How to Make a Website in 6 Easy Steps

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Making a website has gotten much, much easier over the years. It’s cheaper, faster, and more straightforward than ever before.

But what do you really need to build a website?

A stable internet connection and an hour or two of your time is plenty.

You don’t need any web development experience or tons of money, don’t worry.

In this step-by-step guide, I’ll teach you how to make a website from scratch in just one afternoon. Just follow my tactics below to avoid the mistakes I made when I was starting from ground zero.

Your 2-Minute Cheat Sheet

Here’s your quick-start guide to making a website. This section won’t cover the details–just the crucial steps–each step is broken down in more detail below.

Start by choosing the right web host. We highly recommend Bluehost for speed, reliability, and ease of setup. It only costs a few bucks a month, and it’s got everything you need to make your first website look professional.

Then you’ll need a domain name that represents what your website is going to be all about. A .com domain name is best because it helps you earn brownie points in the eyes of visitors.

One reason I like Bluehost so much is that they throw in a free domain name for the first year. That saves you some cash and the extra step of having to go through a domain registrar.

Once you’ve registered your domain name, choose a content management system or CMS. You can consider WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, among others.

I like WordPress the best and it’s what I use for my site. If you go with Bluehost, WordPress is a one-click install.

Boom, now you have a version of a website up and running. Congrats!

But you aren’t done yet.

Next on your list would be to market your business. Since branding is crucial today, you need to consider a logo, write your website copy, plan your marketing strategy, and definitely install Google Analytics.

Basically, the exciting stuff that you may know all about already.

Now let’s discuss how to build a website in more detail. Keep reading or jump right to the step you need help with:

  1. Choose Web Hosting
  2. Select a Unique and Relevant Domain Name
  3. Select a Good Website Building Platform or CMS
  4. Design Your Website to Make It Look Awesome
  5. Protect Your Website by Using a Child Theme
  6. Configure Your Website and Add Relevant Content

Step #1: Choose Web Hosting

Do you remember how your school library had those large categorized bookshelves?

A web hosting company is precisely like that bookshelf, while the library is the internet.

A hosting service provider or a web hosting company stores your website on a server, making everything you put up on your website visible on the internet and your visitors. 

These companies offer monthly or annual plans on shared servers, dedicated servers, or virtual private servers, allowing you to choose a plan according to your security and support requirements.

If your website doesn’t collect or store personal or financial data, you can always select the basic plan. So, you don’t have to shell out a lot of money.

But how do you know which web hosting company or service is right for you?

Site Speed

If you want to earn money from your website, you need to get a stable and fast web host.

Fast sites have many things going for them. They rank better, help with SEO, and maximize conversions. 

I would 100% recommend Bluehost, as it keeps loading time minimal and short.

That said, we would also advise you to avoid shared hosting or overly cheap services. 

Shared hosting means you’ll be sharing your web server with thousands of other sites. In other words, hosting speed will be slow–plus, you may even end up sharing the server with spammy sites, which you may end up with you facing the brunt of Google.

As for skipping cheap hosting services, the rule here is simple: You get what you pay for. 

The level of security, speed, and uptime wouldn’t be as great when you pay $5 per month, especially when you compare it to plans costing more than $120 per month.

I’m not telling you to buy the most expensive plan–just avoid the cheapest hosting.

Uptime Dependability

Your web hosting service should always operate properly. Otherwise, no one can access your website. 

A good hosting provider provides you an uptime guarantee–something like “We offer a 100% network uptime guarantee” or similar claims. 

For instance, if a hosting provider tells you 99% uptime, your site can be down for 3.5 days a year. But providers offering 99.99% or 99.999% will have about one hour and five minutes downtime, respectively.

Look for a provider that offers a guarantee for insurance. If your website goes down, you can be compensated with hosting credits. 

Customer Support

You’ll need quick and efficient backup support when technical difficulties arise. Chat, email, or telephone – there are various support methods. In my experience, though, email is the absolute worst. It’s much better to receive support by phone or live chat.

Choose a hosting provider that offers 24/7 support. This way, you’ll be able to get your business back online if something goes wrong within minutes.

You should also check your service level agreement (SLA) to get an idea of the kind of support you’ll receive. Looking at the company’s website will give you an idea about their support team too.

Definitely go with a host that offers you a free trial period–it’s the only way to get a real sense of the service you’re going to get. Even if you don’t need help, hit them up a few times during the first 30 days. See how quickly they get back to you.

If your new host is slow to respond, the quality of service is probably not going to improve. That’s why the free trial is so important. Bluehost lets you cancel for free within the first month if you’re not happy. DreamHost offers a 97-day money-back guarantee.

Scalability

Scalability is vital for two reasons. First, a hosting provider should grow organically with you, enabling you to upgrade when needed. Second, your website should be able to handle massive spikes in visitor numbers.

Consider the following questions to understand whether your web host is flexible:

  1. Will the web host upgrade you from an entry-level shared hosting plan to an intermediate VPS when your visitor numbers reach a certain level without any downtime?
  2. How easy is this upgrade process?
  3. Can the web host support seasonal fluctuations in web traffic seamlessly?

You should aim to get a solution that checks all three boxes.

Visit web hosting forums to learn about other people’s experiences with providers. Then compare services and prices to determine the right plan based on your needs and budget.

With a web host provider in place, you can move on to Step 2.

Step #2: Select a Unique and Relevant Domain Name

Don’t go looking for the perfect domain name–there isn’t one. Some names better than others, but ultimately, it’s a small part of your business. The content of your website remains most important.

A domain name is your website’s address on the internet. Mine is NeilPatel.com, and it reflects my personal brand. Yours can be anything you want it to be, provided it’s related to your business, topics that you want to write about, or your name.

The options are endless!

Following are a few rules of thumb to help you choose the right domain name:

  • Keep it relevant
  • Stick to short, memorable names
  • Avoid numbers
  • Choose a .com, .org, or .net
  • Make sure your chosen domain name is available

Find the perfect name is also possible using the following methods:

Method 1 – Brute Force Method

Many have the creativity to come up with the perfect domain name independently. If that’s you, you’ll need a domain name registrar to purchase the domain, and then search the availability of your prospective domain name.

Bluehost is a great place to start, as it gives you a free domain for one year with their hosting plans, and you can search availability. 

I’ll also advise you to avoid going for domain names that have hyphens (like neil-patel-marketing.com) even when you get it at a dirt-cheap price. It can get confusing.

Method 2 – Use a Tool

Some of us are not very creative, and that’s okay. 

If you get stuck when coming up with a domain name, try using name generators. Just enter one or two keywords, and the generator will look for ways to combine those words into a domain name.

In addition to speed and downtime reliability, Bluehost also allows you to check domain name availability. Visit the sign up now page and enter your domain name in the box, and voila! You’ll have a name.

Bear in mind that your preferred domain name may be unavailable. Try mixing up words, using a thesaurus, or adding a verb if it happens.

After you’ve chosen your domain name, you’ll next need a website building platform.

Step #3: Select a Good Website Building Platform or CMS

A quick Google search about website builders and CMS will leave you overwhelmed with the enormity of options.

CMS stands for Content Management System. It allows you to edit your website within the domain itself, helping you save tons of time and make everything way simpler. Customizing layouts, settings, content, creating new pages and posts, and so on, becomes easier thanks to ready-to-use website templates.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • WordPress. WordPress is number one when it comes to CMSs. It’s popular, user-friendly, and super easy to use. Moreover, the platform has over 58,000 plugins that allow you to do almost anything you want on your site. 

Keep in mind that WordPress.com and WordPress.org aren’t the same. While the former is a third-party site that allows you to create free blogs, the latter enables you to download the WordPress software to install on a website.

  • Wix. Wix is another website builder that makes things super easy. If you need a site with just a few pages, like restaurants, local businesses, freelancers, or portfolio sites, this could be a great option. Their reliability (99.98% uptime) and security features (like 24/7 managed monitoring and optimization) give you peace of mind, as well.

However, if you want to build a large site, Wix may lack the advanced features required for large amounts of traffic.

  • Drupal. Drupal is the most advanced website building solution, which is why it has a steeper learning curve. Though when you consider the level of customization it offers, the hard work seems worth it.

While I don’t recommend Drupal for beginners, if advance customization is a priority on your list, this is hands down the best option. You can always hire an expert to learn the ropes of the platform.

You’ll now have a website up and running. All that is left to do is to make it look great.

Step #4: Design Your Website to Make It Look Awesome

For any website builder, you’ll have to install a theme. Themes can be free and paid, but the latter is more professional-looking and gives you more flexibility when customizing your website. They aren’t excessively expensive as well and can be bought for less than $100.

WordPress and Wix have some great free themes, but if you want to try out the premium variety, you can give StudioPress a shot.

Themes are built on the basic CMS but are customizable to give your website a unique look and allow it to function differently. After all, shouldn’t an artist’s website look different from a SaaS or a restaurant?

Visual representation is incredibly important as your visitors judge your website in a fraction of a second based on how it looks. If your site looks obsolete, untrustworthy, or doesn’t match their expectations, your visitors will be gone in seconds.

Luckily, choosing a good theme is easy. 

I recommend reading reviews about the themes before choosing and never prioritizing visual appeal over functionality. 

Yes, you want your website to look good with all those fancy fonts and colors, but that shouldn’t be at the cost of functionality.

Additionally, you can always change the theme at a later date. Just don’t change it frequently, as it will harm SEO and branding. 

Step #5: Protect Your Website by Using a Child Theme

The best way to protect your website is to use a child theme. A child theme is a style sheet stored separately from the rest of your theme’s files on the webserver. Not only will it make your site hard to break, but it even protects you from redoing changes whenever you update a theme.

Keep in mind that different website builders have different names for creating a child theme. 

You build a “child theme” in WordPress, but you create a “sub-theme” in Drupal. Also, some websites don’t allow you to create a child theme, but you can always make a duplicate theme to serve as back up, as in Joomla.

Step #6: Configure Your Website and Add Relevant Content

At this point, you’re done with most of the technical part and can now finally focus on the more interesting things.

Start by setting up navigation to make it easier for visitors to know what your website is all about and grant them easy access to different parts of your website. Choose a couple of colors to represent your site without going overboard.

For instance, I chose orange and white.

Organize, separate, and highlight the important areas of your website to make it eye-catching and clear. You can also install plugins to help your website function smoothly.

Here is a quick checklist of things you need to start marketing your business, especially if you want to earn money from the website:

  • Get a logo. This will represent your brand, so be very careful here.
  • Write your website copy, including the home page, About Me page, and other basic pages.
  • Install Google Analytics code to your website to keep track of visitors.
  • Start planning your marketing strategy to figure out your visitor’s likes and dislikes.

As for the last pointer, you’ll have to understand online marketing, content marketing, and the often neglected link building to gain visibility, generate leads, and achieve your business goals from your website.

Conclusion

Making a website does have its fair share of struggles, but the more experience you gain, the better you’ll become, and the easier it’ll be.

While we’ve covered all the necessary details for building your first website, if you find yourself getting stuck anywhere, you can turn to Google or YouTube to solve your problem. 

Trust me, there are tutorials for almost everything out there on the internet.

Choosing a web host and CMS, designing your website, and marketing is just the tip of the iceberg. You can’t expect overnight success, but was just a bit of patience, you’ll see real progress.

Source: New feed 2

WordPress Vs. Wix

WordPress themes for WordPress Vs Wix

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WordPress outshines Wix by allowing users to create sophisticated websites and customize them to their liking.

Wix doesn’t have as much design freedom as WordPress, but it is going to be way easier for beginners to use on day one.

With WordPress and Wix serving different users, the final decision ultimately depends on your experience level and purpose in launching a website. 

WordPress or Wix: Which is Better?

WordPress is a content management system best for those who value flexibility and versatility. It doesn’t come with great functionality right out of the box, but you can customize it through thousands of themes and plugins. Get your website idea off the ground using WordPress’ powerful, flexible platform. 

Wix is best for beginners who want to whip up a basic website that does not need advanced features. It’s an entry-level tool with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor so you can churn out a website in minutes without much technical know-how. Create your own website today and let Wix do the heavy lifting. 

A Review of The Best Website Builders

Website builders provide the tools you need to spin up basic or highly-versatile websites without touching any code. But it can be challenging to decide which website builder fits your needs if you’re clueless about what to look for. 

With years of experience under my belt, I’ve learned the key differentiators you should look for when shopping for a website builder. Using this in-depth review of the top four website builders, you’ll be able to zero in on the best platform that will set up your website for future success. Both WordPress and Wix made it into the top four.

WordPress Wins

Full data ownership: With WordPress being open-source software, nobody is holding you by the neck. Hence, transferring from one host to another isn’t complicated. You own all your files and can take them to any hosting provider that supports WordPress. 

Site transfers are facilitated by the built-in WordPress Import and Export tools, features you won’t find in Wix. In addition, Wix sites are hosted exclusively on Wix’s servers. Therefore, transferring your website files to a self-hosted WordPress requires a complex, cumbersome process. 

Limitless design options: WordPress is generous to a fault when giving users the power to design their websites. Free themes are available for starters, but if you’re looking for more functionality, you can choose from over 5,000 premium third-party themes that cost anywhere between $25 and $299. 

You can also hire a developer to create a custom theme with unconventional features to make your website stand out. The best part is you can easily switch from one theme to another, unlike Wix that doesn’t allow it once your site goes live. 

WordPress themes for WordPress Vs Wix

No WordPress-sponsored ads: WordPress is free, but you need to purchase a domain name and a hosting plan for it to work (here’s an easy step-by-step guide for getting those). But once your website is up and running, you’re free to monetize it any way you want. Meanwhile, Wix websites are free, and most basic plans are riddled with ads you don’t control. Wix only removes these ads once you upgrade to higher premium plans. 

Unmatched customizability: An open-source software, WordPress offers great flexibility right out of the box. If you’re a programmer or somebody who knows how to code, you can tweak WordPress’s underlying codes to create a website exactly as you envision it. Beginners can also customize their WordPress sites as they please. 

From switching templates after the website goes live to improving site security and adding forms to blog posts, WordPress allows you to modify your site in ways that are impossible with Wix. 

And even if you love Wix for its drag-and-drop builder, WordPress also offers something better with third-party page builder plugins like Elementor or Divi. 

Add plugins to WordPress for WordPress Vs Wix

Massive selection of plugins: WordPress beats Wix for having the most number of plugins to enhance your website’s functionality. Whether you want to add a table, collect your visitors’ emails, or create a landing page, there’s always a plugin that will match your needs. There are over 55,000 free and premium plugins to choose from, so it’s easy to beef up your website without manipulating any codes. 

Robust blogging platform: Even if it has evolved into a full-blown content management system, WordPress doesn’t forget its roots and continues to be the platform of choice for all things blog related. It offers the same blogging features as Wix but takes it up a notch with advanced features you’ll only find in WordPress. 

These include a native commenting section so you can manage your readers’ comments without the need for additional plugins. You also have complete control over posts and pages’ visibility as you can set them to public, private, or password-protected. 

The new Gutenberg editor has its flaws, but the ease of adding, dragging, and dropping different elements without the need for scrolling up or down is second to none. 

WordPress Gutenberg editor for WordPress Vs Wix

Better search visibility: WordPress gives you more control, so your website is more likely to rank on search engine results. Slow website? You can improve your site’s performance by applying speed-boosting strategies. 

WordPress users can also install Yoast, the world’s most popular SEO plugin. This tool helps over five million websites improve how their articles appear on search results, insert internal links, and redirect old pages to new ones, all of which help boost their rankings in the long run. 

Ahrefs, a leading all-around SEO tool, once analyzed 6.4 million websites, and the results show that WordPress sites have higher domain authority, backlinks, and traffic than their Wix counterparts. 

WooCommerce main page for WordPress Vs Wix

Scalable ecommerce functionality: WordPress lacks built-in ecommerce features, but you can easily integrate it with a powerful ecommerce solution like WooCommerce. 

Used by over 40% of ecommerce sites, this plugin can help you display products, fulfill orders, receive payments in multiple currencies, and automatically calculate tax by region. 

To further boost its functionality, you can also install additional WooCommerce plugins. For example, you can connect your store to a print-on-demand service that will process the orders on your behalf. 

There’s also the free HubSpot for ecommerce plugin that lets you track your visitors and lead them into your sales funnel. 

WordPress Losses

No phone support available: WordPress relies on its global community of volunteers. Hence, there’s no customer service hotline that you can turn to if you encounter technical hiccups. 

However, over 39% of websites in the world are powered by WordPress, so whatever issue you’re dealing with, chances are you’ll find a troubleshooting guide in support forums, Slack channels, or YouTube. But having to go looking for solutions is annoying.

The cost of creating and maintaining a website varies: WordPress is free to download. However, it can’t stand on its own, so you need to pay for a domain name and a hosting plan before you can start a website. 

