Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Undeniable Power Of Search Engine Marketing

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bing Network. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Undeniable Power Of Search Engine Marketing If you could choose just ONE form of digital marketing, what would it be?

I get asked this question from big brands all over the world, and my answer is always the same…

Search engine marketing.

It often shocks people, because social media and content have been such a big contributor to my success. But in reality, search engines are where I continue to get the best return on investment.

In fact, 55% of the traffic for this site comes from organic search alone. And for me, more traffic means more earning potential.

Search engines are the lifeblood of digital marketing, not just because they deliver the most sustainable traffic to websites, but also because they are an essential component of our every day life.

Without search engines, life from a digital sense would inevitably stand still, stop functioning and most likely create widespread panic.

We are reliant on our ability to get answers and information at the click of a button, and that's why search engine marketing is such a powerful tool for you as a marketer.

But don't take my word for it, let me show you what I mean…

Powerful search engine marketing stats

There is more to search engine marketing than just website traffic, and to illustrate why you should consider it an integral part of your digital strategy here are some statistics:

Of course these are just stats, but they tell a compelling story. Search engine marketing is here to stay, and it's importance will only grow as the global adoption of mobile devices continues to accelerate.

So how can you make the most of it?

A unique opportunity

A few weeks ago I wrote an article that encouraged you to diversify your search engine marketing strategy; in order to stay competitive and create a distinct point of difference for your website.

The most natural place to start if you're looking to diversify your strategy, reduce your overall risk and tap into some unique opportunities, is with the Bing Network.

Bing has come along way in the past decade, and it's much more than just a search box on a webpage. It's now a powerful connector between technology, information, people and knowledge.

Beyond being your typical search engine, Bing powers over 14 billion searches around the world across the Microsoft ecosystem; from Cortana, Xbox, Twitter, Apple and Amazon.

This means as a search engine marketer, Bing offers a unique opportunity to reach MORE people, in MORE ways and on MORE platforms.

Bing helps search engine marketers reach people at times when they are ready and willing to spend money – in their everyday lives. They connect you to prospects where and how they want to be reached.

More than just keywords in a search bar

Search engine marketing isn't just about dropping a few keywords into a search bar anymore…

It's much more than that.

Now search is present in everything we do, from interacting on social networks, to purchasing products, to finding a local restaurant.

As the digital marketing space continues to evolve, so will search, and you need to be prepared to ride that wave and capitalize on opportunities when they surface.

Networks such as Bing help you diversify your search marketing risk and tap into a growing and unique opportunity to reach your ideal customers.

Learn more about Bing Network

Visit Sponsors Site

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Friday, July 29, 2016

11 Advanced Tips To Be A Successful Digital Marketer

11 Advanced Tips To Be A Successful Digital Marketer

How effective is your digital marketing strategy? Would you consider yourself a successful digital marketer?

If that question makes you feel queazy, you're not alone. Digital marketing is hard to get right, and it's changing every day.

The only way to keep up with these changes and get ahead of your competition is to innovate. Get out of your comfort zone, experiment, and test new methods to improve the effectiveness of your digital marketing.

If digital is a big part of your business, then you'd be familiar with terms like link building, content marketing, social media marketing etc. These are umbrella terms covering a number of marketing techniques that can really up your game.

But knowing this alone is insignificant if you don't know how to make the most of each technique with new and interesting tactics. So let's walk through some techniques that can increase the effectiveness of your online marketing.

1. Guest posting

While you may have heard arguments that guest blogging is being overused as a tool for link building, and losing value as a means of useful content deliverance, none can deny its effectiveness in the marketing world.

Guest blogging is here to stay, so you better make it part of your marketing strategy!

Ironically, the hardest part about guest posting is not the content creation; rather, it's sourcing the blogs. Thankfully, the internet is a great place where you can find solutions to every problem imaginable.

BuzzStream is one solution to the ordeals of guest posting. It carries out a number of tasks for guest bloggers, such as:

  • Prospecting links

  • Keeping track of unique projects

  • Keeping track of good links

  • Analyzing results for you.

2. The Skyscraper Technique

As interesting as its sounds, the skyscraper technique requires that you find the tallest skyscraper content in your niche and improve it with stories of your own.

