11- Oct2017
Posted By: DPadmin
173 Views

How to Turn Your Company’s Pinterest Efforts Into a Lead-Generation Machine

By thinking like a search engine marketer, you just might discover a powerful new marketing channel.

Pinterest is one of the most underrated social networks for lead generation and customer acquisition. But, in fact, Pinterest is one of the largest social media networks in the world. Used by 175 million people, it’s growing at a rate that’s doubling and tripling in some international markets.

Since Pinterest is also a platform that grows from organic search discovery via user-generated content, it can increase brand awareness among its users, and even non-users who stumble across a Pinterest page during a search.

Business owners who invest the time in optimizing their Pinterest exposure to reach prospective customers can create a reliable lead-generation machine without needing to invest large sums of money. Here’s how to leverage Pinterest to develop your own marketing channel to yield reliable results.

Think like a search-engine marketer.

In many ways, Pinterest functions like a visual search engine. The platform combs through board titles, pin titles, pin descriptions and pin tags to surface relevant content for users. The platform also relies on users to collect and compile this content, which ultimately makes the discovery process fun and rewarding.

Given this reality, those interested in using Pinterest as a lead-generation machine should think like a search-engine marketer. The first thing marketers must do is identify a series of target keywords. Tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, Uber Suggest and Keywordtool.io can help you to identify keywords your target audience is already searching.

Once you’ve selected those keywords, it’s time to create a search-optimized Pinterest profile. Make sure that your username and profile URL include a target keyword, if that’s possible. Once your profile is created, you should begin creating boards that include topically relevant information that prospects may be searching for.

It’s also important to optimize each individual pin within a board. The name of the pin and the pin description should use a target keyword to ensure that the content you upload surfaces when a user searches either on the Pinterest platform or a search engine.

Consider advertising on Pinterest.

About 30 percent of American internet users use Pinterest and nearly 80 percent of active Pinterest users say they use the platform to help make purchasing decisions. While Pinterest may not be the first platform you think of when it comes to digital advertising, given those numbers, the platfrom could be a highly effective digital advertising channel for you.

With that in mind, Pinterest recently announced a new option for organizations with smaller ad budgets. Now, advertisers have access to a self-service option that connects potential Pinterest advertisers with a host of creative professionals who are capable of producing compelling visual Pinterest ad content. While advertisers do need to pay for creating such ad content, Pinterest doesn’t take a cut.

This referral option can be a cost-effective means for marketers to test Pinterest without having to invest the time to organically optimize a profile and create or curate content in-house.

Create a pinning workflow.

For those interested in committing to Pinterest long term, it’s important to create a pinning workflow so that you and your team regularly update your profile with relevant content. By enriching your Pinterest profile, you’ll be expanding the reach of your account. In time, increased reach will mean more leads produced from this social media channel.

Consider adding Pinterest as part of your content-production workflow. Each new blog post, ebook or infographic your team creates should be added to Pinterest as a form of content syndication.

Optimize the off-site experience.

ComScore found that social media users access their platforms via a mobile device 79 percent of the time. Marketers interested in driving Pinterest users back to a company website, therefore, should ensure that the website is mobile optimized.

Otherwise, you may be creating a poor experience for the visitor that will not result in a conversion. Alternatively, if you are able to create a pleasant mobile experience, website visitors will be more likely to convert into a lead.

Measure performance with tracking links.

In 1966, Peter Drucker wrote his famous book, The Effective Executive. In it he coined the phrase “What gets measured gets managed.” This was true over 50 years ago, and it’s still true today. A simple way to measure, and therefore manage, Pinterest performance is by using a simple tracking link. Platforms as straightforward as Bit.ly and as advanced as Marketo offer tracking links that can help marketers determine if Pinterest is working effectively, and which specific boards or pins are working better than others.

Conclusion

While most marketers are focused on optimizing social networks like Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest offers businesses an interesting collection of highly engaged users who are using Pinterest to find new products and companies. By thinking like a search engine marketer, or trying out some of Pinterest’s advertiser tools, you just might discover a uniquely powerful new marketing channel that could become your very own lead-generation machine.

Source: How to Turn Your Company’s Pinterest Efforts Into a Lead-Generation Machine

26- Sep2017
Posted By: DPadmin
107 Views

An integrated approach: From SEO to PPC and beyond

For most businesses, the summer season means a slow-down in industry events — but for digital marketers, there is no rest! My company was out in force at both The Turing Festival and BrightonSEO this year, both of which represent fantastic forums for knowledge-sharing and networking.

Reflecting on what were hugely insightful conferences, I’d like to run over themes that stood out to me — and how digital marketers can put insights drawn from them into practice.

Attendees of both conferences were spoiled for choice: Speakers from the world’s largest and most inspiring companies, including Google, Moz and Skyscanner, headlined stages. Members of our paid search team were particularly wowed by the session delivered by Wil Reynolds, the founder of Seer Interactive.

Breaking down silos

Wil Reynolds’s background commanded the audience’s attention from the get-go with a story that is still relatively unusual in the marketing world. Originally an SEO expert who turned to PPC, Reynolds suggested that the notion of switching between elements of search marketing shouldn’t be unusual in 2017, but that it unfortunately still is.

Typically, search professionals specialize in either paid or organic search and rarely move from one to the other. However, combining these skill sets can strengthen a marketing team and add value to the services it delivers to its clients.

I think that’s an important lesson for marketers, whether agency or client-side. Integrated marketing strategies are more effective than siloed efforts, and we have no shortage of case studies to that effect here at QueryClick.

Describing how he broke out of his own silo and combined SEO with PPC, Reynolds highlighted how the two areas of search complement each other — a message that resonates with me personally as a marketing professional who recognizes that an integrated approach delivers the strongest results.

A holistic approach

In a modern digital marketing world, however, the merging of skills goes far beyond mastering both SEO and PPC. The way people consume content has drastically changed over the last decade. The rise in mobile media consumption has led to a diverse range of content platforms, and marketers now have extensive opportunities to tailor their messaging and reach their target audiences.

To ensure consistency across platforms, today’s brands demand an integrated approach with a cross-skilled team that breaks down silos, produces more meaningful data and offers them more bang for their buck.

Running organic and paid search campaigns simultaneously (with a single point of truth in reporting) allows integrated marketing teams to define the keywords that have the highest conversion rate and therefore determine the themes that will optimize a brand’s overall digital marketing strategy. To work effectively, however, it must be rolled out across SEO, PPC, social media, PR and conversion rate optimization (CRO), with each team working closely together in order to achieve the brand’s end goals.

Bridging the gap

Of course, there are risks to adopting an integrated approach. There can be a huge disconnect between PPC and SEO campaigns, for example, and work must be done to bridge the gap between both disciplines. Ensuring that the work of the SEO and PPC teams complement each other, and that they can yield valuable data and insights for that work, should result in campaigns that are more targeted and relevant to the brand’s audience.

I’ve written before about how you can integrate paid and organic search behaviour in a blended “Halo” report, and I think it’s just one example where integrating channels provides significant insight value to both channels.

Of course, creating an integrated strategy is an art form as much as it is a science, and without the appropriate tools at hand, it’s not always possible. Power BI, a data visualization tool which can pull deeper integrated organic and paid metrics together, can help marketers present a visual representation of PPC and SEO activity live, allowing both teams to move away from working and reporting in silos and allowing an instantly accessible “single point of truth.”

Get the full picture

During the conclusion of his session at The Turing Festival, Reynolds pointed out that it is important to recognize that SEO and PPC look at the world differently. He described PPC professionals as being akin to “creative accountants,” working to meticulous precision, and suggested that SEOs are more like “poker players,” keeping their cards close to their chest.

Although the skills and mindsets of these specialists are very different, combining both organic and paid results shows the full SEM picture and allows digital marketers to deliver stronger results to their clients. This, in turn, informs the strategy for the whole digital marketing team, from PR to social. If mastered, a data-led, integrated approach is the holy grail of modern search marketing.

Source: An integrated approach: From SEO to PPC and beyond

29- Jun2017
Posted By: DPadmin
162 Views

Dumbing Down SEO: Basic Tips For The Organic Search Beginner

SEO Dashboard

Pixabay

SEO Dashboard

SEO is a complex topic that sounds simple, so let’s clarify what it means before we get into the meat of the issue. SEO stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization refers to how search engines determine which links are shown first to users.

This determination centers around certain factors in the case of the results stemming from an organic search (non-paid). That’s not all. The benefits and profitability of SEO are even increasing with respect to mobile platforms. SEO refers to the set of factors that determine the search ranking of your landing page and other links in relation to many factors.

Framing the issue is important before getting into the question of why SEO is so important in the first place. Most people intuitively understand that the higher their site’s landing page shows at the top of a search engine’s results page, the more traffic they will receive. In reality, the influence that search engines have over the results you see and the frequency at which search engines are used may surprise you.

The fact of the matter is that search engines generally dictate what gets shown and what doesn’t get shown. Nowadays, search engines appear to have taken on a referencing role based on website relevance in addition to a simple search function. Interestingly, search sites like Google act as both gateways and gatekeepers to the rest of the Internet.

Google controls seven out of every ten searches. Because of this, Google is a gateway that most people use to find other sites that they need. On the other hand, Google is also a gatekeeper based on how it organizes and ranks the links of various websites.

This article will go over five ranking factors used by Google to shed insight into the details of that ranking process. In other words, by reviewing the features of the gatekeeping process, we can implement more robust and effective SEO measures.

1. Provide Useful Content

The more accurate, helpful, and reputable your content is, the better SEO results you’ll get. Simple, right? In theory, good content leads to higher rankings. The problem here is that machines are sorting through and making judgments on what’s good or bad. So you’re really trying to hit a number of things that mimic or approximate good content in your SEO quest. Making small, impactful, and targeted changes is key to creating the type of content attractive to search engines.

2. Write Suitable and Attractive Anchor Text

What’s anchor text? It’s basically the blue underlined stuff that you click on when you browse the Internet that takes you to another related site. Essentially, the HTML code specifies a section of text and associates it with a link to create the hyperlink that we are all familiar with.

So how do you add a bit of flair to your anchor text beyond its depressingly default color of blue? Moz gives a number of suggestions, but in general you just want to want your anchor texts to be pithy, unique, simple, and relevant to the linked page.

3. Backlinks

Backlines are exactly what they sound like, but like all important SEO features on your site there are both good and excellent ways to use backlinks. The concept behind a backlink is incredibly simple. It refers to the sites that link to your site, or any other site. Let’s say the Wall Street Journal made a link to your website. That’s a backlink.

There’s a number of key things to do when considering backlink quality. These tips relate to making your backlinks more useful to site visitors. You can accomplish this by evaluating a site’s link relevancy through a number of factors like content and online tools. Focusing on real websites, or websites that experience a lot of traffic along with using authority sites will also boost your rankings.

4. Make Your Site Easier to Navigate

This one’s pretty easy to grasp too. Just don’t fill your site up with a much of unnecessary clutter. Clean simplicity is one of the reasons that Google was so successful as a search engine in its earlier stages. You want your site to get to the point. You want to capture your users and have them understand the purpose of your site within seconds. Finally, you’ll need to arrange buttons and widgets around a theme or style that appeals to the visitors for maximum ranking results.

Even Google itself thinks organization and navigation clarity are important in its SEO guide. It emphasizes things like the relationship between clean navigation and search engines and makes suggestions like planning your site around your homepage in order to make visitor browsing more convenient.

5. Consider RankBrain’s Algorithms

The significance of technology appears to have subtly increased to a great degree over the years. Google’s RankBrain is an example of an algorithm has been making waves on the issue of search traffic and rankings.

So how does Google do it? The larger category of technology is called artificial intelligence, coding computer to perform tasks that only humans normally handle. But with the arrival of a type of artificial learning called machine learning, RankBrain has certain elements that are capable of rewriting their own software to get better at ranking the most relevant sites.

The real impact of RankBrain manifests in its ability to interpret human meaning (in searches) to an extent: “RankBrain is designed to better understand the meaning behind the words a person uses and types into his or her search engine because 15% of queries per day had never been seen by Google” (Broadbent, 2017).

With the powerful machine learning technologies guiding SEO and the calculations behind the rankings of site relevance, focusing and studying up on the latest SEO trends across popular platforms has never been more important.

Source: Dumbing Down SEO: Basic Tips For The Organic Search Beginner

24- May2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
349 Views

Companies Will Spend $65 Billion on SEO in 2016, Much of it Will Be Wasted

Entrepreneur magazine contributor, Mike Templeman, shares his thoughts on the SEO snake oil being solicited by top agencies and advertisers alike.  SEO takes time and like Mike references, there is no “overnight” fix or silver bullet that can take you to the top.

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Don’t get burned by a snake oil salesperson when it comes to your company’s SEO needs.Do you know what snake oil is? It’s a term used to describe any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. If you read this Wikipedia article on the topic, you’ll see that real oil from snakes used to be prescribed as a cure for everything from small cuts on up to arthritis and skin diseases.

And a recent study came out touting that companies will be spending $65 Billion on SEO this year.

Now, as the title to this article would imply, I believe that the SEO industry, and the digital marketing industry in general is full of snake oil salespeople. Individuals who knowingly are selling a product that either will not work for the buyer or that they know is of inferior quality.

Let me explain. I run a marketing agency. I have to hear dozens of horror stories every week about wasted budgets, sites damaged beyond repair, digital campaigns that produce zero results and everything else business owners and marketers are terrified of. These stories are the grownup versions of the campfire stories we told each other as children. Except now, they end in the loss of millions of dollars. Terrifying, I know.

Now, I mentioned that I run an agency, as such you’d think that we’d have a pretty good grasp on marketing. But you wouldn’t guess that if you looked at my spam folder. I receive hundreds, yes hundreds of unsolicited emails every day from marketers promising to take my brand to the #1 spot in Google (total lie). Or to bring me thousands of visitors in a matter of weeks (liar liar pants on fire). They tell me that my site is breaking numerous rules set forth by the search engines and if I don’t fix them my company will die a fiery death (oh really?).

