Attraction Marketing Formula – 3 Critical Action Steps to Create a Successful Online Business

Originally published on: https://blog.myleadsystempro.com/attraction-marketing-formula

If you were to look at every successful business online, you’d see that in one way or another they’re using this 3 step attraction marketing formula. Are you struggling with your business? Then it’s likely you’re simply missing one or more of the three steps. Which means no matter where you’re at in your business […]

The post Attraction Marketing Formula – 3 Critical Action Steps to Create a Successful Online Business appeared first on My Lead System PRO – MyLeadSystemPRO.


5 Must-Have Tools to Help Manage Your Digital Marketing Agency

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WordStreamBlog/~3/WFdzewQgJg4/agency-tools

The key to running a successful agency is to utilise relevant tools and software to manage and automate as many areas of the business as possible, enabling you to focus on the needs of each of your clients. Having great tools in place to help you and your senior team manage areas such as operations, resourcing, CRM and reporting will free up your team to focus on adding value for your clients.

In this post, I’ve put together a list of tools and technology to help you out in areas that are essential in ensuring your agency runs smoothly, so that you can stay focused on your customers.

1. File Storage: Google Drive & File Stream

There are multiple ways of managing files within an agency, but the priorities for any agency owner must be ease of access, security and simple file syncing options.

With Google Drive, agencies can rely on a cloud-based method of storing files. Google Drive allows staff to easily sync files saved on various machines via Google Drive File Stream.

Google Drive (and Docs) is built for collaboration, which makes it the perfect fit for agency working. Whenever a change is made to a file on Google Drive, the previous version is automatically updated, so everyone is accessing the latest version no matter whether you’re accessing it from your iPhone or PC:

 digital marketing agency tool google drive

With Google Drive, your entire agency can also share folders internally or with external clients or contacts while maintaining administrative control themselves:

 digital marketing agency tool google sheets

Of course, you will want to ensure you consider adding an extra layer of security as there will no doubt be client-sensitive information contained within some of the files. Google has this covered via a range of options including:

2-Step Verification Advanced protection via physical security keys What if something gets changed or deleted by accident?

If you want to revert to a previous version or undelete a file, you can easily do this in Google Drive or in any Google doc:

agency tool google file restore previous versions 

You can also restore deleted files via the Google Drive admin console.

2. CRM & Agency Management: Podio

Customer relationship management is crucial to running a successful agency. As your agency grows, you’ll need a robust system that will help you to manage data relating to previous, existing and potential clients.

As an agency, you should be looking to implement a CRM system that offers the following features:

Ability to easily store and maintain accurate client information Ability to track and manage client communication Tracking billing information, managing invoicing and billing contacts The ability for people across the agency to view up to date client information and information related to client specific projects

At Hallam, we have utilised a project management tool called Podio to build a customised CRM & Project Management workspace that our entire company can access. This space allows us to manage client data, contacts at each organisation we have on record, track client projects, billable and non-billable hours, request resources from multiple areas of the business and create mailing lists from the data we have on record to hook up with Mailchimp.

 agency management software crm podio

 

As a digital agency, you need to keep a close eye on how you and your team spend, bill, and manage time. Podio allows you to build custom apps to track this data and associate it to other apps via the use of relationship fields and automated workflows. For example, all of our client projects link up with apps such as billable hours, non-billable hours and financial forecasts. This ensures we have everything related to each project accessible in a single place:

agency management software podio 

Like a lot of agencies, we started with an Excel spreadsheet to track hours, which can obviously be quite time-consuming (and often painful) to maintain accurate data, especially as we have grown. For anyone still using this approach I would strongly encourage you to test out customisable tools such as Podio which will enable you to mould a system to the needs of your business.

3. Project Management: Basecamp

Every agency needs to manage client projects, and there are a number of simple project management tools that can significantly increase your employees’ ability to get work done quickly.

basecamp agency project management tool 

Basecamp is an excellent project management tool that makes collaboration really easy both internally and with clients. Basecamp revolves around a few simple functions:

To-do lists – These should be time bound and allocated to members of each Basecamp project. Basecamp also allows users to attach files to to-do items and send lists to clients for updates and approval File sharing – Having all files related to a project referenced in a project workspace is hugely useful and avoids having to dig around in file storage platforms to find what you’re looking for. Basecamp allows users to link to files and documents on Google Drive. Chatting (campfire) – This option should be used for informal chats around client projects. Message board – Updates on projects can be posted here instead of being sent via email, keeping an audit trail within the project workspace instead of information being lost within emails. Scheduling – Basecamp has a calendar function which syncs up with most major third-party calendars such as Outlook, iCal and Google Calendar. To-do’s with dates are automatically added to schedules, meaning they can appear in your calendar of choice if synced. Automatic check-in requests – Automatic check-ins allow you to set milestones for each client project and ping reminders to everyone involved at key milestones.

