An effective marketing strategy is based on data. That’s why it is critical for marketers to stay up to date with the latest statistics, trends, and developments in the industry. Having access to the right data about SEO, consumer, content marketing, social media, marketing trends, will give your company a cutting edge over your competitors.
Yet, too much information can be overwhelming. Here at CodeFuel, we’ve got you covered. We collected a list of the top marketing statistics you should watch in 2021.
Being human means we have psychological instincts that cause us to take certain actions. When we are happy, we smile; when we are sad, we cry. These instincts also apply to purchasing goods and services. Studies show that people are more likely to buy something based on their emotions rather than information alone.
Conversion optimization has always been a hot topic in internet marketing. To be honest, all of us already know the best call to action phrases or marketing techniques out there! Yet, here you are, reading through this post in hopes of improving your conversion rates.
What are you missing? There may be a lot of ways to improve your conversion rates, but we cannot stress it enough; targeted call to action phrases work, and it has been proven.
The tools contained in this list are taken from How to Build the Best Marketing Strategy You Can Using Only Free Tools published on Entrepreneur.com on 11th February 2017 and written by Murray Newlands From the original post, I have compiled the list of free tools, with links, that are recommended to formulate your digital… Continue reading 14 Free Website Tools to Formulate Your Best Marketing Strategy
To improve blog writing skills, one of the things you need to know are powerful words that can evoke emotions that you want. Here are some of those words.
Are you trying to take your blog to the next level by improving your writing skills? This is a great idea! Good writing is the foundation of a great blog. If you don’t have that, all of the videos and infographics in the world cannot help you.
One way to increase the effectiveness of your writing is to use power words. These are words and phrases that grab the reader’s attention and evoke an emotional reaction or a desire to take some kind of action. Here are 100 power words that you can begin incorporating into your blog, and some notes on how and why they are effective.
Improve Your Blog Writing
Power Words that Encourage
These words are words that create a sense of encouragement. When readers see these words they feel courageous, ready to take on a difficult task, and empowered. These are great words to use when you want readers to be certain that they are not limited by personal difficulties. These power words are perfect when you wish to provide assurance that a difficult event or period of time is not insurmountable. Many of these power words can be used to lead into a call for action. This is because your readers will feel energized and more motivated to take action. Here are a few power words that encourage:
These are by no means the only power words that bring people encouragement, but they are quite powerful. Hopefully, knowing these words will help you to identify other power words that you can use when you want people reading your blog to feel encouraged and empowered. If you are posting on a subject that is heartbreaking or upsetting, you may find that these power words provide a needed balance to the news you are delivering.
Power Words that Make People Angry
Why would you want to make your readers angry? Actually, there are many reasons. Are you blogging about social issues? Are you trying to make your readers passionate about doing something to eradicate some horrible disease? Is there an injustice somewhere that you want to motivate your readers to address? Well, you do that by using power words that make them angry about the issue and ready to take meaningful action. Is your blog something that you use to market your products and services?
If so, do not skip this section. You too can benefit from using power words that make readers angry. Shouldn’t they be angry if they have been receiving poor customer service from your competitors? Shouldn’t they be angry if they have been overcharged all this time? Take a look at these power words that evoke a healthy sense of anger:
Taken advantage of
Hopefully, when people see these words in your blog they feel the kind of anger that motivates them to get out and make changes. Try using these words in your blog posts, and you can motivate your readership to do anything from donating to a cause, writing a letter to the editor, or converting to your products and services.
You may wish to combine these power words with some power words that cause encouragement. After all, who is more effective than a person who is justifiably angry and who believes that they are capable of making a difference?
Power Words that Tempt People
Everybody wants to be in on a secret. They want to access to information that others do not have. They want to do things that are ‘forbidden’. They want to see themselves as insiders, and as part of an elite, exclusive group.
Power words that tempt people evoke curiosity. It makes them want to find out more. It encourages them to find out what it is that they might be missing out on. These are some of the strongest call-to-action words that any blogger can use. Here are the power words that tempt:
What they don’t want you to know
Behind the Scenes
These power words are very effective if you want to attract more readers to your content, to create viral content, and to publish content that starts conversations. Have you ever played with the idea of using special rewards and the promise of access to premium content in order to get new subscribers and followers?
These power words do an amazing job of sending out a call to action to those who crave VIP status, and who love being the first among their friends to get the insider information. Of course, if you promise insider deals, special access, or to reveal secrets, you have to follow through.
Power Words that Evoke a Love of Money
Who doesn’t like getting something for free, or at least at a deep discount? People love feeling as if they are getting a great deal, or as if they will be getting something for nothing. Power words that manipulate people’s desire for freebies and special deals have been in use for years.
In fact, you will probably recognize many of these words from advertisements that you watched your entire life. Some of them may seem a bit corny, but they do work. Check out these greed inducing power words that you can use on your next blog:
One Time Only
Just for Loyal Customers
People love sales, free offers, door prizes, deep discounts, and coupons. Use these power words and you’ll keep your sales staff busy for days as they field calls and inquiries. If you are creating a post announcing a future sales event, you will gain significant traction with your audience if you incorporate just a few of these words in your posts.
Power Words that Evoke Feelings of Fear and Terror
Fear words are extremely effective in grabbing and keeping the attention of your readers. After all, fear words are what many media outlets use to keep people watching. Fear can be used as a call to action. It can be used to convince people that something deserves their attention. Fear can also be used to convince people that they will miss out on something if they do not continue reading.
There is definitely a danger of abusing these words and using them to unfairly manipulate your audience. But, as long as they are used judiciously and you are honest with any facts that you present, these words can really make your blog ‘pop’. Here are some fear mongering power words that you may be able to use when writing blogs in the future:
These words don’t just evoke fear. They evoke a desire to learn more, to stay tuned, and to get more information. Fear words may be initially shocking to read, but eventually shock will turn into a desire to take action. You can use these words to create a formula that moves your readers from shock and fear to action. Then, your job is to simply guide them to the action that you would like them to take.
A Final Note on Power Words
It may be difficult to imagine how 100 words and phrases can have such an emotional impact, but the truth is these words create responses in ways that other words don’t. If you combine the use of power words with other marketing techniques that are used to promote and market blogs/websites online, increase user engagement and make content viral (SEO, mobile friendly, social media, right keywords, etc.), you will be well on your way to increasing your readership and your internet presence.
So, why not give a few of these words a try on your next few blog posts. Then, take a few measurements. You will likely find that shares and comments increase. If you don’t see results right away, don’t be discouraged. It can take time to get into the groove when it comes to using power words effectively.
Today I’m sharing a list of 25 visual content marketing tools to engage your audience. It will help you to enrich the storytelling experience you’re creating.
Desygner is an online design tool that lets you create banners, posters, invitations, Facebook covers, social media posts and more, all for free.
Snappa is on of the easiest graphic design tools you’ll ever use. It allows you to create amazing designs without the help of a graphic designer.
Canva makes it super easy to create graphics that get engagement on social media. There’s plenty of templates for marketers from email headers to blog graphics.
Piktochart is an easy-to-use infographic maker. It will take your visual communication to the next level, without hiring a professional designer.
Prezi makes presentations stand out and get remembered. Unlike static slides, it combines motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to engage your audience and help them remember your message.
Visage is a design and visual content creation tool for content marketers who need to create a lot of visual content.
Curalate is a visual commerce platform that connects content to commerce throughout the customer journey to generate awareness, increase engagement and drive revenue.
Storify gives you the tools to create the best evergreen and live blog stories, uniting traditional storytelling with engaged audiences.
PlaceIt lets you upload images of your product or website and insert them into high-quality photos for free. No Photoshop needed.
Silk is a data publishing platform. It lets anyone create interactive data visualizations, publish websites, and tell interactive stories.
ThingLink lets you create custom interactive images by adding clickable icons to links, video, text, music, other images, you name it.
Pablo by Buffer is a simple yet powerful design tool to help you become a better social media marketer. It’s designed for social sharing and makes it very easy to capture images to share directly to social networks or to add to your social content.
SlideShare is the biggest slide hosting service in the world. While it doesn’t provide creation tools, it’s a perfect place to find inspiration for your visual content or upload your own documents, presentations, infographics and more.
Polarr is free and powerful online photo editor. Simply put it’s the pro photo editor for everyone. From high-precision color tools to advanced clarity and dehaze filters, Polarr brings free pro photo editing tools to your mobile device.
ChartBlocks is an online chart building tool. You can easily design and share a chart in minutes. Import your data, design your chart and then start sharing it.
Infogr.am is the world’s most popular infographics creator. You can easily add graphs, maps, text, and even playable videos without diving deep into a design program.
Datawrapper empowers you to create amazing visualizations in seconds. You can use visuals to reflect numbers-related content by creating engaging presentations and infographics.
