Announcing Data Studio: our free, new, Data Visualization Product

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/yaxkrqrfmfA/announcing-data-studio-our-free-new.html

Earlier this year, as part of the Google Analytics 360 Suite announcement, we unveiled a new data visualization and reporting platform for large enterprises — Data Studio 360.

Yesterday, at the Google Performance Summit, we announced a free version of Data Studio for individuals and smaller teams. Data Studio lets you connect to all your marketing data and turn that data into beautiful, informative reports that are easy to understand, share, and fully customizable. We wanted to take a moment to give you some of the details about Data Studio.

Making it easy to share data within your organization — or with the world

One of the fundamental ideas behind Data Studio is that data should be easily accessible to anyone in an organization. We believe that as more people have access to data, better decisions will be made.

With multiple data connectors, you can now easily create dashboards from many different types of data and share with everyone in your organization – and you can mix and match data sources within a single report. For example, you can combine Google Analytics data and Google AdWords data into a single report.

Today, we’re offering multiple data connectors, so you can connect to Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Sheets and many other Google services. But Data Studio offers integration with a wide variety of data sources. There’s also a connector for BigQuery and we will soon have connectors to SQL databases that will let you access first party data.

Data Studio is more that just sharing reports with other people — it’s true collaboration. We used the same infrastructure as Google Docs, so you can edit reports together, in real time. This is useful as you combine data from multiple teams and need others to add analysis and context to the report.

Visualization tools to style your reports and data 

In addition to new sharing and collaboration tools, Data Studio gives you many flexible ways to present your data. Sure, there’s the usual assortment of bar charts, pie charts, and time series. But we’ve also included some new visualizations — like bullet charts that help you communicate your progress towards a business goal.

Another advanced feature is the ability to create a heatmap using tabular data. This visualization makes it easy to instantly identify outliers within a table of data.

Data Studio also has an array of other features to help you customize how you present your data. There are a number stylistic tools that enable you to design your reports to represent your specific brand. There are also interactive data controls, like a date picker and dynamic filters, that enable report editors to make reports interactive for viewers.

For example, let’s say you want to let users segment a report by country. Just add a control element to the top of your report and the user can dynamically segment the data. In the image below the check boxes will change the data in the map and data table based on what a user selects.

These are just a few of the tools that you can use to help others in your organization understand data. 

Two versions for different types of organizations

 The primary difference between Data Studio 360 and the free version, Data Studio, is the the number of reports you can create, which is five per account. Both versions support connecting to unlimited data sources and offer unlimited report viewing, editing and collaboration. For more information, check out our Help Center.

Getting started

If you’re ready to get started, watch this brief overview that will help you build your first reports.

Then check out the interactive walkthrough – it’s built with Data Studio. Just choose “Welcome to Data Studio (Start Here)” from the list of reports in your account.

 Data Studio is currently available to users in the United States and we’ll be rolling it out to other geographic regions throughout the year. We hope it helps you share more data and make better business decisions.

Happy Dashboarding,

Posted by Nick Mihailovski & Nathan Moon, Data Studio team

Case Study in Online-to-Store Measurement: Petit Bateau & Google Analytics

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/s5NJJW2uo3k/case-study-in-online-to-store.html

Knowing that many people research products online before going into a physical store to make a purchase, French clothing retailer Petit Bateau wanted to develop a better understanding of the online-to-offline (in-store) behaviour of its customer base. The brand leveraged Google Analytics and its robust features: User ID and Measurement Protocol, to reach the objectives.

Petit Bateau customers in France can shop in 153 physical stores as well as on Petit-bateau.fr. Users log into the website which makes it possible to later match the traffic of logged-in users with subsequent in-store transactions made with a loyalty card.

Petit Bateau uploaded personally non-identifiable in-store data into Google Analytics and discovered that digital played a significant role in driving in-store purchases:

  • 44% of in-store buyers had visited the site within the seven days before making their purchases, 
  • 9% of in-store buyers had visited the site on the same day as their purchase in the physical shop. 

Further analysis revealed that the online-to-store effect was particularly important on mobile. Mobile visitors converted within stores at an 11% higher rate than desktop visitors, and their in-store spend was 8% greater.

By using Google Analytics to measure online-to-offline purchase behaviour, Petit Bateau was able to better understand the impact of online marketing on in-store sales and use the data to recalculate AdWords return on ad spend – which proved to be six times higher with in-store sales incorporated. Taking in-store transactions into consideration in this way is enabling Petit Bateau to optimise the brand’s digital marketing programmes, make more informed decisions around media budget allocation and design better experiences for consumers as they move seamlessly between digital and physical shopping environments.

You can find the full case study with all the details here.

Posted by the Google Analytics team

How to Turn Your SaaS Lead Nurturing Efforts into Lead Optimization Wins

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/crazyegg/~3/E5WHOD2TgJw/

If there’s one thing I see many SaaS companies do wrong, it’s focusing only their website and signup page. What they fail to consider is that both elements form just one cog of a bigger machine; optimizers often forget the entire funnel has to be optimized. True, it makes perfect sense to optimize your signup page as this can have a dramatic impact on the number of upfront trial signups. However, you also need to consider the following questions: Are your paid signups increasing significantly? Would an increase in free trials translate to an increase or decrease in your churn…

The post How to Turn Your SaaS Lead Nurturing Efforts into Lead Optimization Wins appeared first on The Daily Egg.

