Category: eCommerce

6 Steps To Becoming A Social Business


Becoming a social business doesn’t happen overnight. After all, just launching a new Facebook page or a new Twitter account doesn’t mean that your business is social. Being a truly social business means that social media is part of your company’s culture and corporate DNA. It means that both front-line employees and top executives are using social media as part of every new initiative or strategy

Back in 2013, the Altimeter Group outlined the six stages of social business maturity that would result in the final transformation of a company into a social business. That study (“The Evolution of Social Business”) was more than theoretical conjecture – it was based on survey results from nearly 700 social media professionals and executives.

Step 1

The transformation starts with a planning stage. This could mean running a few pilot projects or other proof-of-concept projects. It also means listening to customers and other stakeholders to see what they are thinking about. And it also means reviewing resources to see what’s available to be invested into social media projects.

Step 2

After that important first step, a company must begin to build its social media presence on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This requires thinking about how to use those platforms strategically, in order to meet core business objectives. For example, if your company prides itself on best-in-class customer service, you’d probably want to make Twitter a core component of your social strategy.

Step 3

Then, it’s time to think about building engagement with customers, forming communities, and finding your super-fans across social media. In short, your company needs to become part of a larger social media ecosystem. You are starting to build feedback loops, in which you are constantly refining what you post on social media, and how you connect with customers, fans and partners.

Step 4

Those first three steps are what most people commonly associate with becoming a social business. But as the Altimeter Group pointed out, you’re still only halfway to becoming a truly social business. You also need to formalize the role of social media within your organization. Who is the primary “executive sponsor” of social within your organization? For some companies, it might be the CEO. For others, it might be the CMO or CTO. Obviously, if there’s buy-in from the CEO, there’s a good chance the company really can become a social business.

Step 5

The next step is integrating social media strategy with the overall strategy of the company. If your company has different departments, units or affiliates, they all need to understand the role of social. And the right reporting relationships have to be set up such that the right C-level executives can see, for example, the impact of a recent social media campaign on a new product launch.

Step 6

The last step is perhaps the most exciting step – it’s when social has been so ingrained into everything that your company does that it’s possible to talk about a “social culture.” Your HR department is now using social media to recruit new employees. Your marketing department has a social media component for every new splashy campaign. Your customer service department has embraced social media as a way to boost overall customer satisfaction.

At that point in time, your company has truly become a social business. It’s not just that you are implementing new social strategies, it’s also that everyone in the business has a social-first mentality. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Buying Instagram Followers!

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Social Media Tips for Wordpress Site Owners


Social media can be a boon for Wordpress website owners. It helps you to expand your reach by connecting with new audiences and prospective customers, and provides a platform on which you can advertise your products or services.

One study shows that consumers are 71% more likely to buy a product or service after a positive social media experience, while the number of social media users in 2018 reached a massive 3.196 billion. This was 13% higher than the year previously.

In fact, so powerful is social media that some businesses use it exclusively to advertise and generate sales.

However, like any marketing channel, it’s crucial to target your customer segment and communicate with them in the right way. Failure to do this will result in your efforts landing on deaf ears, which is a huge waste of time and money.

So, take a look at these top 6 tips on how to create an effective and sustainable social media strategy for your small business.

Identify your target audience and make a plan

Before you post a single word, work out who you want to connect with on social media and for what reason. For example:

    1. Prospective customers for lead generation and sales.
    2. Existing customers for relationship building and customer service.
    3. Stakeholders and investors for future backing.
    4. All of the above.

Of course, you can engage with more than one group simultaneously on a single social media channel. But it’s important to narrow down your audience in order to recognise their needs, and understand how your service can solve their problems. Sometimes it’s beneficial to first understand who you are NOT targeting — such as a certain age group, geographical area, or business type — so that you can hone your content to make it more relevant to your readers. That way, you’re more likely to gain traction with your followers and encourage ‘likes’ and shares, which will spread your brand to a wider audience.

Monitor your followers

Social media is all about attracting followers so you can communicate with an engaged community of people. However, while the initial aim is to build lots of followers to increase your reach, you should monitor your followers and be ready to clear out ‘spam’ accounts.

Any time you publicly share information, there is a risk of attracting the wrong people. This is of particular concern for small businesses who don’t have the resources in place to monitor and handle privacy concerns. This article explains some of the social media mistakes that can lead to privacy issues, and you can help prevent these by taking some basic steps.

Firstly, protect your home and personal information by using a registered business address. If you work from home, you can use a virtual office as your company office. This provides a business address with mailing services and on-site workspace, which provides a corporate environment for your company without the cost of a full-time office.

You can then use your virtual office for all your public social media and marketing accounts. For instance, register a web domain name under your virtual address, your social media accounts, your company letterhead and business cards, website ‘contact’ page, and more. It will add a layer of protection and separate your business from your home life.

Research your competitors

Getting started on social media can be daunting. One of the best ways to speed up the learning process is to follow what your competitors are doing. Make sure it’s a well-followed social media account with plenty of recent positive activity, and draw inspiration (but don’t copy!) from the type of content they post. You can also look at successful social media profiles of businesses from other industries to see how they engage with their followers.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to check out some of the poorer efforts to see what NOT to do. You’ll soon figure it out — if you find yourself skimming messages with no inclination to click or share, they’re not hitting the right notes. Learn from their mistakes.

Choose specific social media platforms

Social Media Trends Flipsnack

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to sign up to multiple social media platforms. Our advice is to start with ONE social media platform with a view to add a second, and later a third, once you have found your stride.

So which one to choose? You might have an idea that Facebook or Instagram is better for lifestyle products, while Twitter and LinkedIn suits B2B service businesses. Even if you’re familiar with social media for business, don’t make assumptions — research as much as you can before taking the leap. This report from Hubspot is a great place to start, as it provides detailed demographics information for all of the major social networks and will help you gauge where your audience spends their time online.

Create a content calendar

So once you’ve established who you’re targeting and which social platform provides the best way to reach them, it’s time to start posting. Start by creating a content calendar detailing which type of content you will post, and when.

A golden rule of social media marketing is: don’t ‘sell’ too much. Try to avoid posting bland product listings and special offers. Aim for the 80:20 rule: 80% of your social media content should be informative, educational, or entertaining. The remaining 20% can promote your brand or highlight products for sale.

That means you need good, useful content that’s not overly promotional. This can include your own blog posts and editorial content, but you can also look to external sources for helpful information. Keep a lookout for articles, free guides and how-to information that you can share on your social media profile. Add a short comment explaining why the post is worth reading and how it can help.

TIP: Always tag the original company or author in your post, as they are more likely to acknowledge your tweet and return the favor by sharing it on their own profile. That effectively broadcasts your brand to a whole new audience.

Post regularly and build your audience

Social media is all about consistency. Post regularly, ideally at the specific times when your audience is most active. When is the best time to post? That depends on your target audience. Check out this detailed guide from Sprout Social for solid information on the best publishing times for each major network and industry.

To help keep things running smoothly, you can schedule posts to go live by using a tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck — this ensures that your posts will continue to appear even when you’re out of the office.

One thing to remember about social media is that it’s not all about ‘me, me, me’. It’s SOCIAL media — think of it as a two-way conversation and rather than simply publishing a steady stream of one-way messages, aim to communicate with your followers and respond to their posts in the same way that you aim to garner responses from them.

