For the person doing the Googling, Google Quick Answer Boxes are great—they provide concise, simple answers to a wide range of search queries and places them right at the top of the search engine’s first page.
Has your Facebook feed been acting a little funny lately? It could be the work of the new Facebook 360 Photos feature that developers released in June 2016.
A 360 photo is a lot like what it sounds like: an immersive photo that places the viewer in the middle of the action. Think of it as panoramic photography, just beefed up a bit. The beauty of the 360 photo is that the viewer can interact with the photo by rotating/tilting their phone—by doing so it gives the experience of watching a video. It might remind you a bit like Google Street View. This is a handy photo-viewing feature since a normal panoramic photo would in no way ever fit on the screens of our handheld devices.
Topics covered in this Content Marketing Strategy – Repurposing and Tracking presentation include:
- What makes great, sharable content?
- How to get the most mileage from your content by repurposing
- What formats work best – text, video, slideshows, mp3 etc
- How will I know what my target market wants content-wise?
- Once I’ve produced an awesome, unique piece of content, how do I promote it?
- How do I know if my content marketing campaign was effective?
- How to analyze and measure your content campaign’s results
Watch the video above or consume the content via the slides and transcription that follows.
Reese: Hey, welcome, welcome to the content repurposing and tracking presentation from Metamend, online search experts. Alright, so today, our topic is content repurposing and tracking, and we’re talking about getting the most mileage from your content.
So we’re just going to jump right into it here. The presentation agenda for today, we’re going to talk about who’s presenting, there are two of us. What makes great content? What makes it sharable? We have a content matrix that we’ll run through, all the different 4 areas of content production and distribution.
We have content today vs. yesterday. What worked yesterday or yesteryear isn’t really working today. Leveraging by repurposing, so reusing the same content from one format to another one. Sharing and promoting your content, as well as tracking metrics and tools that we use.
So, about me, my name is Reese Richards. I’m the senior online marketing analyst at Metamend, and why am I up here talking about content? So, what do I know about content? Well, I’ve been producing content for a fairly long time. I started out with writing a chapter on online media, how to make money online for a best-selling Amazon book called the Next Big Thing, and that was my introduction to actually publishing any work.
Then I published a book called Mangosteen – the Real Deal for a company I was involved with, and then I bought and ran my own magazine in Taiwan called 24Seven. It was an international magazine, it was an ex-pat entertainment magazine. It was English, and translated into Chinese.
It was an entertainment magazine, and it was island-wide, and I sold out that magazine to this company, who bought it and kept me onboard to consult for the release of their magazine, +886, which happens to be the area code for Taiwan.
So this was a fairly large undertaking and they were printing in the neighborhood of 50,000 copies by the time I left the company.
Then I produced a lot of my own products as well, selling them online. They include an e-book, about 100-and-something page e-book called FB University, another one on timelines: FB Timelines, a book about picking the right niche to be in and the keyword process and research that goes along with it called ESP Niche Riches. Then the Syndicate Product Creation Racket was about creating products, and the Prime Directive was about the mindset that you need to succeed online.
In addition to that, I also manage the content for Metamend, and we probably put out about 100 pages or so of content each month, unique pieces of content out onto the internet and for our clients. I also have a lot of experience in YouTube and video production. On my one video channel, I have a 100-and-something videos up there, I have 6000 subscribers, and over 1.5 million views.
My partner in crime today is Mariska Richters. Hello Mariska.
Mariska: Hey everyone. So my experience with content is I’m a traveler, photographer, I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for a project a couple of years ago regarding the Olympics in 2014, so I created the Olympic Spirit project out of that successful Kickstarter campaign.
So my published work includes the book that came out of that project, both in hardcover and e-book format. There’s the interview that I did with the CBC, is also another piece of content promoting that book and the project, and on my personal website I’ve posted over 300 blog posts around both that project and other lifestyle and travel experiences that I’ve had.
