How to Add Your Podcast to Facebook

Facebook is moving forward into the world of podcasting. With the new Facebook podcast feature, creators can link their iTunes RSS feed with Facebook so episodes are automatically aggregated on your Facebook news feed. Does this have some perks? You bet it does.

In this quick guide, I want to show you the simple steps necessary to get your podcast onto Facebook while also explaining how you can take advantage of this big change by the social media giant.

Why Should You Add Your Podcast to Your Facebook Page?

There are many reasons why having your podcast on Facebook is a great idea. First of all, it’s a new opportunity to reach your audience without having to do anything at all. Once it’s set up, you can let it run and your Facebook followers that might not have iTunes will be able to enjoy your podcast as well. 

Here are some of the other reasons to create a Facebook podcast page:

Reach a Wider Audience

You can never be in too many places, as long as you can manage it while you’re there. The more people you can reach, the more money you’ll make. While this is generally true, the new Facebook podcast features provide more than just a wider audience. 

Having your podcast on Facebook allows you to take it beyond an audio experience. You can engage with your audience, talk with them, ask them questions, and piggyback off the success of your podcast to create new content in new places. Facebook is simply one more place you can go to reach your target audience. 

Try Out New Features

Facebook is also rolling out a new suite of audio creation tools for its podcast feature. They’ve invested in technology like text-to-speech, voice morphing, and a backend audio creation tool to make it more enjoyable for creators. You can do all of this directly from the Facebook app without the need for a third-party provider.

The platform also offers a sound collection feature that allows you to optimize and make changes to the audio so you can mix different tracks together, create voice effects, and add filters. I think the goal of Facebook might be to eventually have creators doing everything from front to back on Facebook. They see where the niche is going, and that there is a growing demand for it.

Twenty-eight percent of listeners prefer podcasts over any other type of audio content, and around 18 percent say they listen to podcasts more now than they did seven years ago. 

add your podcast to facebook - facebook podcast data

The chart above shows the percentage of people who have ever listened to a podcast year after year. It continues to grow and as the younger generation grows up, they’ll be more in tune with this type of technology and expect Facebook podcasts to be readily available everywhere they go. They’re not listening to radio and TV as much as the previous generations.

To sweeten the deal even more, Facebook added a “soundbites” feature which allows you to create short audio clips featuring your favorite parts of all your podcasts. You can cut out funny quotes, inspirational moments, or important pieces of history that you want to cherish and compile into a piece of content.

Live Audio Rooms

As I mentioned, one of the main reasons Facebook podcasts could be a powerful feature is the engagement factor. That’s the one area where podcasting lacks; you don’t usually engage with people unless it’s on another platform, using a different medium. When your podcast is on Facebook, you have a variety of ways to engage with your audience. One way is through the creation of Live Rooms in groups.

For example, let’s say you have a football podcast discussing the upcoming season. You can create a group to engage alongside your podcast. After the podcast, you can jump into the group, answer questions, talk, and engage with the community about your thoughts and comments.

Monetization Opportunities

Like everything else on Facebook, it’s a vessel for advertisers and an income stream for creators. There are multiple ways for creators to make money from their podcast, including donations, entry fees, audio creator funds, and subscriptions.

There is the potential to turn this into something similar to Patreon, which requires subscribers to pay a monthly fee to maintain access to a private community. Facebook podcasts appear to be much more than a feature, but rather an attempt to create a whole new experience on the platform for audio lovers. 

Steps to Add Your Podcast to Facebook

Now let’s talk about some of the actionable steps you can take to get your podcast on Facebook. If you already have a successful podcast, you might not need to take all of these steps, but for those of you without a big presence on Facebook, here’s what you’ll want to do. 

  1. Set Up Your Facebook Business Page

    The first thing you’ll do is set up a Facebook Business Page. It’s free and simple to do. You’ll log into Facebook, click the “create a page” button and go through the following steps: 

    1. Enter your desired page name
    2. Pick a category based on what type of content you create
    3. Fill out a description
    4. Click create pageadd your podcast to facebook - business page creation

  2. Complete Your Facebook Profile 

    Once you’ve filled out all the necessary information, you’ll want to do things like upload a banner photo, profile picture, and fill out the small details about what people can expect to learn or hear in your podcast. Make sure to optimize your business page so people can find you. 

    Remember that people can find you by searching on Facebook, so the basic principles of social media keyword research apply here. add your podcast to facebook podcast - your profile

  3. Link Your Podcast to Facebook 

    You’ll need to use an RSS feed to add your podcast to Facebook. Once you’ve recorded episodes, use a podcast hosting service like BuzzSprout, PodBean, or others to host your podcast. They will give you an RSS feed to share across podcast directories, including Facebook.

    This allows other platforms to play the podcast such as Spotify or Facebook. It also allows you to share the podcast to other places such as a website or other social media accounts. The best part about this is that you only have to do it once. When you have everything set up, your new podcast episodes will automatically post to Facebook each time you upload a new one on iTunes. Follow these directions to link your podcast to Facebook.
    add your podcast to facebook podcast example

Adding Your Podcast to Facebook Frequently Asked Questions

Which podcast channels can connect to Facebook? 

Currently only iTunes can connect with Facebook, but like I mentioned above, that’s okay as long as you’re using RSS feed because people on any platform will still be able to listen to your podcast. You’ll just have to use iTunes to connect it to Facebook. 

How do I know if I’m getting more views because my podcast is on Facebook? 

Facebook offers a complete suite of analytics with new features to help you identify how well your podcast is performing. You also have a variety of options to take your followers off the podcast and entertain them elsewhere, like in Facebook groups and messenger groups as well. 

Do you have to pay to put your podcast on Facebook? 

Not only is it free to put your podcast on Facebook, but they also provide a creator fund and new monetization options that make it profitable to add your podcast to Facebook. You’ll be able to collect a share of ad revenue while generating new income streams and providing content to your audience in a new and exciting location. 

Does having your podcast linked to your Facebook page make it easier to promote it on the platform as well? 

Only time will tell because this feature is still in the infancy stages. Long term, I think it will. Promoting yourself on social media is all about being consistent and creating content that provides value in some way to the audience, so even now it’s a great way to promote your podcast. 

Can you use Facebook Ads to promote your podcast? 

Facebook ads for podcasts aren’t something Facebook is discussing at this time, but I imagine they will provide a way for you to create an individualized ad that specifically targets podcast listeners in your niche. You can, however, use ads to promote your podcast’s Facebook page./ This is a really new feature that hasn’t even reached most smaller creators at this point. We’ll have to wait and see! 

Facebook Podcast Conclusion

Creating a Facebook podcast is much simpler than you thought, right? It’s clear that Facebook is striving to become the only place you need to go for content, networking, business, and more. If you need help figuring out how you can make the most of your podcasting efforts, we can help

If you’re already a seasoned veteran in the realm of audio entertainment, perhaps migrating to Facebook might help you reach even more listeners? Podcasting continues to gain in popularity, especially as the younger generations age. It’s time to get on board or get left behind. 

Do you think Facebook podcasts are a powerful income stream moving forward?


Source: New feed 2

The 10 Elements of a Successful Social Media Profile

The 10 Elements of a Successful Social Media Profile

Having good social media profiles can get you more exposure online, help you connect with your fans or customers, and improve your online reputation.

Unless you have a major site associated with your name (like NeilPatel.com), your social media profiles are usually the first results Google shows when someone searches for you.

Start thinking of each social media profile you create as a landing page for your personal brand.

Your social media profiles are possibly the first encounter that someone is going to have with your brand, and you want that first impression to make the visitor interested in knowing more about you.

Here are 10 elements of successful social media profiles.

Element #1: Your Social Media Profile Display Name

Okay, this seems fairly basic. The name that displays on your social media profile should just be your own name, right?

Usually, that’s correct. However, sometimes that doesn’t make the most sense.

On platforms like Twitter, where you don’t have to use a real name, a pseudonym might make more sense.

Element #2: Your Social Media Username and URL

On most social networks, your username is included in your URL, and it’s often different from your display name. Usually, you can’t change your username, so choose it carefully.

If possible, it’s usually best to just go with your own name. Sometimes, if you’re the face of your company, the company name might work better.

On Twitter, Brian Dean isn’t @briandean but @Backlinko, since that’s the name of his company.

Backlinko Twitter Social Media  Profile Example

Finally, while it isn’t always possible, try to keep your username the same across platforms.

It can be confusing when this isn’t the case, like Instagram being @yourname and Twitter being @yourcompany or @yourmiddlename.

Element #3: Your Social Media Profile Picture

Should you go with a logo or a personal picture?

Of course, if it’s for a personal account, you should almost always go with a headshot.

What about for a company? It’s a tough call, but it really depends on your goals. If you run a smaller operation or are the face of your company, include a headshot of you.

That’s what Brian does on Twitter, even with his company usernames. This also applies to people that are brands themselves, like musicians, artists, or politicians.

If you have a more recognizable brand or don’t want your company to be associated with you specifically, go with the logo.

Microsoft Instagram Social Media Profile Example

It’s also a good idea to stick with the same (or at least a similar) photo across different social networks. That way you’re easier to recognize on different platforms.

Element #4: Your Social Media Profile Link

This varies from one social media network to the next, but be sure to seek out any opportunity to get your link on the main page of your social profile.

For example, you can add a link on the “front page” of your profiles on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Make sure that your link is front and center so that people can find it quickly and click through to your website.

Another good idea for your links is to create a social network-specific landing page so you can track which profiles are bringing your site the most traffic.

You can use these pages to offer a special discount for people who have found you on Twitter or share information that is specific to a network, like recent blog posts you have written about Facebook.

Element #5: Your Social Media Profile Bio

Your main social profile bio should usually include a sentence or two about yourself or your business. Think of it as a perfect place to put your elevator pitch and include keywords.

In a few words, what would you say about your business? It’s also a good idea to use your bio to its fullest potential. Some sites, like Twitter, only let you write a short description.

If you’re on a platform like LinkedIn, your “about” section can have up to 2,000 characters. This is a huge opportunity to explain what you’re all about and make a great first impression.

To make this succeed, you’ll want to add more than just a simple description of what you’ve done and your current projects. Instead, create a story with a basic call to action.

For example, you can tell how you started with the industry you’re working in. What got you interested in it, and what makes you stick around and keep learning?

Larry Kim LinkedIn Social Media Profile Example

Finally, you can finish your bio with a simple call to action. This can be a link to a free report, an offer for someone to call you, or even a mission statement asking “will you join me?”

Element #6: Your Social Media Profile Interests

Some profiles allow you to have additional extended information about yourself in the form of favorite books, television shows, movies, and so on.

A lot of people skip over this, especially when it comes to business profiles, but that is a big mistake.

Look at these fields as an additional place to get some great value and connections

I doubt there is a niche out there that doesn’t have at least one or two published books.

Find books, documentaries, and profiles of influential people in your industry and add those in these additional fields (assuming you actually enjoy them, of course!)

This adds credibility and a new level of connection you can build with people who are learning about you for the first time.

Element #7: Your Social Media Profile Background or Cover Image

Different platforms have different requirements, but most social networks today have some way to add a larger image behind your main profile page.

Some users, especially on Twitter and LinkedIn, choose to use the default background image, but this is a mistake.

A customized background will allow you to share additional information and give personality to you or your brand.

Don’t make it distracting or more important than your profile picture, but a great cover image can go a long way to personalizing your social page.

Product Hunt Facebook Social Media Profile Example

On some platforms, like Facebook, this can even be a video. If you have the option (and decent video), this can be even an even more engaging way to connect with others.

Element #8: Your Social Media Profile Privacy Settings

After you have all of your profile filled out and pictures uploaded, the next thing that you will need to take a look at is your privacy settings.

These vary from network to network, but you will want to make sure that the information you would like to be public is viewable.

Chances are, if this is a business-related profile, you’ll want almost everything to be public. Of course, if your profile is more personal nature, you may want to hide some things.

