In Short: Forecast SEO REVENUE Potential & Not Just Traffic Volume
Don’t just blindly choose keywords based on the generic volume numbers you extract from any old SEO Tool, spend some time to estimate your potential conversions into leads, how many leads turn into sales, how much revenue gained per sale and if it’s a recurring revenue project then how long do people usually stick around.
Want Me To Do A Keyword Forecast For You? Okay, But It’ll Cost you $5 (No Seriously. Give me a keyword, conversion rate, lead to sale rate, revenue per sale and I’ll uncover a decent sized set of related keywords and provide you with a forecast of potential SEO revenue.
Take your potential traffic number and multiply it by the conversion rate, lead to sale rate and revenue per sale. This will provide you with a realistic potential SEO Return on Investment and a solid number you can show your boss or client.
Organic Traffic Estimator: An SEO Forecasting Process
Process for attempting to evaluate traffic potential , I have taken the following, general approach:
I identify current device% breakout between mobile and desktop via analytics data
desktop/mobile search volume from your tool of choice (e.g. SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc.)
averaged CTR for top five positions (generally what we’re shooting for re: rankings), pulled from top X keywords in GSC
So, for example: I want to project what my outcomes may be if I rank in top 5 for any given set of terms, thereby projecting what my opportunity is if I try to invest. This can be used in conjunction with other metrics, such as average difficulty for a corpus of keywords, etc. to make decisions on re: do you invest your time in them or not. Here are the things I work through – Calculating target ranking position (target ranking position = top 5) average – I recommend doing this for desktop and mobile to use the relative CTR for each later on:
I pulled the top keywords from GSC into sheets for the last 6 months (capped out the pull at around 50k terms gathered)
I rounded the position data to nearest whole position and applied groupings to them (position 1, top 3, first page, etc.) for future analysis
I used averageif on CTR for all top 10 positions (averageif pos = 1, averageif pos =2, etc.)
Then, I average the top 5 position averages, giving me a relative average for if I ranked in the top 5 positions
this % gets used in final equation
Find device breakout for current audience:
from your analytics of record (Omniture, GA, etc.), find out the device breakout by mobile vs desktop
these % get used in final equation
Leverage click data from Rand/Jumpshot study:
While a recent study – and one which people may scoff at, or ignore – I find being mindful of loss-of-click to be an important element; if you trust the click potential data from Ahrefs or SEMrush, you could use that info on the keyword level instead of using this broad study
let’s say we don’t use Ahrefs or SEMrush click estimates though, I would use the 39% clicks on mobile (61% no clicks was the number referenced in the study), and 65% clicks on desktop (34.5% no clicks was number referenced in study) in my final equation
Get desktop AND mobile data for keywords, as available:
for each term I’m going to include in my corpus for this analysis, I will try to get both the desktop data as well as the mobile data; if mobile data is not available (or vice versa), then I will use whatever is available
the keyword data could be for existing rankings (current marketshare/footprint), and/or for new terms we want to go after (gap footprint) – these can be used to support different questions (e.g. should we invest in optimizing current content and what would outcomes potentially be if so)
data needed = search volume and current ranking position (if pulling for current footprint)
Based on all this data, we can now calculate traffic potential. traffic potential = ((mobile sv*0.39)*mobile traffic %)*avg T5 mobile CTR + ((desktop sv*0.65)*desktop traffic %)*avg T5 desktop CTR This equation is applied to every keyword we currently rank for, not in the top 5 (e.g. position 6-100). This should give us insights into answering the question of “if we improve our ranking position for this corpus of keywords, what might the traffic estimate look like”. You can then use this in comparison/conjunction with other metrics, like average difficulty for a topical category (e.g. risk reward based on comp to traffic opp), etc.
My recommendation for this is to not look at/forecast on a per-term basis, but instead to do it in groups or as a whole (e.g. all terms that make up a certain topical niche, or all terms that reflect the current footprint for a site). By grouping things together, you get a better understanding of topical opportunity and risk/rewards (when looking at KW difficulty, revenue opps, etc).
No matter what job you work at, what company you work for, or where you go in your career, one thing that will always remain in tact is your personal brand.
I’m not sure if you are familiar with what exactly a style guide is, but if you aren’t I encourage you to check out official style guide standards of company’s such as MailChimp. They get so detailed with their style guide that they even include a special section on how to write commonly misspelled or mis-hyphenated words. A style guide can be as simple as a 1 page set of rules, or a massive 10,000 word document defining everything you do on and offline for your brand, be it corporate or personal.
In 2013 we wrote a guide to branding your personal name on the web. In this post we will focus more on creating a style guide, so you have a set of standards to stick by. So let’s dive right into things, let’s look at some of the things that make up a personal brand:
Your Actual Name
This one might seem a little bit obvious, but it isn’t always. Mine is simple, my name is Patrick Coombe. In order to maintain brand consistency I always identify myself as Patrick Coombe. Not Pat Coombe, or Patrick Michael Coombe. I’ve been on many forums over the years going by many aliases (that some of you might know me as) but over the past 2-3 years I’ve shed those names in favor of my actual name. I’ve done this for a few reasons, mainly because I’m known for my name on social media, I published a book under my name etc.
With other individuals, there are more complex scenarios when it comes to personal name branding. Take my good friend Glen Allsop, a very successful internet marketer otherwise known as “ViperChill.”
This name was a personal association he gave to a chocolate bar when he was 11 years old, he also likes the Dodge Viper. That, along with the fact that he is really “chill” and you get “ViperChill.” The name just stuck, and he has rolled with it ever since 2006 when he started using it.
