How to Use LinkedIn Polls for Business: 9 Ideas
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 2, 2020 5:00 am on Social Media Examiner: Want to improve your marketing insight? Have you considered LinkedIn Polls? In this article, you’ll find nine ways to use LinkedIn Polls for your business. How to Set Up a LinkedIn Poll You can create LinkedIn polls just about anywhere on the LinkedIn platform, including your professional profile (individual account), company page, showcase page, group, […] The post How to Use LinkedIn Polls for Business: 9 Ideas appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner. Learn more about Social Media Examiner by visiting their website.
Bing Updates Backlink Research Tool via @martinibuster
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 2, 2020 4:17 am on Search Engine Journal: Bing updated their backlink tool. Now it reports competitor backlinks. The post Bing Updates Backlink Research Tool via @martinibuster appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
How to Win at SEO & PPC (and Save Money Doing It) with Octoboard via @octoboard
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 2, 2020 12:00 am on Search Engine Journal: Looking to get ahead of the competition? Leverage cloud data to win new clients, generate leads, get automated SEO and PPC insights, and more. The post How to Win at SEO & PPC (and Save Money Doing It) with Octoboard via @octoboard appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
Google Explains How Author Pages May Help via @martinibuster
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 2:12 pm on Search Engine Journal: In a Google Webmaster Central hangout, Google’s John Mueller answered whether it was worth spending time creating author pages. Mueller downplayed the importance of author pages for ranking. He said that you can’t say author pages really matter. Then he explained where it can matter. Author Pages on News Sites and YMYL Some people believe that author pages and “expert authors” are important for ranking. But that’s not anything that Google has said. I’ve had numerous companies come to me for help after an update. Many had tried adding author pages but that didn’t solve their problems because author pages are not a ranking factor. Mueller’s answer confirms that it’s not something you really must do. Are Author Pages Necessary? This is the the question asked of John Mueller: “Question about E-A-T and YMYL. We’re working with news websites. What tips can you give us about indication of content authors? Is it really necessary to make pages for each author, provide big info with photo, bio links to social networks? …Does this really matter that there are lots of work to do elsewhere.” ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW John Mueller Comments on Content Author Pages John’s answer begins by noting that E-A-T and YMYL are terms from the Quality Raters Guidelines (QRG). “So, E-A-T is Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness. And YMYL is You Money or Your Life content. These are terms from the Google Raters Guidelines that we put out.” The QRG is a guide for third party raters to use. The intent of the guide is to help the raters use a consistent standard for rating search results. That’s important because otherwise the raters would use their own subjective opinions. Google has recommended the use of the QRG to publishers as a way for them to judge their own sites for quality. Google never said that the QRG reflected Google’s ranking algorithms. The QRG is just a standard for rating websites. Mueller next downplays the importance of author pages as an absolute necessity: “I think like with all kinds of content it’s not the case that you can say this really matters and you absolutely must do it.” ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Mueller next explains that if you want to build trust with your readers, then using an author page is a good way to do that. The context of his statement is not about ranking. The context is about building trust with readers. Mueller’s explanation: “I do think with a lot of news websites, especially if you’re providing information that you want people to trust, then this certainly makes sense.” Mueller downplays the use of author pages as an SEO factor: “So it’s not something that where I’d say it’s the same as removing a no-index meta tag on a page because that’s like really and on-and-off switch.” Mueller then remarks on improving content and prioritizing content improvement and adding author bios. “But if you’re improving the content of your site, that works well for users, that works well for Google. So it seems like something that could be done. How to prioritize that versus other things on the website that’s really hard to do. That’s where you almost need to kind of use your experience and figure out what works well on your side.” Are Author Bios Important? It’s clear that author bios are not ranking factors. The idea that author bios are important comes from the QRG encouragement that the quality raters look for them. But the reason the QRG says that is to give the raters a common standard for verifying the quality of a site. It’s not because an author bio is a part of Google’s algorithm. Author bios can be important within the context of building trust with users. If the author is an expert then it makes sense to make a statement about their expertise. As John Mueller stated, it’s a way to build trust with users. Can it help your rankings? Only in an indirect way. Site visitors who trust your site are more likely to recommend your web page, to trust it and to return to it if the author bio builds credibility for the content. It’s time for publishers and the SEO community to view author bios outside of the context of ranking. It’s more realistic to consider author bios from the context of what it might mean for users. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Watch the Google Office Hours Hangout here: [embedded content] Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
SEJ eSummit: Join Us Tomorrow for 10 Hours of SEO, PPC, Social & Content Marketing via @MrDannyGoodwin
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 9:00 am on Search Engine Journal: Our virtual conference features a stellar lineup of speakers, advanced content, and 1-on-1 video networking. Join 10,000+ of your peers – don’t miss this! The post SEJ eSummit: Join Us Tomorrow for 10 Hours of SEO, PPC, Social & Content Marketing via @MrDannyGoodwin appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
UTM Codes Explained: A Complete Guide for Tracking Your URLs & Traffic via @brie_e_anderson
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 8:00 am on Search Engine Journal: Have you ever been asked to add a random string of code to the end of your links? If so, it’s likely because you were working with an analytical nerd such as myself and they wanted to track traffic from whatever campaign or content you were publishing. That seems important, right? A Quick Background on the UTM Originally, UTM codes were created for the Urchin Software. Urchin was an online web statistics and analysis software created to track traffic information for websites. In 1997, they were able to pull log file stats for a few days’ traffic in under 30 minutes – this was was unheard of at the time. From there, their capabilities would increase as they got access to more and more data. In 2002, Urchin rolled out its Urchin Traffic Monitor which allowed them to give more detailed information. The UTM allowed Urchin to not only pull the traditional information from the Apache log files but to augment them with cookies as well. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW This moved Urchin lightyears ahead of the competition as they were able to provide more information, more quickly than their competitor. We are talking about information so sensitive that Google wouldn’t even touch it in 2004. Needless to say it would not have complied with GDPR. Eventually, Urchin was bought by Google and became Google Analytics. If you want to read more about the history of Urchin and how they were eventually acquired, I highly suggest reading up their company history – it’s a good story. What Is a UTM Code? A UTM code, or Urchin Traffic Monitor, allows you to accurately track user engagement from outside sources within your analytics platform of choice. All a UTM code is, is a string of code placed on the back end of a URL to define the source, medium, campaign, term, and/or content of the piece that sent the user your website. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW That string would look something like: ?utm_source=google&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=spring-release&utm_term=rugs&utm_content=help-guide In that specific instance, the user that was served and clicked on this link came from a Google Display “spring release” campaign that was triggered by the word “rug” and showed off “help guide” content. As you can already guess, this information can be extremely valuable in tracking the success of a specific campaign or piece of creative. Remember, this was created pre-Google Analytics days. At the time, getting this sort of information was unheard of. Today, Google does a halfway decent job of telling you where the majority of your traffic comes from. UTM codes, on the other hand, give you customizable and highly specific tracking capabilities. How They Work When you create a piece of content that contains a link, whether it’s a guest post, an ad, a social post, what have you, you add the UTM to the back of your URL. This creates a new, unique URL to be tracked. For instance, example.com and example.com/?utm_source=google are recognized as two different pages. When Google Analytics brings that information into their platform, they strip the UTM from the URL and put the information from that snippet into the proper dimensions (source, medium, campaign, term, content). Why We Use Them When Urchin first rolled out the UTM, their goal was specifically to track the return on investment (ROI) of campaigns. If you are creating unique pages for each piece of content you put out, tracking their effectiveness gets extremely easy. So instead of just seeing a source/medium as Facebook/referral for any traffic coming from Facebook, you could see Facebook/Paid-Spring. This allows you to see the difference in performance from your organic Facebook efforts and paid spring Facebook campaign efforts. Similarly, if you have a spring campaign running on multiple platforms, you can designate the platform using unique UTMs for each platform. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW What You Can Track As we’ve touched on a few times, you are able to define five parameters with UTM codes: source, medium, campaign, term, and content. The reality is that you are able to put whatever you want in each of these locations, but this is a general guide of what to put where. Source This is the digital location where the user came from. It could be a specific site name, the advertiser that placed the ad for you, or the name of a YouTube channel you run. You want to put something in this parameter to tell you where the person was before coming to your site. Medium This is the medium in which you captured the users’ attention. This could be video, email, CPC ad, graphic, organic tweet. This should tell you what kind of content got the click. Campaign If you are running a specific campaign for the content that is going out, you can specify that campaign in this parameter. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Use a code name, the slogan, the campaign name, whatever you feel is easiest. Consider this the when of your UTM. Term When running Google Ads, your traffic will come through Google Analytics simply as google/cpc which isn’t necessarily helpful. It’s far more helpful to know which keyword, or “term” you bid on that led to the user visiting your site. This way you know exactly how a Google Ad was triggered to send people to your site. Content You can track which piece of content led to a click to your site. This is great for situations in which you are testing pieces of content running during a campaign and want to know which one is getting the best result. Where You Can Track Most major analytics platforms will allow you to sort traffic based on source/medium as it is a common view. For the sake of this piece, I’m going to focus on the views for Google Analytics as it is the most common and accessible. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium Here you will be able to see the overall metrics for each source/medium defined by Google and your UTMs. If you look at number 15, you can see that we defined our source/medium using a UTM code. The rest have all been generated by Google. Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns This view will allow you to compare all of the campaigns you have running. These are only the paid Google Campaigns your run and the campaigns you have listed using UTMs. You are able to see the same metrics here, but for a more defined audience. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW If you look at this image above, you will see that only 45% of our users came from either Google paid ads or campaigns that we specified using UTMs. Get Granular While those are the two main views used to monitor traffic coming into your site from links with UTMs, because they are defined dimensions, you can always segment your metrics by adding any of the parameters as a secondary dimension. In the image above, you can see that I am in the Behavior > Site Content > All Pages view, and I can add a secondary dimension by tapping the button “Secondary dimension.” Most views will allow you to do this. Make Your Own UTM Alright, have I convinced you UTMs are necessary?! If so, I suggest heading over to Google’s Campaign URL Builder to get started. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW This UTM generator is super easy to use, you just fill out your information and it creates your URL with the UTMs for you. UTM Best Practices UTMs can be really helpful for gathering data, but they can also make pulling data really hard if you don’t create them correctly. So, before you get started here are a few things to take into consideration. Naming Conventions Before you start making a ton of UTMs or asking your team members to use them, you will want to create a guide for naming conventions. You will want to be sure that everyone is using the same naming conventions for each parameter so that you can find things easily. Some things to think about are: How granular do you want your sources to be? What do you consider to be the “medium” of a source? Are there things that you run consistently that should always use the same name? ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW By having these things laid out beforehand, you are going to save yourself (and your analyst) a ton of time and heartache. Use Lowercase Letters When you create UTMs, they are case sensitive. If you put “forbes” as a source for one and “Forbes” as a source for another, those will count as two separate sources. That being said, it is recommended that you always use lowercase letters in your UTMs. Know When to Use Them While it may be tempting to start going UTM crazy, be sure that you aren’t making more work for yourself. UTMs should be helpful. Just like with any other piece of data, before moving forward ask yourself, “what will I do with this information.” Now, Go Analyze Data! Once you get the hang of creating your UTMs and using them in your campaigns, the amount of information you will be able to collect is going to be so insightful. So, go! Get started and let us know how it goes. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW More Resources: Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
The Basics of Link Profile Analysis via @BrianHarnish
