5 Things to Know About Voice Search and Bing


Voice search is growing fast, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. This is an exciting development for marketers since the advent of voice search could alter the SEO landscape, but there is a lot to learn about this technology, and everything could change in just a few years. The more you can get up to speed and get involved now, the better you will be positioned for what the future holds.

Voice Search: The Next Frontier for Search Marketers

Voice search is becoming more popular and prevalent all the time. The SEMrush blog even called it back in 2016. Voice-powered digital assistants like Siri and Cortana are constantly improving, and smart devices entirely powered by voice – like Amazon Echo and Google Home – are enjoying a surge of popularity right now.

Why are tech users starting to shift away from text and towards voice? There are several factors that explain the rise of voice search.

  • Voice search is fast. Most people speak much more quickly than they type.
  • Voice search is hands-free, so users can get information when they are driving, cooking, or otherwise occupied with something else.
  • For people on a mobile device, asking a question out loud is usually easier than typing on a tiny screen.
  • It is getting easier and more convenient to use voice search. As more and more people get smartphones, it is natural that most will try out the built-in voice capabilities.
  • Voice search is still a fun novelty for many people.

This slide below from Mary Meeker’s 2016 Internet Trends report illustrates some of the major reasons people use voice search:

voice-searchAt this point, it is clear that voice is going to play a big role in future search technology. But since voice search is still relatively new, there are lots of ways it could develop, and it isn’t obvious which companies will rule the field in ten years.

5 Things Marketers Need to Know About Voice Search and Bing

Google is currently top dog in most aspects of search, but when it comes to voice, Google might not have much of an edge over its competitors. Microsoft is also a major player in the field of voice technology, and its search engine, Bing, may be poised to dominate voice search in the future. Here is what you should know about Bing and voice search as voice technology goes mainstream.

Voice Search is Here for the Long Haul

In 2017, many people still think of voice search as a novelty or a toy. This perception isn’t going to last much longer. An October 2015 study by artificial intelligence platform MindMeld found that the growth of voice search is happening strikingly fast: 40% of voice search users had only adopted the technology in the last six months, and 60% had adopted it in the last year.

The sharp growth of voice technology is expected to continue through 2017 and beyond. In 2016, there were between 8 million and 9 million voice-first devices like Amazon Echo in use.

In 2017, VoiceLabs predicts there will be 22.5 million devices shipped, leading to a total device footprint of 33 million voice-first devices in circulation.

As voice search continues to grow, it could rival or even overtake text search.


A Quarter or More of Bing Searches are Voice-Based

For Bing, voice searches may become the norm sooner rather than later. Search Engine Land reports that in May 2016, Bing representatives revealed that 25% of all searches conducted through the Windows 10 taskbar were voice-based. The percentage may be even greater now, considering voice search’s increasing popularity.

Google hasn’t gone fully public with its numbers on voice searches, but it is probably not far behind Bing. During the same month, Sundar Pichai of Google announced that one out of five Google searches conducted on a mobile device are voice searches. A lot can change in a year, so it will be interesting to see what kind of voice search statistics surface next.

Bing Powers More Voice Technology than Google Does

It might seem surprising that Bing had an edge over Google for voice search in 2016, but there’s a good reason for that. Three of the four major virtual assistants on the market – Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa – use Bing for their searches. Google, of course, powers its own Google Assistant.

Virtual Assistant Technology Still Has Some Improving to Do

Voice technology has gotten much better over the last few decades, but tech companies are still working on perfecting it. There is a lot at stake in this race. Andrew Ng, former chief scientist at Baidu, has said that voice search will really take off when accuracy gets to 99% or better. None of the four major virtual assistants has reached that level of accuracy yet, but all of them are getting close.

The Time to Optimize for Voice Search is Now

Whether you advertise on Google, Bing, or both, you should think about setting up your site and your paid campaigns to snag voice searchers as well as keyboard searchers. If you start working on this now, you will have a leg up on people who wait to optimize until voice searches overtake text-based searches.

Not sure how to optimize for voice searches? The last section of this article will give you a crash course on how to make it happen (it is simpler than you might think!).

How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Queries in Bing and Google

Voice search and text search are fundamentally different, even though they are ostensibly performing the same function. People usually phrase voice searches like they would if they were talking to another person. For instance, you might say, “Siri, where can I find a dry cleaner that’s open late?”. If you were going to do the same search on a keyboard, you would be more likely to type something like, “dry cleaner open late”.

Because they use more natural language, voice searches are likely to involve connecting words (and, to, or, etc.) and to be phrased as a question. Text searches, on the other hand, are likely to be a string of keywords with extra words removed. Unsurprisingly, this means voice searches are usually longer than text searches.


This data from Microsoft shows that Cortana voice searches tend to be significantly longer than text searches. You can learn more about optimizing for voice search here.

Unfortunately, neither Bing nor Google lets you separate voice searches from text searches in your analytics yet. But since voice queries look different from keyboard queries, it is not hard to identify them manually. To start optimizing for voice searches, look at your analytics and find the searches that look like natural language. Compile them into a list and look for patterns. Which questions are people asking to find your site?

After that, pick some natural-language, long-tail keywords that will help voice searchers find your site more easily. Make sure they reflect the way people actually talk. For instance, you would want to use the keyword “hire a piano mover in Boise” not “piano mover Boise”.

Another way to get on voice searcher’s radar is to include questions and answers on your website. After all, many voice searchers are asking their digital assistants questions, so you will be more likely to rank in the results if you anticipate those questions and answer them. At the very least for Q&A, you should have a FAQ page. If you are creative, you can probably find natural ways to build questions and answers into your other pages, too.

Finally, make sure all your business’ information is easy to find. Searchers should be able to find your location, hours, and phone number on your website as well as in search engine’s databases of business information. If you haven’t done so yet, claim your Places for Business listing on Bing and your My Business listing on Google.

Why is this so important? Many mobile and voice search users ask questions like, “Where can I find a coffee shop near me” The search engine then uses the person’s location information to find nearby businesses. If the search engine doesn’t have any information about your business, you won’t show up in their list of results.

The Takeaway

Voice search is going to change the landscape of digital marketing over the next few years, but no one knows exactly how yet. One thing is for sure, though: this technology is only going to get bigger, so it is important to start learning about it now. By keeping yourself up-to-date on new developments and optimizing your site for voice search sooner rather than later, you will gain an advantage over marketers who are slower to adapt.




The Captivating Power Of Amazing Short Blog Posts

Short blog posts can be good.

Why Short Blog Posts Are Cool

This goes against a lot of common advice.  Longer blogposts (above 2,000 words!) drive more traffic. And from an SEO perspective, this is true.

But: Short pieces of content have their place in blogging and content production in general. The cornerstone of blogging success is value – not wordcount. And while in general longer posts may drive more traffic, this is not always true!

Why? Because short form also has a lot of advantages:

  • Good short posts get to the point faster
  • Short pieces are easier to consume – this is blogging, not scientific research
  • Short pieces (with value!) often work better on social media
  • Do you need to blog more often? Short posts take less time.

Can I Back This With Data?

In this case, the data is so openly available that I am surprised this doesn’t get mentioned in the blogosphere more often:

Take clickbait sites – let’s go for Upworthy and Buzzfeed:

These sites drive incredible amounts of traffic through social media. Their content is optimized for social. Take this Upworthy post for instance: https://www.upworthy.com/republicans-and-democrats-should-never-forget-what-paul-ryan-just-said-about-the-poor?c=pop

This is long for Upworthy… 700 words. It was in Upworthy’s most shared posts this week, over 7,000 shares. (Contrary to popular belief clickbait sites are bringing value in their posts – that is exactly why they are getting so much traffic!)

