Most golf course owners would agree that there’s nothing like fully booked tee times. But it’s hard to book tee times if you don’t have golfers calling or landing on your website.[Read more…] about 22+ Golf Course Marketing Ideas To Get More Golfers
Digital Marketing: Strategies & Tactics To Grow Your Website
Digital marketing is an incredible way to grow your website. While it shares many concepts from traditional & offline marketing, the strategies, tactics, and tools are usually faster, more personalized, more scalable, and more affordable.
Most apartment & rental unit owners would agree that there’s nothing like finding a good tenant. But it’s hard to find a good tenant if you don’t have lease applications coming in.[Read more…] about 22+ Property Management & Apartment Marketing Ideas To Get More Leases
So you have a rapidly growing local business, and you are looking to expand. You have the brand, the capital, and the processes to open a second or even third location.
You’re in a growing metro area with lots of opportunity and open real estate.
And yet, you know that every real estate agent and business analyst will tell you that long-term success depends on “location, location, location.”
Now, if you were a national retail chain or a franchise owner, you could hire a location consultant to comb through census data and expensive proprietary business intelligence.
But you aren’t sure it’s truly worth the price. After all, your local real estate agent knows most of the metro market. And you generally know what the Census data says…even though the Census data is almost 10 years old.
So what can you use to gather hard data about what locations are most likely to succeed?[Read more…] about How To Choose a New Local Business Location with Digital Marketing Data [Case Study]
So you’ve got some marketing skills, and you’re wondering how to start a digital marketing agency.
But there’s just one problem…
How do you start a digital marketing agency with no experience?
There have never been more opportunities to strike off on your own in the digital marketing space than there today. But how do you actually do it? Where do you start, and how do you scale?
The secret to starting a digital marketing agency with no experience is to have an actual strategy, grow organically as you learn, and deliberately build word of mouth with a specific type of client. It’s about taking aim vs. shooting randomly and hoping something lands.
There’s also a major misconception that starting a digital marketing agency has to mean a HUGE process that requires building a massive company and doing “all the things” and taking all the clients.
In reality, a digital marketing agency can be just…you. It’s not about the pricey software or offices or employees. It’s about determining who you help, how you help them, and then actually doing the work.
The business model of an agency is fairly straightforward. Sure, you can tinker around the edges about whether to bill by hour, by week, by task, or by project. But at its core, you are providing specialized knowledge for a fee. An agency of one and an agency of 10,000 work in basically the same way.
With that concept in mind, here’s how to start a digital marketing agency with no experience.[Read more…] about How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency with No Experience
Creating content for your website requires a ton of time, money & resources to do well. But when it doesn’t generate visitors or sales – it’s a huge waste.
There are a lot of reasons why a piece of content might not perform well, but you can dramatically increase your odds of success by prequalifying your content idea.
In the offline world, companies use focus groups or sampling to prequalify the market. They use resumes and cover letters to prequalify candidates before committing to an interview (or much less a hire).
And the incredible beauty of the Internet is that you can prequalify your content ideas as well with the right tools and a bit of research.
Here’s how to use a range of tactics from keyword research to mining platforms to exploring past successes to find, inform & guide your content marketing ideas.
*Note – if you are interested in finding trending topics for social-optimized posts, also check out my Trending Topics guide here.[Read more…] about How To Use 11+ Free Tools To Find Prequalified Content Ideas for SEO
Anyone who owns a website and recognizes the opportunity to get visitors from Google organic search suspects the importance of keywords.
If you can appear in those results when someone types in a certain keyword – that’s not only a visitor…but a highly qualified, free visitor.
But how do you use those keywords on your website to actually get traffic?
Put them in the meta=”keywords”? Use them over and over on your site?
Note: nothing against Bing, but I’ll be using “search engine” and “Google” interchangeably in this post
It’s been more than 15 years since simply using keywords on your website was the only way for search engines to understand the relevance of your website. It’s no longer about just stuffing keywords all over your site. Search engines have gotten much smarter.