Element #9: Your Social Media Activity

Once your profile setup is complete, your on-going mission will be to maintain a healthy level of activity on your main social networks.

It’s not enough to leave a profile blank. You need to contribute to the platform and build connections. After all, that’s what they’re there for in the first place.

No matter what social network you’re on, the basic guidelines still apply. You’ll want to connect with friends and followers by asking questions and responding to comments.

Provide value by posting interesting ideas, or at least sharing interesting and relevant things you find.

If you’re in any groups, become an active participant. Be helpful, connect with others in the group, and share things the group will find interesting.

Element #10: Your Social Media Promotion

Finally, there is nothing like a little healthy promotion of your social network profiles to help more people find and connect with you.

Be sure to add your social networking profile links to your website, email signature, and business card.

Also, don’t forget to interlink your profiles to each other. Many networks have places to include links to other networks, and you can and should use them whenever possible.

Stay connected, become an active member on the social network of your choice, and you’ll start acquiring a following.

Social Media Profile FAQs

What should my profile picture be?

This depends on what you do. If you have a personal profile or your brand centers around who you are, use a headshot. If you have a business where you aren’t the face, your logo will work well.

What should I do if my preferred username is taken on another platform?

Using the same name is ideal but not always possible. If your username is taken on another platform, then use something very similar.

What should I put in my social media bio?

Your social media bio should have everything people need to know about your brand. Let them know what makes your brand stand out, what you do, and a call to action whenever possible.

How can I do to personalize my social media profiles?

You can brand your social media profile by using a custom cover image with your brand colors and logo. You can also put important information in your cover image. On some platforms, you can also add your interests. This is a great way to add a personal touch.

What can I do to promote my social media profiles?

You can cross-promote your social media profile with each other, by adding all of your links to each profile. You can also all links to your website, and email campaigns.

Social Media Profiles Conclusion

If you’re getting started with social media marketing, the first step is to set up your accounts and profiles correctly.

If you’ve already been in the game for a while, it’s probably time to take a look at the profiles you set up.

Are there ways to improve what you already have online? Is the profile picture you uploaded last year still relevant? Does your bio or link need updating?

Since it’ll be the first impression many people see, it’s worth spending some time to improve your social media presence and make it compelling and interesting.

What strategies have you used to improve your social media profile?


Source: New feed 2

30 Great Franchise Business Ideas

30 Great Franchise Business Ideas

If you’re a new entrepreneur looking for profitable business ideas with minimal risks, a franchise business can be a great place to start.

A franchise business carries the success, credibility, and popular associations of established brands, reducing the need for extensive marketing and brand building for you as a franchise owner. This can save you much time and money as you focus on making your business more profitable.

A franchise business model can also help you scale rapidly because you inherit the operation processes and framework from the licensing company.

Think about it this way: What would be easier?

Starting a company from scratch, working on branding, operations, funding, and marketing—or buying a license for a pre-established company?

In most cases, it’s the latter. That’s why entrepreneurs are so eager to buy into franchise businesses.

What Is a Franchise Business?

A franchise business is a licensing model of business where a successful company allows you to run a version of its business using its logo, processes, and in-house resources.

Think of the many fast-food stores you see worldwide.

These “franchise” businesses exist in multiple locations, selling the same products under the same branding, which helps build loyal customers and instant brand recognition. Some examples of worldwide franchises include McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza, and Subway.

Option #1: Start a “Home Services” Franchise Business

Home service franchises offer services related to moving and housing. These work best for regional companies as most people prefer using local home repair and renovation services to save time and money.

Painting Franchise Business

As more and more houses are built every year, the demand for painters keeps growing. You can cash in on this growth by launching a painting franchise business.

Companies like CertaPro Painters let you start your own business under their name, so you can begin offering painting services using the CertaPro branding.

Great Franchise Business Ideas - Painting Franchise Business

Repair Services

No matter where you live, there is always a need for repairing services.

If you’re looking for a steady business with minimal market shocks, start a repair service franchise. This model is fairly stable because houses need recurring repairs—meaning you have the opportunity to develop long-term customers.

Some popular options include Paul Davis Restoration, Mr. Handyman, and 911 Restoration.

Moving Services

Another popular home service franchise business opportunity lies in the moving industry. Beyond moving series, these franchises offer temporary storage and junk removal services. You can find franchise business opportunities with companies like UNITS Moving & Portable Storage.

Although, it’s important to keep in mind that managing a moving business can be incredibly tricky because there’s a greater degree of responsibility involved.

House Cleaning Services

As the average citizen moves towards continuously busier lifestyles, the need for house cleaning services has grown significantly over the past few years. You can benefit from this booming trend by launching a housecleaning franchise business with companies like Chem-Dry and Merry Maids.

Option #2: Start a “Retail Franchise” Business

When people think about shopping, retail is one of the first industries that come to mind.

Retail franchise businesses come in many shapes and sizes. This way you can focus on an industry that truly matches your interests and skillset.

Fitness Franchise

The fitness industry, and especially sportswear, is thriving.

It’s one of the few sectors that saw huge growth throughout the pandemic, with people paying more attention to their health than ever before. From training shoes to yoga accessories, people have an ongoing need for fitness products.

Starting a fitness franchise business with companies like Anytime Fitness and Planet Fitness can help you target these customers and scale your business.

Real Estate Franchise

Real estate is a tricky but lucrative market for aspiring entrepreneurs. It has a steep learning curve but can help you build a profitable business with a generous cash flow—if done right.

Companies like HomeVestors of America are a great place to start a real estate franchise business.

Car Wash Franchise

Car wash franchises with strong branding can benefit from repeat-purchase loyalty, helping you attract new customers and build long-term relationships—keeping your business profitable.

Some great car wash franchise options include Prime Car Wash, Tommy’s Express, and Mr. Clean.

Sports Franchise

If you have a passion for sports, consider investing in a sporting business. Companies like Soccer Shots offer great franchise opportunities with a mission-driven business model.

You can also focus on companies selling sporting goods, offering training spaces, sports club memberships, and other sport-adjacent activities.

Furniture Franchise

Similar to the growing popularity of housing services, furniture stores are seeing a surge in demand. From selling individual furniture pieces to offering rental packages, franchises in the furniture industry offer a wide range of scaling opportunities.

You can work with franchises like Bloomin’ Minds and Slumberland Furniture.

Option #3: Start a “Food Franchise” Business

People love food, especially fast food. So if you’re looking for a hot-selling, customer-favorite franchise business, start a food franchise. These are super popular, tend to do well economically, and carry great brand recognition across a wide geographic region.

Pizza Franchise Business

Popular food items like pizza have the potential to sell well, offering you a chance to build a profitable franchise business. This is one of those categories where there’s tight competition, but great growth potential.

You have many options to choose from including Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, and Papa John’s.

Coffee Franchise Business

Coffee is another hot-selling item, literally.

If you’re a fan of the beverage and have a desire to manage a consistent business, starting a coffee franchise can be a great option for you. Consider working with companies like Dunkin’, Aroma Joe’s Coffee, and Scooter’s Coffee.

Great Franchise Business Ideas - Coffee Franchise Business

Ice Cream Franchise Business

If you’re looking to target the frozen foods market, consider starting an ice cream franchise business. Brands like Baskin-Robbins have a huge customer base that you can leverage with a franchise business model.

You can also consider companies like Kona Ice which are smaller than the top industry names but offer great variety and opportunities for reaching new customers.

Burger Franchise

When we talk about franchise businesses, we often picture McDonald’s, which is still popular decades after its launch. If you’re looking for that kind of growth, consistency, and brand power, choose a burger franchise.

You can also choose other companies like Wendy’s, Burger King or Carl’s Jr.

Noodle Franchise

Starting a noodle franchise business can offer a great breakfast and snacking option for local residents. You, as a business owner, can build relationships, expand locations, and still remain consistent in your offerings.

You can work with companies like Nothing But Noodles and Noodles & Company to launch noodle franchise businesses.

Option #4: Start a “Professional Services” Franchise Business

If none of the options so far appeal to you and you want to take a more personalized approach, consider launching a professional services franchise business. These offer the greatest potential for customization, adaption, and variation compared to other franchise business models.

With a professional service franchise business, you have a multitude of customer retention opportunities that can be quite profitable in the long run.

Shipping and Mailing Franchise

Nearly every company and residential community needs a shipping and mailing service today. This rising demand offers promising potential for franchise owners.

Established brands like The UPS Store can help you find your customers faster and retain them for decades to come.

Such franchise business models also offer a huge expansion potential as shipping and mailing companies continue to expand the geographical areas they serve.

Printing Franchise

Just like shipping and mailing companies are a cornerstone of work-life across several industries, printing businesses are also a key component of modern living.

The best part of starting a printing franchise business is that it’s easier to set up and manage. It’s relatively low-maintenance, carries low risk, and has much potential to grow, making it an ideal option for new entrepreneurs.

Look for companies like Minuteman Press for launching a successful printing franchise.

Staffing Franchise

Another popular corporate franchise option is a staffing franchise business. Companies like Spherion and Express Employment Professionals help other companies fill their staff positions by connecting them to people looking for jobs.

These franchise business models can help you build positive relationships with major companies in your industry while making a decent profit.

Training Franchise

Along with staffing agencies, companies also need training providers to help upskill their staff. Whether it’s quarterly seminars or yearly upskilling boot camps, working with companies like Sandler Training and Dale Carnegie can help you establish an impactful thought leadership and corporate training franchise business model.

Great Franchise Business Ideas - Training Franchise

Design Franchise

From rebranding to interior decor, design teams are a key player in most major industries.

If you’re passionate about art, decoration and understand the fundamentals of marketing design, you can work with companies like Closets by Design and Decorating Den Interiors to launch a design franchise business.

Frequently Asked Questions About Starting Franchise Businesses

Here are some common questions new entrepreneurs ask when they’re planning to launch a franchise business.

Do I own the rights to a franchise business name?

When you buy a franchise business, you’re only buying the license to use the company’s resources and not the rights to own or manage the company itself. This means, you can own and control the franchise but the original company still remains an independent entity.

Do I have to pay a royalty when I sell through the franchise?

The payment structure for each franchise business depends on the agreement you have with the owning company. For instance, a company may choose to accept royalties for every purchase in addition to a licensing fee. Companies can also work with a fixed-fee payment structure for each franchise location.

What is the difference between a franchise fee and a royalty fee?

While both the franchise fee and royalty fee are necessary to own a franchise, the two are not the same. The franchise fee is the cost of buying a license to use the owning company’s branding and resources. A royalty fee, on the other hand, is a revenue-based fee you pay based on your sales and profits.

An easy way to remember this is to keep in mind that franchise fees are one-time payments for buying the trading license, while royalties are ongoing payments based on your revenue.

Can I sell a franchise?

If you’re not happy with your franchise business, you always have the option to sell it. Franchise exits are pretty common, especially in larger cities where multiple businesses are vying for consumer attention.

However, it’s important to check your agreement before making any selling decisions. Your owning company may not allow you the rights to sell their franchise outside of their organization.

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Franchise Businesses Conclusion

Starting a franchise business has many benefits to offer entrepreneurs at all levels. New business owners may find it easier to run a pre-established business than starting a new brand from scratch.

Mid-level entrepreneurs can also use a franchise to pivot their career, especially if it’s an industry change.

Finally, senior entrepreneurs can hugely benefit from the brand recognition the owning company has built.

Most franchise brands have thousands of loyal customers who become a source of recurring revenue for the business. If you’re able to leverage this reach for further growth, it can be easier to scale your franchise business rapidly.

Which franchise business idea best suits your needs? Which idea would you like to try first?


Source: New feed 2

How to Create Ultimate Guides to Drive Leads, Traffic, and Conversions

how to create ultimate guides to drive leads

Ultimate guides are everywhere. You’ve probably read your fair share, and maybe you’ve even written a couple.

