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3 ways the CMO and the CFO can become BFFs

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As a marketer, this past year has been all about the sheer velocity of change. Whether it’s navigating a global pandemic, taking on extra work, or quickly pivoting from carefully laid annual plans, the environment for marketing teams is ever-evolving. To be most effective going forward, the marketing teams that are able to excel at spend management, financial agility, and optimized planning will be the ones that set themselves apart in 2021. In this webinar, we’ll break down the three key areas where marketers can strengthen the relationship between the CMO and the CFO to continue to grow the business at scale.

You’ll hear from Heidi Melin, CMO at Workfront and Ryan Doubet, Managing Director at KPMG, as they explain why investing in the partnership between marketing and finance is so critical to marketing department success.

Register today for “3 Ways the CMO and the CFO Can Become BFFs,” presented by Workfront.

The post 3 ways the CMO and the CFO can become BFFs appeared first on Marketing Land.

 

New Google My Business Updates 2020

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There’s been a few Google My Business Updates in 2020 and in this article “How to Communicate Your New and Updated Services with Google My Business” Posted by Krystal Taing on Moz blog explore’s tactics for surfacing your new or updated services digitally to guide and convert these new searchers during their decision-making process.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, business owners have had to move quickly to make drastic changes in their services to meet searchers’ new needs in a continuously unpredictable landscape.

While “Near me” searches saw a slight drop in early 2020, since then, have maintained a steady increase, further solidifying the need for brands and businesses of all sizes to be present and discoverable online.

 

During the pandemic, almost a third of shoppers have purchased from a brand that’s new to them. In this article, we’ll explore tactics for surfacing your new or updated services digitally to guide and convert these new searchers during their decision-making process.

What types of questions are searchers asking?

How can I do business with you?

When thinking about your Google My Business profile and adjustments to your information, the most important element is informing searchers how they can do business with you.

You’ll want to ensure all of your core location data is updated. This includes marking whether or not you’re temporarily closed. If you’re open, you should have the most accurate operating hours published.

Furthermore, you should make it as easy as possible for searchers to get in contact with you if they have any questions. This includes making sure your phone number is accurate, monitoring your Q&A section on Google My Business, and enabling messaging if you have the staff to respond. These are all methods that make customers feel connected to you, which will encourage them to convert and purchase from you.

What type of safety precautions are you taking with your customers and staff?

The health and safety of customers and employees is top of mind for all searchers. As a business, this information should be front and center so potential customers can understand how important this is to your organization.

It should be incredibly clear to anyone looking to engage with your business what types of safety precautions and protocols you’re following, and how this could impact their trip to your business or the delivery of your services. These should include things like social distancing measures which may result in long lines, mask requirements, etc. Surfacing this information as early as possible makes the decision to do business with you that much easier.

What types of services are you offering, and are these different than normal?

Businesses and consumers have had to adjust to so many new normals. In order to capture new customers and grow the evangelism of existing ones, remove as much friction as possible by communicating changes up front.

If you’ve made changes to services or products that users have come to rely on you for, make it clear what has changed and how. This is especially true for essential businesses that are growing particularly busy and facing supply chain shortages.

What can all businesses do to communicate updates about new and changing services on Google My Business?

1. Update your attributes

Google has rolled out dozens of highly visible attributes and will continue to introduce new ones. This includes details like whether you offer in-person or online service and appointments, delivery and pick up, and safety measures for in-person shopping. Keep an eye on these and make sure all relevant attributes are applied to your business.

2. Publish services and products

If you have these available for your category, they are a great way to introduce new services and products or highlight your most popular ones.

3. Add Google Posts

Now that Google has temporarily lifted the limit on API access for chains, businesses of all sizes should be leveraging posts. Posts allow you to share timely and relevant updates spanning temporary closures, product and service updates, promotions, and gift card options.

4. Update your images

If your product, service, or location looks different to returning customers, this can cause confusion or disappointment. Don’t underestimate the power of updated imagery on your Google My Business profile. Most smartphones have a high enough quality camera that even snapping a few pictures each week and uploading these will be enough.

5. Publish additional hours

Publishing additional hours sets helps to surface the supplemental offerings you have. These include senior hours, online operating hours, drive through hours, pickup hours, and more.

Industry-specific considerations

Healthcare

One of the most impacted industries, especially from a digital perspective, has been healthcare. Both sick and healthy patients have been forced to rethink how they can access their healthcare needs.

Healthcare organizations are making adjustments to serve existing and new patients. There’s been a large shift to offer telehealth appointments in lieu of in-person for a number of specialties from internal medicine to therapy. Governmental agencies also reported increases in telehealth visits, with a 154% increase in the last week of March 2020 alone.

Based on this data, in early April, Google rolled out a telehealth link for healthcare categories. This enabled healthcare organizations and providers to surface and convert patients with non-emergency needs who are cautious of visiting an office in-person.

Just as critical as launching telehealth support was the introduction of the coronavirus testing facility information on maps and search. Google My Business partnered with a number of third-party health and governmental sources, as well as with Castlight to ingest data for new testing sites. The roll-out of COVID-19 testing information was a phased approach and has evolved over the last few months. For healthcare organizations offering COVID-19 testing, this is the most relevant and critical service you can add to your Google My Business listing.

Retail

For retail businesses, one of the biggest challenges faced over the last few months has likely been inventory fluctuations and ordering methods. This is why businesses of all sizes have been integrating product shopping features and live inventory on their listings. Google even rolled out free product listings in the U.S. to support businesses.

Once retailers have made it easy to see what products are in stock, they’ve had to adjust to support different methods of ordering and pickup. This includes enabling “buy online, pick up in-store”, curbside pickup, and contactless delivery. Google has rolled out attributes to highlight each of these, so businesses should ensure each location’s offerings are reflected.

Financial services

Banks and businesses within the financial service industry have more limited options due to regulations and the nature of their business. In addition to the safety measures they’re taking at their local branches, banking customers have been relying on drive-up support and virtual banking services. By leveraging drive-through and online appointment attributes, as well as by highlighting unique drive-through hours, financial service providers can better help customers understand the ways they can complete their banking.

Restaurants

Restaurants have had to deal with continual and fluctuating mandates that dictate restrictions on how and when they can open. Depending on where the restaurants are located and the guidelines of the area, they have to communicate whether they offer delivery, takeout, and/or dine-in, and what that looks like. Some dine-in has been restricted to outdoor dining only, while others have been restricted to smaller capacities to allow for social distancing.

There are a number of Google My Business features that you can utilize in order to let customers know what dining features you have available. Restaurants should make sure to keep their dine-in, delivery, and take-out attributes updated. Utilizing posts to describe dining accommodations such as outdoor-only or limited indoor capacity can also be helpful for customers. If you’re offering delivery, online orders, or reservations, make sure you’ve reviewed the Online Ordering feature that activates the blue action buttons on your Knowledge Panel.

Conclusion

Businesses of all sizes and industries have made it easier for consumers to engage with them as this pandemic continues to drive changes in everyday life. Follow these tips to make sure your updates are discoverable on your Google My Business profile, where the majority of “near me” searches are happening.