Google and Bing use hundreds of signals to try to decipher and rank the relevance of your website. They factor in what other people say about your site; they try to place your content in a graph of topics and entities, and perform all sorts of semantic analysis.
But keywords are still part of the foundation of how search engines understand your website.
Using keywords effectively on your website will help you tell a better story to both your visitors and search engines, and it will help communicate what searches your website is relevant for…so that you can get more visitors from search engines.
Here’s how to use keywords on your website with what is known in the SEO industry as a “keyword map.”[Read more…] about Keyword Mapping for SEO: How To Use Keywords On Your Website
Wikipedia is the 800 lb gorilla in the Google search results. It ranks for almost half of all searches. It is the online resource. Google has even built large portions of its Knowledge Graph off the back of Wikipedia.
- Wikipedia is human knowledge. It uses language the way humans use it, because it’s written by humans. It connects topics and keywords in ways that only humans can.
- Wikipedia is the online resource. People trust it, use it, and reference it.
So whether you are just starting out planning your website’s keyword strategy, looking for new content ideas, or looking for ways to build trust for your website, here’s how to use Wikipedia for SEO and content marketing.[Read more…] about How To Use Wikipedia for SEO & Content Marketing
For years, SEOs (unlike our paid media counterparts) have dealt with less and less data.
First, Google stopped providing keyword data from organic search.
Then, Google made Keyword Planner a lot less useful with averaged and rounded volume and merged queries.
Then, Google made Keyword Planner a tool specifically for active advertisers.
In fact, there was a period in 2015 when keyword research moved from an art + science to a total art.
And then came clickstream data. It was like magic.[Read more…] about Clickstream Data & SEO Explained
Astute marketers are constantly looking for new platforms to connect with their audience in useful and meaningful ways, and Nextdoor is one of the most promising social platforms for local business marketing to look towards as we approach 2021.
As a platform designed to connect neighborhoods and the people who live there, Nextdoor seems to have that special sauce that’s so appealing to marketers of all sizes. Over 75% of neighborhoods in the United States are already part of the platform, the user base is constantly growing, and it provides neighbors with the tools they need to connect on a local level to the businesses in their area.
As with any new social network, there’s a learning curve associated with it. If you’re wondering how to advertise on Nextdoor or simply fit NextDoor into your digital marketing, and you’re hoping you’ll be able to jump right in, you’ll need to cool your jets, unfortunately. But, this helpful guide will provide you with everything you need to know about this exciting new local social network and how you can leverage it to the advantage of your business.[Read more…] about How To Advertise on Nextdoor Effectively
YouTube Analytics are a bit of anomaly because YouTube itself is an anomaly.
It’s not your website and it’s not purely a social network. It’s more than a video hosting platform even though videos are it’s thing. It’s the world’s 2nd largest search engine by queries processed, but it’s not a search engine that crawls & indexes the Web like Google or Bing.
There is a lot to going on. And that makes YouTube Analytics challenging. There is a lot of noise. There are a lot of metrics. Some matter, and some don’t. Some matter in ways that you would not expect.
However you use it, YouTube wants you to improve. More videos viewed means more revenue and more visibility for YouTube. They want you to have more watch time, a bigger audience, and more reach. So like other social networks, YouTube provides a wealth of data to help you understand your audience, discovery and engagement.
But it goes further – because, again, there’s a lot going on. Since YouTube is a Google product, it integrates well with other Google products such as Google Analytics, Ads, AdSense and Search Console. And that’s just the marketing tools – there’s another universe of app integrations and Google Play integrations.
Unlike other social networks, you can get a better understanding of how YouTube fits with your other marketing data. The key (like other analytics products) is to set it up correctly, know what you are looking for, and to keep exploring.
I’ve worked on client YouTube channels, personal channels, and I’ve started exploring my own ShivarWeb YouTube channel. So here’s what I’ve learned about setting up, understanding & using YouTube Analytics (plus additional resources at the end).[Read more…] about YouTube Analytics Guide: Setting Up, Understanding & Using YouTube Analytics
Starting in October 2014, I automated many tweets by scheduling them for the next year. It cost $126. Within 6 months, I’ve increased my Twitter following by 32%, had interactions with many people I’d love to meet in person, and removed myself from the Twitter Treadmill. And now I use Twitter day to day however I like (mainly sharing links and checking notifications once per month).
