Thursday, February 11, 2016 by Kevin WoodCreating good content will take a lot of time, so naturally you’ll want to get the most mileage out of a single post as possible. Instead of publishing a blog post and calling it a days work there are several ways you can maximize the reach of every blog post you create. This strategy can also be useful when you create a piece of content that does extremely well, through using the ideas outlined below you can continue to maximize the value of a post well after you’ve pressed publish. Below we high five different ways you can further the reach and increase the usefulness of a single piece of content.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 by Alex Ivanovs
1. Utilize marketing widgetsOne of the most popular widgets to come to the market in recent years has been the SumoMe widget. A versatile widget that offers a variety of ways to optimize your website for marketing purposes. You can use a feature called Smart Bar which will add a header bar to your website through which you can share free premium content with your visitors in exchange for their email address. A feature called Heat Maps will allow you to record live website interaction from your visitors, giving you a chance to review those recordings and understand fully where a user starts to browse the website, and where it ends, and what could be done to improve the overall navigation experience.
2. Solve specific problemsMore and more businesses are trying to solve more and more problems, when in fact trying to solve ten problems with one piece of software might actually be very dangerous for your business. WordPress advertises itself as a blogging platform, it doesn't specify that it can be used as a shopping platform, or that it can be built into an auction site. It sells one message only, the fact that it is a blogging platform. Your business should have the same ideology about your products. If you're selling an email marketing platform, don't try to sell integrated services for customer relationship management; they just don't go together. It's important that our sales pitch matches our actual product, making it easier for our customers to make the final decision.
3. A/B/C tests are invaluableTesting different versions of your website still remains as one of the most rewarding and convenient ways of understanding how different versions of your site work for your users. Simple understanding of color psychology might change the way you use colors on your website forever. The fact of the matter is, whenever we optimize our sites for conversions, we are constantly changing the way our website looks, the heading elements, the number of images we use, and yes even the choice of colors we have made, but how exactly do we know which changes caused an increase or a decrease in our conversions? The only way to find out is by implementing a solid A/B testing strategy.
4. Optimized contentContent marketing is an invaluable way of generating free exposure and ultimately leads. Having a good content marketing strategy, and understanding of content marketing itself, is essential to the success of your business growth. Content needs to be shaped around answers and questions, and before you sit down to write that big piece of content, perhaps you should first understand who your content is for:
- Who is this content being written for? What kind of customers are we trying to target?
- What particular problem this content is trying to solve? How will this content help our visitors to take actionable steps?
- What are we trying to achieve with this content? What's the main call to action?
5. Customer successAs a business, your job is to help your customer achieve a certain goal, to solve a particular problem. Beyond the basic use of your software/platform, they will be more than keen to explore tutorials and insightful content about the industry you're working in, all yielding potential for your customers to succeed. To help your customers achieve their own success, focus on the following:
- Customer Support -- Be proactive about the support services you provide, especially to customers who may have less technical experience.
- Customer Engagement -- Having a team of people who are with the customers from the pre-customer stage to customer stage can be an immense help in increasing your conversion rates. An online experience should be as seamless as physical experience.
- Customer Education -- This is where we come back to content, as it can be a means of educating our customers about the latest updates, tips, insights, and offers. This includes email marketing.
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Thursday, November 19, 2015 by Nat EliasonLouis CK is arguably one of the funniest men alive right now. He fills up massive theaters, sells out in minutes, and is so well known that he makes millions selling his recordings on his site with no advertising. But he didn’t get there overnight. In 1984, he was getting on stage for the first time, and did so poorly that he didn’t try stand-up again for two years! Eventually he came back with a plan, worked his way through the ranks, and became a massive success. Building a successful website follows the same path. It’s like Biz Stone’s famous quote: “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” You can’t get your first million website visitors overnight. Once you get a website, it requires creating a plan, having dedication, and constantly iterating and adjusting what you’re doing to make sure you hit your goal. Here’s how to do that.
Planning to Get 1 Million VisitorsWe made a spreadsheet for you to make this easy. Go ahead and open up it here, make a copy for yourself, and follow along, plugging in numbers as you go. The only areas you need to edit are the ones in blue. The ones in grey update automatically.