Using Basecamp gives you full transparency, working away from email and in clearly visible workspaces which clients can be added to. That being said, there can be a clear separation between “agency side” and “client side” in Basecamp which enables seamless but safe communication that’s visible to agency managers.

One of the huge benefits of Basecamp is that it’s vastly simpler than most other project management systems. We trialled using Podio for clients by creating individual client workspaces and almost all clients found it hard to understand, including those that are tech savvy. Basecamp essentially means that clients just have to respond to an email for everyone to get visibility over the discussion.

In my experience, it’s an excellent tool for collaborating with clients, getting sign-off on various tasks and tracking client communication. You can even hook Basecamp up with CRM systems (such as Podio) via Zapier, enabling agencies to maintain a single customer view.

4. Resource Planning: Podio & HighCharts

Knowing the capacity of your workforce is at the core of managing your projects and enabling your sales team to successfully bring in new clients.

Beyond just having visibility into projects and their associated billable hours, it’s important for agency owners to understand:

Employee utilisation by individual, team, and department Non-billable hours spent on client projects (over-servicing) Non-billable hours put into pre-sales activity and conversion rate of that activity

Your team and their time are your most important assets, so it’s up to you and your project managers to ensure they’re focusing their attention on the right projects and tasks. Finding software that enables you to have a clear view of staff availability and utilisation can help manage workloads and empower recruitment decisions.

In my opinion this information should be captured in any agency CRM system, which for us means it’s captured within Podio. There are then a number of third-party tools which can help extract and visualise data from most popular CRM or agency management systems.

One tool which I can highly recommend for this purpose is Highcharts. Highcharts allows us to extract data from Podio and visualise it in a range of customisable graphs to report on areas such as utilisation and capacity and split it up by individual, team, department across a variety of date ranges.

 agency tools for planning and reporting

We also use Highcharts to report on our business KPIs in our monthly senior management team meetings, again extracting the data from our CRM system and visualising it using Highcharts.

If you’re already collecting data in these areas then why not give Highcharts a try to see if it could help you better track performance across your agency?

5. Client Reporting: Google Sheets & Data Studio

We have in the past used Google sheets for all of our client reporting by hooking it up to extract and display our client’s Google Analytics data.

 agency client reporting tools google data studio

This solution delivered huge time savings vs. pulling manual reports, while allowing us to set up highly customisable analytics dashboards for each of our clients, providing them with a concise overview of their performance at all times which is automatically updated each month.

You can read more about how to set this up here.

What are Your Favourite Agency Tools?

This post has covered a few essential tools we use to manage our marketing agency. There are of course plenty of other tools that we use as an agency to help our management team keep the business running smoothly.

We’d love to hear from other agency owners and managers about the tools you’re using to help manage your agency – please use the comments section below.

About the author

Ben Wood is Marketing Services Director at Hallam Internet. Ben has worked in digital marketing for over 8 years and gained client side experience at a blue chip corporation before moving to a high growth digital agency in 2012.


10,000 Hours of Practice Won’t Increase Conversions (But This Will)

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/crazyegg/~3/TE_o1MjnhEA/

It’s a maxim we’ve all heard and one we’re likely just as sick of. A saying which, if you spend any time on LinkedIn or other self-promotional platforms, you’ll find adorning countless updates, “motivational” images, and influencing all kinds of statuses. A belief so ingrained in the modern business psyche that it’s become almost synonymous with success. What’s the belief I’m referring to? Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that with 10,000 hours of practice, you can become an expert at anything. It’s an approach almost every successful person recommends. Countless hours of hustle will have you mastering your craft and reaching some…

The post 10,000 Hours of Practice Won’t Increase Conversions (But This Will) appeared first on The Daily Egg.


Don’t Be Fooled by Data: 4 Data Analysis Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/seomoz/~3/COElfU7-2lM/data-analysis-pitfalls

Posted by Tom.Capper

Digital marketing is a proudly data-driven field. Yet, as SEOs especially, we often have such incomplete or questionable data to work with, that we end up jumping to the wrong conclusions in our attempts to substantiate our arguments or quantify our issues and opportunities.

In this post, I’m going to outline 4 data analysis pitfalls that are endemic in our industry, and how to avoid them.

1. Jumping to conclusions

Earlier this year, I conducted a ranking factor study around brand awareness, and I posted this caveat:

“…the fact that Domain Authority (or branded search volume, or anything else) is positively correlated with rankings could indicate that any or all of the following is likely: Links cause sites to rank well Ranking well causes sites to get links Some third factor (e.g. reputation or age of site) causes sites to get both links and rankings”
~ Me

However, I want to go into this in a bit more depth and give you a framework for analyzing these yourself, because it still comes up a lot. Take, for example, this recent study by Stone Temple, which you may have seen in the Moz Top 10 or Rand’s tweets, or this excellent article discussing SEMRush’s recent direct traffic findings. To be absolutely clear, I’m not criticizing either of the studies, but I do want to draw attention to how we might interpret them.