Monday through Saturday at some point in the day, you’ll see me tweet out an article that I have actually read with a mention of the author. I’ve been doing this for more than 4 years.
It’s part of my ongoing experiment to use social media platforms more sustainably and effectively.
Even though I joined Twitter back in 2009, I never really took to the platform. It seemed too broadcast-oriented with an insular culture where soon people were fighting over Klout scores. It seemed absurd at worst and tedious at best.
I also couldn’t see any huge traffic benefit to investing time when even tweets from my industry’s most influential leaders drive less than 1% click through rates.
However, after much informed reading and prodding from Brett Snyder, I figured out that even though Twitter does not drive traffic per se – it does drive awareness and connections.
It’s sort of like a giant conference. Each session or networking event doesn’t drive a lead or sale, but the people you see, meet, talk about, and talk with all drive success for everyone in the future.
The question still remains – how do you maintain that visibility and make initial connections without draining hours into a platform that you don’t own. In other words, how do you get to meet and spark conversations with people at the conference without sitting through every boring session, standing in every lunch line, and hovering over the coffee table?
For me, that’s where automated tweets of posts that I have read and found useful comes in. Writing custom tweets, searching and tagging author at the end of each article, then posting is productivity death by a thousand cuts. But batch writing and scheduling the tweets save time while keeping the benefits of custom tweets.
If your goal is to build visibility on Twitter, make connections, build a “sharing safety net” to free your Twitter-self up and save time while doing it, then this strategy is for you.
*Note – also, I tried to make this process as optional as possible. I dislike the bot-ification of Twitter as much as anyone. And yes, by adopting this strategy, you are guilty on the same spectrum as the Internet Research Agency. Use it in moderation with your own personal spin. Don’t hook it up to a random RSS feed. Make it yours with a bit of computer help.[Read more…] about How I Automated Tweets for a Year: My Experience & Guide To Scheduling Quality Tweets
DuckDuckGo is an independent search engine that provides web search results without tracking users behavior or search history (like Google does). They are strictly focused on user privacy.
It’s a tiny search engine – like less than 0.50% of the global search engine market.
But it’s also rapidly growing year over year, and past 15 billion queries in 2019. Every time a story comes out about Google’s data trove, “filter bubbles”, the NSA or online privacy – more and more users start to switch to DuckDuckGo.
So even though DuckDuckGo has only a small slice of the search market, it has a significant share among a certain slice of the population – ie, tech-savvy individuals with money who are concerned about their privacy. If you look at US search engine marketshare, it doubles to 1.00%.
If your target customers fit into that bucket – how can you reach them online?
That’s where advertising on DuckDuckGo comes in. DuckDuckGo runs pay per click ads the same as Google, Bing & Yahoo. You run ads based on the search query and pay when someone clicks on your ad. Here’s an example.
Here’s how to set up your ads & what to keep in mind.[Read more…] about How To Advertise On DuckDuckGo for Bonus PPC Wins
What do you think of when you think of marketing campaigns? Typically, crazy promotions, phoney contests, giveaways, and flash sales come to mind. These campaigns, while effective in the short term, are not repeatable.
At what point does your discount become the regular price? At what point do you burn out your Facebook following or email list?
What if I told you there was a better way to build a marketing campaign? What if I told you there was a type of marketing campaign that could provide lasting benefits to your business for years to come?
It’s your lucky day. There is such a strategy. It’s called evergreen marketing, and it fuels some of the most powerful companies across industries.[Read more…] about Evergreen Marketing: How To Plan Marketing That Lasts
When it comes to most digital channels (think your typical online marketing activities), the focus is often on getting in front of customers who know they need your products/services.
Here’s the catch: eventually, you run into limitations. Why? Because you’re working with existing demand, and existing demand is always limited.
Which means at some point, you’re going to have to create demand for your offering.
But how do you do that? And do you have to choose one versus the other?
