Five growth hack ideas for SEO

By definition, growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation, a continuous journey of trial and error to find the best path of growth.

For a company, these experiments can be across marketing funnel, product development, sales segments, and so on.

While traditional marketing is costly, growth hacking is a low cost alternative.

Entrepreneur Sean Ellis coined the term “Growth Hacking” in 2010, although the approach is not something brand new. In various periods of human history, thoughtful persons used insights from psychology, social science, and other disciplines for the betterment of humanity or for their personal profit.

These “Nudges” can be considered as a kind of growth hack.

In any digital marketing funnel, content marketing, together with SEO, play a vital role. You can apply thoughtful, data-driven insights in keyword analysis and link building to improve your SEO rankings.

Here are five useful growth hack ideas for SEO that you can do for free

1. Leveraging dead competitors

Go to AlternativeTo.net to find a list of your competitors.

Check dead links using browser plugins (Check My Links, Domain Hunter, Link Analyzer etc) to find dead competitors.

Go to Google.com and Google “link: deadcompetitor.com” replacing “deadcompetitor.com” with the website you’re looking to replace.

You will find a bunch of sites which are linking to your dead competitors.

Contact the website owners and let them know about the broken link. Offer your relevant link to replace it.

2. “Alternative to” method

Link building through comments is not a bad idea if you can do it properly. Of course there are lots of spammy and black hat techniques out there for comment link building, but some are really pure and very effective.

Such as this one.

Go to Google.com and search “Alternative to” about your products.

You will find a list of result where people wrote about your competitors.

Just go to those posts and if there is any comment section, write a great informative comment.

Your comment should not be a promotional one, instead a creative blend of KLTE marketing approach.

What is this KLTE approach?

I have recently came across this model. Structure your comment based on this:

  • Know: Things you do for people to know you
  • Like: Things you should do for people to like you
  • Trust: Things you should do for people to trust you
  • Engage: Things you should do for people to stay with you

“Know” is your company or product name. Put your homepage or desired landing page url under your name. Describe in one or two line about what your product or service do for people.

For the “like” part, give some valuable information about what you bring to the table.

To build “trust,” show some robust proof (that can be image/screenshot link of positive customer review) that your service, support or product is good.

And lastly, keep a call to action asking people to do something, so you engage with them.

3. Get quality organic links (for free)

Do you know that the probability of selling to an existing customer is roughly 12 times greater than the probability of selling to a new prospect?

“Businesses have a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5% to 20%,” according to the calculation of Marketing Metrics.

This same principle can work on link building. Those who already link you, will most likely to link you again.

How to find out who already link you?

Go to your webmaster tools page.

You will see a list of your sites (properties) on the Google webmaster tool.

See mine:

webmaster tools page in google search console

Choose your website from the list.

Click on “Search Traffic” — then “Links To Your Site.”

Look at “Top Linking sites” where they list “Links from outside your property to your property.”

This is the list of the websites already linking to your website. You can download the entire list of links.

Send them a genuine “Thank you” email and tell them about your new useful article or offers.

4. Just one word in a title can give a 59% increase in organic traffic

Coderwall did this wonderful experiment.

They had 20,000 pages with user-generated tips for developers.

To increase the organic traffic, they analyzed the analytics data and found out that most visited pages were pro tips with examples.

So they decided to split 20,000 pages into two groups:

#1. Original title.

#2. Original title + one word.

The one word that they added?

“(Example)”

That’s it. Just “Normal title of how to do X (Example)”

"words are loaded pistols"

Result after 13 weeks?

They saw a 59% increase in organic traffic from Google.

coderwall SERP with (example) at end of each title

Now, you can not just blindly follow this and add ‘example’ in your titles. That would be foolish.

Instead, analyze your most visited posts from Google Analytics.

Look for the most popular articles on the web about your niche. Analyze them and find out which one word can trigger targeted readers. This will work.

5. Tool Marketing – clearly ahead!

Everyone is familiar with content marketing. But not much about tool marketing. While content marketing is competitive, tool marketing has less competition.

free tool list

Tool Marketing is creating a useful tool for your targeted audiences. If the tool is very useful, you will get tons of backlinks.

Free logo makers, Free url shortener, Free slogan maker – you can come up with many creative and useful ideas. But trust me, generating a good idea is the hardest part.

Bonus:

Update your old content. Add more story telling, new fresh images. You will see a remarkable organic traffic increase.

Muradul Islam is a Business Analyst at WeDevs.

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How did the Gillette video impact search traffic?

gillette search traffic over time

Over the past couple weeks there was a lot of media coverage, in both traditional and social mediums discussing the Gillette “The Best a Man Can Be” ad.

The ad has a lot of layers to it.

But for the search engine marketing crowd, we know one of the most important questions is, “What was the impact on search traffic?”

What impact does creative like this have on a brand and that brand’s search volume?

This is especially interesting as we get closer to the Super Bowl. Brands have sunk millions of dollars into the ad spot and the creation of the ad itself.

Why do they make these investment choices? What is the impact to search traffic and volume?

In case you haven’t watched, here is the original video from Gillette.

Also worth watching, Saturday Night Live parodied the video using Kool-Aid as the brand.

Now that we’ve seen the ad, let’s look at the corresponding searches.

How did the Gillette video impact search traffic?

I started by looking at Google Trends for the term “Gillette.”

As expected, it spiked over the past 90 days and was the highest since 2004.

Okay, maybe this is just people looking for the commercial, or information about the Patriots since they play at Gillette stadium.

So, I took a quick look at “Gillette Razor.”

Boom! Highest search traffic volume in 5 years, and not just be a little bit, but a massive spike.

So people were also specifically driven to look for the product by branded name.

This is where the magic really happens.

Taking a look at forecasted metrics from Google’s Keyword planner over the last 12 months, you can see that the average CPC is ~$1 less per click.

If you stack that up over the course of any given day or week you will save thousands of dollars.

CPC comparison between branded and unbranded keywords

Gillette is probably like a lot of us and read the articles about Nike and the Colin Kaepernick ad.

This ad had a similar affect. It was divisive and took a stand, but the end goal impact to shareholders was a 31% increase in sales.

The ad launched on September 3 and the Times published an article about it on September 10.

As you can see, Nike stock was on its way to a 52 week and all-time high, and has outperformed the Dow Jones over the past 12 months.

Nike search trends over time following Kaepernick ad

This is the type of impact that powerful branded ads can have on people.

The challenge for many of us is that we don’t have big branded budgets. We don’t work on brands that have the ability to take these types of risks.

So what information can we apply to this work in our own world?

