Tag: Marketing Advice

15 Top Business Startup Tips #Startups #MikeArmstrong

#MikeArmstrong

When starting a business the strategy is to do some analysis on the Market Place and some market research (Google is a great place to do this).

1. Check what your competitors are doing and what markets they are aiming at and see if there’s a gap in the market.

2. Then once you see there is, think about what you story and message is and to what audience you are aiming it at.

3. Work on the branding so that it’s telling the right message to the right audience including the name very important.

4. Check the name is Free on Companies House / Registration, Google and all major social platforms.

5. Work on a content portfolio so that you can share the message and synergy messages as well as product and service info and other content, in many ways and to attract many different people in your target segment or segments, regularly with different messages without switching them off.

6. Set up all the things / assets a new business needs – well Optimised Website with Blog, Off-site Blog and a marketing / lead generation add on), Google and Bing Listings, Facebook Pages (for Company and target niches), Facebook Groups for Company and target niches).

LinkedIn Company Pages and Groups a format for profiles for all staff, Twitter Account or Accounts, Instagram, Directory Listings, Geographical and Niche Directories, Podcast, YouTube Channel, Tick Tock, Pinterest etc.!

7. Regularly post good content and squeeze good advertising messages in between with good offers and good call to actions, build up audiences and get them to visit part of your website, your online store, YouTube channel etc.

8. Add an email capture Form to your website for building a database to email too.

9.Go Networking

10. Add some landing pages and look at FB advertising and adwords etc.

11. Consider Selling on Amazon or Ebay,

12. Attend Events, Expos, maybe host some!

13. Consider trying Telesales and/or Field Sales / Solution sales etc.

14. Do some Organic SEO and link building strategies for your website and blog (podcast and YouTube channels etc.)

15. Do some Content Marketing in other sites and blogs and some PR etc.

#Success

#Marketing

#Sales

#WorkOnYou #Infinityx

#YourNetworkIsYouNetworth

#BeConfident

#BecomeAMillionaire

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

6 Ways To Incorporate SEO While Building A Business in 2020

There’s no quick fix, or “one and done” solution when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). You have to

6 Ways To Incorporate SEO While Building A Business in 2020

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

7 tips for those looking to start a podcast…

1. Choose a Topic You’re Passionate About

Before you hit record, it’s a good idea to give serious thought to why you’re starting this podcast in the first place. And don’t take this step lightly! Starting a podcast takes a lot of hard work (maybe more than you think). Not everybody is cut out for it. But we’ll assume that you are.

A good starting point is to figure out which topic you can talk about naturally and endlessly. Your true passion. We all have one. What’s yours? A good measure is to do a test show with no notes or preparation whatsoever. Can you fill 30 to 60 minutes just talking about your topic off the top of your head and make it interesting? Good! You found your topic.

Now, search iTunes for other podcasts in your niche. Did you choose a crowded niche with many existing podcasts? Try to think of ways to differentiate your show from theirs. For example, you can choose a sub-niche with a more targeted audience.

2. Brand Your Podcast

Now that you’ve chosen your topic, it’s time to start crafting your podcast. Just like creating products or services, your podcast is its own brand. Branding your podcast starts with choosing a good name.

Pick something that is both memorable and speaks to your topic/audience. It’s my opinion that direct, descriptive names work better than abstract or overly creative names. Before you can hook your audience with your killer smile and groundbreaking content, you’ll need them to tune in. That’s why your podcast name needs to jump out and grab them. Remember that much of your audience will be discovering your podcast via iTunes or Google search. So it’s a good idea to include a keyword or two within your show’s name.

Next, you’ll need a logo. For a podcast, it’s important to come up with an attention grabbing logo and a show image for your iTunes listing. Again, it’s about crafting your brand to stand out in iTunes podcast search results.

3. Format and Structure

Will this be an audio or video podcast? It’s my belief that video podcasts have an easier time gaining traction with an audience simply because they are more personal. Aside from offering valuable content, you’re selling your personality, and video is the most effective and authentic way to do that. It’s a good idea to offer an audio-only version of the podcast for those who prefer to listen and don’t want to download bulky video files.

Now we need to structure the show. Let’s start with your schedule. Once a week? Once a month? Whatever schedule you choose, be sure to keep it consistent. A quick way to lose audience members is to release a show four weeks in a row, then go on hiatus for several months. People appreciate a regular schedule, and even a regular day of the week.

Finally, you need to choose your show length. Break it down into segments and allot a certain amount of time to each segment. I believe 30 to 50 minutes is a good length for an episode as it’s long enough to pack in quality, in-depth conversation, and short enough to fit within the typical work commute. Some prefer quick episodes of under 20 minutes each. Again, consistency is key. You don’t want to set your audience’s expectation for 45 minute episodes, then do a 15 minute episode.

4. Plan Your Content

Now it’s time to map out the most important aspect of your podcast, the content. Podcasts are no exception to the adage “content is king.” Your topics, conversation flow, personality, and overall engagement are what will ultimately determine the success of your podcast.

It’s a good idea to keep a running list of show topics. As soon as an idea strikes, note it down and plan it for an upcoming show. One way my co-host Dave and I come up with topics is to simply recognise when we stumble upon a great topic for a show. We’ll be having a spontaneous chat, talking shop about freelancing and web design, when suddenly it’s apparent we’ve hit on something interesting and relevant for the show. Write it down.

Some podcasts break each episode into segments. If your niche is somehow tied to current events, it may be a good idea to cover news topics as part of your show. Perhaps a guest interview is a main component in your format. Plan for each of these segments and keep in mind the timing and flow of each.

Finally, it’s beneficial to think about some kind of script for your show. This will be different for everyone. My preference is to have a few sentences written out beforehand to use as the introduction to the show; something to get it off to a strong start and introduce the topic and guest properly. The rest of the show’s topics are planned using short bullet lists indicating which points I want to hit on.

The idea is to make sure I’m covering what I want to cover, while keeping the delivery natural and somewhat improvised. Again, it’s up to you to find the right balance.

5. Record, Broadcast, and Edit Your Podcast

Now on to some of the technical aspects for creating a video podcast. Surprisingly, there are quite a few tools needed to piece together a working podcast. Here are the ones we use:

Blue Yeti USB Condensor Microphone— I strongly recommend investing in a quality microphone. It will drastically improve the audio quality of your show. The Yeti USB mic is reasonably priced and it delivers great sound.

Skype — All of our shows start with a Skype video chat. Now that Skype 5 includes the ability to have video conference calls, it’s a perfect choice for having a three-way conversation. Plus, the sheer popularity of Skype makes it easy on our guests who are already comfortable using the platform for online conversation.

ScreenFlow — This is a great app for recording and editing screencasts. It’s easy to use and packs in powerful editing features.

Blip.tv — With the finished recording edited and exported, it’s time to put it up on the web and submit it to the iTunes podcast directory. Luckily, Blip.tv makes all of this very easy. Plus it’s got great reporting tools to check the popularity and reach of your podcast.

BoinxTV — BoinxTV serves as our virtual control room, allowing us to produce a live web broadcast for our show. It has features to allow for quick switching between cameras and screens and other visual effects like captions and transitions.

Justin.tv or UStream — Both are viable options for when you want to broadcast live on the web. We feed our output from BoinxTV into one of these services to fire up the live show. We then embed the video and chat room right on our website for the audience to participate live.

CamTwist — This little utility allows us to route the video feed between BoinxTV and Justin.tv or UStream.

Audio Hijack Pro — This fun little app is used to route the audio from Skype into BoinxTV. Be sure to check out the psychedelic sound effects you can apply in the process!

Skype Call Recorder — This plugin for Skype adds functionality to let you record a Skype call. This can be useful if you’re only interested in making a recorded podcast (not broadcasting live). Plus, it comes packaged with handy utilities for splitting a conversation into individual movie files, and stripping an MP3 audio file from your movie file.

6. Grow Your Audience

With your podcast created and released to the world, now comes the hard part: promoting your podcast and growing your audience.

I’m a believer that if you focus your efforts on creating the most interesting and engaging content possible, you will naturally attract an audience and grow a community around your work. But there are a few things you can do to help move things forward:

  • Have a solid website. Something professional, clean and simple. The focus is your podcast, so let the design of your site support that. I recommend going with a quality, premium WordPress theme to get up and running quickly.

  • Build community around your podcast. Encourage your audience to participate in your live chat (if you have one). Ask for feedback, conduct surveys and polls, keep a close eye on your podcast’s analytics (via blip.tv). Know which topics garner the most interest from your audience and let your audience help shape the direction of your podcast.

  • Sharing is great. Ratings are better. As with any web content, social media integration is a must for your podcast to help your audience spread the word faster. If your podcast is largely distributed via iTunes, you’ll want to encourage subscribers to rate and review your podcast to help boost its standing within the iTunes directory. This is one of the best ways for your audience to help you get discovered.

7. Monetise Your Podcast

Just like starting a blog, starting a podcast should be about quality, authentic content first and monetization second. You can’t have the latter without the former. That said, there are several methods to monetize your podcast which are worth considering:

  • Try to sell advertising placements on your show. Just like advertising on a blog, this requires a significant audience in order to bring in real revenue. It also runs the risk of turning off your audience who may not want to hear plugs in between quality content.

  • A more viable approach, and one that may be more lucrative, is to simply build your personal brand using your podcast as the medium. Hosting a podcast — particularly a video podcast — is a great way share your personality and let your ideas shine. Today’s wisdom dictates that promoting your personal brand can translate into building a prosperous business. Just watch any video by Gary Vaynerchuk and I think you’ll agree.

Have Fun!

I hope you find this guide helpful as you plan your video podcast. No matter what niche you’re in — live or recorded, video or audio — the key is to have fun with it and let your passion for the topic shine through. Now press record and start podcasting!

This was taken from an article on Mashable called 7 tips to starting a successful podcast.

You can find our own podcast – The Mike Armstrong Podcast by clicking the Link!

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Morning Motivation Today comes from the #MikeArmstrongPodcast

#MikeArmstrongsPodcast

#MorningMotivation for those in the #Coronavirus #Lockdown #WorkingFromHomr from #MikeArmstrong via the #MikeArmstrongPodcast #Lockdownbenefits #LockdownNotLetdown #GetCreative #GetCreating #WriteABook #StartAPodcast #Podcasting #Podcasts #PositivityPodcast #Positivity #PMA #PositiveMentalAttitide #WhoKnowsYou ##GetInvolved #MotivationFromTheSituation #WhenTheGoingGetsToughTheToughGetsGoing #ReadBooks #WatchFilms #GetEducated #GetLearning #BeActive #Marketing #ContentCreation #ContentMarketing #ChooseLife #Thrive #TimeToLive #Covid19 #WFH #Wales #UK

Good Morning and have a great day 👍 For more Inspiration, Motivation and Positivity please see our recently penned Coronavirus Poems – Kick Corona’s Ass #KickCoronasAssThe Upside of Coronavirus #CoronavirusUpsideHow to make a diamond #HowtomakeadiamondCoronavirus Business Poem #CoronavirusBusinessPoemThe Lockdown Choice #LockdownChoiceHow to Navigate the Wall #HowToNavigateTheWall

#MikeArmstrong / #MikeArmstrongPoems

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

FREE Business Advice on LinkedIn – #TheVoiceofSocialMedia

If you are in business and you are not using LinkedIn then you are seriously missing a trick and could be missing out on so much.