Firstly, we do tend to suffer a little confirmation bias — we’re all too eager to call out the cliché “correlation vs. causation” distinction when we see successful sites that are keyword-stuffed, but all too approving when we see studies doing the same with something we think is or was effective, like links.

Secondly, we fail to critically analyze the potential mechanisms. The options aren’t just causation or coincidence.

Before you jump to a conclusion based on a correlation, you’re obliged to consider various possibilities:

Complete coincidence Reverse causation Joint causation Linearity Broad applicability

If those don’t make any sense, then that’s fair enough — they’re jargon. Let’s go through an example:

Before I warn you not to eat cheese because you may die in your bedsheets, I’m obliged to check that it isn’t any of the following:

Complete coincidence – Is it possible that so many datasets were compared, that some were bound to be similar? Why, that’s exactly what Tyler Vigen did! Yes, this is possible. Reverse causation – Is it possible that we have this the wrong way around? For example, perhaps your relatives, in mourning for your bedsheet-related death, eat cheese in large quantities to comfort themselves? This seems pretty unlikely, so let’s give it a pass. No, this is very unlikely. Joint causation – Is it possible that some third factor is behind both of these? Maybe increasing affluence makes you healthier (so you don’t die of things like malnutrition), and also causes you to eat more cheese? This seems very plausible. Yes, this is possible. Linearity – Are we comparing two linear trends? A linear trend is a steady rate of growth or decline. Any two statistics which are both roughly linear over time will be very well correlated. In the graph above, both our statistics are trending linearly upwards. If the graph was drawn with different scales, they might look completely unrelated, like this, but because they both have a steady rate, they’d still be very well correlated. Yes, this looks likely. Broad applicability – Is it possible that this relationship only exists in certain niche scenarios, or, at least, not in my niche scenario? Perhaps, for example, cheese does this to some people, and that’s been enough to create this correlation, because there are so few bedsheet-tangling fatalities otherwise? Yes, this seems possible.

So we have 4 “Yes” answers and one “No” answer from those 5 checks.

If your example doesn’t get 5 “No” answers from those 5 checks, it’s a fail, and you don’t get to say that the study has established either a ranking factor or a fatal side effect of cheese consumption.

A similar process should apply to case studies, which are another form of correlation — the correlation between you making a change, and something good (or bad!) happening. For example, ask:

Have I ruled out other factors (e.g. external demand, seasonality, competitors making mistakes)? Did I increase traffic by doing the thing I tried to do, or did I accidentally improve some other factor at the same time? Did this work because of the unique circumstance of the particular client/project?

This is particularly challenging for SEOs, because we rarely have data of this quality, but I’d suggest an additional pair of questions to help you navigate this minefield:

If I were Google, would I do this? If I were Google, could I do this?

Direct traffic as a ranking factor passes the “could” test, but only barely — Google could use data from Chrome, Android, or ISPs, but it’d be sketchy. It doesn’t really pass the “would” test, though — it’d be far easier for Google to use branded search traffic, which would answer the same questions you might try to answer by comparing direct traffic levels (e.g. how popular is this website?).

2. Missing the context

If I told you that my traffic was up 20% week on week today, what would you say? Congratulations?

What if it was up 20% this time last year?

What if I told you it had been up 20% year on year, up until recently?

It’s funny how a little context can completely change this. This is another problem with case studies and their evil inverted twin, traffic drop analyses.

If we really want to understand whether to be surprised at something, positively or negatively, we need to compare it to our expectations, and then figure out what deviation from our expectations is “normal.” If this is starting to sound like statistics, that’s because it is statistics — indeed, I wrote about a statistical approach to measuring change way back in 2015.

If you want to be lazy, though, a good rule of thumb is to zoom out, and add in those previous years. And if someone shows you data that is suspiciously zoomed in, you might want to take it with a pinch of salt.

3. Trusting our tools

Would you make a multi-million dollar business decision based on a number that your competitor could manipulate at will? Well, chances are you do, and the number can be found in Google Analytics. I’ve covered this extensively in other places, but there are some major problems with most analytics platforms around:

How easy they are to manipulate externally How arbitrarily they group hits into sessions How vulnerable they are to ad blockers How they perform under sampling, and how obvious they make this

For example, did you know that the Google Analytics API v3 can heavily sample data whilst telling you that the data is unsampled, above a certain amount of traffic (~500,000 within date range)? Neither did I, until we ran into it whilst building Distilled ODN.

