, if you rank for a specific keyword or phrase in the top 30, 67 percent of the time your ranking won’t be the same across other locations.

Have you ever noticed that the results you get for a specific search can be entirely different from another person doing the same search?

Also, if you search while logged into your Google account and then repeat the search after logging out, you will get different results.

The reason for this is that Google will look at and take into account sites you have previously visited, where you are located, and even the device you are using before bringing up your search results.


8. Competition from Other Websites

It is possible that you are doing everything right but still lose traffic and see a dip in your rankings. One reason for this might be that your competition is doing a better job.

Keep an eye on your competitors by analyzing and monitoring their social media activity, link building strategies, and content marketing.

You can use tools like Wayback Machine or Versionista to see what changes your competitors have made.

Once you understand what your competition has done to outrank you, make some of the same changes – only do them better.


9. Page Speed

How fast the content on your pages loads will not only affect your rankings, it will also affect your website visitors’ user experience.

When pages take longer to load, the bounce rates are higher because people don’t want to wait to see your content.

To check your page speed, try using Google’s new and improved PageSpeed Tool. The tool was revamped to incorporate real user data. Pages are ranked fast, slow, and average depending upon how quickly they load.


10. Server Issues

If your site encounters server issues, it may be the result of a broken caching function or an empty markup served to Googlebot.

It is critical that you resolve any server issues quickly. You should look for errors in your server logs and use Google’s Fetch and Render tool to test how a URL on your site renders or is crawled.


11. Bad Quality Link Penalties

Not all links are created equal. If you use risky, spammy, or outdated link building strategies, Google will penalize your site.

Google states very clearly what it considers to be a low-quality link in the first paragraph on their search console help section called Link Schemes.

“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”

Take the time to develop a high-quality link building strategy to avoid getting penalized by Google and grow your organic search traffic.

Some suggestions for building good links:

  • Fix your broken links by building new and valuable ones.
  • Use PR to get cited in online content or a news article.
  • Write exceptional content and promote it heavily on social media so people can find it.
  • Read SEJ’s Link Building guide.

12. Click-Through Rate Changes

Google is paying more attention to the user experience in how they rank sites. To see if your site’s click-through rate (CTR) has dropped, look in your Google Search Console for the last 90 days.

If your bounce rate is high, it is possible that people are clicking through to your site but leave quickly because they are not satisfied with what they find.

click thru popularity

As a result, Google might lower your ranking based on this user feedback.

If you find that your CTR has dropped, check some of the following:

  • Is your page taking too long to load?
  • Did you recently add something like a popup to your site?
  • Have you changed your page titles recently?

13. Recent Website Changes & Redesign

If you decide to redesign your website, the last thing you want to do is lose the traffic and rankings you worked so hard to build.

Some specific steps you can take not to hurt but even help your rankings are:

  • Ensure that all your 301 redirects are mapped out correctly.
  • Check the link structure of your inbound links to make sure they are working correctly on your new site.
  • Before launching your new website, get some baseline metrics reports such as rank tracker, site audit, traffic, and page URL mapping.

With careful planning and attention to the essential components of your redesign project, you will avoid negatively impacting your SEO and rankings and can even make improvements.


14. Simple Technical Issues

Technical SEO is the foundation you give your website content. It refers to SEO work that affects how well search engines can crawl and index your content.

Search engines are becoming more sophisticated. As a result, technical SEO continues to change.

See Most Common Technical SEO Mistakes: How Severe Are They? for some of the most common issues that could affect your website traffic and rankings.

Being aware of technical SEO issues should help you take better care of your website and keep your rankings up.


15. Internal Navigation

Your website navigation tells your visitors what and where they will find information on your site. Try to have a flat narrow structure of two or at most three levels deep for your internal navigation.

If your visitors have to click too many times to find what they are looking for, they are more likely to leave.

It is possible that search engines will stop crawling content buried deep in your website. This will, in turn, lower your rankings and you will get less traffic to important content areas.

Internal link strategies are not only a part of good search optimization but also integral to your other client retention strategies. Making your internal links and navigation simple and logical improves client retention and boosts other rank metrics like time-on-site.