Above all, your social media activity should always add value. Whether it’s a useful step-by-step guide, a special offer to help your customers save money, or a lighthearted Friday afternoon post to raise some laughs, always aim to provide relevant, engaging content that resonates with your audience. You can use a tool like Crowdfire to get a lot of things done, its free at basic level, which is pretty efficient. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Social Media Management!

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Finding Lucrative Niches on Social Media

Few small businesses offer products or services that carry a widespread, universal appeal. Instead, they tailor their marketing and advertising efforts toward specific niches and customer profiles. Though many entrepreneurs view social-media marketing as an opportunity to rapidly expand their consumer base, it’s often a better idea for businesses to focus on finding lucrative niches. Indeed, the key to success with digital marketing lies in finding, engaging, and converting digital leads into sales. To that end, today we’ll focus on the first aspect of this three-pronged approach and discuss how businesses can locate profitable opportunities on social media.

Let Consumers Find You

One of the best ways to create an online marketing strategy –– particularly with an emphasis on social media –– is to create a content network. Traditionally, marketers have viewed social media as an initial “touchpoint” between businesses and consumers. And while that can certainly be the case, professionals can also direct leads to their social-media profiles from their own web pages. By creating a diverse, rich, and compelling array of content and posting pieces to social-media outlets like LinkedIn, for instance, companies can create their own “niches” and attract interested leads from a variety of sources.  Using Social Media tool like Crowdfire they can “spread the love” as it were, to potential followers and clients and build a wider audience. On the subject of Linkedin, Crowdfire also does an excellent job of posting their YouTube videos to Linkedin (and other channels), a function missing from the current YouTube creation process.


Conduct Competitor Analyses

New business owners may be reluctant to admit it, but their competitors can make sound marketing decisions. In fact, you can almost guarantee that your most successful rivals already execute dynamic social-media tactics and understand how and where they should engage with consumers. Fortunately, there’s nothing stopping you from analyzing how your competitors approach social media. By examining their rivals’ efforts, business owners can determine which niches are the most saturated and which are largely ignored. From there, a company can decide to attempt to outshine their competition or explore untapped opportunities — either of which could lead to the discovery of a new niche platform or demographic.

Explore the Web

Ecommerce Niche

No single social-media platform enjoys a monopoly. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, (etc.) all offer users different experiences, and, as such, attract different kinds of users. Businesses that want to carve out their own niche need to be willing to explore the far reaches of the internet to uncover social-media sites that cater to their target demographic, field, or industry.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of whether you’re trying to promote an RMS POS system or a new line of microwave ovens, there are ways to ensure qualified leads find your business online. At the end of the day, it’s more beneficial for marketers to prioritize generating sales than garnering followers. Gaining popularity on social media isn’t a bad thing, of course, but tangible sales matter more than likes, shares, or follows. Keep that in mind at all times, and you’ll be sure to form a social-media plan that works for your company! If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Geo Targeting for Social Media!

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Social MediaTrends

Social media has had a turbulent year to say the least. Many social giants, Facebook in particular, has been criticized for issues ranging from data privacy to manipulative content. This year, Facebook users learned that the social network had compromised their privacy by allowing access to the personal information of millions of people to a political analytics firm. The data privacy issue put into sharp focus the magnitude of power these companies have over user data. Many people for the first time acknowledged the extent at which bad actors can exploit and disrupt government elections, broadcast viral propaganda and spread messages of hate across the globe. As the scandals mounted, both the public and the government were left questioning just how much power social networks (should) have and how much responsibility we all have to each other.

Despite this backlash, social media continues to be a pervasive part of most Americans’ lives. According to a recent report, social media and messaging apps accounts for roughly 1 in every 3 minutes people spend on the internet and Facebook remains the primary platform for most Americans. Approximately two-thirds of U.S. adults (68%) report that they are Facebook users, and nearly three-quarters (75%) of those users access Facebook on a daily basis. Among younger generations, video and photo sharing sites are even more popular as an astounding 94 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds regularly use YouTube.

The negative aspects of social media are hard to ignore, but on the flipside, what about the positive impact of social?  Social media networks give users an opportunity to connect with others personally and professionally across the globe, catalogue and share life’s important moments, mobilize and fundraise for important causes and simply be entertained. Businesses have an opportunity to engage and service their customers more efficiently in an increasingly connected and digital world.

So, what does 2020 hold for social media? How will user behaviour change in light of these issues and opportunities? Here are my social media predictions for 2019:

2019: The Rise of Dark Social for Consumers and Brands

Facebook User Trends

Dark social, despite sounding ominous, means sharing content that occurs outside of what can be measured by traditional web analytics. It can also mean an online community where identity takes a backseat to free, anonymous content sharing. In this political and social climate, I predict an emergence of dark social in terms of how people share content and how brands look to monetize what content is shared in private spaces.

People still want to be social online, but they don’t necessarily want these interactions to occur under the gaze of the entire world. Social networks have become a place for people to share carefully crafted snippets of their life with friends, family and strangers who view their public profiles. The historical record that many social networks leave behind has led to widespread self-censorship. People are reluctant to post content for fear that it will be dredged up months or even years later.

In my view, the context gap is one of the driving forces behind the emergence of dark social. The context gap is where identity and permanence take a backseat to content. In their daily lives, people often interact with different groups. The things you might talk about with your family around the dinner table are often a far cry from the conversations you have with friends during a pub crawl. Context collapse is what happens when these different groups collide in one place — usually weddings or social media. If you share something online, everyone you know is able to see it. This often leads to a chilling effect where people find there isn’t much they want to share with everyone. Dark social just may be the answer.

Dark social accomplishes two goals for users: addresses a desire to project a particular image and gives people an opportunity to avoid damaging material in a social sharing economy that is anything but open and transparent.

One of the ways people avoid leaving behind a trail of (potentially) embarrassing uploads is by favoring networks with disappearing content like Snapchat and Instagram stories. The disappearing nature of Snapchat’s content is especially appealing to younger generations, with 78 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds using the platform. On the app, people can share content they find funny, interesting or important without having it associated with them forever.

For brands, marketing on traditional platforms like Facebook, while highly effective at scale, requires brands to flatten people into pre-established buckets. Dark-social spaces, on the other hand, function more as focus groups. They provide an honest, inside view into what tastemakers and potential customers are thinking and sharing.

Dark social is about understanding overall traffic and consumer sentiment. From there, brands can get a bit more granular by applying basic demographic information to these platforms. Knowing this information can help marketers make better sense of the trends and conversations they observe in these spaces. Combine that insight with a smart understanding of what different groups that have gathered tend to discuss, and there’s a new entry point for understanding how to market products and services.

Visual Communications Continues and Evolves

From text posts to infographics, from pictures to the explosion of online video, and back to short, digestible content like gifs and memes, I predict that the visual culture on social media will continue to shape shift. Our ability to communicate through visual language and the creativity we experiment with in this medium will continue to evolve. The next iteration to go mainstream could be AI-driven gifs or once 5G comes into play, the ability to post high definition selfies or stream 4K live video on social. Whatever form this communication takes, it will be designed to interact with audiences at increasingly quick speeds.  

