How To Start a Blog – Beginner’s Guide for 2018 / 2019





So, you want to start a blog huh? Great idea! But…how the heck do you get started? There’s so much info out there on the web, and everyone’s telling you to do different things. Who do you listen to? Where’s the starting point? Damnit, maybe you should just forget it – it’s too confusing! Well, hold up. I used to be a blogging newbie too. I had the same problems. I started my blog (BloggingBasics101.com) way back in 2006, and I knew less than nothing about blogging. In fact it was only the week before I’d learnt what a blog was.



Now I know a ton about them, and my blog’s doing pretty well – I receive more than 300,000 unique visitors per month which makes me consider myself someone you could listen to and learn from when it comes to building your own blog. I’m not some sort of Guru, but I certainly do know the basics.

I promise it’ll be simple, relatively easy, and definitely easy to understand (no stupid jargon). Sound good?

Awesome, let’s move on.

Why you should create a blog and join the blogging community

So below, I’m going to outline exactly what you need to do to get started and set up your own personal blog. Before we dive in though, I really want to talk about WHY you should build a blog.

Note: If you already have a solid idea of the whys, then skip this and go right ahead with the guide.

  1. Blogging has quickly become one of the most popular ways of communicating and spreading information and news. There are literally millions of blogs online (don’t worry, you can make yours stand out and get noticed!).
  2. It’s a great way to express yourself and also a fantastic way to share information with others.
  3. You become a better person and a better writer.
  4. The best reason? You can make money doing it!

I bet you already knew all of that, but it’s nice to be reminded.

One very last thing before we get started:

Creating your own blog can take a little while, probably up to 30 minutes. So grab yourself a coffee or juice (whatever you fancy) and let’s get stuck in. If you need any help during the set-up process, get in touch with me and I’ll help as best I can and answer any questions you might have).

 

Disclosure: This guide to starting your own blog contains some affiliate links. If you purchase a service through one of these links I may earn a small commission, this is at no extra cost to you.

The Steps Covered In This Blogging Guide

It’s nowhere near as difficult as setting up a website from scratch (there’s very little technical ability needed here). In fact, there’s no coding required by you. Good news, huh?

So, we made it. Phew. Better late than never! So, without further ado, let’s jump into step 1.



Step 1 – Choose your preferred blogging platform

Choosing where you want to build blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I advocate. It’s massive.

It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.

There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress = a lot, basically.

wordpress

There are other alternatives however, and they are listed below:

  • Blogger – Definitely the next best thing to WordPress.
  • Tumblr – Half social network, half blog. Interesting, and very simple to use.

Even though WordPress is bigger (and probably better) than those two, here are my reasons why you should still go with WordPress:

  1. Super easy set-up and is free to use
  2. Tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there’s gazillions).
  3. There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).
  4. Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look Functionality and form – perfect!
  5. People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.

Here’s an article about different blogging platforms (including WordPress), give it a read:

 

Now, Step 2 (see, we’re moving fast now!)

Step 2 – Self-hosting or a free alternative?

Whoa, slow down there! This is the biggest decision you’ll have to make before we go any further. You need to decide whether to pay for your blog or grab a free one.

WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger all offer free blogs for anyone. Awesome, right? It’s perfect for those of us who aren’t super serious about blogging. But it does have downsides:

1) You won’t be able to get your OWN domain name

On a free blog, your blog’s web address (your URL) will be butt-ugly. Like, really ugly. In short, create a free blog with any other the above free blog services and it’ll look like this:

  • yourblog.wordpress.com
  • yourblog.blogspot.com
  • yourblog.tumblr.com

I know, ugly right?

2) Limits and more limits

There are some limits to free blogs. You can’t fully monetize it, and you don’t have the possibility to upload all those videos and images you want to show everyone – it’s all limited. Worse still, you won’t even have access to the free themes offered by WordPress.

3) You DON’T OWN your blog

It might sound silly at first, but you don’t actually own your blog. It’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can delete it if they want so. They have done so in the past, and keep doing it in the future. Which means all your hard work on your blog, all those countless hours of writing blog posts might be vanished within seconds. Sad…



On the other hand, with a self-hosted blog on your own domain name – you are the REAL owner of your blog. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want, for example “YourName.com” or “YourAwesomeBlog.com. You can end it with .com, .co.uk, .net, .org, or virtually any other web suffix. Add to that unlimited bandwidth for videos, images and content plus the free themes and you have a winning combo.

So how much is hosting and a domain name? Not as much as you’re thinking, fortunately. It usually works out to about $5 to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider which is less than a couple of coffees.

 

Step 3 – Start a blog on your own domain (if you chose self-hosting and a custom domain)

wordpress blogging platform

I’m going to push ahead based on the premise you’ve chosen WordPress, and if you haven’t, you should. Seriously, it’s the best.

If you’re still a little confused by what a self-hosted blog is, allow me to explain and how you can go about setting one up for yourself.

You’ll need to come up with a domain name you like and also choose a hosting company that can host your blog.

  • Domain: The domain is basically the URL of your website. Examples: google.com (Google.com is the domain), Facebook.com (Facebook.com is the domain). See? Simple!
  • Hosting: Hosting is basically the company that puts your website up on the internet so everyone else can see it. Everything will be saved on there. Think of it as a computer hard-drive on the internet where your blog will be saved.

Personally, I use iPage (for my blog domain and hosting), and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. It’s probably one of the cheapest (less than $2.50 per month) hosting providers out there. A domain name will cost around $10-15 a year, but with iPage they throw that in for free :). Big smiles for that! They’re the providers I use for all of my blogs, including the one you’re reading right now.

If for any reason you don’t want to go with iPage, feel free to choose your own hosting company. Most, if not all of them, should have a “one-click” WordPress install solution on their admin panel.

That button will automatically install WordPress on your blog. Did I say it was simple or what?

All you need to do is sign up with iPage (or your chosen provider), choose your hosting plan and a domain name and look for the one-click WordPress install button on the admin panel.

WordPress essentials aren’t often needed, but I’d recommend whois privacy (that will keep all your personal details private) and definitely automated backups (this’ll save your website just in case anything fails or disappears, so you won’t lose any or very little of your blog).

I have a more in-depth tutorial on building a blog with iPage here.

 

Once WordPress is installed on your website, all you have to do to start blogging is go to your WP-Admin page usually www.yourblognamehere.com/wp-admin and start writing by adding a new post.

At the start, the layout looks confusing, but it gets very understandable quickly. Don’t worry!

Step 4 – Designing your WordPress blog

Now, the fun bit.

Let’s make your blog look exactly how you want it to. To choose a new theme, you can either head to Appearance > Themes and install a free WordPress theme or you can head to a premium theme website like ThemeForest.net and buy a theme for around $40.

I usually choose something that looks professional and pretty easy to customise. WordPress also has this awesome feature that allows you to change themes with just a few clicks. So if you start getting tired of your current blog template, you can just switch to another one without losing any precious content or images.

choose-blog-theme

Remember, your blog’s design should reflect both you and your personality, but also what the blog is about. There’s no point having a football-orientated theme if your blog is about tennis, understand?

On top of that, it should be easy to navigate if you want people to stick around. If it’s tricky and difficult to move around it, people won’t stay. Design is a subjective art; meaning everyone likes different things.

But no one likes ugly websites, and they especially hate websites that need a university degree to navigate. Make it easy for them.

Last step! Woo!

 

Step 5 – Useful Resources For Beginner Bloggers

Bloggers come to blogging arena with varying degrees of online and social media experience, but we’ve all made more than a few newbie mistakes – there’s always room for more learning and improvement, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years.

These articles may help you avoid some of the growing pains when it comes to your first blog – enjoy!:

And that’s it! I’m more than confident that your initial blog set up should now be finished and ready to go, and all that should have been really damn easy (unlike my first time, lucky you!).

If by some unfortunate circumstance you get stuck or have any questions for me about how to create a blog, just get in touch with me or leave a comment below. I’ll help you out with any problems.

Enjoy your new blog!

Your Sales Funnel is a Sieve: Here’s How to Plug the Holes





 

1. Where Are the Holes?

In a movie set in space, there will always be a “punctured hull scene.” It’s like a Nicholas Sparks movie and terminal illness.
First, a rock or a bit of debris punctures the hull. Then an alarm goes off. And then the space denizens panic.
What’s the first thing they do? Look for the hole.
This is your first step. Look for the holes in the sieve.

Hole #1: Little Data Tracking

I recently had to run at night on a mountain trail. If I hadn’t had my headlamp, what would have happened? I’d have literally bit the dirt (and probably a granite rock the size of grandma).
Lack of data tracking is like lack of headlamp on mountain trails at night. The light gives me visual data on the trail so I can change course when needed.
Same with sales funnels. If you don’t have data on your middle conversions, you have no idea what’s working and what isn’t. All you have is the result.
You can’t fix the holes in your sales funnel because you aren’t actually looking for holes. You’re a Sales Jumblie ignoring your friends who think you’re gonna drown!

Hole #2: Follow Up?

Sales funnels are never set it and forget it. Yet, 48% of sales reps must think this is true. They never follow up with a prospective or a lead.
Sometimes it takes as many as 12 contacts to make a sale. That’s the full definition of try-try-again. If you think 12 follow-ups is a waste of your time, maybe you should go and do something else.

Hole #3: Wasting Time With Lead Generation

You can find a billion articles online about lead generation. It’s a hot topic. They think that if they stuff as many people as possible into their funnel more people will drop through.
The problem is: at a certain point, the same number of people drop through no matter how many leads you generate. It’s like a conventional real-life funnel. The end is only so big.
Stop lead generation research right now. You probably get enough leads already. You’re wasting your time and expending too much energy. Just relax, ok?

2. How to Stop Up the Holes

In a “punctured hull scene,” once the protagonist finds the hole, they frantically look for something to plug it with. If they don’t plug the hole, all their oxygen will be gone and the pressure will equalize meaning they will die in a vacuum.
For a space hero, this could mean any number of things. A fire extinguisher, a metal crate, or even a piece of metal alloy bigger than the hole.
There are a variety of ways to fix your sieve and turn it into a real funnel.

Fix #1: Track Those Touch Points

No matter when a customer or lead makes contact, track it. This means that if a customer has already purchased something and they come back again, you track it.



If they’ve come back three times without ever purchasing, track it. This is called touch-point tracking. From here you follow leads all the way to full conversion if they make it.

Once you’ve tracked this data, you can begin to make a customer journey map. You can then replicate this journey for your most legitimate customers and leads.



Fix #2: Simply Follow Up

Again, 12 times might be the charm. Keep going.

There are easier ways to do lead follow up than manual e-mails and phone calls. E-mail automation is a thing.

Automate your sales process as much as possible. This will allow you more time to find new leads while courting current ones.

This also means you’ll be able to run a 24-hour sales funnel operation.



Bots can help with this. Say you’re a small college trying to attract students. You can’t have an admissions digital marketing rep on call 24-7. But a bot can cover the time when your rep is sleeping.

Fix #3: Offer Something Irresistible for Free

There’s a lot of schlock on Amazon that’s free. And most of the schlock doesn’t get read.

This should be a valuable lesson for anyone trying to generate leads. You’re wasting your time with free scholck.

If it’s not worth your time to even engage, why would you even click?

Opt-in’s are great if they actually shove people toward the end of your funnel. But you’ll need to drive people in with limited time offers.

Without FOMO, you’ll never get people close to the end of your funnel. This is the step beyond generation you need to focus on.

Now You’re a Wise Jumblie

Now you can go to sea in a funnel…oh, wait, the metaphor breaks down there. I guess you now have a fairly leak-proof and effective funnel.
Where have you seen your funnel be ineffective? Let me know down in the comments below and maybe I can help you patch them.
 

What Webmasters Need to Know About Google’s Medic Broad Core Algorithm Update





It seems like every few weeks, Google is tweaking their search engine just a little bit. And ever since Matt Cutts cut himself out of the Google-sphere, Moz and other companies must stab in the dark and hope they get their guesses right. In essence, it’s been quite rare that Google actually announces a major algorithm update since the Matt Cutts departure. When they do announce something, it’s after the fact and after much deliberation on our part.



Recently, Google released a major update. They’re calling it the “Medic” Core Update. So, without much further ado, here’s a bit of info on this recent update.

1. A Very Short Google Update History

The Moz outlines all the updates, both major and minor since 2012. They’ve done an incredible job alerting SEOs and webmasters of impending changes and current debacles. And for a time, Google was at least partially communicative with SEOs.

The Moz goes all the way back to the year 2000. But the first real SEO impacting update happened in 2011. Panda affected 12% of all search results. It cracked down on thin content and other quality issues.



From there, Google updated their search engine about every few months. A year later, another major update came waddling in. This was Penguin and it targeted webspam like a spider to a fly.

These updates showed that Google was deadly serious about increasing the quality of their results. And who would blame them? Search results are, after all, their main product.

2. What’s So Special About the Broad Core Algorithm Update?

Google recently began to move away from updating their search engine to find quality content. They’ve pretty much perfected this aspect of Google. And posting quality content will always be something you should do.

For example, if you’re an apartment rental site SEO company, you would want to write articles about SEO and about how to maintain a rental management site. This is what users will look for.



What’s different now? Google is now looking for relevancy.

If your site took a hit with this new update despite usually being a top-ranked site, you probably didn’t do anything wrong. You just need to do more. (Yes, you are allowed to groan when hearing that.)

Figure Out User Intent

This is what Google is trying to teach its search engine to do. And you can do it too. Ask yourself, what is your audience trying to achieve by typing in a search engine term.

What are the questions they’re asking? If you can figure this out, then you can tailor your content to answer those questions.

Who Might Have Taken a Hit?

Moz is calling this the “Medic” update. The sites it seemed to affect were primarily healthcare websites. Anything to do with health and wellness took a hit.

