All posts by Tereza Litsa

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How to make sure your social media marketing is on track for 2018

A new year brings new challenges in social media marketing. Luckily, this is the best time of the year to review your social strategy.

2018 is officially here and this means that we need to plan our social media strategy for the year ahead. Every new year requires the necessary adjustments to ensure that we’re still using every social platform effectively.

If your social media marketing didn’t go as planned in 2017, this is the perfect opportunity to analyse what went wrong.

If you had a successful year with your social strategy last year, then you can still explore new ideas and achieve further success in 2018.

We’ve created a checklist to help you review your social media marketing and keep on top of the latest trends.

1. Analyze audience

Are you reaching the right audience? A closer look at Audience Insights on each platform can help you understand if you need to expand or narrow down your reach.

2. Analyze the platforms that you’re using

Use your insights from the past year to assess the effectiveness of each platform in reaching your goals. You don’t have to be active on every social network if it isn’t working for you – now is a good time to assess if you want to dial it back on certain platforms, or even stop using them altogether.

3. Measure your existing ROI

What’s your current social media ROI? Is it where you need it to be? Analyse your return on investment and get ready to set your expectations for 2018.

4. Review KPIs

Do your KPIs fit your goals for 2018? Now is a good time to update your KPIs if you want to change your social media marketing and strategy. Use your last year as a benchmark and aim for more ambitious, yet still realistic, targets.

5. Organize your new social calendar

It’s the right time to plan ahead and update your social calendar with the upcoming campaigns. Save time during the year by keeping an overview of what’s coming up.

6. Review the frequency of your social posting

Are you creating enough content? Do you create too much? Explore whether you need to focus on quality rather than quantity.

For example, Twitter may need more content than Facebook or Instagram, but you should still test whether your posts lead to the desired level of engagement. If not, reducing their frequency might lead to more people interacting with the posts you do make.

7. Mix up your content

Are you creating different content types? Maybe you can make 2018 the year that you invest in video, or experiment with GIFs in your brand marketing. Mixing up your content types can liven up your social presence, as well as taking advantage of the trend towards more visual content on the web.

It doesn’t have to create more work for you – some smart repurposing of your existing content can convert it into different formats without much additional effort.

8. Align social media with UX

If you’re using social media as a means of funneling people onto your website, whether through paid social media or organically, remember that the user experience of the destination is just as important as crafting the right campaign messaging.

If you want to bring new people to your landing pages, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to navigate and proceed to the next steps.

9. Optimize your social content for SEO

Social media may not be an official ranking factor for SEO, but it can still contribute to your authority. Build your social presence, aim for engagement and add genuine value to your content.

10. Involve social media in your marketing funnel

As social reporting becomes more advanced, it’s easier to analyse whether social media brings you any conversions. Add to your new year’s resolutions to improve your ROI and improve the number of conversions that come from social media. A closer look at the leads’ journey will help analyse how social media contribute to your marketing goals.

11. Align social media with your business goals

Is your social presence reflecting your goals? If your marketing strategy is focusing this year more on engagement rather than awareness, how can you use social media to reach this goal?

Also, if your business needs to improve sales, how can you use social media to make it the first point of contact for potential leads? If you start aligning your social media marketing with your business goals, you can reduce the likelihood of wasting your time with your social posts.

The major social media trends of 2018

If we had to predict the biggest trends in social media for 2018, we’d focus on these:

The (continuing) rise of Instagram Stories

Instagram has seen great growth in 2017, and all the latest features indicate that it’s gearing towards an even more successful year. As it’s already one of the most popular platforms for users, brands are flocking there to make the most of its engagement.

Appealing visual content will be crucial, especially after Instagram’s decision to get rid of the chronological news feed. This means that brands need to try harder to show up in users’ newsfeeds.

The biggest bet of the year for Instagram is Stories and their impressive growth over the past year. There have been more than 300 million daily active Stories users and many brands have already experimenting with campaign promotion through Stories.

What makes this feature even more interesting now is the fact that Instagram has recently introduced “Highlights”, which allows users to retain their Stories for more than 24 hours. For marketers, this means that if you feel that a particular story could be used for a longer period, whether it’s for engagement, product promotion, or a live coverage, then you can highlight it to showcase it on your profile.

As Stories were designed as an ephemeral feature, it will be interesting to see if their popularity remains now that is no longer the case. However, for brands, Highlights provide a great opportunity to benefit from this engaging feature over a longer period of time.

Video marketing

Video content has been used quite extensively on social platforms during 2017. As more tools show up to simplify the creation of video content, 2018 is a great year to be investing in video.

The best videos combine eye-catching visuals and an engaging narrative to grab the user’s attention and keep it for a longer period than text and even images can achieve. However, just because you’ve produced a video doesn’t necessarily mean you can achieve this.

It’s important to keep in mind that most successful videos are:

    • Short
    • Use captions
    • Capture the audience’s attention from the first seconds
    • Tell a story to keep the audience interested

Moreover, it might be a good idea to experiment with videos of different lengths to test what works better for each platform. Different social audiences respond to different types of content, and you don’t have to post the same video on every single network.

How about creating a full-length video and splitting it accordingly for every social platform?

Augmented reality as part of social media

During 2017, we’ve seen the rise of Augmented Reality in social media, with Snapchat and Instagram investing in filters and fun yet engaging features. Snapchat is already monetizing its AR Lenses by making them available to brands, and Instagram is sure to quickly follow suit.

Moreover, we predict that 2018 will be the year that it becomes much easier to create AR content. Facebook has already introduced AR Studio, and Snapchat has launched their own Lens Studio, in a bid to facilitate the creation of AR content on their platforms.

Both are aiming to make AR content accessible to a wider audience, increasing the opportunities for engaging content. As with Pokemon Go, more brands are ready to explore how AR can improve their digital strategy and we’re expecting more successful use cases during 2018.

Chatbots for customer service

Facebook’s chatbots have also seen growth in 2017, with more than 100,000 monthly active bots now in use across the site.

Despite some initial concerns by marketers as to whether a bot can be used as part of a social strategy, more brands have quickly realised that a successful bot can improve customer service. Whether it be to provide information, answer questions, or allow customers to more easily place an order, there are several ways to involve a bot in your digital strategy.

However, while bots can save you time and be helpful, it’s equally important to maintain a human element in your interactions. Many brands have seen success with a hybrid strategy of letting bots deal with straightforward queries, and passing the interaction on to a human agent if it requires more intricate handling.

Overview

All in all, social media marketing in 2018 is a much more complicated beast, a far cry from the days when we would count Likes as an indication of success.

From social video to ephemeral content, augmented reality to intelligent chatbots, the components of social media marketing are unlike any other marketing channel, and as such they require a thorough knowledge of the overarching trends and how to apply them, an understanding of the different platforms, specific goals and dedicated tracking of the important metrics.

A closer look at the latest trends now will save you time spent trying to decide where to focus your efforts further down the line. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t pivot and readjust your priorities at a later stage. Take advantage of the start of the year to get ready for another successful year in your social media marketing efforts.

How to make sure your social media marketing is on track for 2018

A new year brings new challenges in social media marketing. Luckily, this is the best time of the year to review your social strategy.

2018 is officially here and this means that we need to plan our social media strategy for the year ahead. Every new year requires the necessary adjustments to ensure that we’re still using every social platform effectively.

If your social media marketing didn’t go as planned in 2017, this is the perfect opportunity to analyse what went wrong.

If you had a successful year with your social strategy last year, then you can still explore new ideas and achieve further success in 2018.

We’ve created a checklist to help you review your social media marketing and keep on top of the latest trends.

1. Analyze audience

Are you reaching the right audience? A closer look at Audience Insights on each platform can help you understand if you need to expand or narrow down your reach.

2. Analyze the platforms that you’re using

Use your insights from the past year to assess the effectiveness of each platform in reaching your goals. You don’t have to be active on every social network if it isn’t working for you – now is a good time to assess if you want to dial it back on certain platforms, or even stop using them altogether.

3. Measure your existing ROI

What’s your current social media ROI? Is it where you need it to be? Analyse your return on investment and get ready to set your expectations for 2018.

4. Review KPIs

Do your KPIs fit your goals for 2018? Now is a good time to update your KPIs if you want to change your social media marketing and strategy. Use your last year as a benchmark and aim for more ambitious, yet still realistic, targets.

5. Organize your new social calendar

It’s the right time to plan ahead and update your social calendar with the upcoming campaigns. Save time during the year by keeping an overview of what’s coming up.

6. Review the frequency of your social posting

Are you creating enough content? Do you create too much? Explore whether you need to focus on quality rather than quantity.

For example, Twitter may need more content than Facebook or Instagram, but you should still test whether your posts lead to the desired level of engagement. If not, reducing their frequency might lead to more people interacting with the posts you do make.

7. Mix up your content

Are you creating different content types? Maybe you can make 2018 the year that you invest in video, or experiment with GIFs in your brand marketing. Mixing up your content types can liven up your social presence, as well as taking advantage of the trend towards more visual content on the web.

It doesn’t have to create more work for you – some smart repurposing of your existing content can convert it into different formats without much additional effort.

8. Align social media with UX

If you’re using social media as a means of funneling people onto your website, whether through paid social media or organically, remember that the user experience of the destination is just as important as crafting the right campaign messaging.

If you want to bring new people to your landing pages, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to navigate and proceed to the next steps.

9. Optimize your social content for SEO

Social media may not be an official ranking factor for SEO, but it can still contribute to your authority. Build your social presence, aim for engagement and add genuine value to your content.

