Category: Marketing

Website Fonts That Compliment

Fonts for Web & Wordpress Design

In website design, people often overlook minor details, like typography.

I know what some of you might be thinking. How important can a website’s font really be?

Believe it or not, something as simple as choosing the right font can have a major impact on conversion. Plus, website fonts affect the overall appearance of your site.

Now it’s unlikely that you’ve been on a website and thought, “Wow, this font is great!”

It doesn’t smack you in the face & it just isn’t something that our minds are trained to look for and I’m not expecting you to find a font that’s going to “wow” your website visitors. But, I can guarantee that you’ve been on websites that have fonts that were generic, unappealing, difficult to read, or felt out of place. You obviously don’t want people to have that impression of your website.

Why your website font matters

Here’s something to consider: different website fonts can change the reader’s perception of a particular topic.

Errol Morris conducted a survey in an article published in The New York Times in 2012. He included a passage from a book that claimed we live in an ear of unprecedented safety, and followed the passage up with two questions:

  1. Is the claim true? (yes or no)
  2. How confident are you with the answer? (slightly, moderately, very)

As it turns out, Morris didn’t care about anyone’s opinion. He just wanted to know if the font could influence their answers. Forty thousand people unknowingly participated in this experiment. While everyone read the same passage; they did not all see it in the same typography.

Check out these results.

Weighted Agreement

This graph shows all of the respondents who agreed to the first question. Morris took their levels of confidence in the second question and assigned a weighted value to each response.

In doing so, it’s clear that there was a difference between how confident people were in agreeing with the claims being made based on the font they were presented in. Now let’s look and see the results of respondents who disagreed with the passage.

Weighted Disagreement

Compare the two graphs. Do you notice any similarities?

As you can see, the Baskerville font was ranked highest for weighted agreement and lowest for weighted disagreement. Comic Sans font ranked lowest for weighted agreement, and ranked high for weighted disagreement.

Based on this data, Morris was able to conclude that fonts can influence the way people perceive information. Basically, the typeface can actually affect the credibility of your website.

In short — yes, website fonts matter.

The best Google Font pairings for 2019

You don’t want to have the same font everywhere on your site; that’s too boring. Mix it up! But make sure you pick fonts that go well together. I created this guide to help you do just that.

There are plenty of platforms for finding free fonts, but Google Fonts is my favorite. I identified the top Google Fonts pairings for 2019. So check out my list, and pick out a combination that works best for your website.

Open Sans and Roboto

Open Sans and Roboto Font

The header of this screenshot is Open Sans semi-bold. The paragraph below it is Roboto regular. I think the semi-bold header just ads a bit more punch than the regular weight of Open Sans, but it’s fine if you go with that option as well.

The reason why these fonts work so well together is because they are both crisp and extremely legible.

You’ve got lots of different options here to consider for your website design. This combination could be used to convey the value proposition on your homepage. Use the Open Sans header as a point of emphasis, and then elaborate on the subject using Roboto.

These fonts work well together if you swap them as well. You could use Roboto as the header, and Open Sans for the paragraph. In this case, I’d recommend going with Roboto medium, and Open Sans regular.

Playfair Display and Montserrat

Playfair Display and Montserrat Font

This font combination works best for shorter text on your website. I wouldn’t necessarily use it on a blog post or something like that.

However, this pairing is perfect for a product title and product description, especially for ecommerce shops in the fashion industry. The lighter weight font, like Montserrat light, gives the text a certain level of elegance that fits with a luxury brand persona.

Interestingly enough, if you swap the two and use Montserrat as the header, the persona changes to something that feels futuristic or techy. That combination can work well for some of you who are promoting a game, or even on a landing page to download your mobile gaming app.

Either way, these two fonts work well together. It depends on the theme and overall message that you’re going for on your website.

Lora and Alegreya

Lora and Alegreya Font

Lora bold is strong and legible, which is why it’s perfect for title pages. While the typography is powerful, it’s still friendly and inviting.

Alegreya regular compliments Lora really well, especially when used for captioning images.

While Alegreya is definitely legible, it can be challenging to read for long stretches, which is why it’s better for short text like captions or quick descriptions. I would not recommend experimenting with any other variations of Alegreya. Adding weight or italics to this font loses the legibility.

Now if you swap their positions, Alegreya bold works fine for title and header text. Lora regular is legible, so you could consider using it for longer text. I think this combination would be perfect for something like a customer testimonial or short case study.

Merriweather and Lato

Merriweather and Lato Font

Merriweather light and Lato regular is a very clean and professional combination.

It’s a popular choice because the options are so versatile. Merriweather light is modern, tasteful, and appealing. When it’s followed up with text written in Lato, the pairing feels trustworthy.

I’d recommend using this combination on your homepage. For those of you who have a design that involves scrolling to learn more information, this text combination will work perfectly. I’m picturing a website visitor scrolling down your home screen, seeing an image on the left side of the page and this font combination on the right. When they continue scrolling, the next image will be on the right, and the text will be on the left.

If this sounds like your current design, definitely consider using this combination to add a touch of professionalism to your content.

Amatic SC and Josefin Slab

Amatic SC and Josefin Slab Font

The font combination of Amatic SC bold and Josefin Slab italic is definitely not for everyone. I can’t say that I would recommend it to the majority of websites, but it’s an ideal combination for artsy websites. If you’re a musician, painter, or photographer, these fonts can be used sparingly on your pages.