Whatever the case may be, it is just as important to stick to your personal name brand as it is for a company to stick to theirs. There are a few exceptions of well known name brands that have come up with shortened versions of time, but this really only happens when you’ve achieved truly baller status:
Chevrolet > Chevy
McDonalds > MccyD’s
CocaCola > Coke
One piece of advice I give to our clients, staff and vendors on a consistent basis is to make sure you use your name consistently. For instance if your name is Michael Miller, don’t use:
Michael David Miller
Mike “madman” Miller
…on that note, if you do have a common name such as “John Smith” or “Michael David,” my advice is to use your middle name or the less commonly used variation so you can stand out a bit more.
Just the Facts
Facts about you as a person play a vital role in your personal branding and developing a style guide. Be sure that you are consistent when it comes to your facts that you use in your bios, about us sections, and other static and dynamic areas of your website. Examples of this include:
“I started SEO in 2004” vs “in the early 2000’s”
“I live in South Florida” vs “I live in Delray Beach, FL”
“My first job was in a restaurant” vs “I worked for my parents at a young age.”
It may seem like it is trivial, but it could come across like you are being not up-front if you are not consistent with the facts about yourself. While it is OK to stray from the norm in longer form content, it is generally a good idea to try and keep some standards when you are doing your bio, etc.
Your Tag Line
You might have a tag line for your personal brand, you might not. I’m not going to say you have to have one, but if you do it is important to stick to it, and not stray from what you use. Again, brand consistency.
Matthew Woodward is a great example of personal branding in general, and he has a good tag line: “no nonsense SEO and affiliate marketing.” He uses this on his website and within his logo, and it does a great job of defining exactly what he does as a person. Don’t feel pressure to come up with a tag line. In fact, I think it is better for your tagline to come about organically over time. I personally don’t have a tag line, it just isn’t something I chose to do at this point.
Colors is an area where a lot of people lose lots of “karma” from their brand. They’ll use yellow in one instance, red in another, and blue in yet another. Again, brand consistency. Define a color scheme and stick to it. One tool that I really like to use is Adobe Kuler. Adobe Kuler allows you to browse existing color themes, create new ones, and get suggestions on ideas for colors that match, contrast, or go together.
Color is important because it instills familiarity in your visitor. Every time they see that “Moz Blue” or “Coca Cola Red” your brand is further re-inforced. Many articles and even books have been written on color when it comes to branding, so I can’t even begin to go into this subject in this post but I will say to be sure to keep your colors consistent and remember that the colors you choose you have to live with, so choose wisely.
A really cool website to check out is “BrandColors.net” an entire website dedicated to identifying the exact color scheme of major brands throughout the world. They even list the exact hexadecimal code to use if you want to “borrow” it, just make sure you aren’t violating any international copyright laws before you do so. Kissmetrics also did a really cool infographic on how colors affect purchases, which can be really useful when trying to come up with a color scheme for the first time.
Do not skim over this section. There is a reason why typesetting is taught throughout the world in colleges and universities. Your font is everything and everywhere. A bad font can completely destroy your user experience. Even choosing the wrong font size can ruin an experience. If you don’t know what you are doing, follow these simple rules so you don’t make a fool out of yourself.
It is my opinion that all brands should use a maximum of 3 fonts in all of their static media, most of the time you get away with 2: a heading font, and a body font. On the Elite Strategies website for instance we actually only use 1 font: Open Sans. We do use several variations of this font: Light, Bold, Italic, etc. We also use different weights, sizes and colors. There are a few exceptions of where you might find some other fonts such as icon fonts and a few plugins, but overall we keep it really simple. Take Joel Klettke an esteemed conversion focused copywriter based in the UK. On his blog it may appear that he uses a wide variety of font faces:
…but in fact he only uses one font face: Source Sans. He does make uses of color (his brand color of course) in his font, CAPS, bold, size, etc but sticks to his primary font face throughout his website. The result is a very well done website, that sticks to his style guidelines.
Often times when you spot a “hot mess” of a website, you’ll encounter one that uses 3-5 fonts on the same page. It is a huge mistake, and really can make your page look confusing. Standardize your fonts. I’ll assume that most of the people reading this are using a CMS that defines this for them such as WordPress. CMS’s are great because you can use templates.
If you talk to many professionals about personal branding, a logo will be a hot spot for debate. Many people that I’ve encountered say a logo is totally unnecessary. Let’s take a look at some really “big name” personal brands in our industry:
Rand Fishkin – no logo
Jeff Bullas – no logo
Neil Patel – no logo
Gary Vaynerchuk – no logo
Those were just 4 off the top of my head I looked up quickly. Even in my research for this post, I couldn’t find a lot of information on logos for personal brands. I did find one gallery of logo designs for professional designers, which gave some great insight into some of the best designs out there. There are many exceptions however. One of my favorite logos for a personal brand is by Kindra Hall, a professional speaker and story teller whom I met this year at Search Love Boston this past year. She keeps it really simple and to the point, but it comes across very professional and really drives home her name with a big “K.” Some questions to ask yourself when considering doing a logo for your personal brnad:
do you need a logo?
why do you want a logo?
is it overkill to have a logo?
who will design your logo?
There are a few options if you don’t want to use a logo, but still want a graphic representation. You can opt for an “avatar” of yourself which is basically an artistic illustration of yourself. You can also just choose to do your logo in a specific font. It is your call, but my advice on this is similar to my advice on everything in this guide: if you are going to do it, standardize it.