Want more data? Here are the Alexa ranks for Upworthy and Buzzfeed:

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The Problem: Value per Word

This is not an excuse for creating many short posts that bring little value.

Focus on value per word.

Creating short posts that still bring loads of value to readers is a craft – an it needs to be practiced. Which is why so few recommend short posts.

Value per word is harder to achieve than increasing your word count. You will have to write slower than usual – you will have to think about how to best get your point across, how to shorten your sentences while not losing meaning.

But most audiences will accept short and long form content. The real question is how much value you are giving. And value per word is actually harder to produce in a long post. Producing very long posts with very little information won’t help you.


Podcast: SEO with Matthew Barby (Global Head of Growth & SEO at HubSpot)

What are the most effective SEO plays today and what are the best tools available?

If you’re running a business, how should you build your SEO strategy and hire talent to execute it? In this episode, we sit down with SEO expert Matthew Barby to discuss the tactics that he’s seeing work best and where he believes SEO is going in the future.

One link from Entrepreneur literally may be better than 1,000 links from other random websites. Because if volume mattered, we’d just build new websites every day and not care about them. They wouldn’t get any links. They’d be nothing. But it’s just be a volume game. That’s how Google used to work.” Matthew at 17:55


Digital Marketing Trends for 2017

The 14 top rated digital marketing techniques for 2017 according to Smart Insights readers

In this article, I’ll take an in-depth look at what I see as the most significant trends in digital marketing for the year ahead. But, it’s not only my view, since I have ‘crowdsourced’ the importance of the different trends rated by the popularity of each trend.

For all members of Smart Insights, we also have a more detailed free download of the marketing megatrends for 2017, which are 9 digital marketing and martech megatrends will help give you an edge in 2017. In the download we discuss machine learning and artificial intelligence, which for me is the biggest trend in marketing right now. Machine learning techniques apply across many of the techniques we discuss in this post including Big Data, Marketing Automation, Organic Search and Social media marketing. If you want to know more about the defition of digital marketing before starting on trends, see our post on What is Digital Marketing ?

To get our readers’ views on the most important trends at a top-level, we asked Smart Insights readers to give their opinion on the most important trends. We asked:

“Select one marketing activity that you think will give your business the biggest incremental uplift in leads and sales in 2017 (or your clients if you work for an agency or as a consultant)”.

Thanks if you shared your opinion, we had 2,352 responses from marketers around the world! Here are the results for 2017:

While this doesn’t have a controlled sample of our free research reports like Managing Digital Marketing, it does canvas opinion widely. Note that these trends aren’t necessarily the most important channel by volume of leads or sales, rather it is the tactic which will give the biggest increase in the year ahead, so it shows what is becoming more important. By asking for just one tactic, this helps shows the top 3, 5 or 10 top-level trends.

To help the decision on which technique to choose, we expanded upon the short labels you see in the graph to help scope the response more carefully. For example, ‘Big Data’ is a nebulous term, but when we expanded the definition to include insight and predictive analytics, it shows the value of the specific marketing techniques for Big Data and this help explains why this is in position number two.  Here is the full listing of digital marketing techniques:

  • Big Data (including market and customer insight and predictive analytics)
  • Content marketing Communities (Branded niche or vertical communities)
  • Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) / improving website experiences
  • Display (Banners on publishers, ad networks social media including retargeting and programmatic)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) marketing applications
  • Marketing Automation (incl CRM, behavioural Email marketing and web personalisation)
  • Mobile marketing (Mobile advertising, site development and apps)
  • Paid search marketing, e.g. Google AdWords Pay Per Click
  • Online PR (including influencer outreach)
  • Partnerships including affiliate and co-marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO or organic search)
  • Social media marketing including Social CRM and Social Customer Care
  • Wearables (e.g. Apple Watch, activity trackers, augmented reality)

In our Digital Channel Essentials Toolkits within our members’ area and our Digital Marketing Skills report we simplify digital marketing down to just 8 key techniques which are essential for businesses to manage today AND for individual marketers to develop skills. This visual shows the core techniques which will drive more leads and sales for you, but within some sectors, techniques like using AI, IoT, Wearables will be more important. 8 core digital marketing activities

The Top 14 marketing techniques in 2017?

Let’s now drill down into the key tactics and marketing technology within each of these tactics which will be important in 2017.

1. Content marketing trends

Content marketing has been in the top 3 for the last 3 years we have run this post, so we focus a lot on how to create an integrated content marketing strategy through advice in our content marketing toolkit.

Our research with HubSpot, illustrated in the Competing on Content infographic, shows that more businesses are now using a strategic approach (40%), so this is a trend we can expect to see continuing in 2017. We can also expect that there will be more focus on Measuring Content Marketing ROI as the cost and competition within content marketing increases.

At a practical level, Martech Guru Scott Brinker has talked about the 4th Wave of Content Marketing and I’m seeing more and more examples of interactive marketing apps – like our capability graders and also personalisation tools recommending content. Read his article, introducing it, a great read and you can check out the ionInteractive examples of interactive content marketing.


2. Big Data

As defined in our question, Big Data marketing applications include market and customer insight and predictive analytics.

The 3Vs of Big Data show why this is a key trend selected by many, who have experienced the increase in volume, real-time data and data formats in their business and want to exploit the value to increase sales through personalisation on websites and through email marketing through predictive analytics – a topic we have covered many times on our blog. It’s also closely tied into machine learning where Big Data is mined to identify propensity to convert given different customer characteristics and behaviour.

Big Data

Image original source from Diya Soubra in a Data Science blog – The 3Vs that define Big Data

3. Marketing Automation (including CRM, behavioural email marketing and web personalisation)

Like content marketing, marketing automation has been in the top 3 for the last 5 years we have asked this question. Many businesses still have potential for improving their automation as our research on the State of Marketing Automation shows.

To help with this knowledge gap, I think I have given more webinars and talks on Marketing Automation than on any other topic in 2016. The most common questions at the end are ‘where do we start’ and ‘how do we get to the next level’. These questions are answered in our Email marketing and marketing automation toolkit which includes a free interactive capability review to score your use of email marketing automation. As businesses progress up the learning curve I expect more businesses to be putting lead scoring in place, or refining it and learning the best places on the journey to feature content through predictive analytics.

4. Mobile marketing (Mobile advertising, site development and apps)

Mobile was in the top 3 three years ago, but as more companies have adopted mobile responsive web design and email templates they have seen less need to focus on it, or at least there are fewer opportunities for growth.

However, research shows that retail conversion rates are significantly lower on smartphone, so there is work to be done for many businesses to optimise conversion on mobile, although they will likely always stay lower than desktop.

Mobile also has a large impact on search marketing as Google vigorously follows its mobile first mantra. To me, it’s a somewhat misleading mantra, since the reality is that many web users are still using desktop, laptop and tablet devices and there is a danger with mobile responsive designs that conversion on higher resolution screens may fall if mobile optimised. Instead, leading companies are looking at adaptive mobile design approaches which have the benefit of serving more relevant, contextual content and CTAs for users and reducing load times.

‘Mobile first’ is also misleading if we look at the overall customer journey since often different devices may be involved at different points. So a better vision for mobile strategy is treating it as part of a multiplatform or multichannel strategy. As this data from comScore highlighted in our mobile marketing statistics research shows, the multiplatform ribbons for all countries are much broader than users who are mobile only or desktop only.

5. Social media marketing including Social CRM and Social Customer Care

When I meet marketers at events and training I find there is still huge interest in social media, thanks to its reach and options to engage audiences and encourage advocacy or ‘social media amplification’ to give it the full treatment.

Our social media research statistics summary shows continued growth in social media usage overall, but with reduced popularity of some social networks in some countries. For example Twitter and Facebook are in decline or plateauing in many western markets while Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are still growing in usage.