Similar problems exist with many “Search Analytics” tools. My colleague Sam Nemzer has written a bunch about this — did you know that most rank tracking platforms report completely different rankings? Or how about the fact that the keywords grouped by Google (and thus tools like SEMRush and STAT, too) are not equivalent, and don’t necessarily have the volumes quoted?

It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of tools that we use, so that we can at least know when they’re directionally accurate (as in, their insights guide you in the right direction), even if not perfectly accurate. All I can really recommend here is that skilling up in SEO (or any other digital channel) necessarily means understanding the mechanics behind your measurement platforms — which is why all new starts at Distilled end up learning how to do analytics audits.

One of the most common solutions to the root problem is combining multiple data sources, but…

4. Combining data sources

There are numerous platforms out there that will “defeat (not provided)” by bringing together data from two or more of:

Analytics Search Console AdWords Rank tracking

The problems here are that, firstly, these platforms do not have equivalent definitions, and secondly, ironically, (not provided) tends to break them.

Let’s deal with definitions first, with an example — let’s look at a landing page with a channel:

In Search Console, these are reported as clicks, and can be vulnerable to heavy, invisible sampling when multiple dimensions (e.g. keyword and page) or filters are combined. In Google Analytics, these are reported using last non-direct click, meaning that your organic traffic includes a bunch of direct sessions, time-outs that resumed mid-session, etc. That’s without getting into dark traffic, ad blockers, etc. In AdWords, most reporting uses last AdWords click, and conversions may be defined differently. In addition, keyword volumes are bundled, as referenced above. Rank tracking is location specific, and inconsistent, as referenced above.

Fine, though — it may not be precise, but you can at least get to some directionally useful data given these limitations. However, about that “(not provided)”…

Most of your landing pages get traffic from more than one keyword. It’s very likely that some of these keywords convert better than others, particularly if they are branded, meaning that even the most thorough click-through rate model isn’t going to help you. So how do you know which keywords are valuable?

The best answer is to generalize from AdWords data for those keywords, but it’s very unlikely that you have analytics data for all those combinations of keyword and landing page. Essentially, the tools that report on this make the very bold assumption that a given page converts identically for all keywords. Some are more transparent about this than others.

Again, this isn’t to say that those tools aren’t valuable — they just need to be understood carefully. The only way you could reliably fill in these blanks created by “not provided” would be to spend a ton on paid search to get decent volume, conversion rate, and bounce rate estimates for all your keywords, and even then, you’ve not fixed the inconsistent definitions issues.

Bonus peeve: Average rank

I still see this way too often. Three questions:

Do you care more about losing rankings for ten very low volume queries (10 searches a month or less) than for one high volume query (millions plus)? If the answer isn’t “yes, I absolutely care more about the ten low-volume queries”, then this metric isn’t for you, and you should consider a visibility metric based on click through rate estimates. When you start ranking at 100 for a keyword you didn’t rank for before, does this make you unhappy? If the answer isn’t “yes, I hate ranking for new keywords,” then this metric isn’t for you — because that will lower your average rank. You could of course treat all non-ranking keywords as position 100, as some tools allow, but is a drop of 2 average rank positions really the best way to express that 1/50 of your landing pages have been de-indexed? Again, use a visibility metric, please. Do you like comparing your performance with your competitors? If the answer isn’t “no, of course not,” then this metric isn’t for you — your competitors may have more or fewer branded keywords or long-tail rankings, and these will skew the comparison. Again, use a visibility metric. Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve found this useful. To summarize the main takeaways:

Critically analyse correlations & case studies by seeing if you can explain them as coincidences, as reverse causation, as joint causation, through reference to a third mutually relevant factor, or through niche applicability. Don’t look at changes in traffic without looking at the context — what would you have forecasted for this period, and with what margin of error? Remember that the tools we use have limitations, and do your research on how that impacts the numbers they show. “How has this number been produced?” is an important component in “What does this number mean?” If you end up combining data from multiple tools, remember to work out the relationship between them — treat this information as directional rather than precise.

Let me know what data analysis fallacies bug you, in the comments below.


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2018 B2C Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

Originally published on: https://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2017/33257/2018-b2c-content-marketing-benchmarks-budgets-and-trends

B2C marketers are becoming more successful with content marketing, but many report their organizations don’t have realistic expectations about what content marketing can achieve. See what else the annual study by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute uncovered. Read the full article at MarketingProfs


Which of My Competitor’s Keywords Should (& Shouldn’t ) I Target? – Whiteboard Friday

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/seomoz/~3/lU2sBqu5tms/competitors-keywords-should-shouldnt-target

Posted by randfish

You don’t want to try to rank for every one of your competitors’ keywords. Like most things with SEO, it’s important to be strategic and intentional with your decisions. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand shares his recommended process for understanding your funnel, identifying the right competitors to track, and prioritizing which of their keywords you ought to target.