Related: Here’s What Really Matters for SEO in 2016

These are the Exhibit A’s in the snake oil industry of digital marketing and SEO.

To see the Exhibit B’s you’ll need to reach out to an agency of your choice and ask to speak with their sales team. Odds are you’ll end up talking with someone that will guarantee that your wildest dreams will be fulfilled by focusing on SEO. Or maybe they’re a social media agency. If that’s the case, their silver bullet will undoubtedly be social media. Either way, they’ve got the tonic that will cure your website’s disease. And if you act now, you’ll be guaranteed results!

Look, as someone who has worked in SEO and every other digital medium for the last decade or so, I can tell you that there are no silver bullets and that nothing is guaranteed. I also know that SEO doesn’t work for some companies. Just like PPC isn’t for everyone, nor is social media. After all, billboards and commercials don’t work for every industry, so why would digital marketing be any different?

But let’s examine what makes a lot of SEO services snake oil and give you the information you’ll need to protect yourself.

Why is it snake oil?
Snake oil originated in the medical industry. It was used as a cure for ailments. It was easy for salespeople to pull the wool over they’re buyers’ eyes because back in the day, no one really knew what the heck was going on with their bodies. Medical information wasn’t as readily available. And since medical conditions are by nature quite scary, the sufferers were ready to believe anything that was thrown their way.

Well, guess what? The Internet is the new medical industry when it comes to snake oil. You see, the Internet is still not that old. It’s really only become prolific over the last 20 years or so. With that being the case, most people don’t understand the ins and outs of it. Yes, like a medical condition, they can tell when something is wrong. But they’re not really quite sure what the cause of the issue is. Enter the snake oil salespeople.

Whenever there are uninformed customers, there will always be predatory groups looking to take advantage of that situation. And with a 65 Billion dollar industry up for grabs, the streets are running wet with snake oil right now.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Consultant

What I’ve seen.
While some snake oils can be rather harmless, when it comes to your digital marketing snake oil is anything but. For instance, I wrote an article a few years back about a large company that was removed from the Google search results due to their digital marketing activities. They had some sloppy marketing being done and it ended up making them disappear from the search results. Harmless, right? Wrong. You see, this company relied heavily on their search results for new leads to their call center. This call center was staffed by dozens of people. These people had families, mortgages, and relied on that income.

Well, when the phones just stop ringing one morning, it’s going to be very hard for a company to keep employing an entire sales floor. And while the company did their best to avoid the inevitable, they eventually had to face the facts and they ended up laying off the entire department.

So this one company that unfortunately trusted a snake oil salesperson, ended up having to lay off almost 50 people at a time when the economy wasn’t doing so well. I’m sure there was a lot of financial pain felt by these families.

So, yes, snake oil SEO can be extremely dangerous in today’s digital economy.

How do business owners avoid getting burned?
This is probably the most important part of this article. As I mentioned earlier, the reason these groups are able to prey on consumers is because of the lack of information. To this end, you need to gird yourself with knowledge. Do research on the topic you’ll be discussing with your potential agency partners. Have talking points and specific questions that you’d like answered. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid the bottom-of-the-barrel snake oil salespeople that can’t even face mild scrutiny.

Related: The Top 4 Reasons SEO Is Dead

Once you’ve weeded those ones out, you’ll want to really do your research on the agencies that have made the first cut. Check the background of the founders, look for third party reviews. Ask them for case studies, testimonials, and references. Do not look at a slick sales deck and assume that because they can put together a decent PowerPoint that they can provide you with proper marketing services. I’ve seen hundreds of dreams crushed on the expectations set by a nice sales presentation. Any group you don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with should be cut after this.

Now that you’ve made it to your third round of choices, you’ll want to watch what they produce for you very closely. Don’t accept an agency that does not give you full visibility into what they’re doing. I can’t tell you how often I see shoddy work being done, and the business owner would have been able to identify that work as being shoddy, but because they weren’t aware it was being done, they had no way of stopping it.

Because of this you’ll want to make sure that the group you’re working with is willing to show you everything they’re doing and will actually take the time to explain and train you on what they’re doing. After all, an informed client is the best kind of client.

And if you follow these steps, you’ll be assured that you’ve probably weeded out all of the snake oil salespeople and you’ll be working with a reputable agency. Now, this doesn’t guarantee that you will get great results. As I mentioned above, sometimes SEO isn’t a solution for all industries and sometimes marketing campaigns don’t result in massive successes. But those are the chances you should be willing to take. If you know you’re working with the right group that does things the right way, then you’re in it together. And the engagement should feel like a partnership, rather then a vendor relationship.

So, as you’re out there trying to spend your marketing dollars wisely, watch for those shady characters that are touting the magical properties of their services. Odds are, there’s a lot of snake oil in their pitch.

Source: Companies Will Spend $65 Billion on SEO in 2016, Much of it Will Be Wasted