They can be a great way to get traffic, build links, and increase your authority, but they’re far from easy to create. The issue most people run into is the sheer amount of content out there nowadays. How do you create an ultimate guide if there are already tons of posts on your chosen subject?

In this post, we’ll look at the steps to creating the ultimate guide on just about anything.

What Is an Ultimate Guide?

What turns a lengthy blog post into an ultimate guide? Well, there are a few things that almost every in-depth guide has in common:

  • It goes very deep into a pretty broad topic.
  • It contains several chapters that look at the topic from a variety of angles.
  • An industry expert or researcher writes it.

Apart from that, what you put in your ultimate guide and how you design it is up to you.

ultimate guide advanced SEO

Why You Should Create an Ultimate Guide

If you didn’t know how powerful ultimate guides are already, here’s why you should start creating them right now.

Rank for Many Keywords

The length, depth, and authority that go into ultimate guides make them a fantastic weapon in your SEO arsenal. The fact that they are so detailed means they should rank for a huge number of keywords. Including internal links to your other blog posts boosts their rankings, too.

Get Backlinks

A big, in-depth resource like an ultimate guide can be a fantastic source of links. Not only can you use it to go out there and request a backlink as part of your link-building process, but other sites naturally start linking to an authoritative resource, too. So much so that your ultimate guide can continue to attract links for years to come.

Build Your Authority

There are few pieces of marketing collateral better at positioning your brand as an authority in your industry than an ultimate guide. This is your opportunity to showcase how much you know about your subject to the world and go above and beyond what has previously been written about your topic.

How to Pick Topics for Your Ultimate Guide

Picking a topic can be a huge stumbling block for many aspiring writers. Don’t get bogged down overthinking it, though. Here’s how you can find the perfect topic quickly.

Choose a Topic You Know About

This first point is obvious, but it needs to be said. You need to know your topic inside and out if you want to write an excellent guide. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a freelance writer to help you out, but you should give them a thorough brief and create the outline of the guide yourself.

Choose a Topic With High Search Traffic

Not every guide needs to be written with the express purpose of ranking in Google, but it can seriously help drive traffic and generate customers. That’s why I recommend you enter your topic ideas into a tool like Ubersuggest to see the keyword volumes of the main topic and the volumes of every other related keyword.

Don’t just pick the topic that has the main keyword with the highest search volume, however. You may find another topic has so many more related keywords that it could actually generate more traffic overall.

Choose a Topic That’s Trending

Ultimate guides are successful when they’re written about trending topics. When people are excited about a topic, they want to consume all the information they can find about it. Your guide should be a part of that, too.

That’s not the only reason you want to focus on what’s trending, though. The newer your post is, the better it might do in search results if someone is searching by posts made within the last week, month, and so on.

How to Create an Ultimate Guide

With your topic picked, it’s time to get to work creating your guide. Here’s how I recommend you go about it.

1. Consume as Much Content as You Can

Even if you’re an expert in your field, you’ll still want to read blog posts on your topic before you start writing. Doing so will help you understand the level of content currently out there, the common threads writers pull, and the things you need to mention.

Pay attention to the results that Google serves up, too. You’ll find that specific formats are more popular than others, and you’ll want to try to mirror these when it comes to writing your content.

2. Identify What’s Missing

While you’re reading other people’s content, make a note of everything that’s missing from the posts. If you’re writing a how-to post, be sure to go through the steps yourself after reading posts by others.

Then, jot down things you notice during the process that others might have missed or not explained thoroughly. It also might help to sit down with someone who is unfamiliar with your topic and see what questions they come up with.

3. Do Research

You can write an ultimate guide off the back of your expertise alone—but you can make it stand head and shoulders above everyone else’s content if you conduct your research.

For some, this is a case of canvassing their colleagues and contacts for their opinion on a certain topic. Others might want to commit to more detailed research and partner with a market research company that’ll carry out a study on their behalf.

The more effort you put into the research, the more valuable and link-worthy your ultimate guide will become.

4. Put It All Together

To create your ultimate guide, simply combine the basics plus the additional details you found were missing from other posts and your research. This way, people coming across your guide as the first piece of content they have read about a topic will get all of the basic information, and people who have read many other guides will be wowed by all of the missing pieces that you included.

5. Promote, Promote, Promote

An ultimate guide is no good if no one reads it. Considering the amount of time and energy you have spent on your ultimate guide, you owe it to yourself and your readers to promote it well. Do so by:

  • Sharing it on all of your social networks: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are the best. Promote it on your personal and business accounts, if possible.
  • Sharing it in groups on social networks: LinkedIn, for example, has some great groups on particular topics. Facebook has some as well, although many are full of spammers who are just there for their promotions. This will expand your guide’s exposure from just your network to all of the members of the groups you select.
  • Emailing your list: If you have a mailing list, let them know about your latest and greatest piece of content.
  • Repurposing your content: If you can turn your ultimate guide into an infographic, video, slide presentation, or PDF document, you can spread it on even more networks.

4 Tips to Create an Awesome Ultimate Guide

If you want to take your ultimate guide to the next level, bear in mind these four tips when writing.

Write Clearly and Format Appropriately

You don’t have to be Hemingway to write a great ultimate guide, but take a lesson from Ernest regarding clarity. Short, clear, punchy sentences win out here, especially when writing thousands of words on your topic. Long, convoluted paragraphs may help you get your message across, but they’ll only cause the reader’s mind to wander.

Formatting will also help in this regard. Clearly labeled titles and subheadings will make your guide much more digestible. Short paragraphs will, too. Don’t forget that most of your audience will be reading your advice on a screen, so consider how they might skim it for the information they’re looking for.

Include Images and Screenshots

One thing I sometimes find missing from other ultimate guides is good screenshots. Take yours using your account of the topic as opposed to generic stock photos. This will make it easier for others to follow along and visualize the process.

Use Real-Life Examples

Once you have the basics and missing pieces down for your ultimate guide, look for some good examples of your tips in action. If you’re talking about creating great timeline cover photos, then include some examples from pages in different industries.

If you’re talking about using Pinterest to drive traffic, then link to top Pinterest users who are doing things right. Think about your target audience and find examples that they can easily relate to so they feel they must follow your advice to be successful.

Don’t Break Up Your Hard Work

There is a lot of advice out there suggesting you should take long posts and break them up into a series, so you can get people to come back to your website over and over again. However, I find that if someone hits a piece of content that says 101 Tips on ___, and the post only includes steps 1–20 with the promise of more to come, they move on to find everything they’re looking for elsewhere.

People want to consume information now, not wait for it. When they read the words ultimate guide, they’re going to expect to get everything in one chunk, so unless you are planning to write 5,000+ words on a topic, keep it in one piece.

Examples of Great Ultimate Guides

There are a lot of great ultimate guides out there, but here are some of my all-time favorites.

The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing

Examples of Great Content Guides - Neil Patel

If you’re looking to grow your startup, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a huge amount of value out of my ultimate guide on the topic.

How to Design a Logo: The Ultimate Guide

Examples of Great Content Guides - How to Design a Logo

With 12 chapters and virtually every angle covered, there’s no reason to read another guide before creating your logo.

The Ultimate Guide to Cart Abandonment

Examples of Great Content Guides - Cart Abandonment

If you’ve ever wondered why shoppers are leaving your website at checkout, this mammoth guide by VWO will answer all your questions.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing & Illustrating Your First Children’s Book

Examples of Great Content Guides - Guide to Writing Your First Children's Book

Ultimate guides don’t have to be about marketing, as this guide by Eevi Jones proves.

How to Pick a Career

Examples of Great Content Guides - How to Pick a Career

While Tim Urban hasn’t called this an ultimate guide, you’re unlikely to find a more thoughtful or detailed blog post on picking a career anywhere online.

Further Resources on Ultimate Guides

This blog post isn’t exhaustive by any means. If you want to dive deep into creating high-quality long-form content, then check out these five resources:

  1. How to Create an Ebook From Start to Finish by HubSpot
  2. The Ultimate Guide Template by Copyhackers
  3. Your Ultimate Guide on How to Write an Ultimate Guide (Infographic) by Express Writers
  4. The Ultimate Guide to Creating a True ‘Ultimate Guide’ by Search Engine Journal
  5. The Ultimate Guide To Content Promotion by Marketing Insider Group

How to Create Specs for an Ultimate Guide

You don’t have to write your ultimate guide yourself. If you’re hiring a freelance writer to write your guide for you, here’s how you can create a spec they can follow with ease.

  1. Give an overview.

    A top-level overview can help a writer quickly get to grips with the topic and goals of the ultimate guide.

  2. Create a clear structure.

    Take the initiative and write an outline that includes all of the major points you want the writer to talk about. This makes sure all of the gaps you identified in other pieces of content get covered.

  3. Include keyword research.

    If improved rankings are one of your main goals, then highlight the keywords you’re aiming to rank for.

  4. Note or record your expertise.

    Where appropriate, make notes for the writer to help guide them. Alternatively, you can record yourself talking about the topic.

  5. Provide additional resources.

    Highlight a handful of top-quality resources your writer can turn to for inspiration.

  6. Set a deadline

    Expect an ultimate guide to take a fair bit longer to write than a standard blog post.

Ultimate Guide Frequently Asked Questions

How long should my ultimate guide be?

There isn’t a defined length for an ultimate guide, but most are at least 3,000 words in length.

How do I distribute my ultimate guide to my target audience?

You can use social media and email to get your ultimate guide in front of your target audience.

Should I create more than one ultimate guide for my website?

Absolutely. Ultimate guides offer a lot of value in terms of SEO and building your authority, so you should write as many as you can.

At what part of the funnel are ultimate guides most useful?

Ultimate guides can be used at any part of your funnel, but they’ll be most useful towards the top. They are great at attracting users into your funnel and converting them to email subscribers.

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How to Create Ultimate Guides Conclusion

Ultimate guides are an incredibly valuable marketing resource. I’ve used them to generate huge levels of traffic, build my reputation as an authority in the industry, and improve my site’s SEO.

Follow the advice I’ve given above, and you’ll be on your way to achieving your content goals while sharing valuable insights about your chosen topic.

Have you created an ultimate guide on your website or blog? What other tips would you add to making your ultimate guide a success?


Source: New feed 2

How to Utilize Automated Email Marketing

How to Utilize Automated Email Marketing

What are your goals with email marketing?

If you’re going to achieve those goals and see a return on investment, then chances are you’re not going to be able to do it without some level of automated email marketing.

What Is Automated Email Marketing?

Automated email marketing is a series of emails you automatically send to your prospects or customers. Using an autoresponder, you can schedule emails to send based on your audience’s interactions with your business. 

For example, when someone signs up for your newsletter, you can automatically send out an automated welcome email.

Don’t let the automated part fool you, though. 

To be effective with automated email, what you’re producing should be far from spam. Instead, it’s high-quality, personalized content that your audience has signed up for. 

This may all sound a little bit complicated, but the great thing about modern automated email marketing is that the software is simple to use and offers you some powerful capabilities. 

Why Should You Automate Your Emails?

The key here is scale. If you’ve got thousands of people in your sales pipeline, it’s impossible to write out individual emails for everyone that signs up. 

Instead, automated email marketing allows you to create email series that are perfectly tailored to your audience’s needs and send them out at a specific time. Rather than spending all your time writing and sending out individual emails, you can focus on creating the perfect copy that inspires your audience to take action

That’s great, but don’t you lose the personal aspect?

If you’re writing everyone individual emails, then switching to automated email marketing reduces your level of personalization. Each email won’t be unique, but it can still be personal. 

Email responders allow you to segment your audience based on their interests and behaviors. 

Say someone signs up for my email newsletter from a page titled “Link Building 101.” I can put them into a link-building segment so they receive handy tips on how to improve their backlink profile. Someone who signs up through a page titled “50 Content Ideas for Niche Websites” will go into a different segment and receive different emails. 

Segmentation means there are endless ways you can personalize your automated emails, so you’re getting both convenience and personalization.

