7 Marketing Lessons Learned from Billion Dollar Companies You’ve Never Heard Of

You’ve heard of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and even Amazon. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, the chances are you have heard of those companies.

But have you ever heard of Danaher, Fortive, AmerisourceBergen, Centene, or Archer Daniels Midland?

I bet you haven’t heard of any of those companies.

These companies aren’t small either. Here’s how much revenue each of them generates a year:

  • Danaher – $29.45 billion
  • Fortive – $5.25 billion
  • AmerisourceBergen – $213 billion
  • Centene – $118 billion
  • Archer Daniels Midland – $85.25 billion

Now that’s a lot of revenue. These companies didn’t get to where they are by accident either. And although they might not be as “sexy” as Nike or Apple, they still generate a lot of cash.

We don’t work with all the brands that I mentioned above at my ad agency, but we do work with some of them as well as dozens of other billion-dollar companies you have never heard of.

And although our primary objective is to help our clients (which we do, hence we were awarded agency of the year and the 21st fastest growing company by Inc Magazine), we also learn a lot by consulting with over a hundred publicly traded companies.

Here are some of the marketing insights that you aren’t thinking about that billion-dollar companies leverage on a regular basis.

Lesson #1: The riches are not in the niches

Marketers always talk about finding a niche and how it is easier to market in a niche.

That is totally wrong. It’s not easier to market in a niche.

Think of it this way… what’s easier to do… rank number 1 for the term “credit cards” or “heatmap analytics tool”.

It of course is easier to rank for terms like “heatmap analytics tool”, which funny enough is what one of my former companies does.

But what happens if very few people ever search for terms like heatmap analytics? Sure you’ll get high rankings so you could claim it is easier to do marketing for that product, but if you barely get any traffic and sales from that term does it really matter?

See, rankings don’t mean much. All that really matters is are your marketing efforts paying off.

To keep it simple, are your marketing efforts driving you revenue profitably?

And although niche industries aren’t as competitive, it is harder to generate sales or even traffic. But if you go broad and you go after industries that are applicable to everyone, such as health insurance, it’s much easier to get traffic.

Sure you probably won’t get anywhere near the amount of traffic as the competition, but even if you get 1/100th of the traffic you can still build a big business.

That’s why I don’t go after niches. I go after massive TAMs (Total Addressable Market).

And yes health insurance isn’t sexy but United Health Care, a company most people don’t think about, generates $287 billion dollars a year in revenue.

The bigger the market, the more customers, and the easier it is to make some money. Now, it will be harder for you to win and be the top dog within that industry but hey you don’t have to win in order to generate enough income to be happy.

A prime example of this is one of my friends used to have a best man speech website where he sold speeches to people. He ranked at the top of Google, was the most popular site within the space and he couldn’t figure out how to generate more than $200,000 a year.

Good income nonetheless, but when he put the same effort into the education space, he was nowhere near the most popular site, heck people took him for granted… but he was generating millions a year in profit with the same effort.

As Rich Barton (founder of Expedia and Zillow) once said, it takes the same effort to swing a home run as it does to hit a single or a double. So might as well swing for the fences every time.

Lesson #2: Easier to market multiple products

Similar to lesson number 1, your market size keeps expanding as you continually introduce more products.

The familiar big brands that you know of have many products.

Amazon has ecommerce, streaming, cloud computing, grocery stores, etc.

Google has search, android, self-driving cars, Nest, etc

Apple has phones, laptops, iPads, computers, headphones, etc.

But it isn’t just the well-known brands that have multiple products.

Look at how many business units Danaher has. Same with Fortive, they have tons of business units.

I can’t think of one multi-billion dollar company that I know that doesn’t have multiple products or services.

And if you can think of one, I bet they will have multiple product offers, it is just a question of when. It’s how successful companies continually grow. You have no choice but to expand.

So if you want to grow your traffic or sales, think about what other products you can start offering that your current customers would want.

You can then cross-sell, which should help on the revenue end. But you can also expand your marketing. Just think about all the new paid media or SEO campaigns you can kick off the moment you have more products to sell.

It’s one of the simplest ways to scale your growth.

Lesson #3: The best marketing is word-of-mouth marketing

I first started out in marketing learning SEO and become good at it (or at least I think I am decent at it).

I then got into social media marketing with Digg, which doesn’t really exist in its old form, but it used to drive 20,000 plus visitors to your site in a day if you got on the homepage.

Then I started to learn conversion optimization, email marketing, paid ads, and pretty much all forms of online marketing.

I always thought that you build big business through marketing. And to do well with that you have to take an omnichannel approach.

And although it helps it’s not how you grow into a billion-dollar business.

Luckily from working with some of these unknown multi-billion dollar companies, I’ve gotten to know many CMOs as well as CEOs of some of these companies.

When I ask them what’s their number one marketing channel, do you know what they all tell me?

It’s word-of-mouth marketing or variations of it. In essence, other people telling others about your company, your product, your service… it is how you win.

So then I went on to ask these people, how do you generate more word-of-mouth marketing? When I took all of their responses and aggregated the data, here is what people said were the top 3 ways of getting more word of mouth:

  1. Be in business for a long time – no matter what you are selling and no matter how great it is, word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t happen overnight. People need to be patient and give it 10 plus years for it to fully kick in.
  2. Have an amazing product or service – if your product is great you will have more word-of-mouth marketing. And if it is terrible you will either have little to no word-of-mouth marketing or even worse, you will have it but it will be people talking negatively about you.
  3. Build a big organization – having thousands of people work for you is marketing. Whether it is people listing your company on their LinkedIn or your employees telling other people about your company, having a big labor force working for you is a great way to spread your brand out to the masses.

Lesson #4: Ugly is sexy

Do you need a new pair of shoes? It would be nice to have the latest Jordan shoes, but do you really need them?

Do you need the new iPhone? Again it would be nice to have it, but I bet your old iPhone lets you order food, send text messages, make calls or even check your emails well enough.

Maybe the camera isn’t as good as the new phones, but I bet you don’t use your phone for high-end photography and more so just use it to take selfies… so the new camera isn’t really needed.

But what about industries like payroll? Do you think a business can just stop using its payroll provider?

Well if they do stop, their employees won’t be paid and they won’t have a business.

That’s why companies like Ceridian are so popular. Again, you probably haven’t heard of them but they generate $1.02 billion a year.

Why?

Because they provide payroll services. Businesses can’t just stop using them unless they want to have their employee go unpaid and be pissed at them.

And even if you choose not to use Ceridian for payroll, the chances are whoever you use, pays them for their tax infrastructure as they are one of two companies who help calculate tax information for payroll in the United States.

And building a system that helps calculate payroll tax payments in the United States is complicated. If you get it wrong there are penalties, which is a big liability for any company.

When building that system, you have to think about each state within the United States as well as each county and city as they all have their own tax rules which also constantly change.

In other words, there is a lot of money in building ugly businesses that people need.

You don’t see kids growing up talking about building software to help with payroll taxes. Instead, they talk about creating a new fashion brand or getting paid to be an influencer.

Lesson #5: the United States is not the center of the world

I live in the United States and love this country.

Yes, it has issues, but all countries have problems…

But the United States is by no means the center of the world. The majority of the 7.7 billion people in this world don’t live in the United States. They actually live in other countries.

At my ad agency NP Digital we have people who work with us all over the world. And we have offices in places like India, Brazil, Canada, Australia… and the list goes on and on.

We don’t have these offices for outsourcing as many people would assume. We have these offices to help people out with their marketing within those regions.

For example, why would companies like Cisco want to market to people in India? It’s a booming market.

Even my CEO, he was the president of a division within a publicly traded company. That division had over 4000 employees. And can you guess what percentage of their revenue came from the United States?

Roughly 26%. That means roughly 3/4 of their revenue was coming from regions outside of the United States.

Going global makes it easier for you to get more traffic because there is a bigger pool of people for you to target and in many cases, it is less competitive.

That was one of the instrumental strategies for our fast growth at NP Digital, in which we expanded globally (and we are still adding more regions).

We did this using this strategy. As it helped us get leads and traffic from countries all around the world.

Lesson #6: Your marketing is only as good as your team

Years ago I created a startup called KISSmetrics that failed.

It was a web analytics company that raised $16.4 million from investors.

I had an investor who sat on our board named Phil Black from True Ventures. Overall awesome guy and I loved him as a board member.

I remember him continually giving one piece of advice…

As an entrepreneur you don’t have to figure everything out or do everything on your own, instead you need to hire amazing people. People who have done what you are looking to accomplish and have done it before in your exact industry.

In other words, Phil kept pushing us to hire amazing people for every role.

For example, if you are an ad agency and you need to do better with sales, hire the head of sales from one of your competitors who you know is crushing it. It may cost you a lot of money, but there is a higher chance that they will know exactly what you need to do in order to succeed.

Versus just hiring a head of sales from a random industry because they won’t know your industry and what they need to do in order to succeed.

I wish I understood the power of what Phil was trying to teach to me when we founded the company in 2008. Because if I truly understood it, I would be much further along in my career.

With NP Digital we took that advice to the extreme. Our CEO was the President of iProspect, the largest performance marketing agency (aka a competitor).

Our head of client services came from there as well.

Our COO was in charge of all performance marketing fulfillment at Dentsu, which meant she was in charge of over $1 billion in revenue.

My co-founder and I continually look for the best people. As that is the way to really grow fast.

That’s what large corporations do.

You need to also do that with your marketing. From the person running your marketing division to each individual player such as your SEO or paid media manager.

Do they have industry experience? If not, they may not perform that well.

Did they continually get promotions at their previous jobs? If they didn’t then they may not be as great as they claim to be. It doesn’t matter how good people claim to be, if they didn’t continually get promotions at their previous jobs it means that others didn’t find them as valuable as they claim to be.

These are 2 things to consider when hiring marketers or any role for that matter of the fact. Yes, you want people who are a cultural fit, but you also want people who worked for competitors and continually got promotions and raises in the past because it usually means they did a good job.

Lesson #7: You have to build a brand to do well in the long run

What do you think the most popular search term is on Google within the United States?

Common, take a guess…

It’s actually the term “Facebook”.

Guess what the second most popular search term is?

It’s the term “YouTube”.

The 3rd most popular search term is Amazon. The 5th is Google, 6th is Walmart, and the 7th is Gmail.

Notice a trend here?

The most popular search terms, not just in the United States, but globally tended to be brands.

Just look at the brand Nike. In the United States, it is searched 6 million times a month. And the term shoes is only searched 1.2 million times a month. In other words, Nike gets more searches for the brand each month than the whole category of shoes.

Now, what do you think my most popular search term is that drives traffic to my business?

It’s actually not Neil Patel, it’s Ubersuggest.

Our second most popular term is another brand that we own… Answer the Public.

And the third most popular search term for us is my personal brand, Neil Patel.

To build a big business you need to build a brand.

SEO will only get you so far. Paid ads will only get you so far. To win people must love your product or service if you expect your brand to be big and do well.

If you are struggling to build a brand keep in mind that it just takes time. Don’t expect the world of results in the first 3 years. You’ll have to give it 5 plus years for your brand to start taking off.

Here is an article that I wrote that can help you build a brand and here is a video that can also help you out.

Conclusion

Learning from brands like Apple is great. They are an amazing company. Heck, I’m writing this blog post on a Macbook.

But it’s hard for people to replicate the magic Apple has with their business and even marketing.

On the flip side, it’s much easier for you to replicate the marketing strategies that these unknown multi-billion companies are leveraging because they work for all business types and they aren’t tough strategies to implement.

So, what other strategies have you learned from companies that many of us aren’t familiar with?

Source: New feed 2

What is A/B Testing? A Beginner’s Guide

A graphic depicting A to B testing methods.

No matter how much research you do, not every marketing campaign will get positive results.

That’s why A/B testing is a fantastic method to calculate the best online promotional and marketing strategies for your business.

It can be used to test everything from website copy to sales emails. This allows you to find the best-performing version of your campaign before spending your entire budget on marketing materials that don’t work. While A/B testing can be time-consuming, its advantages are enough to offset the time investment.

All in all, well-planned A/B tests can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Narrowing down and combining the most effective elements of a promotion can create a higher return on investment, lower risk of failure, and above all: a stronger marketing plan.

What Is A/B Testing and Why Does it Matter?

A/B testing is a marketing strategy that pits two different versions of a website, advert, email, popup, or landing page against each other to see which is most effective.

For example, you might test two different popups (to see which drives more webinar sign-ups) or two different Google Ads (to see which drives more purchases). This provides key insights on where and how to invest your marketing budget and gives you the courage to take potentially risky moves.

On my own site, I A/B tested my popup to find out what encouraged users to engage with my brand.

An image of a popup on Neilpatel.com, created through A/B testing.

Over time, we found offering a free website analysis (which provides tons of value to our target audience) was the most effective way to establish expertise and show visitors our value. We were able to compare clicks and conversion rates to see which header would be more impactful to keeping users on our site.

How Does A/B Testing Work?

A/B testing works by randomly showing two versions of the same asset (ad, website, pop-up, offer, etc.) to different users. The random part is important because this provides more accurate information without skewing the results.

One version is the “control” group, or the version already in use. The second version changes a single element. You can change multiple elements, but it does make it harder to tell what change made the difference. This is called multivariate testing (more on this later).

For example, you might show half of your website visitors a blue “buy now” button and the other half a red “buy now” button. After a certain period of time (generally at least two weeks), you’d compare conversion rates to see which color button resulted in more purchases.

Most marketers use a tool to create and display the different versions—we’ll cover A/B testing tools in a later section.

Why Is A/B Testing Important?

Accurate A/B tests can make a huge difference in your return on investment. By using controlled tests and gathering empirical data, you can figure out exactly which marketing strategies work best for your company and your product.

If there’s a possibility that one variation is working two, three, or even four times better than another without putting large capital at risk, it’s careless to run a promotion without testing first.

When done consistently, testing can improve your results substantially. If you know what works and what doesn’t (and have evidence to back it up) it’s easier to make decisions and craft more effective marketing strategies in the long run.

Here are a few other benefits to running regular A/B tests on your website and marketing materials:

  • They help you understand your target audience: When you see what types of emails, headlines, and other features your audience responds to, you gain insight into who your audience is and what they want.
  • Higher conversion rates: A/B testing is the single most effective way to increase conversion rates. Knowing what works and what doesn’t gives you actionable data that can help you streamline the conversion process.
  • Stay on top of changing trends: It’s hard to predict what type of content, images, or other features people will respond to. Testing regularly helps you stay ahead of changing consumer behavior.
  • Reduce bounce rates: When site visitors see content they like, they stay on your site longer. Testing to find the type of content and marketing materials your users like will help you create a better site — and one that users want to stay on.

Ultimately, you’ll be regaining control of your marketing strategies. No more closing your eyes, pressing the “send” button, and merely hoping your customers will respond.

How Do You Plan an A/B Test?

The first thing to do when planning an A/B test is figure out what you want to test. Are you running an on-site test, or an off-site test?

If you’re running an on-site test, you’ll want to think of all the sales-related pieces of your website, and then figure out which elements to split test.

You might test:

  • headlines
  • calls to action text
  • calls to action location
  • pop ups
  • featured images
  • copy
  • the number of fields in a form

With off-site tests, you’re probably testing either an ad or a sales email. Testing ad copy to see which ad drives more conversions can help you focus your advertising efforts. Once you know your ad is converting as well as possible, it’s easier to justify spending more money on it.

The same goes for emails. Send out two versions to your list (randomly selecting which half gets which email), and then track which one converts better. With emails, you can adapt your structure, email subject line, images used, or even your offers.

Knowing what your audience responds best to allows you to write more effective emails in the long run. Once you know what marketing material you want to A/B test, make a list of all the variables. If you’ve decided to test your call to action, you might test:

  • the location
  • the exact text used
  • the button color or surrounding space

A/B testing is a whole process, and it’s common for multiple split tests to be performed prior to making your final decision.

A/B Testing Checklist to Get Started

Before you start split testing, make sure you have a clear idea of the results you’re looking for. You should already know your baseline result, which is the results you’re currently getting. You want to test options A and B against each other, but you also want to know that whichever one does better in the test is also doing better than your current results.

Alternatively, you can use A as your control (leaving whatever you’re currently using) and then use something new for B.

Tests need to be run simultaneously to account for variations in timing. You can’t test one variation today and the other one tomorrow because you can’t factor in any variables that might have changed between now and then. (For example, a new Facebook campaign or a blog post going live.)

Instead, you need to split the traffic seeing your variations at the same time.

Here’s an A/B testing checklist to review before running your first test:

  1. Decide what feature you want to test.
  2. Create two versions of the same ad, landing page, app, etc.
  3. Decide how long your test will run. I suggest at least two weeks, but it may be longer or slightly shorter depending on your traffic and industry.
  4. Choose a testing tool to help you run your test (more on that later).
  5. Launch!
  6. After a couple of weeks, take a look at the results. Which version won?
  7. Rinse and repeat. A/B testing is most effective when done continually.

Top Elements to Test Using A/B Testing

You can test virtually anything in your marketing materials or on your website: headlines, CTAs, body copy, images, navigation bar placement, etc. If you can change it, you can test it.

That doesn’t mean you should spend months testing every little thing. Instead, focus on changes most likely to have a big impact on traffic and conversions.

On your website, this likely includes:

In an email, you might test the title, images, links, CTAs, or segmenting options. In a paid ad, especially a text ad (like a search ad), you have fewer things to change, so you might test the main headline, the offer, image, or targeting.

Testing different offers is crucial. Just make sure that each person is always offered the same promotion. For example, if a free gift is offered to group A, and a discount is offered to group B, then you want to make sure that group A always contains the same visitors, as does group B.

You can also test the full path of conversion. For example, you might test newsletter A with landing page A, and newsletter B with landing page B. Later, you may want to test newsletter A with landing page B, and vice versa.

This can give you a better idea of what is working, especially if you’re getting mixed results or if the results are very close. Here are a few other tests you can run.

Practical A/B Testing Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

Now that we’ve covered what A/B testing is, what you can test, and how to do it, let’s look at a few examples. These should help highlight the power of A/B testing—and what you could be missing if you aren’t using them.

GRENE Tested Horizontal Layout on Category Pages

GRENE, an online retailer, ran an A/B test to find a way to make it easier for users to find the products they were looking for. In the original version (left), the product took up the entire page on mobile devices. Users were finding it difficult to scroll through the different options.

The variant (right), reduced white space and allowed users to view several products and easily scroll through the available options.

A comparison of different mobile page layouts for GRENE, an online retailer.

