SEO Tips for 2018: Here’s How to Rank Higher

SEO tips 2018

Search engine optimization is a total BEAST.

According to HubSpot, 80% of your website traffic comes from a simple search query. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. Without proper planning, strategy, and continuous maintenance, SEO can quickly become a maddening way to spin your marketing wheels incessantly. However, with some of the right techniques in place at the right times, you can quickly climb the ladder of Google search rankings and make it in front of those qualified eyes you’re desperately seeking, meaning you’ll get more traffic, conversions, and increased revenue.

We’re always doing our due diligence to stay in-the-know where SEO tips are concerned – this time, our friends at Backlinko did not disappoint! In fact, the author stated that “these are the same tips that I’ve used to grow my site to 186,081 visitors per month.”

Impressive, no? 

So, let’s get into the nitty-gritty… here are Brian’s top SEO tips for 2018 that businesses, freelancers, and the like can take advantage of in order to better their search engine standings.

1. Use Title Tag Powerups

2. Stop “Pogosticking”, Get Higher Rankings

3. Delete Zombie Pages

4. Do An Industry Study

5. Use a “Feeler” Email

6. Optimize Content for Google Hummingbird

7. Add Text Content to Infographics, Podcasts, and Videos

8. Give Old Content New Life

9. Build Backlinks From Speaking Gigs

10. “The GSC Hack”

11. Create Linkable Content Around “Shoulder Niches”

12. Get Links From Sites That Use Your Visual Assets

13. Create Branded Keywords

14. Provide “What is X” Information For Definition Keywords

15. Replace “Published On” Dates with “Last Updated”

16. Use Google Images to Find Guest Post, Column and Interview Opportunities

17. Tap Into Google’s Underrated Keyword Research Tool

 

Keep reading on the Backlinko blog to learn more about all these amazing SEO tips for 2018 >>

And check out our own articles on mastering and understanding SEO for your website.

Using Data to Craft the Perfect Call To Action

Having a solid call to action can make or break an ad campaign – it’s honestly not a secret, and it makes a lot of sense. The main idea is this: if your CTA is compelling enough, it will get your target audience to convert and actually do what you want.

Depending on your campaign goals, you may want to direct people to a special promotion, sign up page, consultation form, live chat window, video media, or any number of marketing assets or landing pages. If your ideal customer doesn’t want to click on that button and get what you’re trying to sell, it’s time to rethink the call to action strategy.

Unbounce are preeeeetty incredible at what they do (landing pages and conversions that actually work) and they have a ton of actionable, data-based tips for where to start with your call to action buttons on ads.

1. Look at Actions Visitors Take on Current Landing Page(s)

If there are multiple actions a user can take on your landing page (like call you directly or fill out a form, for example), you can see in Google Ads what the best performing action actually is. And—if that landing page is being used in several different campaigns or ad groups—you can combine all the data to get a more accurate view of performance.

This report can ultimately help inform more useful CTAs for your other pages, or the CTAs for particular ad groups’ display ads.

2. Research What Specific Audience Segments Like to Do on Your Site

Let’s say you wanted to create an awareness campaign targeting users who match the Apparel & Accessories audience. How do you know what actions users in this category like to perform? A good way to find out is what they do on your site, and the answer can be found the same way as before in Google Analytics.

3. Double Check Visitors Perform the Same Actions Across Devices

Ad placements and user behavior differs for each device. Here’s one example of the landing page report and how user behavior differed for one goal type when I was running a display campaign.

We saw users on their phone didn’t want to fill out the form. Compared to those on desktop, they preferred to call or use the chat tool. If we didn’t segment out our data like this, it would have looked like the preferred CTA for this display campaign would have been to push form submissions no matter the device.

4. Get Into Your Data and Experiment

For a head start on new campaigns, look at the data you already have from current campaigns and visitors to see what your audiences prefer to do on your landing pages. Use this data to craft the perfect CTA that will have the most impact on a potential new customer.

You can read the rest of the article on Unbounce’s website right here >>

What are your tried-and-true methods for calls-to-action? We can’t wait to hear from you on Twitter.

How Effective Are Case Studies for B2B Marketing?

Case Studies for B2B Marketing

In the vast expanse that is content marketing, B2B is a particular kind of beast to wrangle. Between newsletters, on-site articles, informative videos, eBooks, and other types of content, some businesses struggle to figure out which are their most valuable efforts. Case studies for B2B marketing combine equal parts storytelling, data, and design, to convey how products/services have benefitted a particular customer. When done well, they can be so engaging you’ll forget you’re reading a traditionally “dense” piece of content.

New Research: The Most Effective Content Tool is B2B Case Studies

We’re not just making this stuff up. Case studies have been proven to be an incredible marketing tool for many, many companies operating in a B2B space. Some recent research helps put things into perspective a bit more:

  1. The LinkedIn Technology Marketing Group surveyed more than 600 B2B marketing professionals about the current state of content marketing, with results showing that case studies dominate the #1 spot as the most effective format.
  2. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 71% of B2B content marketers use case studies as a content tool for driving engagement and sales.

Because they are, in essence, a nice summary of your achievements, direct testimonials, and endorsements, case studies can be an easy-to-digest way to convey how awesome your business is. Potential customers definitely take notice, too.

Your average B2B buyer is no dummy – they are educated, self-sufficient, and like to do their research on what kind of value they’ll get from a service before putting down the company credit card. If they see your well-designed case studies (especially if you have a case study for each industry segment that you cater to), it can sway a decision in the right direction much better than other types of content marketing, like social media.