The key here is to make sure that the text has plenty of space to breathe. I’d recommend using it against white or very light backgrounds. So check out my post on the top trending website color schemes of 2019 as well.

If you sell ceramics or sculptures, this font can be very appealing to your audience and fit nicely with the overall theme of your business.

Just make sure you don’t go overboard. Using too much of this on the screen is unappealing and challenging to read. So pick something else for longer blocks of text, such as your biography or about me pages.

Cinzel and Raleway

Cinzel and Raleway Font

Cinzel is a bold font (no pun intended). It’s all capital letters, which makes it more suitable for short text as opposed to long blog posts or things of that nature.

It’s complemented really by a font that’s a bit more traditional, like Raleway. These two fonts are perfect for websites in the food and drink industry.

You could consider using this to spice up your online menu. Have the menu categories in Cinzel black, the meal titles in Cinzel bold, and the description of the item written in Raleway regular.

If you really want to be unique, you can swap the two and use Raleway for headings and Cinzel for the body text. This could work well for local coffee shops that update their website with daily specials or weekly brews.

PT Sans Narrow and PT Sans

PT Sans Narrow and PT Sans

PT Sans Narrow and PT Sans is a classic combination. This versatile choice will work well for nearly any website in 2019.

Since both fonts are so legible, you can use it for text in short-form, as well as long-form content such as blog posts.

I like these fonts because they are easy to read, but not too generic and boring. PT Sans Narrow and PT Sans are inviting, so consider using them on home screens and landing pages.

How to pick the best website fonts

Now that you’ve seen some of the best Google Fonts combinations of 2019, how can you decide which one is best for your website?

The first thing you need to do is determine what type of content the font will be used for. Decide if the fonts are for your blog, homepage, landing page, product description, or navigation menu.

You’ll also want to consider the type of business you have, as well as the audience you’re targeting. Does the font need to be professional? Or do you have some room to be a bit unique?

The key to pairing two fonts together is contrast. The fonts should be different enough that each is distinguishable, but not so different that the reader is distracted.

You may want to use a few font combinations on your website, but don’t go overboard. Keep it simple. Each page should just have two fonts; three at most. If you want to use more, consider using variations of the fonts already on the page (light, italic, medium, bold, etc.) instead.


Fonts are important, so it time to get rid of the default. Google Fonts is one of the best resources for free website fonts. The platform has some of the top site fonts that compliment each other.

  • Open Sans and Roboto
  • Playfair Display and Montserrat
  • Lora and Alegreya
  • Merriweather and Lato
  • Amatic SC and Josefin Slab
  • Cinzel and Raleway
  • PT Sans Narrow and PT Sans

And to get an idea how to differentiate between the different types of font check out this Creative Bloq article. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Website Planning!

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Filed under: Marketing, StrategyTagged with: , ,

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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Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, WordpressTagged with: ,

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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Filed under: eCommerce, Marketing, WordpressTagged with: ,

Content Or Data, Which Is King In Content Marketing?


The Content Versus Data Mini Debate

In the modern media era of TV and Internet, there has always been a fundamental tension between content and distribution. Is it better to own the content, or is it better to own the platforms and distribution mechanisms to get that content to the customer? For now, content is king, but is there a new contender to the throne: data?

Of course, data in its raw form is useless. It’s just a bunch of 1’s and 0’s. But when you are able to analyze that data, it can become very powerful. That’s especially true since we are moving from an era of “structured” data to an era of “unstructured” data.From a marketing perspective, the easiest way to think about the difference between “structured” data and “unstructured” data is by thinking of the typical customer survey that you might send out after someone has purchased a product or visited your store. Most of the questions will be simple “yes/no” questions. Or they will ask customers to rate you on a scale of 1-10. All of that is “structured” data. It’s easy to put into a database and then analyze for insights. You can perform all kinds of statistical calculations very easily.

But then comes all the “unstructured” data. And this is where organizations are really stepping up their game. For example, that same customer survey might ask a question like, “Is there anything else you’d like to tell us that’s not included here?” That prompts a customer to write an open-ended response. Just a few years ago, that would have required a human to analyze it. Now, thanks to the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, it’s possible to have a computer analyze it and add it to a growing database.

And the type of “unstructured” data that’s available today is growing at a prodigious pace, primarily thanks to all the digital devices out there. Your mobile phone is a potential treasure trove of data that grows by the minute. What company wouldn’t want to know the precise GPS location of every place you’ve visited during the day?

The rise of artificial intelligence

Moreover, the type of analysis that’s possible today is becoming quite impressive. There’s a whole new field called “predictive analytics,” which essentially promises to predict future customer behavior based on known data. You can literally predict how a marketing campaign will do, based on what you know about certain types of customers. Companies like Salesforce are coming up with AI-powered marketing solutions that promise to help companies find the proverbial needle in the haystack.

So it’s no surprise that so many companies have jumped aboard the Big Data bandwagon. It promises to streamline just about every part of a company and create new revenue opportunities. As the analytical tools become more and more powerful, it’s leading to real excitement about the potential ability of AI to transform organizations.

Is Data the new oil?

Data Science Vs Big Data Vs


Within the mainstream media, in fact, it’s now fashionable to compare the role of data in the digital economy to the role of oil in the analog economy. Back in 2014, WIRED magazine breathlessly proclaimed that, “Data is the new oil of the digital economy.” Earlier this year, The Economist remarked that, “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.”