Results: By changing the layout of category pages, GRENE saw a 15 percent increase in product box clicks, a 16 percent increase in conversions, and a 10 percent increase in visits to the thank you page, which indicates users made a purchase.

WallMonkeys Increased Conversion Rates by Replacing a Slider With a Search Bar

WallMonkeys, an online wall decal website, wanted to improve conversion rates and customer experience. Using CrazyEgg’s heatmap, they were able to see where most customers looked first.

Armed with that information, they decided to swap the slider featured image (top image) for a search bar (bottom image.)

A comparison of a slider and search bar on the top of the Wallmonkeys.com page.

Results: By swapping out featured images and moving the search bar to the middle of the page (based on heatmap data), they were able to increase their conversion rate by 550 percent.

Unbounce Tested a Tweet Vs. Email Opt-in

Unbounce was looking for ways to increase landing page opt-ins. While most businesses ask for an email address, Unbounce decided to see if users would prefer tweeting about a product instead.

So, they compared this opt-in page, which asked for an email address:

An email opt-in page for an Unbounce guide.

This version lets users download the same course by sending out a tweet.

A tweet opt-in page for an Unbounce guide.

How did the changes impact sign-ups?

Results: Unbounce found users preferred to give out an email address to download the course. The email version had a 24 percent higher conversion rate than the tweet version. The results aren’t surprising (most people are used to giving out an email address, after all), but testing gave Unbounce the confidence that their landing page was going in the right direction.

How Much Time Does A/B Testing Take?

A/B testing is not an overnight project. Depending on the amount of traffic you get, you might want to run tests for anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Remember, you only want to run one test at a time for the most accurate results.

Running a test for an insufficient amount of time can skew the results, as you don’t get a large enough group of visitors to be statistically accurate. Running a test for too long can also give skewed results, though, since there are more variables you can’t control over a longer period.

Make sure that you stay abreast of anything that might affect your test results, so that you can account for statistical anomalies in your results. When in doubt, run the test again.

Considering the impact A/B testing can have on your bottom line, it’s worth taking a few weeks to properly conduct tests. Test one variable at a time, and give each test sufficient time to run.

Can I Test More than One Thing at a Time?

There are two approaches to this question. Say you just want to test your headline, but you have three possible variations. In that case, running a single test and splitting your visitors (or recipients in the case of an email) into three groups instead of two is reasonable, and would likely still be considered an A/B test.

This is more efficient than running three separate tests (A vs. B, B vs. C, and A vs. C). You may want to give your test an extra couple of days to run, so you have enough results to see what actually works.

Testing more than one thing at a time, such as headlines and calls to action, is called a multi-variate test, and is more complicated to run. There are plenty of resources out there for multi-variate testing.

You’ll also need to consider how your systems can handle split tests as well as have staff on hand able to analyze multiple results and compile the data into digestible amounts.

Multivariate testing puts a lot more on your plate at once: but it shouldn’t necessarily be avoided. If you have the right procedures in place to handle the extra work load, then go ahead – but if you want a more simplistic approach: one A/B test at a time is just fine.

How to Analyze A/B Testing Data

After your A/B test, you’ll have a pile of data. How do you know which version won? Sometimes the winner will be quite clear. For example, if one version of a landing page results in 50 percent more email sign-ups, you know who won without analyzing much data.

Other times, it’s not so clear. Here’s how to make sure you know which version truly won:

  1. Make sure you have enough data: The best way to tell which variation will perform in the long run is to ensure you have around two weeks of data (at least 30 conversions).
  2. Use an A/B testing significance calculator: Some have a built-in A/B testing significance calculator, or you can use my free tool here. Just add your visitor and conversion numbers to see how much the variation increased sales.

Look beyond the obvious metrics: Not all metrics are created equal. I generally advise looking at conversion rates and traffic. However, some businesses might want to pay attention to other metrics, like average order size. For example, changing your “buy” button to blue results in more conversions, but those customers spend significantly less per order, so you’ll want to keep digging.

Best A/B Testing Tools to Try

If A/B testing sounds complicated, you’re not alone. Plenty of marketers and business owners avoid A/B testing because it feels like too much work or they’re worried they’ll do something wrong. Hopefully, the tips above will help you feel confident you can do it correctly. Now, let’s talk about tools you can use to do A/B testing.

The tool you use will depend on the features you want to test. For example, if you want to test email headlines, your email provider likely offers this tool (both MailChimp and Constant Contact offer this). Facebook ads also offer this feature.

There are also several cheap or free tools that can test website elements and help you understand which variant is most effective.

Free A/B Testing Significance Calculator

If you’ve been wondering how a design or web copy change impacted your sales, then I’ve designed a tool to help. My calculator allows you to enter your visitor and conversion numbers, and then works out if a variation increased your sales, and by how much.

Neil Patel's A/B testing significance calculator.

FAQs

What is A/B Testing and Why Does It Matter?

A/B testing is a marketing strategy that pits two different versions of a website, ad, email, popup, or landing page against each other to see which is most effective. It’s one of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates.

How Do You Plan an A/B Test?

Decide what to test, create two versions, decide on how long to run the test, choose a tool, then see what works!

What Should I A/B Test?

Any part of a paid ad, website, or marketing material including (but not limited to) pop-ups, emails, landing pages, and featured images.

How Much Time Does A/B Testing Take?

Most tests should be run for at least two weeks, but A/B testing should be continual.

Can I Test More Than One Thing At A Time?

Yes, in some cases. In general, it is best to stick to two versions of the same asset.

What A/B Testing Tools Should I Use?

Google’s Optimize is a free, powerful A/B testing tool. Your email platform, landing page tools, or website plugins may also offer this feature. For paid tools, consider Optimizely.

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Google’s Optimize is a free, powerful A/B testing tool. Your email platform, landing page tools, or website plugins may also offer this feature. For paid tools, consider Optimizely.


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Conclusion

A/B testing is a marketer’s best friend. It allows you to see, for example, what ads drive the most conversions, what offers your audience responds to, or what blog headlines drive the most traffic.

There are a variety of tools you can use to get started, including Google Optimize (which is free!) and Optimizely.

If you’re looking to get started with A/B testing, you can start by learning how to A/B test in Google Analytics. Remember: A/B testing is a fantastic tool that should be used by all marketers.

Have you tried A/B testing? If not, what is holding you back?

Source: New feed 2

What is A Shadow Ban? (and How to Fix It)

A graphic with the words, "shadow ban" on it.

Have you recently noticed a huge drop in social media engagement? Suddenly, your social media activity doesn’t seem to show up at all. 

It’s like you don’t even exist on the site…weird!

Is it a bug? Even big sites can suffer from issues occasionally. Maybe you should just check back later. 

There’s another possibility—you might have been “shadowbanned” (previously called ghost banned.)

Shadowbanned accounts are placed into a kind of invisible mode. In other words, they become a “shadow” that no one can see, except the user who is banned. 

If this happens to you, you can take steps to lift your shadowban. We’ll explain the steps for each platform and explain how to avoid getting shadowbanned in the first place. 

What Is Shadowbanning?

Shadowbanning occurs when your posts or activity aren’t viewable to other users, but you haven’t received an official ban or notification. In most cases, the user can still see their own content and have no idea no one else can see their posts. 

It’s a way to let spammers continue to spam without anyone else in the community (or outside of it) seeing what they do.

Why do sites use shadowbans instead of just telling users? If spammers realize they’re banned, they’ll immediately start to look for ways to get around the ban, often by creating a new account. 

With a shadowban, they just keep posting because they don’t even realize they’ve been banned.

This might sound a little odd, but it’s pretty effective. Since most websites and apps deny they shadowban, there’s no way to know for sure that it’s happened—which can make it that much more frustrating. 

If you suspect a shadowban, a change in the website’s search or newsfeed algorithm might actually be to blame. Since the algorithms are the property of social media companies, it’s not in their best interests to reveal how they work to the public. 

Regardless of whether you’ve been penalized deliberately or accidentally, the effect is still the same… no one can see your posts.

What Sites Use Shadowbans

Now that you understand what shadowbans are and how they work, let’s talk about what sites use shadow bans. 

That’s where it gets sticky—the practice isn’t totally out in the open and most platforms deny they use it. 

However, shadowbanning has been reported on sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, among others. 

Respondents to a survey called Posting Into the Void reported four general types of shadowbans:

  • A username or hashtag not showing up in search suggestions
  • A decrease in follower engagement
  • Blocking certain features (e.g., likes or replies) 
  • A temporary ban that reverts to normal after an unspecified time 

Here’s how to tell if you’ve been shadowbanned on popular social media sites:

Twitter Shadowbanning

Does Twitter actually shadowban people? Well, yes and no.

In a blog post, Twitter claimed they don’t “deliberately make people’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the person who posted it”, and they “certainly don’t shadowban based on political viewpoints or ideology.”

However, they do, “rank tweets and search results” to “address bad-faith actors”. Basically, if Twitter thinks you’re a spammer or a troll, its algorithm will penalize your content.

How to Avoid a Twitter Shadowban

Twitter lists these as some of the factors they use to tell if you’re a “bad-faith actor” or not:

  • Whether or not you’ve confirmed your email address
  • Whether you’ve uploaded a profile picture
  • How recently your account was created
  • Who you follow and retweet
  • Who mutes, follows, retweets, and blocks you

To avoid a Twitter shadowban, you should confirm your email address and upload a profile picture.

Don’t spam people, and don’t be overly promotional. If you’re trying to sell a product or service and are posting too much, other users might block your content, causing a shadowban on your account. Instead, aim to post useful or interesting content on Twitter. 

You should also avoid trolling, getting into online arguments, or being too confrontational in your posts and comments. This can lead people to mute or block you.

How to Tell If You’re Shadowbanned on Twitter

There’s no way to tell for sure if you’ve been shadowbanned on Twitter. However, you try to search in an incognito browser to see if your tweets show up. Here’s how: 

  1. Logout of Twitter. 
  2. Open an incognito browser and type in //twitter.com/explore. 
  3. Search for your user name. 
  4. If you see your user name, you are not shadowbanned. 
A depiction of a Twitter account to see if you are shadowbanned.

However, there is a chance Twitter is still reducing the reach of your Tweets. The only way to know if this occurs is to pay attention to your engagement. If Twitter analytics shows a drastic reduction in impressions, there’s a good chance your reach has been limited. 

In most cases, reductions in reach last a few days. Avoid posting content that goes against Twitter’s terms and services and your metrics should return to normal after a few days. 

Instagram Shadowbanning

It’s frustrating to work hard to build an Instagram following, only to find your posts suddenly aren’t showing up. If that occurs, you might start wondering if you’ve been shadowbanned on Instagram. 

Instagram’s CEO has publicly claimed, “shadowbanning is not a thing”, but like Twitter, that’s not entirely true.

While your account might not be shadowbanned, the algorithm could still hide your Instagram posts.

Instagram’s algorithm removes certain content. Namely, the algorithm penalizes content Instagram considers “inappropriate”, even if the content doesn’t go against the app’s Community Guidelines

Specifically, they mention sexually-suggestive content. According to their Community Guidelines, spammy content and content associated with illegal activity or violence is also a no-go.

Instagram prefers “photos or videos that are appropriate for a diverse audience”… so less family-friendly content could put you at risk for an Instagram shadowban. 

How to Tell If You’re Shadowbanned on Instagram

There’s no surefire way to tell if you’ve been shadowbanned on Instagram, but there are a few ways to tell if it’s happening. 

The first way is to use an incognito browser and search “instagram.com @<your user name>” If your account shows up in the search results, you likely aren’t shadowbanned. 

The second way to see if you’ve been shadowbanned on Instagram is to look at your Instagram Insights, especially overall reach. If your reach declined dramatically recently, you might have a shadowban. 

Like Twitter, most shadowbans on Instagram fall away after a few days. Avoid posting content that goes against Instagram’s terms and remove content that might violate their rules. 

Reddit Shadowbanning

Shadowbanning on Reddit is a bit different from shadowbanning on other social media sites. Until 2015, Reddit openly shadowbanned users who broke the site’s rules by hiding their posts.

Then, Reddit announced its shadowbanning system was replaced with an account suspension system. Basically, some Reddit staff thought the shadowban tool had been useful for dealing with bots, but that banning real human users without telling them what they did wrong was unfair.

However, the site appears to occasionally use shadowbans and the r/ShadowBan subreddit is still active.

A depiction of a Reddit post to see if you are shadowbanned.

According to its official content policy, Reddit may enforce its rules by “removal of privileges from, or adding restrictions to, accounts,” and also by “removal of content,” among other methods. 

How to Avoid A Reddit Shadowban

To avoid getting shadowbanned on Reddit, you need to follow their rules. But it’s tricky because the rules on Reddit actually depend on the subreddit you’re on. 

For example, some subreddits ban self-promotion, while others don’t. Some communities ban specific topics entirely. You’ll want to read and comment before submitting your own links. Watch how people react to various types of submissions in each subreddit, and then act accordingly. Many subreddits list their rules in the sidebar (on desktop) or under “About” on mobile. 

You can also check out this unofficial guide on how to avoid being shadowbanned. Some key points:

  • Don’t spam or post too many links to your own content (if you post a lot of other things too, posting one or two links to your own work is generally okay.) 
  • Don’t harass or constantly downvote another user. 
  • Don’t dox others or encourage doxxing (posting someone’s personal information without their consent.)
  • Don’t post illegal or inappropriate content. 
  • Don’t abuse moderators or admins. 
  • Don’t block admins or moderators. 
  • Follow the rules of the subreddit you’re posting in. 

How to Tell if You’re Shadowbanned on Reddit

To find out if you’re shadowbanned on Reddit, make a post in the r/ShadowBan subreddit. A bot will respond, letting you know if you’re shadowbanned.

Even if you’re not, the bot will tell you which posts of yours have been removed recently (if any.) 

If you are shadowbanned, there’s no telling how long it might last, unfortunately. Give it a few days, but you may need to create a new account. Just follow the rules if you create a new account and don’t use it to get around the ban. 

TikTok Shadowbanning

TikTok is a popular social network for sharing short videos. Unfortunately, you can get shadowbanned there, too (sort of.)

How to Tell If You’re Shadowbanned on TikTok

While there’s no official mention of the term “shadowban” in TikTok’s Community Guidelines, like other social media networks, TikTok uses algorithms to rank content. If you get on the wrong side of the algorithm, fewer people might see the content you post.

Your account is also less likely to show up on TikTok For You Page. 

How to Avoid Being Shadowbanned on TikTok

To increase your reach on TikTok and avoid penalties, follow best practices for TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, and always follow the Community Guidelines.

Stay away from illegal material, violence, hate speech, spam, and other similar topics.

To check if you’ve been shadowbanned on TikTok, look at your pageviews and “For You” page statistics. 

You can also use a hashtag in a post, then search for that hashtag. If your post shows up under that hashtag then you aren’t shadowbanned. 

Since TikTok doesn’t “officially” shadowban users, there’s no way to tell how long the decline in reach may last. 

Facebook Shadowbanning

Facebook calls its content moderation policy “remove, reduce, and inform.”

Basically, content that violates Facebook’s Community Standards will be removed from the site, while other undesirable content (like misleading information) may be less visible on Facebook or have a warning label placed on it.

If Facebook is consistently reducing the reach of your content, that could be considered a type of shadowban. In some cases, Facebook will outright ban accounts that share ‘fake’ or ‘harmful’ content.

How to Tell if You’re Shadowbanned on Facebook

If you’re worried your personal page, business page, or group might have been shadowbanned on Facebook, check for a change in engagement levels on your recent posts.

If you notice a recent drop in engagement or impressions, you could have been shadowbanned. 

How to Avoid Being Shadowbanned on Facebook

The main step to avoid a Facebook shadowban is to avoid sharing links to fake or misleading information. Content on the site is checked by independent fact-checking organizations.

Facebook also penalizes links from websites that its algorithm considers clickbait. Low-authority websites without a lot of inbound and outbound links that generate a lot of clicks on Facebook may be considered clickbait.

Facebook groups where a lot of misleading links and clickbait are frequently shared may be shadowbanned.

LinkedIn Shadowbanning

While people don’t often think about a LinkedIn shadowban, it’s possible for your content’s reach to be throttled on the site. 

Like other social media sites, LinkedIn has Community Policies members must follow. 

Since LinkedIn is a professional site, its content policies are stricter than other platforms. Not only should your content be safe, legal, and appropriate, it has to be professional, as well.

Although LinkedIn is obviously a place for career growth and self-promotion, spamming people is still a no-go.

You’ll need to respect others’ privacy and intellectual property. You should also avoid harassment or unwanted romantic advances toward other members.

If you violate LinkedIn’s policies, they may “limit the visibility of certain content, or remove it entirely.”

That said, the LinkedIn algorithm is pretty complicated. Even if your content is perfectly professional and high-quality, it might still not be getting the reach you want.

Engagement and relevance are the top two factors to keep in mind when creating content for LinkedIn.  

YouTube Shadowbanning

While it’s not exactly a social network, it’s definitely still a site where people go to learn and share content. Can you be shadowbanned from YouTube?

YouTube shadowbanning has been in the news because of popular creator PewDiePie. According to his fans, the Swedish video game YouTuber’s channel was penalized in YouTube searches.

Officially, YouTube says it doesn’t shadowban channels, but that some videos might be flagged and need to be reviewed before they show up in search.

In an interview with Polygon, they said they were “currently working on fixing the issue.” 

If you’re worried about shadowbans on Twitter, make sure you follow their Terms of Service and avoid posting spam on the site. 

7 Ways to Avoid Getting Shadowbanned on Social Media

Every social network has its own terms and rules about what type of content is acceptable and what violations merit a shadowban. To avoid shadowbans, make sure you follow the rules of each platform you use.  

However, there are definitely some general trends worth noting. To avoid a shadowban, make sure you: 

  • Follow the Terms of Service of each platform. 
  • Follow and watch power users in your category (see what and how they share.)
  • Don’t post links or copy-pasted content over and over again. 
  • If you’re unsure if the content is appropriate, avoid sharing it. 
  • Treat others politely and respectfully. 
  • Don’t use banned hashtags. 
  • Avoid posting about illegal topics. 

In most cases, if you follow the rules and post content that is interesting and useful, you shouldn’t have to worry about a shadowban. 

FAQs

What is a shadowban?

A shadowban occurs when a social media platform bans a user’s content from showing up without notifying the user. In most cases, the user can still post and respond, but only they see their content. They don’t receive an official ban or notification, hence the name shadowban. 

What sites shadowban users?