Trends in social media marketing are often controlled by the efforts of the social networks to monetise and this has seen Facebook and Instagram, in particular make changes such that businesses now need to ‘pay to play’ to get the reach needed to have an impact. They have continued to innovate in their targeting and remarketing options. Jason DeMeyers has these interesting views on social media trends for 2017.

6. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) / improving website experiences

This is the technique I selected a year ago as the way Smart Insights would see the most growth from in the year ahead. It’s higher in popularity than previous years, but I still wonder whether many businesses are missing out on a more data-driven approach to increase leads and sales from their websites.

I saw this chart of the volume of structured tests presented by a major multichannel retailer who wanted to scale the number of tests they were running. It a great way to show the need to test extensively since only a third have a positive test. It also shows how competitors may be getting ahead if they are testing more extensively.

7. Internet of Things (IoT) marketing applications

IoT is one of the most important marketing technology applications of the last 2-3 years, but it is of most relevance to devices makers and retailers, so it is relatively high-up in this ranking of priorities.

There are expected to be 75 billion connected devices by 2020, meaning there will be ten times as many devices able to talk to one another as there will be people on the planet! The implications are huge and far ranging. All this sharing of data will transform the way we live our lives.

Our article covering opportunities and examples of marketing applications of the Internet of Things has this useful summary of alternative applications:

Smart Products Road Map

8. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO or organic search)

Mobile marketing SEO techniques will be particularly important in 2017 with Google’s recent announcements about the mobile index and AMP. We have seen huge increases in AMP smartphone traffic since September 2016 when Google rolled AMPs out beyond Google News. AMPs are targeted at publishers, but should be considered by businesses with an active blog too in my opinion.

We have been covering these announcements and improvements in our other alert posts:

  • How Google’s mobile-only index will change search in 2017
  • Google to start penalising sites that use pop-ups
  • Stop everything and implement AMP pages

9. Wearables

Wearables are one of the hottest consumer consumable commodities (e.g. Apple Watch, activity trackers, augmented reality)

10. Paid search marketing

Google AdWords is the most important form of Pay Per Click and here Google has been pursuing their ‘Mobile-first’ strategy by building out these features.

11. Online PR (including influencer outreach)

Online PR today is inextricably linked with Content marketing, SEO and Social media, or it should be. But this doesn’t get a top rating since the others are important.

12. Communities

These are branded niche or vertical communities.

13. Display advertising

This includes banners on publishers, ad networks social media including retargeting and programmatic.

14. Partnerships including affiliate and co-marketing

A neglected aspect of digital marketing, perhaps unsurprisingly unsexy.

Other trends

This is an interesting category since readers can tell us what we’re missing. Suggestions here include:

  • Account Based Marketing (ABM) – relevant for B2B marketers targeting large accounts we have a new guide in our B2B toolkit on this early in the new year.
  • Digital OOH (Out-of-home) – A surprising one for the number one technique
  • Employee advocacy and feedback – interesting to see the internal marketing perspective – again surprising to see as the main growth point
  • Machine Learning – as mentioned at the top of the article
  • Omnichannel and multichannel attribution – both good for reminding us that it is the way that these channels work together to support each other that is often most important – the reason why many members are looking for advice on an integrated marketing strategy.

Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Digital Marketing Campaign

In this era of immense competition, digital media is playing a crucial role in the corporate world.

Research shows that 64% of people use social media channels to find inspiration for shopping. Thus, designing a top-notch digital marketing campaign is essential for both newly emerging and well-established brands.

Even the best marketing connoisseurs can sometimes derail the entire campaign by making seemingly harmless mistakes that don’t go down too well with their target audience.

The internet never forgets. When digital marketing goes awry, your brand is tried in the court of public opinion. IHOP made such a mistake when they compared their product to breasts! Needless to say, Twitter exploded.

The Twitterati was so outraged, IHOP had to issue an apology.

While digital marketing provides endless opportunities to grow, companies need to treat it carefully, as their reputation is at stake.

With the boom of digital media channels, online marketers need to know the pitfalls of implementing ineffective, or worse, shoddy campaigns.

Many businesses have faced great losses due to this carelessness. Therefore, we are sharing 7 mistakes that companies must avoid when planning their digital marketing campaigns.

1. Allowing the boss to set your company’s digital marketing strategy

Bosses are not always right. The boss can be anyone, an investor who is waiting for his returns, a CEO who is focused on increasing sales and cutting costs, or a manager who wants to show commendable performance to the top level management.

All these bosses are only interested in making money. Their sole aim is to get maximum returns and nothing else. But as a digital marketer, your aim is to get maximum returns while keeping all other strings attached, like branding, audience expectation and long term goals.

As a digital marketer, you must not let them ruin your digital marketing campaign. Do your research and prove the effectiveness of your ideas with data, instead of gut feelings.

2. Setting campaigns and goals without understanding your target audience

Understanding your target audience is of prime importance. From budgeting and planning to implementation and results, everything depends on your target audience and their preferences.

Knowing the likes, dislikes, demographics, race, color, income, education and other important information related to your market segment lets you design a powerful marketing strategy.

Some marketers are of the view that their brand is for everyone. However, this approach is wrong. A good example here is Crystal Pepsi. This cola did not contain caffeine. But they also did not study their target market well. Since people weren’t as health-conscious and aware as they are today, Crystal Pepsi failed to create the impact that they had hoped for.

David Novak, Crystal Pepsi Inventor and retired Yum Brands CEO, said he learnt a valuable lesson due to this failure.

Every brand has a target audience and understanding this segment is essential for crafting a campaign that nails it. Dove declares that beauty is for every woman. It targets women of all ages and says that there is no age limit to enhance a woman’s beauty. Put simply, Dove understands the psyche of their target audience, and owes the success of their campaigns to this understanding.

If you are a new brand planning to add some explainer videos about your product, understanding the pain points of your target audience will inevitably help you create work that speaks directly to them.

A good example is the Dollar Shave Club that came up with attention-grabbing videos and created a billion dollar business in less than 6 years. The new player grabbed a big share of men’s razor market, and most of the credit goes to their intelligent digital marketing campaigns.

Products have to be innovated as per the market needs and the taste of people and all of it is only possible with thorough research about a target audience.

Let’s say you have a very innovative and interesting campaign on a particular social media channel but you aren’t getting as many followers or discussions as you had expected. You keep pouring resources into the campaign only to realize later that your target audience is active on a different social media channel. Thus, you’ve squandered your resources.

This is why understanding your target market is the foundation on which you can build a solid brand and reputation.

3. Ignoring data

Charts and reports might look dull but they can do wonders for your business. Every social media channel like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provides comprehensive analytics whenever someone engages, interacts, likes, or dislikes your page.

You can even get data on your profile visits or the viewers of your recently shared video. These numbers are of immense importance. For instance, you will be able to see which age group or which nationality is most engaged with your videos.

Similarly, the number of shares can tell which videos are most liked by people. This data helps many companies revise their marketing strategies to be more impactful.

These analytics also guide your future marketing strategies.

4. Ignoring technical SEO aspects

One cannot stick to old school SEO principles such as spamming through guest blogging and keyword stuffing. Since Google is changing its policies, we need to keep a keen eye on our SEO strategies. What matters the most is offering quality to our audience.

The number of backlinks or the number of likes and followers will not make a big difference if you are not using a smart strategy. Fake likes and links from PBN might give you short-term results.

By creating content that is meaningful to your audience, and also search engine-friendly, you will notice a growing trend in your interactions with the customers.

Similarly, if you are guest blogging only to generate links, and your articles are not providing quality information to readers, soon enough they will be flagged as spam by search engines.