However it’s also not enough to just be on LinkedIn. You need to have an engaging and completed profile that use the right key words and descriptions of you in order to attract the right sort of people.

You also need to use the posting feature on LinkedIn as it is currently the best social media platform for you to get organic reach without having to pay for it in the form of business advertising etc.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Top SEO Advice from Social Media Today…

8 of the Most Important HTML Tags for SEO

Business News Coronavirus News Positive Coronavirus News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See https://mikearmstrong.me/news

For Business Advice follow the link or visit one of our Blogs: Entrepreneur Zone | King of Marketing | The Voice of Social Media | Networking Grapevine | British Business News |

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Morning Motivation – Positive Coronavirus News #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Business News Coronavirus News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See https://mikearmstrong.me/news

For Business Advice follow the link or visit one of our Blogs: Entrepreneur Zone | King of Marketing | The Voice of Social Media | Networking Grapevine | British Business News |

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

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The latest Social Media News From Social Media Today…

Social Media Today

Editor’s Choice

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View all resources

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Mike Armstrong Media

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The latest Social Media News From Social Media Today…

Social Media Today

Editor’s Choice

Best of Social Media Today




From Our Library


View all resources

Upcoming Events


What We’re Reading



Discover More

Mike Armstrong Media

Mike Armstrong Media

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Must Know Email Marketing Metrics To Track Campaign Success [Infographic]

Are you across all the various email marketing metrics and data points? Check out this listing.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/must-know-email-marketing-metrics-to-track-campaign-success-infographic/573864/

How to best use Pinterest for your Business Marketing 📌 🖥📱

How to best use Pinterest for your Business Marketing 📌 🖥📱

http://mikearmstrong.me/how-to-best-use-pinterest-for-your-business-marketing/
— Read on mikearmstrong.me/how-to-best-use-pinterest-for-your-business-marketing/

9 Great Content Marketing Tips (Blogging & Social Media Narketing Tips), From Buffet

” style=”max-width: 100%; display: block !important”>We’ve experimented with lots of different content marketing methods at Buffer, so I wanted to share with you 9 of the best ways we’ve found to increase engagement and improve your content strategy.

Especially after launching Buffer for Business recently, a lot of business approached us, asking which practical tips we had for them to improve their social media and content marketing.

So here are our best and most practical ways to see a big impact from your actions on social media:

1. Share Images on Twitter: Increase Retweets by 150%

Since Twitter announced inline images, we’ve been experimenting with this change by adding images to a lot of the tweets from our @buffer Twitter account and have noticed a big difference in the engagement we’re getting. To get a better idea of what a difference inline images has made, I took the last 100 Tweets including a link from our @buffer account (not including any Retweets) and compared the averages of the tweets with and without images included.

Using Buffer’s built-in analytics, I was able to look at the number of clicks, favorites and Retweets each of our Tweets received.

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The first data point we looked at was clicks:

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Our click-through rate did grow, but not by very much. My theory on this is that with an inline image, there’s more content for the user to consume without leaving Twitter (which is probably what Twitter wants), so they’re not much more likely to click-through. Of course, that’s just a theory so it’ll be interesting to see what the data says over a longer time period as we keep experimenting with this.

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Favorites increased quite a lot. Along with Retweets in the graph below, this shows a lot more engagement with the Tweets themselves. Clicks, on the other hand, show engagement with the original content.

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2. Share Content More Than Once

We often share our blog posts multiple times on social networks, for a few difference reasons. Some of the biggest benefits we get are more traffic, reaching people in different time zones and sharing our content with people who’ve followed us since we last posted it.

1. More Traffic

The first, and perhaps most obvious, reason to share your content more than once is to drive more traffic that the initial share.

Tom Tunguz did an experiment on his own blog to show how reposting the same content helped him to boost traffic.

To get an idea of how many people were seeing and sharing his posts, Tom looked at the number of Retweets he got when Tweeting a link to one of his blog posts. We can assume from this that actual visits to his posts increased with each Retweet, as well.

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With each subsequent Tweet of an existing blog post, Tom noticed that he got around 75% as many Retweets as the time before.

We’ve also noticed that Tweeting posts from the Buffer blog more than once gives us more traffic and more engagement (favorites, Retweets).

Here’s an example where we’ve done this:

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2. Hit multiple time zones

Guy Kawasaki is known for posting the same content multiple times, and one reason he advocates doing this is to reach your followers in different time zones. He’s found that this increases the traffic to his content, particularly when Tweeting the same link several times:

The reason for repeated tweets is to maximize traffic and therefore advertising sales. I’ve found that each tweet gets approximately the same amount of clickthroughs. Why get 600 page views when you can get 2,400?

Guy generally repeats Tweets of his blog posts (with minor variations) four times each, to hit different time zones:

We provide content repeatedly because people live in different time zones and have different social media habits.

3. Reach your new followers

Something we’ve noticed at Buffer is that a lot of our posts are still relevant months after we publish them. The other thing that changes after we publish a post is that more people follow us on social networks, so if we repost content from our blog that’s six months old, many of our followers will be seeing it for the first time, so they’ll get value out of it even though it’s old content.

You can use a tool like Twitter Counterto track your follower growth, so you know when it’s a good time to repost some of your older content.

3. A/B Test on Social Networks

Since we usually post the same content to Twitter multiple times, we take advantage of this opportunity to test out what headline works best for the blog post.

Here’s how we usually run that kind of experiment:

  1. Find 2 headlines for an article that you think will perform well.
  2. Tweet both of these headlines at roughly the same time, at least 1 hour apart. We’ve found that posting the two Tweets both in the morning or both in the afternoon works best.
  3. Compare the data for each Tweet to find the best headline for your blog post.

Here’s an example of the analytics from a headline experiment we did on this blog post:

First tweet:

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Second tweet:

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The second Tweet clearly performed better as we found out through our social analytics and Buffer’s algorithm also identified it as a top Tweet. In fact, you can clearly see that the second headline got double the number of clicks.

When we see a big difference in engagement on a different headline like that, we usually go back to the original post and change the title itself (the URL never changes, just the heading of the post).

4. Reframe Content to Suit Your Audience

Something we try to do each time we post a piece of content is to slightly reframe it so we’re not just repeating ourselves.

Here’s an example of how we might do that on Facebook.

First, we post the actual link:

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Then we go and post only one image to explain part of the post:

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This way we can sometimes get double or even triple the amount of engagement by highlighting different elements of the content each time we post it. We often do this on Twitter as well.

First we publish it as a link:

Then, taking advantage of Twitter’s new expanded images feature, we publish it as an image and reframing it:

You can simply right click any image on the web with Buffer’s browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome to share a new image post on Twitter or Facebook, that according to the latest social media statistics, will garner significant more clicks, Retweets and favorites.

We also try slightly different wording each time we post the same thing, like this:

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5. Re-Buffer Posts and Buffer Native Retweets

A fairly recent feature we added to Buffer is the ability to drag-and-drop updates. You can now easily copy updates from your Twitter account to your Facebook account. For example:

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And you can also copy past updates back into your Buffer queue, which is really useful for getting more out of popular posts:

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Another neat feature of Buffer is that you can schedule native Retweets from Twitter.com. This is super easy and works with the click of a button. To get started, you just need to install the Buffer browser extension.

Now, whenever you see a Tweet that’s worth sharing, you can hit the Buffer button:

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This will let you easily schedule a native Retweet from any of your Twitter accounts:

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Plus, you can easily change the Retweet to the old school “RT @username: Text of the tweet” format. If you hover over the composer, you’ll see an option to “change to quote”:

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That’s all it takes! Now you’ll see that Retweet in your Buffer queue, waiting to be published. Of course you can still edit the update to delete, change it to a quote or move it around in your queue:

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6. Keep on Top of Your Brand and Find Great Content with Mention & Buffer

Mention is a great tool to help you keep on top of your brand all over the web. It lets you monitor mentions of your brand specifically, as well as industry keywords, competitors and more. When you sign up for an account, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a new alert. This is as simple as naming your alert and adding any keywords you want to monitor:

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To get the most out of the recent integration of Mention + Buffer, you can now add your Buffer account to your Mention alerts so you can publish results to social networks. You can do this when you create a new alert, as well as adding your Facebook or Twitter accounts:

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If you add your Buffer account, you’ll be able to publish to all of your connected social profiles and pages, just like you can from the Buffer dashboard or browser extensions.

Inside your alert results, you can filter by source including images, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, videos and more. If you choose blogs, you can find some great content to fill up your Buffer account:

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Once you’ve found a post that you want to share, just click on the “React” menu and choose “Add to Buffer”:

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7. Use Followerwonk to Tweet at Optimal Times

Followerwonk is a tool that we love using at Buffer to work out when is the best time for us to tweet.

To get started, head over to Followerwonk and click on “Analyze followers”

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Next, pop your Twitter username into the box and select “analyze their followers” from the drop-down:

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When your report is done, you’ll see a graph that shows when your followers are most active:

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If you use Buffer, you can take advantage of this by creating a Buffer schedule based on your Followerwonk report. Just choose how many times you want to post each day, and hit the “Schedule at Buffer” button.

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8. Transparency

Something we’ve found that’s really helped us to bond with our readers and build up a community around Buffer is to be really open about how we run the company. We share details about Buffer on our Open blog, as well as in interviews and on other sites.

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We share details about our support team and how we handle customer support each month:

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cm support

And about our revenue:

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And we’ve even published a deep-dive before on how we manage our content strategy for the Buffer blog:

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cm blog

9. Set Up Google Authorship

Google Authorship is not just the photo and byline that appears on search results pages, thought that’s a large part of it.

Below is a search results page for the term “Google authorship” showing many entries that have taken advantage of authorship:

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In addition to the byline, there is a strategic layer to Google authorship. The tie-in with Google+ profiles creates verified connections between content on the web and the creators of the content. This gives Google the ability to identify quality, human-created content.