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 7:00 am on Search Engine Journal: Did you know that doing a link analysis is critical to maintaining the ongoing health of your site? They can also contribute significantly to the strategic and technical aspects of your domain. For the strategic, a link analysis will help you determine weaknesses in your overall strategy that will determine the actions you must take. This strategic analysis is one that will also be a determining factor in the success of your SEO. From a technical perspective, the link analysis will allow you to identify bad links that may have future potential negative effects on your website, with significant repercussions if you build too much of the wrong links. Performing an accurate link analysis is critical, along with how to select the right tools for the job. It’s not unheard of to use as many as five different tools to compile all of your links, and then use them as a year-long link remediation task. What, exactly, is link remediation? ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW It’s a different name than link pruning (what some call this task), but nonetheless is the same task, and should inspire looks of dread from experienced SEO professionals who manage massive link profiles. Or inspiration, if you love looking at links and enjoy the mechanical repetition of this task. Regular link remediation is a critical component of ongoing link acquisition depending on the size, breadth, and scope of your site. It can help improve performance by removing toxic links that harm your overall link profile. What Is a Link Analysis? A link analysis, quite simply, is a deep-dive audit of all the links pointing back to your site, making up the entirety of your link profile. Depending on the focus of the link analysis, it can reveal major problems affecting the SERP performance of your site overall. Whether you call it link pruning, link remediation, or plain old link analysis, they all mean the same thing. Depending on your vendor, the link analysis will usually include a link profile disavow file, which you can then upload accordingly to Google’s disavow tool. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Ongoing link analysis is critical to maintaining the ongoing, consistent health of your site’s link profile. What Is a Link Analysis Used For? Link analyses come into play when you’re concerned about the quality of your overall link profile, and you want to maintain that quality. If your link profile has minor amounts of bad links, you probably don’t want to care about doing a link analysis, as it’s more work than what you need to maintain. However, if your link profile contains significant amounts of bad links, and you feel like you are an ongoing target for negative SEO campaigns, you will want to consider a regular link remediation schedule. Depending on the size of your link profile, this could be once a month or once a quarter. Sometimes, ongoing link analyses are required to uncover more sophisticated negative SEO campaigns. But it isn’t always necessary and could be overkill for some smaller websites. Link Analysis Tools for the Job There is no shortage of tools on the market for link measurement and metrics tracking. Before knowing where you’re going with your link acquisition campaign, you must understand the current state of your site’s link profile. Proceeding with link acquisition before understanding what your link profile currently looks like is like eating raw food before it’s cooked. Although some raw food is a delicacy, you don’t always want to take this approach, or else you may suffer serious stomachaches. The same is true for link acquisition. If you don’t know the current state of your link profile, and you go after some of the same links, you may not see the inherent value of your link acquisition efforts. In addition, you will be duplicating your efforts. Using several link analysis tools at once is necessary not only for link database size, but because the differences in links discovered by these tools are worth it. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW But let’s make one thing clear: third-party link analysis tools are not the be-all, end-all, although they can get you close. None of them will duplicate Google’s database of links entirely, which is why you must use their tools as well. Although, they can help you get enough links removed so that they don’t continue to harm the success of your SEO efforts. Links You Must Look Out For Believe it or not, there are good links and bad links. A good link is any link that bolsters your overall E-A-T, or expertise, authority, and trust. A bad link is any link that either causes direct tanking of your site’s rankings, or indirect issues with your site’s SERP performance later. Or, it’s a link that is against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines talks about link schemes as being against their guidelines: “Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.” ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW The goal of your link remediation task is to find all of these types of links linking back to your site and to go through a link removal process and disavow them. There are several situations in which you need to deal with these types of links immediately: Manual Action or Algorithmic Penalty? Manual actions are not hard to spot. During a manual action, your site will be manually penalized. You will get a notice from Google in GSC when this happens. You’ll also notice significant traffic drops overnight. You can’t do much to immediately reverse this issue. It will require a lot of work in link remediation, removal, and disavows until Google is pleased. Algorithmic devaluations are simpler. Although they can be more challenging in some ways than manual actions. With a manual action, you at least know that you have a penalty and what you need to do to correct it. With an algorithmic devaluation, uncovering the issue will take a lot more time and work, and it’s not always obvious what is behind the cause of your traffic drops. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Google continues to maintain that they ignore spammy attempts at link building. However, there are plenty of examples of negative SEO in the wild. I don’t think Google will ever confirm negative SEO, because that would be dangerous, right? Imagine what would happen if every SEO knew exactly how to apply negative SEO to every single one of their competitor’s websites. That would not be pretty! Negative SEO Attack Believe it or not, negative SEO still exists. There are plenty of examples online of negative SEO occurring in the wild. Yours truly has also been through a few of these and assisted in their recovery (and they are not pretty). While in some cases you may not see a negative SEO attack register immediately, it will eventually register. And the effects can be devastating. The premise behind negative SEO is simple: a sly competitor decides to build thousands of bad links back to your site, and your site will end up tanking in the SERPs as a result. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW The negative SEO itself is generally easy to spot – using a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush, you can easily see the increase in bad links coming into your site. While the premise is narrowed down, there are many different ways to perform one. They include: Creating spammy looking links en masse` back to your own site. Creating dummy sites on other domains with thousands of pages of your own scraped duplicate content, pointing back to your site. Hacking your site’s robots.txt file, and getting it de-indexed. Fake social profiles and fake negative online sentiment based on social signals. Spammy PBNs to make it look like you are engaging in this behavior. On-site negative SEO as the result of a site hack. Many of these, when done right, can be impossible to spot for the non-savvy web entrepreneur, but it can be done by utilizing the services of a savvy SEO. Pages & Folders – Not Just Site-Wide An algorithmic devaluation can happen not just to the entire site, but to pages and folders that look particularly spammy. If you experience a drop in traffic overnight, it is possible that only a page that was driving the entire bulk of your online traffic was algorithmically devalued. In that same vein, folders can also be targeted for algorithmic devaluation, especially if pages in the folder are egregiously spammy. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW In other words, if you are hit with an algorithmic devaluation, combing through your Google Analytics and Google Search Console statistics will help you narrow down which pages and folders are targeted, rather than just going after your entire site. What Is the Best Way to Do a Link Analysis? Quite simply, the best way to do a link analysis is to use at least 5 different sources of links and combine them into one spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will then serve as the foundation for your link analysis efforts. The thinking behind combining at least 5 sources of links is to cast as wide a net as possible, to gather up all potential links. You can then de-duplicate this list into a single list that you will use throughout this process. If you don’t do it this way, you may miss some that you have to deal with later. Why not make as complete a list as possible at the outset, and avoid the duplication of your work? ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Required Link Analysis Tool: Google Search Console Believe it or not, Google Search Console is one of the required link analysis tools on our list. The only problem with Google Search Console is that it won’t get all your links, which is why I recommend at least 2-3 tools in your arsenal for link analysis. It’s required because Google Search Console contains lists of links that Google sees pointing back to your site. Of course, knowing which links Google considers valuable is critical for any link analysis efforts. And this is why Google Search Console is so important. But, this should not be the last word on link analysis tools that you collect for your link analysis tasks. Optional Link Analysis Tool #1: Ahrefs Boasting one of the most accurate and largest link databases of its kind, Ahrefs is the premier tool of choice for SEOs looking to analyze large volumes of links. Not only that, but you can expand your link acquisition opportunities by using several actionable techniques that they go over in this post: ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Creating spammy looking links en masse` back to your own site. Creating dummy sites on other domains with thousands of pages of your own scraped duplicate content, pointing back to your site. Hacking your site’s robots.txt file, and getting it de-indexed, Fake social profiles and fake negative online sentiment based on social signals. Spammy PBNs to make it look like you are engaging in this behavior. On-site negative SEO as the result of a site hack. These are just some of the additional cool, actionable things you can do with Ahrefs (I bet you thought this was going to be yet another dry tools list with benefits and features, huh?) And much more. I love AHREFs for its comprehensiveness and ease of use in its audit potential along with the discovery of new link opportunities. It’s one of the best tools around for link acquisition. With one of the largest link databases known to man, you really cannot go wrong on this tool. Optional Link Analysis Tool #2: SEMrush SEMrush is considered one of the best tools in an SEO person’s tool stack, and for good reason: you can fully customize your link acquisition plan from the start, beginning with low-hanging fruit opportunities at first, and going after the more difficult links later. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Among its standard list of tasks you can use, there are other little-known things you may not have thought of about using SEMrush for link analysis: You can mine for some content opportunities by examining the higher traffic pages on your competitor’s website. You can look into how your competition is really acquiring their links, and then you can duplicate their link acquisition strategies. It’s possible to use alerts to automate the discovery of new link opportunities. Identify keywords with low competition and higher traffic and business potential. Audit your site and figure out any crucial SEO mistakes that are negatively impacting your site on Google. Look for gaps in your content strategy using the content gap analysis tool. And much more. SEMrush’s suite of tools not only covers link analysis, but also content marketing, social media, and many other facets of SEO. I highly recommend them as yet another tool you should have in your SEO link analysis arsenal. Optional Link Analysis Tool #3: Majestic Majestic’s link analysis tool is a no-brainer. It’s one of the simplest, easiest methods around to export your links, and put them into a format that’s usable and reader-friendly. There are a few little-known link analysis steps you can take to ensure that you grab every potential link that could be a bad link: ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Their bad neighborhood checker tool allows you to comb through links all belonging to a shared IP, or even the same IP, unearthing links that could be used as part of a PBN or other link network. In cases of microsites, usually, site owners will have all of those sites coming from the same IP. They’re not doing anything malicious, but other techniques like on-page spam could have a negative impact, which you can actually find when going through these links. With the latest release of Majestic, you have the context of words and images surrounding links! A major improvement in its overall link analysis functions. Of course, as with all link analysis tools, Majestic has its own metrics and measurements for domain authority, called trust flow and citation flow. Combining Link Analysis Tools Data Creating a spreadsheet that combines all of your link analysis tools data into one, and moving forward with your own strategy for designating these links, based on your industry, and based on your site, is a great way to begin your link analysis. The way I have done it in the past is to note the links by link type (press release link, PBN link, forum link, etc.), and whether or not it is spam/not spam. You can have good press release links, just as you can have good forum links. Not every link from these sources is bad. It depends on how you do it and whether or not it violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. What If I Have a Drop in Traffic? If you have been hit with anything that’s not clearly a manual penalty (such as an algorithmic devaluation), you must do some analysis and determine whether it is really a penalty or algorithmic devaluation. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Just because you’ve had a significant drop in traffic, doesn’t mean you are automatically levied with an algorithmic devaluation. You could have lost a critical link that was driving significant traffic. Perhaps a page changed, altering your results significantly. Or, maybe the search query changed and people aren’t searching much for that term anymore, leading to a traffic drop. You must answer the following questions: When did the drop occur? Did the drop in traffic coincide with an algorithm update? Did this drop in traffic happen at the same time as other significant on-site changes? Was the site potentially suffering from a loss of a critical link? Could the traffic otherwise be gained? Has the page significantly been changed to be more spammy than it used to be? That’s why it’s critical to perform this type of analysis first to really nail down what actually caused the drop in traffic. If the analysis reveals that you are being algorithmically devalued, then you will want to proceed with the link analysis/link remediation project to determine any bad links and get them disavowed. Link Analysis Can Reveal Weaknesses, As Well As Strengths On its own, a link analysis can help you reveal significant information about your site’s own link profile. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW From its health to the types of links, and whether or not it violates Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, all are useful indicators as to the overall quality of your link profile. If you are under penalty, the link analysis is a critical element of your overall penalty recovery program. If you are under algorithmic devaluation, this analysis will help you narrow down where, exactly, the devaluation is taking place on your site. Even if you’re not under penalty or devaluation, a regular link analysis can help you in several ways, including making sure that you don’t get into trouble due to toxic links in your site’s link profile. Link acquisition is no more. The future of link acquisition is link earning, and it’s already here. It’s making sure that your link profile is as natural as possible. The fewer issues you have that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, the better. You don’t want to have too many toxic links tank your site overnight. That’s a nightmare for everyone involved. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW As the saying goes: you can never be too careful with your site’s link profile. More Resources: Image Credits Featured Image: Created by author, May 2020 Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
The 4 Snackable Content Formats Every Marketer Should Understand