Which of my competitor's keyword should I target?

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

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. So this week we’re chatting about your competitors’ keywords and which of those competitive keywords you might want to actually target versus not.

Many folks use tools, like SEMrush and Ahrefs and KeywordSpy and Spyfu and Moz’s Keyword Explorer, which now has this feature too, where they look at: What are the keywords that my competitors rank for, that I may be interested in? This is actually a pretty smart way to do keyword research. Not the only way, but a smart way to do it. But the challenge comes in when you start looking at your competitors’ keywords and then realizing actually which of these should I go after and in what priority order. In the world of competitive keywords, there’s actually a little bit of a difference between classic keyword research.

So here I’ve plugged in Hammer and Heels, which is a small, online furniture store that has some cool designer furniture, and Dania Furniture, which is a competitor of theirs — they’re local in the Seattle area, but carry sort of modern, Scandinavian furniture — and IndustrialHome.com, similar space. So all three of these in a similar space, and you can see sort of keywords that return that several of these, one or more of these rank for. I put together difficulty, volume, and organic click-through rate, which are some of the metrics that you’ll find. You’ll find these metrics actually in most of the tools that I just mentioned.

Process:

So when I’m looking at this list, which ones do I want to actually go after and not, and how do I choose? Well, this is the process I would recommend.

I. Try and make sure you first understand your keyword to conversion funnel.

So if you’ve got a classic sort of funnel, you have people buying down here — this is a purchase — and you have people who search for particular keywords up here, and if you understand which people you lose and which people actually make it through the buying process, that’s going to be very helpful in knowing which of these terms and phrases and which types of these terms and phrases to actually go after, because in general, when you’re prioritizing competitive keywords, you probably don’t want to be going after these keywords that send traffic but don’t turn into conversions, unless that’s actually your goal. If your goal is raw traffic only, maybe because you serve advertising or other things, or because you know that you can capture a lot of folks very well through retargeting, for example maybe Hammer and Heels says, “Hey, the biggest traffic funnel we can get because we know, with our retargeting campaigns, even if a keyword brings us someone who doesn’t convert, we can convert them later very successfully,” fine. Go ahead.

II. Choose competitors that tend to target the same audience(s).

So the people you plug in here should tend to be competitors that tend to target the same audiences. Otherwise, your relevance and your conversion get really hard. For example, I could have used West Elm, which does generally modern furniture as well, but they’re very, very broad. They target just about everyone. I could have done Ethan Allen, which is sort of a very classic, old-school furniture maker. Probably a really different audience than these three websites. I could have done IKEA, which is sort of a low market brand for everybody. Again, not kind of the match. So when you are targeting conversion heavy, assuming that these folks were going after mostly conversion focused or retargeting focused rather than raw traffic, my suggestion would be strongly to go after sites with the same audience as you.

If you’re having trouble figuring out who those people are, one suggestion is to check out a tool called SimilarWeb. It’s expensive, but very powerful. You can plug in a domain and see what other domains people are likely to visit in that same space and what has audience overlap.

III. The keyword selection process should follow some of these rules: A. Are easiest first.

So I would go after the ones that tend to be, that I think are going to be most likely for me to be able to rank for easiest. Why do I recommend that? Because it’s tough in SEO with a lot of campaigns to get budget and buy-in unless you can show progress early. So any time you can choose the easiest ones first, you’re going to be more successful. That’s low difficulty, high odds of success, high odds that you actually have the team needed to make the content necessary to rank. I wouldn’t go after competitive brands here.

B. Are similar to keywords you target that convert well now.

So if you understand this funnel well, you can use your AdWords campaign particularly well for this. So you look at your paid keywords and which ones send you highly converting traffic, boom. If you see that lighting is really successful for our furniture brand, “Oh, well look, glass globe chandelier, that’s got some nice volume. Let’s go after that because lighting already works for us.”

Of course, you want ones that fit your existing site structure. So if you say, “Oh, we’re going to have to make a blog for this, oh we need a news section, oh we need a different type of UI or UX experience before we can successfully target the content for this keyword,” I’d push that down a little further.

C. High volume, low difficulty, high organic click-through rate, or SERP features you can reach.

So basically, when you look at difficulty, that’s telling you how hard is it for me to rank for this potential keyword. If I look in here and I see some 50 and 60s, but I actually see a good number in the 30s and 40s, I would think that glass globe chandelier, S-shaped couch, industrial home furniture, these are pretty approachable. That’s impressive stuff.

Volume, I want as high as I can get, but oftentimes high volume leads to very high difficulty.
Organic click-through rate percentage, this is essentially saying what percent of people click on the 10 blue link style, organic search results. Classic SEO will help get me there. However, if you see low numbers, like a 55% for this type of chair, you might take a look at those search results and see that a lot of images are taking up the other organic click-through, and you might say, “Hey, let’s go after image SEO as well.” So it’s not just organic click-through rate. You can also target SERP features.