If you follow this analogy to its logical end, it would seem to imply that companies best able to harness and extract this data will become the most valuable in the world. Just as oil companies like Exxon Mobil became the most valuable and powerful in the world until the rise of Silicon Valley’s Internet champions, it’s plausible that new artificial intelligence (AI) companies will become the most valuable in the world, once they’ve truly figured out how to harness the remarkable power of data. However, seeming reasonable or probable does not necessarily make it a certainty, and this is where the human element holds sway, people generally recognise the value of a well written piece from the personal perspective of the author, something which can probably never be replicated by a machine, at least not to the degree that it becomes untraceable.

Wordup to core values



Anyone reading thus far and wondering what the punch line or relevance to their Wordpress site or enterprise is, then its pretty straightforward.

The people who analyse your content generally, typically the likes of Google, who employ rocket scientists to do it, are well known to value relevant content written by real people with real opinion and information to get across to the audience. They are also pretty expert at weeding out artificial or bot created content to the point of penalising sites which use it. So you’ve still got to create content, and you might need some help with that. We provide a full content strategy for Wordpress sites which are built by us, and so do others.

Wordup, the content marketing people, who specialize in content marketing and copywriting services with a considerable degree of success are also well worth a look if you need high end copywriting or content marketing services. Working with brands like Tag Heur, Wavemaker, Jacobs, Mindshare and Munity, they seem to have done a pretty stellar job of elevating the presence of those, and seemingly without any AI or a bot in sight. So I guess for now and the forseeable future, content may still be king, and especially high quality and empirical or personal statistical content written by genuine people with a valid and valuable insight to get across. So get in touch if you need any help with your Wordpress site content, and you can also see if Wordup may be able to help. Just make sure you have already had a burger!
If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Wordpress Dynamic Content!

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Why People Buy Instagram Followers


Popular Instagram Strategies

Instagram is a popular social media platform. You can share pictures and other content easily on Instagram. People buy Instagram followers for various reasons. For business, this will enhance their brand visibility hence open up more markets. For celebrities, it is a simpler way of gaining popularity. Individuals also buy Instagram followers for fame and social media interactions.  You can gain more followers on Instagram through various ways including buying them online.

Here are the top 3 reasons why people buy Instagram followers:

  1.   Online visibility

Your online presence is dependent on views and shares that your content receives. This enhances your influencer capability. Social media marketers use popular pages in online marketing. This can be an additional source of income from paid ads and lead generation. Through such avenues, you can reach a wider audience and this may generate income through more sales or payment packs from relevant online businesses. Through reposts, comments and discussion points from followers; your level of engagement with the online audience is increased. This helps to market your brand and increase your market presence.

  1.   Reputation

People love celebrities and like being associated with them. Research shows that posts or pictures of celebrities get many comments and likes. Having many followers helps to build your reputation. You also become influential, such that any post on your page gets many views. As long as you have many followers, your posts will have many comments and likes. This influences other people to also visit your page, and follow your posts building your reputation. It also becomes possible to get many chain reactions hence more engagement. To maintain good repute on social media, you must ensure that your followers are getting high-quality content. This will help you to build loyalty among your followers.

  1.   Internet marketing

Your products and content will reach a wider market niche if you have many followers on Instagram and other social media platforms. If you have many Instagram followers, you may link your account to all other social media platforms. This way, you can spread the content, and reach a wider market niche. Potential clients who visit your site may also check reviews and feedback from your online followers. This helps to give credibility to your business. Conversion rate increases due to more leads which can be converted into sales. Search engine ratings increase when you have many followers. With a higher ranking in Google and other search engines, more traffic will be directed to your site. Another important tip is to link your website to your Instagram and other social media accounts. This is a cost-free effective marketing technique that helps to grow your business.

If you do not have many followers, you are missing out on business. Through various online resources, techniques, and tips, your Instagram account will get more exposure. Before you buy Instagram followers, you should do a little research to identify the best sources. It is also advisable to generate organic followers. As much as possible, you should avoid bot generated followers as they do not engage potential customers.
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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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Website Analytics Tools Pros Actually Use

Web Tools

I personally love data and analytics tools.

But here’s the straight truth: you need a lot less than the analytics industry wants you to believe.

Most experts will try to convince you that you need an analytics tool for everything. More data is always a good thing, right?

I used to believe that myself.

Over the last few years, I’ve changed my stance on the entire analytics category. These days, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. One or two tools is about all I need. Less infrastructure to worry about, fewer complexities to manage, and an easier system for teams to use and act on.

The Analytics Tools We Use

  • First, I get my main tool in place, which is almost always Google Analytics
  • I avoid installing any user analytics tools to start — too much effort required for too little value.
  • Thats it!

A few extra tools I may use for specific projects

  • If you have a lot of user flows to improve, get a heatmap tool. The best is Crazy Egg.
  • If you’re making SEO a priority, get an SEO tool. I use SEMrush.
  • If you do a lot of conversion optimization and A/B testing, get an A/B testing tool. I recommend Optimizely.
  • Once you’re large enough that it makes sense to consolidate all your data into a single source of truth, get a real business intelligence function built out along with the infrastructure to support it.

Now let’s get to the straight truth on these tools.

Overall Best Website Analytics Tool: Google Analytics

Website Analytics - Google_Analytics Overview Dashboard
Without a doubt, Google Analytics is the best analytics tool out there.