I’ve had photography published in Homes & Living Magazine, on the Bali Dive Guide, through DIVEmApps, and I also help manage the Metamend content, and I’ve written much of the client content as well as Metamend website content on the blog. So that’s my experience in the content realm.
So types of content that we’re going to talk about today, we’re starting with awareness; you need content around awareness where the reader is expressing symptoms of a problem. So, in this stage, readers will be doing educational research to understand what their problem is and to identify it. An example of this would be ‘My website isn’t converting. Why?’
Then you move into the consideration stage of content. They’ve clearly defined and understood the problem and are researching available options to solve their problems. So going from the ‘why is my website not converting?’, it now becomes ‘oh, okay, my website isn’t converting because I’m not getting any traffic. What are my options to fix this?’
Then you move into the decision-making stage. The reader has decided on a solution for their problem, and are putting together a list of products that fall into the solution strategy. They’re working on creating a shortlist and ultimately making a purchase decision.
Reese: One way to look at the types of content, from awareness to decision, is thinking about it like a funnel. So the people at the very top of the funnel, the Y portion of the funnel, they maybe don’t even know about your brand, or your company, or your product, and so that’s where the awareness comes in.
So you’re making them aware, so brand awareness, you’re trying to get your brand out there, and just getting them to know your name and your product, that it’s available.
Then the consideration is when they know a little bit about you and they’re maybe comparing you to other people and how your product stacks up to other products on the market, other competitors.
Then finally, there’s the decision-making process, when they’ve evaluated everything and are aware of all the other companies, and now they’re down to the brass tacks and they’re like okay, I want to buy, and what is it that makes them buy one thing over the next.
Mariska: So you need to ensure that you have content that speaks to all 3 of these stages, because you never know what stage your reader is going to be in when they get to your website, and where they are in the buying process.
So speaking of the buying process, there’s 4 types of content that companies should have. You should have content that entertains, content that educates, persuades, and converts.
Going a little deeper into each one of these, the top left of the matrix here is content that entertains. This is the content that will reach the right people at the top of the sales funnel, and those who might not even know that they need or want your product yet, so it’s in the awareness stage.
Entertaining content has an emotion appeal; it tugs at the heartstrings. The sort of content that is very sharable, and the more it’s shared, the further your reach gets and the more aware that people are.
So examples are memes, or top-10 lists, or comics, inspirational content, I’m sure you’ve seen some inspirational videos. Animals are a good one here, success stories, survival stories, cat photos, that type of stuff.
Then you would move into the education stage. This is content that targets people at the top of the funnel as well, but entertaining content has an emotional appeal, where educational content has a rational appeal.
Reese: Are we talking about two different types of people? Two different groups of people, then?
Mariska: Pretty much, yes.
Reese: So we’re going to reach some people by entertaining them with games and viral content, and other people don’t react the same way, so they need to be educated with a more rational kind of product or intro to the funnel? Is that accurate?
Mariska: That’s right. From there, you would move into persuasive content, the top right of the matrix. It nudges people towards the conversion stage. Whatever the converging might mean for your site, whether that’s a purchase, a call, or even just a sign-up for a free download that people are giving you their e-mail address, that’s where you’re targeting to get people to go. This content uses emotional rather than rational appeal.
Then you move down to the bottom right of the funnel to the conversion stage, which is more rational content than emotional. Some people respond better, as Reese was saying, to emotional appeal, others respond to rational appeal, so in order to cover all bases you need to spread your content around and have a little bit of everything on there.
Reese: The way we’re looking at this is, the emotional/rational is the top of the funnel, and then everything is moving towards the purchase decision, and they either get persuaded or they convert, which is the same thing.
They’re persuaded to buy or they convert, and they buy something or they make some sort of a conversion whether that’s a lead or a purchase or something. They’re educating/entertaining at the top of the funnel, and then moving them down and persuading and converting towards the purchasing decision.