Semantic SEO should also be kept in mind as Google is now becoming a platform where we cannot just discover information but we can order it, too. If you overlook these technical aspects of SEO, you are making a big mistake!

Video marketing is a great option, but remember that a video should not take too long to load otherwise customers won’t think twice and leave.

These days, animated marketing videos are widely used by various brands and these videos are generating great traffic. This animated video called The Scarecrow by Chipotle Mexican Grill was viewed millions of times on the internet and was hailed as innovative marketing and a beautiful piece of art.

Here’s a guide explaining how you can create your own professional animated videos.

5. Using social media for conversions

Gone are the days when people used social media for conversions. This practice only provides short-term results.

The main purpose of being active on social media channels is to get feedback from clients to improve your product or service, and build and maintain close relationships with existing and potential customers.

One cannot answer all queries in detail if the basic aim is conversion rather than relationship building. Social media channels are a great platform for taking reviews from clients. Brands like Nike, Adidas and many others have built a strong customer relationship by being active on social media.

On the other hand, social media gives an opportunity to potential customers to read reviews of former clients and develop trust. In addition to this, a social media platform is also used for increasing connectivity among clients. Here are some ideas on gathering more testimonials.

6. Not scaling campaigns and channels

Scaling is of utmost important when it comes to designing a digital marketing campaign. When resources are limited, we need to maximize the output in a smarter way.

For instance, if the budget is low and a company’s target audience is mostly active on Facebook, they should direct a part of their marketing resources to creating content that resonates with a Facebook audience.

Here’s a guide to help you scale your digital marketing campaigns.

7. Running organic and paid parts separately

Whether we are talking about organic or paid channels, both of them are important. But, it also depends on the nature of your business. If you’re running a social service, organic will play a vital role because users will have a hard time trusting you through a paid advertisement for community development.

In a digital marketing campaign for a company, one needs to align both organic and paid aspects of the campaign to get maximum results.

If your organic results are awesome and you are not active in paid ads, it is likely that your business won’t show on Google’s top searches. Google is now showing ads in the top 2-3 searches.

This means one cannot stick to just organic if you want greater visibility for your business. A quick search for social media management software on Google shows this:

On the other hand, having only paid ads with no presence in the SERPs is also a big drawback because most people won’t rely on paid ads, particularly if they aren’t already aware of your brand or product.

In short, digital marketing campaigns are the lifeblood of brands. A few factors such as scaling campaigns, conducting thorough researches, using analytics, keeping expectations realistic and using the latest technology are sure to give the results you need.

As we assessed different digital marketing campaigns, we found mistakes mentioned in this article to be common in most of them.


Top SEO Tips Every WordPress Website Should Embrace

A website, however, glamorous it is, is not worth it if it is not to search engine optimized.

What’s the essence of having a beautiful and enhanced website with no traffic? The joy of every website owner sees the tremendous growth of traffic; a feat that is perfectly achievable through SEO.Knowing that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing care less about web design and embedded photos is a critical step towards ensuring a perfect search engine optimized website.It narrows your scope to what you should focus on; keywords, alt tags, file name, links, and content. So how do you use this knowledge to ensure notable search engines notice your WordPress website?

1.Reset Permalinks

The default permalink setting in WordPress doesn’t have an efficient structure for SEO. To reap the most out of it, you need to adjust the URL to post name manually.

Although (/%postname%/) is an ideal option, some prefer using /%category%/%postname%/. The latter can, however, result in various issues when there’s no optimization of contents of categories.

In the default settings for WordPress, all pages are designed to run via URL parameters. This is against Google’s recommendations. Changing the default settings maximizes the potential of your website for SEO.

2.Capitalize on Update Services

It takes time for URLs of newly added posts and pages to be indexed by search engines. To enhance the speed of this process, WordPress offers the opportunity of adding an update to the service, a feature that is visible in the general settings.


It is not worth adding content periodically if the search engines cannot update it as soon as possible. Having your pages indexed is the most important thing for any website owner.

Without URL indexing, it will never be possible for it to be shown in any SERP. It becomes even worse when your site relies on recent or breaking news, and the indexing takes time before being reflected. You might end up missing on great organic search opportunities that would have changed the destiny of your business.

3.Customize Media Settings

Another critical WordPress SEO tip is capitalizing on the media settings. To make the most out of media settings, it is advisable to customize all the available image options including thumbnails, medium and large. Using the default settings denies you the opportunity of reaping some hidden SEO benefits.


Thumbnails enhance the appearance of images smaller than their full sizes. Thumbnails increase bandwidth performance and ensure that the uploaded photos on your site fit on most screens. The result is different from uploading a bigger image then resizing it after the upload in the image settings.

4.Embrace Google Analytics

The worst thing you can do is to try managing a site without tracking. You might never have any idea of whether you are making progress or not if you do not have critical records using suitable software. Google Analytics eases the whole process by supplying you with relevant and necessary data regarding your performance.

All you need to do is create a simple analytics profile and then follow the directions by installing the Google Analytics version for WordPress. With this, you wouldn’t have to struggle with copying and pasting when connecting your profile to WordPress. To get the most out of Google Analytics, it is advisable to activate site search in your analytics profile.


Using Google Analytics can help you with critical data such as the average time a user spends on your site. Also, you can also learn the amount of traffic gained from search engines, making it possible to enhance your SEO campaigns based on the results.

Even better, Google Analytics allows 404-page errors to be identified quickly. The WordPress version of Google Analytics makes it possible to track users by their usernames. Top SEO companies particularly recommend this for e-commerce sites where extremely high page views count.


5.Install .xml Sitemap Plugin

It is important to install .xml sitemap plugin for WordPress sites. This enhances the provision of links to various pages on your site, which improves the indexing of various pages on your site. One such plugin that enables easy creation and update of sitemaps is Google XML sitemaps.

6.Go Beyond the Norm

Most people don’t reap the most out of search engines because they are too conservative. It comes to a point where your traffic can never increase if you stick to your way of information dissemination. Going beyond the norm and embracing trending topics in your niche puts you in a better position of getting the most out of SEO. It becomes particularly important for WordPress bloggers who can escalate traffic on their sites by simply blogging about the recent updates in their niche. Once in a while, you need to change something in your style of writing, or it’s structure and observe the possible results. Remember always to make one significant change to measure because implementing many of them will make it impossible to identify the impact of single optimization.

If there is the significant increase in traffic because of certainly added content, more energy should be focused on producing that extra content.

7.Focus More on Content Quality

To be able to rank high on the search engine pages, you need to ensure your content is perfect. Websites with long and highly optimized pages tend to rank higher in search engine pages. Many search engines prefer lengthy and detailed posts, and the reason is simple; users love it that way. As such, your top articles should be detailed and contain the right keywords. However, that should not make you lengthen even the non-extendable posts like reviews and other brief articles.

It is not just about the length; your content should be well researched and appealing in nature. You ought to put finer details into your article. Carry out some research and link your site to related sources of information. This will not only enhance the credibility of information held therein but also steers up your search engine rankings because link building is one of the fundamental ranking factors.

Having your WordPress site rank highly in important search engines does not have to be as hectic as many people perceive it. All you need are simple idealistic steps like embracing Google Analytics, changing the default media settings, focusing on the updating services and enhancing the quality of your content!


How Removing Old Website Content Can Improve Your Traffic.

Ever think about Google Panda?

It feels a little “old hat” to talk about it, since it’s now nearly five years old. But this service, which ruthlesssly searches the Internet for pages that don’t meet its quality standards — and penalizes sites with substandard content, is still worth addressing. The reason: It’s still hurting sites. Panda was rolled into the main Google algorithm, but semi-regular Panda updates still occur semi-regularly.