While working at KISSmetrics, I did a bunch of competitive research on Google Analytics. I’ve also done plenty of Google Analytics consulting over the years.

There are few counter-intuitive insights I’ve learned about Google Analytics along the way.

First, people love Google Analytics. The user satisfaction scores are always sky high. When I saw how happy users were for the first time, it seemed like an insurmountable challenge. Remember, I was working at a competitor.

Here’s the weird part though.

Very few people actually use Google Analytics for anything other than checking the total traffic on their site.

In other words, most people log into Google Analytics, look at one of the basic reports, check to see how many total people visited their site recently, and then log out.

That’s it.

For a long time, I didn’t understand how to reconcile these two facts: People barely use Google Analytics, but they also love it. How can both of these things be true at the same time?

It dawned on me that seeing total site traffic is a huge ego boost. It validates our work. It feels great to see people visiting our sites. It feels so good that we’d be furious if Google Analytics ever shut down.

That feeling is so powerful that people don’t need much else from Google Analytics.

I used to think this was a problem. Look at all that other data! Think of all the other insights that will grow your business! It’s all right there in the other reports!

Now I have a more nuanced understanding.

Realistically, you’ll install Google Analytics and you’ll only use it to check your total traffic. And that’s totally okay. It’s still a major data point for you to run your site and business. Plus, you’ll get the motivational boost that comes from seeing how many people visit your site. If that’s as far as you ever take it, don’t feel guilty — you’re still getting a ton of value from Google Analytics.

If you’re ever in the mood to check a couple of extra reports in Google Analytics, here are two of my favorites that are also easy to understand:

  1. You can see which traffic sources send you traffic. I prefer the Source/Medium report that’s under Acquisition > All Traffic from the sidebar. I like seeing the exact sources that send traffic instead of broad channels, since it’s a bit easier to come up with insights that are worth acting on.
  2. You can see which pages on your site bring you traffic with the Landing Page report. It’s under Behavior > Site Content in the sidebar. Look for patterns in the pages that seem to keep bringing in traffic over time, then ask yourself how you can do more of that.

Those two reports alone will keep me busy for years on end. They’re also easy enough for anyone to use without getting overwhelmed. You can also install a Google Analytics add-on to Google Sheets and manipulate the data there. When you’re ready for more, try out these six advanced moves.

Analytics Tool Alternatives

Best Free Analytics Tool: Also Google Analytics

Not only is Google Analytics the best analytics tool out there, it’s also 100% free. It’s an amazing deal. Google has a reputation for having the best engineering team on the planet and it’s ridiculous that all of us get to take advantage of that expertise with a free tool.

Whenever I build a new site, the first thing I do is install Google Analytics. It’s an ingrained habit.

The only downside to the free Google Analytics plan is its data limit. Once your site gets to a certain size, you’ll notice that Google Analytics will start sampling your reporting. This means the data isn’t 100% accurate because Google Analytics is only reviewing a percentage of your real data, say 75% for example, and is making a prediction on the last 25%. The more data you have, the less “real” data is included in each report. You won’t start to see this until you have hundreds of thousands of visitors per month.

Some folks deeply hate data sampling and consider it a huge problem. These days, I don’t worry about it. It’s a small cost to get access to an analytics tool as high quality as Google Analytics without having to pay a dime. I only get concerned once a site is generating many millions of visits per month and the majority of data starts getting sampled.

Best Enterprise Analytics Tool: Adobe Analytics

At the enterprise level, Adobe Analytics is the de facto winner. Over the years, it’s gone by several names including Adobe SiteCatalyst and Omniture.

It has a very strong reputation in the space and can support the truly enterprise needs like deep customization, implementation support, uptime requirements, and so forth.

In the last few years, Google has pushed into the enterprise space with its Google Analytics 360. If you have a site with serious volume and are already bumping against the free limits of Google Analytics, it might be worth looking at Google Analytics 360.

To decide between Adobe Analytics and Google Analytics 360, I’d ask myself if I simply need more of what I already have with Google Analytics. If I were already getting everything that I wanted and just needed the “enterprise” packaging to unlock higher data volume, more support, service agreements, etc., then I’d go with Google Analytics 360. But if my goal were to seriously uplevel my analytics capabilities beyond Google Analytics, I’d go with Adobe Analytics. It’s a more complete analytics package that extends beyond the website-only focus of Google Analytics.

In most cases, I’d go with Adobe Analytics.

Enterprise Analytics Tool Alternative

Best User Analytics Tool: Amplitude

In the last decade, a new set of user analytics tools have cropped up.

The previous generation of tools, like Google Analytics, focused really heavily on websites and traffic. Those tools were designed solely to get insights on your website.

As the internet evolved, lots of tech businesses needed data focused on users instead of on websites. They needed things like persistent user identities to track users over the long term, funnel reports to see how people moved through their apps, and cohort reports to see how user behavior changed over the long-term.

Recently, Amplitude jumped into the category and pushed a very generous free plan that includes plenty of tracking volume and lots of the main reports you’d want to use. Most of the competitors now offer substantial freemium plans, largely because Amplitude set the freemium bar so high and they were forced to match it.

Because of its generous freemium plan and the quality of its reporting, we recommend Amplitude if you’re looking for a user analytics tool.

What Happened to KISSmetrics?

This is the analytics company that I worked for and led its marketing team for a period. If you go to the website today, it points to Neil Patel’s website, one of the original co-founders. Needless to say, KISSmetrics is not really considered a competitor these days.