Most social media platforms use shadowban in some format, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others. Many platforms claim they don’t “officially” shadowban, but their terms and services effectively reduce the reach of posts by some users. 

How do I avoid a shadowban?

Follow the site’s terms of service, don’t post spam or links that aren’t allowed, don’t post illegal content, and always treat others with kindness.

How do I end my shadowban?

The steps to end a shadowban vary by site. For some, it’s just a period of time you have to wait, while others require reaching out to customer service. Some users get permanently shadowbanned as well.

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Conclusion

You may not realize you’re shadowbanned—at least at first. However, if your reach or impressions has drastically dropped recently, a shadowban is possible. 

What you should do to protect yourself is to be careful that what you post isn’t against the terms and conditions of the site or app. Also, try to avoid spamming content, starting fights with and trolling other users, or posting things that might be considered inappropriate.

A shadowban can be frustrating, especially if you don’t feel like you deserve one. Maybe you don’t agree with the social media algorithm about what is or isn’t inappropriate, or maybe you think you were having a constructive debate while the algorithm thinks you were being a troll.

Hopefully, the tips in this guide can help you avoid being shadowbanned in the future, 

so your content can get better engagement.

What other ways can help people know if they’ve been shadowbanned? Let us know in the comments.

Source: New feed 2

Use These 3 Power Words To Boost Conversion Rates

Imagine if you had the power to influence people’s subconscious minds. It would be great, wouldn’t it? 

As a marketer, you could reach out to consumers and persuade them to click through and buy your product, or they’d see an advert offline and instantly want to rush and buy what you’re selling.

What if I told you there’s no need to wish for it? You already have this ability. 

It’s called marketing psychology, and it’s a proven technique for spurring shoppers to action, or at least encouraging them to find out more.

Power words are a part of marketing psychology that you often see in adverts. In fact, they’re a go-to for many marketers. Think of words like ‘smart,’ ‘fresh,’ ’innovative,’ ‘bold,’ and ‘pioneering.’ 

However, there’s more to power words than that: they’re also effective in creating brand loyalty, and who doesn’t want loyal customers?

In this article, l look at three power words that may significantly impact conversation rate optimization.

Before I get into that, though, let’s have a quick look at what marketing psychology is. 

What is Marketing Psychology? 

In its most simple terms, marketing psychology studies how people interact with products and services.

It encompasses a range of disciplines, including advertising, public relations, market research, and sales. It’s also called neuromarketing, and the goal of marketing psychology is to help marketers understand what makes consumers tick. 

This gives marketers the ‘magical’ ability to know what is most likely to resonate with their prospects and secure the conversion.

If nothing else, when used correctly, marketing psychology is an incredible technique to engage consumers and intrigue them enough that they want to find out more. 

Now, before you start thinking that you need to get all scientific and deep, there are some easy ways to capture your prospects’ attention with psychology.

What Are Power Words?

I’ve already mentioned power words, but maybe you’re not familiar with them, so I’ll explain. 

Power words have a strong emotional impact and marketers use them to influence people’s buying behaviors. 

There are several benefits to using power words for your marketing efforts. Here are some key ones:

  1. The way we speak to and about others has a profound impact on their emotions and behavior. 
  2. In marketing, using persuasive language is critical to creating desired customer outcomes.
  3. There are certain words and phrases that can have a very positive or negative effect on people’s moods and attitudes.
  4. Knowing which words to use can be hugely beneficial in crafting dynamic, inspiring marketing messages.
  5. Knowing how to use power words effectively can help create persuasive messages influencing people’s decisions.

Now, let’s get into these three power words for your marketing, shall we?

1. “IMAGINE”

Why it’s a power word:

Imagine is one of the most impactful words in the English language. 

When you imagine something, you immediately picture it in your mind, creating a level of engagement that’s hard to replicate with other words.

There’s a good reason why the word works so well.

‘Imagine’ evokes emotion and creates positive mental images. When people feel good about something, they’re more likely to take action, whether that means buying a product or service or simply sharing it with others.

You can also use the word to tap into people’s emotions and inspire them. For example, imagine being able to travel the world, or imagine how good it would feel to get in shape.

When we imagine something, we not only see it in our minds, but we feel the emotions associated with it. This can be a big motivator, especially regarding buying decisions.

We can all relate to this.

Maybe you’ve seen an advert for your dream car and imagined yourself behind the wheel. Or perhaps you’ve seen an advert for the lottery, and you’re already imagining that you’ve won. Most of us have done it. We’re already spending the money from our million-dollar win, often before we’ve even brought the ticket.

Finally, ‘Imagine’ is one of the top power words because our reactions to it are immediate: It captures attention quickly and easily.

Of course, you don’t have to use the word ‘image’ directly in your marketing. 

An example:

From telling you the latest news to playing your favorite track on demand, Alexa’s already got many skills, but imagine if it could read your mind. That’s the premise behind a recent Superbowl advert.

In it, actress Scarlett Johansson and comedian Colin Jost imagined what life would be like if Alexa knew what they’re thinking and said it out loud.

An image from a Superbowl ad.

The results weren’t all good, with Alexa inadvertently telling a variety of people things you wouldn’t necessarily want them to know.

Besides its comedic moments, the ad shows us that you don’t even need to use an actual power word for your marketing: just the suggestion of it is enough.

2. “YOU”

Why it’s a power word:

You is a placeholder for your name.

I know—it’s an obvious one. Perhaps the three most captivating words in sales are youfree, and guaranteed.

It might not be the most apparent power word that springs to mind, but think about it.

‘You’ represents your name. It personalizes your advertising, which is why marketers often use it in headlines and throughout copy.

‘You’ makes people feel important, heard, and seen. When used in advertising, it can tap into those feelings and create a connection with the customer. When customers feel they are being spoken to directly, they are more likely to respond positively.

In fact, ‘You’ is such a strong power word that most copywriters use it in their advertising.

Do you know why? Because, yes, you’ve guessed, the advertiser is talking directly to YOU, the consumer.

The reason words that refer to us are so powerful is a psychological effect called Fundamental Attribution Error, a type of cognitive bias. Basically, while we are naturally critical of other people, our critical minds take a break when we evaluate ourselves.

And guess what? There’s nothing as stimulating to us as our interests, desires, ambitions, goals, yearnings, and emotions. For our whole lives, that is all we have; as long as your copy addresses those things for your prospect, it is guaranteed to carry them along in a rapt, semi-torpid daze of introspection.

An example:

A graphic of a marketing message from MailChimp that uses power words.

Look at how MailChimp uses the word you and your in its website’s copy

Throughout its site, MailChimp spells out:

  • Why you should use its product. For example, MailChimp breaks down how it helps you create better campaigns, its host of features, and integrated marketing capabilities as reasons why a consumer would want to subscribe to its product.
  • The benefits of using its product for your business. For instance, MailChimp highlights its 300-plus app integrations, expert guidance and award-winning support as selling points. 

Then, it promises to keep you:

  • Informed, motivated, and ahead of the competition.

MailChimp then finishes by telling prospects, ‘they’ve got your back.’

See how it works? Wouldn’t it tempt you to sign up and start taking advantage of everything the product offers? Think about how you can do the same in your copy.

3. “BECAUSE” 

Why it’s a power word:

There are many reasons why ‘because’ is a power word, but three, in particular, stand out. The first reason is that it’s a psychological trigger. When someone hears or sees the word ‘because,’ their brain immediately starts looking for a reason; once they find one, you’re more likely to persuade them with what you’re saying. 


The second reason is that it’s concise. ‘Because’ is the perfect word to use to get your message across efficiently.

The third reason is its versatility. You can use ’because’ in both formal and informal settings, with adults and children. It’s a word that everyone understands and can use effectively.

There’s more to it, though. Here are a few more reasons why ‘because’ is a power word.

  1. Because is a logical connector.

    The word because helps to make your argument or point more convincing by linking your reasoning clearly and concisely. When someone understands why you did something, they’re more likely to be on your side.

  2. Because is emotional.

    Psychologically, we tend to react more strongly to things that are accompanied by a strong emotion. ‘Because’ stirs up feelings of certainty and confidence, which can be very persuasive when trying to get someone to do something.

  3. Because is contagious.

    When we hear others use because effectively, it subconsciously influences our behavior and speech.

You’ve probably heard of “reason why” advertising—a phrase I believe comes from John E Kennedy, though I learned it from Drayton Bird. As human beings, we crave order. We want to know why something is the way it is, and what caused something to happen. And we crave it, particularly in our own lives.

These kinds of reasons, cause and effect relationships, are encapsulated in the word because. When our mind’s gatekeeper—the “critical factor”—hears that word, it treats it as a cue to let the speaker (or writer) through to the unconscious mind.

If you think back to your childhood or watch how kids negotiate with their parents, you’ll immediately see that this works precisely, as Langer showed. Perhaps this sort of situation sounds familiar:

“Mom, can I have some biscuits?”

“No, darling, not now.”

“But mom, I love biscuits.”

“I know, sweetie, but I said not now.”

“But mom, why?

“Because I said so.”

Is that a real reason? No, it ain’t! It’s just a reiteration of what the kid already knows, right? But at this point, most children accept that it’s time to give up. And that’s something “programmed” into us, even as adults. It makes the word “because” very powerful.

An example:

An image of a L'Oréal marketing message that uses power words.

Who hasn’t heard of L’oreal’s ‘because you’re worth it’ tagline? There can’t be many people out there in that category.

L’oreal’s slogan dates back over 50 years. Since its creation by junior copywriter Ilon Specht, the slogan took the world by storm, and you can see it in 40 languages.

As L’oreal states, the tagline resonates today and encourages self-worth and belief. 

The takeaway? Think about how you can make your slogan timeless and meaningful when using power words.

Power Words FAQs

What are power word examples?

Some examples of power words include: amazing, astonishing, incredible, beautiful, brilliant, exciting. These words grab attention and make people want to learn more about what you have to say.

How can we increase conversions?

You can improve conversion rate optimization by creating targeted campaigns, publishing compelling, keyword-based content, making your website easy to navigate, and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. You can also use power words.

What are strong power words?

Some examples include:
1. Awesome
2. Breathtaking
3. Compelling
4. Eye-opening

What affects the conversion rate?

The general layout of your site can have a significant impact on conversion rate optimization. The more cluttered and confusing it is, the more likely your prospect is to go elsewhere.

Your content also needs to be relevant to your audience, and the offer itself must be attractive for people to convert;

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Power Words Conclusion

These are not the only power words. There are others. But these three are particularly powerful and valuable to us as marketers and salespeople.

Imagine. You. Because.

They are also conveniently easy to work into copy, videos, and even face-to-face sales presentations. 

You’d want to start using power words in your copy for many reasons, but the most obvious one is conversion rate optimization. 

With some practice, you can start using these words to create more effective marketing materials and improve your bottom line.

Do you use power words in your copy? Which ones get the best results?

Source: New feed 2

Preventing Keyword Cannibalization with Ubersuggest

The name of the SEO game has changed so much since I started in the industry.

Driven by sales made on social media and social ecommerce booming earlier than expected, along with businesses wanting to bulk up their online presence, search volumes have increased tremendously over the years. 

These days, Google processes over 100,000 searches per second, every day. Chances are, people are looking for all types of businesses, from a digital marketing agency to the newest brunch spot in their area. 

Users are demanding relevant content. So, keywords play a critical role in your page rank. 

While a steady stream of relevant content is helpful to your audience, keyword cannibalization could threaten your content’s performance.

You don’t want to weaken your content production engine by having a weak SEO keyword strategy or focusing too much on the same topics.

The words you choose will dictate not only who will see your content, but how it performs. If you’re consistently adding to your site, you may need an audit. This is important so you don’t showcase similar topics, causing keyword cannibalization. 

Is your content taking a bite out of your chances for high-ranking opportunities?

You can’t have your high Google rank and eat it too. 

So, don’t make this big SEO mistake.

Let’s break down why keyword cannibalization is harmful to your site and how I can help you fix it with the right tool. 

What Is Keyword Cannibalization?

Believe it or not, this is a common problem with SEO. 

Having multiple pages on your website optimized for the same or similar search query can result in all pages ranking poorly. 

Keyword cannibalization is when you become your own competition for the top-ranking position, but this isn’t a good thing.

These pages are eating away at each other’s organic performance, hurting your search rankings.

The issue of keyword cannibalization confuses search engines as well as users. 

You’ll need to switch up your SEO keyword strategy to not lose page authority, slate your relevant pages, or waste your crawl budget. 

If this term doesn’t sound familiar to you, check out my explanation on “what is keyword cannibalization?” to sharpen your keyword strategy.  

What Do Site Owners Get Wrong With Keyword Strategies That Leads to Keyword Cannibalization?

After laying the foundation for your online presence, you may find issues with your content and your SEO keyword strategy. With so much content, you’re bound to cover topics more than once. 

For example, WP Engine has multiple content categories, but by using keywords to shape or refresh their content, they can avoid cannibalization issues.

A screenshot of the multiple content categories on the WP engine website.

To avoid SEO missteps, figure out how to avoid keyword cannibalization. 

It’s likely to be resolved by reimagining your keyword strategy. Even if you’re a new brand, it is good to keep this practice in mind. 

Don’t feel bad about this happening on your site. 

Targeting similar keywords on multiple pages will reveal the flaw to this formula – and may even cost you your page rank. So, what goes wrong in a keyword strategy to lead to this?

Not Having a Targeted Keyword Strategy

Simply put: a targeted keyword strategy is the steps taken to find keywords in your research, content planned based on those keywords, and tracking of the keywords’ results. 

How you target those keywords is what’s important. So, I suggest you look into keywords in relation to your product and what your competitors are doing for more opportunity.

Your insights from these results show how you make informed decisions with your efforts.
Don’t ruin your chances for potential leads by not having a targeted keyword strategy. 

If you’re just getting started or conducting an SEO audit, creating your keyword strategy will be a good start to organizing search marketing tactics. 

After all, being accessible in the SERPs is what will be valuable and profitable to your brand. 

Not Having Keyword Tracking in Place

Choosing the right SEO keywords to optimize is key, but how will you know which words or phrases to pick without a plan? 

I recommend you get an actionable flow going.

Start with monitoring the rankings of your site and your competitors on a daily to weekly basis. Active keyword tracking lets you see where your competitors are having success and if you’re missing out on potential opportunities. You can see the below example of how this looks on Ubersuggest.

A screenshot of Ubersuggest's analytics features, showing which keywords are ranking through a keyword strategy.

Knowing this information, you can make informed movements to maintain performance and outrank the competition for target keywords.

With an understanding of your competition, you can increase your visibility as well. Having a share of voice on your target keywords will reveal which keywords are the right fit for you. 

You will then increase client visibility of your content. However, this isn’t our only goal. 

Once you’re tracking your keyword position regularly, you can measure SEO or PPC efforts. This will extend your lens of overall visibility to pinpoint customer defining keywords. 

Getting this detail-oriented with keyword tracking will help you analyze search intent. This step will save your content marketing efforts because you won’t be “getting lucky.” 

Analytics will show you why people search for certain keywords, so you don’t have to guess. 

Conducting these searches on Google will show you the intent behind the search, and why it’s relevant to your products, services, or content. 

Building Content Around Keywords, Not Topics

No more guessing means you can build content around keywords and not topics. 

Expanding from a keyword is what will make your SEO keyword strategy tactical. Content based on topics may not be what your audience wants. Remember to watch the metrics to see the response to keywords in your content. 

Topics can keep your content organized, but keywords will suggest the direction to take content for ideal engagement and responses. Different types of keywords can work towards different goals in search engines. While short-tail keywords may have high search volume, long-tail keywords are more focused, which could mean a higher conversion rate. 

A little secret is getting short-tail keywords worked into your long-tail keywords. 

For example, say you’re a copywriter coach, and your long-tail keyword is SEO website copywriter coach. You have at least three short-tail keywords within this long-tail keyword to help you reach your intended audience.

Keywords being divided into categories helps with reach as well. From geo-targeting to contextual keywords, search engines can put you in front of exactly who’s looking for you. 

So, you see, it’s not the topic, but the keyword that will work to your advantage. 

Having Too Many Smaller Pages on Similar Topics

Here’s the deal: Pages have to be unique to perform well.

There are a few things you can do for these smaller pages to eliminate keyword cannibalization: 

  1. Combine the content: If the topics are similar, fold them into one piece. This way, you can design an updated and robust long-form piece. 
  2. Analyze backlink opportunities: Once you see where you can backlink to, you will know what topics you have already covered. This way, you can keep a wide range of content with intentional keyword usage.
  3. Use a keyword research tool: Google Analytics or Search Console can help you track keywords. You can also do a site search on Google using a simple formula. Type Site: YourDomain.com Keyword and you can see your page rank for these specific keywords.
A screenshot of a keyword research tool showing which keywords a given domain is ranking for.

However, I have another advanced keyword research tool you can put to the test.

Building a Content Strategy With Ubersuggest: Step-by-Step

Remember: we’re trying to get comprehensive data for your SEO keyword strategy. 

The data reveals the topic’s importance to your audience. This way your content can successfully convert based on the keyword and spark further topic ideas. 

To do so, it is best we use a keyword research tool to prevent cannibalization

Using a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest will simplify things for you. All from one dashboard, you’ll be able to organize your effort to find keyword cannibalization quickly and spot competing pages on your site. 

Let’s assess this from a clear overview of risk management for keyword cannibalization:

Scout Competitor Strategies

To optimize your online presence, conduct a competitor analysis. See where your competitors are ranking and aim to outrank them. Capitalize on an angle they missed for an opportunity to perform against their keywords. 

So, let’s put Academy into Ubersuggest and see what keywords their competitors are ranking for. 

A screenshot of Ubersuggest's analytics feature that displays the number of monthly traffic to a website.

We can now see the similar domains to Academy as well as their monthly traffic for the past year. If we scroll through the results, we can see Walmart is in the top ranking of all the competitors with similar domains. 

A screenshot of Ubersuggest's analytics feature that showcases keywords that a given website is ranking for with a keyword strategy.

From this data, Academy can review the keyword ‘kayak’ and a couple others they can apply to their SEO keyword strategy based on what makes sense for their company.

They can conduct a competitive analysis and plan how to outrank Walmart for these keywords. This will make their page authority stronger and get them in front of more customers.

Find Keywords With Strong Search Volume That Are Relevant to Your Audience

Continuing with this search for Academy, look at the relevant keywords for their audience. 

Would it make sense to use ‘shells’ as a keyword if you’re Academy, just because Walmart is high ranking for it? 

No. Old El Paso taco shells aren’t a product Academy offers and wouldn’t make sense under their umbrella for “sports and outdoors” items. 

However, footwear like the keywords ‘Crocs’ and ‘Converse’ follow the brand’s product offerings. The keyword ‘kayak’ applies as well, tying to the brand’s distribution of outdoor equipment.

These keywords have a strong search volume, where Academy has the chance to rank higher against competitors. 

With Ubersuggest, the approach to content with keywords accurate to your content is a game-changer. 

Regularly review the flow of your page URL, SEO title, and meta description to keywords. The analytics will speak for your audience through organic traffic and conversions.

Listen to the analytics. It’ll ultimately show the most valuable content on your site.

Create Solid Content Ideas That Incorporates the Keywords, Not the Other Way Around

Converting copy is the goal. 

You’re not writing for readability alone. This is your chance to establish brand credibility. 

Solid content copy matches your audience’s search intent with the goals of your keyword strategy. Keeping your content refreshed and orderly seals the package for attractive content delivered to your audience.

You will achieve the results you’re looking for with the help of incorporating aligning keywords. 

Content copy in line with the keywords will make it easier for customers to find you. They will use keywords that you satisfy in content-rich pages that describe what they need.

You’ll know your keyword strategy is supporting your marketing strategy when these results materialize. 

Build Your SEO Keyword Strategy Around Data From Ubersuggest

Use your data visualizations to guide you.

Build your best SEO keyword strategy on progression you make shown in graphs and other analytics. When you can see your visibility amongst customers, distribution, or even traffic, you can make data-driven decisions. 

You don’t have to rely solely on Google for data, either. The Chrome extension for Ubersuggest allows you to get personal with the data. Insights from your backlinks, keywords, and traffic overview reveal new opportunities. With this information tailored to your site, you can get new content and keyword ideas to keep creating unique content. 

That’s what really matters with SEO.

Users have reported the detailed charts have allowed them to reposition their rank. They did so by paying attention to keyword search volumes to guide their content creation. 

The dashboard can be set based on your preferences and we regularly update to make sure we present the most accurate numbers for you to follow. 

We make it easy for you to draw data and refine your keyword strategy. 

Create and Establish a Tracking Plan

An effective keyword research tool like Ubersuggest can help you come up with a plan. 

Your content relies on your keyword monitoring. 

With a tracking plan, you’ll have metrics that show your rankings in search engines in relation to your choice keywords. From this overview of your site’s search engine presence, you can make adjustments where your SEO keyword strategy needs it. 

You can group keywords to form topic clusters or content clusters. Grouping the content will help you rank high and have deep-rooted page authority. You can even establish which clusters will have a higher priority within your content. 

Make sure your ideation reflects the keywords, so they have purpose in the content. 

With our Keyword Lists feature, you can keep up with the progress and success of a keyword set. 

A screenshot of Ubersuggest's keyword lists feature that helps you target keywords you want to rank for.

After using our Keyword Ideas feature, come to the Lists section and add in keywords to curate your list.

A screenshot of Ubersuggest's keyword lists feature that helps you target keywords you want to rank for.
A screenshot of Ubersuggest's keyword lists feature that helps you target keywords you want to rank for.

After adding in keywords to your list, let’s look at the results.

A screenshot of Ubersuggest's keyword lists feature that helps you target keywords you want to rank for.

Now, you can see how the keywords input performs in search volume, average cost per click, paid difficulty, and SEO difficulty. 

From here, you can establish which keywords will work best for you or reimagine your ideas.

Within your plan, you can even export this data to see how the data changes over time. As things change, you can continue to make adjustments to create a strong keyword strategy.

FAQs

How to avoid keyword cannibalization?

Each of your pages should have unique content. If not, you will struggle with keyword cannibalization. Having a batch of similar keywords and reviewing your backlink opportunities will reveal topics that may have been duplicated. Your SEO keyword strategy can’t help you rank if your content is siphoning traffic from itself. Having relevant content on the page that matches your keywords will help your content convert.

Keyword cannibalization examples

<h3> Keyword cannibalization examples </h3>
Let’s keep it simple: if two pages are targeting the same keyword, the one ranked the highest is “eating” traffic from the content on the other page. For example, if the URL rankings are always changing, it’s because Google is confused about which to rank higher. That fluctuating rank may cause the wrong post to rank higher. The keywords you aimed to rank for may also cause the piece to struggle. Your content must align with user search intent to avoid cannibalization. 

How to fix keyword cannibalization?

Start with a search through Google using “Site: YourDomain.com Keyword” to see what information comes up from your site. If there are similar variations using these keywords, you can fix these keywords by combining the content. Additionally, batching all similar keywords in one piece and doing backlink research can curb this situation in the future. 

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Each of your pages should have unique content. If not, you will struggle with keyword cannibalization. Having a batch of similar keywords and reviewing your backlink opportunities will reveal topics that may have been duplicated. Your SEO keyword strategy can’t help you rank if your content is siphoning traffic from itself. Having relevant content on the page that matches your keywords will help your content convert.


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Conclusion

Once you have checked your site for keyword cannibalization, you can get back to driving conversions. 

As I mentioned, this concept is a common SEO mistake. However, it’s also something that can be avoided. 

Search algorithms are getting smarter every day when assigning ranks. Regularly audit your content to keep your keyword strategy in good shape as things change over time. 

I don’t want to see your content falling victim to keyword cannibalization. 

That’s why I made Ubersuggest so businesses can be more aware. With the Chrome extension, you can be even better prepared to make pivots at any time. 

Using my approach and this keyword research tool, you can rid your site of keyword cannibalization.

Keep your content at the top of the page and constantly converting.

What other steps do you take to avoid keyword cannibalization?

Source: New feed 2

Pulling Back the Curtain on Email Deliverability

You can create the best email in the world, but it won’t matter if it doesn’t make it to your subscriber.

And that’s why it’s vitally important you work with an email service provider (like FeedBlitz!) who places the highest possible focus and dedication on their deliverability practices.

But what does deliverability mean? And how and when does it actually happen? And is there anything you can do to help?

The answers to those questions and many more are what you will find in this post. There’s a lot of ground to cover when it comes to email deliverability, so without further delay, let’s jump right in.

In this post, you’ll learn:

What is email deliverability?

Deliverability is a fairly common buzzword in the world of email marketing. However, unless you’re in the business of establishing and safeguarding it — or have had your email efforts impacted because of the lack of it — there isn’t a lot of clarity around the term and how companies achieve, monitor, and protect a high deliverability status.

In the simplest of terms, deliverability is the processes and protections that allow your emails to reach your subscribers. It sounds pretty simple, but everything that takes place to get your emails from creation to open is much more complex.

Knowing the ins and outs of email deliverability will help you make wiser decisions regarding your email marketing efforts. And it’ll also offer vitally important clarity when deciding which email service provider (ESP) to work with.

Because again, you can design the prettiest emails possible, filled with the best content of your life, but it all means nothing if you’re with an ESP who cuts corners and your emails don’t actually get delivered.

Key terms related to email deliverability.

Anytime you’re working with a complex topic, starting with a foundation of key terms is best. The following terms will be helpful to know as you dig deeper into this blog post:

  • Deliverability – getting your emails to a subscriber.
  • Inboxing – getting your emails to a subscriber’s inbox (including Gmail’s promotions tab) as opposed to the spam folder.
  • Reputation – receiving internet service providers (ISPs) review, judge, and estimate the safety of emails being sent by a particular email address — based on their own top-secret set of rules and guidelines — which ultimately determines whether your email will be allowed or denied.
  • Authentication – a process to further validate the sender of your emails established through SPF, DKIM and DMARC, which use DNS to ensure permission has been granted.

What happens when you send an email?

Deliverability checks are not something that takes place one time, in one specific step of the email sending process. It can — and does — happen at multiple stages of the process every time one of your emails begins to send.

To help give you a better idea of how and when this can happen, we’ll start with all the things that happen when you send an email, i.e., the path your email takes from the moment it begins sending to its arrival at your subscriber’s door.

There are many more steps than you may realize, and that’s because most of the process takes place behind the scenes. The full process is a bit more nuanced and detailed than what’s outlined here, but the six steps highlighted below will give you a solid frame of reference for the process.

While most ESPs follow similar, if not the same steps, below is a FeedBlitz-specific version to help show additional checks performed throughout the way:

A graphic diagram of the six steps of what happens when you send an email listed below.

Step 1 – You create an email. And when working in FeedBlitz, before you’re even able to send or schedule the mailing, the content is checked against our in-house protocols. For example, you won’t even be allowed to send an email that may potentially be rejected by ISPs.

Step 2 – The email begins sending. A unique email copy is created for each subscriber and sent to one of our outbound SMTP servers. (SMTP = the internet’s email protocol)

Step 3 – Our SMTP servers send the email to the ISP. FeedBlitz’s SMTP servers then send your mailing to the receiving ISP’s servers.

Step 4 – ISP reputation check. The receiving ISP’s inbound email server runs a series of reputation checks (on the sender) and content scans (on the email).

Step 5 – Receive, reject or quarantine. The ISP will then either allow your email through, immediately reject it, or quarantine the email by sending it to a subscriber’s spam folder.

Step 6 – Email received! (or bounced/rejected) FeedBlitz gets feedback on whether your email was received or recorded as a bounce/undeliverable.

At any step of the process, deliverability and reputation checks can kick in and prevent your email from arriving.

Luckily, the strict standards and practices many ESPs (like FeedBlitz!) have in place work to catch anything before the email even reaches outbound servers. They will also diligently monitor all feedback loops from ISPs and swiftly suspend any list whose feedback is not up to par.

Actions you can take to boost your deliverability and sender reputation.

Good email deliverability isn’t only in the hands of your ESP. You as a client can have a significant impact on your reputation with your subscribers, which can and will boost your individual deliverability success.

Below are five action items you can do to help boost your own deliverability and sender reputation even further.

  1. Set up authentication for your sending domain.

    Authentication is an added layer of verification to let ISPs know you are the true, valid sender of the email and that you’ve okayed FeedBlitz to do that for you. It involves SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. However, DMARC is typically used by high-level enterprise clients.

    FeedBlitz servers send your campaigns on behalf of the sending email you supply. (Note: This is why you may notice your email reads via feedblitz@mail.feedblitz.com in email apps like Gmail or Outlook.) Authentication provides additional validation by saying, “Yes! This email is from me, and I authorize FeedBlitz to send it on my behalf! But please show me as the true sender.”

    This reinforces the level of trust an ISP forms with you and your emails. Hello, reputation booster.

    Are you a FeedBlitz client and not sure where you stand on your authentication? Click here to log in and run a quick scan.

    And if you’re ready to put authentication into action for your FeedBlitz-support campaigns, these steps walk you through how to set things up for your account: Protect Your Brand with SPF and DKIM and What Is and How to Create a DMARC Profile.

  2. Keep an eye on engagement data for your campaigns.

    How your email is received by subscribers is a strong indicator of the reputation you have with your audience. Are they opening? Clicking? Complaining? Unsubscribing? These data points are very important to FeedBlitz, fellow ESPs, and to individual ISPs who decide whether to prioritize (or deprioritize!) your emails.

    Healthy engagement is the strongest indicator of a healthy mailing list. And everyone likes healthy when it comes to deliverability.

    In FeedBlitz, you can track engagement data for each campaign from the list dashboard, dive deeper into in on the individual mailing dashboards, or pull a full engagement report to see engagement data over a chosen period of time.

    Note: Not sure what a good open rate is? Check out this episode of Win the Inbox to learn more.

  3. Review your content strategy and email best practices.

    This may seem a bit broad, but it relates back to something in section 4 of this post: Your audience ultimately determines what is or is not spam.

    Along with your quality content, you want to deliver a smooth, seamless experience for your subscribers. This means taking into consideration details such as:



    – Are you mailing regularly? A consistent cadence sets your subscribers’ expectations and can heighten open rates.

    – Is your branding all connected? From your website to your email template, the colors, the images, etc.? This helps with brand recognition, emphasizing you are someone the subscriber knows, likes, and trusts. (Again, better engagement is the result!)

    – Are you sending the content your audience signed up to receive? This can be a big determining factor in the frequency of how often a subscriber opens your emails. Deliver on what you promised when they signed up!

    – Is your template accessible for different audiences? This is where font size, color contrast, alt text for images come into play. The easier your email is to read and engage with, the wider your audience can become.

    That’s a small selection of things to consider, but it’s a great start to creating a smooth experience for your subscribers.

  4. Subscribe to your own list.

    Somewhat related to actionable #3 above, subscribing to your own mailing list not only ensures the end-to-end subscriber experience is up to your standards but also lets you know immediately if your emails are potentially being routed to somewhere other than the inbox.

    This also falls into best practices as you’re able to view test emails across different platforms and devices before hitting send.

    Again, the idea is to make sure your subscribers are having a seamless experience with every campaign you send, so it’s always best to check on different devices and email agents when possible.

  5. Remove people who are no longer opening or clicking your emails.

    While FeedBlitz handles unsubscribes and bounces for you automatically, if there“s one thing the team recommends the most to clients across the board, it’s removing inactive subscribers. This keeps your list — and engagement data — healthy.

    If a subscriber hasn’t opened or clicked one of your mailings in 60+ days, chances are they’ve lost interest. So instead of keeping them on your list with the mindset of “a bigger list is a better list!” set them free and move forward.

    In FeedBlitz, there are two ways you can go about this: one would be to send a re-engagement campaign and check if these inactive subscribers are still interested in sticking around, and the other would be to identify and remove them in one fell swoop. The choice is yours. Just remember, the name of the game is healthy, engaged mailing lists!

Some of these action items you can work on and complete right away, and others you may choose to take a week or month to focus on. Either way, the suggestions outlined above will not only have a positive impact on your deliverability but also on the relationships you have with your subscribers.

How FeedBlitz safeguards and boosts deliverability.

In this section, you will learn some of the secrets, standards and practices FeedBlitz has in place to protect and boost email deliverability.

These practices not only keep our clients’ emails going but allow us to consistently maintain our industry-leading deliverability rate of 99.8%. When an ESP works hard to safeguard their reputation, they’re also working hard to safeguard yours.

It’s important to take deliverability practices into consideration if you’re comparing ESPs to see which is a good fit for you. While an ESP may not go into great detail on their in-house practices, you’re welcome to use the six items outlined below as a guideline for questions to ask.

Without going into too much detail — we do have to protect some industry secrets, and we’re highly aware that bad actors read this to learn how to try and skirt the rules — below are six deliverability-related items you may find interesting. (Or, at the very least, you may find them insightful if you’ve ever had a list suspended or mailing halted!)

  1. We own all of our servers.

    That means when you’re sending with FeedBlitz, you’re not sharing a server with anyone who hasn’t been well-vetted or anyone who also isn’t being monitored 24/7/365. We have complete control over our infrastructure.

    Owning our own servers is hugely important. Some ESPs do not own their servers, and ultimately, they do not have full control over their reputation management. This leaves you vulnerable to your emails being potentially stopped if an unknown bad actor sends from the shared server your emails are sending from, the entire server, and everyone on it, is taken down.

    When this happens, the server’s IP can be added to a blocked list which is monitored by ISPs (who then reject your emails, not letting them through the door), as well as third-party lists many ISPs check as well — all because of emails you didn’t even send!

    One bad apple really can ruin the barrel in these situations…which is why FeedBlitz doesn’t cut corners when it comes to protecting deliverability.

  2. Feedback loops and changes with major ISPs (i.e., Gmail, Yahoo, Comcast, etc.) are constantly monitored.

    Meaning, we keep very close tabs on things such as how your audience interacts with your emails, any rejections or bounces which come through, oddly large groups of hard bounces, and velocity-based triggers. Resulting in your email having the best chance of getting through to your subscriber.

    As part of the monitoring process, if one of our servers is being throttled by an ISP, your campaigns will be quickly routed away from the machines in question so they can continue sending while further research is completed on the server and IP.

    If an ISP has cleared out a batch of old or undeliverable emails, we’ll confirm this is correct and not merely a glitch in the email ecosystem.

  3. Every email list and every subscriber is checked before they’re even allowed in the door.

    And that is not an understatement. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 subscribers or 10 million subscribers, each and everyone is checked against our own set of internal block lists, matched against 3rd party known purchased or rented lists, and will result in immediate suspension — and quite possibly being blocked from FeedBlitz all together — if an email address returns as a spam trap.

    We ruthlessly guard imports to protect the reputation of all FeedBlitz clients. If a list is suspended due to a blocked import or poor quality metrics (more on this below), it will remain suspended for at least 24 hours while the import file is being reviewed. After reviewing, the deliverability team will evaluate whether or not the import will be allowed to proceed and if the list will be reinstated.

    To put it plainly, we check receipts on each and every subscriber you try to bring into our home so our clients can rest easy knowing everyone is held to the same high level of quality control.

  4. Before you’re able to leave the editor, your emails go through the same content filters ISPs will run when deciding whether to allow or deny your email entry to the subscriber.

    Step four in the process listed above is where the destination ISP runs a series of checks to then decide what to do with your email.

    FeedBlitz created a series of content-based checks within the Visual Mailing Editor (VME) to mirror those an ISP will run.

    And while the industry has evolved quite a bit, and there is less emphasis on the presence of common spam/trigger words when it comes to deciding whether to allow your email through or not, it is still a factor to take into consideration.

    These content scans are also a safeguard against making sure your account has not been compromised.

    It’s frustrating, but bad emails can still come from good places, and that’s why multiple checks and balances are in place throughout the email creation and sending process to help ensure the success of your efforts.

    Important note: Because reputation extends to the links in your emails as well, this is why FeedBlitz doesn’t even allow an email that links out to a bad IP to be sent. We’re always looking out for you!


  5. How your subscribers engage with your mailings has a big effect.

    Just because a mailing passes our filters, ultimately, it’s up to your audience to decide whether or not it’s spam.

    Even if your email isn’t flagged as spam, ISPs (and FeedBlitz!) track all feedback from subscribers in how they interact with your mailings.

    This includes opens, clicks, and unsubscribes. It all has an impact on your deliverability. ISPs keep just as close tabs on this as we do. For example, when emails aren’t opened frequently, a subscriber’s ISP makes note of this and can demote or deprioritize them.

    FYI: If a mailing comes back with a lot of unsubscribes or complaints, it’s suspended in FeedBlitz for at least 24 hours while our team conducts a thorough review.

    This all works to keep your reputation and the reputation of all FeedBlitz clients in as good of standing as possible. And as you’ve probably picked up on by now, we don’t play around when it comes to sending reputations.

  6. New practices are regularly implemented.

    As the world of email evolves, so do we. Our team continually adjusts our in-house practices and protocols, as well as implementing new items. For example…

    – In April of 2022, we informed clients our deliverability team was increasing our email capacity by 40% by warming up a new batch of servers. Deliverability ?

    – Large lists with a very low open rate (<10%) will be run through an auto-purge feature to maintain open rate stats and engagement data? You guessed it, deliverability ?

    – New DMARC checks are live in the authentication dashboard of your account settings. Again, hello, deliverability ?

    Some updates are minor (auto-purge, for example) while others are more substantial (i.e. a new batch of servers). Regardless, all current and new practices are multi-pronged to address a variety of deliverability-related factors.

That’s a very small handful of the practices in place which keep FeedBlitz not only in good standing with all major ISPs but also leading the industry with a consistent 99.8% deliverability rate.

Because when your ESP has a good reputation, you have a good reputation, and your emails are much more likely to reach your subscribers.

And that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it?

Why deliverability should be your ultimate determining factor.

Email deliverability isn’t as exciting as email templates or a buffet of features you may or may not use. However, it’s email deliverability that will actually get your emails to your subscribers. And even though it’s incredibly important, it’s not always top of mind when considering who to work with on your email marketing.

If you’re in the market for a new ESP, factor the provider’s deliverability practices and rate into your search. Ask their team if deliverability is a high priority for their company (which it absolutely should be!), and they’ll be more than happy to chat with you about it.

You don’t even need to get super technical here. A few key questions to ask would simply be:

  • What is your deliverability rate?
  • Do you own your servers? If not, do you use shared servers?
  • How do you handle bounced and undeliverable emails?
  • What do you do to safeguard subscriber imports?

Those four questions, paired with the information in this blog post, will give you a strong overall sense of a provider’s deliverability prioritization, helping you make a better-educated decision on who will facilitate communications with your audience.

Because again, you can create the best email in the world, but it won’t matter if it doesn’t make it to your subscriber.

Ready to send your emails with FeedBlitz’s industry-leading deliverability?

Head to this page to start your free trial. Questions? Feel free to reach out with any questions through our Support Page. While live support is available Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern, and you can always find helpful information 24-7 at the resources linked here.

      

Source: New feed 3

Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing

What Is Email Marketing?

Email is one of the oldest forms of digital communication—but it’s also one of the most effective digital marketing strategies out there. 

Sure, there are newer methods of communicating with your audience and customers like social media and live chat. However, with a user base of over 4.5 billion people, email is the king of marketing channels.

Additionally, email marketing has an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, meaning it deserves a place in every marketer’s toolbox. 

A graphic of Neil Patel and one of his lessons on email marketing tactics.

Email marketing is still ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating out social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.

Why? With all the hype over new channels, why is this decades-old technology still one of the most effective marketing strategies?

Is Email Marketing Outdated?

Despite the rise of social, people use email more than other platforms. After all, what’s the good of marketing to someone if they’re not there?

Data shows that most people are on email—and the number increases every year.

Some statistics on the number of email users worldwide from 2017 to 2024, exemplifying whether email marketing is dead or not.

In addition, with email marketing you own the connections—you don’t have to worry about algorithm changes tanking your reach.

Still not convinced? According to HubSpot, four out of five marketers say they’d rather give up social media than email marketing. 

That’s why building a successful email marketing campaign is more important than ever.

BOOK A CALL

There’s a problem—most people don’t know how to do it right. (In fact, you’ve probably seen those people in your email box.)

This post is long, but it’s worth the read. We’ll walk through tips and strategies for building an email list, creating an email that users want to read, designing automated campaigns—and tracking your efforts. 

Getting Started With Email Marketing

Email marketing is a marketing strategy where businesses send promotional messages to people in mass quantities. It is typically used to generate sales by sharing promotional offers, nurturing leads, or expanding the impact of content marketing efforts. 

If you open up your email box right now, there’s a good chance at least half of your messages are email marketing, like this one from GlassesUSA: 

An example of a time sensitive email marketing message that has a strong call-to-action and encourages users to act now.

The Fundamentals of Email Marketing

Before diving into the strategies you’ll use to build and leverage email marketing, let’s cover the fundamentals. These tips will help you maximize your email marketing campaign, which we’ll dive into next. 

  1. Stay Human: Email marketing is popular—which also means it is competitive. Use email to speak directly to your users, use their name, and let them see the human side of your brand. 
  2. Use Engaging Titles, But Don’t Bait And Switch: Using interesting subject titles is crucial to increasing email open rates, but keep them on topic and non-spammy. If users feel duped, they’re likely to unsubscribe or mark your message as spam, which impacts deliverability. 
  3. Keep Messages Short: Most email is read on a mobile device, so keep your copy concise and to the point. Direct users to a blog post or landing page if you need to share a ton of information. 
  4. Include CTAs at the Top and Bottom: On landing pages, CTAs are always included above the fold—use the same strategy with email by including strong CTAs after the first paragraph and again at the end. 
  5. Ask Permission and Deliver On Your Promises: Never buy email lists—that is illegal in most cases and won’t deliver ROI. If you offer a deal or great content, make sure to deliver high-quality content or offers. 

Remember: You’re a Guest in Their Inbox

People are inundated with interruptions, pitches, and ads everywhere they look.

You might think your email is special, but to the reader, your email is one in a million—and not in a good way.

This is why it’s important to use good manners.

Getting into someone’s inbox is like being invited to their home for dinner. If they ask you to take your shoes off, you respectfully do so.

Treat their email inbox with the same respect. You’re a guest they’ve invited into their lives and they can ask you to leave at any point. So be on your best behavior and remember… you’re a guest in their inbox.

Now, let’s talk about how to build your strategy from the ground up.

How Does Email Marketing Work?

Email marketing is one of the top-performing marketing strategies, in no small part because it’s 

fairly intuitive and often automated. 

It can also support a number of other marketing initiatives, including lead generation, sales, and content marketing

An effective email marketing campaign requires three essential elements:

1. An Email List

An email list is a database of subscribers that have agreed to let you send them emails. 

To build successful email campaigns, you need an active, engaged email list.  

A graphic of Neil Patel and one of his lessons on email marketing tactics.

There are many ways to build an email list. One of the easiest is to create a lead magnet (also called an offer) your target audience is interested in, like a coupon, in exchange for their email addresses.

2. An Email Service Provider

An email service provider (ESP), also known as an email marketing platform, is software that helps manage your email list. It also helps design and execute automated email campaigns.

Using an ESP also allows you to create automatic triggers when your audience completes specific actions, such as sending a cart reminder if a user adds an item to their cart and doesn’t checkout. These triggers enable you to personalize interactions, which improves engagement and open rates. 

3. Clearly Defined Goals

Email can help you achieve a variety of business goals, including: 

  • drive sales
  • boost brand awareness 
  • generate and nurture leads
  • keep customers engaged
  • increase customer loyalty and lifetime value

To execute an effective email marketing campaign, your email list, ESP, and goals must align. Then, you can get to work.

The first step is to segment your email list according to subscriber demographics or actions.

Next, create an email or series of emails designed to get consumers to do something (your goal).

Finally, use your ESP to send emails and monitor the campaign automatically.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Just like any other marketing channel, email marketing has pros and cons. Let’s briefly dive into some of the more significant ones:

Advantages of Email Marketing

There are plenty of benefits of email marketing. These are just a few of the top benefits to keep in mind. 

Email Is Permission-based

When a customer trusts you with their email address, it’s the virtual equivalent of being given the keys to their house. Gaining permission to enter rather than showing up uninvited increases the chances of engagement and conversion.

Provides Direct Access to Your Audience

You can communicate directly with subscribers on their schedules. Plus, because most people check email multiple times a day, your message is more likely to be seen. 

Email Provides More Control

With most other marketing platforms, you don’t own the platform. If the platform ceases to exist, all your hard work sinks with it. If Google or Facebook updates their algorithm, your reach could be drastically reduced. 

However, with email, you own the relationships you forge with your subscribers.

More Personalization Capabilities

You can use demographic or psychographic data to create personalized and hyper-targeted campaigns. Research shows segmented and personalized campaigns increase revenue by as much as 760 percent.

Easy to Measure Success

Measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is crucial, and automated email marketing makes measuring your campaign a breeze.

Scalable

Email marketing campaigns can easily scale as your audience grows without straining your resources or compromising quality.

Disadvantages of Email Marketing

Email isn’t all roses and butterflies. There are a few disadvantages to be aware of. The good news is a great strategy can reduce the impact of disadvantages such as: 

Tough Competition

Standing out in a cluttered inbox can be a challenge. You’ll need to get creative to ensure your emails get opened.

You Need an Email List

With email marketing, you must already have an email list for your campaigns to be effective. Building an email list can be tricky and takes time. 

Many Rules and Regulations to Navigate

There are several laws governing the use of email for commercial purposes. Common examples include GDPR, CAN-SPAM, and CCPA. All of these ban businesses from sending unsolicited emails and outline data storage requirements. 

Unfortunately, some subscribers might report your emails as being spam even if they subscribe. As a result, your sender’s reputation takes a hit.

Delivery and Deliverability Issues

Deliverability is not guaranteed. Many email providers (think Gmail or Outlook) use spam filters. To run effective email marketing campaigns, you must contend with delivery and deliverability issues.

Email Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

Let’s briefly look at a couple of email marketing examples for a bit of inspiration.

Teaonic

Teaonic is an e-commerce brand specializing in organic, healthy teas.

Subject line: Getting Low On Wellness?

An example of an email marketing message.

What does this email get right?

  • Great Subject Line: The subject line focuses on the target audience’s main pain point, i.e., improving their health.
  • Leverages Color Psychology: The bright, warm colors trigger feelings of health and happiness.
  • Well-Timed: The email targets people who have purchased the product and is sent when the customer’s supply is about to run out.

Bluehost

Well-known for its hosting services, Bluehost decided to try its hand at creating a website builder.

Subject line: Bluehost’s new Website Builder makes building simple.

An example of an email marketing message.
  • Focuses on Benefits, Not Features: Selling the benefits makes the copy more compelling.
  • Clean Design: The simple design makes the email aesthetically pleasing and easy to read.
  • Excellent Targeting: Bluehost knows its audience is mainly small business owners without technical expertise. The email uses language targeting this demographic.

How to Automate Your Email Marketing

While the automation process varies by ESP, there are several universal steps you’ll take when automating the process. 

Define Your Email Segments

Effective campaigns start with list segmentation. Use the data about your subscribers to group them. This allows you to create more personalized campaigns.

Depending on your audience, this data might include: 

  • Behavioral data from your website. 
  • Demographic data, such as location, age, or gender. 
  • Topics that are important to them. 

Design an Efficient Email Series

After segmenting your email list, it’s time to design a series. This is a list of emails that fulfill the objective of the campaign.

Determine the Right Triggers

Once you’ve designed your workflow, determine what actions will trigger the next email in the sequence. Examples of triggers can include customers opening your email, clicking on a link, or not opening it within a predetermined time frame.

Depending on your goals, your email triggers might look something like this: 

  • Subscriber signs up for your email list ? Send a welcome email with a coupon and several popular items. 
  • After one week ? Send a second email promoting new arrivals.
  • Subscriber visits your women’s clothing section ? Send an email promoting a new collection. 
  • Subscriber adds an item to their cart, but doesn’t convert ? Send an email reminder with a 10 percent off coupon.

While this example is for an ecommerce company, you can create similar series for nurturing leads, promoting a course, or driving traffic to your blog.  

Best Email Marketing Strategies

To succeed with email, you need to design strategic campaigns. Here are some of the best strategies you can employ.

Use the Right Email List-Building Strategies

The success of your email marketing campaigns depends on the quality of your email list. To build a list, you must use list-building strategies designed to attract your target audience. 

For example, a case study promoted on LinkedIn may help a B2B brand build a list of engaged subscribers, but would flop when used by a B2C brand.

Examples of good list-building strategies include: 

  • offering a coupon 
  • creating a downloadable asset 
  • hosting a webinar 

Practice Good Email List Hygiene

Another essential email marketing strategy is practicing good email list hygiene. Removing inactive subscribers and incorrect email addresses will improve your sender reputation.

Consider sending an email to subscribers who haven’t opened your messages and ask if they’re still interested. If they aren’t, remove them from your list. 

Keep Your List Warm

Regularly send emails to your list to keep your subscribers engaged (warm). Sporadic emailing could result in subscribers forgetting who you are and lead to low conversion rates.

If some of your subscribers go cold, you can run a re-engagement campaign through paid ads. 

Focus on One Objective

Design each campaign and email to focus on one objective. Trying to kill two (or more) birds with one stone doesn’t work with email marketing. It only confuses your audience and reduces your conversion rates.

Define and Track the Right KPIs

Success requires more than sending subscribers an email every few weeks. To understand which strategies are effective, you must track the performance of your campaigns. That means defining and tracking the right key performance indicators (KPIs).

Depending on your goals, your KPIs might include: 

  • open rates 
  • click-through-rates
  • sales 
  • blog traffic 
  • unsubscribe rate

Top 7 Email Marketing Tools Every Marketer Should Know

To pull off a successful email campaign, you’ll need email marketing tools to optimize your processes. Here are the top seven email tools you’ll need for success: 

Email Service Providers (ESP)

One of the most critical email tools you need is an ESP. Top ESPs include: 

  • Constant Contact: This is best for e-commerce email marketing campaigns, thanks to features like automated product recommendations and shoppable emails. Plans start at $36 per month.
  • Sendinblue: Sendinblue is best for small businesses running simple email campaigns. It has a rich feature set with a CRM, live chat, and SMS, among others. Paid plans start at $25 per month, though they do offer a free version. 
  • Pardot (Salesforce): B2B email campaigns require a platform specifically designed for the B2B buyer journey. Pardot fits the bill perfectly. However, to build high-growth email campaigns with Pardot, be prepared to part with at least $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts. 

Email Deliverability Tools

Email deliverability refers to the ability of an ESP to place emails in your receivers’ inboxes successfully. The wise email marketer will have an email deliverability tester in their toolbox. Here are some of the top ones:

  • MailGenius: MailGenius inspects your emails for possible spam triggers. You can use it to run deliverability tests to ensure your emails reach their intended recipients’ inboxes. MailGenius is a free tool.
  • GlockApps: GlockApps shows your delivery results in real-time, including whether your email landed in the Inbox, Spam folder, Gmail’s Promotional or Social tabs, or if it was never delivered at all. Personal accounts are free, and prices go up from there.

Email Testing and Tracking Tool

Testing and tracking the campaign performance helps you create optimized iterations of your campaigns. Which email marketing tools are best for testing and tracking?

  • Litmus: You can use Litmus to test and track your emails in traditional web clients and popular mobile devices.

The ESP you use may also offer this functionality. 

Email Personalization Tools

Take your personalization game beyond adding your recipients’ names by leveraging an email personalization tool.

  • Hyperise: When it comes to personalizing email marketing campaigns, no tool does it better than Hyperise. It helps you add dynamic, personalized images to each of your emails, including profile images from social media platforms.

Other tools may also offer this functionality, including your ESP or customer engagement platform. 

How to Write Email Marketing Copy That Drives Results

Whatever your goal is, it all hinges on email marketing copy.

A screenshot of one of Neil Patel's email marketing messages in action.

That’s why you must write yours well. Here’s how to do that. 

Know Your Audience

The first step to crafting compelling email marketing copy is knowing your audience. This will help you better segment your list and create hyper-targeted email copy.

Craft a Hard-to-Ignore Subject Line

The subject line is one of the most important elements of email copy as it helps readers decide whether to open your email. To craft a hard-to-ignore subject line, follow these tips: 

  • use keywords
  • make it benefit-driven
  • use the active voice
  • personalize as much as possible

Depending on your audience, including emojis may help drive open rates as well. Avoid terms that might trigger spam filters such as clearance, free, bargain, cash bonus, etc. 

Get the Preview Text Right

Email preview text appears immediately below or beside the subject line. Limited to a maximum of 140 characters (email client dependent), it acts as an elevator pitch to convince people to open your email.

An example of an enticing subject line used for an email marketing campaign that encourages users to open it.

An optimized preview text is an extension of your subject line and reinforces your value proposition. Make sure users can see what the email is about and give them a reason to open it. 

Make It Easy to Read

People are busy and won’t spend much time figuring out what you want to say. Write your email copy so it’s easy to read and understand. Do this by:

  • using short sentences and paragraphs
  • avoiding jargon and complicated words
  • using bullet points

If your readers find your emails easy to read, they’ll likely engage with them more.

Leverage Storytelling

Stories are a powerful way to grab attention and get your message across. That’s why you should leverage storytelling in your email copy.

Consider using the “Attention – Interest – Desire – Action” concept to build interest and draw users in. 

Use Psychology to Your Advantage

Human beings are wired to react in specific ways. Use psychological triggers to direct your readers towards fulfilling your campaign objectives. Examples of such triggers include:

  • fear of missing out (FOMO)
  • color psychology
  • social proof

Used well, these triggers can help you craft email effective copy.

Email Marketing Step 1: Build Your List

Before you can start sending out emails, you need people to send emails to. How do you get started building your list? Start by adding a banner or form to your website simply asking people to subscribe.

Then, follow these tips.

1. Offer An Incentive

Think of email addresses as a currency: you wouldn’t give money away for free, right? Offering an incentive is a simple way to gather email addresses.

There are many ways you can do this. Some prefer to give away downloadable assets or offer coupons, while other businesses simply offer a newsletter or product updates.

For example, the business newsletter Morning Brew offers readers a simple benefit: their fun, interesting updates every morning.

An example of an email marketing message.

Search Engine Journal uses a small form in their right sidebar offering daily news—they also ask which topics the user is interested in, which helps them send more valuable content.

An example of an email marketing message from Neil Patel's website.

You can also offer a checklist, ebook, white paper, or another downloadable asset. Contests and giveaways are another great way to convince people to share their email addresses.

I can’t tell you which is the right or wrong path for your business, but I say it’s important to have a clear purpose when asking for an address.

This is where a strong call to action comes into play, and copywriting is super important.

Simply posting “enter your email for updates” isn’t going to get anyone excited. Instead, share specifics.

You’ll attract more subscribers by sharing a specific call to action or benefit from providing their email addresses. 

Common ways to entice people to sign up to your email list include:

  • email series
  • free downloads
  • free white papers or eBooks
  • update lists, like new releases and product updates
A graphic of Neil Patel and one of his lessons on email marketing tactics

Whatever incentive you offer, make it clear and enticing, and don’t be afraid to promote it.