Using keyword-rich internal links will help search engines quickly determine what your site is about and whether your content is relevant to queries.


16. Server Overload

If your server is not set up for or prepared for sudden surges in traffic, it could overload and crash.

Those who are on a shared server have a higher chance of going down because someone else on the same server might see a sudden increase in traffic.

Many hosting packages will take your site down if you exceed your bandwidth limits. This can happen if your site manages to get featured on a popular site.

If your site experiences too much downtime, it will negatively affect your search rankings.


17. Meta Information

Meta information, or meta tags, are used to tell search engines what information your site provides. One of the most important types of meta data that will help raise your SEO rankings is the title tag.

Other types of meta information that can help your website rankings are headers and meta descriptions.

Avoid being inconsistent when providing your meta information. For example, if you change the date of an article on your site, be sure to change it in the meta description as well.

You want to make sure not to duplicate your meta information or use meaningless and generic titles like “Home”. You should use more specific title tags that include your target keyword.

If you use the same title for multiple pages, not only will you confuse your users, you end up competing with yourself in the SERPs.


18. Source of Traffic

Your website traffic includes not only the number of visits to your site but also the number of pages clicked and the amount of time spent on each page.

Traffic can come from several sources including:

  • Email marketing.
  • Referrals.
  • Direct traffic.
  • Organic search.
  • Paid search.
  • Social media.

Which one is the best? The answer is whichever source produces the most engagement, the lowest bounce rate, and the most conversions.

Direct traffic is when someone types your URL into an address bar.

This may not be crucial for rankings, but it’s important because:

  • Visitors choose to come back to your site because they already know you and want what you are offering.
  • You are already recognized as an industry expert in your niche, so visitors come to your site because they know your brand.
  • Direct traffic isn’t affected by social media or Google changes and serves as an independent source of visitors.

You can track your direct traffic stats in your Google Analytics dashboard. If you want to increase your direct traffic, you should focus on having a clear and memorable brand.

Continuously provide value and expert advice to your website visitors and show them that you are an expert in your industry.


19. Time on Site

User engagement can impact your search rankings.

Though we don’t know exactly what Google looks at, there are a couple metrics (bounce rate and average time spent on your webpages) you can easily measure inside Google Analytics.

These metrics aren’t a direct ranking factor, but they do indicate whether you’re delivering a good experience for your users.

Want to reduce a high bounce rate? Check out: 20 Proven Tactics That Will Reduce Your High Website Bounce Rate.

Want to make people spend longer treading your content? Read 3 Tips to Increase the Time People Spend Reading Your Content.


20. Duplicate Content

Google defines duplicate content as substantial blocks of content that appear across or within domains that are significantly similar or completely match other content.

This is not always considered deceptive or malicious and doesn’t always result in lower search engine rankings.

When content is obviously deliberately duplicated to manipulate rankings and increase traffic, your site will get penalized.

Your rankings will suffer and in the worst-case scenario, your site can be removed entirely from Google’s index and will no longer be found in search.



There is no shortcut to increasing your website traffic and high search engine rankings.

Don’t try to take an alternative through sketchy strategies and suffer the negative consequences of such behavior.

Instead, keep informed about the latest updates and best practices to increase your online visibility and grow your business.

Credit :


Read More

Spy on Competitors with Python & Data Studio

How to Spy on Competitors with Python & Data Studio


Whether you’re new to SEO or a seasoned pro, investigating random  keyword rankings is just part of the trade.

There are many methods to investigating why your targeted keywords may have dropped, but using Python and Data Studio together is a game changer!

A quick disclaimer: I did not create this script myself. A fellow SEO and developer, Evan from Architek, collaborated with me to solve a particular need I had. Evan was the brains behind creating the script.

I always wanted to be able to view a large set of Google results at scale, without having to conduct these searches manually one-by-one.

Evan mentioned that Python may be the ideal solution for solving my SEO investigation needs.


Why Python Is Relevant to SEO


Python is an incredibly powerful programing language that can do just about anything. One of the more common uses for Python is automating daily monotonous tasks.