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 7:00 am on HubSpot: Let’s imagine a world where I just started my own lifestyle brand called Lightning on Fire Inc. You’re probably thinking, “Wow, that name rules! But what do you sell?” We sell a lifestyle. Now, you’re probably wondering, “Wow, that sounds like it rules! But what does that mean?” Well … we don’t actually know yet. What we do know is that we want to create some content to get our marketing efforts off the ground. But our staff isn’t great with long-form articles, and Lightning on Fire’s target audience is looking for content they can consume quickly and share consistently. In this case, we would try to produce what’s known as snackable content — which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s essentially the content equivalent of chips or pizza bagels as opposed to legitimate meals. Here, we’ll get some more perspective on what the term “snackable content” entails and learn about four of the most basic yet effective formats for creating it. It’s easy to assume that creating snackable content is inherently easier than long-form content, and in some ways, it definitely is. But snackable content creation comes with a host of its own challenges and strategies. It’s a different game with different rules, and its potential payoffs can be more immediate and wider-reaching than long-form content. The object of creating snackable content is to offer immediate entertainment or enrichment, prompt social sharing, and attract new leads as a result. And certain content mediums facilitate that process particularly well. Here are four of the easiest, most straightforward snackable content formats that can lead to meaningful, lucrative outcomes if done right. 1. Quote Graphics A compelling quote can capture attention in itself, but supporting one with captivating visuals adds a new dimension to the interest it can generate. Think of your quote as the entree to a Michelin star meal — a cut of filet mignon (or a lentil stuffed eggplant if you’re vegetarian). It’s the centerpiece of the dish, and it’s delicious in its own right, but some side dishes and “eye-eats-first” presentation would take it to another level. That’s the fundamental principle behind quote graphics. The engaging backdrop, distinctive font, and other engrossing visual elements fill up the rest of the plate and turn it from a tasty a la carte entree to a perfectly snackable, five-star meal. If you can find or create quote-oriented content relevant to your business, you can command and retain the attention of potential customers. Here’s an example of a snackable quote graphic from my hypothetical lifestyle brand. Now, this graphic is clearly in jest, and no one actually calls me “Money Machine” — no matter how many times I ask them to — but it’s still an example of an original quote graphic, specific to the nature of a brand. However, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If there are quotes you find particularly cool or inspirational that are in keeping with your messaging, use them and provide attribution. Here’s an example of a graphic centered around a quote from Muhammad Ali. Image Source: USA Today If a quote like that speaks to you or could complement your marketing efforts, use it, support it with interesting images, and cite your sources. As I said, quotes are inherently compelling, but visual support makes them engagingly snackable. 2. Memes Here, we have my favorite format — at least the one I like making the most. Memes perfectly encapsulate snackable content as a concept. They’re immediate, specifically-tailored to be entertaining, and can be easily scrolled through and shared. Here’s a meme I made to support Lightning on Fire’s content marketing efforts: Creating memes is a delicate art — especially for something so blunt and seemingly straightforward. If you’re using memes to support your marketing efforts, you need to be more careful than you might assume. Corporations have been known to co-opt different meme formats and run them into the ground. British TV provider Freeview even made a meme about brands ruining memes: Image Source: Freeview That being said, if you can consistently make entertaining memes tastefully — without upsetting or irritating the members of your audience that are really into memes — you’ll wind up with a wealth of delightfully snackable content. 3.Infographics The infographic, as a format, is one of the best mediums for relaying informative, meaningful content without sacrificing snackability. It’s fun, engaging, and practical — with a fairly dynamic range of applications. For instance, they can be used as structured “how-to” guides for different processes, like this example from HubSpot. Image Source: HubSpot But infographics don’t have to be structured or sequential. They can also be used to convey general, interesting facts or statistics, like this example from the good people over here at Lightning on Fire, Inc. Infographics are more accessible and dynamic than conventional written text — and those qualities are the essence of snackable content. They’re meant to be straightforward and easy to gloss over while still being enriching. Though there will always be information that’s too serious or technical to summarize and set against pretty pictures, infographics might be the best way to project valuable information in a snackable package. 4. Gifs Gifs are another type of compulsively shareable form of snackable content with tremendous potential to catch on and go viral. As a format, gifs are extremely versatile. They can be used to show short-form videos silently, show captivating images on loop, and capture the essence of specific emotions and reactions — among several other applications. Some gifs are almost purely for the sake of entertainment. This one is a favorite of mine: Image Source: GIPHY But that’s not their only function. They can be an incredibly useful marketing tool as well. Here’s a promotional gif that supported the release of Terminator: Dark Fate: Image Source: Contently It’s an awesome, striking image and a perfect example of a company producing a high-quality, snackable gif. It’s visually compelling and could be worth sharing just for that fact, alone. The format also works well for quick how-to videos or snippets of product demonstrations. Original gifs are similar to original memes in that they have tons of sharing potential, but just as much potential to be dead on arrival. If you intend to create and share gifs over social media or other channels, put effort, thought, and fine touch into them. And always have multiple people look them over. A sound web presence can be mission-critical to the success of any company’s marketing strategy. If you can supplement and populate yours with solid snackable content, you’re going to be in an excellent position to expand the reach and efficacy of your online marketing efforts. You want people to share your content, so give them something easy to share. Learn more about HubSpot by visiting their website.
How to Send SMS Messages to Your WordPress Users
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 6:00 am on WP Beginner: Recently, one of our readers asked if it was possible to send SMS messages to their subscribers along with email newsletters. The answer is yes. You can easily send text messages to your website users by using one of the many SMS plugins for WordPress. In this article, we’ll show you how to send SMS messages to your WordPress users, step by step. Why Send SMS Messages to Your Users? Sending SMS messages can be highly effective in bringing back customers to your website. Particularly, when used with other marketing tools like an email newsletter, push notifications, and search traffic. Text messages have a fantastic open rate. Some studies suggest that SMS open rates are as high as 98%. Compare that with a typical open rate of just 20% for emails, and you can see why SMS messages are becoming a preferred marketing medium. People check text messages much more quickly than they check emails. It takes an average of 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it. Even when they’ve opted in, most users won’t want daily texts from you. Even weekly might be too much. Important: Make sure you obey the law. Different countries have different legal requirements for text messages, particularly marketing messages. You might also want to use SMS messages to send receipts or order updates. We’ll cover how to do that later in this tutorial. Sending SMS Marketing Messages Using Sendinblue Sendinblue is an email marketing service that also allows you to send SMS messages to your subscribers. To get started, you’ll need to set up an account with Sendinblue if you haven’t already got one. On the Sendinblue website, click the ‘Sign up free’ button to start creating your account. Once you’ve finished the account setup process, you’ll see your Sendinblue dashboard. If you didn’t complete your profile during the setup stage, you’ll be prompted to do so here. Before you can start sending messages, you’ll need to contact the support team. Go to the Sendinblue contact page and write a message that includes: A request to activate your account. Your site’s URL. A note that you’ll be sending marketing messages. Once your account has been approved, you’ll get an email from Sendinblue. Note that this can take up to 24 hours. Buying SMS Credits for Your Sendinblue Account While you’re waiting for your account to be approved, you can start creating an SMS campaign in Sendinblue. First, click the + button in the Sendinblue menu to go to the Apps and Integrations page. Then, scroll down the page to find the SMS Campaigns app and click the slider to activate it. Next, you’ll need to purchase SMS credits. In your Sendinblue dashboard, you’ll see ‘0 SMS Credits’ on the left-hand side. You need to click the ‘Get more credits’ link to purchase SMS credits. You’ll be taken to the ‘My Plan’ area of the dashboard. In the SMS Credits section, click the ‘Get More SMS Credits’ link. Sendinblue defaults to selling you 100 credits at a time. You can buy fewer, but the minimum charge is still $1.14 plus tax. Note: It costs 1 credit to send a text message in the US, but you’ll need to pay more than 1 credit per message in other countries. Once you have selected the number of credits, go ahead and complete your purchase. Once you’ve bought your credits, you may need to wait for up to 48 hours for them to appear in your account. You may also get an email from Sendinblue asking you for more details about what type of SMS marketing you plan to do. This is to help you stay in compliance with SMS laws. You’ll need to reply to them with answers to their questions before your credits can be added to your account. Creating Your SMS Marketing List In order to send out SMS messages, you’ll need to import your list. You can do this by going to the Contacts tab in your Sendinblue dashboard. Then, click the ‘Import contacts’ button. You can either upload a .csv file from your computer, or you can copy and paste contacts line by line. Whichever option you choose, Sendinblue offers examples to help you. Important: Your users need to have opted in for SMS marketing messages. You can collect website visitor’s phone numbers and consent using a WordPress form plugin like WPForms, or using a marketing popup plugin like OptinMonster. Sending Your First SMS Campaign Once your credits show up and your account is approved, you can start sending messages. First, you’ll want to add a test contact in Sendinblue, so you can test your SMS campaign. Simply, go to the Contacts section in your dashboard, then click the ‘Add a contact’ button. Next, fill in your details, including your mobile phone number. After that, you can either add your test contact to an existing list, or you can create a new one. Once you’ve done that, click ‘Save and close’. You should see a message telling you that the subscriber has been successfully added. When your SMS credits have been added to your account, you can test out sending a text message. First, go to the SMS tab in your Sendinblue dashboard. Next, click the ‘Create my first SMS campaign’ button. You can enter whatever you want for your Campaign Name. This isn’t seen by the recipients. You should also enter an SMS Sender. This will display for users in certain countries. Next, enter your SMS message. Beneath the message box, you can see how many characters you’ve used and how many SMS messages will be sent. At the bottom of the screen, click the ‘Send a test’ button. Next, a popup box will appear. Enter your mobile number, which you included when you added yourself as a contact earlier. You should see a message telling you that your test message has been sent successfully. Now, check your phone to see if the text has come through. Here’s ours: If your text hasn’t arrived, wait a minute or two and it should appear. If not, double-check that you’re using the right mobile number. Once you know everything’s working, you can continue setting up your campaign. Click the X to close the ‘Send a test’ window, then click the ‘Next Step’ button on the top right of the screen. Now, you’ll need to choose your contact list(s). Check all the lists you want to use, then click the ‘Next Step’ button. That’s all you need to do! Your SMS campaign is now ready to send. You can review the details and change them if you want to, using the ‘Return to this step’ links. Once you’re happy, click ‘Schedule’ on the top right. You can either schedule your campaign so that your texts are sent out at a specific time, or you can send it immediately. Important: Avoid sending your text messages early in the morning or late at night. Be mindful of timezones, too. Not everyone will remember to turn on Do Not Disturb mode overnight. Sending SMS Messages to Your WooCommerce Customers What if you want to send your customers notifications about their orders? If you’ve decided to start an online store, then you might want to send text updates as well as emails to your customers. The easiest way to do that is with a suitable plugin such as YITH WooCommerce SMS Notifications. This plugin lets you use an SMS gateway, such as Twilio, to send SMS messages to your customers. They receive these when their order status changes, such as when it’s dispatched. You can set up YITH WooCommerce SMS Notifications so that it’s enabled for all customers, or you can let customers opt-in at the checkout. Also, you can use it to get SMS notifications yourself about new orders. This makes it easy to stay on top of things if you’re away from your computer. We hope this tutorial helped you learn how to send SMS messages to your WordPress users. You may also want to see our list of best business phone services for small business, and our list of the best live chat software to grow your sales. If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook. The post How to Send SMS Messages to Your WordPress Users appeared first on WPBeginner. Learn more about WP Beginner by visiting their website.
4 Ways Small Businesses Can Advertise on Amazon [IG]
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 6:00 am on HubSpot: In 2020, advertising on Amazon is undoubtedly one of the most effective options for getting your products or services in front of a large audience. In fact, 56% of consumers visit Amazon before any other site. I’m all too familiar with the power of Amazon. It’s now the first site I visit to shop for almost anything, ranging from vacuum cleaners to Mother’s Day gifts to workout gear. Best of all, it’s a great option for discovering new brands. Amazon offers multiple options for small businesses looking to advertise tangible products on the platform — plus, opportunities to advertise non-tangible services, as well. But oftentimes, the e-commerce giant can feel overwhelming or out-of-reach for small businesses. Fortunately, the folks at Business Financing Co. put together the following infographic, which explores four options for small businesses looking to advertise products on Amazon, plus alternative options for small businesses with non-tangible services. Keep reading, and then decide for yourself which option is best-suited for your own marketing strategy. Additionally, take a look at The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising if you’re interested in creating a comprehensive Amazon advertising strategy. Learn more about HubSpot by visiting their website.
How to Run Facebook Ads for Local Businesses: Driving Foot Traffic
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 5:00 am on Social Media Examiner: Social Media Marketing Industry Report In our 12th annual social media study (46 pages, 60+ charts) of 5,200+ marketers, you’ll discover which social networks marketers most plan on using, organic social activities, paid social media plans, and much more! Get this free report and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner. Learn more about Social Media Examiner by visiting their website.
Your customers aren’t interested in your COVID messaging anymore, what now?