Mr. Dan Shure a very well respected online marketer from Massachusetts stated “your headshot is like the logo of your personal brand.” I really could not have said that better than myself. He also wrote up a great guest post about taking a headshot with an iPhone. Very well done, in fact his post does a great job of summing it all up. I do have a few Don’t skimp on the headshot. I represent quite a few personal brands and many people will give excuses for not getting a headshot done:
I hate the way I look
I just changed my hair color
I want to wait until XYZ
I can’t afford a professional headshot
There are also many different types of “head” shots. You can go with the traditional from the shoulder up or from the waist up. You can choose a neutral background, blurred background or something specific like an “at work” background with your desk in the background. A headshot can convey many different feelings, from friendly, to professional, to confident. Examples include: Here is my advice on headshots: if you are trying to identify yourself as a “personal brand” then you must have one. People are going to Google you. Do not let Google decide what image shows up when doing a search for your name. Always be in control of your search engine results page. One last word on headshot: so you already have a professional headshot right? When was the last time you updated your headshot? 3 years? 5? 10? You should definitely have a new headshot taken at least every 2 years, especially if your goal is to personally brand yourself online. This is probably some advice I need to take myself, as I haven’t gotten a new headshot in years, so yea I gotta get on that 🙂
Grammar, Voice, Tone, Yadda Yadda
Many people overlook this section, but it is really important especially if you are a blogger. It is even more important if you do video blogging, podcasting, or other types of media where you speak out loud.
Personally, I like to keep my articles casual and conversational. I like to keep things really casual, I might even intentionally use some incorrect grammar to drive home a point that I’m trying to make. I try not to make spelling mistakes although I have been known to make errors from time to time.
Now, don’t take this too far. Don’t start using so much slang and improper grammar that it comes across unprofessional. Unless of course your target audience goes for that. There are so many different options. Back in the early 90’s on BB’s and other dial-up communities and before blogging people would talk in “31337 speak” or “leet speak.” It was totally acceptable amongst that crowd of teenage hacker geniuses. If you came in there speaking proper you would be really out of place.
In short: know your audience. Blog / write / speak the way that your audience does.
Set a Social Media Standard
It is imperative that your style standards are used in your social media. When it comes to a personal brand, this is how a lot of people find you in the first place, so often times it is their first impression of you.
I’m going to use Matthew Woodward again because he’s done such a great job of his personal branding. If you look at his Twitter page, even the color of his hyperlinks etc match his main brand colors on his website:
This was very intentional on his part, and really helps you actually “feel” his brand whenever you visit one of his properties. Matthew really takes this to an extreme with his hot pink and light blue colors, so you don’t have to go crazy like he does but it is important that you standardize your look and feel across all social channels. At the very least if you don’t want to heed this advice: keep it neutral. Using Kindra Hall again as an example from above, she takes a much more neutral, yet consistent approach. She uses her logo in all of her social media profiles, but keeps all of her colors and other details somewhat muted.
The fine details
There are many other aspects of personal branding that could be attended to if you chose to do so. For instance, URL shorteners can be branded according to your personal brand. Take my good friend and former Elite Strategies SEO professional Luiz Centenaro. Luiz uses the URL shortner http://centena.ro to shorten all of his URL’s on social media. This fine detail adds a lot of validity to his personal brand and is really a nice touch that a lot of people can appreciate.
Another fine detail that a lot of people implement is a favicon. For me a favicon is really mandatory but how far you choose to take it is up to you. Paul Shapiro an old bloke of mine uses his headshot as his favicon.
The great thing about favicon’s is that they are visible even when the tab isn’t active. So for instance if you navigate away from your page you can still see Paul’s beautiful bearded face: There are many details you can attend to as time goes on and your personal brand evolves. There are people that casually work on their brand and others that pay attention to every last detail, right down to the permalink / URL structure.
I will end with this piece of advice, which is something I’ve echoed several times within this post: keep it standardized and consistent. If you are going to experiment, don’t do it on a live property or website, do it on your own computer.
If it’s hard to get, it must definitely be worth something. This is what scarcity tells us.
We attach more value to things that are few in quantity. We perceive things as more desirable when there’s a chance that we can’t acquire them anymore. We tend to want things that are harder to get.
In short, we always want what we can’t have. This is the part where marketers sneak in scarcity into their marketing tactics.
While many are now using scarcity in their email marketing to boost sales, only a handful are able to succeed.
Why’s that so? Simple. They’re not using the right techniques.
If you’re among these marketers we’re talking about, we gotta say, you’re lucky to be here. This article’s just what you need to become a scarcity marketing expert, or at least, close to it!
Before we dive in to these efficient sale-boosting tactics, let’s talk briefly about scarcity and its impact on the marketing industry.
How effective is scarcity, really? Here’s an example:
Adewole, Lee, and Worchel conducted a psychological study on the effects of supply and demand on ratings of object value.
They asked 200 women to choose between two identical jars of cookies, with both jars containing the exact same cookie. The only difference was that one jar contained 10 cookies, while the other one only had two in it.
Should they go for the jar with 10 cookies, or will two cookies be enough to satisfy their sweet tooth?
Which jar do you think had the most votes? If you guessed the one with only two cookies, you’re totally right!
Psychologically speaking, people assume that if there’s less of something, it must be in high demand. The higher the demand is, the higher the value.
This is how you can use scarcity in marketing.
What is Scarcity Marketing?
Simply put, it is a marketing strategy that capitalizes on a consumer’s fear of missing out on something. It’s based on the scarcity principle that we desire anything that’s difficult to acquire.
