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  • 12 Link Building Ideas for eCommerce Sites

    Monday, July 9, 2018 by
    link building for ecommerce

    12 Link Building Strategies for eCommerce Sites

    Link building is hard. That statement is simple, but the truth behind it is complicated. You know you need to get links from other websites – high-authority, relevant websites, no less – for your website to do well enough in the search engines for your customers to find you. But how do you convince the strangers running other sites that your website is worth linking to? It’s not their job to help you out. Asking someone else to give you a link is asking for a favor – which is awkward and very likely to get met with a “no” if you don’t have some kind of prior relationship with the person you’re asking. The best strategies for link building are about finding ways to make the relationship more reciprocal. You want other websites to want to link to you because there’s something in it for them or their readers. Here are a few things you can try in order to do that. best dedicated server hosting

    1. Guest Post on Relevant sites.

    This is a tried and true tactic, if you do it well. When you write a really good guest post for a website, you’re providing them something of value. Most websites that accept guest posts therefore expect and are okay with letting you include a relevant link or two back to your website in the posts you submit (but don’t overdo it, just stick with one or two). In addition to earning you links, this tactic gives you a chance to reach a new audience that may not be familiar with your website or brand yet, potentially bringing you new traffic and followers. For guest posting to work, you have to be strategic about it and do some real work. You should be careful to find blogs that are targeting the same audience that you want to reach and that are relevant to your industry or products.  A guest post on a completely unrelated blog isn’t worth your time. Also look for blogs that have readers and authority. A guest post on a blog that no one visits that doesn’t have any real SEO authority isn’t worth your time either. Once you’ve identified blogs that are worthwhile targets for guest posts, take some time to research the topics they cover, the style they write in, and who’s reading them. Any topic you pitch needs to be valuable to their audience for them to accept it. And while it does require a lot of work, make sure the post you write for them is top-notch content. At worst, lazy content won’t get published and you won’t earn links after all. But even if it does get published, it won’t convince anyone in their audience to come check you out.  

    2. Create Content Partnerships with Relevant Sites.

    There are brands out there that provide something similar or complementary to what you sell, without being direct competitors. These are good brands to consider for content partnerships. You can work out a deal to create content for them (with some links back your website), while they make content for you (with links back to theirs). On both sides, you have to make sure that the content created makes sense for the other brand’s audience and is relevant and fits in with their overall content strategy. Or you can think of ways to create content together, like joint webinars or working together on a research study. By working together, you can tap into the talent and resources that you both have to offer and expand your audiences by reaching all of the people both of you have attracted. And you’ll both get some new external links in the process.  

    3. Partner with Local Businesses.

    When you’re an eCommerce business, “local” doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as it does when you have a business with a storefront. Even so, your business is based somewhere. There’s a local community you can get involved with to create new connections and opportunities. Get out to local networking events and get to know some of the businesses in the area. The connections you make in your own business community can turn into partnerships that benefit both of you, including in the form of more links to your website. If you join local professional or industry organizations, you can get links in their directories or by participating in their events or marketing. A local business owner selling complementary or related products to yours can become a promotion partner. If you sell dog collars, the local business owner that sells homemade dog treats could promote your collars in a blog post, while you promote her treats in a giveaway that raises her profile while benefiting your customers as well. Turning local relationships into partnerships that benefit you both (and earn you links) can require some creativity, but it can be a useful way to increase awareness of your brand and earn some valuable links at the same time.  

    4. Look for Sponsorship Opportunities.

    There are definitely events and organizations in your industry that seek sponsorships. Becoming a sponsor will cost you money, but the money pays off both in good will from the community that appreciates those events or organizations, along with links back your website and mentions of your brand in any materials associated with the event or put out by the organization in relation to your sponsorship. This is a good way to earn karma and good PR along with links.  

    5. Offer Free Products for Review.

    Look for websites that do product reviews for items similar to what you sell and reach out with an offer to provide them with a free product in exchange for a review. Obviously, this idea only works if you’re confident in your products (which you should be!). You can’t demand good reviews, you can merely hope for them. But if you make the offer specifically to website owners you’re confident are a good fit for your product, getting reviews raises (hopefully positive) awareness of your product and will usually earn you a link back your website as well.  