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published June 1, 2020 4:07 am on Search Engine Land: Even though the coronavirus is far from fully under control, there’s evidence of COVID fatigue everywhere you look. It casually appeared in late April and then in the crowded Wisconsin bar scenes and packed Alabama and Florida beaches of Memorial Day weekend. People are ready for the outbreak to be over, which extends to content from brands. Mounting Evidence of Fatigue As early as mid-April, roughly three weeks into state lockdowns, there was evidence of COVID-fatigue showing up in audience-engagement data from Chartbeat and Taboola, as well as survey data collected by the Harris Poll (for GCI Health) and communications firm Mitto. The Harris survey found that 93% of respondents were interested in hearing about non-COVID topics and that 66% were feeling overwhelmed by all the coronavirus coverage. Roughly 40% wanted to see “stories of hope and inspiration” instead. The Mitto survey, which polled 7,000 people in the US, China, Australia Spain and several other countries, found a general appreciation for earlier brand communications about COVID-19. According to the survey, “77% said that the messages they received from brands over the past few weeks have made them feel like brands care about their well-being.” However, 41% of respondents, in mid-April, were then ready to hear from brands about topics unrelated to COVID-19. The steady stream of “important messages” from CEOs, tips for dealing with “the new normal” and premature cheerleading about “recovery,” created a cacophony of often generic-sounding content. Accordingly, in early April, I wrote about how marketers and brands could differentiate their efforts from the sea of coronavirus content being produced. Navigating a Complex Audience Landscape The new challenge is how to move beyond coronavirus communication but not pretend the outbreak is truly over. There’s also the challenge of industry specific issues (dentist vs. restaurant), regional differences, politics and audience age differences. All these variables make brand communication more difficult coming out of the lockdowns than going in. (The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 has created a new and vastly more charged issue for brands to now address, which is an important but separate topic.) For some practical perspective on how to deal with COVID-fatigue and content going forward, I turned to Amy Bishop, Owner Cultivative, Michelle Morgan, Director of Client Services, Clix Marketing and Monina Wagner, Social Media and Community Manager at Content Marketing Institute. Michelle Morgan My general rule (at this point) is to think about how customers interact with your company. They only want/need to hear about COVID if it will impact their experience of working with you. If you’re a restaurant, you likely need to address COVID since there are guidelines in place and a patron’s experience will be different from normal whether in person or pick up. It doesn’t have to be heavy handed, but there likely needs to be some expectation setting. On the other hand, if you’re an online retailer that ships electronics direct to consumers, you can likely shift back to more “evergreen” messaging and get back to that sense of normalcy since your customer’s experience is probably the same as it was prior to COVID. Amy Bishop I think it depends on the brand. I’ve seen a few brands taking a stance on social distancing and that makes sense for some, depending on their market’s values but it can also be risky. While I wouldn’t necessarily advise to act like COVID is over, I think there are ways to sidestep without referencing it in messaging. I would still stick to visuals where folks are social distancing (and wearing masks, where applicable). For companies that prefer not to take a stance, it’s best to stick to solution-focused messaging, as that’s always relevant. Monina Wagner I’d be OK if I didn’t hear the phrase “unprecedented times” ever again. The COVID burnout is real. Yet fatigue or not, the pandemic is not over. Marketers must be sensitive to the current crisis. We should not make assumptions about where are customers are and what they need right now. Marketers must remember: we are not our audience. Content marketing is about creating and distributing valuable content. To do this, it’s important to demonstrate a level of empathy towards our customers. This is critical to what we do. Ask your audience how you can help. Then, when they feel comfortable, follow their lead. Encourage them to get back out there. Take this opportunity to inspire them with your content. This does not mean we have to shy away from topics related to COVID. Just approach it thoughtfully. It does not mean we have to throw out any pre-pandemic content. Analyze what you have then perform an audit to help ensure your work conveys awareness. And if our audience desires new content, we must produce it responsibly. Many marketers feel pressured to move forward with short-term pivots. But we should be thinking about a long-term strategy to navigate us though this new landscape. COVID has left a lasting impact on us all. But marketers are resilient. We assess. We adapt. And we push forward. About The Author Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall. Learn more about Search Engine Land by visiting their website.
Google Tests Showing Web Pages in YouTube Search Results via @MattGSouthern
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 31, 2020 1:45 pm on Search Engine Journal: Google has been spotted showing links to web pages when people search for topics on YouTube. The post Google Tests Showing Web Pages in YouTube Search Results via @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
What Is Evergreen Content & Why Should You Care? via @JuliaEMcCoy
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 31, 2020 7:00 am on Search Engine Journal: Want to learn how to write content that brings you consistent organic traffic for months or even years? It all boils down to evergreen content. The post What Is Evergreen Content & Why Should You Care? via @JuliaEMcCoy appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
Google Adds An Anxiety Disorder Self-Assessment to Search Results via @MattGSouthern
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 30, 2020 10:48 am on Search Engine Journal: When people use Google Search to look for information about anxiety, they will now see a clinically-validated questionnaire for self-assessment. According to new data released last week from the Census Bureau, a third of Americans are now showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression. “Anxiety disorders affect 48 million adults in the U.S. Anxiety presents itself as a wide range of symptoms, and can be a result of biological factors or triggered by a change in environment or exposure to a stressful event. With COVID-19 introducing new points of stress, communities are seeing a rise in mental health issues and needs.” Google is doing its part to assist those who may be dealing with symptoms of anxiety by partnering with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to provide access to mental health resources. When people in the US search for information about anxiety, Google will display the GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7) in the knowledge panel section. The GAD-7 is used in clinical practice as a tool to screen for anxiety. According to Peer reviewed studies, the questionnaire is valid, efficient, and reliable. Here’s an example of what the GAD-7 looks like. When you’re done, you add up the numbers to find out where you fit on the anxiety scale. Scores range from 0 (minimal anxiety) to 21 (severe anxiety). Of course, it will appear different when served in search results and scores are automatically calculated. Here are some example screenshots. The seven question survey covers the same things a mental health professional might ask. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Google assures the answers are private and secure, and will not be collected or shared. The GAD-7 is not a medical diagnosis. It’s only designed to help people understand how their self-reported anxiety symptoms compare to others who have taken the same questionnaire. From there, people can view resources to learn more about their symptoms, or seek help from a professional if needed. “Anxiety can show up as a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, and it can take decades for people who first experience symptoms to get treatment. By providing access to authoritative information, and the resources and tools to learn more about anxiety, we hope to empower more people to take action and seek help.” This is now the third mental health screener available in Google search results. Previously, NAMI has partnered with Google to provide similar screeners to people who search for information on depression and PTSD. The self-assessments are currently available in the US only, but Google hopes to eventually make them available in other countries. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Source: Google Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
Facebook Updates Creator Studio
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 30, 2020 5:00 am on Social Media Examiner: Social Media Marketing Industry Report In our 12th annual social media study (46 pages, 60+ charts) of 5,200+ marketers, you’ll discover which social networks marketers most plan on using, organic social activities, paid social media plans, and much more! Get this free report and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner. Learn more about Social Media Examiner by visiting their website.
Twitter Lets Users Schedule Tweets in Advance via @MattGSouthern
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 3:02 pm on Search Engine Journal: Twitter now offers its own method of scheduling tweets in advance, a feature that was once only available with third-party tools. When using Twitter in a web browser, users will now see an option to schedule a tweet from the composer screen. Not quite ready to send that Tweet? Now on https://t.co/fuPJa36kt0 you can save it as a draft or schedule it to send at a specific time –– all from the Tweet composer! pic.twitter.com/d89ESgVZal — Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) May 28, 2020 How to Schedule Tweets on Twitter.com Tweets can be scheduled in a few simple steps. First, compose your tweet. Then, instead of hitting send, click the calendar icon as shown below. Twitter will give users the option to schedule tweets at any time up to 18 months in advance. From the pop-up window you can specify the exact date and time down to the minute. From this window you can also view a list of all scheduled tweets and make and adjustments if needed. Again, this feature is only available on the browser-based version of Twitter. It’s not yet available on Twitter’s official mobile app. Twitter’s mobile app updates are often more spread out, with a number of features added all at the same time. That’s in contrast to the web based version of Twitter, which tends to have new features added more frequently. I suspect with the next app update we’ll get scheduled tweets and other features exclusive to the web version of Twitter, such as saved searches. In the meantime, you can visit Twitter on a mobile browser to use features that are missing from the mobile app. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Save Drafts on Twitter.com Along with the scheduled tweets feature, the web based version of Twitter is also getting the ability to save drafts. Saving drafts is a feature so ingrained in Twitter’s mobile app it’s easy to forget you can’t do it on the web version. But it hasn’t been supported on the web version of Twitter, at least until today’s update. If you’re familiar with saving drafts on the mobile app – it works exactly the same way on the web version. Compose your tweet and then click the ‘X’ button to close out of it. Twitter will ask if you want to save what you’ve composed or permanently delete it. If you choose to save a tweet as a draft, you can come back to it at any time and finish it. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW As far as I can tell, tweet drafts can be accessed across platforms. So you can save a draft on the mobile app and revisit it on web based Twitter. One of the most positive things about the ability to save drafts is that it gives Twitter users time to put more thought into what they’re sending out to the world. Many people can relate to the feeling of tweeting something they later regret, which is something that drafts can mitigate to a certain extent. Users can compose a tweet and then back out of it without abandoning it altogether. Then they can revisit the tweet at a later time and assess whether it’s still a good idea to send it. I’d wager a lot of regrettable tweets have gone unsent since Twitter introduced drafts in the mobile app. Now users can re-think their tweets by saving drafts whether they’re using the app or the web version of Twitter. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
Google to Use Page Experience as a Ranking Factor & This Week’s Digital Marketing News [PODCAST] via @shepzirnheld
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 11:00 am on Search Engine Journal: The Marketing O’Clock team discusses Google’s announcement that user experience will be a ranking factor, the launch of Google Discovery ads, and more / 13 seconds ago ADVERTISEMENT Jess Budde, Greg Finn, and Christine “Shep” Zirnheld talk about the digital marketing news of the week, plus, deadbeat bird dads, dangerous methods for opening beer bottles, and complimentary shortbread cookies. Here are this week’s top stories: Google Page Experience Update Google announced a future update that will consider the quality of the perceived user experience on a page in rankings. Discovery Campaigns Launch Globally Discovery ads can be in a responsive or carousel format and can run on YouTube, the discover feed in the Google app, and Gmail. Retail Category Reporting in Google Ads Ecommerce retailers who sell on Google search and shopping can now see retail category performance based on where their ads showed. IGTV Monetization Instagram users may see ads before IGTV videos in the near future. Instagram also announced badges that allow users to donate to their favorite creators. Then, we take a look at what normal Google users really think of the search engine. It seems people just wanted a search engine and not a clairvoyant telling them what they actually meant to search for. Also, it’s in nteresting to see how prevalent search operators are throughout the thread. — Gisele Navarro (@ichbinGisele) May 23, 2020 We’ll answer these important digital marketing questions during our lightning round segment: Who issued a new executive order that could mean big changes for social media companies? What new attributes are available for Google My Business listings? When can we expect audio tweets to roll out? Where can you host your next virtual team meeting? Why are Google search results getting pulled into YouTube? How can you customize your columns in LinkedIn Campaign Manager? If you enjoyed the show, visit the Marketing O’Clock site to read the articles we reported today and subscribe. Thank you to our sponsors! Ahrefs – An all-in-one SEO toolset that gives you the tools you need to rank your website in Google and get tons of search traffic. Opteo – Helps Google Ads managers automate time-consuming manual tasks so they can spend more time on high-level strategy and creative work. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Featured Image Credit: Cypress North Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
Trump Executive Order May Target Blogs, Recipe Sites & Forums via @martinibuster