The post “How to Communicate Your New and Updated Services with Google My Business” appeared first on Moz Blog

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6 Ways to Build Brand Authority With Content Marketing

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How to Build Brand Authority With Content Marketing.

Posted by Amanda Milligan

Becoming an authoritative brand is no easy feat, but the massive benefits are worth the effort.

When you’ve built authority, potential customers and clients begin to count on you and trust you — and it’s hard to imagine that trust not leading to a sale (at some point).

But how exactly can a brand begin to build, or build upon, their authority? Content is an excellent way, and in this article, I’ll go through my tips on how it can be done.

1. Answer your audience’s questions

If you’re not doing this, there’s virtually no way you’ll become an authority. People grow to rely on brands when those brands provide the information they’re looking for, so if your content marketing doesn’t incorporate those answers, you’re not demonstrating to your audience why they should trust you.

By building on-site content that provides this kind of value, you can build authority while simultaneously building more awareness for your brand. In other words, you can position yourself as an expert for those who don’t already know you.

Search is a huge component of why this content tactic works. Google does a significant amount of curation for users, choosing what it thinks is the most appropriate results for a particular query. When users see that you’re ranking at the top for a certain keyword or topic, there’s an assumption you made it through the algorithm for good reason and know what you’re talking about.

As an example, I searched “shoe size chart,” which, according to Keyword Surfer, gets 49,500 monthly searches in the U.S. alone. Here’s one of the top results from Famous Footwear:

Presumably, people are searching for this because they want to buy shoes, but they’re not sure what size to get. If they click this result, not only are they now on the website, but they recognize that this brand provided the answer they were looking for. Perhaps they’ll even browse for shoes while they’re on the site.

How to execute this strategy: Find out what your target audience is curious about by talking to your customer service representatives, performing keyword research, and using tools like Answer the Public and BuzzSumo’s Discover Questions feature. Then see what content already exists and if you can do better. If you can, get to creating!

2. Create newsworthy reports and studies

One of the best ways to demonstrate your authority is to show your continued interest in unearthing new information and insights. You can do this by prioritizing original research.

When you create your own studies, surveys, and reports (aka perform data journalism) based on new data or unveiling new insights, you not only provide value to readers, but also have something you can pitch to the media.

This gives you double benefit: Getting media coverage (and building even more brand authority) and earning high-quality backlinks, which signals to Google that you’re an authority.

We’ve used this strategy for our clients since Fractl first started up in 2012, and we’re convinced it’s one of the best brand authority strategies.

Let’s look at a study we did for The Interview Guys, as an example, which involved analyzing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Requirements Survey to identify the highest-paying jobs that require the least amount of experience. Here’s one of the graphics from the report:

The study got media coverage on CNBC, Reader’s Digest, MarketWatch and more, earning extremely high-value dofollow links. But take a look at how The Interview Guys are mentioned in the articles:

By supplying new insights, The Interview Guys are positioned by the writers as the source of the information, which is an extremely authoritative way to be referenced.

How to execute this strategy: After doing the first tip and analyzing questions, zoom out a bit and consider what general questions in your industry still need answers. How can you answer them with data? Once you’ve created a report that reveals new information, utilize digital PR to pitch writers.

3. Utilize the authority of in-house experts

Some brands are built entirely around a particular persona, like Steve Jobs with Apple, but those examples can intimidate people. Smaller companies and newer companies alike can benefit from a similar strategy if they have subject matter experts (or SMEs) who can show their authority.

A great example of this is Headspace and how it features its founder, Andy Puddicombe. There’s a page all about him on their website where they explain his credentials but also provide what are called authority signals (which I’ll explain more in the next section) and embed his Ted Talk, so you can see for yourself what he knows.

 

Why is this smart? Headspace probably realized that as the literal voice behind Headspace (Andy does much of the meditation audio himself), Andy started building trust with audiences. It makes sense to double-down on that trust by helping people get to know who he is, and by having him explain even more concepts directly through Radio Headspace and their YouTube channel. After all, if people trust Andy, they’re more likely to trust the Headspace app.

How to execute this strategy: If your internal experts have never shared anything with the public, see if they’re comfortable contributing blog posts or quotes to your website. Pitch them to be on podcasts, or use Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to pitch them as sources for relevant news articles. Help them demonstrate their knowledge in ways that are useful to audiences.

4. Highlight reviews, case studies, and other proof of expertise

There are dozens of types of authority signals, from testimonials to reviews to social media share counts. The key is identifying which ones make sense to highlight for your products or services, and figuring out the best placement for them.

Your goal is to show people you know what you’re talking about by leveraging third-party validation. Your audience doesn’t just have to take your word for it that you know what you’re doing — other people can confirm that you’re great, too!

I like how SquadCast tackles this. On their homepage they have a few authority signals they provide, including testimonials that match with each user persona, which I think is really smart.

Then when you scroll further, they throw in the fact that household names like Spotify, Microsoft, Starbucks, and ESPN trust them.

If you look at the Fractl site, you’ll see we use a similar strategy. Not only do we have case studies showcasing the results we’ve gotten for clients, but we also have logos showing some of the clients we’ve worked with and the publications where our thought leadership appears.

All of this content says to a site visitor: “Others trust us, and you should too.”

How to execute this strategy: If you don’t already have this type of content, ask yourself how you can best collect it. Reach out to your best clients and ask them for a quote. Pull the best reviews you’ve ever gotten for your products. Call out any media mentions you’ve received. Then put this information on your homepage, but also on conversion pages to instill confidence when and where it counts.

5. Associate with other authoritative brands

You know the phrase, “Show me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are?” That can apply in marketing, too.

If you align with other brands you respect and that are doing right by their customers/users, it’s possible some of that same trust will transfer to you if that company’s respect is reciprocated. Additionally, if you collaborate, you’re getting your brand name in front of a new audience.

So, think about which brands it makes sense to collaborate with. There are ways to do this outside of content marketing, like referral programs, but there are content-specific ways to work together, too.

This is an amazing example from Auntie Anne’s and Samuel Adams, who teamed up to create an at-home Oktoberfest kit, complete with Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer, Auntie Anne’s DIY Pretzel Kit, recipe book, a “Prost from Home” playlist you can stream, and more.

This isn’t purely a content strategy, but you can see the overlap between product and building more of an experience. People who love and count on Auntie Anne’s pretzels are exposed to Samuel Adams and vice versa. Through a collaboration like this, fans of one have the potential to become fans of the other, as you can see in this review:

This is a more fun example, but you can also execute a collaboration based on studies and surveys by partnering with organizations interested in answering the same questions or solving the same problems as your brand.

How to execute this strategy: Brainstorm which brands you may have a natural alignment in objectives or values with. How can you work together to provide something of value to both of your audiences?

6. Give away some of your secrets

This can be scary for a lot of marketers and especially for the C-suite. Why should you give away what makes you great?