A custom domain name starts at $10 per year, while a hosting plan can start as cheap as $2.95 a month. If your website gets a lot of traffic, you need to pay more for a hosting plan to avoid downtimes with each traffic spike. 

Additional expenses include premium themes and plugins to enhance the functionality of your site. In total, you might spend anywhere between $200 to a few thousand every year. 

Steep learning curve: WordPress is not the most intuitive, and it takes time to understand it. It doesn’t come with an official walkthrough, so you have to learn everything on your own. 

WordPress’s Gutenberg editor, for instance, is not as intuitive as Wix’s drag-and-drop editor. It lacks the what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSWYG) framework, so you need to preview the page you’re working on to see what it will look like once published. 

DIY security and maintenance: Website upkeep is not hands-off for WordPress users. The WordPress software itself rolls out updates every once in a while, and it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re using the latest version. 

You also need to manually update themes and plugins to fix bugs and prevent them from affecting site performance. 

As for backups and security, you can handle them yourself with the help of plugins. In exchange for fixed monthly fees, you can outsource all these to a WordPress maintenance service or choose a managed WordPress host to handle everything for you. 

Wix Wins

No upfront cost: Anybody can register and create a Wix website for free. If you want more functionality and to remove the Wix ads, you can upgrade to one of the Wix website plans or the business and ecommerce plans. 

Unlike WordPress, which is 100% free but comes with extra expenses, Wix’s pricing is much more straightforward. 

You don’t have to estimate anything as the pricing page has all the details. The Combo Plan starts at $14 per month and comes with everything you need to get started. You even get a free domain name for the first year, which you have to purchase on your own if you use WordPress.  

If you want more features like chatbots or event booking, you can also add Wix apps that are either free or premium with prices ranging from $3 to $20. 

Wix pricing page for WordPress Vs Wix

Effortless registration: Although the software itself is free, creating a website with WordPress requires the additional steps of domain registration and signing up to a hosting provider. With Wix, registration is as easy as signing up using your Facebook or Google account. Then, you can start building your website right away, either through the editor or with the help of an AI tool.

Wix signup page for WordPress Vs Wix

Intuitive drag-and-drop editor: Wix sacrifices flexibility so users can build websites fast with little to no learning curve. Beginners can easily customize their website templates with Wix’s drag-and-drop interface that lets you move things around and add as many features as you please. 

Unlike WordPress’s Gutenberg editor, Wix’s operates on a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSWYG) paradigm, so everything you see is exactly what will appear once the site goes live. 

Wix editor for WordPress Vs Wix

If you’re short on time, you can also let Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) tool automatically create a website based on your answers to a series of questions. 

Wide selection of free templates: Wix offers the most free pre-made templates among all website builders. With over 500 templates to choose from, it’s easy to pick one that best aligns with your brand, whether you’re a non-profit organization, a photographer, a small business, or a school. 

Each template is packed with built-in elements that you can drag and drop wherever you want. The editor also gives you the freedom to change the background image into a video, select a different color palette, change the font, and tweak other elements that matter to you. 

Wix templates for WordPress Vs Wix

Handpicked in-house and third-party apps: Wix’s over 250 apps are the counterpart of WordPress’s plugins that enhance a website’s functionality. WordPress plugins may outnumber Wix’s, but you have to sift through piles of clunky ones before finding what you need. 

With Wix, however, quality matters more than quantity. Everything in the Wix App Market has already passed Wix’s guidelines, so you won’t have to perform a vetting process. In addition to that, all apps integrate well with Wix, so there’s no need to worry about incompatibility issues. 

Multiple customer support channels: Unlike WordPress that mainly relies on its support forums, Wix employs a more personal approach to customer service. 

Users can request a call-back through the Wix website so a company representative can talk to them directly. This way, they won’t have to waste time fixing the issue themselves and let a real person handle it.

If phone support is unavailable, Wix users can also reach out via email or search Wix’s online help center to find relevant articles and video tutorials. 

Easy WordPress-to-Wix migration: If you jumped on the bandwagon but soon found out that WordPress lacks the simplicity you’re looking for, Wix offers an easy way out. All you need to do is enter the WordPress blog URL in Wix’s blog import tool, and with one click, your WordPress blog will be converted into a Wix blog. 

With this import tool, you can choose only the blogs you want to move to Wix without building anything from scratch. 

Hands-off security and maintenance: The benefit of having your website hosted in a closed ecosystem like Wix is its technical team handles all maintenance and security. This means you won’t have to lift a finger to create backups, update apps, or fix security glitches. 

All updates are implemented and deployed by the in-house technical team, so you won’t even notice there’s an update taking place. In contrast, WordPress doesn’t handle any of these right out of the box, so you’re basically on your own. 

Plus, Wix sites pass the highest levels of industry security compliance, from PCI DSS for ecommerce payments to SOC Type 2, and ISO 27001, 27701, 27018, and 27017.

Managed infrastructure and site data backups: Wix also delivers even more helpful features for reliability that you don’t have to handle yourself. Their data center infrastructure is robust enough to keep your site always available, even during routine maintenance. Plus, autoscaling allows your site to handle traffic spikes without missing a beat.

And, your site data is always kept up-to-date and backed up with redundant copies kept across all of those Wix data centers. You’re never left worrying if your site is available to visitors or if you can restore it should something go terribly wrong.

Wix Losses

Pricing page lacks transparency: At first glance, Wix’s pricing page seems to show how much you’d pay for each premium plan every month. However, the prices are actually what each plan would cost if you avail of the annual subscription. 

If the Unlimited plan’s monthly cost is $12.50 per month, you’ll actually pay $150 upfront. If you opt for monthly payments, the cost is significantly higher. 

It wouldn’t have been an issue had Wix placed a toggle button through which users can compare the prices if billed monthly or annually. To be fair, there’s a disclaimer at the bottom saying that the prices displayed are for yearly subscriptions, but the text is so small you won’t notice it right away. 

Limited flexibility: Wix may be easier to use than WordPress, but that comes at the price of flexibility. 

For instance, the free templates have good enough designs for inexperienced builders but are limiting for more advanced website creators. Not to mention that you won’t be able to switch to a different template once the website goes live. 

Wix is also not open-source, so programmers and other tech-savvy users won’t be able to tinker with its underlying codes. Lastly, the over 250 apps inside its App Market can enhance the site functionality, but they pale in comparison to the thousands of WordPress plugins. 

Underwhelming blog features: Wix wasn’t created with bloggers in mind, so if written content is your website’s main attraction, choose WordPress instead. 

Although Wix offers basic blog features like categories, tagging, cover image, and post scheduling, it lacks other vital elements like native commenting. 

For readers’ comments, Wix only offers Facebook comments, which are much more vulnerable to a slew of spammers. Also, the Wix plain blog editor doesn’t have the drag-and-drop functionality of WordPress’ Gutenberg, so the formatting options are limited. 

Ad-free site not available in all plans: A free Wix website comes with Wix ads and a Wix subdomain. You won’t pay for anything, but it’s not good for branding. If you already have a custom domain, you can connect it to Wix for $4.50 a month (billed annually). However, the Wix ads remain at this level. You can only get rid of the Wix-sponsored ads if you upgrade to more expensive plans. 

Difficult to get out of: Wix websites are hosted in their infrastructure, so once you create a website with them, it’s stuck in their hosting for life. It also lacks the Import and Export function of WordPress, so moving your website files from Wix to WordPress is tricky. 

To give you an idea, your posts will be imported in the form of RSS files, while your images will need to be transferred manually. For most users, this complex procedure is enough to discourage them from making the switch. 

Inferior built-in SEO functionality: Wix is not a terrible choice if you only get direct or social media traffic on your site. But when it comes to search engine visibility, Wix lags behind WordPress. 

Wix is not up to snuff from a technical SEO standpoint as it relies on Javascript to display its URLs, making them more difficult to crawl. The Javascript also leads to code bloating, resulting in slower pages. 

Wix also doesn’t have the basic features to set up a website to SEO success like hreflang and AMP support. Users have limited control over redirects and are restricted from editing the site’s robots.txt and sitemap. Creating shorter URLs is also impossible, so you’ll be stuck with https://www.neilpatel.com/post/keyword instead of the more concise and user-friendly https://www.neilpatel.com/keyword.

Comparing The Top Website Builders

Whether you’re a tech-savvy geek or a technophobe who wants to take a stab at creating websites, there’s a website builder that meets your needs. Here are my top four recommendations: 

  1. Wix — Best for general use
  2. Weebly  — Best for beginners
  3. Web.com — Best for building landing pages
  4. Shopify — Best for ecommerce
  5. WordPress — Best for content management

In terms of Wix and WordPress, if you’re a novice who needs a leg up in creating your first website, Wix can get you online fast. The ease of its drag-and-drop editor is second to none, while its wide range of free templates can give you a professional-looking website without breaking the bank. 

For high-traffic websites that generate income from content, WordPress remains the best content management system.

Source: New feed 2

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients

Your digital marketing agency can only perform as well as its suite of tools allows.

If you create bad client SEO reports, you can’t offer the latest and greatest recommendations to improve their websites.

That’s where Ubersuggest comes in.

As an SEO and website analysis tool, Ubersuggest offers the optimal suite of reports to its users. You can then use these reports to advise your clients and make optimizations.

In this post, we’ll explore why agencies love Ubersuggest and take an in-depth look at the various uses for its reports and tools.

Why Agencies Love Ubersuggest For Client SEO Reporting

Ubersuggest is an SEO and website auditing tool that offers both free and paid plans to individuals and agencies alike. Its popularity has grown in recent years, now boasting over 50,000 users!

When it comes to digital marketing agencies, Ubersuggest is an invaluable tool for evaluating client websites. It offers a suite of reports and tools including keyword research and analysis, technical SEO, and even site speed.

Its breadth of reports makes it a great tool for agencies when first evaluating a client’s website. However, don’t be fooled by the variety of reports. These reports also offer significant depth that enables agencies to really dig into the data so they can offer invaluable insights to their clients.

8 Ways Agencies Use Ubersuggest

While we can discuss Ubersuggest’s various reports and tools, it’s most helpful to understand agency use cases. Below are eight ways agencies use Ubersuggest for their marketing clientele.

1. They Create Multiple Projects Per Account

Agency analysts are constantly juggling a handful of client SEO projects at a time. With Ubersuggest, your agency can create one project per client per account. This means you can manage up to 15 clients at one time within your agency account.

To create a new project is simple:

  1. In the Dashboard section of the tool, click on “New Project” in the top right.
  2. Enter a domain and website name.
  3. Select the language/country for tracking purposes.
  4. Add keywords to rank tracking either by manually entering them, copying and pasting, or uploading a CSV file.
  5. Type in your client’s top competitors or choose from the pre-populated list.
  6. Choose your tracking preferences and decide how much hands-on help you’d like from Ubersuggest’s team of specialists.

You’re all done!

Once you’ve created multiple client SEO projects, you can toggle between them for easy tracking.

2. Run Technical Audits

Did you know only 15 percent of websites operate at an acceptable page speed? While there’s more to technical audits than site speed, it plays a big part.

A technical SEO audit is an easy way to find low-hanging fruit for your client. Each audit will call out various technical SEO elements, including header and title tag duplicates, SSL certificate errors, lack of meta description, and poorly formatted URLs.

The best news of all is that you can run an SEO audit in as little as three minutes with Ubersuggest. Here’s how.

Go to our SEO site-auditor or select “Site Audit” from the left side of the Ubersuggest tool:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Run Technical Audit

Enter the URL to be audited and then select “Domain” for a full site audit or “URL” for a page-level audit.

Click “Search.”

You’ll notice the audit is split into three sections:

  • Overview
  • Site Health
  • Site Speed

The Overview section will cover on-site SEO elements, search traffic, keywords, and backlinks.

Site Health is a highly actionable section that breaks down your domain by page level. This will run you through the various issues and errors present on your client’s website so you can action them immediately:

site health for client seo report

This section provides key takeaways you can provide to your client so you can provide value upfront. This will improve their website as well as increase their trust in your services.

The Site Speed section is self-explanatory. It provides a loading time for both desktop and mobile, as well as a breakdown of the time it took to load each page element:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Check Site Speed

A technical audit is a great tool that gives you and your client actionable items to impact their overall site performance.

This has been proven to be an invaluable resource to agencies and their clients alike.

3. Complete Keyword Research

With a tool like Ubersuggest, you can ensure you’re targeting the right keywords for your client’s SEO.

Don’t believe us? Take the word of NinjaCat, a digital marketing performance management platform, which saw a 124 percent increase in its keywords ranking on page one.

Most marketing agencies understand the importance of well-researched and targeted keywords. As is so often the case with clients, though, keyword research is not a top priority. As such, your clients may be sticking with just a handful of keywords that aren’t fully optimized or ideal for targeting.

How can you help? With Ubersuggest, you can become the expert in your client’s SEO needs in minutes. Just ask your client for their list of current keywords and plug them into the Keyword Ideas report:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Keyword Ideas Report

This Ubersuggest client SEO report offers all manner of keyword optimization angles, from new keyword ideas to related keywords to target to questions your client should aim to answer when writing a blog post. This will help you to narrow down high-traffic, low-competition keywords for your client to target.

The initial keyword audit isn’t all, though.

You can also sign up for notifications so you can know when keywords are growing in popularity and when it’s best to target them in your organic and paid campaigns.

4. Competitive Analysis

E-commerce sales in the U.S. grew 14.2 percent in 2021. Without a proper analysis of the competitive landscape, though, how can you be sure you’re capturing (and will continue to capture) your share of this growth?

The importance of your client’s SEO competitive analysis, therefore, cannot be overstated.

The more your client knows about their competitors, the greater understanding they can get of their strengths and weaknesses. Only with this information can your clients then work to carve out their industry niche.

Where should you begin? With Ubersuggest’s Similar Websites report.

The Similar Websites report will show you which keywords competitors are currently ranking for. It will also provide a list of similar keywords that your client shares with their competitors, as well as keyword gaps, estimated traffic, and the number of backlinks to your client’s competitors.

With this information, you can build out a full one-to-one comparison of your client to their top competitors.

  • Where do they fall short?
  • Where do they excel?
  • What steps can they take to see improvement in their rankings, traffic, and conversions?

5. Rank Tracking

If you want your client’s website to be found, it has to rank on the first page of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Why?

Only 0.78 percent of Google searchers click on results from the 2nd page and the CTR only worsens as you go deeper.

To improve your client’s SEO, you need rank tracking.

Rank tracking enables you to keep a pulse on your client’s website rankings so you can track and react accordingly. Once your client has begun to implement changes to their website and their keyword strategy, it’s more important than ever to keep track of site performance and ranking.

Ubersuggest’s Rank Tracking report will provide an overview of performance changes, including:

  1. The number of keywords that have moved up in rankings over time.
  2. The number of keywords that have moved down.
  3. The total number of keywords changed.
  4. A graph of the average position.
  5. Current search results rankings for your tracked keywords.
  6. Detailed information on your tracked keywords for each client.

For optimal performance tracking, you can also have this report emailed to you and your client on a weekly basis.

To use this report, select the client dashboard and then select “Rank Tracking” from the left-side menu. You can then track ranking based on custom date ranges, region, and selected keywords:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Rank Tracking

The best thing about this report is you can keep a tab on overall site performance as well as keyword-level performance so you can identify your client’s SEO drivers and draggers.

6. Link Building

According to an analysis of 11.8 million Google search results performed by Backlinko, the #1 result in Google has an average of 3.8x more backlinks than positions two through ten.

In simplest terms, the more high-quality backlinks to your website the higher your site will rank above similar websites with fewer backlinks.

Link building is no longer about quantity, but quality—and it’s an important part of client SEO reports.

The higher the domain authority of the backlinks to your site, the greater bump in SERP rankings your site will see. This is why a solid link building strategy is key to success.

Where can you begin to advise your clients? With Ubersuggest’s Backlinks Opportunities report:

How the Best Agencies Use Ubersuggest to Deliver Better SEO Reports to Their Clients - Link Building

This report will give you an idea of what sites are currently linking to competitor websites.

With this information, you can gain an understanding of the types of content high-quality sites are looking to link to. In some cases, your client may need to create such content for this strategy to work.

As your client works to build their backlink profile, you can run the Backlinks Overview report. This will show them:

  • your clients’ domain authority
  • how many domains are linking back to them
  • number of backlinks to your client’s website
  • change in backlinks and referring domains over time
  • new and lost referring domains and more

As clients typically rely heavily on marketing agencies for backlink support and opportunities, both of these Ubersuggest reports are crucial to your decision-making process and goal completion analysis.

7. They Use the Chrome Extension

The Ubersuggest Chrome extension has over 300,000 users.

As busy as agencies can get, they’re more likely to use the tools that are most readily available. That’s why so many agencies love Ubersuggest for client SEO reports, especially when it comes to the Chrome Extension.

The Ubersuggest Chrome Extension enables you to make the most of your research time.