This combination clearly works because email automation is the most popular form of marketing automation, with 64 percent of businesses using it. With email marketing offering an average ROI of $42 for every $1 spent, this gives you plenty of reasons to automate your emails. 

When to Use Automated Email Marketing

Automated email marketing can bring big results, but it’s not always the best option. Here are a few of the times when automated emails can help you make the right impression with your target audience. 

1. Abandoned Carts

Abandoned carts are highly frustrating. 

The person has gotten so close to making a purchase, yet you’ve lost them at the last moment. There are many reasons why people abandon carts, but a common one is that they’re not quite ready to buy yet.

Just because someone isn’t ready to buy today doesn’t mean they won’t be soon, and an automated email is a perfect way to keep them engaged. 

When someone abandons their cart, you can schedule an email to go out to them, prompting them to return and complete their purchase. 

The average cart abandonment rate is estimated to be 77.13 percent, so bringing people back to your checkout page through well-timed emails can be invaluable. 

2. Sending Automated Email Newsletters to Subscribers 

Once someone leaves your website, you may never see them again. 

If you’ve got their email address, you’ve got an opportunity to keep the connection alive and build a relationship (hopefully until they become a repeat customer). Just having someone’s email doesn’t achieve this, though, and instead, you’ve got to be able to offer something valuable.

In the case of a newsletter, you’re offering your amazing content to grow the relationship and keep bringing people back to your website.

3. Promotional Emails

One of the key things with email marketing is providing value to the customer. It’s no good spamming them with links to your product all the time because they’re simply going to treat it as spam. 

That being said, we’re here to market our businesses, and sometimes that means sending promotional emails. 

To get the maximum value from this, you want to make sure your promotions are part of a carefully planned email series, and it’s almost impossible to do this without automated emails. 

4. Welcome Emails

When someone signs up for your email communication, it’s a good idea to send out a welcome email. 

Of course, you can’t be on your computer all the time, monitoring the moment everyone signs up for emails, so this is something that is best to automate. 

It allows you to set expectations and explain the value proposition of receiving your emails. Once someone has a good idea of what they’re going to receive from your emails, they’re more likely to open them and interact with your content. 

5. Automatic Replies to Customer Complaints

When someone has a complaint, they want to be assured you’re taking it seriously. The longer they wait for a response, the more their frustration builds. 

You can’t be monitoring your inbox 24/7, so it’s just not possible to be able to respond to each complaint right away. What you can do is set up an automated email that explains your complaint process and ensures you’re working on fixing the issue. 

This gives people confidence that you’re taking their complaints seriously, and they can expect a response in due course.

When to Not Use Automated Emails

We talk about personalization a lot in marketing, and it’s something that’s very important when it comes to automated emails. 

You can personalize automated emails, but there’s a limit to what you can do. With automated email marketing, you’re reliant on segments to personalize your communications. While putting someone in a segment means they’re not just any person, it still doesn’t mean they’re an individual. 

In many cases, segmenting email subscribers works because it’s an effective way of offering them personalized content. However, there are times when you need to treat people as an individual, and automated emails don’t work in these cases. 

Take our previous example about replying to customer complaints. The immediate response might be an automated email, but the follow-ups should be personal. 

This is something you need to keep in mind when setting up your automated email marketing. In what situations does it pay to address people as part of a segment, and when do you need to address them as an individual?

The farther people progress through your customer journey, the more likely it is they will need personalized communication.

Best Automated Email Marketing Tools

How can you get started with automated emails? The key is finding the email marketing tools that best fit your needs. 

There’s a lot of competition in this space, which is great for the consumer because it means there are some powerful tools available to us. 

Here are some of the best automated email marketing tools.

1. Drip

Drip gives you all the tools you need to run successful automated email marketing campaigns. It’s all about streamlining the process, and that’s exactly why people turn to automated emails in the first place. 

This is a straightforward tool to use, but it’s also powerful. Attract more customers with high-converting forms and schedule creative emails with ease.

2. Sendinblue 

Sendinblue combines email marketing services with SMS messages to offer a complete marketing tool.

It allows you to easily segment your audience, meaning you can work on personalizing your emails to your audience. When you create your content, the drag-and-drop feature makes it quick and easy to produce high-performing emails.

3. Mailshake 

Mailshake offers excellent automated email tools, especially if you’re doing cold outreach. With lots of plugins, it allows you to build out your mailing list, clean it to make sure you’ve got live emails, and schedule the perfect email sequence. It’s also got great social integrations!

The A/B testing and scheduling features are extremely easy to use, which means you can keep testing your emails until you find the right formula.

4. Mailchimp

Mailchimp might be the biggest name in email marketing, and for good reason: It offers some great tools. 

This is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows you to send drip emails, segment your audience, A/B test, and much more. 

5. Emma

Emma is a great tool for large businesses with big marketing teams. Its tools allow for easy collaboration between team members and make the process of automating emails much more seamless.

With lots of handy integrations and great personalization options, it’s a professional email marketing tool that can bring in serious results. 

Examples of Great Automated Email Marketing Campaigns

There are plenty of automated email marketing tools out there, but what should you be looking to achieve with your campaigns? 

Here are some great examples of automated email campaigns.

Automated Welcome Email

The welcome email is the first step in what will hopefully be a long and prosperous relationship. It’s all about introducing your brand, setting expectations, and showing the value of what the person has signed up for. 

Asana does this well in its welcome email. 

Examples of Great Automated Email Marketing Campaigns - Welcome email from Asana
Examples of Great Automated Email Marketing Campaigns - Welcome email from Asana

It focuses on the idea of teamwork, neatly showing you how its features can make your day that bit easier. It finishes with actionable tips, encouraging users to take the first step and engage with their software.

Abandoned Cart Automated Email

Your goal is clear with an abandoned cart email: You want people to come back and complete their purchase. 

Marketing isn’t always that straightforward, though, and you often have to put the customer’s goals before yours. This means finding ways to help the customer make a decision, not just telling them to buy. 

The first step is typically sending a reminder that they have left items in their cart. Casper does this well in the following email.

Examples of Great Automated Email Marketing Campaigns - Abandoned Cart Email from Casper

It’s not pushy but has tons of character and playfully engages with the customer, highlighting the items left in the cart.

You’ve now reminded the customer that they’ve got an open cart, so it’s up to them whether they return and make a purchase. Some will, but there will still be some people who aren’t convinced. 

The next email is an opportunity to overcome people’s doubts by answering their questions and showing how your product solves their pain points, as this email from Dollar Shave Club does.

Examples of Great Automated Email Marketing Campaigns - Abandoned Cart Email from Dollar Shave Club

Sometimes an abandoned cart is just an abandoned cart, and there’s no way to get people back. However, there’s one last tool you have at your disposal: People love a good promotion. Try sending one to see if you can tempt them with a discount.

Newsletters

There are lots of ways you can use your newsletters to engage with your audience. How you approach it depends on your goals. 

If you look at my email communications, you’ll see my goal is pretty simple. I want to give people quick access to information that will help them achieve their goals, and I want to bring them back to my site. 

Examples of Great Automated Email Marketing Campaigns - Newsletter email from Neil Patel

To do this, I use an engaging subject line and keep things extremely simple. 

Your email campaigns will differ based on what you’re trying to achieve, but the key is understanding what your target audience wants. 

Automated Email for Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

How do you automate marketing emails?

You can automate marketing emails using email marketing software, which allows you to set up email sequences and auto-responses to streamline your email marketing campaigns.

What is the best tool for automated email marketing?

There are lots of different automated email tools. Some of the best include Drip, Sendinblue, Mailshake, Mailchimp, and Emma.

What are the types of email automation?

You can automate almost any type of email. Automated email marketing works especially well for abandoned cart emails, welcome emails, lead nurturing, and newsletters.

How often should you send automated emails to your leads?

The timing of your emails is an important factor. You want to keep them updated without being overly pushy. A good way to find the right balance is through A/B testing.

Automated Email Marketing Conclusion

It’s just not feasible to create individualized emails for each person on your mailing list. Automated email marketing gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to give your followers consistent updates while still offering a good level of personalization. 

This is important because email marketing is still a valuable digital marketing tool. It helps drive people to your website, nurture leads, and boost conversion rates, so it’s something every business should consider. 

Luckily, there are some great automated email tools out there, and with a bit of hard work, they should allow you to maximize your email marketing campaigns.

How have you used automated email marketing to help your business?


Source: New feed 2

How to Use Instagram Ads

How to Use Instagram Ads - featured image

Instagram is one of the best social networks to advertise on. It has grown to be just as big of an advertising platform as its parent company, Facebook. In fact, by 2023, the site is likely to exceed one billion users, according to Statista.

Your best bet for Instagram success is to share stunning visuals and high-quality photos.

Add in a branded or targeted hashtag and you’ll be connecting with your ideal customers in no time.

If you want to increase your reach even further, Instagram ads are the way to go.

If you’re not quite sure how to use Instagram ads or you’re worried about how much they cost, read on to find out how you can run effective Instagram ads on any budget.

Why Advertise on Instagram?

Instagram is growing, and it’s growing fast.

There are more than 200 million business accounts on Instagram, and that number doesn’t seem to be decreasing any time soon.

The platform’s incredible growth is all for a good reason. Marketers know it’s worth it: Instagram’s ad revenues could reach $18.16 billion by 2021.

Instagram is not only growing considerably, but it’s also bringing in some serious cash for businesses. It’s attracting tons of big brands because it’s well worth it to advertise there. Even if you’re not a multimillion-dollar brand, Instagram ads are still just as important for you to use (if not more important).

Here’s why any size business should consider Instagram as a way to promote their brand, services, or products:

  1. Anyone can advertise on the platform.
  2. You can target audiences with Facebook data since Facebook owns Instagram.
  3. Audience engagement is limitless. Businesses can interact with users in the comments section of their photos.
  4. Post ads look just like any other shared post on Instagram, which makes them feel less conspicuous.
  5. There are multiple ways to advertise on Instagram, including in Stories, videos, IGTV, and Shopping ads.

Whether you want to increase brand awareness, get more clicks to your website, generate sales, or boost downloads of your latest e-book, Instagram can help you reach a huge audience.

What Are Instagram’s Ad Formats?

Instagram offers a range of Instagram ads for you to utilize, giving you the creative freedom to make something spectacular and reach your goals. Here are a few options to explore and a little bit about how to leverage each one effectively.

1. Photo Ads

Photo ads show up organically in your Instagram feed as you scroll through. An Instagram photo ad looks like a post from any of the accounts you are already following but will include a little “Sponsored” notation in the corner to let people know they are looking at an ad. These ads include a call-to-action button at the bottom to push people to a specific URL or your Instagram account.

These are useful if you have a really evocative photo to share your message. Instagram recommends using this type when you have a specific product or message you want to get the word out about. Keeping it simple can help you stand out and grab attention as people are scrolling through.

You can use this format to promote your past Instagram posts, so look for the most popular ones and click “Promote” to get started.

2. Carousel Ads

Carousel Instagram ads take photo ads to the next level. With this style, you can create a series of up to 10 photos or videos in a single ad.

Just like the photo ads, they exist in the Instagram news feed, but each photo or video can connect to a different URL or location.

This allows you to showcase a collection or group of products.

If you’re not sure whether to choose between photo ads and carousel ads, think about what you are trying to promote. Resist the urge to think about carousel ads as a way to just stuff more photos into an ad. They should function together and make sense as a unit.

Photo ads are like a one-page ad in a magazine or newspaper, while carousel ads are like lookbooks or mini catalogs themselves. When you’re announcing a new product line or a seasonal collection, these are a great option.

3. Video Ads

Video Instagram ads are just as they sound. Like carousel and photo ads, they appear in the Instagram feed. You can post an ad as short as a second or as long as sixty minutes, or anywhere in between.

When you create video ads for Instagram, you’ll want to think about your goals. You may choose to provide lots of information right there in the video to entertain or educate or you may use this ad as a teaser to get people to click through to learn more about your brand.