Before we dive in too deep, let’s break down the difference between harvesting demand vs. creating demand.[Read more…] about Harvesting Demand vs. Creating Demand
If you’ve done any research on tracking data on your website, you’ve probably heard about Google Analytics. But what exactly does Google Analytics do?
Google Analytics is a free website analytics service offered by Google that gives you insights into how users find and use your website. With Google Analytics, you can track return on investment (“ROI”) for your online marketing.
You can sift & sort your visitors with dozens of “dimensions” like where they came from, what browser they are using, etc and with “metric” like what page they clicked on and what form they submitted.
You can seamlessly integrate Google Products like your Ads account & Search Console. You can also use tracking codes to tag & track any advertising, social, PR campaign or any kind of campaign on any platform/website.
All you have to do is install a small amount of “tracking code” on each page of your website.*
*Installation varies depending on your website software. If you are using self-hosted WordPress, then you just paste it in your theme’s header or use a plugin. If you are using a hosted builder like Wix, Squarespace, Google Sites, GoDaddy, Weebly, Jimdo, or Sitebuilder – then you’ll use their built-in embed option. Not all customization options will be available with all platforms (examples w/ Wix and w/ Squarespace).
*Quick aside – all the screenshots in this post are real to show Analytics in action. They are taken from several websites that I own. The date ranges have been changed on each & I’ve blocked any sensitive data.[Read more…] about What Does Google Analytics Do? And What Can I Do With Google Analytics?
Quora is the largest question and answer website on the internet. It has been around since 2009.
While Quora never achieved the cultural prominence that it was hyped up to be in the mid-2000s, it has become a staple of the internet.
Quora allows you to get answers from real experts or at least people in relevant industries. Unlike Google, Facebook or Twitter, it allows you to get more nuanced answers.
Here are some ways that I use Quora for SEO, content development and link building.[Read more…] about How To Use Quora For SEO & Content Marketing
You’re ready to audit and optimize your (or your clients’) YouTube channel or you want to see what a competitor is doing with their YouTube videos. But you run into the problem that YouTube makes it kind of tough to scrape and export video information.
You can’t really crawl YouTube like you can a website – it’s too large and there’s no way to control your crawl. I ran into this problem a few weeks ago while trying to map out videos and optimize titles & tags in bulk.
Here’s how to scrape & export video information from YouTube without buying sketchy blackhat scraper software.[Read more…] about How To Scrape & Export Video Information from YouTube
LinkedIn has been one of the continually growing social networks on the Internet for years. But like Pinterest and Reddit, it has such a deep internal culture focused on recruiting & jobs that it gets written off by small & large content marketers alike.[Read more…] about How to Use LinkedIn for SEO & Content Marketing
SlideShare is an unsung staple of the Internet. It’s the place that’s all too familiar to conference goers, trade show attendees, and corporate pitch decks.
SlideShare is simply a website where anyone can upload and share a presentation. It’s owned by LinkedIn and it’s free and open to all, and promises to help you “share what you know and love through presentations, infographics, documents and more.”
Here’s how to use SlideShare for keyword research, content development, and link building.[Read more…] about How To Use Slideshare For SEO & Content Marketing
Ah, the art of email marketing. Chances are you’ve landed here because you’re looking into sending email blasts as a part of your marketing strategy, and you’re wondering how to do it.
Email can be an incredibly effective way to connect with your customers and improve your business… when used correctly.
When used incorrectly, it can be a surefire way to land in spam (AKA where emails go to die).
So how do you use email blasts effectively for your business? What best practices should you follow?
But before we get there, let’s cover a few of the basics.[Read more…] about Email Blasts: Definition, Examples, & Best Practices
People don’t just listen to music anymore; they experience it. Advertising on a platform like Spotify can expose listeners to your brand in an engaging, involved way.
You can currently use Spotify’s Ad Studio to develop & target ads.