2. Follow Email Marketing Laws and Regulations

Make sure your emails follow local rules and regulations, including CAN-SPAM and GDPR.

Don’t let all the legalese scare you. 

All this means is you can never buy email lists, and you should consider using double opt-in options so people know what they are getting into. Finally, make it easy for people to unsubscribe.

Email Marketing Step 2: Provide Great Content

Email marketing is all about expectations, and it’s up to you to set them.

If your call to action is strong, and your follow-up is consistent, then you can count on a successful email campaign.

However, if you promise to send one email per week and instead send them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. (And annoying your list.)

On the contrary, if someone is expecting daily updates or critical product updates and you don’t deliver, they are likely to be upset in that case, too. 

This is why the first follow-up email is so crucial to the success of your email marketing efforts.

Send an Introduction Email

Here’s a basic welcome email from Airbnb to a new customer. It explains the process, including how to fill out your profile, verify your information, and book your first stay. 

An example of an email marketing message.

Spotify sends out a similar email that confirms the subscription and lets them know what they can expect.

An example of an email marketing message.

Almost all email service providers allow you to create an automated welcome sequence, so take advantage of it.

The initial follow-up email should be sent immediately as a way to introduce yourself and explain what new subscribers should expect. 

In this first email, it’s better to be detailed than quick and unobtrusive, but if you can pull off quick and concise, then more power to you.

From here, it’s simply a matter of living up to their expectations.

Don’t Pitch Right Away

You’re not running an email list just for the fun of it—you want to engage customers and make sales.

Transitioning from an email list that provides tons of free value into a list that pitches a product for money can be tricky.

To do it effectively, think ahead about how and when you’ll send the pitch. You don’t want to surprise everyone with a pitch all of the sudden.

You’ll have a much more successful campaign if people expect sales pitches every once in a while.

If you’re going to get in the habit of selling often, put yourself in the reader’s shoes.

Ask yourself if your messaging is consistent with the expectations you’ve set. If possible, pay attention to the customer’s interests and send relevant offers down the line.

Those that send blind offers are far more likely to lose permission to keep doing so.

Again, each business has different needs, so there aren’t any hard and fast rules as to how often you can pitch or provide content.

Just remember that an email list is an asset, and it’s better to err on the side of caution than to be reckless.

How to Write a Great Email Newsletter

Let’s talk about the difference between a good newsletter and a bad newsletter.

The first sign you’ve received a bad newsletter is you don’t recall asking to receive it.

Typically, this happens when a business either fails to maintain a regular email routine or manually adds someone to their list after receiving a business card or personal email.

Make sure everyone remembers you—the best way to do this is to send regular updates. Try to send an email at least once a month, or once a week if you can.

I find the most compelling newsletters are those that do a great job of mixing messaging and updates.

For example, while the email might contain a list of product updates and images, it’s balanced by a personal message or friendly memo.

Use your newsletter to further your relationship with the reader/customer rather than to pitch them.

Save the pitch for unique updates, offers, and announcements.

Use Email Automation, But Keep It Human

If you’re just starting your email list, it’s easy to imagine you’ll have time to personally respond to every new subscriber.

Once you have more than a handful of subscribers, it becomes next to impossible to keep up.

You’ll start building more complex campaigns, and following through with everyone all the time is impossible.

Top marketers seem to pull this off, but how?

Their secret is email automation.

This automatically sends out emails scheduled in advance and sends emails based on triggers. 

By scheduling a set of emails to send in advance, you can prevent “going dark” for any length of time.

Oftentimes, companies plan out a series of emails—ranging from a few days to a few months—that automatically deliver, warming up anyone who signs up for your list.

That way, when you do need to announce a new product or sale, you know they are paying attention.

Since you’ve built up a relationship over several weeks or months, you’re much less likely to annoy your readers.

Email Marketing Step 3: Analytics and Segmentation

Now that you understand the basics of an effective email campaign, let’s talk about how to take things to the next level.

Specifically, using segmentation and analytics to refine your broadcasts and generate even better results.

How To Understand Email Analytics

We’ve discussed the importance of analytics in web copy, and email is no different.

Every email service provider I’ve ever worked with provides complimentary analytics.

Though they’re all important, the three most important are open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribes

Let’s break down each one and see what you can learn from these metrics. 

Email Open Rate

Your open rate explains how many people open your emails. It’s based on an invisible tracking pixel that loads when someone clicks on your message.

Open rates tell you how good your relationship is with your subscribers. Ideally, people are excited to read your emails and open them quickly.

If your open rate is low, it usually means you have a lot of unengaged subscribers. You need to focus on providing value and managing expectations. Here are a few tips on raising your open rate.

Click-Through Rate

Next, your click-through rate, or CTR, shows how many people clicked on a link (if any) in your email.

If your CTR is low, it means your message is either not targeted enough, or simply not getting through. In this case, focus on improving your copy.

Unsubscribe Rate

Finally, your unsubscribe rate tells you how many people have clicked the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of your email.

If your unsubscribe rate is high relative to your opt-in rate, then you’ve passed the point of building value and writing good copy… you’ve got some serious work to do.

Essentially, you’ve built a sieve, and people who sign up eventually leave. If this is you, examine when people are leaving and take action based on those leaks.

If they’re leaving after a certain automated email, then re-work it. If they’re leaving after marketing messages, then re-work the way you present offers.

If they’re leaving early in your email funnel, you need to fix your original call to action to align with the rest of your messages. 

Email analytics are critical because they provide very specific clues as to what you’re doing wrong if you’re paying attention. 

Of course, the key here is “paying attention.”

How To Segment Your Email Marketing List

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, email segmentation is the practice of splitting up your email list into more targeted groups.

Here are a few ways to segment your list: 

  • customer list (in comparison to leads who haven’t bought)
  • newsletter subscribers
  • daily email list (in comparison to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc)
  • demographics, such as age, location, or job title
  • interests, such as marketing or sales topics

Just like targeting in paid ads, dividing your list gives you the ability to send more targeted communications.

For example, some customers want both product and sales updates, while others might only want to hear about new product updates. Sales team leads might want to hear about a new sales feature but not a new marketing tool.

Plus, you can send specific emails to buyers thanking them for their purchase, like this email from Chrome Industries thanking people for making a purchase.

An example of an email marketing message.

With segmentation, you can send a broadcast only to those that didn’t open your last message (ask them why), or to those that showed interest (a second pitch).

You can also split-test messaging amongst different groups to A/B test titles, content, or best practices.

As you can see, segmentation isn’t rocket science, but it is work, which is why most don’t take the time to do it right.

If you do, you’ll immediately separate yourself from the pack.

How Much Is Your Email List Worth?

Your email list is one of your most valuable resources, and if you learn how to treat it right, it will pay for itself many times over.

Over time, you can start tracking how much money people on your list spend on average. This will tell you how much your list is worth.

If a list of 10,000 people usually spends $50,000 on a campaign, and you run two of those campaigns each year, you could average it out and say that each subscriber is worth $10 a year.

When you do the math like that, it is easy to see how losing several hundred subscribers could be dangerous to your bottom line.

FAQs

What are the benefits of email marketing?

Email marketing can help businesses reach a wider audience, drive sales, recover abandoned carts, and further develop your relationship with your audience. It’s also one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. 

How do I build an email list?

Build your email list by offering a downloadable asset, hosting a giveaway, or offering a free email course. Consider placing a banner at the top of your site to gather emails as well. Build your email list by offering a downloadable asset, hosting a giveaway, or offering a free 

What email marketing regulations are there?

CAN-SPAM and GDPR (for Europe) require you to protect user’s privacy and avoid sending emails to purchased lists.

What is email automation?

Email automation allows you to create complex email campaigns that send automatic emails based on actions, such as when a subscriber adds an item to their cart or downloads an asset.

How do I segment my email list?

Use your email tool to split subscribers based on demographics, interests, or customers versus non-customers. Then, send customized messages to each segment.

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“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “What email marketing regulations are there?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: ”

CAN-SPAM and GDPR (for Europe) require you to protect user’s privacy and avoid sending emails to purchased lists.


}
}
, {
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “What is email automation?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: ”

Email automation allows you to create complex email campaigns that send automatic emails based on actions, such as when a subscriber adds an item to their cart or downloads an asset.


}
}
, {
“@type”: “Question”,
“name”: “How do I segment my email list?”,
“acceptedAnswer”: {
“@type”: “Answer”,
“text”: ”

Use your email tool to split subscribers based on demographics, interests, or customers versus non-customers. Then, send customized messages to each segment.


}
}
]
}

Conclusion

If you’ve been ignoring email marketing or putting your strategy on autopilot, it’s time to step up your strategy. 

Email marketing delivers huge returns for marketers willing to learn how to do it right—and it doesn’t have to be complicated. 

First, remember you’re a guest in the inboxes of your subscribers. You are just one click away from losing their interest forever. Be polite, respectful, and deliver value.

You’ll want to follow through with the promises you make. Provide people with what they’ve asked for and email regularly to line up with their expectations.

There’s no formula for boosting email automation. It’s all about what works best for you and your company’s voice and style.

Finally, you can move on to email segmentation and analytics once you’ve mastered the basics. Start sending separate emails to different groups so you can deliver more useful emails.

What email marketing practices keep your readers engaged?

Source: New feed 2

Como Criar uma Extensão do Chrome

Como Criar uma Extensão do Chrome

Você já ficou preso em uma tarefa repetitiva e quis muito poder automatizar seu processo? 

Você está cansado de perder seu tempo procurando a extensão certa, sempre encontrando uma página de resultados vazia? 

Felizmente, se você é usuário do Chrome, você pode criar uma extensão do navegador em apenas oito passos simples.

Como a gente sabe disso? Criamos nossa própria extensão do Chrome para a Ubersuggest para deixar nossos sistemas de pesquisa de palavras-chave mais afiados.

Nesse post, vamos te mostrar como criar uma extensão do Chrome para te ajudar a inovar nas suas tarefas e voltar para o seu trabalho produtivo. 

O que é uma extensão do Chrome?

Extensões do Google Chrome são programas que você pode instalar no seu navegador Chrome para mudar algumas funcionalidades. 

Essas extensões podem te ajudar a automatizar algumas funções do seu navegador, modificar comportamentos existentes e melhorar a conveniência do seu software. Existem até mesmo extensões do Chrome que podem melhorar seu SEO.

Extensões do Chrome são desenvolvidas com scripts HTML, JavaScript e CSS e são basicamente pequenos sites cujo upload é feito para a loja do Chrome.

A única diferença entre uma extensão do Chrome e um site normal é que as extensões contêm um arquivo manifest, que dá a elas uma função específica para executar.

Outra forma de enxergar as extensões é como um código que muda a sua experiência no navegador.

Por exemplo, a extensão do Grammarly te permite editar e modificar seu texto conforme você o escreve. A extensão do LastPass te permite manter seu gerenciador de senhas dentro do seu navegador. 

Aqui estão as nossas 13 extensões preferidas do Google Chrome para você dar uma olhada.

O Que as Extensões do Chromes Podem Fazer?

Uma extensão personalizada pode realizar uma única tarefa. Essa tarefa deve ser definida de forma restrita e fácil de entender para funcionar de forma adequada. 

Você pode incluir mais de um componente ou funcionalidade, desde que todos direcionem a extensão para um objetivo único.

Extensões do Chrome funcionam através de ações da página ou ações do navegador. 

Uma ação da página é uma ação específica para determinadas páginas.

Uma ação do navegador é relevante independente de onde você estiver nele. 

Da mesma maneira, suas interfaces de usuário precisam ser otimizadas e simples. Isso pode variar de um ícone único, como o do Gmail, ou você pode substituir uma página inteira para a sua interface.

Seu produto final vai ser um pacote .crx zipado que os usuários vão baixar e instalar. 

Por Que eu Deveria Criar Uma Extensão do Chrome?

O Google Chrome é o navegador mais usado do mundo. De acordo com o W3Counter, o Chrome tem uma fatia de mercado de 65,3%.

Você também deveria criar uma extensão do Chrome se você quer incluir uma ação simples na sua experiência de navegação.

A vantagem das extensões do Chrome em relação a aplicações comuns é que elas costumam ser mais fáceis de se desenvolver e manter. Uma vez que as extensões do Chrome são construídas em torno de uma única função, sua criação demanda menos tempo e habilidade.

Criar uma extensão costuma levar bem menos tempo do que uma página web do zero. 

Se você quer um jeito simples e eficiente de modificar seu navegador, criar uma extensão é o melhor caminho. 

Extensões do Chrome também podem melhorar seu tráfego web, como você pode ver no vídeo abaixo.

Quais São as Características de Uma Extensão do Chrome de Sucesso?

Uma Extensão do Chrome de sucesso vai simplificar uma tarefa ou funcionalidade e aumentar sua produtividade. 

Vamos imaginar que você crie sites de e-commerce e está pesquisando lojas concorrentes. Se você instalar a extensão Koala Inspector, você vai conseguir ver se o Shopify criou algum dos sites em que você entrou. Você também pode ver qual tema foi usado, se foi feita alguma atualização e as estatísticas dos produtos.

Outro exemplo, o Eliminador de Feed de Notícias para Facebook, pode te ajudar a melhorar sua produtividade bloqueando seu feed de notícias para você se concentrar nas suas tarefas. É uma função simples, porém eficaz, que pode te ajudar a melhorar seu fluxo de trabalho diário. 

Ambas as extensões executam uma funcionalidade simples que melhoram a experiência do usuário. Quando você estiver desenvolvendo a sua extensão do Chrome, tenha em mente a simplicidade. Esse é o segredo para uma extensão de sucesso.

Seu Guia Passo-a-Passo Para Criar uma Extensão do Chrome

Chegou a hora de criar sua extensão do Chrome.

É importante lembrar que você precisa fazer isso no Google Chrome. Pode parecer óbvio, mas nem todo mundo usa o Chrome como navegador padrão.

Se você não é um usuário regular do Chrome, não se esqueça de instalá-lo antes de começar essas etapas. 

Além disso, não deixe de conferir seu trabalho com frequência conforme você vai avançando no processo. É muito mais fácil corrigir erros de código na hora do que depois de terminar. 

Criando uma Extensão do Chrome Passo 1: Defina o Que a Sua Extensão Precisa

O primeiro passo ao criar a sua extensão do Chrome é decidir por uma funcionalidade.

O que ela vai ser? Como ela vai ser?

Se você quer criar uma extensão para as suas campanhas do Google AdWords, essa é a hora de decidir como ela vai funcionar.

Todas as extensões precisam de um ícone para ser colocado na loja do Google Chrome. Você vai precisar criar ou obter um ícone antes de começar. 

Quando você souber o que a sua extensão vai fazer e qual você quer que seja sua aparência, você pode começar a construí-la. 

Aqui embaixo, vamos te mostrar como criar uma extensão que vai te permitir mudar a cor de fundo da sua página atual. 

Criando uma Extensão do Chrome Passo 2: Crie um Diretório Para a Sua Extensão

Para começar a criar a sua extensão do Chrome, você vai precisar criar um novo diretório para hospedar todos os arquivos da sua extensão. 

Isso é importante porque, para o Chrome carregar seu plugin, ele precisa estar direcionado para uma pasta contendo os arquivos da sua extensão.

Você pode adicionar a esse diretório todos os arquivos que você vai precisar para sua extensão.

Criando uma Extensão do Chrome Passo 3: Crie o Arquivo Manifest da Sua Extensão

A próxima etapa é criar o arquivo manifest da sua extensão.

Esse arquivo vai dizer ao Chrome como carregar a extensão adequadamente.

Crie um arquivo chamado manifest.json e adicione-o ao seu diretório.

Em seguida, adicione o código necessário ao seu arquivo manifest. 

Para o nosso objetivo aqui, o código vai ser o seguinte:

{

“name”: “Getting Started Example”,

“description”: “Build an Extension!”,

“version”: “1.0”,

“manifest_version”: 3

}

Criando uma Extensão do Chrome Passo 4: Suba Sua Extensão Para o Chrome e Confira se Há Erros

Agora é hora de testar sua extensão e ver se o Chrome vai rodá-la. 

Siga os seguintes passos:

  1. Vá em chrome://extensions no seu navegador Google Chrome
  2. Marque a caixa Modo de programador na parte superior direita
  3. Clique em “Carregar Expandida” para abrir uma caixa de diálogo de seleção de pastas
  4. Selecione o diretório da sua extensão
 Extensão do Chrome

Se a sua extensão for válida, ela vai carregar imediatamente.

Se for inválida, você vai ver uma mensagem de erro no topo da sua página. Se for esse o caso, procure por erros, corrija-os e tente carregar a extensão de novo.

Os erros mais comuns que as pessoas cometem aqui são erros de sintaxe. Revise todas as suas vírgulas e colchetes e tenha certeza que eles estão formatados corretamente. 

Tenha certeza também que a caixa Habilitada ao lado da sua extensão está marcada, para que você consiga vê-la em ação. 

Criando uma Extensão do Chrome Passo 5: Desenvolva Seu Script em Background 

Em seguida, você vai precisar rodar um script em background para dizer à extensão o que fazer.

Primeiro, crie um arquivo chamado background.js dentro do diretório da sua extensão.

Em seguida, adicione seu script.

Para nossa extensão de mudança de cor, vamos usar o seguinte script:

{

“name”: “Getting Started Example”,

“description”: “Build an Extension!”,

“version”: “1.0”,

“manifest_version”: 3,

“background”: {

“service_worker”: “background.js”

}

}

Esse arquivo vai alertar o Chrome que ele precisa fazer uma análise para obter mais instruções.

A extensão que estamos criando também vai precisar de um evento de escura para runtime.onInstalled dentro do script em background.

Dentro da escuta onInstall, a extensão vai determinar um valor na API de armazenamento. Isso permite que vários componentes da extensão rodem e editem esse valor. 

let color = ‘#3aa757’;

chrome.runtime.onInstalled.addListener(() => {

chrome.storage.sync.set({ color });

console.log(‘Default background color set to %cgreen’, `color: ${color}`);

});

A maioria das APIs vão precisar estar registradas no campo “permissões” do seu arquivo manifest. Assim:

{

“name”: “Getting Started Example”,

“description”: “Build an Extension!”,

“version”: “1.0”,

“manifest_version”: 3,

“background”: {

“service_worker”: “background.js”

},

“permissions”: [“storage”]

}

Em seguida, volte à página de gerenciamento da sua extensão e clique em Recarregar.