It’s a valid question, and it won’t always apply. But in some cases, especially for service-based businesses, sharing information and breaking down exactly how you achieve that greatness can actually build trust.

Marcus Sheridan has a wonderful example of this. When my colleague attended Inbound last year, she was impressed by Marcus’s presentation in which he described a single blog post that earned him $2 million in sales. (Heidi Cohen has a great write up about it.)

Why did it work? Because he shared information no one else wanted to share: the actual cost of a fiberglass pool. Rather than hiding the information and revealing it later in the sales process, he was forthright and answered the question people wanted the answer to. Clearly this strategy paid off.

We use the same philosophy at Fractl, explaining exactly how we go about doing our work and building our clients links and brand awareness. There are process details we haven’t disclosed, but all and all, we’ve been very transparent about how we operate, and it’s worked well for us.

In fact, people still recall an Experts on the Wire podcast interview with Kerry Jones, our previous marketing director, in which she walked through our strategies. I’ve had marketing folks tell me that this is how they heard about Fractl in the first place. Years later, it’s still featured on the podcast’s main page:

People appreciate when you’re open and honest. In our case, even if people knew our strategy, clients often partner with us because they don’t have the bandwidth to execute the strategy at scale, as it requires a lot of time and resources. So by knowing how we work, they can trust us to handle it for them.

How to execute this strategy: Consider what information you have that you can share, even if (sometimes especially if) your competitors haven’t shared it. You can leave a big impression of you’re open about your industry in a way others aren’t. Of course, don’t do something that will jeopardize your company, but consider the question and see what might make sense.

Conclusion

The very act of investing in content marketing is a big step in building more brand authority. By creating content that’s beneficial for your audience, you’re demonstrating your own knowledge and utilizing your expertise.

By continuing to build on your strategy with the above tactics, you can greatly improve the chances your audience will not only remember your brand but begin to trust your brand. Additionally, it’s likely the Google algorithm will recognize your authority, as well, especially after building an impressive link portfolio, and your results will rise in the SERP ranks.

Good luck amplifying your strategy, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

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Sqribble eBook Creator Software Review

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If you’ve been marketing online for more than 5 minutes, you’ll know those lead magnets, eBooks and reports are powerful ways to build your list or sell directly for profit. But you’ll also know they’re a serious headache to create too. All that writing, designing, and formatting… URGHH. Enough already! That’s why this new eBook Creator Software recently caught my attention.

It’s called Sqribble and it’s an online tool that instantly creates professional eBooks, reports, whitepapers, and other types of digital books with a few clicks or taps.

This concept isn’t new. There have been a lot of different eBook creator tools in the past. But if you’ve used most of them, you’ll know they all share the same frustrating flaws:

— They have crappy templates.

— They are buggy and unreliable.

— They often require additional tools

What is Sqribble?

The Sqribble eBook creator software is a cloud-based tool that allows you to create eBooks (reports, whitepapers, etc.) in seconds. It’s packed with professional ready-made templates, seriously good looking covers, and drag n’ drop design features that make self-publishing your eBooks a breeze.

Sqribble eBook Creator Software Covers

 

How does it work?

When you log into Sqribble, you’ll see a bunch of eBook templates to choose from. These are all based on different categories, so you’ll need to find one that matches your market/topic/niche.

Once you’ve selected the template you want to use, you simply click “view” to see how your eBook will look (don’t worry, we’ll add your content next.)

In this view screen, you can see how the book will be laid out and get a feel for the style. If you don’t like it, you can always go back and choose another template (there are 50 templates to choose from, and you can also edit the templates too, in all kinds of ways.)

You’ll notice that the layouts and designs are very slick. They look like professional publications!

Next, you’ll be asked where you want to source your content for the book. You can choose:

— Grab from a URL

— Start from scratch

— Copy and paste manually

— Upload Word File

— Start from Article Collection

Let’s take a closer look at these options.

1) Grab from a URL

This allows you to insert any URL you want, and Sqribble will automatically pull the content from that page and insert it into your book. It strips the HTML code and only inserts the text from the page. This is my fave method because it saves a ton of time and allows you to use expert content (with credits) so you can target topics and niches you’re not an expert in!

2) Start from scratch

As it sounds, this option allows you to enter your content like you’d enter it into a Word document. You just type straight into the page.

3) Copy and paste manually

This allows you to copy content from anywhere you want, and paste into the book, where the book will format and lay it out for you professionally.

4) Upload Word File

You can get Sqribble to pull your content straight from a Word document, stripping out any code or weird formatting.

5) Start from Article Collection

Here you can extract content from Sqribble’s huge library of private label articles which you can use for free, without crediting authors or linking to the source. It’s another great way to quickly fill your book with content, for free!

Finally, you’ll move to an editing screen, where you can resize text, move content around, edit text directly, add media, links, lists, call to action areas, new pages, and a whole bunch of other options for customizing the look and feel of individual pages or the entire book.

You can even add new pages that use a totally different layout to the rest of your book, giving you a huge amount of flexibility and endless options for your book.

While editing, another thing I really liked was the Themes option. With a single click, you can instantly change the color theme and font style of your entire book. It’s like giving your book a new “skin” and it’s just one more feature that sets Sqribble apart from the other tools out there.

Finally, when you’re ready to publish, you hit the little “Generate eBook” button in the top right corner of the screen, and voila, your book is now ready!

You can either open the book in a browser to preview it quickly or save as a PDF.

But perhaps most remarkable of all… Sqribble comes loaded with some of the most powerful features I’ve seen in an eBook creator software.

Here are just some of the things this bad boy can do:

— Automatic table of contents

— Automatic headers and footers

— Automatic pagination

— Drag and drop design

— Add or delete pages

— Add your own media

— 300+ Google Fonts

— 50 eBook templates (in 15 different niche categories)

— 10 different eBook themes

— Automatically create content (Woah.)

— Turn your book into a flipbook (double Woah.)

Seriously, if that’s not enough to make you want to check this thing out, I don’t know what else to say. Apart from this — Sqribble isn’t perfect. Yes, it’s powerful. Yes, it’s going to save you tons of time and money creating eBooks. But it does have a few flaws.

Is Sqribble right for you?

If you’re already creating lead magnets or eBooks for sale, then I have no doubt that the Sqribble ebook creation software is going to save you hours of work and tons of money on freelancers (if you outsource the design or writing side of it.)

For that reason, I truly believe that Sqribble is well worth the investment and perfectly suited for most small to medium-size businesses, especially self-publishers and info-marketers.

It’s also a great tool to use if you’re a freelancer or agency, working with clients to create professional eBooks (includes commercial rights, plus a done for you agency website, which is a big bonus!). You could easily charge $100’s for this service, and with Sqribble, you could get the work done in way less time than it wouldn’t normally take you.

What I didn’t like about Sqribble.

First, the upsells. There are 4 of them! It’s kind of annoying because they’ve saved the best features in them. Do you need them? Well, Sqribble works fine without the upsells so you don’t have to, BUT if you want more power out of it I recommend grabbing them all.