Spotify can be used to market your business similarly as a radio ad. You can also sponsor streaming sessions and playlists to get in front of the people who are most likely to resonate with your message.[Read more…] about How To Advertise On Spotify Effectively
Saying you’re going to start doing “digital marketing” for your business is like saying you’re going to the “Western Hemisphere” when someone asks where you’re going for vacation. Digital marketing is made up of a bunch of marketing concepts, each with their own strategies and purposes.
And if you’re wondering what types of digital marketing you should be using in your business, a bunch of grab-bag tips and techniques won’t help you until you first understand how digital marketing breaks down and exactly how each marketing concept works.
I’ve put together a guide on the different types of digital marketing with examples, uses, and resources so you can evaluate which digital marketing strategies support your goals.
I’ve broken digital marketing into three media types (owned, earned, and paid) to categorize the different marketing concepts.
Let’s dive in![Read more…] about Types of Digital Marketing: Examples, Uses, and Resources
On any given video, you can right-click on the page and choose to “View Source”
Once you have the page source open, just CTRL-F for the “keywords” meta tag – and get the tags that the author used.
To view tags on mobile, you will have to sub in view-source:https://m.youtube.com/
in your mobile browser. Then CTRL-F.
This is all a bit more confusing than before.
Before 2018, YouTube placed the tags in the <meta name=”keywords” content=”[keywords]”> field within the view-source code for any video.
If you want to see them directly in videos like pre-2018, check out this YouTube extension for Chrome.[Read more…] about How To See YouTube Tags for Competitor / Keyword Research
ShivarWeb has a lot of DIYers and freelancers not living in the biggest, richest cities of the world. In fact, I originally started this business in Athens, Georgia, USA – not in larger Atlanta. As a fun post, I thought I’d dig into some data for my non-metro area readers.
The benefits of big metro areas for new businesses are well-known, but so are the costs in money, time, and health. In the era of remote work, you can get a lot of the benefits of the city anywhere with an Internet connection, except one – being physically around other new business-owners.
With that in mind, I decided to look at the Census Bureau’s data on cities to see if there were any places in America that hit a sweet spot between being small & self-contained and being a popular place to start a new business.
Micropolitan areas are populated areas that have too much population to qualify as a rural area, and too few commuting ties to a larger city to qualify as part of a larger metropolitan area. They are between 10,000 to 50,000 people and quite a distance from a large city.
In other words – micropolitan areas are true small cities.
There are 536 micropolitan areas in America with a core city of between 10,000 and 50,000 people plus the population of the surrounding area.[Read more…] about Most Popular Micropolitan Areas (Small Cities) for Startups According to the US Census
Google Keyword Planner is a fundamental tool for planning SEO and content marketing campaigns. It’s the only place to get search data such as keyword ideas, trends and search volume directly from Google.
And for most non-professional SEOs, it’s the beginning and end of keyword research efforts. There are plenty of beginner guides for Keyword Planner, but this post will focus on ways to use Keyword Planner more effectively with advanced techniques.
Since Keyword Planner replaced the old Keyword Tool in 2013, well-known SEOs have criticized it for hiding keywords and having a laundry list of “dirty secrets.” The general sentiment is that it’s flawed, but it’s the best we have right now.
Some of the criticism is justified, but like criticism of Search Console, it covers up some useful functionality that is much better than Keyword Tool ever could have been.
Before looking at specific ways to use Keyword Planner better, keep in mind two principles –
1. Keyword Planner is not meant for SEOs and Content Marketers. It is meant for PPC professionals looking to spend money on search & display ads. You have to be able to correct that bias with complementary tools, techniques and filters.
2. Keyword Planner is a tool – not a consultant. It’s only as good as how you use it. You have to coach and coax it to provide the information you need based on your objectives.
With that in mind – here are a few ways to make Keyword Planner work for you. [Read more…] about 13+ More Effective Ways To Use Keyword Planner for SEO
I get a lot of hyper-specific eCommerce marketing questions, e.g. “should I advertise on Reddit?” or “how do I hire someone to do link building?” or “I just chose my eCommerce store platform and want to try OutBrain or maybe Snapchat or Instagram to get started.” They are great in a way – I’m a huge fan of experimentation and improvement.