Here are three things to consider when creating branded ads that might drive search traffic

1) Focus on quality

It doesn’t have to be a branded controversial TV ad, it just needs to be good.

Look at what Dollar Shave Club has done. They came from nowhere on the back of a quality YouTube spot which now has over 25 million views.

This is true for so many other brands who have launched themselves on Facebook, or driven significant sales on a purely direct response budget to start.

Dollar Shave Club search trends over time

2. Are you filling a consumer need with value?

Here is where a lot of brands have stepped in to challenge legacy brands, or leveraged their ability to solve problems by taking the friction out of something.

This is a big focus now with “digital transformation,” but there is a lot of truth to this when thinking about what value your ads are driving for customers.

Value can simply be selling them something they need like an iPhone charger, or removing friction from something that was previously painless, such as Uber/Lyft, or Pop sockets for phones.

Focus on the value your product is bringing and the corresponding ad space where that value is to be transacted.

This could be as simple as providing location extensions when someone is searching “running shoes” so your store can quickly and easily be found.

Help consumers get to the answer they are looking for quickly. Provide value by removing friction.

3) Are you monitoring attribution?

Watching how consumers move between tactics, and branded and non-branded keywords, is a great way to understand the impact of your advertising.

There are even some great ways to measure foot traffic now to help with “traditional” mediums like TV or Billboard. Doing your best to understand the measurement and inter-connectivity of your advertising will help justify these types of branded ads.

Takeaways

Overall, it doesn’t really matter if you liked or didn’t like the Gillette ad. The fact is it worked. It got people talking, and it drove up search traffic. Even if it has half of the impact that a similar ad had for Nike, the sales will follow.

So as much as we in search rely on consumers searching, remember there is still a lot of value in branded advertising, big and small, across mediums.

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YouTube SEO: Optimizing your channel in 5 steps

youtube channel optimization, example of channel art

Here at Search Engine Watch we have written quite extensively over the years about how to optimize your YouTube videos to make sure they really stand out.

Ann Smarty’s top 5 tips from last year is a handy list. And for YouTube best practice, Pius Boachie’s post is a great read too.

As 2019 gets going, video is still growing as a great way to ensure visibility online and to provide web users with useful and engaging content.

It is also an increasingly competitive medium.

YouTube doesn’t disclose how many creators use the platform. And there’s obviously quite some difference between someone who posts daily and has 100k+ followers, versus anyone who’s ever once uploaded a video. Estimates, though, range from 50m to upwards of 150m.

We do know that YouTube has more than 1.8 billion monthly users — nearly rivaling Facebook’s 2.27 billion.

Optimizing your YouTube channel, then, should not be an afterthought.

Those who are really succeeding on YouTube have great channels. They look good, they showcase their best videos and they connect with others in their niche. They are a destination in their own right.

And they promote better engagement and more views of the videos there. This is massively important when it comes to having your videos rank in YouTube’s (and Google’s) SERPs.

Here are five pointers for ensuring your YouTube channel is optimized.

  • Add channel art

  • Channel art in the case of YouTube refers to the banner that stretches across the top of the page in-between the search bar and the title of the channel.

    It goes without saying that this should be eye-catching and on-brand – as well as being sized to the optimal 2560 x 1440 pixels – but it can be so much more.

    It can also be a place to share important information about the channel, such as what day of the week videos are uploaded. Sam The Cooking Guy is a good example:

    As you can see, this banner is prime real estate for getting some key information across with Sam telling us what days of the week he posts new content. He also has a Call To Action (right hand side) for persuading us to subscribe, as well as links to his merch store, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter right in the banner too.

  • Featured video or channel trailer?

  • YouTube also gives you the option to have a featured video or – for users who aren’t yet subscribed – a channel trailer.

    Many successful channels opt to place a video they see as good example of the rest of their content. But, of course, it is possible to have more success with getting users to subscribe by making a for-purpose trailer about your channel.

    example of using a description box for youtube channel optimization

    Either way, be sure to use the description box to full effect by including around 100 words (or about 500 characters) to signal to visitors and the Google/YouTube algorithm what your channel is all about.

    In the above example, Binging with Babish is very kindly linking out to Vulfpeck. But I would also recommend there being a CTA with links out to your website from here – it’s a really visible part of the page.

  • Playlists

  • Once you really start building up your YouTube content, playlists certainly help make things more navigable.

    Grouping together popular videos or those with a similar theme are good options. You will know your content best when it comes to working out what videos work well together. There’s no hard and fast rule here.

    Remember, from an SEO point of view, videos which are getting good traffic and engagement tend to rank better.

    So, make videos as easy to find by grouping and linking out to other similar videos/playlists in your channel from each video description. This will make things easier for viewers.

    Don’t just rely on YouTube to get your content next in-line after other similar videos.

    Be bold with playlists and link to them.

  • Don’t forget the ‘About’ tab

  • It’s not the most visible page, but YouTube does provide an ‘About’ tab for you to add a description for your channel.

    By the looks of things, you can be as wordy as you like here. You can also add a business email and links to website/social media/etc.

    Links within the body text there aren’t clickable – but there’s a designated link area at the foot of the page.

  • Link to other relevant channels

  • Linking out to the competition might seem a little odd, but it is in keeping with the community spirit of YouTube.

    I find it best to think about it in terms of giving value to you visitors/subscribers. Make it easy for them to browse other great and relevant content.

    Be part of the conversation.

    Make sure you are uploading the best content that you can. And you might just find other channels start linking to you.

    Takeaways for YouTube channel optimization

    YouTube channels can really be used to great effect to ensure your video content is as visible as possible.

    Good channel art, putting your best content front and center, and making your growing collection of video content more navigable via playlists and links are really important.

    Graham Charlton points out in his piece How to optimize your videos for better ranking in YouTube that there are a great number of ranking factors that go into YouTube’s algorithm.

    I’d argue a well-optimized channel is a good way for pushing up some important ones.

    Other YouTube ranking factors

    • View Count – “Still an important indication of popularity,” according to Graham. Better visibility in a well-optimized channel may give a new video a view boost before having too much time to rank. This may help keep the counter ticking up well after the video is established. In turn, this signals to YouTube that it’s still important.
    • View Density – Graham says: “View density matters to YouTube. If your video receives a lot of views in a short space of time, it’s more likely to be pushed up the rankings.”
    • Likes – “These provide an indication of the engagement around a video,” Graham says. And, simply, the more visible your video is thanks to your channel, the more potential there is for likes and positive sentiment. (Assuming your content is brilliant!)
    • Comments – “A way for YouTube to gauge the authority and relevance of videos,” according to Graham. And more likely to give you the opportunity to respond, generate buzz, and keep YouTube’s community spirit alive.