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 9:50 am on Search Engine Journal: A new executive order from President Trump may affect every blog, recipe site, review site, ecommerce site, and online forum that publishes user-generated content. The executive order specifically mentions Facebook and Twitter. But the scope of the order includes all websites that publish user-generated content that is moderated. According to the text published by the White House: “Sec. 7. Definition. For purposes of this order, the term “online platform” means any website or application that allows users to create and share content or engage in social networking, or any general search engine.” I asked Jeff Ferguson, Adjunct Professor of Digital Marketing at UCLA and partner at Amplitude Digital (@AmplitudeAgency) about the scope of that executive order and he offered this opinion: “The definition of an “online platform” as defined by the president’s executive order is very broad and can encompass a blog, an online forum, or even a recipe site that allows users to share recipes, in addition to the common examples of ‘social media’ that usually come to mind.” ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW I agree with Jeff that the phrasing is very broad: “…any website… that allows users to create and share content…” Common Decency Act Section 230 (CDA 230) The purpose of CDA 230 was to make it safe for anyone to create a site that allows users to create and share content without worrying about getting sued for content that was published by a user. This freedom from litigation allowed the Internet to grow and fostered free speech. Most importantly, sites were free to moderate their users and not be classified as publishers of that content, a designation could open a site up to lawsuits. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): “CDA 230 also offers its legal shield to bloggers who act as intermediaries by hosting comments on their blogs. Under the law, bloggers are not liable for comments left by readers, the work of guest bloggers, tips sent via email, or information received through RSS feeds. This legal protection can still hold even if a blogger is aware of the objectionable content or makes editorial judgments.” ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW According to the executive order, a publisher who restricts “access to content that it considers to be ‘obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable…” might be subject to having their legal immunity lifted if they fail to provide adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or an opportunity for a hearing. Here’s the specific clause from the executive order: “(ii) the conditions under which an action restricting access to or availability of material is not “taken in good faith” within the meaning of subparagraph (c)(2)(A) of section 230, particularly whether actions can be “taken in good faith” if they are: …taken after failing to provide adequate notice, reasoned explanation, or a meaningful opportunity to be heard;” The definition of what is “objectionable” can vary from site to site. Many online forums ban discussions of religion and politics on the basis that they are “objectionable” because those kinds of comments lead to divisions among the forum members. And what about a religious forum? Does this mean that “objectionable” comments promoting an alternative religion cannot be restricted without giving the commenter adequate notice, a reasoned explanation or a meaningful opportunity to be heard? The EFF writes: “Section 230 forbids the imposition of publisher liability on a service provider for the exercise of its editorial and self-regulatory functions. As the Fourth Circuit noted: Lawsuits seeking to hold a service liable for its exercise of a publisher’s traditional editorial functions – such as deciding whether to publish, withdraw, postpone or alter content – are barred. The purpose of this statutory immunity is not difficult to discern. Congress recognized the threat that tort-based lawsuits pose to freedom of speech in the new and burgeoning Internet medium. . . . Section 230 was enacted, in part, to maintain the robust nature of Internet communication.” Rather than increase freedom of speech, this executive order might do the opposite by removing the traditional immunity from litigation granted to online forums, bloggers, and many other kinds of websites with user-generated content. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Citations Electronic Frontier Foundation:Exercise of Editorial Functions Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act White House: White House executive order Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
6 Reasons to Keep Creating Content During COVID-19 via @Manish_Analyst
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 9:00 am on Search Engine Journal: The COVID-19 pandemic shouldn’t bring every marketing effort in your company to a halt. Here’s why you should keep creating content now and beyond. The post 6 Reasons to Keep Creating Content During COVID-19 via @Manish_Analyst appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
Hreflang FAQ: 7 Basic Questions You Always Wanted to Ask via @motokohunt
Google Now Has 6 Ways to Measure Core Web Vitals via @MattGSouthern
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 7:30 am on Search Engine Journal: Google is quickly expanding the number of ways site owners can measure Core Web Vitals, now offering 6 ways in total. Core Web Vitals were introduced just weeks ago, and at the time they could only be measured using the Chrome UX report. With the announcement that Core Web Vitals will be incorporated into Google’s ranking algorithm, the company is adding measurement capabilities to many of its existing tools. See: Google’s Core Web Vitals to Become Ranking Signals Core Web Vitals can now be measured using: Search Console PageSpeed Insights Lighthouse Chrome DevTools Chrome UX Report Web Vitals Extension Here’s more about using each of these tools to measure Core Web Vitals. Search Console There’s a new Core Web Vitals report in Search Console to help site owners to evaluate pages across an entire site. The report identifies groups of pages that require attention, based on real-world data from the Chrome UX report. With this report, be aware that URLs will be omitted if they do not have a minimum amount of reporting data. PageSpeed Insights PageSpeed Insights has been upgraded to use Lighthouse 6.0, which makes it capable of measuring Core Web Vitals in both the lab and field sections of the report. Core Web Vitals are annotated with a blue ribbon as shown below. Lighthouse Lighthouse was recently upgraded to version 6.0, which includes additional audits, new metrics, and a newly composed performance score. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW Two of these new metrics added are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These metrics are lab implementations of Core Web Vitals and provide diagnostic information for optimizing user experience. The third new metric — Total Blocking Time (TBT) — is said to correlate well with First Input Delay (FID), which is another Core Web Vitals metric. All of the products that Lighthouse powers are updated to reflect the latest version. Chrome UX Report Also referred to as CrUX, this report is is a public dataset of real user experience data on millions of websites. The Chrome UX report measures field versions of all the Core Web Vitals, which means it reports on real-world data rather than lab data. Google has recently updated the report with a new Core Web Vitals landing page. ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW The report can be accessed here. Chrome DevTools Chrome DevTools has been updated to help site owners find and fix visual instability issues on a page that can contribute to Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Select a Layout Shift to view its details in the Summary tab. To visualize where the shift itself occurred, hover over the Moved from and Moved to fields. Chrome DevTools also measures Total Blocking Time (TBT), which is useful when it ones to improving First Input Delay (FID). ADVERTISEMENT CONTINUE READING BELOW TBT is now shown in the footer of the Chrome DevTools Performance panel when you measure page performance. Performance optimizations that improve TBT in the lab should also improve FID. Web Vitals Extension A new extension, now available to install from the Chrome Web Store, measures the three Core Web Vitals metrics in real-time. You can download and install the extension here. Source: Web.dev Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
Has your opinion about attending conferences changed? Take our survey
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 7:08 am on Search Engine Land: Several weeks ago, we asked our community of digital marketers and marketing technologists how the felt about the prospect of attending an in-person conference through the end of 2020. The answer: The community on average gave the prospect of traveling to an event a 4 out of 10 chance without a proven COVID-19 vaccine in place, a benchmark that we’re calling the Event Participation Index. Since we first asked the question, the world still is grappling with coronavirus, with the United States passing a grim milestone with more than 100,000 dead. At the same time, many states have begun phased reopening plans, and the population is beginning to adjust to new norms such as curbside pickup and daily mask use. So we’re asking the question again: How do you feel about attending conferences. Please take our short survey here We will share the results and plan to continue to track this Event Participation Index so that others in the events space, like us, are better equipped to make decisions on holding, canceling or converting their event to virtual. This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here. Original URL:https://martechtoday.com/has-your-opinion-about-attending-conferences-changed-take-our-survey-241660 About The Author Henry Powderly is vice president of content for Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than a decade in editorial leadership positions, he is responsible for content strategy and event programming for the organization. Learn more about Search Engine Land by visiting their website.
Is Sleep Apnea Robbing You of Your Rest? via @rehor
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 7:00 am on Search Engine Journal: Here’s how I learned I had sleep apnea and how I’m managing the challenges that come with it. The post Is Sleep Apnea Robbing You of Your Rest? via @rehor appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
SEOs and developers: Why they’re better together [Video]
The 13 Best Email Template Builders for Any Budget
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 6:00 am on HubSpot: Email marketing is an undeniably powerful strategy for lead acquisition and customer retention — in fact, 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI, and 93% use email as a major channel for content distribution. Of course, creating an email marketing campaign isn’t easy, and it might require you to build a template using HTML so you’re not designing and altering every new email from scratch. Thankfully, there are dozens of email template builders available, all of which can help you intuitively and quickly create new email templates for your upcoming campaigns. Then again, the fact that there are dozens of tools available can pose a challenge — how are you supposed to know which template builder will best suit your needs? Fortunately, you’re in luck. We’ve done the homework for you, compiling a list of our 13 favorite email template builders, complete with pricing, screenshots, and a general overview of each app’s unique features. Keep reading to choose the best email template builder for your company. But first — why do you need an email template builder, anyway? Why You Need an Email Template Builder Email marketing remains one of the highest-ROI marketing strategies, in part because of how easy and inexpensive it is to create a campaign, but if you’re designing and sending emails on a frequent basis, you’ll need additional support to work efficiently—and maximize your results. An email template builder grants you several advantages: Better design features. Without a template builder, you may struggle to arrange your content in blocks as you want, or add videos to your email. Initial time savings. Most email template builders rely on intuitive mechanics, like drag-and-drop editors, so you can design your emails faster. Long-term time savings. Creating a library of email templates can save you a ton of time long-term, allowing you to quickly choose and lightly edit past templates for new emails. Replicability. Did you see impressive results with your most recent campaign? With an email template builder, you can easily replicate it with some minor tweaks in the future. Analytics. Most email template builders also feature built-in analytics, which you can use to study your past email marketing efforts and make improvements to your approach. Additionally, depending on the email template builder you’re using, you may have access to even more features. Let’s dive into some of the best builders, next. The Best Email Template Builders 1. HubSpot HubSpot offers a comprehensive, start-to-finish solution for all your marketing needs. You can create a sleek, on-brand email campaign using HubSpot’s drag-and-drop editor, and customize the template to match your brand and align with your goals. Additionally, you can customize each email depending on your recipient’s lifecycle stage, list membership, or any information in their contact records to ensure each email is designed for optimal conversions. Best of all, the email tool provides top-notch analytics and A/B testing tools so you can continue to refine your marketing strategy over time. Unique Features Analytics to provide deep insights into your email success rates, including open-rate, most popular links clicked in an email, who engages with each email, when and on which device, and what emails perform best. Tailor each email to individual subscribers based on lifecycle stage, list membership, or any other contact information to serve the best calls-to-action to segmented groups. Ability to run A/B tests to improve open-rates and clickthroughs. More than 100 email templates available by default. Custom landing page creation tools. Advanced social sharing options. Integrations with other marketing tools (more than 300 third-party apps). 24/7 support from customer service reps. Pricing You can get started with HubSpot’s email tool for free. Alternatively, if you’re already a HubSpot customer (professional or enterprise), the email tool is already included. 2. MailChimp MailChimp is one of the top names in email marketing, in part because of its accessibility. It’s super easy to learn and build your first few email templates, and you can get started right now with a free plan. As you scale your business, you’ll find additional options, features, and tools for your needs. Image Source Unique Features More than 100 email templates available by default. Custom landing page creation tools. Advanced social sharing options. Integrations with other marketing tools (more than 300 third-party apps). 24/7 support from customer service reps. Pricing MailChimp offers a free plan that provides basic templates, marketing CRM, surveys, and even website creation. At $9.99 per month, you’ll get additional support, custom branding, A/B testing, and all email templates. To get access to custom templates, retargeting ads, and better audience insights, you’ll need the Standard plan at $14.99 per month. Advanced plans, including a Premium tier at $299.00 per month, are also available, and offer features like advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, and more. 3. BEE Free BEE Free is a free online email editor that has been used by more than a million people. In just a few clicks, you can get started designing your first email template — or use one of the 150 templates currently available by default. It also offers free design ideas on its own blog. Image Source Unique Features 150 predesigned templates (and additional paid templates). Full responsiveness for mobile friendly designs. Integration with many SaaS apps. Options to pick up where you left off. Pricing BEE Free, as you might have guessed, is free. You can drag-and-drop to create emails without even needing to sign up. However, you may eventually want to upgrade to one of three BEE Pro packages, which are targeted to freelancers, marketing teams, and agencies. Pro plans start at $15 per month. 4. Mosaico Mosaico.io is an open source email template builder, which is something of a rarity. You won’t find any predesigned templates, as you would with other email template builders, but you will be able to alter the tool however you see fit. Image Source Unique Features A unique click-based design tool, abandoning the traditional “drag-and-drop” model. Community support, due to its open source nature. Infinite flexibility, if you’re willing to put in the work to customize it. Pricing Mosaico is currently completely open source, so you can use it for free. In fact, the entire code base is available on GitHub. 5. Email Monster Email Monster is another free email template builder, with a simple, easy-to-grasp approach. You can choose any of its 100+ base kit templates and edit the template as you see fit. You can also install the free Chrome extension if you want to integrate directly into Gmail. Image Source Unique Features Template designs are immediately available, so you can start in mere minutes. A free Chrome plugin so you can use the tool directly in your browser. The ability to save and download templates for future use. Pricing Email Monster is free, with no upgrades or paid plan options available at this time. 6. AWeber AWeber is specifically designed for small businesses eager to get started with email marketing, but who might have trouble knowing where to begin. Predesigned templates, custom designs, and email automation are all available. Image Source Unique Features A drag and drop AMP carousel, which allows you to add AMP image carousels to your emails. AWeber’s Smart Designer, which uses AI to construct and recommend email templates. A campaign marketplace that allows you to design and launch full email campaigns. 