That’s because you can learn key information while performing live searches on Google, YouTube, and Amazon, including:

  • paid and organic analytics
  • mobile and desktop search numbers
  • related keyword suggestions

Beyond the search results, you can also perform an SEO analysis of your client’s website and their competitors in real-time. This information can then supplement the reports you pull from Ubersuggest to provide even greater insight to your clients.

8. They Use the Google Analytics Integration

Google Analytics is used by 85.9 percent of all websites whose traffic analysis tool is known. With that in mind, Ubersuggest has been optimized to integrate directly with the analysis powerhouse.

Google Analytics is an invaluable tool for client websites of every type. With Ubersuggest, you can connect your clients’ Google Analytics accounts to their ongoing SEO reports.

Alongside the other data provided by Ubersuggest and its various dashboard modules, you can also see:

  • organic visitors
  • historical traffic data
  • data for mobile and desktop browsers

You will also have the ability to see the data for the day, week, or month so you can truly tailor it to your analysis needs for any given moment in time.

Using the Google Analytics integration is easy:

  1. From your client’s dashboard, click “Connect with Google.”
  2. Select the account to sign in with, or select “Use another account” if the account you need isn’t listed.
  3. Select the property and click “Connect.”

From here, you will see additional modules added to the dashboard with that property’s Google Analytics data.

How Agencies Use Ubersuggest Frequently Asked Questions

Where does Ubersuggest get its data?

Ubersuggest gets its data from various sources, most notably the Google Ads API and Google Suggest. Its integration with Google Analytics also provides an additional source of data for analysis. This makes it a great tool for conducting client SEO reports.

What is the main use for Ubersuggest?

As an SEO tool, Ubersuggest offers brands and agencies the opportunity to reverse engineer the SEO techniques of their competitors. You can see what works for your competitors using the suite of reporting tools and make educated decisions based on the data.

Can I use Ubersuggest for free?

There is a free version of Ubersuggest that allows users to perform three searches per day for keyword analysis, competitor analysis, and site performance. For agencies managing multiple client SEO projects, you will need the paid version.

Is Ubersuggest software?

Ubersuggest is a web-based SEO tool. You can access it on any computer as long as you have internet and your account login details.

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Conclusion: How Agencies Use Ubersuggest For Client SEO Reporting

Ubersuggest is an easy-to-use tool with in-depth reports which enable you to offer a best-in-class client SEO report.

When you use Ubersuggest as an agency, you can manage multiple clients’ websites with just a few clicks.

Best of all, you can see how your recommendations are affecting your clients’ websites in real-time.

While client SEO changes can take time to have a huge impact on rankings, there are plenty of other metrics to track, including traffic, backlinks, and site speed.

Which of the above reports are you most excited to run?

Source: New feed 2

10 Best E-commerce Email Marketing Strategies You Should Start Using Now

10 Best E-commerce Email Marketing Strategies You Should Start Using Now

There are plenty of e-commerce marketing channels available to grow your business, such as social media, PPC, SEO, and network marketing.

Successful e-commerce business owners, though, know that email marketing is one of the most profitable channels available.

Let’s take a look at “what is e-commerce email marketing?” and why e-commerce businesses should use it.

Finally, we’ll delve into the 10 best e-commerce email marketing strategies that you can implement immediately for great results.

What Is E-Commerce Email Marketing?

E-commerce email marketing is a marketing channel that enables you to send marketing messages to current and potential customers. 

The strategies you use can be simple, like sending a weekly email blast with featured products, or complex—with multiple automated email series for cart abandonment, customer re-engagement, and exclusive membership deals.

Either way, the ultimate goal is to increase customer engagement and drive conversions.

Why Should E-Commerce Businesses Do Email Marketing?

As an e-commerce business owner, you’ve probably heard the sales pitch for just about every marketing channel there is. 

You may even dabble in email marketing currently, but perhaps you don’t understand just how valuable a tool it is to your sales strategy.

Email marketing is a unique process in that, unlike social media or SEO, you own every piece of the funnel. Most importantly, you own the email subscriber list.

Why is that so important? With 4 billion daily email users (which will climb to 4.6 billion by 2025), you can’t afford to miss this incredible opportunity.

Through email marketing strategies, an e-commerce business can benefit from brand awareness, customer engagement, and high-intent customers. We also can’t ignore the conversion rate boosts that e-commerce businesses see when they implement a solid email marketing strategy, with the best ROI when compared to other marketing channels. 

With an average of $36 earned for every $1 spent, that’s a whopping 3,600 percent ROI!

How to Do Email Marketing

While much of this article will focus on email marketing strategies for active marketers, we understand that not every e-commerce business is yet set up for email marketing. 

If that’s you and you are completely brand new to email marketing, here are the steps you should take first:

  1. Set realistic and sustainable goals to grow your business, such as building an email list or improving customer retention by X percent.
  2. Select an email marketing software like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
  3. Map out your initial campaigns (e.g., welcome series, abandoned cart series, or new product launches.)
  4. Decide how you’ll collect email addresses. Many e-commerce companies offer a small coupon in exchange for email addresses.
  5. Set up landing pages as needed for campaigns.
  6. Set up campaign tracking with your chosen analytics provider.

Take the time to establish a firm foundation and you’ll be off to a better start than even many seasoned e-commerce businesses.

Best E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies

Whether you’re new to email marketing or you’re looking to optimize your current setup, our best e-commerce email marketing strategies will provide you with a solid foundation to build your email marketing empire.

1. Start With a Welcome Series

For the best impression with new subscribers, establish a welcome email series. This gives you a chance to share your brand story, highlight your best products, and even offer a discount to drive sales.

Beyond that, a welcome series drives serious engagement. With an average open rate of 68.59 percent and an average click-through rate of 16.05 percent, a welcome series is a great part of your larger email marketing campaign.

Why?

First and foremost, a welcome series implies more than one email. Two or three emails is the sweet spot and anything beyond that is considered “spammy” and may scare off new subscribers.

With two emails, you have the chance to welcome the customer and invite them to connect. With three emails, you have the chance to do the previous two while also getting to know the customer more personally.

Take, for example, the NewEgg welcome series below which welcomes the customer and then invites them to connect with the mobile app:

Best E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies - Start With a Welcome Series
Ecommerce Email Marketing - newegg welcome email

Whether you choose two or three emails, you want to be sure to include a few key elements in each email. 

The initial welcome email should:

  • thank the subscriber
  • welcome them to the brand
  • let them know what to look forward to in future emails

If you made a promise upon sign-up, like a discount, that needs to be included as well. 

The second welcome email should then:

  • give subscribers a further way to connect through mobile apps or social media
  • focus on the value you or your products can provide to their lives
  • tell them why they should purchase

2. Be Sure to Include a Clear Call to Action

What do you want your subscribers to do? 

Whether that’s reading your latest blog post, watching a promotional video, or buying your newest product, your customers should know exactly what you want.

A call to action, or CTA, is a prompt given to users in a newsletter, on a website, or in a video. The prompt is usually a button or hyperlink that will help the user to achieve the goal.

According to Unbounce, including just one clear CTA in emails boosts clicks by 371 percent and sales by 1617 percent.

When it comes to effective CTAs, clear and concise is the way to go.

Create a compelling call-to-action for your email marketing campaigns by:

  1. Knowing the end goal.
  2. Using action-oriented words.
  3. Addressing your audience in the first person.
  4. Keeping your messaging short and snappy.
  5. Adopting a conversational tone.

You should also A/B test your calls to action regularly. 

This means testing variations of your most used calls to action to see what elements your users respond to best. This includes verbs, button shape and color, length, and word order.

Unbounce saw an increase of 90 percent in their click-through rate just by changing “Start your free 30-day trial” to “Start my free 30-day trial.”

3. Use Personalization to Segment Your List

When is the last time you received an email that was specifically tailored to you? 

If you’re like most people, that email had a greater chance of compelling you to act. 

In fact, personalized promotional emails lift transaction rates and revenue six times higher than non-personalized emails.

Personalized marketing has three categories: contextual, demographic, and behavioral.

  • Contextual personalization utilizes where a customer is in their journey. For example, just beginning to research the topic or being ready to make a buying decision.
  • Demographic personalization utilizes demographic information such as age, gender, location, and household income level to inform recommendations.
  • Behavioral personalization is the use of past purchases or website behavior (e.g., abandoned carts). Consider this email from Etsy that advertises products based on past purchases:
Best E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies - Use Personalization to Segment Your List

Depending on the size of your email list, you can even combine these categories to create intersections. Try combining past purchases with new location-based recommendations.

As your segmentation becomes more specific, the marketing campaigns will become more personalized and, more likely than not, successful.

4. Automate What You Can

Campaign Monitor found that automated emails create 320 percent more revenue than non-automated emails. 

Therefore, automated email campaigns can be an invaluable tool in your overall marketing strategy. 

From welcome series to cart abandonment to transactional emails to re-engagement campaigns, automated emails for e-commerce can level up your email marketing strategy.

Any email marketing software worth its weight will publish advice to help you automate your emails. 

Klaviyo, for example, has various blog posts on topics such as automation flows to consider. It also has an automation user guide so you can set up your flows successfully.

5. Create a Dynamic Cart Abandonment Series

A cart abandonment series can be one of your most profitable series. 

With an average open rate of 41.18 percent and a click rate of 9.50 percent, abandonment emails have a great opportunity for conversion.

When creating one, consider:

  1. The number of emails in the series: Three or four emails typically work best.
  2. The frequency of and intervals between each email: Try sending one email an hour after the cart abandonment, another the day after, and your final one three days later.
  3. Discounts to offer: If you want to secure a sale, try offering a discount code on the products they have in their cart.
  4. Subject lines: Subject lines strongly influence the CTR of your cart abandonment series, and can make sure your audience opens their email and reads the information you’re providing.
  5. Calls to action: Your CTA needs to convince your prospective customers to return to their carts. 

Additionally, your cart abandonment series can be a great place to personalize. The obvious one here is to include the products left behind in the cart like Chewy does below:

Best E-Commerce Email Marketing Strategies - Create a Dynamic Cart Abandonment Series

6. Perform Split Testing

How do you know whether your email campaigns are as effective as possible? 

Without split testing, you don’t!

Split testing (sometimes called A/B testing) is a marketing strategy that pits two or more similar variations of an element against one another. 

For example, a split test may test the efficiency of two CTA buttons, one black with white text and one white with black text. 

The goal is to find the best variations of common email elements to ensure that your emails have the greatest return on investment—such as testing user experience design elements. 

This can result in better conversion rates of up to 400 percent. 

Try to test:

  • subject lines
  • preview text
  • product imagery
  • layout 
  • image size
  • font size
  • font color
  • button color
  • send day and time
  • copy
  • pricing and discounts
  • social media icons

When it comes to running successful split tests, there are some ground rules to follow:

  1. Stick with one variable at a time.
  2. Identify your goal.
  3. Know your “control” and your “challenger.”
  4. Split your groups equally and randomly.
  5. Decide significance parameters.

Once you have statistically significant (as determined by you) results in hand, it’s time to implement changes if necessary.

7. Use Email to Encourage Engagement

We’ve touched briefly on engagement in the welcome series section. However, engagement emails don’t need to be reserved only for welcome email campaigns.

Email newsletters offer a unique opportunity to capture your audience. This is especially true if open rates are high but click-through rates are lacking.

Segment your audience according to their engagement, and deliver appropriate messages accordingly.

Subscribers who have previously converted, for example, are 74.7 percent more likely to do so again. 

Here, you would want to capitalize on brand trust. Ask yourself: 

“Why did the customer buy from me before. Why should they do so again?”

This would be a good opportunity for a product recommendations email based on their previous purchase. 

If it’s a consumable product, then a subscription offer email is easy enough. If it’s a non-consumable product, then a complementary product email is a safe bet.

For subscribers yet to convert, focus on building brand trust and offer discounts to make a purchase less risky.

8. Offer Exclusive Experiences and Rewards to Loyal Subscribers

Segmentation makes it easier to personalize emails and reward loyal customers. 

By segmenting your email list by longtime subscribers or the greatest money spent, you can provide an exclusive experience that makes them feel valued by your brand.

Notice I say experience and reward as opposed to discount. 

Can a discount be a reward? Absolutely. However, discounts do have a downside. In particular, they can cheapen your brand’s value, especially in the eyes of loyal customers.

A loyal customer knows the value of your product. 

Instead of a discount offer, consider an experiential reward. This is also backed by millennial spending habits. After all, 78 percent of millennials would rather spend their money on an experience than a product. 

  • Give away once-in-a-lifetime trips.
  • Offer meet and greet events with brand ambassadors.
  • Make a brilliant rewards program.
  • Design a top-tier social media group where you host virtual events.

9. Set Up Back In Stock or Wishlist Emails

We’ve touched on the importance of automated emails, and we’ve even covered two automated campaigns in particular:

  1. A welcome series.
  2. A cart abandonment series. 

The next on our list to highlight is the back-in-stock (or “wishlist” emails.)

With recent constraints on the supply chain, more brands than ever have had item stocking and inventory troubles. 

You can either waste an opportunity by removing temporarily unavailable items from your website, or you can capitalize on customer wants with back-in-stock emails.

As the name suggests, back-in-stock emails alert customers when a product they expressed interest in is back in stock and available to purchase. 

Depending on your platform, a back-in-stock email option may be a product page feature or it may require additional configuration (and add-ons like an app). 

However much effort it takes on your part, the return is worth it!

According to a study by Barilliance, back-in-stock emails had the highest open rate (65.32 percent) when compared to alternative post-purchase emails.

10. Utilize Dynamic Content

We already know that personalization drives conversions. 

The same can be said for a subset of personalization known as dynamic content, which has been shown to increase email ROI by 100 percent!

So, what is dynamic content?

Dynamic content is personalized content generated based on user signals:

  1. Product recommendations based on past purchases or previously viewed products.
  2. Calls to action tailored to the user’s browsing behaviors. 
  3. Free exclusive offers (such as ebooks and white papers) for someone in the “research” stage of the buyer’s journey.

With most major email marketing software companies, dynamic content will be an impressive addition to most e-commerce email templates. 

E-Commerce Email Templates

Here are a few e-commerce email templates to help you build your e-commerce email marketing campaigns.

1. Welcome Email Template

This welcome email template combines clean lines combined with pops of color to be striking and eye-catching. When customizing it, make sure to use the large “featured image” space for a friendly brand image or a featured product lifestyle relevant to you.

Ecommerce Email Templates - Welcome Email Template

2. Abandoned Cart Email Template

The creative, clean design of this abandoned cart email template is great for any e-commerce site. Stylized text and a large product image make it easy to read, drawing attention to the humorous copy.

Ecommerce Email Templates - Abandoned Cart Email Template

3. Discount Email Template

Make your big sales event known with this beautifully stylized email template. Featuring bold text and modules for product imagery, your customers will easily see the value in your offer. 

Ecommerce Email Templates - Discount Email Template

4. Product Recommendations Email Template

Let your product recommendations do the talking with this image-heavy recommendations email template. The faux navigation also adds a standout touch that makes your readers feel as if they’re shopping your website.

Ecommerce Email Templates - Product Recommendations Email Template

5. Follow-Up Email Template

With a clean, streamlined design, this follow-up email template is ideal for soliciting post-purchase feedback from your customers. 

Ecommerce Email Templates - Follow-up Email Template

E-Commerce Email Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I make from e-commerce email marketing?

What you earn from e-commerce email marketing is relative to what you invest. With an average of ROI $36 earned for every $1 spent, you’re likely to earn more from e-commerce email marketing than most (if not all) other marketing channels.

How does e-commerce use email marketing?

E-commerce relies heavily on email marketing as a way to connect with both current and prospective customers. It’s used as a way to promote new products, communicate exclusive offers and deals, and engage with the target audience.

How do I start e-commerce email marketing?

To start e-commerce email marketing, all you need is an email marketing software, some e-commerce email templates, and one or two fully fleshed-out campaigns. The rest will fall into place as you grow your subscriber list.

How important is email marketing for e-commerce companies?

Email marketing is a critical part of any effective e-commerce marketing strategy. Without email marketing, you could be leaving tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.

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Conclusion: E-Commerce Email Marketing

Whether you’re a new or seasoned e-commerce business owner, email marketing should have a large part to play in your overall marketing strategy. 

It’s not difficult to get started, and once you do you now have the best strategies in hand to make your campaigns a success. 

To recap, the 10 strategies you should implement in your e-commerce email marketing strategy are:

  1. Start with a welcome series.
  2. Be sure to include a clear call to action.
  3. Use personalization to segment your list.
  4. Automate what you can.
  5. Create a dynamic cart abandonment series.
  6. Perform split testing.
  7. Use email to encourage engagement.
  8. Offer exclusive experiences and rewards to loyal subscribers.
  9. Set up back in stock or waitlist emails.
  10. Utilize dynamic content.

With these strategies in place, you’ll know that you’re doing everything you can for boosting engagement and conversions.