Marketers normally use scarcity in connection with a discount that’s only available for a limited time. They only focus on the discount, when in fact, it’s the discount’s urgency they should pay attention to.
Although it’s true that scarcity marketing should go hand in hand with discounts and special offers, you have to understand that it’s not the discount that drives customers to buy – it’s the urgency.
If you believe that offering discounts and awesome deals is all it takes to entice your readers, you’re going to have to rethink that.
Ask yourself this: If your product or service is that good, then what’s the point of giving it a discount?
The reality is, there are so many ways to apply scarcity in marketing without the need to lower the price of your merchandise.
A good example that proves you don’t need to offer discounts anymore is limited product availability. People prefer things that are limited in stock, as it gives them a sense of exclusivity and power.
Let’s take a look at Black Friday, a 24-hour shopping event where everything’s on sale. In actuality, it’s not that customers are fighting to get those unbelievable deals, but it’s the thought of missing the deals while they’re still there.
Phrases like “hurry, limited stock!” are why shoppers force themselves to wake up in the wee hours of morning and spend hours in line.
It’s the fear of missing out (FOMO) coming into play – and this is where you take advantage of scarcity marketing
As an eCommerce company, one of the most effective marketing strategies to skyrocket your conversion is by using scarcity. Along with several scarcity advertising examples, here are six innovative scarcity marketing tactics to boost your sales:
Create Limited Edition Products
Remember when Coca-Cola was selling Daft Punk bottles back in 2010? What about Starbucks’ unicorn-themed frappe that generated a lot of heat on social media?
If you’re wondering why we don’t hear about them anymore, it’s because they were made as special edition products. Did they bring in huge sales, though?
That’s a big yes.
Selling limited edition products can create a sense of urgency. Knowing that these products will run out of stock and never to return again, people will buy them as soon as possible.
Many authors are notorious for using this scarcity marketing tactic. After releasing the first series of a novel, they don’t release it again. This triggers customers to grab that copy before it sells out.
Board game companies are also fond of creating special editions of their most popular games.
Monopoly has been constantly using this strategy to convince their customers to buy more of the same game, but with a twist. In 2006, they teamed up with Nintendo to make a limited edition game featuring Mario, Luigi, Zelda, and other Nintendo characters we all love.
If you have an item that’s produced in limited quantities, you can use that scarcity to sell more. There are two ways to use this tactic.
The first option is to promote your products ahead of time and encourage prospects to pre-order if they’re interested.
Second, inform your prospects that a popular item is back in stock, but will sell out sooner than they think. Here’s Chubbies to inspire you:
To emphasize limited availability, make sure that you include the exact number of items you’re producing. That way, potential customers will be more compelled to buy.
We all love getting free stuff, don’t we? No matter what they may be, items that are given to us for free bring us happiness like no other.
This brings us to our next scarcity marketing tactic: Freebies for your customers!
Give your prospects a reason to buy your products by offering them freebies, and don’t forget to incorporate a scarcity element for a sense of urgency. Here’s how Starbucks was able to do it:
In this advertisement, the world’s largest coffeehouse chain is using the “buy one, take one” approach. It shows scarcity by including its limited time period.
If you’re selling products with a high price range, like jewelry or high-end electronics, offering a freebie should be a no-no. You’ll end up undermining the quality of your product.
People are going to wonder why you’re selling an expensive item and giving away another of the exact kind for free. This can leave them feeling suspicious about your product.
Instead of a freebie, you can offer a free service or resource related to your product.
For example, if a customer buys an Ultra HD television, repay them with a free 3-month Netflix subscription. If you’re selling gym equipment, you can provide a free training guide.
Use Next-Day Shipping Countdowns
Customers are becoming more and more impatient these days, especially online shoppers. As soon as they press “purchase,” they expect their delivery to arrive pronto!
Because of this, many companies struggle to keep up with deliveries and shipping time. This is where you can count on the “next-day shipping” tactic to save you.
Letting your prospects know how much time is left before next-day shipping expires increases their urgency to make an immediate purchase. If they want a certain product and they want it by tomorrow, they better buy it now.
Amazon uses this scarcity marketing tactic exceptionally well.
Notice that they provide the option to choose one-day shipping upon checkout. Also, by adding “within 2 mins,” they’re persuading customers to take action immediately if they want to receive their items the following day.
Let Shoppers Know About Low Stocks
The pain of losing something is twice as immense as the pleasure of gaining it.
Besides having this fear of missing out on a product they might need, the thought that someone else might snatch it under their nose worries customers.
This is why using the “low stocks” or “few items left” tactic can work wonders for your sales.
Since scarcity makes items appear more popular that they really are, especially for online buyers, it’s not surprising that eCommerce stores are now leveraging low stock notices.
ModCloth easily demonstrates scarcity here by indicating low stock items in red.
This should be the motivation you need to start using device-limited sales and bonuses.
Although this scarcity marketing tactic works well in general, the impact it brings to hardcore smartphone users is far greater. With the discount only available on mobile devices, it offers exclusivity among shoppers.
Email everyone on your list and inform them that you have a few hot deals in store for them, but on one condition: They need to buy on mobile (or through your app).
Let’s boil this down to ridiculusly simple concepts, then I’ll outline an effective process that both generates amazing, usable content for your site while also giving you allies who will be incentivized & motivated to link to your website.
Make a list of parralel/related/”sibling” businesses w contact info
Make up 1-3 Questions
Curate all responses into a blog post
Curate individual responses into graphics
Send post and graphic back to respondents suggesting a “citation”
How do you get a link?