10. Involve social media in your marketing funnel

As social reporting becomes more advanced, it’s easier to analyse whether social media brings you any conversions. Add to your new year’s resolutions to improve your ROI and improve the number of conversions that come from social media. A closer look at the leads’ journey will help analyse how social media contribute to your marketing goals.

11. Align social media with your business goals

Is your social presence reflecting your goals? If your marketing strategy is focusing this year more on engagement rather than awareness, how can you use social media to reach this goal?

Also, if your business needs to improve sales, how can you use social media to make it the first point of contact for potential leads? If you start aligning your social media marketing with your business goals, you can reduce the likelihood of wasting your time with your social posts.

The major social media trends of 2018

If we had to predict the biggest trends in social media for 2018, we’d focus on these:

The (continuing) rise of Instagram Stories

Instagram has seen great growth in 2017, and all the latest features indicate that it’s gearing towards an even more successful year. As it’s already one of the most popular platforms for users, brands are flocking there to make the most of its engagement.

Appealing visual content will be crucial, especially after Instagram’s decision to get rid of the chronological news feed. This means that brands need to try harder to show up in users’ newsfeeds.

The biggest bet of the year for Instagram is Stories and their impressive growth over the past year. There have been more than 300 million daily active Stories users and many brands have already experimenting with campaign promotion through Stories.

What makes this feature even more interesting now is the fact that Instagram has recently introduced “Highlights”, which allows users to retain their Stories for more than 24 hours. For marketers, this means that if you feel that a particular story could be used for a longer period, whether it’s for engagement, product promotion, or a live coverage, then you can highlight it to showcase it on your profile.

As Stories were designed as an ephemeral feature, it will be interesting to see if their popularity remains now that is no longer the case. However, for brands, Highlights provide a great opportunity to benefit from this engaging feature over a longer period of time.

Video marketing

Video content has been used quite extensively on social platforms during 2017. As more tools show up to simplify the creation of video content, 2018 is a great year to be investing in video.

The best videos combine eye-catching visuals and an engaging narrative to grab the user’s attention and keep it for a longer period than text and even images can achieve. However, just because you’ve produced a video doesn’t necessarily mean you can achieve this.

It’s important to keep in mind that most successful videos are:

    • Short
    • Use captions
    • Capture the audience’s attention from the first seconds
    • Tell a story to keep the audience interested

Moreover, it might be a good idea to experiment with videos of different lengths to test what works better for each platform. Different social audiences respond to different types of content, and you don’t have to post the same video on every single network.

How about creating a full-length video and splitting it accordingly for every social platform?

Augmented reality as part of social media

During 2017, we’ve seen the rise of Augmented Reality in social media, with Snapchat and Instagram investing in filters and fun yet engaging features. Snapchat is already monetizing its AR Lenses by making them available to brands, and Instagram is sure to quickly follow suit.

Moreover, we predict that 2018 will be the year that it becomes much easier to create AR content. Facebook has already introduced AR Studio, and Snapchat has launched their own Lens Studio, in a bid to facilitate the creation of AR content on their platforms.

Both are aiming to make AR content accessible to a wider audience, increasing the opportunities for engaging content. As with Pokemon Go, more brands are ready to explore how AR can improve their digital strategy and we’re expecting more successful use cases during 2018.

Chatbots for customer service

Facebook’s chatbots have also seen growth in 2017, with more than 100,000 monthly active bots now in use across the site.

Despite some initial concerns by marketers as to whether a bot can be used as part of a social strategy, more brands have quickly realised that a successful bot can improve customer service. Whether it be to provide information, answer questions, or allow customers to more easily place an order, there are several ways to involve a bot in your digital strategy.

However, while bots can save you time and be helpful, it’s equally important to maintain a human element in your interactions. Many brands have seen success with a hybrid strategy of letting bots deal with straightforward queries, and passing the interaction on to a human agent if it requires more intricate handling.

Overview

All in all, social media marketing in 2018 is a much more complicated beast, a far cry from the days when we would count Likes as an indication of success.

From social video to ephemeral content, augmented reality to intelligent chatbots, the components of social media marketing are unlike any other marketing channel, and as such they require a thorough knowledge of the overarching trends and how to apply them, an understanding of the different platforms, specific goals and dedicated tracking of the important metrics.

A closer look at the latest trends now will save you time spent trying to decide where to focus your efforts further down the line. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t pivot and readjust your priorities at a later stage. Take advantage of the start of the year to get ready for another successful year in your social media marketing efforts.

Screen-Shot-2017-12-27-at-00.01.09-1024x606.png

How to make sure your social media marketing is on track for 2018

A new year brings new challenges in social media marketing. Luckily, this is the best time of the year to review your social strategy.

2018 is officially here and this means that we need to plan our social media strategy for the year ahead. Every new year requires the necessary adjustments to ensure that we’re still using every social platform effectively.

If your social media marketing didn’t go as planned in 2017, this is the perfect opportunity to analyse what went wrong.

If you had a successful year with your social strategy last year, then you can still explore new ideas and achieve further success in 2018.

We’ve created a checklist to help you review your social media marketing and keep on top of the latest trends.

1. Analyze audience

Are you reaching the right audience? A closer look at Audience Insights on each platform can help you understand if you need to expand or narrow down your reach.

2. Analyze the platforms that you’re using

Use your insights from the past year to assess the effectiveness of each platform in reaching your goals. You don’t have to be active on every social network if it isn’t working for you – now is a good time to assess if you want to dial it back on certain platforms, or even stop using them altogether.

3. Measure your existing ROI

What’s your current social media ROI? Is it where you need it to be? Analyse your return on investment and get ready to set your expectations for 2018.

4. Review KPIs

Do your KPIs fit your goals for 2018? Now is a good time to update your KPIs if you want to change your social media marketing and strategy. Use your last year as a benchmark and aim for more ambitious, yet still realistic, targets.

5. Organize your new social calendar

It’s the right time to plan ahead and update your social calendar with the upcoming campaigns. Save time during the year by keeping an overview of what’s coming up.

6. Review the frequency of your social posting

Are you creating enough content? Do you create too much? Explore whether you need to focus on quality rather than quantity.

For example, Twitter may need more content than Facebook or Instagram, but you should still test whether your posts lead to the desired level of engagement. If not, reducing their frequency might lead to more people interacting with the posts you do make.

7. Mix up your content

Are you creating different content types? Maybe you can make 2018 the year that you invest in video, or experiment with GIFs in your brand marketing. Mixing up your content types can liven up your social presence, as well as taking advantage of the trend towards more visual content on the web.

It doesn’t have to create more work for you – some smart repurposing of your existing content can convert it into different formats without much additional effort.

8. Align social media with UX

If you’re using social media as a means of funneling people onto your website, whether through paid social media or organically, remember that the user experience of the destination is just as important as crafting the right campaign messaging.

If you want to bring new people to your landing pages, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to navigate and proceed to the next steps.

9. Optimize your social content for SEO

Social media may not be an official ranking factor for SEO, but it can still contribute to your authority. Build your social presence, aim for engagement and add genuine value to your content.

10. Involve social media in your marketing funnel

As social reporting becomes more advanced, it’s easier to analyse whether social media brings you any conversions. Add to your new year’s resolutions to improve your ROI and improve the number of conversions that come from social media. A closer look at the leads’ journey will help analyse how social media contribute to your marketing goals.

11. Align social media with your business goals

Is your social presence reflecting your goals? If your marketing strategy is focusing this year more on engagement rather than awareness, how can you use social media to reach this goal?

Also, if your business needs to improve sales, how can you use social media to make it the first point of contact for potential leads? If you start aligning your social media marketing with your business goals, you can reduce the likelihood of wasting your time with your social posts.

The major social media trends of 2018

If we had to predict the biggest trends in social media for 2018, we’d focus on these:

The (continuing) rise of Instagram Stories

Instagram has seen great growth in 2017, and all the latest features indicate that it’s gearing towards an even more successful year. As it’s already one of the most popular platforms for users, brands are flocking there to make the most of its engagement.

Appealing visual content will be crucial, especially after Instagram’s decision to get rid of the chronological news feed. This means that brands need to try harder to show up in users’ newsfeeds.

The biggest bet of the year for Instagram is Stories and their impressive growth over the past year. There have been more than 300 million daily active Stories users and many brands have already experimenting with campaign promotion through Stories.

What makes this feature even more interesting now is the fact that Instagram has recently introduced “Highlights”, which allows users to retain their Stories for more than 24 hours. For marketers, this means that if you feel that a particular story could be used for a longer period, whether it’s for engagement, product promotion, or a live coverage, then you can highlight it to showcase it on your profile.

As Stories were designed as an ephemeral feature, it will be interesting to see if their popularity remains now that is no longer the case. However, for brands, Highlights provide a great opportunity to benefit from this engaging feature over a longer period of time.

Video marketing

Video content has been used quite extensively on social platforms during 2017. As more tools show up to simplify the creation of video content, 2018 is a great year to be investing in video.

The best videos combine eye-catching visuals and an engaging narrative to grab the user’s attention and keep it for a longer period than text and even images can achieve. However, just because you’ve produced a video doesn’t necessarily mean you can achieve this.

It’s important to keep in mind that most successful videos are:

    • Short
    • Use captions
    • Capture the audience’s attention from the first seconds
    • Tell a story to keep the audience interested

Moreover, it might be a good idea to experiment with videos of different lengths to test what works better for each platform. Different social audiences respond to different types of content, and you don’t have to post the same video on every single network.

How about creating a full-length video and splitting it accordingly for every social platform?