Again, this is where you’ll want to think about which is best for you in the news feed—the photos, the videos, or the carousel. Videos allow you to share more dynamic content, but people will have to stop scrolling to view it all. You need to catch their attention quickly and early in the video.

4. Instagram Shopping

Instagram shopping ads are an interactive option for showcasing your products, either in the Instagram feed or in the explore section of Instagram. With Instagram shopping ads, you can add shopping links on your photos for viewers to click and learn more about the product and even purchase directly from the Instagram app.

You will need to set up an Instagram shop to use this ad option. If your brand uses the Instagram shop feature, this is a smart next step to get the word out to a new audience about your products.

You can use flat lays, real-world images, or other detailed photos of your products, and create tags to point people to where they can purchase them directly. This is great if you have unique products, maybe with a seasonal or local twist.

5. Creators

Social media influencers play a big role in the content marketing world these days. Branded creator ads are a component of this game. They can consist of photos or videos that one Instagram account creates organically, and another shares as an ad.

To make this happen, an Instagram creator account needs to provide permission to a business partner or a brand they are working with, to share that particular post.

These types of ads are built on an existing relationship between creators and brands. If you are working with an influencer already, these are a great way to showcase organic content they have created with your products or your services.

6. Reels

Instagram reel ads are ads in between reel videos. They follow the same format as an Instagram reel video, allowing the ad to feel like a natural part of the reel video feed. Instagram reel ads can be up to 30 seconds long and play in a loop, in a full vertical screen. You can think of them as the TikTok format of Instagram.

You may want to use this format of Instagram ads if you have eye-catching and intriguing short video content people are likely to engage with and share. Consider the features necessary for a viral video.

7. Stories

Over 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day, so why not pop in there with your own Instagram ads? Just like other Instagram ad types, stories ads are placed natively within the stories environment so your target audience sees the content right there, as they are scrolling through the stories of the accounts they follow.

To make the most of these types of ads, Instagram recommends using motion-focused content, with the message upfront, to fit well with the fast-paced nature of stories.

8. IGTV

IGTV is one of the newest models of Instagram ads available to creators. These ads play at the beginning of ads an Instagram user clicks on, much like video ads on YouTube or another video platform. IGTV ads can be up to 15 seconds long so you should follow much of the same recommendations as above, getting to your message upfront.

Examples of Great Instagram Ads

Let’s take a look at real-world examples of Instagram ads that hit the mark.

1. MUD/WTR

Examples of Great Instagram Ads - MUD_WTR

MUDWTR does a lot of things right with their Instagram ads. This is an example of a Stories ad they ran. The content looks very organic, from a content creator on Instagram, including the text captioning at the bottom. They also included a series of Stories, rather than just one. The story is set up in a narrative fashion, grabbing your attention from the start. In addition, they run regular photo and video ads as well so they tend to show up everywhere as you’re scrolling around on Instagram.

2. Wool&

Examples of Great Instagram Ads - Wool

When you’re casually scrolling Instagram and a video ad stops you with a challenge. Wool& uses their Instagram ads to promote their 100-day challenge, where they invite users to wear their products for 100 days and get $100. It’s a simple challenge that grabs your attention. Just another dress picture may be overlooked.

3. Nailboo

Examples of Great Instagram Ads - Nailboo

The starting image just makes you cringe, doesn’t it? It’s effective because you can almost feel it. Red nail polish on white carpet. Eek. The video ad from there moves fast, almost frantically, through the information about their product promising to keep that from happening. It fits the dynamic of a fast-moving platform and hits a pain point from the start.

4. Dechoker

Examples of Great Instagram Ads - Dechoker

Another example of Instagram ads that hit on the emotions from the start, with a bit of a gross factor. Sometimes you can’t look away. This one uses the warmth of the child’s photo with the narrative of what their product prevents. It’s also a very simple product and message, another important feature. If people have to wonder what you’re about, they will keep scrolling.

5. Send a Cake Now

 Examples of Great Instagram Ads - Send a Cake Now

From Candid Camera to America’s Funniest Home Videos, there’s a long line of entertainment proof that we love to watch a good prank. Send a Cake Now plays on this by showing videos of people opening their product, which launches birthday and celebratory surprises their way. It’s ideal for Instagram, with homemade, fast-moving videos. You definitely want to stop and watch who gets surprised next.

Instagram Ad FAQs

Should I run my ads on both Facebook and Instagram?

Choosing to run Facebook or Instagram ads depends on your target market and which platform they use the most often. You can also run on both platforms.

Can I create Instagram ads without an Instagram account?

You can use your Facebook business page to set up your Instagram ads.

How much do Instagram ads cost?

The cost of Instagram ads varies depending on impression or click-through. They can cost on average between $0.20 and $2 per click or $6.70 per impression.

Are Instagram Promotions worth it?

Instagram Promotions can help you reach more people on Instagram. If you have a popular photo or video post, it may be worthwhile to promote it to a wider audience.

Instagram Ads Conclusion

Instagram ads can help you up your social media marketing game by increasing the number of people who see a certain post or broaden the audience you organically reach with your posts.

Through a range of different photo and video formats, you can choose the one to suit your content and your target audience the best and share your brand’s narrative.

If you find your customers are hanging out on Instagram, and you may want to look into Instagram ads to get the message out to even more of them.

What’s the best Instagram ad you’ve ever seen?


Source: New feed 2

How to Hack Google: The Ultimate Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet

How to Hack Google: The Ultimate Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet

The Google algorithm is constantly evolving, which can cause a few headaches when you’re a marketer trying to retain the highest possible page ranking at all times.

However, there’s good news: It’s possible to “hack” the algorithm and retain a solid Google ranking. Let me show you how.

What Do We Know About Google Algorithm’s Ranking Factors?

There’s only so much we know about Google’s algorithm because Google won’t reveal its top ranking factors. In other words, no one’s entirely sure what boxes to tick to secure a first-page ranking. That said, here’s a rundown of the ranking factors we do know about:

  • Page speed: Google updates with page speed might affect you if your website is slow to load because slow websites offer a poor user experience.
  • Content relevance: Although you shouldn’t stuff your website with keywords, you should use some relevant keywords and create relevant content around those terms.
  • Site design: Your website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
  • Link quality: If you want to rank on Google, then ensure you only link to informative, relevant content. Irrelevant links may be affected.
  • Mobile-friendliness: Google uses the mobile version of your website for ranking and indexing, which means “mobile-friendliness” is a ranking factor.
  • HTTPS status: Generally, Google prefers secure websites since they’re more trustworthy. HTTPS is more secure than HTTP, so having an SSL certificate can help your ranking.
  • User engagement: Finally, Google might affect websites with high bounce rates and few return visitors because the pages may be low quality.

Put simply, the Google algorithm boosts the sites that offer people the best user experience.

How Often Are Google Algorithm Changes Released?

Google makes minor changes to its algorithm on a daily basis. They might even release multiple updates in 24 hours.

These changes are usually small, and you probably won’t notice a drop in search page rankings due to these updates alone.

However, the same can’t be said for the “core” updates. Google makes these larger, more sweeping changes a few times per year, and they can directly impact your page performance.

Look out for a core update at least once or twice a year.

Important Google Algorithm Updates

To help you better understand the function of Google algorithm changes, here’s a rundown of some key historical updates, and what impact they had on page-ranking strategies.

Google Panda

Released in 2011, this algorithm update targeted bad practices such as keyword stuffing and duplicate content. It introduced a “quality score” that helped rank web pages based on how people would perceive the content, rather than how many keywords it included.

To “survive” Google Panda, marketers ensured they wrote educational, quality content, rewrote underperforming articles, and used keywords strategically.

Google Penguin

This update, introduced in 2012, directly combated “black hat” SEO tactics such as link directories and spammy backlinks. Like the Panda update, it also looked at keyword stuffing.

The goal was to move away from the emphasis on link volume to boost a page’s search ranking and move instead towards high-quality content with only valuable, engaging links included.

Google Hummingbird

This update in 2013 was all about bridging the gap between what keywords people used and the type of content they actually wanted to find. In other words, it aimed to humanize the search engine experience and move the most informative and relevant content to the first page.

In response, marketers leveled up by including more keyword variations and relevant search phrases to improve their chances of meeting readers’ expectations.

Google RankBrain

In 2015, Google released a Hummingbird extension, RankBrain. It ranks pages based on whether they appear to answer a user’s search intent. In other words, it promotes the most relevant and informative content for a keyword or search phrase.

You can pass RankBrain by researching the user intent behind every keyword people search for, and writing rich, quality content to meet their expectations.

How Do I Know When Google Releases a New Algorithm Update?

There’s no need to track every single tweak Google makes to its algorithm. However, it’s crucial you track core updates, so you can adapt your SEO strategy accordingly.

First, set up a Google Alert for algorithm changes. With Google Alerts, you’ll receive a notification straight to your inbox whenever algorithm updates are mentioned online so you can start preparing for the changes as soon as possible.

Next, if you’re on Twitter, follow Google SearchLiaison. It’s an official account where you’ll see notifications of core algorithm updates. Google Alerts don’t work on social media, so following this account gives you another way to track any mentions of algorithm changes:

How Do I Know When Google Releases a New Algorithm Update

From here, you can read the official announcements to learn more about how these algorithm updates affect you. You can also learn more about planned improvements to Google, which may help you improve your SEO strategy more generally.

Thirdly, you can use Google Analytics to help you spot changes to the algorithm. How can Google Analytics help? Well, it can help you identify unusual fluctuations in traffic and conversions, for one thing. You can then take a closer look at your performance to see if you’ve been “affectd” in some way by a Google algorithm change.

Finally, try an algorithm analytics tool like MozCast or Grump by Accuranker. These tools track changes to the Google algorithm on a daily basis to help marketers as you stay ahead of any updates.

With Grump, for example, you can track algorithm changes by device, so if you’ve noticed a drop in mobile traffic or conversions, you can use this tool to see if Google’s “grumpier” than usual, which suggests there’s been a change to the algorithm:

How Do I Know When Google Releases a New Algorithm Update - Grump Tool by AccuRanker to Track Google Algorithm Changes

How to Determine Which Google Algorithm Update Hit Your Website

Have you noticed a steep decline in traffic recently? An algorithm change could be responsible. Here are the two best ways to determine which update just hit your website and how to recover from the penalties:

  1. First, check out Google Search Central (formerly Webmasters). This platform contains multiple resources to help you diagnose common performance problems and identify possible algorithm penalties.
  2. Next, log on to Search Console, a free analytics tool from Google. Whether you want to identify mobile usability problems or monitor your site’s performance, Search Console has the resources you need.

Combined, these tools can help you easily track changes to the Google algorithm.

Is Google’s Algorithm Different From Other Search Engines?

Yes. For one thing, we don’t know how often search engines like Bing or Yahoo update their algorithms, whereas we know that Google updates its algorithm very frequently.

On the other hand, there’s a little more transparency around Bing’s key ranking factors, which include:

  • metadata
  • page loading time
  • quantity and quality of backlinks

In some ways, then, it’s easier to understand the Bing algorithm and tweak your SEO strategy to match.

Since Yahoo is closely tied to Bing, the principles are very similar, but the difference is that they’ve published a transparent and useful guide to help marketers better understand their key ranking factors.

How to Succeed With Google’s Algorithm

Ready to tackle Google’s algorithm and boost your page rankings? Here are 10 tips to help.

1. Optimize for Mobile

Thanks to Google’s mobile-first index, you must optimize your website for mobile if you want to boost your rankings.

To check how your website appears on mobile devices, visit Mobile-Friendly Test, input your URL, and analyze the results. For example, here’s mine:

How to Succeed With Google’s Algorithm - Optimize for Mobile

2. Audit Your Inbound Links

Next, check your inbound links. Do they all work properly, and do they link to relevant, up-to-date content? If not, fix the links and ensure they’re redirecting to useful posts to improve the user experience on your website.

Good quality inbound links can improve your rankings.