In the simplest terms, to get a link a person with access to the website decides to edit their page and add hyperlink to their page. It really is a human, editorial decision.
Who Do You Need To Reach?
Who then do you need to convince of your site’s value? Well, obviously the person with access to the site?
So that could be the marketing person in-house, or with an agency or the owner of the business.
Why would they take the time to do that?!
Well, they would need to feel either obligated in some way or enticed to add the link to your website. They would need to feel that your content is sufficiently relevant and useful in the context of a page on their site that it would benefit them and their visitors.
However, this is KEY, they can NOT be in direct competition with you. Why would they link to an enemy! However, also need to have a relevant on page reason to link to you.
That’s why PARRALLEL businesses need to be your target market for links. You need to find businesses who are selling to the same audience, that are NOT direct competitors
E.G. A Realtor’s parrallel businesses would be loan officers, title agents, movers, designers, painters, landscapers, etc.
How do you make a proposition they can’t refuse?
You need to GIVE THEM VALUE FIRST. You must offer the link TO them first.
The best way to do this is to find questions that impact your customers/visitors and their visitors and then you get the answers to these questions from your target website owner.
You’re A Genius
People like to be acknowledged. So asking them for their expert opinion on a topic they know, in exchange for a link from you is a winning proposition.
Just be sure to NOT ASK TOO MUCH. 1-3 short questions AT MOST.
Shop Around For Experts
Build a spreadsheet of parrallel business types. Then get the ACTUAL businesses and their contact information. Send them outreach emails. Get a decent amount of replies.
Never Win Once When You Can Win Twice: Killer Content
Here’s the best part. If you do your job in selecting the question you’re asking, then you’re helping your customer and your potential customer by having these answers.
What happens when you have relevant questions and answers for issues solved by your product or service? You capture search traffic from online searchers looking for solutions to their problems(AKA Quality Content).
What About The Links You Promised?!
Here’s where you get savvy. Use something like Pablo by Buffer or Photoshop to turn each respondant’s answers into a neat graphic. Then you send THAT back to them with your published URL.
Thanks so much for your super helpful replies to my questions! Here’s the article, (I linked to your site here!). I thought you’d like to share your answers on your own site on your relevant page (URL) or on socials ;). A citation is not required but appreciated.
You don’t even have to say “LINK TO MEEEEEE”. They’ll feel obligated this way. They’ll feel enticed! Afterall what could be more relevant to their page than their own answers?
This only works if…
You do it. The hardest part of link building is DOING IT. You gotta stop stragegizing. You have to start sending emails. Curate responses. Publish the post and do the follow up. If you do, I swear you can build links for boring industries like toilet partitions or steel door manufacturers.
Some Good Advice From Twitter
Posting this to the Twittersphere netted some good input from @darth_na, who is a worthwhile follow!
This process of “ego bait” based link building can work well with round-ups like how I’ve approach this tactic but it’s not the only way. You could alsoapproach outreach by literally asking the businesses what are their most frequest questions and generate a professional/industry FAQs or approach them as and ask for their “insider tips on their industry”.
You also don’t HAVE to ask them for a link right away, you can wait a few weeks. Just send the graphic, and if they put it up make a calendar note to followup and ask for a link.
Last, but not least, there are ways to connect into totally different markets. You could make your post specific to a region! This would allow you to hit all kinds of different businesses.
Example Of A Link Building Campaign For A Roofer
Let’s say that you’re building links for a local roofing client. First examine what services and products your client is putting onto the market and who are their ideal customers.
Find a “Nexus of Interest”
In this example, the ideal customer is a home owner. Ergo, the “nexus of interest” for you to explore is “the home”. Who else provides related and sibling services for home owners?
Let’s brainstorm! Houses can get moldy, so there’s mold abatement. Houses need to be painted eventually, so there’s house painting. Houses can get bugs, so there’ bug treatment companies. There’s dozens and dozens of services and products for the home!
Make a spreadsheet.
Generate Your Questions For The “Interviews”
Next you need 1-3 questions on a topic that is at home on your roofing related site, but isn’t hardcore related just to roofs. Remember you want to spread a wide net, but don’t be ridiculous.
What’s the home maintenance task that most homeowners regret overlooking?
Is there a cost-saving tip that you should know when you’re buying your first home?
What’s the most surprising or unusual home improvement you’ve seen?
Making A List, Checking it Twice
Now I recommend that you add to your related, sibling business spreadsheet all of the contact information you can derive from their sites. Grab multiple email addresses and even phone numbers. you’d be surprised how easy it is to build links with phone calls.
Curate Those Responses Into A Blog post
Yea. Do that.
Turn Individual Reponses Into Graphics
Build a relationship
Don’t treat this as a single, transactional situation. Interact with the editor, seo or marketer on the other end of the process and you can gain some additional opportunities for referrals or even guest author a full article on their site in the future; Here’s a good resource to help on that score if it happens.
The reason I’m writing this post is as an example for a customer, who has great writing skills already but wants to incorporate some best practices to help that content surface for as many searches as possible to generate traffic for his business.
How Do I Effectively Create Content For My Website That Will Rank?
Using an engaging writing style while presenting each relevant subtopic supported with a direct answer and various types of content will generally generate content that ranks well. Thoroughly explore the topic and address the major concerns people might be searching and provide thoughtful, well written answers along with relevant images and supporting content.
Here’s a short list of ways to ensure you capture “rich snippets” and create deeply relevant content:
Include relevant images with appropriate matching file names and meta data
Present additional information in tables, numbered lists and bulleted lists.