There are several benefits of setting up Google authorship for your content:

1. Your authorship byline will get you noticed.

Look at the below heatmap generated by eye-tracking studies. As you might expect, the top results on the page get a lot of looks, but so too do the results with rich snippets (and not so much for the results in between).

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2. Entries with rich snippets have higher click-through rates.

A study performed by search marketing firm Catalyst found that clicks improved 150% with Google authorship.

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3. Authorship is an advantage to the little guy.

Authorship offers a competitive advantage. A recent study found that only 3.5% of Fortune 500 companies are actively using authorship. Until they do, they are giving a big opportunity to the rest of us.

Authorship may be the future of search.

Don’t take it from me. Take it from Google’s Eric Schmidt. He sees a future where identity plays a big part in search results.

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results.

To get started with Google authorship, you can check out this step-by-step guide on the Buffer blog.

That’s it! I hope some of these might be useful for you here. We’ve recently introduced the brand new Buffer for Business too, so in case you’re looking for a powerful social media management tool, take a look, we’d love your feedback on it.

Subscribe to our new Definitivenewsletter: High grade digital marketing guidance, topically sorted, and curated to the max. You pick the categories, we deliver the content. The best content from around the web, on topics you care about and need to be an expert in.

Image credits: Tomasz Tunguz

For more see –

https://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/9-best-from-buffer/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

16 Great Blogging Tips from 16 Great Bloggers…

I’ve heard blogging referred to a couple of times recently as a mixture between an art and a science. If this is true (and I think it is), there’s no ‘right way’ to approach blogging if you want to be successful. There are plenty of people who’ve done a great job of it though, and I thought it would be useful to learn from them.

These 16 bloggers shared one important tip each for blogging beginners. No doubt, even if you’re not a beginner these tips will probably prove to be useful.

Create blog posts that answer the most interesting questions from people you engage with on social media.

Dave Larson, founder of @tweetsmarter

This can be a great way to gather ideas of what topics people would most like to read about, which will help your blog grow! One of the best ways I’ve seen this in action is through blog comments or Tweets. In one example, here on FastCompany a lot of people requested a post that features more women entrepreneurs:

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blogging advice - screenshot

Now, a few weeks later adding such an article where just women contributed and built great businesses was a big hit:

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blogging advice - fastco screenshot

 

Understand your audience better than they understand themselves. It takes a lot of upfront research, and often means being a member of the very tribe you’re trying to lead – but it pays off.

Brian Clark, founder and CEO, Copyblogger

Understanding your audience better means you’ll have a better idea of what blog content will resonate with them, which is a good start when you get to writing blog posts.

A great technique for doing this is to simply ask your readers first on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn with an engaging quote. If people respond well to it, than this is probably a great topic to write about. An example for this comes from Andrew Chen who famously “tests” his blogpost ideas on Twitter first.

And so does Joel here at Buffer. Take this example from a recent Twitter post of his, where he simply tweeted one quote to see how well people liked a topic before he blogged about it:

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blogging advice - tweet

 

Write for yourself first & foremost. Ignore the fact that anyone else will read what you write; just focus on your thoughts, ideas, opinions and figure out how to put those into words. Write it and they will come.

Adii Pienaar, founder of PublicBeta

Adii’s experience in writing for himself firstly has made a difference to his blog in ways he didn’t expect:

Yes, since I’ve been writing for myself, I’ve found that I write more and I publish more often. I think though that the main reason for that is that I don’t decide whether to publishing something based on the traction / reception that the post will receive within my audience; instead if I want to publish something, I do so. For myself.

Start building your email list from day one. Even if you don’t plan on selling anything, having an email list allows you to promote your new content to your audience directly without worrying about search rankings, Facebook EdgeRank, or other online roadblocks in communications.

Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger

When you’re asking readers to sign up for your email list, you might want to try experimenting with different language. Willy Franzen found that his subscription rate jumped 254% higherwhen he changed his call-to-action from “subscribe by email” to “get jobs by email”:

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blogging advice - subscription rate

Using this phrase more clearly tells Willy’s readers what they’re signing up for, which clearly worked well!

 

Love the readers you already have. A lot of bloggers get quite obsessed with finding new readers – to the point that they ignore the ones they already have. Yes – do try to find new readers but spend time each day showing your current readers that you value them too and you’ll find that they will help you grow your blog.

Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger

Focusing on your readers is a great way to get to know them better (see tip #2). I love the way Daniel Burstein describesblog readers’ expectations of you as a blogger:

A blog is really two things. One, simply a piece of technology, a platform. But, two, it is a promise in the minds of most readers, who expect that the blog should have actual content with some elements of value that is hyper-targeted to their needs. Much like with a newspaper. Readers don’t just look at a newspaper as newsprint that is delivered on their driveway every morning. They look at it as valuable information about their city, where they live, and the things that they do.

 

I screwed up for years. I’d blog and blog. Some of my posts were doing very well on places like Hacker News, but I had such hard time getting return visitors. And very few people bothered to follow me on Twitter.

Don’t rely on people to do the work to find your Twitter account. Don’t rely on them to do the work to find your details in a sidebar. People are blind to sidebars. Thanks banner ads!

Finish your blog post with some kind of call to action to signup for an email list or follow you on Twitter. When I started doing this, I immediately increased my Twitter followers by 335% in the first 7 days.

Nate Kontny, founder of Draft

Nate uses a simple call-to-action on his blog now, that looks like this:

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blogging advice - nate screenshot

This particular technique we’ve also tested here on the Buffer blog and found it to work amazingly well to bring attention to other blog posts we’ve written, like this:

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blogging advice - buffer ss2

or to Buffer product features, like this:

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blogging advice - buffer ss

 

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blogging advice - jeff_bullas

7. Give stuff away

Give away free content that adds value to people’s lives “until it hurts” and they will love you and become loyal fans.

Jeff Bullas, blogger and author of Blogging the Smart Way

A great example of this is the research done by Incentivibe, who found that adding a giveaway contest pop-up to the bottom-right of their website led to 125% more email subscribers.

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blogging advice - contest

 

Consistency is one of the most important things that bloggers tend to forget. It’s much easier to lose your traffic than it is to build it up, so make sure you consistently blog.

Neil Patel, founder of KISSmetrics

A study by Hubspot showed that consistent blogging actually leads to higher subscriber growth rates:

Over a two-month span, businesses that published blog entries on a regular basis (more than once a week) added subscribers over twice as fast as those companies that added content once a month.

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blogging advice - subscriber growth

 

Don’t be afraid to showcase what you know. Too many bloggers hold back the good stuff out of fear of giving away the “secret sauce.” There is no secret sauce in a world where everyone has high speed Internet access at all times. Today, you want to give away information snacks to sell knowledge meals.

Jay Baer, author of Youtility

Jay’s advice is to share the knowledge you have, rather than keeping it tucked away for a rainy day. Chris Guillebeau follows this advice by offering two free, downloadable PDFs to his readers. Chris also does what Jay calls giving away “information snacks to sell knowledge meals.” On both of the free PDF download pages, Chris markets his book on the right-hand side.

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blogging advice - cg

 

Stay true to yourself and your voice. People don’t care to follow sites so much as they care to follow people.

Chris Pirillo, founder and CEO, LockerGnome

Another blogger who advocates the importance of the writer’s voice is Jeff Goins. He says that your voice is the most important, yet over-looked part of blogging:

Writing isn’t about picking the right topic; it’s about finding the right voice. What matters, what readers really resonate with, isn’t so much what you say, but how.

Plan to invest in blogging for a long time before you see a return. The web is a big, noisy place and unless you’re willing to invest more over a greater period of time than others, you’ll find success nearly impossible. If you’re seeking short-term ROI, or a quick path to recognition, blogging is the wrong path. But if you can stick it out for years without results and constantly learn, iterate, and improve, you can achieve something remarkable.

Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz

Rand shared these great images with us from his wife’s travel blog, Everywhereist, which shows just how long it can take to see a return on your efforts:

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If you’re blogging to create a business, a movement, or to support a cause, then you need to build an email list. It’s not an option. I don’t even consider my blog to be my community, my email list is my community. Caring about these people, writing for them, and delivering value to them should be your number one goal.

James Clear, entrepreneur, weightlifter and travel photographer

When the New York Public Libraryfocused on growing email subscription rates, this simple home page design with information about what readers could expect to receive boosted numbers by 52.8% over a more complicated version with less information about the actual newsletter:

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blogging advice - nypl

 

No matter how great your content is, it won’t matter unless you have an amazing headline. People have a split second to decide if they should click on your post, and your headline will make them decide. The headline is also essential in making it easy and desirable for people to share your post. Keep your headlines SPUB: simple, powerful, useful and bold.

Dave Kerpen, author and CEO of Likeable Local

Something we do at Buffer is to test several different headlines for each of our blog posts to determine which ones works best. Here’s an example of what that might look like:

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blogging advice - headlines

You can read more about this particular approach in more depth here: A scientific guide to writing great headlines on Twitter, Facebook and your Blog

 

There isn’t one specific set of rules to be successful in blogging. When I started blogging, I had the opportunity to learn from experienced and successful bloggers in the industry. One of the best lessons I’ve learned from them is to simply be me. I didn’t have to be too “professional” or use “big words” to impress others. I had to simply be me.

By being me, I enjoyed writing and the process more. It had me writing more than I usually would too. If you look at the the most successful writers like Seth Godin and Chris Brogan you’ll notice that they are different and unique in their own ways.

Aaron Lee, social media manager, entrepreneur and blogger

Moz CEO Rand Fishkin agrees that telling your company’s story is important, as opposed to following a formula for successful blogging:

Emotion and storytelling have been part of how we communicate with each other and inspire action for thousands of years.

 

Biggest lesson I learned in my past year of blogging. Keep it in the 1–2 minutes read-time length.

Derek Sivers, founder of Wood Egg

Working out the best length for your blog posts can be tricky. You generally need about 300 words minimum to get indexed by search engines, but otherwise the length of your post is up to what you think feels best.

Derek Sivers noticed recently that his shorter posts were much better received by readers and seemed to be shared more, unlike his longer posts:

When I’ve written articles that were too long or had too many ideas, they didn’t get much of a reaction.

When I read books, I often feel bad for the brilliant idea buried on page 217. Who will hear it?

Stop the orchestra. Solo that motif. Repeat it. Let the other instruments build upon it.

The web is such a great way to do this.

Present a single idea, one at a time, and let others build upon it.

According to this Chartbeat graph below, many visitors to your site won’t bother scrolling, and most visitors won’t read more than about 60% of what you’ve written. Keeping it short and sharp then, could be worthwhile.

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blogging advice - chartbeat graph

If you’re looking for a general guide to blog post length, Joe Pulizzi’s blog post, “A blog post is like a miniskirt” might be useful:

A blog post is like a miniskirt.