It’s understandable that Google would “target” these sites. I’ve heard medical professionals complain about “Dr. Google” misleading patients. And perhaps Google is trying to teach its search engine to give better medical advice.

Really, if you are in the percentage of sites that took a hit, then my advice would be to double down on your research and give better information. But that should be something you’re doing anyway.

 

10 Companies That Took Off in Unexpected Ways





We constantly hear about the Microsofts and Apples of the world. The garage band companies from humble places. But those companies were a semblance of what they would eventually become. What about the companies that took a chance on something new? What about the jokes people expected to go nowhere? These are the surprising stories that continually surprise us.



We’ll start with a company you may not have heard of. And don’t worry, it’s not actually a joke.

1. Potato Parcel

When was the last time you received a letter in the mail? Letter writing is a lost art. So, there has to be a better way than Amazon to buoy the failing U.S. Postal Service, right?

How about potatos? No, not bulk shipments from Idaho, but messages sent via potato.

What began a satirical joke turned into a successful business called Potato Parcel. Of course, sending a potato as a gift is a joke, but people actually pay $14 to send a custom potato through the mail.

2. Taco Bell Hot Dogs?

In 1946, faux-Mexican food didn’t exist. In fact, not many people in the United States even ate the stuff. This is probably why Glen Bell opened a hot dog stand in San Bernadino, California instead.

After four years of hawking dogs on the street, Glen opened his first restaurant, Bell’s Hamburgers and Hot Dogs. This was in a primarily Latino neighborhood.

Glen noticed that the little Mexican cafe across the street had a line outside the door. When he went over, he realized people were buying hard-shelled tacos.



Glen Bell is the founder of Taco Bell. No joke. A hot dog salesman started your guilty pleasure fast food joint.

3. Ship Your Enemies Glitter

While the days of anthrax scares are over, we’re now worried about glitter bombs.

Yep. That’s right. You should be utterly terrified that someone might send you glitter through the mail.

No, really, this is a legitimate business that recently sold for $85,000. They now ship other jokes like an online novelty shop. But they did begin as a joke.

The founder, Matthew Carpenter, never intended on making glitter bombing into a business. He’s essentially an accidental entrepreneur. It was supposed to be a side project and it became stressful to maintain. He decided to sell it then hoping for an easier life.

4. Game Neverending

Imagine a game where you travel the world, interact with others, buy, sell, trade, and craft items. This could be any video game today, right? What if I told you that’s what the photo site Flickr used to be.

It was a multiplayer online game called Game Neverending. And it devolved into a single chat system where you could share and talk about photos.

This was much easier to scale from an I.T. perspective than an online game. And the concept involved a much wider audience.

Eventually, Steward Butterfield and Caterina Fake figured out that users just wanted to share photos with each other. This was just before Facebook took off. And then Yahoo! bought them out for 35 million dollars.

5. Snow in Florida?

I remember the first time I’d met someone who’d never seen snow. I was 10 and she was a cute 11-year-old from Florida. We met on a ski shuttle in Colorado. It blew my mind that this pretty lady had never seen snow in her short life.

Now, our kids can share the joy of snow with their pen pals (are those still a thing?) with the entry of their parent’s credit card. It’s a company that actually ships a box of snow for anyone wanting to share winter with the people in the less fortunate states.



Ship Snow, Yo, and Ship Foliage do similar things. One ships snow and the other ships “hand-collected New England foliage.”

Ship Foliage made $5k in sales within the first week.

6. Berkshire Hathaway Men’s Suit Linings

You might know Berkshire Hathaway as the real estate company Warren Buffet built. But it wasn’t always Warren Buffet’s venture and it wasn’t always a real estate business.

What if I told you they were once a cotton mill that specialized in suit coat pockets for men? In the 60’s, I’m not sure Buffet even knew what would come of the textile business. But he bought it for a “measly” $14 million.

Now it’s grossing a lot more than that, trust me.

7. The Best Pet You’ll Ever Own

I’m not actually surprised when someone tells me their multimillion dollar business began as a bar conversation. Alcohol often fuels ambition and erases fears.

But, in 1975, Gary Dahl actually took his bar conversation to the moon. It was about selling mere rocks to children.

It was a simple idea. Past two googly-eyes on a smooth rock, box it up, and give it to your kid as a pet.

This actually made Dahl an unexpected amount of money and the man is going to be well off for a while.

8. The Marriot Root Beer Stand

J. Willard Marriot started an A&W Root Beer Stand not long after getting married to Alice Sheets Marriot. But it wasn’t just one stand, it was a whole franchise for D.C., Baltimore, and Richmond.

Of course, they couldn’t expand the franchise without starting somewhere. They opened a 9-stool operation at 3128 14th Street, NW in D.C.

Later they opened a hotel and the rest is history as they say.

9. Cat Memes as a Business?

In the age of the internet it’s totally possible to make money off of your cat. Remember Grumpy Cat? My friend met him at VidCon one year. His owner is now well off.

Same goes for the creator of the “I Can Has Cheezburger?” meme. It was a 2008 phenomenon that exploded. Picture of cats with misspelled captions because, duh, cats can’t spell, right?

The site I Can Has Cheezburger launched as a joke and soon shut down due to traffic overload.

10. NASCAR Liquor Bootlegging Service

Thankfully beer is now legal in the United States or I don’t think NASCAR would have much of an audience. But their participation in the alcohol market wasn’t always in providing fast-paced entertainment.

During the prohibition, they were a fast whiskey delivery service capable of blazing past the police. Now they’re a (rather boring) legal operation.

 

How to Market on Reddit: an Anti-Marketing Social Platform





 

Google might actually be the front page of the internet, especially if you use Chrome. But Reddit comes in for a relatively close second at 1.6 billion visitors a month.



And with about 1.2 million subreddit communities, it’s a massive marketing opportunity waiting to happen. The only problem: what rises to the top is completely user controlled. There is no buying your way to the top.

If you do a quick Google search, you’ll realize there is no legitimate, non-scammy way to buy upvotes on Reddit. That’s the beauty of the platform. If you aren’t an authentic member of a subreddit or you don’t play by the rules, your stuff gets downvoted.

The cream is supposed to rise to the top. The definition of “cream” depends on the subreddit. And if you want to rise to the top, you must be a specific flavor or the community will spit you out.

Here’s how to remain palatable as a marketer on Reddit.



1. Be an Expert in Your Field

It may seem a bit cliche, but if you’re actually good at a thing, people might pay attention. This happened to my friend Abel. He picked up a camera one day and decided to invest his time and energy in perfecting an art.

While full virility on the internet may not give you millions of followers, you will get a boost. Abel went effectively viral on Reddit with just one photo. He’d posted to R/EarthPorn and by the time Reddit archived the photo, it received 63.6k upvotes. 93% of users upvoted the photo.

Abel is a genuine wizard with light, shadow, and landscapes. His photography is cream in a world of mediocre milk.

Be like Abel. Be a genuine wizard in your field and you might rise to the top in Reddit.

2. Be Subreddit Relevant

Each community on Reddit is called a subreddit. You can think of Reddit like a file directory and each subreddit is a subdirectory. But every file has its own set of laws governing actions within the file.

Some subreddits have no posted rules. Be careful here. Some of these subreddits have unwritten rules.



Hangout and participate in a subreddit before posting. Comment on various threads. Engage with people in friendly conversation.

70% of the users are from the U.S., U.K. or Canada. If you speak English, you’ll easily be able to engage.

The more you interact, the less like a marketer you’ll seem. You may even grow to feel like you’re part of the community.

3. Remain Anonymous

I made the mistake of breaking my anonymity on Reddit once. It was a disaster. The StarWars subreddit basically downvoted all my content and told me that only Peter Mayhew was allowed to break his anonymity on Reddit.

It crushed me and I disavowed Reddit forever.

Until I got over it a few years later and created a whole new set of usernames.

You’re not a brand on Reddit, you’re a person. Of course, some fields allow you to break anonymity. Abel Rojas and other photographers aren’t expected to be anonymous. But that’s exclusive to the field of photography.

This is another reason why first becoming a part of the community is a must. You need to know whether you can break anonymity or not.

Examine the cream. Do they break anonymity? If so, go for it! If not, remain an anonymous hippo.

 

How to Write Blog Posts People Will Actually Read





 

Don’t choke on your milk here, but today alone people published 2 million blog posts. That’s right. If you’re thinking of starting a blog, you have to compete with 2 million other people every day.



This is why you absolutely can’t just write a personal blog and hope someone will read it. Sure, someone might read it (likely your mother), but you’ll never drive traffic and you’re certainly not going to make any money.

What you need is a solid grasp of what people want and how to get them to care about what you know or have. Below you’ll learn exactly how to get them to care.

1. Who is Your Audience?

There are two common problems among new bloggers. They either turn their blog into a journal or they write “for the whole world.”



The journalers think people want to “share in their adventures.” This particular blog format only works for people actually having interesting adventures. If you’re a company selling traffic cones, there is no adventure in making traffic cones.

Your audience doesn’t care.

The “for the whole world” bloggers just aren’t specific enough. They generalize and write fluff nobody will read anyway. Then they wonder why nobody is reading their fluff.

To write for an audience, you must have useful information and specific information. It must be relevant to your audience and address their problems.

2. Promote Nothing

If you’re hoping to drive people away, then by all means, write one long product description and ask your audience to buy said product at the end. Then write another version next week. Do that over and over again without ceasing.

You’ll guarantee a low spot on any Google ranking.



Unless you’ve written a product review article or a gift guide, your readers aren’t there for advertisements.  They’re there looking for answers to life’s problems.

Unless buying a construction safety harness is going to solve their problems, you’d better not write a post about how great and useful that safety harness you sell could be.

3. Learn How Google Sees Your Blog

Google is getting scary good at making machines able to “read” your blog like a human would. And some extremely smart people have figured out how to stay ahead of the Google bot.

This is called Search Engine Optimization. While we don’t have time to go into detail here, you should know a few things before we go on.

Keywords Are Still Relevant

While you don’t necessarily need to use a specific keyword strategy if your social media game is strong, keyword SEO could lubricate the wheels. If you rank for a specific high traffic keyword, not only will your traffic soar, but your audience will grow.

Do your research. There are plenty of basic tools out there to help you find easy-to-rank-for long-tail keywords.

It’s Easier Than You Think

Essentially, writing a blog post everyone will read is simple. Give your audience what they want. Write it well (use the Hemmingway editor if you have to). Optimize for search. And publish!

After you’ve done this, and if your social media game is on fleek, you’ll see people flock to your content.

 

AdSense Alternatives to YouTube Monetization





In a move that even out-shadowed the whole demonetization controversy of 2017, YouTube announced significant changes to its partner program in early 2018. As a result, many smaller YouTubers got booted from the YouTube Partner Program because they no longer met the new requirements. As a refresher, the new requirements called for at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours watched in the last 12 months. And no one was grandfathered into the program either.



It’s through the YouTube Partner Program that video creators could monetize their videos using Google AdSense. This includes the pre-roll video ads and the banner ads shown in the video themselves, among other possible placements. Without this revenue source, many YouTubers felt distraught… but maybe they’re forgetting about all the other opportunities to make money on YouTube too. Here are a few that you may have left on the table (that you should now pick up if you haven’t already).

 

Amazon Associates

It probably won’t surprise too many of you to learn that many of the people who watch YouTube are interested in what equipment goes into shooting YouTube videos. This is especially the case with vloggers and other channels that target creative professionals (and amateurs and prosumers too).



One of the simplest things to do is to leverage Amazon’s affiliate program and provide links in the video description to the gear that you use. Similarly, you should be including links to any products you mention in the video too, just as I did in the video where I compared different Amazon Kindle versions. If someone is watching a product video, they’re probably interested in buying it.

Patreon

You might remember when I wrote about Patreon in the context of YouTube monetization a few years ago and it’s arguably even more relevant today. The basic idea here is that instead of trying to get money out of sponsors and advertisers, you get money from the people who are watching your content in the first place. It’s a much more direct relationship and Patreon only takes a 5% fee for providing this platform.

Many of the top YouTube channels have taken this approach. Science video channel SciShow, as of this writing, brings in over $20,000 a month from over 5,000 patrons. That’s nothing to sneeze at and even if you have a smaller subscriber base, Patreon can provide a more consistent and predictable source of income that isn’t subject to fickle algorithms.

Affiliate Lead Generation

If you want to talk about the bigger bucks, this is definitely John Chow’s preferred method of making money from YouTub e. To put this all in perspective, his YouTube channel brings in about $1,000 a month in AdSense (as reported for May 2017). His MOBE earnings for the same month was nearly $250,000 and YouTube referrals accounted for almost a third of that. Put another way, the resulting MOBE affiliate earnings beat out his AdSense revenue by about a factor of 70-to-1.



When you position and target your YouTube videos accordingly and partner up with the right big ticket affiliate program, your earning potential can shoot through the roof.

Your Own Products and Services

You’ve got an online business, so why not leverage your YouTube channel to help build and promote that business even further? The natural tie-in would be if you have a specific product to promote. If you just published a new book or launched a new membership site, there’s no reason why you can’t spread the word on YouTube or include a “promotional message” (from yourself) at the beginning or end of your videos to coincide with the launch.

Collaborations and Sponsorships

Influencer marketing is bigger than ever before. It’s a common misconception that brands only want to work with online influencers who have millions of followers. That’s just not the case. Brands are oftentimes better off working with a larger number of influencers with smaller followings to get the most bang out of their marketing buck.

Speaking for myself, I worked with Subaru Canada on a video that showcased the new Impreza at a local event and that was a sponsored video. Similar partnerships, collaborations and sponsorships are available both through influencer networks and by working with brands (and their PR agencies) directly. Don’t be afraid to reach out. There’s no harm in asking.

Of course, there are innumerable other opportunities for making money on YouTube beyond the AdSense alternatives listed here. Do you have any favorites? Share your experiences and insights in the comments below!