3. Boost User Engagement

User engagement matters. After all, while it’s great if you generate high volumes of traffic, it’s less ideal if there’s a high bounce rate or you’re not seeing many return visitors.

Focus on doing quality keyword research, so you’re always answering the right search intent, and ensure you fill your website with trustworthy content to keep users engaged for longer. This can help you hack the Google algorithm.

4. Decrease Site Load Time

A slow website with poor loading times can hinder the user experience, affecting your Google rankings. Check your page loading times using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool:

How to Succeed With Google’s Algorithm - Decrease site load time

Once you run the analysis, Google offers some tips for improving page speed.

5. Avoid Duplicate Content

Whether it’s only a few lines of text or substantive blocks of content, duplicate content on your website can attract penalties.

To identify duplicate content, try the Duplicate Page Finder. Input the URLs you want to compare, check the results, and make any relevant changes.

You can also see if someone else is using your content on their site by visiting Siteliner and checking your URL:

How to Succeed With Google’s Algorithm - Avoid duplicate content

6. Create Informative Content

If someone clicks on your website and stays there, Google knows you probably answered the user’s search query. In other words, you’re creating useful, informative content.

The result? Higher page rankings than if your articles are superficial or don’t target the right search intent.

7. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing means cramming the same keyword into your content multiple times just to boost your chances of ranking. This type of content is often distracting and difficult to read, and it falls foul of the Google algorithm.

Want to avoid keyword stuffing and stay on Google’s good side? Just use a keyword naturally within the text.

8. Don’t Over-optimize

SEO matters, but don’t go overboard. Don’t include unrelated, irrelevant links in your content, don’t buy links, and avoid over-optimizing your anchor texts.

It’s hard to strike a balance between effective SEO and over-optimization, but as long as you steer clear of aggressive link-building practices and black hat tactics, you should be fine.

9. Improve Site Navigation

Prioritize the user experience at all times by:

  • streamlining website menus and navigation
  • creating a site map
  • ensuring all your navigation links work

10. Increase Page Security

If you haven’t moved from HTTP to HTTPS yet, do it now. HTTPS sites are securer, which means they’re more trustworthy. Google rewards trustworthy websites with higher rankings, so from a marketing perspective, it’s worth the move.

All you need to do is buy an SSL certificate, install it on your site’s hosting account, and update your URLs to HTTPS rather than HTTP.

Google Algorithm FAQs

Hopefully, you now understand Google algorithms, but let me recap some key points.

What kinds of issues does Google usually target with its algorithm updates?

Google wants to improve the user experience online, so algorithm updates are all about improving answering user intent.

What kinds of practices are typically affected with Google algorithm updates?

Google usually looks for things like low-quality backlinks, keyword stuffing, and poor-quality content.

Does Google announce when they’ve made an algorithm change?

Google usually announces major, sweeping algorithm changes, but it doesn’t notify anyone about the smaller, more frequent tweaks.

How do I get notified when Google releases an update?

Try out an algorithm monitoring tool, monitor your traffic and conversions for noticeable changes, and sign up for Google Alerts.

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Google Algorithm Conclusion

The bottom line? The Google algorithm changes frequently, and it can directly affect your SEO strategy. When Google announces its next core update, be sure to read up on how it might impact your page rankings, and check out my consulting services if you need any extra help.

Finally, to avoid algorithm penalties, focus on crafting rich, valuable content for users, fix any broken links, replace low-quality backlinks with fresh ones, and implement an SSL certificate if you don’t have one.

How do you track Google algorithm changes?


Source: New feed 2

Internal Linking Guide: Actionable Tips, Strategies, and Tools

Internal Linking Guide: Actionable Tips, Strategies, and Tools

Internal links are a crucial part of a successful SEO strategy.

Small but mighty, simple yet complex, internal links help navigate users through your digital content and give search engine crawlers information about how your website works.

Internal links are found on almost every page on the internet. You’re probably already using them, even if you don’t know it. (Hint: there’s a few included in this intro,)

If you want to optimize your content for SEO, you need to understand how internal links work, where to place them, and why they matter.

In this post, we’ll dive into internal linking and cover best practices.

What Is Internal Linking?

Internal links are links from one page to another within a single domain.

These are different from external links, which point to pages on a different website.

Every website with more than one page should be connected through internal linking.

Think of your website’s home page. In the top navigation, you likely have a menu that links to other internal pages. This could be your About, Shop, and Contact pages.

This internal linking structure is essential for SEO because it establishes a site architecture and improves your link equity.

Having multiple web pages attached to a singular domain improves your chances of being ranked by allowing search engine crawlers to index more content.

Internal linking is a simple issue of site design and architecture, and the search engines expect it. All websites have a design and architecture that keeps them structured logically, such as this common silo model.

internal linking - silo model site map

Of course, site architecture and structuring can get far more complex.

internal linking guide - site architecture example

But as long as you have a strong internal linking structure, your website will be crawled, indexed, and ranked by search engines.

Internal linking is also an important part of your user experience, as it allows users to uncover related information or find what they are looking for, which improves dwell time.

5 Reasons Internal Linking Is Good for SEO

Internal linking is one of SEO’s most valuable weapons.

Why? Because it works.

Google’s machine-learning algorithm has come a long way since the early days of SEO. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to game the system.

As advanced as the algorithm is, there are still simple changes that will give you an immediate boost in SEO without gaming the search engines.

Internal linking is one of them. It’s not a trick or a gimmick, and it’s certainly not hard to do.

Here are some of the benefits.

1. Helps Google Index Your Site

Google’s crawler follows link paths throughout the internet to find and index websites.

If your website has strong internal linking, the Google crawler has an easier time finding new content you publish.

google crawler moving through internal links on website

Google’s bots regularly crawl the web for fresh content. If your content is woven together with multiple internal links, crawling happens a lot faster.

As a result, your content will get indexed faster, too.

Improved crawling and indexing can boost your SEO.

2. Increases Backlink-Earning Potential of Deep Content Pages

Take a look at where most of your website’s backlinks are coming from. You’ll probably see a lot of links that send users to your homepage.

When you compare the homepage backlinks to deep page backlinks, this is what you usually see:

internal linking start page and deep page

Unfortunately, too many home page backlinks are bad for SEO. We call this over-optimizing, and it should be avoided.

What you want to see is the pie chart reversed. The majority of your external links should point at deep internal pages, not your home page. That’s because the homepage doesn’t generally include the type of detailed information users search for.

When a website doesn’t actively publish and promote new content, its link profile looks like this:

internal linking structure ranking

Most of the links on the website go to social profiles or standard pages such as “About” or “Contact.”

This provides very little SEO value to the site.

If you create a strong internal linking structure, you can boost the link juice earning potential of the internal pages, by creating clear click paths and indexation throughout the website.

Why? Because you are increasing the overall crawl priority throughout the site with better distribution of your links.

3. Internal Linking Spreads the Strength of the Site to Internal Pages

When your website receives a link to the homepage, some of the link value is passed on to internal pages.

This is often referred to as “link juice.”

internal linking guide - link juice

If Page 1 then links to Page 2, the “link juice” flows from Page 1 to Page 2, helping it rank higher in the search engine results page (SERP).

The more tightly-knit a website’s structure (through internal linking), the better the overall site will perform in search.

4. Internal Linking with Optimized Anchor Text Is Good for SEO

An internal link is a simple string of HTML that links one website page to another. It looks like this:

<A HREF = “http://www.example.com/internalpage“> an article on cat food </A>

When you create an internal link with anchor text, as opposed to with an image or navigational text, however, the value of the internal link goes up.

Anchor text improves the value of the link by adding keywords and content to the linking process. Google isn’t just looking at an A HREF tag. They are also looking at the anchor text that is part of that link.

The days of keyword stuffing anchor texts are long gone. But, there is value in optimizing your internal anchor text.

Anchor text that flows well with the overall content, versus over-optimized anchor text, is best.

5. It Provides Value to Your Users

This is the most important point of all. Internal linking is an SEO technique, yes. But, it’s more than that.

Ultimately, internal linking is useful for users.

Think about it this way: When you’re researching a topic, do you check one source or multiple?

Do you enjoy exploring other content that reinforces your understanding of the topic?

Maybe, you just like the writing style of the article you’re reading and want to read more work by the same author.

Internal linking on a site increases the value of each piece of content by backing up claims and leading the user to related information.

While it may not drive conversions directly, internal linking does have a place within the marketing funnel—carrying people to a target destination.

As an added bonus, you can help readers stay on your site longer and increase their trust in you by using internal linking.

SEO is about user optimization, not just technical tweaks and sneaky tricks.

Even if you don’t care about the technical value of internal linking, at least do it for your users.

Internal Linking Best Practices

Now, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. How do you do internal linking? What’s the best method for creating the biggest value with links?

There are two things you need in place first:

  1. Written content on the site: Even if you have a single article, that’s okay. That’s your starting place. If you don’t have any written content but want to create some, check out our The Ultimate Guide to Writing Epic Content.
  2. Continually writing new content for the site: Getting into a regular publishing schedule is important for internal linking to be effective.

Okay, let’s get into it.

Link to and From Content-Heavy Pages

The best internal links are those that connect one article to another. This creates a strong internal linking structure deep within the site.

If you have good site architecture, you’ll have enough links to the site’s main pages, such as the homepage, About page, Contact page, etc.

You don’t need more links to these pages.

Obviously, if you’re trying to drive conversions using a squeeze page or sales page and the opportunity is right, link to it.

For the most part, I recommend creating links in and among long-form articles. This automatically spreads your internal linking naturally.

Create Text Links Using Anchor Text

What kind of internal links work best?

It’s simple: Links with descriptive anchor text.

What do we mean by descriptive anchor text?

You’re familiar with anchor text, right? An anchor text is the word or words that link to another page. They typically appear as blue text to the reader.

This is anchor text.

Your internal links should use anchor text, but not just any anchor text will do. Include phrases that describe what the target link is about.

Here are some examples of strong anchor text:

If you wanted to link to an article about the 10 most important SEO techniques, you could do it this way:

Here are a few important SEO techniques you should be using.

If you wanted to link to an article about Google Hummingbird, you could do it this way:

Google’s algorithm has been updated with new machine learning capabilities.

Each of those examples is associating the subject of the link with relevant phrases. The first anchor text contains “10 most important SEO techniques,” which is the subject matter of the article you’re linking to. The second anchor text has the phrase, “Google’s algorithm has been updated,” and the linked article contains information about Google, Hummingbird, algorithms, and updates.

Here are three things not to do with your internal linking:

  1. Do not try to create an exact match between the anchor text and the link target. This technique, known as “exact match anchor text” has been associated with SEO penalties via the Penguin update. Today’s search engines are sensitive to the regular use of exact match anchor text because it wouldn’t frequently happen in regular content. It appears unnatural because it is.
  2. Do not use phrases like “click here.” This adds no value. Anchor text needs to be related to the linked page in some way.
  3. Do not link more than one sentence. An entire hyperlinked paragraph is unsightly and makes for a poor user experience. Just stick to a few words or a phrase when using anchor text to point to an internal link.

Add an Appropriate Number of Links Per Page

When you write a new piece of content, you should include five or more links to old articles. This is really important to your internal linking strategy and how the search engines review and rank your content.

Why?

Websites have a “freshness value” that Google detects and uses as part of its ranking algorithm.

According to Cyrus Shepard, “links from fresh sites [or pages] pass fresh value.”

two web pages show fresh internal linking

Pinging old pages with a new link helps to boost its likelihood of increasing rank in the SERPs. In the eyes of the search engines, readers who follow your internal links are actually “refreshing” your older content by showing it’s still relevant.

However, be careful not to over-stuff your content with links.

According to Moz, search engine crawlers have a limit of 150 links per page. After that, they stop spidering.

Overstuffing your page with links could negatively impact your SEO.

Be sure to link, but don’t overdo it. This will help both the search crawlers and your user experience.

Update Old Articles With New Internal Links

You’ll get the most power from internal linking if you combine it with another SEO technique—updating old content.