Here’s a rundown of the upsells:

Upsell 1 — Sqribble professional.

Unlock 150 more professional eBook templates (the best ones are in the professional version), graphics, and even more ready-made content for all kinds of niches. (Just so you know, single templates from stock websites would cost you up to $450… for just ONE template!) Great for those that want more variety, content, and heavy users.

Upsell 2 — Sqribble Prime.

Get 15 premium “limited edition” new eBook templates added to your Sqribble dashboard every month. This will increase your library over time, and make you stand out from other users. It works out to less than two bucks for a template! (Much cheaper than stock sites.) Great for moderate users.

Upsell 3 — Sqribble Fantasia 3D.

This includes 2-in-1 features.

1.) Unlocks a 3D cover creation tool inside your dashboard, allowing you to turn “flat” covers into lifelike, 3d covers. Great for getting more attention and making your books look and feel more “real.” People do judge a book by its cover, so something to keep in mind.

2.) Create “Flipbooks” that turn your eBooks into interactive and animated pages that turn like in real life. They can be linked to from anywhere online, as well as embedded on web pages with a single piece of code. This is really cool.

Upsell 4 — Auto Job finder software.

If you’re going to be using Sqribble to create eBooks as a service to get paid, then Auto Job Finder is something that you need. It will automatically find you related jobs across various freelance websites and notify you so that you can fulfill them. A huge time saver and money earner.

What I loved about Sqribble

Without a doubt, it’s the pro designs, the simplicity, and the speed at which you can create seriously sexy eBooks, on the fly.

And the fact you can turn your eBook into a flipbook is just icing on the cake. It just makes your books look and feel more “real” and that’s a good thing for engaging your readers.

The amount of customization is just off the charts too. You can tweak your designs, layouts, and everything in-between to your heart’s desire. It even creates a table of contents for you, inserts all your content into a nice layout, you can play around with the formatting and design, add stuff, delete stuff… it’s only limited by your imagination.

But if the idea of too many options scares you… don’t worry. Sqribble is designed to keep things simple. You can just go with the ready-made templates, layouts, and styles, insert your content automatically, and boom… you’ve got a pro eBook that’s going to grab more attention, build trust, engage your readers, and help you stand out in a sea of competition.

Sqribble Fast Action Bonuses!

— Bonus #1 FREE Commercial License! (Worth $497)

Kickstart your digital agency providing eBook Creation & Writing Services to your clients!

— Bonus #2 Client Management Dashboard

When you get a new client, you simply add them to your client dashboard to keep track of clients and manage projects easily! You can add, edit, and remove clients that you’ve finished working with too.

— Bonus #3 Sqribble’s Feedback Engine

The Sqribble client feedback tool makes it easy to send clients your designs for approval, get feedback in real-time, and get paid faster!

— Bonus #4 FREE Agency Website! (Worth $997)

To appear as a professional agency and attract high-paying clients you need a portfolio and high-quality website. So we’ve gone that extra step and will give you a complete ready-to-go agency website, for FREE!

How much does Sqribble cost?

At the time of this writing 11/16/20
One-time fee $67 (later will be increased to $197).
SAVE OVER $40 With Coupon (see sales page)

About the creator

Sqribble has been developed by Adeel Chowdhry, who is a well-known internet entrepreneur and best seller, with over ten years of experience and has previously created worldwide hits such as Pixel Studio FX which sold tens of thousands of units all around the world. He’s known for creating high-quality professional solutions and I expect no less from Sqribble.

Final thoughts

The standard has risen online. These days, your eBooks can’t look like crap, or people just won’t want to optin, buy or read it. And because people are busier than ever, they will only spend a couple of seconds deciding whether your book is worth reading or not.

With Sqribble, you can instantly create books that scream trust, credibility, and value and attract more subscribers and sales.

Creating eBooks has always been a pain for most marketers, but with Sqribble, it really doesn’t have to be. With a few clicks, you can choose a template, add content, tweak the layout, and then publish online… in just minutes from now.

Instead of spending hundreds — or even thousands — on freelancers or even more money on a fancy ebook creation tool, I would seriously recommend giving Sqribble a test drive first… I think you’ll be amazed at how powerful, easy, and quick the whole experience is.

Click here to check out Sqribble now

From Dance Instructor to a 7 Figure Business Owner

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7 Figure Business Owner Stacy Tuschl founder of The Foot Traffic podcast and The Foot Traffic Formula digital program on today’s Jeff Lerner’s Millionaire Secrets podcast.

Stacy is an interesting guest because she’s transitioned from the brick & mortar realm of entrepreneurship to the digital one.

And she’s made millions in both!

Her journey into the business world started just as she was ending college.

Stacy always had a passion for teaching dance. Her love for it stretched so far that she actually taught dance classes for free at her parent’s home.

What started out with a class of 17 students soon turned into a booming school of 100 where she was still teaching for free.

Although Stacy was lucky. She comes from a family of entrepreneurs and one day her parents took her aside and they told her there was a great business opportunity staring in her face and Stacy’s first dance studio was born.

It didn’t take long before one studio became two and right now it has become a 7 figure business.

And shortly after that…

She took her first steps into the online business world. Stacy now teaches other brick and mortar business owners how to make the transition from the real world to the digital world.

In the second half of Jeff Lerner’s video podcast, Jeff and Stacy really dig into the importance of video for success in digital business in 2020.

Stacy started podcasting in 2015 and she is grateful for so many opportunities that have come her way thanks to

…putting herself out there.

Stacy says…

“Putting myself out there, facing my demons – as a shy and introverted character – is one of the best things I’ve ever done for my business. It’s given me so many opportunities.”

If you’re not getting on camera. If you’re not adapting to video in 2020 and beyond…

…then you’re missing out big time!

 

All the millionaire’s you know are harboring a powerful secret…

The reason I’m telling you and the reason you should care is it’s the fastest way for an “average” person to become a millionaire…

…and it’s what all of them did to become successful.

Want to hear something else about it?

It’s no longer a secret.

This video exposes everything

OH…and one last thing about the secret…

…it’s so simple and easy to do you’ll wish you’d have known about it sooner.

 

Google’s Decision to Eliminate Tracking Cookies

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Michael Hussey, President of StatSocial, discusses how the demise of tracking cookies presents opportunities for consumers and data-dependent organizations.

COVID-19 is still dominating business headlines, but inside the digital marketing industry, the biggest story remains the coming demise of the third-party tracking cookie. Ever since Google made the announcement in January that Chrome would phase out the technology in two years, marketers, publishers, agencies, and data owners have been scrambling to prepare for this sea change.

It was always imperfect, but the cookie developed into a currency that allowed various marketing stakeholders to make sense of online and offline behavior and do business based on it. For example, being able to prove that a digital ad campaign led to a lift in brand awareness, new sales, store visits, and the others were made possible by syncing cookies across different data providers (for example, did the household who saw a Yoplait yogurt ad actually purchase more yogurt?). In turn, this gave confidence to marketers to invest in campaigns that were proven to provide sales and brand lift.