A Word of Caution on User Analytics Tools

User analytics tools are not cheap. Even if you’re on a freemium or modestly priced subscription with one of these tools, that’s only a fraction of what you’ll spend.

First, you’ll spend a ton of time on the install. You will need an engineer and someone else on your team who knows your business, the user flows, and analytics tools pretty well. The implementation support from the tools themselves tends to be poor.

Then there’s the maintenance to keep the tracking up to date. User flows change, products evolve, new organization goals are set. All of that impacts your tracking, which has to be updated regularly in order to keep your data accurate.

And finally, in my experience, very few people in the organization are comfortable using analytics tools. They either stick to one or two basic reports, or avoid the tool entirely. So if you want to get the full value of the tool, you’ll need someone with real talent and skill for pulling reports. This ends up being an analyst or a product/marketing manager who can dedicate a decent amount of their time to reporting. That’s time that could be used elsewhere.

In contrast, tools like Google Analytics are relatively easy to set up. Add the Google Analytics tracking script on every page of your site and you’ll get 80% of the data that you need right away. User analytics tools aren’t nearly as easy to set up and maintain.

This is why I recommend most folks skip the user analytics category entirely — too much effort for too little gain.

User Analytics Alternatives

Best Heatmap Tool: Crazy Egg

Analytics tools give us a ton of information on what’s happening to our websites.

But sometimes…

It’s too much information. Rows and rows of data, hundreds of reports, more metrics than we can every possible understand.

Heatmaps do an amazing job simplifying everything, making it really easy to understand what people are doing. Heatmap reports take one of the pages on your website and show you visually where people are clicking on that page. Within a few seconds, you’ll see exactly what what people click on and what they don’t. In my experience, everyone on the team instantly understands the major insights from a heatmap tool.

Crazy Egg - Website Analytics Heatmap

Acting on those insights is pretty easy too. Two simple rules will take you pretty far:

  • For the stuff that people click on the most, do more of that.
  • For stuff that people don’t click on, get rid of it.

A heatmap tool is the easiest and most beginner friendly way to start using analytics to make your sites better. Run a heatmap on the top three more important pages of you site (like your homepage, product page, pricing pages, or sales page) and go through several design iterations using the two rules above. That’ll give you a drastically improved website without a more complicated website analytics setup or analysis.

Heatmaps are also really powerful when you’re trying to improve a bunch of user flows, like an online or mobile app. You can glean tons of valuable insights on what users are trying to do, allowing you to iterate on your user flows and drastically improve them.

We recommend Crazy Egg because the quality of its tool stands out in the category. They have several variations of the heatmap report like confetti, clickmaps, and scroll maps to give you even more insights. The quality of its data and reporting is also top-notch. It was one of the first heatmap tools on the market, and it has added more functionality in the past few years like user recordings and A/B testing.

Heatmap Tool Alternative

Best A/B Testing Tool: Optimizely

Before we get into Optimizely itself, a quick sidenote.

I love love love A/B testing. You could call it my first career passion.

That said, most companies shouldn’t be running A/B tests. That’s right. For the vast majority of companies, A/B testing can be completely ignored.

While A/B testing is a reliable way to improve conversion rates on a website, it requires a ton of data, a lot more than most industry experts recommend.

Otherwise, it takes too much time, too much money, and the impact on the business is too minor for it to be worth it.

If you have lots of data to work with and are ready to take the plunge into A/B testing, I recommend Optimizely. It’s got all the A/B testing features you’ll need, tracks data the most accurately, and is pretty easy to use.

The biggest downside: the price.

Over the last few years, Optimizely has aggressively pursued larger companies as its customers and has largely left small businesses behind. Pricing is no longer listed on the website, a sign that the focus is on enterprise businesses at higher price points. A few years ago, we spent more than $10,000 per year to use the tool.

Optimizely is my go-to choice if you’re at a large company.

If you’re smaller, you’ll need to go another route.

Best A/B Testing Tool for Small Businesses: Crazy Egg

In the past, I would have recommended VWO (formerly Visual Website Optimizer). Like Optimizely, it’s one of the primary A/B testing tools on the market.

Unfortunately, it looks like VWO has begun to pursue an enterprise strategy too. Prices are no longer listed on the site — not a good sign for small businesses. It’s been longer since I’ve used them, so I don’t know what the current pricing is, but it’s safe to assume that it’s too high for a small business.

Crazy Egg has released an A/B testing tool alongside its heatmap reports that’s focused on beginners and businesses that don’t have the resources for an entire team dedicated to A/B testing. Pick a page on your site, make a few edits with Crazy Egg, then get simple data on which version you should keep.

Best SEO Tool: SEMrush

As SEO has evolved, it’s gotten increasingly competitive and data driven. There’s also a host of metrics that are completely unique to search, like keyword rankings, monthly search volume, and backlink volume.

It’s possible to get some of these metrics from Google Analytics but to get everything, you need to sign up for an SEO tool.

My favorite SEO tool is SEMrush.

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The biggest reason is SEMrush has the easiest reporting compared to the other SEO tools. It’s perfect for beginning or intermediate SEO marketers.

What About Analytics for Paid Marketing Channels?

Google Ads (formerly AdWords), Facebook, and other paid marketing channels need a ton of data to run effective campaigns. Since companies like Google and Facebook have extreme incentives to give you the highest quality data possible, they’ve invested in their own data and reporting. The analytics in Google Ads and Facebook Ads are world-class — you’ll get everything you need.