Tips and Tricks to get you started with Social Media Marketing





Just when you’ve decided to build your social media presence, you face the dilemma “where do I begin”. You have so many platforms, so many users to connect with, a plethora of content you can explore from various angles! You should know that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for social media marketing. It all depends on the nature of your business, the products and services you offer, the audience you want to target, your budget and so on. It takes some time to learn what works for you and what doesn’t.



Having said that, let’s begin with the tips that can get you started.

Know the various social media channels

These are the places which can get you the right audience for your business. So a deeper understanding of these platforms can help you get the edge over your competitors. Start with the Big Four – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

It’s safe to start with one or two of the platforms rather than jumping on all 4 channels at once. Many marketers have tried this and failed miserably.

A simple way to find a suitable platform for your business is to follow the influencers in your niche. Analyze them closely and check their followers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and so on.

Survey your customers or clients to find out which platform they use and prefer the most.

Another way is to find the leading business in your niche and visit their social media profiles. Let’s say they have 10,000 followers on twitter and 1000 fans on facebook. This is a strong sign that twitter is a better platform for your business. But don’t stop there. Drill down to find their engagement level on these platforms. This will help you determine which one can produce better results.

Optimize your Profiles

Once you decide which platform you want to target, the second step is to optimize your profile. This is going to help you with your SEO and will also increase your followers/fans.

  • Update your profile and cover image

Use high-quality images which represent your business and your logo. Social media is all about connecting with people. Your profile picture will create the first impression of your business.

  • Keep your description catchy.

Your description should capture your expertise and Unique Selling Proposal. Try to keep it short. When you are writing your Twitter bio besides your main keywords, add relevant hashtags.



  • Include a link to your website.

Including a link will help your SEO. You can add it to the “About me” section of Facebook,“Website section” of Twitter and “Contributor section” of Google+.

  • Add your physical address and phone number.

Build Your Audience

 

Once you have set up your profile there are a few basic steps which you can take to build your audience. First, you can invite your friends, clients, partners, and employees to the page.

Make your Social Media Buttons omnipresent. Add social media widgets to your blog or website and social media buttons to your email signature. You should always link your social media accounts on your “About us”, “Contact Us” page, blogs, newsletter etc.  

Also, incorporate social media buttons to your website so when you add content to your blog, for example, readers can easily share it. There are various plugins which can help you do that. Always, make these buttons large in size so that they are easily visible and clickable.

Once you have connected with your current contacts try reaching a new audience. Target people with interests in your niche and potentially your product or service. Run social media ads which target the right audience for your business.

Now, let’s have a look at each platform and check some specific strategies:

Facebook:

  • Advertise – target under 50,000 people. Retarget your ads for people who have visited your blog/website once. Choose your “type of ad” based on your audience, budget, and product/service. 

Twitter:

  • Start following relevant accounts – mostly users follow you back when you follow them. So it can make a good strategy for those who are just starting on Twitter. Go through the list of followers of other influencers in your niche. Optimize this list and start following relevant users.
  • Use trending and relevant hashtags
  • Find interesting twitter chats to join. Contribute to the conversation and interact with other participants. People will follow you when they see your expertise and the interesting insights you have.

Google+:

  • Get involved in Google+ circles – find circles which are relevant to your niche, follow them and build a community.
  • Join and contribute value to relevant communities.

LinkedIn:

  • Ask all your employees to get involved
  • Always customize your invitation requests

Don’t rush into building your followers. If you are not already aware, let me tell you that twitter restricts the number of people you can follow per day. Also, on Google+ you can add/delete only a number of people from your circle.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same goes for your social presence. You need to have some patience to build thousands of followers. Do not rush into it at the cost of breaking the rules. You might end up getting your account suspended.

I would suggest you build real followers. Then, concentrate on creating amazing content that people would love. This will not only help your SEO efforts but will also help you become an authority in your niche.

Share content that people will love

Content will remain king forever, and I always say interactive content is the hand of the king. The same goes for social media. When you publish interesting, unique and eye-catching content, people are bound to share it. The more people share it, the more visitors and followers you get.



But what do you post? I have compiled a list of interesting content that you can publish:

  • News posts and articles which focus on a controversial topic in your niche.
  • Customize quotes to your niche. (I would recommend using Canva for those)
  • Posting about any new research or stats in your area (of course by giving proper citations). Alternatively, make your own research and present your findings.
  • Create your own infographics – or if you are using someone else’s, make sure you mention them
  • Post videos – a “how-to” video tutorial is a good option to start with.
  • Use memes, GIFs and other trends. Share a joke once in awhile.
  • Include relevant hashtags. They make your content more searchable.

If you are not able to achieve the right amount of engagement in the form of likes, shares or comments, then you need to change your strategy.

One tested way to boost the engagement levels is adding images to your posts. Images catch the attention of your followers easily and help them comprehend the content better.  Your message becomes more clear and memorable.

You can look for blank images and customize them (include text in them). For example. you can ask a question and let your followers answer in the comments.

 

Post Consistently but don’t go crazy

Just because you got a million likes on your previous post does not mean that your task is done. You need to post consistently but don’t go overboard with it. Create a schedule and allocate specific time to social media marketing daily.

You can also make use of scheduling apps like Hootsuite and Buffer or use an editorial calendar. This will ensure you are not skipping posts and spending more than the required time.

Now, the question is how much should you post on each social media platform daily?

For Facebook, try once or twice in a day. For twitter, the more you tweet, the more exposure your business gets. For LinkedIn, try once in a day (avoid weekends). For Google+, I would suggest you post twice a day.

Social Media Strategies for Each Platform

Each social media network has a different set of users. Therefore, you need a different strategy for each platform. What works for Twitter might not work for LinkedIn.

For example, Facebook has a more diverse user base. Therefore, it can be used to promote any kind of brand. LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B companies. They can use it to promote business related content to corporate influencers.

Spend some time researching what people are looking for on various social networks. Then, align your strategies with these channels.

Now let’s dig into strategies that you could use for the major players:

Facebook:

  • Post Videos. According to TechCrunch, Facebook gets 3 billion views per day.
  • Use High-definition images.
  • Come up with posts that capture the mood of the season or a holiday
  • Change your cover to promote an event
  • Keep your post brief and interesting
  • Post Questions – it’s one of the best ways to strike a conversation (For example, “Which burger do you like the most? Bomb or Devi’s’?
  • Add call-to-actions

Twitter:

  • Optimize your bio – include a link to your website, tell people exactly what you do and how you can help them. Be precise.
  • Use the advanced search feature to search by keywords and find your ideal potential customers.  Go through their profiles and try to learn more about them. Then, customize your content when you are engaging with your target customers.
  • Incorporate images in your twitter posts – tweets with images 313% more engagement.
  • Engage with your followers on a regular basis – retweet and reply to their tweets.
  • Find experts in your niche and interact with them often.
  • Tweet regularly.
  • Use relevant and trending hashtags

LinkedIn:

  • Pick a niche (topic) that connects to your business and keep posting consistent and interesting content.
  • Come up with great headlines – this element creates the first impression of your business.
  • Use Rich media to effectively convey your expertise to your prospects. (videos, slideshare presentations and other interactive tools).
  • Plan your publishing times in a way that gives your posts maximum exposure.
  • You can go for a sponsored ad if your budget permits.

Google+:

  • Make sure you have claimed authorship with your personal Google+ page.
  • Link your website with your Google+ page. Incorporate a Google+ badge on your website, this will enable your users to follow your business on Google+ without  having to leave your website.
  • Try to use hashtags with every post, this will give you an added exposure. But make sure that the hashtag you are using is in sync with your topic.
  • Use clear and illustrative cover photos. You can use this picture to display your new products or advertise any upcoming event.
  • If you find webinars expensive, you can host Google+ hangouts. Although it supports only 10 active participants, you can stream it online to unlimited viewers through youtube.
  • Join communities in your niche. If you can’t find one, you can create your own using your personal profile page.

Instagram:

  • Optimize your profile – include a link, have a consistent name and an eye-catching bio.
  • Use a mix of short videos, graphics, images to know what type of content people react to the most
  • Comment on other people’s content – use industry-related and brand-related hashtags
  • Use fun images from your business – your office or your employees
  • Follow your followers and also, reward them sometimes
  • Keep a flexible posting schedule – use trending hashtags
  • Carefully choose your filters
  • Hold photo contests

Pinterest:

  • Make a business page (and not a profile). Thus, you can get access to analytics and advertising features which is not possible on a Pinterest profile.
  • Take some time out and comment on other pins – relevant pins in your niche where people commenting can be your potential leads.
  • Optimize your pins with a high definition images and classy text templates.
  • Add videos to your pinboard.
  • Organize all your client testimonials on a separate testimonial board.
  • Go for Rich pins – it will add extra details to your pins.

Youtube:

  • Use your keywords in your channel description and make sure you include a link back to your website.
  • Post simple yet unique videos.
  • Interact with your fans and subscribers – thank them for their support and always reply to their comments
  • Have a call-to-action at the end of every video
  • Link to related videos at the end of the video
  • Optimize your video description with important keywords and give a brief and precise information about the video content. Also, don’t forget to add a link your website.   

Now over to you.

What strategies would you recommend when taking your first steps in social media? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Rank and Convert First with Great Content (for Webmasters Only) 2018





When it comes to producing high-quality content for your online endeavours, there are a lot of different ways to approach the process (especially through the use of a user experience SEO service). One thing is for certain, you always want to make sure that you’re putting the best possible content you could on your websites. This goes for just about any potential project, whether it’s an E-Commerce site or a simple blog page. As a content writer myself, I’m well aware of what it takes to write the ‘perfect piece’ – but the process might be different for you. As an individual, the way you approach writing is going to vary, and that’s why we’re here to talk about as much as we can (in regards to producing high-quality content).



We’re going to look at some content strategy tips today, as well as a few other things that are SEO related. Your content is the key component to a successful online project, and it’s important that you remember that.

If you’re already into the entire “online marketing” thing, you’re well-aware of the important surrounding your content. If you don’t implement the right keywords, or even make it so that your pieces are too long, it’s going to affect your SEO process.

If your SEO is poor, it’s almost always going to ensure that your profit margins (or success in general) is poor as well. The content itself is about 75% of the battle, while the SEO portion is going to fill in the gaps – both of these are going to determine whether or not you reach your goals.

Understanding Exactly What “SEO Content” Is

If you have absolutely no idea what we’re talking about when we say “SEO content”, this is the section for you. Online marketing has changed quite a bit over the past few years, and people are now aware of how much money goes into this industry on a daily basis. You have the ability to make millions of dollars on the internet (from the comfort of your home!), but it’s going to take a lot of planning – as well as a thorough understanding in regards to SEO content. Three main questions are going to be answered in this section, and those three questions would be:

  • What exactly is SEO content?
  • How many different types of SEO content (if any) are there?
  • What should my approach to SEO content be?

SEO content is going to either make or break your marketing project, so we’ll start off by talking about what it is as a whole.

SEO Content: Explain It Already!

SEO is a term that refers to ‘Search Engine Optimization’, something that you’ll learn to live by in no time at all. Content is referring to any sort of writing or information that may be present on the web, and that tends to present itself in the form of written articles and blog posts (as well as sales pages). User experience SEO services are meant to look over your content and ensure that you’ve gone about implementing everything in the right light, but it doesn’t hurt to understand the process yourself. SEO content appeals to the search engines online like Google and Bing!, and as a result, could bring a lot of traffic to your website.

There are some phrases you need to be familiar with in order to get the most out of your online endeavours. Failing to comprehend (and learn more about) these things will make producing high-quality SEO content much more difficult, so don’t cut any corners! Take a look at the following:

 



Keyword Research – This is the process of researching the proper keywords. In order to generate traffic through the use of search engines, you need to be implementing searchable terms into your content (these searchable terms are known as “keywords”). You may even go through an SEO competitor analysis process at this point.

Keyword Optimization – This is essentially implementing the keywords in the right sense, as in the proper amount of times and in the right places.

 

Content Promotion/Organization – Whenever you post a new piece of content, you should be promoting it accordingly. Not only will it help build links that point to the content, but it also provides ‘social media juice’. The organizational aspect is just making sure the right content is on the right pages, and things among that nature. Content optimization for SEO is very crucial.

What Kinds of ‘SEO Content’ Are There?

Well, there are actually a lot of them. In many cases, it’s going to be a written piece – but that doesn’t limit marketers from making use of videos and pictures. Any ethical SEO service that was worth their weight in gold knows about these different platforms. The different types of SEO content that you could make use of would be:

SEO Articles – This is your typical type of article, one that you would see on a news website or some sort of feature. It’s going to pop up on newspaper-related websites, as well as the ones that follow a magazine sort of flow.

 

SEO Guides – Guides are usually longer pieces of content (much like this one!), and they need to go in-depth when it comes to explaining the information being offered up. Guides are usually going to be broken up into a few different pages, but there are plenty of instances where one incredibly long page is used. The perfect example of this would be an Amazon buyer’s guide, or even “How to Make a Million Dollars!”. You can post a tidbit of the guide itself and ask for opt-ins (e-mails to build e-mail lists with), or just release the entire thing for free; this is great for leads, but not-so-good for SEO purposes.

SEO Slideshows – Have you ever found yourself on a website, looking at one of those “Oh Wow, Look at These Celebrities from 20 Years Ago!” pages? They have slideshows with little to no written content implemented, but it still works out because they use a series of related images. SEO in this right would be the names of your files, the titles and captions being used, and even how high-quality the pictures are.

SEO Blog Posts – Blog posts are probably the most common form of SEO content, mainly because there are a lot of people out there with “money blogs”. These are posts that can engage the user at a higher rate than most other options, and they’re perfect for creating an authority website. Blogs aren’t always going to be the main focus of your SEO endeavours, but should consistently be produced as ‘support’.