    6. Host PR-worthy Events.

    Branded events can take a lot of different forms. You could host an awards dinner for your industry, put on a concert, or create a workshop. Whatever event you come up with, if it’s interesting, exciting, or helpful, then it’s PR-worthy. You can promote it to relevant publications and writers to drum up interest and get coverage of it around the web. With that coverage will inevitably come links. Be aware that putting on an event is costly. It will probably be more worth the cost if you have goals for it that go beyond earning links – such as larger media attention, new customers, or some other benefit to be a part of your overall goal. But it’s definitely a good way to earn links as well.  

    7. Start Charity Projects.

    There are a lot of websites that are happy to amplify any charitable projects. It’s an easy way for them to feel like they’re helping out. If you set up a charity drive through your business, start a scholarship, or choose a week to donate a percentage of all your profits to a notable cause – those are all things that other websites are likely to cover or promote to their own readers. Again, this is a strategy that will have a cost for you and is best to do for reasons other than just getting links (like in this case, helping other people), butit can be a good way to earn links as well.  

    8. Do Original Research.

    Buzzsumo’s research into the what types of content most consistently earn links found that original research is one of the most reliable ways to build links to your website. If you wonder why that might be, just look back at the beginning of this paragraph. Whenever someone cites a statistic or finding that comes from your research, they’ll link back to you. Creating original research isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s very effective and can be worth the resources you put into it. Consider questions that your readers and other businesses in your industry have that you could help answer with a survey or analysis. If you see an opportunity for statistics or research that hasn’t been done (or that you can do better), take it!  

    9. Look for Brand Mentions Around the Web.

    Anytime someone mentions your brand around the web, it’s an opportunity for a link back your website. First you want to find websites that have mentioned your brand. You can use Google for this, but can probably find more websites faster with a paid tool like Fresh Web Explorer. You should also set up a Google Alert for your brand name so you’ll get an email every time a website mentions your website anew moving forward. moz fresh web explorer Then, try to identify information on who’s running that website so you can contact them to ask them to add a link to your website where they mention your brand. For this tactic, you take time to visit the webpage before you contact anybody to make sure that:
    • The website is actually mentioning your brand and didn’t just happen to use a phrase that included your brand name (this is especially important if you have a brand name that includes words people regularly use); and
    • The mention of your brand name is positive. Chances are, a website owner that doesn’t like your brand or product isn’t going to help you out with a link.
    You’re still asking a stranger to do you a favor here, so there’s a good chance a lot of people you contact will ignore you or refuse to make the change. But since you know these are websites where you’re on their radar and they’ve already mentioned your brand, they’re more likely to add your link than someone with no connection to your brand at all.  

    10. Look for Relevant Broken Links Around the Web.

    Broken link building has become a pretty big subset of link building in recent years. The idea is that if you can find examples on another website of a link that no longer works that previously went to content similar to something you’ve created, you can contact the website owner to recommend they change the link to your resource. You’re doing something helpful for them by finding a broken link they don’t know is there yet and suggesting an easy replacement, which means they’re that much more likely to take your suggestion and add your link to their website. Finding relevant broken links can be time consuming, but there are SEO tools that can help make it a little easier and faster. You can start with this tactic by looking for examples of broken links likely to match content you already have, but you can also expand this strategy to begin creating high-value content that can would make a good replacement for broken links you find.  

    11. Feature Influencers.

    People tend to link to websites they know, and they’re that much more likely to link to a website that mentions them in a positive light. Identify some of the most important influencers in your industry and consider if there are some good ways to collaborate with them. You could ask them to provide a quote for a blog post you’re working on or if they’ll be the featured guest in a webinar you’re setting up. If you can offer them something that serves to help them promote their brand, they’ll be more likely to participate and to promote the content you’ve featured them in. This can be tricky to do well because the more well known an influencer is, the more often they’ll be getting requests like this from other people. You don’t want to be one more annoyance in their inbox, but you do want to start a mutually beneficial relationship with them. Make sure you really think about what you can offer them here and consider reaching out to people and brands that aren’t super well known just yet.  That person in your industry with 1,000 followers is going to be quicker to help you out then the guy with 1 million, but still provides an opportunity to expand your reach.  