But most online store owners haven’t developed an effective inbound* marketing strategy at all. It’s all ad hoc and “shooting from the hip”. They miss the forest (how everything works) for the trees (tactics), so to speak.
*Inbound = the industry jargon for marketing that focuses on being where your customers are so that they buy from you “naturally.” Inbound marketing contrasts with outbound marketing, which focuses on finding, interrupting, and cold-pitching potential customers.
Here’s the exact inbound marketing strategy for eCommerce that I recommend to every reader and client I’ve ever worked with. The specific details vary, but it’s a pretty tried and true path for nearly every online store. I’m focusing on eCommerce but 80% of this applies to every business. [Read more…] about How To Plan An Inbound Marketing Strategy For Ecommerce
And yet, Keyword Planner is a fundamental tool for all SEOs. Keyword Planner provides a wealth of data directly from Google that you cannot get anywhere else. In a way SEOs love Keyword Planner as much as PPCers.
But what about Display Planner – the other research tool in Google Ads?
If you are building an organic / SEO campaign – you probably think of Display Planner like it’s a desolate, uninteresting land of PPC terms like “viewable CPM, “impressions” and “IAB ad sizes” – all meant for PPCers who run those awful banner ads.
In fact, it’s so focused on PPC campaigns, that you can no longer access it directly. You have to launch a “campaign” to access the data.
That’s all true. But like Keyword Planner, Display Planner has a ton of useful data when you hack it for SEO & content campaigns. Here’s how.[Read more…] about Hacking Google Display Planner for SEO & Content Marketing
What makes Pinterest very interesting to me is that, like YouTube, it has this hybrid role.
Pinterest is known as a social network, but it’s increasingly also a search engine and bookmarking service.
This 3 play opens up many unique opportunities for a creative content marketer.
It has a lot of potential to benefit your marketing efforts – here are the lessons I’ve learned helping clients use Pinterest for SEO and content marketing efforts. [Read more…] about How To Use Pinterest for SEO & Content Marketing
Amazon is the world’s largest online store. They sell more than the next 12 largest online stores…combined.
If you run an online store, it’s senseless to view Amazon as a competitor (even though they are).
Instead, it is more productive to use Amazon as a platform to make your store as profitable as it can be.
Listing your products on Amazon is the most straightforward method. You can even use Amazon’s PPC platform to make these listing successful.
But if you are going to invest in your own store, you can (and should) use Amazon…but not for what you’d expect.
Amazon is the largest source of eCommerce data on the Internet.
And a lot of that data is public-facing. You can gather it via Amazon’s API, via simple scraping or via manually browsing their store.
You can use this data to inform your SEO & content efforts to get customers before they even start their search.
Here’s a few ideas on using Amazon as a data gold mine for your SEO & content marketing efforts.[Read more…] about How To Use Amazon for SEO & Content Marketing
Online advertising is an incredibly effective way to promote your business and attract a wide array of customers. Unlike organic marketing strategies, you can get started right now.
And unlike traditional advertising like TV, radio or billboards, you can advertise effectively through 100% self-service platforms. You can target any audience in any country through diverse platforms at any time.
And that is what I covered in the first post in this series – how to advertise online effectively.
But remember that your competitors can advertise as easily as you can.
How do you go beyond launching an ad campaign to making it even more effective and even more profitable?
There are tons of tips and tactics for every platform. But like improving your website speed – every tip that works for one person might not work for you.
Instead of a grab bag of tips, here’s the 5 step framework that you can use to improve your campaigns whether you are running ads on Reddit, Google, Facebook, Quora, DuckDuckGo or something completely different. [Read more…] about How To Improve Your Online Advertising Campaigns
You may have heard about the power of creating your own personalized advertising audience (ie, based on actual individuals – not audience segments). Twitter calls it “Tailored Audiences.” Facebook calls it “Custom Audiences.” Google calls it “Customer Match.”
Whatever platform you use, you’re trying to craft the perfect message for the perfect audience for a specific goal.
Most marketers know they should create audiences based on the visitors to their own website – aka, “retargeting.” Some know you can create “look-a-like” audiences with your website visitors.