One opinion out there says that content of a certain age doesn’t matter, that Google (and Panda) knows that older content is often ignored by readers and is more or less irrelevant. But that’s not true. Old, poor-quality content does hurt your search ranking, as long as that low-quality content remains on your site and is accessible to the search engine.

You may be sitting on a gold mine of lost SEO value you can recover with a few simple changes.

Six years ago and more, it was the norm to write short blog posts, 500 words or less, about any keyword-focused topic you could find in your niche. Certainly, a lot of that old content was valuable at the time. These days, though, it doesn’t measure up. Where a 500-word post once sufficed, today a 1,000-word post barely cuts it. The ideal, according to Medium, is a post that takes around seven minutes to read and is around 1,600 words long. SerpIQ did a similar study a few years ago. It counted the content of the top ten search results for a variety of queries and came up with a figure closer to 2,400 words

Identifying content that needs work

For owners of older sites, you may face a daunting task auditing your old content. It may include hundreds or thousands of old posts under 1,000 words. If only there were an easier way to figure out what needs to be changed and what isn’t hurting you and can be left as is.

That’s where Panguin comes in. This tool, from Barracuda Digital, hooks into your Google Analytics install and scans your traffic history. It compares the traffic recorded on your pages with the dates of known Panda, Penguin and other algorithmic updates. Any page where it notices an abrupt drop, it flags for you. Of course, it works only as far back as you’ve had Google Analytics, because Google doesn’t track any data before it itself existed.

Fixing old content

When you discover content that doesn’t meet modern quality standards, it’s obvious that you have to do something about it. What should that be, though? There are a few options you can take.

  • If the content has the seeds of something valuable, something evergreen, you can rewrite it to make it more valuable. Take an old 500-word post and add more data, more value, more insight. Boost it up to 1,500 words, 2,000 or more. For good measure, send it on another round of promotion via social media.
  • If the content is one of several short posts on the same subject or on similar subjects, consider merging them into one more valuable post. One great opportunity for this is the old FAQ; if your questions and answers were separated onto different posts with different URLs, that content might have been better for SEO pre-2011. These days, though, it’s better to merge all of those pages into a single valuable FAQ and redirect the old posts to the new post.
  • If the content is functionally a shorter, less valuable version of a much better, more recent post, feel free to remove and redirect the old post to the new URL. A redirect helps preserve any value of old incoming links.
  • If the content is essentially valueless, would be worthless to rewrite and has little or nothing in the way of incoming links and traffic, go ahead and delete it. It could be hurting you, and there’s nothing to redirect it to, so it’s perfectly safe to delete.

There’s no shame in deleting old content. There’s even value to be found, if that old content is holding you back. Getting rid of it, and rewriting, redirecting and improving other old pieces of content is like lifting a weight off your shoulders. It helps reclaim old traffic and, above all, gives Google a better impression of the overall average quality of your site.

So, free yourself! Cut out the lowest value content so the the average value content can rise. That alone will improve your modern traffic considerably.


SEO Handbook: 17 Essential Blog SEO Tips You MUST Follow to Rank.

New to blog SEO? Here’s all the tips you need to know to optimize your content before, after, and when you publish.

Imagine you just published an article you spent countless hours creating. Which one of these results would you rather have?


google analytics declining pageviews graph

Or this?:

google analytics increasing page visits graph

In the first image, you get an immediate, meteoric rise in views (10,000 in one day!). Then the views come crashing down to non-existent within 15 days.

In the second image, there’s almost no traction for over a month. Then, slowly but surely, the views start consistently rolling in, averaging around 600 views a day without any signs of slowing.

One group followed great SEO blog tips. One skimped on blog SEOand relied on social media and email marketing.

Guess which one you should strive for?

Yep, it’s graph #2.

I know you crave instant gratification. We all do. That’s why sometimes I’ll throw 10 Oreos down my throat in one sitting. So the thought of graph #1 and 10,000 views in one day may make you feel all tingly in the pleasure area of your brain.

But that’s unrealistic for long-term success. Fueling your article solely with social media and email is like starting gas on fire — it’ll be awesome for a bit, and then it’ll just poof…disappear.

You want sustained traffic.

It’s like investing — it’s not fun to stick $200 a month into an account you can’t touch. But that money will grow into something big in the future because you decided to play the long-term game.

Because that article in graph #2 will keep bringing in hundreds or thousands of visitors every single day thanks to SEO.

The long term play wins, and I want to show you how to get those kind of results for every article you write.

I’ve tried almost every SEO trick and tactic in the book. But after raising 100+ web pages and articles to the first page of search engines, I’ve found a consistent SEO blog checklist for raising your work to the tippity top of Google.

17 of the best SEO blog tips to do before, during and after you create your blog post.

SEO Tips Before You Write

SEO Tips When You Write

SEO Tips After You Write

Oh, and guess what?

I’m going to show you how I do all these things with this guide as an example.

Ready? #strapin

4 SEO Tips Before You Write Your Blog Post

Time to break out some wise words from Confucius:

Confucius preparation quote

The preparation you put in before you write your article will determine how successful it is. If you cut corners, your article will fall flat.

If you put in the time to prepare everything, though, you’re setting yourself up for success. And you really need to put in that time, because this is the current landscape of search engines:

percentage of traffic by google results position

Ouch. So the top four results on Google get about 68% of the traffic, with the first page results seeing 91% total traffic. If you’re on the second page, it’s like you don’t even exist.

So it’s important to start off on the right foot, and these four SEO tips will help prepare you for that Confucius-level success.

SEO Blog Tip #1: Find Your Keyword

This isn’t groundbreaking stuff. Almost every SEO guide you’ll read starts out with finding a good keyword.

Basically it’s this:

  • Find a keyword that’s highly searched in the Google Keyword Planner Tool
  • Search that keyword to see what the competition is
  • Find the gaps and fill them with your content.

That’s been repeated time and time again. It’s important, but I want to give you a tip where you can really win:

Head terms vs long-tail keywords.

For example, this is the head term for this blog post:

google keyword tool

We’re going after “SEO blog tips”. There’s a nice overlap with “SEO tips” and “SEO blog,” so we could see residual traffic from those searches.

But here’s the thing: while those are the monthly searches for those head terms, they’re not the only words people are searching for.

That’s where long-tail keywords come in.

How often do you search for “dinner recipes?”

Probably not often. But how often would you search for “quick easy dinner recipes?”

Probably a lot more often. It’s more specific, still contains the the main head term and actually sounds like something a person would search for.

That’s a long-tail keyword. An easy way to find long-tail keywords is to try different combinations in the Google search bar. For this post, I did something like this:

Blog SEO

So I took the second highest-searched keyword and looked at the variations. And guess what?

I use almost all of those in this guide.

Another way to find long-tail keywords is to consider exactly what you would search if you were looking for more information on your topic.

These long-tail keywords will help your blog rank higher in these niches, as opposed to catering to a broad keyword.

SEO Blog Tip #2: Build A Sitemap

Here’s what a sitemap is, according to Google:

“A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site.”

You know that feeling when you’re trying to get somewhere but your Google Maps app isn’t working? That’s what it’s like when you don’t have a sitemap on your site.

Also something to point out in that definition: web crawlers. Think of those like spiders search engines send out to index the entirety of the internet. They see every page and report back to their respective search engine with the information they found.

If a web crawler can’t easily get to your article’s link, it can completely prevent your article from showing up on a search engine.

south park mmkay meme

The good news is, you can easily build a sitemap without any coding knowledge. Just download and integrate either this plugin or this one on your site, and they’ll automatically create sitemaps whenever you add new pages.