InVision is the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration & workflow platform. It’s a great solution for publishing clickable and interactive high-fidelity prototypes in minutes.
Venngage is another great online tool for creating beautiful infographics. To get started choose from hundreds of professional templates for infographics, reports, posters, promotions and social media posts.
Easel.ly lets you create and share visual ideas. You can choose from thousands of reporting, timeline, resume and process templates.
Issuu is the largest collection of free-to-read publications from incredible publishers around the globe. You can publish content such as magazines, catalogs, eBooks and more on this free platform.
Adobe Post empowers you to create stunning social graphics in seconds. A perfect tool for content marketers on the go.
Uberflip is a content experience platform that aggregates all of your content (blog articles, eBooks, videos, white papers, and more) so you can create, manage, and optimize tailored content experiences for every stage of the buyer journey.
Apester is a digital storytelling platform that allows you to create and embed surveys, personality tests, video quizzes and polls into your social posts.
Mapme is one of the most powerful map creators out there. You can easily create, customize, grow and promote your maps. The best part? No coding needed.
What’s your tool of choice?
That’s a big list to choose from. What tools do you use for your visual content marketing needs? Share them by leaving a comment or tweet me @tomaslau.
Today, in May 2016 advancements in technology have progressed very rapidly over the last 10 – 20 years. Being from a time before computers and mobile phones, I am very glad for the progression of the internet. For me it has meant I no longer travel out to work in an office transcribing, I can… Continue reading The Value of an Audio or Video Transcript
If you’re like most bloggers, you’re probably wondering how you can produce huge results, the kind other bloggers retire doing. Or, you’re looking to gain a serious boost for your business via blogging, but not sure how to get rolling. Fortunately, this success isn’t just blind luck – it is the direct result of a series of efforts you can apply to your own blog.
If you’re like most bloggers, you’re probably wondering how you can produce huge results, the kind other bloggers retire doing. Or, you’re looking to gain a serious boost for your business via blogging, but not sure how to get rolling.
Fortunately, this success isn’t just blind luck – it is the direct result of a series of efforts you can apply to your own blog.
If you’re looking to increase your SEO, blogging is the first and most important step. According to HubSpot’s 2015 blogging frequency benchmark data, companies that blog earn 97% more inbound links than companies that do not. Additionally, companies that post more than 16 blog posts each month get roughly 3.5 times more traffic than companies that publish four or fewer posts each month. (We recently gained over 300 keyword positions in a single day—and it was 100% through our content & blogging.)
Read on to learn more about the SEO importance of blogging and how you can triple your SEO efforts through regular, high-quality posts.
Blogging 101: Why it’s so Darn Important for SEO
When it comes to SEO, there is arguably nothing more important than blogging. In order for content to rank well, there has to be content in the first place and multiple industry leaders have shown that companies that blog regularly do better than companies that don’t.
HubSpot’s aforementioned blogging frequency benchmark data shows that when small companies with 1-10 employees publish more than 11 posts each month, their sites get three times as much traffic as companies of the same size that publish only one post per month. What’s more, sites with 11 posts each month earn twice as much traffic as companies that publish between 2-5 posts each month.
For slightly larger companies, the results are comparable: companies with between 26-200 employees that publish more than 11 posts per month get twice as much traffic than companies who only publish one post each month.
It’s obvious that blogging frequency really does matter and that, in order to boost traffic and improve SEO, you need to produce relevant, useful content on a regular basis.
One of the main reasons for this is that old blog posts stick around long after they’ve been published. In fact, when HubSpot conducted a study of their own blogging traffic, they found that 90% of the leads their blog produced actually came from old posts. That said, it’s possible to generate, in equal parts, traffic from both old and new content, as long as you know how to create content that is genuinely interesting and valuable.
How to Blog for SEO: 6 Takeaway Tips
Now that you know how important blogging is for SEO, here are 6 tips to help you blog better and produce better results.
1. Create quality content
This may seem obvious, but creating content is one of the most important aspects of SEO. This is because each post you write adds a new SEO page that has the potential to be crawled and indexed by Google. Additionally, each new post can be optimized for unique long-tail keywords which allows bloggers to create pages full of new ranking opportunities. Blogs also offer the opportunity for high-quality backlinks and plenty of organic traffic to your site.
2. Write attention-grabbing headlines
If you do it right, every post you write can create high-quality traffic that gets you noticed. Unfortunately, most people don’t do this right. This is because they focus only on getting content written and distributed rather than creating viral content that maintains its value. The first secret to doing the latter is to make sure that your headlines are irresistible.
Eight out of 10 people read headlines while only two out of 10 read body copy, so you can bet that people will click through to your blog if you get your headline right. Need an example? Consider Upworthy for a moment. Upworthy launched two years ago and now boasts viral posts and 88 million visitors, which makes it more popular by visitor numbers than the Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Buzzfeed. The secret to Upworthy’s success? Attention-grabbing headlines first of all, and then minimal sharing buttons and the use of short, intriguing videos to grab users.
Once you’ve mastered killer headlines, you’ll want to ensure that your content is the correct length. At Express Writers, our blogs are generally between 1000-3000 words and Buzzsumo has found that its most popular posts range between 3000-10,000 words.
3. Solve your readers’ problems
No matter how quality your content is or how shocking your headlines are, it isn’t going to carry you to SEO and sales success if it doesn’t pertain directly to your readers. This means that, in order for your blogging efforts to work in favor of your SEO standing, you need to understand your audience very well. You should know what they’re interested in and which problems they’re struggling with and you should be able to synthesize new content ideas that will help make their lives easier.
To get a better handle on who your audience is and what they want, use sites like Quora to get involved in niche-specific conversations and then head to BuzzSumo for help in creating and generating new ideas for content. BuzzSumo allows users to plug in keywords and see what other related topics have gone viral on social media. Another great tool for this same purpose is Ubersuggest, which is fantastic for generating ideas for blog posts and advertises itself as “Google suggest on steroids.”
4. Make it evergreen
It’s one thing for your posts to be attention-grabbing but it’s entirely another for them to hold their value throughout the months or years. This is where Evergreen topics come in. According to Moz, evergreen content offers “continued and sustained success.” To put it another way, evergreen content doesn’t rely upon passing trend and it doesn’t rely on the re-posting of old content. Rather, it uses foundational industry truths as topics from which to branch out. Examples in the world of blogging include “How to Blog – The Steps to a Successful Blog Start,” “Revealed: 19 Things to Know Before You Start a Blog” and ProBlogger’s own “How to Blog: Blogging Tips for Beginners.” These posts all take one evergreen topic (blogging) and offer helpful tips and tricks on the subject. Because of this, these posts aren’t going to come into and out of fashion. Instead, they will continue to be highly searched-for and will continue to be a major source of traffic for their home sites.
5. Use long tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are and have always been a big traffic factor for bloggers. Take Search Engine Journal, for example, who noted a huge 78% jump in traffic after optimizing their content for long-tail keywords. In order to optimize content for long tail keywords, it’s important to create extensively researched, lengthy, valuable content that utilizes your long-tail keywords in a natural way.
Since long tail keywords show you what your users are looking to do, there’s a high probability that content optimized for them will produce far better conversions than content that is not. Additionally, longtail keywords can help you understand how to better structure content in order to solve a searcher’s problems or provide value for their needs.
That said, it’s wise to collect emails every time someone visits your site. Do this through a special landing page or embed email popups or subscription forms throughout your blog. Accompany these with powerful CTAs and then use the gathered emails for email marketing down the road. In order to get the most emails possible, ensure that your site is structured properly and easy to use. This means that your site should be compatible for all devices and very readable (in terms of font type and actual writing). The site should also load quickly and be easy to navigate. When your site provides a positive experience for users, people are much more likely to click and subscribe than they would be for a difficult site that wasn’t intuitive.
While increasing SEO can be confusing, it’s obvious that blogging does in fact have a large impact on SEO. Follow these 6 tips to help you blog better, increase SEO rankings, and make more sales. Happy blogging!
Julia is a serial entrepreneur and content marketer, and the founder of Express Writers; she loves to blog and is a soon-to-be published author.
If you want to be an effective business owner in 2016, you can’t manage everything on your own.
In order to scale the progress you’ve already made, or simply experience real growth for the first time, you have to be willing to delegate responsibilities, standardize processes, and use the right tools.
The problem is, there are a lot of tools out there to choose from. Knowing where to start or which tool to try is not always easy.
This collection of tools can help you narrow your search results and quickly find the right tools for your business—the ones that are really going to help move the needle and take your business to a whole new level.
The tools are separated into eight different categories:
Conversion & Lead Generation
Project Management & Communication
Customer Service & Retention
HR, Employee Engagement & Appreciation
Social Media Marketing
As you go through this list, think about your business goals for this year, what your plan is for achieving those goals, and whether you think any of the tools listed could help you get you to where you want to go.