Which of the above strategies are you most excited to implement in your email marketing strategy?

Source: New feed 2

7 Strategies That Will Get Powerful Results for Your Marketing and Sales Teams [Free Webinar on May 24th]

7 Strategies That Will Get Powerful Results for Your Marketing and Sales Teams [Free Webinar on May 24th]

Are your sales and marketing teams aligned? Or are they working in silos, with only a vague understanding of what the other team is doing?

If your sales and marketing teams aren’t working well together, you’re not alone.

According to LinkedIn, 93 percent of sales and marketing professionals say their company has issues with alignment, such as antagonism between teams, excluding others from planning, and challenges communicating.

Sales and marketing misalignment can result in lower sales, lost leads, and annoyed customers. Are you ready to improve the relationship between sales and marketing?

Join Neil Patel and the Pipedrive team for a free webinar on sales and marketing alignment on May 24th at 8 am PST.

Why is Sales and Marketing Alignment So Important?

When the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, you lose revenue, deliver a poor customer experience, and miss opportunities.

A lack of sales and marketing coordination costs businesses an estimated $1 trillion a year in the US alone. 

For example, say marketing creates a campaign to drive what they think are qualified leads to a new landing page.

Unfortunately, sales redefined how they qualify leads a few weeks ago–but no one told marketing.

Now, that landing page is flooded with leads that sales will never follow up on. Marketing says “Look at all that traffic! Why isn’t anyone following up on all those leads?”

While sales sees low-quality traffic that will waste their time, so they focus on leads from a paid campaign instead.

Everyone’s frustrated, and no one wins–least of all your customers.

So how do you get everyone on the same page? By using strategies that bring sales and marketing together, increase communication, and play to everyone’s strengths.

What strategies should you use? That’s what we’ll cover in our next webinar, created in partnership with Pipedrive.

Who Should Attend Our Sales + Marketing Alignment Webinar

If you have a marketing and sales team of two or more people, you’ll want to attend this webinar.

Here’s why: setting up sales and marketing alignment from the beginning is the best way to prevent misalignment.

If you have a larger team and struggle to get everyone on the same page, this webinar will be crucial. We’ll cover a range of strategies, from automation to removing silos, to help both teams share data and strategies.

Remember, everyone is on the same team–and we’re all looking to drive growth. Making it easy (thank you, automation!) to share data and insights will improve everyone’s metrics–especially your bottom line.

What Types of Businesses Is This Webinar For?

Any business with a sales and marketing team (even if it’s only one person each!) will benefit from this webinar.

That includes organizations in industries like:

  • B2B businesses looking to improve their sales and marketing metrics
  • SaaS companies looking to increase sign-ups
  • E-commerce businesses looking to scale.
  • Brick and mortar companies struggling to grow online and in-person sales.

What You’ll Learn in Our May 24th Webinar

In our upcoming webinar, you’ll learn seven strategies to help your sales and marketing teams work together to drive leads, traffic, and revenue.

Neil will share strategies like using automation and integrations to eliminate data silos, aligning communciation cadences, and integrating call data so both teams can leverage it to improve customer experience.

For each strategy, we’ll share data points on why it matters, results in the form of case studies, and provide step-by-step instructions on how to implement our strategies for your business.

The webinar will wrap up with a Q+A session where you can ask questions and get advice on implementing these strategies in your own organization.

Want to join us? Sign up today and join us on May 24th. We look forward to seeing you.

Source: New feed 2

12 Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms to Use in 2022

12 Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms to Use in 2022

Programmatic advertising platforms solve a problem for both publishers and advertisers.

For publishers, they help maximize advertising revenues by auctioning ad space to millions of advertisers worldwide. For advertisers, they expand reach and leverage data to target very specific audiences.

When done well, this means more profit for both groups, and who doesn’t like that?

What Are Programmatic Ad Platforms?

Programmatic ad platforms provide a real-time marketplace for buying and selling ad space. They link the millions of publishers to the marketers looking to place strategic ads across the internet.

All of this happens in the blink of an eye:

  1. A visitor arrives on a website.
  2. The publisher captures the impression and relevant data on the website visitor.
  3. Advertisers bid on the impression.
  4. The highest bidder places their ad.

You need some powerful software working in the background to make all this work. This is where programmatic ad platforms come in. The types of platforms are broken down into four categories: demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms, ad exchanges, and data management platforms.

The supply-side platforms work for the publishers, collecting data and serving it to the ad exchanges. The ad exchanges then serve this information to demand-side platforms that work on behalf of advertisers, creating an auction for each ad impression.

Collecting data on each ad impression allows publishers to sell ad space to the highest bidder, and allows advertisers to be extremely targeted with their advertising (here’s how you can identify who to target).

This has been an extremely successful formula as spending on programmatic advertising has pushed well past $155 billion a year and continues to grow.

Benefits of Using Programmatic Ads Platforms

Why do advertisers love programmatic ads platforms?

  • huge reach
  • detailed targeting
  • efficiency
  • flexible and scalable

There are many benefits, but the most crucial is the ability to scale. The best programmatic advertising platforms give you instant access to millions of publishers around the world, allowing you to reach your target audience wherever they are.

This is one of the reasons 76 percent of marketing professionals are using programmatic advertising to some extent.

Reaching out to all the different sites manually would take a lifetime, but with programmatic advertising, it happens in real-time.

Of course, not every publishing site serves your target audience, so one of the most important elements of programmatic ads platforms is the ability to reach an extremely targeted audience in real-time. These platforms run ads on a huge scale, collecting a lot of data that is leveraged to improve ad performance.

When you work with a programmatic ads platform, you’re able to set specific parameters for where you serve ads and who you serve them to. This is a huge advantage.

In fact, 73 percent of marketers believe audience targeting is the most effective tactic for programmatic advertising.

Access to so much data also allows you to become more efficient. Everything happens in real-time, so you’re not working on outdated information or paying for ads based solely on historical trends. You’re making a specific bid for that exact impression using a highly attuned algorithm, taking your efficiency to a new level.

Lastly, the instant nature of programmatic ads platforms makes them easily scalable. You have no long-term agreements with publishers, so you can adjust your ad spend according to your needs.

Say you want to run a quickfire sale. You can use programmatic advertising platforms to immediately boost your reach while reaching the exact audience you specify.

Types of Programmatic Ads

There are five key types of programmatic ads:

1. Display ads: Ads placed in the header, footer, and sidebar of a publisher site.

Types of Programmatic Ads - Display Ads

2. Video ads: These ads appear in a video, either before the video begins (pre-roll), during the video (mid-roll), or when the video ends (post-roll).

Types of Programmatic Ads - Video Ads

3. Social ads: Ads are automatically served on social media using the platform’s data.

Types of Programmatic Ads - Social Ads

4. Audio ads: Ads served in audio content such as podcasts.

5. Native ads: These are ads that follow the form of the content they’re shown in, for example, in content ads, or a promoted listing on Amazon.

Types of Programmatic Ads - Native Ads

When shown on a publisher site, all of these types of programmatic ads tend to be referred to as display ads, but in the programmatic ads platforms, there is a difference.

Most advertisers look to use a mixture of these formats, but you can adapt your approach to fit your target audience.

12 Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms

Programmatic advertising is everywhere and nearly every advertiser is using it, even if we don’t realize it. While your mind might be drawn to a few well-known big players, there are lots of programmatic advertising platforms out there, each with its specialties.

Here’s a look at the 12 best programmatic advertising platforms.

1. PubMatic

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - PubMatic

PubMatic offers comprehensive solutions for both publishers and marketers, making it a complete programmatic ad platform.

Features include a private marketplace of high-quality ad inventory, a wide range of ad formats and channels, powerful real-time analytics, and fraud-free program refunds to protect against fraudulent activity.

With over 1.2 trillion ad bids per day, PubMatic is certainly popular, and its excellent supply of high-quality ad spots is frequently cited.

2. MediaMath

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - MediaMath

MediaMath is well known for its end-to-end campaign management and omnichannel ad campaigns, and it’s trusted by over 3,500 advertisers.

It’s particularly good at data integration, allowing advertisers to reach their most valuable customers through the MediaMath audience feature. With ad options for display, native, video, audio, and Digital Out of Home ads, every base is covered.

Known for great service and support, the MediaMath team is there to help marketers get the most out of their campaigns.

3. Google Ad Manager

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - Google Ad Manager

Google Ad Manager is a massive programmatic advertising platform working on the supply-side to monetize publishers’ content.

Nearly 75 percent of ad impressions served in the U.S. are through Google Ad Manager, which makes it a powerful partner for reaching your audience, no matter where they hang out online.

The great thing about Google Ad Manager is it’s incredibly easy for publishers to get set up and start serving ads. It offers good tools and analytics, but it’s not always known for providing the best value (RPM).

4. Adobe Advertising Cloud

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - Adobe Advertising Cloud

Adobe is a huge name in software and also provides one of the best programmatic advertising platforms in Adobe Advertising Cloud.

It specializes in connected TV, video, display, native, audio, and search campaign ads to offer advertisers a complete solution. With a focus on people-based marketing and inventory management, it’s a great tool to maximize return on your budget.

The user interface does take some learning, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a great platform to help you maximize your return on ad spend.

5. War Room

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - War Room

War Room brings together the power of advanced programmatic technology and human insights to deliver search, display, social, video, native, audio, shopping, and even Metaverse advertising.

With access to over 90,000 premium ad networks, it has something to offer advertisers of all sizes.

6. AdRoll

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - AdRoll

AdRoll is powered by 15 plus years of data collected from working with over 120,000 brands. It’s quick to set up and easy to use, offering high-quality ad templates to help you get started immediately.

One of the key benefits of AdRoll is its solid audience targeting, with options for contextual, lookalike, demographic, and interest-based campaigns.

It prides itself on maximizing returns for businesses of all sizes, from global corporations right down to the one-person marketing teams.

7. Amobee

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - Amobee

Amobee brings together different types of programmatic ads to create a complete advertising campaign. With ad options for TV, connected TV, digital, and social, advertisers can engage their target audiences in a truly omnichannel strategy.

With a great understanding of how people consume content across different platforms, Amobee can help advertisers to coordinate their campaigns to achieve maximum results.

8. SmartyAds

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - SmartyAds

SmartyAds’ programmatic ads platform offers a full stack of services for both advertisers and publishers. Its core aim is to simplify advertising, allowing businesses to prioritize who they trade with.

For advertisers, it’s an excellent tool to improve CTRs and boost conversions, while it also helps publishers achieve higher yields and fill rates, and improve engagement.

SmartyAds has over 500 million monthly impressions in North America alone, so it’s a popular option for both advertisers and publishers.

9. Criteo

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - Criteo

Criteo works largely on the supply side, helping publishers to create more revenue from their content.

It works with social media, video, display, web, and mobile ads to help small publishers monetize their content. Using large-scale purchase and intent data and the power of AI, it improves ad returns for over 685 million daily active users.

10. Xandr

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - Xandr

Xandr is responsible for 6.7 billion ad impressions daily and works with over 193,000 brands. It offers both demand and supply services and functions as an ad exchange for a variety of different ad types.

One of the most impressive features of Xandr is its incredible data, which allows advertisers to enhance their buying strategies. It offers an easy-to-use interface and has all the tools advertisers need to optimize campaigns.

11. Lotame

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - Lotame

Lotame is primarily an ad exchange, helping advertisers connect with consumers across browsers and mobile CTV.

It offers excellent audience management tools, using data to onboard, analyze and model customer segments. Using publishers’ data, the platform enriches audience segments, allowing advertisers to buy off-the-shelf segments to optimize their marketing reach.

Lotame prides itself as being future-proof in a cookieless world, which is a great selling point for today’s businesses

12. The Trade Desk

Best Programmatic Advertising Platforms - The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk is an ad exchange that allows publishers to sell targeted ad space to advertisers around the world. It’s an ideal platform to collect, manage, and activate data all in one place.

A key feature of The Trade Desk is its ability to use lookalike modeling to help advertisers reach new, targeted audiences to expand their market share.

With access to high-quality audiences from a vast list of data providers, it’s a highly rated programmatic advertising platform.

Programmatic Ad Platforms Frequently Asked Questions

Is Google Ads a programmatic ads platform?

Google ads is a programmatic ads platform working on the demand side. It provides a platform for advertisers to bid on advertising space in real-time, creating an auction and awarding the impression to the best bid.

Does Facebook have a programmatic ads platform?

Facebook offers a demand-side programmatic ads platform much like Google Ads. It sells advertising space in real-time, creating an auction for each impression.

How do programmatic ad platforms work?

Programmatic ad platforms bring together the publisher selling advertising space and the advertiser who wants to buy that ad space. They facilitate real-time auctions where advertisers bid on each impression, taking a cut of the winning bid and paying out the remainder to the publisher.

How much do programmatic advertising platforms cost?

Programmatic advertising platforms take a commission on the sale of each impression. This is usually between 10 and 20 percent.

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Conclusion: Programmatic Ads Platform

Programmatic ads platforms are an essential tool in modern advertising. They create a bridge between publishers and sellers, allowing both parties to negotiate a price for ads in real-time.

By collecting data from thousands of websites, these platforms allow advertisers to target detailed audiences and ensure they spend ad budgets on the right ads.

The world of online advertising is constantly changing, so working with a good programmatic ads platform is a great way of future-proofing your marketing and staying a step ahead.

What’s your experience with programmatic ad platforms? Are there other platforms you love that didn’t make the list?

Source: New feed 2

Best E-commerce Platforms

Zyro ecommerce main page for Best Ecommerce Platforms

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

What would you do with an extra $1,500 a day? 

With a bit of work and the right ecommerce platform, you can create an online store that generates that kind of revenue (and more). 

Shilpi Yadav is an excellent example. She quit her job to start an online clothing store based around her Indian heritage.

Despite all the risks, the brand now makes more than half a million dollars a year (averaging around $1,500 per day). 

She built her online store using Shopify, one of the best ecommerce platforms on the market. However, there are a ton of different options to choose from depending on what you need.

And the most significant thing standing in the way of your own $500k success story is deciding which ecommerce platform is right for your new store. 

In this post, I’ll break down the major aspects to consider in choosing the right platform for your current situation. Then we’ll take a close look at seven of top options available today.

#1 – Zyro Review — The Best for Setting Up Your Web Store in Minutes

There are plenty of good ecommerce platforms for launching your web store. Most of those work best with plenty of careful, gradual planning and site building.

But, with Zyro, you can get a solid online store up and running in no time.

Whether you’re starting with a simple ecommerce site before growing into a larger operation or your company needed a web store yesterday, Zyro is the fastest path to an online store you can be proud of.

Start with one of Zyro’s templates—30 of the over 160 options are already optimized for building an online store—then add your products, make little tweaks to fit your brand style, and then publish your site.

It’s that simple and even the least tech-savvy person can get a solid ecommerce site live in an hour or less.

All the other details are taken care of for you. Zyro includes a free domain for one year and three months of custom email tied to that domain on any of their paid plans. And, since Zyro is a part of Hostinger, you’re getting rock-solid web hosting included for no extra charge.

And that’s not all. What if you’re totally starting from scratch or you’re just building a web store for your side hustle or hobby? Zyro offers a bunch of free tools to help you fill in any gaps quickly.

For example, the refund policy generator will do exactly that—create simple, easy-to-read refund policy for your store and its customers. Or, use the AI writer to generate blog or product copy that you can tweak to meet your needs.

That all makes it a breeze to get started. But what about the long haul?

Zyro isn’t just a solution for simple web stores that want to stay small.

First, you can keep iterating on the ecommerce site you begin with. Zyro’s site builder is easy to use, but holds a lot of customization capability. Expand your inventory, add custom landing pages, completely rebrand the colors and look of your site—there’s plenty of potential for building something incredible over time.

Zyro advanced selling features for Best Ecommerce Platforms

Plus, Zyro offers an array of more ambitious ecommerce features on some of their plans. Need to offer more than 100 products on your digital storefront? Upgrade to the Advanced Store plan and you’re allotted up to 2,500.

That same Advanced Store plan can really kick your ecommerce operations into overdrive. In addition to more products, you can set your web store up to be multilingual for your international customers, sell subscription-based services, send out automated marketing emails, and even easily list your ecommerce inventory on other channels to let you easily sell on eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram.

That’s really just the broad strokes. There’s a lot you can do on Zyro’s most souped-up plan. So, let’s get into the price now.

  • Zyro Business (100 products): starting at $4.90 per month
  • Zyro Online Store (100 products): starting at $8.90 per month
  • Zyro Advanced Store (2,500 products): starting at $15.90 per month.

For basic ecommerce or someone just wanting to set up a web store to build upon, the Business plan can do the trick. That supports over 20 payment methods and provides order and inventory management.

The next step up, Online Store, delivers the ability to send discounts and coupons to customers which they can use on your web store, plus support for gift cards, shipping and tax management, and cross-selling to Facebook and Instagram stores.