Product Pages – Product pages are ideal for retail/E-Commerce projects, because you’re going to be selling a plethora of goods online. If the potential buyers are looking at your site and see nothing but grammatical errors, they won’t feel like making a purchase; so don’t cut corners here. A great product page has the ability to act as not only SEO content, but even a PPC landing page as well.

Glossaries – These are for more specified niches, as they will hold terms directed to an abundance of information related to your product/project at hand. Things like terms for cooking, fashion related terms, or anything of that nature.



Directory – This is where you’ll post an abundance of links related to your product at hand – if you’re selling baseball equipment, the directory would focus on links that bring potential buyers to baseball gear links (that’s a random example, of course!).

There are a lot of different ways to approach your SEO content needs, it’s just a matter of figuring the right blend for your project. Sometimes it’s going to call for an abundance of product pages, whereas other times it’s going to have a dire need for glossaries or directories.

The Creation of Content

Hiring the Right Writers

Whenever you’re looking at the writing process as a whole, there are almost way too many variables to look at. As an amateur writer, you’re going to have a tough time handling the need for high-quality content – that’s why it’s always best to hire somebody who understands the niche at hand. If you’re looking into producing content that would relate itself to technology, you’d want to hire a technology expert.

There are an abundance of writers out there, and all of them are looking for work (most of the time, anyways); so coming across an expert of sorts isn’t the hard part. However, you need to be willing when it comes to spending money. Most expert writers aren’t going to come cheap, and that means you’ll have to make an investment. If you’re in this business to make a profit, you already know that investments are necessary – that rings especially true when talking about content.

Make sure that the writers you’re hiring are more than capable of handling the potential workload, you can do this by giving them a test run with one or two pieces of content to start. These writers will more than likely know about content optimization for SEO purposes, which is going to tie in perfectly when it comes to rankings.

Content Length

Some people will tell you that the “perfect length” for a piece of content is around 500 words, but it’s going to vary from project to project. One project may call for an abundance of blog posts that are all around 500 words each, but others may call for something much more technical – certain projects may have a need for much longer pieces. In the end of it all, you want to engage as many users as you possibly can; user experience SEO juice is one of those things that you really need to strive for.

If visitors feel like a piece is too long, they’re going to cut it short and just leave your website. If they feel like it’s too short, it won’t seem as if the content is filled with enough information. Finding that perfect middle-ground can be hard, but as soon as you’ve done it, you’ll never need to question the length of your content ever again.

When somebody is fond of your content, it makes them more willing to share it. People who love reading and learning things from a technical aspect will love longer pieces, and share those pieces with like-minded people. If you’ve got a website dedicated to computer programming, your content is probably going to be longer; if you’re focused on list articles and viral content, it’s going to be shorter.

Picking the Proper Keywords

Keyword research is one of those things that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially when you’re trying to strive for the most optimal results possible (SEO-wise). Whenever you’re looking at keywords, you want to look at the competition surrounding them. If there’s a monthly search volume of around 15,000, but the keyword competition seems very high, it might not be the optimal choice for you. Some writers will offer a keyword selection service, but it’s always good to pick them for yourself – find ones that have a reasonable number of searches per month, but don’t pose too much of a difficulty when it comes to rankings (unless you seriously think you’re ready to compete!).

After you pick the right keywords, you can hand them over to the writer that you’ve hired and have them implement them within the content. There are other things to worry about like keyword density and such, which should probably be an entire section in itself. Keyword density will determine how many times the keywords appear within your content – it isn’t always mandatory, but some people like to use it as a way of optimizing content all the way through. There are even some content optimization services available that would take a look at your content, and then suggest specific edits for SEO-purposes.

It isn’t easy by any means, but it’s an integral process of creating the perfect content for your projects. Not only is it going to look better on your website, but it will also promote your page naturally/organically throughout search engines. You’re already improving your rankings, without even making any links.

Editorial Calendars (Properly Planning Your Content Schedule)

When you’re already aware of who you’re going to be targeting, as well as why you’re going to be doing so, it’s important to put together an editorial calendar. This is essentially a schedule that plans out when you’re going to be posting new content, as well as pointing out which type of content needs to be posted. It lets your content creation process stick to a routine schedule, which is incredibly important if you’ve got a blog page that you need to maintain. Not only that, but it allows you more time to provide your readers with high-quality content, as there will never be a need for content randomly popping up. If you want to create a posting schedule of sorts, I would suggest you try these tips and tricks out:

  • Use an Actual Calendar (Google Calendar) – Use something like Google Calendar to map out the content posting schedule you want set in place. If you’ve got a team of writers, or content curators that come up with everything themselves (and posts accordingly), you’ll be able to easily e-mail them the schedule on a weekly to monthly basis.
  • Create Sought After ‘Features’ – When you’re producing content, try and produce something that’s going to be featured at least every single month. If you run a tech blog, try and suggest the most popular tech item that has been released that month – or if you run a cooking page, try and suggest recipes that are vegetarian-friendly every single Monday.
  • Plan Ahead of Time – Plan ahead of time, but not too far ahead. You should have a schedule that offers up a reasonably scheduled timetable when it comes to your content, but you should also be ready for any breaking news. If you produce content months in advance, but something big happens (that you want to cover), a new piece would have to be produced anyways. Not only that, but your marketing goals may change throughout the schedule, or even the staff that was working on the project.

These are the types of tips and tricks that would help out with conversion funnel optimization, as it helps build up a natural flow of followers/readers. When you mix all of these with ethical SEO services, there isn’t a lot of stuff that you couldn’t accomplish. Since you know the process of how to produce SEO content, as well as the many different types of SEO content available, it’s time to look at a few other traits that relate themselves to everything else.

Content Quality

In order to ensure that your content is of the highest quality, there are a few different phrases you should know about. The first one being “Content Freshness” – which is essentially how new the content you’re posting happens to be. Search engines are constantly looking for brand new content, which means the more content you produce on a daily basis (without sacrificing quality), the better! This doesn’t mean you should spam, however. Take a look at the following:

Content Freshness – Google has a little something known as QDF (Query Deserved Freshness), which is very important to keep in mind. If a search term has become increasingly popular within a short period of time, Google will give it the QDF clearance – this is a way of searching to see if there is any fresh content related to that search term. To keep things simple, if there’s something in pop culture that you want to create content about, it’s more than likely going to be a great idea; as the QDF boost should give you better standings when it comes to SEO (or, at least, give you the opportunity to do so).

Content Quality – The quality of your content is obviously something that needs to be accounted for. Low-quality content used to be okay for churn and burn projects, but search engines have become incredibly smart these days; they can almost always tell when a piece of content is low on quality (and this is an automated process). Not only that, but there are also manual checks on websites that have decent rankings. In order to keep your SEO in as great of a standing as possible, it’s crucial that you keep the content quality at the top of your priority list.

Content Research – Use the competitors within your niche to an advantage! When you’re looking to start-up a new project, reference some of the successful brands and companies before you. Look at the tone and the keywords that they’re using, and figure out whether you want to apply it to your project or not. The keywords that they’re using may be very competitive, but they’re definitely going to sport a lot of monthly searches.

Conclusion!

All in all, there are almost too many things to take into account when you’re trying to create high-quality content for SEO purposes. Hopefully the content strategy tips I’ve given you today were enough to point you in the right direction, if not keep you ready for the future of content creation in general. The right use of experience SEO service would make all of this easier, of course; so it’s always a good idea to look around for help.

There are tons of seasoned online marketing veterans that offer up a solution service, and all of them know what it takes to reach the top. In order to be a successful online marketer, you’ve got to understand how SEO content is created (at a high-quality level). If you don’t, you’re pretty much failing to practice what you preach – something that really isn’t going to resonate and provide stellar results. Take your time and ensure that you can produce high-quality content, trust us on that one! It’s better for not only the people you’re marketing towards, but yourself as well.

 

Conversion Rate Optimization in Ecommerce – Skyrocket your Shop Sales (2018)





We mean by conversion a desired action the visitor takes upon visiting a website. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO – industry accepted acronym) represents the process of optimizing a website for the desired action we want the visitor to take. Conversion Rate is calculated depending on the case scenario of our website. For example, if the desired action is to complete a form we divide the number of people that successfully registered the form by the number of unique visitors that page had. Usually the term refers to ad clicks and it’s calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of ad clicks that were tracked.



For example, if you had 50 conversions from 1,000 clicks, your conversion rate would be 5%, since 50 ÷ 1,000 = 5%.

Conversion Rate Calculation for  Ecommerce:

  • CRO procedures have impact on E-commerce KPI’s
  • E-commerce KPI’s have impact on net turnover
  • Final impact of CRO is seen in company’s profits
  • CRO done BAD sees no positive change in profits (profits stays the same or you see a drop)

Conversion Rate Optimization Guide Check:

Who Are Your Customers? Define your audience

Having a beautifully crafted website, good prices with carefully picked products is not enough. In order for sales to reach maximum efficiency, you need to know what your customers are searching for and what do they expect as buying options.

A better understanding of your customers can be acquired through customer surveys as a post-sale service and direct chat interactions.

  1. Home Page Optimization

Showcase your products like a merchant master

Be sure you are presenting the best-selling products and the trend-setting items for your niche on the homepage that can ensure a quick visitor engagement when landing on your store’s homepage. This decision will have a direct impact on lowering the Bounce Rate, considerably reducing it. Also make sure that the best-selling products have an information-rich product description and the product picture quality is best.

Offer more that one payment option

Always make sure to offer more than a single payment option, you can integrate payment with Paypal, Cash on Delivery, payment by Credit Card, Checks, Western Union, Money Gram, Escrow etc.

Reinforce your USP (Unique Selling Point) 

Be sure you write down a text snippet with a short description on you homepage that will also reinforce your USP – include reasons why should a customer buy from your shop,  your short storyline and other interesting details you could offer your customers about your business value.

If you have a fantastic product to sell be sure to reinforce your USP with a great product video or video review of that product.

Localize your store to specific countries  

If you acquire international traffic and you can ship products worldwide, a notification pop-up based on visitor’s IP Geo-Location would be advised in order to notify that customer that you are currently shipping to his country of residence.

  1. Product page optimization

This is where you grab people’s attention for clicking on the CTA. This page is mainly important because the first conversion step begins here and continues on the cart and checkout pages.

High-Quality Product Images – Watch out for Image SEO                     

Get high-quality product images (minimum 800px resolution) and remember to optimize them for the “alt”  and “title” attributes. Also, consider choosing descriptive filenames for the product images. These would be the basics of a good on-page SEO for images.

A well-optimized product image example would be:

<img title="”raspberry" src="http://domainexample.com/uploads/photos/raspberry-pi-3.jpg" alt="”raspberry" />

Remember to use keywords in filename, alt tag and title tag of the product images.



Based on the fact that the search algorithm for Google Images is less complicated and works within primary on-page SEO ranking factors and less on backlink signals, this could be a great opportunity to increase your organic traffic with less effort.

Take in consideration the search relevance of the page where the image is shown, Google’s algorithm scans for keywords in the text surrounding the image. Also, the image caption is a great opportunity to describe what is shown in the image, taking in consideration keyword inclusion.

Quick SEO checks for Images:

  • Img filename – be sure to include keywords
  • Img alt attribute – be sure to include descriptive keywords of what its shown in the image
  • Image title – works exactly like a page title, has to be representative for what is shown in the image
  • Image size – should not affect page loading times
  • Image surrounding text – the image ranking algorithm scans for image sorrounding text
  • Image caption
  • Basic On-Page Seo for the page where the image is shown

Product image size seems to affect the value perception of the product. If you sell a design oriented product (experience goods), like fashion items (a shirt), it was tested that more white spaces on the page minimized visual complexity and bigger pictures mean a less expensive perception of the product value. If your store sells search goods like technology – products whose features, charateristics, and overall value can be evaluated before purchase, larger images determined a higher perception of the product price value.

Ben Labay from Conversion XL did a very fine research on this matter and you can read more here about it.

Pay attention to your product’s description

Your product page represents a great SEO opportunity. Writing a useful, detailed-rich and keyword oriented description could mean a lot of search engine organic traffic entering your website for your product pages. Avoid using scrapped product descriptions from other sources on the internet or importing through data feeds short supplier generated product descriptions.

Also here you can link out helpful information like product size charts,  return policy or shipping information.

Product videos or 360 product photography

Product images carry a lot of importance especially in some retail niches, like fashion, where an eye for details is essential. Also, a high-zoom function is useful for those type of customers picky on details. Larger e-shops use services like webrotate360.com that offers interactive 3D CAD & 360° Angle Product Photography for products.

Also this functionality can be acquired through plugins depending on your Content Management System. There are some plugins for WordPress that do a great job integrating 360 product views with Woocommerce.

You can find a bigger list of plugins for various E-commerce CMS’s ( Magento, Woocommerce) here: http://bit.ly/2pCWmh4

Product page functionalities – size charts, size calculators, color eyedrop picker, smart product suggestions.

Also, some fashion retailers use suggested related products in order for the customer to buy the whole look.

So for example, if you are selling shoes and t-shirts you could filter the product related suggestions to output products for the same brand. If the customer is loyal to that brand it’s a better chance of converting him to buy more than 1 product.

Product’s delivery time

In most cases, customers are keen to know the exact delivery date of their products. Since it’s hard to predict an exact delivery date, big e-shops like Amazon use delivery time ranges of 1-2 days.

This should be shown exactly on the product page after the customer has pressed the add to cart button. (in case you don’t redirect him automatically to the cart page – in this case you can show it in the checkout process)

Enable Out Of Stock Notification

If a product isn’t available anymore or there is a stock limitation on product acquisition, don’t delete the product page (avoiding 404 pages), rather set an “out of stock notification” clearly stated on page.

If you have some information regarding the product restocking date it would be nice for the customer to know when it’ll be restocked. Also you can prompt an e-mail form, guiding the visitor to enter his e-mail so that he can be notified when the product will re-enter stock.