4 Effective Ways to Build Backlinks for a Brand New Site

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Quicksprout/~3/TXWXkCe-pqA/

seo

Starting to build links for a new site is a lot like climbing a mountain.

You’re starting from ground zero with a lot of enthusiasm, but when you realize you have to climb for days to get anywhere, that enthusiasm often turns to the feeling of being overwhelmed.

But when it comes to your site, the weather conditions, metaphorically speaking, are terrible as well.

No one can see you from above, so they can’t help you out—you are on your own.

That already rules out certain link building (climbing) strategies.

This fact is nothing new.

But the advice for new site owners is outdated and just plain bad in some cases.

I recently saw multiple guides that advised building (and paying for) directory links and social media bookmarks.

That kind of stuff was useful over five years ago, but today, it is a waste of your time and money—resources that could be spent building links that will help you get immediate traffic and long-term search rankings.

Seeing those guides was the inspiration for this post because no one beginning a site should start off on the wrong foot.

I’m going to show you four ways to build links specifically tailored towards new sites.

These are the links that actually matter. If you get a few dozen of them, you will see an immediate impact on your traffic levels. 

1. Invest in a gift for the community

Almost every new business has the same problem: no one knows you. Even if you have a lot to offer, again, no one knows you.

One of the main objectives of the link building tactics we’ll look at in this post is to get attention.

And there are many ways to get the attention of people you don’t know.

The best way, in most cases, is to offer something of value—as big of a value as you can provide.

Here are a few options.

Option #1 – create a photo gallery: Any good blogger knows the importance of having great images in posts.

While some bloggers hire a designer for the most important pictures, it’s inconvenient and not always affordable for less important pictures.

However, most bloggers would gladly exchange a link to a site for a free picture.

That’s why I propose hiring a designer (or taking pictures yourself) and creating a free image gallery. Then, send out the link to the gallery to medium-top bloggers in your niche, explaining that they are free to use them in exchange for a link back.

For example, in the fitness niche, you could take pictures like these:

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Spending a few hundred dollars upfront here will not only open doors to other bloggers but get you several dozen really good links.

A final important note is that you should create images around common points in your niche.

For example, if you were in the content marketing niche, you could create custom images for things that are often mentioned such as:

  • SEO tools
  • SEO rankings
  • Reader personas
  • Inbound marketing
  • The different marketing channels

And so on…

Option #2 – create a free tool: If you’re interested in getting a ton of traffic yourself, on top of links, you can create something for your community of users rather than just bloggers. And that something is a tool.

Tools can be a great way to grow your site and earn backlinks at the same time.

For example, the keyword research tool Keywordtool.io has been linked to by over 3,880 unique domains. Honestly, that’s a relatively simple tool to build or get built.

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After a bit of time, you can get links (good ones) that work out to under $1 per link, which is amazing. Add all the traffic that you can also get on top of that, and you can see why tools can be a great thing to make.

The big drawback is that it will take some time to build the tool in the first place, especially if you can’t code it yourself.

Additionally, you’re going to have to promote the tool. Write posts about it in niche forums, subreddits, and on social media.

Option #3 – do original data analysis (or research): One option that I really love, yet almost no one does, is to do original analysis or research.

Look at any good data-driven post—for example, my post about how to win on Facebook.

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What you’ll see is that most posts link to someone else’s research.

It takes a lot of time and effort to do original research, which is why it’s much easier to link to someone else’s research than to do your own.

You can take advantage of this by providing the research that bloggers in your niche link to.

In that above post, the research was done by Buzzsumo, and I simply analyzed the data that they sent me. Of course, I’m going to give them a few links for that, and it also opens the door for a great relationship.

Find an interesting question always asked in your niche, dig in, and do the research. When you’re done, email the results to the top bloggers in your niche, and give them first dibs.

2. Study competitors, and learn from them

The toughest thing you can do is reinvent the wheel.

Your competitors have likely spent years building up their reputations and earning backlinks to their sites.

Many of these backlinks are from sites that you could also get a backlink from.

That’s why competitor analysis is a great place to start for any new site.

Here’s a simple 3-step process to follow.

Step #1 – Find your close competitors: The closer a competitor is to you, the more likely that their backlink sources would be appropriate for you.

If you know your niche well, you can likely do this off the top of your head. Otherwise, search for “best (specific niche) blogs.”

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It’s best to make a big list somewhere for later.

Step #2 – Find their best backlinks: This is simple to do now, thanks to tools such as Ahrefs and Majestic. Simply put in your competitor’s domain into either tool, and search its database:

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Next, find the “inbound links” or equivalent option to see a list of all their links:

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If you want to see them all, you’ll need a premium account. Both sites offer a trial period that you can take advantage of.

The links should be sorted by default in order of strength. Obviously, you want to go only after the best links (usually the top 20-30% of links).

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From there, you’ll have to visit each page and find the link:

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Step #3 – Can you replicate the link? Here is where your marketing skills come into play.

Some links, like links from private blog networks, can’t be replicated.

However, links from guest posts, forums, social networks, blog comments, etc. can be replicated. You can often get very similar links to those of your competitors’.

From there, you need to go after that link.

For example, if you see that your competitor wrote a guest post on a site, I strongly suggest you read some of my posts on guest-posting effectively and then apply that information to try to secure a post of your own.

Unfortunately, I can’t walk you through this step in great detail because it differs for every type of link. However, you will get better at it as you gain experience.

As a final note, you should stay on top of your competitors. Check which links they are getting on a regular basis, say once a week or once a month. It’s usually easier to replicate links that are more recent (rather than years old).

3. Forum links can have value

Let me start off by being very clear: most forum links are garbage.

Signature links and profile links rarely have any real value.

If you have a link on a page that no one visits or links to, your link isn’t going to count for much.

But what about the most popular threads on a big forum?

These threads rank well in Google. They have a lot of high-quality, relevant content, and people even link to them on other sites.

Links, especially near the top of the page (like in the opening post), can carry a good amount of weight.

For example, Brian Dean used to post on the Warrior Forum when Backlinko was newer.

He would include a link to his content on the first line and then paste the rest of his post. Here’s an example:

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That thread got over 14,000 views and almost 100 replies. A decent portion of those viewers likely visited his website.

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Also, because it was so popular on the forum, it has a lot of internal links pointing to it on high authority pages on the forum.

It also has 12 external domains pointing to it to give it even more authority.

Every forum has its own rules for posting content, but as long as you’re not just dropping a link and saying “go visit my site,” you should be okay.

However, you need to genuinely put the time and effort into understanding what the users of your forum want and then give it to them. You need your thread to get popular if you want a good link.

No, these links aren’t the absolute best and most powerful (from an SEO perspective) that you can get. But for a new site, a few relatively strong links from forums can help build a strong foundation.

4. If you want to burst onto the scene, guest-posting is a must

Most link building strategies for new sites are fairly slow.

They take consistent effort and deliver consistent results.

But you rarely get thousands of readers and hundreds of links within months unless you do them exceptionally well.

I consider guest-posting an exception to the rule. Even though you have to do it really well to get results, most bloggers have the ability to succeed with it.

And guest-blogging works for you even if you’re brand new. If you have a good pitch, it doesn’t matter what your name is.

When I think of guest-blogging to build up a new site, I think of Danny Iny, who is often referred to as the “Freddy Krueger of guest-posting.”

He got this nickname because he seemed to be everywhere when Firepole Marketing (now Mirasee) first launched.

His main strategy for getting traffic and links was guest-posting. He wrote dozens of guest posts and quickly took Firepole Marketing to the top tier of marketing blogs.

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I won’t go into guest-posting in detail here because I’ve done it multiple times before:

The one adaptation that you will have to make, since you’re brand new, is not to start at the top.

Don’t start by pitching to a site like Copyblogger or Forbes. Instead, find a few smaller sites that are more receptive to pitches.

Then, you need to wow them with your post and promote that post as well.

Once you can prove that your writing is great, then you can start pitching to bigger sites, citing your other successes as proof that you’re a serious blogger.

Conclusion

Here’s the reality: You’re in a tough spot.

Building links for a new site is not easy, but if you’re willing to put in consistent effort, it can be done.

I’ve shown you four of the most effective ways I know to build links for a new site. I encourage you to focus on just one or two of them until you’ve exhausted their potential.

If you’ve been in this situation before and have any creative link building ideas to share with others, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Attracting the Right Audiences with Google Analytics and Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/tRaA/~3/7Y6wbhJHHHM/attracting-right-audiences-with-google.html

This post was contributed by Andrew Garberson, Search Department Manager at LunaMetrics, a Google Analytics Certified Partner. Read their full case study describing how Teach For America partnered with LunaMetrics to attract diverse and top talent using RLSA and Google Analytics.
Many website users provide details about their needs and preferences throughout the conversion process. University applicants declare an area of study, homebuyers select a price tier, analytics training attendees choose a city.
This volunteered information can be captured and stored in Google Analytics as Custom Dimensions. Using the scenarios above, that may mean:
  • Applicant A wants to study biology. 
  • Buyer B wants a $200,000 home. 
  • Attendee C wants a training in Pittsburgh.

Now apply that concept to all of the users who express interest in a business. Instead of one university applicant or one homebuyer or one training attendee, we have thousands, or hundreds of thousands. These Custom Dimensions can organize users into related Audiences.
Marketers can then use these Audiences to create campaigns that nurture users along the path toward a goal completion. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) show more personalized messaging to users in the search results, acting as a reminder to finish the process that they started.
These core concepts presented an opportunity for Teach For America. The organization recruits some of the most distinguished and desirable job applicants in the world while they are also pursued by big brands offering big salaries. Keeping these applicants engaged throughout a rigorous selection process is essential. 
Teach For America and LunaMetrics partnered to stay top-of-mind with their illustrious applicants, using self-identified information to personalize messaging and better target candidates. The results were a 57% increase in conversion rate over campaigns without audience targeting and a more effective identification and targeting of applicants. Read the entire case study.

“There is no greater win as a marketer than to be certain you’re finding the right people in the right place at the right time. The results speak for themselves: The marriage between Google Analytics and RSLA insured we were able to deliver the message we wanted to the people we wanted.” —Stacey Jaffe, Senior Managing Director, Digital Acquisitions and Channel Growth, Teach For America

Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Analytics Advocate, Google Analytics team

What To Do When Your Sales Funnel Fails

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/crazyegg/~3/72r_xi9ngow/

These days it’s hard going even a single day without hearing something about sales funnels. For the past year or so they’ve been a huge buzzword in the online marketing space, and for good reason! They work. Except… when they don’t. Many people understand the value of funnels and why they should work, but still struggle putting together a funnel that actually maximizes their conversions. Today we’re going to fix that. Over the past several years I’ve generated about $50 million in revenue from sales funnels in more industries you could imagine, in companies ranging from startups to multiple 8-figure…

The post What To Do When Your Sales Funnel Fails appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Find Your Readers: 6 Marketing Channels (and which ones to pick)

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Quicksprout/~3/VkB30Q8ANSs/

crowd

Creating great content is pointless…

…unless you’re getting it in front of your target audience.

You do this by using any one of a number of promotional tactics to reach your target audience on a variety of platforms.

Most of these platforms can be grouped together, and that’s where we get marketing channels. A promotional tactic can then be applied to most of the platforms in the channel.

For example, social media is a marketing channel, consisting of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Depending on whom you ask, you’ll get different answers to the question of how many marketing channels there really are.

The number gets even more complicated if you consider that there are many offline marketing channels as well.

However, for most of us, the number of channels doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that there is a handful of core channels that are by far the most effective digital marketing channels.

Download a cheat sheet of 4 tools you can use to find the exact readers of your website.

That’s what this post is all about.

We’ll go over the six main digital marketing channels you should at least be familiar with. On top of that, I’m going to show you how to evaluate each channel to determine whether it’s worth your time.

The real power of studying channels: If you want to learn this stuff because you love marketing, that’s great. But there’s also a great practical reason for you to want to learn it.

Once you learn how to identify the best marketing channels for your business, you can study them and create content for those specific channels (and sites in them).

By targeting content towards a specific audience, you’re much more likely to create something they’ll love and want to read. 

Channel #1: Search engines (SEO) is the best place to start

There are very few websites that wouldn’t benefit from search engine traffic.

No matter what industry you’re in, some of your target customers are using search engines to search for something.

That doesn’t mean you should necessarily spend all your time on SEO. It’s not always the best channel, but it’s one that you must research.

What you should be looking to do at this point is just some basic keyword research. Afterwards, you can do some more advanced keyword research with these resources:

Here, we just want to see the general number of searches your target audience does every month.

For that, the Google Keyword Planner will work just fine.

Start by entering some broad niche keywords. For example, “content marketing” or “social media marketing” if you were starting a blog like Quick Sprout.

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Look through the list that comes up, and see how many keywords have a significant search volume (at least a few hundred per month).

While you’re missing out on a lot of keywords using this simplistic method, you want to see at least 50 keywords worth targeting.

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to searching for keywords, find a close competitor in your niche.

Then, enter their URL in the website field of the keyword planner instead of typing in keywords.

If they have a WordPress blog, you can typically add “/feed” to the end of their blog URL to get a more complete set of keywords.

For example, instead of entering:

https://www.quicksprout.com/blog/

enter:

https://www.quicksprout.com/blog/feed

That will give you a set of really broad keywords, and you can enter any of those into the tool to get a list to analyze.

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Channel #2: If you want readers fast, PPC (pay-per-click advertising) is the way

When you identify a marketing channel, you first want to make sure you can actually reach your readers through it.

After, you need to decide if it’s ideal for your business. All channels have their strengths and weaknesses.

SEO, for example, can provide you with steady, high-quality free traffic. The downside is that it is hard to earn that traffic, can take a long time to get, and requires an upfront investment.

PPC, on the other hand, allows you to drive the same type of traffic (if you’re using AdWords) from day one of publishing content. There are also many more platforms you can use other than search such as Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising, or even a small network like 7search.

The downside is that it’s expensive, and if you don’t have a solid conversion funnel in place, you’ll end up wasting that traffic and losing money.

When can you use paid advertising? Another benefit of PPC is that you can use it for virtually any niche.

If there’s search traffic, you can advertise on Google or Bing.

If it’s most popular on social media, you can advertise there.

If you have a significant content promotion budget (on an ongoing basis), PPC is an option at your disposal.

However, if you don’t already have a solid sales funnel, be prepared to lose money.

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Your time should mostly be spent optimizing ads and conversion rates of your content (readers into email subscribers). From there, you’ll need to determine the best way to sell to those subscribers.

Channel #3: You don’t always have to compete with other blogs

If you’re starting a blog, I sure hope there are at least a few other, remotely similar to yours, popular blogs that already exist.

If not, there probably aren’t many potential customers reading blogs in that niche, and you’re wasting your time. The one exception is if you’re writing about a very new topic that has just started growing.

These blogs are usually seen as competition, but they don’t have to be.

A reader is not an all-or-nothing asset. A reader can follow multiple blogs.

If you give blog owners an incentive, you may be able to get them to allow you to get your message in front of their readers.

How?

The main ways are:

  • Guest-posting – I guest-post on a regular basis and have written multiple guides to using it effectively. Here, the incentive is free content for the site owner. Of course, you need to make sure that your content is good enough to be worth it. Not all blogs allow guest posts, but many do.
  • Joint content – For all my advanced guides (in the sidebar), I’ve gotten help from respected bloggers in each niche. They get publicity, and I get help with my content.

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  • Sponsored posts – You can contact a blogger and offer to sponsor a post. These typically involve a few mentions naturally throughout a post.
  • Joint ventures – You can even get involved with a product a blogger sells and help improve it. Their customers will see you in a very good light, and many will follow you because of it.

For now, you want to find as many of those blogs as you can.

It’s pretty easy these days. Start by Googling a phrase like “top (niche) blogs.”

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You’ll probably find at least a few results, featuring long lists of blogs in your niche.

Write these down somewhere.

You can also head to Alltop, find your niche in the menu bar, and then write down the blogs that come up:

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Traffic is king: There’s no point in doing a guest post on a site with very little traffic. Even if your post is great, you’ll only get a few readers from it.

Your next step is to estimate the traffic levels of each site you wrote down.

Visit each site, and look for:

  • Average number of comments on each post
  • Average number of social shares
  • How well designed the site is
  • Whether the number of subscribers is listed anywhere

It’s hard to know if a site has a lot of traffic, but if it’s getting 5+ comments or 100+ social shares on each post, it has enough to consider partnering with.

Filter out all the low traffic sites. If you still have 20+ sites left to potentially work with, then these blogs are another channel you can target.

Channel #4: Can you be social?

Social media sites are usually hit or miss.

Some niches, like fitness, food, fashion, and even marketing to a degree, are highly shareable.

In order to use social media effectively, you need those extra followers and readers you get from “likes” and “shares.”

That’s why you don’t see a lot of asphalt companies or paper companies killing it on social media. It’s really hard to create shareable content in those niches.

To see whether it’s viable for your niche, you can use Buzzsumo, a tool I’ve mentioned many times before. Not only will it show you if your niche is popular on social media, but it will also tell you which social media sites to focus on.

Type your niche into the top content tool. If the results seem irrelevant, add quotation marks around your keyword:

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In addition to the core keywords, I recommend typing in a few related keywords for more data.

You’re looking for two things here:

  1. Is content in my niche shareable? – If there are several pieces of content with over 1,000 shares, it’s safe to say that your niche is viable on social media.
  2. Which network(s) is most popular? – You’ll likely see that one or two networks make up 90% of the shares. In the case above, Twitter is the dominant source, followed way behind by Facebook and LinkedIn in most cases.

While there may be a few fluctuations, you’ll see that there is a pattern when it comes to the most popular social networks. You’ll want to focus on the most popular ones if you choose to use social media.

Channel #5: Forums are the backbone of the Internet

Forums have been around since the start of the Internet and continue to play a big part in most users’ online lives.

While getting readers from forums doesn’t scale very well, it can be very effective when your blog is new and you need that initial audience to write for.

On top of that, it’s free—other than your time investment.

Here, you need to find out whether there are any popular forums. To do so, Google for “(niche) + forum.”

You need a minimum of one highly active forum. You want to see 100+ users a day making new posts.

Check out the first few results, and see if any meet that criterion.

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You can usually scroll to the bottom of a forum to see how big it is.

Turns out, there actually aren’t any good content marketing forums – bummer.

If you run into a case like this, you do have the option of expanding your scope (“marketing forums”), but it’s usually better just to move on.

Channel #6: Q&A sites

Some might group question and answer (Q&A) sites with social media sites, but I think they’re distinctive enough to warrant their own section.

The biggest Q&A sites are Quora and Yahoo Answers.

Just like forums, these don’t scale well, but they can drive a good amount of traffic to your blog (if you include links in answers).

One bonus is that your answers will rank well in Google for long tail search terms (which are usually questions), which will send you consistent traffic in the future as well.

Head to Quora, and start typing your niche into the search bar. You’re looking for a topic that is exactly the same as yours or close to it (click it):

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Quora provides follower statistics on each topic page on the right. If a topic has a good number of followers (say 20,000+), it’s active enough that you could focus on it as a marketing channel:

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As a side note, here’s my post on using Quora for marketing.

Conclusion

Now that you have a good grasp of the ways to determine whether you could use a channel for marketing, it’s decision time.

Take a look at each channel, and first decide if your audience uses it (as I’ve shown you).

Then, consider the relative popularity of each channel, your budget, and your goals, and determine the top 1-3 channels.

You don’t want to try to target too many channels at once. Instead, focus on one or two, and put all your resources into using them effectively.

If you need help doing this, I’m happy to try to point you in the right direction. Leave me a comment below with as much detail as possible, and I’ll try to help out.

7 Types of Emails to Send Customers to Keep Them Coming Back

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Quicksprout/~3/q5Z5HBaSyuc/

As everyone says…

You need to build an email list.

Email marketing provides the highest ROI for most businesses at $40 for every $1 spent (on average).

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I’m sure you see a ton of content on a regular basis that shows you different ways to build that email list. Great.

But how much do you see that tells you how to interact with that list effectively?

I think it’s safe to guess not much.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you had questions such as:

  • What do I send my subscribers?
  • How do I keep open rates high?
  • How do I make my emails exciting?

While I can’t show you all of that in a single post, I’m going to show you 7 different types of emails that most businesses can send.

You can use any of these 5 tools to run your email marketing campaign.

These types of emails are emails that your subscribers and customers will enjoy getting, will interact with, and will help you build strong relationships. 

1. Exclusive offers make subscribers feel special (but which kinds are best?)

It’s nice when someone, whether a close friend or a relative stranger, goes out of their way to do something nice for you.

As a website owner with an email list, you’re hopefully somewhere in the middle of that friend-stranger spectrum in the eyes of your subscribers.

If you can do something for your subscribers that they really appreciate, it will do many important things:

  • Make them think more highly of you
  • Make them more loyal (to stay a subscriber and to buy in the future)
  • Make them more willing to reciprocate (if you ask for a share, referral, or something else).

The question then is: what can you give them?

For most businesses, an exclusive offer is the best thing they can give.

Let’s go through a few real examples and then some more general situations.

First, you can offer a live event that only your subscribers are invited to. Not only will the event be valuable because it’s live, but it will also be well attended because it’s exclusive.

Bryan Harris often does this, so it must work well for him. For example, here is an email with an offer to attend a private mastermind:

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He sends a few emails leading up to the event and one or two at the last minute. They aren’t complicated—just a brief description of what to expect in the event.

What else can you offer subscribers? Another thing of value that doesn’t cost you much, if anything, is early access.

Matthew Barby created a WordPress plugin and sent this email to his subscribers, giving them free access to it:

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That’s a pretty sweet offer. In reality, Matthew is also gaining his first group of users, which is another win for him.

If you’re launching any big guides or tools, consider getting early feedback from your subscribers.

What else can you offer?

  • Discounts
  • Secret products (like limited one-on-one consulting)
  • Webinars
  • A sneak peak at original research
  • Free samples

Be creative. If you can think of any other ideas, tell me about them in a comment at the end of the article.

2. Give subscribers the gift of convenience

Take care of your subscribers because your list is one of the most valuable assets you own.

You can give value in many ways. Some may be big gestures (email type #1), but even small things go a long way.

If someone is on your list, that means they’ve already told you that they like your content (if they signed up from a blog post, for example).

However, just because they want to hear your thoughts and advice doesn’t mean all your subscribers want it in the same way.

Typically, you’ll email all your subscribers about any new content you create. When you do this, consider giving them alternative ways to consume the content. Make it as convenient as you can.

For example, Tim Urban created a long post about SpaceX. He then sent out this email to subscribers:

image07

On top of the regular link that he had already sent his subscribers, he sent this email with two other options: a PDF version and an audio version.

It takes a fraction of the time to re-create the original content in a different form, but it adds a lot of extra value.

Nathan Barry offers another way to make your content more convenient.

After he hosts a webinar, he uploads it to YouTube and sends an email with a link to all his subscribers.

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It’s something that I know most subscribers really appreciate, and it also exposes his webinar to those subscribers who forgot to sign up for the event.

Convenience typically comes in the form of different mediums of content.

If you wrote a blog post, particularly a long one, consider emailing it to your subscribers with more than one version:

  • PDF
  • a cheat sheet
  • audio version
  • video summary

Or if you created a video, reformat that into:

  • an e-book
  • an MP3 download
  • a video download
  •  a cheat sheet/summary

You don’t need to create all the formats. Just think about which ones your subscribers would like most and which make sense for the content you made.

3. Short value emails can be a nice change of pace

Think about your subscribers’ email boxes.

Day after day, they get several emails from friends, families, and businesses they like.

What do most of the business emails consist of?

  • “Read our content”
  • “Buy our stuff”

About 90% of business emails fall into these two categories.

And it’s not that those types of emails aren’t valuable to your subscribers—because they are, but some subscribers will get fatigued by them.

If you’re looking to maximize your subscriber happiness as much as possible, consider sending emails that focus on nothing but teaching something interesting to your subscribers.

No links to your content or anyone’s website.

No asking for replies—just a clear show of value.

Bernadette Jiwa is known for her story-telling talent.

She sends out this exact type of email I’m talking about on a regular basis. Sometimes her emails have links underneath, and sometimes they don’t.

Here’s an example of such an email (yes, that’s the whole thing):

image03

It’s short but gives her subscribers an interesting thing to ponder, which helps them tell better stories (their goal).

It’s a nice break from overwhelming amounts of content (which I may be guilty of myself).

4. Highlights need to be interesting

Email newsletters are nothing new.

Any email sent out on a regular basis that summarizes what’s been happening on a site can be considered an email newsletter.

They’re supposed to consist of highlights.

But like the name implies, they need to consist of the very best of your site.

Whether you have user-generated content or content produced by your writing team, highlight emails are an option.

However, make sure you’re not including everything. But don’t select content randomly either.

You should be giving previews of the most popular content on your site for that particular time period.

For example, Quora (the question and answer site), regularly sends users the most upvoted questions from their feeds.

Here’s what it looks like:

image00

I would guess that these are automatically generated by the most upvoted questions during the week.

5. One way to show that you really respect subscribers

One goal that every email marketer should have is to form deeper relationships with subscribers.

Admittedly, this is difficult. It’s tough to break down that barrier over email only. You’ve probably never met your subscribers, and by default, they think of you as just another business.

Even if they like your business, most subscribers will still be skeptical about your claim that you care about them and not just their money.

One thing I encourage businesses to do is find employees through their email list.

I’ve done it before, as have many others. Here’s an example of Ramit Sethi sending an email to his list while looking to hire for more than 10 positions:

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When you do this, you make it clear that you think of them as people whom you respect and who you believe have valuable skills.

And it’s good business too. Your subscribers likely have an in-depth understanding of your business and obviously think in similar to you ways (since they like you).

Even if someone doesn’t apply or doesn’t get hired, it’s clear to them that you’re looking to develop partnerships and relationships with people on your list.

It’s one way to break down that barrier a bit and become more than “just another business.”

6. Don’t fall victim to the “curse of knowledge” (deliver your best stuff)

Many bloggers suffer from the “curse of knowledge.”

The curse of knowledge is a fairly old concept. It basically states that it’s hard to understand what lesser-informed people are thinking.

If you’re an expert in math, it would be hard for you to even fathom that someone doesn’t understand something like basic calculus.

It’s the reason why some people are geniuses but absolutely awful teachers. Conversely, someone who just learned something can often teach it best because they understand the perspective of someone who doesn’t know it.

Let’s apply this to your subscribers and content.

Over the years, you might write hundreds of pieces of content. At that point (possibly present day), you’re naturally going to assume that your average new subscriber is more informed than they used to be.

For me, as an example, it’s easy to assume that every new subscriber understands on-page and off-page SEO as well as concepts such as white-hat and black-hat link building.

From that perspective, it’s hard for me to send them my advanced guide to SEO because I’m assuming they already know everything in it.

Chances are, though, your average new subscriber won’t change much over time.

And it’s very likely that my average new subscriber could benefit from more general SEO knowledge before I get to the specific tactics I currently write about.

The autoresponder “crash course”: If you think that this is a problem, one way to fix it is with an autoresponder sequence.

Think of what an average subscriber knew even a year or two ago, and make a list of what they need to learn to get up to speed with the rest of your content.

Then, put together an autoresponder sequence that you send to all new subscribers, where you showcase your old content that teaches these basic concepts.

For example, if you sign up for Wordstream’s list, a PPC optimization business, you’ll get a few emails like this:

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The guides are all older content, and the field may have advanced since it was written, but the fundamentals hold true, and new subscribers will greatly appreciate learning them.

The takeaway from the “curse of knowledge” is that you’re probably giving subscribers a bit too much credit. Don’t assume they’ve read every single post you’ve ever written—because they haven’t.

Don’t be afraid to send emails featuring the best of your older content.

7. Preview big events that subscribers will be interested in (be your own hype man)

You need to give subscribers incentives to open that next email.

There are many ways to do this, but one way is to build hype in advance.

Think about any popular TV show. They show previews for the next episode in commercials and at the end of episodes.

These get you excited, and you make sure you watch the next episode.

Brian Dean does a similar thing really well, but for content.

For example, he sent this email to subscribers:

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In that email, he shared his story about struggling and then finally succeeding with SEO.

It’s an interesting story that draws you in and makes you curious about the specifics of his success (building hype).

At the bottom of the email, he teases subscribers with bullet points that outline what he’s going to show them over the next few emails:

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Right at the end, after building that hype, he tells them to watch out for his next email in which he’ll send the first post about how to succeed with SEO like he did.

You’d better believe that he had a fantastic open rate on that email.

You can do the same. When you’re planning to publish a big piece of content or a new tool, first send an email that focuses on the benefits of it.

If possible, tie it into an entertaining story to suck in your subscriber even more. That will only add to the anticipation.

Conclusion

It’s not enough just to build an email list—you have to use it effectively.

Emails are a great personal way to communicate with subscribers and customers.

Use as many of these 7 types of emails (where they make sense) to start building more meaningful relationships.

If you’re having trouble deciding exactly what to send to your subscribers, just fill me in on your situation in a comment below, and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Marketer’s Guide to Helpful Content Optimization Tools

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ducttapemarketing/nRUD/~3/Aa6XvN4gt4Q/

Marketer’s Guide to Helpful Content Optimization Tools written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Marketer's Guide to Helpful Content Optimization Tools – Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit: Unsplash

Today, with over 152 billion blogs inhabiting the content landscape, it’s almost impossible for a small business to stand out of the crowd.

The best method for leading new audiences to a website that doesn’t require a huge marketing budget is attracting organic traffic. High rankings on Google SERPs (search engine results pages) do not happen overnight and require hard work of improving the search engine optimization of every single piece of content.

The surefire way to win the competition for high SERP rankings is to use the right content optimization tools. These (mostly free) tools help to find the right keywords and take a blog article from the graveyard of forgotten content to the first page of Google search results, leading more traffic to your company’s website.