Você vai ver um novo campo escrito Inspecionar visualizações. Vai vir junto um link azul dizendo página de fundo.

example of chrome extension builder interface

Clique no link e você vai ver o console log do script de background, onde vai estar escrito “Cor de fundo padrão verde”.

Scripts de conteúdo também podem ser adicionados para rodar scripts página-a-página.

Scripts de conteúdo devem ser adicionados diretamente ao seu arquivo manifest.

Criando uma Extensão do Chrome Passo 6: Crie Sua Interface de Usuário

Sua extensão pode ter diversas interfaces de usuários, de pop-ups a tooltips, entre outras.

Para começar a desenvolver sua interface, você precisa registrar uma ação do navegador no seu arquivo manifest.

Para o nosso exemplo, vamos usar um pop-up. O código fica assim:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”button.css”>

</head>

<body>

<button id=”changeColor”></button>

</body>

</html>

Você vai precisar declarar esse código no seu arquivo manifest para ele funcionar.

Para fazer isso, adicione uma ação ao seu arquivo manifest e configurar popup.html como o default_popup da ação.

Seu script deve ficar assim:

{

“name”: “Getting Started Example”,

“description”: “Build an Extension!”,

“version”: “1.0”,

“manifest_version”: 3,

“background”: {

“service_worker”: “background.js”

},

“permissions”: [“storage”],

“action”: {

“default_popup”: “popup.html”

}

}

Esse pop-up específico faz referência a um script de CSS, então você vai precisar adicionar outro arquivo ao seu diretório. Nomeie-o corretamente e adicione o seguinte:

button {

height: 30px;

width: 30px;

outline: none;

margin: 10px;

border: none;

border-radius: 2px;

}

button.current {

box-shadow: 0 0 0 2px white,

0 0 0 4px black;

}

Para o nosso exemplo, você também vai querer adicionar cor aos seus botões de  popup. Mais adiante, essa cor também vai ser usada como fundo da sua página. 

Crie e adicione ao diretório um arquivo de nome popup.js com o seguinte código:

// Initialize button with user’s preferred color

let changeColor = document.getElementById(“changeColor”);

chrome.storage.sync.get(“color”, ({ color }) => {

changeColor.style.backgroundColor = color;

});

Ele vai pegar o botão do popup.html e fazer a requisição do valor da cor. Inclua uma tag de script ao popup.js no popup.html assim:

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<head>

<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”button.css”>

</head>

<body>

<button id=”changeColor”></button>

http://�popup.js�

</body>

</html>

A partir daí, você pode adicionar badges para mostrar o estado da sua extensão. Por exemplo, um badge pode dizer a um usuário se a extensão está ativada ou não, ligada ou não.

an icon showing on funtionality and a water drop below it

Ícones da barra de ferramentas devem ser colocados em ação no campo ícones_padrão.

Coloque as imagens que você deseja no diretório e diga à extensão como usar essas imagens. 

{

“name”: “Getting Started Example”,

“description”: “Build an Extension!”,

“version”: “1.0”,

“manifest_version”: 3,

“background”: {

“service_worker”: “background.js”

},

“permissions”: [“storage”],

“action”: {

“default_popup”: “popup.html”,

“default_icon”: {

“16”: “/images/get_started16.png”,

“32”: “/images/get_started32.png”,

“48”: “/images/get_started48.png”,

“128”: “/images/get_started128.png”

}

}

}

Para imagens, as dimensões recomendadas são de 16×16 e 32×32. Todos os ícones devem ser quadrados, senão podem acabar distorcidos. 

Se você não escolher um ícone, o Chrome vai adicionar um ícone padrão para você. 

Quando você criar a interface da sua extensão do Chrome, mantenha-a simples e otimizada para o usuário.

O Google diz que todas as interfaces de extensão devem contribuir para a experiência de navegação, e não ser uma distração.

Antes de continuar, recarregue sua extensão e confira se está tudo certo.

Criando uma Extensão do Chrome Passo 7: Adicione Um Pouco de Lógica

A lógica aprofunda a interação com a sua interface de usuário.

Adicione scripts de lógica a quaisquer opções de interface de usuário que você tenha incluído.

A lógica vai dizer à sua extensão para realizar determinadas ações, como o que fazer quando se clica em um botão.

Por exemplo, se você usou o script popup.js, você deve incluir sua lógica ao final.

Para o nosso exemplo, você pode usar o seguinte script:

// When the button is clicked, inject setPageBackgroundColor into current page

changeColor.addEventListener(“click”, async () => {

  let [tab] = await chrome.tabs.query({ active: true, currentWindow: true });

  chrome.scripting.executeScript({

    target: { tabId: tab.id },

    function: setPageBackgroundColor,

  });

});

// The body of this function will be executed as a content script inside the

// current page

function setPageBackgroundColor() {

  chrome.storage.sync.get(“color”, ({ color }) => {

    document.body.style.backgroundColor = color;

  });

}

function setPageBackgroundColor() {

chrome.storage.sync.get(“color”, ({ color }) => {

document.body.style.backgroundColor = color;

});

}

Esse código gera um script de conteúdo programaticamente injetado. Isso faz com que a cor de fundo da página seja a mesma do botão que você adicionou anteriormente. 

Aqui, sua extensão já deve estar totalmente funcional. Quaisquer novas adições serão apenas frufrus.

Criando uma Extensão do Chrome Passo 8: Teste Sua Extensão

Da mesma forma que os testes A/B no marketing, é importante sempre testar sua extensão para ter certeza de que está tudo funcionando. 

Teste-a você mesmo ou peça para outra pessoa testar.

Se você pedir para outra pessoa testar, faça-o sem dar nenhuma instrução para garantir que ela é intuitiva de usar.

Faça as mudanças necessárias e depois teste sua extensão de novo.

Mesmo depois de lançar sua extensão, você pode otimizá-la e melhorá-la continuamente. Foi o que a gente fez com a extensão do Ubersuggest do Chrome 2.0.

Quando você estiver satisfeito, ela estará pronta para ser usada.

Eu Posso Praticar Criar uma Extensão do Chrome?

Assim que você subir sua extensão para a loja do Chrome, ela vai estar no ar e pronta para uso. 

Se você não quiser que sua extensão seja acessível para o público, você sempre pode criar um repositório do GitHub para as pessoas poderem clonar.

Para isso, você vai precisar dar acesso ao seu código-fonte às pessoas, então pense nisso antes de subir qualquer coisa para o GitHub.

Você também pode experimentar amostras de código aberto antes de mergulhar na sua extensão. 

Amostras de extensões do Chrome estão disponíveis no GitHub do Google.

Conclusão

Criar uma extensão do Google Chrome personalizada é uma ótima maneira de melhorar a funcionalidade do seu navegador e otimizar a experiênca dos usuários.

Além disso, sua ferramenta pode gerar tráfego para o seu site, então modificar essa experiência pode resultar em novos leads para o seu negócio.

Lembre-se, algumas das extensões mais incríveis do Chrome foram desenvolvidas por pessoas como você!

Pode ser uma curva de aprendizado chegar onde você quer com a sua extensão, mas vale a pena quando você tem uma funcionalidade nova para exibir para os seus amigos – e clientes em potencial. 

Que tipo de extensão do Chrome você já criou?

Source: New feed 2

Find The Best SEO Companies For You (Get Your Free SEO Audit)

Today, the SEO service provider industry is valued at more than $51 billion. It’s why you’ll find countless SEO companies scrambling for a piece of the pie. 

Where does that leave you, a business owner eager to reach Google’s top pages, generate qualified traffic, and drive sales? Often lost and unsure where to turn. 

With all this confusion, you’re probably wondering: 

  • How do I find vetted SEO services?
  • How can I find a top SEO company that doesn’t need ads to rank its website organically?
  • How to choose the best SEO company for my business? 

You’ll find the answer to those questions here. 

That’s not all. You can also get a free SEO audit by putting in your URL here.

You’ll also see the SEO companies that go beyond vanity metrics and deliver real business results.

The Best SEO Companies in The World

In the past, you could hire any Tom or Harry to stuff keywords into a page or website you wanted to rank, and it’ll make its way to Google’s 1st page.

Not anymore. 

The constant evolution of SEO has reached a tipping point where ranking alone doesn’t guarantee business results—qualified traffic, leads, and sales. 

To get the most out of any SEO investment today, you need a holistic SEO strategy based on proven strategies.  

Take this guide you’re reading, for example. If it wasn’t valuable to you, would you still be reading?

You’re experiencing excellent SEO execution right now. 

I’m confident the best SEO companies we reviewed below will provide you with exactly what you need to succeed online. Hire any of them, and you’ll attract and convert visitors into leads and customers.

#1 Neil Patel Digital – Best For SEO Content Marketing

Yes, we’re tooting our own horn. 

But I strongly believe we’ve earned our place on this list. 

Neil Patel Digital was founded by skilled and experienced marketers who walk the talk and know best practices. If you type “SEO strategies” into Google from anywhere in the world, you’ll find well-crafted content by Neil Patel. 

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

We generate millions of organic visits every month—around 4.5 million, to be exact. While we do use some ads, most of the traffic is generated through SEO-optimized content marketing:

A screenshot of website traffic and authority metrics from one of the best SEO companies.

The executive team here at Neil Patel Digital has over five decades of combined hands-on experience creating rock-solid SEO strategies for some of the top brands in the world, and we can do the same for you. 

In short, SEO-optimized content marketing is one of the prime reasons customers, from startups to enterprise brands, trust Neil Patel Digital to deliver top-notch search engine optimization strategies. Get your free consultation here.  

#2 ReachLocal – Best For Local SEO

ReachLocal is the go-to company for strategic local SEO executions. Their experience, results, and high-value partnerships speak for themselves. Here are a few highlights: 

  • Founded in 2004 
  • Generated over 201 million local leads for about 19,000 clients worldwide. 
  • Google Premier Partner, and Bing Ads Certified specialists. 
  • ReachLocal proudly partners with Google, Yelp, Yahoo!, Bing, and Facebook to help businesses to implement local SEO strategies and drive in-store customers.

Plus, this company’s experience and attention to detail have seen them receive 4.5/5-star ratings from happy customers: 

A graphic of Neil Patel's best SEO company, NP Digital, and its raving customer reviews.

#3 FATJOE – Best For Backlink Acquisition

Search engines interpret the relevance and quality of your website by looking at the number and quality of backlinks pointing to it. 

In other words, the more backlinks you acquire, the more the search engines see your site as authoritative, and the higher it ranks your site over those of your competitors for competitive keywords. 

When it comes to acquiring building backlinks for SEO, FATJOE comes highly recommended by us. Here’s why: 

  • Generate high-value backlinks (even other SEO agencies turn to them for link-building help.) 
  • FATJOE is one of the world’s largest outsourced link-building agencies with 10,000+ clients worldwide.
  • In addition to link building, FAT JOE offers SEO, copywriting, design, video, and overall marketing services. 
  • About 97% of customers who use FAT JOE rate them a 4.5/5. 
A screenshot of FATJOE's link building agency services online.

When you sign up for FATJOE’s SEO link-building services, you get premium access to every tool you need: A dashboard to manage and track your orders, and their Blogger Outreach product to find and reach relevant websites to build links from. 

#4 OuterBox – Best for E-Commerce SEO

OuterBox, an SEO and performance marketing company focused on eCommerce brands, is our pick for e-commerce SEO. 

If you own an e-commerce website and want a talented group of dedicated people to power your business through the search engines, you should look OuterBox’s way. 

A screenshot of OuterBox, one of the best SEO agencies for e-commerce websites.
  • Founded in 2004
  • Named Inc.’s 500 fastest growing companies in the US
  • Serves hundreds of customers across several e-commerce sectors. 
  • Clients include NewAir, AtlasOil, JetDock, UCFS, and others. 

Even better, it doesn’t matter which eCommerce platform you’ve built your business on. Whether you use  WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Drupal, or others; you can rely on OuterBox for effective e-commerce search engine optimization:

5 Characteristics That Make the Best SEO Companies

You’ll find hundreds, if not thousands, of SEO companies out there.

Let’s say you want to hire an SEO not on our list. What characteristics make a great SEO company? 

They are as follows. 

1. Experience and Processes for Implementing SEO Services

When it comes to SEO these days, anyone with a laptop, access to the internet, and a WordPress-installed blog can call themselves an SEO company. 

What you won’t see behind those claims, however, is the experience and process they take to deliver results. 

You should always look out for this. 

Scroll their website, do a simple Google search and see if they show up on the search engine’s organic positions. If they don’t, it means they have little to no experience nor implemented what they claim to deliver. 

Can you give what you don’t have?

Likewise, a fundamental characteristic of a great SEO company is they have experience implementing SEO for themselves first. 

And they have a process, showing you how they go about getting results. 

2. An Impressive Portfolio

Looking at portfolios is the best way to tell if the company you’re considering is a good SEO company. The reason is simple: a solid portfolio shows they are proud of the businesses they’ve helped increase rankings on Google and drive traffic to get leads and sales. 

Scroll through it, and you’ll see the kind of clients they’ve worked with or frequently work with. 

Then decide if you want to be in that mix and get similar results. 

For example, at Neil Patel Digital, here are some clients in our work portfolio. Clients can see who we’ve worked with and the results we’ve earned. 

3. Be A Thought Leader

SEO is constantly evolving and changing. How can you keep tabs on all these changes?

You need a thought leader who is constantly reading, learning, and sharing their advice on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, or their own blog. The best SEO companies don’t need to have a million TikTok followers or 5,000 blog posts—but they do need to know what they’re doing and stay up to date on changes. 

Check out their website—are they staying up to date with SEO best practices as they evolve, and sharing tips to help businesses adjust for maximum impact? Do they publish content, share industry tips, and talk about upcoming changes? 

If not, you might want to look somewhere else. 

4. Real-Life Testimonials

Who doesn’t like to toot their own horn? Definitely not search engine optimization companies. 

Developing winning SEO strategies, managing its implementation, and guiding teams on its execution to generate results is hard. 

When an SEO company does all this hard work and gets fantastic results, their customers reward them with testimonials, having got value for their money. 

Thus, sharing real-life testimonials is a characteristic you’ll find with most great SEO organizations. 

An image of a satisfied customer testimonial after working with Neil Patel's best SEO company, NP Digital.

5. A Complete Team of Leaders, Managers, and Executors

Turning SEO ideas into higher rankings, website visitors, leads, and sales need a diverse team of specialists. 

When an SEO company makes too many promises without showing you the team to make it happen, hold tight. Why? 

Because that’s a red flag they’ll charge you a premium and outsource your job for pennies on the dollar overseas or Fiverr for $5. 

From strategic leaders to managers and different teams of specialists to execute your strategy, great SEO companies are proud to show off their amazing team members. 

An image of Neil Patel's best SEO company, NP Digital, and their team of digital marketing professionals.

What to Expect From The Best SEO Companies

So far, I’ve listed our recommended SEO companies and highlighted the characteristics that make a great search engine optimization company, suppose you decide to find one yourself. 

Either way, after making a choice, what should you expect from a great SEO company?

1. Discovery Session

Your decision to work with an SEO company may come from the need to rank your site higher, generate more traffic, drive sales, or all three. 

No business case and needs are exactly the same. The SEO strategies that worked for another company won’t work automatically for yours. 

Great SEO companies, from experience working with different organizations, know this. Thus, they’re not quick to send proposals. Instead, they’ll want to have a discovery session where you can share your needs and they can learn a bit about your business.   

2. Research and Recommendations

After sharing your needs and business case with an SEO company, they take what you tell them and use their expertise to conduct in-depth research. 

They do this to get the right context needed to bring themselves on the same page with you, your target audience, and your industry. 

After they’ve performed this research, expect a great SEO company to share their recommendations of what you need to do to get maximum results. This, they can do over another discovery call or via email.

3. Contract with Deliverables

If your discovery session and follow-up conversations go well and you both seem like a good fit, you’ll receive a contract for your business. 

A great SEO company won’t only send you any contract. Expect to see a detailed list of what they’ll deliver, how they plan to deliver it, and when you should start expecting results. 

Pro Tip: If the SEO company offers very specific results that seem unattainable, like “We can get you on the first page of Google in two weeks,” don’t sign the contract! SEO takes time and no one can promise you the first page. 

4. Onboarding, Project Scoping, and Management

To get started, the SEO company will need access to some of your assets. 

Depending on your work scope, this could include your in-house staff, website or blog access, your analytics login codes, etc. 

So, to forge a smooth partnership with your company, expect your team to go through a detailed onboarding process from a great SEO company. 

From this onboarding process, they’ll also scope your project and timelines, establishing an understanding of how they’ll manage your project.

How to Know You’re Ready to Hire An SEO Company

While every company can benefit from SEO, not every company is ready to hire an SEO company. Here are five signs your company is ready to hire an SEO company to drive growth. 

1. You Know What You Don’t Know

Maybe you’ve been managing SEO on your own for a while now or maybe you’ve never had a specific SEO strategy—either way, you know you don’t know enough and it’s time to bring in the big guns. 

If that sounds like you, then you are ready to hire an SEO. If you still think you can figure it out or think SEO is dumb, you aren’t ready. 

2. You Have a Budget for SEO

This might seem obvious, but SEO costs money. Most agencies charge a retainer fee and require you to sign a contract for at least three to six months. If you’re struggling to keep the lights on, you might not be ready for SEO. 

SEO can take a little time to work, but it is well worth the effort. However, to see results, you must be willing to invest in the best SEO companies. 

3. Everything is Going Well…Except for SEO

Your paid advertising is churning out leads and your sales team is closing deals—but you still can’t rank in Google. If your current SEO efforts aren’t paying off, it might be time to bring in a professional. 

SEO isn’t as easy as adding keywords to your pages and publishing a blog a week. Technical SEO, for example, requires a deep understanding of the Google algorithm and website design. If that sounds like you, then it might be time for professional SEO services. 

4. Your Traffic Recently Dropped

Google uses more than 200 factors to decide what pages to show for search queries. If you break one of their rules or fail to follow their guidelines, your rankings can (and will) drop. If you used to get tons of organic traffic, it might be time to hire a professional. 

The best SEO companies can look for manual penalties, see if the latest core algorithm update impacted your traffic, and find out if negative SEO is impacting traffic. 

FAQs

What is the request for proposal process like?

Requests for proposals are used in enterprise SEO to help a company determine if an SEO agency is a good fit. A large company sends several SEO agencies requests for proposals and asks questions such as: 

  • How do you create an SEO strategy? 
  • What is your workflow like? 
  • What SEO strategies do you view as most effective in the current market? 
  • What trends should my company be concerned with in the next 12-18 months? 