1. Figure Out Where You Are NowAt the top, plug in your current number of monthly visitors. This is your starting point. Your goal will automatically be set to double your current number. It’s aggressive! But it’s the best start on the road to 1 million visitors and we believe you can do it.
2. Pick Your One ChannelNow I want you to pick one channel to focus on. Pick the one that’s most exciting, or that you feel the most comfortable with. Here are your options:
- Organic (traffic from search engines)
- Referrals from other websites
- Social Media
3. Brainstorm ExperimentsNow, for this first month, come up with 3 things you could do to get more traffic. Make sure they’re actionable. Don’t say “get more twitter traffic” say “tweet five times a day and include at least one hashtag in each.” Here are some ideas: Organic Traffic
- Optimize existing content for keywords
- Reach out to 100 publications for getting backlinks
- Set a search volume minimum for future content and stick to it
- Add more internal site links
- Buy PPC ads to test potential keywords
- Spend $500 on Facebook ads to see how they perform
- Try the same with Google and Twitter
- Use an automation service like Automate Ads to test different ad designs
- Reach out to 50 bloggers in your field to build relationships and links to your content
- Find people who compile lists of products / blogs and ask to be included
- Look for podcasts / webinars you can participate in and get linked to from
- Use a tool like Mention to find references to you that aren’t link to you
- Start an email list if you haven’t!
- Read up on copywriting to improve the emails that you send to your list
- Add an email popup tool to your site to get more people to sign up
- A/B test your emails when you send them out to see what headlines get more clicks
- Simply change the frequency of your emails to your list to see how it affects activity
- Join a new social network you aren’t currently using
- Optimize your tweets for the best number of hashtags
- Find Twitter chats that you can join in on
- Create strong visuals for each Facebook post
4. Guesstimate Your TrafficWith your experiments in place, guesstimate how much traffic you think you can get from each idea. Think about it on a daily schedule, and base it on your existing numbers. For example, if a tweet usually results in 5 visits to your site, then sharing 3x a day would get you 15 more visits a day, or 450 a month. Don’t worry about your guesstimate being perfect, the point is to give you an idea of what to prioritize. Now you’ll see the one experiment you should focus on. This is where you need to start putting your efforts for traffic building, everything else is a distraction. ONLY do 1 for the next 30 days.
5. Print it OutLast, print that baby out and put it by your computer. You should be getting reminded of your goal and experiments daily to make sure it happens. To recap, here’s what you should have done. If you skipped a step… well do you want your million visitors or not?
- Grabbed your most recent month’s traffic from Google Analytics to get your goal
- Picked which of the channels you want to focus on
- Come up with three experiments you could try for that channel
- Guesstimated your possible traffic from each, and put it by that experiment
- Printed out your spreadsheet and put it by your computer
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 by Sean ValantThe inspiration for today's ProTip is going to be the following KB article, which addresses how to modify DNS information from within cPanel: https://support.hostgator.com/articles/cpanel/how-to-change-dns-zones-mx-cname-and-a-records However, we're going to drive a little bit deeper into DNS; how the various parts function and we'll even be sharing some of our internal documentation on DNS.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by Kyler PattersonIf you're advertising on Facebook, you've probably hit a road block at least once when it comes to targeting. You can play with audience insights all day long, but sometimes you just can't locate that exact sweet spot that would be best for your specific business. So, why not use what your competitors are using? Whatever niche you're in, you've probably done your research. You've visited some of the top sites in the game, Liked some of the highest performing Facebook pages, and maybe even bought an array of products. Doing all of this online has most likely made Facebook think you're interested in the industry. Therefore, if your competitors are targeting properly, you'll start seeing their ads appear. For example, I'm in the Internet marketing game and I see a lot of ads for Internet marketing products, ebooks, and webinars. But I also help my girlfriend with her makeup blog. So I also see a lot of ads for makeup and beauty products even though I don't actually use these products and certainly am not their target demographic. This can apply to almost any niche provided that you've done your research into the given industry.