Augmented reality as part of social media

How to make sure your social media marketing is on track for 2018

During 2017, we’ve seen the rise of Augmented Reality in social media, with Snapchat and Instagram investing in filters and fun yet engaging features. Snapchat is already monetizing its AR Lenses by making them available to brands, and Instagram is sure to quickly follow suit.

Moreover, we predict that 2018 will be the year that it becomes much easier to create AR content. Facebook has already introduced AR Studio, and Snapchat has launched their own Lens Studio, in a bid to facilitate the creation of AR content on their platforms.

Both are aiming to make AR content accessible to a wider audience, increasing the opportunities for engaging content. As with Pokemon Go, more brands are ready to explore how AR can improve their digital strategy and we’re expecting more successful use cases during 2018.

Chatbots for customer service

How to make sure your social media marketing is on track for 2018

Facebook’s chatbots have also seen growth in 2017, with more than 100,000 monthly active bots now in use across the site.

Despite some initial concerns by marketers as to whether a bot can be used as part of a social strategy, more brands have quickly realised that a successful bot can improve customer service. Whether it be to provide information, answer questions, or allow customers to more easily place an order, there are several ways to involve a bot in your digital strategy.

However, while bots can save you time and be helpful, it’s equally important to maintain a human element in your interactions. Many brands have seen success with a hybrid strategy of letting bots deal with straightforward queries, and passing the interaction on to a human agent if it requires more intricate handling.

Overview

All in all, social media marketing in 2018 is a much more complicated beast, a far cry from the days when we would count Likes as an indication of success.

From social video to ephemeral content, augmented reality to intelligent chatbots, the components of social media marketing are unlike any other marketing channel, and as such they require a thorough knowledge of the overarching trends and how to apply them, an understanding of the different platforms, specific goals and dedicated tracking of the important metrics.

A closer look at the latest trends now will save you time spent trying to decide where to focus your efforts further down the line. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t pivot and readjust your priorities at a later stage. Take advantage of the start of the year to get ready for another successful year in your social media marketing efforts.

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PPC budget strategy: Tips for success on a limited budget

You don’t need a large budget for an effective PPC strategy. Here’s how to maximize the success of your PPC campaigns regardless of the size of your budget.

The budget of a PPC campaign can play an important role in its performance. However, it doesn’t guarantee successful results without a proper planning first.

It’s common to believe that the bigger the budget for your PPC campaign, the better the results. But small businesses, or those without a lot of resource to allocate to PPC, may not always have the option of increasing budget. So how can you be as successful as possible with what you have?

This article will set out how you can manage your PPC strategy in a way that maximizes the benefits of your budget, no matter what its size.

Note: This article is an updated version of John Gagnon’s excellent piece, PPC Budget Strategy 101, and incorporates several of his insights.

Set clear goals for your campaign

Forward planning is critical when getting started with PPC. Having a pre-defined outcome for your paid search campaign will help you to avoid over-spending and incurring unexpected extra costs, so the first step is to set your goals.

Decide on what you’d like to achieve with your campaigns and how you’re going to achieve it.

Estimate your budget

Once you’ve set your goals, it’s time to decide on the initial budget that you’d like to use for your campaigns. 

The first question is to decide on the number of leads that you’d like to gain through PPC. The answer should be aligned with your available resources and the goals you set in the last step.

The next step is to make sure that you’ve clearly defined what counts as a lead for your business before you start calculating the CPA (cost-per-action) to expect.

Wordstream has presented this process in a graphic that explains how your expectations for the number of leads and the conversions can help you determine your PPC budget.

For example, if your client goal is to gain 250 new ones per month and your current close rate is 15% with a cost of $25/lead, you will need a budget of $41,666 per month to generate 1,667 PPC leads.

In this case, a quick solution is to use your budget in campaigns that involve lower CPA to increase your chances of higher success.

Be strategic with the allocation of your budget

The next step is to aim for an improved CPA. A cost-efficient CPA helps you become more strategic with your PPC campaigns, and allows you to determine the most effective ads to apply your budget to.

PPC budget strategy: Tips for success on a limited budget

If you want to lower the CPA, then you need to:

  • Increase your conversion rate (CVR), and
  • Decrease your cost per click (CPC).

By focusing on the best performing ads and lowering your CPA, you can spend your budget more wisely.

As always when calculating ROI, the higher the revenue when compared with expenditure, the better the investment.

You might now be wondering what steps you can take to increase your CVR, or decrease your CPC. If so, read on for some tips on how to do exactly that.

Perform keyword research

Carrying out in-depth keyword research should help you spot the best opportunities to reach your audience. 

A keyword list has to be thorough, relevant and dynamic. You want your list to include the most popular keywords that resonate with your target audience, but also long tail keywords that offer a great opportunity for more specific targeting.

To calculate the effectiveness of your keyword bidding strategy, you can follow this formula:

Keyword searches x CTR = Estimated traffic

For example, 1,500 monthly searches x 4% click-through rate = 60 visits per month.

This way you can analyze both the search volume, but also the cost per click to decide if it brings you closer to your goals.

A good tip to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns with a limited budget is to continually review the performance of your keywords.

By analyzing your keywords during the campaign, you can determine whether or not they’re effective – and if not, you can re-allocate your budget to avoid wasting resources on keywords that don’t work.

Focus on targeting

Taking a closer look at campaign targeting can save you money while improving the relevance of your ads for your audience.

If your campaign is only interested in driving leads from one specific location, for example, you can geo-target your PPC campaign to avoid wasting spend on targeting a global audience.

Geo-targeting increases the chances of success for your campaign if you want to focus on local marketing to drive conversions.

Moreover, keyword targeting should help you pay for the ads that work better for your business. There’s no need to pay for broad match keywords or competitor keywords that only waste your budget. By adding them as negative keywords, you can focus on the most effective ones to increase the conversions.

Improve your Quality Score

Your AdWords Quality Score affects both your cost per click, but also the conversions. Google considers the Quality Score of significant importance, and your CPA depends on it.

If you are aiming for a lower cost per action, then you need to ensure that you improve your Quality Score.

The best ways to do so are to:

  • Create relevant ads for your target audience
  • Focus on the right keywords
  • Keep your ad groups organised and structured
  • Refine your landing pages to be helpful and relevant to each ad
  • Focus on ad copy to improve your CTR
  • Build your AdWords account performance to improve your reputation

The good thing about the Quality Score is that once you start building your reputation, you’ll be able to save money on keyword bids. This way, you can rank higher without necessarily spending more than your competitors.

It’s also useful to revisit your ad groups from time to time to keep the ones that work better. Focus on the most successful ad sets and stop investing your budget in the ones with low conversions.

Overview

It’s not the budget that determines the success of your campaign, but your strategy. Your PPC budget strategy is all about focusing on the best-performing ads while constantly reviewing performance to make sure you are allocating resources in the most effective ways.

If you feel limited by your budget, it’s useful to start small and expand your reach once you’ve learned which strategies work best for your business.

A good understanding of the target audience, relevant keywords and a structured PPC strategy can help you maximize the potential of your campaign even on a small budget.

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How to get started with Twitter advertising

Twitter can be an effective platform to advertise your business. Here’s how to create the perfect ad for your campaign objectives.

Twitter counts a total number of 328 million monthly active users, with more than 500 million tweets sent each day. This brings out a great opportunity for brands to take advantage of the platform to promote their presence.

Twitter may not be the first option for many brands when setting up a paid social strategy, but it can still be a highly effective addition.

Over the past few years, Twitter has expanded its promotion types in order to encourage more brands to promote their business through its platform. The different promotion types and varying campaign objectives have engendered an increased interest in Twitter ads.

According to eMarketer, 41% of people on Twitter purchased products following exposure to an ad in the preceding 30 days.

This brings out a great opportunity for brands to explore the best ways to test Twitter advertising. The first step is to understand the different types of promotion, the campaign objectives, but also the target audience.

Deciding on the type of promotion

Twitter offers three different types of promotion:

Promoted tweets

Promoted tweets look like ordinary tweets, appearing directly in users’ feeds, with the difference being that they are labelled as “Promoted” and don’t need to come from an account that the user follows. They are displayed to the most relevant audience, and Twitter uses various signals to decide the relevance of each promoted tweet.

This allows brands to reach the best audience, while users are still exposed to tweets they might find interesting. As with regular tweets, they can be liked, retweeted and replied to.

They can be used to:

  • increase awareness of a product or an event
  • build engagement for a campaign
  • drive traffic to a brand’s site
  • promote sales and giveaways

Promoted accounts

How to get started with Twitter advertising

Promoted accounts can help a brand boost its number of followers, reaching a new audience that can be interested in its content.

According to a study from 2016, 85% of people find promoted accounts useful in helping them discover new businesses on Twitter.

This type of promotion allows brands to show up in non-followers’ feed, which brings a great opportunity for increased awareness and new leads. A growing number of Twitter followers can create an engaged community, making it easier to promote a campaign.

The difference between promoted accounts and promoted tweets is that the first one focuses on the brand’s profile rather than its content. This means that it’s useful for targeting an audience that is either familiar with, or is interested in exploring, your particular profile.

Promoted accounts can be used to:

  • increase brand awareness
  • build follower count
  • drive leads
  • build paid traffic after users follow a brand

Promoted accounts show up in user’s feed in the suggestions of who to follow, but also in the search results.

Promoted trends

How to get started with Twitter advertising

Promoted trends show up at the top of “Trending Topics”, and can be used by brands that want to promote a particular hashtag. They also show up in users’ feeds and once clicked, they lead to a combination of promoted tweets and organic results.