Clear CTA’s

The add to cart button needs to differentiate itself from the other navigational buttons on the website and it needs an eye-spotting color.

A good color guide for the CTA buttons was written on Optinmonster’s blog and can be found here.  Colors are directly linked to the psychological state of the visitor so please be advised to use A/B testing when implementing changes.

Usage of breadcrumbs (navigational links)

Most e-commerce CMS’s come with this predefined functionality, helping the user for an easier navigation through category, subcategory and product pages. These links also helps the search engine spider to a better understanding of the internal link architecture of the website.

Well structured Product Pages

When your adding or removing information blocks from your product or category pages pay attention to the overall structure to have a logical reading flow, also try including keywords as higher as possible on the HTML page.



For example, on the category pages, you can add a short keyword rich description for that specific category.

The information should be structured in orderly blocks that fit together as a whole (try avoiding blank spaces on product pages).

  1. Navigation Optimization

Try reducing the number of categories or subcategories as much as possible. Use buying intent keywords for category names. Order categories properly.

For example, if you are selling handbags, belts, scarves and wallets don’t create 4 different main categories. Instead, create a single main category named “Bags & Accessories” and try to include the subset in sub-categories for “Bags & Accessories”.  Take into consideration that the fewer click options you give the visitor on categories, the bigger the chance for him to find what he’s looking for.

Category names should be picked as close as possible to the user’s natural search intent language (check with website internal product searches – to see what are the customers searching for on your shop).  The category order should be matched with product type popularity for your niche.

Tagline & Logo

There isn’t much to say about the SEO-perspective of the logo, but the tagline (small text under the logo – in most cases) should be short, descriptive for your business and include main project keywords.

Also, keep in mind that you can use this tagline to reinforce your Unique Selling Preposition (USP) here.

Internal Product Search

Your search bar can represent the first step the visitor takes upon starting his conversion journey. This box is so special you have to do A/B testing on form color, sizes, shape in order to see what works best on your niche.

Functionalities nice to have:

  • Autosuggest (Autocomplete)
  • Covering misspellings and plurals
  • Be sure the search box hashes through categories and other taxonomy your CMS has
  • Handles long tail semantic searches with no issues
  • Avoid returning “no result pages” – if a query doesn’t return the expected output be sure to offer related product recommendations.
  1. Checkout Page Optimization

 In most cases optimizing this page should be the incipient of the CRO process because it’s the final step in the conversion funnel. Optimizing this page should require less programmatic effort and maximum efficiency in ROI.

 

Proper field markup & automatic prefill where possible

Your checkout page’s fields should be clearly stated as being optional or mandatory. Also for an easier and a faster completion time you should use automatic autofill where possible (zip code, city).  User errors in form completion (must be outputted next to the error field – not down the page) shouldn’t be a breaking step in the checkout process, you should let the user know where he’s made a mistake and allow him to continue down the checkout funnel (let users force proceed on checkout process).

Also make sure you have the options of guest checkout or checkout with Facebook Connect available for the page.  The account registration should be set on optional and by default the customer should checkout with Guest Checkout. (try avoiding as much as possible the requests for data input on the checkout page ).  If the customers chooses to create a new account be sure to make the Newsletter opt-in automatically.

 

The password selection for the create account button shouldn’t place limitations like the use of special characters or capitalizing the first letter, it’s good for security but it slows down the checkout process.

Also make sure you have clear CTA’s on this page (“Continue to next step” button or “Place order” button). Also keep in mind that the “Place Order” button is the most important CTA on this page so make sure it stands out on the page.  The process steps should be treated as navigational links on the checkout process.

The form field for card data input would be nice to have a separator for the 12 digit card account number and a limit of 12 chars input in order to guide the customers for a faster credit card data input.

Let customers choose preferred delivery times

If your webshop works with its own stock or you can give specific information regarding the delivery times, you can allow the visitor to pick and choose on a calendar selector located on the checkout page the exact delivery time of its order.

 

Picture above is a snippet of Delivery Time Picker for Shipping for Woocommerce which can be found on Codecanyon with 29$.

  1. 10 key points on a holistic approach for CRO for Ecommerce

  1. Clear shipping policies, clear return policy, complete details on contact page (company info, phone number, e-mail address, live chat support, business address map, company legal details etc)
  2. Offer free shipping above a certain order value (be sure to properly display this sales opportunity text on the homepage)
  3. Check the e-mail templates (registration e-mails, autoresponder e-mails, user password reset e-mails, order shipped e-mails, confirmation e-mails)
  4. Enable Open Graph data and show social media signals (Facebook Page, Twitter Followers, Instagram widgets etc)
  5. After the order is placed, show an information rich thank you page that contains contact data or details about delivery times and special offers you currently have running.
  6. Don’t leave the 404-page template by default – try to enhance it
  7. Signup with Google Merchant Center /Google Trusted Stores
  8. Educate the visitors about the purchase
  9. Create an impressive about page
  10. Optimize e-shop for fast loading and high security
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Defer parsing of JavaScript
  • Optimize images
  • Serve scaled images
  • Combine images into CSS sprites
  • Minimize redirects
  • Enable compression
  • Minify JavaScript
  • Minimize request size
  • Use Virtual DNS

 

  Although mobile traffic retains a growing slice of total website traffic – 32% of overall traffic, the revenue that comes from mobile is just 16% while desktop traffic represents 59% of traffic and generates 75% of the total website revenue.

Poor Conversion Rate on Mobile – Why does this happen?

mobile conversion rate adobe

 

38% ~ of US consumers rate small screen as the biggest common frustration for the lack of conversion on mobile,

35% ~ say that ads deter the conversion

32%  say that the “pinch and zoom” functionality is annoying

  • Other factors that lead to mobile poor conversion rate are the slow performance or poor navigation

 Benchmark your metrics against the retail industry/your niche to understand your results with a nice slice of context.

Above the fold vs below the fold – debunked myth

Higher conversion rates have nothing to do with whether the button is above the fold, and everything to do with whether the button is below the right amount of good copy.

Users will scroll down if what they see above the fold interests them enough to keep them reading.

Why?

Back in the glory days of newspapers, the fold played a crucial role in grabbing the attention of viewers in order to encourage them to purchase the paper. Bold headlines and eye-catching images bombarded readers to pique their interest. This concept transitioned into web design, where designers make sure to place important information and imagery above the fold.

Case scenarios for above the fold content:

  • Presold prospects who already want what you’re offering when they arrive. A code redeemer, a form register for health insurance, resume data form etc
  • Uncertain prospects  Most cases scenario, average product/service pages
  • Uncertain prospects + an offering that requires some explanation to see the value of Long sales pages that present a lot of text, videos and consumer testimonials in order to convince you to buy something or subscribe to a service)

References:

 

 

Blog SEO: How to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content in 2018





How do you know what matters and what doesn’t? What are today’s blog ranking tactics, and what’s considered “old-school”? How on Earth can you keep it all straight?

Click here to download our free guide on how to double your blog traffic and leads.

Confusion is a common issue facing digital content marketers — and we want to help. In this post, we’ll cover how to optimize your blog posts for the keywords you care about, along with a few other optimization tactics you should keep in mind.

Note that this list doesn’t cover every single rule under the sun. Rather, the following 10 SEO tips are the on-page factors to get you started with an SEO strategy for your blog in particular.

SEO can be confusing. Listen as HubSpot’s own Matt Barby and Victor Pan clear things up:

HubSpot customers: If you want to see specific SEO optimization tips for your individual blog posts, click the bar graph icon on the far left side of the blog editor when you’re working on the post to access the SEO Optimization screen.

optimize-hubspot-blog.png
If you’re not a customer, you can use these tips as a checklist as you blog.

 

10 Blog SEO Tips to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content

1. Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords that match the intent of your ideal reader.

Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this actually hurts your SEO because search engines consider this keyword stuffing (i.e., including keywords as much as possible with the sole purpose of ranking highly in organic search).

It also doesn’t make for a good reader experience — a ranking factor that search engines now prioritize to ensure you’re answering the intent of your visitors. Therefore, you should use keywords in your content in a way that doesn’t feel unnatural or forced.

A good rule of thumb is to focus on one or two long-tail keywords per blog post. While you can use more than one keyword in a single post, keep the focus of the post narrow enough to allow you to spend time actually optimizing for just one or two keywords.

Why long-tail keywords? These longer, often question-based keywords keep your post focused on the specific goals of your audience. Website visitors searching long-tail terms are more likely to read the whole post and then seek more information from you. In other words, you’ll generate right type of traffic: visitors who convert.

2. Include these 1–2 keywords in specific parts of your post.

Now that you’ve got your one or two keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your blog post. Where are the best parts of your posts to include these terms so you rank high in search results?

There are four essential places where you should try to include your keywords: title tag, headers & body, URL, and meta description.



Title Tag

The title (i.e., headline) of your blog post will be a search engine’s and reader’s first step in determining the relevancy of your content, so including a keyword here is vital. Google calls this the “title tag” in a search result.

Be sure to include your keyword within the first 60 characters of your title, which is just about where Google cuts titles off on search engine results pages (SERPs). Technically, Google measures by pixel width, not character count, and it recently increased the pixel width for organic search results from approximately 500 pixels to 600 pixels, which translates to around 60 characters.

Long title tag? When you have a lengthy headline, it’s a good idea to get your keyword in the beginning since it might get cut off in SERPs toward the end, which can take a toll on your post’s perceived relevancy. In the example below, we had a long title that went over 65 characters, so we front-loaded it with the keyword for which we were trying to rank: “on-page SEO.”

Search engine result link with a keyword-optimized title

Headers & Body

Mention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headers. That means including your keywords in your copy, but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t go overboard at the risk of being penalized for keyword stuffing. Before you start writing a new blog post, you’ll probably think about how to incorporate your keywords into your post. That’s a smart idea, but it shouldn’t be your only focus, nor even your primary focus.

Whenever you create content, your primary focus should be on what matters to your audience, not how many times you can include a keyword or keyword phrase in that content. Focus on being helpful and answering whatever question your customer might’ve asked to arrive on your post. Do that, and you’ll usually find you naturally optimize for important keywords, anyway.

URL

Search engines also look to your URL to figure out what your post is about, and it’s one of the first things it’ll crawl on a page. You have a huge opportunity to optimize your URLs on every post you publish, as every post lives on its own unique URL — so make sure you include your one to two keywords in it.

In the example below, we created the URL using the long-tail keyword for which we were trying to rank: “email marketing examples.”

Search engine result link with a keyword-optimized URL

Meta Description

Later in this post, we’ll dive into meta descriptions a bit more. Your meta description is meant to give search engines and readers information about your blog post’s content — so be certain to use your long-tail term so Google and your audience are clear on your post’s content.

At the same time, keep in mind the copy matters a great deal for click-through rates because it satisfies certain readers’ intent. The more engaging, the better.

3. Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly.

Did you know more people use a search engine from their mobile phones than from a computer?

And for all those valuable search queries being done on mobile, Google displays the mobile-friendly results first. This is yet another example of Google heavily favoring mobile-friendly websites — which has been true ever since the company updated its Penguin algorithm in April 2015.

So, how do you make your blog mobile-friendly? By using “responsive design.” Websites that are responsive to mobile allow blog pages to have just one URL instead of two — one for desktop and one for mobile, respectively. This helps your post’s SEO because any inbound links that come back to your site won’t be divided between the separate URLs.

As a result, you’ll centralize the SEO power you gain from these links, helping Google more easily recognize your post’s value and rank it accordingly.

Pro tip: What search engines value is constantly changing. Be sure you’re keeping on top of these changes by subscribing to Google’s official blog.

4. Optimize the meta description, and use all the space.

To review, a meta description is the additional text that appears in SERPs that lets readers know what the link is about. The meta description gives searchers information they need to determine whether or not your content is what they’re looking for, and ultimately helps them decide if they’ll click or not.

The maximum length of this meta description is greater than it once was — now around 300 characters — suggesting it wants to give readers more insight into what each result will give them.

So, in addition to being reader-friendly (compelling and relevant), your meta description should include the long-tail keyword for which you are trying to rank.

Google result link with extended meta description
In the example above, I searched for “email newsletter examples.” The term is bolded in the meta description, helping readers make the connection between the intent of their search term and this result. You’ll also see the term “E-Newsletter” bolded, indicating that Google knows there’s a semantic connection between “email newsletter” and “E-Newsletter.”

Note: Nowadays, it’s not guaranteed that your meta description is always pulled into SERPs as it once was. As you can see in the above image, Google pulls in other parts of your blog post that includes the keywords searched, presumably to give searchers optimal context around how the result matches their specific query.



Let me show you another example. Below is an example of two different search queries delivering two different snippets of text on Google SERPs. The first is a result of the query “no index no follow,” and pulls in the original meta description:

meta-description-v1.png
The second is a result of the query “noindex nofollow,” and pulls in the first instance of these specific keywords coming up in the body of the blog post:

meta-description-v2.png
While there’s not much you can do to influence what text gets pulled in, you should continue to optimize this metadata, as well as your post, so search engines display the best content from the article. By creating reader-friendly content with natural keyword inclusion, you’ll make it easier for Google to prove your post’s relevancy in SERPs for you.

5. Optimize your images’ alt text.

Blog posts shouldn’t only contain text — you should also include images that help explain your content. But search engines don’t just look for images. Rather, they look for images with alt text.

Because search engines can’t “see” images the same way humans can, an image’s alt text tells them what an image is about — which ultimately helps those images rank in Google Images results. Alt text also makes for a better user experience, as it’ll display inside the image container when an image can’t be found or displayed, and can improve accessibility for people with poor vision who are using screen readers.