    12. Feature Customer Stories.

    This is good marketing advice in general. When your potential customers can see positive stories from your current customers, it makes them more likely to convert. But it can also be helpful for link building. A good customer story can serve as a case study to demonstrate principles someone might point to evidence of in a blog post. For example, that writer claiming that a good pair of running shoes really does make a difference would link to your customer story about someone who increased their running time after buying your shoes. If you’re able to capture a particularly moving story, it could inspire people to share it due to the emotion it evokes. The couple that found each other through their shared love of your products and got married in spite of great odds could leave people feeling inspired and wanting to share the tale. People relate to people, so creating content that features the people your brand exists for and because of can give other people something to connect with. It’s those connections that often lead to shares and links.
  • 15 Best Social Media Blogs for Business

    Monday, July 9, 2018 by
    best social media blogs for businesses

    The Best Blogs for Business Social Media Help

    Social media can be both a productivity killer and an important business tool – it all depends on how you use it. At this point, your customers expect you to be on social media. But using social media to represent a business brand effectively is an ongoing challenge, and finding and connecting with your audience on social media platforms can often feel like an uphill battle. There’s always more to learn. And luckily, there are a lot of resources out there to help you learn the ropes and get more out of social media over time. These are some of the blogs out there providing advice and best practices for social media marketing. HostGator Website Builder

    1. Social Media Examiner

    Social Media Examiner is one of the best known and respected blogs covering social media marketing. The blog provides actionable tips, tutorials, and case studies for all the different social media platforms. In addition to regular blog posts, they also publish original research and long-form guides on marketing for different social media sites. Whether you’re still learning the basics of using social media for your business or wanting to dive deeper into more detailed recommendations, Social Media Examiner provides good information. social media examiner

    2. Buffer

    Buffer both provides a product for scheduling social media posts and has an active social media presence as a brand, which provides them with a lot of data on what works. They’re known for good long-form blog posts that provide detailed, actionable advice based on data and case studies. The blog publishes posts on all the different social media platforms businesses are likely to use. buffer social

    3. Hootsuite

    Like Buffer, Hootsuite provides a product to help businesses schedule and organize their social media updates, which means they know a lot about the subject of social media marketing. Their posts cover a lot of different social media tips, best practices, and research for all of the big social media platforms. They’re another one of the main go-tos for the industry. hootsuite

    4. Rebekah Radice

    Rebekah Radice has an award-winning blog that covers social media and other related digital marketing topics. Her posts get into topics like social media etiquette, developing a strategy for social media, and tips and tricks for getting the most from each particular platform. She often mixes in infographics, videos, and podcasts with the written content, so those who prefer other types of media have options as well. rebekah radice blog

    5. Ignite Social

    The social media agency Ignite demonstrates the knowledge learned from over ten years of social media marketing in their blog. They cover social media news and trends, tips for specific social media channels, and how to handle an array of social media issues when they arise. Their posts can both help you stay on top of what’s going on in the larger social media industry, as well as answer smaller questions you might have about how to use social media for business. ignite

    6. Sprout Social

    The Sprout Social blog is another good resource that covers a lot of social media territory. You can find posts that get into the details of doing social media marketing for different industries, hiring for social media positions, and a lot of good how-to posts on getting specific things done on the different social media platforms. Their content is consistently useful for companies of all sizes and types. sproutsocial

    7. Social Media Hat

    Social Media Hat offers a lot of tutorial posts about how to do different tasks on the various social media platforms, along with posts on larger social media trends and news stories. In addition to publishing posts on using the main social media platforms, they provide tips and advice for blogging and email marketing as well. social media hat

    8. Hey Orca

    The Hey Orca blog provides a lot of the same type of content we’ve described on the other blogs on this list – general social media tips, trends, and news coverage – but they also mix in some less common types of social media content, like coverage from social media conferences, interviews with various influencers, and social media success case studies. It’s a blog with a lot of good content and personality and is worth adding to your list.  hey orca

    9. Socially Sorted

    Socially Sorted is the blog of Digital Content Strategist Donna Moritz. The blog answers common social media questions, provides helpful tips, and collects good social media examples you can learn from. She often provides additional media like templates or infographics to make her posts more useful. She has a particular expertise in visual storytelling, so this is a great blog to turn to for tips on creating more visual forms of content for your social media channels. socially sorted

    10. Peg Fitzpatrick

    Peg Fitzpatrick is another social media influencer who shares her knowledge with regular blog posts on how to reach and connect with your audience on social media. While her blog touches on all the major social media platforms, she especially gives attention to Instagram and Pinterest– channels that often get less attention on some of the other blogs on the list. peg fitzpatrick blog