Spying On Your Competitor's Facebook Marketing StrategyOf course, you can't get gain access into your competitor's business / ad manager. Therefore, we will have to use a little reverse engineering to make this strategy work. This is something that I love to do when trying to kill time, and to see what my own competitors are doing as well. We're going to do that here with some real-life facebook ad examples from my own news feed. There are 3 main placements for Facebook advertising. You have your native ads on desktop and mobile, and you have your right rail ads. Each of them will show you information about the ad you are seeing. We'll begin with the right rail:
Right Side Ad TargetingAs mentioned, the ads currently targeted at me include both makeup/beauty ads, as well as some for Internet marketing. Given the above 3 ads, how do I find out what they're doing? The answer is easy enough. Hover on the image to see a little X. Click on the X and you'll be presented with several options. Click the option "Why am I seeing this? From here, you'll be given a lightbox popup with information about the ad. Sometimes this is very vague, as we'll see momentarily, but sometimes it will give you some interesting ideas. Let's see how Mr. Brown targeted me. For the Liberty Mutual ad, it's one of the vague descriptions since they're using an agency called TheTradeDesk. The Nordstrom ad? They're using TellApart to target people. So unfortunately it doesn't reveal exactly how they targeted me. It's possibly a retargeting ad.
Newsfeed Ad TargetingLet's take a look at a few Newsfeed ads. This first ad I saw was from a competitor. Which is funny because this is exactly what I would look for when doing my research. To find what they're doing, let's click on the chevron that points down on the top right. You'll receive a similar box of options as the right rail. Click the same "Why am I seeing this" to see more information. You'll see that our competitor is using a dark post that's targeting me based on my interest in Linux. Interesting, because I was briefly targeting this not too long ago. Maybe they did a little reverse engineering as well? Here's another example of a Newsfeed ad. They're selling SEO services and the targeting they are using is interesting. They're targeting Moz Marketing Software, something that Glen at Viperchill wrote about a few months ago. This is interesting to me because they've been targeting this for awhile and so did Glen before he wrote his article. I am only aware of this due to a mutual friend of mine and Glen's. As such, either this advertiser has a relation to Glen or they've been doing some reverse engineering themselves. Although we're only scratching the surface, you are beginning to see how deep the rabbit hole can go. In a matter of coincidence, Viperchill showed up when I continued scrolling down my page. Let's see how Glen is targeting these days.
He's targeting those interested in Darren Rowse, the founder of ProBlogger. This is actually the 4th person that I've seen this month targeting Darren. I really like this targeting because it shows you that you don't have to just target brands and hobbies, you can find some of the biggest names in the industry to target as well. Which, if you're doing it, there's a chance your ad costs might be slightly less expensive because most advertisers would go after recognizable brands rather than individuals.
Mobile Newsfeed Targeting ExamplesMy first example was the first ad to show in my feed, and it is actually our good friends Bluehost. How about we take a look at what they're doing. I'm glad this one showed up because of the targeting they're doing here. In this example, they're targeting a lookalike audience from an existing audience. A lookalike audience is an audience that Facebook will generate for you based on an audience you've added into their system. So this could either be their customers, a retargeting list, or a couple of other options. They're trying to find people that are similar to people who have bought their services previously, so there's a good chance that they may be interested as well. Our next ad is one of those ads that doesn't give you much information. Why is that? Because they've incorporated several layers within their ad. Age, location, interest, and many other options can be used to target. Using multiple targeting options will make it more difficult to see exactly what is being done. This is basically how you can tell what your competitors are doing on Facebook in order to give you some ideas for targeting. These were just a few examples, certainly not all-inclusive. One particular ad message to be aware of will say something similar to "ABC advertiser is trying to reach people based on their current customers" which means they uploaded your information as a custom audience. When I see this from an advertiser that I know that I haven't given them my information, I block and report them since it probably means they bought my email from somewhere or scraped it somehow. Neither of which should be done.
How Can You Edit Your Facebook Interests?This can be a little complicated as Facebook takes a lot of factors into consideration when matching you with interests. Some of these can be what pages you like, what websites you visit, and what products you buy. To remove specific interests, you just need to manage your ad preferences. From the "why am I see this" popup, you can remove the exact interest (for example, the Moz Marketing Software) or you can click to go to all of your preferences. There, you can pick and choose what to remove or add. Hopefully this has shed some light on how to use your competitors' Facebook ads to find new targeting options. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments!