10 Practices for Wix SEO

10 Practices for Wix SEO

If you’ve ever built a website, or you’re looking for a suitable website builder, you’ve no doubt heard of Wix.

It’s renowned for its easy-to-use interface, its suitability for beginners, and it gets good reviews for its flexibility, professional-looking templates, and support. 

On the downside, Wix SEO limitations often come in for criticism, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enhance your site’s SEO considerably by applying a few best practices.

This article details ten SEO best practices that can improve your Wix website rankings.

Before getting into that, though, let’s describe the pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of Wix

Wix is a web development platform with many advantages. First, you don’t need any coding knowledge and it uses simple drag and drop features to build a fantastic looking website.

Then there’s the Wix SEO tool. It helps you optimize your site for search engines by offering information on page names, meta descriptions, keywords, and more.

With some light guidance, anyone can create a website and get it up and running fast, and uncompetitive niches can rank on Google’s front page.

Additionally, Wix:

  • is incredibly customizable
  • has a wide range of features
  • has a simple drag and drop interface
  • offers ample templates to choose from
  • is free

However, Wix has its disadvantages too. 

Although a drag and drop interface makes web design straightforward, it can limit creativity and create a generic look.

Also, Wix SEO isn’t as simple as it could be, and the free version has limited features. It does, however, have some tools to assist in overcoming this.

Another disadvantage is that you must upgrade your plan to remove advertisements. Entry-level plans still display ads on your site, and premium websites are costly.

How Popular is Wix?

Wix is hugely popular with an audience of approximately 200 million, availability in 190 countries, and more than 1000 plus features.

The platform is especially popular among:

  • small businesses
  • entrepreneurs
  • startups
  • freelancers, like photographers, designers, and writers

You can use Wix to create great-looking portfolios and landing pages too.

10 Best Practices for Wix SEO

If you’ve done any research, you know that Wix’s SEO gets a bad rap, but that shouldn’t be the case anymore. 

Wix has worked to improve SEO and offers advice to website owners who want to work on this aspect of website promotion. In addition, the platform includes an SEO tool, which I describe below.

1. Use Wix SEO Wiz

10 Best Practices for Wix SEO - Use Wix SEO Wiz

To get started with optimizing your site, use the Wix SEO Wiz. It’s free and allows you to optimize your content.

The SEO Wiz consists of a step-by-step plan detailing areas of improvement and giving advice for enhancing SEO.

In addition, it gives you:

  • easy-to-follow tutorials
  • tracking capabilities
  • access to numerous SEO articles

You can find the Wix SEO Wiz by going to “Marketing & SEO” and then “Get Found On Google” from your site’s dashboard.

2. Use Longtail Keywords

You know all about keywords and keyword research. These are a crucial part of SEO, but you shouldn’t overlook longtail keywords.

Longtail keywords are more specific keywords with low search volume that use longer phrases. For example, “running shoe” is a head keyword, while “best running shoes for narrow feet” is a longtail keyword.

10 Best Practices for Wix SEO - Use Ubersuggest

There’s no shortage of free tools available to find longtail keywords for your Wix SEO strategy, including Ubersuggest, Google’s Autocomplete, and wordtracker.com.

3. Make It Mobile-Friendly

A mobile-friendly (responsive) website is accessible from any device, and it makes a website simple to use regardless of how a visitor is accessing a page. 

Responsiveness is vital because Google uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking feature, and more people are using mobile devices.

How do you make your website responsive? By:

  • creating a layout that adapts well for any screen size and orientation
  • using responsive design techniques where possible
  • optimizing images for smaller screens using tools like Photoshop or Photopea
  • creating content that considers the constraints of smaller screens such as videos, photos, and text length

Wix also advises on how to make your website more responsive. 

4. Boost Your Local SEO

Local SEO is a form of internet marketing to rank highly in search engine results for keywords relevant to a physical location. For example, using local SEO is especially beneficial to small businesses and physical storefronts, such as restaurants or beauty salons.

Local SEO includes two categories: on-site and off-site. 

On-site involves optimizing your website and online business to rank for local searches. Off-site includes building backlinks and getting reviews and mentions in blogs and directories related to your industry or niche.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to enhance your site’s local SEO.

One way to improve your site’s ranking is by using geographic keywords in the title of your page and the content. 

You should also include city names, states, counties, and zip codes on your page each time they are relevant; this will make it easier for Google to find you.

Another way you can improve your site’s ranking is by including a map on the web page with pins on it. This will allow people to view locations more easily through Google Maps or an embedded map on the web page.

5. Create a Sitemap

Sitemaps are critical for any website because they allow the user to know what to expect when they visit and give the webmaster a way to see how visitors interact with their site.

Additionally, a sitemap provides navigation for visitors, which is essential considering how many visitors may land on your site every day.

Sitemaps are an integral for two reasons:

  1. They allow you to see your website’s structure at a glance.
  2. They help search engines index your site more efficiently.

Further, a sitemap helps you understand where your visitors are going on your site so you can optimize content for them more effectively. You can also identify any broken links that might be preventing visitors from finding what they want.

You don’t need to worry about getting your Wix site map picked up by Google.

When you connect your Wix account to Google, it gets submitted to the search engine. Wix also has a tutorial on how to do this manually.

6. Use Wix SEO Tools

Wix SEO is about more than following a plan. It gives you plenty of other tools to improve your rankings, including:

  • analytics, to make sure you’re on the right track
  • a professional-looking blog for posting high-quality content and gaining organic traffic
  • a solid infrastructure to aid organic search
  • customizations of slugs, meta tags, and structured data

7. Set Up Google Search Console and Analytics

10 Best Practices for Wix SEO - Set Up Google Search Console and Analytics

Google Search Console is a free service offering insights about your website’s performance in Google search results. 

You can use it to monitor a wide range of things, such as:

  • which keywords people are using to find your site
  • what errors or warnings Google has detected
  • the number of times users have clicked on links from your site that lead to pages on other sites
  • providing insights into how users interact with your content
  • sharing data on where people are coming from and going to when they visit your site

To add a site to Google’s Search console:

10 Best Practices for Wix SEO - Use Google Search Console
  • Go to the Search Console and log in.
  • Select “Add a new property.”
  • Open the drop-down list.
  • Select the property type.
  • Verify your site.

8. Optimize Your Wix SEO Throughout the Site

To further optimize your Wix site, look beyond keywords. There are many other areas you can work on, including:

  • managing the navigation menu
  • using SEO-friendly URLs
  • optimizing content by choosing relevant topics that will interest readers
  • optimizing design by making sure it is consistent with your product

Further, you can optimize your website images to make them load faster.

For example, you can reduce the width of the images to the size that Wix requires, which is at least 2560 X 1440 pixels

Finally, use a text editor for simpler HTML code and fewer unwanted tags.

9. Keep Posting Content for Wix SEO

It’s important to post quality content on your blog to generate traffic. 

You can use these posts to build backlinks which will also help you rank higher in the search engines.

However, the importance of posting regular quality content on your blog isn’t just about getting traffic or backlinks. It’s also about building your search results for readers who find your site via Google Search.

Consider creating a content calendar to streamline production and keep content fresh and relevant.

10. Add Links

Google values both internal and external links as they give context and meaning, thus improving the quality of search results for readers who find your site via Google Search.

Internal links are links that point to pages on the same website. External links are links that point to other websites, and they’re equally important. 

Finally, you can add a line of code within the webpage’s HTML tag at the top of the web page code, so they have an internal link directly from their home page.

External links, on the other hand, are a great way to bring value to your site.

You can get external links from different sources such as:

  • guest blogging
  • content syndication
  • networking events
  • press releases
  • email outreach to influencers within your niche industry

Wix SEO Frequently Asked Questions

Is Wix Good for SEO?

Wix SEO hasn’t always had a great reputation, but it’s come on in leaps and bounds and now offers a good selection of (free) tools to help your SEO efforts.

Additionally, Wix websites have customization features, allowing you to increase your Wix SEO that way. 

Do Wix Sites Rank on Google?

Yes. According to Ahrefs, its data “shows that Wix sites don’t have a hard time ranking on Google.”

Ahrefs research also shows that Wix does well for organic traffic.

Is SEO on Wix Free?

Wix offers free and paid plans, but the paid plans offer more features. If you need to get your website ranked higher in search engines, this is something worth considering if it’s within your budget.

Additionally, Wix offers some SEO tips and techniques for users to build their site and a customized SEO plan for free.

Is Wix or WordPress Better for SEO?

There are many different factors to take into account when comparing Wix and WordPress for your business.

Wix is a web development company that provides website builders with drag and drop technology to build professional-looking websites quickly. This is beneficial for beginners who are not tech-savvy enough to use WordPress. Wix has come a long way to make SEO easier for site owners to manage with a wide range of SEO tools to get started.

WordPress is a free, open-source software powering 455 million websites, making it the most popular content management system globally. It also provides all the blogging, hosting, social media integration, e-commerce capabilities, video integration. It also has access to more plugins and tools than Wix, which allows you to manipulate more technical aspects of SEO.

With that being said, both are great options that depend on what you need.

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WordPress is a free, open-source software powering 455 million websites, making it the most popular content management system globally. It also provides all the blogging, hosting, social media integration, e-commerce capabilities, video integration. It also has access to more plugins and tools than Wix, which allows you to manipulate more technical aspects of SEO.

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Wix SEO Conclusion

Wix is an all-in-one website builder and hosting service. It’s a convenient and user-friendly platform that can help you build and host your website easily. It also provides Wix SEO guidelines to make sure your website ranks well on search engines.

Wix SEO is an essential aspect of the Wix platform. It isn’t that difficult, and you could achieve results with a few simple steps.

  • Step 1: Keyword research
  • Step 2: Website content optimization
  • Step 3: Writing unique meta descriptions
  • Step 4: Designing for mobile

Do you use Wix? Share your tips for optimizing your Wix SEO.


Source: New feed 2

5 Key Graphic Design Elements for Paid Campaigns

5 Key Graphic Design Elements for Paid Campaigns

Think about the number of ads you see in an average day. Can you remember them all? Don’t worry if the answer’s no. After all, the average person sees up to 10,000 ads per day across the internet!

Let me ask you an easier question. Think about the last marketing campaign you can remember. The last ad that made you sit up and take notice. What about the ad caught your attention? 

Chances are, you’ve got something visual in mind. Whether it’s an image, video, or interactive picture, I bet you remember something about the aesthetic—the graphic design. 

See, graphic design is about communication: sending the right message to your intended audience and showcasing what’s special about your brand. Let me show you why graphic design matters in paid ad campaigns and the types of elements you can use to craft stand-out ads.

The Importance of Graphic Design in Paid Campaigns

Honestly, there are so many reasons why visual elements work in ad campaigns. However, we’ve narrowed it down to three main reasons graphic design is crucial to paid campaigns, whatever niche you’re in. 

For starters, graphic design allows you to make a great first impression with your target audience. It sets the tone for how a prospect perceives your brand. Do first impressions really matter, though? 

Sure. Just think about how much competition is out there, for one thing. Stand out from the crowd by setting a professional, positive first impression with eye-catching designs.

Secondly, graphic design helps reinforce your brand identity. It allows you to tell your brand story in a unique, creative way designed to grab a prospect’s attention. You can use a series of consistent, connected ads to really drive home your desired messaging and shape your audience’s perspective of what your company stands for.

Finally, great visuals speak louder than words. They transcend language and cross boundaries to communicate strong, effective messages to a target audience.

The key takeaway? Graphic design helps you craft content that attracts attention and sticks in a prospect’s mind long after the content disappears from their screen.

Graphic design sounds great, right? It is, but bear in mind some words of caution: While great visuals can do wonders for your brand, poor graphic design can leave a bad impression.

Stick with high-quality, professional graphic elements, and keep your messaging consistent: It takes five to seven interactions for someone to remember a brand, so make it easier by communicating consistently. 

Not sure where to start with graphic design? You have two main options. If your budget stretches to it, you might want to hire a professional company to help you design great graphics. Alternatively, there are numerous graphic design tools you can use to create your designs in-house.

5 Key Graphic Design Elements in Paid Campaigns

OK, so that’s why graphic design is crucial to any successful paid campaign. What elements go into a great ad, though? How do you make different visual elements work together to create a memorable campaign?

Well, while there’s no “magic” formula, there are five key elements you can use to create visually engaging campaigns. You don’t need to use them all in every design, but you should ideally use as many elements as you can to enrich your content. After all, you only have roughly two seconds to grab a person’s attention before they move on, so your paid ads must stand out. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at each element in turn and consider what they are, how they’re used in graphic design, and how they work together.

1. Typography

In graphic design, typography refers to how you arrange text within your advertisement. It’s how you display words to quickly capture someone’s attention and communicate your core message. 

Typography tells people why your ad matters, so it’s crucial you choose the right words. However, what’s equally important is the font and the text size.

The font directly impacts the vibe or mood of your ad. For example, a sharp, angular font sends a strong message:

Graphic Design Example of Bold Typography

Softer fonts, on the other hand, have a more relaxed vibe:

Graphic Design Example of Soft Font Typography

Size and density matter, too. Large, thick lettering conveys a powerful message, while smaller, thinner letters are more elegant and timeless.

Finally, typography covers text emphasis. Highlighting, bolding, or italicizing some words draws special attention to them, so people quickly know which words to pay the most heed to.

Don’t let typography daunt you. Think of it as how you put words together on the screen. Experiment with different text positioning to ensure the ad is well-balanced, and check out examples of ads in your niche to see what works and what doesn’t.

2. Visuals

By “visuals,” I’m talking about the actual images you use to grab someone’s attention. Visuals can include:

  • illustrations
  • photographs
  • videos
  • logos
  • graphs
  • pie charts

Why are visuals so important? Well, they make up the bulk of your ad. Unless you use particularly bold lettering or a lot of blank space (which we’ll cover later), images are central to your visual content.

You can use visuals to convey messages that may be hard to express through words, or you might use visuals to reinforce a written message.

Videos, for example, help you describe how something works in more detail. It’s an opportunity to get closer to your audience and build trust in your brand:

Infographics, on the other hand, help marketers condense complex points into visually appealing content that’s easily consumed and understood. Finally, elements like logos allow marketers to increase brand visibility on social media and elsewhere online. 

The takeaway? You can use visuals to craft a consistent brand presence while communicating your core message in an engaging way.

Visuals are key to shaping the overall mood of your graphic design, so think carefully about the type of visual elements you want to include to maximize your ad’s chance of success. Again, it might be worth scoping out successful ads in your niche and seeing what you can learn from them.

3. Space

Specifically, space in graphic design refers to the space surrounding other elements like text, shapes, or visuals. It’s also referred to as “white” space or “negative” space. 

Think of white space as your foundation. You start with a blank or white screen, and you build the other elements around this space. In other words, white space is the canvas, allowing you to balance contrasting elements, draw attention to key visuals, and create the right vibe.

To be clear, there’s no need for the space to actually be white; it can be any color. What matters is that there’s clear space between your visual elements to avoid a confusing aesthetic.

The main point to bear in mind? If there’s not enough space between elements, your design might be cluttered, jarring, and difficult for your audience to make sense of. On the other hand, if there’s too much space, the ad might seem redundant or hollow.

Learning the art of white space is key to mastering how to craft well-balanced, appealing content for landing pages and campaigns.

4. Color

I can’t overstate how important color is when choosing graphic designs for your paid campaigns. Whether you opt for a bright, vibrant palette or muted, dulcet tones, the color choice affects the whole mood of your campaign.

In design, we can group color schemes into categories based on where they sit on the color wheel. Here’s a simple example of a color wheel:

Graphic Design Example of Color Wheel

Complementary colors sit opposite each other, such as yellow and purple. Monochromatic colors, on the other hand, are simply different shades of one color (such as different hues of blue.)

Analogous colors sit beside each other, such as orange and yellow, while triadic colors are evenly spaced across the wheel (such as yellow, red, and blue.)

Graphic design involves selecting a color palette to dictate the mood or communicate an emotional response. Bold colors and warm hues, for example, invoke different vibes from cold colors or softer, pastel shades.

You can play around with different color combinations until you find the one which feels right.

Don’t forget to consider what colors to use for all visual elements and how they might work together. If you opt for black and white text, think about how this might work with the color scheme for your background and chosen visuals. A disorganized, fragmented color scheme can ruin the look of your design.

5. Lines and Shapes

In graphic design, lines are about more than just connecting dots. Lines have numerous artistic purposes, such as:

  • organizing information in a compelling way
  • creating a mood or invoking feelings
  • building a sense of movement or momentum

Lines are highly expressive tools. They can be:

  • curved
  • straight
  • solid
  • dotted
  • thick
  • thin
Graphic Design Types of Lines and Shapes Visual Elements

The type of lines you draw depends on the message you’re trying to send to your audience.

Shapes in graphic design simply mean forms contained within lines, such as rectangles, squares, circles, and so on.

There are two main types of shapes: organic and geometric. Organic shapes are less well-defined. They include natural shapes, such as leaves, and irregular or curved shapes, such as vases. No two organic shapes are the same. By contrast, geometric shapes are more simplistic. They can be 2D or 3D, depending on the form, and they include shapes like triangles, rectangles, and spheres.

In graphic design, you can use a blend of organic and geometric shapes, or you can stick with one category for a more uniform design.

Frequently Asked Questions About Graphic Design in Paid Campaigns

What is graphic design?

Graphic design is a means of creating visual content. Using a blend of color, imagery, and text, graphic design communicates specific messages in a visually appealing, engaging way. 

Why is graphic design important in paid ad campaigns?

You can use graphic design to drive home your brand message more effectively through paid ad campaigns. With the right imagery, your ad can stand out from the crowd, which is especially important in a crowded niche. What’s more, professional graphics could make your brand seem more authentic and trustworthy.

How do I use graphic design in paid ad campaigns?

Graphic design works great on visual social media platforms such as Instagram, but you can also use it on display ads, landing pages, and Google shopping ads. Wherever there’s an opportunity to add imagery, the right graphic design elements can help you build a consistent brand identity online.  

What graphic design elements should I include in a paid campaign?

Ideally, you’re aiming to include a blend of elements. The five key elements to choose from are text, color, space, shapes, and visuals. You don’t need to include every element in every ad, but you should use as many as you can to create eye-catching designs. 

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Graphic Design Conclusion

As a technique, graphic design itself is nothing new. However, if you get a little creative, you can use this tried-and-tested technique to craft unique, captivating content for your paid campaigns.

When you’re working on graphic designs, be sure to check out the range of image editing and graphic design tools available online. You should also evaluate successful ads in your niche to figure out what made them special and identify how you can use your findings to craft your content. 

Finally, you might consider checking out my consulting services to see how I can help you take your paid campaigns to the next level.  

How are you using graphic design in your paid campaigns?


Source: New feed 2

A Brief Guide to Blazor for HTTP and C# Applications

A Brief Guide To Blazor

Behind every great website or application is a lot of coding. When that code is heavy or overly complex, it can slow down website speed and increase bounce rates. This is why a lot of marketers are excited about a new user interface from .NET called Blazor. 

The name is a combination of “browser” and the .NET markup syntax Razor, for those familiar with it. 

What is Blazor, and what do you need to know about it? Here’s a quick run-down that even non-developers can understand. 

What Is Blazor?

Blazor is a user interface that allows developers to build front-end applications using C#, HTML, and Razor templates. You can build components and pages that then run on a server or directly on a browser. It was built by the .NET team and is completely open-source and free for anyone to use.  

The use of templates, C#, and HTML makes developing easier and, in many cases, faster. 

What Is Blazor - Blazor in Use

What Are Blazor Apps?

One of the platform’s key components is Blazor apps, which allow devs to add features without coding every single step. It is a bit similar to the way a WYSIWYG website builder allows users to build a website without coding at all. 

In this case, however, it lets devs code without JavaScript. 

You can also run Razor apps on Blazor.  

How to Run Blazor: Server or WebAssembly 

Blazor can be run in two ways—on the server or using WebAssembly, which allows you to run it directly on most browsers. 

There are pros and cons to both. Using WebAssembly, you’ll enjoy a fast UX that is supported offline and can use a CDN. However, the initial load time can be slow, and you may need to call the API, which can slow things down. 

If you choose to go with the server route, you’ll find onboarding is a bit easier, and load and render times are faster. However, your app won’t work offline, and changes can cause major latency issues. Also, it can be difficult to scale apps because each user has their connection to the server. 

Why You Should Use Blazor

Blazor allows developers to write the client-side of code in C# or HTML, which means you don’t have to know JavaScript or other languages. This makes it easier for a single developer to work on a project. It can also make it more manageable to delegate tasks to team members since they only need to know one coding language

Since the same code is used on the client and server side of an application, the code only needs to be written once—which can save you tons of time. 

There are also several benefits for marketers. 

Blazor can help developers create sites that generate more traffic

Server-side rendering comes standard, which is great for SEO. This allows bots from search engines to easily crawl your code and your site. Server-side rendering improves load time, so when a website loads, it takes a few seconds to show up on-screen. This duration can be reduced if the server sends all the data needed to render the page to the browser before it loads.

Using HTML and C# also reduces the amount of JavaScript on an application, which can increase load times and reduce bounce rates

How Does Blazor Work?

Blazor works by combining C#, HTML, and apps to make application development easier. It can do nearly everything JavaScript can do, but you don’t have to know JavaScript. 

It uses Razor templates to create components that produce browser-renderable HTML and CSS. It’s the same as any other browser content: pure, semantic, and accessible HTML and CSS.

This means you can use all CSS features, including media queries for responsive design, and CSS custom properties. 

This video from dotNETConf walks you through how to build a full-stack web app:  

I’ll also go through how to set it up in a further section. 

What Is Blazor Used For?

Blazor is used to build web-based applications. This can include mobile apps, webpages, and anything else you can build with JavaScript. 

The framework allows you to complete a number of common development tasks, such as rendering components and HTML, fetching data over HTTP, and client-side routing. 

When used on a browser, it has full access to the browser’s JavaScript APIs. As a result, Blazor apps can use JavaScript functions from .NET methods and also .NET methods from JavaScript functions. 

For cases where the framework doesn’t have a specific API or component, or if developers want to work with the JavaScript ecosystem, then JavaScript interop is used.

How to Setup a Blazor Project 

Now that you understand the basics of Blazor, let’s talk about how to use the program. As I mentioned above, it is a free, open-source program, so you won’t need to pay to use it. You also have access to the source code through GitHub, if that’s your thing. 

You’ll need two things to create a project: the platform and Visual Studio 2019 or above. 

Here’s how to get started: 

Step 1: Download and install Blazor from the Microsoft page. Click the “Get started” button. 

How to Setup a Blazor Project

Step 2: Install Visual Studio, if you don’t already have it. This will let you do that actual coding. This may take a few minutes to install and load. 

Step 3: Run a command prompt and run > dotnet command. This will verify everything is installed correctly. If it is ready to use, you will get a response like this: 

How to Setup a Blazor Project - Command Prompt Check

Step 4: Next, open Visual Studio and select “Create a new project.” 

Step 5: Select ASP.NET. If you don’t already have the ASP.NET Core Web Application installed in Visual Studio, you’ll need to add it. 

How to Setup a Blazor Project - Create a New Project

Step 5: In “Configure new project” add a name, then select “Create.” 

Step 6: In the “Create a new ASP.NET Core web application” box, choose “.NET Core and ASP.NET Core 5.0” in the dropdown menu, then “Web Application” and “Create.” 

You now have a project set up. Now you can start using Blazor apps to see how they work. While the actual coding is beyond the scope of this article, I highly recommend this tutorial from Microsoft.  

If you want to play around with without downloading a ton of stuff, you can use this browser-based tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions About Blazor

Is Blazor Worth Using?

It depends on your needs. It is ideal for programmers who don’t like JavaScript, don’t know JavaScript, or don’t want to slow down their site with tons of JavaScript. However, it does require the whole runtime to be shipped and may not work with non-standard browsers in some cases. 

Is the Blazor Server Fast?

In general, yes. However, all users have a persistent bi-directional connection to the server, which can cause issues for larger applications. 

Is Blazor Easy to Learn?

If you already know C#, you’ll have an easy time picking up Blazor. It’s easy, fast, and integrates well with the .NET ecosystem

How Much Does Blazor Cost?

Blazor is part of the open-source .NET platform, which means there are no fees or costs, even if you use it commercially. It was built and is maintained by a community of contributors.

Does Blazor Matter for Marketing?

Blazor is unlikely to have a daily impact for the average marketer, but there are some benefits marketers should be aware of. 

It may make it easier (and faster) for development teams to create new pages or applications. It also makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl, which is a bonus for digital marketing. 

What Is the Difference Between Blazor and Razor?

Razor is a template markup syntax for .NET. Blazor (which combines the word “browser” and Razor) is a framework that can run multiple types of code and deliver it to servers or browsers. Essentially, it is an evolution of Razor.

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Blazor Conclusion

If you are looking for a way to streamline the development process—and improve page speed a bit—Blazor is a great platform. While it’s more than the average marketer needs to build a website or launch a landing page, it’s great news for developers. 

The user-friendly platform helps streamline workflows, reduces coding language limitations, and makes it easier for dev teams to get work done. 

Have you tried Blazor yet? What do you like best about it? 


Source: New feed 2

3 Effective Retargeting Strategies That Actually Work (With Examples)

3 Effective Retargeting Strategies That Actually Work (With Examples)

Retargeting is one of the best ways to close sales that didn’t happen.

On top of that, retargeting efforts are pretty cheap compared to most types of advertising.

How do you do it? What retargeting efforts do you need to try?

Here are three examples of retargeting that actually work, how to copy them, and what you need to know about the future of retargeting.

1. Retarget Specific URL Visits

There are a lot of ways to go wrong with retargeting.

Some marketers fire up Facebook or Google Ads and run a retargeting campaign based on website visits in the past 90 days.

Although that can work, it’s not really that effective. As you probably know, I’m all about working smarter, not harder.

I love to spend as little time on a task as I can, but get the same benefits as someone who spends hours and hours on the same task.

I used to run Facebook retargeting campaigns in their Business Manager feature (now referred to as the Facebook Business Suite).

Retargeting Strategies - setting up automatic retargeting in Facebook

I’d simply retarget everyone who landed on my site.

That didn’t really work. My conversion rates were the same as my website: low.

People weren’t ready to buy yet. Why? I cast too wide of a net.

You can’t reasonably expect a 50 percent conversion rate on an audience of millions.

For example, let’s say that visitor X came to your website and read a single blog post and bounced.

Now let’s say visitor Y came to your site, read that same blog post, but then also filled out a lead-magnet form and even checked out your product and pricing page.

What’s your general website visitor retargeting offer going to be now?

If you offer a lead magnet, that won’t make sense to visitor Y. If you offer a free trial, that won’t apply to visitor X yet.

You risk sending the wrong offer to the wrong person at the wrong stage of their buyer’s journey.

So what do I recommend? Targeting users by specific actions taken on your site.

For example, check out this retargeting ad I got:

retargeting strategies - example of a Facebook retargeted ad

Notice how hyper-focused that targeting, messaging, and content are?

The ad is literally about a single product they offer.

I viewed their products, and they noticed I spent large amounts of time and frequency on their pie crust page. After all, who doesn’t love pie?

Then they used that data to target me with an ad focused on how to use their pie crusts.

They gave me an example of how their product could provide value in my life.

That’s one of the best methods of retargeting I’ve ever seen.

Why? Because people who don’t convert on your products usually experience two things:

  1. They don’t want to pay you money yet.
  2. They don’t know how your product can help them.

Jasper’s Market effectively touched on the second point in a strong way.

They communicated exactly how I could find value in the product I was already looking at.

Here’s another example of retargeting ad:

retargeting strategies - example of a facebook ad from leadpages

Again, notice how tailored the targeting is in this ad.

It was delivered to everyone who landed on a specific web page URL, rather than retargeting all site visitors.

This allowed the company to target their ad to a group of interested, potential buyers and get them back to their site.

I visited their webinar-training landing page and was immediately retargeted after not converting.

Or, how about this example from Marketo:

retargeting strategies - marketo example

I visited their content marketing e-book page to learn about cheap content creation methods.

Just a few days later, after not revisiting or converting, they reeled me in with a specific, CTA-oriented, retargeting ad based on the exact page I visited.

So the point is:

Retargeting based on specific URL visits works. It’s one of the best retargeting methods I’ve seen.

So how do you do it?

There are two platforms I recommend: Google Ads and Facebook.

For this example, we can use Facebook since it’s one of the most popular ways to run retargeting ads.

Plus, I find much greater success on Facebook over display ads on GoogleAds.

But to each their own.

To get started, open the Facebook Business Suite and create a new, custom audience. You’ll click “More Tools” then “Ad Manager” currently, but they do update their platform regularly.

Create a new ad campaign, then add your info until you get to the audience. Select “create a new custom audience.”

create a new custom audience facebook retargeting.

Custom audiences on Facebook should be your top retargeting strategy.

They allow for some of the most diverse customization options marketers can use.

You can create a new custom audience from the drop-down menu.

From the menu of custom audience options, we want to select website traffic as our marketing goal.

select source for facebook retargeting ads

This audience type will allow you to create lists of people who visited specific URLs.

For the next step, be sure to select “People who visited specific web pages.”

facebook source of retargeting ads

From here, you can get as detailed as you want.

Are you prepping for a webinar? Do you have a landing page you’re driving traffic to for a specific goal?

Do you notice that tons of people read about your product but don’t convert?

This is your time to get them back.

Remember that Jasper’s Market example? They saw that I frequently visited a specific product on their site but didn’t buy.

You can do that by adding URL pages that include that specific word.

You can further refine your Facebook retargeting ads by:

  1. device used
  2. frequency

Doing this will tell you one major thing:

The people visiting this product with high-frequency need a small push to convert.

Use an ad that shows them how to use that product. Show them the value or benefit of buying it.

Since they’ve viewed the product multiple times, you know they’re probably almost ready to buy.

Using this type of retargeting is one of the most effective ways to convert visitors.

2. Retargeting Existing Customers

You may ask, “Neil, why on Earth would I want to retarget existing customers?”

I’ll give you one simple reason: to resurrect unresponsive email subscribers who haven’t purchased in a while.

One big problem with email lists is that most of your subscribers become unresponsive at some point.

The list will experience “churn,” where new visitors join and old ones become unresponsive.

This means your email upsells aren’t even reaching your intended user.

So what do you do? Start retargeting your existing customers.

I like this strategy because it’s incredibly cheap because the ads are so relevant, which means your CTR will be high.

For example, check out this ad I got from AT&T for Small Business:

retargeting ad example att

They already know I’m a current customer who’s using their products/service.

Yet, they retargeted me anyway.

Why? Because they wanted to upsell me on new products as I was becoming unresponsive to their company email list.

Or how about this ad from American Express:

american express retargeting ad example

I’m already a customer, and they wanted me to convert by getting another credit card with them.

Are you seeing a pattern with these examples?

They focus on retargeting visitors who have previously converted or are existing customers.

Here’s one of my favorite retargeting examples of this method from ModCloth.

mod cloth retargeting strategy ad example

We miss you like crazy!

The targeting premise of this advertisement is pretty obvious.

They’re retargeting old customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while.

This kind of thing works.

Why? Because people have already converted on your products and services, meaning you risk nothing by asking them to come back.

It’s incredibly easy to set up, too.

Again, you can do this on either AdWords or Facebook, and it only takes a few minutes to set up.

To get started, head to Facebook’s Ads Manager and navigate to the audience section, then click Create an Audience.

From here, create another Custom Audience, and select Customer List.

That’s where you can upload your audience list. If a green check mark shows up, then you are good to go. If you see a yellow exclamation point, you might need to update some identifiers manually.

This will allow us to import contacts directly from MailChimp or upload an exported list of current or old customers.

The key here is to sort your customer file or email list by how old or unresponsive customers are.

If you have customers that are consistently buying from you, don’t waste money advertising to them.

Focus your efforts on customers that haven’t converted in a while or who haven’t responded to marketing emails.

This will give you another great shot at bringing them back to your products.

3. Lead-gen Ads Based on Page Engagement

If you aren’t finding success with website-based retargeting efforts, this might be your best bet.

Facebook has a powerful lead generation tool called “Lead Ads.”

These are essentially form-based ads that offer lead magnets in exchange for customer information like email address and job type.

It’s the same idea as running an e-book lead magnet on a landing page on your website, just on Facebook.

They are one of the most intuitive, natural-looking forms you can create.

Here’s an example of how they look and work:

facebook lead ads for retargeting

They’re beautiful, seamlessly integrated ads that offer a lead magnet for the customer.

And one of the best ways to run these ads is by using Facebook page engagement as a retargeting setting.

Before we jump into the how-to details, let’s look at a few of these examples and how effective they can be.

Here’s a lead generation ad from AdEspresso:

adespresso lead magent ad retargeting on facebook

When I click on the ad, I’m taken directly to a lead-gen form within Facebook.

This is incredibly effective in getting people to convert because it doesn’t force them to leave Facebook.

People don’t browse Facebook every day to see ads.

They browse it to interact with friends and family or read news articles.

So taking someone offsite is a big risk that can waste your ad spend and lower conversions.

That’s why lead ads are so successful. They don’t interrupt the process or habit of a typical Facebook user, yet they still allow them to get the lead magnet.

I’ve used these types of ads before.

facebook lead gene ads retargeting strategies

They’re great for providing a clear-cut CTA that gets people to convert.

So why should you retarget people based on Facebook page engagement?

Because you know these users are active on Facebook, which means your retargeting efforts are going to be much more successful.

These hyper-aware users are likely always checking out new brands on social media.

It only makes sense to target them with Facebook Ads.

To get started with a lead-generation ad, we first need to create an audience based on page engagement.

Create a custom audience, then choose “Facebook Page” from the list of sources:

facebook ad retargeting strategies

From here, you have a bunch of options to choose from depending on how specific you want to be in your retargeting.

facebook ad custom audience engagement

For example, you can retarget anyone who engaged with a post or ad, someone who previously clicked on a CTA, or someone who saved your page or post.

Once you’ve selected a retargeting metric, you can save this audience and head to the Facebook Ads Manager to create a new lead-gen ad.

create lead gen ad for retargeting

Select “Lead generation” as your marketing objective.

Next, select your ad format.

For this, I recommend using a single image, single video, or slideshow.

Carousels are often too complex for a simple lead-generation-focused ad.

Next, you need to edit the content and lead magnet on the ad.

facebook lead ads retargeting

This is the section where you start to create an offer or incentive for these retargeted customers to give you their email address.

For example, are you going to offer an e-book, white paper, coupon, or something else?

You need to give them a reason to fill out your form and click on the call to action.

Be sure to edit your form fields and optimize them to your needs based on that audience.

facebook retargeting ads lead gen

Be sure to limit your form questions in the next step to only grab the most important information.

You don’t want to overwhelm visitors or take up too much of their time.

The goal here is to collect leads in an easy, painless way.

Facebook questions for lead gen ad retargeting

Facebook’s page-based retargeting is one of my favorite ways to drive users back to my site or convert on lead magnets and products.

They’re often very engaged audiences who use Facebook differently than most users.

Instead of mainly using it to interact with family or friends, they actively seek out businesses on the platform.

Use this as an opportunity to convert visitors that wouldn’t convert on your site, or showed interest in your pages.

Frequently Asked Questions About Retargeting Strategies

What are some of the top retargeting strategies?

Retarget specific URL visits; retarget existing customers; and retarget leads based on-page engagement.

What is an example of retargeting?

Showing Facebook ads to someone who previously visited your website on their mobile browser.

Is remarketing worth it?

Yes, remarketing is worth the effort if you are able to execute a successful campaign. Targeting those who have interacted with your brand and come close to purchasing gives you a better chance of making a sale than by targeting an audience who has never heard of or interacted with your brand before.

Basically, you’re interacting with your leads at a later stage in the conversion funnel.

Can you run marketing and remarketing campaigns at the same time?

Yes, you can run concurrent campaigns.

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Retargeting Strategies Conclusion

Most of your website traffic simply won’t convert on the first visit. They don’t know who you are, what you do, or even how you could help them.

So they just aren’t ready, or willing, to buy your product or service yet.

Retargeting ads help bring those users back when they are closer to conversion.

Despite “banner blindness,” there are still a few ways to retarget visitors without driving them crazy.

Start by retargeting specific URL visits. This is one of the most accurate retargeting efforts you can use to convert customers.

I see it all the time on my Facebook feed and I constantly convert on them.

Next, try retargeting unresponsive, existing customers.

For example, if someone hasn’t converted in the past six months, send them a few ads to drive more sales.

Finally, conduct lead-generation ads that correspond with engagement on your site.

This will help you pull in users who are already engaged and thus more likely to be receptive to the ads.

Just remember: retargeting efforts need to be specific and hyper-focused to drive conversions.

What retargeting efforts have worked best for you?


Source: New feed 2

Private Blog Networks: A Penalty Waiting to Happen?

Private Blog Networks: A Penalty Waiting to Happen?

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) claim to work because they generate backlinks – and that much is true.

What about their other claims, though?

We know backlinks work to improve SEO and therefore visibility in the SERPs, but do PBNs work?

And if so, do they work well?

How do they even work?

Well, let’s answer those questions.

backlinks vs. google ranking - private blog networks

What Is a Private Blog Network?

Luckily, private blog networks are actually quite simple to understand.

At some point in the era of SEO, someone figured out how to build a massive amount of backlinks from high-domain authority websites without much effort.

They did it by purchasing expired domain names that had already established domain authority.

Then, after collecting quite a large portion of these domains, they posted basic content to each website and included a backlink to their primary website in all of the content.

And voilá! They immediately generated loads of backlinks from high-domain authority websites.

At that moment, private blog networks were born.

Think of PBNs like a database of websites that, when you pay, all give your website backlinks.

It ends up looking something like this.

graph of how private blog networks work (filtering to main website)

And with all of those backlinks your website’s domain authority, SEO, and rankings all benefit.

It sounds great, right?

Why wouldn’t you want to pay a little bit of money to increase your rankings and generate passive traffic to your website?

That’s the dream of most SEO experts, after all.

Well, not so fast.

To help you determine whether you should leverage PBNs, we’re going to first talk about the benefits that they have to offer. Then, we’ll discuss why they are a bit risky.

With that knowledge, you’ll be better prepared to make an informed decision for yourself.

Pros: The Benefits of Private Blog Networks

While you might have heard that PBNs are scams that won’t help your SEO, that claim is only partly true.

PBNs offer legitimate benefits.

But before I get much further, let me mention a quick disclaimer:

I’ve never used a PBN for my own website and I don’t recommend using them for your website either.

I’ll explain why a little bit later, but I wanted to get that out in the open, so you know where I stand.

For now, though, let’s discuss why PBNs entice many marketers.

As I already mentioned, backlinks fuel the success of private blog networks.

And what exactly is a backlink?

A backlink is a hyperlink that leads from an external website to your own website. And these little beauties massively help your SEO.

how backlinks pass link juice - private blog networks

Backlinks communicate to search engines that the linking website trusts your website enough to associate itself with your domain.

That means that the search engines will trust your website as well.

It’s kind of the same thing as playing with the cool kids on the playground.

When you’re hanging with the cool kids, that makes you cool.

Similarly, to figure out which websites are worth trusting, search engines look at which websites are linking to each other.

For that reason, link building is the top factor contributing to the rankings of a website.

ranking factors for google's algorithm - private blog networks

PBNs can be so effective at building these backlinks that one company experienced this difference in its rankings after working with a private blog network.

success results from a private blog network for one particular company

So, can PBNs increase your SEO?

Yes, of course, they can.

That’s why so many marketers use them at some point. It’s why they have stuck around for so long, and it’s the reason that certain SEO firms make loads of money.

But what’s the dark side?

After all, everything that goes up must come down. Everything that sounds too good to be true is too good to be true.

Here are the cons you need to be aware of.

Cons: The Risks of Private Blog Networks

PBNs sound great.

That is until you find out about the risks involved with using them.

Yes, they can increase your SEO and help generate passive traffic and leads to your website.

However, that entire marketing strategy can quickly become a disaster if Google catches you.

So, in case you’re wondering, yes: Google hates PBNs and intentionally tries to penalize people who use them.

However, I understand the appeal.

I get it. SEO takes a long time to start impacting your blog rankings.

age of pages in google top 10 results - private blog networks

The quick fix that PBNs offer is just too enticing for some marketers. You get fast rankings, brand awareness, and, hopefully, revenue.

At least, that’s what the PBNs promise.

But if all of that benefit can fade in a single moment of vulnerability, is it really worth it?

PBNs aren’t technically a blackhat SEO strategy.

black hat vs. white hat seo - private blog networks

But they aren’t white hat either.

They’re a hack. They amount to a get-rich-quick scheme. And as with most similar tactics, they involve some serious risks.

If Google finds out, then they will penalize your website, and you’ll struggle to gain any significant ground in SEO.

But how? How does Google penalize websites that use PBNs to boost their SEO?

How would they know what you’re doing?

Well, if all of the websites that you’ve received backlinks from are websites with very little activity, few updates, and almost no internal linking, then Google gets suspicious.

Unfortunately, PBN websites usually have all of those specific qualities.

That makes it easy for most search engines to spot them.

inactive sites as part of private blog networks

In the end, if you decide to use PBNs, know that you run the risk of hurting your website’s SEO.

Legitimate pros exist, but only under a cloud of potential penalization by search engines.

You might generate some quick domain authority with PBNs. While traditional strategies take longer, they aren’t nearly as risky.

But if you want to rise through the rankings the right way, then here are five risk-proof strategies you can use instead.

1. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging gives you an opportunity to provide value for someone else’s website while also getting a backlink.

If you do it right, this strategy will be a win for the website you write for and a win for your own website as well.

For that reason, SEO agencies and experts alike use guest blogging as one of their link-building strategies.

graph of who uses guest blogging - private blog networks

You can do the same thing.

Just find blogs within your industry and pitch the editors an article over email. If they accept your pitch, you can run off to write and include a backlink to your own website.

But before you do, make sure that you ask the editor what their policy is regarding backlinks.

They might not want you to include a backlink to your website within the article itself, but they’ll let you put it in your bio.

Either way, you win a backlink, and they win a valuable piece of content for their audience.

Now, you might be nervous that editors won’t respond to your emails.

But we’ve created this handy guide for guest blogging proposals to help you get started.

Remember: don’t quit early just because you don’t get a response.

Pitch enough places with high-quality ideas, and you’re sure to receive a reply.

Just give it some time.

And keep this in mind as well. The ideal word count for ranking articles sits right around 2,400 words.

content length of top 10 results - private blog network

Ultimately, follow the guidelines of the blog you’re writing for. But when it doubt, try to write an article that will rank well on Google.

Then, the website will be more likely to accept your pitch, outline, and final draft.

2. Writing Testimonials

While guest blogging is one of the most popular strategies for generating backlinks, you might not have the time.

If you don’t, then writing testimonials for other websites might be a more appealing approach.

Even if you do write a guest blog post, writing testimonials with a backlink to your website is a strategy worth your time.

It’s simple and powerful.

All you have to do is provide a testimonial for websites that you partner with.

Then, most of the websites will include a friendly backlink to your URL.

Just make sure that your testimonial provides genuine value. Write something like this, for instance.

testimonial - a way to get around being penalized for private blog networks

Or give them something like this.

user testimonials 2 - private blog networks

And here’s one more example.

user testimonial 3 - private blog network

Always include these two specific things in your testimonial.

  1. Provide a number that shows the success you experienced from using their product or service (traffic or lead generation numbers, revenue numbers, or the number of opt-ins, for example).
  2. Talk about one concern you had when buying the service that the excellence of your experience quickly dispelled. (For example, “The price point seemed a little high at first, but now I realize that every single penny was worth it! I’d even spend more for this service, but don’t tell them I said that.”)

With that start, you’ll be off and writing testimonials for your partners in no time, generating backlinks with every reference.

3. Creating Share-Worthy Content

If you don’t create content worth sharing, then you can probably guess what will happen: No one will share it.

Your goal when you write that blog post or film that video or design that infographic is to generate attention for your brand.

You want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and use the content to generate leads.

You even want to generate social backlinks to your website.

But, of course, you can’t do that if you create bad content.

If you’re going to create the content anyway, then take the time to make it great. Make it share-worthy.

But how do you do that?

Well, you need to make people who share your content look good.

asking to help share content - private blog networks

People share things on social media and through email because they want to look good to their friends.

That might sound egotistical, but it’s the human condition.

Ask yourself: What reason do people have to share this with their friends? Will it make them seem funny, smart, kind, cool, or rich?

To get shares, you need to target at least one of those motivations.

After all, those are among the top reasons why people share content in the first place.

why people share content on facebook - private blog networks

And when it comes to which type of content to produce, infographics and lists win.

average shares by content type - private blog networks

Another strategy that works is spying on your competitors to understand what’s performing best on social media. Here’s an easy way to do so:

Step #1: Visit Ubersuggest, Type Your Keyword and Click “Search”

Step #2: Click “Content Ideas” in the Left Sidebar

content ideas in uber suggest - for use in private blog network strategies

Step #3: Analyze the Results

content ideas - workaround for private blog networks

What you end up with is a long list of top-performing content related to your keyword.

For example, the top listing, “Marketing Legend Seth Godin on the Future of Branded Content,” has been shared 16,805 times on Facebook and nearly 100 times on Pinterest. That gives you a pretty good idea that the content is share-worthy. Now, you can craft your content in a similar manner, with the goal of achieving the same results.

However you do it, take the time to create amazing, share-worthy content. You’ll generate far more social backlinks, drive more traffic, and build better brand awareness.

You’re creating the content, so do the best that you can with it.

4. Leveraging Your Social Platforms

Social signals play a massive part in SEO.

Websites that stay active on their social media accounts, update their information, and generate more content shares tend to rank better than websites that don’t.

In fact, just on Facebook, that correlation is apparent.

facebook activity by site rank - private blog network

But why is that the case?

Why does Google rank websites that have an active and updated social media presence better than those that don’t?

The short answer is that search engines want to know your website is active and relevant.

If you’re generating lots of shares and social signals, then that tells Google to rank you better.

This means that just staying active on your social media accounts can help your SEO. It really is that simple.

And the more engagement you get on your social media pages, the better.

social network activity by site rank - private blog network

A 2016 experiment tried to discover the impact that social media can have on your website’s SEO.

In the study, one website with an increase in social shares experienced a 14.64% increase in rankings, and another website received a 6.9% SEO boost.

2016 social signal experiment - private blog networks

But if that’s not enough motivation for you to stay active on your social media accounts, just consider the additional traffic you’ll drive to your website with each post.

You won’t only win social backlinks. You’ll also generate traffic, leads, and even conversions.

5. Building a Loyal Audience

You’ve stuck with me this far.

But now you’re wondering, “How does building a loyal audience help your SEO?”

And that’s a great question.

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as direct as you might like.

But it does exist.

Just consider, for example, that active blogs draw 6.9 times more organic search traffic.

graph showing active blogs get more organic search traffic - private blog networks

This means that just posting on your website’s blog regularly will benefit your SEO.

After all, the more people who search for your website and the more popular you become, the higher your domain authority will surge.

In other words, with a loyal audience comes a better ranking.

And, in turn, that’s good for growing your audience.

You see, it’s kind of like a self-sustaining, perpetual cycle.

With a larger audience comes better SEO, and with better SEO comes a larger audience. And with a larger audience comes better SEO, and on it goes. You get the point.

Plus, the bigger your audience, the more shares you’ll generate on social media, further helping your link-building strategy.

Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t build your audience overnight.

Building a loyal group of followers is a process of posting consistent content over a long period of time.

You’ll cross times of discouragement and tribulation.

Sometimes, you’ll want to give up.

When you do, though, just keep in mind that acquiring new customers is five to seven times more expensive than retaining old ones.

In other words, all of that time and energy you dedicate to pleasing your existing audience will pay off when you’re trying to market to them.

Plus, you’ll generate more attention and better SEO from a loyal customer base than you will from new and fleeting customers.

Private Blog Networks Frequently Asked Questions

Can you be penalized for using a Private Blog Network?

Yes, you can be penalized for doing this.

Why are PBNs bad?

Google considers them scammy.

How do I find PBN sites?

Look for sites with high authority and links that you can buy – but this strategy is not recommended.

Are PBNs considered Black Hat SEO?

They aren’t considered black hat, but they are penalized by Google.

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Private Blog Networks Conclusion

So, should you use private blog networks?

As I explained, they can help your SEO, and they can do it fast. But the entire time you use them, you run the unfortunate risk of destroying your website’s ranking potential in one fell swoop.

Is the risk worth it?

I hope that you’ll answer that question with a “no.”

SEO is good. But SEO spoiled by spammy tactics is not.

The better option is to build your backlinks over time by guest blogging, writing testimonials, creating share-worthy content, leveraging your social platforms, and building a loyal audience.

Even though it might feel like it takes a long time to rise through the rankings using those strategies, that’s time well spent.

You’ll have peace of mind knowing that no one can penalize you for shady methods.

Private blog networks aren’t black hat. But they certainly aren’t white hat, either.

They are gray hat. And that’s a hat you shouldn’t be willing to wear.

Do you think private blog networks are a penalty waiting to happen or a great SEO hack?


Source: New feed 2

How to Use Google Scholar to Find Content Ideas and Research

How to Use Google Scholar to Find Content Ideas and Research

Looking for a new way to research or find content ideas for your marketing content? You may have heard of Google Scholar but aren’t sure if it’s the right tool for what you need. 

Google Scholar is a search engine for scholarly literature at major academic publishers and university presses that lets you find articles or citations on the topic of your choice.

Google Scholar is a great resource for finding articles on topics related to your niche and adding them to Google Scholar’s library.

Anyone can use this tool, such as marketers, academics, or anyone who wants to do research. All you need is an idea of what you’re looking for and a Google account.

Well-researched content helps build audience trust and positions you as a leader in your industry.

Creating content can be one of the most effective ways to promote your business. Not to mention, it costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and can triple the number of leads you bring in.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss strategies for using Google Scholar to find marketing content ideas and research, plus tips to be successful.

Let’s get started!

How Does Google Scholar Work?

Google Scholar ranks documents based on the number of times an article has been viewed, printed, or downloaded within a set period of time (usually around one year).

Similar to Google search results, the most popular or most used topics are shown first in Google Scholar results.

Google Scholar’s aim is to rank documents the way researchers would: based on relevance and popularity.

This ranking system also means searchers can find relevant content more quickly.

Documents are added to Google Scholar’s library when publishers submit them to the Google Scholar Metadata Program. From there, documents are indexed, ranked, and made available to searchers in search results.

There is no limit on the number of documents that can be added to Google Scholar’s library—it all depends on how many publishers are participating.

This makes it easy for marketers and researchers alike to find a wide range of relevant content ideas or research topics.

8 Strategies for Using Google Scholar for Content Ideas

Google Scholar is beneficial to searchers because it allows marketers and researchers easy access to scholarly literature like academic journal papers. You can find content ideas on Google Scholar by searching for keywords related to your industry, brand, or topic.

No matter if you’re looking for news articles on digital marketing trends in healthcare, Google Scholar can help you get high-quality search results.

If you want to learn how to use Google Scholar successfully for your marketing research, follow the steps below.

1. Search by Year to Find Trending Topics

Google Scholar’s advanced search option can help you find the most relevant research papers by year.

You can also use this feature if you’re looking for more recent content on a topic and want to avoid older articles that don’t reflect current trends in your industry.

For example, let’s say your company is interested in social media marketing best practices, but you want to keep your results modern. Google Scholar can help you narrow down research topics to a specific date range.

To narrow your search down by date, you use the “Since Year” option to show only recently published papers, sorted by relevance.

You can also use the “Sort By Date” option to show just the new additions, sorted by their publish date.

Using these features can help you find the most up-to-date resources on your topic or find out what competitors are talking about right now.

2. Explore Related Articles to a Certain Topic

Google Scholar’s Related Articles option allows you to explore articles similar to ones you’ve already read, which can help you generate more content ideas.

To use this feature, simply click the Related Articles link at the bottom of an article on your results page.

How to Use Google Scholar to Find Content Ideas - related articles button

For example, if you search “content management system” and find a great resource about WordPress, you can follow it up with related articles for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.

This can also be helpful if you find an article about your main keyword but want to know more about what other related keywords are being searched for most often.

For example, if you search for “content management system” in Google Scholar right now (because Google Scholar searches popularly-used terms), you get the following results:

How to Use Google Scholar to Find Content Ideas - Related Articles (content management system example)

These related articles give you a great starting point to continue your research and create stronger content topics.

3. Explore the Most Popular Articles and Publications

Google Scholar lets you browse the top 100 publications in multiple languages, ordered by five-year h-index and h-median metrics. 

This feature allows you to see which articles in a publication were cited most often and by who.

You can also click the h-index number to see the article and citation metrics. The h-index is a number that represents the highest number of papers in the publication that have been cited at least that many times.

The h-median metric is the median of the citation counts in its h-core. Articles in the top 50 percent of citations count towards this metric.

By exploring popular publications to see what topics they cover and what authors are most cited, you can find content ideas for your own blog topics.

4. Follow the Citations for Additional Ideas

Using the Cited By option on Google Scholar leads you to other relevant search results within the Scholar database.

Cited By shows you how many times the result has been cited by other journals.

How to Use Google Scholar to Find Content Ideas - Follow the Citations for Ideas

By following these citations, you can learn more about your topic and improve the quality of your research or topics.

For example, if you want to write about the latest trends in SEO, it would be helpful to know what the most reputable sources on this topic are. If you find an article that’s been cited 500 times, you’ll know you’re reading something with merit.

Finding articles by the number of citations they have received is a great way to find high-quality content ideas.

Just be careful not to limit yourself too much, or you might miss out on some important information!

5. Narrow Your Results by Field

Google Scholar’s Advanced Search option lets you limit results to specific fields of study.

Fields are controlled by the Advanced Scholar Search function, which lets users input keywords, phrases, and places where they occur. You can also segment your results by authors, publishers, and dates.

This feature is great for marketers who want to focus on certain areas of their industry.

How to Use Google Scholar to Find Content Ideas - Narrow Your results by Field

For example, someone who wants to write about the food and beverage industry would enter “food and beverage” in the keyword search box. They would also input “food industry” in the phrase search box.

This keeps their results limited to articles about food and beverage within the food industry, instead of all scholarly articles found by Google Scholar’s search engine.

6. Use Keyword Research to Inform Your Search

Many Google Scholar articles have their keywords listed at the beginning of the result.

You can use these keywords as inspiration for content ideas. Or, if you already have a keyword in mind, you can get ideas for others from the results given. This is a great way to find related concepts to improve the quality of your article.

Not sure how to find relevant keywords for your article? Use Ubersuggest to inform your search!

How to Use Google Scholar to Find Content Ideas - Use Keyword Research and Ubersuggest

The more relevant satellite keywords you add, the more likely is it that Google Scholar will return good results for your topic.

You can also use this method when writing blog posts or articles so you can quickly look up keywords and see related concepts at a glance.

Doing this research in advance allows you to produce higher-quality content with well-researched sources and information.

7. Find Industry and Competitor Topics

One strategy for using Google Scholar to find content ideas is to look at what your competitors and other industry leaders are doing

For example, if you’re in the business of selling hats, and another company just published an article ranking high on Google Scholar about hat trends this year, that might be a good incentive to write something similar yourself.

Alternatively, you could use Google Scholar results to write about topics that are relevant to your industry.

For example, if an author or influencer in the online marketing space has recently published a book on email marketing strategy, that would be a good inspiration for potential blog post content ideas since it’s topical and directly related to your audience.

Lastly, you can use Google Scholar to find ideas for your product or service. If you’re a company that sells software, why not google scholar “software marketing tips” and see what comes up? You may find new ideas that haven’t crossed your desk before.

8. Use Google Scholar to Expand Your Customer Base

The last Google Scholar strategy to consider is using it to find potential customers.

If you are a company that specializes in the B2B space, you can try searching for topics relevant to your industry and see who’s writing about them. This can open your eyes to new people in the industry you might want to do business with.

You may also find relevant searches that focus on market research or lead generation strategies for companies within your niche. These could turn into potential prospects or partnerships in the future.

Even if you don’t get any new leads, you’ll still be able to gather in-depth knowledge about how other players in your industry are creating and interacting with content.

This can give you new ideas for content topics of your own.

Frequently Asked Questions About Google Scholar

How Do You Search on Google Scholar?

To search on Google Scholar, simply enter your keywords in the search bar and click the magnifying glass icon.

How Do I Search Google Scholar for Journals?

Google Scholar makes journal articles easier to find and access than ever before. To search Google Scholar for journals, enter your keywords in the search bar followed by “journal” or “JSTOR.” For example, if I wanted to look at marketing books, I would enter: marketing + JSTOR.

Is Google Scholar Good for Research?

Google Scholar is a great tool for research because it allows you to segment searches by time, publication, or author.

Is Google Scholar Free?

Yes, all of the information on Google Scholar is completely open access for anyone to see. 

How Do I Activate Google Scholar?

To activate Google Scholar, you need a Google account. Sign up for a Google account here.

What Is the Best Way to Use Google Scholar?

You can use Google Scholar for marketing research, content topic creation, scholarly research, and more. 

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Google Scholar Guide Conclusion

One of the main reasons Google Scholar is so popular among marketers and researchers is because it’s easy to use. All you need is an idea, and Google Scholar will do the rest for you.

When using Google Scholar search, be sure to enter all of your known keywords, not just one or two words. For example, if you are searching “marketing articles,” Google Scholar would return everything related to marketing, including articles on marketing psychology, which may be less useful to you than the articles about online marketing content strategy.

Once you have the results you’re looking for, keep refining your search and exploring other citations or results.

Google Scholar is a great way for marketers to inform their content ideas and create innovative articles that people enjoy reading.

How have you used Google Scholar in your content marketing strategy?


Source: New feed 2

How to Create Stellar Niche Paid Ad Campaigns

How to Create Stellar Niche Paid Ad Campaigns

If you’ve been creating paid ad campaigns for a while, you’ve likely noticed how competitive online advertising has become. Businesses are spending more and more money on paid ad campaigns to attract a growing number of online users

However, it’s important to recognize not everyone is in your target audience. There are a billion social media users, but your business may only be relevant for a few thousand. 

It’s time to stop wasting money advertising to users who will never convert. Instead, you need to find your “ideal” users and create stellar niche paid ad campaigns to convert them. 

Paid Media Vs. Owned Media Vs. Earned Media in Niche Markets

It is easy to confuse the terms (paid media, owned media, and earned media), as they all pertain to marketing, but address different types of ads. 

When you pay money to a third-party channel like a regional magazine to advertise your business, it’s called “paid media.”

Here is an example of paid media on Twitter.

Niche paid ad campaign on Twitter posted by Morris Garages India.

If you post photos, videos, and other types of online content about your company on your owned social media channels, it’s called “owned media.” 

Here is an example of owned media. 

How to Create Stellar Niche Paid Ad Campaigns - Paid vs. Owned Media (Owned Media Example)

When people organically feature your content (without you paying for it), it’s called “earned media.”

These include:

  • sharing your business post on their LinkedIn Page
  • retweeting your content
  • posting photos and videos about your products and services on their personal blog, etc. 

This graphic by Oneupweb further explains the differences between paid media, owned media, and earned media: 

Niche Paid Ad Campaigns - Venn diagram of media campaigns

How to Create a Successful Niche Paid Media Campaign

Now you know you shouldn’t market your business to everyone, so your next question is how do you find the right audience so you can focus your ads (and ad spend) on the right audience. 

We’ll discuss and answer those and other niche paid media campaign questions next. 

1. Identify/Research Your Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is one of the most important steps to launch a successful niche paid media campaign. 

Don’t know where to start? Here are a few ways to research your target demographics effectively. 

Create a Buyer Persona

What does your target audience want? Find out by creating a buyer persona. Build an example profile of your ideal customer. 

What is their age? Which social media sites do they use? Why do they want to buy your product? What problem do they want to solve? 

Answering these questions will help you add nuance to your profile. 

Work With Pain Points 

The key to success when creating a buyer persona is not in having a comprehensive psychological profile of your audience, but rather knowing their pain points so you can present your business as a solution. 

Make a list of things that bother your target customer, and see how you can position your products and services as a “relief.” 

For instance, the team behind Tinder, a popular dating service, may market themselves to young adults who feel lonely by positioning their brand as a way to meet new people and form meaningful connections. 

Niche Paid Ad Campaigns - Tinder's buyer persona reflected in the description

2. Determine a Campaign Budget

Once you identify your target audience, it’s time to start working on the niche paid media campaign. 

Start by thinking about your budget. Don’t set an arbitrary figure that you “think” will be enough. Look at the hard data. 

Ask questions like: 

  • What were your sales in the last few months? 
  • What is the return on investment from previous niche paid ad campaigns? 
  • What is your company’s financial position at this moment?

This may help you come up with a number that offers plenty to work with without overspending. 

It also helps if you know which platform you want to work with. Look at the advertising rates on Instagram, Facebook, Google, or whatever other channel you want to use. 

Here are factors to consider when setting a budget for your niche paid media campaign.

  • cost per click/view/conversion on different platforms
  • typical return on investment for every dollar spent
  • the percentage of your target demographic using the particular platform 

Pay attention to where most of your customers come from—that platform will be a good place to start. 

3. Identify Your Paid Media Goals

Setting goals for your niche paid media campaigns helps you track, measure, and improve their performance. 

For best results, remember to set SMART goals. These are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. 

For instance, setting a goal to attract 1 million YouTube subscribers through Facebook marketing isn’t “SMART.” 

A better alternative could be: 

“Our team will spend 3 hours per weekday posting 1 video on our official Facebook page at 4 pm when the audience is most active, and spend $20 promoting it through Facebook ads with a long-term goal of attracting 50K YouTube subscribers over the next six months.”

4. Choose Your Paid Media Format

The right paid media format will depend on your target audience research, budget, campaign goals, and brand. 

Display ads work well for businesses that want to catch the user’s eye. Restaurants, fashion brands, and tourism companies often use display ad campaigns to showcase their businesses. 

Paid ads like the ones you see on Google (see below) are ideal for text-focused businesses like writing services, digital marketing teams, law, and agencies.

Niche Paid Ad Campaigns - Paid ad campaign on Google

Another option for niche paid ad campaigns could be influencer partnerships. An increasing number of businesses are working with people with large social media followings to promote their products. 

They are often effective because: 

  • Influencer campaigns can be personalized.
  • They increase brand awareness through word of mouth.
  • They help you build trust and credibility by leveraging somebody else’s audience loyalty. 

As a niche business, however, I’d recommend looking for micro-influencers with more targeted audiences. They tend to charge less but give you access to a carefully curated audience. 

5. Choose Your Ad Platform

Once you narrow down your niche paid media campaign goals, audience, and format, you need to choose a suitable platform. This could be social media apps like Facebook, or search engines like Google. 

I don’t recommend using all the platforms at once, as it can be difficult to master the nuances and optimize multiple campaigns at the same time. 

Instead, pick one or two that seem most relevant for your business. 

For instance, a photography business may see better results with a niche paid media campaign on Instagram compared to Twitter, since users interested in photography are more likely to use photo-focused platforms like Instagram

If you want to create an interactive campaign, use chat-focused platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and even Reddit. These tend to be more active and promote engagement due to their user-friendly setup. 

Platforms like this work well for giveaways and contests where you need a lot of audience interaction and informal sharing. 

While it’s crucial to create well-developed niche paid ad campaigns on one or two platforms, diversifying your efforts is also important. This doesn’t mean using all the platforms. 

Instead, diversifying your marketing efforts means experimenting with different formats (see the section above), changing the type of content you post (photos vs. videos), and occasionally cross-posting on different pages. 

6. Create Your Paid Ad Campaign Copy

No matter which platform you use and what your budget is, the results of your niche paid ad campaign come down to your ad copy. 

The key lies in making sure your ad copy is engaging, appealing, and offers enough information to drive the viewer to click. 

If you’re not sure where to start, here are the essential elements to include: 

  • what your business is about 
  • pain points of your customer
  • why or how your business is a solution 
  • why you and not your competitor 
  • what action the reader needs to take (subscribe, share, etc.)
  • what is the time commitment (for example, download in one click)

I also wrote a whole post on PPC ad copywriting to help you create engaging copy. 

7. Get Very Specific With Targeting 

You’ve decided on a platform, format, budget, audience, ad copy, and your campaign is ready. What next?

You need to get specific with your targeting.

Remember, not everyone is your audience. How do you make sure your ad is reaching the right people? 

Most advertising platforms offer detailed targeting options for your niche paid media campaigns. 

For example, Facebook offers pretty robust options for targeting your campaign to a very niche group of people. 

Facebook offers various targeting options for niche paid media campaigns.

Use these options to set targeting settings based on your buyer persona, as discussed in the first section of this article. 

Instagram, Reddit, Google Ads, and others have similar targeting options. 

8. Target High-Intent Keywords

An important part of targeting your marketing efforts includes using high-intent keywords

How do you find suitable high-intent keywords for your business? It’s all about keyword research. 

Look at your competitors. What are they using? How are they using these keywords? Which ones are and aren’t suitable for your business? Which keywords can form a solid base for your niche paid ad campaign? 

You can also use online tools like Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, and Moz Keyword Research for better results. 

3 Bonus Tips for Successful Niche Paid Media Campaigns

Now you’ve learned how to create stellar niche paid ad campaigns. Here are fast tips that will help your campaigns get better results. 

1. Personalize Your Niche Campaigns

Studies show using someone’s name can have a powerful attention-grabbing effect. Use your readers’ names in the ad copy, especially if it’s a newsletter or a sign-up form, so they feel more connected to your brand

Consider using dynamic keyword insertion, which adjusts copy and images based on user behavior. 

2. Include Videos in Your Ad Campaigns 

Reports show people remember messages delivered via a video better than messages read through text (blogs). Leverage this finding by incorporating more videos in your niche paid ad campaigns. 

You don’t need 15-minute videos to get good results. Even a 2-minute video is great for grabbing attention

3. Leverage Ad Retargeting

If your targeting efforts are fairly successful and you see users partially converting (subscribing but not buying, or adding items to the card but not completing the transaction), use retargeting. 

Retargeting options on platforms like Facebook and Shopify let you offer gentle nudges to users. 

You can also retarget users who bought from you once but may have dropped off the radar now. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Niche Paid Media Campaigns

Are Niche Paid Campaigns More Expensive?

Niche paid ad campaigns are not more expensive than typical ad campaigns. In fact, they may be cheaper because you’re advertising to a smaller pool of people. 

How to Make Niche Campaigns More Effective?

You can make niche paid ad campaigns more effective by leveraging influencer marketing, using intent-based keywords, doing thorough market research, and continually monitoring and improving the content and performance of your campaigns. 

How Do I Incorporate Pain Points in Paid Media Campaigns?

Create a thorough buyer persona to understand your target user’s needs and pain points. You can also use surveys, track online activity, or simply ask frequent users about their key concerns to get in-depth information about customer pain points. 

How Do You Retarget Users in Niche Paid Media Campaigns?

Use online tools offered by Facebook, Shopify, and Instagram to retarget past users with new ad campaigns. You can also use “abandoned card recovery” features to retarget users who browsed through your products and added them to the cart but didn’t finish the transaction. 

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Niche Paid Media Conclusion

If targeted correctly, niche paid media campaigns are often cheaper and more effective. 

Using simple strategies like the ones listed above may help you find your target audience, convert more users, and stand out from the competition. 

If you’d like more resources about creating paid ad campaigns or need more help to get started, check out hundreds of free blog posts on my website, or reach out for personalized help

Which niche paid media campaign strategy will you try using today?


Source: New feed 2

How to Optimize Your Website For Free

How to Optimize Your Website For Free

The key factor in the “great SEO game” is how well you optimize your site. No matter how brilliant a product or service you have, you’ll have a hard time making money if no one can find it.

This guide will help you understand how to optimize your website—for free—without having to use paid tools, services, or products.

Why Should You Optimize Your Website?

When you ask yourself how to improve your website, the first thing that should come to mind is SEO optimization. We all want a website that will rank well, drive traffic, generate conversions, and help make us more money. That’s the dream, right? Well, that dream starts with a properly optimized website.

If we think back a couple of decades or so, we’ll remember simpler times where anyone could purchase a domain, make a website, and expect to get traffic. Now, as we all know, the internet is flooded with competition across pretty much any niche.

As a result, you need to be more strategic about the type of site you create, the niche you enter, and how you plan to stand out within that niche. The best way to stand out and generate attention is by carefully optimizing your site, so Google’s SERP algorithm shares you with relevant users over any competition.

Is It Possible to Optimize Your Website for Free?

A lot of marketing decisions can be expensive. Luckily, SEO is not.

It’s really easy to get started through simple methods like using alt text, creating content, and detailed keyword research. No matter your budget, you need to dedicate time and attention to your website optimization. Remember—everyone starts somewhere, and the good news is that you can completely optimize your website for free; you just need to be a bit more thrifty.

First, you have to develop a strong understanding of technical SEO and how it works.

If you’re starting from scratch, that’s okay. There are a ton of free resources online from YouTube to free courses, to endless information on my site from myself and other industry experts. The information is there, you just need to piece it together in a way that makes sense to you.

How to Optimize Your Website for Free

To help you learn how to optimize your website for search engines, I want to go through a step-by-step process of the essential “pieces” that contribute to a high search ranking. Best of all, if you are prepared to put the effort in yourself, these methods are free and you’ll have the same results as someone with deep pockets.

1. Do Keyword Research

The best on-site optimization always starts with keyword research. Keyword research is the process of finding words and phrases that are both relevant to your niche and also heavily searched on Google.

The trick is to find keywords that a lot of people are searching for that also don’t have a ton of competition. Now, this takes a lot of digging. Doing this on your own without a tool is practically impossible, so don’t even try.

Optimize Your Website for Google (for free) - Use Ubersuggest

We created Ubersuggest (a free keyword research tool) for beginners with a low budget just like you. You can search competitors based on your niche to see what they’re already ranking for on Google and then include those keywords on your site and in your blog articles.

Ubersuggest also allows you to input keyword ideas and its smart algorithm even provides you with a list of keywords that would be a good choice for you to use on your site.

How to Optimize Your Website for Free - Use Ubersuggest for Keyword Research

As you accumulate relevant and useful keywords across your website, you’ll find that you start to rank higher on Google for certain phrases. This results in traffic arriving on your web pages, ultimately increasing click-through rates and conversions.

Why? SEO content works by drawing attention, and then a well-written copy brings value to your audience and solves common problems, encouraging them to purchase. You can also use the free Chrome extension to look at keyword volumes and related keywords during your Google searches.

2. Create Simple Site Navigation

Site architecture can be a difficult concept to understand, but it’s another critical step of optimizing your website. If people can’t easily navigate through your site, it doesn’t matter how great your keywords are or how amazing your offer is because they’ll soon click off.

When designing, you should have an idea of what you want your site to look like before it even exists. Map it out, think about what pages should go where, why they should go there, and ultimately where you want people to end up.

Website layout should allow prospective customers to get from point A to point B without having to click through a ton of pages, so start simple. Don’t overcomplicate your site with hundreds of pages, when you could do the same job with just a few. Not only will creating your website take more time, but it’ll also be harder for you to stick to a low budget.

Here are a few reasons why a basic website is a good way to go.

  1. Cost-effective: Many people with a decent understanding of tech can build a single-page website themselves on a site like WordPress or Squarespace.
  2. Easy to crawl: Crawling is a word you’ll see a lot in the website space, and it refers to Google’s ability to go through your site and figure out what it is. Google takes note of your keywords and indexes pages in their database. The more pages you have, the harder it is for Google to understand your goals and provide your products to their audience.
  3. Speed: Page speed is a huge factor for Google ranking and user retention times. If you have a ton of complicated elements on the site, loading times will increase and so will bounce rates.

3. Create Landing Pages

Every website needs somewhere for the user to land. If you’re using key marketing skills to drive traffic from your social media profiles you’ll need a landing page they can click over to before you sell to them or introduce them to your offer. The verbiage, colors, and selling points should be the same on your landing page as they are on social media.

In fact, landing pages are a great alternative to detailed websites. With tools like Leadpages and ClickFunnels, more and more people can funnel high-intent customers to appropriate locations. Landing pages are simple to use, easy to optimize, and a decent option for people on a tight budget. Keep in mind that some tools aren’t free though, and prepare to shop around.

4. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Usage

With most of the world now using their smartphones on a regular basis, it’s more important than ever that our websites look good (and are usable) on mobile phones. This means you need to carefully consider how users might land on your website and factor this into your design and layout—which can be complicated if you aren’t comfortable with website building.

Thankfully, many of the budget-friendly website hosters have mobile optimization built into their service. You want a website that doesn’t have anything cut off on the sides, all the buttons work, each link works, and everything can be easily read on both computer and phone. If you haven’t visited your website from your mobile phone in a while, double-check everything is working now (and change things if not.)

5. Check Site Speed

Google provides a free tool called “PageSpeed Insights.” You simply search your URL, and it’ll tell you how fast your page loads. As you see below, I tested out my personal homepage to see what Google thinks of it.

I didn’t get a perfect score, but that’s alright. Below, they provide you with diagnostic information to explain the rating. Some examples of issues would be too much third-party code and a long cache (which can be easily fixed).

how to Optimize Your Website for Free - Improve Your Site Speed

Use this tool to see how fast your website loads and what improvements you can make. Overall, the faster the better as Google’s algorithm will now use loading times as a ranking factor when determining the user-friendliness of your website.

Best Resources to Optimize Your Website for Free

We talked a little bit about the actual resources you can use to optimize your website but now let’s get a little more specific. Here are some free tools you can start using right away.

1. Learn SEO in 5 Minutes

The internet is full of free resources, and all you need to do is look for them. If you can engage your mind and work through the steps independently, you can understand SEO basics in five minutes or less.

2. See What Competitors Are Doing

One of the best free ways to optimize your website is to take a look at your competitors and get an idea of what they’re doing. For example, if you have a tennis e-commerce store and you’re struggling to gain traction on it, you might want to look at some other stores in the same niche and see what they’re doing.

Look at their blog posts, product pages, media, headers, titles, landing pages, and so on. As you’re looking at these factors, take notice of things that are working for them (such as posts with high comment engagement) and start implementing them on your site. See what works and what doesn’t.

3. YouTube

Best Resources to Optimize Your Website for Free - NeilPatel YouTube Channel

YouTube is an amazing resource for anyone looking to learn SEO. If you know nothing about SEO, you can spend 30 minutes a day on YouTube and become highly knowledgeable in no time.

Whether you’re using my channel or someone else’s, there are dozens of real experts who understand how to optimize a website for search engines. Watch the videos, gradually implement the tips, don’t take shortcuts, and you’ll soon have a much easier time growing your site.

4. Google Search Console

If you link your website with Google Search Console, you’ll gain access to a ton of free resources that will tell you a lot about your website’s performance. You’ll be able to see individual page performance, page loading speed, broken links, and traffic data.

Plus, all the data you receive in the search console is verifiably accurate because it comes directly from the source.

5. Free Ubersuggest

I talked briefly about Ubersuggest, but I want to mention it again because of how important keyword tools are to SEO optimization. They truly are designed to make your life easier, and while there are other alternatives out there, Ubersuggest is a great user-friendly tool for business owners on a low budget. It will steer you in the right direction for your on-page SEO and help you make decisions that can improve your site.

It’s important that you are using the right keywords in your content, as you don’t want your time and effort to go to waste. You deserve results, and keywords help Google’s algorithm read what your site is about and how it relates to the people that are searching for you.

If you don’t have a ton of relevant keywords on your site, Google will not be able to figure out the purpose of your website and you’ll have a hard time ranking for anything. Ubersuggest makes it easy to find the best low competition keywords for you to target.

Optimizing Your Website for Free Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about optimizing your website for free.

Can SEO Be Done for Free?

Absolutely, with a variety of free tools and learning resources from YouTube and blogs, SEO can be done for free. It just takes some time!

How Do I Optimize My Website Without Paying?

It might take a little more time because you’re doing everything manually but you can optimize your website for free. Tools like Ubersuggest allow you to do keyword research for free and the Google Search Console provides valuable insights about the technical SEO changes you may need to make.

What Are Some Tips for Optimizing Your Website in 2021?

Focus less on pulling every little keyword from your research tool and instead think about the intent of the reader. User intent is much more important because Google is getting smarter and better at putting the pieces together. If you’re creating great content, providing value, and making your site easy to navigate, that’s more than half the battle. Plus, if you need help we have a ton of great agency resources to help you.

What Are Some Free SEO Tools?

Some of the best free SEO tools include Ubersuggest, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Keyword Hero, Google Trends, and AnswerThePublic.

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Optimize Your Website for Free Conclusion

Learning to optimize your website is an important part of the SEO journey for beginners and soon-to-be experts in online lead generation. If you don’t have a properly optimized site, Google’s algorithm may struggle to interpret your site and you’ll end up having a harder time ranking for the search phrases you want.

Follow the steps outlined in this guide and you’ll be well on your way to generating more traffic, increasing your brand awareness, and ultimately, earning more money.

What are some of your favorite free SEO tools?


Source: New feed 2

How to Vlog: A Complete Guide to Start Vlogging in 2021

how to become a successful vlogger

If I told you that you could become a successful YouTuber/vlogger, would you believe me?

YouTube is certainly saturated; 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. There are dozens of million-dollar YouTubers and bloggers creating thousands of hours of video a year.

How could you possibly break through the noise?

Well, I’m here to tell you that video blogging still has huge potential.

The Potential of Vlogging and Why You Should Do It

Just look at the growth of video ad investment among brands and agencies and where it’s predicted to go:

average video spend and its impact on successful vloggers

It might not be as easy as it was several years ago to break onto the vlogging scene, but video is more important than ever to build a successful online marketing strategy.

Why?

First, video remains one of the best and most effective ways for people to get to know you.

When leads see you, their brain develops an impression of you that helps to build trust. You’re not just an anonymous content creator trying to drive your business. You’re a real person.

Second, video is a preferred method people have for gaining information. The stats don’t lie. People spend 2.6 times longer on pages with video than those without.

Third, the cost of good equipment keeps on falling, and the cameras in our phones keep getting better.

Fourth, video has a strong impact on the user experience, and therefore SEO. A video on your site can increase organic traffic by 157%. Check out this infographic:

why to invest in video how to become a successful vlogger

Finally, video blogging can be lucrative in itself. The top YouTubers and vloggers make between $14 and $22 million dollars a year.

The power of video is undeniable.

All of this brings up the question: how can you become a successful YouTuber?

Below are the steps you need to take to become a successful YouTuber, from starting a vlog and coming up with concepts for a video series to making a quality video and making sure people find your videos.

How to Come up With a Concept for a Series of Videos

Many people start by coming up with one idea for one video. That would be like starting a blog with an idea for only one article. As you probably know, that wouldn’t get you very far.

I explain how long content marketing takes in this video:

Video, like any other form of content marketing, needs a long-term strategy defined by a subject, tone of voice, and approach.

Here’s a question to ask yourself:

“What am I trying to convey to my audience?”

Once you know what you’re trying to do, you can define your vlogging content concept:

  • What should the format be? Should I do screen capture demos of step-by-step instructions? Should I be out and about talking to people? Should I talk into the camera?
  • What can I do with video that I can’t do in other formats like the written word?
  • How often am I going to make videos? How much time can I dedicate to them?

You have to document your plan to determine if it’s going to be feasible for long enough to achieve your goals.

The reality is people need to see consistency in order to understand why they should subscribe to your channel.

If you are making random, sporadic videos, it’s going to be harder to convince people to follow you.

The content of your video will be what determines your success.

That is, of course, only if you make quality videos.

How to Create Quality Video Content for Your Vlog

Video making is a complicated profession. When you see all of the elements that go into shooting a television broadcast or feature film, you will worry you’ll never be able to create anything like that.

how to become a successful vlogger.

The truth is, you probably can’t- and that’s okay.

People who are going to watch your video on your blog are not expecting a Steven Spielberg production.

People understand what vlogging is.

But that doesn’t mean that you should not care about quality. Quality is still super important.

Luckily, the cost of creating quality videos has been steadily dropping and continues to drop. There are more and more types of equipment available that can make your video go from amateur to professional-looking.

Step 1. Get a Camera and Tripod

You might be tempted to use your iPhone.

And honestly, cameras on smartphones have gotten amazing over the years. You have probably taken some great photos and videos on your phone already.

But smartphone cameras are difficult for serious video blogging for the following reasons:

  • they are hard to mount properly
  • they have very limited field of depth
  • they have very limited exposure options
  • the sound sucks

Selfie videos are best used for things like Instagram Stories.

They can be a part of your video strategy but shouldn’t be the foundation of it.

Cameras range in quality a lot, from basic models that run in the low hundreds to professional gear that can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Most DSLR cameras also have video modes, though the options can be just as limited as on smartphones.

If you don’t know, DSLR cameras look like this:

build a successful vlog with camera equipement

The good news is that if you’re not chasing snow leopards in the wild, you won’t need all of those fancy settings.

What you need is a camera with a good lens that’s can take high-quality video. Not 4K necessarily, but enough quality to be able to work with if you want to add any extras.

You can find refurbished HD digital video cameras like this one for under $200.

build a successful vlog with a better video camera

Then, mount that camera onto a tripod. Nothing is worse than shaky video.

You could always place your camera on a table or shelf, but tripods are very affordable and give you 100% control of your filming.

Full-size tripods can go for less than $20, so there’s really no excuse not to have one.

successful vlog get a microphone

Step 2. Get a Microphone

You can either get a camera with a mic-in jack to plug in an external microphone (something you can also do when filming with your smartphone), or you can buy a USB microphone and record the sound directly to your computer.

pasted image 0 713

It depends on the type of conditions you’re filming in, but you usually don’t want to capture sound directly from the camera.

Separating the recording between two devices adds the challenge of having to sync up sound and image later.

You can overcome this by creating a clap sound that spikes up your audio visualizer for each syncing, then you line that up with the audio from the video.

video editing software for a successful vlog

I can’t stress the importance of having great sound in your videos. Sound is one of our fundamental senses and it should be a part of your marketing strategy.

Here are a few ways to leverage the power of sound:

Simply put, poorly recorded audio can turn people off and get in the way of you getting your message across.

Step 3. Create Your Lighting Setup

Lighting videos is an art all unto itself. But it’s surprisingly easy to get a great effect since there are normally only three primary lights in a video setup.

successful vlog with lighting diagram

The important thing is to separate yourself or your subject from the background. You can do this with the focus and depth of field, of course. But it really looks professional when there is a difference in lighting as well.

You don’t even need a professional lighting setup.

You can create a fairly decent lighting setup from lamps that you might have around the house.

You can also buy LED board lights that diffuse really well without getting hot — one of the drawbacks of using incandescent bulbs. You can buy versions that you can mount on your camera if you aren’t shooting in a controlled environment.

successful vlog how to light your videos

As a general rule, it’s better to be brighter. The image is clearer since the camera captures more light and therefore more detail.

Step 4. Get a Teleprompter

It’s great to be able to speak off the cuff effortlessly. There are some YouTubers with a natural style that works really well. Take the beauty YouTuber Freddy My Love. Her effortless and natural style has been honed from years of practice.

successful vlog example

Chances are, you will need help to deliver content in a clear and structured way.

You could memorize talking points and do a couple of takes. Then you can splice together the best parts.

That’s a longer process, though, than using a teleprompter.

A teleprompter makes it easier to hit all of the important points without memorizing or awkwardly transitioning between them. You could even write a script to follow verbatim.

But it’s more than a time saver. It drastically improves the way that you interact with your viewers.

Having notes or something written off screen causes you to break eye contact when you’re addressing your audience directly.

According to a study by Cornell University, humans will naturally increase eye contact with people that we admire or like.

Conversely, we tend to break eye contact when talking about embarrassing or uncomfortable subjects.

Viewers will subscribe to YouTubers and vloggers they respect. You can look directly into the eyes of your viewers while still reading your script or bullet points.

A teleprompter might seem complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple.

Teleprompting uses a slanted piece of glass to reflect the words so you can read them.

As long as there is darkness between the glass and the camera lens, the camera won’t pick up the light reflecting from the text on the glass. The camera will only see you.

You, however, will be able to clearly read the text as it scrolls. It looks like this:

how to use a teleprompter to vlog

You can buy a teleprompting setup and use your iPad or tablet with a teleprompting app.

There are also more advanced models that hook up to pedals for your feet that control how quickly the text scrolls.

If all that sounds like way too much, you can always try to build one yourself with a CD case and your smartphone to see if you like it.

Step 5. Do Your Makeup

This might sound a bit controversial – and I’m OK with that because I want you to have all of the options available to becoming successful – but people like watching videos with people who are put together.

(This explains why so many movie stars can be bad at acting.)

You don’t need to be Brad Pitt, and you definitely shouldn’t go overboard, but make an effort.

You’ve got an HD camera and a lighting setup. People have never seen you as clearly as right now.

For example, when you light yourself there will almost certainly be shiny parts of your skin. That’s your natural skin oil.

The most common makeup is a powder that absorbs oil so that your skin appears smooth without reflecting too much light.

how to vlog: tips on editing

Try testing your lighting setup and seeing where your skin is a bit too shiny.

Just to be clear, this goes for men as much as women.

Then, apply a powder if needed. Your video (and you) will look a whole lot more professional.

Step 6. Edit — A Lot

Making videos is like any other skill. You will get better at it the more you do it.

Video editing makes your life a lot easier by making it easier to cut between the best takes to more rapidly built your content.

Video editing software is easy to find — and use. iMovie comes on all macs and is available as an app on iOS.

The drag-and-drop interface makes it a snap to use.

how to successfully vlog editing tips imovie screenshot

If you are ever wondering how to do something, like shorten a transition or overlay an image, there are tons of tutorials on YouTube.

The bottom line is that you should be creating a lot of content. The majority of it you might not even use. But you get better and better each time you try something new.

And you should be careful to avoid oversharing. Instead, you should focus on a more qualitative approach.

Even if you think you did something great the first time through, force yourself to try it again.

You never know when you’re going to stumble onto something great.

OK, you’ve got the keys to actually making your videos to execute your strategy, now comes the hard part.

How to Get People to See Your Vlogs

When you make a video, you are in control of everything.

You decide how much you can invest time and money into creating your video. You decide who you work with and what you want the outcome to be.

Then, you decide when you put it online.

You don’t decide when other people watch it.

You can only try to grab their attention.

Getting people to watch your video can be difficult, but there are many steps that you can take to maximize your potential audience and get more people to click play.

Step 1. Create an Awesome Thumbnail

The first thing that many people will see is the thumbnail on the player before they start the video.

In fact, this is the piece of communication that reaches all the people that come across your video but don’t play it.

That digital real estate is your little promo box and can drive engagement. Take the time to make it great.

Here are two examples from Gary Vaynerchuk. He varies the style of the thumbnail from a photo collage with the title in a fun YouTube-style:

1 gary vee YouTube 1 how to vlog successfully

To a more elegant and serious tone when his subject matter is more inspirational:

1 gary vee YouTube 2 vlog successfully

There’s one thing you will always see in the thumbnail though: the title.

It’s crucial real estate that you can entirely personalize to get people to click.

You will have to abide by the brand values and guidelines, but you should create something custom to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

To add a thumbnail to your video, click on the video in your video manager.

Then, in the middle of the screen next to the player, you will see a few images that come from your video that you can select as your thumbnail.

how to vlog successfully on Youtube

Click on upload image to add your own custom image. The best size is 1280 x 720 pixels. A 16:9 ratio works best since that’s the format of the layout.

Remember, though, that you have to keep your thumbnail under 2 MB.

Step 2. Optimize Your Video for Search

I’m not just talking about Google search here.

YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine by itself. All of those searches are powering an insane amount of views.

To optimize for search, you need to work on your descriptions. YouTube can’t crawl through your videos like Googlebot crawls through your website.

You need to lend a helping hand to get YouTube SEO right. Here are a couple of things you can do:

  • Write a description of at least 250 words that outlines the subjects of the video.
  • Get your keywords in the description in the first few sentences, and use it at least 3 or 4 times in the body of the description.
  • Start the title of your video with your keywords.
  • Add tags. Tags help you show up in the related videos column when people are watching other videos.
vlogging - adding a description and basic info for your video
vlogging - adding tags to your videos

There are also a few of the advanced settings that are helpful to turn on. These features are mostly located under the “Tags” box as seen in the image above.

If your video is focused on a local area, you should add a localization to the video.

Then, you want to drive as many views as possible so you should make sure that the two options are enabled: allow embedding and notify subscribers.

This way people can share your video on their websites, and you can benefit from their traffic to drive views.

And wouldn’t it be silly if your subscribers didn’t know you had a new video? It’s checked on by default but just double-check.

Step 3. Use End Screens to Promote Other Videos

Anyone who has watched your video to its completion is probably very interested in what you have to say. That is the best time of all to catch them.

YouTube developed end screens to keep people’s attention at the end of your video.

20 seconds before the end of your video, and/or for a bit afterward, you can present related or featured videos to your viewers.

To do that, go to your YouTube Studio account and click on Content (the red box with a “play” icon on the left-hand side). This will open your videos. Select the video you want to add an end screen to. The video will open along with data boxes. On the right-hand side, there is an “end screen” box.

The end screen adds extra time to the end of your video where you can do two key things: promote your other videos and get people to subscribe to your channel.

Click on the Add element button.

vlogging - finding and using the end screen

You’ll see a dropdown menu with a few different options. All of them are great for driving traffic.

YouTube provides three options for promoting your other videos and playlists that are pretty great.

how to promote your vlogging content

You can choose to feature your most recently uploaded videos, or you can choose a specific video that you want to promote.

Or you can let YouTube do the work and automatically recommend videos from your channel that would be the most relevant for each viewer.

You could even link out to other people’s videos if you want.

When you add a video, it will display the thumbnail plus the title and the duration of the video:

1 YouTube 7

You can reposition and resize the video.

You can add up to four elements to expose people to as many of your videos as possible.

Step 4. Get People to Subscribe to Your YouTube Channel

If you want to create a successful vlog, you need to increase your subscribers.

Views come and go.

Subscribers are more than people that happened to see your video.

They are people who were so happy with that video that they want to see more. They are anticipating that you will give them something great again.

What’s more, media outlets and brands looking to partner with YouTubers will use subscribers as their key metric when evaluating opportunities.

The most important is adding the subscribe action. When you do you will see your channel’s avatar in a round circle.

You can position this button wherever you want on the screen.

You can also use the end screen we discussed above to increase subscribers.

Don’t forget to add a link to subscribe to your website, email signature, and Instagram bio. It’s not just enough to add the YouTube link. You should tell people something clear like “Subscribe to see more videos.”

Step 6. Go Live

Live video is the new wild west in digital marketing. It represents a lot of opportunities. It’s much easier to be featured on the Live home page than the regular YouTube homepage.

I’ve written all about how you go live on YouTube and why it’s important.

Live also gives you the opportunity to interact directly with people while they watch you.

You can instantaneously respond to people’s questions that come up in the chat. This creates a real-time relationship.

How to Vlog Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a vlog?

Start by choosing a platform. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and many other platforms host videos. Then you’ll want to decide on the content you want to share and start researching your audience.

How much money can I make vlogging?

It varies by industry and how successful you are at reaching your audience. Most channels only pay a few cents per thousand views. However, you can use your vlog to promote other products or services.

Do I need expensive equipement to start a vlog?

No. You can start a vlog with a webcam or even a smartphone. There are also free and affordable editing tools.

How can I use a vlog to market my business?

Vlogging can be part of your overall content marketing strategy or you can use video content to push subscribers to paid products or services. People watch videos to learn and be entertained, so make sure to offer value if you want to use a vlog to market your business.

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Start by choosing a platform. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and many other platforms host videos. Then you’ll want to decide on the content you want to share and start researching your audience.


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It varies by industry and how successful you are at reaching your audience. Most channels only pay a few cents per thousand views. However, you can use your vlog to promote other products or services.


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How to Vlog Successfully Conclusion

Video blogging is becoming more and more important for content marketing.

And there’s no time like right now to get started in video marketing.

Organize your thoughts, sit down, and create a concept for a video series.

Like all content marketing, your video needs to give the viewer something of value, whether that be informative or educational or entertainment.

Then, make that video with the highest quality that your time and budget allows.

If it’s helpful, read some books about cinematography. I recommend Gustavo Mercado’s The Filmmaker’s Eye. You can skim through to get the basics about things like shot composition.

Finally, whatever you do, don’t forget to get your video in front of people.

You could make the best video the world has ever seen, but that won’t make you a successful YouTuber.

What are your experiences with YouTube and vlogging?


Source: New feed 2

How to Conduct a Social Media Audit in Just 30 Minutes

how to perform a social media audit facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram

The number of worldwide social media users will surpass 3 billion by 2021.

That’s more than a third of the Earth’s population!

That creates an incredible opportunity to reach online users, and you shouldn’t pass it up.

However, not every platform works the same for every business. That’s why it’s important to review what’s working and what isn’t.

Otherwise, you risk wasting time, energy, and money on flawed campaigns.

Don’t worry. That’s where social media audits can help.

In this post, I’ll show you how to perform a social media audit in just 30 minutes.

The result will tell you if you’re on track to hit it big or if you’re at risk of flushing more dollars down the drain.

Before we get to that, let’s talk about preparing your audit.

How to Prepare Your Social Media Audit

“Auditing” can sound intimidating.

I’ve worked with agencies that charge tens of thousands of dollars and take months to complete a single audit.

In this case, though, yours will be pretty simple. We’ll take a look at each platform and identify a few critical KPI benchmarks to gauge progress.

How often should you perform an audit?

Ultimately, you can do them as often as you’d like to. I recommend at least once a year, but every quarter is ideal.

The point is that you do it consistently and in a way that works for you.