Here are the 70+ tools you should be using in 2016 to grow your business:
1. Curated – Curated is a tool that allows you to quickly find and save content to share with your email list in the form of a beautifully simple weekly email digest. It’s a great tool for providing extra value to your audience. Pricing: Starts at $25/month
2. Referral Saasquatch – Referral Saasquatch is a great tool that can be used to build and manage customer referral programs for your business. Referral tools like this one make it incredibly easy to incentivize and encourage more word-of-mouth advertising of your business. Pricing: Starts at $99/month
3. Content Marketer – Content Marketer is the best tool on the market for promoting content, building links, and connecting with influencers. It’s the tool you want to use when you’re ready to take your content marketing efforts to the next level and start seeing more ROI from your efforts. Pricing: $19/month
4. Quuu – Quuu provides you with hand curated content to increase your social media activity. After selecting a few categories that represent the type of topics you’re interested in, Quuu automatically sends hand curated content to your Buffer account. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
5. Canva – Canva is one of the easiest tools out there for creating compelling, original images for social media and blogging. The tool offers a wide variety of backgrounds, icons, and fonts to fit the needs and dimensions of any platform you’re using to connect with prospects. Pricing: FREE
6. Campaign Monitor – Campaign Monitor is one of the top email marketing platforms on the market. The drag-and-drop email builder allows you to create a customized email campaign in a matter of minutes. It also offers a lot in terms of personalization, segmentation, and A/B testing. Pricing: Starts at $9/month
7. Buzzsumo – Buzzsumo is the top tool for performing content marketing research. The tool makes it easy to evaluate the performance of any blog post, website, or competitor. It’s a great tool to use when you’re ready to start investing in advanced content promotion and outreach. Pricing: Starts at $99/month
8. Death to the Stock Photo – Death to the Stock Photo is a site that offers fresh, inexpensive, and non-cheesy stock photos that can be used in a wide variety of marketing campaigns. You can sign up to receive new photos each month, or you can go premium and get access to all photos at once. Pricing: $15/month
9. SEMrush – SEMrush is a top tool for performing advanced advertising, keyword, baclink, and competitor research. The tool provides powerful analytics reports that can give you valuable insight and help you decide where to take your strategy next. Pricing: Starts at $69.95/month
10. Sticker Mule – Sticker Mule is a tool that can be used to create and order custom stickers and graphics for your startup. The tool is relatively inexpensive and provides fast delivery and free shipping. Pricing: Varies depending on quantities
Conversion & Lead Generation
11. SumoMe – SumoMe offers a suite of tools that can be used to drive conversions and engagement on your website. Examples include the Welcome Mat, the Scroll Box, the Smart Bar, and others—all of which can be added to your site and customized to fit the look and feel of your brand in a matter of minutes. Pricing: Starts at $10/month
12. Optimizely – Optimizely is one of the top tools for easily and quickly building and running A/B tests on your website. A/B testing is an important tactic when it comes to influencing more engagement and conversions, and with Optimizely, you can test everything from color, copy, button placement, entire landing pages, personalization, and more. Pricing: Varies
13. LeadChat – LeadChat (shameless plug) is a tool that you can use to insert sales staff right into your website. The tool makes it incredibly easy to add their ready-to-go live chat agents to your site who can chat with visitors and convert them to customers. Sound interesting? Ask for a trial now. Pricing: Starts at $99/month
14. Import.io – Import.io is a tool that allows you to scrape the web for relevant information about products, businesses, and competitors. The tool automates the data collection process and presents it in an easily digestible manner for business owners looking to quickly identify and take advantage of gaps in their market or industry. Pricing: Varies
15. Datanyze – Datanyze is a sales intelligence tool that allows you to uncover, research, and reach the right prospects. Alerts tell you which websites have started or stopped using a particular provider’s tool, Research helps you understand your prospects better, and their predictive modeling helps you determine which leads are worth pursuing first. Pricing: Request a demo to find out
16. LeadPages – LeadPages is one of the top tools available for building customized landing pages on your site. The tool offers hundreds of templates that can be used to drive conversions and nurture prospects. Pricing: Starts at $25/month
17. ConvertKit – ConvertKit is a tool that can be used to nurture leads down your sales funnel. The tool allows you to easily make customized opt-in forms that can be placed in content and around your site. You can also design landing pages, create drip campaigns, and send important one-off emails to your subscribers. Pricing: Starts at $29/month
18. Crazy Egg – Crazy Egg is another tool that can be used to gain more insight into the actions and experiences people have when they land on your website. With this tool, you can analyze where people are clicking, how far down they’re reading, and where people are coming from when they land on your site. Pricing: Starts at $9/month
19. Drip – Drip is a tool that you can use to create simple drip email courses. You can use the tool to easily repurpose your best blog content into a compelling email course that educates, nurtures, and converts your website visitors. Pricing: Starts at $49/month
20. FullStory – FullStory is an amazing tool that allows you to actually record, replay, and analyze the experience people have when they land on your website. It’s a great tool to use for improving customer support, making decisions about development or product updates, and empathizing with users. Pricing: Starts at $199/month
21. Recurly – Recurly is a tool that automates recurring billing for subscription-based businesses and products. The tool is incredibly easy to set up and seamlessly integrates and connects with your existing merchant accounts and website. Pricing: Starts at $99/month
22. Xero – Xero is a beautifully designed online accounting tool. An alternative to QuickBooks, this tool can help you manage invoices and quotes, inventory, purchase orders, bills and expenses, employee payment, and more. Pricing: Starts at $6.30/month
23. Chartio – Chart.io is a cloud-based business intelligence tool. It’s a tool that you can use to quickly organize, visualize, and analyze complex data related to your products and business. It’s a great tool for any business looking to become more data-driven in 2016. Pricing: Sign up to get pricing information
24. TradeGecko – TradeGecko is an inventory management tool for business owners looking to automate painful and repetitive tasks. The tool can help streamline order management, stock levels, tracking at multiple warehouse locations, multi-channel sales, and more. Pricing: Starts at $39/month
25. Segment – Segment is an incredibly convenient tool that allows you to collect customer data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing, and data warehousing. Pricing: Starts at $39/month
26. Google Analytics – Google Analytics is an essential tool for any business owner looking to gain a better understanding about website visitors. With Google Analytics, you can track metrics, set up goals and events, and find ways to optimize your website in order to boost conversions, engagement, and repeat traffic. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
27. UpCounsel – UpCounsel is a tool that offers on-demand legal help for business owners who don’t necessarily have the funds to keep a full-time lawyer on retainer, but need legal assistance from time to time. The tool can help with agreements, trademarks, patents, labor and employment, and more. Pricing: Varies depending on work
28. Toggl – Toggl is a time-tracking tool aimed at helping business owners boost daily productivity. The tool streamlines time-tracking and makes it incredibly easy to identify where time is going and how to become more productive throughout the day. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
29. Zirtual – Zirtual is a tool that can be used to find U.S. based virtual assistants. The tool now falls under the Startups.co umbrella, and is a great resource to take advantage as you continue to scale your business in 2016. Pricing: Starts at $398/month
30. HelloSign – HelloSign is a tool that can be used to send and receive legally binding electronic signatures for business purposes. It integrates with familiar apps like Gmail, Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
Project Management & Communication
31. Trello – Trello is a fantastic project management tool that can really bring your projects to life. The tool creates a visual representation of your projects in the form of cards that can be moved from column to column as a project progresses. It’s a great tool to use for managing freelancers. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
32. Basecamp – Basecamp is another tool that can be used to manage projects. It’s different than Trello in that it’s less visual-focused and more centered around team collaboration. The tool just launched a brand new version, which can be explored here. Pricing: Starts at $29/month
33. Asana – Asana is a project management tool that works well for teams that are moving a lot of projects through the door at a given time. It’s one of the most flexible and customizable project management tool available. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
34. Evernote – Evernote is a great tool for managing personal projects and to-do lists. It’s a cloud-based tool that can be accessed from the mobile, web, or desktop. It’s a particularly useful tool to use when you want to pull in various types of media (photos, screenshots, notes, etc.). It does also offer the ability to collaborate with others. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
35. Slack – Slack is one of the most popular real-time messaging apps available today. It’s incredibly well-designed, and easy to implement across multiple teams. The tool can also be used to manage specific projects by setting up different channels within a chat group. It’s a great option if you have or plan to grow a remote team. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
36. Google Apps For Work – Google Apps For Work offers professional email, online storage, shared calendars, video meetings and more. It’s also a great alternative to the Microsoft Office suite—it has a word processor, a presentation tool, a spreadsheets tool, and a form builder. Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month
37. Wrike – Wrike is a versatile project management tool that can be used by marketing teams, product development teams, department heads, and more. With the tool you can easily create tasks, mention team members, collaborate in real-time, and seamlessly integrate with your other tools. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
38. Projects by GrowthHackers – Projects is still a bit of a mystery, but early previews make it appear to be an incredibly user-friendly project management tool. To try this tool, you’ll need to request early access to join their beta program.