When you update old content, Google’s crawler sees it again, indexes it again, and may increase its ranking in the SERPs.

We always recommend updating your old articles regularly. Here is a good process to follow on your old blog articles:

  • Add a new paragraph of content at the beginning, explaining your updates.
  • Add several new paragraphs throughout, adding additional or updated information.
  • Remove or replace outdated stats or information.
  • Add several new internal links to content you’ve recently created.
  • Add links in places where it’s logical and value-added.

Remember, internal linking isn’t only about linking new content to older content. It’s also about circling back to older content and creating internal links that connect to your newer work.

You’re accomplishing two things by doing this.

  1. It updates old content, which improves its ranking value.
  2. It creates an internal link between an old established page on the site and a new not-so-established page.

Add Links Where It Makes Sense

Now that you’ve learned so much about internal linking, you’re probably wondering where you should put your internal links?

It’s tempting to get lazy and throw them in at the end of an article: “For more awesome content, click here!”

Don’t do that, please. Or at least, don’t do just that.

Instead, look for areas in the content where the subject matter overlaps. These are logical points of connection to create an internal link. For example, you can add links to define complex terms or explain a related topic.

Think of internal links as a reference point that improves the experience of the reader.

Only Add Dofollow Links

Don’t add a nofollow tag to your internal links. Nofollow links do not have any impact on the search engine rankings of the destination site.

On top of that, Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across nofollow links. It won’t even crawl them.

While some data from Ahrefs has shown nofollow links can be useful when used externally, there is no reason to use them in your internal linking strategy.

Link to High Converting Pages

Do you have pages on your website that convert visitors more than other pages?

If so, link to these pages.

Some articles in our blog have super high conversion rates. The content is compelling, and the CTAs are so powerful that users convert in droves.

We always make sure to link internally to these pages.

This is where internal linking has more than just SEO value. It can have revenue value, too. The more visitors you can drive to a high-converting page, the more conversions you’ll have.

Take Site Navigation and Information Architecture Into Consideration

Site navigation and internal linking go hand in hand.

Internal links define site architecture and hierarchy by creating funnels that direct users through your website.

Ultimately, this is an important part of your UX/UI and will impact how long people stay on your web pages and how often they come back.

When building an internal linking strategy, consider the most important content on your site and how you’re promoting it.

If you have a piece of cornerstone content that you want more eyes on, point more internal links to it.

Create Lots of Content

The best way to have a healthy internal linking structure is to have lots of internal pages.

When you create lots of content, you’ll have lots of linkable content. The more links to the more places, the better your internal linking strategy will be.

Remember, simply having a lot of web pages doesn’t equal a robust internal linking strategy.

While internal links are essential to your website navigation, repeatedly linking to your homepage won’t move the needle on your SEO score.

Instead, consider writing a blog or creating landing pages that house resourceful content.

Whatever your strategy, do it well and do it often.

Internal Linking Practices to Avoid

Now that you know how to use internal linking correctly, let’s review some of the practices to avoid.

Adding too many links to your content can be detrimental to your score. Remember, Google does not crawl pages that have more than 150 links. It’s also important to note that your header, footer, and menu links are included in your on-page link count.

Don’t overdo it!

Keyword stuffing in anchor text is another internal linking practice to avoid. This black hat tactic was popular in the past, as SEO’s thought it would improve their chances of ranking.

These days, sophisticated search algorithms penalize keyword stuffing in anchor text. So, don’t do it.

Using internal links in header text should also be avoided. Links in headers signal spam to Google crawlers and can negatively impact your SEO.

Finally, be sure to check all of your internal links before posting them. Broken links don’t spread any link juice and signal to Google that your website is low quality.

Internal Linking FAQs

How many internal links should I include per post?

There’s no set number, but 5-10 for every 2,000 words is a good best practice. Remember, Google won’t crawl pages with more than ~150 links, so be careful about overstuffing your content.

Should I add internal links to my pages with more or less traffic?

According to Databox, internal links can spread link juice from low-traffic web pages to high-traffic ones. That being said, it’s also important to point as many links as possible to your cornerstone content so it benefits from increased traffic.

What is an example of internal linking?

Internal linking is a link that points to another page within the same domain. Internal links show up as hyperlinks, like this: Tips for building better evergreen links.

Are internal links backlinks?

No, internal links stay within your website domain, they do not come from an external source. Backlinks are external links that point to your domain.

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Summary of Internal Linking Guide

Internal linking is a core part of a solid SEO strategy. When done right, it enhances the user experience and can help you rank higher in the SERPs.

While internal links are part of any strong website design, it’s important to find ways to include internal links in your content to ensure you’re getting the most out of your content. Make sure to use optimized (but not over-optimized) anchor tags, and add internal links that provide users with more information about a topic they’re interested in.

What internal linking practices have you found to be the most effective?


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How to Create a Facebook Contest that Grows Engagement and Audience

How to Create a Facebook Contest that Grows Engagement and Audience

With close to 3 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the biggest social media platform on the planet. That makes it a valuable channel for driving your business goals. After all, the key to successful marketing is to define your target audience and meet them on their favorite platforms.

While not everyone is on Facebook, one thing is certain, it still is the world’s most popular platform. Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, you definitely should leverage Facebook’s multitude of features to market your brand and products. One Facebook marketing feature in particular that yields a good return is the Facebook contest feature.

Facebook contests are an excellent way to grow your audience and drive engagement.

Why Should You Create a Facebook Contest?

Facebook contests have been around for some time, but they’re still one of the best methods to grow an active audience and build meaningful engagement with your brand. Here are a few reasons why you should consider creating a Facebook contest:

1. Extend Your Reach and Increase Followers

One of the most significant benefits you’ll reap from running Facebook contests is that they’re an excellent way of extending your reach. Creating a contest your target audience engages with results in your contest and brand being shown to their networks. With the extended reach comes the added benefit of you gaining more followers.

2. Increase Brand Awareness

Another reason you must incorporate Facebook contests in your social media marketing strategy is that they are a great way to increase brand awareness. Whether you promote your Facebook contest organically, use paid promotion, or both it’s inevitable that you’ll reach people you couldn’t have otherwise reached. As a result, more people will become aware of your brand and product.

3. Get More Engagement

Facebook contests get more engagement than average posts for the simple reason that they’re a much-loved form of interactive content. People prefer interactive content over static content with 66 percent of marketers citing increased engagement rates after employing interactive content in their campaigns.

4. Provides a Data Collection Avenue

Effective marketing campaigns are data-driven. That’s because data enables you to gain a better understanding of your target audience, allowing you to create more personalized campaigns.

Running a Facebook contest is helpful in this regard as it provides an opportunity to collect data about your audience. Whether the contest is in the form of a quiz or simply an engagement-based contest, you still come out with a goldmine of data at the end of the day.

With these and more benefits, there’s no reason why you should ignore Facebook contests. They’re an excellent way to drive engagement and build an active audience for your business. Of course, they’re also an excellent way to raise brand and product awareness and thus drive sales.

How to Create an Effective Facebook Contest

Now that you’ve seen the value of Facebook contests, let’s quickly dive into how to create an effective one. Not all Facebook contests are created equal. Knowing how to create one that your audience will participate in is essential to the success of your campaign. Here are a few pointers to help you:

1. Determine Your Goals and How to Measure Results

The first step to creating an effective Facebook contest is to define your goals for the contest.

What do you want to achieve with your Facebook contest?

You can achieve a lot of business and marketing goals with a contest, a few of which can include:

  • market research
  • brand awareness
  • data collection
  • crowdsourcing product development
  • launch a new product
  • build an email list
  • drive sales
  • gather user-generated content

Determining the goal of your contest is essential as it will help you design one that’s best suited to help you succeed. It also helps you know which key performance indicators (KPIs) you should use to measure your contest’s success. Examples of KPIs you can use include:

  • number of participants
  • likes
  • shares
  • new followers gained
  • number of clicks on your contest
  • email sign-ups
  • reach

With your goals and KPIs determined, you’re ready to start designing your Facebook contest.

2. Select the Type of Contest You Want to Run

You’ve determined the reason for running a Facebook contest. Now the next step is to choose the type of Facebook contest that will help you achieve said goals. There are three main types of contests you can run on Facebook:

Giveaways

These are the simplest Facebook contest type and, as the name suggests, involve giving away a prize to the lucky participant(s) who enter the contest. Most giveaway contests require a participant to engage with a post (like, comment, or share) to enter.

Photo Contests

Photo contests are an excellent way of driving engagement and collecting user-generated content for your other marketing efforts. These usually involve picking a theme for your contest and asking your audience to post photos (preferably while using your product) in line with that theme.

Referral Promotions

Referral promotions require a bit more work to design and manage but they’re one of the best ways to generate leads for your business. Participants have to share (or refer) your contest with a friend or people in their network to enter the contest.

An effective Facebook contest aligns your marketing goals with the right type of content. To aid your decision, you must understand your audience and the type of contests they prefer.

3. Determine the Contest Rules and How You’ll Run It

Every contest needs rules to govern how participants enter. As you design your Facebook contest, you must pay careful attention to how you determine yours.

Determine the rules of your Facebook contest and make them clear to participants.

For example:

  • What actions must participants take to enter?
  • Will you allow multiple entries?
  • Is the contest open to all countries?
  • What can constitute grounds for disqualification?
  • Are there any age restrictions?

Remember, you’re not running a contest just for the fun of it. You’re running your contest to benefit your business. As such, the rules you set for your contest must help you with that. They must be aligned with your goals.

The rules of your Facebook contest will also determine how you will run it and the kind of data you will collect. Examples of how you could run your contest include:

  • Designing a funnel that requires participants to submit their email addresses or other data.
  • Using a Facebook messenger bot to lead users to an opt-in page where they perform the required action to enter the contest.
  • Using engagement as a means to declare their participation in your contest. This could be anything from tagging friends to following your account and everything in between.

Besides setting rules for entering the contest, you must also determine how the winning participants will redeem their prize.

4. Choose the Right Prize

One of the fundamental pillars of an effective Facebook contest is the prize you’re offering. Hallmarks of the perfect prize include:

  • Personalized. Your offer must be something that your target audience is interested in. It must not appeal to people who aren’t your target audience.
  • Product-related. To ensure your contest helps boost your business, your prize must be tied to your core business. For example, if you’re a dentist, offering cutlery as a prize won’t help you reach your ideal customer.
  • Pain point specific. Understand your ideal customer’s pain points and tailor an offer designed to address one of them. Doing so will help direct participants to your other product offerings.

Choosing the right prize for your contest is crucial to ensuring higher engagement rates. It also ensures most participants fit your ideal customer profile (ICP).

5. Design Your Facebook Contest Page

With so much content being published on Facebook, it can be easy for people to miss your contest as they scroll through their feeds.

To improve the chances of your contest being seen, your design must be optimized for visibility. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

Write an Attention-grabbing Headline

The headline is the first thing users will see. Make it stand out by using descriptive language. Also, ensure it paints a picture of the benefits of winning the prize.

Invest In Professional Images

Invest in professional eye-catching images. Images play a great role in stopping users from scrolling. They’re also helpful in quickly conveying your message.

Write a Brief but Detailed Description

Give users all the information they need to get excited about the contest. Your description must also explain how to enter the contest. The best way to format your description is to use bullet points.

Use a Simple Form

Make it as easy as possible for your interested parties to enter your contest. If you’re using forms, make them simple—don’t ask for too much information. Complicating the sign-up form will negatively impact your conversions. The only exception to this rule is if you’re offering a huge prize that’s worth the effort.

Design a Prominent Call-to-action

Your call-to-action (CTA) must not only be prominent but it must be clear what the next step to be taken is.

Besides these best practices for designing an effective Facebook contest page, you can also consider other optimization options. A typical example would be to use a countdown timer to add urgency.

6. Promote Your Contest

Your Facebook contest’s main goal is to grow your audience and increase engagement with your brand. To do that, it must reach as wide of an audience as possible.