Once you get going, you will realize the numerous ways you can edit and improve people's content and make it so much more useful. Also, you will be amazed by the grand attention your content receives through the skyscraper method!

Here are three fairly easy steps to guide your way through the skyscraper technique:

  • Dig out linkable assets – topics and content that are already faring well and earning laurels in the niche of your business.

  • Make it better. You can make it longer, update it, better design it, and/or add more detail to it.

  • Reach out to people to provide you backlinks. The website you choose should have already posted something relevant to your linkable asset, be part of your business niche, and should be ranking higher than your own.

skyscraper technique checklist for successful digital marketer

3. The Moving Man Method

This relatively new term coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko has taken marketing agencies by surprise. The method is the marketing equivalent of revamping old clutter to create something way more useful than the original.

This marketing technique requires you to:

  • Search for sites that share your market but have moved to a new URL, changed names, stopped offering services, stopped updating resources, or have completely shut down their online business.

  • Produce content that is up-to-date, more powerful, and more relevant than what the defunct website had to offer.

  • Access the hundreds of people still linking to the old website and ask if they would be interested in linking to your webpage in lieu of the defunct, outdated webpage.

moving man method process for successful digital marketer

Simple and witty, just like what we expect from marketers of the twenty-first century!

4. Internationalizing SEO

Internationalization is a method not too common but of great significance. You make your website/blog accessible to more people by offering it in languages of more than one country. Makes sense!

Offer translations of your website in multiple languages and localize words to get your fair share of an international audience.

Internationalizing SEO Process for successful digital marketer

Image Source: Moz

5. Psychological techniques

Many times while implementing your marketing strategy, you will have to think like more than just as a marketer; you will have to think as a psychologist.

Understanding the psyche of your audience and creating content that they can actually relate to are skills possessed by only rare, true marketers. If you learn the art you can conquer the hearts and minds of your audience.

This psychological effect is sometimes created by the use of powerful words. Don't hesitate or fall short of researching such power words within your niche as they can compel new customers to join your community.

Innovative Psychological Techniques for successful digital marketer

Image Source: Buffer

The second strong psychological effect is that of social sharing and caring. Use social media sites and communication to your full advantage by being humanistic and generous in your approach. Connect with people and other companies as people. When they share your content, always remember to return the favor.

6. Increasing your website's click-through-rate (CTR)

Increasing your CTR in search engines is a time tested method of improving search engine ranking for websites.

Business blogs and websites have been going through the struggle for a long time. However, it's really not that hard if you have a systematic approach to it.

CTR can be increased fairly easily by:

  • Wise keyword selection

  • Quality content

  • Eye-catching titles

  • Comprehensive, engaging descriptions

  • Prompt Calls-to-Action

  • Using breadcrumbs in the URL

  • A Table-of-Contents plugin

  • Getting Google sitelinks

7. Sharing through LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is a wonderful place to run into new businesses and clients, stir up conversations, offer deals, and market your products in the process. In order to provide value and engage in a conversation with members of your target audience, share content through LinkedIn groups.

  • Comment on and share popular content

  • Begin conversations by asking a question

  • Post your own content (videos, blogs, Infographics, etc.) in the group

sharing through LinkedIn groups for successful digital marketer

Image Source: Soho Tech Training

8. Innovative emails

Who hasn't tried email marketing in order to address a wide audience? But the process and content of email marketing has become so monotonous and predictable that most companies usually get ignored by email recipients.

It's about time we start getting innovative with email marketing;

  • Instead of blindly sending your emails into the vast expanse on the internet, aim for specific people with certain interests. You can email all the people who tweeted about a certain product in your niche as an example.

  • Long gone are the days of pesky looking emails. If you wish your emails to be read by recipients, design and compose them with grace and wit.

  • Use less text and more compelling images in emails.

Learn from the geniuses, such as Dropbox which designed this sleek, beautiful email you just cannot ignore!

using emails innovatively for successful digital marketer

Image Source: HubSpot

9. Innovative link building

There's no point in trying to target and build connections with random websites which have no correlation to topics in your niche. You can better spend the effort on reasonable prospects. Companies employ a number of methods when trying to identify and reach to potential websites which can backlink to their content.