39. Join.Me – Join.Me is a simple tool that can be used to host video and audio conferences, share your screen, record meetings, and more. It’s a great tool to use when you need to quickly pull up a presentation or reference your screen while on a group call. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
40. Dropbox – Dropbox is one of the top cloud-based file storage tools on the market. It’s a convenient way to store and share important documents with team members, customers, investors, and anyone else involved in the growth and success of your business. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
Customer Service & Retention
41. SatisMeter – SatisMeter is a tool that helps you gather customer feedback through NPS surveys. Net Promoter Score surveys are an incredibly effective way to gauge how loyal and happy your customers really are. The tool can be installed onto any website or app in less than 10 minutes. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
42. Intercom – Intercom allows you to easily communicate with your customers through targeted in-app and email messages, triggered by time or behavior. The tool can be used to collect customer feedback, chat with customers in real-time, create marketing lifecycle email campaigns, and provide support. Pricing: Starts at $49/month
43. Packs By Startup Threads – Packs By Startup Threads offers a convenient way to create and send customized swag packages to your customers. The tool is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is build your pack, order a reserve amount to store at the Startup Threads warehouse, and use their API or dashboard to send out to customers in an effort to boost loyalty and retention. Pricing: Varies
44. MailLift – MailLift is a handy tool for sending handwritten thank you cards to customers. Handwritten thank you cards are a great way to boost customer happiness, but as your business continues to grow, it’s important to take advantage of tools like MailLift that can help you automate time-consuming tasks, while still keeping things personal. Pricing: Varies
45. Zendesk – Zendesk is a web-based customer support platform. The tool allows you to accept and manage support tickets from a variety of channels—web, email, social, chat, or phone. It also provides the ability to create and manage a Help Center for your website. Pricing: Starts at $5/agent/month
46. UserVoice – UserVoice is a tool that allows you to collect and prioritize feedback from customers, partners, and teams that can influence future updates to your products. The tool makes it easy to collect feedback right in your app (web or mobile), from your website via a private forum, and in real-time chat. Pricing: Starts at$499/month
47. GoToMeeting – GoToMeeting is a top tool for coordinating and hosting webinars. It’s a great tool to use when you’re ready to start educating prospects and customers about product benefits, protips, and other topics that can help them use your product successfully. Pricing: Starts at $24/month
48. Snagit – Snagit is a tool that allows you to easily create screen captures and videos that can be used to create tutorials for customers. It’s another great tool to use when you’re ready to start spending more time and resources on educating your customers. Pricing: Starts at $49.95
49. TypeForm – TypeForm allows you to create visually-compelling survey forms. The tool makes it incredibly easy to design custom forms to use for social media contests, customer feedback, hiring, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
50. Customer.io – Customer.io is another tool that you can use to send targeted messages to users and customers. The tool allows you to leverage user behavior data in order to send more effective messages. With the tool, you can A/B test, build campaigns, track conversions, segment messages for specific audiences and traffic, and more. Pricing: Starts at $100/month
51. Upwork – Upwork is a tool that you can use to find freelancers to help you grow your business. This site can connect you with developers, creatives, customer service agents, virtual assistants, and other consultants. Pricing: Varies
52. Scripted – Scripted is a tool that you can use to scale your content creation efforts. It’s a tool that can connect you with on-demand writers to help you produce content for blog posts, landing pages, white papers, social media updates, product descriptions, and more. Pricing: Varies
53. Fiverr – Fiverr is comprised of an incredibly vast network of freelancers who can help you complete almost any task, no matter the size. Categories on the site include graphics, marketing, writing, video and animation, video and audio, and more. Pricing: Starts at $5, then varies depending on project scope
54. 99designs – 99designs is a site that primarily focuses on helping connect designers with business owners looking for help creating brand-specific collateral (logos, brand identity, t-shirts, etc.). Pricing: Starts at $299/month
55. Toptal – Toptal is a site that connect business owners with the top 3% freelance software developers and designers. Pricing: Varies
56. PeoplePerHour – PeoplePerHour is a site that connects you with freelancers who can help with design, development, content, and promotion. It’s a great tool to leverage when you need help fast. Pricing: Varies
57. WriterAccess – WriterAccess is another tool that you can use to find freelance writers. Pricing varies, but can be as low as two cents/word for content.
58. Guru – Guru is a site that can connect you with admin support freelancers, engineering and architecture freelancers, legal freelancers, and more. Pricing: Varies
59. Gun.io – Gun.io is a tool that you can use to connect with and hire the best freelance developers in the world. The site offers a unique concierge service that matches you with a representative who can help you find the right person for the job. It’s a good site to go to when you’re looking for help building apps for mobile and desktop, when you need help scripting, building a UX strategy, and more. Pricing: Varies
60. Gigster – Gigster is a site you can go to when you need to hire an entire freelance development team. Pricing: Varies
HR, Employee Engagement & Appreciation
61. TinyPulse – TinyPulse is an employee retention tool that allows you to create surveys for your team to anonymously answer each week. It’s a great way to sync up with your employees and make sure they’re getting everything they need in order to be successful in their roles. Pricing: Starts at $5/user/month
62. AnyPerk – AnyPerk is a convenient tool that allows you to show appreciation and offer rewards to employees who go above and beyond in their roles. The tool offers a wide variety of perks that employees can choose from based on their interests—such as travel discounts, gym membership deals, restaurant coupons, subscription services, and more . Pricing: request a demo
63. Kin – Kin is a tool that allows you to completely streamline your human resources department. The tool makes it incredibly easy to onboard new employees, keep track of important employee information, manage communication with employees, track time off and vacation, coordinate employee performance reviews, and more. Pricing: $5/user/month
64. 15Five – 15Five is a tool that allows you to keep track of what’s going on at your company week by week. The tool allows you to send customized surveys to employees in order to celebrate wins, identify challenges, and determine what people need in order to keep moving your company forward. Pricing: Starts at $49/month
65. GlassDoor – GlassDoor is a site that you can use as a tool to recruit top talent. As a company, you can create a presence on the site to attract job seekers, advertise jobs, and promote your company against competitors. Pricing: Request a quote
66. Zenefits – Zenefits is another tool that you can use to streamline your HR tasks. The tool can be used to manage payroll, benefits, time, talent, compliance, and management. Pricing: Free
67. Kudos – Kudos is a tool that allows you to give recognition and appreciation to team members in real-time. The tool makes it easy for managers to give praise to peers and for peers to give kudos to peers. It’s a fairly robust platform, and definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a way to boost employee morale at your company. Pricing: Starts at $2/user/month
Social Media Marketing
68. CoSchedule – CoSchedule is a top tool that marketers use to build editorial calendars, manage social media updates that relate to content, and manage the content creation process. Pricing: Starts at $15/month
69. Buffer – Buffer is the top tool that marketers use to schedule social media updates. The tool makes it easy to schedule and share updates when your audience is listening in order to boost engagement, grow your following, and get the most out of your social media marketing efforts. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
70. Gleam – Gleam is a popular tool that allows you to create and manage social media contests and reward campaigns. Examples of the types of contests and campaigns you can create include 1-click entry competitions, refer-a-friend campaigns, coupon offers, and more. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
71. Grammarly – Grammarly is a tool that you can use to identify and eliminate common spelling and grammar errors in your content. The tool also offers content optimization features aimed at improving your content and your writing abilities. Pricing: Premium plans start at $29.95/month
72. Flare – Flare is a tool that you can use to create a social media share bar on your website content. Social share bars can boost engagement and brand authority. The tool allows you to track social and engagement analytics in order to determine the effectiveness of your blog content. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
73. Mention – Mention is one of the best ways to monitor your brand, your name, and the names of the people you work with (executives, coworkers, partners, etc.). The tool helps you keep track of mentions from the web and from social media, making sure you never miss an opportunity to engage with a fan or prospect. Pricing: Starts at $29/month
74. Narrow – Narrow is a tool that makes it easy to grow your Twitter following. The tool helps optimize and automate the process by working with you to identify the right types of followers you’re looking to connect with on Twitter. All you have to do is enter target keywords, and Narrow does the rest. Pricing: Starts at $9/month
75. Notifier – Notifier is a tool that you can use to boost traffic and engagement on your site. You can use the tool to scan your latest blog posts in order to automatically find and organize the influencers you know you want to reach out to. Once you scan your post and build your list, all you have to do is compose your social media outreach message template, select the people you want to reach out to, and send or schedule your tweets. Pricing: Starts at $0/month
What other tools would you add to this list? Leave a comment below and tell us what tools you’ve been using to grow your business! We’d love to hear from you.