It has to be short enough to be interesting, but long enough to cover the subject.

 

One thing I always try to keep in mind before publishing a post is would anyone want to “cite” this for any reason? Just like interesting research is great because it leaves you with a fascinating finding or an idea, I like for my posts to be the same. That doesn’t mean relying on research, but simply making sure each post has an original lesson or actionable item, making it “citable” on the web.

Gregory Ciotti, marketing strategist at Help Scout

Our very own Buffer co-founder Leo has written about a similar thing before:

When writing a post, I get into a mindset to answer just this 1 question with a Yes: “Would anyone email this article to a friend?”

It’s an extremely simple proposition. Yet, it has changed my writing completely. If I put myself into a reader’s head going through a post and seeing whether someone will say “Oh, this is interesting, John will really like this”, then I go ahead and publish it. It’s almost like an invisible threshold to pass. I need to improve the post until this level is reached. I will iterate, find more research, get more examples, until I can truly imagine this happening.

I’m sure there are lots more great tips out there about building a blog. What’s your favorite?

Image credits: David G. Larson, Copyblogger, The WordPress Podcast, Party Biz Connect, Darren Rowse, Nate Kontny, Jeff Bullas, FounderTips, Social Media Examiner, Chris Pirillo, LinkJuice, James Clear, Dave Kerpen, Joshua Titsworth, Derek Sivers, Unbounce

For more see:

https://buffer.com/resources/blogging-advice-for-beginners-from-16-experts/amp

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

100’s of popular twitter hashtags…

100’s of popular twitter hashtags…

100’s of populer twitter hashtags…

— Read on mikearmstrong.me/100s-of-populer-twitter-hashtags/

Google’s 200+ Ranking Factors: The Complete List as of 2020

Google’s 200+ Ranking Factors: The Complete List as of 2020 🌍💼📰

http://mikearmstrong.me/googles-200-ranking-factors-the-complete-list-as-of-2020-%f0%9f%8c%8d%f0%9f%92%bc%f0%9f%93%b0/
— Read on mikearmstrong.me/googles-200-ranking-factors-the-complete-list-as-of-2020-🌍💼📰/

The 10 Most Important SEO Tips You Need to Know

The 10 Most Important SEO Tips You Need to Know 🌍📲📰

http://mikearmstrong.me/the-10-most-important-seo-tips-you-need-to-know/
— Read on mikearmstrong.me/the-10-most-important-seo-tips-you-need-to-know/

Google’s 200+ Ranking Factors: The Complete List as of 2020

Interesting Article on Google Search Engine Ranking Factors as of 2020. Great read for those looking for SEO Tips are ways to improve their websites’ internet page rankings:

You might already know that Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their search engine algorithm…

But what are they?

Well, you are in for a treat because I’ve put together a complete list.

Some Factors are proven.

Some Factors are controversial.

Others Factors are SEO speculation.

But they are all here.

And the search ranking factors were recently updated. The entire 200 Google Ranking Factors list is updated for 2020.

Let’s dive right in.

The 200 Google Search Engine Factors are split in to the following 10 Sections:

Domain SEO Factors
Page-Level SEO Factors
Site-Level SEO Factors
Backlink SEO Factors
User Interaction Factors
Special Google Algorithm Rules
Brand Signals
On-Site Webspam Factors
Off-Site Webspam Factors

Domain SEO Factors

1. Domain Age:

Google’s Matt Cutts states that:

“The difference between a domain that’s six months old versus one year old is really not that big at all.”
In other words, they do use domain age. But it’s not that important. There is much more of a difference between a domain that 10 years old versus one that is just 6 months old though.

2. Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain:

Having a keyword in your domain name doesn’t give you the SEO boost that it used to. But it still acts as a relevancy signal for your page SEO.

3. Keyword As First Word in Domain:

A domain that starts with their target keyword has an SEO edge over sites that either don’t have that keyword in their domain (or have the keyword in the middle or end of their domain).

4. Domain registration length:

A Google patent states:

“Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.”

5. Keyword in Subdomain:

Moz’s SEO expert panel agrees that a keyword appearing in the subdomain of a website can boost your search engine rankings.

6. Domain History:

A site with volatile ownership or several drops may tell Google to “reset” the site’s history, negating links pointing to the domain. Or, in certain cases, a penalised domain may carry the penalty over to the new domain owner.

7. Exact Match Domain:

Exact Match Domains may still give you a slight SEO edge. But if your EMD happens to be a low-quality site, it’s vulnerable to the EMD update.

8. Public vs. Private WhoIs:

Private WhoIs information may be a sign of “something to hide”. Googler Matt Cutts is quoted as stating:

“…When I checked the whois on them, they all had “whois privacy protection service” on them. That’s relatively unusual. …Having whois privacy turned on isn’t automatically bad, but once you get several of these factors all together, you’re often talking about a very different type of webmaster than the fellow who just has a single site or so.”

9. Penalised WhoIs Owner:

If Google identifies a particular person as a spammer it makes sense that they would scrutinise other sites owned by that person.

10. Country TLD extension:

Having a Country Code Top Level Domain (.cn, .pt, .ca) can help the site rank for that particular country… but it can limit the site’s ability to rank globally.

Page-Level SEO Factors

11. Keyword in Title Tag:

Although not as important as it once was, your title tag remains an important on-page SEO ranking signal.

12. Title Tag Starts with Keyword:

According to Moz , title tags that starts with a keyword tend to perform better in search engine rankings than title tags with the keyword towards the end of the tag.

13. Keyword in Description Tag:

Google doesn’t use the meta description tag as a direct page ranking signal. However, your description tag can impact click-through-rate, which is a key SEO ranking factor.

14. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag (main page title):

H1 tags are a “second title tag”. Along with your title tag, Google uses your H1 tag as a secondary relevancy signal, according to results from one correlation study:

15. TF-IDF:

A fancy way of saying: “How often does a certain word appear in a document?”. The more often that word appears on a page, the more likely it is that the page is about that word. Google likely uses a sophisticated version of TF-IDF.

16. Content Length:

Content with more words can cover a wider breadth and are likely preferable in the algorithm compared to shorter, superficial articles. Indeed, one recent ranking factors industry study found that content length correlated with SERP position.

17. Table of Contents:

Using a linked table of contents can help Google better understand your page’s content. It can also result in sitelinks:

18. Keyword Density:

Although not as important as it once was, Google may use it to determine the topic of a webpage. But going overboard can hurt your Search Engine page ranking.

19. Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Content (LSI):

LSI keywords help search engines extract meaning from words that have more than one meaning (for example: Apple the computer company vs. Apple the fruit). The presence/absence of LSI probably also acts as a content quality signal.

20. LSI Keywords in Title and Description Tags:

As with webpage content, LSI keywords in page meta tags probably help Google discern between words with multiple potential meanings. May also act as a relevancy signal.

21. Page Covers Topic In-Depth:

There’s a known correlation between depth of topic coverage and Google rankings.

Therefore, pages that cover every angle likely have an edge vs. pages that only cover a topic partially.

22. Page Loading Speed via HTML:

Both Google and Bing use page speed as a ranking factor. Search engine spiders can estimate your site speed fairly accurately based on your page’s HTML code.

23. Page Loading Speed via Chrome:

Google also uses Chrome user data to get a better handle on a page’s loading time. That way, they can measure how quickly a page actually loads to users.

24. Use of AMP:

While not a direct Google ranking factor, AMP may be a requirement to rank in the mobile version of the Google News Carousel.

25. Entity Match:

Does a page’s content match the “entity” that a user is searching for? If so, that page may get a rankings boost for that keyword.

26. Google Hummingbird:

This “algorithm change” helped Google go beyond keywords. Thanks to Hummingbird, Google can now better understand the topic of a webpage.

27. Duplicate Content:

Identical content on the same site (even slightly modified) can negatively influence a site’s search engine visibility.

28. Rel=Canonical:

When used properly, use of this tag may prevent Google from penalising your site for duplicate content.

29. Image Optimisation:

Images send search engines important relevancy signals through their file name, alt text, title, description and caption. Not keyword describing your images can affect your page rank.

30. Content Recency:

Google Caffeine update favors recently published or updated content, especially for time-sensitive searches.

Highlighting this factor’s importance, Google shows the date of a page’s last update for certain pages:

31. Magnitude of Content Updates:

The significance of edits and changes also serves as a freshness factor.

Adding or removing entire sections is more significant than switching around the order of a few words or fixing a typo.

32. Historical Page Updates:

How often has the page been updated over time?

Daily, weekly, every 5 years? Frequency of page updates also play a role in freshness.

33. Keyword Prominence:

Having a keyword appear in the first 100 words of a page’s content is correlated to first page Google rankings.

34. Keyword in H2, H3 Tags:

Having your keyword appear as a subheading in H2 or H3 format may be another weak relevancy signal. In fact, Googler John Mueller states:

“These heading tags in HTML help us to understand the structure of the page.”

35. Outbound Link Quality:

Many SEOs think that linking out to authority sites helps send trust signals to Google. And this is backed up by a recent industry study.

36. Outbound Link Theme:

According to The Hillop Algorithm, Google may use the content of the pages you link to as a relevancy signal.

For example, if you have a page about cars that links to movie-related pages, this may tell Google that your page is about the movie Cars, not the automobile.

37. Grammar and Spelling:

Proper grammar and spelling is a quality signal, although Cutts gave mixed messages a few years back on whether or not this was important.

38. Syndicated Content:

Is the content on the page original? If it’s scraped or copied from an indexed page it won’t rank as well… or may not get indexed at all.

39. Mobile-Friendly Update:

Often referred to as “Mobilegeddon“, this update rewarded pages that were properly optimised for mobile devices.

40. Mobile Usability of your web content:

Websites that mobile users can easily use may have an edge in Google’s “Mobile-first Index”.

41. “Hidden” Content on Mobile: Hidden content on mobile devices may not get indexed (or may not be weighed as heavily) vs. fully visible content.

However, a Googler recently stated that hidden content is OK. But also said that in the same video, “…if it’s critical content it should be visible…”.

42. Helpful “Supplementary Content”:

According to a now-public Google Rater Guidelines Document, helpful supplementary content is an indicator of a page’s quality (and therefore, Google ranking).

Examples include currency converters, loan interest calculators and interactive recipes.

43. Content Hidden Behind Tabs on a web page:

Do users need to click on a tab to reveal some of the content on your page? If so, Google has said that this content “may not be indexed”.

44. Number of Outbound Links:

Too many dofollow OBLs can “leak” PageRank, which can hurt that page’s rankings.