One such technique is email marketing to people who have backlinked to relevant content already. Get in touch with these websites which have established positions in the market. Break the ice with them and ask politely for a feature or two of your own website.

10. Using advertorials

Advertorials are the way forward in the present age of content marketing and promotion. They are unique and unlike traditional advertising because the content imitates editorial content but serves to fulfill the goals of a brand.

Following are ways to make advertorials advantageous for your brand:

  • Find the right match of magazine/online publication for your advertorial.

  • Make sure your advertorial is clearly labeled as 'advertisement' as per the FTC's latest laws and guidelines, or else it may get banned.

  • Remember, advertorials are more like blog posts. You don't directly sell the product; you sell content related to your product.

  • Don't forget to share your advertorials on social media sites.

11. 301 redirects

Redirection is a process of sending both users and search engines to a URL different from what they requested. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect which transfers almost all of the link juice to the new page.

A 301 redirect is the most preferable type of redirect because it indicates to browsers, search engine bots, and the users, that the page has been permanently moved. Search engines may take some time to discover your new page but once they do, they will take your new page to the same rankings where your former page stood.


The 11 ways of making online marketing more effective are the latest and most responsive of their kind. However, online marketing is a long, on-going process which cannot be summed up in 20, let alone 11 techniques.

Go beyond your threshold, employ all the methods discovered here and you might eventually find what works best for your business.

Guest Author: Junaid Ali Qureshi is a digital marketing specialist who has helped several businesses gain traffic, outperform competition and generate profitable leads. His current ventures include Elephantation, eLabelz, Smart, Progos Tech and eCig.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Create an Audience of People Who Spent the Most Time on Your Website

Back in May, Facebook made updates to Website Custom Audiences that gave advertisers more targeting power based on quality of website visit.

That launch allowed advertisers to create audiences based on frequency of actions taken.

Website Custom Audience Advanced Mode

In the example above, an audience is being generated of people who have visited at least 20 times during the past 30 days. But this update also included the ability to create audiences based on frequency of events occurring, like registrations, purchases and searches.

All of this was made available to advertisers creating audiences from the Facebook Ads Manager or Power Editor. There were a few other features made available to the ads API (accessed by third party tools):

  • Time spent: How long someone spent performing an action or visiting your website

  • Dynamic date: A range of dates when someone was visiting (rather than a duration)

  • Aggregate values: Total amount someone has spent

The big news: You no longer need a third party tool to create audiences based on time spent on your website.

Facebook advertisers can now create audiences of people who spent the most time on their website…
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How to Create

To create a Custom Audience based on time spent on your website, start by creating a Custom Audience within Ads Manager the way you normally would.

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

Select the option for website traffic…

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

Click the drop-down menu for Website Traffic and select “Based on time spent on your website”…

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

Now you can create one of these! Facebook defines it as follows:

This allows you to create an audience based on the relative amount of time people spend on your website. We recommend installing a pixel on every page for best results.

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

You'll recall that when creating an audience based on frequency of website visits or events, you entered the number of times someone visited. Not this time.

As you see below, you can create audiences based on the top 5%, 10% or 25% of active users on your website during the past 1 to 180 days…

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

A theoretical example:

Your website gets 100,000 visitors during the past 30 days. Those visitors are listed (hypothetically) in order of time spent on your website. So the first person has spent the most time on your website during those 30 days. We'll say they spent 10 hours. The last person spent the least amount of time. We'll say they spent one second.

To create an audience of the top 25% of active users on your website, Facebook takes the top 25,000 in this case.

How to Use Them

When creating these audiences, they will appear on the Audiences page along with other Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences and Saved Audiences.

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

You can then target or exclude this audience when editing the audience while creating an ad set within either the Ad Create Tool or Power Editor.

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

The Benefits of These Audiences

This option is awesome! Prior to the May announcement, you could create an audience of your website visitors, but it was difficult isolating the best ones. Some people may have visited once for three seconds while some others visited 30 times for 10 hours. They aren't equal!

Then came along the frequency option, and you could focus only on those who visited a minimum number of times. Very helpful.

The ability to isolate time on site takes it a step further. Sure, maybe you visited three times. But were those three quality visits? Would you rather target someone who visited three times for 10 seconds or once for one hour?