They are currently unavailable for self-serve advertisers and the cost is significantly higher, but they can also lead to great results in terms of improved awareness and engagement, especially for big brands trying to maximize their potential audience.

Deciding on a campaign objective

Twitter Ads are organised depending on the campaign objective that each brand sets. This way it’s easier to focus on specific results that are based on the KPIs that should be reached.

Twitter’s available campaign objectives focus on:

Awareness

An awareness campaign helps your message reach as many people as possible. The cost is based on the number of impressions your tweets collect, but it can also lead to increased likes, retweets and mentions. This type of campaign is useful when launching a new product, when promoting a sale, or even when trying to establish a new social presence.

Followers

If your brand is still new to Twitter, then a campaign to gain followers may be the first step to build the right audience. It focuses on the number of new followers a profile gains, helping a brand accelerate its growth. It’s usually wise to provide people with a good reason to follow your profile, whether it’s a special offer or a discount.

Promoted video views

Video content tends to be inherently more engaging on social media, but a boost can still be useful. Twitter allows you to enhance the reach of your GIFs or videos, charging by the number of final views.

This way, videos reach a more targeted audience, increasing the chances of engagement. As with all video ads, it’s important to create appealing content that grabs the audience’s attention to keep on watching.

Website clicks or conversions

Achieving conversions via social media is a universal challenge. A Twitter ad campaign that focuses on website clicks or conversions is useful in the promotion of a guide, a special offer, or product purchase. The cost depends on the number of clicks, while a conversion campaign can provide an overview of the actual conversions, rather than simply the number of clicks.

It is also possible to include a website card with this type of campaign, displaying a preview of your site along with the tweet to make the call-to-action clearer.

Tweet engagements

A tweet engagements campaign aims to promote your tweets to a relevant audience. The goal is to start a conversation by placing the best content in front of your target audience. As Twitter points out, increased engagement brings more chances of brand lift and offline sales.

App installs or re-engagements

App install campaigns aim to help your brand promote a new application. The focus is on mobile users and the charge considers the number of app clicks or installs. This type of campaign targets the audience that is more likely to install or engage with your app, and maximizes the chances of driving traffic and interest to the application.

Twitter’s various targeting capabilities make campaigns more efficient, while the measurement involves conversion reporting to analyse the impact of the campaign towards conversion.

How to get started with Twitter advertising

Deciding on the most relevant targeting

One of the most interesting features in Twitter Ads is the targeting options they offer. Twitter Ads become more effective by reaching the most relevant audience for each occasion.

Twitter’s targeting capabilities include:

  • Language: Narrow down the audience to a particular language
  • Gender: Target a specific genre
  • Interest: Find the perfect audience through the interests that match your brand’s products
  • Follower: Target the followers of relevant accounts to increase the chances of finding an engaged audience
  • Device: Focus on particular devices to increase the chances of an effective campaign
  • Behavior: Reach the audience that matches your brand’s expectations regarding their shopping and spending habits
  • Tailored Audiences: Upload your CRM lists and find specific people on Twitter
  • Keyword: Target people who used a particular keyword in their recent tweets

How to get started with Twitter advertising

  • Geography: Focus on specific geographic areas depending on the needs of each campaign
  • TV: As Twitter improves its relationship with TV networks, this targeting allows brand to engage with TV fans around specific shows, spanning from the network to the genre of the show
  • Event: A campaign can revolve around a specific event and thus, the promotion is aiming at a specific audience. The relevance is high, which may require a larger budget to beat the competition, while also increasing the chances of finding the perfect audience

What we can learn from the various targeting options is that every campaign has different goals and thus, a different audience. It’s useful to experiment with all the targeting suggestions as much as possible to understand how each option can help your brand’s plans.

Setting a budget

How to get started with Twitter advertising

Setting a budget for your campaign can depend on what your goals are. In general, the budget and the bidding options are adjusted through each individual campaign.

Twitter allows you to set a daily budget, along with a total budget for the campaign as a whole, to make sure that you don’t go over-budget by accident.

Bidding can be automatic, or it can include a maximum bid. This may reflect each company’s budget, but also the competition on each campaign and the targeted audience. Thus, the budget may be different from one campaign to another, especially when reaching a new audience.

Overview

Twitter is powerful in starting a conversation, influencing people over purchasing decisions, or simply setting up new trending topics. All of these can be valuable for brands trying to increase their reach, engage with their followers, drive traffic to their site, or promote a new offer.

Twitter ads are highly useful provided that they are used to target the most relevant audience in a way that they will genuinely connect with.

As with organic social media, different types of content can be more successful, with creative and authentic messaging giving you the best chance of success.

The various different targeting option can help brands to custom-build the perfect audience for each campaign. It may take some time to know how each type of targeting can help your campaign, but the testing with a smaller budget at first can ensure a message is sent to the most relevant audience.

Not every campaign will necessarily be successful at first, but Twitter’s focus on offering best practice tips and new advertising features will ensure that your effort and patience pays off.

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Image optimization 101: How to rank higher in image search

SEO is not only about optimizing written content.

The increasing dominance of visual content online has brought with it new opportunities for increasing a site’s search traffic by optimizing videos and images.

Optimizing your images gives your website an additional chance to be found via image search, and a good logo or some eye-catching graphics can be just as effective at attracting visitors to your website as your written content.

But even if you’re highly familiar with optimizing written content for search, you may not know where to begin with optimizing images. What factors do you need to bear in mind? Does keyword usage still apply?

In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about optimizing for image search.

N.B.: This is an updated version of a guide by Dave Davies that we originally published in 2013: Image Optimization: How to Rank on Image Search

Image size

The size of your images can have a big impact on your overall site speed (which is an important search ranking factor), and big, heavy images are one of the biggest culprits for slowing down websites – particularly on mobile.

However, because you also want your images to look good and be eye-catching, especially if they’re the first part of your website that people see in image search, you also don’t want to sacrifice quality. Thus, finding a balance is necessary.

Matt Owen’s article on how to optimize your page images to increase site speed gives some useful pointers here, particularly with regard to not uploading images which are larger than the user will ever see, as this will just slow down your site with no benefit to you or the user.

Which file types are going to be most helpful here? GIF, JPEG and PNG are the three main image file types, which make up 96% of the Internet’s image traffic.

PNG offers a good combination of compression ratio and image quality, and as such is usually your best bet. JPEG can have a compression rate of up to 10x more than the other two formats, but is a lossy format – meaning that it reduces the quality of your images as it compresses them, so consider whether this is a sacrifice you need to make.

Saving your image as a GIF won’t result in a loss of image quality, but it can sometimes reduce color detail, making GIFs most suited to animated images, logos and any other small, simple images.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights offer some more guidelines on how to optimize your images for maximum site speed. 

Image name

The name of your image file can help search engines discover your content in context. This is where keywords enter the picture (as well as in the alt attributes, which we’ll cover below).

If you’re uploading a photo of nature photography, a relevant filename like nature_photography.png has a better chance of ranking well in search than than DSC_1977.png. If it’s possible to be even more specific, such as Hong-Kong-botanical-gardens.png, then that’s even better for SEO.

If you don’t enter a separate title for your image upon upload, the filename will also serve as the image title, which makes it all the more important to be clear and accurate with your filename.

For more on how to optimize your image title text and alt text, read on to the next section.

Alt attributes

Alt attributes are the text alternatives to your image which will appear if your image fails to load, or if the user is accessing your site with an assistive device such as a screenreader. Because web crawlers don’t have eyes, they’re also what search engines “see” instead of an image, making them important for both accessibility and SEO.

As such, the alt text and title text tag fields are the best place to put any keywords relevant to your image, BUT: do not keyword-stuff! This is a poor practice in image SEO just as in text-based SEO, and will do the screenreader users accessing your website no favors.

Title text

The title text is effectively the name of your image, and as such serves a very similar purpose to your image filename. The main difference is that it needs to be human readable as well as machine readable – so use spaces to separate the words in your image, not underscores or dashes (or nothing at all).

There are certain circumstances in which title text is all you need to substitute for your image – if the title text alone describes the image, you don’t always need alt text.

For example, if the image is a headshot of a person, their name alone is sufficient for title text – as it tells both people and search engines what the image is of – and no additional details are necessary in the alt text. Alt attributes are important, but you don’t need to go overboard!

Alt text

This is the field that describes what your image depicts. Alt text can help search engines work out not just the content of an image but the topic of the surrounding text – so it’s important to get it right.

If possible, at least one image on your page should contain your focus keyword, but it’s important not to shoehorn it in. Image alt text should be clear, descriptive, and written in natural language. Imagine it as if you were telling someone who couldn’t see the image what it was about. Which key details would you highlight?

Some guides will place a recommended length on alt text, such as 80 or 150 characters, but in truth the alt text should be as long as it needs to be in order to get the image content across. Try to be succinct, but don’t sacrifice necessary details for the sake of length.

Here is an example of an article graphic (courtesy of Shutterstock) that we uploaded for a recent article, ‘Beyond Google Analytics: 10 SEO analytics and reporting tools‘. The WordPress backend clearly indicates where to input title and alt text:

The alt text we input for this image is as follows: Image of a person typing on a laptop with paper and pens by the side, and a variety of different analytics icons sketched above it, such as graphs, charts and a clipboard.

Page URL and domain authority

The URL of the page that the images are hosted on can affect the image search traffic. If an image is hosted on an optimized page URL on a page which contains quality and relevant content, your chances of image SEO success will be much higher.