Our Best Tips for Creating B2B Case Studies

We’re big into doing content marketing well, case studies included – and have created a variety of client case studies in B2B spaces over the years, earning us some first-hand knowledge on what makes one great. Here are some best practices and tips for building effective, engaging, value-driven B2B case studies:

  • Send your customer a Q&A in survey form, so they can fill out their responses at their own convenience, and you’ll have their direct quotes already in the bag.
  • High-resolution logos and images ALWAYS matter.
  • Real testimonials are good as gold – show them off well!
  • Don’t use it as an opportunity to brag about yourself; you should be bragging about your customer.
  • Use numbers, but tell a story – in the end, it’s about connecting humans to your business.
  • Provide real, quantifiable results and metrics that can show (in numbers) how effective your company is.
  • Keep things as concise as you can, and remember that you’re not writing out a full eBook on the matter.
  • Use stunning visuals, graphs, and charts to help convey data in an eye-catching way.
  • Boil it all down to a one-page PDF if you can – they are more easy to read and share around.
  • Use as much real language as you can, avoiding over-promotional copy that screams “marketing!”
  • Make them easy to find, and link to them where you can in your other on-site content pieces to increase the SEO value.
  • DON’T FORGET YOUR CALL TO ACTION. What’s this all for, anyway?

We’ve put together dozens of effective case studies in our days. If you have any questions or want any help getting one started, give us a shout!

How Can I Create Ads That Avoid Ad-Blocking Technology?

People are blocking ads at an alarming rate. Long gone are the days where you’d be made to sit through a long YouTube ad totally unrelated to your chosen video or be visually violated by refulgent call-to-action buttons in display ads.

Consumers are tech-savvy nowadays, especially the Millennials and Generation Z. With studies estimating that 18-24 year-olds are 3x more likely to have ad blocker software installed than not and with 91% of people saying ads these days are more intrusive today than one or two years ago, just what can we do as marketers to make sure our curated content reaches the youth of today?

The Game Changer for Digital Advertising

The study pulled out another interesting statistic that  73% of people said they would be willing to pay for content to avoid ads. BINGO!

To get on the right side of our tech-savvy consumers, we’ve got to be creating great content that will interest and engage them. No gimmicks, click baits, or bolshy buttons in sight, just honest, interesting targeted content that will be inherently valuable to a consumer.

The Solution to Our Ad Woes: Native Ads + Adding Value

What is a Native Ad and how do they work?

Native advertising – in which the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience – is being used more and more by big brands and startups alike. Native and branded content placements neatly combine with the content on the site to look like one and the same, with correlating form and function with the native user experience. It’s so clever that sometimes it’s even difficult as a marketer to spot some native ad campaigns. As a result, these ads have a higher click-through rate (CTR) than traditional display ads as it is non-interruptive content for the interested consumer.

Take a look at the other advantages of native ads, through Sharethrough’s infographic:

Ad-Blocking TechnologyAd-Blocking Technology

Non-interruptive has become a form of intelligent ad design.

Check out a mobile example below:

Ad-Blocking Technology

Source: Sharethrough

As seen in this example, the native Google ad is placed within the consumer’s ‘Auto News,’ and is only recognized when clicked on, or when the consumer is paying very close attention to all the content. Even then, the content is by no means strongly oriented towards a hard sell. Rather, it’s valuable content with the objective to builds up awareness of a brand and to prompt the consumer to click.

What content should I be advertising?

These can be in the form of anything that you feel would be of value in the eyes of the consumer. Mediums such as blog posts, product updates, and industry expert information all work well as native ads to engage your target audience.Be savvy in the way you introduce your calls-to-action within the copy in your chosen medium. Don’t bombard your reader with sales jargon; instead, position external links naturally and cohesively within your writing. Inviting a reader to opt-in to an email list or to learn more about a product or service in the copy of the blog post is a great way to engage their interest. Additionally, as your content is jammed packed full of value, there is an increased likelihood that the reader will go ahead and share your content, at no cost to you! Win, win.  

The relationship between consumers and branded online advertising is only going to get better. Producing better ads requires a partnership between publishers/platforms, advertisers, and consumers. Collectively, we need to make ads less intrusive and more relevant for consumers. As users become more accustomed to a less interruptive way of receiving ads, we can then re-establish the trust lost between consumers and brands.

Do you need help with your Facebook ads or Google ads and want advice for ‘going native?’ Get in touch with us to talk shop!

The Rise & Raw Power of Video Content in Digital Marketing [Infographic]

Video has rapidly become one of the most effective content marketing mediums consumed today. With consumers leaning more toward visual media that’s accessible, entertaining, and informative, we’ve got to step it up in the marketing world in order to help the brands we represent truly shine.

As marketers, we’re usually so busy that ‘the future’ is some abstract concept that doesn’t impact the deadline tomorrow or the day after. Before we know it, the future is now. Video has risen up as the MVP of digital marketing and in various forms. Take a look at the impressive impact video has had on marketing in the infographic below from The E Word.

Here are some of our own favorite takeaways: 

  • Adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times.
  • Video content has been shown to increase CTR by 2-3x. 82% of marketers view video as highly effective in email campaigns.
  • 71% of marketers say that video content outperforms all other content when looking at conversion rates. 46% of people say they would seek more information after viewing branded video content.