In this ever changing field, you can stay ahead of the curve with my WordPress SEO tips designed to provide you with what works to achieve results.
A great way to start the New Year – I heard from a very trusted colleague and want to share these wonderful search engine optimistion tips with you. Over at www.onblast.com he got in touch to say Hi and Happy New Year. We’ve not spoken for a wee while and really happy to hear from him and guess what? Even though it has been longer that it should have been he wanted to share his latest post about WordPress and the secret tips of how to get success with blogging. I am so grateful to him for sending me this I had to share it with you…ssshh don’t tell him!
So with that being said, welcome to the ultimate resource for WordPress SEO tips this side of a Tibetan monk who understands the mind of Google (I’m fairly certain he doesn’t exist).
Of course, there are an abundance of other practices in your structure and content that will also lend to a more optimized website, but we’ll get to all of that in due time.
For now, as the salad said to the dinner: “lettuce begin!”
The Secrets to Successful WordPress SEO (You’re Welcome)
“Optimizing your WordPress site is the first step toward real blogging success” [click to tweet]
It’s hard to believe anyone would give this out for free, but I’m Matt Banner, and although most people know me through my brother Bruce, you know, the big green guy (the Hulk) I’m sporting a brain that’s equally powerful and like him I want to use my power for good.
Here’s what you’re going to learn by the end of this article:
A massive list of the best SEO practices out there
WordPress exclusive tips to maximize your blog’s potential
A sneak peek at the future of SEO and how you can prepare today
Step by step on How to Optimize WordPress with the Yoast Plugin
35 WordPress SEO Tips to Chew On
1) Pay attention how you structure your URL: as you create phenomenal posts, remember that WordPress allows you to tailor the structure of your permalinks (or URL) under the settings > Permalinks. You can utilize a custom structure (my recommendation) or pick something different.
2) Install the Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin: Of all the plugins out there, this is the one you need for your blog. This will help you keep track of your optimization and allow you to tailor other features of your blog without the need for multiple plugins. Yoast will keep your website clean and on track.
3) Add Internal Links: When you’re working on a new post, make sure you link to other relevant ones on your blog to increase the networking structure and keep the other posts in the limelight.
4) Optimize Images: This is relatively easy and comes included with WordPress. When you’re uploading and inserting an image on your blog, there are fields to provide an alternate text, caption, and description.
Use them all. These all add to the organic visibility of the image, so don’t forget to use them.
5) Content is for People First: Some bloggers get all caught up in throwing as many keywords into a post as possible, and while having your primary and LSI keywords present is certainly needed to help people understand what you’re talking about, ultimately the usefulness of your content will decide how well it performs in search engine results.
Make it well-written, unique, and above all else, useful for your readers.
6) Generate More Brand Mentions: Having your posts linked on other blogs is an important step in building a strong organically-focused blog.
Essentially, they are 3rd party recommendations that scream “What you’re doing is awesome”. That being said, you don’t need links from sites that aren’t in your niche or don’t relate to your topic.
Remember, your goal is ultimately about judging the usefulness of your site for users.
8) Ensure your Title Tag Contains the Most Important Words: The title tag, which displays on Google and other search engines, shouldn’t just be the company name or the name of your blog. Each title tag should accurately describe what will be on that given page.
Practicing this will better improve your SEO and proudly display the content of the post.
9) Make Your Hyperlinks Keyword Phrases: This is a simple tip, but an important one. If you’re linking to an article about common mistakes bloggers make, don’t just say “click here”, use the phrase so readers know what they’re clicking on.
10) Long-Tail Keyword Phrases Beat Lonely Ones: You can pick and choose keywords like you’re the king or queen of the apple bobbing contest, but the real way to utilize these keywords is by placing them in phrases that are relevant to your topic.
If you’re talking about cooking dessert dishes, then expand on that like so: “Our detailed recipes will help you craft the finest dessert dishes.”
11) From the Beginning, Your Design Should be SEO Focused: Your blogs design, whether it’s done by you or by a web designer, needs to be focused on organic search traffic.
12) Get your Site Indexed: Using a tool like Google Search Console will help you establish a clear connection between your website’s content and the Google search engine.
13) Structure Your Site With Simplicity: A complicated and disorganized blog isn’t going to get a lot of readers or backlinks.
Don’t go crazy with folders and subfolders. Keep things organized and if people want to look at older posts, make sure that’s easy to do as well.
14) Always, Always Reciprocate: Not only is it common courtesy to link & reference other sites that have furthered the topic conversation you’re writing about, but doing so will help build your popularity and improve your authority (so long as they’re quality trusted sites that are applicable to the same topic) in your particular niche.
15) Content Needs to be Unique and of High Quality: You can write about the psychological profile of the common household cat all you want, but if the content isn’t of high quality (meaning no keyword stuffing, or a litany of grammar and punctuation issues) then you’re not going to see the results you want.
Creating content that does both of these things will be infinitely more noticeable to Google.
16) Choose a Single Main Keyword Phrase: Don’t try to create a single post that addresses multiple keyword phrases. Find one that most represents your content and use it sparingly in the post.
Branch off of that keyword with secondary keywords and relevant topics to further expand on the subject matter.
17) Your SEO Must Lead to a Strong CTA (Call to Action): Much like dousing logs in lighter fluid, it’s all for naught if you don’t light a match to ignite the flames. At the end of your posts, you should always leave the reader with something to do.
It could be a sign up for your newsletter, or an invitation to comment. It could also be an opportunity to purchase your products or services. Make sure this is present, and that it’s clear and concise.
18) Never Stop Researching: Anything involving SEO is only a present solution or tactic.
The landscape of this is always changing. With new updates to Google and Yahoo, the methods by which pages are displayed and ranked is always changing. Staying current on these trends and algorithms is the best way to stay ahead of the curve.
19) The Text Around Your Images Matters: As mentioned earlier, the caption, description and ALT-Text attached to your images helps them rank well in search engines.
What you’re saying when the image appears (the text around it) also matters. SEO is relying more on how things connect and less on specific keywords, so remember to make everything fit together.
20) Your Social Media Presence is Huge: Having your blog posts present on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites goes hand in hand SEO. Installing a social media plugin on your WordPress blog will also allow people to share your posts on their networks, further spreading the influence of your site.
21) Mix-Up the Types of Content on Your Blog: It’s not about text and pictures, you need to get more creative than that. Publish videos, record podcasts, and try new things with your posts. You never want to shatter the style or voice you’ve established, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch the types of content you deliver to other forms.
22) Use Clean and Simple Themes: Think minimal.
The more code that search engines have to search, the harder it’s going to be for your content to stand out.
Use simple themes that are light on coding and run fast. This way your content is found faster and easier by search engines and ultimately by your readers.
23) Create an XML Sitemap: This is essentially a map of your website that Google can use to properly understand what pages you have.
Creating one of these can be done using an SEO plugin, or with other sitemap specific plugins, but regardless of how you do it, this is an essential action that will make your site infinitely more readable for search engines like Google.
24) Don’t Index Every Single Page: All the pages of your blog don’t need to be indexed as some of them are just, well, there. The ones that provide value to readers, the ones with content are the ones that should be viewed by search engines. That being said, if you index your category pages on your blog, consider adding a paragraph or two about what’s in that category.
This adds value to the page, and being that’s a detailed description, it will only show up for that category, this is key because simply placing a post teaser or teasers on the page will still allow that content to appear in other searches.
25) Keep Your WordPress Up to Date: The updates for WordPress that come down the pipeline are important.
They ensure that your security is solid, but they also alter any possible errors or glitches in the coding that could be hurting your SEO ranking. You don’t want anything holding you back, but more than that you don’t want your site getting hacked.
26) Remove Defaults from Your Site: When you’re first developing your WordPress blog, you’re going to see defaults that can hurt your SEO. For example, in the beginning, the posts are categorized.
As mentioned above, you can create category pages with their own unique content and index them for an SEO boost.
In addition to things like that, consider changing default messages like “Hello World!” and others that are put there as placeholders. These look unprofessional on a live website and your readers will recognize them as they stand out from the rest of your blog’s style.
27) When Customizing your URL, Remember Keywords: I mentioned earlier changing the URL from the default setting, but there’s something to be said about customizing them yourself to include the title of your blog post that remains as small and simple as possible.
Focus on the keywords and remove things like “and” “a” and “is” from the permalink.
28) Avoid Duplicate Content by Creating a Static Homepage: Identical content is the bane of any blogger’s existence. When you setup your WordPress site, the default is posting your latest content on the homepage. The problem with this is that showing the content on the homepage and in the respective post creates that dreaded duplicate content.