Along with the page URL, the page’s domain authority that also can affect an image’s performance in Google Image Search. If a domain already has a reputation for offering quality and relevant content, your image will do better in search. Image SEO is no different to text-based SEO in this regard.

Surrounding content around images

Image optimization doesn’t happen in a vacuum. As such, the copy that surrounds an image on your page is also important for SEO. The relevance of the content, its quality, and the keywords that are used can all affect how the image ranks in search.

The most important copy is the text that immediately surrounds the image. This might be an introductory sentence which precedes the image (for example, “Below is a graph showing the results of a survey carried out among 500 marketers…”) and/or a caption below it which gives some additional context.

Search engines like Google will use this copy to determine how well the image matches the topic of the page. For example, if the focus of the content is on plumbing, an image of a tree has decreased chances of ranking high for the keyword “plumbing examples” (and is likely to confuse your users to boot).

In addition to this, Google’s image recognition AI has become much more sophisticated in recent years, to the point where it can often identify whether the image subject matches up with the rest of your content.

Stock photography

There has been a long discussion over the years on whether using stock photography has a negative effect on your ranking. Google’s Matt Cutts went on the record back in 2013 to state that stock photos do not harm your search rankings, and therefore there is no difference in using them instead of original photos, SEO-wise.

However, there are a couple of caveats to this. One is that stock images are by their nature generic, and so the visual experience of your website will be a lot more generic as a result, particularly if you use a lot of them. This will also not help your image stand out in search results, and a stock image is unlikely to grab the user’s attention – unless of course you’re a stock photography vendor.

The second thing to bear in mind is that there will be countless other copies of the same image as yours out there on other people’s websites. As Dave Davies pointed out in the 2013 version of this guide, “Google doesn’t want to rank multiple copies of the same image any more than they want to rank multiple copies of the same content. If you’re using the same image that’s been found on a hundred other sites before you, why should yours rank?”

For example, if you’re writing about your company’s business culture, you can either pick a stock photo of happy people in an office environment, or simply upload a high-quality photo of your own office with your team members during a meeting. The latter is personal, relevant and interesting, and gives users a sense of what your company is really like.

Content quality is also important in images as it is in text. Matt Cutts pondered in 2013 whether original images might be used as a future quality signal to indicate a trustworthy website, leading to a higher search ranking:

“Who knows – maybe original image sites might be higher quality, whereas a site that just repeats the same stock photos over and over again might not be nearly as high quality.”

While we don’t have concrete confirmation as to whether Google went on to use this as a quality signal in image search, the impression on the user is worth taking into account.

Image engagement and popularity

Search engines value content with high engagement. This means that if you have a high-quality, relevant and original image that starts becoming popular among users, you have more chances of seeing it higher on search results. As with any text post, the popularity of your content can help it reach higher on the SERPs.

The principles of link-building also apply to image search: the more people link to your image, the higher the chances of increased search traffic coming from it. This can also be facilitated by the use of sharing buttons alongside your images. Once your image gets shared on many sites, its popularity will contribute to its success in search.

The popularity of an image can derive from clicks to your site, embeds and shares on other pages, or even social shares. All of them make the image more popular, while also indicating its relevance to the topic it describes. This ultimately makes search engines pay more attention to it.

Overview

In summary, here’s how you can optimize your images to rank higher in search results:

  • Try to reduce the weight of your images, but not to the detriment of quality
  • Pick a relevant filename
  • Use alt attributes to describe your content as accurately as possible
  • Pay attention to the content that’s surrounding your images
  • Try to use original graphics or photography
  • Aim for engaging images that will encourage sharing
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Seven SEO trends to watch in 2018

As we reach the fourth quarter of 2017, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead and what to expect from SEO in 2018.

There are number of search industry trends that we’ve seen the very beginnings of this year and last, which will come into greater prominence in 2018.

Here are seven you should be keeping an eye on in order to stay ahead of the curve.

Voice search and digital assistants 

Voice search technology presents a big opportunity for changing the way we communicate and process information. The rise of digital assistants has presented a growing market that can change the way search queries are performed. According to Google, 1 out of 5 searches already come from voice queries.

This changes the search market and we’re expecting to see an even bigger shift towards voice search in 2018. When it comes to setting up an SEO strategy, the rise of voice search brings out the need to focus on more long-tail search keywords and a natural language that matches the user’s conversational tone.

As accuracy improves in digital assistants, there will be more people using voice search from their mobile devices, seeking for quick and relevant answers. It becomes important to research the voice user intent will provide more accurate results, helping the algorithms provide the best answer.

Moreover, voice search is expected to grow even more with its integration in smart home hubs, helping companies access new data, while users enjoy a seamless experience through everyday devices. As digital assistants go beyond smartphone devices, there is a great opportunity both for SEO and content, taking advantage of a growing market that connects the brand with a user in a unique but still relevant and useful way.

Link building

Link building is not expected to disappear in 2018, but it will be more important than ever to create a strategy that seeks out quality links. There’s no need to aim for new links if they don’t add value and help you build an authority in your target niche.

This doesn’t always mean that the best backlinks come from the most popular sites, but it’s still crucial to seek coverage from sites that are relevant to your industry. Referral traffic can still contribute to your site’s organic search rankings, while it is also useful to start thinking of link building as a long-term process.

A successful SEO strategy in 2018 will move towards relationship building, helping a brand develop powerful contacts and links that will be beneficial in a longer term.

A challenge for 2018 will be dealing with guest blogs and how to involve them as an integral part of a link building strategy without hurting a brand’s reputation. Back in May Google warned publishers who rely too much on guest posting for link building that there will be a closer look at guest blogs in an attempt to control spammy and questionable links.

This brings out the need for a more diversified link building strategy, aiming for a complete backlink profile, rather than single links that can bring successful results.

User experience 

User experience for SEO will become even more important in 2018. Google has made it clear that the focus is on the user and this should make more sites deliver a smooth UX for their visitors.

A good user experience increases the chances of people engaging with the pages that they visit. This helps search engines discover which pages are more useful for people, favoring them over others.

The first step is to monitor a site’s speed, its readability and its navigation structure to examine how these can be improved through the right changes. A closer look at your visitors’ browsing habits can offer helpful insights. For example, if the visits coming directly from search last just 30 seconds, then this probably means that the content or the user experience is hurting your site’s conversions.

Moreover, as more people consume content from their mobile devices, there is a growing need to provide an excellent user experience across all devices.

As SEO heads towards more relevant and personalized experiences, UX will be key to maintaining search traffic by creating an engaged audience. It’s not enough anymore to see a rise in search traffic if it’s not converting or bringing the desired engagement to create a loyal audience.

Featured snippets and Quick Answers 

Seven SEO trends to watch in 2018

The popularity of featured snippets has increased the competition among companies trying to appear in “position 0” in the SERP. Gaining a featured snippet in search requires catering to a specific combination of factors, which has opened up SEO beyond the traditional race to the top of Google.

According to Stone Temple Consulting, almost 30% of the test Google search queries show Featured Snippets. This brings out the need for a strategy on how to optimize a site’s content to meet Google’s standards for Featured Snippets.

Lists, tables and graphs tend to be popular, while it’s also useful to create content in a Q&A format, making it easier for Google to extract the right content to show up as a featured snippet.

An interesting angle to focus on during the next year is the optimization of featured snippets for voice search. The combination of two growing trends in the search market can create a great opportunity for more companies to show up at the top of the SERPs. This will involve considering the changes in the search queries, focusing more on longer keywords and natural language.

A similar way to reach the top of the SERPs is to create content that serves as a Quick Answer. Google’s Answer Box is an enhanced type of featured snippet that aims to answer a question in a more appealing way.

It usually follows a “how” or “what” structure and is Google’s attempt to use search intent to organize the search results in a more useful way. It has been observed that the results that show up in an Answer Box can see a CTR of 32.3%.

This will bring out the need for more companies to learn more about search intent and how they can optimize their content to show up in an Answer Box. Thus, a carefully crafted Answer Box strategy can increase both a site’s authority, but also a brand’s conversion.

Mobile-first index

2018 is more than likely to be the year that brands realize the potential of putting mobile first, rather than catering to mobile as an afterthought. This is particularly true if Google decides to make 2018 the year it finally deploys its mobile-first index.

But even if it doesn’t, brands and businesses need to put mobile first anyway: a recent study by BrightEdge found that, 57% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. More than this, there is a significant difference between the way that keywords rank on mobile and the way they rank on desktop – so mobile-first content is needed in order to have the best chance of being visible in mobile search.

Seven SEO trends to watch in 2018

As mobile searches are all about context, brands should provide the best possible results for every question, while local SEO is going to become even more popular. Mobile users will seek for more content while they are on the go, which means that brands will face a big opportunity of marketing their business at a local context.

Mobile optimization for local users, along with the rise of voice search, can provide an excellent way to create a successful SEO strategy in 2018 by facilitating the search experience through personalized and relevant answers.

Site speed is critical for search engines and your page’s performance at the SERPs and Accelerated Mobile Pages can make a page load up to four times faster than a standard mobile page. According to Chartbeat, AMP load in a second and they also see a 35% improvement in engagement time.

Google’s focus on AMP has made more publishers consider their use, currently counting more than 2 billion Accelerated Mobile Pages.

The demand is expected to grow in 2018, helping companies improve their engagement and the overall user experience through fast and responsive mobile pages. Brands that want to keep up with the changes in mobile search has to keep up with the trend and experiment whether they need AMP or any other fixes to improve their site speed.

The rise of visual search

Seven SEO trends to watch in 2018

Visual search is an exciting area and the combination of technological innovation and user experience can take searching to the next level.

As the internet becomes more visually-focused, there is a great opportunity to explore the power of visual search. Major tech companies including Bing, Pinterest and Google have already invested in developing powerful visual search engines in a bid to capitalize on this new trend.

An SEO strategy in 2018 needs to consider the way we consume visual content and how search engines now go beyond text to explore the changing habits of search. Rich visuals now become more engaging and the use of neuroscience and innovation bring out an interesting and competitive market.

As the competition increases, more companies seem to acknowledge the potential of a successful visual search, while brands need to focus even more on optimizing their visual content for SEO purposes.

AI and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already changing the way that search results are ranked. Machine learning can also facilitate the way searches take place, helping users find contextualized results.

This will lead to a more personalized experience, while the rise of voice search and digital assistants can offer the ideal ground to develop artificial intelligence and reward successful SEO strategies that keep up with the trends.

Google’s RankBrain, or else Google’s deep learning algorithm, is also expected to affect the search landscape. Catering to RankBrain often seems like an intimidating prospect to SEOs, and the term “Artificial Intelligence Optimization” has been bandied about a fair amount.

But as Dan Taylor explained in a comprehensive look at RankBrain and SEO, there is no set way to optimize for RankBrain, although certain search practices are now more relevant than ever.

We can expect more changes to come in 2018 where AI and machine learning are concerned, and Google’s determination to develop in this area indicate that there are many more innovations on the horizon.

Improving SEO in 2018

As it seems, 2018 will be an interesting year for SEO. Traditional SEO techniques are still effective, but a number of trends are in the works that could significantly alter the practice of optimizing for search.

What is useful to understand while we proceed towards is 2018 is that SEO is already changing, and the ranking in the first organic spot is not the ultimate goal anymore. As search engines evolve, there are multiple opportunities to increase your search traffic without necessarily focusing on organic SERPs.

The rise of featured snippets, PPC, voice search and local SEO can often yield better results than an organic ranking. That’s why it’s useful to keep up with the latest trends and discover how your brand can maintain a successful SEO strategy for the year ahead by blending established and growing trends.

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Ten steps to successful SEO for startups

SEO can help a growing startup establish its presence and meet business goals. Here’s how to get started with search engine optimization and which areas to focus on.

It’s a common challenge for early-stage and growing startups to find the resources and the time to focus on many different activities that can take their business to the next level. It’s also easy to feel lost among all the tasks, being unable to decide where to start.

SEO is sometimes ignored as an activity when it comes to setting priorities, but it can be very useful in:

  • establishing your startup’s authority
  • reaching a wider audience
  • building traffic and brand awareness
  • improving engagement
  • generating interest in your business

This is an overview of how startups or new businesses can get started with SEO by following a series of steps that can help them improve their online presence and find a new audience.

Set your goals

One of the most important steps when starting with SEO is to align it with your wider goals. It’s useful to set initial goals for what you want to achieve with your content to explore how to involve SEO in the process.

These goals have to be measurable and clear to help you decide on specific ways to achieve them. For example:

  • Double the number of visitors to the site in the next quarter
  • Increase blog traffic by 30% in the next three months
  • Generate interest from 20 new prospects in the next month
  • Increase sales by 20% until the end of the year

The next step is to examine how content fits each goal and what that means for SEO.

For example, if your first goal is doubling the number of visitors in the next quarter, it’s important to build awareness through different channels in order to increase the traffic back to the site. This can be achieved by creating more targeted content, which can also be optimized for search engines.

Keyword research

Once your goals are set, it’s useful to explore how SEO can help the wider business.

Keyword research can help you discover new content opportunities, while it can also improve your existing content.

The focus on the right audience and the right content brings an understanding of the content that they’re more likely to consume. That’s when the keyword research can become more useful to provide you with content ideas and new opportunities to rise in the top of search.

You can start by creating an “ideal list” of the keywords you want to target. Chances are that this list will consist of many popular keywords, which means that it will probably be harder to reach the top of the search results as a new startup. The next step is to use a tool to perform the actual keyword research and find new opportunities for keywords to target.

Long tail keywords may offer more chances to show up higher in the search results, while you can also perform manual searches on your own to test the first pages of the keywords you want to target. This will allow you to understand how SEO can work for your target audience and what types of pages ranked higher in SERPs.

A keyword research can also be the start of your content planning, by producing more keyword-focused content in an authentic yet strategic way that can position your business higher in search results.

Analyze your existing content

An important next step is to create an overview of your existing content – any blog posts, or general pieces of copy you’ve created to promote your business. This allows you to spot any content gaps or pieces of content that need to be updated or even removed.

A content inventory allows you to organize every piece of content that exists on your site. This makes it easier to create a content audit for SEO purposes, to explore how your content currently performs and how you can improve it.

A content audit can be a spreadsheet that features all your published content and it can include:

  • Page URL
  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Wordcount
  • Type of content
  • Condition of content – Evergreen, out of date, re-used, off-topic, etc.

If you still haven’t written meta descriptions or set the conditions of each piece of content, then these can be filled gradually, as you start organizing your SEO strategy. Still, they can be very useful in having them all together in one spreadsheet, even when you fill them later on.

Check for errors

There are many possible errors that can affect your content’s SEO. That’s why it’s a good idea to spot and fix any issues, including:

Duplicate content

There’s a danger that duplicate content will cannibalize the keywords you want to target in search. Duplicate content can be a problem on your own site, but also with any guest posts that you submit to other websites for backlinks – make sure that they don’t resemble your original piece of content too heavily. We’ll talk more about backlinks later on in this post.

Broken images

It’s easy to have a broken image on your site, especially if you’re sharing it from an external source. That’s why it’s useful to check your pages for missing images, improving the first impressions of your content.

404 error pages

A page that’s no longer working can affect your site’s rankings in search engines, but also user experience and the engagement. If you recently migrated content or changed any URLs, you may need to check for any 404 error pages that you’re not aware of.

In fact, you can even turn them into a content marketing asset or add a fun element to them. For more on this, see Stuart Shaw’s excellent guide, ‘How to create the perfect 404 page‘.

Broken links

As with broken images, broken links can harm your site’s reputation, but also the user experience. A broken link can affect your page’s ranking. Luckily it’s easy to discover broken links and fix them with tools such as Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider and Moz Pro.

Optimize content 

There are many ways to optimize your content for search engines. The so-called on-site SEO can be improved with a number of fixes:

URL structure

The structure of your URL can affect both your page’s ranking, but also the user experience. Thus, it’s a good idea to create clear and readable URLs, both for humans, but also for search engines. For example, this url www.example.com/seo-best-practices is better than this one www.example.com/index.php?id_sezione=360&sid=4j3898enno0223bns983201djis03

Title

The title of each page should be clear, concise and descriptive. It can improve both the traffic on your page, but also the ranking provided that the rest of the text matches the title’s expectations.

Formatting

A focus on the formatting of your page can facilitate the crawling for search engines, while it also enhances the readability for your readers. For example, the headings can make the scanning of the content easier, creating a smoother experience and a clear structure.

Meta tags

Meta tags are the HTML elements that search engines and visitors find your content. It’s what they can see in a search engine and thus, it’s important to add value in a limited number of characters. The title and the description should perfectly describe the topic; here are some examples to help you create better meta descriptions.

Internal linking

The addition of internal links – links from your own domain – to your content can be very effective for SEO. It’s a strategic way to inform search engines about the topics you want to serve as an authority, making it easier to showcase all the pages you’ve created for them. It also helps you rank higher on the keywords you are targeting, while facilitating the reading experience for the engaged readers who want to read more.

SEO for images

Ten steps to successful SEO for startups

Search engine optimization goes beyond text. Visual content also requires optimization in order to be indexed by search engines.

The title has to be descriptive rather than generic, such as image32.jpg, while it’s also useful to add an alt-tag to help Google spot your images. Moreover, the size also contributes to your page’s user experience, so it’s better to keep it as small as possible.

Excessive use of generic stock photographs can undermine the authenticity of your content, so where possible, try to source your own, or use screenshots and other informative images instead.

Optimizing images for search also increases the chances for users to discover your content, as many people will come across a picture via image search and visit the original web page to find out its context.

Think about featured snippets 

Ten steps to successful SEO for startups

Google’s featured snippets, also known as “position zero” on the SERP, can be a great opportunity to get one over your competitors in search results.

Anyone can grab a featured snippet spot if you know how to optimize for it, which makes them a huge source of potential visibility for a startup trying to get its name out there.

The first thing to bear in mind is that your content should provide an answer to a specific question in a clear and descriptive way. The formatting, the word count and even the way you present the content can increase the chances of seeing your content appear as a featured snippet.

For more on this, check out our guides on featured snippets:

Involving PR, influencers, and backlinks

You can improve your SEO not only through on-site optimization, but also through external sources (known as off-page SEO). A startup that is just growing needs all the available coverage it can find for its services and its content. The combination of PR, influencers and backlinks can be very successful to an improved SEO strategy.

Public relations can help a startup build relationships with the right people in the industry. The combination of knowing your target audience and asking for professional help to expand your reach can increase the brand awareness and the interest in your business. This can boost your SEO by becoming an authority in your field, without spending time on networking all by yourself.

Moreover, influencer marketing can be very powerful and it can even be a manual activity, finding the best influencers for your niche and develop a genuine connection with them. As influencers have a big impact on affecting decisions, they can be the right people to help your startup grow. A startup should think like a person, not a business, that’s why it’s useful to put people to the front and start having conversations either online or offline during events and conferences.