Technically, alt text is an attribute that can be added to an image tag in HTML. Here’s what a complete image tag might look like (bolding added for emphasis):

<img class=”wt-blog__normal-image” src=”image.jpg” alt=”image-description” title=”image tooltip”>

Adding keywords to your alt text may seem minor — and it isn’t going to impact your search rankings as much as other things on this list. But it is worth the extra minute it takes to change the name from “IMG23940” to something accurate and descriptive, like “puppies-playing-in-basket:”

puppies-playing-in-basket.jpg
Read this blog post to learn more on-page SEO tips for keyword optimizing the most critical parts of your website.

HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel will recognize whether or not you have optimized your images. Though these elements are not as important as some other optimizations, they’re still necessary (not to mention easy to add).

seo-panel-images.png

6. Don’t use too many similar topic tags.

Topic tags can help organize your blog content, but if you overuse them, they can actually be harmful. If you have too many similar tags, you may get penalized by search engines for having duplicate content.

Think of it this way: when you create a topic tag, you also create a new site page where the content from those topic tags will appear. If you use too many similar tags for the same content, it then appears to search engines as if you’re showing the content multiple times throughout your website. For example, topic tags like “blogging,” “blog,” and “blog posts” are too similar to one another to be used on the same post.

If you’re worried that your current blog posts have too many similar tags, take some time in the near future to clear them up. Choose about 15–25 topic tags that you think are important to your blog and that aren’t too similar to one another, and then only tag your posts with those keywords. That way, you won’t have to worry about duplicate content.

7. Use URL structures that help your visitors.

The URL structure of your web pages (which are different from the specific URLs of your posts) should make it easy for your visitors to understand the structure of your website and the content they’re about to see. Search engines favor web page URLs that make it easier for them and website visitors to understand the content on the page.

This differentiation is baked into the HubSpot blogs’ respective URL structures. If I decided to go to the Marketing section from this main page, I would be taken to the URL http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing. If we want to read the Sales section, all we have to do is change where it says “marketing” in the URL to “sales”: http://blog.hubspot.com/sales. This URL structure helps me understand that “/marketing” and “/sales” are smaller sections — called subdirectories — within the larger blog.

What if there’s a specific article we want to read, such as “How to Do Keyword Research: A Beginner’s Guide”? Its URL structure — http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-do-keyword-research-ht — denotes that it’s an article from the Marketing section of the blog.

In this way, URL structure acts as a categorization system for readers, letting them know where they are on the website and how to access new site pages. Search engines appreciate this, as it makes it easier for them to identify exactly what information searchers will access on different parts of your blog or website.

Get more best practices for URL structure from Moz here.

8. Link internally when possible.

Inbound links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. The same goes for linking internally to other pages on your website. If you’ve written about a topic that’s mentioned in your blog post on another blog post, ebook, or web page, it’s a best practice to link to that page.

You might’ve noticed that I’ve been doing that from time to time throughout this blog post when I think it’s helpful for our readers. Not only will internal linking help keep visitors on your website, but it also surfaces your other relevant and authoritative pages to search engines.

HubSpot customers: The SEO Panel automatically suggests linking to other internal resources on your website. Think of it as solving for your SEO while also helping your visitors get more information from your content.

hubspot-seo-panel-links.png
If you’re looking for more internal links to add to your post but aren’t sure which would be relevant, you can click “Explore some internal links you might use in this post” for a list of recommendations.

9. Use Google’s Search Console.

Google’s free Search Console contains a section called the Search Analytics Report. This report helps you analyze clicks from Google Search, and it’s useful to determine which keywords people are using to find your blog content. Learn how to use it by reading this blog post written by my colleague Matthew Barby, and by checking out Google’s official support page here.

If you’re interested in optimizing your best-performing older blog posts for traffic and leads like we’ve been doing since 2015, this tool can help identify low-hanging fruit.

Line graph showing keyword performance on Google Search Console
A lot of content marketers struggle with optimizing their blog posts for search. The truth is, your blog posts won’t start ranking immediately. It takes time to build up search authority. But when you publish blog posts frequently and consistently optimize them for search while maintaining an intent-based reader experience, you’ll reap the rewards in the form of traffic and leads long-term.

10. Use topic clusters.

The way most blogs are currently structured (including our own blogs, until very recently), bloggers and SEOs have worked to create individual blog posts that rank for specific keywords. The result is disorganized, and hard for the user to find the exact information he or she needs. It also results in your own URLs competing against one another in search engine rankings when you produce multiple blog posts about similar topics.

Here’s what our blog architecture used to look like using this old playbook:

Flowchart of HubSpot's topic cluster SEO model
Now, in order to rank in search and best answer the new types of queries searchers are submitting, the solution is to use the topic cluster model: Choose the broad topics for which you want to rank, then create content based on specific keywords related to that topic that all link to each other, to create broader search engine authority.

Using this model, this is what our blog infrastructure looks like now — with specific topics surrounded by blog posts related to the topic, connected to other URLs in the cluster via hyperlinks:

A set of topic clusters for SEO
This model uses a more deliberate site architecture to organize and link URLs together to help more pages on your site rank in Google — and to help searchers find information on your site more easily. This architecture consists of three components — pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks:

SEO model using icons for pillar content, cluster content, and hyperlinks
We know this is a fairly new concept, so for more details, check out our research on the topic, or the video below.

We don’t expect you to incorporate each of these SEO best practices into your content strategy right away. But as your website grows, so should your goals on search engines. Then you’ll be able to do some link building to get other websites to link back to your blog!

Once you identify the goals and intent of your ideal readers, you’ll be on track to deliver content organically that is always relevant to them.

 

Traffic Generation 2018: 32 Smart Ways To Drive 3x More Traffic To Your Blog





Have you ever looked at your blog’s analytics and wondered when the hordes of visitors are going to start showing up? You’re publishing great content and have something to say, but try as you might, those traffic numbers just don’t seem to be climbing as much as they should be. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way – you can get way more traffic to your blog and in this post I’ll show you how.With the use of just a few of these tactics, you could see a 425% increase in traffic.



Why the “right traffic” matters

Before we dive into discussing specific ways to increase your traffic, there’s something I need to mention.

More traffic won’t always get you what you want.

Your goal should always be to generate relevant and targeted traffic – which is exactly what all of the tactics and strategies included in this guide will help you with.

A big part of this is knowing what you want people to do once they arrive on your blog, it’s one thing to want more traffic, but there has to be a reason for it.

Once you have a clear idea of exactly what you want people to do on your blog, you can optimize your blog to improve the likelihood that it will happen – small tweaks can make a big difference with conversions.

How to drive more traffic to your blog

There are a lot of tactics listed below and when used in the right way they can have a huge impact on your traffic.

For example, I’ve seen people put only a few of these tactics into action and see a 400%+ increase in traffic. Awesome right?!

The key here is to focus on a single tactic, make it work and then come back to this post to try something else. If you try too many at the same time, you won’t see the traffic increases that you deserve.

Ready to get started?

Quick navigation

As this is a fairly large post, I’ve broken the traffic generation strategies into categories and added quick links so you can easily navigate. Just click on the link and you’ll be taken to the relevant section:

Switch up your approach to content

Plan content that can generate traffic

Traffic generation doesn’t start after you’ve published a blog post; it starts right at the planning stage.

There are two elements to consider here:

1. Topic selection

If you decide to write about a topic that nobody is interested in, you’re going to struggle to get traffic, no matter how good your content is.

So how can you get a good idea of which topics to write about?

Reading a lot of other blogs and forums can be a great way to start, but there are also a bunch of tools that will help you here, for example:

  • Google Trends – This will show you a graph of how interest has increased/decreased over time.
  • BuzzSumo – This tool will show you which topics are generating the most social shares.
  • SEMrush – With this tool you can find out exactly what keywords your competitors are ranking for in Google and get an estimate of how much traffic those keywords can bring in.

The important thing here is to ensure that the topics you choose fit with your content strategy and are focused on helping your target audience.

Matching your audience up with the right topic is a huge first step in winning the battle for attention online.

2. Pick a content type

Certain content types may get more traction than others.

A study by BuzzSumo (and published on Noah Kagan’s blog) found that infographics and list posts received more shares than any other content type.

BuzzSumo Chart

Credit: OKDork.com

On a personal note, the majority of my top shared posts are list posts and they are also the posts which generate the most referral traffic for me.

3. Add value

Now that you’ve decided on a topic and content type, it’s time to think about how you can position your content to stand out from all the rest.

The reality is that there are probably a bunch of posts on other blogs that are talking about something similar.

The key is finding that element that separates your content from all of the rest.

That might mean finding a unique angle, including more depth, adding more detail, improving usability or just giving away more information.

Write more engaging headlines

David Ogilvy famously said “On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

Even if this average isn’t 100% correct today, one thing we can be certain of is that headlines matter.

They can either make or break the success of each post you publish.

There are plenty of posts discussing best practices of writing awesome headlines but there are two important factors to remember:

  • Your headline is a promise and you should always deliver on that promise
  • However you write your headline, it should leave an unanswered question

There are also headline writing tools like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer which can help you but the one thing that will serve you best which is the one thing these types of tools can’t replicate.

And that’s … YOU!

Give your old content a new lease of life

It’s good practice to update your old content when possible.

Why?

It will improve the user experience and help you get more traffic.

When content becomes outdated, it becomes less helpful for users and chances are that it won’t rank as high in search engines anymore (freshness is a ranking factor).

It’s a good idea to prioritize which blog posts you update, so you could try one of the following:

  • Look in your analytics and identify content that doesn’t get as much search traffic as it used to
  • Check your Google Webmaster Tools account to find keywords you’re ranking for at the top of page two which could do with a boost

Don’t just update the information, also consider how you can streamline the user experience of the post and genuinely make it more helpful.

Once the post is ready you could simply publish it as a new post under the same URL or choose to publish under a new URL (and add a 301 redirect from the old URl to the new one).

Note: if your post is already getting traffic from Google you may want to stick with the existing URL and if you do change the URL, you will lose most social share counts (e.g. # of tweets won’t be visible).

It’s also important to ensure that you promote this post as much as possible; you’ll get more traffic from social media, search engines and other blog’s if you do.



Make your content more visual

Visual content is a big deal – fact.

And there are plenty of statistics on the web that highlight just how important it is.

Visual content will get you more shares, earn you more likes and ultimately get you more traffic.

So how can you make your content more visual? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Make Content Visual

The image above was created in less than 5 minutes thanks to the help of a free tool called Canva.

Mention influencers in your posts and let them know you’ve mentioned them

When you first start your blog, you’ll be starting from scratch but there are those in your niche that already have influence.

So what should you do?

When you write your next blog post, link out to other posts written by influencers that provide additional insight and complement your post, then you can let them know that you’ve mentioned them.

One important caveat: don’t mention influencers for the sake of it, only mention them if it will add value to your post and help your readers.

People love to share stuff that makes them look good. So when you say cool stuff about them in a post, chances are they’ll share it with their audience. Not always, but sometimes.

How you let them know is up to you, I’ve found Twitter, Google+ and email to work well.

The important thing is to just let people know you’ve mentioned them, don’t keep asking them to share your content.

Note: this can also be a great way to build relationships with other bloggers.

How do you find influencers in your niche?

There are a bunch of helpful tools you can use here which include the likes of BuzzSumo. This post covers influencer research tools in more depth.

Interview an influential blogger

From a reader’s perspective, interviews can be a great way to get another perspective on things as well as being a great source of inspiration.

There are plenty of ways to position these interviews. You could do written interviews or you could start a podcast. A great example is John Lee Dumas who interviews entrepreneurs with inspiring stories.

This is a great way of kick starting the relationship building process and chances are that the influencer will share the interview with their followers.

Put together a group interview

When done right, group interviews can be amazing.

It’s one thing to mention an influential blogger, but when you invite them to contribute; they are far more invested in the success of the post.

I’ve had some great results from this; a post I published last year received a few thousand shares and around 5,000 visits within a few days.

Group Interviews

Invite influential bloggers to contribute to your blog

Think of this as guest blogging, but in reverse.

It can be a great way of getting more content and expanding your audience at the same time.

A good approach for this is to find out who is guest blogging on other blogs in your niche and invite them to contribute to yours too.

The important thing here is to frame your pitch the right way, similar to how you would with guest blogging or any other form of blogger outreach – think “what’s in it for them?”

Monitor trends and write newsworthy content

Finding out what’s hot right now and writing about it is a great way to get more traffic.

The key here is to monitor for new trends and be one of the first to write about them.

There are a few ways to approach this, but one way that I see a lot of people doing is following larger publications, waiting for them to make a stir then publishing a post as a response.

 

Repurpose your content for another audience

Repurposing your content is a great way to gain access to another audience.

The reality is that we all prefer different mediums to learn. I prefer written content, but others may prefer audio or video.

It’s also worth considering infographics and Slideshare presentations too.

A great example of this in action is the post I mentioned as an example for group interviews.

With the help of 24Slides and Niall from TweakYourBiz, it was converted into an infographic and published by TweakYourBiz.

TweakYourBiz

What was the result?

The repurposed post on Tweak Your Biz received 2,500+ social shares and more than 21,000 visitors.

Improve your blog

Streamline your blog’s design

Design matters – when your blog’s design is clear and crisp, people will want to keep coming back to it.

You may find yourself being mentioned on other blog’s as an example to follow when done right.

The great thing is that you don’t need to be a designer or developer to have an impressive blog design.

So if you use WordPress, you’re in luck because there are so many impressive themes out there.

Sure, you could use a free theme and there are some decent ones about but the best tend to be paid.

Here are some resources to help you pick out a rockin’ theme:

  • StudioPress  – I’m a big fan of the StudioPress themes, I’ve used them on Blogging Wizard before and they have some great designs. StudioPress themes aren’t as customizable as others, but they have great support, extensive documentation and plenty of designs to choose from.
  • Divi by Elegant Themes – A great theme to start out with and because it’s by Elegant Themes you get a lot of value for your money. For $89/year you get access to over 80 themes and a bunch of impressive plugins.

All of these themes are mobile responsive too, which will become even more important as time goes on.