    Note: the YouTube Creators Academy is also a great resource. Check it out!

    YouTube is quite generous in what it allows you to do.

    If your video content is strong and well optimized – you owe it to yourself to make sure the channel in which it resides shines too.

    The post YouTube SEO: Optimizing your channel in 5 steps appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

    Why SEO and front-end developers are the perfect search marketing team

    If you work in digital marketing, then you will have already heard a lot about the role of SEO and front-end development in creating popular websites.

    SEO and web development are often considered as incompatible as iOS and Android devices.

    Both have similar goals, but take vastly different approaches.

    However, technological progress has facilitated change.

    These two different web specialties have now come as close as they have ever been.

    So close, in fact, that they could now be considered the perfect ensemble. Together, they can outsmart more conservative approaches in the search marketing industry.

    Here are five reasons why SEO and front-end developers make the ideal search marketing team:
    1. Coding knowledge is a future-proof asset for SEOs

    Even beyond SEO, the demand for coding skills is on the rise.

    According to the Evan’s Data Corporation, the number of developers globally will increase by at least a 20% in the next 5 years. If this doesn’t sound much, imagine adding more than 4 million jobs to the industry.

    SEOs have a lot to gain from getting familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript as well.

    As depicted by Ian Laurie in his piece “Why all SEOs should learn to program,” a basic understanding of front-end coding offers a variety of benefits.

    To start with, SEOs benefit from understanding the coder’s mindset — an extremely valuable, transferable skill.

    It can also give a better understanding of APIs.

    And finally, the coder’s mindset gives a better idea of what can realistically be done to fix technical issues. This in turn helps in making more sensible and feasible recommendations.

    2. Hybrid roles are on the rise

    In the past few years we have seen a rise in technical SEO roles, all including a basic understanding of front-end languages.

    Why? Static HTML websites are a memory from the past. Now, focus is all about creating interactive, fast websites that perform well on a variety of devices.

    With the majority of visitors coming from mobile devices, the attention to page load speed has never been higher.

    The new trend of progressive web apps is gaining momentum too. These enhancements can be achieved just with a deeper understanding of front-end languages — hence the growth in demand for technical roles.

    Machine learning is another big topic on the rise. It allows companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple to better respond to search queries and predict the next steps in user behavior.

    Python is key in building machine learning applications. It has become the fastest growing programming language, making it a necessary learning step for both SEOs and developers.

    3. Collaborative environments speed up projects

    Setting up collaborative environments and re-thinking internal project management through agile working could also help in speeding up (and improving) the output of projects.

    Through team and process re-organization, we can break complex projects down into small chunks.

    This provides the invaluable benefit of a continuous feedback loop.

    Continuous feedback loops offer an extremely helpful approach in making sure that each milestone is delivered on time, and according to the end-user’s needs.

    SEO can also be seen as an umbrella function (it is related to marketing, site structure, product and development).

    Thus, we can easily understand why big organizations are setting up collaborative environments where SEO is considered like a product function, rather than a specialty.

    To give an example, the London-based fintech startup TransferWise has taken this approach to the next level, scaling SEO by building products.

    They’ve created independent teams with SEOs, developers, analysts and content specialists all collaborating together in the same group.

    This approach has shown to be highly successful. Teams develop products quicker and with better results, taking away the pain of SEO efforts being delayed due to technical barriers.

    4. Teamwork encourages healthy risk-taking

    As search technology advances at a lightning pace, organizations need to embrace a more tolerant culture about risk-taking and failure.

    The reward of dominating web niches (e.g. voice search) represents a high return investment for a great number of companies.

    Big tech firms such as Google, Apple, and Amazon have already seen great results by using this kind of approach, trying to expand their capabilities on top of their natural expertise.

    Sometimes, we have seen some downfalls (e.g. Google+). Other times, we’ve seen exceptionally good results, such as Amazon with cloud infrastructure services.

    Developing a model of “smart” risk-taking is highly beneficial in SEO and web development as well.

    For example, to stay ahead of the competition, Google has had to experiment with new services and solutions to be even more user-friendly, and keep the users using its services.

    This inevitably creates new niches and opportunities, with “smart” risk-takers making the most out of them.

    5. Team collaboration leads to better communication

    As studies suggest, a deeper collaboration among teams can boost effective communication in the workplace. In addition, the ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, superiors and other teams is a skill that nowadays is indispensable, even for technical roles.

    Communication skills such as presenting with confidence, empathy and listening abilities have become increasingly important. Key factors such as job satisfaction and employee retention are now indispensable to run complex projects.

    This means that SEO and development teams could only benefit from this collaboration. And it could eventually lead to higher productivity, lower stress levels and — most importantly — a better working environment.

    To wrap up

    As we have seen, there are plenty of reasons to consider SEO and front-end development as the perfect search marketing team.

    Coding skills are in great demand, and the rise of hybrid roles is making SEO a bit more technical day-by-day.

    In addition, this structure can also benefit the team dynamics, enhancing communication, performance and healthy risk-taking.

    To summarize, it appears clear that blurring the line between SEO and front-end developers has a positive impact across the overall search strategy.

    So, why not spend some time improving team dynamics and fostering new skills, and start grabbing the low-hanging fruits straight away?

    The post Why SEO and front-end developers are the perfect search marketing team appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

    What will the SERP of tomorrow look like? Four changes to prepare for today

    Over the last several years, we’ve seen the typical search engine results page (SERP) change a great deal.

    It was once primarily a list of blue links.

    To that, we’ve seen direct answers added — sometimes replacing a list of links entirely.

    We’ve seen video answers added, we’ve seen the advent of the local pack, the knowledge graph, and tools built directly into the top of the page (e.g., calculators).

    And while it’s important to evolve for the changes we’re seeing today, what we really need to do is focus on what’s coming next.

    The common thread that runs through all of these consumer options is data. The public-facing information about your business, website, products, services, and people within your company.

    You need to identify all these points of data (sometimes also referred to as entities), catalog them, and mark them up so the engines and services can easily identify, consume, and trust the information they provide.

    If you want to remain on the radar with consumers, this should be a critical focus moving forward.

    Here are some of the changes we can expect to influence the SERP of tomorrow: in the immediate and not-to-distant horizon
    1. Voice assistants and companion apps

    In a very real way, this is our here and now.

    This category can be best thought of as “voice and…” since it’s not only about voice assistants — and there is a less-than-clear path to ranking in voice search.

    Voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant are being built into any number of third-party products, and it’s become increasingly important to figure out how to optimize to rank as the spoken answer.