All you need to do is install a JavaScript snippet on the page of your website that signifies a conversion took place. The page that means you acquired a lead, a sale, or a new user. The JavaScript snippet will tell the ads platform that a conversion occurred, helping you optimize the campaigns for your business. There are other ways to set up conversion tracking, but this is the easiest.

Other paid marketing platforms follow this same format. Reporting and data is built into the ad platform and tracking is handled by installing a JavaScript snippet that logs conversions.

What’s the Difference Between Website Analytics and Business Intelligence?

Website analytics is the online marketing and website data for a business. Business intelligence includes all of the data for a business.

As more and more business data moves into the cloud, the line between these two categories has gotten blurred. CRMs (like Salesforce) now include a lot of marketing and campaign data. The marketing automation tools (like Marketo, HubSpot, Pardot, etc.) that have become a standard part of the marketing infrastructure at many companies produce marketing data too.

Once you get large enough, you’ll want to combine all of these sources into a single database and source of truth for your customers. That’s where business intelligence comes in. It typically involves putting together a data warehouse (Amazon Redshift is a popular choice) with a reporting tool that sits on top of it like Tableau. This approach is very expense, pretty complicated, and difficult to maintain, so only go this route once your business is large enough to truly get value out of it.

In the meantime, integrate your tools with one another whenever you can while keeping things as simple as possible.

My Analytics Tools Recommendations

So here are my two core recommendations:

  • Use Google Analytics for your website analytics
  • Avoid user analytics tools.

“Extra” tools for specific use cases:

  • If you have a lot of user flows to improve, get a heatmap tool like Crazy Egg.
  • If you’re making SEO a priority, get an SEO tool like SEMrush.
  • If you do a lot of conversion optimization and A/B testing, get an A/B testing tool like Optimizely.
  • When you’re large enough, build a real business intelligence function.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on Website Planning!

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Write Content that Inspires Action

Often, Wordpress site owners or businesses focus more on content promotion than content creation. Considering many individuals judge the success of a marketing campaign based on the number of clicks, likes, shares, and views their content pieces garner, the practice of prioritizing promotion over substance is understandable. Yet, content that doesn’t elicit some sort of reaction from the reader will ultimately prove ineffective. After all, content marketers and copywriters are always trying to get their audience to download something, visit a storefront, or buy a product. So here are three proven ways to build content that motivates consumers to heed your calls-to-action.

Trade Info for Loyalty


Trust is the essential element of every good business relationship. This is especially true for consumers who are researching a product or service they don’t quite understand. Companies that offer in-depth articles on their site and provide objective analysis will win a consumer’s loyalty –– even if they don’t immediately gain their business. The wonderful thing about most marketing content is that it’s evergreen –– i.e., it remains useful over long periods of time. In that sense a well-written blog can truly be the gift that keeps on giving!

Construct with Care

Online consumers don’t want to have to hunt for information. The massive edge ecommerce stores have over brick-and-mortar locations is, of course, convenience. However, if your content offers aren’t structured correctly, and if your website is difficult to navigate, you’ll struggle to retain many visitors. One good rule of thumb to follow for long-form content is the Wikipedia test. Wikipedia boasts an easy-to-follow setup and a seamless navigation strategy. Just think how easy it is to find pages on related subjects on Wikipedia and you’ll have a good idea of how best to arrange your own page layout.

Incentivize Action


Most blog posts end with some variety of call-to-action (CTA). Regardless of whether you’re trying to motivate someone to visit an ecommerce store or a local testing center, copywriters need to incentivize their CTAs. It may be obvious to you why a given consumer would benefit from medical advice or a new widget, but it’s not always so clear cut to the general public. What’s more, be sure to inject some urgency into your writing. Let your readers know that they stand to gain a clear advantage (or can avoid a major setback) by acting now. Many decisions made online carry a degree of impulsiveness, so keep that in mind when tailoring blog posts. Work that lacks a sense of immediacy simply won’t generate the leads or conversions businesses need to grow.

Monitor and Follow Up

Having done all that its still doesn’t end there, many businesses fail because they do not have a good follow up strategy in place, this is where a marketing platform like Omnisend can come in. With a huge number of options  and facilities to do this, it can be an excellent tool to streamline, evaluate and generate new business via tracking visitors, subscriptions, automation and a whole lot more. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on the Content versus Data debate!

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Social Media Emojis For Your Brand

It’s not an overstatement to say that emojis are all over social media these days. It’s almost guaranteed that any popular Instagram post will have at least one emoji in the caption, and many tweets now include 280 characters and an emoji. So the big question for business owners becomes: Is this just something for young millennials to enjoy, or is there way to leverage emojis in our branding?

Greater engagement with emojis

No surprise here, but emojis could be huge for your brand. One big reason is that social media researchers have found a direct link between emojis and user engagement. All things being equal, content with emojis will perform better than content without emojis.

For example, consider a tweet that your company might send out over the Valentine’s Day holiday. You’re much more likely to have someone click on a product link or reply to that tweet if you include a heart emoji. That’s just human nature.

Use cases for emojis

Moreover, emojis are a useful way to show solidarity with particular demographic groups and social causes. For example, for the sake of argument, let’s say that you want to show solidarity with bearded men. Well, you’re in luck, because back in 2017 a new bearded man was released.