That’s why part of your Facebook contest creation process must include a promotion strategy.

Increase your reach by promoting your Facebook contest.

A few Facebook content promotion tips you can employ include:

  • Paid ads: Organic reach can only get you so far. To reach a wider audience, leverage Facebook ads to promote your contest. You can also use retargeting to advertise your contest to people who’ve viewed your content.
  • Share it with your email list: Promote your Facebook contest to your email list to ensure maximum participation. It also helps you keep your subscribers engaged.
  • Spread the word on other social media channels: Leverage your other social media platforms to spread the word about your contest.

With your contest in front of the right audience, you can expect high participation rates.

7. Choose and Announce the Winner

All good things come to an end, including your exciting Facebook contest. You need to wrap it up by picking and announcing the winner. You have two options when it comes to picking a winner:

  • Randomly picking a name: Randomly picking a name is the best way as it’s impartial. Use tools like Random Name Picker or Comment Picker to make it easy.
  • Selecting the best candidate: This works best if you set specific criteria for your contest. However, make sure to explain how you came up with the winner and why.

Once you’ve picked your winner, you must announce them on your Facebook business page and other channels you promoted the contest on. Bonus points if you can make it a Facebook Live event.

8. Follow Up After the Contest

Picking the winner of your Facebook contest is not the end game. The end game is growing your business. That’s why you must have a follow-up strategy. One of the best ways to do this is to send out an email to participants offering them a discount on your products as an appreciation for participating in your contest. Nurture a relationship with the people who participate in your contest and you’ll be able to turn them into loyal customers.

Facebook Contest: FAQs

How do I increase engagement on my Facebook contest?

People love personalized content. To increase participation, ensure you know your target audience and create a contest tailored to them.

How do I know if my Facebook contest is a success?

Always set goals for your contests and determine the KPIs you’ll use to gauge the effectiveness of your contests.

Are Facebook contests worth the effort?

Executed well, a Facebook contest is a cost-effective way to achieve many business and marketing goals. Yes, they’re definitely worth it.

How can I ensure my Facebook contest reaches a large audience?

Promoting your Facebook contest is a critical part of running a successful contest. Make sure to promote it on all your other channels and platforms.

Facebook Contest Conclusion

Looking for interactive content that will help you grow your audience and drive engagement with your brand?

Then you must consider running a Facebook contest. With added benefits like lead generation, a boost in sales, and much more, including them in your online marketing strategy is a no-brainer. 

Executed well, your Facebook contest is an excellent way of getting ahead of your competition.

What has been your experience with Facebook contests as a marketing strategy?


Source: New feed 2

6 Timely SEO Strategies and Resources for Voice Search

6 Timely SEO Strategies and Resources for Voice Search

Are you missing out on traffic because people aren’t searching the way you think they are?

If your website isn’t optimized for voice search, then this could be the case. These six timely SEO strategies and resources for voice search will not only help you get more traffic from people using Siri and Alexa, but they will also become important pillars of your entire SEO strategy.

What Is Voice Search?

Voice search is a way of searching the internet through speech. Using artificial intelligence, a device can recognize your voice and put the query into a search engine.

Voice recognition has been around for a long time (since the early 1950s), but it wasn’t until 2011 when IBM’s Watson (you may remember it beating contestants on Jeopardy!) came out that it had practical real-world significance.

Today, voice search is everywhere. An eMarketer’s survey revealed that almost 40 percent of internet users in the U.S. use voice search, which highlights the ubiquitous nature of voice search-enabled devices.

Popular Voice Search Devices and Search Engines

If you look in your pocket or on your desk right now (perhaps even on your hand), there’s a good chance you’ll find a voice search device. One reason voice search is so popular is because the technology is in almost every device we use, making it super easy to access.

Here are some of the most popular voice search devices and the search engines they use:

  • Google Home: Google
  • Amazon Echo/Alexa: Bing
  • Google Assistant: Google
  • iPhone/Siri: Safari
  • Android phones and devices: Google
  • Microsoft Cortana: Bing

This means whether it’s your phone, TV, portable speaker, or any other device, it’s got the ability to search the internet through speech.

How Does Voice Search Affect SEO?

When you type a query into Google, what do you want it to do?

First, it’s got to understand what you mean by your query (helping it to understand the type of results you want to see), and then show you the best results that match your search query.

The way we type queries into Google is quite different from the way we talk to our voice assistants. For example, if you’re looking for a local restaurant to dine in, your searches might look a little like this:

  • typed: “Restaurants near me”
  • voice: “What are some good restaurants in my local area?”

When we type, we tend to use very keyword-based searches, but when we use voice search, our searches become much more conversational. This means search engines have had to become very good at semantics: understanding the meaning behind words.

The way we use language is complicated, and it’s not easy for machines to understand the meaning behind words (just think how many words have multiple meanings). Voice search has forced search engines to get much better at this though, and Google has led the way with key updates like Hummingbird.

This update and other previous ones have changed SEO, taking the focus away from keywords (in the early days, people would simply stuff keywords into their articles) and much more toward user experience.

Voice search has played a part in this shift, and it continues today, with a consistent focus on experience, rather than just keywords.

6 Ways to Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search is here to stay. Everywhere you look, there are voice search-enabled devices, and the percentage of voice searches as a share of total searches continues to grow (usage grew by eight percent between September 2018 and early 2019).

The good news is you don’t have to tear up your current SEO strategy to optimize for voice search. Voice search plays into the overall trend of matching user intent and providing the best possible user experience, so the tactics you use to optimize for voice search will benefit your SEO in general.

1. Optimize for Local Search

Many voice searches are for local information; they are three times more likely to be local searches than text-based ones.

If you think about it, this makes sense. When you’re out and about, and want a quick answer to your question, it’s easy to get out your mobile device and ask a question. This means it’s important you focus on the local element of your SEO.

For many businesses, local SEO is a fundamental part of digital marketing anyway. Local searches make up around 46 percent of total searches, and these are extremely engaged buyers. Local people are the people who will drop into your store and make a purchase there and then, and this means showing up in the local search pack is essential, especially if you’re a brick and mortar business.

How to Optimize for Voice Search - Optimize for Local Search

Local SEO follows the same principles as regular SEO, and the key thing (that many websites neglect) is consistently telling people you’re a local business. Make sure you’re creating content that’s relevant to your local area and integrating local keywords into your copy.

Check out Ubersuggest to get local keyword ideas and make sure you’re answering the questions local people have:

  • phrases people use to describe the neighborhood around your location
  • “near me” in your title tags, meta description, internal links, and anchor text
  • landmarks around your business location
  • the titles of local institutions that are relevant to your business

Focusing on your local SEO will help your voice search, so check out my Definitive Guide to Local SEO.

2. Create Conversational but Concise Content

The days of stuffing your content with keywords simply to please crawlers are long gone. To be successful with SEO, you’ve got to be authentic, use language naturally, and offer valuable content.

Essentially, you have to be human (we all are, so this shouldn’t be a problem).

Voice search typifies this because when people search through speech, they tend to talk in a more natural way than they do when they’re typing a query into the search engines. Your content should match the conversational way people ask questions to their voice assistants, but not just for voice search reasons.

Today’s rankings are user-experienced-focused. The pages that answer people’s questions in the best way while sharing the best experience, will rise to the top of the rankings.

To do this, you’ve got to give people quick access to the information they need (being concise) and do it in an enjoyable way (natural, conversational language). When you’re doing this, you’re not just matching the language people have used in their voice search (user intent), but you’re also driving engagement through your authentic brand voice.

3. Use Structured Data

Ask your voice-controlled device this question: “Who was the first President of the United States of America?”

What happens?

Chances are your device will start reading out an answer about George Washington.

This information is taken from a long page about George Washington though, so how does it know which bit of text to read? The answer probably lies in structured data.

Search engines look at a bunch of factors besides content to determine a page’s relevance and position in their search results. Professional SEOs leverage these additional factors to further optimize their content for search engines.

Schema markup, also known as structured data, is one such factor. It does not affect the rankings directly, but it can give you an edge over your competitors, particularly when it comes to voice search.

Essentially, it is metadata: data about the information on your site. It goes into your site’s source code. The visitors don’t see it, but microdata helps search engines to organize and classify your content. It is an underutilized strategy because it requires work.

Do you want an example?

The following markup classifies your contact details page as containing contact information.

How to Optimize for Voice Search - Use Structured Data

Now, let me guess your next question: How is microdata relevant to voice search?

When users search for local businesses, they often look for operational hours, contact information, address, directions from highways, and the like.

You can use microdata to ensure that search engines classify this information.

Let’s search for the population of Dubai.

How to Optimize for Voice Search - Use Microdata

Google quickly retrieved the figure because of a markup.

Need another reason to work on your structured data?

A study found that over 40 percent of voice results were pulled from the featured snippet. Just like with voice search, featured snippets need to pull the exact information you’re looking for, so it’s likely they look at structured data to decide what information should be shown.

If you want a step-by-step guide on implementing schema markup, check out my guide to using Schema Markup.

4. Claim Your Google My Business Listing

Your Google My Business Listing is an essential part of local SEO and voice search.

Because voice searches are often used to find out important details about your business, such as contact number, address, and opening hours, Google must have accurate information on these details.

Your website and structured data go a long way in making sure Google has the right information about your business, but Google wants to be super accurate, and the way it does this is by looking at your Google My Business listing.

This will give Google all the information it needs to understand what your business does, who it’s for, when it opens, where it is, and much more. This is the exact information voice searches are asking for, so it’s a quick way to get accurate results to people’s questions.

5. Be Mobile Friendly

How are most voice searches made?

You want to show up in results through mobile devices, and you’ve got to offer a good mobile experience. This is a key part of Google’s algorithms, but there are still websites out there that aren’t optimized for mobile.

If this is the case with your website, people are going to click on your site and leave immediately because the page doesn’t work properly on their device. This is a big sign for Google that your page isn’t worthy of ranking, and it’s going to hurt you for both voice search and traditional queries.

I mentioned modern SEO is all about user experience and with the majority of traffic (and virtually all voice traffic) coming from mobile devices, this is something you have to be on top of.

There are lots of little things you can do to make your site more mobile-friendly, so make sure your website is offering the right experience for people who use voice search.

6. Create Content Answering Your Audience’s Frequently Asked Questions

People tend to use questions when making voice searches.

The great thing about this is Google gives you a great insight into the questions people are frequently asking.

Type a question that relates to your website, and take a look at the results. The chances are, you will see a box titled “people also ask.” The FAQ’s feature displays for many queries, and it shows you the questions your target audience is regularly asking.

With a clear picture of the questions people are using to search for information, you can start creating amazing content that answers those questions. As I’ve said throughout this article, it’s all about user experience, and the first thing you need if you’re going to give someone the right experience is valuable content.

Answer people’s questions, help solve their pain points and make it enjoyable. If you can do this better than all the other websites, then it’s going to give you an excellent chance of ranking.

Voice Search FAQ’s

What is voice search SEO?

Voice search SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to show up in search engine results pages for voice searches.

Does voice search impact SEO?

Voice search has had an impact on SEO. It’s all about understanding the meaning behind words, and this is a fundamental part of all SEO.

Why is voice search important for SEO?

Devices with voice search capabilities are everywhere. This has led to huge growth in voice searches. If you’re not optimizing, you might be missing out on a big chunk of your audience.

What percentage of searches are voice searches?

Google has suggested 27 percent of mobile searches are voice searches.

Voice Search Conclusion

If you want to grow your organic traffic, then you should be aiming to rank well for voice searches. Not only are there a huge number of voice searches happening every day, but the techniques you use to optimize for these queries are a fundamental part of modern SEO.

Voice search has changed the way people search for information, and search engines have responded with updates to their algorithms. You need to respond as well, and by matching searcher intent and providing the right user experience, you can make sure you’re getting more organic traffic through voice search.

Are you optimizing for voice search yet?


Source: New feed 2