Depending on the company’s needs and industry, the RFP may also include questions about on-page SEO, mobile SEO, and the tools and reporting they use. The SEO company or agency will complete the RFP and return it to the prospective client, who uses that information to select the best SEO company for their business. 

How much does hiring an SEO company cost?

The cost of hiring an SEO company varies drastically by industry, your current rankings, the number of pages on your website, and much more. Smaller companies can expect to pay at least $2,000 – $3,000 per month while enterprise companies may pay as much as $20,000 to $30,000 a month. 

How do SEO companies charge for their services?

SEO companies generally charge on retainer. This means you will pay a set amount each month. Some companies may charge for an SEO audit before beginning work to see where your site stands and what type of work will need to be completed. 

What are the top signs of a great SEO company? 

The top signs of a great SEO company include a well-ranking site with advice about SEO and digital marketing, great reviews from customers in your industry, and a quick response time. 

Once you begin the proposal process, make sure they have a defined process for onboarding and seem to understand your industry. 

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  • How do you create an SEO strategy? 
  • What is your workflow like? 
  • What SEO strategies do you view as most effective in the current market? 
  • What trends should my company be concerned with in the next 12-18 months? 

Depending on the company’s needs and industry, the RFP may also include questions about on-page SEO, mobile SEO, and the tools and reporting they use. The SEO company or agency will complete the RFP and return it to the prospective client, who uses that information to select the best SEO company for their business. 


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Conclusion: How To Choose The Best SEO Company

SEO takes time to work. You should start expecting results from SEO in about 100 days

Any company that promises overnight successes doesn’t know SEO well enough or what they’re doing. 

In short, great SEO companies don’t make wild promises; they show you what’s possible and how they’ll work hard to achieve it. 

If you give them time, you’ll start seeing results—qualified traffic, leads, and sales. 

Once things pick up, it’s like a flywheel, getting better as long as you continue to work with a great SEO company.

Are you looking to hire a great SEO company? What’s holding you back?

Source: New feed 2

O que são Guest Posts e 5 Formas de Usá-los

O que são Guest Posts e 5 Formas de Usá-los

Como se faz um guest posts?

Como se escreve um artigo como convidado?

Você provavelmente tem muitas perguntas sobre esse assunto. E vou responder a todas elas, e mais. Mas antes de eu te ensinar como fazer guests posts e quais são os benefícios dele, vou explicar os princípios básicos.

O que são guest posts?

Guest posts são publicações de artigos nos sites de outras pessoas.

Simples assim.

As pessoas fazem isso para gerar mais reconhecimento de marca e tráfego (também conhecido como tráfego de referência) para os seus sites.

Tenho para você um vídeo com dicas para aproveitar os benefícios dos guest posts, abaixo, ou você pode simplesmente ler este artigo.

Is Guest Posting Worth It? | How to Boost Your SEO Rank Through Guest Blogging

Defina suas metas para guest posts

Antes de começarmos, sua primeira tarefa é decidir qual é sua meta para guest posts. Saber essa meta antes de tudo, é a chave para decidir quais são os tipos de blogs para onde enviar suas publicações. Geralmente existem três objetivos para guest posts:

  1. Se posicionar como uma autoridade e nome conhecido em seu nicho;
  2. Ganhar exposição (tráfego) para levar para o seu site;
  3. Gerar backlinks para o seu site (que nunca deve ser seu foco principal, já que o Google desaprova essa tática).

Com o tipo de conteúdo certo nos melhores blogs, você vai conseguir as três coisas.

Se você quer conquistar o nº 1 ou o nº 2, precisa encontrar blogs com públicos vastos e muito envolvimento.

Se você quer apenas o nº 3, precisa encontrar blogs com autoridade de domínio alta. Você pode verificar isso gratuitamente usando ferramentas como o Ubersuggest.

Conhecer suas metas desde o início vai te ajudar a decidir quais são os melhores blogs para onde enviar seus guest posts.

Como encontrar oportunidades para fazer guest posts

A primeira coisa que você deve fazer é encontrar oportunidades para guest posts. Ao procurar lugares onde publicar seus posts, sua meta principal deve ser encontrar sites relevantes para o seu nicho ou indústria. Você está procurando blogs que cumprem os seguintes critérios: 

  • conteúdo focado em seu nicho/indústria;
  • público que vai se interessar pelo seu nicho; 
  • blog com leitores envolvidos (posts compartilhados nas mídias sociais e comentados);
  • o autor do blog é ativo nas mídias sociais (assim você sabe que ele ou ela vai divulgar seu trabalho no site).

Se você vende sementes, por exemplo, deve procurar blogs sobre jardinagem com um público bem envolvido nessa atividade. A próxima seção vai te ajudar a encontrar as oportunidades certas para guest posts. 

Pesquisa no Google

O Google é um ótimo lugar para começar sua pesquisa por oportunidades para guest posts. Você pode usar qualquer uma das pesquisas de palavra-chave abaixo para encontrar blogs que aceitam guest posts. É só substituir palavra-chave por palavras-chave do seu nicho. 

  • palavra-chave “enviar guest post”;
  • palavra-chave “guest post”;
  • palavra-chave “guest post de”;
  • palavra-chave “aceitando guest posts”;
  • palavra-chave “regras para guest post”.

Essas buscas devem te levar a páginas com regras para guest posts, páginas para envio de guests posts, ou guest posts de outros autores. 

Guest bloggers populares

Você conhece alguém que faz muitos guest posts em seu nicho? Se você lê muitos blogs na sua área (espero que sim), vai ver alguns nomes que sempre aparecem em guest posts.

Alguns dos guest bloggers mais influentes no marketing são Neil Patel, Jeff Bullas, Mark Traphagen, Tony Right, Jenny Halasz, Brian Harnish, Kevin Indig, Adam Riemer, Robyn Johnson, Benji Acciola, Kevin Rowe, Anna Crow e Kirk Williams.

Usando a busca do Google, pesquise os nomes de guest bloggers populares em seu nicho com a frase “guest post de”. Isso vai revelar todos os sites onde eles publicam. Melhor ainda, se você conhece um guest blogger no seu nicho, pode pedir para ser apresentado aos donos dos blogs onde ele ou ela já publicou.

Backlinks de concorrentes

Se você (ou sua agência de marketing online) já fez uma análise dos backlinks de um concorrente enquanto trabalhava em sua campanha de SEO, deve ter visto que alguns dos seus concorrentes têm backlinks de guest posts que publicaram.

Se tiver acesso a ferramentas como o Open Site Explorer, você poderá ver os backlinks dos seus concorrentes e procurar guest posts que eles já fizeram.

Se não encontrar nada, você pode pesquisar no Google. Use:

link:domínio.com.br -domain.com “guest post” (substitua domínio.com.br pelo domínio do seu concorrente). Isso deve revelar sites onde seu concorrente publicou guest posts.

Exemplo:

link:backlink.io -neilpatel.com “guest post”

Pesquisas em redes sociais

Muitos blogueiros compartilham seus guest posts mais recentes nas redes sociais. A mais fácil de pesquisar é o Twitter. Assim, faça uma busca no Twitter com a palavra-chave “guest post” para encontrar os tweets mais recentes sobre guest posts em seu nicho. Aí é só seguir o link para ver que blogs estão aceitando guest posts. 

Procure oportunidades para guest posts

Precisa de mais ideias de palavras-chave ou de uma lista com muitas oportunidades para guest posts?

Veja esse artigo com 14 outras formas de publicar seu conteúdo.

MyBlogGuest

Finalmente, uma opção importante é a My Blog Guest, uma comunidade de guest bloggers. Cadastre-se gratuitamente e pesquise blogs que aceitam guest posts. Ou melhor ainda: publique suas informações dizendo que gostaria de fazer guest posts sobre um determinado assunto para que donos de blogs possam te encontrar!

Como se preparar para oferecer um guest post

Perceba que não vamos direto de encontrar oportunidades para guest posts a contatar os blogs. Existem algumas coisas que você precisa fazer antes de oferecer um guest post a um site que acabou de encontrar.

Conheça o conteúdo do blog

É essencial conhecer o conteúdo do blog que você selecionou. Sim, você já sabe que ele tem conteúdo relacionado à palavra-chave que você pesquisou em sua busca por oportunidades para guest posts. Mas você precisa saber ainda sobre aquele conteúdo, como:

  • Qual é o nível do público para qual ele se destina (iniciante, intermediário, avançado)? 
  • Para que tipo de público ele é destinado? Se seu negócio é B2B, você quer um blog que tenha um público de empresas, não consumidores comuns.
  • Que tipo de conteúdo é publicado? São conceitos gerais ou tutoriais detalhados? O autor gosta de listas?

Veja o que outros guest posts fazem

Um blog pode ter guest posts, mas a pergunta mais importante é: será que os guest bloggers têm sucesso com isso? Será que os guest posts neste site recebem tantos comentários e compartilhamentos quanto os posts do blogueiro dono do site? Alguns sites podem aceitar guest posts, mas ter um público que só dá atenção ao dono do blog, e aí você não vai ter muito sucesso se quiser construir autoridade ou direcionar tráfego para o seu site.

Veja quem são os guest bloggers

Os donos de alguns blogs podem aceitar mais guest posts de certos tipos de pessoas. Examine as bios de alguns guest bloggers para saber se eles são outros blogueiros, freelancers, consultores, empresários e etc. Isso vai ser importante no momento em que você se apresentar com sua proposta. Para saber mais sobre as taxas de sucesso na prospecção de guest posts, veja este estudo no SEOmoz.

Descubra que posts têm os melhores resultados

Para garantir que seus guest posts sejam aceitos, você deve fazer propostas com assuntos que funcionam bem para o público do dono no blog. Para ter boas ideias de assuntos que sejam populares com o público de um blog, use os sites a seguir para ver que posts fizeram sucesso nas mídias sociais:

  • Oktopus: o Oktopus monitora e mostra sua performance nas mídias sociais;
  • Digg: o Digg vai te mostrar os posts que receberam mais votos Digg;
  • Buzzer: o Buzzer programa suas publicações nas mídias sociais e oferece dados e analytics.

Participe da comunidade de blogs

Para aumentar suas chances de ser aceito como guest blogger, primeiro você precisa ganhar o reconhecimento do dono do blog. A melhor forma de fazer isso é comentar nos posts dele durante uma semana ou duas. Você vai ter ainda mais vantagens se também compartilhar estes posts no Twitter – não  esqueça de incluir o nome de usuário do blogueiro ao fazer isso. Assim, quando você apresentar sua proposta de guest post, você já não será um estranho.

Os melhores momentos para propor um guest post

Você nem sempre vai ter uma oportunidade brilhante para propor um guest post, mas existem alguns momentos que você pode aproveitar, incluindo:

  • quando um blog menciona você em um post ou nas redes sociais (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.);
  • quando um blog lista você, seu negócio ou seu produto em um post;
  • quando um blog anuncia que está procurando guest posts;
  • quando um blog publica o guest post de outra pessoa.

Melhores práticas para uma proposta

As regras a seguir são essenciais na hora de propor um guest post a outro blogueiro:

Leia as orientações

A última coisa que você deve fazer antes de contatar o dono de um blog é ler as orientações para guest posts, se elas existirem, e segui-las à risca. O dono do blog quer que você envie uma ideia ou um post completo? Que formato ele deseja? Você deve criar uma conta e enviar via WordPress? Você precisa saber tudo isso antes de entrar em contato com o blog.

Personalize seu email

Como um blogueiro que recebe propostas de guest posts diariamente, nada me desanima mais do que um email que começa com “Caro senhor ou senhora”, “Caro webmaster”, “Ao dono do site NeilPael.com”, ou simplesmente “Olá”. 

Você pode encontrar um nome e informações para contato com o dono do blog onde você quer publicar seu guest post. 

Talvez você tenha que procurar um pouco mais na página Sobre Nós ou em uma das contas do blog em redes sociais, mas esses dados provavelmente estão disponíveis em algum lugar. Encontre-os e use-os no início do seu email. 

Quem é você?

Lembra da parte sobre ver quem publica guest posts no blog que você selecionou? Alguns blogueiros têm preferências específicas sobre quem pode publicar posts em seus sites.

Se você percebeu que a maioria dos guest posts são de outros blogueiros, talvez deva se apresentar como blogueiro do [insira aqui seu blog pessoal ou corporativo]. Você sempre pode cuidar do seu negócio em segundo lugar; foque primeiro em suas habilidades como blogueiro.

Porque você deve contribuir com guest posts

Em sua proposta, lembre-se de incluir porque você deve se tornar um guest blogger. Adicione alguns links para posts que você publicou em outros lugares, inclusive seu próprio blog. De preferência, selecione publicações com bom envolvimento social, para que o dono do blog veja seu valor potencial para o público dele. 

Como propor um guest post

Se as orientações sobre guest posts pedem que você envie uma proposta de assunto, baseie-se na sua pesquisa de posts populares anteriores e envie algumas ideias diferentes para que o dono do blog possa escolher. 

Como enviar um post incrível

Uma das perguntas mais comuns sobre guest posts é se você deve usar seus melhores conteúdos em seu próprio blog ou em guest posts. Tudo depende da qualidade do blog para onde você envia seu conteúdo. 

Se seu blog não tem nada além de posts de 900 palavras com muitas imagens de captura de tela, seu guest post deve ser parecido. Se seu blog é só publicações com 500 palavras ou menos e uma imagem, seus posts também devem ser assim. Veja a seguir outras dicas para fazer um guest post incrível.

Você não é o foco

A primeira coisa a lembrar é que um bom guest post não é sobre seu negócio, seus produtos ou seus serviços. Guest posts devem ser fontes de informações valiosas, e não publicidade.

Qualquer informação sobre o seu negócio e itens relacionados devem ser guardados para a bio do autor. Não faz mal fazer menção ao negócio e contar histórias ou exemplos, mas a maior parte do post deve focar em alguma coisa que não seja a sua empresa. 

Formate seu post como os que estão no site

Dê uma olhada nos posts publicados no blog que você selecionou. Eles utilizam muitos títulos, textos em negrito, imagens, citações ou outra formatação especial? Use elementos similares em seu post para combinar com os outros.

Inclua links internos e de fonte

Mostre ao dono do blog que você conhece o conteúdo dele com alguns links internos para posts dele. A forma mais fácil de fazer isso é fazer uma pesquisa no Google com site:domínio.com.br intitle:palavra-chave.

Isso vai te mostrar os posts mais populares do blog com uma certa palavra-chave. E aí você poderá criar links para um daqueles posts com aquela palavra-chave. Além disso, se mencionar qualquer produto, livro, etc, lembre-se de incluir links para eles (desde que não seja auto-promoção). 

Inclua um Call to Action para comentários

Ao final do seu guest post incrível, lembre-se de incluir um call to action pedindo comentários. Quanto mais discussão seu post gerar, melhor!

Como criar uma bio de autor incrível

A parte mais importante do guest post provavelmente vai ser a bio do autor. Geralmente este é o único lugar onde você deve incluir links de auto-promoção para o seu site, blog, produto, serviço, livro etc. O que você vai escrever nesta seção depende dos objetivos do seu blog.

Tempo necessário: 30 minutos.

Passos para criar uma bio para um guest post:

  1. Inclua um link para o seu site
    Se seu objetivo for conseguir bons backlinks, não esqueça de incluir um link para o seu site, com seu texto-âncora target.
  2. Crie uma landing page personalizada para refletir seu público
    Se seu objetivo for direcionar tráfego ao seu site, você deve considerar para onde quer que este tráfego vá. Dependendo do tema do seu guest post e do público do blog onde ele for publicado, talvez você queira enviar o tráfego para uma landing page personalizada ou uma página sobre um produto ou serviço específico.
  3. Inclua seus perfis sociais
    Se seu objetivo for aumentar seus seguidores nas redes sociais, adicione uma linha ao final da sua bio dizendo “Siga-me em [insira seu perfil social mais popular e um link aqui].
  4. Crie uma bio concisa e descritiva
    Inclua um pouco sobre seu histórico e experiência que expliquem suas qualificações para escrever aquele guest post. Inclua seu cargo atual ou projetos que talvez sejam do interesse dos leitores.  

Como ser o melhor guest blogger

Se você quiser se tornar um colaborador regular de um blog, ou simplesmente queira que o dono do blog espalhe que você é um convidado incrível, faça de tudo para divulgar seu post entre o seu público. O dono do blog vai adorar receber novos leitores.

Além disso, lembre-se de responder a comentários ou perguntas que as pessoas deixarem em seu post. Isso vai ajudar bastante se você quiser construir autoridade em seu nicho.

Monitorando seus resultados

Quando o objetivo é ganhar tráfego, você definitivamente deve mensurar os resultados dos seus guest posts. A melhor forma de fazer isso é criar um Advanced Segment no Google Analytics.

Você pode aprender a configurar um Advanced Segment neste post sobre como descobrir que estratégia de marketing online gera mais tráfego. Você só precisa de um segmento usando a dimensão fonte com várias afirmações para cada domínio onde você publicou um guest post. O limite são 20 por Advanced Segment. Veja como ficou o meu: 

Monitoramento de resultado

Usando isso, você pode ver todos os dados do Google Analytics baseados em referências dos seus guest posts. Isso pode ajudar a determinar o sucesso da sua estratégia de guest posts em termos de tráfego e de conversão. 

Se não souber ao certo como monitorar conversões, veja esse post sobre como obter dados práticos para aprender como estabelecer metas.

Como conseguir guest bloggers para o seu blog

Finalmente, não esqueça que guest posts podem ser uma via de mão dupla. É difícil manter o seu blog e também fazer guests posts em vários outros.

Convide o dono do blog onde você publicou seu guest posts a escrever para o seu blog também. Isso vai garantir conteúdos novos, o que pode te ajudar a ganhar perspectiva sobre o seu público, e com sorte, novos leitores da comunidade do seu convidado. Todo mundo ganha com isso!

Conclusão

Publicar guest posts em sites com boa reputação é uma forma excelente de aproveitar o sucesso de blogs que já são populares em seu nicho. Para conseguir espaço para publicar guest posts, você precisa fazer propostas cativantes que mostram o seu valor. 

Guest posts são apenas uma entre muitas estratégias a incluir em suas campanhas de marketing de conteúdo. Se você quiser ajuda para formular ou monitorar seus métodos no marketing de conteúdo, nossa agência está aqui para ajudar.

Você usa guest posts como parte da sua estratégia de marketing de conteúdo? O que mais você sugeriria para negócios que querem aumentar seu sucesso com guest posts? 

Source: New feed 2