Many marketing tech companies are built on the faceless calculations of cookie-based tracking, targeting, and attribution. But as the general public came to understand how their data is being traded and used, their concerns sufficiently inspired regulators to come up with ordinances like GDPR and CCPA. Google’s decision to eliminate the cookie will make its own dealings with regulators easier, but it also forced a lot of companies who benefited from the ecosystem to rethink their own data practices from the ground up.

And so the demise of the cookie presents us with an opportunity – both for consumers and data-dependent organizations. What arises to replace the cookie in the coming years should lead to a more accurate, honest, and valuable digital ecosystem. Here’s why:

What’s changing for the consumer?

From a consumer perspective, the primary problem with cookies is a lack of transparency about their origins. Without the ability to know the source of the data, permanently opting out of cookie tracking was generally futile. The most promising new identity solutions rely on PII-based structures that make managing consumer consent much easier, allowing for more accountability throughout the value exchange.

To solve this, CCPA is now ushering in a radical change. Instead of anonymous identity graphs, which are impossible to manage and maintain for consumer opt-outs, the future of online identity will be tied to some form of personally identifiable information. Google is already operating this way, as they know your name and Gmail address, and so they can tie all communications, analytics, and advertising back to actual people. Consumers have given them that information in exchange for their free services.

And now the broader digital ecosystem is moving in the same direction. Publishers, marketers, data companies, and agencies will legally require identity solutions to provide their services while protecting consumers who both want to participate, and those who want a permanent opt-out ability. This is analogous to opting out of marketing emails by way of the CAN-SPAM Act, a regulation that has been largely effective at cutting down unwanted emails. Expect the same in all other forms of digital marketing going forward.

A better future for marketing technology companies

And while the new rules and requirements to protect consumer data will be more stringent and costly for marketers, media, and data companies, the new system will lead to better results for marketing technology as a whole.

Better data, analytics, insights, attribution models, and higher-quality target audiences are being ushered in. In fact, this is why Google waited so long to make this move because their identity solution (underpinned by billions of people with a Gmail address) was always a competitive advantage they shared with a few other market leaders (e.g. Facebook).

As real identity solutions become the new standard and easier to adopt, there are new opportunities to level the playing field for brands and those outside the walled gardens. There will be costly investments required, but this is ultimately a win-win for consumers and the marketing technology ecosystem. Right now there’s a lot of space for new ideas and innovation, and we should all embrace it.

Michael Hussey is President of StatSocial, an earned audience intelligence platform.

The post What’s left when the cookie goes away? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Behind the SEO: Launching Our New Guide — How to Rank

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Posted by Cyrus-Shepard

Seven years ago, we published a post on the Moz Blog titled “How to Rank: 25 Step Master SEO Blueprint.”

From an SEO perspective, the post did extremely well.

Over time, the “How to Rank” post accumulated:

  • 400k pageviews
  • 200k organic visits
  • 100s of linking root domains

Despite its success, seven years is a long time in SEO. The chart below shows what often happens when you don’t update your content.

Predictably, both rankings and traffic declined significantly. By the summer of 2020, the post was only seeing a few hundred visits per month.

Time to update

We decided to update the content. We did this not only for a ranking/traffic boost, but also because SEO has changed a lot since 2013.

The old post simply didn’t cut it anymore.

To regain our lost traffic, we also wanted to leverage Google’s freshness signals for ranking content.

Many SEOs mistakenly believe that freshness signals are simply about updating the content itself (or even lazier, putting a new timestamp on it.) In actuality, the freshness signals Google may look actually take many different forms:

  1. Content freshness.
  2. Rate of content change: More frequent changes to the content can indicate more relevant content.
  3. User engagement signals: Declining engagement over time can indicate stale content.
  4. Link freshness: The rate of link growth over time can indicate relevancy.

To be fair, the post had slipped significantly in all of these categories. It hasn’t been updated in years, engagement metrics had dropped, and hardly anyone new linked to it anymore.

To put it simply, Google had no good reason to rank the post highly.

This time when publishing, we also decided to launch the post as a stand-alone guide — instead of a blog post — which would be easier to maintain as evergreen content.

Finally, as I wrote in the guide itself, we simply wanted a cool guide to help people rank. One of the biggest questions we get from new folks after they read the Beginner’s Guide to SEO is: “What do I read next? How do I actually rank a page?”

This is exactly that SEO guide.

Below, we’ll discuss the SEO goals that we hope to achieve with the guide (the SEO behind the SEO), but if you haven’t check it out yet, here’s a link to the new guide:

How to Rank On Google

SEO goals

Rarely do SEO blogs talk about their own SEO goals when publishing content, but we wanted to share some of our strategies for publishing this guide.

1. Keywords

First of all, we wanted to improve on the keywords we already rank for (poorly). These are keywords like:

  • How to rank
  • SEO blueprint
  • SEO step-by-step

Our keyword research process showed that the phrase “SEO checklist” has more search volume and variations that “SEO blueprint”, so we decided to go with “checklist” as a keyword.

Finally, when doing a competitor keyword gap analysis, we discovered some choice keywords that our competitors are ranking for with similar posts.

Based on this, we knew we should include the word “Google” in the title and try to rank for terms about “ranking on Google.”

2. Featured snippets

Before publishing the guide, our friend Brian Dean (aka Backlinko) owns the featured snippet for “how to rank on Google.”

It’s a big, beautiful search feature. And highly deserved!

We want it.

There are no guarantees that we’ll win this featured snippet (or others), but by applying a few featured snippets best practices—along with ranking on the first page—we may get there.

3. Links

We believe the guide is great content, so we hope it attracts links.

Links are important because while the guide itself may generate search traffic, the links it earns could help with the rankings across our entire site. As Rand Fishkin once famously wrote about the impact of links in SEO, “a rising tide lifts all ships.”

Previously, the old post had a few hundred linking root domains pointing at it, including links from high-authority sites like Salesforce.

Obviously, we are now 301 redirecting these links to the new guide.

We’ll also update internal links throughout the site, as well as adding links to posts and pages where appropriate.

To help build links in the short-term, we’ll continue promoting the guide through social and email channels.

Long-term, we could also do outreach to help build links.

To be honest, we think the best and easiest way to build links naturally is simply to present a great resource that ranks highly, and also that we promote prominently on our site.

Will we succeed?

Time will tell. In 3-6 months we’ll do an internal followup, to track our SEO progress and see how we measured up against our goals.

To make things more complicated, SEO is far more competitive than it was 7 years ago, which makes things harder. Additionally, we’re transparently publishing our SEO strategy out in the open for our competitors to read, so they may adjust their tactics.

Want to help out? You can help us win this challenge by reading and sharing the guide, and even linking to it if you’d like. We’d very much appreciate it 🙂

To your success in SEO.

 

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How We Became Digital Marketers in Just One Summer

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Posted by rootandbranch

Editor’s note: This blog is from the perspective of five University of Pittsburgh students — Kirsten, Steve, Darcie, Erin, and Sara — who completed a class this summer called “Digital Marketing Search Fundamentals”, taught by Zack Duncan of Root and Branch.