D. Are brands you carry/serve, generally not competitor’s brand names.

Then last, but not least, I would urge you to go after brands when you carry and serve them, but not when you don’t. So if this Ekornes chair is something that your furniture store, that Hammers and Heels actually carries, great. But if it’s something that’s exclusive to Dania, I wouldn’t go after it. I would generally not go after competitors’ brand names or branded product names with an exception, and I actually used this site to highlight this. Industrial Home Furniture is both a branded term, because it’s the name of this website — Industrial Home Furniture is their brand — and it’s also a generic. So in those cases, I would tell you, yes, it probably makes sense to go after a category like that.

If you follow these rules, you can generally use competitive intel on keywords to build up a really nice portfolio of targetable, high potential keywords that can bring you some serious SEO returns.

Look forward to your comments and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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New 20-Minute Work Week Alert: Device Bid Adjustments

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WordStreamBlog/~3/PfEeY50n4ss/device-bid-adjustment-alert

Search ad performance can vary greatly across mobile, tablet and computer devices due to a variety of factors, including your business type. “Need right now” businesses like locksmiths may have a higher willingness to pay more for mobile clicks than a business with a longer customer journey like a law firm or enterprise software. These mobile-dependent businesses need bid optimization strategies that reflect which devices bring in the most leads and drive the most sales.

Of course, you can make these adjustments manually, but our customers look to us to make their lives easier. That’s why we built the 20-Minute Work Week, a system of customized alerts that nudge you to make the optimizations with the most potential for impact in your advertising campaigns each week.

Today, we’re happy to announce there’s a new alert in the 20-Minute Work Week: the device bid adjustment alert for Google AdWords, which suggests adjustments to your bids across different devices to ensure optimal performance.

Welcome the Device Bid Adjustment Alert to the 20-Minute Work Week

Now WordStream Advisor users can rely on the intelligence of the 20-Minute Work Week to provide guidance and make device bid adjustments an easy addition to their optimization workflow.

device bid adjustment alerts

How Does it Work?

On a weekly basis, the Device Bid Adjustment Alert will suggest either an increase or a decrease to a campaign’s base bid for each targeted device (Mobile, Tablet & Computers). The goal here is to drive more traffic (by designating more of your ad budget) to the better performing devices, while decreasing traffic and budget to the poorer performing devices.

We optimize toward CPA as the primary metric, and, for those advertisers that don’t capture conversions, we look to CTR.

device bid adjustments in wordstream

The 20-Minute Work Week will never recommend an action more drastic than a 15% increase or decrease to your current bid, but you can manually adjust your bids for mobile here.

Don’t Treat Mobile as an Afterthought

Needless to say, device bid adjustments are a great way to optimize campaign performance across devices. So why are so few businesses making use of them?

As WordStream’s head data scientist and PPC guru, Mark Irvine preaches, “the mobile PPC market is far more difficult for advertisers to be successful in than on desktop. If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you’re asking for trouble.”

For example, click-through rate falls off much more steeply on mobile devices depending on your ad rank – it’s a whopping 45% lower in position 1 than position 2. So it’s that much more important to get into position 1 for high-value searches like “emergency plumber.”

We have lots of device-specific best practices in our toolkit, but employing the advice of the Device Bid Adjustment Alert in the 20-Minute Work Week is one easy way to get started! If you’re a WordStream customer, you’ll find the alert in your 20-Minute dashboard starting this week. If you’re not a customer, you can try it out with a free trial of WordStream Advisor (or, sign up for a demo and we’ll show you everything works).

Happy adjusting!


How to Build the Right Content Marketing Strategy for SEO Growth

Originally published on: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/seomoz/~3/-FrEUvaVBcY/build-content-marketing-strategy

Posted by AlliBerry3

Delivering content that best serves the needs of users is certainly top-of-mind for many SEOs since the Hummingbird algorithm update and subsequent buzz around RankBrain. It sounds easy enough in theory, but what does that actually mean in practice? Many SEOs believe that they’re already doing this by driving their content strategy by virtue of keyword research alone.

The problem with solely using keywords to drive your content strategy is that not all of your audience’s content needs are captured in search. Ask your nearest customer service representative what questions they answer every day; I can guarantee that you won’t find all of those questions with search volume in a keyword research tool.

Keyword research can also tempt you to develop content that your brand really shouldn’t be creating because you don’t have anything unique to say about it. Sure, you could end up increasing organic traffic, but are those going to be converting customers?

Moving away from a keyword-first-driven content strategy and into an audience-centric one will put you in a better place for creating SEO content that converts. Don’t get me wrong — there’s still an important place for keyword research. But it belongs later in the process, after you’ve performed a deep dive into your audience and your own brand expertise.