Social Media and the Generational Divide


In 2020, it is estimated that there will be around 3+ billion social network users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017. That 3 billion users is now made up of four generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z.  All four cohorts have different user behavior, social channel preferences and varying tech experience. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snap are all important social experiences offering unique ways for connecting people. Facebook will continue to dominate by sheer number of users, but I predict that people will fragment even further and organize by age group. Younger people in the Gen Z group in particular will engage, not only where their peers are, but on the channels that offer authentic, new ways to express themselves and connect with others online.

Rise of Stress Free Social

With so much of traditional social media tied to identity and personal branding, a “comparison” culture has emerged where people feel the need to measure their lives against what other people are posting.  Compounded by the social media drama of 2019, people are welcoming “stress free social” where authenticity and content is entertaining, interesting and real. Posting authentic content anonymously where its free from judgement or trolling will rise in popularity. As users attention spans continue to shrink, I predict disappearing content like Instagram Stories and Snapchat to sharply increase in popularity.

The events of were dizzying 2019 when it came to social media, but 2019 marks an interesting turning point. We’ll continue to create new social media sharing experiences and probably pay closer attention about how our data is used and take greater responsibility for the content we share. As we continue, “getting back to basics” is the best way to characterize this year. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Social Media Management

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15 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Presence

It’s just about impossible to run a successful company without setting up social media accounts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for it.

You’re also making a huge mistake if you’re not taking the time to establish a strong social media presence. It’s not enough to just create social media accounts. You also need to monitor them closely and keep them as active as they can possibly be.

There are some pretty simple ways to give your social media presence a big boost in 2019. By acting strategically, you can connect with your social media followers more and build up your brand in the process.

Let’s take a look at 15 easy ways you can increase your social media presence over the course of the next 12 months.

Create Goals for Your Social Media Presence

What exactly is the point of you creating social media accounts for your brand?

Far too many brands sign up for social media simply because they think it’s something they have to do. But the truth is that you’re better off staying off social media if you don’t have a clear purpose.

Before you begin posting on social media regularly, you should sit down and create a list of goals for your social media presence. Is your goal to:

  • Answer pressing questions from your customers?
  • Make your brand look cooler?
  • Attract more attention to the brand-new website you just launched?

Whatever the case may be, you need to have clear goals for your social media accounts. Otherwise, you’re not going to get any real satisfaction out of running them.

Figure Out Who Is Following You on Social Media

Take a look at some of the people who are following you on social media thus far. Who are they, and what do they want from your company?

It’s very important for you to identify your target audience and, more importantly, to cater to them. If people are following your brand because they want to keep up with your latest product drops, the last thing you want to do is flood your social media feeds with pictures of the cat that keeps everyone company in your office.

You should figure out who is following you on social media now and continue to monitor your followers in the future so that you can deliver the kind of content they want.

Commit to Checking Social Media Early and Often

About five years ago, you could get away with only checking your brand’s social media accounts a few times a week. But now? If you’re not checking them at least a few times every hour, you could be missing out on a big opportunity to increase your social media presence.

Social media addiction has turned into a very real thing, so you want to be careful about how you interact with the various social media sites. But you also want to stay on top of what’s happening on social media and check in on your followers as often as you can.

Establish a Clear Voice for Your Brand

If your brand was a real person, what would it look and sound like?

One of your goals when you’re trying to increase your social media presence should be to establish a clear voice for your brand that speaks to your followers. Your brand’s voice should be unique to your company and should set you apart.

It can take some trial and error to find the right voice for your brand. Don’t be afraid to take some risks when you’re first starting out.

Form Real Relationships With Your Followers


Once you get into the swing of things on social media, you’re going to start receiving messages from your followers. You should make it a point to respond to those messages. You should also provide people with the information they’re looking for.

You do want to be careful about interacting with so-called internet “trolls” that will try to ruin your day. They’ll often say and do things just to try and get a reaction out of you.

But you should make every effort to communicate with your followers and form actual relationships with them. It’ll lead to your followers becoming more loyal to your brand over time.

Find the Best Times of Day to Put Up Social Media Posts

Are you putting up most of your social media posts either very early in the morning or very late at night?

Those times might be convenient for you. But chances are, people aren’t ever going to see posts when they go up at those times.

Instead, try posting in the middle of the day when you’re more likely to attract more attention from followers. A lot of people tend to check in on social media during breaks at work or school and during lunchtime.

You might see a big uptick in social media activity when you post at the right times and you can use a tool like Crowdfire to schedule posts spread out through the day.

Come Up with a Calendar for Social Media Posting

A lot of your social media posts will probably be spontaneous. You’ll think of something interesting to say and post about it on social media without giving it any extra thought.

It’s fine to do this, provided you’re not haphazardly throwing up posts that could potentially put your brand into the wrong light. But at the same time, you should also schedule at least some of your posts ahead of time.

Consider putting together a calendar every month with the different posts that you want to schedule to go up throughout it.

Avoid Trying to Sell Something at Every Turn

Are you having a 25 percent off sale at your main store this weekend?

Cool. Post about it once on social media…and then move on!

The last thing you want to do is turn your social media feeds into a steady stream of advertisements. If you’re constantly trying to sell something to people, they’re going to lose interest in your brand.

Use a Combination of Words, Photos, and Videos

When putting together social media posts, you should mix things up and use everything from words to photos to videos.

Generally speaking, photos and videos usually work best on social media since people don’t have to put too much thought into them. But the real secret to social media success is hitting people over the head with all different types of posts and keeping them on their toes.

Add Social Media Links to Your Brand’s Website

Outside of manning your social media accounts, you should also have a website set up for your brand. You can get a stunning website for your company by relying on Arvig Media website design.

Just make sure you don’t forget to add some social media links on it. It’s an easy way to let people know you’re on social media in the first place.

Use Social Media to Hold Special Contests

In an effort to connect with your followers, you should consider holding special contests on social media every now and then.

Tell everyone to retweet or share a social media post for a chance to be entered into a contest to win free products and/or services. You might be surprised by how crazy some of your followers will go when you offer them free stuff.

Capitalize on Opportunities to Go Viral

Remember that time Beyonce name-dropped Red Lobster on her 2016 album, Lemonade, and it took Red Lobster FOREVER to acknowledge it?

Don’t do that!

There’s a pretty good chance Beyonce isn’t going to get around to name-dropping your brand anytime soon. But if there’s even a small chance that you could potentially go viral with a social media post, take a shot.

Those kinds of opportunities don’t come around very often.

Keep an Eye on the Latest “Trending Topics”

There are always one or two topics holding social media hostage at any given moment. One minute, it might be something the President said, and the next, it might be the latest Game of Thrones teaser.

Keep an eye on what people are talking about and, if it makes sense, inject your brand into the conversation. If you say something really smart or funny about a trending topic, your post could end up going viral and giving you the attention you deserve.

Experiment with Social Media Advertising

A few years ago, some social media experts predicted social media advertising was going to take over the social media game. And they were right in a lot of ways.

Many brands have started to invest in Facebook ads, promoted tweets, and other forms of social media advertising. It could be a good option for your brand.

Never Lose Sight of What You’re Trying to Accomplish

It’s easy for some brands to get carried away once they start posting on social media regularly.

While it’s good to establish a social media presence, you also don’t want to overdo it and miss out on hitting your original goals. Your social media accounts should, in some form or fashion, help your bottom line.

If they don’t, it might be time to rethink the way in which you’re using them.