24/7 customer service. Pricing Pricing scales based on the number of subscribers you’re emailing. Plans start at $19 per month, which covers you up to 500 subscribers. The top tier, for 10,000 to 25,000 subscribers, is $149 per month. Pricing options for businesses with more than 25,000 subscribers are available upon request. You can also choose to be billed quarterly or annually to reduce your per-month costs. 7. Unlayer Unlayer allows you to build email templates from scratch, but also utilize merge tags and embed customizable, dynamic content into the body of your messages. It’s designed for SaaS companies, but could feasibly be used by any industry. Image Source Unique Features Dynamic content that changes based on defined conditions. Large-scale template management. Developer friendliness, with full support documentation, for unique customizations. Options for landing pages and further marketing support. Pricing The basic plan option is free. Premium packages are available at $99 for startups, $199 for businesses, and $399 for growing businesses. 8. Campaign Monitor Campaign Monitor is primarily focused on email marketing, but has other features you can use for a variety of other marketing and ecommerce purposes. Because it’s designed to work for teams, it’s ideal if you have many people working together on your campaigns. Image Source Unique Features Template management and collaboration for teams. Built-in support for surveys with unlimited questions. 80 predesigned email templates. Pricing Pricing varies based on how many subscribers you have. You can get started for free, but if you want access for more features, or if you need more support, you’ll need the Basic plan for $9 per month, the Unlimited plan for $29 per month, or the Premier plan for $149. 9. Chamaileon.io Chamaileon.io is a cleverly-named email template builder that allows your team to design emails collaboratively, complete with drag-and-drop mechanics so you never have to worry about coding. You can also design and follow a set email campaign workflow, simplifying your efforts in the future. Image Source Unique Features Collaborative email design for teams working together on the same templates. Unique and flexible account roles for multiple levels of access. Replicable testing settings to allow for easy testing of new designs. Pricing The free plan gives you much of what you need as an individual, but as you start adding seats and getting access to more features, the cost goes up. Premium plans start at $20 per month, with the Pro plan at $40 per month, and the Pro Team plan at $200 per month. 10. Designmodo Designmodo‘s email builder is designed to bring teams together for the email template building process. You can use it to design emails however you like, then export as HTML, or to a full email service provider like Mailchimp. Image Source Unique Features Modular designs that help you stack, customize, and rearrange your options. Long-term content management to help you revisit previous successes. Unlimited exports, which is ideal if you’re exporting to other services frequently. Pricing For a single user and 10 modules, you can use Postcards for free. Business plans start at $15 per month, and an agency plan starts at $25 per month. 11. Stripo.email Stripo.email helps you create responsive email templates without any HTML coding skills necessary. It also features innate dynamic AMP support, and a robust testing tool to help you preview your email in more than 90 popular environments, including variants for devices and browsers. Image Source Unique Features Drag-and-drop AMP blocks for image carousel and/or accordion support. Thorough testing in nearly 100 different environments. A customizable module library, allowing you to reuse past successful elements. Integration with many ESPs and third-party tools. Pricing The free plan is all you’ll need to get started. Billed yearly, the Business plan is $125 (or $10.42 per month), and the Agency plan is $400 (or $33.33 per month). 12. Taxi for Email Taxi for Email provides scalable email template creation, as well as the ability to create email workflows. It also allows you to assign various tasks and permissions to your team, so each of your marketers can play a role in perfecting your email campaign. Image Source Unique Features Team dynamics, including collaborative tools, access assignment, and user permissions. Robust testing on-demand as you design. Support for multiple languages and email segmentation. Pricing Taxi for Email doesn’t publish their pricing, but you can submit a short contact form on their website to get a free quote. 13. SendGrid SendGrid is an email service that provides support for email template designs — additionally, it offers email functions like automatic shipping notifications and password resets. It also boasts an open API, which you can use to integrate with just about anything. Image Source Unique Features A wide variety of tools, including email design, automation, signup forms, and more. APIs, SMTP Relay, and Webhooks. Delivery optimization tools so you can increase delivery rates. Pricing The basic version of the tool is free, and paid plans start at $14.95 per month for the essentials, or $89.95 per month for the Pro plan. Rates increase as you send more emails per month. Choose the Best Email Template Builder for Your Needs While it’s arguable that some of these email template builders are superior to some of the others, all of them have strengths and weaknesses. The best email template builder will be the one that most closely aligns with your organization’s goals — giving you all the tools you need, at a price within your budget. When you narrow the list down to a few options, give each one a try (since most of these tools either offer a free trial, or a free version altogether), and get a hands-on feel for which tool might serve your organization best. Learn more about HubSpot by visiting their website.
How to Use Google Analytics to Eliminate Uncertainty
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 5:00 am on Social Media Examiner: Social Media Marketing Industry Report In our 12th annual social media study (46 pages, 60+ charts) of 5,200+ marketers, you’ll discover which social networks marketers most plan on using, organic social activities, paid social media plans, and much more! Get this free report and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner. Learn more about Social Media Examiner by visiting their website.
8 Best WordPress Notification Bar Plugins (Compared)
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 5:00 am on WP Beginner: Do you want to add a notification bar on your website? A floating bar or “hello bar” can be an effective and non-intrusive way to alert users about a sale or coupon. However, it could also get annoying if it’s not setup properly. For instance, a notification bar that takes half the screen on mobile is not a good user experience. In this article, we’ll help you pick the best WordPress notification bar plugins to boost traffic, get more subscribers, and increase sales. What to look for in a WordPress Notification Bar Plugin? There are plenty of WordPress notification bar plugins available in the market, but not all of them have the right set features you may need for getting the maximum results. For example, some notification bar plugins are too simple and does not come with proper settings for allowing users to hide the notification. Others may not have the ability to add dynamic elements such as call to action buttons or countdown timers to boost urgency. Basically, you need to choose a floating bar plugin that aligns with your goal: increase traffic, show announcement alert, grow your email list, increase sales conversion, etc. Here are some of the most important factors you need to look for when choosing a notification bar plugin: Targeting and Cookie Settings – Your notification plugin should have targeting option that allows you to customize the message for different sections, and also remember what user has seen in the past to improve user experience. Dynamic Elements – A good alert notification plugin allows you to add dynamic elements such as countdown timers, multiple call-to-action buttons, animation effects, etc. Newsletter Integrations – If your goal is to grow your email newsletter, then you need to make sure that the sticky bar plugin integrates with popular email marketing services. Support options – Lastly, you need to make sure that there are support options available. Good support can save you a lot of money in the long run. With that said, let’s take a look at our comparison of the best WordPress notification bar plugins. 1. OptinMonster OptinMonster is the best conversation optimization software that comes with several marketing tools to help you turn website visitors into subscribers and customers. It also includes a notification bar feature with dozens of beautiful templates. Their drag and drop builder allows you to customize the design or even create completely custom templates to match your brand. You can include things like a countdown timer, too. OptinMonster is great for notification bars that encourage action. It has advanced targeting features that allow you to personalize the message based on your goals and users’ past behavior. You can also use OptinMonster’s notification bars to show an alert or message. If you’ve had to suddenly change your business hours, for instance, you can alert your website visitors to this. Other use-cases include: creating a free shipping bar notice for WooCommerce, add a newsletter opt-in form, create a discount alert bar, redirect traffic to a landing page, and more. Below are some real example screenshots from their floating bar gallery: Aside from just notification bars, you can use OptinMonster to create all sorts of different popups and alerts including spin to win gamified opt-in forms, exit-intent popups, fullscreen welcome mats, and more: Not to mention, there is no other solution that offers more personalization and targeting features than OptinMonster. Take a look at some of their targeting rules: 2. SeedProd’s Notification Bar Pro SeedProd is best known for its ‘Coming Soon’ page plugin. However, they also have a floating bar plugin, called Notification Bar Pro. You can buy Notification Bar Pro as part of the SeedProd bundle. With SeedProd’s Notification Bar Pro, you can design your notification bar however you want. It shows a live preview of your notification bar as you design it. This makes it easy to tweak it to look however you want. You don’t have to show your notification bar on every page of your site. Instead, you might choose to show it on just the home page. You could also allow or exclude specific pages. It’s very quick to build and tweak your notification bar with SeedProd. If you want to go further than the wide range of built-in options, then you can also add custom CSS to style the floating bar. There’s a limited free version available, too, called WordPress Notification Bar. This doesn’t offer all the features of the full version, but you might like to try it out if you’re just getting started. 3. TrustPulse TrustPulse is a little different from the plugins we’ve looked at so far. It offers a real-time social proof notifications, letting your users know what’s happening right now on your site. This can be a great way to take advantage of the FOMO effect while building trust around your brand. When someone visits your site, TrustPulse will show a small notification bar that lets them know who’s buying your product right now, or who’s bought it recently. This is a powerful form of social proof that is proven to increase conversions. It works with all top eCommerce platforms including WooCommerce. You can also set up TrustPulse to track other types of interactions. For instance, you could use it to show a notification when someone joins your email list. TrustPulse is incredibly easy to use out of the box. However, there are plenty of features you can customize if you want to. You can easily change the message, colors, and images used in your notifications, for instance. It also gives you lots of useful analytics, showing you which pages are delivering the highest conversion rate. There’s even a free version, which lets you show notifications for up to 500 sessions (visits from users). 4. WP Notification Bar Pro WP Notification Bar Pro offers multiple different notification types. You can use it to build your email list, grow your social media following, advertise sales, and more. This is a great option if you want to show something a bit unusual in your notification bar. For instance, you can use WP Notification Bar Pro to show your latest posts or even posts that are related to the one the user is on. You can even display a search form or social media buttons in your notification bar. WP Notification Bar Pro lets you create multiple notification bars. You can set their priority so the most important one always displays on a given page. You can also split test your bars to see which performs best. You can track your views and clicks, too. 5. Hello Bar Hello Bar is a well known and popular notification bar plugin for WordPress. It’s easy and straightforward to use. If you’re a complete beginner, it could be a good option. Like with OptinMonster, you can use Hello Bar to add users to your email lists, as it integrates with popular email marketing services. As well as notification bars, Hello Bar lets you create other types of popups such as sliders and even popups that take over the whole screen. There’s a limited free version of Hello Bar available. You’ll need to create an account with Hello Bar in order to use it. The free version doesn’t give you as much control over your notification bars as the full version. You’ll still be able to make some basic design changes using it, though. Note: You won’t be able to remove the Hello Bar branding unless you pay for a premium plan at which point OptinMonster is a much better option at the price. 6. Easy Notification Bar Easy Notification Bar is a simple, free option. You can just install it on your site and get started straight away. It doesn’t have all the options you’ll get from other plugins, but you can still do basic things like type in your text, choose a font size, add a link, and customize the colors. Unlike many of the other plugins here, Easy Notification Bar only offers a floating bar. It doesn’t let you create other types of popup too. If you just want to put an alert on your website, it could be a great option. For instance, if you run a restaurant and want to alert customers to a temporary closure or change in business hours, this plugin might be all you need. It’s completely free, and there’s no premium version. If you’re on a tight budget after the other costs of building a WordPress site, then this could be a good plugin to start with. 7. WPFront Notification Bar WPFront Notification bar is another simple plugin that lets you create notification bars in WordPress. You can place the bar at the top or bottom of the page. You can set the bar to automatically close and/or have a close button for your visitors. You can also configure when the bar appears, for example you might set a start and end date for it. WPFront Notification Bar is completely free and regularly updated. As with Easy Notification Bar, there’s no premium version. One key drawback with this plugin is that you can only create a single notification bar at a time. 8. Divi Notification Bar Divi by Elegant Themes is one of the most popular drag & drop page builder for WordPress. Aside from letting you create custom landing pages, Divi also allows you to easily create and add notification alerts in your pages with their easy drag & drop interface. Although it doesn’t come with the powerful personalization and targeting features like OptinMonster, it is still a suitable solution for basic needs. Expert Pick: Which is the Best Notification Bar Plugin for WordPress? In our opinion, OptinMonster is the best WordPress notification bar plugin because of it’s large template selection, easy to use design customizer, advanced personalization / targeting features, and hundreds of integrations with popular email marketing services & CRMs. Not to mention, it also gives you a whole range of other marketing tools like popups, slide-ins, fullscreen welcome mats, gamified spin a wheel opt-in forms, and more. If you’re looking to display social proof notifications, then TrustPulse is an ideal solution. We hope this article helped you learn about the best WordPress notification bar plugins. You might also want to take a look at our expert list of the best business phone services and must have WordPress plugins for small business. If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook. The post 8 Best WordPress Notification Bar Plugins (Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner. Learn more about WP Beginner by visiting their website.