45. Multimedia Content:

Images, videos and other multimedia elements may act as a content quality signal. For example, one industry study found a correlation between multimedia and rankings:

46. Number of Internal Links Pointing to Web Page:

The number of internal links to a page indicates its importance relative to other pages on the site (more internal links=more important).

47. Quality of Internal Links Pointing to a Web Page:

Internal links from authoritative pages on domain have a stronger effect than pages with no or low PageRank.

48. Broken Links:

Having too many broken links on a page may be a sign of a neglected or abandoned site. The Google Rater Guidelines Document uses broken links as one was to assess a homepage’s quality.

49. Reading Level:

There’s no doubt that Google estimates the reading level of webpages. In fact, Google used to give you reading level stats:

But what they do with that information is up for debate. Some say that a basic reading level will help you rank better because it will appeal to the masses. But others associate a basic reading level with content mills like Ezine Articles.

50. Affiliate Links:

Affiliate links themselves probably won’t hurt your rankings. But if you have too many, Google’s algorithm may pay closer attention to other quality signals to make sure you’re not a “thin affiliate site“.

51. HTML errors/W3C validation:

Lots of HTML errors or sloppy coding may be a sign of a poor quality site. While controversial, many in SEO think that a well-coded page is used as a quality signal.

52. Domain Authority:

All things being equal, a page on an authoritative domain will rank higher than a page on a domain with less authority.

53. Page’s PageRank:

Not perfectly correlated. But pages with lots of authority tend to outrank pages without much link authority.

54. URL Length:

Excessively long URLs may hurt a page’s search engine visibility.

In fact, several industry studies have found that short URLs tend to have a slight edge in Google’s search results.

55. URL Path:

A page closer to the homepage may get a slight authority boost vs. pages buried deep down in a site’s architecture.

56. Human Editors:

Although never confirmed, Google has filed a patent for a system that allows human editors to influence the SERPs.

57. Page Category:

The category the page appears on is a relevancy signal. A page that’s part of a closely related category may get a relevancy boost compared to a page that’s filed under an unrelated category.

58. WordPress Tags:

Tags are WordPress-specific relevancy signal. According to Yoast.com:

“The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other.”

59. Keyword in URL:

Another relevancy signal. A Google rep recently called this “a very small ranking factor“. But a ranking factor nontheless.

60. URL String:

The categories in the URL string are read by Google and may provide a thematic signal to what a page is about:

61. References and Sources:

Citing references and sources, like research papers do, may be a sign of quality. The Google Quality Guidelines states that reviewers should keep an eye out for sources when looking at certain pages:

“This is a topic where expertise and/or authoritative sources are important…”.

However, Google has denied that they use external links as a ranking signal.

62. Bullets and Numbered Lists:

Bullets and numbered lists help break up your content for readers, making them more user friendly.

Google likely agrees and may prefer content with bullets and numbers.

63. Priority of a Page in your web Sitemap:

The priority a page is given via the sitemap.xml file may influence the ranking of that page.

64. Too Many Outbound Links:

Straight from the aforementioned Quality rater document:

“Some pages have way, way too many links, obscuring the page and distracting from the Main Content.”

65. UX Signals From Other Keywords Page Ranks For:

If the page ranks for several other keywords, it may give Google an internal sign of quality.

In fact, Google’s recent “How Search Works” report states:

“We look for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries.”

66. Page Age:

Although Google prefers fresh content, an older page that’s regularly updated may outperform a newer page.

67. User Friendly Layout:

Citing the Google Quality Guidelines Document yet again:

“The page layout on highest quality pages makes the Main Content immediately visible.”

68. Parked Domains:

A Google update in December of 2011 decreased search visibility of parked domains.

69. Useful Content:

As pointed out by Backlinko reader Jared Carrizales, Google may distinguish between “quality” and “useful” content.

Site-Level Factors

70. Content Provides Value and Unique Insights:

Google has stated that they are happy to penalise websites that don’t bring anything new or useful to the table, especially thin affiliate sites.

71. Contact Us Page:

The aforementioned Google Quality Document states that they prefer sites with an “appropriate amount of contact information”. Make sure that your contact information matches your whois info.

72. Domain Trust/TrustRank: Many SEOs believe that “TrustRank” is a massively important ranking factor.

And a Google Patent titled “Search result ranking based on trust”, seems to back this up.

73. Site Architecture:

A well put-together site architecture (for example, a silo structure) helps Google thematically organise your content. It can also helps Googlebot access and index all of your site’s pages.

74. Site Updates:

Many SEOs believe that website updates — and especially when new content is added to the site — works a site-wide freshness factor.

Although Google has recently denied that they use “publishing frequency” in their algorithm.

75. Presence of Sitemap:

A sitemap helps search engines index your pages easier and more thoroughly, improving visibility.

However, Google recently stated that HTML sitemaps aren’t “useful” for SEO.

76. Site Uptime:

Lots of downtime from site maintenance or server issues may hurt your rankings (and can even result in deindexing if not corrected).

77. Server Location:

Server location influences where your site ranks in different geographical regions (source).

Especially important for geo-specific searches.

78. SSL Certificate: Google has confirmed that they use HTTPS as a ranking signal.

According to Google, however, HTTPS only acts as a “tiebreaker“.

79. Terms of Service and Privacy Pages:

These two pages help tell Google that a site is a trustworthy member of the internet. They may also help improve your site’s E-A-T.

80. Duplicate Meta Information On-Site:

Duplicate meta information across your site may bring down all of your page’s visibility.

81. Breadcrumb Navigation:

This is a style of user-friendly site-architecture that helps users (and search engines) know where they are on a site:

Google states that: “Google Search uses breadcrumb markup in the body of a web page to categorise the information from the page in search results.”

82. Mobile Optimised:

With more than half of all searches done from mobile devices, Google wants to see that your site is optimised for mobile users.

In fact, Google now penalises websites that aren’t mobile friendly.

83. YouTube:

There’s no doubt that YouTube videos are given preferential treatment in the SERPs (probably because Google owns it ):

In fact, Search Engine Land found that YouTube.com traffic increased significantly after Google Panda.

84. Site Usability:

A site that’s difficult to use or to navigate can hurt rankings indirectly by reducing time on site, pages viewed and bounce rate (in other words, RankBrain ranking factors).

85. Use of Google Analytics and Google Search Console:

Some think that having these two programs installed on your site can improve your page’s indexing. They may also directly influence rankings by giving Google more data to work with (ie. more accurate bounce rate, whether or not you get referral traffic from your backlinks etc.).

That said, Google has denied this as a myth.

86. User reviews/Site reputation:

A site’s reputation on sites like Yelp.com likely play an important role in Google’s algorithm. Google even posted a rarely candid outline of how they use online reviews after one site was caught ripping off customers in an effort to get press and links.

Backlink SEO Ranking Factors

87. Linking Domain Age:

Backlinks from aged domains may be more powerful than new domains.

88. # of Linking Root Domains:

The number of referring domains is one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, as you can see from this industry study of 1 million Google Search results.

89. # of Links from Separate C-Class IPs:

Links from separate class-c IP addresses suggest a wider breadth of sites linking to you, which can help with rankings.

90. # of Linking Pages:

The total number of linking pages — even from the same domain — has an impact on rankings.

91. Backlink Anchor Text: As noted in this description of Google’s original algorithm:

“First, anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves.”

Obviously, anchor text is less important than before (and, when over-optimised, work as a webspam signal). But keyword-rich anchor text still sends a strong relevancy signal in small doses.

92. Alt Tag (for Image Links):

Alt text acts as anchor text for images.

93. Links from .edu or .gov Domains: Matt Cutts has stated that TLD doesn’t factor into a site’s importance. And Google has said they “ignore” lots of Edu links. However, that doesn’t stop SEOs from thinking that there’s a special place in the algorithm for .gov and .edu TLDs.

94. Authority of Linking Page:

The authority (PageRank) of the referring page has been an extremely important ranking factor since Google’s early days and still is.

95. Authority of Linking Domain:

The referring domain’s authority may play an independent role in a link’s value.

96. Links From Competitors:

Links from other pages ranking in the same SERP may be more valuable to a page’s ranking for that particular keyword.

97. Links from “Expected” Websites:

Although speculative, some SEOs believe that Google won’t fully trust your website until you get linked to from a set of “expected” sites in your industry.

98. Links from Bad Neighborhoods:

Links from so-called “bad neighborhoods” may hurt your site.

99. Guest Posts:

Although links from guest posts still pass value, they likely aren’t as powerful as true editorial links (plus, “large-scale” guest posting can get your site into trouble).

100. Links From Ads:

According to Google, links from ads should be nofollowed. However, it’s likely that Google is able to identify and filter out followed links from ads.

101. Homepage Authority:

Links to a referring page’s homepage may play special importance in evaluating a site’s — and therefore a link’s — weight.

102. Nofollow Links:

This is one of the most controversial topics in SEO. Google’s official word on the matter is:

“In general, we don’t follow them.”
Which suggests that they do… at least in certain cases. Having a certain % of nofollow links may also indicate a natural vs. unnatural link profile.

103. Diversity of Link Types:

Having an unnaturally large percentage of your links coming from a single source (ie. forum profiles, blog comments) may be a sign of webspam. On the other hand, links from diverse sources is a sign of a natural link profile.

104. “Sponsored” or “UGC” Tags:

Links tagged as “rel=sponsored” or “rel=UGC” are treated differently than normal “followed” or rel=nofollow links.

105. Contextual Links:

Links embedded inside a page’s content are considered more powerful than links on an empty page or found elsewhere on the page.

106. Excessive 301 Redirects to Page:

Backlinks coming from 301 redirects dilute some PageRank, according to a Webmaster Help Video.

107. Internal Link Anchor Text:

Internal link anchor text is another relevancy signal. That said, internal links likely have much less weight than anchor text coming from external sites.

108. Link Title Attribution:

The link title (the text that appears when you hover over a link) may also be used as a weak relevancy signal.

109. Country TLD of Referring Domain:

Getting links from country-specific top level domain extensions (.de, .cn, .co.uk) may help you rank better in that country.

110. Link Location In Content:

Links in the beginning of a piece of content may carry slightly more weight than links placed at the end of the content.

111. Link Location on Page:

Where a link appears on a page is important. Generally, a link embedded in a page’s content is more powerful than a link in the footer or sidebar area.

112. Linking Domain Relevancy:

A back link from a site in a similar niche is significantly more powerful than a link from a completely unrelated site.

113. Page-Level Relevancy:

A back link from a relevant page also passes more value.

114. Keyword in Title:

Google gives extra love to links from pages that contain your page’s keyword in the title (“Experts linking to experts”.)

115. Positive Link Velocity:

A site with positive link velocity usually gets a SERP boost as it shows your site is increasing in popularity.