To fix this, create a page for blog posts and go to the reading settings. Once you’ve done this, choose between latest posts or a static page for the front page displays.
Each article you post should be represented by an excerpt, then double check that the discourage search engines from indexing this site is not selected.
29) Track Your Progress with Google Analytics: Using an analytics tool such as Google Analytics will help you monitor your progress.
you should always be aware of how well you’re doing, and this is the way.
The results of a tracking program will help you find 404 pages, see how long people stay for, and how much traffic you’re getting from search engines.
All of this information will help you better understand what’s working, and what isn’t. When you finally find that ‘secret sauce’ based on all of your efforts and the results to prove it, then your analytics account should look something like this:
30) Make Sure You’ve Got the Date Right: New and fresh content is great for SEO, but WordPress uses a default UTC time zone when you set it up. If this time zone isn’t correct for your location, your new content may not be noticed by search engines.
When searching for new content, Google check the time set on your WordPress, not the time and date it actually went up.All you have to do to fix this, is head into the settings > General and you’ll see the time zone. If you need help figuring out which time zone is yours, Wikipedia has a handy chart.
Looking Into the Future: How SEO is Evolving (And How You Can Stay Ahead of The Curve)
With each of these updates the SEO landscape changes and we must in turn change with it. While the changes are beneficial and contribute to the overall whole, they are still radical in some aspects. Here are the updates issued in 2013:
Panda #24: First update of the year issued on January 22nd.
Panda #25: This was the last update before the Panda update was added into the core algorithm.
Hummingbird: This was a major update to the core algorithm, modifying semantic search among other SEO tactics in a big way.
Penguin 2.0./2.1: These were both minor updates that didn’t touch the main algorithm.
So, why did I show you a list of oddly named updates? Well, of the five updates, two of them were fairly major. This means that several times per year, the way we understand SEO changes. I know, that seems scary, but you needn’t be afraid.
When it comes down to it, Google is just trying to make their search results the best they can be for users. Speaking of users, don’t forget to use a handful of these WordPress plugins to improve your reader’s experience on the site.
Staying ahead of the curve isn’t about reading every last update note (that would help though if you can understand them) it’s about understanding what Google defines as a high-quality website. If you meet these standards, then the search engine is looking for you instead of you looking for it. That’s gotta be a nice confidence boost.
So, with that in mind, here are characteristics of a high-quality site in Google’s eyes:
Original, Quality and Correct Content
Trustworthy and Credible
Nothing biased or one-sided (use perspective)
Minimal to zero consumer complaints
Content should be comprehensive and thorough
A low-quality or unoptimized website has paid links everywhere, way too many ads, and little to no content.
And you know what proves all of this? Your analytics account: The average amount of time a reader stays on your website, how many pages do they visit, etc.
What About the Future?
With time flying past us, we’ll be talking about 2015’s update logs before you know it, but we’ve already seen some big changes coming down the pipeline.
In order to keep you on top of how things are going, I’m going to give you some final tips that will help you stay at the forefront of these constantly changing times.
31) Promote Your Content
I know, you’re probably thinking that you’ve heard the word “content” enough times to make your ears bleed, but hear me out on this one.
Older SEO resources will tell you that proper structure, keywords, permalinks, site mapping, and so on will be enough, but they’re not anymore. Those things are still important, in fact, they keep you afloat. They don’t, however, elevate you to greatness.
The SEO tips I’ve provided will act as your life jacket in the ocean of the internet, but you’ve got to reach out and grab something to hold onto if you want to take off.
This is done through marketing. When you write your posts, make them unique, powerful, and irresistible. Give people the power to share it with social media plugins, and spread the word! This is one of the best ways you can promote your blog and increase traffic to it.
Essentially it means that you must produce top notch content and market it to your targeted audience, as well as similar websites in your industry.
This will help contribute to building up a link profile that Google approves of, which in return will allow your site to rank higher in the search engine results pages.
32) SEO and Public Relations Are Merging
I know, it’s scary, but this is the way of the future. In a video posted by Matt Cutts of Google fame, he spoke about the importance of integrating PR tactics into your SEO:
“Over time, backlinks will become a little less important. If we could really be able to tell, you know, Danny Sullivan wrote this article…or Vanessa Fox wrote this article, something like that, that would help us understand — okay, this is something that we can tell, 1) it’s an expert, 2) it’s an expert in this particular field.”
In essence, people want to know who is writing these articles. When Google Authorship was still around, these profiles would rank incredibly high, along with Wikipedia pages, and expert news articles.
Suddenly it became about more than the content, it was about who wrote it and what their presence is on the internet. While it may seem hard to grasp, it’s important that going forward, your content is optimized, marketed, and that the author of the post has an equal presence and profile.
33) Google’s Algorithm is Smarter Than You
You may be a certified genius, but it means nothing when compared to the might of Google.
In May of 2014 they celebrated 16 years and in those years, numerous changes and modifications to the search algorithm have resulted in one singular truth: you can’t trick Google.
Back in the early days, there were tricks and workarounds that you may still see online, but check the date on those articles, because those things don’t work anymore.
A great example is co-occurrence which is one of the recent developments. This concept allows the search engine to predict how one phrase will spark other ones.
If those phrases are present, the page ranks higher for relevancy. So if I were to say “Mickey Mouse” then other phrases like “Disney World” “Magic Kingdom” and “Minnie Mouse” will relate to that original term.
34) Social Profiles Matter More Now Than Ever
When looking at sheer numbers of search inquires, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have upwards of two billion searches per day.
With all of these incoming searches, SEO is now becoming more social than ever. We always want to market our content, but now we need to market ourselves.
Just like the rise of PR in SEO, people are going to look for your presence on Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
Your persona and your reputation online through these sites will greatly affect the success of your blog.
Obviously you don’t want to be fake, but just like an embarrassing picture can sabotage a job interview, the same principle now applies to your readers. Put your best face online.
35) Future Concept: Entity Salience
A Google Research paper recently mentioned the concept of entity salience. This is some future level stuff but you can prepare for it now and it will pay off in the long run.
Beyond using keywords to determine relevance, this technique uses “entities” on the page, examining the known relationships between them to better understand the content.
Anything that is distinct or well-defined is an “entity.” If the relationship between entities is strong, it adds more relevance to the overall page.
For example, if we’re writing about HBO, we could go into shows that the channel broadcasts like Game of Thrones, but we could go even further and establish entity salience by mentioning specific characters like Jon Snow or Arya Stark, or Ned Stark, thereby strengthening the relationships between these entities.
Setting Up Your WordPress for Success
Like me, if you’ve ever tried to fully optimize your WordPress blog for success then you would know first hand that you’ve driven yourself crazy trying to figure it out.
“What chu talkin about Matt?”
What I’m talking about is the irritating plugins, themes etc. that get in the way of our optimized WordPress blog.
Here’s a quick step by step tutorial on how to optimize it specifically using Yoast:
Step 1: Descriptions & Titles
WordPress SEO by Yoast features very useful settings that give you ultimate control over title & descriptions. This applies to all post & page types.
Step 2: Indexation
Under “post types” ensure that posts and pages are both left unchecked so they are indexed. There’s no need to keep media indexed, however.
Categories do not HAVE to be indexed. Deciding whether or not to index your category pages depends on whether you anticipate those pages to rank on search engines.
In addition to that, a category page (like any indexed page) HAS to have unique and valuable content that can’t be found elsewhere.
Step 3: XML Sitemaps
Please make sure you’re not using any other plugins that handle XML Sitemaps – this can cause confusion for your WordPress.
When you’re excluding post types and taxonomies, only check mark the types of pages you DO NOT want indexed. Performing this step the right way will help you with an optimized XML Sitemap.
Step 4: Permalinks
I would strongly advise you to strip the /category/ off of category URLs. The shorter and more succinct your URLs are, the better.
I would also enforce a trailing slash on all category and tag URLs as well as removing stop words from slugs. Slug is another word for URL.
After configuring the permalinks, your Yoast plugin is all set and optimized for success! Now, on to the meat of this article, my very own WordPress tips for you to keep in your back pocket.
Constant changes on a yearly basis can be seen, and things that worked six months ago won’t work now. It’s not something to be afraid of, but it is something to be aware of.
We can prepare for the future by staying abreast of changing elements in SEO and always focusing our content on being unique and high-quality for our readers. If you’re writing for them, you’ll never fail.
Keep these tips in mind, but never let them leave yours. Now that we know how PR is affecting SEO, we can also seek to improve our social media presence as we market our content.
These are all great WordPress SEO tips, so make sure you’re using them all as your make your mark.
It’s a lot to take in, especially the concepts of Entity Salience, but I promise, you’ve got this. Keep this blog bookmarked as we continue exploring the best ways to blog, and as always don’t forget to tell me about your opinions and your SEO tips in the comments below.