This is an approach that the best content marketers excel at. And it’s something that SEOs can utilize, too, as they strive to provide more relevant and higher-quality content for your target audiences.

How is an audience-focused content strategy different from a keyword-focused content strategy?

A content marketing strategy starts with the target audience and dives deeper into understanding your brand’s expertise and unique value proposition. Keyword research is great at uncovering how people talk about topics relevant to your brand, but it is limiting when it comes to audience understanding.

Think about one of your prospective customer’s journey to conversion. Is search the only channel they utilize to get information? If you are collecting lead information or serving up remarketing ads, hopefully not. So, why should your audience understanding be limited to keyword research?

A content strategy is a holistic plan that tackles questions like:

Who is my audience? What are their pain points and needs? What types of content do these people want to consume? Where are they currently having conversations (online or offline) What unique expertise does our brand offer? How can we match our expertise to our audience’s needs? Finding your unique content angle

The key to connecting with your audience is to develop your unique content angle that finds intersections between what your brand’s expertise is in and your audience’s pain points. The Content Marketing Institute refers to this as a “content tilt” because it involves taking a larger topic and tilting it in your own way. Defining your brand’s expertise can be more difficult than it appears on the surface.

It isn’t uncommon for brands to say their product is what makes them unique, but if there is a competitor out there with the same general product, it’s not unique. What makes your organization different from competitors?

Here’s an example

When I worked for Kaplan Financial Education, a professional licensing and exam prep provider brand under Kaplan Professional, finding our tilt was a real challenge. Kaplan Financial Education has a lot of product lines all within financial services, but the audience for each is different. We needed a tilt that worked for the entire Career Corner content hub we were creating. What we realized is that our core audience all has a big pain point in common: entering the financial services industry either through insurance or securities (selling stocks and bonds) has low barriers to entry and high turnover. Everyone entering that job market needs to know how to not only pass their licensing exam(s), but also be successful as professionals too, both in the early years and also in the years to come.

Kaplan Financial Education’s biggest content competitors create very factual content — they’re websites like Investopedia, Wikipedia, and governing bodies like FINRA and state government departments. But Kaplan Financial Education has something going for it that its competitors do not: a huge network of students. There are other licensing exam prep providers that compete with Kaplan Financial Education, but none that cover the same breadth of exams and continuing education. It’s the only brand in that industry that provides licensing education as individuals progress through their financial careers. “From hire to retire,” as the marketers say.

We made our content tone more conversational and solicited input from our huge student and instructor network to help new professionals be more successful. We also used their quotes and insights to drive content creation and make it more relatable and personalized. All of our content tied back to helping financial professionals be successful — either as they’re getting licensed or beyond — and rather than simply telling people what to do, we leveraged content to allow our current students and instructors to teach our prospective students.

You may be thinking… so I can only write content that fits in this tilt? Isn’t that limiting?

As SEOs, it can be really hard to let go of some keyword opportunities that exist if they don’t fit the content strategy. And it’s true that there are probably some keywords out there you could create content for and increase your organic traffic. But if they don’t fit with your target audience’s needs and your brand’s expertise, will it be the kind of traffic that’s going to convert? Likely not. Certainly not enough to spend resources on content creation and to distract yourself from your larger strategy objective.

How to build your content strategy1. Set your goals.

Start at the end. What is you are ultimately trying to accomplish? Do you want to increase leads by a certain percentage? Do you want to drive a certain number increase in sales? Are you trying to drive subscribers to a newsletter? Document these goals first. This will help you figure out what type of content you want to create and what the calls-to-action should be.

If you’re a business like Kaplan and leads are your ultimate goal, a proven strategy is to create ungated content that provides good insights, but leaves room for a deeper dive. Have your calls-to-action point to a gated piece of content requiring some form of contact information that goes into more depth.

A business like a car dealership is going to have a primary goal of getting people into their dealership to buy a car. Their content doesn’t necessarily need to be gated, but it should have a local spin and speak to common questions people have about the car buying process, as well as show the human elements that make the dealership unique to establish trust and show how customers will be treated. Trust is especially important in that industry because they have to combat the used car salesman stereotype.

2. Identify your primary audience and their pain points.

The next step is to identify who you’re targeting with your content. There are a lot of people at your disposal to help you with this part of the process. Within your organization, consider talking to these teams:

Customer Service Sales Technical Support Product Management Product Marketing Social Media Marketing

These are often the people who interact the most with customers. Find out what your audience is struggling with and what content could be created to help answer their questions. You can also do some of this research on your own by searching forums and social media. Subreddits within Reddit related to your topic can be a goldmine. Other times there are active, related groups on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. If you’ve ever been to the MozCon Facebook group, you know how much content could be created answering common questions people have related to SEO.