I recommend creating a spreadsheet to maintain all of the information you’ll be recording. Google Drive is a great place to do so since it’s free. Here’s how to do a simple one.

Pull up Google Drive and create a new Google Sheets.

I like using Google Drive because you can share them with your team, partners, and other vendors.

Next, you’ll want to label the columns.

These will be categories that list account information and key performance indicators.

What exactly should your columns contain? Here are some ideas:

  • The username and URL for each platform that you’ll audit
  • The number of followers for each account
  • Engagement metrics
  • Demographic information
  • Popular content

These create a nice base to work off of. Here’s what my spreadsheet looks like now.

Social media audit spreadsheet

It seems a bit empty, huh? Let’s fix that by entering our account information.

Account URLs add to social media audit

I’d suggest that you date your audits or add monthly sections to them. This helps track monthly changes when you audit again in the future.

Since every platform is unique, you could also add columns for network-specific metrics.

With this basic template, you’re ready to use your auditing spreadsheet. Now, it’s time to get to work.

I’ll walk you through analyzing Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. If you are using TikTok or other niche social media platforms, add those to your spreadsheet as well.

Social Media Audit: Facebook

Facebook collects tons of useful data about your Pages and organizes it in one place. You can access it by visiting the Facebook Business Suite.

On that page, Facebook provides valuable insights into both your ad accounts and the business Page itself.

Since we’re focusing on general social media today, let’s first take a glance at the overview.

Business page Facebook social media audit

Right away, Facebook displays information about your Page likes, reach, and the engagement you’ve accumulated. You can filter the results for today, yesterday, the last seven days, or the last 28 days.

Next, click the arrow to the left of your Page to see a breakdown of your best-performing posts.

recent posts on social media audit facebook

This will tell you what type of content is delivering the most engagement and reach. With this information, let’s go back to our spreadsheet and fill it in.

It should look similar to this:

Updated spreadsheet social media audit

As you can see, I’ve entered how many new followers I’ve gained, how much my engagement has improved, and what content performed the best.

What about demographics?

For that, you will need to visit the insights tab. Click on This will give you a report on all of the Pages you run.

social media audit facebook insights audiences

Select the Page you’re auditing and it will take you to an overview.

You can also click “results’ to see how many people you reach (this will also show you Instagram reach if you’ve connected that account.)

You’ll also see:

  • The ratio of men versus women that follow you.
  • The percentage of users in each age group.
  • Which countries and cities your followers are from.
  • What other pages they like.

You have to market differently to every target demographic. Take note of which gender, age groups, and locations make up the majority of your fans.

You can use this data later for tailoring content. But first, let’s input some of this data into our spreadsheet.

Updated spreadsheet 2 social media audit for facebook

With that simple Facebook audit, you should now have a good idea of who your target audience is and what content they enjoy the most.

When you decide to audit your Page again, you can compare these metrics to the updated ones to see how your content performs.

Social Media Audit: Pinterest

Pinterest is a goldmine for marketers.

It’s a platform that heavily rewards quality infographics and visual content. It also offers an awesome analytics page to boot.

Once you’ve upgraded to the free business account, you can select “Analytics” and “Overview” from the top-left corner.

Pinterest analytics social media audit

The overview will tell you your average daily impressions, average daily viewers, and most popular content. These first two metrics are convenient for measuring your account’s growth.

social media audit pinterest pins

As we saw with Facebook, understanding what content performs best will help you offer more of it in the future. This can further increase your engagement and pins.

What kind of content do you notice performs well for your page?

social media audit pintrest pins

To dig into the demographics of your Pinterest follower, you can click the arrow beside “People you reach.”

You will find information about their location, gender, and language.

Clicking the “Interests” tab shows categories that your followers are most likely to be interested in.

Record these in your spreadsheet. In the future, you could publish more content in these categories to see if your followers enjoy them.

You’ll also see your impressions, saves, and clicks on the “Profile” page.

Saves and clicks are arguably the most important metrics here.

Seeing which posts users save the most will tell you which content to focus on and which to dial back.

It also reveals which types of pins are driving the most traffic to your website.

Selecting the “All-time” tab shows you which pins received the most shares and ranked the highest in searches.

Do you notice any similarities between the pins that are receiving the best feedback? Note this in your spreadsheet.

Record any important data in your spreadsheet. By now, your spreadsheet should be filling out quite nicely.

Social Media Audit: Instagram

Instagram is the go-to social media platform for fashion, beauty, and health brands.

Instagram already has over a billion users. Plus, more than 200 million businesses are using it to reach customers, too.

If you upgrade to a business account (and have 100 followers) you gain access to Instagram Insights. This is their native analytics tool to aid you in measuring performance.

It won’t give you insights into content that you posted before you upgraded, but it will give you information about your posts from then on. It can only be accessed from your phone.

Start by tapping the “hamburger” menu in the upper right-hand corner (the three lines.)

access instagram insights social media audit

Then tap Insights.

If you visit the Insights homepage, it will give you a general overview of your Instagram account. It first content overview, including posts and Stories.

There are also three tabs: content, activity, and audience. The audience tab will show you who your followers are and demographics.

Follower demographics social media audit

If you want to find out even more about your followers, click “See More” at the top-right corner. That will pull up two graphs.

One will show you the hours when your followers are most active.

Followers hours social media audit

The other will reveal which days they are most active.

You can use this to find the most optimal day and hour to post.

Audit Instagram Posts

Next, it’s wise to analyze how your photos are performing. You can do this in one of two ways.

The first option is to select an individual post and click “View Insights.”

Likes, comments, shares, and saves will appear at the top. Instagram also tells you how many profile visits the post resulted in and your reach.

Since hashtags are a huge part of marketing on Instagram, take the time to see which ones attracted the most users.

Consider adding that to your spreadsheet as well if you’d like.

Over time, you will be able to weed out the lesser-performing hashtags and replace them with better ones.

The second approach is to navigate to the posts area of the Insights homepage.

Click “Content” and Instagram will display every post from the last year and their impressions.

Insta insights social media audit

You can further filter it by time, type of content, and measurements such as comments or likes.

There are numerous ways that you can take advantage of this.

For example, you can filter by content to discover whether your audience likes photos, videos, or carousel posts the most.

Refine it down to comments and you may notice which captions or questions get the most responses.

Audit Instagram Stories

Have you ever posted an Instagram Story?

For businesses, it’s a fun way to show followers behind-the-scenes action.

With the Insights tool, you can dive into how your Stories are performing. Simply open a Story and click the viewers on the bottom-left area of the screen.

You will find which users viewed the Story, total impressions, and reach. It also documents actions like replies and clicks.

Use this to determine which content followers respond to the most positively with Instagram Stories.

Social Media Audit: Twitter

Twitter advertising is one of my favorite techniques for quickly gaining attention because it’s so simple.

If you visit the Ads Manager, you will gain access to your account’s analytics.

Let’s start by selecting the “Analytics” drop-down menu and clicking “tweet activity.” This will let you view tweet engagement, impressions, and more.

Tweet impressions social media audit

First, Twitter is nice enough to give you a convenient graph of your impressions over the last 28-day period. You can change this to the last seven days or a custom number as well.

Click the “Top Tweets” tab to see which of your tweets in a selected period are the most popular. Twitter determines this based on engagement and impressions.

Top tweets social media audit

Do you notice any trends?

Are certain calls-to-action or styles of tweets doing better than others?

These are questions you should ask yourself to further complete the audit.

Do you know who your followers are?

Well, you can figure that out by visiting “Audience insights” under the “Analytics” tab on top again.

Make sure that you change the selection to your followers.

Your followers social media audit

At first glance, you’ll see an overview with several tabs.

On this first page, you can see information about your followers, such as their:

  • Interests
  • Consumer buying styles
  • Household income categories
  • Wireless carrier
  • Gender

If you click the “Demographics” tab, you’ll see the following:

Twitter demographics social media audit

It’s safe to say that Twitter has a seriously impressive analytics system. It’s convenient, too.

From exact regions to home value, there’s nothing you won’t know about your followers.

Moving along to the “Lifestyle tab,” you’ll get a better idea of what interests them. This is great information to use for tailoring your content.

If you know what they like, you can integrate that into what you post.

They will feel much more connected to your brand when they know that you understand them on a deeper level.

For those of you who are involved in e-commerce, you’ll find a special benefit to the next tab, which is the “Consumer Behavior” tab.

Buying styles twitter social media audit

Twitter shows us what kind of consumer buying style our followers fall under and what kind of consumer goods they enjoy purchasing.

This is a goldmine if you sell products online.

It’s literally telling you how they prefer to shop and what they’re looking for.

Finally, the “Mobile Footprint” tab tells you which carrier and devices your followers mostly use.

What Should You Do With Your Social Media Audit When It’s Done?

You’re sitting back and marveling at your in-depth spreadsheet. Now what?

It’s time to get marketing.

You now hold a great deal of data that you can use to improve your social channels and your business as a whole.

You should start with content.

What type of content does your audience like the most? Try producing more of this and measure the results next week or next month.

For example, you may find that your Facebook fans prefer videos over images. As simple as it sounds, delivering more videos could be the easiest way to increase shares and engagement.

I recently posted this video on Facebook:

neil example social media audit

It was a direct result of a simple social media audit like this.

I’m investing a ton into video marketing because I’ve seen that it produces the best results across almost every platform.

I typically don’t talk about “finding your passion” and that type of stuff. I usually like to stick to nerdy marketing ideas.

However, I’ve noticed that more personal topics like this get an awesome reaction.

Guess what?

I’m adding more topics like this to my content calendar.

The whole reason for producing this content is to gain awareness and increase engagement.

The purpose is not to try and sell anything.

Instead, you want to mix content types and topics to drive the most interest possible.

Then, you can run retargeting campaigns with custom audiences to eventually sell to everyone who’s watching, commenting, and hitting the Like button.

Target a More Defined Audience

With all of the research you’ve performed, you also now know a lot more about the demographics of your fans.

Things like age, gender, and location are much more concrete.

In the beginning, you probably had a rough idea of what your ideal user was like. Now, you know for sure.

I’d recommend searching for market reports based on your target demographics. These will give you further ideas on how to serve them better.

Even infographics like this one from Goldman Sachs on millennials can contain rich nuggets of knowledge about your audience.

Goldman Sachs infographic example how to do a social media audit

Going off of this example, we might experiment by offering free shipping, discounts, or other convenience as the studies suggest.

Once you’ve compiled all of the previous data on your users, it’s simple to find out what works for them.

Reports and similar publications will detail trends and opportunities to take advantage of.

New sales channels and promising promotional strategies are some things to expect.

Overall, you know what your ideal user responds to the best, so you can tailor more content toward that.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

You now also know which platforms are delivering the biggest results.

You can use this information to implement what we call the “80/20 rule.”

It involves doubling down on the social networks that work the best for you.

Perhaps Instagram and Facebook drive the most traffic. If that’s the case, then focus your attention on those platforms.

Putting more energy into just a couple of networks may create more results than diversifying.

This rule also applies to content and advertisements. The data is telling you what works the best, so consider shifting your focus to just a few key areas.

At the same time, you can take this opportunity to test out different platforms. At the end of the day, you’ll never know until you try.

Maybe another social network would perform incredibly well, but you just haven’t tested it.

You can test a couple on a smaller scale and look at the results before you invest too much time into it.

You should also now be setting goals for your social accounts, including:

  • Follower count
  • Engagement numbers such as likes or comments
  • Traffic that you drive to your website

When you perform another audit, you should be able to do it faster. You’ll be much more familiar with the process, which will help you streamline the process.

When you perform your next audit, you can track changes by comparing your numbers to your previous audits.

Over time, you will have a vivid picture of how your social accounts are developing.

Calculate Social Media Ad Budget And ROI

Do you include ads in your social media marketing strategy?

If so, you’ll want to make them a component of your audit.

Ad platforms on Facebook and Pinterest, for example, will record the performance, costs, and other metrics for the ads you run.

Analyze which ad types and creatives are bringing you the best results. You could invest more of your budget into these while dialing back others.

This way, you can avoid spending money on advertisements that don’t deliver the most value.

Even small experiments with paid campaigns can help you better calibrate your organic efforts.

I integrate SEO and PPC for this very same reason.

I run a quick PPC campaign to find the keywords that convert best within an industry. Then, I’ll start building out content and SEO campaigns around this new data.

how to use data from a social media audit

The same applies to social. Run paid campaigns to quickly identify top content, audiences, and so on. Then, tailor your organic efforts around what already works.

Social Media Audit: Frequently Asked Questions

Why are social media audits important?

To understand what is working or what is not in your social media strategy.

How often should I do a social media audit?

Any time you are considering changing your strategy or at least once a year.

Do I need tools to do a social media audit?

No. While they can be helpful, the internal tools on social media can be used in your audit.

What do I do with a social media audit?

Social media audits help you find strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in your social media strategy. Use it to target a more defined audience, improve your social media strategy, and work harder not smarter.

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Social Media Audit Conclusion

A social media audit doesn’t have to be long or tedious.

If you follow what I’ve outlined in this article, you can complete yours in as little 30 minutes.

Every social media platform offers analytics and insights that you need to improve your social media marketing strategy and speak to your audience in their language.

Preparation and organization are the keys to a successful audit. That’s why a simple spreadsheet is so handy.

You’ll want to keep a record of how these numbers increase or decrease over time. That way, you can draw conclusions about what’s working and what’s not.

Set a schedule to perform your audits, too. You could do them on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

Don’t be afraid to experiment by trying out new social media networks. You can add these to your next audit.

Set goals based on the collected data, and you’ll be consistently growing your social accounts over time.

What do you think is the most important part of a social media audit?


Source: New feed 2