Start Increasing Your Brand’s Social Media Presence Today

There is absolutely no reason for any brand not to have a social media presence in 2019.

If your brand doesn’t have one at the moment, make establishing your brand on social media one of our New Year’s resolutions. You’ll be glad you did once you start to see how much more successful you can be with active social media accounts. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Social Media Emojis!

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Implementing a National Tracking Strategy


Google is all about serving up results based on your precise location, which means there’s no such thing as a “national” SERP anymore. So, if you wanted to get an accurate representation of how you’re performing nationally, you’d have to track every single street corner across the country.

Not only is this not feasible, it’s also a headache — and the kind of nightmare that keeps your accounting team up at night. Because we’re in the business of making things easy, we devised a happier (and cost-efficient) alternative.

Follow along and learn how to set up a statistically robust national tracking strategy in STAT, no matter your business or budget. And while we’re at it, we’ll also show you how to calculate your national ranking average.

Let’s pretend you are a large athletic retailer. And have 30 stores across the US, a healthy online presence, and the powers-that-be have approved extra SEO spend — money for 20,000 additional keywords is burning a hole in our pocket. Ready to get started?

Pick the cities that matter most to your business

Google cares a lot about location and so should you. Tracking a country-level SERP isn’t going to cut it anymore — you need to be hyper-local if you want to nab results.

The first step to getting more granular is deciding which cities you want to track in — and there are lots of ways to do this: The top performers? Ones that could use a boost? Best and worst of the cyber world as well as the physical world?

When it comes time for you to choose, nobody knows your business, your data, or your strategy better than you do — ain’t nothing to it but to do it.

A quick note for all e-commerce people, we know it feels strange to pick a physical place when your business lives entirely online. For this, simply go with the locations that your goods and wares are distributed to most often.

Even though you may be a retail powerhouse, your SEO resources won’t allow you to manage all your physical locations — plus your online hotspots — across the US, so cut that number in half. And because you are not a real business as such and aren’t privy to sales data, just pick at random.

So now you should have a solid list of US cities, primed, polished, and poised for the next step: surfacing the top performing keywords.

Uncover your money-maker keywords

Because not all keywords are created equal, we need to determine which of the 4,465 keywords that we’re already tracking are going to be spread across the country and which are going to stay behind. In other words, we want the keywords that bring home the bacon.


Typically, we would use some combination of search volume, impressions, clicks, conversion rates, etc., from sources like STAT, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics to distinguish between the money-makers and the non-money-makers. But again, we’re a make-believe business and we don’t have access to this insight, so we’re going to stick with search volume.

A right-click anywhere in the site-level keywords table will let us export our current keyword set from STAT. We’ll then order everything from highest search volume to lowest search volume. If you have eyeballs on more of that sweet, sweet insight for your business, order your keywords from most to least money-maker.

Because we don’t want to get too crazy with our list, we’ll cap it at a nice and manageable 1,500 keywords.


Determine the number of times each keyword should be tracked

We may have narrowed our cities down to 15, but our keywords need to be tracked plenty more times than that — and at a far more local level.

True facts: A “national” (or market-level) SERP isn’t a true SERP and neither is a city-wide SERP. The closer you can get to a searcher standing on a street corner, the better, and the more of those locations you can track, the more searchers’ SERPs you’ll sample.

We’re going to get real nitty-gritty and go as granular as ZIP code. Addresses and geo coordinates work just as well though, so if it’s a matter of one over the other, do what the Disney princesses do and follow your heart.

The ultimate goal here is to track our top performing keywords in more locations than our poor performing ones, so we need to know the number of ZIP codes each keyword will require. To figure this out, we gotta dust off the old desktop calculator and get our math on.

First, we’ll calculate the total amount of search volume that all of our keywords generate. Then, we’ll find the percentage of said total that each keyword is responsible for.

For example, our keyword [yeezy shoes] drew 165,000 searches out of a total 28.6 million, making up 0.62 percent of our traffic.

A quick reminder: Every time a query is tracked in a distinct location, it’s considered a unique keyword. This means that the above percentages also double as the amount of budgeted keywords (and therefore locations) that we’ll award to each of our queries. In (hopefully) less confusing terms, a keyword that drives 0.62 percent of our traffic gets to use 0.62 percent of our 20,000 budgeted keywords, which in turn equals the number of ZIP codes we can track in. Phew.

But! Because search volume is, to quote our resident data analyst, “an exponential distribution,” (which in everyone else-speak means “gets crazy large”) it’s likely going to produce some unreasonably big numbers. So, while [yeezy shoes] only requires 124 ZIP codes, a keyword with much higher search volume, like [real madrid], might need over 1,000, which is patently bonkers (and statistical overkill).

To temper this, we highly recommend that you take the log of the search volume — it’ll keep things relative and relational. If you’re working through all of this in Excel, simply type =log(A2) where A2 is the cell containing the search volume. Because we’re extra fancy, we’ll multiply that by four to linearly scale things, so =log(A2)*4.


So, still running with our Yeezy example, our keyword goes from driving 0.62 percent of our traffic to 0.13 percent. Which then becomes the percent of budgeted keywords: 0.0013 x 20,000 = tracking [yeezy shoes] in 26 zip codes across our 15 cities.

We then found a list of every ZIP code in each of our cities to dole them out to.

The end. Sort of. At this point, like us, you may be looking at keywords that need to be spread across 176 different ZIP codes and wondering how you’re going to choose which ZIP codes — so let our magic spreadsheet take the wheel. Add all your locations to it and it’ll pick at random.

Of course, because we want our keywords to get equal distribution, we attached a weighted metric to our ZIP codes. We took our most searched keyword, [adidas], found its Google Trends score in every city, and then divided it by the number of ZIP codes in those cities. For example, if [adidas] received a score of 71 in Yonkers and there are 10 ZIP codes in the city, Yonkers would get a weight of 7.1.

We’ll then add everything we have so far — ZIP codes, ZIP code weights, keywords, keyword weights, plus a few extras — to our spreadsheet and watch it randomly assign the appropriate amount of keywords to the appropriate amount of locations.


And that’s it! If you’ve been following along, you’ve successfully divvied up 20,000 keywords in order to create a statistically robust national tracking strategy!

Curious how we’ll find our national ranking average? Read on, readers.

Segment & segment more!

20,000 extra keywords makes for a whole lot of new data to keep track of, so being super smart with our segmentation is going to help us make sense of all our findings. We’ll do this by organizing our keywords into meaningful categories before we plug everything back into STAT.

Obviously, you are free to sort how you please, but we recommend at least tagging your keywords by their city and product category (so [yeezy shoes] might get tagged “Austin” and “shoes”). You can do all of this in our keyword upload template or while you’re in our magic spreadsheet.

Once you’ve added a tag or two to each keyword, stuff those puppies into STAT. When everything’s snug as a bug, group all your city tags into one data view and all your product category tags into another.


Calculate your national ranking average

Now that all of our keywords are loaded and tracking in STAT, it’s time to tackle those ranking averages. To do that, we’ll simply pop on over to the Dashboard tab from either of our two data views.


A quick glimpse of the Average Ranking module in the Daily Snapshot gives us, well, our average rank, and because these data views contain every keyword that we’re tracking across the country, we’re also looking at the national average for our keyword set. Easy-peasy.

To see how each tag is performing within those data views, a quick jump to the Tags tab breaks everything down and lets us compare the performance of a segment against the group as a whole.


So, if our national average rank is 29.7 but our Austin keywords have managed an average rank of 27.2, then we might look to them for inspiration as our other cities aren’t doing quite as well — our keywords in Yonkers have an average rank of 35.2, much worse than the national average.

Similarly, if our clothes keywords are faring infinitely worse than our other product categories, we may want to revamp our content strategy to even things out.

Go get your national tracking on

Any business — even an e-commerce business — can leverage a national tracking strategy. You just need to pick the right keywords and locations.

Once you have access to your sampled population, you’ll be able to hone in on opportunities, up your ROI, and bring more traffic across your welcome mat (physical or digital).

Got a question you’re dying to ask us about the STAT product? Reach out to [email protected]. Want a detailed walkthrough of STAT? Say hello (don’t be shy) and request a demo. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Advanced Content Promotion!

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How Marketers Can Avoid the Mainstream Media Crash

In late 2016, Virginia Hale reported that more than 50% of Swedes no longer trust the mainstream media. In 2017, TechCrunch said, “Don’t worry, the MSM isn’t dead yet.” But their only evidence was a Google search ranking for the term “mainstream media is dead,” and we all know that Google ranks are at least 50% artificial. Whether one likes the result of the 2016 presidential election or hates it, the divergence between the projections and the result show one thing clear as crystal- the MSM does not have its finger on the pulse of the people.

So what does that mean for marketers and branding professionals? It means that anyone who is placing all of their advertising eggs in a mainstream basket- is making a big mistake. In case after case, we’ve seen brands fall into obscurity simply because they failed to forge a significant online presence.

This is not to say that advertising on mainstream media is useless. For large and well-established brands, it makes all the sense in the world. But the fact is, unless a brand already has massive recognition and huge coffers, they will simply get outbid and drowned out in their efforts to garner a mainstream audience. MSM, advertising empowers the already empowered. It has more than enough patronage to replace any brand that doesn’t suit a given agenda or rubs other bigger advertisers the wrong way. Those who don’t utilize social media must become an unmovable force, or get washed away in the immense tidal forces of the mainstream outlets.

With that in mind, here are some major marketing mistakes branding professionals looking to branch out should avoid.

Failure to strategize

Just getting on social media isn’t enough. Brands need to pump out regular content in a consistent and thematically consonant manner.

Failure to target a relevant audience

Much like failing to have a plan, failing to target an audience is a sure way for a marketing campaign to sink into irrelevance. Knowing what buyers want means knowing who they are. That takes some research and some insight.

Failure to cope with negative feedback

This is a big one. According to Informeo, roughly 50% of all the negative feedback on social media branding pages is being ignored. There’s a lot of negative energy out on the world wide web. But here’s a tip: that negativity has always been there. Now, there’s just nothing to stop people from letting merchants know when they don’t like what they see. The key is to not let the negativity suck the energy out of a branding campaign. The best way to deal with negative feedback is to ban those who are unreasonably negative and to answer the questions and concerns of those who are reasonable.

For those who are short on time, focus first and foremost on dealing with reasonable concerns. Do not leave reasonable concerns unaddressed. Not only does it let down people who might be paying customers, but it communicates to others that their concerns will also go unaddressed.

If you are selling a digital product, and looking for alternative ways of getting sales, then check out this article at, which runs through a few ways of doing that. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Using Instagram for your business!

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Advanced Content Promotion Strategies


Content promotion isn’t tweeting or upvoting. Those tiny, one-off tactics are fine for beginners. They might make a dent, but they definitely won’t move the needle. Companies that want to grow big and grow fast need to grow differently.

Here’s how Kissmetrics, Sourcify, Sales Hacker, Kinsta, and BuildFire have used advanced content promotion tips like newsjacking and paid social to elevate their brands above the competition.

Use content to fuel social media distribution (and not the other way around)

Prior to selling the brand and blog to Neil Patel, Kissmetrics had no dedicated social media manager at the height of their success. The Kissmetrics blog received nearly 85% of its traffic from organic search. The second biggest traffic-driver was the newsletter.

Social media did drive traffic to their posts. However, former blog editor Zach Buylgo’s research showed that these traffic segments often had the lowest engagement (like time on site) and the least conversions (like trial or demo opt-ins) — so they didn’t prioritize it. The bulk of Zach’s day was instead focused on editing posts, making changes himself, adding comments and suggestions for the author to fix, and checking for regurgitated content. Stellar, long-form content was priority number one. And two. And three.

So he wasn’t just looking for technically-correct content. He was optimizing for uniqueness: the same area where most cheap content falls short. That’s an issue because many times, a simple SERP analysis would reveal that one submission:

benefits of content marketing (crowd content)

Looked exactly like the number-one result from Content Marketing Institute:

benefits of content marketing CMI

Nowadays, plagiarism tools can catch the obvious stuff, but these derivatives often slip through the cracks. Recurring paid writers contributed the bulk of the TOFU content, which would free Zach up to focus more on MOFU use cases and case studies to help visitors understand how to get the most out of their product set (from the in-house person who knows it best).

They produced marketing guides and weekly webinars to transform initial attention into new leads:


Similar ones can be found at Traffic Masters, who specialize in content promotion and regeneration.

They also created free marketing tools to give prospects an interactive way to continue engaging with their brand:


In other words, they focused on doing the things that matter most — the 20% that would generate the biggest bang for their buck. They won’t ignore social networks completely, though. They still had hundreds of thousands of followers across each network. Instead, their intern would take the frontlines. That person would watch out for anything critical, like a customer question, which will then be passed off to the Customer Success Manager that will get back to them within a few hours.


New blog posts would get the obligatory push to Twitter and LinkedIn. (Facebook is used primarily for their weekly webinar updates.) Zach used Pablo from Buffer to design and create featured images for the blog posts.


Then he’d use an Open Graph Protocol WordPress plugin to automatically add all appropriate tags for each network. That way, all he had to do was add the file and basic post meta data. The plugin would then customize how it shows up on each network afterward. Instead of using Buffer to promote new posts, though, I like Crowdfire.

Why? Doesn’t that seem like an extra step at first glance? Like Buffer, Crowdfire allows you to select when you’d like to schedule content. You can just load up the queue with content, and Crowdfire will manage the rest. You can still post immediately , but there is a scheduling option aswell. The difference is that Buffer constantly requires new content — you need to keep topping it off, whereas Crowdfire will automatically recycle the old stuff you’ve previously added. Additionally, Crowdfire has a content curation feature for related articles, and also if you hook up your YouTube channel, it will select your videos and you can post them to the likes of Linkedin etc, which helps spread the distribution of them, you might notice in your YouTube account there is no option to share the video to Linkedin, & given Linkedin has the highest median salary of all social media channels, at approximately double the others, and over 500 million users, it could be an important aspect of your marketing.


He would then use Sleeknote to build forms tailored to each blog category to transform blog readers into top-of-the-funnel leads:

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 1.36.05 PM.png

But that’s about it. Zach didn’t do a ton of custom tweets. There weren’t a lot of personal replies. It’s not that they didn’t care. They just preferred to focus on what drives the most results for their particular business. They focused on building a brand that people recognize and trust. That means others would do the social sharing for them.