Introduction

Our digital marketing class this summer did not give us credits that count towards graduation (in fact, some of us graduated in Spring 2020), nor did it give us a grade. Instead, we learned about paid search and organic search along with some of the key concepts central to digital marketing. We also became certified in Google Ads Search along the way.

We each had different reasons for taking the course, but we all believe that digital marketing will have value for us in our lives.

At the beginning of the term, in June 2020, we were asked, “What is one thing you’re hoping to get out of this class?” Here are some of our responses to that question:

  • I hope to gain a strong understanding of SEO and Google Ads, and to get hands-on experience to understand how both would be used in a work setting.
  • I want to learn something about marketing that I might not learn in the classroom.
  • I’m hoping to become more competitive in this difficult job market.
  • I hope to build on my resume and develop skills for personal use.
  • I want to learn a foundational skill that can be applied in many different aspects of business.

Now that we’ve completed the class, we wanted to share our thoughts on why we believe digital marketing matters — both for our lives today and as we look ahead to the future. We’re also going to cover five of the most important building blocks we learned this summer, that have helped us see how all the pieces of digital marketing fit together.

Part 1: Why digital marketing matters

Why digital marketing training matters now

To become more competitive candidates in applying for jobs

Some of us are recent grads in the midst of searching for our first jobs after college. Some of us are still in school and are actively looking for internships. We’ve all seen our fair share of job listings for positions like “Digital Marketing Intern” or “Digital Marketing Associate”. Given that the majority of us are marketing majors, you might think it’s safe to assume we would be qualified for at least an interview for those positions.

Nope.

Before gaining a solid foundation in digital marketing, we were often quite limited in the listings we were qualified for. But things have been changing now that we can say we’re certified in Google Ads Search and can speak to topics like digital analytics, SEO, and the importance of understanding the marketing funnel.

To help with growing freelance side businesses

Towards the beginning of the pandemic, a few of us were dangerously close to graduation with little to no hope of finding a job in marketing. Instead of binge-watching Netflix all day and hoping some fantastic opportunity would magically come our way, the entrepreneurial among us decided to see how we could use our current skills to generate revenue.

One of us is especially interested in graphic design and learned everything there was to know in Adobe Creative Suite to become a freelance graphic designer, starting a side business in graphic design, and designs logos, labels, menus, and more.

After this class, finding clients has changed in a big way now. Instead of being limited to looking for clients in social media groups, digital marketing knowledge opens up a whole new world. With a functioning website and a knowledge of both paid and organic search, the process of finding new customers has dramatically changed (for the better!).

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To be more informed consumers

While a digital marketing background doesn’t instantly translate to job opportunities for everyone, it can help all of us become more informed consumers.

As consumers, we want to pay for quality goods and services at a fair price. Some basic digital marketing knowledge gives us a better understanding of why the search engine results page (SERP) findings show up in the order that they do. Knowing about keywords, domain authority (for organic search) and quality scores (for paid results) can demystify things. And that’s just on the SERP.

Moving off the SERP, it’s helpful to know how nearly every advertisement we see is somehow targeted to us. If you are seeing an ad, there is a very good chance you fall into an audience segment that a brand has identified as a potential target. You may also be seeing the ad due to a prior visit to the brand’s website and are now in a retargeting audience (feel free to clear out those cookies if you’re sick of them!).

The more information you have as a consumer, the more likely you are to make a better purchase. These few examples just go to show how digital marketing training matters now, even if you are not the one actively doing the digital marketing.

How a digital marketing foundation be useful in the future

It’s helpful in creating and growing a personal brand

Your brand only matters if people know about it. You could sit in your room and put together the most awesome portfolio website for yourself and create a solid brand identity, but if no one else knows about it, what’s the point? Digital marketing concepts like understanding SEO basics can help make your presence known to potential customers, employers, and clients.

It would be terrible if your competition got all the business just because you didn’t use the simple digital marketing tools available to you, right? Digital marketing efforts can have many different goals ranging from making sales to just increasing general awareness of your brand, so get out there and start!

To become a more flexible contributor in future career opportunities

One thing we’ve heard consistently in the job search process is employers love flexible, cross functional employees. It seems the most successful and valued employees are often those that are not only experts in their field, but also have a pretty good understanding of other subjects that impact their work. Let’s say you’re an account manager for a digital agency, and you have some great insight that you think could be helpful in driving some new ad copy testing for your biggest client. It’s going to be a whole lot easier talking with your copywriter and media team (and being taken seriously by them), if you have an understanding of how the text ads are built.

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To see data as an opportunity for action, as opposed to just numbers

Are you someone who enjoys numbers and performance metrics? That’s great! So are we! But those numbers are meaningless without a digital marketing background to provide context for the data.

Understanding data is a valuable tool for getting to know your audience and evaluating advertising campaigns. Seeing that your Google Search text ad has a poor click-through rate is only actionable if you have the foundation to take steps and improve it. Analyzing your website’s metrics and finding that you have a low average session duration is meaningless if you don’t connect the dots between the numbers and what they mean for your web design or your on-page content.

It’s pretty clear that the numbers don’t give much value to a marketer or a business without the ability to recognize what those metrics mean and the actions that can be taken to fix them. As we advance in our careers and have more and more responsibility for decision making, digital marketing fundamentals can continue to grow our experience with turning data into insight-driven action.

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To optimize for conversions — always

Whatever the goal, it’s important to know if you’re operating efficiently in terms of your conversions. In other words, you need to know if you’re getting a return for the investment (time, money, or both) you’re putting in. When you’re operating to get the most conversions for the lowest cost, you are employing a mindset that will help your marketing efforts perform as well as they can.

Having a digital marketing foundation will allow you to think intelligently about “conversions”, or the kinds of results that you’d like to see your marketing efforts generate. A conversion might be a completed sale for an e-commerce company, a submitted lead form for a B2B software company, or a new subscriber for an online publication.

Whatever the desired conversion action, thinking about them as the goal helps to give context in understanding how different marketing efforts are performing. Is your ad performing well and should it receive more media spend, or is it just wasting money?

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Thinking about conversions isn’t always easy, and may take some trial and error, but it can lead to making smart, measurable, and cost-effective decisions. And those decisions can get smarter over time as we get more and more familiar with the five key building blocks of digital marketing (at least the five that we’ve found to be instructive).

Part 2: Understanding five building blocks of digital marketing

1. The marketing funnel (customer journey)

The marketing funnel (or the user/customer journey) refers to the process by which a prospective customer hears about a product or service, becomes educated about the product or service, and makes a decision whether or not to purchase the product or service in question.

It encompasses everything from the first time that brand awareness is established to the potential purchase made by the customer. The awareness stage can be known as the “top of the funnel”, and there are lots of potential prospects in that audience.

From there, some prospects “move down the funnel” as they learn more and get educated about the product or service. Those that don’t move down the funnel and progress in their journey are said to “fall out” of the funnel.