    11. Top Dog Social Media

    Top Dog Social Media is the blog of Melonie Dodaro. While the blog includes posts on a number of digital marketing topics, its main focus is on LinkedIn marketing. You can find posts covering the range of tips and advice you need for reaching customers for B2B marketing on the professional social media platform. top dog social media

    12. Jenn’s Trends

    Jenn’s Trends is one of the best blogs out there about Instagram marketing. While she’ll occasionally touch on other social networks or digital marketing tips as well, the primary focus on the blog is how to get followers on Instagram and interact with them effectively. If your brand’s on Instagram, this is a good blog to keep on your radar. jenns trends

    13. Tailwind

    The Tailwind blog is another one with a narrow focus on just a couple of main networks: Instagram and Pinterest. It tackles questions like how to get more followers, when to post, and the types of content you should create to do well on both platforms. For anyone using the more visual social media platforms, it can be a useful resource. tailwind blog

    14. Linked Into Business

    This is another blog with a primary focus on just one of the main social media platforms: LinkedIn. The blog does sometimes venture into broader topics like content marketing and communication tips, but most of the posts cover topics specific to the features and best practices for marketing on LinkedIn. For B2B brands that use LinkedIn as a marketing and sales tool, it’s a good blog to follow. linked into business

    15. Mari Smith

    With all these blogs covering specific networks, you may have wondered when we’d get to one focused on the biggest social network of them all. Mari Smith’s got you covered with a blog all about Facebook marketing. She goes into how to use the various features Facebook offers, important news about the platform, and tips for using Facebook for marketing effectively. mari smith blog

    Conclusion

    As you can see, there’s no shortage of good resources you can turn to when learning how to use social media for your business. It can be daunting when you’re just starting or still struggling to make headway, but learning from those who already have a good amount of experience and knowledge can be a big help to moving your own social media efforts forward.  Spend some time reading about what works and craft your strategy around the tips and research shared by the experts.
  • 10 Tips for Creating Great Blog Titles

    Thursday, July 5, 2018 by
    how to create good blog titles

    10 Tips for Creating Great Blog Titles

    You probably spend a lot of time creating the content you publish on your blog. Obviously, creating great content is important if you’re going to get the most out of having a business blog, but people won’t bother reading the content you create unless you also nail the title. Blog titles are the first part of your blog post that your readers will see and the part that’s responsible for getting them to click through and read the rest. They’re frequently what people use when they share your blog post, meaning that any time a reader likes your content enough to share it with their social network, it’s the part of the blog their followers will see. how blog titles appear on facebook In other words, the success of your post absolutely depends on coming up with a good blog title. To strengthen your title-writing game, here are a few tips that will help you create great blog titles.  

    1. Learn the Popular Headline Formulas.

    Over the years, a lot of bloggers and marketers have done research to see how different types of headlines perform in comparison to others and they’ve found some clear trends in what people choose to click on. You can benefit from the work others have done by studying up on the formulas that are proven to work. headline formula A few types of headlines that routinely perform well include:
    • Number headlines – Any headline that starts with a number, introducing a list post (like this one does – and it worked in this case if you’re reading this post).
    • How to headlines – This is a simple option, but a good one. If someone’s trying to figure out how to do something, a headline that lets them know the blog post will deliver on that need gets the most important point across (but your post better deliver on the headline’s promise).
    • Famous comparison – These headlines borrow on the popularity of a person or piece of entertainment to get people to click. Depending on the famous thing or person you choose, they can add an element of fun to your blog, e.g. # Business Lessons I Learned from Watching Beyoncé.
    • Scarcity headline – This headline promises that the reader will be getting something few people have. Headlines that start with “The Secret of…” or “Little Known Tips for…” are playing on this principle.
    • Big promises headline – These headlines are assuring the reader that they’ll be getting a lot of information if they click, this category includes headlines that start with “The Ultimate Guide to…” or list posts that have a particularly high number at the beginning.
    Buzzsumo has also done extensive research into the words and phrases that perform best in headlines (at least on Facebook). Obviously, you can’t just insert these words into your blog titles thoughtlessly, but if you keep them top of mind and look for opportunities to use them effectively, they could help you build better titles. top blog title headline phrases This is a good starter list, but you can find a lot more if you do a little digging into headline research and formulas. It’s worth devoting some real time to studying the research that’s out there and learning from other people’s experience on this.  