Respected industry vets like Avinash Kaushik, for example, would often share their blog posts. And Avinash was the perfect fit, because he already has a loyal, data-driven audience following him.


So that single tweet brings in a ton of highly-qualified traffic — traffic that turns into leads and customers, not just fans.

Combine original research and newsjacking to go viral

Sourcify has grown almost exclusively through content marketing. Founder Nathan Resnick speaks, attends, and hosts everything from webinars to live events and meetups. Most of their events are brand-building efforts to connect face-to-face with other entrepreneurs. But what’s put them on the map has been leveraging their own experience and platform to fuel viral stories.

Last summer, the record-breaking Mayweather vs. McGregor fight was gaining steam. McGregor was already infamous for his legendary trash-talking and shade-throwing abilities. He also liked to indulge in attention-grabbing sartorial splendor. But the suit he wore to the very first press conference somehow managed to combine the best of both personality quirks:


This was no off-the-shelf suit. He had it custom made. Nathan recalls seeing this press conference suit fondly: “Literally, the team came in after the press conference, thinking, ‘Man, this is an epic suit.’” So they did what any other rational human being did after seeing it on TV: they tried to buy it online.

“Except, the dude was charging like $10,000 to cover it and taking six weeks to produce.” That gave Nathan an idea. “I think we can produce this way faster.”

They “used their own platform, had samples done in less than a week, and had a site up the same day.”


“We took photos, sent them to different factories, and took guesstimates on letter sizing, colors, fonts, etc. You can often manufacture products based on images if it’s within certain product categories.” The goal all along was to use the suit as a case study. They partnered with a local marketing firm to help split the promotion, work, and costs.

“The next day we signed a contract with a few marketers based in San Francisco to split the profits 50–50 after we both covered our costs. They cover the ad spend and setup; we cover the inventory and logistics cost,” Nathan wrote in an article for The Hustle. When they were ready to go, the marketing company began running ad campaigns and pushing out stories. They went viral on BroBible quickly after launch and pulled in over $23,000 in sales within the first week.

The only problem is that they used some images of Conor in the process. And apparently, his attorney’s didn’t love the IP infringement. A cease and desist letter wasn’t far behind:


This result wasn’t completely unexpected. Both Nathan and the marketing partner knew they were skirting a thin line. But either way, Nathan got what he wanted out of it.

Drive targeted, bottom-of-the-funnel leads with Quora

Quora packs another punch that often elevates it over the other social channels: higher-quality traffic. Site visitors are asking detailed questions, expecting to comb through in-depth answers to each query. In other words, they’re invested. They’re smart. And if they’re expressing interest in managed WordPress hosting, it means they’ve got spare cash, too.

Both Sales Hacker and Kinsta take full advantage. Today, Gaetano DiNardi is the Director of Demand Generation at Nextiva. But before that, he lead marketing at Sales Hacker before they were acquired. There, content was central to their stratospheric growth. With Quora, Gaetano would take his latest content pieces and use them to solve customer problems and address pain points in the general sales and marketing space:


By using Quora as a research tool, he would find new topics that he can create content around to drive new traffic and connect with their current audience:


He found questions that they already had content for and used it as a chance to engage users and provide value. He can drive tons of relevant traffic for free by linking back to the Sales Hacker blog:


WP Engine, a managed WordPress hosting company, also uses uses relevant threads and the likes of Quora ads. Staff jump in to conversations about hosting and pass out tips with links, to drive traffic, targeting different WordPress-related categories, questions, or interests.


Rank faster with paid (not organic) social promotion

Kinsta co-founder Tom Zsomborgi wrote about their journey in a bootstrapping blog post that went live last November. It instantly hit the top of Hacker News, resulting in their website getting a consistent 400+ concurrent visitors all day:


Within hours their post was also ranking on the first page for the term “bootstrapping,” which receives around 256,000 monthly searches.


How did that happen?

“There’s a direct correlation between social proof and increased search traffic. It’s more than people think,” said Brian. Essentially, you’re paying Facebook to increase organic rankings. You take good content, add paid syndication, and watch keyword rankings go up.

Kinsta’s big goal with content promotion is to build traffic and get as many eyeballs as possible. Then they’ll use AdRoll for display retargeting messages, targeting the people who just visited with lead gen offers to start a free trial. (“But I don’t use AdRoll for Facebook because it tags on their middleman fee.”)

Brian uses the “Click Campaigns” objective on Facebook Ads for both lead gen and content promotion. “It’s the best for getting traffic.”

Facebook’s organic reach fell by 52% in 2016 alone. That means your ability to promote content to your own page fans is quickly approaching zero.

Screen Shot 2017 06 29 at 12.52.27 PM

“It’s almost not even worth posting if you’re not paying,” confirms Brian. Kinsta will promote new posts to make sure it comes across their fans’ News Feed. Anecdotally, that reach number with a paid assist might jump up around 30%.

If they don’t see it, Brian will “turn it into an ad and run it separately.” It’s “re-written a second time to target a broader audience.”


In addition to new post promotion, Brian has an evergreen campaign that’s constantly delivering the “best posts ever written” on their site. It’s “never-ending” because it gives Brian a steady-stream of new site visitors — or new potential prospects to target with lead gen ads further down the funnel. That’s why Brian asserts that today’s social managers need to understand PPC and lead gen. “A lot of people hire social media managers and just do organic promotion. But Facebook organic just sucks anyway. It’s becoming “pay to play.’”

“Organic reach is just going to get worse and worse and worse. It’s never going to get better.” Also, advertising gets you “more data for targeting,” which then enables you to create more in-depth A/B tests.

We confirmed this through a series of promoted content tests, where different ad types (custom images vs. videos) would perform better based on the campaign objectives and placements.


That’s why “best practices” are past practices — or BS practices. You don’t know what’s going to perform best until you actually do it for yourself. And advertising accelerates that feedback loop.

Constantly refresh your retargeting ad creative to keep engagement high

Almost every single stat shows that remarketing is one of the most efficient ways to close more customers. The more ad remarketing impressions someone sees, the higher the conversion rate. Remarketing ads are also incredibly cheap compared to your standard AdWords search ad when trying to reach new cold traffic.

There’s only one problem to watch out for: ad fatigue. The image creative plays a massive role in Facebook ad success. But over time (a few days to a few weeks), the performance of that ad will decline. The image becomes stale. The audience has seen it too many times. The trick is to continually cycle through similar, but different, ad examples.

Here’s how David Zheng does it for BuildFire:

His team will either (a) create the ad creative image directly inside Canva, or (b) have their designers create a background ‘template’ that they can use to manipulate quickly. That way, they can make fast adjustments on the fly, A/B testing small elements like background color to keep ads fresh and conversions as high as possible.


All retargeting or remarketing campaigns will be sent to a tightly controlled audience. For example, let’s say you have leads who’ve downloaded an eBook and ones who’ve participated in a consultation call. You can just lump those two types into the same campaign, right? I mean, they’re both technically ‘leads.’

But that’s a mistake. Sure, they’re both leads. However, they’re at different levels of interest. Your goal with the first group is to get them on a free consultation call, while your goal with the second is to get them to sign up for a free trial. That means two campaigns, which means two audiences.