Google Keyword Planner

After finding a suitable topic for a blog article and before starting to write it, successful content marketers conduct a quick research to find relevant keywords. Google Keyword Planner helps to find subject-related keywords and gives an overview of their monthly search rate and keyword difficulty (how competitive a keyword is).

For blogs that do not yet have a broad readership, the best practice is to find keywords with under 1000 monthly searches and low to medium competition.

If you want to cover a widely popular topic with highly competitive keywords, use long-term keywords that are more specific, but less difficult to rank high for. After finding 1-3 keywords that could potentially lead people to your article, move on to making your article worthy to appear in top ten SERPs.

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a freemium tool that helps publishers find the most-shared content on specific topics. It is also highly beneficial when gathering ideas to write a detailed piece on a certain subject.

By typing pre-defined keywords to Buzzsumo, content creators can discover other popular articles on related subjects. By reading the articles, you can learn what angles of a topic interest your potential audience the most. Moreover, these articles serve as a useful resource for new ideas and subjects to include to your own content.

Make sure to read at least three popular articles on the topic you’re about to write about. You’ll get invaluable insight about what triggers the audience to share an article, and learn from the best resources to be in the know when compiling your own piece of content.

Google Search

To rank high in search engine results, your content needs to be helpful and profound, meaning that it has to be the very best resource for learning about a certain topic.

Many content marketers use the skyscraper technique to create high-ranking content. The skyscraper method means gathering information from all the existing articles covering a topic you’re about to write about. The end goal is to make your guide or article even more detailed and helpful than the current top-rankers.

Google Search is the best resource for gathering high-quality information and implementing skyscraper technique, as all your competitor’s high-ranking content is laid out in the open.

Moz On-Page Grader

This content optimization tool enters the game after a new piece of content has been written and published. Moz On-Page Grader evaluates how well a web page is optimized for a specific keyword.

It’s a super easy-to-use tool – all you have to do is to enter a keyword and a link to the webpage, and you’ll get a grade for your page optimization alongside suggestions for improving the SEO.

Don’t accept an on-page ranking of under 95 points (out of 100). Keep fixing the SEO problems and don’t forget to use an SEO plugin for WordPress, add the metadata and insert your primary keyword to article’s headline and image alt tags.

Alright… Now you should be all set and can have a huge cup of coffee while Google does all the ranking for you. Sorry, just kidding.

This was just the beginning. After publishing a well-optimized piece of content, the hard work to get the keywords ranking high on SERPs only begins.

Google Documents

You can significantly increase your search engine rankings by adding link to your new piece of content inside previously published blog posts and vice versa.

By interlinking articles on related topics, you show Google that you have a lot of valuable information on a specific subject that will benefit the readers. For this purpose, the best tool for content optimization is the Google Sheets where you can store information about all your published content, categorized by topics and keywords.

Take an extra step and create a Google Sheet with the names of all your published articles, complemented with the keyword data. This spreadsheet will help you avoid using the exact same keyword phrase in the headlines of multiple articles. You’ll attract a wider audience by targeting slightly modified keywords in every article covering a similar topic.

Moz Keyword Rankings

After publishing the content and checking its optimization score with Moz On-Page Grader, marketers need a tool to keep their eye on the SERP rankings of their web pages. By adding targeted keywords to Moz, you can get weekly reports on the rankings of all your targeted keywords.

Take notice that usually, pages may take up to two weeks to appear in Google’s search results. If a certain keyword starts to appear high on SERPs, you might want to boost its ranking by adding more links to the page inside other content on your website, and improving the article by adding even more relevant and helpful information.

Moz recently released a new Related Topics feature for page optimization that helps to find related keywords and topics that publishers might want to include in their content (or in upcoming articles). By checking the related topics, content marketers can gather new ideas to create complementary content, leading to higher SERP rankings.

By now, you should have a clear overview of the basic content optimization tools that help to identify the right keywords, create optimized content, and boost its rankings even after the publication.

Remember that Google doesn’t praise web pages only for clever SEO. To rank high, you need to create content that’s detailed, relevant, and answers the queries of the people searching for the particular keywords used in your blog articles.

Here’s the Golden Rule: create content that’s both meaningful and SEO-optimized, and you’ll soon see your web pages appear in the top ten of Google’s search results.

Karola KarlsonKarola Karlson is the Content Marketing Manager in Scoro, the business management platform for agile companies. Her passion for superior writing combined with strategic thinking make her focus all her energy on becoming a successful digital marketer and creative writer. For more on Karola, find her on Medium and connect to her on Twitter @KarolaKarlson

 

How Videos Can Make a Powerful Impact On Your Online Conversions

Original Post: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/crazyegg/~3/9QNUQAT6-Ao/

What internet retailer wouldn’t want to increase their average order value? A survey of online retailers (Best Buy, Newegg, and Under Armour – to name a few), found an increase in average order value (AOV) when they implemented product videos. Retailers that had videos on all of their product pages had close to 9% conversion rates. 9% might not sound like a high number at first – but think about it for a moment: For every 100 visitors to that page, 9 of them made a purchase. That’s not too shabby. It’s also reported that customers who watched more videos…

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