SEO Blog Tip #3: Make Your Site Mobile Responsive

Moz wrote an article about mobile responsiveness in search engine rankings. If your site isn’t mobile responsive, you’re going to see a dip in ALL your pages — articles or otherwise.

This is a newer addition to the list, but you need to follow it like the rest of the rules. Since more searches occur on mobile devices than browsers, you need to be mobile responsive for the sake of SEO AND your user experience.

You can check the mobile-responsiveness of your site by inserting your URL into this mobile-responsiveness tester from Google. It’ll let you know if your site is up-to-snuff or not:

google analytics mobile-friendly test


If your site isn’t mobile friendly, get your site up to the requirements.

SEO Blog Tip #4: Lower Your Average Page Load Time

Will Ferrell said it best:

Before you marry a person you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are.

Think about it: when was the last time you waited more than eight seconds for a page to load?

Be honest: you don’t. And Google doesn’t, either. Once you get over the five second mark, they start penalizing you incrementally.

See, while page load time is a ranking factor in search engines, it’s the plethora of other bad shit it brings that can tank your rankings.

It’s the bounce rate (people leaving your site) being high + the time on site being low + the slow load time that can = penalties from search engines.

There are a lot of things that can contribute to slow load times:

  • Images that are WAY too big (or unoptimized)
  • Uncompressed content
  • Too many background images
  • So, so much more.

Easy way to check your site speed? Head here and enter your URL. They’ll give you an accurate load time.

sumo page test

Good to go.

If your site is a bit on the slow side, check out this site for a few fixes. But be warned: if your site IS slow, be prepared to shell out some money for someone to fix it properly.

If you can look at these four SEO tips and go, “Yeah, I’m so optimized that DJ Khaled just called ME the best,” then you’re prepared enough to move on to step two of this SEO plan.

dj khaled is the best

8 SEO Tips When You Write Your Article

Your site is optimized like crazy. You’ve got the best keywords picked out for your content. Now it’s just time to write the thing.

If you have your keyword in mind and know what you need to write, there are lots of different directions you can go for an article.

If you need help coming up with some new angles or ways to write your post, you can check out this great article on 13 different types of content.

But if you already know what you want to write and how to present it, it’s time to dig into some ways to include SEO in your articles.

SEO Blog Tip #5: Spend SO Much Time On Your Headline

Here’s the truth: no matter how much experience you have as a writer, the headline will always take up a lot of your time.

But it’s worth it when you see your article consistently getting clicks from every medium AND ranking high in search engines.

Here’s what goes into making a headline at Sumo:

  1. Someone finds the keyword we need to include in the title
  2. Someone narrows the 20-30 down to 3-5
  3. A group of us vote on the best headline

That’s how seriously we take our headlines. I have two personas in my head when I write a headline: Drago from Rocky IV and Joy from Inside Out.

Here’s what a typical back-and-forth looks like:

overusing keywords

I wish I was kidding.

When you write your headline, you need to find a balance between those two personas. The headline needs to be something attention-grabbing, but it also needs to be rooted in your main keyword.

For this blog post we decided on “SEO Handbook: 17 Essential SEO Tips Your Blog MUST Follow.”

We get our main keyword variant in there (SEO blog tips) in a way that feels clickable. Handbook is a word that makes the content feel bigger and sturdy, and words like “essential” and “must” convey importance.

If you need help with either of those two things, I suggest these two articles:

  1. 49 Headline Formulas to Skyrocket Conversions (And Where to Use Them): Here’s a list of every successful headline formula you could possibly imagine.
  2. The Automatic Kickass Headline Generator: All you have to do is plug your topic into the spreadsheet and it spits out a bunch of possible headlines.

And when you nail the headline? It looks something like this:

power words for blog seo

That article has 3.5k shares and it grows every day. Find the balance between a headline search engines and people love and you’ll see some great traffic.

SEO Blog Tip #6: Get Your Heading Tags Squared Away

Heading tags – or H-Tags, as the hip SEOs call it – exist to separate sections of you blog post. They’re numbered 1-6, and they actually have some substantial SEO juice if use correctly.

Think of your headings tags like this:

heading tags in blog seo

They’re listed in descending order of importance.

  • Heading Tag 1: This is generally your headline. You only get one of these, otherwise you get penalized because search engines have no idea what’s supposed to be the main idea of that page.
  • Heading Tag 2: These separate the big ideas of your article. Use them sparingly. They’ve got tremendous SEO power if you include your head term and try to work in long-form keywords, too.
  • Heading Tag 3: These are the smaller yet still important headers of your post. They can be used for tools, tips, ideas or anything that falls under your H2 tag topic. Use these generously.
  • Heading Tag 4-6: Lol, yeah ok. These don’t really matter. Use them for styling up your page however you want.

To give you an idea of what that looks like, here’s what I’ve done in this post:

  • Heading Tag 1: SEO Handbook: 17 Essential SEO Tips Your Blog MUST Follow. We felt this was a great combo of our head term and what people would click on.
  • Heading Tag 2: I use this for “4 SEO Tips Before You Write Your Blog Post” and the like. It has a main head term in it, so it’s easier for search engines to link that up with my title.
  • Heading Tag 3: I use this for all the tips in here like “SEO Blog Tip #6: Get Your Heading Tags Squared Away.” It gives me the opportunity to keep using a keyword phrase while providing the tips.
  • Heading Tag 4-6: I’m not about that life.

When you write your own header tags, remember that each one should modify the last. So H3 modifies the H2, and H2 modifies the H1.

SEO Blog Tip #7: Balance Your Meta Description

Your meta description is what shows up below your headline in search results. When I searched for “worst baseball players ever” this was the top result:

Blog SEO

At least they made it on a list

Look what Google did — it highlighted “worst baseball players.” Google was able to take the phrase from the meta description and connect it to the headline. That’s an important way to build authority and verification that your post will cover what the headline promises.

This, like your headline, is a fight between Drago and Joy for the balance of what’s SEO optimized and what’s interesting to click.

Here’s my favorite formula for this:

  • 150-160 Characters: Staying in this range guarantees your entire meta description will be read.
  • Mention the Keyword Once: Use your head keyword in the meta description once. Twice is stretching it, unless you can make it sound non-robotic.
  • Answer Why They Need This: You need to crystallize why your article has to be read. And you need to do it in one to two sentences.

For this post, it would show up like this: “New to SEO? Here’s all the tips you need to know to optimize your content before, after, and when you blog.”

Strike a balance between using your keyword and writing something that, in combination with your headline, makes people want to read your post.

SEO Blog Tip #8: Clean Up Your Slug

You heard the title:

Blog SEO

Yes. I actually took time to create this image.

Ok. Not that slug. I’m talking about the part of a URL that identifies the specific page you’re on. For eg, the bold part is our slug:


But for some people, it can look like this:


That’s too long and it buries the article. Search engines view URLs like they view your heading tags — the most important thing is first, with everything that follows losing importance.

You want your most important thing as close to your root URL (usually the URL of your homepage). So for this post, our URL looks like this:


Remember: use your head term in this slug. This term is what you want search engines to identify the article with. When you have the slug, headline AND meta description syncing up, it helps tremendously with higher rankings:

worst baseball players of all time

This was the #1 ranking for “worst baseball players.” See how the term is integrated?

There are times when you can take advantage of the ordering of your slug. But, to keep it simple, just get your main head term/article title close to your root URL.

SEO Blog Tip #9: Nail the First 100 Words

Web crawlers see a page the same way you do — they start from the top and work their way down.

In turn, you’ve got to treat your first 100 words like your headline:

  • For Search Engines: You need to include your head term or long-tail keyword at least once. After the crawler sees your head term in your headline, meta description and slug, you’ll want to introduce it in your articles soon as possible. The first 100 words is a good rule-of-thumb.
  • For Humans: You want to capture your reader’s attention while also toeing the line of addressed the blog topic. If you can’t captivate your reader within the first 100 words, your bounce rate and time on page will suffer big time.