    You may not be focused on it right now, but consumers are focusing on it more and more every day, and there’s an opportunity for early marketing adopters to set the trends.

    The biggest issue when optimizing for voice is that it’s a true black box. Every query teaches the system something new, which is then applied to the next query, and so on.

    With none of the popular systems sharing any inside data with marketers at any depth, it’s tough to really understand the levers that move the needles in voice search.

    Still, you need to dig in here and invest as consumers are becoming more comfortable with voice search and are turning to it with greater frequency.

    What can you do today?

    Research how you appear in voice search.

    Buy a smart speaker and use it.

    Get comfortable using the device so you can experience what consumers experience.

    Use it to perform competitive analysis of how other businesses are included in answers. Learn what kinds of answers come back in instances relevant to your business.

    Read also: Voice search optimization guide: Six steps for 2019.

    2. Visual search

    We saw several new devices come to market for the holiday shopping season, with both Google and Amazon offering stand-alone voice assistants with devices featuring screens.

    Facebook has a standalone product as well, though its initial focus is more on connecting people and conversations, as opposed to search and discovery.

    (One easy prediction here is that, at some point, Messenger may be integrated to enable chatbots to join conversations, opening marketing opportunities for businesses.)

    Ranking in visual search results will follow a similar path to ranking for voice search. These devices are essentially expanded footprints for showcasing answers.

    But as consumer adoption grows, new opportunities will present themselves.

    Right now, the surest path to being showcased in visual search is by building, as best you can, a robust presence in voice search — by effectively managing your data.

    What can you do today?

    Buy a device that has a screen and search for your business and your competitors and their products. In fact, you could skip the smart speaker and just start with one of these devices.

    The work, results, and lessons will be the same.

    3. Augmented reality

    Useful data, layered visually on top of our everyday view of the world around us — this space has been around for a while, and is poised for rapid growth as younger consumers find the newest apps and devices that utilize this technology.

    To be included in augmented reality, your foundation must be good data.

    All the data about your business, no matter how small, will need to be marked up. This allows services to consume it and overlay it in an augmented reality interface.

    This could have a large impact on customer foot traffic, as all the information they need to make purchase decisions could be overlaid, for example, on a street-view map. (This enables them to know, say, which businesses are actually open, are having sales right now, currently have long wait times, and so on.)

    Managing your business data in this space will be critical for success. Inclusion here is almost guaranteed, success will come from managing your data well.

    What can you do today?

    Grab your smart phone and try some of the apps in this article.

    While you’re doing this, think about the impact of having your business data overlaid in that view you see.

    Understand that managing your data is step one in being included in AR scenarios.

    4. Virtual Reality

    Virtual reality is a bit further out.

    We will get there as companies like Oculus are working to bring more accessible products to market, hopefully broadening adoption.

    As content options expand, so will search results within the experiences — and advertising opportunities along with them.

    Currently, this remains firmly in ‘testing’ territory, meaning you should be watching the space and testing different devices.

    Develop a good understanding of the consumer experience, and spot ways to potentially integrate your products and services.

    What can you do today?

    VR is a more expensive space, and still at such an early stage, so it’s tougher to create an action here.

    Reading and understanding the industry remains important to watch for growth, but experiencing VR yourself is also key.

    Find a demo at a local store, at least, or step up to something like the Oculus Go to explore this technology and discover opportunities.

    Conclusion

    The SERP of tomorrow will have many interfaces.

    There are a lot of changes in front of us, and it’s easy to be discouraged or feel overwhelmed.

    The good news is that all the work you’ve done to this point has prepared you for the next few steps needed to remain relevant and thrive.

    Just keep an eye on how consumer trends are shifting, as that will tell you how fast you need to move.

    Your first action, above all others, however, is to manage your business data.

    No amount of research will make you more successful if you don’t take this action.

    Create a list of all your digital entities and learn how to control them. Make a plan to execute on maintaining the accuracy of all that data. And finally, create workflows inside your business for maintenance work of that data.

    Knowledge can be wasted through inaction.

    Duane Forrester is VP of Industry Insights at Yext.

    The post What will the SERP of tomorrow look like? Four changes to prepare for today appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

    Four ways to use webinar marketing for reputation management

    Influencers webinars

    Webinar marketing has been gaining popularity for a few years now.

    There are plenty of reasons for that: webinars improve social media engagement, help with brand loyalty, create linkable assets, build lead generation lists, and many more.

    But one effort webinars can particularly helpful for is reputation management.

    1. Associate your brand name with prominent niche influencers

    When done right, influencer marketing is the best way to improve your online reputation (it could be quite risky too, so approach it with much caution). Any solid reputation management campaign should heavily rely on influencer marketing for many reasons:

    • People tend to trust people, so when they see influential personalities spread your message, they are more likely to engage
    • A simple association with a well-recognized personal brand can go a long way: People will automatically assume your brand can be trusted by seeing familiar faces that get featured on your website or social media feeds
    • Finally, influencers are able to improve organic reach of your website by sharing content assets they helped build throughout their social media channels

    Inviting niche influencers to host your webinars is one of the most effective ways to engage them. Firstly, it is a good opportunity for them to generate some exposure for their own brands too (by expanding their reach to your customer base). Secondly, there’s always that ego-baiting component that’s hard to resist.

    Action item: When working on your webinar schedule, take branding and recognizability very seriously. If you have a well-known guest to host a webinar on your behalf, make sure you make the most of that opportunity.

    Example: Women In Events community uses monthly webinars to put their influential members into the spotlight. The webinar landing pages and social media promotional materials always combine the community branding and the influencer’s personal branding which creates strong association:

    The real power of the influencer-driven webinar strategy comes when your influential host cross-posts the stream to their own wall.

    When your Live is cross-posted on another Facebook page “it is treated as a separate broadcast on each Page”. This means that each video will get its own comments and reactions from each Page. In other words, viewers can’t see where the original Live broadcast is coming from

    This allows brands to leverage the influencer’s audience so they can gain viewers on multiple channels, engage with prospects live in the Facebook comments, and later build ad audiences from the viewers.

    ClickMeeting is a solid webinar hosting platform that supports live streaming to Facebook and YouTube.

    Clickmeeting livestream

    The installation is quick and easy and the webinar is recorded while live-streamed for later re-use.

    What’s really nice is that Clickmeeting live-streaming comes with many more nice features, including whiteboard, webinar branding, registration page, screen-sharing, polls and surveys and more.