The broken link building strategy may be one of the most effective, white-hat link building strategies in years. In today’s post, Russ Jones outlines everything you need to know (really, everything) about how to effectively use this strategy in your next link building campaign.
As a link building tactic, broken link building is an effective, white-hat, scalable, content-focused link building strategy that builds links through finding broken links, recreating that broken content, and helping webmasters replace broken links with your corrected link.
Broken link building may perhaps be the most effective, white-hat link building strategy in years. In particular, broken link building is appealing because the success of the campaign is directly proportional to how much good you do for the web. You profit only if you create good content to replace lost or abandoned content that webmasters still want to link to. This is the type of strategy that marries so many of the competing interests our industry: content vs. links, link earning vs link building, inbound vs. outbound, etc.
Below, I attempt to organize as much as I know about broken link building tactics. Throughout the piece I mention tools that will help you make the broken link building process scalable and less monotonous. Let’s begin.
Broken link building is a link building tactic where a marketer contacts a webmaster who has a broken link on his/her site and recommends one or more alternatives that include his/her target site. For the purposes of this piece, we will use a pediatrician in Raleigh, NC as an example client.
The first step in any Broken link building campaign is to find relevant dead pages. However, there are different methods of prospecting depending upon the broken link building strategy you are employing. There are essentially three types of broken link building strategies:
Resource Page Targeting with Keywords
Resource Page Targeting with URLs
Direct URL Targeting
We will cover each of these in the prospecting section. I will mention multiple tools throughout this post and will give descriptions of all of them at the end. Keyword Based
Keyword based is the the most common and, in my opinion, straightforward method of broken link building. The method involves searching Google for keywords relevant to your site’s interests, finding resource pages that link to content related to your keywords, extracting all the links from those resource pages, finding missing pages among those links, and finally qualifying those opportunities.
Select Prospecting Keywords Like so many things in SEO, we begin with keyword selection. A successful broken link building campaign lives and dies by the keywords used. There are a couple of characteristics we want to look for in an ideal keyword.
Categorically relevant: This characteristic seems obvious. The prospecting keywords need to be relevant. However, they don’t necessarily have to be relevant to your product like the key phrase “health resources.” The keywords could be relevant to your audience “resources for kids” or your geography “Raleigh resources.” Remember, you are finding resource pages with these keywords, you are not finding the final targets. You want to cast a wide net, which leads to…
Generally broad: This is where most campaigns fail. Our mock client is unlikely to find any resource pages for the keyword “raleigh nc pediatrician resources,” much less any with good link opportunities. You should choose key phrases that you would consider to be categories that your company might fall in, rather than the specific term.
Prospecting Phrases: Once you have identified your keywords, you will want to pair them with prospecting phrases. These are searches to use in Google or Bing to find relevant resource and links pages like “intitle:resources” or “inurl:links.” Below is a list of prospecting phrases you can use to help find relevant linking pages.
Search Results Scraping: You now have the arduous task of finding all the results for all these prospecting phrases. Google is not fond of sending in automated requests, so you have a couple of choices. You complete the task by hand and use the MozBar to extract results, you can use a SERP scraping tool and risk Google’s ire, or you could look into use the Bing API, which would necessitate changing many of the search operators in the above list of prospecting phrases. Ultimately, you will want to pull down the top 100 results for each of the prospecting phrases you use. You will have quite a bit of crossover, so you will want to de-dupe those lists. You can use Virante’s free “Duplicate Deleter” tool to accomplish this, or you can simply use Excel’s remove duplicates function.
Link Extraction: Once you have a culled list of potential “linking pages,” you need to extract every external link from these pages and begin the process of finding all the 404s. You can also combine this step with the 404 header check using a tool like Domain Hunter+or Check My Links.
404 / Error Checking: Once you have extracted all the links, you will have to check the headers on each link to determine whether or not they are 404s, our ultimate target. If you used Domain Hunter Plus or Check My Links, you can skip this process. The easiest way to do this is with a simple HTTP Status Code checker. There is a free bulk tool here. Just copy and paste all your URLs here, without the http:// and it will find all the 404s for you.
Opportunity Qualification: There are two things you will want to determine about each potential opportunity to vet them for quality: relevance and backlinks.
Backlink acquisition: Once you have found a set of 404 pages, you now have to filter them to determine which are actually strong targets. The more backlinks pointing to a 404 page, the more opportunities you have for link replacement. These linking domains will be the sites you contact to replace the broken link with your own. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest at the moment is likely Majestic SEO’s bulk backlink checker. Remember, at this point you are trying just to get an idea of those with the most links and ignore those with very few. This will limit the amount of time you have on checking relevance.
Relevance analysis: Now you filtered your list of 404 opportunities to those with a good number of unique linking domains. Let’s say that number is 50 or more. You now have to determine the relevancy of that content. You can do that a few ways:
Visit the Wayback Machine (also known as the way back machine) to find cached copies of the URL in history. If the page is well linked and did not block web crawlers, you should be able to find the content here.
If this is not available, you can look at the anchor text of the links pointing to the page. You can use SEOMoz Open Site Explorer to get an export of the anchor text.
You can look at the URL itself for hints as to how relevant the content would be.
You can visit the linking pages to see if those links have descriptions of what the previous content was.
Prospecting Shortcuts: There are two tools that you could use to jump over a lot of these steps.
Broken Link Index (brokenlinkindex.com): This tool by iAcquire allows you to find tons of potential 404 pages from their gigantic database of opportunities. Unfortunately, all of the link qualifications have to be done one at a time, although you could export the list and automate the process if you are savvy.
Broken Link Builder (brokenlinkbuilding.com): This tool by CitationLabs is not free, but allows you to perform all of the actions above in an automated fashion. Just type in your kewords and it performs all of the steps above, from finding opportunities to qualifying them based on links and relevance. This is by far the most robust broken link building tool currently available and a huge time saver.
Resource Page Targeting w/ Model URL
Unlike using keywords, this method starts with a known site and mines their backlinks to relevant resource pages that, in turn, produce broken link building opportunities.
Site / URL Selection: This is by far the most important part of the process. Choosing the right site will make or break this strategy. I do want to give a nod to Garrett French for pointing this method out to me a few months ago. There are a couple of factors you want to use in identifying the perfect site or URL.
Non-commercial: In most cases, you want a non-commercial source. If the site has a direct incentive to acquire links, chances are there will be too much manipulated link noise in their backlink profile to properly mine them for broken link building opportunities.
Authoritative: If the site is not authoritative, it likely has attracted few links from resources that aggregate important links on the web. These are the resource pages from which we will find 404 opportunities. If they aren’t linking to your selected URL, you are wasting your time.
Relevant: Obviously, the site needs to be relevant to your industry. You can use this technique to find great opportunities based on nasa.gov, but unless you are SpaceX, you probably have no business doing so.
Backlink Acquisition: Following the example above of a Raleigh, NC dentist, let’s assume that we selected the American Dental Association (ADA.org). Using Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, or A Hrefs, export all of the links pointing back to this site. This list of URLs should be treated in the same way as the list of URLs in the keyword method that were pulled from searching Google with prospecting phrases. You can now skip to the Link Extraction section in the previous description and follow from there. The steps are identical, no need to repeat them.
Direct URL Targeting
This is the least scalable of the strategies and is used specifically to target a single link prospect. Unlike the previous two methods where you are trying to find potential broken content to replace and your link prospects are those who link to that broken content, in this method you have already chosen your link prospect and you simply want to find broken links on his/her site as an excuse to start a conversation. I hesitate to include this strategy because it is weak and unscalable, but it is a part of the grouping of strategies known as “broken link building” so I will include it.
Let’s assume that you are the Raleigh, NC dentist and you have decided that all you really want is a link from ADA.org. You feel that you have some great content they would link to if only you had a reason to open up a conversation that didn’t sound completely like begging. Well, the first step is to try and find a broken link on their site so you have a reason to reach out to their webmaster.
Site Crawling: Site crawling can be problematic because you must balance your need for relatively quick responses and a general respect for the site owner’s bandwidth and uptime. Do not turn on a crawler that you are not certain follows polite crawling policies and obeys robots.txt. Your best bet would be one of the following:
Xenu Link Sleuth
A classic SEO tool, Xenu Link Sleuth makes it easy to spider a site and find broken links among other problems.
Screaming Frog SEO
Quickly becoming the spider of choice for many SEOs, Screaming Frog can quickly spider your site to diagnose everything from duplicate content to 404s.
Often overlooked, Deep Trawl is a worthy adversary for solving on-site issues.
Opportunity Selection: You now have a list of broken links on your ideal linking website. Identifying the best opportunity will greatly increase the likelihood of succeeding with this strategy. Here are a couple of pointers.