Be sure to link out and cite additional resources frequently
How Long Does My Content Need To Be To Rank In Search
There’s no specific length required for your content to rank for a specific keyword or phrase search. However, you should keep in mind that the most useful and complete content does seem to corrolate with additional rankings and traffic.
But that does not mean that the LONGEST content is what’s going to rank for your search, but the most COMPLETE articles tend to address all the facets of the topic, and therefore tend to capture more rankings and traffic.
Now that the majority of us are happy to conduct our business online rather than visit a shop or office in person, it is now more important than ever that every company has a website. But just having a website isn’t good enough – it has to be very user friendly.
Everyone has access to the internet these days, and it is really crucial that whoever lands on your site is able to use it without any issues at all. Even people who rarely use the internet and normally have trouble getting to grips with technology need to be able to figure out your site. If users have a hard time getting to grips with it, they will quickly move on and navigate to one of your competitor’s websites.
Do you think that your website is as user-friendly as it can be? Here’s a checklist to help you figure it out.
Add Contact Information
Your website should completely remove the need for any customers or clients to pick up the phone and ask you any questions.
(Btw if you want to chat about your SEO situation, drop me a line at (615) 601-2177 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Rivera <–Me
All of the answers to their questions should be easy to find on the site. This includes your contact information. Your address, phone number, and email address should be easy to find so that your customers can easily get in touch with you in a variety of ways.
Make It Easy To Navigate
How is the navigation on the site? Each one of your pages needs to be easy to find so that all the information on them is accessible.
There are two ways you can do this. Firstly, you should create sitemap so that all of your various pages are mapped out clearly.
As well as that, it’s worth adding a clearly visible drop-down menu that links to all of the pages.
Make Sure It’s Mobile Responsive
These days, most of us now use our mobile phones to view pages on the internet. Because most of your web traffic will be mobile, it’s necessary that your website is now mobile responsive.
If it isn’t, it will be very slow to load on mobile and tablet devices, and it could also mess with the navigation.
So, if the site can’t be viewed or navigated on mobiles, then you could lose quite a bit of web traffic.
Make Sure Your Page Experience & Load Speed Is Optimized
While site load speed has been some sort of “ranking factor” for some time, the means by which that was measured and fed into Google’s ranking algorithm hasn’t been very specific, so the general advice was to get load speed under two seconds, and improve your page speed score from Google’s Lighthouse audit as high as possible.
Well, now we have more official guidance and an algorthim update that rolled it’s usage into the mainstream with the “Page Experience” update that now uses “Core Web Vital” scores from Google’s Lighthouse project. These Core Web Vitals go beyond just “loading”, and also measure things like layouts shifting, how quickly you can interact with a page etc.
Link To Social Media
So, to encourage anyone who lands on your site to find your social media profiles, you need to clearly link to each profile on your website.
Lots of web users like to follow their favorite companies on social media so that they keep up to date with all of their latest news and any deals that they release.
Most CRMs and website builders will let you add social media buttons which make the links easy to spot.
Check For Bugs
There are various bugs that could end up on the website if you aren’t careful.
Thankfully, full checks should help you find them so that you know which issues you need to iron out. For instance, dead links, poor performance, and bad functionality should all be prevented.
All you need to do to test the website is to use it.
Visit EVERY single page on your website, click by click. Link by link.
Note down any issues and problems that you come across and pass this list onto the website design team so that they can work on them.
It’s better that you find the bugs before your customers do!
Add A Search Feature
It can be really annoying when you visit a website looking for some specific information but come away without having found it.
This isn’t the fault of the user; most of the time, it’s the company to blame as they might have hidden the information.
If your website is quite dense with information, it will be worth adding a search function so that anyone who lands on your site can quickly find what they are looking for.
As soon as someone lands on your website, they need to instantly know that it belongs to your company or is part of your personal brand. This is especially important if there are companies out there with similar names to you.
The world is changing. We can see that everywhere we look. Even within the relatively new confines of online content consumption, the world is changing at a staggering place. The way in which we (and by we I mean the general public, including your customers) consume our media has undergone a sharp change, and as a business it behoves you to rise to meet them.
There was a time when blog posts were all you needed. They were a great way to not only give your SEO a little organic boost, but they also helped to give your brand a voice. They imbued your business with a sense of personality that made it all the more appealing.
They also established you, the face of the business, as a reputable and knowledgeable leader; someone who knows their onions and can be trusted with their ongoing custom.
But the times have changed, and it seems as though the busier we get, the less time we have for long form content. We know for a fact that people are consuming more media on the go through their smartphones and mobile devices than at static computers.
They’re catching their hit of content in tiny bite sized chunk on the train to work or on their coffee break.
This means that video is the best way to reach customers in 2018 and is fast becoming one of the fastest growing digital marketing trends of 2018. Thus, it’s necessary for you to make sure that your outsourced IT support provider has the facilities for you to make, edit and upload video content without clogging your business’ bandwidth. Here’s why…
Video is efficient
A gifted writer can hook and engage readers, sure. They can weave data seamlessly into prose and get information across to a reader artfully… Absolutely. But video is simply a more efficient form of communication.
A picture is, after all, worth a thousand words. Video can get dense information across quickly in an easily digestible format.
When you’re trying to reach busy decision makers who don’t have the time to read through larges chunks of text, video is the way to go.