In this article, I use the term “SEO blog tips” in that first 100 words while still using an attention-grabbing opener (at least I hope so if you’re this far into the post). It’s a good combo that satisfies the crawlers and the folks like you.

SEO Blog Tip #10: Tag Your Best Images

This is the biggest step most bloggers forget to do.

People focus so much on the main search results that they forget the “Images” section of search engines acts as a place to rank, too.

worst mlb pitch ever

Never forget how poorly 50 Cent threw that baseball.

The page title is listed at the top, with the URL below that. But under the URL, you’ve got a description of the image.

That description doesn’t just happen on its own. Most blogging engines give you the opportunity to give the image a description through alt text.

Think of the alt text like a meta description for your image. You should use your head term and describe what the image is. Keep it between 70-100 characters to make sure it displays everything.

Two types of images you should link:

  • Your Main Post Image: Always title this bad boy, because most people will pin/share this image. You want a clean description that captures what the whole post is about.
  • Your Best Images You Created: You don’t need to tag images that you pulled from the internet — those already rank for someone else and they might not pertain to your keyword. You want to spend your time tagging images that are unique to you.

Most places like WordPress make it easy to fill in this alt text:

how to use alt text for SEO

Don’t ask questions about the “candy-haul” thing

However, even though you should give alt text to your proprietary images, you should always name your files with a keyword in mind. This only reinforces to crawlers what your page is about.

So for our post, the files all have names like blog-seo-tips-slugs.jpginstead of something like untitled1.jpg. For all your images, follow that kind of format to help your chances with the crawlers.

SEO Blog Tip #11: Link. Link. Link.

Link. Link often. Link with el passion.

Seriously. Linking is one of the best things you can do within your post. For all the tips I’ve given in this section, this is the one that takes a bit of time but is completely worth it in the end.

Linking is it’s own sort of special SEO magic. We talked about what happens when a crawlers goes through your text and looks for keywords.

You know what they love, though? When your keywords are linked.

internal vs external links

Live your blog life like this…orange thing.

When a crawler sees a word or phrase linked, it places more emphasis on that than a non-linked word or phrase.

When I talk about linking within you blog post, I’m referring to three types of links:

  • Anchor Tags: These are simply links to different parts of your posts. That’s why, depending on the post, I like to include links like I did at the top of the post. It gives you the opportunity to link your biggest keywords as early in the post as possible.
  • Internal Linking: This means linking to relevant content that you’ve created on your site. I already did it in this post with a few articles. Here’s a great piece on why internal linking is important, touching on great points like building architecture and increasing SEO success.
  • External Linking: Hey, I just did it in the last paragraph! Linking strong keywords out to other strong pieces of content signals to a search engine that your article should be at least in the same ballpark as that content. Plus, you give some blog love to a fellow content creator for a nice win-win (and maybe a linkback…more on that soon).

Of all these strategies, anchor tags might be the easiest, but internal linking is the most effective. Keeping someone on your site decreases your bounce rate, increases time on site AND created an interlinked system on your blog — all good things in the ranking algorithms.

But for all this advice on crafting a tight, SEO’ed blog post, there’s one thing you need to remember above all….

SEO Blog Tip #12: Create Amazing Content

Just read the thing. Have others read it. Have a stranger read it.

Do you like it? Does it make sense? Does it solve the original problem you set out to answer?

If it’s not a good, unique and helpful piece of content, then none of these tips will help you.

And if you need help with creating that awesome content….well….here’s an article that shows you how to reverse engineer the most popular content on the web.

5 SEO Tips After You Write Your Blog Post

Hey, you published that awesome post! People can read it on their mobile devices and it loads up nice and fast. Dang, you’re set.

Except you’re not.

I used to think doing these previous 12 tips I’ve shared were all you needed in order to rank high in search engines.

kfc meme

There’s a reason this post is split into three parts. It’s not enough to prepare your site, find a great keyword and write a great post.

You’ve got to bring it all home with five specific things after you publish that will almost certainly guarantee search engine dominance.

One caveat before I go into these tips. Not everyone will do them.

And this isn’t one of those fake “Only 5% of people will share this” phrases copywriters like to use to make you think “Screw you, I’LL share this thing.”

Legitimately, people won’t do these next five steps because they’re hard work.

I’ve laid this exact plan out for businesses before, only to check in a few months later and see poor results because of lack of follow through.

But I’ll tell you something. When I figured out these last five tips is when I consistently ranked content on the first page of search engines.

So if you’re ready to start really making your articles work for you, read on, my friend.

Cause this is where the hard work really starts.

SEO Blog Tip #13: See How Far Down A Page Readers Go

You don’t write an article hoping 15% of people read it all, do you?

I hope not. That’d be a really weird way to approach writing.

Ideally, you want your story to be so good that people feel compelled to read the whole thing, like Kelly after she read a post I wrote for Leadpages:

nice blog comments

Let me be 100% upfront with you on this: it’s not always this way. Sometimes people just leave the article for whatever reason. You can’t control things like their priorities, current state of mind or what have you.

But you can control the quality of your writing. Because 9/10 times that’s what makes people leave a page within the first 100 words, resulting in some scary bounce rates you don’t want.

The good news is, you don’t have to guess if people are reading everything. There’s a way to actually see how far down the page they’re reading (and where they’re jumping off).

You can use a scrolling heat map (aka Content Analytics) to see how far down a page your audience reads.

welcome mat example

Looks something like this.

Again, not everyone will get to the bottom of your page. You just want to avoid people leaving right away. Case in point, a post on our site called 28 Ideas For Content Upgrades to Grow Your Email Listsaw this happen:

easy content upgrades

Only 62% of readers made it past the introduction.

Yet you’d never know that if you didn’t have Content Analytics installed. No worries, here’s a free version of that tool and you can install it in five minutes.

If you see people leaving before they get to the meat of your post, don’t be afraid to edit your published article. This stuff isn’t set in stone, and you can tweak your intro until you see more people make it down your page.

SEO Blog Tip #14: Get. Traffic.

Alright, people who were guffawing at my intro. Here’s where you get to point at your screens and go “AHA! You do need traffic.”

Of course you need traffic.

Getting traction creates a snowball effect with search engines. If they can see popularity and views on a piece of content, they’re much more likely to raise that than something with 10 views and an upvote from mom.

So if you can combine this:

google analytics declining pageviews graph

With this:

google analytics increasing page visits graph

Then you get an image of such steady traffic that I can’t post it because it could be considered NSFW.

We’ve found that initial traffic and social proof from shares can really kickstart that process. A couple ways to do that:

  • Reach Out Via Social Media: You know the drill. Facebook posts, Tweets, reddit…get the message out and get the clickthroughs/shares on all your channels. Build healthy social media channels that rank for your business to help supplement your post.
  • Post an Abridged Version on LinkedIn and Medium: Don’t worry, you won’t get dinged in your SEO for this. You’ve got to consider the audiences (LinkedIn a bit more professional, Medium more personal), but getting love there can go a long way.
  • Get Featured in Newsletters: I guarantee your industry has a few people that curate content in a newsletter. Build relationships with them and offer quality content to their readership.

After that, you’ve just got to get creative. But focus on getting that initial traffic so your post isn’t dormant — that only hurts your chances of long-term success.

SEO Blog Tip #15: Build Those Backlinks

Moz, the overlords of all that is SEO, came out with a study on the importance of backlinks in 2015.

Turns out, if no one is linking to your content, you can kiss great rankings goodbye.

relationship between google rankings and links

So backlinks. You need them. Big time.