One of the coolest things about Python is that there are several different ways to accomplish the same task. However, this also adds a new level of difficulty.

Most of the sample Python scripts out there can be a bit outdated, so you’ll find yourself doing a lot of trial and error.

Python has many applications for analyzing SEO data. The key is to have the right idea. If you have an idea to automate a task, chances are that there’s a script that can be created for it.

To stay up to date with the latest use cases for Python in SEO, Hamlet Batista has published some awesome articles here at Search Engine Journal.


What This Specific Script Does & Doesn’t Do

Most keyword ranking tools report an average ranking for a keyword over a specified timeframe. This Python script runs a single crawl at the time you run it from your IP address. This script is not meant to track keyword rankings.

The purpose of this script was to solve an issue I was having with investigating sudden drops of rankings across my client and their competition.

Most keyword ranking tools will tell you which pages your domain is ranking for, but not your competitor’s highest ranking pages per keyword.

So Why’s That Important?

In this scenario, we aren’t tacking page performance for the long-term. We’re simply trying to get quick data.

This script allows us to quickly identify trends across the organic landscape and see which pages are performing best.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

If you’re new to Python, I recommend checking out the official Python tutorial or Automate the Boring Stuff.

For this tutorial I’m using PyCharm CE, but you can use Sublime Text or whatever your preferred development environment is.

This script is written in Python 3 and may be a bit advanced for folks new to this programming language.

If you have not found an interpreter or set up your first virtual environment yet, this guide can help you get started.

Once you’re set up with a new virtual environment, you’ll need the following libraries:

  • urllib
  • lxml
  • requests

Now that you’re all set up, let’s dive into some research together.

1. Make a List of Keywords to Investigate

We’re going to be using some sample data to investigate some keywords we’re pretending to track.

Let’s pretend that you looked at your keyword tracking software and noticed that the following keywords dropped more than five positions:

  • SEO Tips
  • Local SEO Advice
  • Learn SEO
  • Search Engine Optimization Articles
  • SEO Blog
  • SEO Basics

Disclaimer: *Searching for too many keywords may result in your IP getting temporarily banned. Pinging Google for this many results at once may appear spammy and will drain their resources. Use with caution and moderation.

The first thing we will do is place these keywords in a simple text file. The keywords should be separated with a line break, as shown in the screenshot below.

Example of keywords to search with Python

2. Run the Python Ranking Investigation Script

The TL;DR of this script is that it does three basic functions:

  • Locates and opens your searches.txt file.
  • Uses those keywords and searches the first page of Google for each result.
  • Creates a new CSV file and prints the results (Keyword, URLs, and page titles).

For this script to work properly, you will need to run it in sections. First, we will need to request our libraries. Copy and paste the command below.

from urllib.parse import urlencode, urlparse, parse_qs

from lxml.html import fromstring
from requests import get
import csv

Next, you’ll be able to input the main function of this script in a single copy/paste action. This part of the script sets the actual steps taken, but will not execute the command until the third step.

def scrape_run():
    with open('searches.txt') as searches:
        for search in searches:
           userQuery = search
           raw = get("" + userQuery).text
           page = fromstring(raw)
           links = page.cssselect('.r a')
           csvfile = 'data.csv'
           for row in links:
               raw_url = row.get('href')
               title = row.text_content()
               if raw_url.startswith("/url?"):
                   url = parse_qs(urlparse(raw_url).query)['q']
                   csvRow = [userQuery, url[0], title]
                   with open(csvfile, 'a') as data:
                       writer = csv.writer(data)

Now you’re ready to run the command. The final step is to copy/paste the command below and click the return key.


That’s it!

3. Use Data Studio to Analyze the Results

By running this command, you may notice that a new CSV file has been created called data.csv. These are your raw results, which we’ll need for the final step.

My agency has created a handy Data Studio template for analyzing your results. In order to use this free report, you’ll need to paste your results into Google Sheets.

The page in the link above has in-depth instructions on how to set up your Data Studio report.

How to Analyze Our Results

Now that you have your new Data Studio report implemented, it’s time to make sense of all this data.

What we’re looking for are patterns. Yes, you can find patterns in the raw data, but this Data Studio template has a handy feature that allows us to quickly identify which pages are ranking the most frequently for our targeted keywords.

This is helpful, because it allows us to see which competitors are performing well, and which specific pages are performing well.

Data Studio template for analyzing python web scraping data

As you can see in the Data Studio screenshot above, Moz and Ahrefs are the top two competitors ranking for our searched keywords.

However, that doesn’t really help us figure out exactly what they’re doing to rank for those keywords.

That’s where the second chart comes in handy. This displays each ranking page and how many times they occur for all of our search queries. We’re quickly able to identify the top three performing pages for our keywords.

Need to filter down to a page or keyword specific level?

We’ve included filters at the top of the Data Studio template to simplify this.

data studio filters

Once you’ve made a list of the best-performing pages, you can conduct further on-page and off-page analysis to figure out why those pages are performing so well.

Credit :


Read More

A Guide to Essential SEO Tools

A Guide to Essential SEO Tools for Agencies


We all know how important tools are to search engine optimization professionals. It’s virtually impossible to get any SEO task done without the help of a tool.

But with the wealth of choices available in the market, how do you know what tool is best for which SEO task?

Search Engine Journal’s comprehensive guide, Essential SEO Tools for Agencies, covers the most valuable SEO tools that should be in your agency’s arsenal and why you should use them.

Having the right tool for a specific task is crucial in a profession that’s as time-consuming and resource-intensive as SEO.

Can you imagine doing SEO manually? No?

And while there are a lot of free SEO tools out there, professional agencies need more sophisticated solutions to get complicated SEO work done right.

With the help of some of the industry’s seasoned practitioners, we compiled the best SEO tools that can help more SEO pros get tasks done with efficiency and accuracy – ultimately making you more productive and successful!

This guide also includes information about how much each tool costs, key features, and tips for success.


SEO Tools


1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an invaluable resource that is virtually indispensable to any digital marketer serious about SEO.

It provides a lot of handy data about websites such as the number of site visits, traffic sources, and location demographics.

With the detailed information from Google Analytics, digital marketers can tweak their content strategy and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Google analytics is one of the best free SEO tools that every digital marketer should be using. Google also provides a number of other nifty tools such as PageSpeed Insights, Keyword Planner, Search Console, and Sheets.


2. Answer the Public

Answer The Public

Answer the Public is a nifty tool that provides content marketers with valuable data about the questions people ask online.

Once you input a keyword, it fetches popular queries based on that keyword and generates a cool graphic with the questions and phrases people use when they search for that keyword.

This data gives content creators insight into the concerns and desires of potential customers and enables them to craft highly targeted content that addresses those needs.

Answer the Public also provides keyword suggestions using prepositions such as “versus,” “like,” and “with.”

It is an excellent research tool that can help you create better content that people will enjoy and be more likely to share.


3. MozBar



MozBar is a free SEO toolbar that works with the Chrome browser. It provides easy access to advanced metrics on webpages and SERPs.

With MozBar, you can easily access the Page and Domain Authority scores of any page or site.

The Page Analysis feature lets you explore elements on any page (e.g., markup, page title, general attributes, link metrics).

You can find keywords on the page you’re viewing, highlight and differentiate links, and compare the link metrics of different sites in SERPs.

If you need to do detailed SEO research on the go, MozBar is one of the best options to consider.

You can unlock even more advanced features such as Page Optimization and Keyword Difficulty with a MozPro subscription.


4. SEMrush


SEM Rush

SEMrush is an excellent keyword research SEO tool that, among other things, makes it easy to find out what keywords any page on the web is ranking for.

It provides detailed information about those keywords including their position in SERPs, the URLs to which they drive traffic and the traffic trends over the past 12 months.

With this feature packed tool, you can easily find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and craft great content around those terms and phrases.

SEMrush also offers more features and unlimited access with various paid plans. While they’re not cheap, you can get started with a 14-day free trial, if you want to test out the premium features.


5. Keyworddit



Another fantastic tool for finding keyword ideas is Keyworddit, a free tool that sources keywords from subreddits on Reddit and provides context –  a list of threads where a particular keyword was used.