Video is sharable
The beauty of video content is that not only is it easy to consume, it’s easy to share on social media platforms. There’s also evidence to suggest that video posts on social media get more engagement than long form written content. They garger more likes, more shares and more comments. This in turn means
Video performance metrics are easy to understand and actionable
Any entrepreneur worth their salt knows that keeping a close eye on your metrics is an essential part of any content marketing strategy. The great thing about video metrics is that they are transparent, easy to interpret and easy to action.
Shares, comments and clicks speak for themselves but you can also calculate an average of how long users remain engaged with the video for. It can help you to identify if a video is too long or that a particular element of your video isn’t working for audiences if they switch off at a certain point.
Video may have killed the radio star, but there’s no reason why it can’t breathe new life into your SEO.
Running a successful business is a great achievement. And these days, more and more people are doing just that thanks to the Internet boom.
Getting a business up and running, and making a profit has never been easier! But what happens once you are ready to grow and develop your company so it becomes even more of a success?
Well, that’s when things start to get slightly harder. In fact, many online companies get it terrible wrong when they try to expand. And mistakes at this stage can always prove fatal. To help you grow your business and increase your profits, here are my top tips.
Aim To Increase Sales To Existing Customers
It is much easier trying to persuade your existing customers to buy more rather than trying to find completely new ones. This also works out a lot cheaper for you as well, as you don’t have to work on expanding your marketing strategies too much.
Instead, just offer some more products that you know your current customers will love. If you aren’t too sure what you should be offering, go with products or services that are similar to the ones that you currently offer and don’t forget to check in with your customer service team to find out what “pain points” they hear about from customers. Solving more of your current client’s problems is more managable than trying to solve problems for people who are not yet aware of your business.
Don’t forget the value of keeping your “Churn rate” under control, the number of people you lose every month vs the number of recurring clients you keep. Many business who are trying to expand also offer reward schemes to loyal customers. This ensures that they keep on coming back for more!
Take Over Another Business
The easiest way to increase your profits and sales is to simply buy out and take over another Internet company. Maybe you know a fellow online entrepreneur who wants to sell their business for a profit? Or perhaps you have heard that someone simply wants a change of career and is ready to sell their part of an online business?
Whatever the reason, if you have the capital to buy the business, taking over the company and merging it with your own shouldn’t be too difficult. For more advice, you can see TUPE guidelines for employers on different websites.
Don’t Be Scared To Hire A Contractor
If you have never grown a business from scratch before, it can be a fairly daunting task. And that is why many online entrepreneurs prefer to hire specialist consultants to help them increase the size of their company.
Hiring someone as a contractor is also a great way to free up your cash flow. This is because your expenses will be slightly altered. Your consultant will know exactly what you need to do in order to start bringing in large numbers of sales and profits!
Increase Your Online Presence
As an online business, I am sure you will have a strong online presence already. But this needs to be taken up a notch now that you are ready to expand. So you need to actually commit time and energy to your organic marketing strategy to make sure that your business starts to get noticed by even more people.
Don’t forget that there are skilled SEO consultants who can help shape youre strategies. Share current and shareable content on social media. Start blogging so your website’s SEO improves. These are just some of the ways you can take your business from strength to strength online.
I reached out to Erik who is the CEO of MageMail. He also mentors startups with programs such as MassChallenge and Techstars. He geeks out and writes about innovation, ecommerce, emerging tech, leadership, and SaaS here is what he had to contribute:
The humble email!
With 4 billion accounts (and counting), marketers have started to realize the full potential of email marketing. After all, 90% of internet users in the United States frequently check their emails, more than social media and no other e-marketing tool can directly land in the inbox of subscribers.
To put it all together we created this useful ‘Email Marketing Cheat Sheet’ full of tips on how to build and implement an effect email strategy for your business.
Personalization – Why should you make your emails personal and how to segment your lists.
Trigger emails – How you can set them up and respond to the actions of subscribers or customers. Avoid the spam folder too.
Recovery – Using email marketing to re-engage with inactive customers and reduce your abandoned cart rates.
Mobile friendly -.Some studies indicate that over 50% of emails are viewed for the first time on mobile devices. So it’s more important than ever to format your emails correctly.
Testing – Why testing is critical to the success of your email strategy and how to carry out effective tests.
Email Marketing Cheat Sheet Infographic
As we can see, there are a number of innovative ways we can use emails to ram home the advantage of an efficient SEO strategy. The ROI of $44 for every $1 spent is higher than any other form of communication including social media. Here is what a well-organized, personalized email program can do for your business.
Reach – Where else can you send to a potential database of 4 billion accounts?
Subscribers – Most of the time, people sign up to your list because they want to hear from you
Conversion – On ROI, no other medium beats the email. For engagement and establishing trust with customers, email comes out on top too
Segmenting your list will give you the ability to personalize emails to by keeping the content relevant to them. You can do this by interest, age and location among many other metrics.
After 45 years, (incredibly, the first ever email was sent in 1971!) the email is still going strong. Following these tips will help you grow your business. Good luck, star fighter!
The world of internet marketing, search engine optimisation and sales is littered with jargon, rules and “best practices”. When we get mired in these expectations we might miss out on our ACTUAL goal of producing revenue and get stuck in the dreary world of digital beaurocracy.
This means you need to know what success for you means. It’s different for each business & industry. That’s why the field of conversion rate optimisation is so vital to making SEO worthwhile.
What does CRO mean? What do you need to know about it? How do you do it? These and many more questions are answered in this ultimate guide to conversion rate optimization and SEO.
What is conversion rate optimisation and should you care?