But what if you could create a custom/tailored audience out of any group of individuals – quickly?**
**Editor’s Note – This post was originally written in 2015 before the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the political controversies of 2016. The tutorial below is in a gray ethical zone. I’m leaving it up and keeping the screenshots up to date, because it can be used for good within terms of service. But you can also be super-sketch with it. Just be cool and try to make the Internet a better place.
Either way, here’s how to use a set of tools to create almost any custom/tailored audience you can think of. [Read more…] about How To Search & Scrape Targeted Usernames for Twitter Tailored Audiences
Writing an effective title tag for SEO & branding should be the first on-page SEO website improvement you make after you map your site’s keywords.
The humble title tag is still the primary element on your site that search engines use to understand the content of a page. The title tag is also the element from your website that actually shows up in search results & your customers’ bookmarks & social posts by default. It’s what your potential visitors click on to navigate to your site.
And yet, writing a custom title tag for SEO is all too often ignored, skipped over, or not given enough time.
There’s no formula to writing a title tag for SEO – but there are plenty of parameters and best practices. Here’s how you can craft an effective title tag to explain your relevance to the Googlebot while still enticing clicks from potential customers. [Read more…] about How To Write A Title Tag For SEO
Getting mentioned in a publication (aka PR) has tons of benefits from referral traffic to branding to long-term organic traffic growth. It’s a lever that can provide marketing returns well beyond your investment.
But “getting press” can be daunting. And plenty of agencies will help re-inforce that feeling.
There’s a role for PR professionals. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money on an agency to get press. Creating a PR campaign is not easy. It’s difficult, but it’s not magic either. In fact, the formula is fairly straightforward.
- Write a pitch
- Send it to a writer
- They like your story & publish it
But in those simple steps bury some details. To run a successful DIY PR campaign, you’ll need to understand the process and create your own plan. That’s the goal with this post.
Let’s get started. [Read more…] about How To Plan a DIY PR Campaign in 6 Steps
When you are exploring how to advertise online – Google Ads and Facebook Ads are the two primary options. They have the biggest marketshare, the biggest audiences and the best self-service ad platforms.
In fact, the two together control 59% of online advertising.
But one way to keep improving your online advertising campaigns is to keep finding new advertising networks with different formats, different audiences and different pricing structures.
There are tons of reasons to at least try out new networks – but also a few drawbacks. So before we look at different ad networks – let’s briefly look at the advantages and disadvantages of using ad networks that aren’t Google/Facebook.[Read more…] about Alternative PPC Ad Networks To Find New Audiences for Advertisers
Keyword research is possibly the most important part of search engine optimization. How you decide to use & target keywords helps guide how your content is written, how you approach your audience, and how you approach your content strategy.
Many non-specialists in search engine optimization are just familiar enough with keyword research to be dangerous. In other words, they know enough to start or stumble into either total success or total failure).
That’s a good thing though – SEO keyword research for beginners should not be such a complicated process that DIYers view it as a magical black box.
Keyword research for SEO is finding the specific words and phrases that people use to search for information. Then figuring out relative search volume and competition among your target keywords so that you can rank for a theme of keywords.
Doing keyword research isn’t so much a single step or action as it is a process where each step informs the previous and the next step in the process.
Here’s an overview of my SEO keyword research process for total beginners, which itself is part of the process of keyword mapping.[Read more…] about How To Decide Which Keywords To Use: Keyword Research for Beginners
Imagine a friend has picked out 2 books that might interest you. They both have the same cover. They both have basically the same title. But Book A has a blurb about the book on the back cover while Book B has a random grouping of words.
Which one would you choose to read? Probably the one with a blurb on the back of the book. After all, you know for sure what is going to be inside, and what kind of tone and content to really expect. It’s not that Book B would be any less relevant, it’s just that you’re sure about Book A.