Another useful way to build your authority and help SEO is to focus on gaining backlinks, or else links from external sources. If your business and your content are interesting enough to grab other sites’ attention, then this means that a larger audience will also be able to find you. Backlinks seem to be among the top three Google ranking factors, which means that it’s crucial to build a strategy on how to create interesting content and then how to promote it to the right sources.

Further Reading

Mobile optimization and UX

It’s critical nowadays to optimize your site for mobile devices. Google has already acknowledged the importance of mobile as a ranking signal and as more people consume content through their mobile devices, it becomes an even bigger priority to optimize your content.

While optimizing for mobile might seem like an expense you can do without in the early days of your startup, it’s also a vital component of being a competitive business, as well as getting your message out to the largest number of people.

Even a few simple things, like paying attention to image size and improving your site speed, will greatly boost your site’s performance on mobile and make it easier to implement full-on mobile optimization further down the line.

Use our mobile-friendly site checklist to make sure you hit the key points when optimizing your site for mobile.

Measuring SEO

A common question for anyone getting started with SEO is how to measure its success. A growing startup is interested in using SEO to:

  • build authority
  • increase traffic
  • improve engagement
  • expand reach

There are many ways to measure all these, but the most common metrics to focus on are:

Traffic

Organic traffic can tell the number of users who visited your page through search results. This can be a good indication whether SEO has placed your content high up the rankings, or whether it’s interesting enough to make visitors search for it further in the results.

In either way, it’s a great sign that you’re on the right track to create a solid SEO strategy with the right content and an understanding of what your audience likes.

Engagement

Engagement can be measured by the time users spend on the site, the bounce rate, or even the shares and the number of comments. All these can tell whether your content, the user experience, or the relevance match the readers’ expectations, offering a great start of what can be improved on each page.

Ranking

Your content’s ranking on search results will gradually show your progress while improving SEO. Moreover, a keyword performance can indicate whether your content was successful enough to target specific keywords and how it performs compared to the competitors.

Conversions

Conversions aren’t just about making sales – the term “conversion” can refer to any action you want users to perform after visiting your site, such as subscribing to a newsletter.

Domain authority and number of links

The actual number of links that you’ve gained from other sources leading back to your site serves as a great metric to show the interest towards your content. As the number of links increases, especially if they come from sources of high quality and relevance, so does your domain authority.

Domain authority is a measure of the “weight” your site carries in search, and as it improves, so do the chances of seeing your content higher up the search results.

There are many free tools you can use to measure your SEO performance, including:

  • Google Analytics for traffic, engagement, conversion
  • Google Search Console for keyword and page ranking
  • Google PageSpeed Insights for your page’s performance
  • Keywordtool.io / Google Keyword Planner (Adwords) for keyword ranking
  • Copyscape for duplicate content
  • MozBar for on-page metrics

Plus, check out our list of 15 Chrome extensions to aid in your SEO efforts.

Overview

SEO can help your startup grow in the crucial early stages of your business. While you don’t need to get hugely technical with SEO at this stage, following some simple steps will aid in discovery of your new brand, and help you to gain a foothold in your chosen niche.

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5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Content marketing has become the secret weapon in a successful marketing strategy, with brands using different types of content to add value and grab their audience’s attention.

It has become more important than ever to market with intent, using content and SEO to raise awareness, engage and convert.

Conversion, in particular, is one of the biggest challenges for content marketing, but according to Curata, 74% of companies believe that their content marketing strategy helps them increase the quality and quantity of their leads.

The rise of IoT and our constant connectivity to the online world through smartphones, wearables and social media have brought a wealth of new data. This serves as a great opportunity for marketers to understand what a modern consumer wants and how to include these findings in a content marketing strategy.

Content marketing cannot be successful without data, as marketers risk guessing, rather than actually knowing, the habits of their target audience.

A data-driven content marketing strategy can be more efficient, helping marketers save time and money by focusing on the right content that will bring them closer to their goals.

Here are five ways that data can improve a content marketing strategy.

Understanding your target audience

One of the main reasons to invest in a data-driven content marketing strategy is to gain the best possible understanding of the target audience.

A solid content marketing strategy can bring the audience closer to the brand. This can only happen through a framework that takes into consideration the audience’s habits, preferences, and needs.

An analysis of the available data can help marketers draft more relevant personas, which helps in tailoring content to the target audience.

Data can provide useful answers to questions such as:

  • the customers’ reaction to the existing content
  • their favorite types of content
  • their preferred methods of communications
  • the channels they are using
  • their browsing habits

This should be the start of an effective content marketing strategy, setting up the groundwork for a data-driven approach that relies on insights, rather than assumptions about the target audience.

Content discovery

The process of coming up with content ideas can be challenging, especially in small teams. A closer look at the available data can help marketers create content that fits their goals.

Data can be part of the content discovery process in the following ways:

Keyword research

Keyword research is not only useful in SEO, but it can also offer useful content suggestions, tailored to the target audience and their search habits. For example, keyword analysis can help marketers come up with new content ideas, going beyond the most popular terms and targeting topics that can still be successful, without being predictable.

Content performance

An analysis of the existing content’s performance can offer useful insights, from the most popular posts to the audience’s browsing habits. This data can help marketers create more effective content, adjusting if needed the length of it, the formatting, the visual assets, or even the user experience if there seems to be a high bounce rate.

Competitor analysis

Another useful aspect that can help in the process of content discovery is to monitor what your competitors are writing about. It might be a good idea to monitor your competitors’ most popular topics, the types of content they are using, the ideas they are expanding into, or even the creative aspect of their content marketing strategy. This can give you a good indication of their most successful aspects, while you can also explore the areas that you could cover.

Monitoring latest trends

It’s extremely useful to monitor the latest trends that are relevant in your content’s context. A closer look at Google Trends, Facebook, and Twitter’s trending topics, or even the latest headlines can help you get inspired on new content topics. Moreover, an analysis of the latest trends, the audience’s response, and their metrics in terms of virality can offer a useful perspective on the content that people prefer to share.

Content delivery

It’s essential for marketers to deliver content to their audience via their preferred format and channels. This requires an analysis of several key areas:

  • length of content
  • type of content (blog, video, image, presentation, podcast, etc)
  • formatting
  • desktop vs mobile
  • relevance
  • value
  • quantity over quality

There are many questions that need to be answered when drafting a content marketing strategy, but luckily the use of data can provide the answers to all these questions.

A closer look at Google Analytics or other similar platforms can offer useful insights.

These increase the chances for the content to become part of the customer journey, by helping prospects move along the funnel, from awareness to an actual purchase.

Moreover, another interesting trend is the rise of real-time data that can help marketers become more responsive to their content. Social networks are usually the most useful platforms to serve real-time content during an event or an important announcement. In that case, data can offer the right direction for the content, from the sentiment to the actual performance of the campaign.

Analyzing distribution

An effective content marketing strategy needs to equally focus on the creation and the distribution of the content.

A focus on data can help marketers decide on the channels they should use for the promotion of their content. This depends on the target audience and campaign goals, and data can tell whether the focus should be on:

  • earned media (PR, mentions)
  • paid media (social and search advertising)
  • owned media (site, blog, social content)
  • shared media (referrals, word of mouth, influencers)

Content distribution becomes more challenging with the abundance of the available channels and the new opportunities for promotion. Not all of them are effective though for every type of content. That’s how data can become extremely useful to analyse the existing results, but also how the new content can explore new paths for promotion.

5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Image: Smart Insights

Measuring success

According to CMI’s report, the most popular tool that marketers use for content marketing is their analytics platform (79%). This indicates the need to measure the content’s performance while justifying the KPI of their content marketing strategy.

The focus on analytics tools doesn’t necessarily mean that all marketers are still able to tell whether their content marketing strategy is successful. In fact, according to Curata, only 30% of leading marketers are confident enough that their content marketing has an impact at the bottom of the sales funnel.

As more data become available, marketers can take advantage of all the insights to understand their content’s performance and how it brings them closer to KPIs.

5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Image: Beth Kanter

The most useful metrics to track your content performance include:

  • blog visits
  • time on page
  • bounce rate
  • number of comments
  • number of shares
  • number of mentions
  • inbound links
  • press coverage
  • number of generated leads
  • number of conversions

The need to pay attention to these when measuring a content marketing strategy brings out the importance for modern marketers to blend their creative with their analytical side. As we gain the capacity to collect and analyze increasing quantities of data, marketing is becoming increasingly analytical – but creativity is still crucial, and is what sets humans apart from bots in the marketing industry.

Overview

Many marketers are eager to dive into data in order to create a successful content marketing strategy. The more data we process, the better the insights we can glean about our target audience.

A data-driven content marketing strategy starts with an analysis of the existing data, but it’s also important to proceed with actionable steps.

The most effective marketing strategies translate data into their customers’ needs, creating successful content that speaks to their needs, but also your company’s goals.

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7 more tips to improve your content creation

The rise of content marketing has made content creation a key focus for businesses, and the issue of how to improve their content and its performance is at the forefront of many marketers’ minds.

At the Summit on Content Marketing earlier this summer, I gave a presentation on “15 ways to improve your content writing”. In Part 1 of this article, we covered eight of those tips, including creative brainstorming, grabbing the reader’s attention, content length, layout and formatting.

Here are seven more ways that you can improve your content creation and see better performance from your content marketing.

Pick the best headline

A headline is probably the first thing that someone notices about your content. Whether people discover your content in search results, social media, or a homepage,  a title contributes to their decision to click on the link.

What are the elements of a great title?