    2. Brand your hashtag

    Hashtag marketing is an effective way to:

    • Build brand name recognizability
    • Position your brand as authority in the niche
    • Create more brand content assets through hashtag curation (using tools like Paper.li)

    Action item: Keep branded hashtags in mind when putting together promotional strategy for your future webinar:

    • Inform your influential host of that need to include your hashtags when they invite their followers to join
    • Include your hashtag into all marketing materials combining it with your your influencer’s personal branding (It will also help put your brand name out there without looking too promotional)
    • Include your branded hashtag in the title tag of an article announcing your webinar: This will naturally populate the hashtag in each tweet whenever anyone shares your webinar announcement on Twitter
    • Consider combining your webinar marketing with Twitter chat marketing (e.g. before going live with the webinar, set up a quick Twitter party for people to tweet their questions using your branded hashtag)

    To learn more about the power of hashtags to boost your webinar marketing strategy, read this case study from Hubspot:

    On August 23rd, the hashtag #smsci was used to facilitate and track the conversation around Dan Zarrella’s “The Science of Social Media” webinar… Not only did the 11,000 attendees learn about the science of social media, but they also benefited from the related conversations with thousands of other Twitter users.

    3. Create more brand assets to rank for more brand-focused queries

    When performing your online reputation audit, don’t just focus on your brand name only. There are a variety of queries that include your brand name you need to be “owning” in search results. These may vary from navigation-related queries (e.g. how to login, contact, etc.) to informational (e.g. how to use certain parts of the site or certain products) queries.

    serpstat tag rank

    Webinars provide great opportunity to both engage your customers and rank your site for a variety of informational queries that include your brand name.

    Action item: Prior to creating your webinar schedule, research your branded queries and your current rankings for each. Focus on branded queries that:

    • Have enough search volume and/or (this shows demand)
    • Return other domains instead of yours on top

    Serpstat helps you identify both: Type in your domain to check your organic rankings and then use keyword filters to filter results to those queries that contain your brand name. You can also combine several filters, for example, you can narrow the list to only those queries that currently trigger featured snippets (make sure your domain is featured for brand-focused queries!)

    Serpstat filters

    [Form there you can sort the list by search volume or by your domain current rankings]

    To give you an illustration of how webinars can be used to dominate brand-focused search results pages, see results for [salesforce service cloud api]:

    Branded queries example

    4. Consolidate multiple webinars into your own VOD channel

    In my older column I was describing how consolidating your assets is as important as distributing them.

    consolidate-content-marketing-assets

    Webinar marketing provides for unique re-packaging opportunity allowing you to create your own branded video-on-demand channel which has lots of benefits including:

    • Tie your customers closer to your brand through regular updates
    • Create a separate source of income
    • Create more third-party brand assets that can rank for your brand name (i.e. mobile apps for users to access your channel from the go)

    For a quick example of how this strategy looks in practice, check out how Viva Learning, a dental education platform, is consolidating their webinar-driven assets through a standalone mobile app:

    Webinars vod

    You can handle setting up the process in-house by using one of these plugins or themes, or you can use third-party VOD hosting and managing solutions, including:

    VOD platform

    Price

    Pros

    Cons

    Uscreen

    Starts from $149/mo

    Easy to set up your channel (no dev skills needed)

    Price has gone up a bit since I last checked

    VdoCipher

    Starts from $349/y

    Emphasis on video streaming: encrypted streaming, watermarking, secure hosting etc.

    Mostly made for education and training, not enough features for selling / monetizing videos

    StreamHash

    $199 paid once

    Self-hosted solution. You can edit the code

    May need a lot of development help

    Cleeng

    Estimate here

    A lot of focus on giving you a lot of pricing and payment options

    Monthly cost grows as you build more subscribers

    Brightcove

    Starts from $199/mo

    Huge focus on marketing and analytics

    OTT price is not listed

    Are there more opportunities for using webinar marketing for reputation management? Please share them in the comments!

    The post Four ways to use webinar marketing for reputation management appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

    3 lead generation tips for ecommerce businesses

    projected retail ecommerce

    When we hear the words “lead generation,” our minds automatically conjure up a B2B marketing strategy aimed at filling the top of the sales funnel. But leads are not exclusive to B2B companies.

    Every type of business, be it wholesale, retail, startup or whatever else, needs qualified “potential” customers who can be nurtured into actual paying customers. Ecommerce is no different.

    With the barriers to starting an ecommerce business tumbling faster than you can say Jack Robinson, the ecommerce industry has become competitive like never before.

    Besides new competitors mushrooming every day, there is the entrenched Goliaths – Amazon – which will eat away close to 50% of the market within the next three years!

    HubSpot’s State of Inbound report revealed that for 3 out of 5 marketers, generating traffic and leads is the toughest challenge. No surprise then, that 70% of them intended to expand their demand generation budgets in 2018.

    But bigger budgets are useless if you use the same old strategies that didn’t work before.

    How about embracing tried and tested strategies that guarantee leads in the New Year? Here goes!

    Three top lead generation tips for ecommerce businesses

    1. Rewrite your product descriptions with a focus on SEO

    This mistake, like history, has been repeated time and again in the world of ecommerce. While the importance of having unique product descriptions is plastered all over the web, rookie ecommerce companies still make the same mistake of using manufacturer’s descriptions and putting off giving them a custom twist until later when they’ve “made some sales.”

    But hey, if you won’t make them unique, how will Google rank you for those products? And if Google doesn’t rank you, how will you get any visitors? And if you don’t have any visitors, how will you have any leads? In fact, a study by AWR found that click-through rates from Google SERPs to retailers’ sites dropped from nearly 30% for position 1 to less than 5% for position 5. Thereafter, you might not as well exist.

    lead generation for ecommerce

    According to this post by Tracy Vides, there are four critical factors that are important for SEO, lead generation, as well as sales, which you’d do well to address on your product pages:

  • A well-defined buyer persona that matches your most valuable customer profiles
  • Descriptions that answer every possible question that a potential customer might have
  • In-depth reviews from existing customers
  • A simple, intuitive, quick, easy path to purchase
  • Don’t be afraid to go into great detail with product descriptions. Clearly explain all the features; in fact, make it so simple that a five-year-old should be able to use your product by reading what you have to say about it. The same goes for the “usability” of your product pages. The more (and better) content you have on your pages, the better Google will understand and consider it, the more time readers will spend on it, and the more qualified leads you will eventually get into your funnel.

    2. Continually expand your email list, segment it for maximum impact

    There’s no better (and cheaper!) way to stay in touch with your customers than via email. I could quote research that shows how every dollar spent on email marketing brings back up more than $40 in revenue, but even if you don’t get such exponential ROI, email marketing is a channel you absolute must leverage.