But if you want a lot of the features we covered, plus even more tools for optimization and growing sales, go with Zyro’s Advanced Store package. At under $16 per month, that’s a better deal than some of the entry-level plans of other options on this list.

So, if you’re in rush or just want the easiest route to a web store, choose Zyro for your ecommerce platform and get building.

#2 – Wix Review — The Best for Flexibility and Customization

Wix splash page for Best Ecommerce Platforms

Wix is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable and flexible ecommerce platform. It’s famous for its drag-and-drop interface, one that provides some excellent freedom of design.

Instead of having to write code, you can use the visual building tools to get your site looking just the way you want it.

With Wix, you also get access to more than 500 website templates that are ready to go out of the box while also featuring plenty of customization options.

The Wix template selection is really helpful for launching a new online store. Instead of having to mess with settings, you can plug your products into a framework that’s going to look great every time.

People visiting your store will think you spent days getting such a professional look, but it takes hardly any time at all with Wix.

Or, you can create your store’s pages from scratch with complete control.

Furthermore, they have a robust mobile app so you can make changes and manage your store from anywhere in the world.

Wix also includes a wide variety of marketing features, like email accounts and posting Facebook ads and social media posts right from your account dashboard. You can even sell directly via social media.

Their ecommerce plans include powerful features, like:

  • Support of 90+ languages and local currencies
  • 250+ apps to add extra functionality to your site
  • No additional transaction fees
  • Custom product pages
  • Worldwide shipping and taxes
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Advanced sorting and filtering
  • Product collections
  • Customizable checkout
  • Recurring payments

Plus, if you already use Wix, you can upgrade to an ecommerce plan in just a few clicks within your account dashboard. 

Wix offers four ecommerce plans for online shops of different sizes, including:

  1. Business Basic — $23/month
  2. Business Unlimited — $27/month
  3. Business VIP — $49/month
  4. Enterprise — custom pricing

This is an excellent option if you have a small store or special design requirements. However, If you expect a high order volume and large range of products, you’re better off with BigCommerce or Shopify instead.

Try Wix for free today.

#3 – Squarespace Review — The Best Ecommerce Platform for Creatives

Squarespace examples for Best Ecommerce Platforms

Squarespace is well-known as a free website builder, but they also have a trio of attractive ecommerce packages.

You’re getting the same high quality of templates that Squarespace is famous for, with plenty of customization potential to create a unique shopping experience for your customers.

Some of the other easy-to-use platforms are a little limited with what you can do. Squarespace gives you a lot more artistic freedom.

Install and customize multiple templates at a time to see which one you like best. And switching between templates takes just a few clicks. 

Aside from beautiful templates, Squarespace’s web store plans include:

  • Subscriptions, digital products, and in-person compatibility
  • Built-in tax tools for automatic tax calculations
  • Discount codes and gift cards
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Mobile-optimized checkout
  • Mobile store management
  • Rich product listings
  • Quick view capability
  • Inventory management
  • Real-time shipping estimates

Furthermore, Squarespace integrates with most of the popular email marketing and social media platforms so you can sell and market your products like a pro. 

And they have fantastic 24/7/365 customer support ready to answer your questions and help you get things set up the way you want to. 

Squarespace offers three ecommerce plans:

  1. Business — $18 per month + 3% transaction fees
  2. Basic Commerce — $26 per month + 0% transaction fees
  3. Advanced Commerce — $40 per month + 0% transaction fees

As you scan their pricing options, you’ll see a Personal plan for $12 per month. This is great if you want to build a website, but it doesn’t come with any ecommerce features, so it’s not going to work if you want to set up an online store.

They also have an enterprise plan with a dedicated account manager, SEO consultations, and prioritized technical support. 

And while the Business plan offers ecommerce capabilities, I highly recommend choosing Basic Commerce to start. It’s the cheapest plan with no transaction fees, plus it includes other essential features like, customer accounts and ecommerce analytics. 

Learn more and get started at Squarespace.

#4 – Bluehost Review — The Best for Hands-Off WooCommerce Store Setup

Bluehost stores for Best Ecommerce Platforms

I really like WooCommerce. And, fortunately, I’m comfortable enough with WordPress to install, customize, and manage the WooCommerce plugin and the additional plugins that really make it shine on my own WordPress sites.

But I know many folks who would rather not have that responsibility, whether because of a lack of familiarity with WordPress plugins or just a lack of time to self-manage WooCommerce.

Bluehost gets that, too—that’s why they’ve rolled out an easy, turnkey solution to getting a WooCommerce store up and running in no time, for anyone.

With Bluehost’s package for ecommerce powered by WooCommerce, you get a handy guided store creator, plus:

  • Built-in SSL and Jetpack for security
  • Unlimited product listings
  • Payment processing
  • Customer reviews
  • Coupon codes
  • Manual order creation
  • One year free of CodeGuard Backup Basic, for daily site backups

And that’s all in the Standard Plan. The built-in SSL certificate is really helpful because it encrypts information customers enter on your website (like credit card numbers or login credentials), and protects everyone from hackers. All you have to do is click a button and your set with Bluehost–this can be much more challenging if the host doesn’t manage SSL certificates for you.

What I think is most convenient, though, is that Bluehost has preselected the top 20 store plugins that your WooCommerce store will need. Not only does that save you the headache of researching and installing plugins on your own, they’re included at no extra charge.

That’s huge. Some of these plugins cost around $200 a pop to install.

Take it one step higher to the Premium plan and you’ll also get:

  • Online appointment scheduling
  • Subscription-based ecommerce
  • Advanced product customization
  • Local tax management
  • Free domain privacy
  • CodeGuard Backup Basic, included for free

Pricing is based on your initial term commitment. Choose from month-to-month billing, a one-year contract, or a three-year contract.

The Standard plan starts at $12.95/month for a three-year commitment, while Premium starts at $24.95/month for the same.

Both plans renew at the standard month-to-month rate after the term is completed—$29.95/month for Standard and $49.95/month for Premium.

So, if you want to get a WooCommerce store up in no time with no hassle on your end at all, head over to Bluehost today.

#5 – BigCommerce Review — The Best for Medium to Large Stores

BigCommerce splash page for Best Ecommerce Platforms

BigCommerce is an all-in-one ecommerce website builder specifically for large online stores. It includes more advanced ecommerce features suitable for managing high volumes and a large number of products. 

With a customer base of 100,000+ stores, including some big names like Ben & Jerry’s and SkullCandy, they’re a smaller player in the industry. 

But that doesn’t make the platform any less powerful. 

BigCommerce plans include access to powerful, industry-leading features, including:

  • Customer accounts for faster checkouts
  • Mobile-optimized checkout
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Google AMP and Akamai
  • Advanced product filters
  • Coupons and discount codes
  • Advanced inventory management
  • Customer groups for personalized shopping
  • 65+ payment gateways with no extra transaction fees
  • Built-in shipping management

Plus, all of their plans include unlimited products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts. 

And you can choose between 12 free mobile-responsive design templates or opt for a paid template to make your online store stand out from the crowd without touching a single line of code. 

BigCommerce offers four paid plans (with a 15-day free trial), including:

  1. Standard — $29.95/month with a $50,000 annual sales limit
  2. Plus — $79.95/month with a $180,000 annual sales limit
  3. Pro — $299.95/month with a $400,000 annual sales limit
  4. Enterprise — custom pricing

If you’re just getting started, BigCommerce is overkill for your online store. However, if you’re an established business or plan to sell high volumes, it’s an excellent choice. 

#6 – Shopify Review — The Best All-In-One Ecommerce Platform

Shopify splash page for Best Ecommerce Platforms

Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce website builder that powers more than one million online stores, making it one of the most popular choices on this list. 

However, it’s not as customizable as Wix. But it offers more advanced ecommerce features because it’s built specifically to host online stores. Plus, it’s easy to use with just the right level of flexibility. 

It’s also incredibly versatile, powering micro to large stores, and everything in between. Shopify plans include access to an incredible suite of ecommerce features, including:

  • Point of Sale for brick and mortar shops
  • Real-time carrier shipping rates
  • Abandoned checkout recovery
  • 100 different payment gateways
  • Automatic tax calculations
  • Customer accounts and profiles
  • Fulfillment centers
  • Advanced inventory management
  • Unlimited products
  • In-depth analytics

Plus, with 70+ professional themes (nine of which are free) and 4,100+ apps, you can create a beautiful and highly functional ecommerce store without having to start from scratch. Or write a single line of code.

Combine that with award-winning 24/7/365 customer support and you have an excellent ecommerce platform. 

Shopify offers five plans for businesses of all sizes, including:

  • Shopify Lite — $9 per month 
  • Basic Shopify — $29 per month 
  • Shopify — $79 per month 
  • Advanced Shopify — $299 per month
  • Shopify Plus — custom pricing

Shopify Lite is a great option if you want to embed products and “buy” buttons onto an existing website. However, it doesn’t come with the all-inclusive website builder. 

Keep in mind that Shopify has its own payment processor. They charge 2.4% – 2.9% + $0.30 depending on the plan you choose. They also charge additional fees (0.5% – 2%) if you use a separate payment processor like PayPal or Square. 

#7 – WooCommerce Review — The Best for WordPress Websites

WooCommerce splash page for Best Ecommerce Platforms

You don’t need to settle for a cookie-cutter website builder to run your ecommerce store. If you’re serious about selling online (and you’re using or planning to use a WordPress site to do it), you should opt for WooCommerce, one of the most powerful tools out there.

This lightweight WordPress plugin adds ecommerce capabilities like accepting online payments, configurable shipping options, and product listings to your site. But that’s just the start.

WooCommerce is wildly extendible and able to be integrated with other business tools. Customize it through extensions in categories ranging from inventory, shipping, and fulfillment to marketing, customer loyalty programs, live chat support, and much more.

The platform, like many good WordPress tools, is developer-friendly. Use REST API to tweak and tailor WooCommerce to your needs with custom coding and modules.

Not sold yet? Here’s a taste of some of the other built-in features you get:

  • 140 region-specific payment gateways
  • Support of subscriptions and deposits
  • Automated tax calculations
  • Real-time shipping rates
  • iOS and Android mobile apps
  • Physical and digital product capability
  • Endless product variations
  • Extensive tutorials and documentation
  • Public support forum

And the best part? It’s free to download, install, and use. Forever. 

However, some of the extensions aren’t free, so watch out for that if you start digging into those. 

With the power of WordPress behind it, your customization options are only limited to what you can imagine. So, the sky is legitimately the limit with WooCommerce. 

But with that said, it’s not the easiest or most intuitive ecommerce platform. So, I don’t recommend it if you aren’t already using WordPress and 100% comfortable with it. 

#8 – OpenCart Review — The Best for Selling Digital Products

Opencart splash page for Best Ecommerce Platforms

OpenCart is another open source ecommerce platform, much like WooCommerce. However, it’s not limited to WordPress websites. But you do need to have an existing website to use it. 

Over 300,000 online stores use OpenCart to confidently sell products of all shapes and sizes online. Plus, most web hosting companies offer one-click installation or will install it for free, so it’s incredibly easy to set up. 

Note: I only recommend going this route if you already have a website up and running. 

While you can sell products of any kind, the no-fluff interface (and free price tag) makes it an excellent option for selling digital products to make more money with your online business. 

All without adding an extra monthly expense because it’s 100% free forever. 

OpenCart offers a powerful set of ecommerce features, including:

  • Simple and centralized admin dashboard
  • Advanced user roles and access controls
  • Manage multiple stores from a single dashboard
  • Limitless product variables and variations
  • Built-in affiliate management and rewards system
  • Discounts and coupons
  • Unlimited products
  • One-click digital downloads
  • Product reviews and ratings
  • 36 built-in payment methods
  • Recurring payments

Plus, with 13,000 modules and themes in the marketplace, you can add any functionality you can imagine including service integrations, conversion modules, email marketing, and more. 

Keep in mind that not all of OpenCart’s extensions are free. You may have to pay for more advanced capabilities. 

And they don’t currently offer support for free, either. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on their community forum, you have to pay for dedicated help. Dedicated support starts at $99 per site per month or $99 for a one-time fix. 

#9 – Ecwid Review — The Best for Integrating With Your Current Platform

Ecwid splash page for Best Ecommerce Platforms

Like OpenCart and WooCommerce, Ecwid is an ecommerce platform you can use to integrate with your current platform, regardless of what you’re already using. 

It integrates with platforms like Weebly, Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, and more. So, if you already have a website set up and want to add ecommerce functionality, Ecwid is an excellent choice. 

With that said, they also offer an all-in-one ecommerce website builder if you want to start from scratch. However, there are better website builders to use. 

So, I only recommend Ecwid if you want to integrate ecommerce into your existing website. 

This ecommerce platform includes a wide range of features, like:

  • Multi-channel selling (social media, marketplaces, in-person, etc.)
  • Integrated email marketing and advertising features
  • Centralized inventory and order management
  • No transaction fees
  • Fully responsive designs
  • Built-in POS integrations
  • Customer accounts for easy checkout
  • Real-time shipping rate calculator
  • Poduct variations
  • Digital product capabilities
  • 40 payment options

The biggest downside is that you can’t manage your store from inside your website account dashboard. You have to log in to Ecwid instead. So, you need to manage two separate accounts. 

But the good news is that you can start on the limited free forever plan to try it out before making any investments.

The free plan only allows up to ten products, so you have to upgrade if you need more. Ecwid also offers three paid plans, including:

  • Venture — $15/month (up to 100 products)
  • Business — $35/month (up to 2,500 products)
  • Unlimited — $99/month (unlimited products)

This is the price if you pay month to month. If you are willing to sign a contract for a year, the price is a little lower.

As a stand-alone store builder you might be better off with other options (like Wix and Shopify). 

But if you already have a website and want to add an ecommerce store, Ecwid is a great alternative to WooCommerce and OpenCart. 

What I Looked at to Find the Best Ecommerce Platform

The best ecommerce platform for your business depends on several factors like your experience level, your customization requirements, and the type of products you want to sell. 

But choosing the right platform can feel overwhelming because there are countless options to choose from. 

It may help to start with a list of requirements and the features you need. From there, you can narrow down your choices based on the following criteria. 

Physical vs Digital Products

Digital products are a booming market. Online courses, music, art, and podcasts are just some of the digital products netting new businesses tons of cash.

But selling and delivering digital products isn’t the same as delivering a physical product to someone’s doorstep. 

If you want to sell digital products, Shopify is a really great option, but some ecommerce may not support digital products at all. So it’s important to understand which type you plan to sell before you make a decision.

Deployment Options

What do you need to do to get your ecommerce platform up and running?

There are a few different ways to deploy your platform depending on where you are starting from and where you want to go.

If you already have a website, the best option is integrating an online store rather than creating a brand new website on a new platform. This way, you build on what you’ve already done. OpenCart is ideal for this use-case.

For people with WordPress sites, you can add ecommerce functionality via a plugin like WooCommerce. This is super simple to set up and easy to manage.

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll want a website builder and other tools to help you design your platform.

In this case, going with solutions like Wix and Squarespace makes a lot of sense. They bundle everything you need to get started at a really affordable price.

Day-to-Day Management

Order management, product creation, tracking orders, and dashboard navigation are important factors of day-to-day ecommerce management. 

Choose a platform that’s easy to use and manage on a daily basis. It shouldn’t feel like a struggle to create new products, check the status of an order, or update the pages of your website. 

It’s all about finding the right balance of flexibility, customization, and ease of use. The more a platform can do, the harder it is to manage.

You can simplify your workload by choosing a platform that offers just enough flexibility without going overboard for your specific needs. 

Design Capabilities

Some ecommerce website builders (like Wix) are truly drag and drop, meaning the customization options are endless. If you can imagine it, you can build it. But, that freedom also makes the platform more difficult to use. 

Other platforms integrate into your current site, taking the look and feel of your existing website with very few customization options. For some users, this is perfect. 

But others may want more control. 

If you’re just starting out, simple designs and ease of use are more important than design flexibility. 

However, if you already own a physical store or an established brand, design is more important so you can create a cohesive aesthetic from one touch point to the next.

Advanced Ecommerce Features

Do you want to be able to offer discounts or accept payments through different payment processors? Maybe you want to send visitors a reminder email when they exit your website with something in their cart. 

Perhaps you’re interested in creating customer profiles and analyzing advanced analytics. 

Other advanced ecommerce features include:

  • Email marketing integrations
  • Memberships and recurring payments
  • Gift cards and discount codes
  • Partial payments or payment plans
  • Shipping and fulfillment management
  • Product variations
  • Product categories

Think carefully about what you need and what would be nice to have. Then, you can use your list of requirements to narrow down your list of choices. 