116. Negative Link Velocity:

On the flip side, a negative link velocity can significantly reduce rankings as it’s a signal of decreasing popularity.

117. Links from “Hub” Pages:

The Hilltop Algorithm suggests that getting links from pages that are considered top resources (or hubs) on a certain topic are given special treatment.

118. Link from Authority Sites:

A link from a site considered an “authority site” likely pass more juice than a link from a small, relatively unknown site.

119. Linked to as Wikipedia Source:

Although the links are nofollow, many think that getting a link from Wikipedia gives you a little added trust and authority in the eyes of search engines.

120. Co-Occurrences:

The words that tend to appear around your backlinks helps tell Google what that page is about.

121. Backlink Age:

According to a Google patent, older links have more ranking power than newly minted backlinks.

122. Links from Real Sites vs. “Splogs”:

Due to the proliferation of blog networks, Google probably gives more weight to links coming from “real sites” than from fake blogs. They likely use brand and user-interaction signals to distinguish between the two.

123. Natural Link Profile:

A site with a “natural” link profile is going to rank highly and be more durable to updates than one that has obviously used black hat strategies to build links.

124. Reciprocal Links:

Google’s Link Schemes page lists “Excessive link exchanging” as a link scheme to avoid.

125. User Generated Content Links:

Google can identify UGC vs. content published by the actual site owner. For example, they know that a link from the official WordPress.com blog is very different than a link from besttoasterreviews.wordpress.com.

126. Links from 301:

Links from 301 redirects may lose a little bit of juice compared to a direct link. However, Matt Cutts says that a 301s are similar to direct links

127. Schema.org Usage:

Pages that support microformats may rank above pages without it. This may be a direct boost or the fact that pages with microformatting have a higher SERP CTR:

128. TrustRank of Linking Site:

The trustworthiness of the site linking to you determines how much “TrustRank” gets passed on to you.

129. Number of Outbound Links on a Web Page:

PageRank is finite. A link on a page with hundreds of external links passes less PageRank than a page with a handful of outbound links.

130. Forum Links:

Because of industrial-level spamming, Google may significantly devalue links from forums.

131. Word Count of Linking Content:

A link from a 1000-word post is usually more valuable than a link inside of a 25-word snippet.

132. Quality of Linking Content:

Links from poorly written or spun content don’t pass as much value as links from well-written, content.

133. Sitewide Links:

Matt Cutts has confirmed that sitewide links are “compressed” to count as a single link.

User Interaction Ranking Factors

134. RankBrain:

RankBrain is Google’s AI algorithm. Many believe that its main purpose is to measure how users interact with the search results (and rank the results accordingly).

135. Organic Click Through Rate for a Keyword:

According to Google, pages that get clicked more in CTR may get a SERP boost for that particular keyword.

136. Organic CTR for All Keywords:

A site’s organic CTR for all keywords it ranks for may be a human-based, user interaction signal (in other words, a “Quality Score” for the organic results).

137. Website Bounce Rate:

Not everyone in SEO agrees bounce rate matters, but it may be a way of Google to use their users as quality testers (after all, pages with a high bounce rate probably aren’t a great result for that keyword). Also, a recent study by SEMRush found a correlation between bounce rate and Google rankings.

138. Direct Web Traffic:

It’s confirmed that Google uses data from Google Chrome to determine how many people visit site (and how often). Sites with lots of direct traffic are likely higher quality sites vs. sites that get very little direct traffic. In fact, the SEMRush study I just cited found a significant correlation between direct traffic and Google rankings.

139. Repeat Website Traffic:

Websites with repeat visitors may get a Google ranking boost.

140. Pogosticking:

“Pogosticking” is a special type of bounce. In this case, the user clicks on other search results in an attempt to find the answer to their query.

Results that people Pogostick from may get a significantly rankings drop.

141. Blocked Sites:

Google has discontinued this feature in Chrome. However, Panda used this feature as a quality signal. So Google may still use a variation of it.

142. Chrome Bookmarks:

We know that Google collects Chrome browser usage data. Pages that get bookmarked in Chrome might get a boost.

143. Number of Comments:

Pages with lots of comments may be a signal of user-interaction and quality. In fact, one Googler said comments can help “a lot” with rankings.

144. Dwell Time:

Google pays very close attention to “dwell time“: how long people spend on your page when coming from a Google search.

This is also sometimes referred to as “long clicks vs short clicks”. In short: Google measures how long Google searchers spend on your page. The longer time spent, the better.

Special Google Algorithm Rules

145. Query Deserves Freshness:

Google gives newer pages a boost for certain searches.

146. Query Deserves Diversity:

Google may add diversity to a SERP for ambiguous keywords, such as “Ted”, “WWF” or “ruby”.

147. User Browsing History:

You’ve probably noticed this yourself: websites that you visit frequently get a SERP b oost for your searches.

148. User Search History:

Search chain influence search results for later searches.

For example, if you search for “reviews” then search for “toasters”, Google is more likely to rank toaster review sites higher in the SERPs.

149. Featured Snippets:

According to an SEMRush study, Google chooses Featured Snippets content based on a combination of content length, formatting, page authority and HTTPs usage.

150. Geo Targeting:

Google gives preference to sites with a local server IP and country-specific domain name extension.

151. Safe Search:

Search results with curse words or adult content won’t appear for people with Safe Search turned on.

152. Google+ Circles:

Even though Google+ is soon to be dead, Google still shows higher results for authors and sites that you’ve added to your Google Plus Circles.

153. “YMYL” Keywords:

Google has higher content quality standards for “Your Money or Your Life” keywords.

154. DMCA Complaints:

Google “downranks” pages with legitimate DMCA complaints.

155. Domain Diversity:

The so-called “Bigfoot Update” supposedly added more domains to each SERP page.

156. Transactional Searches:

Google sometimes displays different results for shopping-related keywords, like flight searches.

157. Local Searches:

For local searches, Google often places local results above the “normal” organic SERPs.

158. Top Stories box:

Certain keywords trigger a Top Stories box:

159. Big Brand Preference:

After the Vince Update, Google began giving big brands a boost for certain keywords.

160. Shopping Results:

Google sometimes displays Google Shopping results in organic SERPs:

161. Image Results:

Google images sometimes appear in the normal, organic search results.

162. Easter Egg Results:

Google has a dozen or so Easter Egg results. For example, when you search for “Atari Breakout” in Google image search, the search results turn into a playable game (!). Shout out to Victor Pan for this one.

163. Single Site Results for Brands:

Domain or brand-oriented keywords bring up several results from the same site.

164. Payday Loans Update:

This is a special algorithm designed to clean up “very spammy queries“.

Brand Signals

165. Brand Name Anchor Text:

Branded anchor text is a simple — but strong — brand signal.

166. Branded Searches:

People search for brands. If people search for your brand in Google, this shows Google that your site is a real brand.

167. Brand + Keyword Searches:

Do people search for a specific keyword along with your brand (for example: “Backlinko Google ranking factors” or “Backlinko SEO”)? If so, Google may give you a rankings boost when people search for the non-branded version of that keyword in Google.

168. Website Has Facebook Page and Likes:

Brands tend to have Facebook pages with lots of likes.

169. Website has Twitter Profile with Followers:

Twitter profiles with a lot of followers signals a popular brand.

170. Official Linkedin Company Page:

Most real businesses have company Linkedin pages.

171. Known Authorship:

In February 2013, Google CEO Eric Schmidt famously claimed:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results.”

172. Legitimacy of Social Media Accounts:

A social media account with 10,000 followers and 2 posts is probably interpreted a lot differently than another 10,000-follower strong account with lots of interaction. In fact, Google filed a patent for determining whether or not social media accounts were real or fake.

173. Brand Mentions on Top Stories:

Really big brands get mentioned on Top Stories sites all the time. In fact, some brands even have a feed of news from their own website, on the first page:

174. Unlinked Brand Mentions:

Brands get mentioned without getting linked to. Google likely looks at non-hyperlinked brand mentions as a brand signal.

175. Brick and Mortar Location:

Real businesses have offices. It’s possible that Google fishes for location-data to determine whether or not a site is a big brand.

On-Site Webspam Factors

176. Panda Penalty:

Websites with low-quality content (particularly content farms) are less visible in search after getting hit by a Panda penalty.

177. Links to Bad Neighbourhoods:

Linking out to “bad neighborhoods” — like spammy pharmacy or payday loan websites — may hurt your search visibility.

178. Redirects:

Sneaky redirects is a big no-no. If caught, it can get a website not just penalised, but de-indexed.

179. Popups or “Distracting Ads”:

The official Google Rater Guidelines Document says that popups and distracting ads is a sign of a low-quality website.

180. Interstitial Popups:

Google may penalise websites that display full page “interstitial” popups to mobile users.

181. Site Over-Optimisation:

Yes, Google does penalise people for over-optimising their site. This includes: keyword stuffing, header tag stuffing, excessive keyword decoration.

182. Gibberish Content:

A Google Patent outlines how Google can identify “gibberish” content, which is helpful for filtering out spun or auto-generated content from their index.

183. Doorway Pages:

Google wants the page you show to Google to be the page that user ultimately see. If your page redirects people to another page, that’s a “Doorway Page”. Needless to say, Google doesn’t like websites that use Doorway Pages.

184. Ads Above the Fold:

The “Page Layout Algorithm” penalises websites with lots of ads (and not much content) above the fold.

185. Hiding Affiliate Links:

Going too far when trying to hide affiliate links (especially with cloaking) can bring on a penalty.

186. Fred:

A nickname given to a series of Google updates starting in 2017. According to Search Engine Land, Fred “targets low-value content sites that put revenue above helping their users.”

187. Affiliate Sites:

It’s no secret that Google isn’t the biggest fan of affiliates. And many think that sites that monetise with affiliate programs are put under extra scrutiny.

188. Autogenerated Content:

Google understandably hates autogenerated content. If they suspect that your site’s pumping out computer-generated content, it could result in a penalty or de-indexing.

189. Excess PageRank Sculpting:

Going too far with PageRank sculpting — by nofollowing all outbound links — may be a sign of gaming the system.

190. IP Address Flagged as Spam:

If your server’s IP address is flagged for spam, it may affect all websites on that server.

191. Meta Tag Spamming: Keyword stuffing can also happen in meta tags. If Google thinks you’re adding keywords to your title and description tags in an effort to game the algo, they may hit your site with a penalty.

Off-Site Webspam Factors

192. Hacked Site:

If your site gets hacked it can get dropped from the search results. In fact, Search Engine Land was completed deindexed after Google thought it had been hacked.

193. Unnatural Influx of Links:

A sudden (and unnatural) influx of links is a sure-fire sign of phony links.