There are three ways of building up backlinks.

You can be a dirty, unforgivable black hat SEO douche and build link farms that backlink to your site. Thankfully, Google has wised up to that, so it’s much harder to pull off.

You could follow the old-school mentality of linking to a site, then asking for a backlink in return. That’s a bit harder because there’s no incentive for them to give a backlink and your link may not give them substantial value.

The third way, which has the highest success rate, is to provide value through sub-articles.

See, sub-articles are perfect for building MULTIPLE backlinks. I won’t get too deep into it because the article explains it really well, but these are the steps you take:

  • Find Your Best Long-Form Article: This should be a cornerstone piece of content that’s long, has great traffic and touches on multiple topics.
  • Break It Down Into Smaller Categories: Take the bigger topics you cover in that piece of content and write them down.
  • Write Smaller Articles Around Those Categories: 1,000-1,500 word articles that contain links to that article or others on your site.
  • Pitch Those Articles to Websites: Find sites that publish content around those sub-articles and literally give them those articles to publish fo’ free.
  • Repeat: Keep doing it for your big articles, because you’ll get SO MANY BACKLINKS DOING THIS.

What you’re doing is providing immense value to that website. You’re adding great content that they didn’t have to publish, all the while you collect that valuable backlink juice for bigger rankings.

SEO Blog Tip #16: Publish Consistently

You hear bloggers say it all the time: “Publish on a consistent cadence so your readers get in a routine.”

I agree, but I’ll also add this from an SEO standpoint: “Publish on a consistent cadence so your readers and the web crawlers get in a routine.”

This article explains all the benefits of publishing consistently for SEO, but basically it boils down to this:

The more content you publish, the more the web crawlers have to index your site. The more they do that, the higher you rank because they see you as a “healthy” site.

That’s the difference in ranking high and staying in that high rank. If a site becomes stagnant, it’s indexed less frequently. Any post that ranks high will eventually be beaten by a healthy site that publishes often.

Which brings me to my last tip.

SEO Blog Tip #17: Audit Every 3-6 Months

This is easily the step almost every blogger doesn’t do.

I’ll admit, I didn’t even do it when I started out. “It’s either ranking or it’s not” I’d yell.

But it’s about more than that. It’s about mapping out the journey and tracking your success over a long period of time — SEO is a long term game.


5 Growth Hacking tips to Boost your website’s Traffic

First of all, what is growth hacking?

Growth Hacking is a term used by startups these days. It basically means to expedite the growth. To find out means to do a years worth of work in months. To come up with strategies and tactics that put you ahead of your competition. It means, to believe in Smart work rather than Hard work.

A decade or so ago, businesses were bound by brick and mortar, 5 years was normal for a company to reach its growing stage. Internet has changes things dramatically. Startups launch and fail within their first year. And if you want to keep up with this fast paced dynamic environment, you have gotta HACK growth.

A lot of people confuse growth hacking with spamming and using black hat dodgy techniques. Well, spamming is easy and anybody can do it. Growth hacking requires using your brain and coming up with great marketing ideas.

Let’s discuss some of the best examples of growth hacking to boost your website’s traffic.


1- Automation

If you own a website, you have got to get social and use the social media to create awareness of your product/service/brand. Problem is, social media consumes time. It is a full time job. It takes hours to build strategies and post content and monitor results manually. You have gotta automate it.

Did you know you can use IFTTT for FREE and connect different social media tools to perform actions automatically? Check out this great way to automate your Twitter using Feedly and Buffer. You can also set up recipes on IFTTT to automatically post photos from your favorite instagram account to Twitter, or Facebook, Tumblr or… well the list goes on!

I also used IFTTT to get updates from Reddit. Reddit doesn’t provide an option to receive emails whenever there is a new post in any of your favorite subreddits. So I used IFTTT to search my favorite subreddit for certain keywords and send me email digests on weekly basis.

These are just few examples, automation can be really helpful if done right. I will be sharing more tips on automation in near future. Subscribe to my newsletter if you don’t want to miss out. And yes, I am also working on a Twitter Bot, that will let you automatically follow people strictly under Twitter’s API guidelines. It will also let you favorite tweets based on certain hashtags and a lot more. I will be giving it away for FREE to the first few subscribers.


2- Content Writing and Curation

Well, we have all heard the famous phrase ‘Content is King’. But who has the time to actually sit down and write hundreds of unique articles every month. You could either do that and hope to get successful in next 2 years OR, you could be creative. Use Buzzsumo to simply search for the most shared articles in your niche. If you pick 3 or 4 article that were shared on social media thousands of times, you can’t go wrong. Create your own copy, add some of your own experiences and just PUBLISH it!

Once you have published your article, that’s when the real work starts. What good is your article if doesn’t reach eyeballs. Head on over to Reddit, find the subreddit in your niche and post the link to your article. Be sure to post it at a time when most users are online.

Here is the fun part though, if you are new on Reddit and don’t have a lot of link/comment Karma, don’t worry. Just search for the term ‘Buy Reddit accounts with Karma’ on Google and buy an account from the results on the first page. You won’t believe how cheap they are selling for. I am not asking you to exploit Reddit or Spam it, it will just give you a head start and you will see tons of traffic posting links from an aged Reddit account with a lot of Karma.

3- Back linking and SEO

You DON’T need to hire a SEO expert to rank higher in the search engines. It’s amazingly simple. A backlink is worthy only when it has a lot of authority. Don’t let cookie cutter freelancers on Upwork and Elance waste your time and money, who will just post your website link to a bunch of different forums under brand new and fake profiles. INSTEAD, go to some of the most high authority websites, for example Tumblr. Create a profile and put a link to your website, and then the real work begins. Just go around and ‘Like’ hundreds of relevant posts. This will give you LINKS back to your profile, because every time you like a post, your profile appears in that user’s profile. Now, all of a sudden, just by spending 10-15 minutes of your time, you have a tumblr profile with a link to your website, and your tumblr profile has links to hundreds of other tumblr profiles, which means your profile has some authority and the backlink to your profile has some value now.

Same strategy can be followed for a number of different high authority blogs and forums. There are some forums that let you add people as friends, even better. You find the most popular profiles with hundreds of posts, and friend them, now all of a sudden, you have a forum profile that has 100 friends, that have thousands of posts, all the LINK JUICE, coming to your profile, and of course, your profile will have a link to your website.


4- Find the right Niche

Well, it has been said a thousand times, find a niche that you really are passionate about. It’s not possible that you don’t have a hobby. You don’t have to be ashamed of it. I have seen stoners promoting stuff in the ‘Cannabis’ niche and make shit loads of money through it. I personally love WordPress, WooCommerce and other social media productivity tools. I use these tools on a daily basis so it makes total sense for me to promote these products too.

One thing you need to do is go to adwords.google.com and use their keyword planner tool to get the search volume for your keywords. If you are thinking about getting into the ‘Soccer’ niche for example, then go ahead and search for ‘soccer products’ or ‘soccer products online’ or ‘soccer t shirts’ for example. The tick here is to see if you have a reasonable amount of search volume for these keywords and yet the competition should be low to medium. If you are just starting out, its highly recommended that you go for low or medium competition keywords with a reasonable amount of search volume. I will be writing more about it in the coming days, so stay tuned.


5- Affiliate Marketing

If you are active on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media platforms, you must share some of the most popular content, you must share trending content, you must share some useful information. Well, point is, if you are sharing other people’s stuff anyway, why don’t you partner with them and become their affiliates, so you might as well get some commissions out of your sharing efforts. There are high paying and authentic affiliate programs in almost every niche, just look out for them. If you want to receive information on some of the most profitable niche from around the internet, subscribe below and I will send you an email every week with tons of useful resources.