Choose a broken link opportunity where the link is external. This does two things: it makes the webmaster feel like it is not his/her fault unlike an internal link and it creates a 1:1 ratio of removing an external link and hopefully adding your external link. A webmaster is far more likely to replace a broken external link with another external link than to replace an internal link with an external one.
Try and choose a broken link on the same page as the one your link would most fit. This is most likely to occur if your ideal linking site has a resources section.
The next step in the broken link building process is creating content that matches or improves upon the broken page. The first step you will need to take is actually determining what the broken page is. We assume that you have already vetted this page for relevance so you should have a general idea, but getting as specific as possible will help you create content that meets the expectations of all of those who previously linked to the now defunct resource. There are two tools that can help with this right off the bat…
Wayback Machine: The Wayback Machine at Archive.org allows you to see much of the web as it existed in history. This is your first and best bet for finding the content. Pro-tip: Use Majestic SEO’s historical index to find when the links were acquired, and then choose the date in Archive.org that corresponds with this date. This will help you know the mindset of the linkers if the content changed over time
Warrick: Warrick is a little known tool by the Comp Sci department at Old Dominion that helps you rebuild an entire website by searching through public proxies/mirror caches to find copies of lost content. This is particularly good for rebuilding content that was blocQked by robots.txt. Unfortunately, Warrick is a perl program that may be difficult to operate.
Raised Expectations: Chances are the site for which you are replacing content has greater authority in the industry than does yours. Chances are it is less commercial, more informative, and more trustworthy in general. If you want to acquire a decent return on investment, you need to focus intently on content quality.
Expect to improve upon the content that was created.
Update relevant statistics.
Add new citations and sections.
Consider reaching out to the original author for more information to add credibility.
So, you have found your opportunity, created your list of link opportunities, and you are ready to start outreach. Here is how to make the most out of that link list you have.
Contact Finding: There are a growing number of resources for automating the process of contact discovery, although each comes with it’s own set of issues.
There are many strategies you can employ in the outreach, here are a few of them depending on how transparent you want to be. We find, in general, that if you write good enough content you can be very transparent.
Act as a user who happened upon the broken link
Mix your link in with other valuable, related links
Offer the replacement in a follow up email
Below is an example of a broken link building outreach email. The most important part of the outreach process is that you should tailor your outreach at least to the specific campaign and industry if not to each target specifically. If you can add even a sentence of plausible, relevant customization to each email you send out you will greatly increase your conversion. I promise you if you copy and paste this template you will waste a lot of your opportunities, no matter how good it is.
SL: quick note – dead resource on your site
I’m a licensed (industry specialist) and a health writer – I recently visited your site while researching for an article I’m working on…
This is a note for your webmaster, as I found a dead resource on your site that visitors like me surely miss.
Thanks for your help and for providing great resources!
First Name Last Name
Anthony Nelson has some fantastic templates here from his excellent piece “Broken Link Building Guide from Noob to Novice”.
Conclusions & Community
Like nearly any link building technique, sweat equity is ultimately going to make the difference between a successful campaign and a failure. The devil is always in the details. With that, I would like to see that this becomes a living document. Broken link building, while not a new technique, is becoming more and more scalable. As more agencies, consultants and business owners jump on the bandwagon, their voices need to be heard as well. Subsequently, I am requesting that if you know any tips or tricks that you feel free to include them in the comments here. Thanks, and happy broken link building!
Credit Where Due
While I would like to pretend that most of my knowledge came from divine inspiration or on-the-job learning, the truth is that many thought leaders have chimed in on broken link building. This posting can be attributed in part to conversations with or content provided by the following great SEOs:
With all the WordPress plugins readily available, it can be hard to find the best ones. This article shares 16 of the best free WordPress plugins.
However, it can also be difficult to sort out the great ones from the bad ones, so we are giving you a list of the best plugins that you must have in the most essential categories. We also list an alternative for many of the categories.
All the plugins considered here are free and can be installed on your website within a few moments.
Best SEO Plugin
WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most revered SEO plugin for WordPress. Takes care of Title tags, XML sitemaps, meta descriptions, focus keyword and much more.
Alternative: All in One SEO Pack is another highly recommended plugin with over 1 million active installs. Provides advanced SEO for WP e-commerce websites, Google Analytics support, title optimization and much more.
Best Social Sharing Plugin
There are plenty of social sharing plugins, but if you are looking for one that just works and supports a big array of social networks, then the Floating Social Bar is what you need. It adds the essential sharing options to your WordPress website without slowing it down.
Shareaholic – Highly customisable and supports Share and Follow buttons for several social media platforms. Also adds a “Related Posts” feature if you need it.
Sharify – Adds beautiful and responsive sharing buttons to your website. Also comes with built-in caching support to reduce server load.
Best Contact Form Plugin
Contact Form 7 has to be the best in this category. It is easy to install, setup and use. It also allows you to add multiple forms to your website with AJAX and CAPTCHA support.
Ninja Forms – Neat form plugin with a drag and drop interface for easy creation of forms. Functionality can be extended using premium plugins.
Pirate Forms – Comes with built-in widget and shortcode support.
Best Backup Plugin
Updraft Plus is highly recommended to back up your site. You can back up to multiple locations, split backups or schedule automatic backups. Many more features are included as well.
BackWPUp – Comes with multi-site support and allows you to make your backups in several formats (such as zip, tar.gz, etc.).
Sucuri Security offers a wealth of security options such as Security Activity Monitoring, Malware Scanning, Blacklist Monitoring, and Security Hardening. It is probably the best plugin for monitoring your site without slowing it down.
WordFence Security – Offers two-factor authentication, integrity checking and real-time blocking of known attackers among other useful features.
The page builder plugin is useful if you are not technical and need to create custom layout for particular pages. Page Builder by SiteOrigin is the most advanced free page builder plugin for WordPress. Period.
Regenerate Thumbnails is another image optimization plugin that helps you regenerate thumbnail sizes for image attachments after you altered thumbnail dimensions.
BJ Lazy Load does not optimize your images. In fact, it hides all your images and only loads them as the user scrolls through the page. This plugin can help you save bandwidth and make sure your website loads fast. BJ Lazy Load supports responsive images as well as iframe (such as Youtube embed, etc.).
Best Related Posts Plugin
Yuzo – Related Posts is highly recommended as it can display related posts to your stories with different features of text and image size. Best of all, it doesn’t slow down the site.
Inline related Posts – Displays related articles inline with your content instead of below the articles.
Notable mention: Many consider Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) to be the best post related plugin with one of the most complete algorithms to find related posts. The con is that it can be very resource-intensive for a heavy site, and that’s why we don’t revert to it as the best here.
Best Caching Plugin
Caching your site is the best way to make sure your site loads fast and the server does not go down when there is a sudden spike in traffic. W3 Total Cache is probably the most advanced (and free) caching plugin available for WordPress.
WP Super Cache is the next most well-known caching plugin after W3 Total Cache. If you just need a simple caching mechanism, then WP Super Cache is strongly recommended over W3 total cache
Other Useful Plugins
Broken Link Checker – Monitors the links in your posts and notifies you if there are any broken links.
Edit Flow – Improves organization of your website’s contributors and offers a calender to view scheduled content.
WP Mail SMTP – Reconfigures the native WordPress mail function to use SMTP and make sure all your outgoing emails reaches their destination.
JetPack – Brings the best parts of WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress. Highly recommended, though it can be overly bloated.
This list was initially 5x – 10x the length it is today, however changes to the Twitter API have caused the majority of tools on this list to fall off due to lack of updates or failing to qualify for access to Twitter new API requirements.
This is a living list, so if you are aware of any new Twitter Tools that are not yet on the list, or if you notice that some of the tools on this list are no longer live please leave a comment below and let me know.
Enjoy the Twitter Tools!
Twitter Tools Categories:
The entire Ultimate List of Twitter Tools is included on this page.
Click one of the linked categories below and it will jump you to that part of the list.
Foller.me – Foller.me is a Twitter analytics application that gives you rich insights about any public Twitter profile. Near real-time data about topics, mentions, hashtags, followers, location and more.
FollowLists – Create and share lists of your Twitter friends
UnTweeps – Creates a list of people who have not tweeted recently so you can unfollow inactive people.
TweetRemote – TweetRemote merges Twitter and blogging in a unique way that lets you decide when and how your tweets are included on your blog.
Twidget – Twidget is a free Dashboard Widget for OS X that allows you to update your Twitter status.
ClickToTweet – The easy way to add a pre-made ‘Tweet About This Site’ – link to your website.
TwitterKeys – Enhance your Twitter conversations with Twitter friendly emojis.
ShareLinkGenerator – Create Facebook share links, Twitter “tweet this” links, Google Plus share links, LinkedIn share links, Pinterest “pin this” links and email “mailto” links that will work anywhere — even inside emails!