Remove unnecessary distractions from your blog

A big part of traffic generation is keeping the traffic you have, so ask yourself this question – are there any elements on my blog that I don’t need?

Everything on your blog must have a purpose that is focused around helping you achieve your goals.

For example, do you have any blog directory badges that aren’t really helping you? Or are you displaying CPC ads that aren’t performing very well?

Improve your blog’s loading time

Loading times are so important.

Slow loading times have proven to cause a huge drop in conversions.

While it’s true that page loading times are a ranking factor for search engines like Google, it’s only a small part of their algorithm so it may increase traffic but not by too much.

The real benefit here is in keeping your existing readers coming back to your site and providing an awesome user experience.

Tools to improve page load times

  • Load Impact – Checking your blog with this tool will show you how load times hold up with multiple simultaneous visitors. It will give you a clear picture of how your web host copes with traffic spikes.
  • PageSpeed Insights by Google – This tool will give you an idea of exactly how to improve page load times.

When using Load Impact, an ideal test should be similar to this:

Load Impact Test

The green line shows more virtual users and the blue line shows the page load time.

Resources to help you improve page load times

You may need the help of a developer, but if you’re a WordPress user, there are plenty of resources on the web that can point you in the right direction:

Add relevant internal links

When you add relevant internal links to your blog, you make it easier for people to find your best content and you also make it easier for search engines to index your content.

Don’t add internal links just for the sake of it; add them only when you feel it’s relevant and helpful to readers.

Add social share buttons to your blog

It’s important to make it easy for your followers to share your blog posts.

But adding too many social sharing buttons could potentially have a negative impact.

The key is to identify the most important social networks for your audience.

For example, Neil Patel offers the option to share to Twitter, Facebook and Google+ on QuickSprout.com:



Neil Patel QuickSprout

If your content is written for small businesses, it may be helpful to include a LinkedIn share button.

So how can you add share buttons to your blog?

Most blogging platforms will have their own options built in but if you use WordPress.org there are a wide range of plugins you can use to add uniquely styled share buttons.

Read this post to find out more.

Make it easy to share your visual content

Earlier we discussed the importance of visual content.

And while visual content alone will help you get more traffic, it’s important to make it easy for your readers to share your visual content.

This app will let you display share buttons as your readers move their mouse curser over images on your blog.

The great thing is that the app is free and can be used on any website with a small snippet of code. For WordPress users, there’s a plugin to simplify things further.

SumoMe Image Sharer App

Thanks to the Image Sharer app, I’ve received around 1000 more social shares (mostly to Pinterest).

 

Add “click to tweet” widgets within your content

This can be a great way get more social shares for your blog posts and in turn, more traffic.

For example, on some posts I add a phrase or quote that people can click to tweet.

It looks something like this:

Want to drive more traffic to your blog? Find 32 ways to increase your blog’s traffic here Click To Tweet

If you use WordPress, these are easy to setup with the help of one of the following plugins:

  • Better Click To Tweet – Free plugin which is easy to use but only comes with a basic design.
  • TweetDis – Premium plugin which starts at $27. It comes with a bunch of smart designs and other features.

Alternatively you could try using ClickToTweet.com but its more time consuming and you can only use regular hyperlinks instead of the funky widget in my example above.

Leverage email marketing

Focus on building your email list

Out of all of the other tactics in this post, the most dependable is this one.

Social networks may come and go but your email list will always be yours.

Growing your email list boils down to two things:

  • Make it easy for your readers to sign up to your list
  • Offer them a compelling reason to join your list

The truth is that there are a huge number of specific tactics you can use for this so it’s worth reading this post to find out more (you probably won’t need to read another post about building your list after reading it).

As your list grows, the more traffic you’ll be able to send to your latest posts.

Send one email with one goal

A lot of people tend to send out emails about their latest content which includes links to a few posts.

It works and that will get you traffic, but there may be a better way for you.

For example, I usually send each email with a single goal in mind.

If I want my subscribers to read my latest post, I won’t ask them to do anything else. Well, most of the time!

Recently I wanted to see what would happen if I sent emails asking my subscribers to read more than 2 or more posts.

What was the result?

Click through rates dropped by almost half!

I’m not saying this will definitely be the same for you and there are some circumstances where you have to email out links to multiple posts. For example, if you publish a lot of content and want to avoid emailing your subscribers too often.

But this is definitely something worth testing for yourself.

Create an auto responder to drip feed your best content to your list

If you publish evergreen content, it’s a good idea to setup an auto responder to get the word out to your new subscribers.

This ensures that your subscribers don’t miss out on some of your best content.

Include a link to your blog in your email signature

If you send a lot of emails, linking to your blog can be a great way of driving a bit of extra traffic.

You could also take things a step further by linking to your latest blog post – this is made easy thanks to tools like Wisestamp.

 

Leverage other websites

Avoid any potentially dangerous link building tactics

You might be thinking, how can this be a way to drive more traffic to your blog?

The simple truth is that in the long term, anyone who uses dodgy link building tactics will get less traffic from Google than someone who didn’t.

The best way to think about this is to ask yourself this question before trying any link building – “Would I still want this link if Google didn’t exist?”

For more advice on finding the right approach to link building, read this post.

Be present on social networks

Growing a presence on social media can be a great way to increase your traffic but it can’t be done without being present.

The more you venture out onto the web and engage with others, the faster your following will grow and the more influence you will have.

Setup your own tribe on Triberr and invite other bloggers in your niche

Triberr is an incredible social platform for bloggers.

The platform connects bloggers who have similar interests and makes it easy for people to share each other’s content.

It works on the reciprocity principle, so the more you share other peoples content, the more shares you’ll get.

 

Here’s how it usually works:

  • Sign up for an account and add your RSS feed
  • Apply to join some relevant tribes
  • When the head of a tribe approves you as a full member, other members will see your content in their tribal stream (note: until that point you’ll be a follower so you’ll only be able to share other people’s content)

Another great way to utilize Triberr is to setup your own tribes and invite other influencers.

Publish content directly to LinkedIn

A while back, LinkedIn opened up its publisher platform called the Pulse which means you can publish blog posts directly to LinkedIn.

 

Occasionally, articles will be picked up and featured on the Pulse so they can potentially be a great form of traffic.

If your content is written with businesses in mind – this is worth trying.

Find out more about how to leverage Twitterfor traffic in this post.

Write a guest post for another blog

This is one of the most effective ways to increase your blog’s traffic.

Let me be clear – you’re not going to get floods of traffic in most cases and the time required to invest in this tactic is pretty high.

But, what matters here is that guest blogging is a long term strategy and what matters more than traffic is building your online presence.

Building your authority and making yourself known is one of the main benefits. This will pay off in the long term.

You may need to start off on small blogs first and work your way up to the larger publications, so stick with it and your blog will grow faster.

What about selecting blogs to contribute to?

A lot of people use all sorts of metrics, including SEO related metrics like Domain Authority (DA) etc but the truth is that there’s only one thing you should look for…

…An engaged audience.

That means real comments and real social shares.

There are plenty of “top lists” of blogs within any number of niches which you can easily find using Google but it makes sense to leverage your existing contacts first. Instead of pitching random blogs, ask the bloggers in your niche whom you already have an existing relationship with.

How should I pitch other bloggers?

Connect with them first (via social/comments/email) and only pitch once you’ve got to know them and their blog better.

When you do pitch them ensure you frame your pitch in a way that makes it all about how your post will benefit them.

How to make guest posting do more for your blog

There’s one thing that I wish I’d done differently when I first started contributing to other blogs.

And that’s using them to build an email list.

So how can you build your list this way?

  • Put together a free download/lead magnet
  • Offer it on a landing page
  • Include a link to the landing page in your author bio

 

Leave genuinely helpful comments on other blogs

This is a great way to help you become more visible within your niche but it has to be done the right way.

You shouldn’t just go around commenting on blogs just to get a link back to your site or open with “hey you should totally check out this tool/site [insert link], you should add it to your post” – that’ll do more harm than good.

The reality is that you probably won’t get much in the way of direct traffic but that’s not what commenting should be about.

Focus your comments around being helpful and building a relationship with the blogger. The results you’ll see will be more indirect than anything and take a while to build up but these relationships will open doors for you.

Leverage paid traffic

The truth about traffic generation is that while it’s easy to see certain tactics as being free, they aren’t really.

You pay, but with your time instead of money. And your time is valuable.

The great thing is that there are certain platforms that make it easy to get high-quality traffic, without paying through the nose for it.

Occasionally I use Outbrain and StumbleUpon Ads – I’ve had some great results with both platforms, but StumbleUpon is particularly useful because you get a chance to earn viral traffic that you won’t pay anything extra for.

Other ways to increase your blog traffic

Identify a problem and create a free tool to solve it

This is one of the most challenging tactics, but it can also be one of the most rewarding.

For example, Portent created a helpful content idea generator:

Content Idea Generator

I’m not sure exactly how much traffic this tool gets but the fact that it’s earned links from over 1,100+ referring domains and 1,000s of social shares leads me to believe it could be a huge amount.

This works because it solves a real problem that people are facing and it’s completely free.

Find out what’s already working and do more of it

With all the different tactics available for us to try, it’s easy to forget one of the most effective.

So open up your analytics tool and take a look at exactly which channels/websites are sending you the most traffic.

If you use Google Analytics, you will find it helpful to first look at which channels are sending you the most traffic.

To get to this menu, click the “Acquisition” tab, then “Channels”.

Tracking Channels

This will likely include (possibly more):

  • Organic search
  • Social
  • Direct
  • Referral
  • Email

You can then filter these results to find out exactly where your traffic is coming from.

Become an expert source for journalists

Using tools like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), you can find PR opportunities easily.

Help A Reporter Out

Journalists all over the world need expert sources for their stories and you could be one of those experts.

Just sign up for a free account and you’ll start to get emails with opportunities through. Keep an eye out for one that’s a good fit and send them a pitch.

Keep your pitches succinct and highlight why you’re a good fit.

In the past I’ve used this tactic to get featured on HuffPost, CIO and more – each response only took me around 10 minutes, not bad right?!

Ask your close contacts to share your post

If you don’t’ ask, you don’t get.

Sometimes you can get a great amount of traction just by asking your contacts to help spread the word about a post.

But, try not to use this too much – other bloggers likely have inbox’s full of emails from people asking them to do something to help them out.

So use this sparingly and be careful how you position your pitch.

This works best when you either help your contacts out first or offer to help them out with something. For example, if using email you could end your email with “let me know if you need my help with anything – I want to return the favour!”

It all comes down to creating good will and if you just ask for help all the time, it’ll run out.

Your next steps

You’ve now got plenty of tactics you can use to start getting more traffic to your blog, but it’s important that you pick the tactics that are the best fit for your blog and will provide you with the most relevant traffic.

If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve got an analytics tool setup. Don’t rely on stats provided by your web host, get a third party tool like SEMrush setup.

Once you’ve got the checklist, pick a tactic from the list and work on implementing it.

You could try multiple tactics but this works best if you focus on one.

So go out there and get started!

If you found this article useful please share it! Thx.

10 Little-Known Ways to See How Much Traffic a Website Gets





When the average person visits a website for the first time, their eyes follow an F-pattern. When I visit a website for the first time, I look at something else. In less than a second, I have a decent idea of how much traffic that website gets which helps me decide whether or not to stay. Knowing how much traffic a website gets helps you validate the website’s content and lets you know how much traffic you need to get to see similar results.Here are ten little-known techniques for figuring out how much traffic someone else’s website gets.



Advise

By the way, SEMRush is my favorite tool.

1. Alexa Ranking

The Alexa Ranking isn’t exactly “little-known,” but it is the best-known metric for ranking websites. This is the first thing I look at when I visit a site:

Alexa tracks stats for everyone who has the Alexa toolbar installed on their browser, which accounts for less than 1% of internet users. So it’s not very accurate, but it’ll give you a rough idea of the website’s popularity.

  1. If you use Chrome, install the Alexa Extension.
  2. If you use Firefox, get the Alexa Add-On.

Alexa Ranking Icon

Alexa’s reliability is shaky – some argue that it’s worthless – so it’s important to consider other metrics.

2. SEMRush.com

My favorite tool for website-based keyword research is SEMRush.com. Here’s a screenshot when you search IncomeDiary.com:



Semrush gives you a lot of information on a websites search engine rankings, how much traffic they get for those rankings, competitors, paid advertising, backlinks and so much more.

As you can see from the screenshot above, IncomeDiary ranks 1st for “how to make money from a website,” 4th for “famous entrepreneurs,” and 11th for “business movies.” Those are highly competitive keywords that are collectively searched over 10,000 times per month.

As you go down the list, you can start to estimate how much traffic he gets for each keyword based on the position and search volume.

3. SimilarWeb.com

SimilarWeb is a website traffic checker that’s similar to Alexa, except, it’s got a lot more detail put into it, so it’s more accurate!

ID SimilarWebThe main takeaway is that it gives you a line graph with values for the number of daily unique visitors and the sources. You can see the countries that your traffic comes from, top referring sites, the top destination sites (sites people visit after yours), display ads, audience interests, and up to 10 organic keywords with the free version.

4. Ahrefs.com

Without a doubt, Ahrefs is one of the best tracking tools I have ever used! This software provides such a wealth of website traffic information. You can find out:

  • New, lost and broken backlinks.
  • Domains sending the most traffic to a site.
  • Search engine rankings.
  • How much traffic a search engine ranking is getting a site.
  • Pages from a site getting the most traffic.
  • You can compare website rankings vs competitors.

And so, so much more…

Not only is Ahrefs great for tracking competitor websites, it’s also a huge help when it comes to figuring out how to improve your own sites!

5. AuthorityLabs.com

AuthorityLabs allows you to track your competitors search engine rankings side by side with your own.

Like SemRush, it tells you how high you are ranking and how many people are looking at that search term. A great tool, that seems to be growing in popularity.