Meta descriptions are the lowly, ignored marketing tool that make a difference, but all too often gets ignored. And even though they are not a direct ranking factor in any search engine, here’s how to use meta descriptions for search engine optimization (SEO) to increase qualified visitors coming from search engines. [Read more…] about How To Write A Meta Description For SEO & More Visitors
Usually when marketers think Reddit – they think massive promotion, reach, and influence. Reddit is the most influential social news aggregators in the world. It drives headlines, traffic, and new ideas further and more rapidly than any social network.
*Editor’s Note – I originally published this post in 2014. Since then, not only has Reddit grown and changed, but marketer’s tools for Reddit has grown and changed. But the approach is the same as it ever was. I’ve revised & re-published this post in 2019 with new resources, screenshots, and corrected information.
Simply using Reddit for promotion can be worse than a waste of time, it can actively damage your brand and reputation. Unless you are willing to put in the time and investment to learn etiquette, and become a legitimate member of a community (aka subreddit), you should not use Reddit to organically promote your content.**
**Editor’s Note – and no, I am not that naive to think that you can’t succeed with a shortcut approach. Reddit is quite the cesspool of purchased accounts, corporate campaigns, and even state-sponsored disinformation campaigns that are all still quite active despite Reddit’s efforts. The people who take shortcuts can and do win in the short-run. But this post is for those who do care about the long-term health of their brand, Reddit, and the Internet at large.
The Reddit community does take a better eye towards buying ads to promote your content. There are good and bad ways to advertise on Reddit – and it’s something you should certainly consider. But Reddit ads usually don’t give you the same promotional effect (even excluding monetary costs) as organic submissions.
Using Reddit to promote your content marketing & SEO efforts is going to take either a lot of time or some money – neither of which many marketers have.
To reiterate – if you don’t have time or money to market on Reddit well – please do not promote there. Be cool and respectful.
But that doesn’t mean Reddit is useless for marketing. Here are 3 ways to use Reddit for better SEO & content marketing without submitting or paying for submissions – all involving the goldmine of research that is Reddit.[Read more…] about How To Use Reddit For SEO & Content Marketing Research
I get a lot of hyper-specific local marketing questions, e.g. “Should I get more links?” “How do I rank #1 on Google in my area?” or “I just launched website and want to try Twitter ads.” They are great in a way – I’m a huge fan of experimentation.
But most local store owners haven’t developed an effective inbound* marketing strategy at all. They miss the forest (how everything works together) for the trees (specific tactics) so to speak.
*Inbound = the industry jargon for marketing that focuses on being where your customers are so that they buy from you “naturally.” Inbound contrasts with outbound marketing, which focuses on finding, interrupting and cold pitching potential customers.
The exciting opportunity about local marketing is that even in major metros – few businesses have a consistent idea about what they are doing.
And unfortunately, the local agencies they hire either have no idea what they are doing either…or they remain focused on a single (billable) tactic.
So – if you are a local business owner and can take the time to develop a single comprehensive marketing strategy (don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it sounds), you can take all in a winner-take-all-world of digital marketing for not that much money.
I’m going to outline the the exact inbound marketing strategy for local business that I recommend to every reader and client I’ve ever worked with (example case study). I’m focusing on local but 80% of this applies to every business (I even wrote a similar post for eCommerce here).
This post is 4400 words. It’s meant for reference as you tackle each part. The 5 step short version of the strategy is –
- Decide exactly who you are selling to (e.g., “hotel managers in the Charlotte metro region” or “high-income women in Buckhead, Atlanta” or “people stranded in a grocery store parking lot around Los Angeles”).
- Build a website with Analytics enabled with pages that address problems & services your target market will need.
- Systematically claim & build out local profiles that your target market is likely to look at.
- Launch small ad campaigns on Google Ads and Facebook Ads to get data & feedback on your site.
- Systematically build out new content & new promotional channels based on what you are good at & your market wants.
I know what you’re thinking: “Twitter has analytics?!”
Getting started with the platform is easy. As long as you have an existing account that’s more than 14 days old and isn’t deleted, restricted, protected, or suspended, just sign in with your account credentials at http://analytics.twitter.com.
After you log in, click Get Started on the Analytics homepage. [Read more…] about How To Understand & Use Twitter Analytics Effectively