3. Determine your brand’s unique expertise.

Again, dig deeper and figure out what makes your brand truly unique. It likely isn’t the product itself. Think about who your subject matter experts are and how they contribute to the organization. Think about how your products are developed.

Even expertise that may seem boring on the surface can be extremely valuable. I’ve seen Marcus Sheridan speak a couple of times and he has one of the most compelling success stories I’ve ever heard about not being afraid to get too niche with expertise. He had a struggling swimming pool installation business until he started blogging. He knew his expertise was in pools — buying fiberglass pools, specifically. He answered every question he could think of related to that buying process and became the world thought leader on fiberglass pools. Is it a glamorous topic? No. But, it’s helpful to the exact audience he wanted to reach. There aren’t hundreds of thousands of people searching for fiberglass pool information online, but the ones that are searching are the ones he wanted to capture. And he did.

4. Figure out your content tilt.

Now put your answers for #2 and #3 together and figure out what your unique content angle will look like.

5. Develop a list of potential content topics based on your content tilt.

It’s time to brainstorm topics. Now that you know your content tilt, it’s a lot easier to come up with topics your brand should be creating content about. Plus, they’re topics you know your audience cares about! This is a good step to get other people involved from around your organization, from departments like sales, product management, and customer service. Just make sure your content tilt is clear to them prior to the brainstorm to ensure you don’t get off-course.

6. Conduct keyword research.

Now that you’ve got a list of good content topics, it’s time to really dive into long-tail keyword research and figure out the best keyword targets around the topics.

There are plenty of good tools out there to help you with this. Here are a few of my go-tos:

Moz Keyword Explorer (freemium): If you have it, it’s a great tool for uncovering keywords as questions, looking at the keyword competitive landscape, and finding other related keywords to your topic. Keywordtool.io (free): One of the only keyword discovery tools out there that will give you keyword research by search engine. If you are looking for YouTube or App Store keywords, for instance, this is a great idea generation tool. Ubersuggest.io (free): Type in one keyword and Ubersuggest will give you a plethora of other ideas organized in a list alphabetically or in a word cloud. 7. Create an editorial calendar.

Based on your keyword research findings, develop an editorial calendar for your content. Make sure to include what your keyword target(s) are so if you have someone else developing the content, they know what is important to include in it.

Here are a couple resources to check out for getting started:

HubSpot’s free editorial calendar templates (Google Sheet or Excel) Content Marketing Institute’s free editorial calendar template (Google Sheet) 8. Determine how to measure success.

Once you know what content you’re going to create, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll measure success. Continuing on with the Kaplan example, lead generation was our focus. So, we focused our efforts on measuring leads to our gated content and conversions of those leads to sales over a certain time period. We also measured organic entrances to our ungated content. If our organic entrances were growing (or not growing) disproportionate to our leads, then we’d take deeper dives into what individual pieces of content were converting well and what pieces were not, then make tweaks accordingly.

9. Create content!

Now that all the pieces are there, it’s time to do the creation work. This is the fun part! With your content tilt in mind and your keyword research completed, gather the information or research you need and outline what you want the content to look like.

Take this straightforward article called How to Get Your Series 7 License as an example. To become a registered representative (stockbroker), you have to pass this exam. The primary keyword target here is: Series 7 license. It’s an incredibly competitive keyword with between 2.9K–4.3K monthly searches, according to the Keyword Explorer tool. Other important semantically related keywords include: how to get the Series 7 license, Series 7 license requirements, Series 7 Exam, General Securities Registered Representative license, and Series 7 license pass rate.

Based on our content tilt and competitive landscape for the primary keyword, it made the most sense to make this into a how-to article explaining the process in non-jargon terms to someone just starting in the industry. We perfectly exact-match each keyword target, but the topics are covered well enough for us to rank on the front page for all but one of them. Plus, we won the Google Answer Box for “how to get your Series 7 license.” We also positioned ourselves well for anticipated future searches around a new licensing component called the SIE exam and how it’ll change the licensing process.

Once you’ve created your content and launched it, like with any SEO work, you will have a lag before you see any results. Be sure to build a report or dashboard based on your content goals so you can keep track of the performance of your content on a regular basis. If you find that the growth isn’t there after several months, it is a good idea to go back through the content strategy and assess whether you’ve got your tilt right. Borrowing from Joe Pulizzi, ask yourself: “What if our content disappeared? Would it leave a gap in the marketplace?” If the answer is no, then it’s definitely time to revisit your tilt. It’s the toughest piece to get right, but once you do, the results will follow.

If you’re interested in more discussion on content marketing and SEO, check out the newest MozPod podcast. Episode 8, SEO & Content Strategy:

Listen to the podcast


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