194. Penguin Penalty:

Websites that were hit by Google Penguin are significantly less visible in search. Although, apparently, Penguin now focuses more on filtering out bad links vs. penalising entire websites.

195. Link Profile with High % of Low Quality Links:

Lots of links from sources commonly used by black hat SEOs (like blog comments and forum profiles) may be a sign of gaming the system.

196. Links From Unrelated Websites:

A high-percentage of backlinks from topically-unrelated sites can increase the odds of a manual penalty.

197. Unnatural Links Warning:

Google has sent out thousands of “Google Search Console notice of detected unnatural links” messages. This usually precedes a ranking drop, although not 100% of the time.

198. Low-Quality Directory Links:

According to Google, backlinks from low-quality directories can lead to a penalty.

199. Widget Links:

Google frowns on links that are automatically generated when user embeds a “widget” on their site.

200. Links from the Same Class C IP:

Getting an unnatural amount of links from sites on the same server IP may help Google determine that your links are coming from a blog network.

201. “Poison” Anchor Text:

Having “poison” anchor text (especially pharmacy keywords) pointed to your website may be a sign of spam or a hacked site. Either way, it can hurt your website’s ranking.

202. Unnatural Link Spike:

A 2013 Google Patent describes how Google can identify whether or not an influx of links to a page is legitimate. Those unnatural links may become devalued.

203. Links From Articles and Press Releases:

Articles directories and press releases has been abused to the point that Google now considers these two link building strategies a “link scheme” in many cases.

204. Manual Actions:

There are several types of these, but most are related to black hat link building.

205. Selling Links:

Getting caught selling links can hurt your search visibility.

206. Google Sandbox:

New sites that get a sudden influx of links are sometimes put in the Google Sandbox, which temporarily limits search visibility.

207. Google Dance:

The Google Dance can temporarily shake up rankings. According to a Google Patent, this may be a way for them to determine whether or not a site is trying to game the algorithm.

208. Disavow Tool:

Use of the Disavow Tool may remove a manual or algorithmic penalty for sites that were the victims of negative SEO.

209. Reconsideration Request:

A successful reconsideration request can lift a penalty.

210. Temporary Link Schemes:

Google has caught onto people that create — and quickly remove — spammy links. Also know as a temporary link scheme.

You can read more on this article and other marketing tips and advice.

— Read on backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Getting started with paid promotions…

New post on Online Marketing Hub

Getting Started With Paid Promotions
by christopherjanb
Posted by anthonycoraggio

I’m receiving more and more questions from clients about how best to leverage paid content distribution and paid social platforms (here referred to together as ‘paid promotions’). There’s a lot of reason for increased interest—as content production has ramped up in digital marketing, it has become harder and harder to stand out from the crowd and reach the audience you want. Facebook shutting down companies’ free lunch social distribution has only further pressed the issue—and sometimes you’ve simply maxed out on other paid channels!

But more than simply being an extra ‘pay to play’ option, paid promotion is a crucial part of any holistic digital marketing strategy. By using the range of paid online promotion and advertising tools available, we can take more comprehensive control in presenting the best user experience throughout the funnel—delivering the right content, at the right time, to the right person. There are three primary functions of paid promotions:

Improve the breadth and depth of content distribution
Use powerful targeting to drive more qualified traffic
Capture, retain, and shepherd qualified users to ultimately produce conversions
How and why you might use paid promotions will of course vary quite a bit, but regardless of your end goal, there are two key tasks for anyone seeking to succeed in doing so. Do these two things right, and you will have laid a solid foundation for achieving your goals.

First…

1. Define and target a specific audience
Defining a target audience in digital advertising or paid promotions is a more exacting exercise than usual, because we’re actually operationalizing a definition that can be precisely carried out by setting controls in a PPC-like interface. Think of it like programming a computer—you need to break down your definition in extremely concrete, exclusive terms that are interpretable by the tool you’re using. Don’t despair though—it’s not hard to do, and if you’ve been a good marketer and developed some proper user personas you’ll be ahead of the game!

Answer these questions to set a concrete definition of the people that should be targeted with a given campaign or content release. These are typically going to be the criteria you actually enter into an interface when starting a promotions campaign on a tool like Facebook or StumbleUpon.

Demographic Information – Our ideal target for this content is…

Age – Many platforms will offer simple age based targeting, usually in the form of your typical “18-24, 25 – 36” type brackets.

Gender – Again, this is a simple demographic setting and is often available. Think about setting up separate ‘A/B’ versions to separately address men and women when relevant!

Education Level/Status – Is your audience in school? Have they completed a degree? Facebook and LinkedIn will let you drill in on these parameters.

Geography – Be as specific as possible. Generally, the combination of a state/province and a metro area level is as granular as geotargeting options go.

There are a few more options you can find on places like Facebook -income level, marital status, employment status, and more can be particularly useful in B2C contexts.

Many platforms will also give you an opportunity to define your target audience by interests, so think about what relevant topics or subjects the target user might be particularly interested in or looking for while online! For example,
likes for travel blogs, language learning sites, famous travel writers, country specific cuisine, etc all can be used to converge on a very specific type of person.

2. Choose promotion channels
Once your target audience has been defined and the above questions answered with the best data available, you must consider the channels or platforms that will best make use of it. There are three major factors:

Which platforms have targeting capabilities and an audience that can best replicate the user profile using their targeting?
Remember to weight the user’s expected online behavior heavily in selecting platforms – while one might offer targeting to match the most targeting characteristics, if your audience does not actively use the platform’s core service it is of little value as a promotional channel.
Which platforms can best present the media to be promoted?
It is important not to detract from the user’s experience of the content, or place it in a channel that does not fit it’s form. A long form video, for example, will not usually fare well in skippable preroll spots or on-site rollover placements.
Remember also that use of different platforms can depend on device – and so might the usability of your content!
What behavioral context is preferable to achieve your objectives for this piece?
I strongly recommend taking a few minutes to browse around as a user when making these decisions, in order to think less abstractly about the experience you aim to create. Choosing channels is often a case-by-case process, but for common objectives there are some simple, intuitive guidelines to keep in mind:

If you want your content shared, promote it on channels that have built-in sharing capabilities (social media, StumbleUpon).
If you want users to feel they’ve ‘discovered’ a piece, focus on content plug-ins (Outbrain, Zemanta, etc), discovery tools (StumbleUpon), and more niche placements (subreddits, subject blogs)—depending on the accessibility/simplicity.
If your goal is a high level of direct exposure for content at a low price, content discovery plugins and display ad networks can deliver. Cost is relatively low and inventory is high, so it’s easy to get eyeballs on your work.
If conveying authority is important, officially sponsored or openly disclosed promotions on respected media platforms or with trusted individual publishers can be a good tool—though often more expensive.
It can be useful to combine these guidelines to plan for more complex goals. For example, if you want to convey a sense of ‘discovery’ but also encourage sharing, StumbleUpon Paid Discovery could fulfill both these needs—the sponsorship is subtle, the user is in ‘discovery mode’, and SU has a social sharing frame right on top of the page. If that audience isn’t engaged enough, you might bring traffic to a piece via Reddit and retarget for sharing on Twitter.

Planning for promotion should not be an exclusively post hoc activity—the content itself should be created with intended placement and utility in mind. Engage early in the process as goals for the content are first set, so that creative development and objectives do not ultimately conflict with the feasibility of promotions. Simply being involved in the conversation to flag potential problems is often enough!

Think outside of yourself…
One of the most critical parts of this framework is leveling what you want to achieve with what users will accept and value in a given medium, so I want to take a moment to reinforce the importance of this.

In answering questions of targeting and placement in a performance-driven world, it can be dangerously easy to think egocentrically, only in terms of what YOU want your customer to do in a given context—or more insidiously,
what you want them to want to do. Remember that as a marketer or advertiser you are necessarily carrying tremendous baggage, both in terms of product knowledge and expectations. It’s tremendously important to step back from your own (or your company’s) perspective and think as a user.

What you ultimately need to reach your goals isn’t necessarily what individuals using one of these channels wants when doing so, or are ready to do. Take the time to understand your audience and reach out to them in a way will resonate with the journey they are on.

What considerations do you pay special attention to when promoting content? Are there areas of the discipline you’d love to learn more about? Hit me back in the comments!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

For more about Getting Started with paid promotions or content marketing see:
http://omhub.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/getting-started-with-paid-promotions/e

The Getting started with paid promotions page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

10 Must Read Content Marketing Posts for 2015

New post on Online Marketing Hub

10 Must Read Content Marketing Posts for 2015
by christopherjanb

Over the past 5 years we’ve published over 380 articles about content marketing here on Online Marketing Blog. It’s a big topic after all and there’s plenty of opportunity to help.

Digging in to our web and social media analytics, I’ve identified 10 of the most popular posts on content marketing that I’m sure you’ll find useful. From our Content Marketing Maturity Model to tips, tools and measurement – the 10 posts summarized below will help you finish off 2014 in style and put your planning for 2015 in the right direction.

Content Marketing Maturity Model from TopRank – Every business goes through an evolution of sorts as they mature in their content marketing skills. While not every business needs to make it to Monetization for every content marketing program, no one should be satisfied with Stasis. This post breaks down the journey from creating more content, to creating meaningful content to creating content experiences that will inspire your customers to buy and advocate for your brand. What else could a budding content marketer ask for?

5 Steps to Content Marketing Awesome: You Can Do This! – Content marketing can seem overwhelming when getting started, but not with this handy guide. Start with identifying audience segments, then map the customer journey as you embark on your own journey to content marketing awesome. Map the essential buyer questions and brand answers to your content plan and then get ready to optimize your content performance. Is that awesome? We say yes!

What is the One Most Important Skill for a Content Marketer? – Information overload is giving us all a headache, so let’s boil it down to that one most important thing to soothe our minds towards content marketing success. What is it? To find out, you’ll need to finish reading this sentence and click the link above. Go!

Visual Content Marketing Strategy eBook – As part of a foursome of content marketing eBooks produced for the 2014 Content Marketing World conference, this collection of visual content marketing strategy tips from content marketing gurus like Pam Didner, Mark Schaefer, Maggie Burke, Carla Johnson and Jason Miller from LinkedIn really resonated with our readers. I think you’ll like it too – information plus entertainment. It’s infotainment Alice in Wonderland style.

Modular Content – Creative Repurposing for Content Marketing – So much content and so little time. Plus that content has to be great or no one will read, share or be inspired by it. Enter the notion of “modular content” to help savvy content marketers create and repurpose high quality content that attracts, engages and inspires customers to take action. You’ll learn how to plan for content efficiency that’s both social media and search engine friendly.