As the journey continues, prospects move closer to becoming customers. Those who eventually “convert” are those that completed the journey through the bottom of the funnel.

Understanding that there is such a thing as a customer journey has helped to frame our thinking for different types of marketing challenges. It essentially boils down to understanding where, why, when, and how your prospects are engaging with your brand, and what information they will need along the way to conversion.

2. Paid search vs. organic search and the SERP

For many of us, one of the first steps in understanding paid vs. organic search was getting a handle on the SERP.

The slide below is our “SERP Landscape” slide from class. It shows what’s coming from paid (Google Ads), and what’s coming from organic search. In this case, organic results are both local SEO results from Google My Business, and also the on-page SEO results. Here’s a link to a 92-second video with the same content from class.

We learned to look for the little “Ad” designation next to the paid text ads that are often at the top of the SERP.

These are search results with the highest AdRank who are likely willing to bid the most on the specific keyword in question. Since paid search is based on CPC (cost per click) pricing, we learned that the advertiser doesn’t incur any costs for their ad to show up, but does pay every single time the ad is clicked.

Although many CPCs might range in the $2 – $3 range, some are $10 and up. With that kind of investment for each click, advertisers really need to focus on having great landing pages with helpful content that will help drive conversions.

Organic search, on the other hand, is “free” for each click. But it also relies on great content, perhaps even more so than paid search. That’s because the only way to get to the top of the organic search rankings is to earn it. There’s no paying here!

Search engines like Google are looking for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) in content to rank highly on the SERP. In addition to making good local sense for Google, it all comes back to the core of Alphabet’s business model, as the slide below shows.

Understanding Google’s motivations help us understand what drives organic search and the SERP landscape overall. And understanding the basics of paid and organic search is an important foundation for all aspiring digital marketers who want to work in the field.

3. Inbound vs. outbound marketing

Are you working to push a message out to an audience that you hope is interested in your product or service? If so, you’re doing some outbound marketing, whether it be traditional media like billboards, television, or magazines, or even certain types of digital advertising like digital banner ads. Think about it as a giant megaphone broadcasting a message.

Inbound work, on the other hand, aims to attract potential customers who are actively engaged in seeking out a product or service. Search marketing (both paid search and organic search) are perfect examples of inbound, as they reach prospects at the moment they’re doing their research. Instead of a megaphone, think of a magnet. The content that does the best job in solving problems and answering questions will be the content with the strongest magnetic pull that gets to the top of SERPs and converts.

If you’re going to be here for a while, click the image below for more information on how we think about content in the context of digital marketing efforts.

4. Basic digital marketing metrics

There are some universal metrics that we all need to understand if we’re going to develop a competency in digital marketing. Click through rate (CTR), for example, is a great way to measure how effective an ad unit or organic result is in terms of generating a click.

But before we can fully understand CTR (clicks divided by impressions), we first need to make sure we understand the component parts of the metric. Here are four of those key components that we learned about during our digital marketing training:

  • Impression: A search result (paid or organic) or an ad shows up on a page
  • Click: A user clicking the search result or ad on a page triggers a recorded click
  • Conversion: After clicking on the search result or ad, the user completes an action that is meaningful for the business. Different types of businesses have different conversion actions that are important to them.
  • Cost: While organic search results are “free” (not counting costs associated with creating content), paid ads incur a cost. Understanding the cost of any paid advertising is a crucial component of understanding performance.

How does it all work in practice? Glad you asked! Check out the example below for a hypothetical advertising campaign that served 10,000 impressions, drove 575 clicks, cost $1,000, and generated 20 conversions:

5. Platforms and tools a beginner digital marketer should use

Our class was focused on search marketing, and we talked about one platform for paid and one platform for organic.

On the paid side, there is only one name in the game: Google Ads. Google has free training modules and certifications available through a platform called Skillshop. You’ll need a Google-affiliated email address to log in. After doing so, just search for “Google Ads Search” and you can go through the training modules shown below.

If you’re already a Google Ads pro, you can hop right to the exam and take the timed Google Ads Search Assessment. If you can get an 80% or higher on the 50-question exam, you’ll get a certification badge!

For organic search, we learned about keyword research, title tags, H1s and H2s, anchor text in links, and more through the training available on Moz Academy. The 73-minute Page Optimization course has eight different training sections and includes an On Page Optimization Quiz at the end. Fair warning, some of the content might be worth watching a few times if you’re new to SEO. For most of us this was our first exposure to SEO, and it took some time for most of our brains to sort through the difference between a title tag and an H1 tag!

Another platform that we liked was Google Trends, which can be useful for both paid and organic search, and is just generally a cool way to see trends happening!

There are many more resources and tools out there in the world. Some of us are aiming to get more comfortable with these fundamentals, while some others have already branched out into other disciplines like social media.

Conclusion

Thanks for coming along with us on this digital marketing journey. We hope it was a useful read!

During the process of putting this together, things have changed for us:

  • Kirsten landed a full-time job.
  • Steve started doing consulting work for a growing Shopify site in Google Ads and Google Analytics, and is planning to make consulting his full-time work.
  • Darcie landed a job as a Paid Search Analyst for a national retailer.

For all of us, we know we’re only taking the first steps of our digital marketing futures, and we’re excited to see what the future holds!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Does changing your business phone number affect Local SEO?

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Changing a business phone number can be a simple process in itself, but it can impact your business Local SEO unless you prepare properly.

In this article Emma Worden, a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney, explains the effect that changing your phone number can have and what to do about it to avoid any Google penalties.

30-second summary:

  • Although a business phone number isn’t as tough on your SEO as a complete rebrand, changing it can have an impact on your SEO.
  • Preserving NAP consistency should be your primary goal when changing your phone number.
  • Your marketing strategy can help make the transition easier for your customers, too, as you can notify them of the change ahead of time.
  • The key goal in addition to retaining your ranking should be to not lose the trust of your customers by changing your information – hence the need to approach the process carefully.

Local SEO

Much like all other aspects of digital marketing and brand positioning, SEO is a constantly changing game. With so many moving pieces and evolving trends, it’s no wonder that brands aren’t quite certain which decisions will negatively impact their SEO, and which ones are safe enough to make.

One day, it seems that one kind of behavior is perfectly fine, while the next Google will penalize it because they’ve implemented algorithm changes. Add customer expectations into the mix, and it gets even more difficult to figure out just what’s worth the effort, and what should be left alone.

When it comes to your business details, including your name, address, and phone number (neatly packed into the notion of NAP information), change can be good. After all, entire companies have successfully rebranded without a hitch. However, changing a single piece of information such as your phone number can change the entire customer journey if not done right.

Here, we’ll tackle a few essential steps in the process to keep in mind, so that your phone number shift doesn’t impact your ranking or your brand perception negatively.

NAP it in the bud

Local search is a vital component of your overall SEO strategy, all the more so when you’re running a strictly local business with a physical presence, such as a pastry shop, a car repair facility, or a beauty salon. Your foot traffic heavily depends on your customers’ ability to find correct information online when they search for your services.