This development will allow advertisers to target their most engaged website visitors.

Potential Issues and Considerations

It's still early in this rollout, so I don't expect this feature to be perfect yet. And it's not! Here are a few things to consider…

1. Limit of 20 Audiences

After I created just a few of these, I received the following error message:

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

I hadn't created 20 audiences for time on my website, but the others I created for frequency of visits contributed to the limit of 20. If you hit that limit, you can always delete the audiences you aren't using.

I fully expect this to be a temporary restriction that Facebook will eventually remove when the rollout is complete and the feature is proven to be stable.

2. No Domain Filter

Go back and look at the screen grabs above of the process to create these audiences. You'll notice that there is no way to filter by URL or domain.

This is something you can do when creating a typical Website Custom Audience…

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

And it's also available within the frequency of website visits feature released in May (though not available for frequency of Events)…

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

This is a problem for any advertiser who has their pixel on multiple websites. While I wouldn't advise having one pixel on different websites you don't own (like for clients), I've personally had my pixel on two unrelated websites I do own.

Not having a domain filter would make this feature worthless for me because it would create an audience of the most active visitors from both sites combined.

3. Past Traffic Checkbox

Because of the second issue above, I decided to create a separate ad account for my other website and replace the pixel with one that is unique to that website.

Of course, since I just did that on July 26, I'd want to be sure to uncheck the “Include past traffic” checkbox when creating the audience since I would not want to include the traffic that hit that pixel prior to removing it from my other website.

Upon creating that new audience with past traffic unchecked, however, I quickly realized there was an issue…

Facebook Time on Website Custom Audiences

As you can see above, the audience that included past traffic for the past 180 days is the same size as the audience that was created on July 26 and wasn't supposed to include past traffic.

I again alerted Facebook of this issue.

4. Slow Build Time

If you've created Website Custom Audiences before, you know that the audiences tend to build very quickly - within minutes - assuming you've had the pixel on your website for a while.

Well, that's not the case when creating these audiences. I found it took several hours to build. My assumption is that it's again because this is a new feature. It's likely that instead of running every few seconds, there is currently a process that only runs a few times per day.

I expect this to eventually change and mirror the real-time building of other Website Custom Audiences.

5. May Not Be Fully Rolled Out

I know that the number one comment below will be “I don't have it yet! When will it come to [X Country]?”

I don't know. But like all rollouts, these things tend to take weeks if not months.

Your Turn

What do you think of this update? Do you have it yet? How will you use it?

Let me know in the comments below!

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5 Easy Steps For Creating A Traffic-Driving Expert Roundup

5 Easy Steps For Creating A Traffic-Driving Expert Roundup

Are you a content creator? Do you find yourself desperately looking for something to share about two-thirds of the way through the month?

I have been where you are, staring at my screen willing an idea, any idea, to come to me. It can feel like everything has been said, and that there are just no more topics to cover.

This is the point in every content marketer's life when they start getting a little overwhelmed by their editorial plans.

Updated posts, recycled blog posts in new formats, master list posts… these are all pretty standard workarounds for when the inspiration just isn't flowing.

But I want to point you towards a different route that should immediately become a regular part of your publishing routine: expert roundups.

Expert roundups – The best thing ever

You can probably guess what an expert roundup is, but I am going to explain anyway. An expert roundup is a collection of quotes or interviews of people who are influential in your chosen field. Someone who has authority, and has some advice to provide to you and your readers.

An example of an expert roundup is this one. It is a collection of experts discussing Google's quality raters' guidelines.

Creating your own is one of the greatest ways you can freshen up your content. It is also a pretty simple process, just follow these five steps!

Step 1 – Start making your expert list

The first step is an obvious one… you need to know what experts to contact! I try to make a few lists of experts about once every three months, which will encompass several expert roundups using a couple of different media forms. That gives me a better selection to choose from.

So one list will be bloggers and book writers who I think could contribute something special for a roundup. Another list will be YouTube or podcasters that I want to contact.

The third type of list is usually an occasional type. I only put it together when I am going to be attending some kind of event where experts will be. A conference, an expo, a meetup, a party… somewhere that networking is a natural part of the environment.

I use Twitter lists to keep in touch with different kinds of experts.