    2. Pay Attention to Headlines You Like.

    Every day you encounter titles – not just blog titles, but also the titles of newspaper and magazine articles, the titles of YouTube videos, the titles of emails you receive, etc. You always have a response to those titles, even when your response is to ignore one and keep scrolling. In the same way that starting to read more can make you a better writer, starting to more actively pay attention to the titles you encounter in your life and the way you respond to them will get you thinking regularly throughout the day about what works and why. And that thinking will lead to you getting better at crafting good headlines. So as you scroll through a blog, flip through your favorite magazine, or wade through the links people share on social media, start analyzing your response to every headline you see. Think about which ones made you click, which ones annoyed or offended you, and which ones just didn’t make much of an impression. When possible, jot down notes on how you responded and why. While you’re only a sample set of one, even just by starting with your own responses, you’ll begin to gain some insights into what makes headlines work.  

    3. Practice Writing Blog Titles.

    Ah yes, the familiar tip that goes on most lists of how to do anything well: practice. The more you do it, the easier it will be to do it well, so give yourself the assignment of writing blog titles regularly. Not only for the blog posts you write, but just for the practice of writing titles (although you may come up with some good blog post ideas this way). Justin Blackman challenged himself to write over 10,000 headlines over 100 days and found that there was a tangible difference in the quality of his headlines and how quickly he could produce good headlines by the end of his project – which should surprise no one, of course that’s what happens when you commit to practicing something at that level. Luckily, you don’t have to go that far to get better at writing blog titles. You could commit to doing it for 30 minutes each week or 10 minutes a day and still see a difference. Figure out what level of practice you can fit into your life and start doing it.  

    4. Use Your Keyword Research.

    If you have a blog, you’re probably already doing keyword research to help you figure out what your audience is thinking about,  looking for, and the terminology they use when doing so. Put that information to work in your blog titles. You want to be using the language your customers use. It’s good both for the SEO of your blog posts (which help people find them) and for getting them to click on the post once they see it. You do want to be careful that you don’t try to force a target keyword into a blog title awkwardly, but if your blog post is on the subject you’re targeting, you should be able to include the keyword naturally.  

    5. Write Multiple Blog Titles for Every Post.

    I get it. You just did all that hard work of writing the post. You’re ready to be done and get it out there! But as we’ve already mentioned, all that hard work is worth a lot less if people don’t click to read your post. That means your title has a disproportionate amount of power versus the rest of your post and you’ve got to get it right. Some experts recommend spending as much time working on blog titles as you do on the blog post itself. If you do that, you may well find the difference in results is worth the extra time. At the very least though, commit to writing several blog titles for every post you publish (in addition to the headline writing practice you’ve committed to). Share your headlines with friends or co-workers to get feedback. This will accomplish two things at once:
    • You’ll have an easier time selecting the best blog title of the list for each post.
    • You’ll get more information on which titles people respond to.  In other words, you’ll be expanding your sample set of one to however many people you can get to review your title options and weigh in for each post.
    You may find the titles others respond to aren’t the ones you liked the most and that’s valuable information to have before you hit the publish button. best WordPress hosting

    6. Don’t Oversell.

    If you’ve heard anyone use the term click bait, you know it tends to get said in a tone of derision or at least annoyance. People hate clicking on a link based on the promise of an appealing headline, only to be disappointed in the content that’s actually there. For websites that have a business model where they make money based on the number of clicks they get, these types of titles may make a certain amount of sense to use. But if you have a business you want people to trust, they’re a terrible idea. Make sure the blog title you use matches the content of the post. Don’t say your content is going to “blow your mind” when it probably won’t (how would someone measure that anyways?). Don’t say your blog post is the “definitive guide to” what you’re writing about if it’s a short post only covering the basics of the topic. If you decide to make a big sell in your headline, then do the work to make a blog post that delivers, or figure out another headline.  

    7. Appeal to Emotions.

    Whether or not we recognize why we click and share blog posts in the moment we do so, researchers have found that it’s often an emotional decision. Blog titles that appeal to the reader’s emotions are therefore powerful, especially for inspiring shares. CoSchedule analyzed the number of shares different posts got based on their Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Score and found that those with the highest scores got considerably more shares than those with low scores. emotional blog titles perform better Where possible, use terms that evoke emotions in your readers, like surprising, exclusive, or delighted. Think about what you want your readers to feel when they click and work on providing that in the post and describe what they can expect in the blog title.  