If they stumble upon an outdated number, they’ll call the next business in their search results with solid reviews and forget that you exist. Simply put, consistency matters. Google doesn’t want to disappoint its users, so it penalizes businesses with inconsistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information across the internet. As soon as your directories, your website, and other online listings don’t show your actual phone number, your ranking will suffer.

The remedy is fairly simple. If you have decided to change your phone number or your entire communications system, for that matter, you should take the time to revise all your local business listings and directories where your company pops up.

NAP consistency is a vital ranking factor that can either plummet your business in the eyes of search engines, or it can help you reach those topmost desirable spots in the SERPs. So, while changing your business phone number might not be a cause for worry on its own, how you distribute it will greatly matter in local rankings.

Take care of your call tracking

Some businesses steer clear of call tracking simply because they aren’t sure how to go about it, afraid to damage their SEO in the process. Even more importantly with regards to call tracking, every business needs to adhere to those key legal requirements, such as the EU’s GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, to make sure their customers’ sensitive information is safe. But when the time comes to move from outdated landlines and change your numbers or merge them, you can also reap the benefits of this potentially SEO-beneficial process.

Wanting to unify and improve their communication systems, companies are switching to digital phone solutions such as voice over internet protocol (or VoIP for short). There are many perks of such a transition for call tracking, smarter customer support, and better customer engagement, all of which can support your SEO efforts in the long run. As you learn about VoIP and its many applications, you’ll be able to make the most of your phone-based interactions with your customers to serve your brand reputation, but also your ranking.

In addition to having more business phone numbers at your disposal if you need them, you should know that VoIP platforms come with other useful features such as call analytics, recording, emailing, and texting. Collecting all of that data and implementing SEO-safe call tracking with the help of Dynamic Number Insertion both work in favor of your SEO.

Building and preserving customer trust

When done right, changing your business phone number can be a seamless process that doesn’t do any damage to your ranking. However, it’s important to remember the reason for the ranking in the first place: search engines want to give users the best, most trustworthy results first and above all other available options online. In doing so, they reward businesses that accurately portray themselves online, and contact information is a vital component of that representation.

The basic premise goes as follows: if a customer calls you and gets a notification that the number no longer exists, they lose trust in your brand. Google and other search engines recognize that lack of trust and thus push other businesses above yours, with accurate and verified contact details available. In a sense, it’s customer trust that drives search engine ranking.

Research has confirmed this, as 80% of surveyed respondents in BrightLocal research have stated that they would lose trust in a business with incorrect and inconsistent contact details. If you’ve decided to change your phone number, making sure it’s consistently represented across all of your digital outlets is the key piece of your SEO puzzle: to preserve customer trust and thus to preserve your ranking.

Notifying the customer in time

Thankfully, you can make sure that your customers have the correct information in a few simple ways. If you’ve taken care of all of your business directory listings, your social media pages, messaging app presence, and your website, you can use your marketing strategy to get the word out.

Your subscribers and return customers will want to know that your business has changed a vital piece of information. Just like you don’t want them to spend an hour going to an old address of your café only to discover a weird-looking shop for plumbing supplies, you want to have your new number added to their contacts list.

You can use your weekly/monthly newsletter to notify them of the switch, post a social media update letting customers know the new number they can reach you on, and post a little announcement on your website, too, especially if you gain plenty of call traffic from all of these outlets.

Changing a business phone number can be a simple process in itself, but its impact on your business will not be unless you prepare properly. Taking care of all the business registers where your company is listed paired with implementing search engine-approved tracking tactics as well as customer engagement will be more than enough to help you through the process.

Emma Worden is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. You can find Emma on @EmmaRWorden.

The post Does changing your business phone number affect SEO? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

 

Page speed SEO is a big deal – Why? It impacts SEO rankings

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Can Page speed SEO and why it can hurt your search engine ranking?

30-second summary:

  • Consumers expect ≈ and apps to respond quickly. Each second of delay can cost $100K in lost revenue for brands.
  • There are tools to help understand a page’s overall speed. Looking at the relationship between page speed and SEO ranking shows that having a faster performing site/page does impact ranking in a positive way, albeit slightly.
  • As marketers look for additional data points about why they should prioritize page speed, Jason Tabeling highlights the data and how it fits into an overall SEO strategy.

The saying is, “Speed Kills.” However, when it comes to digital speed, it’s really, “Slow speed kills.” According to a study by Google and Deloitte for every 0.1 seconds that your page speed improves can increase your conversion rates by 8%.

That data point creates a pretty powerful business case to improve the performance of your site. Think about this data point from your own experience browsing the web, mobile, and desktop. Have you ever found that a page was just loading too slow that you moved on to something else, or that brand lost the sale? I know I have.

So, we know that speed improves page performance, but what about how it impacts SEO rankings? I took a look at a small data set to try to get a sense of the impact that page speed has on rankings. I took 10 retail and conversion based keywords and ran the specific webpages through the Google Page Speed Test to look at the correlation between speed and rank. This data set gives a good directional study on the impact. Here is what I found;

Rank and page speed are only slightly correlated

Creating a scatter plot of each website’s rank with the page speed shows the distribution. The data does show a relationship between speed and rank. The correlation of the data suggests there is just a 0.08 correlation.

A correlation of 1 would be perfectly correlated. So, this score isn’t very high, but there is a correlation and when you are looking for an edge and you know the impact speed has on conversion rates becomes very meaningful.

The way to forecast the impact is to use the trendline and its slope. If you remember your algebra class you can use this data to create the equation of a line and estimate what your page speed needs to be a achieve a certain rank.

Using that equation you can see that every 10 points of additional speed roughly equals a tenth of a point in rank improvement. So moving from a speed score of 10 equals a rank of 5.3, but a page speed of 100 would equal a rank of 4.4.

This might not seem like a big deal, but remember speed dramatically improves conversion rates and has a positive impact on rank as well.

rank vs page speed data graph

What action should you take?

Here’s an outline of a few steps you can take to optimize your speed.

1. Improve your page speed

There are a lot of opportunities for brands to increase their page speed. Probably the most surprising thing was how many sites had very slow speed rankings. Look at the data in the histogram below. 56% of page speed scores came back <20.

That is pretty remarkable considering there are some very well known brands in this study. There are so many opportunities to improve page speed and Google’s tool, and many others provide very step by step actions to take to improve. If you haven’t run your site through this tool or another one you should do that to start – https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/feature/testmysite/

histogram of page speed

2. Don’t forget that speed is important but it’s just one of many factors that impact SEO rankings

While this article is about speed, it should be clear that SEO has many more key items that impact rank and overall results than speed. SEO is a holistic strategy that includes content and technical resources.

You can’t forget about how well your content resonates with your audience, how fresh it is, and how well the search engine spiders can crawl and understand your site. So many businesses get caught up in their re-platforming their ecommerce platform and never put a minute of thought into the SEO strategy.

The post Page speed is a big deal – Why? It impacts SEO rankings appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

 

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