The aim of search engine optimisation is to get visitors to your site but what happens then? A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website takes an action that you want them to take. If there is no option to take an action, you cannot achieve a conversion. The action needs to suit the purpose of your business or enterprise and you get a benefit from it. Some examples are:
Signing up for a newsletter
Signing up for a course
Downloading an app
Making a purchase
This is the outcome that you can measure. It only has two options. They either do it or they don’t.
When you optimise your conversion rate you take steps to make that action more likely to happen. However, it is not always easy to work out how to do that. It is likely to require a structured and systematic approach to the process.
You are also likely to need to improve the performance of your website and this can mean re-examining all of your IT set-up and accessing appropriate IT support for business. A successful website has to be underpinned by efficient IT support that will identify potential problems before they even happen in your organisation.
This puts you in the best position to use your analytics and feedback to improve your conversion rates. It is important that your conversion goals are defined by your enterprise’s unique objectives and needs.
Attracting more traffic to your site may be part of your overall marketing strategy but taking the traffic you already have and making the most of it is what conversion rates are all about.
If you are serious about improving your conversion rate optimization you will not rely on guesswork and gut feelings. It will be based on data and innovation.
The Jargon you need to know
A Call to Action (CTA) is nothing to do with the military. It is an element that invites the visitor to do something. If they pop onto your site, read your content and then disappear then they have not been of much use to you. You need to get the most out of every visitor. At the very least, you want them to share your content so a call to action would be text saying ‘Please share’ or ‘Sharing is caring’ and a button that they can use to quickly and easily share a link to your content on social media.
Other versions would be a ‘Buy Now’ button which takes them to your sales page or a ‘Sign Up’ button taking them to a form where they can enter their email details.
You may have read about conversion funnels in marketing articles. This refers to the pathway that a user takes as they travel from being a visitor to your site (the start of the funnel) to becoming a paying customer (the end of the funnel). The purchase that they make is the conversion. A typical description of a conversion funnel would be Home page > search results page > product page > checkout.
If your SEO is working, you will be getting a lot of visitors to your site but the best way of getting them into your conversion funnel is not always easy to determine. You could use a method that is referred to as A/B or split testing. You try out two versions of your conversion funnel methods to see which works best. This could be different coloured buttons, different calls to action or different images.
Data and conversion rates
There is inevitably some math associated with this process but it is not complicated. You can collect all the data you need by setting up Google Analytics which only takes a few minutes and there are plenty of tutorials to teach you how to use it effectively.
To calculate your conversion rate all you have to do is divide the number of conversions (the number who purchased/subscribed/signed up) by the total number of visitors to your site.
However, that is not the whole picture. You need to establish how your SEO is influencing what people are doing on your site. Is it bringing in visitors who want to be there? Do they like what they see when they get there? Are they staying for a while or they clicking off you site immediately? The figures that you gain from your analysis can inform your SEO strategy going forward.
There are a few key parameters that you need to measure. The first is the bounce rate. This is the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing just one page (the one they landed on). If your bounce rate is high, this is a problem. Perhaps the visitors are not finding what they are looking for or don’t like what they find. You need to rethink your SEO strategy so that you can attract a different type of visitor.
It is also important to be aware of your exit rate for each page on your site. This is the percentage of people who leave after viewing that page. Therefore, if a page has a very high exit rate it may be an indication that it needs some work!
You can learn a lot from the data on how much time visitors spend on your site. This tells you if they are actually reading your content or if they are leaving very quickly. The more time they spend, the more opportunity you have to get them to convert.
It is useful to take a look at the average page views which is one of the engagement metrics that you can use to inform your SEO strategy. It tells you how many pages the average visitor looked at before they left. More page views can mean more engagement and that is good. It means that they are clicking on internal links and entering the conversion funnel. However, you need to be mindful that it can also mean that there is a lack of clarity and direction on your site so they are clicking all over the place because they don’t know how to make a purchase. This is obviously a bad thing!
Why is conversion rate optimisation important?
Firstly, there is never any reason to be complacent. You can never sit back and think that your SEO and CRO are working perfectly because your competitors will not be doing that! You need to keep things under review. You need to constantly look for new ideas and innovations in your SEO strategy and in making the conversion process as easy as you can.
Another reason is to do with money. If you are relying on paid advertising, this is going to get more expensive and more competitive as the web becomes more and more crowded. Spending more and more money to attract more and more visitors is not the answer. You need to do extra with the visitors that you get. You must identify and sort out glitches in your conversion funnel so that the process is seamless.
SEO is not about getting any kind of visitor, it is about getting the right kind of visitor. In the same way, CRO is also about getting the ‘right’ kind of converters. Ideally, you want customers who love your product, come back and buy more and tell everyone how amazing you are!
On the plus side, CRO does not cost you anything. It dovetails with your SEO strategy and makes the most of the traffic that you already have. It increases the return on your SEO investment and is a highly cost-effective strategy. If you look at the math of the situation, a great CRO strategy lowers your customer acquisition costs and this maximizes your profits.
The end result is that you have more money to spend on additional acquisition strategies. Only now, they can be highly targeted at the visitors that you know are most likely to convert.
Ultimately, this has the knock-on effect of making you more attractive to affiliates and partners and this is essential to bloggers for whom this is their main income stream. You will earn more and your affiliates will earn more and so everyone is happy.
CRO gives you the edge over your competitors. Your visitors are more likely to find what they are looking for on your site and are therefore less likely to go hunting for it elsewhere.
So, it is not hard to make your SEO work with your CRO to give your business the best chance of success. Make your call to action clear, your conversion funnel seamless and protect your visitor’s security and you will have a winning formula.