  • Clarity: Your headline should be clear and descriptive. Any confusion can only keep the readers away from it.
  • Brevity: A headline doesn’t have to be long to offer the right context. From an SEO perspective, a title doesn’t have to be more than 60 characters. Thus, you only have up to 60 characters to offer the right preview to your topic. That’s even half the limit to what Twitter allows you!
  • Relevance: Not everyone is aiming for relevance when crafting a title and this may be part of an attempt to entice people to click on a post. “Clickbait” techniques are usually not helpful in a long term basis, especially if your actual content has nothing to do with the headline. Be as relevant as possible.
  • Emotional appeal: How does emotional appeal affect the click rate on a headline? We are all human beings and this makes us susceptible to powerful language that offers an emotional appeal.

You don’t have to create an exaggerated headline to convey the right emotional element, but you can still think of how words can facilitate a reader’s decision towards your content.

My favorite tool to analyze the possible performance of different headlines is CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. This is a free tool that grades your headlines, while it also offers useful tips on how to improve them.

Its analysis of word balance and the use of words gives the user insights into the science of an effective headline, and it has been a useful ally for me when thinking of my next topic.

Aim for simplicity

It’s good to aim for simplicity in your content writing, as this will make your content accessible to a wider audience and improve its ease of readability and parsing. There’s no need to use overly complicated words to make a point.

Here are some examples on how to simplify your writing:

in order to –> to

ways by which –> which

despite the fact –> although

leverage –> use

Proper spelling and grammar, of course, are still important in any type of content.

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

Avoid passive voice

Your copy gets stronger when focusing on the subject. Passive voice can create a distance between your message and the readers, while an active voice is direct and clear. It can engage and motivate your readers, making your copy interesting and stronger.

Avoid using unnecessary adverbs

Adverbs don’t always contribute to the clarity of your content. It’s better to use them only when they make sense. Think of removing the ones you’ve already used, and test whether your copy can still stand out without them.

Write what comes naturally

There’s no need to shoehorn in buzzwords to impress your audience. It’s common in marketing content to think that jargon enhances your message, but in fact, it only makes your content seem trite and predictable. Think like your readers, and create content that they’ll enjoy reading.

Be consistent with verb tenses 

Longer sentences can end up confusing your readers. There are also more chances to mess up the tenses that you’re using. Pay attention to each sentence, and you’ll find the consistency of the tenses that will improve your copy.

Don’t ignore SEO

Search traffic can be a powerful ally in your bid to increase your audience through content writing. While it might seem like a lot of extra work to think about SEO as you’re creating content, it actually fits fairly naturally into the content creation process.

Here are some things to bear in mind:

Title

The title helps search engines understand what your content is about. There needs to be a combination of relevance and brevity. It has to be useful, both for readers, but also for search crawlers.

Keywords

Keywords can be very useful as part of your text, provided that they are added naturally in the right context. There’s no need to overuse a keyword simply to make sure that a crawler discovers your topic (an old tactic known as ‘keyword stuffing’). In fact, this may lead to negative results.

Headings

As we covered in the previous part of this article, headings are a key part of clear content structure and formatting. They’re also important to SEO, as they give search engine crawlers an idea of what you’re covering.

A good rule of thumb can be to add your focus keyword at least once in a heading, as this makes it easier for search engines to understand the main topic.

Meta description

A meta description is a short summary of a topic. It’s the text that shows up right after the title in search results. This makes it the second most important part after your headline, and it may affect whether users click on your page.

For an SEO-focused guide on how to write good meta descriptions, check out ‘How to write meta descriptions for SEO (with good and bad examples)‘.

7 more tips to improve your content creation

Improve readability

Readability refers to the level of comprehension for your text. This encompasses things like language, the writing style, the use of sentences, or even the words that you choose.

In a more scientific explanation, the measurement of readability takes into account: the speed of perception, the visibility, the effort required for reading speed, the eye movements and the fatigue in reading.

How can you increase the readability of your content?

  • Pay attention to the font. Pick a clean and simple font and make sure that the size makes your text legible without further effort. 
  • Allow enough space for your content. Whether it’s the number of paragraphs you’re using or the line height, they all contribute to the concept of readability
  • Use simple writing, avoid jargon or complicated words. It’s tempting to use an improved vocabulary, but it’s also important to ensure that the content is still understood by your audience.
  • Avoid long sentences. Aim for clear and simple structure. As with the use of words, simplicity is appreciated. Moreover, it also reduces the chances of getting your readers tired while reading.

Think of social optimization

7 more tips to improve your content creation

A good indication of content success is its performance on social media, the number of likes, shares, or comments it receives.

The chances of social success can be improved by working on social optimization. Social optimization is the process that reminds you the importance of social media in a content’s journey. If you want to reach a wider audience, then you need to make sure that your content is as optimized as possible for social media.

Here are 5 quick tips on how to focus on social optimization:

Think of the headline

As with SEO optimization, your headline will determine whether social users find your content interesting enough to click on. However, beware of employing clickbait techniques such as withholding key information from the headline in order to attract clicks – it may see your content penalized by social platforms, and your readers won’t thank you either.

Pay attention to the images you’re adding 

Use a featured image that’s large enough to be shared on all social networks. Every social platform has its own dimensions, so a large image will still be clear and eye-catching regardless of the platform. Moreover, an image may be the first thing that someone notices about your social post.

Adjust the description

As with SEO, the description helps readers get an overview of your post. Optimizing both for search engines and social media requires the right balance between keyword optimization and personal appeal. Be creative and spend some time devising the best way to describe your content in just a couple of sentences.

Add sharing buttons

It may sound obvious nowadays that we need to include sharing buttons in our content. However, it’s still a good reminder when we’re thinking of social optimization to consider that readers will be more likely to to share our content if we make it easier for them to do so. Make sure you’re including the sharing buttons in the right place on your page.

Encourage likes and shares

Except for the default sharing buttons, there are many plugins and tools that encourage readers to show their social approval for a post. For example, a Facebook like button can be more appealing than a “share to Facebook” button, as it involves a faster process to show your social approval.

Think like a user

This is a combination of blending user experience with psychology, in an attempt to produce the right content for the right audience.

Google Analytics can help you monitor your readers’ habits. From the length of their visits to the most popular posts, or even the pages with the highest bounce rate, you can start understanding which pieces of content are most effective.

What made these pages more effective? Was it the value, the language, or even the images that you used? How about the content that wasn’t effective?

This is where user experience can offer very interesting insights.

You don’t need technical knowledge to understand how user experience affects your content.

For example, here are three quick ways to test whether your content has a user-centric design:

Mobile optimization

As smartphones dominate our lives, content tends to get more consumed in mobile devices. Not everyone creates content with mobile users in mind, and this may be a good opportunity to start thinking of it.

Responsiveness

Your content and your pages have to be responsive enough to allow readers to use them as much as possible. An error or a non-functional plugin may lead to a missed opportunity of converting a new reader. Usability, accessibility and page performance are three key areas for your readers and the way they see your content.

Conversion rates

The user experience has to be smooth enough to help readers move through your pages. This increases the chance of turning them into loyal readers and even customers. A combination of design and content strategy can improve your content appeal to your new readers.

The user experience honeycomb by Peter Morville shows us seven facets of a good user experience. A good user experience then has to be useful, desirable, accessible, credible, findable, usable, and valuable.

7 more tips to improve your content creation

Using free tools

There are so many tools out there to help improve our writing, and luckily many of them are free, so here are a few to try out.

  • Hemingway: Hemingway App helps you improve the clarity in your text by identifying long, complex sentences and common errors. It makes your writing bold and clear by suggesting the parts of text you need to improve.
  • Grammarly: Grammarly is another useful tool to instantly check for more than two hundred types of grammatical, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. I find very handy the Chrome plugin when creating online content, as it may even turn out useful when adding additional spaces or unknown words.
  • Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo helps you analyse what content performs best for any topic or competitor. It’s one of my favourite tools to test the “virality” (if that’s the proper term in that case) of my content, as it offers an insight on the most shared posts. For example, I can search for my name as an author, or the most popular posts in the sites that I’m writing on, and I can get a great overview of the content that got the highest number of shares on social media.
  • Readable: Readable is one of the apps that help you monitor your content’s readability score, along with keyword density, sentiment analysis. Time to cut out the noise.
  • CoSchedule’s Headline Analyser: This is my favourite tool to explore the art of an effective headline. You even get a score for the suggested headlines you’re adding. It’s useful when you’re trying to understand the overall headline quality and its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.
  • Writefull: Writefull is an app that gives feedback on your writing by checking your text against databases of correct language. Did you use the right phrase? Should you change it? You may be surprised with the results.
  • StayFocusd: StayFocusd is a productivity extension for Google Chrome that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Yes, this mainly refers to social media and it’s a very useful plugin for every writer.

Overview

7 more tips to improve your content creation

You don’t have to be a professional writer to create online content. What’s important is to set clear goals for the reasons you’re creating content, while considering your target audience.

Improve your content by focusing on:

  • the writing process
  • different content types you can create
  • the length of your content
  • its structure and
  • formatting
  • headline
  • the language you’re using
  • along with SEO
  • readability
  • social optimization
  • user experience

It’s all about understanding how content works and what opportunities it can unlock for your business.

After all, if the goal is to create content that your readers will love, you’re the only person who knows the best way to achieve it.

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on how to improve your content creation. For a recap of Part 1, read ‘8 tips for improving your content creation‘.

For the full presentation on ’15 ways to improve your content writing’ from the Summit on Content Marketing, check out the slides on SlideShare.