Once you have your lists it is time to move onto the next phase…

Step 2 – Come up with great questions

Some people will suggest coming up with your topic list first, but I have never found it to be as helpful as putting it second. Having a list (or several) of experts will allow you to start organizing the topics you want covered. It may even give you some ideas to help you along the way.

Coming up with an interesting question determines the success of the future article: A good question prompts the participating experts to come up with detailed answers and directs the conversations to something your audience would be willing to learn about.

SerpStat is a great tool to get some question-inspiration. Type in your core term and it will return the search queries that are questions.

come up with great questions for expert roundup

SerpStat is powered by Google Suggest which means it shows you the questions people actually type into the search field (Those are definitely questions they'd appreciate answers to). Here are some more tips on using the tool.

Take a look at each expert and ask yourself, “What do they know best? What can they contribute to my followers?” From there, begin to separate them into groups depending on how long you want your roundups to be. I prefer to make a couple of posts or videos on any topic, and so split those experts up to get more content out of the deal.

It also leads directly to number 3…

Step 3 – Begin contacting your experts

Having a specific topic in mind when you contact your experts will make them much more likely to follow up with you. After all, it doesn't take that long for someone who really knows their stuff to write a paragraph or two giving a tip, opinion or anecdote. And it is a benefit for them, because it further expands their authority and loops them in with other respected members in the industry.

I would say two weeks are plenty of time prior to the publication date to contact experts for blog bites. However, if you are contacting for a video or other recorded media style, you will need to provide a lot more notice. I try to aim for 4 – 6 weeks, in order to find a good time to get the recording, without having to rush the edits.

If you are in a hurry (e.g. filling in your editorial calendar before you leave for a vacation), use MyBlogU to easily find and contact the experts. MyBlogU scales many steps I am listing here:

  • Finding experts to provide their quotes

  • Contacting experts to update them of the deadlines and article status

  • Creating an HTML output to use as a base for your article

begin contacting the experts for expert roundup

Step 4 – Hype and release

Finally, it is time to start hyping up those readers / viewers / listeners! About a week before you publish send out a social media post alluding to something big and expert-filled on the horizon. Then a couple days before release a teaser with a bit of the info and a promise for more to come.

Work on your promo materials! Your participating experts are your assets: Feature them in your teaser videos and banners.

Tool alert: I highly recommend using Bannersnack for creating your promo materials. It's an easy-to-use banner creation and hosting platform that lets you make awesome banners and even track their performance through analytics.

Hype and release for expert roundup

If you plan on turning expert roundups into a long-term strategy, Bannersnack analytics will help you A/B test and identify the best-working promo media.

Don't forget to tag your participating experts in social media updates to engage them in promoting the piece! Here's a quick checklist on social media tagging.

If you choose to make expert roundups a regular feature you can lessen the hype time and just send out a reminder, but by then people will know the score and get excited all on their own.

Step 5 – Establish your content plan

By now you should have a good idea of what expert advice you will have, and you can start planning the content itself. This is pretty straightforward: design, formatting, presentation, visuals, publishing date, etc.

I like to gather enough advice to make several expert roundup posts and schedule them for a few months, with a quick email to the expert thanking them and letting them know when it will be posted, and that you will shoot off a link to it once it hits the site.

I don't do more than one expert roundup a month not to overwhelm my readership. Expert roundups are for diversifying your editorial calendar once in a while. When used too often, they may hurt your blog because too much of anything is not a good thing.

Since videos, podcasts and graphics take longer, consider alternating between content formats when you publish. So you can release a blog expert roundup, and then a few weeks later release a video, etc.

Here are different types of expert interviews you can try adding to your editorial plans.

Monitor the performance of each roundup religiously to be able to identfy what works and why. Again, don't run roundups too often: It's much more effective to do them right each time than publish them each week.

I use Cyfe to monitor every roundup I do: I monitor social media signals, traffic (using Google Analytics) and rankings of each roundup I do on my blog.

establish your content plan for expert roundup

The beauty of doing expert roundups is that you are no longer alone promoting them: Those experts will be there to share, link and comment!

Guest Author: Ann Smarty is the brand and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and co-founder of Viral Content Buzz, the free platform helping your content reach social media influencers!

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