Or, let’s say that you are looking to get the word out about a new product promotion. If that’s the case, emojis can play a powerful role in getting the word out and inspiring people to act. For example (again, just for the sake of argument), let’s say that there’s a zombie apocalypse underway and you would like to alert customers about your upcoming “everything must go” zombie apocalypse sale. You can now include a zombie emoji with every tweet that you send out.

Brand identity and emojis

Emojis can also be very powerful for brand identity. For example, huge national brands like Starbucks and Coca-Cola have worked with Twitter to create branded emojis. And, if you watched the Oscars in the past year or so, you probably noticed Oscar emojis being created automatically in your tweets as soon as you used the hashtag #Oscars.

What’s really amazing is how many different emojis now exist – nearly 2,823 emojis as of January 2019. In case you’re keeping score at home, there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, so there are more than 100 times more emojis than letters! Just consider the possibilities.

And, in fact, many companies have considered the possibilities. Goldman Sachs, normally thought of as a bunch of greedy old bankers, has sent out tweets all in emojis to promote a new research report on millennials. Chevrolet has sent out an emoji press release. Domino’s makes it possible to order pizza with emojis. And educators are working on ways to use emojis to connect with children and early learners.

A warning about emojis for social media newbies

Make no mistake about it, emojis are fun and a bit whimsical (as you no doubt have noticed by now). They can breathe some fresh life and “hipness” into tired old brands, and help new brands stand out in a crowded field.

But just one word of advice before you embrace emojis as a new form of social communication – there are some emojis (like the purple eggplant emoji) that come with some hidden meanings. Let’s just say that if you’re a restaurant in South Philly sending out a tweet about new late night eggplant specials, you might want to be careful.

However, used in moderation, emojis can be very powerful for branding and communication purposes. Just a few years ago, including emojis in “serious” business messages was frowned upon. But now it’s just par for the course: emojis have become about as mainstream as you could possibly imagine. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this article on the 20 best Bootstrap Wordpress themes!

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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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Using Instagram to Grow Your Small Business

Every business needs an active social media presence. This statement holds true whether you have a small, medium, or large company. In fact, it’s more important for smaller businesses than large ones.

Big brands like Apple and Nike are already household names. If they stop using social media right now, they’ll probably still generate sales.

But you can’t make a sale to people who don’t know who you are yet. Just like you can’t rely only on foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store, if you operate online, you can’t rely solely on people navigating to your website.

That’s why you need Instagram as a marketing tool

Honestly, if you’re not currently using Instagram, you’re behind: 71% of businesses are already using Instagram as a marketing channel. But it’s not too late to get started. That’s the inspiration for this guide.

According to Instagram’s user data, 80% of accounts follow a business. It’s obvious that people are willing to follow and engage with brands on Instagram. The key for you as a small business marketer is to figure out how to take advantage of this opportunity to drive growth for your company. This article explains some beginner strategies to stimulate business growth on Instagram and teach you ways to convert your followers into customers. If you’ve created an Instagram profile, but it isn’t active or effective, you can benefit from this information too.

Promote your profile with your existing customers

When you start your account, it’ll come with zero followers. It can be a little discouraging to start from zero, but you don’t have to start from scratch. Rather than trying to get random followers who don’t know who you are and don’t know anything about your brand, turn to your existing customers.

Start with your email subscribers. Check out how MeUndies signs off its marketing emails.

MeUndies marketing email Instagram hashtag

The CTA here is to follow MeUndies on Instagram.

Your email list isn’t the only place to recruit current customers to Instagram. You can promote your profile on your other marketing channels as well:

  • YouTube videos
  • website
  • blog posts
  • other social media profiles
  • purchase receipts
  • in-store signs

Take a look at how Shady Rays uses its website to get more followers on Instagram.

Shady Rays Instagram

The social media feed showcases their most recent Instagram uploads. If you click on any of the photos here, it will bring you to that image on Instagram. There’s also a direct link and a CTA to follow Shady Rays on Instagram.

Showcase your products

Now that you’ve got followers, let’s take a look a the reason they’re following your profile. Coupons? Sales? Let’s look at the top reasons why people follow brands on social media.

Why people follow brands on social media

The number one reason people follow brands is because they’re interested in that brand’s products and services. That reason ranks higher than promotions and incentives. So while it’s not a bad idea to give people an incentive to follow your profile with an exclusive discount or another offer like that, research shows that more people follow a brand out of interest alone.

That means it’s definitely OK to show them your products. In fact, 65% of the top performing posts on Instagram featured a product. (This is a great chance for you to generate sales for a new product release.)

But, you don’t want to oversell on Instagram: 58% of users think it’s annoying when brands post too many promotions. So, showcase your products, but do so sparingly.

Take advantage of shoppable posts

It’s one thing to show products to your consumers. But Instagram gives businesses the opportunity to sell products directly through their platform. Shoppable posts take our last strategy one step further.

60% of people use Instagram to find new products and 75% of those take action after viewing a post. Those actions can lead to conversions, especially if you use shoppable posts.

Here’s an example from Western Rise of a shoppable post.

Shoppable Instagram Post from Western Rise

It’s just a regular photo. But the promoted product is tagged. The tag includes the name of the product and the price. When a user clicks on the link, they are directed to a product page where they can buy that product.

This is far more efficient than what businesses had to do before this feature: In the past, brands would have to post about a product and then say things like, “find this on our website,” or “link in bio.” Way too many steps. Plus, if you had to use the one link in your bio, you couldn’t promote more than one item at the same time. Shoppable posts have way less friction and increase your chances of driving conversions.