Facebook’s custom audiences makes this easy, as does LinkedIn’s new-ish Matched Audiences feature. Like with Facebook, you can pick people who’ve visited certain pages on your site, belong to specific lists in your CRM, or whose email address is on a custom .CSV file:


If both of these leads fall off after a few weeks and fail to follow up, you can go back to the beginning to re-engage them. You can use content-based ads all over again to hit back at the primary pain points behind the product or service that you sell.


This seems like a lot of detailed work — largely because it is. But it’s worth it because of scale. You can set these campaigns up, once, and then simply monitor or tweak performance as you go. That means technology is largely running each individual campaign. You don’t need as many people internally to manage each hands-on.

And best of all, it forces you to create a logical system. You’re taking people through a step-by-step process, one tiny commitment at a time, until they seamlessly move from stranger into custome


Sending out a few tweets won’t make an impact at the end of the day. There’s more competition (read: noise) than ever before, while organic reach has never been lower. The trick isn’t to follow some faux influencer who talks the loudest, but rather the practitioners who are doing it day-in, day-out, with the KPIs to prove it.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on writing content which inspires action!

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Social Media Management Tips

The dynamics of digital marketing are ever-changing, and social media is not left behind. As a marketer, you’ll need to keep an eye on the trends like Facebook Live, AI-driven customer service, social TV and vertical videos, visuals, ephemeral content changing organic reach and so on to ensure you stay abreast.

In addition to that, here are some tips for your social media management in 2019:

Quality is key

It’s one thing to have a consistent flow of announcements and content and another to deliver quality to your fans and prospects. As a businessperson who is keen on growing your business is 2019, you should focus on driving content that is good enough for people to want to retweet, re-share or pass on to their friends and colleagues. If you think about it, what are the chances that you will interact with a poorly written post that’s shared on social media? Additionally, try creating content that will last, not disappear after trending for a week.

And quantity

Social Media

It’s true that quality is vital, but quantity is also critical. The reality is there is so much content out there, and others will quickly override yours. This is particularly true for Twitter. A recent observation by Wordstream revealed that engagement rate went up by 46% each week after posting 30+ tweets than the previous week and that the 30 extra tweets helped them direct 30% more leads to their site with 60% more link clicks than the week prior. The trick is to be consistent with your posts. Try re-posting your new content a number of times – but be careful not to be spammy.

Plan budget as per the performance of the platform

In the business world, time is of the essence; you should plan it well if you are to succeed on social media. Strategize well when it comes to money and time. A good idea would be to allocate your resources based on what each platform gives you. If Facebook gives you the highest ROI, invest more on Facebook, and if it’s LinkedIn, do the same.

Let your posting schedule be data-driven

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to posting your content on social media because audiences vary. If you are ignoring posting, or are sticking to the recommended time slots, it’s likely that you’re missing out. Instead, you might want to use data to determine how and when you post. Try experimenting with different time zones to identify which one works for you.

Stick to the basics

Be strategic with your hashtags, and don’t forget to @mention those that matter on each post. Not committing to these basics can leave a gap in your steady stream or engagement of traffic. And if you come up with a branded hashtag, go for something that is easy to spell or say – and something that catches the eye or easy to memorize.

Interact and network


The goal of social media marketing is to reach out to prospects and grow your network. Posting good content alone won’t cut it. So, go out of your comfort zone and initiate conversations. Talk to prospects and network with your peers. The number of opportunities out there’ll surprise you. Most importantly, you may also find other ways to boost your brand name.  

If your website is using Wordpress (or you plan on having it built in Wordpress) then we specialize in optimizing or building in to the site special functions for Social Media, which enhances and speeds up you efficiency around this. get in touch for more info on this, it could save you a lot of headaches with managing yous Social Media channels. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Buying Instagram followers!

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JetOctopus Web-Based SEO Crawler

The Wordpress and SEO industry is great for the huge number of tools that are available.

I think they are some of the most self-innovating industries out there, and I am always happy to come across new tools to play with.

This time I am reviewing a cool Google Bot battling SEO crawler: JetOctopus

JetOctopus Overview

JetOctopus is probably one of the most efficient crawlers on the market. It’s fast and incredibly easy to use, even for a non-SEO’s and will no doubt help in the constant battle with the mighty Google and their regular inscrutable little algorithm changes.

Its most convincing selling point is that it has no crawl limits, no simultaneous crawl limits and no project limits giving you more data for less money. If you are working on a huge database-driven website, you’ll definitely find it a money- and time-saver.

Collaboration Tool

The best part of the tool is that it’s web-based which makes it perfect for collaboration: Your team doesn’t need any new software installed. All they need is a (universal) login.

Web-based tools keep teams on one page because when logging in they all see the same thing. Whenever I can, I use online tools for this exact reason: Cross- team (and cross-device) co-working.

When it comes to SEO crawlers, the usual problem with web-based solutions is that they are not fast enough. You’ll be happy to find JetOctopus to be even faster than its desktop alternatives.

Content Analysis

Your content team will appreciate its “Content” section that can generate all kinds of analyses thanks to the flexible filters, for example:

  • “Thin” content, i.e. pages that need more unique content created for them
  • Long-form content, i.e. content with most words
  • Pages with largest images (those may need some image optimization)
  • Pages with titles containing a certain term, (e.g. when you need to find all content you’ve ever written on a certain topic)

Technical SEO

Naturally, there are a lot of features targeting a more technically-equipped user. JetOctopus helps dev teams to diagnose all kinds of errors hindering smooth user experience as well as preventing search crawlers from access your site.

  • Broken links
  • Pages (accidentally) blocked by Robots.txt or Robots Meta tags
  • Orphan pages
  • Redirect chains
  • Too big pages

Internal Linking Analysis

We are all pretty sure (and anyone working with at least one site has seen the actual experimental evidence on that) that internal links help a page rank better in search. How come we have so few tools analysing internal links for each particular page.

We have a few powerful platforms analyzing incoming links from other domains but there’s no good solution to the best of my knowledge as to how many internal in-links a web page has.

JetOctopus has just introduced a great feature our industry is missing: “Linking Explorer” lets you see how many pages within your site link to a particular page (or pages) and, more importantly, which anchor text those internal links have:

Takeaway: Dig as Deep as You Need / Can

The beauty of SEO crawlers is that everyone is using them differently. A SEO crawler isn’t supposed to show you the way: Instead you can play with the data in your own way to identify what matters to you based on your focus and specialty.

JetOctopus accomplishes this task in an almost perfect way: Its Data Table view gives you all the filters and options to find whatever it is you are looking for, be it canonical tags, redirects, load time metrics or almost anything else under the sun.

I’d probably argue with some things JetOctopus identifies as issues (e.g. too short or too long title tags) and sometimes I’ve seen labeling pages with “multiple title tags” even though I could clearly see only one in the code. But I don’t expect to always agree with an SEO tool as we don’t have clearly set industry standards in many cases. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on other analytics tools that pro’s actually use!

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Generate eCommerce Sales with Product Buying Guides

eCommerce Sales & Buying Guides

With the global reach of today’s Internet, it is possible to sell products (and services) to virtually anyone in the world.

You have a huge opportunity, yet, your competition is fiercer than ever. Every other business has the same opportunities as you.

As a marketer, you need to create an advantage over your competitors. To do this effectively, you need to fully understand how consumers shop. What process do they take to go from identifying a need for something to making a purchase? In most cases, it starts with a general search.

consumers use search engines to discover new products
74% of people turn to a search engine during the consideration and purchasing phases of the buying process, and lucky for unknown brands, 71% of shoppers use search engines to discover new products.