You type in a specific subreddit (e.g., /r/askreddit), and it’ll extract a handful of keywords, as well as the monthly search volume for those terms in the U.S.

Keyworddit is very easy to use and provides valuable insight into the interests of specific audiences.


6. Woorank



Woorank is a handy website analyzer that provides useful insights that can help you improve your site’s SEO.

It generates an SEO score for your site and an actionable “Marketing Checklist,” which outlines steps you can take to fix any problems with your site’s SEO.

Another cool feature of this free tool is the social shareability pane. This section provides social network data such as the number of likes, shares, comments, backlinks, and bookmarks across popular social networks.

Woorank also has a great mobile section where you can find information on how your pages render on mobile devices and how quickly they load.


7. Mobile Friendly Test


Mobile Friendly Test


8. Ubersuggest




Ubersuggest is a simple keyword research tool that scrapes data from Google’s Keyword Planner for keyword ideas based on a keyword you provide.

The tool also returns handy data for each keyword including the search volume, CPC, and level of competition.

An excellent feature of Ubersuggest is its ability to filter out keywords that you’re not interested in from search results.

With the recently updated version – Ubersuggest 3.0, you can now input URLs and get domain metrics.






BROWSEO lets you see how your website looks to a search engine.

It basically strips your webpage of any styling and shows you the underlying structure. This helps you figure out if Google’s bot has any difficulty accessing important content on your site.

A neat feature of this free SEO tool is the SERP preview. This shows a preview of how your site appears in search results.

You can see if your titles and meta descriptions are adequately optimized and make changes as needed.


10. CanIRank



As the name implies, CanIRank helps you find out if you can rank on the first page of search engines for a particular keyword.

Unlike other tools that merely provide data about how competitive keywords are, CanIRank lets you know the probability that you’ll rank for a search term and uses AI to give you suggestions on how to better target keywords.

CanIRank provides great competitive analysis data and actionable steps to get your site ranking higher with better SEO.


11. Keywords Everywhere


Keywords Everywhere


Keywords Everywhere is a must-use keyword research tool due to the massive list of sites that it provides free search volume, CPC and competition data for:

  • Google Search
  • Google Trends
  • eBay
  • Answer The Public
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Bing
  • Etsy
  • Soovle
  • Google Search Console
  • YouTube
  • Ubersuggest
  • Majestic
  • Google Analytics
  • Amazon
  • Keyword Shitter
  • Moz Open Site Explorer


12. Check My Links


Check My Links

Check My Links is a nifty Chrome Extension that will crawl through your webpage and identify the status code for each link on the page – including broken links.

Each status code is color coded with 200 status codes returning dark green, 300 status codes light green, and 400 status codes returning red.

Once identified, you can then copy all bad links to your clipboard with one click.


13. Counting Characters Google SERP Tool


Counting Characters

While counting characters has been a long-standing approach to evaluating meta description and title tag length, the reality is Google doesn’t count the meta title and description in number of characters. It uses pixels instead.

The Counting Characters tool will provide both the character count and the pixel count to ensure you are creating meta tags that are not cut off by an ellipsis – represented by (…).


14. Redirect Path


Redirect Path

The Redirect Path Chrome extension will flag 301, 302, 404, and 500 HTTP Status Codes.

Additionally, client-side redirects like meta and JavaScript redirects will also be flagged ensuring any redirect issue can be uncovered immediately.

HTTP Headers such as server types and caching headers as well as the server IP address can also be displayed with the click of a button.

Furthermore, all of these details can be copied to your clipboard for easy sharing or addition to a technical audit document.


15. Google Search Console


Google Search Console

In the Essential SEO Tools for Agencies ebook, you will learn


The leading SEO tools that you can utilize for:

  • Technical SEO
  • Link Building
  • Keyword Research
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Rank Tracking
  • Reporting
  • Project Management
  • And so much more!

Credit :


Read More
    Glad to have you at DigitalXRun.Com
    Welcome to DigitalXRun
    ipsum id, adipiscing id mattis at lectus