You can also run shoppable stories. It’s the same approach: simply tag products in your story instead of your profile.

If you haven’t used this tactic before and need some help setting them shoppable posts, refer to our complete guide on how to increase ecommerce sales with shoppable posts on Instagram.

Tag a purposeful location

Next up, location tags. If you haven’t been using location tags, you aren’t maximizing your potential engagement. Just look at the effect that a simple location tag can have on your metrics.

Location tagging increase engagement Instagram

Posts with location tags have more engagement

There are a few reasons for this. First, tagging the location can make your post more visible on the popular page for people in that area. Second, people who are viewing that specific location on Instagram have a better chance of seeing your post.

The great part about location tagging is that you don’t actually need to be in that area you’re tagging to tag it. Let’s say you run a Boston-based company that sells bathing suits. You’re probably not going to be selling bathing suits to many locals in that area during the winter months. And you’re probably not going to increase your engagement all that much by tagging a bathing suit picture in Harvard Square. Instead, you can upload photos of your products on Instagram and tag warmer locations, like Miami or San Diego. This will lead to higher engagement rates, which will increase your social following, brand awareness, and chances that people will buy your products.

Add photos with faces

Let’s continue talking about engagement. Photos of products alone don’t perform as well as photos with faces. In fact, photos with faces generate 38% more likes than posts without a face. Furthermore, posts with faces get 32% more comments. The more people engage with your posts, the greater your chance of driving conversions that will ultimately help your small business grow.

Here’s another example of a shoppable post from PX Clothing that includes a face in the photo.

PX Clothing face in shoppable Instagram

This is more effective than posting the duffle bag by itself without a face in the photo.

Partner with social influencers

When it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram leads the way for brand collaboration.

78% of influencers use Instagram

Your competitors might already be using this strategy. Now is your chance to jump on board to keep up with them. If you’ve never done this before and you don’t know where to get started, you can use our guide on the top platforms for effectively managing social influencers.

You’ll want to find influencers that have a strong following within a specific niche that speaks to your target audience. For example, let’s say you’re targeting women in New York City between the ages of 24 and 35. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be looking for influencers who fit that profile. Instead, you’ll want to find an influencer who has lots of followers that fit your target market. These resources will help you get connected with influencers in the right industry that will reach your target audience.

Run ads to generate leads and sales

Depending on your marketing budget, Instagram ads can be a suitable strategy for you to consider. If you’ve run Facebook ads in the past, you’re already familiar with how this works — Facebook owns Instagram and the two platforms use the same ad manager. You can choose your target audience, location, and budget.

The great part about advertising on Instagram is that you can have ads run in multiple formats.

  • photo ads
  • video ads
  • carousel ads
  • collection ads
  • story ads

If you run story ads on Instagram, you’ll want to leverage the “swipe up” feature. Here’s an example from Olivers Apparel of what that looks like:

Swipe up to see ad Instagram Sponsored content

The “shop now” CTA at the bottom of this sponsored story takes users directly to a landing page where they can purchase the pants being advertised. This can definitely help increase conversion rates because it eliminates additional steps in the purchase process.

Encourage UGC

Another way to grow your business on Instagram is with user-generated content.

82% of consumers say that user-generated content is valuable to them during the purchase process. 48% of people say they discover new brands and products as a result of UGC. When customers get exposed to UGC, brand engagement increases by 28%.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is with contests

This is one of our favorite strategies for several reasons. First, it helps you get more followers. For one of your followers to enter a contest, they’ll need to upload a photo to their own profile and tag your brand. In doing this, it increases the exposure to all of their followers, who may not currently know your brand or follow your profile. This added exposure will entice more people to follow you on Instagram. That’s because UGC is memorable and trusted.

UGC is memorable and trusted

People who see a user-generated photo on Instagram have a 4.5% greater chance of converting. If they interact with the post, such as liking it or commenting on it, they are 9.6% more likely to convert.

Engage your followers

It’s important for you to connect with your Instagram following. Now that you’ve found so many new ways to get followers, likes, and comments. You don’t want to lose those relationships.

Reply to their comments. Answer direct messages. If you don’t do this, you’re not providing the appropriate customer service needed to drive business growth. On the other hand, using Instagram to improve your customer service will definitely help your business grow.

Here’s what will happen if you ignore customers on social media.

The Cost of ignoring customers on social media

People expect brands to respond within four hours after they reach out on social media. The average response time is ten hours. 35% of consumers say that social media is their top choice for customer care, yet 89% of social media messages are ignored by brands.

Don’t let this happen to you. If you’re having trouble managing all of your Instagram messages with other social media comments, this instagram marketing tool can help.


As a small business owner, you need to establish an active presence on Instagram to grow your company. If you’re starting from scratch or don’t have many followers right now, turn to your existing customers to build a following on your profile.

Use Instagram to showcase your products

Drive sales directly with shoppable posts & find ways to increase your engagement, such as tagging your location, uploading photos with faces, and leveraging relationships with social influencers.

You can also run ads to generate brand awareness, increase your followers, and drive sales.

Create campaigns that encourage user-generated content, which will increase your reach in a trusted and memorable way.

Don’t ignore customers when they reach out to your brand with comments and direct messages. If you enjoyed this post, why not check out this post on buying Instagram followers!

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