That’s why product buying guides are so great. When a customer searches a product online, a buying guide can serve as a way to convince them to make a purchase. More specifically, the guide can convince them to buy from your brand. But there is a science behind this strategy.

This guide will show you how to leverage product buying guides to drive sales. Whether you have product buying guides that need improvement, or you’ve never used this tactic and want to try it out, you’ll benefit from the tips covered below.

Define the target audience

Before you create and publish a product buying guide, you need to determine who will be reading it. Not every guide should be intended to please everyone. It depends on who is going to be buying what you’re selling. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses get this wrong.

The target market for a specific product category isn’t necessarily the same as your target audience for your entire brand. With your buying guides, it’s OK to be more specific.

For example, if you’re selling a hiking backpack, you’ll want to write your guide for people who are in the market for that item, even though you also sell other items, like a piece of carry-on luggage aimed at business travelers. People who are in the market for this product will get lost and be uninterested if the copy doesn’t speak to them specifically.

One of the best ways to define your target audience is by creating a customer persona. Here’s an example:

consumer persona

Once you create this persona, it’ll be much easier to develop a product buying guide based on the wants and needs of the consumer. You’ll have an image in your mind of who they are and what needs they have.

Your buying guide won’t necessarily appeal to as many people, but that’s OK. You’ll end up having much higher conversion rates for the audience that you’re targeting in the first place.

Choose a format

After you determine your audience, you need to figure out the style and format of your writing guide. You’ve got several different options to choose from here. You can develop a guide that’s mostly text, or have a guide with lots of pictures. It’s even possible to incorporate some video content into your buying guides. Maybe you want to use a combination of these styles. There are lots of ways to approach this.

You also need to decide the format of your buying guide content:

  • compare multiple products
  • general information about what to look for
  • beginner’s purchasing guide
  • introduce a new niche or type of product

Here’s an example of a desk buying guide from Wayfair:

desk buying guide

Rather than writing a guide on specific products, they created a list of the features that consumers should look for when buying a desk. The guide is mostly text but has pictures to illustrate the points they are trying to make. It’s a very simple and easy-to-follow format that uses visual elements well. Each feature is numbered, followed by a bulleted list with additional details. The images, numbers, and bullets break up the content, so it’s easy for website visitors to scan and consume it. No intimidating walls of text here!

Include a CTA

The whole purpose of your product buying guide is to inform consumers about their options, help them decide that they want to buy something, and then ultimately convert. Let’s not lose sight of that final stage when you’re writing these.

Obviously, you want them your customer to buy from you. But if you don’t give the reader a CTA or a way to buy, that might not happen. Here’s the thing. Yes, they are reading the guide on your website. But if they have to go back to your homepage and then search for the products that they’re looking for, it’s too many extra steps. It’d be easier for them to open a new window with a search engine, or go to Amazon, Walmart, or another retail giant to buy. We don’t want that to happen.

The consumer is on your website now. This is your chance to close the sale.

Check out this simple but effective CTA button from REI.

CTA example

This example is from their car racks buying guide. It’s an extensive guide with plenty of options to choose from. They have sections for trunk racks, hitch racks, spare tire racks, roof racks, and cargo boxes. Each option follows the same format as the Wayfair guide.

Each section has a brief overview of the product. That’s followed by a description of how much this type of rack can transport. All of this is followed by a bulleted list of pros and cons. This is something worth stealing for any guide you write. You don’t want to seem biased, since customers will see right through that. If you’re giving too much of a sales pitch, people won’t want to buy. It’s difficult, but you want to try and appear as neutral as possible.

The cons list isn’t necessarily saying bad things about their specific products. Instead, it talks about some limitations of products in this particular category. For example, one of the cons of the spare tire bike rack is that there is a two-bike limit. If someone doesn’t need to transport more than two bikes, that’s not a problem. They don’t need to buy a rack that can hold three or four bikes. Listing the cons like this helps increase your authority and removes some of your bias in the eyes of the consumers. As a result, you can establish trust with the reader.

Last, but certainly not least, is a CTA that provides a link to buy. If someone is reading this guide and realizes that one of these options is what they’re looking for based on the information they found, all they need to do is click on the CTA. Even the CTA isn’t too pushy. But it needs to be there so the site visitor can ultimately convert and make a purchase with as little friction as possible.

Content to product flow

The CTA directs the visitor to the product options. From here, they can make a purchase.

Compare products in different price ranges

In a perfect world, customers would always buy your most expensive products with the highest margins. But the world we live in is far from perfect. Not every person has an unlimited budget for this one purchase. Even if they did have an unlimited budget, many consumers want the best bang for their buck. In fact, the ability to compare prices ranks high on the list of why consumers prefer to shop online in the first place.

why consumers shop online

So, help your customers out make it easy for them to compare prices right on your site. A product guide is a simple way to do this. For example, let’s say you’re selling couches. You can might have products segmented by price in categories like:

  • couches under $250
  • couches $250–$750
  • couches over $1,000

Include prices or price range categories in your buying guides and you’ll make this easier on the reader. This allows you to create anchor prices, which is a way for you to generate more profit by focusing on your pricing. Psychologically, the customer will create a value in their head about what products are worth based on the anchor prices. Your less expensive and mid-range products will look more appealing when you put them next to premium-priced products. Consider marketing one of the options in your guide as a Best Budget pick or Best Value to hit that point home.

Apply SEO principles

Product-buying guides have a shot to rank with long-tail search terms.

long-tail SEO for conversion

This makes sense: most consumers use search engines to find new products, a buying guide will help them learn and discover. To take advantage of this discoverability, conduct keyword research on each category to determine what people are actually searching for.

Again, you’re not trying to appeal to the masses with your buying guides. General search terms are going to have more competition and be more expensive if you’re running PPC campaigns.

If you make your SEO strategy too broad and general, there may be more people searching for that term, but your click-through rates will be much lower. For example, let’s say you’re selling something basic that everyone uses, like socks. A product buying guide about how to choose a pair of socks is way too general. Make it more specific for your target audience and certain niches with long-tail keywords:

  • best ankle socks for workouts
  • women’s waterproof running socks
  • best high socks for hiking
  • dress socks for sweaty feet

Do you see the difference? All of these potential search terms address more particular needs. People searching for these keywords have a specific want. So if they land on your buying guide from their search, they’ll have a much higher probability of clicking through and converting.

Include reviews

When a consumer navigates to a product buying guide, they are conducting research. The number one reason why customers research products online is to read product reviews.

half of people like to read about products before buying them

You can also showcase a customer review or testimonial to increase brand credibility. From that review, link the reader directly to the rest of your reviews for each product. You could even consider adding a superlative to your buying guide like Customer Favorite or Popular Choice.

In addition to reviews, you can add any statistics or references to back up claims you’re making about products or categories. Doing this will make your brand seem much more trustworthy and legitimate.


Product buying guides give you a unique opportunity to assist consumers during the research stage of the customer conversion funnel.

The first thing you need to do is determine the target audience of each buying guide. Figure out a format and style that works best for you, as well as the reader. Target long-tail keywords, and include CTAs to buy the products and showcase products in different price ranges to appeal to a wider range of prospective buyers and leverage your existing customer reviews. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this one on Using Instagram to grow your small business!
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