    While getting your hands on customers’ emails are easy to get for ecommerce businesses, it’s important to also capture email addresses of website visitors and browsers. This article explains how ecommerce businesses typically gather 3x their regular number of emails with email capture pop-ups. Depending on the type of pop-up you choose – exit intent pop-ups, timed pop-ups, sidebar pop-ups, and more. You can potentially capture emails from 3 to 16% of website visitors at close-to-zero cost.

    Once you’ve set up your email capture pipeline, don’t go indiscriminately mass mailing your list and put them off from all your communications. Instead, create clear segments within your database to which you can communicate distinctly different messages.

    Novelty apparel retailer Johnny Cupcakes discovered the benefits of simple and basic segmentation to their pleasant surprise. They leveraged social media data to piece together a more detailed profile of their customers, with information on their gender, interests, media habits, and brand preferences, and found that a large proportion of their customers were sports fans, especially baseball.

    So they decided to experiment with a new product line of baseball shirts, with distinct male and female categories. They segmented their 80,000-strong email list by gender and sent them the email creatives you see below.

    lead generation ecommerce SEO

    Source: Marketing Sherpa

    The results blew them away. CTRs grew by 42%, conversion rate went up by 123% and revenue per campaign rose by a whopping 141%. What a difference relevant content can make to marketing outcomes!

    3. Bring back lost souls with remarketing

    As the old adage goes, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Getting users to come to your site in the first place is hard enough. But having them leave without buying a thing is simply heartbreaking. Put the brakes on your users’ exodus by retargeting them with two of the most effective methods available – retargeted emails and retargeted ads.

    Retargeting emails or abandoned cart emails, sent to users who’ve added items to their cart and then dropped off from the buying journey, are a great way to remind potential customers of what they’re missing and nudging them back into the sales funnel. These emails have the power to win back at least 15% of revenue that’s typically lost, thanks to cart abandonment.

    lead generation ecommerce SEO

    Source: author’s inbox

    Retargeted ads come in different avatars. Just as you remind a user about an “almost” purchase with retargeting emails, you can remind users of their last visit to your site in the form of display ads, as they browse other sites across the web. The different types of retargeting ads relevant to ecommerce include:

    • Search retargeting – target users that searched for keywords related to your business, but may not have visited your website
    • Site retargeting – target users that visited your site and were “cookied” on their way out
    • Contextual retargeting – target users that visited sites or liked pages similar to yours, or those of competitors

    Users’ familiarity with your products and brand means CTRs for retargeted ads are 10x those of regular display ads. Data shows that website visitors that are exposed to retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert than those who never saw the ads. That’s massive!

    Not only is retargeting better cheaper than traditional display and search advertising in terms of CPA (cost per acquisition), it also assists in reinforcing your brand on your customers’ minds – a nice little bonus!

    average cost per acquisition

    Source: Blue Mint Marketing

    Remarketing ads offer best results on the Google Display Network and Facebook, thanks to their massive reach and extensive data on potential buyers.

    Parting thoughts

    No matter what industry you operate in, at the end of the day, your revenue growth is inextricably linked to growing the number of customers who shop with you. These new customers could come in from glitzy, high-budget, multimedia advertising campaigns or they could come through low-cost, high-hustle marketing that gives lasting results. I know which path I’d take. How about you?

    The post 3 lead generation tips for ecommerce businesses appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

    8 free technical SEO tools you probably haven’t heard of

    pagination free technical seo tool

    There are a plethora of technical SEO tool lists and articles out there, with some free and freemium tools to full-on paid tool lists.

    This list pulls together eight of the more unheard-of tools to help you on your quest to improve the technical state of your site (for free).

    With all the factors there are to consider when it comes to technical SEO, these tools can help you with bigger and some small elements.

    You don’t have to be a developer to use them as they are all fairly user-friendly and can save you time having to bother a developer as well.

    Let’s get started and make these tools less unheard-of!

    1. Merkle SEO Pagination Testing Tool

    Making sure that the pagination across a website is vital to allow search engines to see all the pages in a series.

    Pagination being implemented incorrectly is one of the biggest problems especially when it comes to ecommerce sites as well as sites with news and blog sections.

    Simply put the URL in you want to check the pagination on and click run, it quickly tells you if the (rel=”prev/next”) tags have been implemented correctly.

    2. Barracuda Panguin Tool

    Probably the best go-to tool when your organic traffic has dramatically dropped off, or you are no longer seeing your site in the SERPs anymore.

    You can quickly find out if your site has been affected by a Google algorithm change as well as any historical algorithm changes which may have affected the site.

    This tools also links up to Google Analytics to gain the further insight needed.

    find google algorithm change free technical seo tool

    3. Schema App JSON-LD Generator

    The JSON-LD generator takes the pain out of having to write the schema code yourself, as you just choose the variables you need to tag up and it gives you the code.

    This speeds up the process of putting structured data on your site.

    schema structured data free technical seo tool

    4. Httpstatus.io

    This is awesome for bulk checking URL status codes and redirect paths, it also allows you to export the data to a CSV file.

    It is great for website migrations as well a just quick page checks and has a really clean and easy to use interface.

    bulk check url status code free technical seo tool

    5. Ayima Redirect Path Plugin

    On the subject or redirect paths, this wonderful free chrome plugin from Ayima shows really quickly the path and the status of the page you are on.

    It will end up being one of the plugins you check whenever you land on a page, and will highlight problems you were otherwise unaware of on some pages.

    fix redirects free technical seo tools

    6. Aleyda Solis Hreflang Tags Generator Tool

    Creating Hreflang tags and making sure they are correct can be one of the most daunting things to do when it comes to technical and international SEO.

    This handy tool created by Aleyda Solis takes most of the worry away. All you have to do is simply upload the URLs you want to tag or alternatively upload them through a CSV file.

    create hreflang tags free technical seo tools

    7. Merkle SEO Hreflang Tags Testing Tool

    If you have created your own hreflang tags or want to check some existing ones that are on a site then this tool is amazing to give you the sanity check you need.

    It’s worth doing a check on this tool even if you’re sure on the code, just to save a big headache it can cause if the tags are wrong later down the line.

    test hreflang tags free technical seo tools

    8. Google Structured Data Markup Helper

    I know you may be a bit skeptical about using a tool created by Google to get higher up the rankings, but they’re trying to meet the users requests better. By using the tool you give them the data they need.

    The structured data tool makes it easy to mark up the elements you want to tell Google about on your site and get them all marked up correctly.

    structured data markup help free technical seo tool

    Conclusion

    As the technical elements and the code of websites progress and search engines try to become clever. Making sure that you make the search engines life as easy possible to be able to crawl your site is key to good and relevant rankings.