How to Run a Successful Grassroots Marketing Campaign [+ Examples]
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 29, 2020 4:30 am on HubSpot: When I try to think of marketing campaigns that were emotional and memorable, one of the first ones that comes to mind is the Dove Real Beauty campaign. The reason? Dove uses grassroots marketing strategies to create targeted content that their audience wants to share with everyone they know. As a marketer, that might seem like a daunting task. However, grassroots marketing can actually be cost-effective and achievable for any brand. Below, let’s review grassroots marketing from the best strategies to examples that’ll inspire your own campaigns. Grassroots marketing is similar to viral marketing because the goal is to create content that your audience wants to share. However, this might be more cost-effective since you’re building a campaign that’s targeted at a smaller, specific audience. These campaigns will be different from your everyday marketing campaigns because your goal is to inspire a small audience to take action. With other marketing campaigns, you’re probably hoping to reach a large number of people. However, with grassroots marketing, you’re creating highly specific content with the hope that your audience will share your message for you. 1. Know your target audience. It’s true, it’s going to be important for you to know your audience for any marketing campaign. However, with grassroots marketing it’s a necessity. The entire concept of grassroots marketing is that your audience will share your content for you. Yet, they won’t do that if your content doesn’t inspire them to. Before you get started with grassroots marketing, you need to know what motivates and inspires your audience. Figure out what they care about and create content surrounding that. 2. Get creative and inspire action. Again, your grassroots marketing content should inspire your audience to take action. But you might be wondering, “How do I do that?” One way is be creative and start a movement. Your content doesn’t have to be political, but it has to be inspiring and relatable. 3. Focus on storytelling. While I might be biased because I’m a writer, the best grassroots marketing campaigns are focused on storytelling. Ideally, your content will explore your audience’s emotions. For example, if your target audience is parents, you can create a video that’s focused on the parent/child relationship. This will tug at their heartstrings and make them want to share with their friends. In fact, think about grassroots marketing as a way to tell your audience’s stories. If they feel represented by your content, they’re going to share it wildly. 4. Start hyperlocal. It might seem like grassroots marketing is about creating viral content, however, no grassroots campaign started that way. With grassroots marketing, your content should be laser focused on your target audience. The goal is to attain national attention by sheer shareability and word of mouth. 5. Use reviews to your advantage. One strategy for your grassroots campaign should be to focus on getting reviews. You should spend time building your reputation on Yelp or Google reviews so you can gain organic attention online. For example, a year ago, I started to hear all about this thing called a Hydro Flask. I saw the reviews and heard people talking about it for months. I finally decided to buy one even though I had literally never used a water bottle in my day-to-day life before. That’s the result of a great grassroots marketing campaign. With reviews from happy customers amplifying your message, you can reach people you weren’t even targeting originally. 6. Create YouTube content. YouTube is one of the best channels to disseminate your grassroots marketing content. On this social media platform, you can share highly targeted content that’s educational, helpful, and emotional. If your video continues to get shared by your audience, you can begin to reach even more people organically because your video might rank better. Grassroots Marketing Ideas 1. Text your customer. With grassroots marketing, it’s important to get creative with how you reach your audience. One way to do this is to use text marketing. With SMS messages, you can have a real conversation with your customers. You can learn about them, send them one-touch surveys, or offer targeted marketing based on their feedback. The trick with text marketing is to only send messages to customers who have signed up to receive your texts. No one wants to get a random text from an unidentified number. 2. Include visuals. Almost every grassroots marketing campaign should be focused around the visuals. In fact, in a 2018 HubSpot survey, 54% of consumers wanted to see more video content from a brand or business they support. Visual content is what your audience wants to see. Plus, the main idea is that grassroots marketing is shareable and visual content is easier to share. 3. Don’t forget a call-to-action. Not to beat a dead horse, but your grassroots marketing campaign should inspire action. To do this, you have to include a call-to-action in your campaign. With successful grassroots marketing, your target audience has shared your content with their friends. Now that you have people’s attention, you need to decide what to do with it. For example, you can ask people to donate to a cause or purchase a product. 4. Support a cause. A quick and easy way to implement grassroots marketing in your strategy is to support a cause that your audience cares about. When people see that your company is charitable, they’re more likely to trust you and have positive associations with your brand. You can support a cause by donating, encouraging your audience to donate, amplifying and representing the message of a cause, or listing the causes you support on your website. When your content is focused around philanthropic efforts, your audience is more likely to share it. 5. Use influencers. Influencer marketing is a modern day version of grassroots marketing. The theory is that when influential people promote your brand, your audience is more likely to share that message and be inspired to take action. To get started, you could send influencers in your niche free products, or discounts. Hopefully, that will inspire them to talk about your brand and spread the word. Grassroots Marketing Examples 1. Extra Gum Commercial. I don’t typically cry when I see commercials on TV. However, Extra Gum has made me emotional with several of their grassroots marketing campaigns. This first commercial tells the story of a father and daughter who bonded over making origami birds from Extra gum wrappers. This hasn’t aired since 2015, but it was one of the first campaigns I thought of when I thought of grassroots marketing. In this second commercial, we get to watch the love story of a couple who meets in high school, falls in love, and captures their love story by drawing on Extra gum wrappers. Again, this last aired over a year ago, but I remembered it because of the emotional storytelling. Both these commercials are meant to tug at your heart strings and inspire you to share them with your family and friends. 2. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. In 2014, the ALS ice bucket challenge went viral. The concept was that you would take a video pouring a bucket of ice water on yourself and then challenge someone else to do the same. If you participated, you were supposed to donate money to the ALS Association. Before this campaign went viral, people weren’t exactly talking about ALS. In fact, many people might not have even heard of the disease. That’s how you know this was a successful grassroots marketing campaign. It started with a small idea, and grew to a national campaign. For this challenge to be shareable, everyone who participated had to nominate a friend to do it. This grassroots campaign started a movement, inspired action, and supported a cause. Plus, celebrities and influential people got involved. Below are a couple of images of the celebrities that participated in sharing the grassroots campaign. Image Source Image Source 3. Dove Real Beauty Campaign. This is one of my favorite grassroots marketing campaigns. That’s why it bears mentioning twice. In the Dove Real Beauty campaign, Dove had a forensic artist draw women as they saw themselves and then as strangers saw them. This is an excellent example of what grassroots content will look like when you know your audience intimately. By knowing its audience of real women, Dove was able to start a movement. In fact, this video has over 68 million views on YouTube. The powerful video barely mentioned the product, but inspired women around the world. Grassroots marketing is a great way to focus on reaching your audience, with the hope that they’ll share your campaign with people they know. Essentially, it’s word of mouth marketing at its best. Learn more about HubSpot by visiting their website.
Crisis Adaptation – Whiteboard Friday
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 28, 2020 7:08 pm on MOZ: Posted by BritneyMuller Businesses all over the globe are struggling with new challenges as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With consumers turning to the internet for the majority of their needs, it’s never been more vital to ensure your online presence is easily found and your business updates clearly communicated. In this special edition of Whiteboard Friday, Britney Muller outlines a checklist that businesses can use to meet the changing needs of consumers and improve visibility for local searches. Bonus — We’ve adapted these tips into a free checklist you can download and share: Get the checklist Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab! Video Transcription Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re going over crisis adaptation, and I first have to give a huge shout-out to Miriam Ellis, who really helped me package all of this up to deliver to you today. If you’re not already following Miriam on Twitter, I highly suggest you do. She is a local SEO genius. So let’s dive right in. Meet your customers where they are You often hear this phrase in marketing and in SEO about meeting your customers where they are. This might be important now more than ever because the current landscape, it’s changed so much. Listen to your customers & understand how their needs have shifted In order to better meet your customers where they are, you really first have to listen and understand how their needs have shifted, how have their concerns shifted. What are they searching for now? Just really paying attention and listening online to your current target market. One of the things I also like to suggest is listen to competitive reviews. Keep an eye on competitive reviews being posted on Google and other spaces to get a gauge of how things have perhaps moved. Know where your audience is This could have also shifted a bit. Whiteboard Friday’s OG, Rand Fishkin, launched SparkToro that does exactly that. So you can really deep dive into current data around what your audience is listening to, who they follow, all sorts of great stuff for you to leverage in today’s climate. Connect with potential customers in meaningful ways Now is a great time to reach out and engage with not only potential customers but current customer base and remind people that you are still here, you’re still serving them in various ways. So it’s really, really key. Partner with relevant businesses I’ve seen this do really well in some great examples of pivoting, where a fruit delivery company partnered with a bakery to include these free cakes within orders. What a great way to get some visibility for that bakery, and vice versa — they could do different things. I think it’s a great time to leverage those relationships and help one another out. I absolutely love that tip. Communicate all changes and updates Now the other big, big priority right now is all around communicating changes and updates to your website visitors. So what do you need to cover? Changes to hours is so important right now. It’s essential that you have that information readily visible to anyone visiting your website, if this applies to you. All forms of availability, video, curbside, no touch delivery, have that information available. Any expected delays and product availability challenges. This is a really great tip too. Sanitation and any adopted safety precautions. Payment methods accepted. This can be really helpful in the transaction. Any philanthropic efforts that you’re doing to help support people in need. I’m seeing a lot of these show up in banners and readily available information for people visiting websites. I think it’s great to consider making sure that this information is easy for people to access. Immediately communicate this information: Set up online orders and catalog inventory/services In addition to these things, set up online orders. At the very least, catalog your online inventory or services for people to still have that awareness of what you’re currently offering. I would suggest if you’re a struggling business and you don’t want to go into a huge website build, you can absolutely check out and explore things like Squarespace or Shopify. I would have never thought I would be suggesting these platforms a year ago just because they’re not usually great for SEO reasons. But they can do a beautiful job of solving this problem so quickly, and then you can roll out V2 and V3 down the road when you’re ready to make those improvements. But I think just getting businesses off the ground is so important right now. Add products for free on Google Shopping This was such a neat thing that Google offered I believe several weeks ago, and it’s doing great. What it basically does is it allows you to list products for free on Google Shopping, giving you that extra visibility right now. So if you’re an e-commerce brand, definitely check that out. Create maps showing delivery radiuses Miriam had this great idea to create maps showing delivery radiuses, if that applies to you, so really giving someone visiting your site an easy to consume idea of the areas that you serve. Sometimes when you see the ZIP codes, it’s a little overwhelming. You have to do a little work. But that’s kind of a great idea. Routific Then this was mentioned in a recent GatherUp webinar by Darren Shaw — Routific. So if you are doing local deliveries and they’re getting a little out of hand, Routific is a company that creates delivery routes to make them most efficient for you, which I thought was so cool. I didn’t even know that existed. So it’s a good little tool tip. Double down on SEO and content marketing I absolutely loved Mike King’s post on this — I think it was a couple weeks ago — where he explains why economic downturns favor the bold. It’s brilliant. There are incredible use cases around this, and we’ll link to that down below. Someone who has impressed the heck out of me the last couple of weeks is Kristin Tynski — I hope I’m saying that right — over at Fractl. She is going above and beyond to create content pieces that are not only genius but are link building opportunities, apply to various clients, and use traditional journalism tactics to gather offline, unique data to present online. I highly suggest you pay attention to what Kristin is up to. She is a genius. Kristin, we have to meet sometime. I’m a huge fan of you. Keep up the great work. Local & Google My Business Now let’s dive into some GMB stuff. While this might not apply to you if you’re not a local business, I think there are still things to take away for larger companies that also either have a local listing or just to be aware of. So here’s an example of Uptown China Restaurant, a local Chinese restaurant. It’s awesome in Queen Anne, and it’s going to be our example. So what’s the first thing? Correct any GMB errors Just correct any GMB errors. Make sure that the current data shown and information is correct and up to date. Update hours to remove warning Then this is probably my favorite hack of all, from Joy Hawkins, about this warning that we see on all businesses currently, because of the pandemic, that says hours or services may differ. You can get this removed simply by updating your hours. How incredible is that? So I highly suggest you just update your hours. Joy also mentioned in this webinar I keep referring to, that was so good, she suggests using the hours that you are available to take phone calls. Google has never had an issue with that, and it tends to make the most sense. So something to think about. Respond to reviews Now is also a great time to invest and be engaged with these reviews. I think it’s one of the most overlooked PR and marketing tactics available, where customers exploring your brand, exploring your location want to know that (a) you care and that (b) you’re going to engage with a customer and that you have a timely response. So I think it’s important to respond to reviews, especially on behalf of the business side. Confirm or reject any new Google My Business prompts So we’re going to continue to see different things roll out. There were senior hours available to, I believe, grocery stores that popped up as an option. No-contact delivery. These things will always be changing. So I think it’s important to maybe put a reminder in your calendar just to keep an eye on are there any new options within Google My Business that I could activate or clarify. Google loves that, and it also helps fill out your listing better. Update menu and product listings What a great time to take some good, new photos. Update your menu items. I wish Uptown China Restaurant did this, and I might suggest it to them that they can add those offerings. They can add those things to really pop up on the listing and kind of make it shine. Use Posts Posts have always been really, really great for Google My Business listings because it gives you a big photo. It lasts for a while up here, I believe up to 14 days. It’s very prevalent when you see it. Now Google has also been offering COVID-19 posts. There isn’t an option to add an image with the COVID-19 posts. It’s text only, but it lasts longer and it’s more prominent than a regular post. So it will show up higher in your Google My Business listing, and we’ve also seen it pop up in actual SERPs in the organic area. So pretty cool. Good to know. I suggest you doing that. You have control over the messaging. You can say whatever you would like. You can provide updated info, all that good stuff. Use Product Posts So a shout-out to Darren Shaw, who noticed this. People are getting really savvy with product posts, which again it would show up in your Google My Business listing with a big photo and a description. What he’s seen people do is basically have a photo of a car with text on it that says “No-Touch Delivery” or different service options as the product. Google is currently letting that slide. I don’t know if that will last forever. But it’s an interesting thing to explore if you really want that visibility if someone is struggling with their business right now, and you can kind of get that to pop up on the SERPs. Enable text messaging So I’ve heard from so many SEOs that this has continued to go up into the right during the pandemic, and it makes sense. People want to just quickly get information from businesses. You can create a welcome message. So I highly suggest exploring that if that’s available to you. Update images Again, I think I’ve said this like three times, but update images. It’s a great time to do that, and it can really help make your stuff pop. Share these tips with businesses in need! Lastly, don’t forget to share these tips with businesses. Understand that there are a lot of people in need right now, and if there’s anything that we can do to help, by all means let’s make all of that stuff happen. The fact is that you’re not alone. So whether you’re doing this work on behalf of a client, or you yourself or family or friends are really struggling with a business right now, there are different support groups and options as far as financial support. We’ve created a free PDF checklist of all this information that you can download and share with any marketers, clients, or businesses in need: Download the free checklist I know we at Moz are going to be putting everything we have into helping you and others during this time, and so I created a form at the bottom of this post where you can fill in some information and let us know if there are specific problems that we could help with. We’re in this together. We want to help you all as much as we can. I will be taking that very seriously and spending lots of time on replying or creating material to help individuals struggling. So please fill that out. Also, feel free to leave comments and suggestions in the comments. I think some of the best, most valuable takeaways sometimes happen in the comments where you’re either clarifying something that I said or adding something really great. I would really appreciate that. Just want to get all the good information out there so that we can help everyone out. I really appreciate you taking the time to watch this edition of Whiteboard Friday, and I will see you all again soon. Thanks. Video transcription by Speechpad.com Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read! Learn more about MOZ by visiting their website.