Summary

Finding an ecommerce platform does what you need is a breath of fresh air. After using dozens of different options over the years, I’m confident with my selection of the top options available:

  1. Zyro – Best for setting up your web store in minutes
  2. Wix – Best for flexibility and customization
  3. Squarespace – Best ecommerce platform for creatives
  4. Bluehost – Best for hands-off WooCommerce store setup
  5. BigCommerce – Best for medium to large stores
  6. Shopify – Best all-in-one ecommerce platform
  7. WooCommerce – Best for WordPress websites
  8. OpenCart – Best for selling digital products 
  9. Ecwid – Best for integrating with your current platform

My #1 recommendation for most users is Zyro, because it’s the fastest route to a new web store and it’s super affordable. Wix is also great for users of all experience levels. But if Wix or Zyro are too customizable for you, Squarespace is a fantastic alternative. 

For large stores, I highly recommend BigCommerce or Shopify

However, if you already have a website, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and Ecwid are excellent choices depending on what you need. 

If you have a WordPress site and want an easier way to set up your WooCommerce store on it, you can’t go wrong with Bluehost’s WooCommerce Online Stores.

Source: New feed 2

How to Leverage Ubersuggest SEO Reports to Keep Your Strategy in Check

How to Leverage Ubersuggest SEO Reports to Keep Your Strategy in Check

There are no two ways about it: SEO works. It’s one of the main tools I used to build this site, and I’ve seen it work for hundreds of clients around the globe.

However, SEO is complicated. It requires data insights, analytics, tracking, and constant upkeep. While there are plenty of SEO tools on the market, many of them are expensive and hard to use.

This is why I created Ubersuggest—to help marketers and business owners get access to the SEO insights they need to drive massive amounts of traffic and increase revenue.

Why Should You Use Ubersuggest SEO Reports to Support Your Digital Marketing and Content Strategy

Ubersuggest’s SEO reports provide a massive amount of insights into the overall health of your website, including SEO opportunities, backlinks, content ideas, and a whole lot more. Why should you use it?

If your SEO is lacking, you risk losing traffic to your competition. Consider these statistics:

If you want traffic to your website, you need to be on top of your SEO game—and Ubersuggest can help. More than 50,000 users, from small businesses to enterprise companies, currently use Ubersuggest.

Why do they love it? Here are a few reasons:

  • Ubersuggest is 70 percent cheaper than alternative SEO tools.
  • It’s easy to use, and we provide tons of support to make sure you can make the most of it.
  • We keep adding features, which means you’ll always have access to the tools you need to drive traffic and improve your SEO.
  • Gain access to tools, worksheets, and templates to increase the ROI of all your digital marketing efforts.

If you’re just getting started in SEO, I highly recommend watching the video below to understand the basics. Keep reading if you want to learn how SEO reports from Ubersuggest can help increase your SEO ROI.

Ubersuggest is a full-featured SEO tool that offers tons of SEO reports and tools to help your site succeed. Here are seven ways Ubersuggest will help you stay on top of your SEO game.

1. Use Ubersuggest SEO Reports to Identify Top SEO Opportunities

The first five organic results account for 67.60 percent of all the clicks, while results ranking 6 to 10 account for only 3.73 percent of clicks. This means if you want traffic, you need to find and leverage SEO opportunities.

Ubersuggest makes this process simple with our Top SEO Opportunities report. Here’s how to access it:

Sign in to Ubersuggest, then look at the Top SEO Opportunities in your dashboard. This list serves as a checklist to improve your current SEO strategy. The list will automatically update as you make changes and as new opportunities arise. For example, if a competitor starts to gain traffic with one of your core keywords, we’ll let you know.

Check it at least once a week, and try to tackle at least one suggestion a week from the list to keep your momentum going.

Ubersuggest SEO report tool for SEO opportunities

This report doesn’t just tell you what’s wrong—it also tells you how to fix it. Take a look at the screenshot above. If you click “Optimize for Keyword,” Ubersuggest will tell you what topics to cover and even provide a basic outline you can use to create the high-quality content Google loves.

It’s kinda like having your own personal SEO consultant keeping an eye on your website 24/7.

2. Use Ubersuggest to Perform Monthly SEO Audits

SEO audits should be performed regularly to ensure your website stays in good SEO standing. Most businesses, however, only perform an SEO audit two to four times a year.

It’s easy to understand why SEO audits are time-consuming and difficult, especially if the process is unfamiliar.

SEO audits don’t have to be a pain. With Ubersuggest, you can easily perform an SEO audit in just a few minutes. Here’s how:

  • Log into your Ubersuggest dashboard.
  • Click on the “Site Audit” button in the left sidebar.
  • Enter your website URL.

That’s all you have to do. Ubersuggest will crawl your website and deliver a detailed SEO audit. If you have a large site, this could take a few minutes, so be patient.

Ubersuggest shows your on-page SEO score, organic traffic, number of backlinks, organic keywords you are ranking for, insights into load time, and SEO issues.

Ubersuggest SEO report tools for an SEO audit

This is a great place to go to understand the current state of your website. You will get a detailed SEO overview of your website, as it stands today, so you can understand your technical strengths and weaknesses.

You can use this information to prioritize what’s most important and create monthly to-dos to tackle.

If you decide to hire someone to help with your website, just hand over the prioritized list to them each month. We tell you what changes will make the most impact on your website and how difficult the updates are, so you can decide what to tackle yourself and what to outsource.

3. Use Ubersuggest SEO to Find Profitable Keywords and Track Your Progress

Keywords are the backbone of a solid SEO strategy. However, finding the right keywords can be a challenge. Just because a keyword has a high search volume, for example, doesn’t mean it will drive traffic to your website.

You should perform keyword research on at least a monthly basis. The good news is that Ubersuggest can do it for you.

Use the Keyword Overview report to understand search volume trends, SEO, and paid difficulty, plus the average CPC for your targeted keywords.

This will help you find other keyword ideas that might be easier to rank for within the Overview report (think lower volume, lower-paid and SEO difficulty, lower CPC.)

Note, these change with seasonality for a lot of companies, so check this at least once a month.

Ubersuggest SEO report tools keyword overview

You’ll also see a table of Keyword Ideas. Keep special note of the keywords that have a low SEO difficulty, as these are generally easier to rank for. If you don’t currently have content covering that topic, now is the time. Just make sure those terms are relevant to your customers.

Ubersuggest SEO report tool for keyword ideas

You can also see what keywords drive traffic to your competitors’ websites with the Keywords by Traffic report. I recommend checking this monthly to see how keyword trends change for them as well.

Track how you perform for your targeted keywords with the Rank Tracking report. It’s best to have at least 30-50 keywords saved in any given month and to check weekly to ensure you aren’t losing ground with keywords you’ve worked hard to rank for.

Ubersuggest SEO report tool for keyword position

You’ll also see which keywords you are ranking well for. If you’ve recently updated content, earned new backlinks, or made other changes, this data will tell you it’s working. (And that you might want to use those same strategies on other pages.)

4. Use Ubersuggest SEO to Discover New Content Ideas as Your Company Grows

Every day, more than 6 million blog posts are published on the internet. That makes finding new content ideas a challenge. If it feels like every topic has already been covered, you’re not alone.

Finding new content ideas is challenging, but Ubersuggest can make it a lot easier.

Use the Content Ideas report to discover what types of blogs are popular on the internet. Get inspiration from the list and choose topics you’re comfortable writing about that you may have a different angle to talk about.

This report also helps you to stay away from writing about a topic that others have already covered and are ranking well for, which makes them harder to compete with.

Ubersuggest SEO report tool for content ideas

Don’t ignore topics that have already been covered. Instead, look for ways to create better or more in-depth content. For example, you could:

  • Write a longer post that covers a topic in more depth.
  • Share insights or case studies that show how to implement a strategy.
  • Consider other content formats, such as videos, infographics, or white papers.

The list of ideas in this report is ever-changing, giving you endless ideas to work from.

5. Use Ubersuggest SEO to Identify Backlink Opportunities

According to research by Backlinko, the number of domains linking to a page has the highest correlation to Google ranking. In fact, the number one result in Google has an average of 3.8 times more backlinks than those in positions 2 through 10.

One of the best ways to improve your SEO is to increase your backlinks—the right way. Buying links, trading links, and other black hat strategies won’t deliver the results you want. Instead, I recommend using the Ubersuggest Backlinks report to see how your competitors are performing and find opportunities for your own site.

Links to both your and your competitors’ websites change regularly (for some, it’s happening daily). Head to the Backlinks Opportunities report often to see who’s linking to your competitors but not to you, then reach out to those companies with similar (not the same) content and ask them to link back to you.

Ubersuggest SEO reports for backlinks

Not sure what to say? Here’s a link to backlinks email outreach ideas and templates

Once you’ve gained some momentum, check your Backlinks Overview report at least monthly and pay special attention to the Backlinks Overtime report. This will show your backlinks growth and understand how many new websites are linking to you each month (and how many you’ve lost).

Ubersuggest SEO reports for backlinks over time

This can also help you find other websites similar to the ones linking to you already, and you can reach out to the ones who stopped linking to you to understand why.

6. Use Ubersuggest SEO for Weekly Check-ins for the Biggest Impact

Google’s algorithm uses more than 200 factors to determine which website to rank for a specific search, and those factors are constantly changing. This means the most effective SEO strategies are constantly changing, too.

So how do you keep up? By using Ubersuggest to get weekly notifications about the health of your site’s SEO.

Turn on weekly notifications here to get a quick view of the following:

  • Rank Tracking Alerts: Get email and in-app notifications about important rankings gained and lost, new positions conquered and lost.
  • Site Audit Alerts: Get email and in-app notifications of new SEO issues and errors found on your website, as well as on-page improvements that can increase your rankings.
  • Keyword Opportunities Alerts: Get email and in-app notifications about keywords that are rising in popularity and when it’s the perfect opportunity to invest more time and effort into ranking for these keywords.
Ubersuggest SEO reports for weekly alerts

Successful SEO is an ongoing process, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend hours every week digging into analytics. These SEO ranking reports allow you to keep an eye out for issues while you stay focused on your long-term goals.

7. Use Ubersuggest Support for Personalized Assistance

We’ve covered how to use Ubersuggest to pull the best SEO reports you need to track your performance. What happens if you have a question or aren’t sure what a suggestion means? The Ubersuggest team is here to help.

In fact, there are five ways to get additional SEO support from Ubersuggest, including:

  • Coaching Call: If you get stuck with anything, Ubersuggest offers monthly coaching calls where you can call in and get your questions answered by one of their SEO experts. Register here.
  • SEO Unlocked 8-week Free, self-paced course: My course covers everything you need to know about SEO, from what SEO is to performing keyword research and optimizing your website.
  • Customer Support: Have issues with Ubersuggest or aren’t sure where to find something? Submit a ticket and my team will get back to you ASAP.
  • Knowledge Base: This post covers the SEO reports in Ubersuggest, but there are even more features to love. Search in the Knowledge Base here to learn more.
  • Chat: Want immediate help? You can ask a question in the chat box at the bottom right of any page in Ubersuggest.

SEO Reports Frequently Asked Questions

What should an SEO report include?

A good SEO report should include overall traffic, keyword ranking, a list of backlinks, time on site and bounce rate, top traffic by page, keyword search volume, competitor data, SEO tasks to complete, and an overview of the entire SEO report.

What does a good SEO report look like?

A good SEO report should provide the data and insights you need to improve your ranking in search engines. Ideally, it should cover overall traffic, keyword ranking, backlinks, traffic per page, and SEO errors. The format should be easy to use and understand. With Ubersuggest, you can view all this data in the dashboard or screenshot the charts and embed them in a Google Slides presentation.

How do you read SEO reports?

It depends on the report you’re viewing and what type of data you need. I recommend starting with the overview of the SEO ranking report, then drilling down into specific areas based on your goals and needs. For example, if your overall traffic is dropping, the SEO errors are a good place to start as there might be an issue impacting your entire website.

How do you create an SEO report?

The best way to create an SEO ranking report is to sign up for Ubersuggest, add your website, and use the SEO report tools to pull the data you need to drive traffic. Alternatively, you can dig into Google Search Console and Google Analytics to pull the relevant data. However, those tools often don’t provide the level of detail or recommendations you need to drive SEO success.

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Conclusion: Get the Best SEO Reports from Ubersuggest

The cost of SEO varies based on the size of your site and your goals. However, the average small business can expect to pay between $750 and $2,000 per month for ongoing SEO support or up to $35,000 for one-time projects.

Despite the importance of SEO, those rates can be difficult for many businesses to manage. Luckily, Ubersuggest’s SEO Reports can provide visibility into your SEO for just a few dollars a month, and you won’t have to sacrifice results.

If you’d rather have an SEO expert do the work for you, we’re happy to help. Reach out to my team, and let’s talk about your SEO goals.

Have you used Ubersuggest’s SEO reports? What is your favorite feature?

Source: New feed 2

Keyword Research: How to Do It, Tips, Tools & Examples

Keyword Research: How to Do It, Tips, Tools & Examples

68 percent of online activity begins with queries in search engines like Google or Bing.

That’s why keyword research should be the basis of any online marketing campaign.

The goal of keyword research is to find out what your target audience is searching for online and determine what it will take to actually rank in search engines for those keywords.

Without knowing what keywords you should be targeting, how will you effectively optimize your website, target phrases for link building, or know what content to develop for your audience?

In this first section, we’ll go through setting up a spreadsheet for your keyword research and discover the best keywords for both your main website’s search engine optimization and topics for content development.

In the next section, we’ll discuss what data will help you choose the best keywords to target.

The final section will be a compilation of the top posts on keyword research.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research refers to the process of discovering what search terms your target audience is entering in search engines to find businesses and websites like yours and optimizing your content so you appear in the search engine results.

For example, my target audience for this blog is primarily marketers and small businesses looking for help with their SEO and digital marketing strategies. This means I want pages from my website to appear in the SERPs when my audience searches for terms related to SEO and digital marketing.

Let’s say someone in my target audience is searching for “what is SEO?” I want to make sure I have content on my website that comes up early in the results for that search term. Luckily, I do! Here are some of the top results for the phrase:

keyword research - seo search

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

If you want your audience to find your website–whether’s it to your blog, e-commerce website, or for local services like lawn care–you must develop a strategy to help them find you. That’s where keyword research comes in.

The top result in the Google search results for a given search query (aka “keyword”) gets the most traffic 49 percent of the time. The second results get the most traffic 22 percent of the time. By the time you get to the second page of Google, users click on each result less than one percent of the time.

In order to drive your audience to the website, you must identify the keywords they are searching for, and create content that matches their search intent.

How to Do Keyword Research

There are many methods and tools you can use for keyword research. We’ll outline some of those methods and tools below, so you can pick and choose what works best for you.

Prework: Spreadsheet Set Up

The first thing you will want to do is set up a spreadsheet to record your data.

I’ve set up a basic spreadsheet that you can access. This document has columns for data using all tools mentioned in the first two parts of this blog post.

You can add or delete columns as you wish in order to match your keyword research needs. The columns included are as follows.

  • Keyword
  • GAKT – Competition (Google Ads Keyword Planner)
  • GAKT – Global Monthly Searches (Google Ads Keyword Planner)
  • GAKT – Local Monthly Searches (Google Ads Keyword Planner)
  • GAKT – Approximate CPC (Google Ads Keyword Planner)
  • SEOmoz KA – Difficulty (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 1 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 2 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 DA (Moz Keyword Explorer)
  • SEOmoz KA – Competitor 3 RDLRD (Moz Keyword Explorer)

In this section, we’ll cover filling up the columns with keyword and Google Ads Keyword Tool data.

In the following section, we’ll look at how to narrow down those keywords using the Moz Keyword Analysis tool (or some alternative methods if you are not a Pro member).

Saving the Google Docs Version

If you are signed into your Google account, simply use the File > Save option to save the spreadsheet to your documents and start filling it in with your information.

Downloading Excel and Open Office Versions

If you don’t have Google Docs, or would prefer to save it on your local machine, go to the Google Docs version and use the File > Download As to save it as your desired file type. I’d suggest Excel for best possible functionality.

creating a spreadsheet for keyword research

Step 1: Keyword Discovery

The first phase of keyword research involves coming up with new keyword ideas.

Sometimes this is the most difficult part of the process as many people unfamiliar with keyword competition will select very broad target words such as pizza, hotel, or Los Angeles.

Others will pick obscure phrases that no one will likely search such as SEO/Link Building/Social Media (yes, I’ve seen people trying to similarly over-punctuated phrases).

So the first thing you will need to do is find suitable, related phrases for their business.

You can always start with some simple brainstorming. Look at the main topics on your website and jot down keywords associated with those topics.

I would suggest doing so in Microsoft Excel or another spreadsheet application.

Then, whenever you’re ready to expand on those ideas, continue to some great keyword tools.

Keyword Discovery Tools

The following are a great collection of free and premium tools that will help you discover new keywords related to your website or business.

Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is great for helping you discover new keywords.

To get started, simply enter the keyword or phrase in the tool.

Let’s say we’re researching Social Media Marketing.