    Hopefully, you hadn’t heard of at least one of these free tools otherwise this all seems a little time wasting, for that I apologise :). On the other hand, if you hadn’t heard of any then great this should make your technical SEO life easier and cheaper.

    I do urge you to explore and see what free tools you can find out there to check the health of your site with. As they can save you money as well as show you problems you didn’t even know existed.

    Mark Osborne is SEO Manager at Blue Array.

    The post 8 free technical SEO tools you probably haven’t heard of appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

    Link building techniques that still work in 2019

    The truth is, ranking your website without links is quite an undertaking.

    Links are Google’s #1 ranking factor. Their importance in the entire Search Engine Optimization dynamics is evident from the fact that backlinks are Google’s Reputation Management Tool.

    Link building is all about getting web pages to link to each other. With the presence of links on the web, the users are able to get around more relevant data on the internet.

    When it is about search engines, links help them crawl the pages of your website and this is probably the top reason that your link building activity should be on point.

    As long as you take your link building activity seriously and are doing it in the right manner, you are helping your own website rank well and also helping the audience reach discover deserving content.

    Eight link building techniques that can still work for you in 2019

    Let’s check them out.

    1. Help a Reporter Out technique

    Also known as the HARO, the Help a Reporter Out technique works through a platform meant for journalists and sources.

    While journalists use this platform to find new stories, you can use this to pitch a story to journalists and get backlinks. To get this started, you will have to register yourself on the website and you will then start receiving emails for source requests. This is a great way to get authoritative backlinks.

    2. Blog about hot/trending topics

    This is a classic activity for your link building exercise. Creating content/blog around hot topics is a good way to get backlinks. Since these topics just got in, not a lot of information is available around them over the internet.

    So, if you are able to capture relevant content in a quick time phase, your content/blog will become the go-to resource for those topics. These will help you gain a large number of backlinks from different websites.

    3. Co-authoring

    You can pitch your content ideas to different website admins and request them to let you co-author the piece with their content creators, obviously mentioning the backlink clause.

    If you are a subject expert, you don’t need to worry about the argument that this a this-for-that favor situation or might be an unethical link building technique. This works because the other admin will have a great piece of content curated by you and you will get a quality backlink from an authority website.

    4. The broken link technique

    There are always broken links present on your website or other websites. They can become an asset for you when it comes to link building activity for your website. You can simply use the Link Juice Recovery tool to find the broken backlinks that your site has and try to recover them and repurpose this content.

    Also, you can look for broken links on other websites and notify their admins about them. You can then request them to let you create content around the topics that were previously explored on those pages. However, this is up got the discretion of the admins of other websites.

    5. Building link relationships

    Building good professional relationships is essential for the sake of creating a good link profile. You will have to create new business contacts in order to tap into opportunities of link building. You should probably join communities related to your niche so that you can find other websites that are open towards ethical link building activities.

    This is not going to happen overnight; you will have to engage with the individuals on these platforms and comment on their posts and show that you are interested in their content.

    Once you are on the same page, you can collaborate for building link relationships. You can also offer testimonials for some of these websites (ethically) by writing about them and earning a backlink.

    6. Get a blog for your website

    Something that will keep working as a link building technique in 2019 and beyond is running a blog on your website. You can develop a blog if you don’t have one already.

    Now, when you start blogging, you can start writing around niches that concern your website, you can earn backlinks for authoritative content. Blogging regularly is a step towards building a great link profile for your website.

    7. Turn mentions into backlinks

    Turning your mentions into backlinks is indeed a clever yet simple hack for link building for your website.

    What you need to do here is, whenever someone mentions your website or its product offerings, you can get in touch with them and ask them to turn that mention into a backlink.

    However, this works only when these websites have not already linked to your website in their piece. Use tools like Backlink Profiler (BLP) to find these mentions.

    8. Skyscraper technique

    Very difficult to accomplish but a highly effective technique for link building is the Skyscraper Technique, coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko.

    It requires you to create really amazing content around a specific issue related to your industry and then offer a solution for it through your content.

    If you are able to offer the right solution, you will eventually end up earning a lot of authoritative backlinks.

    Take care of these link building directives
    Don’t go for excessive reciprocal link building for the sake of heavily cross-linking to a website. The search engines are smart and when they find out, they will penalize your website. This will negatively affect your website’s ranking in search results.
    Links with over-optimized anchor text are a big blunder.
    Adding your site to any web directory just to get a backlink will have a negative effect on your website’s ranking. Always be relevant to the directory you choose.
    Don’t add optimized links in the post or signature of your comments
    Never buy links, this is highly discouraged.
    Write a good guest post and earn a backlink.
    Conclusion

    Link building isn’t truly dead, at least in the impact that it managed to cast in the ways we optimize our websites for great search engine rankings. Yet, denying the fact that links are important is equivalent to killing the ranking of your own website.

    So, for the link building activities mentioned above, you can still use them towards building a great link profile for your own website and make your website rank better.

    The post Link building techniques that still work in 2019 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

    Tips to maximize ROI on paid social: Facebook + Instagram

    Facebook's Create a Custom Audience Tool

    Available ad impressions on social media are hitting a wall as user growth slows, driving up CPC and CPM prices. As demand increases, it becomes even more important for advertisers to properly optimize campaigns to maximize their return on investment for paid social.

    According to Merkle’s Q2 2018 Digital Marketing Report, advertiser spend increased 40% year-over-year in Q2, while impressions fell 17%.

    The influx of advertising dollars to social media platforms with a steady number of available impressions means that the average cost-per-click (CPC) is rising.

    Many paid social media campaigns do not maximize their return on investment because of poor or incomplete optimization, limited distribution, incomplete tracking, and undefined goals.

    Here’s what you need to do to squeeze more out of your paid social media campaigns.

    Advertising for the funnel

    Each advertisement you run must have a clear goal in mind, and that goal must fit into a larger piece of your paid social media strategy. Moving prospects from the top of the funnel to the bottom—as efficiently as possible—is necessary for a successful ad campaign.

    Keep in mind that it may take multiple interactions with your advertisements and content before someone works their way through the funnel. Your ad campaigns should never take on a one-and-done approach.

    An ad targeting a past purchaser will be very different than an ad targeting someone who is completely unfamiliar with your brand and products.

    This makes it important to segment your customers into the correct phase of the buying process. Run different ads with different messages and calls to action for each segment.

    Advertise smarter, not harder.

    Simple process improvements

    A number of small improvements can greatly impact the success of a paid social media campaign. Not implementing these is basically leaving money on the table. Remember, we are trying to squeeze every last drop of ROI out of these campaigns, even if getting the maximum return takes time.