5 Ways To Create Great Content Without Writing A Lot – Writing is not a skill all marketers are experts at and yet the demand for content from customers continues to rise. The solution? This liveblog of Marcie Hill’s presentation at NMX revealed her approach to using photos, infographics, video, audio and animations to engage customers – without writing a lot. In this case, a picture really is worth a thousand words!

What is the Difference Between Content Marketing and Content for Links? The Wrong Answer Could Cost You – Don’t let the chubby Spanish Spiderman fool you – he knows exactly what the difference is between acting in a way that gets tips and acting like a fool. That’s a great analogy when comparing the difference between content marketing for customers and content marketing just to attract links. It’s a must read for SEOs and marketers alike.

Mobile Content Marketing – What You Need to Know: Pros, Cons, Examples, Best Practices – As part of our series on content marketing tactics, this post about mobile content marketing really resonated with readers. And why not? Content discovery, consumption and even commerce via mobile devices is skyrocketing. Are you ready for mobile content marketing? I didn’t think so. Read on.

5 Content Marketing Best Practices Most Businesses Aren’t Doing, but Should! – The godfather of modern content marketing, Joe Pulizzi, shares his smarts at Social Media Marketing World on some of the most important content marketing best practices that just aren’t being practiced. Which are you missing?

Attract, Engage, Convert: How to Better Measure and Optimize Content Marketing Performance – No successful marketer creates content just for the sake of creating more content. Content Marketing by definition means creating content for a specific audience to inspire a business outcome. The model for content marketing accountability presented in this post (Attract, Engage, Convert) will give you a clear line of sight to the performance metrics that will help you understand content marketing ROI.

With hundreds of content marketing posts to choose from, this was no easy task, to narrow it down to 10. Depending on where you’ve matured your content marketing skills to, this collection of posts is either a great primer or a great confirmation of the best practices being used by some of the top marketing brands on the web.

BONUS:
We’ve been busy this year at TopRank Online Marketing with a wide variety of content marketing programs for numerous mid-market and Enterprise clients. We can’t talk about many of those due to NDAs.

But there are a few projects that I can share with you that are both great examples of our content marketing work and super useful collections of marketing advice. Below are a few examples of content marketing projects that we produced this year for Social Media Examiner, LinkedIn, Content Marketing Institute, and MarketingProfs – a fine collection of marketing authorities that know great content.

These eBooks include practical tips and advice from over 120 marketing experts and industry thought leaders. In fact, there are also over 50 major brands represented as contributors ranging from Adobe to Xerox and John Deere in between. Collectively, these eBooks have been viewed over 290,000 times on SlideShare in the past 6 months. I hope you enjoy them too.

For more about the 10 Must Read Content Marketing Posts for 2015 or content marketing in general see :
http://omhub.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/10-must-read-content-marketing-posts-for-2015/

The 10 Must Read Content Marketing Posts for 2015 page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

15 steps to improve your digital marketing for 2015

Recent post on Online Marketing Hub

15 Step Guideline To Create Your Perfect 2015 Digital Marketing Strategy
by christopherjanb

It is hard to believe that 2015 is right around the corner.

As the weather starts to cool down, digital marketers’ brains just begin to warm up and think about the budget for the New Year. The million-dollar question is what are the best digital networks to invest into and what platforms should receive more exposure for 2015?

Malcolm X was quoted as saying; “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” If you are reading this article, you are likely a step ahead of the competition by staying sharp in news and trends in the online marketing field. By starting to think about the future of online marketing, you can plan out a successful 2015 year for your business while staying a step ahead of the competition.

The 15 step guideline for the perfect 2015 digital marketing strategy will provide you with a digital marketing blueprint for the upcoming year.

Once the ball drops on New Years at midnight, you won’t drop the ball when it comes to digital marketing strategy.

1. Get started on Instagram
If you haven’t started an Instagram account for your business, what are you waiting for? The younger generation has flocked to this social media platform with over 200 million monthly active users (according to Expanded Ramblings). Advertisers are getting more of an opportunity to share their content through filtered photos. Instagram is one of the most natural ways to share content for your brand. It is better to be a step ahead of the game than 2 steps behind it.

2. Yahoo! Bing network
The average cost per click on Yahoo! Bing was 10% to 24% lower than on Google AdWords. A lower cost per click can yield a lower cost per acquisition, which is the exact reason why you should start taking the search network seriously that receives 11.6% of the market share this upcoming year.

If you are in an expensive industry in the pay per click world like the legal profession, insurance industry or medical field, having a lower cost per click can help with a profitable PPC campaign.

3. Facebook lookalike audience
What exactly is a Facebook Lookalike Audience? According to Facebook, Lookalike audiences let you reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to a customer list you care about. When you use Custom Audiences, you can choose to create a lookalike audience that targets people who are similar to your Custom Audience list.

Let’s say you have an email marketing database over 5,000 contacts and are in the heating and cooling industry. You can upload this onto Facebook’s advertising platform and target the EXACT demographic similar to your existing customers! This is a neat feature that advertisers should at least test during the upcoming year.

4. Paid promotion on Facebook
Adding just $5.00 in promotion to selected Facebook posts will drastically increase your interaction. You’ll start to notice a major spike in communication when you boost your post for a small budget. With Facebook’s Edgerank Algorithm, the likelihood for a business to appear high in the news feed is less likely. This is why for 2015, you should focus on posts that can yield the best results and boost them for a small budget.

5. Email marketing
If you are a business that only sends out one email blast per month, start doubling this number and send out at least two per month. Nordstrom sends out multiple email blasts EACH DAY! If you have compelling content that would be informative to the subscribers on your email list, tell them about it via email communications.

According to econsultancy.com, email marketing remains the best digital channel for ROI. Start strategizing heavily as to how you will make this for of online marketing work for you business in 2015!

6. Twitter outreach
There has been a lot of frustration amongst marketers over all of the advertising that various social media channels are forcing businesses to partake in. Luckily, Twitter is still a great platform where you can grow your following organically. Start searching for hashtags within your industry and reaching out to users in this fashion. Compliment someone on Twitter about a blog post that they wrote. Begin asking questions related to your hashtag. The result will be more interaction and core following of people who are interested in your content! There is a reason why Twitter has nearly 1 billion registered users! Start reaching your target audience via tweets through the perfect Twitter outreach strategy in 2015.

7. Facebook re-marketing
If you are a social media marketer and have not taken advantage of display advertising on Facebook, you are missing an outstanding opportunity. Not only will this yield one of the highest return on investments for your clients, it will help with brand exposure, lead to better conversion rates and provide a flexible budget which will lead to a more effective strategy.

An apartment community in Columbus implemented beautiful graphics with relevant messaging for one of its apartment communities for Facebook re-marketing. When someone would drop off of their website and visit Facebook, this messaging would follow them around. This resulted in a 33% uptick in conversion for their Polaris Apartments community!

Start seeing an uptick in conversion by implementing a Facebook re-marketing strategy for 2015.

8. Better blogging
We like to refer to blog content as the match that starts the fire. When you write a compelling blog, it has the potential to rank well organically in the search engines. 80% of daily blog visits are new so this is a great driver of new website traffic! Additionally, a blog can serve as content for a Facebook and Twitter post as well as a teaser for an email marketing campaign. By creating better blog content in 2015, your web traffic will increase and your content will become more compelling

9. Google+ game plan
Google+ might not gain you that much interaction on your social media posts. This social media platform plays a crucial role in search engine optimization on the localized level, which makes this a must for marketers in 2015.

The more reviews you get, the more content you post onto your page and the more followers your obtain, the higher the likelihood that you will start ranking well for localized search terms.

10. YouTube videos
Did you know that Google owns YouTube? By implementing videos into your online marketing mix, you can start to get search engine exposure for the videos that you upload onto YouTube! There are a lot of great tricks to obtain more video SEO Exposure. Choosing a proper title tag, uploading a transcript and embedding the YouTube video are just some of the tricks for optimal SEO exposure. Online video should definitely be included in your 2015 digital marketing strategy as this form of rich media can be a game changer in terms of publicity for your company. People will interpret your YouTube videos that you are taking your marketing initiatives very seriously!

11. Compelling graphics
The more compelling your graphics are on various social media channels, the more interaction you will receive. If you have a graphic designer, start sending him or her over your social media calendar so they can help create beautiful imagery. In 2015 you will want to increase engagement and great pictures certainly help. If you don’t have a graphic designer, don’t worry; there are affordable sites that offer stock photography like BigStock.

12. Search engine optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) leads have an average close rate of 14.6%, while outbound leads (such as cold calls or print advertising) have an average close rate of 1.7%. Having your website optimized for SEO is a necessity heading into 2015. By having an SEO strategy in place, you can increase your leads and grow your business for next year.

13. Content contribution
If you want your content to be seen by more eyeballs and gain more exposure, start contributing content to other blogs in similar fields. If you own an apartment community in Nashville, start writing for a local Nashville website that talks about the best activities around town. You will be seen as an expert in your city and this can help drive more traffic to your website. While people might not be looking for an apartment immediately, they will remember that you have invested time and effort into content within the community!

14. Digital PR
You can build off of the content contribution by implementing a Digital PR strategy. If you reach out to various media related websites and send them over a solid pitch, they might just write an article on your company or feature your CEO in a blog post. The more people talking about your company, Tweeting about your business and mentioning your brand, the better exposure you will receive for the upcoming year.

15. Unique promotion:
Brainstorm a unique promotion that people will actually enjoy that can drive massive publicity for your company in 2015! Whether it is coming up with a user generated jingle contest or a photo upload promotion, entice your great fans on social media to interact with your brand in a clever way. If the promotion is a success, it will be one of the most talked about campaigns for your company in 2015.

We don’t expect digital marketers to hit on each and every one of the 15 guidelines referenced above. Within the list, some of the suggestions are relatively new while others have been around for the past decade. If you incorporate some of the 15 Steps from our Guideline, you might just have the perfect year in 2015 from an online marketing perspective!

Author Bio: Jason Parks is the Owner of The Media Captain, a Premier SEO Company. Follow @TheMediaCaptain on Twitter.

The post 15 Step Guideline To Create Your Perfect 2015 Digital Marketing Strategy appeared first on Jeffbullas’s Blog.

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The 15 Step Marketing Guide Line to improve your digital marketing for 2015 page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”

10 Top Social Media Marketing Tips for using Social Media Software Tool Buffer!

Please find a list of 10 Top Buffer Tips:

https://blog.bufferapp.com/little-known-buffer-features

If you use social media and haven’t yet given buffer a try, there’s no time like the presence!!!!

Top 10 Social Media Marketing Tips for using Buffer Page was posted “By Mike Armstrong”