Input the phrase and click Search.

keyword research - ubersuggest

You’ll get a breakdown that looks like this:

keyword breakdown in ubersuggest for keyword research
  • Search volume – number of searches the keyword has during a month
  • SEO difficulty – estimated competition in organic search
  • Paid difficulty – estimated competition in paid search
  • Cost per click – average cost per click for a Google Ad

You’re also provided an overview of what it takes, on average, in terms of backlinks and domain score, to reach the first page of Google for the keyword. This is located above a chart displaying the keyword search volume, both for desktop and mobile, over the past 12 months.

You’ll also be able to scroll down and see different variations of your keyword phrase.

keywords ideas in ubersuggest for keyword research

This gives you a wider view of what you can strive to rank for.

For low budgets, you may want to optimize a low competition, low cost per click option that still gets good results. For example, “jobs with social media marketing” fits the mold.

Or, you can pick multiple and A/B test them for the best results.

However you use it, this is a great tool to start with.

Ubersuggest Search Suggestions

Once you have some basic ideas, you can expand upon them by using the five keyword idea variables in Ubersuggest:

  • Suggestions
  • Related
  • Questions
  • Prepositions
  • Comparisons

In the screenshot above, “suggestions” is highlighted by default. But if you’re searching for the largest list of keywords that contain your phrase, click “Related.”

"related" in ubersuggest for keyword research

Every keyword on the list now includes your seed keyword, “social media marketing.”

From there, you can experiment with the other search types. Here are some examples of the keyword phrases you’ll uncover for each one:

  • Questions
    • is social media marketing dead?
    • is social media marketing worth it?
    • is social media marketing effective?
  • Prepositions
    • guide to social media marketing
    • help with social media marketing
    • problems with social media marketing
  • Comparisons
    • social media marketing vs digital marketing
    • social media marketing vs traditional marketing
    • social media marketing and SEO

Alternative Search Suggestions

Looking for alternative suggested search boxes?

The following search engines have similar suggested search options that appear below the search box when you start typing in keywords.

Depending on your keyword, each search engine will offer different suggestions.

Most people stick with Google as it is the most-visited web platform in the world, but it still doesn’t hurt to get additional keyword ideas from elsewhere.

Google Ads Keyword Tool

The next tool up is the commonly referenced Google Ads Keyword Planner.

If you have a Google account and, better yet, an Ads account, I would suggest signing in to those once you arrive on the Google Ads Keyword Tool to get better results.

To give you an idea, I searched for social media when I was not logged into my account and received 100 keyword ideas.

I searched for it again when logged in and received more than 600.

add all keywords to google ads keyword tool for keyword research

My suggestion is if you are looking for keywords just for your static website and not interested in the cost per click pricing (CPC), go with the results without logging into Google Ads.

If you are interested in the CPC pricing and also getting keyword ideas to help with content development, go with the results while logged into Google Ads.

Here is what each of the columns displayed in the Google Ads Keyword Tool will tell you about each of the keyword ideas displayed.

  • Competition – “The Competition column gives you a sense of how many advertisers are bidding for a particular keyword. This data can help you determine how competitive the ad placement is.”
  • Global Monthly Searches – “The approximate 12-month average of user queries for the keyword on Google search.”
  • Local Monthly Searches – “If you specified a country or language for your search, this is the approximate 12-month average number of user queries for the keyword for those countries and languages.”
  • Approximate CPC – “This is the approximate cost-per-click you might pay if you were to bid on the keyword. The CPC is averaged over all the ad positions.”

You can learn more about the search traffic statistics shown in this tool in Google Ads Help.

If you want a simple method to see a broader or narrower range of keywords, you can select this option in the filters on the left side of your screen.

keyword options

You can also select specific Match Types by clicking the “Modify search” tab and scrolling down to the “Plan your budget and get forecasts” option.

using google ads for keyword research - budget and forecasts

Inputting your search term with the added punctuation will change the traffic volume for Global and Local Monthly Searches based on the approximation of traffic that a keyword gets on Google.

  • Broad – The sum of the search volumes for the keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms, and related words. If you were doing PPC and targeted the broad match for social media, ads would show with any searches including social or media. Organic results would include the same.
  • [Exact] The search volume for that keyword idea. If you were doing PPC and targeted the exact match for social media, ads would only show if someone typed in social media but not any other variation of that phrase.
  • “Phrase” – The sum of the search volumes for all terms that include that whole phrase. If you were doing PPC and targeted the phrase match for pizza dough, ads would show for anyone who typed in social media, with or without additional keywords such as social media marketing or about social media. Organic results would include only results including the exact phrase social media.

You can learn more about match types (and some additional ones not on this list) in Ads Help.

You can also see the difference in data based on the three match types using the phrase social media in order of broad, “phrase,” and [exact].

social media keyword planner for keyword research

And if you were to use these match types in a search, you would get 419 million results for a broad match search for social media and only 304 million results for a phrase match search for “social media.”

Going back to the generic term social media, you might want to remove certain words from the keyword ideas.

For example, you may not want to target anything about social media jobs, so you could add the word job under the Negative Keywords tab on the left side of the screen.

Now, you’ll need to export your data.

To do so, simply use the Download button under the Review Plan tab and export to your preferred format.

download your plan in google ads for keyword research

You can then copy the data from the exported spreadsheet to your keyword research spreadsheet.

You can also get this data for the keyword ideas you generated using SEMrush and suggested search by copying and pasting those keywords into the Word or phrase box and checking the box to only show ideas closely related to my search terms.

Then export the data for those keywords and phrases by checking the boxes next to them under the Search Terms section.

At this point, you probably have a lot of great keyword ideas.

In the next section, I will cover how to use the Moz Keyword Analysis Tool (or an alternative method to get the same information if you are not a Pro member) to get additional data and then narrow down your keywords to the ones that you should most likely focus upon for your online marketing strategy.

Step 2 – Analyzing and Choosing the Best Keywords

Now that you have a base spreadsheet to use for keyword data entry, let’s look at what’s next.

I want to show you some ways to get even more data about each keyword and further narrow down your results.

Please note that this data will take a bit of time to compile, so you might want to run through the keyword list and remove any obvious ones that you don’t want.

I usually go with no more than 100 keywords for this part of the process.

Keyword Analysis with Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a great tool for analyzing which keywords to use and what websites to examine for ideas.

For example, when we search for social media marketing in Ubersuggest, you can see a list of “content ideas”:

ubersuggest content ideas for keyword research

As you can see, a list of pages that rank for the keyword “social media marketing” appears. You can also see how many visits the page gets from the keyword, how many backlinks the page has, and how many shares it has on Facebook, Pinterest, and Reddit.

You can poke around the most successful websites and use that as a jumping-off point for what to include on your own page to rank for the keyword.

Keyword Analysis with Moz

You can get other important data to help you narrow down your target keywords with Moz.

If you have a Pro membership with Moz (you can always get a 30-day free trial if you have just one keyword research project to do), then you have access to a very nice little tool called Keyword Difficulty & SERP Analysis.

This tool will show you the percentage of difficulty for each keyword, giving you an idea of how hard it will be to rank highly for it.

You will also see the top ten sites ranked for each keyword, each listed with its domain authority and the number of root domains linking to it.

The latter is really the information that will help you decide which keywords to target.

You can put in five words at a time, and you can now pick between keyword, root domain, subdomain, or page.

moz keyword explorer

Using our keyword phrase “social media management,” you can see the results of the difficulty assessment, search volume, organic click-through rates, and the balance of ranking ease and end results (Priority).

social media management keyword overview

While this information is helpful, it’s not really anything we don’t already know. We’ve already decided we like this keyword phrase.

If anything, this is just a double-check that confirms the basics you found in the Ads Keyword Tool.

Below this information, you’ll find more keyword suggestions and a SERP analysis of the keyword.

The suggestions are fine for more brainstorming, but we’ll come back to the SERP analysis. That’s the real goldmine.

keyword research serp analysis

You can also find a short list of mentions for your keyword at the bottom of the page.

This is useful in letting you know who is using the keyword and how recently they created content with it.

moz mentions for keyword research

While this information is nice, the real competitor information can be seen when you click on the SERP full analysis for each keyword, such as these results for a social media company.

I like to open them in new tabs for convenience.

moz data

This is the part where you can learn a few things.

First off, you can see who you will be trying to beat.

If your website comes up in this list of the top ten, then congratulations – you’re on the first page for a keyword phrase with a highly competitive keyword difficulty of 61%.

If you’re not in these results, you can compare your own website’s domain authority and linking root domains to the stats of the sites ranking in the top ten.

Domain authority is a score from 1 to 100. The higher a website’s domain authority, the more likely it is to rank for the keywords it is optimized for.

The linking root domains is the number of unique domains linking to a website.

You can see that the site with the highest authority and linking root domains doesn’t necessarily win the top spot.

But if you want to make #1, your site may need a domain authority of 28 or higher and hundreds of linking root domains to beat the competition.

Another thing you can learn from this is whether a keyword is drawing commercial or informational results.

This means that you will learn whether your keyword is being searched for commercial purposes (meaning that someone wants to find a product or service) or whether it is being searched for informational purposes (meaning that people are looking for information, not a product or service).

For social media company, the results include seven actual social media consulting companies and agencies.

lyfe marketing moz data for keyword research

Comparatively, if I do a full analysis of the keyword phrase “what is social media” you will see that the first page of results is purely informational. All of the results are from highly authoritative domains.

11 organic results

So if you are a social media company, you will probably want to target the phrase social media companies for your main business homepage.

You will also want to create some content based around the phrase what is social media and place it on highly authoritative domains such as YouTube and SlideShare to see if you can get it into the rankings for a phrase searched potentially by a million people monthly.

Alternative to the Moz Tool

If you’re not interested in a premium tool, then you can simply look up each keyword and look at websites ranking on the first page of the results.

If you’re interested in the domain authority stats, you can get some using another Moz tool called Open Site Explorer. You’ll get a limited amount of stats for free accounts though.

Or, you can use the free version of the SEOmoz toolbar – just use that and compare it to your own website’s domain authority.

At least with this information, you can still determine the commercial vs. informational usage of a keyword plus some basic stats to compare against your own website.

Step 3: Putting It Together in the Spreadsheet

The final part of the process is taking the spreadsheet and interpreting the data.

I like to use the Conditional Formatting in Excel to highlight cells a certain color based on the numerical value in the cell.

You simply highlight the cell range you want to compare, then go to Conditional Formatting > New Rule.

KISSmetrics Keyword Research

Select the 3-Color Scale Format Style, and change the Lowest Value / Highest Value color when applicable.

Certain fields in your spreadsheet will need to display the fact that a higher number is good whereas a lower number is bad.

For those fields (global & local monthly searches), you will want to leave the color settings as default, as shown below.

Keyword Research in MS Excel

Other fields in your spreadsheet will need to display the fact that a higher number is bad whereas a lower number is good.

For those fields (GAKT – Competition, GAKT – Approximate CPC, SEOmoz KA – Difficulty, SEOmoz KA – Competitor DA, SEOmoz KA – Competitor RDLRD), you will want to change the lowest value color setting to green and the highest value color setting to red, as shown below.

keyword research excel conditional formatting

Once you’re finished, you can highlight the top row and add a filter by applying the Sort & Filter > Filter option.

I like to start with selecting the filter for the SEOmoz KA – Difficulty column and sorting it from smallest to largest.

This way you get the following (click on the image below to see a larger view):

keyword research spreadsheet results

As you can imagine, having the highlighting and sorting options would be very valuable when looking at a spreadsheet with up to 100 keywords.

You could quickly see which keywords have the most searches and least competition or the least competition but most searches.

You could then move over and look at the actual competition for each keyword if you were shooting for #1 rankings.

Step 4: Making the Final Keyword Choices

My suggestion when making the final choice of keywords is as follows:

  • If your website is commercial (offering products or services), go with keywords that seem to have the most commercial intent based on the current ranking websites. If your website is informational (blogs come to mind), go with keywords that have the most informational intent.
  • Look for a “sweet spot” of high search volume in conjunction with low-difficulty/competition.
  • Look at keywords with high search volume with top competitors that have lower domain authority and backlinks.
  • If your website is already ranking on the first page, but not in the top 5 spots (or beneath other search result areas such as images, local results, etc.) and the keyword has good search volume, focus on getting those keywords and phrases to move up.

Sometimes, it’s not the actual decision that is the most difficult – it is actually compiling the data that takes the most time! Also, don’t forget to take the keywords that are more informational and use them for content topic ideas!

This concludes our method of discovering keyword ideas, analyzing them, and then choosing the best for your website.

We have noticed that there are many various ways to perform keyword research, and you have to try out different analysis methods to see which ones speak to you the best when deciding on keywords.

Keyword Research Resources

Keyword Research Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what keywords to target for my website?

Think about the topics related to your industry or business that your audience is likely to search on the Internet. Use a tool like Ubersuggest to find and select the best keywords for those topics.

Are there free keyword research tools?

Tools like Ubersuggest and Moz have free versions of keyword tools you can use, though you will unlock additional data and features when you select a paid version.

Should you do keyword research for paid campaigns?

You should do keyword research for your organic and your paid marketing.

How does keyword research relate to SEO?

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank in the search results for specific terms related to your business.

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Conclusion: Keyword Research

Completing thorough keyword research is crucial if you want to drive traffic to your website.

There are many keyword research methods to try in addition to those I outlined in this post. As you get more experienced with keyword research, you may want to try out some additional methods.

There are also a plethora of keyword research tools at your disposal. My favorite (biased though I may be) is Ubersuggest. Our team is continually rolling out new features to provide you with better data that other tools don’t provide.

If you don’t want to do your own keyword research, SEO, or digital marketing, you can reach out to my agency for help.

What is your favorite method of keyword research?

What are your favorite keyword research tools?

Source: New feed 2

Off-page Seo: What Is It & How Can You Take Advantage of It

Off-page Seo: What Is It & How Can You Take Advantage of It

As smart bloggers and content marketers, we usually start with on-page SEO.

However, one of the most important Google ranking factors isn’t found on your page at all. Rather, it’s backlinks from other websites pointing towards your site. The top results on Google have an average of 3.8x more backlinks than the results that appear in positions 2-10.

Off-page search engine optimization is not just about building backlinks though.

It goes deeper than that. For example, brand mentions (your site URL or brand name mentioned on another site without a hyperlink) are an integral aspect of off-page search signals.

Off-page SEO simply tells Google what others think about your site. For example, if you’ve got a lot of valuable links pointing to your pages, search engines will assume that you’ve got great content that provides value for users.

People only cite, reference, and share content they like. Even in a brick-and-mortar business, if your product is helpful and affordable, you’ll get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals from your current customers.

If you’re ready, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know about off-page search optimization.

What is Off-Page SEO?

“Off-Page SEO” refers to all of the activities that you and others do away from your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines.

Though many people associate off-page SEO with link building, it goes beyond that. Many activities that don’t result in a standard link on other sites are important for off-page optimization.

On-page search engine optimization happens within the site, while off-page SEO happens outside the site. If you write a guest post for another blog or leave a comment, you’re doing off-page site promotion.

off-page seo ranking factors

Preparing a Site/Page for Link Building

Links are still very important to Google. In fact, it’s almost impossible for Google to determine the value of any web page if there are no links pointing to it, no matter how useful, fresh, or in-depth the page content might be.

Site owners are often tempted to skip initial preparations for link building. But it’s important that you give this top priority because preparing a site will ensure that you’re mindful of the links you sent to them.

So how do you ensure that your web pages are ready for link building?

1. Lay Out Your Internal Pages

Optimized internal pages can make a huge difference in your overall rankings. This includes interlinking your pages using random keywords (with more emphasis on your brand name).

According to Brian Dean’s famous post “Google’s 200 Ranking Factors,” the number of internal links to a page indicates its importance relative to other pages on the site.

Be careful when you do this, however. In a recent study, Semrush found 42.5 percent of websites have broken internal links.

To optimize internal linking, you should have silo pages that connect to your category pages and supporting pages (posts). That way, when you send a link to the homepage, the juice flows through your category and supporting pages, thus boosting your search performance.

off-page SEO - silo pages and internal links

Smart search engine optimization professionals don’t just throw links at a page. Instead, they lay out the pages so that each link will pass SEO juice to other interconnected pages.

None of your internal pages should stand alone. Make each page an integral part of your site and include seamless navigation. This is essential to your site users and your appeal to search engines.

Ideally, pages addressing the same or related topics should be linked together in order to provide a rich experience for the users.

off-page seo: page experience

In search engine optimization, internal pages are often overlooked. Most SEOs and site owners don’t realize that much of a site’s “SEO value” flows from how the internal pages are structured.

This is usually made possible when you have links from high-value pages on the same site. Silo your pages properly if you want healthy link equity between your internal pages.

Remember that it’s no longer only about the number of links you have. The quality of links to your internal pages is as important as the structure of the pages themselves.