    While the examples I cite relate to Facebook and Instagram, we can see equivalents on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat to some degree.

    Whichever social media platform you are advertising through, follow platform best practices and make sure everything is set up properly—through tracking pixels and UTM codes. Everything should be properly attributed across platforms.

    Facebook Pixel

    First, make sure that Facebook’s tracking pixel is properly implemented on your website.

    Facebook Pixel Helper, a free Chrome browser extension from Facebook, can help you troubleshoot any issues. You can find information on how to set up Facebook Pixel from scratch on Facebook’s website.

    You also need to set up Facebook Pixel with standard events like newsletter sign-ups and successful e-commerce actions (add to cart, purchase, etc.) to help with creating higher quality custom and lookalike audiences.

    Facebook and Instagram have powerful tracking and conversion optimization abilities in their ad technology, so use them.

    Custom audiences

    Using Facebook’s custom audiences feature is a must if you want your paid social media campaigns to really perform.

    It is foolish to not capture and harness information about your website’s visitors, especially when it is free and requires only minutes to set up. Facebook offers a number of ways to create a custom audience in the Facebook Ads Manager.

    Website traffic

    If your Facebook Pixel is properly set up, it can record every action taken by visitors on your website in the past 180 days. The actions include page views, button clicks, abandoned carts, and purchases.

    You can create audiences to build lookalike audiences or use them for remarketing.

    Advertising to someone who has already been to your website and possibly even completed on-site actions has a much higher chance of converting than advertising to a first-time visitor.

    Offline conversions

    With proper implementation, you can track offline events, like sales at physical retail locations, after someone has interacted with your Facebook advertisements.

    There are two ways to set up offline activity: either upload the offline data CSV file manually to Facebook or sync your CRM directly with Facebook. The customer information will then be matched to the correct user IDs on Facebook.

    This approach will show you if someone took a specific action, like purchasing after viewing.

    Creating offline events

    Lookalike audiences

    You can create lookalike audiences in the Facebook Ads Manager to find audiences that have similar traits and characteristics to your ideal user.

    The lookalike audience is created based on a custom audience, which acts as a seed audience. This allows you to greatly expand the number of potential customers you can target based on a higher-quality custom audience.

    Lookalike audiences let you target people similar to your existing, custom audiences

    Conversion tracking

    Conversions are of paramount importance for e-commerce stores. Website traffic is useless unless it results in sales. Luckily, Facebook and Instagram can help optimize your campaign’s delivery for successful conversions.

    Conversion tracking depends on the proper implementation of the tracking pixel and properly set up ad campaigns. You also need to set up standard events or custom conversions on Facebook to accurately measure and optimize for conversions. Google Analytics offers conversion tracking as well, but it’s based on a last-click-attribution model.

    There is no reason not to track and optimize for conversions. Even media companies that generate revenue by on-site ad units can benefit from optimizing toward conversions by focusing on pages-per-session to find a higher quality user, opposed to general website visitors.

    Remarketing

    Remarketing with social media ad managers requires proper implementation of each platforms’ tracking pixels.

    For example, Facebook’s audience and lookalike audience features are powerful tools that can track users and specific website actions up to 180 days in the past.

    Remarketing with these audiences in mind is a strategic approach, and entire campaigns can be built around them. In fact, these types of campaigns often yield the highest returns.

    Facebook remarketing illustration

    Image: http://marketingjumpleads.com/facebook-remarketing

    Sequential Advertising

    Sequential advertising is when you show different ads to the same person over a period of time. Large television campaigns sometimes use this tactic, but there is no reason why it cannot be successfully applied to paid social media campaigns.

    For example, you may show an audience an ad focusing on one benefit of your product. The next ad, after the majority of people in the audience has seen the first one, would highlight another benefit of the product. The third ad would highlight a customer testimonial. You are showing your audience the same product but with different messaging.

    If you are running video ads, you could also share a related story via that format. Think the Budweiser Frogs television campaign or some of BMW’s mini-movies. A sequential advertising campaign does not have to go to such lengths to be successful, but fresh, on-brand, eye-catching creative in any form is generally a good thing.

    Maximizing distribution

    Besides improvements to the advertising process, further optimization to paid social campaigns can be achieved through maximizing the campaigns’ distribution. That will ensure your campaign is successful based on your set goals. Not maximizing the distribution of your ads will leave money on the table.

    Regularly refresh your creative

    Using the same creative—images, video, and text—over and over can quickly cause fatigue. This means your audience will start to ignore your ads—or worse, start leaving mean comments on them. You’ll also start experiencing an increase in CPM and CPC as you lose more in Facebook’s ad auction.

    Regularly refresh your creative to avoid this. It makes a difference, even if you’re just refreshing your images or copy every month.

    Standing out in the newsfeed is a big part of successful paid campaigns. If you are using photographs or videos, they need to be high quality and relatable to make the user stop scrolling through their newsfeed.

    Pay special attention to resolution, aspect ratio, and how the ad units look on a mobile device. The majority of users will see your ad on their phone, so make sure it’s thumb-stopping.

    Use all available placements

    Facebook is always optimizing for the lowest event cost possible. The vast majority of your results will come from ads run on the Facebook or Instagram newsfeed. But don’t forget about other placements, like the sidebar, messenger, and marketplace.

    Automatic placements are the best option to maximize results beyond the newsfeeds.

    All placements selected

    All placements selected.

    Image: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/965529646866485

    Limited placements selected

    Limited placements selected.

    Image: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/965529646866485

    Optimize for mobile

    Unless you specifically target only desktop device users, the majority of the impressions or clicks you receive will be from mobile devices. This means you better make sure your creative is mobile-friendly.

    Make sure all of your images and videos are formatted to maximize the viewable space on mobile for the type of advertisement you are running. Your headlines and accompanying text also need to be optimized to fit.

    If you’re using videos, make sure they’re formatted to a 1:1 aspect ratio (square videos) to take up the most room on the Facebook mobile newsfeed and outperform horizontal aspect videos.

    Benefits of mobile optimized video

    Image: https://blog.bufferapp.com/square-video-vs-landscape-video

    Minimize restrictions for the Facebook algorithm

    Don’t try to control Facebook too much. Instead, give Facebook room to show your ads to the correct users at the correct time with the least necessary targeting restrictions. The more freedom the algorithm has to use your pixel data, the better able it is to encourage conversions.

    Josh Thompson is Senior Social Media Strategist at Portent—a Clearlink Digital Agency. Josh is Facebook Blueprint Certified and has worked in social media advertising for seven years.

    The post Tips to maximize ROI on paid social: Facebook + Instagram appeared first on Search Engine Watch.