    8. Be Specific.

    People want to know what they’re clicking on. You may feel like being a little vague could make people more interested or give the blog title broader appeal, but more often it will just make it easier for people to scroll past your title without interest. A specific blog title tells them what questions you’re answering and information you’re providing. The reader will recognize if that’s information they want or need and can make an informed decision on whether or not that click is worth their time. HubSpot’s data backs this up. In testing over 3 million headlines, they noticed that titles that give people more information about the type of content format they’re getting (e.g. putting [Interview] or [Template] in the title) performed 38% better than those that didn’t include that information.  

    9. Do A/B Testing.

    You can do a lot of headline research into what generally works well (and that’s valuable to know!), but ultimately, you need to figure out what works for your target audience. For that, you need to do A/B testing. While every blog post you publish gives you some data on what headlines work, you can figure out more detailed information by putting two headlines against each other. Whenever your title brainstorming leads to two strong contenders, set up an A/B test and see what happens. You can make some conjectures about what makes the winning blog title work better in each test, but where you’ll really gain insights is by looking at the trends over time. Maybe your audience responds better to blog titles with negative wording in them than positive, or maybe they consistently go for how-to headlines. The more data you collect in your testing, the more you’ll know about how to get those clicks in the future blog titles you write.  

    10. Write Blog Titles for YOUR Audience.

    You don’t need everyone on the internet to like your blog titles, but you do need the people in your target audience to like them. General knowledge on best practices for writing blog titles is good to have when getting started, but the longer you publish on your blog and analyze what works for your audience, the more your blog title strategies should be based on your own data. You’re not writing these blog titles for you or to sound clever to other marketers or even your boss. For you to do your job, the only people that need to respond to your blog titles are the ones you want reading your blog. Always keep that in mind when deciding which titles you go with.  

    Conclusion

    When you have a business blog, it may seem like every day you learn about more work you’re supposed to be doing to get results. It’s frustrating to have to add spending more time on blog titles to your to-do list, but while it seems like a small part of the overall whole of a blog post, it really is the part that each post’s overall success hinges on. If you want the other work you’re doing to pay off, then this is an important step to take.
  • Introduction to Social Analytics [FREE Ebook]

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 by
    social analytics ebook

    Free Ebook: Introduction to Social Analytics

    You know it’s important for your business to have a presence on social media, but figuring out what you’re doing on there is an ongoing challenge. Each social media platform is unique and requires its own approach and strategy. And no matter what you do when you’re just starting out, there will be room for improvement. The only way to learn how to get better as you go is to pay attention to what works. The way to do that is with social analytics. If you’re just starting to venture into social media marketing for your business, our ebook on social analytics provides all the information you need on how to access social media analytics and what to do with them.  Click here to download now or keep reading to learn more about what you'll learn in this FREE ebook.  

    What Are Social Analytics?

    All of the major social media platforms offer data on how people interact with the posts and content you share. Some of the information they provide is fairly basic, like showing you how many people viewed or liked a post you published. Some of it goes deeper, providing demographic data on the people who interact with your posts or details about their behavior on the platform. All of this information can be put to use to strengthen your social media strategy and get better results for the time you spend on social media, but only if you know where to find it, and how to use it.  

    Why Social Analytics Matter

    There are thousands of blog posts and articles out there about how to do social media marketing well. And they’re a good place to start. Knowing the best practices and seeing examples of what has worked for other brands does help in establishing a solid plan when getting started. But ultimately, you don’t need to know what works on social media for another brand or media property – you need to know what works for your audience. The best way to figure that out will never be someone else’s blog post; you have to turn to your own social analytics for that.  

    What You’ll Learn When You Download the Ebook

    This ebook delves into how to access social analytics data for the five main social media platforms:
    •      Facebook
    •      Twitter
    •      Instagram
    •      LinkedIn
    •      YouTube
    While there’s a lot of overlap in the kind of information each platform provides, each one supplies a different dashboard and layout for finding the analytics they make available. Once you’ve found the analytics, you’ll need to understand what you’re looking at. Our Social Analytics Ebook also covers the most important categories of data the platforms offer and why each one is valuable to users.  