In fact, sometimes reducing the number of links pointing to your internal pages could help your SEO efforts.

For example, CMS North America, a manufacturer of 5 axis CNC machines, had an established website with 170 indexed pages. Yet, the site wasn’t generating substantial search traffic.

image35

By auditing their site using the Internal Link Juice Tool, they discovered that the site had 168 links pointing to the homepage.

This was more than best practices called for, which is especially a problem when the SEO juice from those links doesn’t flow to internal pages.

They initiated a new navigation structure and removed some of the links pointing to silo pages, while retaining the links that supported usability (such as “contact us” and support pages). In all, 70 links were removed.

After 6 weeks of re-structuring the internal pages’ links and the homepage, most of the fresh pages and links had been re-crawled by Google’s spider.

The company saw improved rankings for 18 of the 21 keyword phrases the site was targeting. Keywords that were already ranking on page 2 improved an average of 3.7 ranking slots.

2. Do Basic On-page SEO First

On-page search engine optimization is important. After all, you don’t want Google to view your site as a neglected portal.

I’m sure you’ve heard enough about meta tags and keyword density. Yet, there are other important on-page SEO factors that matter and that are often overlooked. This on-page SEO infographic from Backlinko lays many of them out for you:

image15

One of the reasons many authority sites no longer dominate the top organic listings is because they’ve neglected basic on-page SEO.

You want to link to your internal pages using the keyword that best defines that page.

When you create a landing page that you would like Google to rank highly, you should pass more SEO juice to that page from your important pages.

If the search engine giant is seeing a lot of pages on your site for a particular search term and is unsure of which one to rank higher than the others, you’ll struggle to increase your search engine rank no matter how much value you provide.

And that’s what the basic on-page search engine optimization process is all about. There’s no magic secret formula. Just ensure that your pages are well structured, your keywords specified, and signals are being sent to Google in the right manner. This will work towards improving your search engine ranking.

Here’s an example: Daily Mail Online, a popular online magazine that ranks highly for several keywords, failed to dominate the top listings during the 2014 World Cup. Other brands took their spots:

image12

The online magazine missed out on this opportunity to attract thousands, if not millions of search users, given the sheer interest in the tournament (with a spike peak around June 18).

image10

With several brands dominating Google’s first page rankings, Daily Mail Online missed out on the term “World Cup.” Each new article published about the World Cup overlapped with Daily Mail’s landing page, which they desperately wanted to rank better than other pages (shown in pink).

image09

What’s happening here is the search engine giant is seeing lots of pages from Daily Mail Online for this search term, and is unsure of which one should be ranked highest.

This has a lot to do with internal page linking—or the lack thereof.

To capitalize on the trending search term at the time, Mail Online could have linked back to the hub page from every internal page (especially those related to ‘Word Cup’).

This would have been a strong signal to Google that this page was significant and perhaps useful to users.

Sadly, Daily Mail had lots of opportunities to link back to the hub from relevant blog posts and pages, but they didn’t do so.

3. Pick Thematic Keywords, Even for Off-page SEO

Although links are still the icing on the cake, the upshot to SEO that controls every other factor is the keywords you choose.

Keywords are the fundamental building blocks for your content campaign. In the diagram below, the more accurate view of on-page SEO shows that use of related keywords and primary keywords account for 7.5% and 40% of on-page SEO, respectively.

off page seo - keywords

But not all keywords are created equal. If you want to improve the odds of driving organic traffic to your site, then you need to pick thematic keywords.

The word “thematic” simply means having or relating to a particular subject.

So when you’re picking keywords, focus on those that are related to a particular subject. You can’t afford to spread your net too wide. Here’s an example:

Let’s assume that your business delivers WordPress theme customization services. It’s important to find the right related keywords that you can create content around.

Simply plug your main keyword (WordPress theme customization) into the Ubersuggest search bar. Click the “Search” button. Simply plug your main keyword (WordPress theme customization) into the Ubersuggest search bar. Click the “Search” button. Here are thematic keyword phrases that populate in the results:

using ubersuggest for off-page seo keyword selections

Remember that you’re in business to help others. By knowing the words, phrases, and search terms they use in search, you can more easily tailor your content to meet their needs.

You can supercharge the power of your keywords by switching toward branded keywords. In other words, instead of targeting “SEO tips,” you could niche down and include your brand or domain name (e.g., Moz SEO tips, Neil Patel SEO).

Domain or brand-oriented keywords usually bring up several results from the same site in Google search results.

branded search for off page seo

Of course, you have to create useful, high-quality content. When you see several of your pages ranking in Google search results, it doesn’t matter what positions those pages hold – you can pass more link juice to them through any of the link building strategies below:

off page seo link building strategies

Branded thematic keywords will give you an edge over the competition and serves as a leading SEO technique. No matter how many top brands are dominating the top 10 organic listings, you can find yourself driving motivated visitors to your site.

When you’re targeting keywords in on-page optimization, don’t just keep reiterating those primary keywords over and over.

Instead, use synonyms or latent semantic indexing (LSI) terms. LSI keywords have one purpose – to help search engine spiders extract meaning from normal keywords (especially those with more than one meaning). For example, Apple, the computer company vs. apple, the fruit.

Ideally, if you were writing content on a subject related to Apple, the company, Google expects you to mention relevant words and terms that are common to the organization.

LSI keywords for off page seo

Stay away from mentioning your primary keyword (e.g., cheap airline tickets) over and over in your content. Google will view that as over-optimization and may well penalize you.

You might be wondering how you can find these synonymous words. The good news is that there are several tools that you can use to research LSI search terms. Simply follow these steps:

Step #1: Go to Ubersuggest and input your primary keyword (e.g., cheap airline tickets). Click the “Search” button.

Step #2: Click “Keyword Ideas” in the left sidebar.

using ubersuggest for off page seo LSI keywords

Step #3: Review the Keyword Ideas

off page seo lsi keywords - ubersuggest keyword suggestions

Step #4: Choose Keywords

Choose keyword phrases with high search volume, a low SEO difficulty score, and high CPC.

The final step is getting a better idea of what you need to do to outrank your page one competitors.

In summary:

On-page keyword optimization all boils down to researching, choosing, and integrating keywords that you can easily rank for. You don’t want to compete with top brands with higher and stronger domain authority.

That’s why you should also focus on long-tail keywords. You already know how to find and use them to improve your search rankings.

How to Get Relevant, Authority, and User-Friendly Backlinks

In January of 2022, Google processed 12.1 million search queries. Think of all the potential traffic your website could receive if you could capture just a tiny fraction of those searches. How?

As SEOs, content marketers, and bloggers know, backlinks are currently the most important off-page SEO factor.

That’s because natural links from authoritative and relevant websites act as an independent “vote of confidence,” which helps search engines trust your website more.

off page seo, on page seo, and technical seo relationship

When Google’s search spider crawls your site, looking for fresh content (sometimes depending on your sitemap settings), it indexes your new pages and prepares them for search users.

After your pages are added into its vast index to be returned in search results when relevant search queries are triggered, Google uses several algorithm factors to determine where those pages will rank.

In the SEO world, we refer to these as Google’s ranking factors. They’re the determining factors for organic web page rankings. Fortunately, you don’t have to memorize all of the ranking factors. This is great news since there are literally hundreds of them.

But the most important factor as far as SEO is concerned is links. Well, not the links per se, but the impact of such links. Some other off-page factors are:

off page seo factors

In the past, if I generated 100 links to my page, and you had only 20 links, Google would view my web page as more authoritative and valuable than yours.

Link quality wasn’t all that important at the time.

But today, links are perceived differently. A lot of questions arise when Google sees a link pointing to your web page. For example:

  • Where does the link come from?
  • What prompted the site owner to link to you?
  • What is the link quality? (I.e., is it from an authority site?)
  • How fresh is your link?
  • How natural is your link profile?
  • And so on…

When building links to your site or internal pages (which is more ideal in today’s SEO), focus on relevant, authority, and SEO-friendly links.

Ways to Get Valuable Links to Improve Off-page SEO

There are a variety of approaches when it comes to getting backlinks. Here are some of the most common and effective.

1. Broken Link Building

Even though I’ve written tons of posts on broken link building, sadly, not many people do it. Per Semrush, 40.5 percent of websites contain broken links, and you can leverage that by asking websites with broken links to replace the links with valid ones to your site.

Broken link building is easy, faster than guest blogging, and could provide a substantial avenue to earn the right links.

When I launched my nutrition blog, I leveraged broken link building tactics and generated a handful of natural links from trusted sites through that strategy.

The opportunities are just endless when you capitalize on dead links. Because in reality, the internet is broken…literally.

Lots of links that you see on authority blogs are actually dead. As hosting expires, sites are messed up during file transfer or migration or typing mistakes happen and links are bound to break. They lead to 404 error pages, which don’t appeal to users (more on this later).

All these broken links are to your advantage.

There is nothing new or fancy about fixing broken links. This link building tactic will never become outdated or fizzle out, because the internet will always have new broken links that need to be fixed.

If you have too many dead links on your blog, and are wondering whether your search performance will be affected, you don’t have to worry. According to the Official Google Webmaster Central blog, and confirmed by Semrush in 2021, 404 error pages or broken pages won’t affect your site’s ranking.

404s are a perfectly normal part of the web; the Internet is always changing, new content is born, old content dies, and when it dies it (ideally) returns a 404 HTTP response code. Search engines are aware of this; we have 404 errors on our own sites, as you can see above, and we find them all over the web. In fact, we actually prefer that, when you get rid of a page on your site, you make sure that it returns a proper 404 or 410 response code (rather than a “soft 404”).

Although Google likes to see a proper 404 error page, do you think it’s a good experience for the user? Absolutely not.

When people click on your web page from an organic results page, they’re not expecting to see a 404 error page, but rather want to see the exact content they searched for.

effect of 404 errors on off page seo

Imagine how frustrated people will be when they searched for “best digital wrist watch,” only to click on the first result and see an error page.

A few of these searchers will likely mark the site address and vow never to visit again. Obviously, the user experience was poor. And there’s nothing that drives people away more than a poor user experience, which is a natural indication of your overall customer service to the searcher.

The result of this can be disastrous. According to Sacramento Design Network, “85% of your business could be lost due to poor customer service.”

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In a nutshell, broken link building breaks down to four simple steps: conduct a backlink analysis on a relevant website, find a broken link, contact the owner, and let them know about their dead links.

pulling broken links for off page seo strategies

Since you’re helping the site owner locate non-functional links, they might do you the favor of including a link to your website. Ideally, offer a replacement link when appropriate.

If I linked to a particular web page from my Neil Patel blog and found the links to be dead, I could easily replace it with another relevant and high-value resource. If that high-value page belongs to you, that’s both SEO juice and a valuable link.

Trust me, you can get it right the first time, and build the right links to your web pages using this tactic. You’ll find these resources really helpful:

Create and Distribute Compelling Infographics

There’s no doubt about it: infographics still work and will likely continue to work in the future.

As of 2020, infographics were the fourth most commonly produced form of content marketing media.

While infographics can still yield impressive results, you have to understand that not all infographics will get the job done.

You’ll most likely agree that my infographics are top-notch. In fact, I spend up to $1,000 to have a single infographic designed.

However, if you’re on a tight budget or just starting out, you may not be able to afford $1000 infographics.

Luckily, you can use sites like Dribbble to find professional infographic designers for half the price. If you decide to use Visual.ly, you’ll get a better design – but their service costs more.

infographics for off page seo

A lot of content marketers use infographics to attract the right audience, acquire authority links, and grow their email list.

For instance, Ken Lyons shared a WordStream case study in which they created a useful infographic that helped a lot of people. Interestingly, the infographic earned a link from CNN and drove loads of traffic to its site.

Ann Smarty, a prolific content marketer, created a useful infographic that generated 10 powerful links in just 2 days.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, you can use visual marketing to drive engagement with your target audience and earn editorial links from the right sites.

I love creating and distributing compelling infographics. Like any compelling content, when you give it sufficient initial promotion, an infographic has a greater chance of going viral.

The good news is that you’ll continually generate organic traffic to your blog when people start to share your infographics.

In my experience, I’ve found that infographics generate 37.5% more backlinks than a typical blog post. This makes creating infographics an irresistible link building tactic that you should definitely try.

If you’re ready to create and distribute infographics to improve your off-page SEO efforts, the resources below will be helpful:

Of course, there are other ways to build quality links to your web pages. For example, you can leverage blogger outreach to build relationships that will yield better links, and use social media outreach to claim unlinked brand names from relevant blogs.

How to Avoid Google Penalties for Unnatural Links

Backlinks are really important, especially if you want to sustain your site’s ranking position. But we can’t talk about off-page SEO without mentioning Google penalties and unnatural links.

The truth is that links can significantly affect search performance – for better or worse.

If you ask pro bloggers which factor they think has the strongest impact on search rankings, many of them will say “links.”

Top brands, small businesses, and blog owners are also into link building. Data from MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report found that 59% of companies have done external link building.

You want to avoid Google’s penalty as much as possible, because recovering from a penalty can be daunting and very difficult.

Many things that used to interest Google, such as links from high PR sites, no longer have that strong impact.

Google is now more concerned about user optimization, user intent, and valuable content. The focus is no longer on the search phrases people use, but their purpose for using that particular phrase.

off page seo- components

A full backlink analysis can help you pinpoint which links are good or bad for your site – and how to stay off Google’s penalty radar.

The search engine giant hasn’t yet clued the SEO community into any step-by-step process for staying safe. However, there are things you can do to ensure that your site isn’t penalized.

These best practices have helped me generate over 700,000 blog visitors to QuickSprout without experiencing any penalty due to unnatural links and over-optimized anchor text.

1. Create Content and Optimize for the Users First

You probably already know what this means. The question is, are you putting your users first?

To truly put users first, forget about mentioning your keywords several times in the post, especially if it doesn’t flow naturally.

Putting users first goes beyond keyword usage. Sometimes you may not outright target any keyword, yet somehow your content looks too promotional.

Users don’t like to be sold. Instead, help them by creating valuable content. As much as you can, integrate data into your blog posts, and use visuals to convey your message clearer.

If you help them with great content, they’ll want to know more about you.

2. Diversify Anchor Texts

After conducting a full backlink analysis and seeing where your links are coming from, you should next work to diversify your anchor texts.

Diversifying your anchor texts simply means using different keyword phrases, brand names, and generic terms so that Google will view your links as natural and not manipulative.

diversifying links for off page seo

After all, if you didn’t do anything fishy to get the links, then your links shouldn’t all have exact match keywords in their anchor texts, right?

When diversifying your anchor texts, make relevance your top priority. Google will analyze your link based on the topic of the referring page and how thematically consistent it is with yours.

You know that it’s impossible to control where you get links from. Anyone can share your content and link to it however they please.

Since you can’t control your anchor texts or where the links come from, you should use your brand name as anchor text more often.

using brand name for off page seo

If you’re a social media expert and you’re interviewed by a car blog, you should use your brand name as anchor text.

That’s because these topics — cars & social media — aren’t thematic or closely related and Google uses the anchor text of external links to the page to judge the quality, relevance and usefulness of any link gotten from there.

Last, but not least, make sure that you get links from high-quality sites, disavow low-quality links from thin pages, blend nofollow links into your link profile to make it natural, and publish fresh content to increase brand mentions.

Off-Page SEO Conclusion

What is off-page SEO?

Off-page SEO includes any signals that tells Google and other search engines that your site is valuable to your audience. Inbound links are one example.

What are some off-page SEO elements?

Links, reviews, company information, video, social media profiles and audiences

How does on-page SEO relate to off-page SEO?

By optimizing your on-page SEO, you increase the value of the page, thus making it more desirable to link to.

How do keywords affect off-page SEO linking?

There are many attributes that go into the value of keywords in off-page SEO links, including user experience, use of the primary keyword, and value/depth of the content surrounding related keywords and topics.

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Off-Page SEO Conclusion

It’s high time to get off your site and to network with other industry bloggers and site owners if you want to increase boost your search engine ranking.

Understand that Google Penguin and other algorithm updates weren’t primarily targeting search results that didn’t have tons of incoming links.

You should always use white-hat link building strategies to improve your off-page optimization.

However, you need to prepare your website to receive authority link juice as you work hard to build and earn links. Make sure your site is easily navigable.

When it comes to creating a better content experience, it all boils down to answering user’s questions. Start by identifying the questions asked by your ideal customers. You can find these questions on Quora, Twitter, and other social networks. Creating high-quality content is a top SEO technique that cannot be overemphasized.

Above all, search engine optimization is not a hit-and-run marketing approach. You should approach it knowing that the efforts you put in today will pay off in the future, ultimately increasing your search engine rank and leading you to the success you desire.

Most of all, be consistent and patient and you’ll gradually climb to the top of Google’s results.

Which other off-page SEO best practices do you think are important for improving organic search rankings? What are your thoughts on the intersection between SEO and your social network presence?

Source: New feed 2