6. YouTube or Vimeo Views

If a website has a YouTube or Vimeo video embedded on the homepage, click to “Watch on YouTube.”

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Video
If the video is public, both YouTube and Vimeo will show the view counts. Also check the upload date to estimate how many people view it per month.

Dollar Shave Club YouTube Views
Just because the homepage Dollar Shave Club video has almost 4 million views doesn’t mean that their site had 4 million views. But it gives you some idea of how much traffic they got in their first month.

7. Blog Post Comments

Another way to gauge the popularity of a blog is to look at how many comments it gets per post.

With my sites, I’ve found that an average of 1 out of every 200 readers leaves a comment. So a post with 20 non-Nicholas comments was viewed about 4,000 times. This changes with every post and every blog, but again, it gives you a general idea.

8. Total Comment Counts

Immediately after you comment on a WordPress blog, your browser redirects you to where your comment will show up. If you look at the URL, you’ll see something that looks like this:

Total Comment Counts

The second half of the URL tells you that you left the 108,656th comment on IncomeDiary.com. This number includes spam comments. Assume that 75-90% of the comments are spam and you can get an idea of how many comments a site has had since day one.

9. Search for Interviews

A large percentage of successful website owners do interviews, talking about how they built their site and what works for them. Often, they will share not only how much traffic they get, but also where it’s coming from.

In my experience, a lot of people are more open about sharing traffic stats then you would think. You see this not just in interviews but if you peruse through the archived articles on a blog, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a “blog in review” or “traffic report” post. With those stats, you can start to figure out how much traffic the site is getting today.

10. Check “Advertise Here” Pages

By far, the most accurate way to figure out how much traffic a website gets is to go to their Advertising page.

If a blog is trying to sell advertising space, they need to tell you exactly how many unique views and impressions your ad is going to get every month.

If you sell advertising space on BuySellAds, you need to share your monthly unique and monthly impressions.

The Final Word

Unless the owner of the website reveals exactly how much traffic they’re getting, every other figure is a best guess. Most tools are surprisingly inaccurate when it comes to generating stats. They are good, however, for comparing yourself against others.

Do you know of any other ways to figure out how much traffic a site gets?

7 Best Website Traffic Estimator Spy on your Competitor Traffic

estimate traffic




Today we are going to look at different tools and resources for having insights into competitors’ traffic data. So, here’s the list of best website traffic estimator tools for you that will help you to get the number of visitors a website is generating or how much traffic you may estimate. We have taken care to include the best tools for spying on the website traffic of your competitors. We have shown their strengths and weaknesses, as well as look into the validity and usefulness of the data provided.



In fact, these website traffic estimator tools are great for competitor analysis as they help you to spy on the competitor website traffic.

Moreover, it is a helpful tactic to know how much traffic a top blog in your niche gets. By checking website traffic of your competitors, you can come to know what’s working and what’s not in any niche.

You can then go on to upgrade or amend your online marketing techniques so as to drive more traffic to your website.

Having said that, there are tons out there that do not have an exact idea of what website traffic is and what does it mean?

So, let’s see what web traffic is?

In fact, website traffic or web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a website. It does not include the traffic generated by bots.

Website traffic constitutes the largest portion of Internet traffic. It is calculated by figuring out the number of visitors and the number of pages they happen to visit.

For tracking web traffic of your website, you can use tools like Google Analytics. However, if you want to check out web traffic of other blogs or websites in your niche, you can use the tools that have been listed in this post.



These are the best website traffic estimator tools just for you. The best part is that they are free and easy to use. So, you can get website traffic report of any site easily.

Website Traffic Estimator

Why do you need to check your competitors’ website traffic?

Getting to know the website traffic of your competitors has some huge benefits. Here, we list out some of the benefits of estimating web traffic or unique monthly visitors of a blog or website.

  • First of all, you come to know the estimated monthly or daily sessions that your competitor site is getting.
  • You can figure out the top traffic keywords. You can then target those keywords for driving more search traffic to your website.
  • You get to know the traffic breakup of any website. So, you come to know the exact amount of traffic coming from different sources such as Organic, Social, Referral, and Direct.
  • You come to know website engagement details such as Bounce Rate, Time Spent on a Website Page, Page Views per Visit, etc.
  • Last but not the least; you can create “suitable content” for your audience.

So, checking out your competitors’ website traffic has some obvious benefits. Explore the post to know the Best Website Traffic Estimator Tools. Let’s get to know the tools now.

7 Top Website Traffic Estimator Tools

1. SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb is one of the most recommended tools for estimating the web traffic of any site worldwide. By using SimilarWeb, you can check the website traffic of any site for free. Finding website traffic details with Similar Web is very easy. You just have to launch SimilarWeb and type in your desired website URL and get the traffic levels of the site.

It not only furnishes competitive insights of any site but also goes on to show the ranking insights of any website. With SimilarWeb, you get a thorough competitor analysis. It shows you the traffic stats of any website, the number of page views, bounce rate, average time spent by visitors, referrals, social influence, etc. The best thing about SimilarWeb is that it delivers precise and detailed website traffic information and that too for free.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - SimilarWeb

2. Alexa

Alexa offers one of the best website traffic checker tools. Moreover, Alexa is quite popular with webmasters and bloggers as it enables you to get insight into the website rankings. Using Alexa, you come to know website traffic for any site for free. It is one of the best ways to know the details of other blogs including unique visitors per month, bounce rate, and average on-page time.

For using Alexa tool, you have to launch the Alexa.com website. Then enter the website address of the site (for which you want to know the results) in the Search Box available. Once you enter a website address and press enter, you will be shown important website metrics such as Alexa Traffic Rank, Page Views, Bounce Rate, Search Percentage, and Time on Site, as well as Traffic Rank in specific demographics.

Apart from showing these website metrics, Alexa also provides search queries for a website. These search queries are the best performing keywords for that site. It can also be used to compare your website traffic with four other websites of your choice. So, Alexa stands out as one of the best website traffic checker tools out there. The data provided is accurate, so you can instantly figure out the traffic numbers of a website after using this tool.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Alexa

3. SEMrush

SEMrush is one of the most recommended tools by most SEO experts. Using SEMrush, you can get the website traffic report of any website. Most importantly, SEMrush accurately tracks web traffic of any website. With SEMrush, you get to have the nearest level of visitor count of the website you want to spy.



Apart from providing website traffic details, SEMrush also lists out all the keywords that are helping your competitors in growing their search traffic.

For using SEMrush, go to SEMrush site and enter the URL of the website whose visitor count you want to know. The results are displayed to you showing organic search traffic, paid traffic, and backlinks.

With SEMrush, you come to know the high performing keywords to boost your overall organic search traffic. You can also analyze the backlinks of any site and much more. So, you can use SEMrush to spy on your competitors no matter what your niche is.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - SEMrush

4. Google AdWords Display Planner

Google AdWords Display Planner helps you to figure out the amount of traffic a website gets. In fact, Google AdWords Display Planner is a combination of the Contextual Targeting Tool, Google Ad Planner, and Placement Tool. Using the tool, you can check any website traffic for free.

Moreover, it is one of the most accurate tools to track website traffic. So, Google Display Planner comes out as a reliable web traffic checker tool.

This website traffic estimator tool shows important traffic metrics such as an average number of page views per visitor, unique visitors, total page views, average time on site, total unique visitors to a website in a month’s time, and much more.

For using Google Display Planner, you have to enter the desired website URL in the “Get ideas and estimates” section and then click on the “Get ad group ideas.”

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Google AdWords Display Planner

5. Quantcast

Quantcast is yet another very popular web traffic checking tool among webmasters and bloggers alike. In fact, Quantcast is a free website traffic estimator tool that delivers free direct audience measurement including information regarding web traffic, demographics, and many other details.

It shows a count of unique daily visitors as well as unique monthly visitors to a website. However, it is only useful if your website or that of competitors has decent traffic volume.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - QuantCast

6. Google Insights

Google Insights is a free traffic checker tool which is useful in getting general trends when it relates to regional information, a list of key phrases, and key phrase groups. It provides insights into a market than your competitors.

Google Insights is mostly used to know about the best key phrases and groups of key phrases regarding rankings. You also get to know which key phrases in a group are most useful in driving more traffic to your website.

However, this free traffic checker tool can get quite tough for many newbie bloggers due to the complexity of data which makes it difficult to read. Its figures are more geared towards search terms, key phrases, and trends. So, the search volume corresponds with the site’s traffic.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Google-Insights

7. Ahrefs

Ahrefs.com is another comprehensive tool to check site traffic. It is perfect for conducting link research. You get fresh and reliable data which is updated on their index every 30 minutes. Moreover, the site has a ranking database of about 45 million keywords coming from several countries including the United States. The results are shown efficiently, and you get to export data or filter reports as per your requirements.

Ahrefs functions more as a link checker tool than a web traffic estimator tool. It shows the number of new links gained or lost in recent times. However, Ahrefs also shows the organic traffic which can be useful for competitive analysis. That said Ahrefs is not a free tool. It has a subscription fee. When you subscribe you get access to its various features such as Labs/Tools, SERPs Analysis, Site Explorer, and Report. However, it comes with a free trial offer of 14 days.

Website Traffic Estimator Tools - Ahrefs

We hope that the article on Best Website Traffic Estimator Tools has presented you with lots of options for easily accessing web traffic. If you liked the post, don’t forget to share it with your friends and colleagues. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

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7 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2018





There are movers and shakers in every industry, but marketers tend to make a big name for themselves. After all, that’s their skill set — making cool things look even cooler and getting the word out about them. So what marketing influencers are on the horizon these days? Who are the next faces to watch, the big fish growing even bigger? In this article, we’ll give you a list of ten marketing influencers you should keep an eye on in 2018. These people are doing big things and plan to only make more waves in the coming year.



Read on for insight into what these experts in their field are up to. Keep tabs on their success as they move up in the world of marketing.

1. Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the most well known online marketers in the game today. He hosts regular webinars and hosts an informative blog on all things digital.

Those wishing to start a blog of their own or begin making money online can turn to Patel’s blog for in-depth articles on all steps of the blogging process.

His podcast, called Marketing School, is also a popular way to continue along one’s journey in the online marketing world.

Whether you don’t know the first thing about starting a blog or creating a website or you simply want to drive more revenue to your site, Patel likely has resources that are applicable to you.

2. Aaron Nosbisch

Aaron Nosbisch is a rising star in the world of digital marketing and startup development. He led MONQ, a multi-million dollar earning startup in the health and wellness world, to immense success as the Chief Marketing Officer.

However, his skills go much further back than the recent boom of startups in the modern economy. In fact, he launched his first company at the tender age of 13.



From there, he started a clothing line, toured the country in a hardcore band and was signed, then headed off on his own to carve his own path and put his technology skills to good use.

Nosbisch is the one person you’ll want to keep an eye on if you desire to keep current on startups, online marketing, and successful campaign strategies in the modern online economy.

Additionally, Nosbisch employs innovative techniques in fields like influencer marketing to grow businesses rapidly and make them popular across the Internet and beyond. His expertise in the e-commerce field is unparalleled, as is his experience in leading modern day businesses to thunderous profitability.

3. Greg Goodman

Greg Goodman, the founder of Goodman Creatives, has a background in marketing and communications.

He founded his digital marketing agency based on his passion for endowing each website and marketing campaign with a personal touch of creativity.

Goodman is a wizard in the worlds of web design, photography, and marketing. He encourages finding opportunities born of a passion and zeal for what you’re doing.

What makes him an influencer worth watching? He began crafting websites with the dawn of the Internet, decades ago. In addition, after spending time in the corporate world, he left to travel the globe and kept a record of his adventures for all to enjoy.

He then starred in a television show on National Geographic before finally launching his digital agency to help clients around the world build their online presence in a way that represents their business the best way possible.

It’s anyone’s guess what he’ll get up to next!

4. Clinton Senkow

Clinton Senkow has garnered the attention of big names like Forbes, Inc., Mashable, and The Huffington Post.

Senkow’s current project is an online platform called Influencive, a new form of media that concentrates primarily on unconventional news in the worlds of entrepreneurship, blockchain, and other forms of modern success.



Senkow’s offerings include services like business development, personal branding, partnerships, blockchain advisory, and more.

If you want to keep up with news items like what works in the business world of today, keep tabs on Senkow’s next moves.

5. Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is known for his expertise in Facebook marketing. He is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics. This digital marketing company partners with schools to train young adults.

In addition, Yu often speaks at conferences and forums around the country to share his knowledge of online marketing and advertising techniques that truly work.

He even co-authored a book called Facebook Nation, which is now used as a textbook in schools and universities across the nation.

Yu’s concentration on mentoring young minds — those making up the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders — is a key part of his success as a leader and authority in the online marketing world.

6. Ryan Deiss

Ryan Deiss is the founder and CEO of popular online platform DigitalMarketer, a digital media, and e-commerce group.

Deiss is also a best selling author and popular speaker in the world of marketing in the digital age.

Through his company, Deiss has helped to grow big names like Uber, Harper Collins Publishers, and more. Digital marketing professionals all over the world turn to the resources found on Deiss’s site for information and insight they simply could not get anywhere else.

On a mission to grow businesses on a large scale, you’re sure to be hearing more and more of Deiss in the years to come.

7. Savvas Zortikis

If you’re looking for just the right combination of growth marketing, product development, and Scandinavian inspired design, Savvas Zortikis is your guy.

He founded companies Viral Loops and GrowthRocks as the main avenues through which he performs his work.

Zortikis offers growth marketing services to startups and established companies by creating viral campaigns and contests to win the attention of large audiences around the world.

His growth hacking techniques have garnered him attention from the likes of established publications like Forbes.

Why Watch Online Marketers

Looking to stay ahead in the marketing world? Watch these influencers and keep tabs on their next big moves.

The best way to keep on top of the trends is to keep up with the movers and shakers who are behind them.

Want more tips on making money online? Check out other articles.