Google’s ‘Top Stories’ to Show More Than Just AMP Pages via @MattGSouthern
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 28, 2020 7:03 pm on Search Engine Journal: Google is making a change to its ‘top stories’ section in search results by removing AMP as one of the requirements for getting featured. The post Google’s ‘Top Stories’ to Show More Than Just AMP Pages via @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal. Learn more about Search Engine Journal by visiting their website.
The Ultimate Guide to Building a Website Redesign Strategy
The Digital Ninja Club News Aggregation service has sourced the following article originally published May 28, 2020 2:00 pm on HubSpot: So… you want to redesign your website. Maybe you just finished a brand overhaul or your product was recently updated. Whatever your reason, a redesign can be a huge success — or a total flop. It can also be a long and tedious undertaking, which is why every redesign needs to start with a clear vision and/or problem to solve. The better you are at defining that vision at the very beginning, the more successful your redesign will be — and the smoother the entire process will be as well. Whether you’re working with an agency, redesigning your site in-house, or proposing a redesign to company stakeholders, this guide will help you strategize your website redesign and ensure it turns out to be a huge success — not a total flop. Many organizations opt to redesign their website to welcome more traffic as their business grows and scales; others invest in a website redesign as part of a larger rebranding initiative. Regardless of why your company is interested in a website redesign, the project itself is a massive undertaking. Not to mention an important one to get right considering the critical role your website plays in your marketing and brand image. In fact, 80% of consumers say the experience your company provides is as important as the products or services you sell — including the experience they have with your website. How Often Should You Redesign Your Website? According to Business 2 Community, the average lifespan for a website is 1.5 to 2.5 years. Because design trends change and technology advances, this is the average amount of time that a redesign will feel “fresh” and competitive. However, that time frame is only a benchmark, so you will need to determine what works best for your organization. The following factors will determine how often you should redesign your website: How often your brand or goals change. When you’re itching for a new site, first ask yourself, “Does this website still represent who we are as a company?” How much budget you allot to design and development. Ask yourself, “Can a site design wait, or do I have reasons to use the budget on our site now?” How long your website stays functional and fast. Step into your customers’ shoes and see if you can navigate the site well and find everything you want to find without encountering errors or long page load times. The performance of your website. Ask yourself, “Is this site converting a reasonable amount of traffic? Do people stay on the page for a reasonable amount of time, or do they bounce?” Changes in the industry. For example, when Google announced that it would be changing to mobile-first indexing, it necessitated that sites be mobile-friendly, or they’d lose organic traffic from Google. Your website is where visitors and customers go when they want to ask questions, read content, or purchase products or services. For that reason, it’s best to be extra prepared when committing to a website redesign. You may spend more time building your website redesign strategy than you will on the redesign itself. If you’re wondering what should go into your website redesign strategy, start with the steps below. Let’s unpack eight critical steps to take when redesigning your website. 1. Benchmark your current performance metrics. Before you begin planning your website redesign, document your current performance metrics. This will give you a good idea of where your current website stands and what metrics you can improve upon through your redesign. Analyze your existing website’s monthly performance in the following areas. The importance and relevance of each may vary depending on your website redesign goals, but it’s helpful to pull each metric before you dive into your redesign. Number of visits, visitors, and unique visitors Bounce rate Time on site Top-performing keywords in terms of rank, traffic, and lead generation Number of inbound linking domains Total new leads and form submissions Total sales generated (in dollars) Total pages indexed Total pages that receive traffic If you don’t have access to this information, I recommend adding tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot’s Marketing Analytics for better tracking and visibility into your website’s performance. Furthermore, make note of which tools you used to measure each of these benchmarks in the past. Ideally, you’ll want to use those same tools when collecting your post-redesign metrics. Otherwise, you’ll be comparing apples to oranges. 2. Determine your website redesign goals. What’s the “why” behind your website redesign? When considering a redesign, there should always be a good reason behind it. If you’re answering with “well, it’s been a while since we’ve done one” or “my competitor just did a redesign,” those reasons aren’t good enough on their own. Remember: It’s not just about how your site looks, but rather how it works. Be crystal clear about why you’re doing a website redesign, and tie those goals to measurable results. Then communicate your goals with your team, designer, and/or agency. Consider the following data-driven objectives for your own website: To increase the number of visits and visitors (both are important as one visitor could visit more than once) To reduce bounce rate To increase time on site To improve domain authority To increase the total new leads and form submissions To increase the total sales generated To enhance current SEO rankings for important keywords Many of these goals are dependent on one another. For example, in order to generate more conversions, you may also need to increase traffic while decreasing your site’s bounce rate. Also, take a look at the metrics you pulled out in step one. Are there any metrics you can improve upon with your new website? Perhaps you use your old website metrics to inspire new goals, too. 3. Define your branding and messaging. Before crafting your new website design and content, be crystal clear about your desired branding, messaging, and unique value proposition. Doing so will ensure consistency across your entire website. Anyone who visits your website for the first time should immediately understand what you do, how it may benefit them, and why they should stay on your site and not flee to your competitors’. Think about whether you plan to change your branding and/or messaging, or if it will stay the same. If you plan to change it, what about it needs to change? Keep these changes top-of-mind as you redesign your website. Download this free workbook for guidance and templates to simplify your next website redesign project. As you develop your messaging, use clear, concise language. Avoid using industry jargon that may alienate parts of your audience and make you sound more like a business-babbling robot than a human. Consider the following example of how we could describe HubSpot in a “gobbledygook” way: HubSpot helps companies across multiple countries reduce churn by backfilling the sales pipeline with highly qualified traffic that generates leads that convert into customers with high lifetime value. We achieve this by providing leading-edge software that integrates all marketing channels for a synergistic view of the data that determines and prioritizes high-value marketing activities. Say what? Let’s translate that into the way people actually speak: HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing software helps more than 6,000 businesses in 45 countries attract leads and convert them into customers. A pioneer in inbound marketing, HubSpot aims to help its customers make marketing that people actually love. Much clearer! I think visitors and potential customers would prefer the second description — don’t you? Additionally, as you develop your branding, consider what visual aspects of your website need to be redesigned and what can stay the same. Have you created a new logo, style guide, or color palette? Make sure these are applied to your new website so it remains consistent with other parts of your brand. 4. Define your buyer persona(s). Your website is not just about you. Actually, it’s hardly about you. When your visitors land on your website, they’re asking themselves, “What’s in it for me? How could this help me?” Speak to your visitors in their language by crafting your website design and content around your buyer personas. For instance, if you’re a marketing manager at a hotel looking to bring in new business, you might target five different buyer personas: an independent business traveler, a corporate travel manager, an event planner, a vacationing family, and a couple planning their wedding reception. Make sure you clearly identify your buyer personas so you can shape your website redesign strategy around the website visitors that matter most to you. Check out our handy buyer personas template to help you research and create detailed buyer personas. Is your target audience changing as part of your website redesign? Do your branding and content align with this audience? Answer these questions as you’re strategizing your website redesign. 5. Protect your search engine optimized pages. Getting discovered online is also essential to improving your website’s metrics. If no one is able to find and visit your site, how can you increase new leads, reconversions, or sales? Here are some tips for designing your new website with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind: Document your most search-valued pages. Use your marketing analytics to figure out which pages receive the most traffic and inbound links, convert the most leads, and ultimately cover the most influential topics in your industry. If you plan to move any of these highly valuable pages, make sure you create the proper 301 redirects. Create a 301 redirect strategy. Speaking of 301 redirects, these are extremely important in terms of retaining the traffic and link value associated with a given page. Create a spreadsheet to record and map out your 301 redirects (old URLs vs. new URLs). Then hand this document over to someone technical for proper implementation. Do your keyword research. For every page on your newly designed website, pick one keyword/topic each page will focus on. Once you determine the keyword(s), use on-page SEO best practices to optimize your website pages. Furthermore, consider adding new content and pages to your website that address those particular keywords and topics that may be neglected on your current site. Save time and rank higher on Google with our free on-page SEO template. 6. Analyze the competition. While we don’t recommend obsessing over your competitors, it can help to know how you compare. First, run your website through HubSpot’s free Website Grader tool to generate a report card of how well your website is performing. You can also use this diagnostic tool to evaluate your competitors’ websites, so you’re aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Next, take a look at your competitors’ websites, and take note of what you like — and what you don’t. This process is to help you realize what you can do better on your website. Once you conduct your competitive analysis, put together a list of action items highlighting some areas for improvement and how you can set yourself apart from your competitors. 7. Take inventory of your high-performing content. While a redesign is a great way to improve the performance of your website, there are unfortunately countless ways in which it can hurt you. Your existing website likely contains many high-performing content assets that you’ve already built up, and losing their effectiveness because of a redesign can severely damage your marketing results. For instance, such assets might include your: Most-shared or viewed content High-traffic pages Best performing or ranking keywords and associated pages Number of inbound links to individual pages For example, if you end up removing a page from your site that has accumulated a high number of inbound links, you could potentially lose a lot of SEO credit, which would make it increasingly difficult for you to get found on search engine results pages (SERPs). Keep in mind that many web designers don’t consider this step because they are neither marketers nor SEO specialists. Don’t hesitate to remind them about this, and help them along by auditing your site and providing them with a list for maintaining or updating critical pages on your site. 8. Choose the right software. The final (but arguably most important) step of the website redesign process is choosing the right software with which to create and host your website. This software is typically called a content management system (CMS), and it’s used to develop, design, and publish your website for the world to see. CMS software is beneficial for a few reasons. Whether you’re a novice digital marketer or a master web developer, a CMS can easily help you create a gorgeous, functional website. Choosing the right CMS depends on your business, such as what CMSs you’re already familiar with and what features your website redesign requires. There are hundreds of CMSs to choose from, including CMS Hub — the only combined CMS and CRM. Or you can review some of the best CMS platforms to learn about your options. Get Started on Your Website Redesign Today Whew! Now you’re ready to plan, design, build, optimize, launch, and analyze your new website. Apply these seven steps to redesign a website that attracts more consumers, wows more visitors, and converts more customers. Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. Learn more about HubSpot by visiting their website.