    Download Now

    You know from running your website how important analytics are to analyzing what’s working and what’s not. You’d never know if your website was doing its job or not without useful metrics that show you how people find and interact with your pages. Social analytics do the same job for your social media profiles. With their help, you can optimize your social media efforts to make sure you’re reaching the right people, at the right times, with messaging and content they’re likely to appreciate. Download the Social Analytics for Business ebook to learn all the basics you need for success on social media.
  • How to Find (and Fix) Underperforming Website Content

    Monday, June 11, 2018 by
    how to fix underperforming site content

    How to Fix Underperforming Website Content

    You put a lot of work into your website and the content marketing efforts you use to get more out of it. And yet all that work just doesn’t seem to be adding up to the kind of results you’d hoped for. On the one hand, you understand that getting attention online is competitive and content marketing is a long game. But on the other, you don’t want to keep throwing time and money at something that’s not working. At some point, any business doing content marketing has to step back and analyze if your website content is underperforming. This post walks you through how to find your poor-performing content, so you can fix it and start enjoying SEO wins again. best WordPress hosting

    How to Identify Underperforming Content

    Whether or not your content is underperforming has everything to do with your expectations. It’s worth checking that your expectations are realistic and in line with what you really want your content to do before you assign it that "underperforming" label.  

    First, Clarify Your Goals.

    Different content items should be developed to achieve different goals. For most businesses, a solid content strategy will include content meant to achieve three main types of goals:
    • Driving traffic and raising awareness of your website or brand. This includes much of your blog posts and other educational or entertaining content you create for your audience.
    • Driving leads and conversions. This includes your landing pages, webinars, and any gated content you create.
    • Promoting your products or services more directly. This includes product pages, video tutorials about your products, and demos.
    Make sure to match the results you judge to the goals of the content to get an accurate measure of its performance.
    • For the content meant to drive traffic and awareness, you should focus on metrics like number of visitors, search engine ranking, and how long visitors stay on your website after they click through.
    • For content meant to drive action, the most important metric is how many people took the action you’re encouraging, whether that’s signing up for an email list, downloading an ebook, or setting up a sales call.
    • For your promotion-focused content, your goal is getting new customers and sales.
     

    Next, Research Content Marketing Benchmarks.

    Even once you’ve clarified your goals and the metrics to track for your content, knowing what counts as success can be tricky. Is 500 views of a blog post good, or should you be aiming for 5,000? Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer to that question. It depends on factors like how long your website has been around, how long you’ve been doing content, and who your audience is. If you’re just starting out and targeting a really niche audience, then expecting huge numbers is unrealistic and may not even be necessary. But even recognizing all the factors that make a difference here, it can be helpful to have some idea of what’s considered “normal.” Organizations like Brafton and Pressboard Media have researched averages for some common website metrics like bounce rates and average reading time. With some digging, you may be able to find similar research that focuses more specifically on your industry or type of business.
    average bounce rate by industry average session duration by business type
    What’s average may not be what’s right for you, so don’t let benchmarks be the only measure you use here, but they can be a helpful guide to setting realistic goals for over time.  

    Finally, Analyze the Relevant Metrics.

    Now that you know what metrics to watch for each piece of content and some idea of what’s realistic to hope for, start analyzing your content pieces to determine if they’re performing as well as you want them to. This isn’t as simple as looking at a number and labeling a piece a failure. You want to take time to understand what’s going on with each piece of content. Consider individual factors that play a role, like the quality of the headline and the different promotion tactics you used. A lot of different elements go into what makes a piece of content successful or not and you want to analyze what specifically contributed to this one not working.  

    How to Fix Underperforming Content

    Identifying your underperforming content is just step one. Now you have to do something about it.  

    Diagnose the Reasons.

    The analysis you performed above should be a big help with this, but also step back and look at the larger trends in what works and what doesn’t for your website. If you’ve found that a lot of your content is underperforming, it might be worth doing a full content audit so you can better see the big picture trends. It’s not always easy figuring out why something did or didn’t work and unfortunately, some of this process will involve guesswork. But use the analytics you have and consider doing A/B testing or customer surveys to fill in the gap in your knowledge and get a better handle on what your audience does and doesn’t respond well to.  

    Make Improvements.

    Obviously, this is where this was all headed. When you’ve figured out why a piece of content isn’t working, you’ll know whether or not you should scrap it altogether or make strategic changes to turn it into something that your audience is more likely to appreciate. Based on your analysis, it could be as simple as coming up with a better headline, or it could involve a more extensive overhaul of the whole piece. A lot of the time, you’ll find you don’t have to start from scratch to turn an underperforming piece of content into something that does a better job of achieving your goals. You just need to identify that it’s not working and why so you can turn it into a better preforming piece of content.