Today’s content is a little bit different than what we saw, or what was successful a couple years back. Back in the day, a couple years ago, 5 years ago maybe, not even that, 3 years ago, 400-600 words was pretty much the standard. If you had content written, everybody would tell you 400-600 words, that’s what you need to rank, and it had to be decent-ish kind of quality, so it didn’t have to be spectacular but it had to be good, better than average.
You could put images or videos on it, or you didn’t have to. A lot of content that was ranking didn’t have any images or videos, and it didn’t really matter so much about outbound links. Maybe back then people were trying not to put as many outbound links in the content for fear that they would lose the visitor.
That’s all kind of changing now, and so now you need to WOWW! With the double W. Now you need some really WOWWy content and it has to be 1000+++ words.
There was just a recent survey done of like a million of the top listings in the search engine results for Google, and the average size of content for the ranking pages on the first page was 1500 words. So you can take that as a guide, 1500+ words for content that’s really going to WOWW someone on your website and start driving traffic to them.
It has to be spectacular quality; give the person a reason to not only read and consume the content, but a reason to share it, and that’s what we’re looking for, we’re looking for those links, those backlinks.
You must have images and video on this; if you can include multiple images and a video on each of your pages, and you’re going to need to round out the content of the page by including links to authoritative sites that provide more information that’s not apparent on your own site or your own page. So you do want to link out now to other areas, and sure, it’s a bit of a leak that you might lose some people this way, but Google will look at that as a more authoritative page and rank you higher than the person that does the exact same thing without linking out to anybody else for more information.
So, the content repurposing process. Developing content is not necessarily hard, but it is time-consuming, and depending on what the content is, it could be a little difficult. Infographics, for example, you need to know how to do graphic design, and then you have to have the information as well, so sometimes you have to spend money on the graphic design aspect of it.
So an infographic could cost you $2000 and take the designer two weeks or a month to produce the final piece, but when you start talking about something like video, or MP3, or a Slideshare deck, or a presentation or something like that, those are a lot easier to produce and is something that you can probably do on your own and then get a graphic designer to make it look pretty.
What we’re going to do here is talk about repurposing and what it means. There’s two parts to repurposing something, and repurposing content first, is the first part, as many ways as you possibly can, and then the second part is pushing that content out as far as you possibly can across the internet.
An example might be, quick, we’ll break this down better a little further on, you have a video, and then from the video you’re going to create an MP3, and then from the MP3 you’re going to transcribe it, so you’re going to have some textual content. With textual content, you’re going to create a blog post with that. From the blog post you can take chunks and pieces out of that and use it as social media content that links back to your blog post.
An example, we just did the video content, right, so the video content can be reproduced as audio, then you can put it on the internet as a podcast. So another way to reproduce the content and then to push it out there, so you’re pushing it out on podcast sites. Then you can make a transcript, so a transcript, you can add the transcript to the video, or you can take the transcript with the video and create an entire blog post on its own.
You can also do a PowerPoint deck, so you can take images from the video itself, create text on a slides in PowerPoint, and then upload that to document sharing sites or social media, slide by slide or pieces of it, and then just use it as social media fodder so you have another link that can go back to this document sharing site to show the slideshow presentation, but then you’re pulling out pieces to advertise from there onto social media.
You can also make animated GIFs. To do this, you just need multiple images, so you take screenshots of the video, and then each of those screenshots is its own image, and then you’re going to load those images into a graphic design program like Photoshop and create an animated version. So it’s kind of like those little flipbooks where you add like a little stick man and he’s doing some sort of action when you flip through all the little pages. So it’s kind of the same thing, that’s what an animated GIF is. Each image is doing something slightly different, and then when you run them together, it’s like a little mini video made out of images. Something like that works really well on social media. They work well on Twitter, they garner a lot of engagement, more so than maybe sometimes video or image alone.
Then you can do screenshot images, just the images themselves. You screenshot images from the video, you can use those in your blog post. You can post those to image sharing sites like Flickr. You can use those on memes or to create your own meme, or to use quote memes, where you create a little template and then you grab quotes from your industry, and then you put them on the template and share that on social media or on your blog.
You can also create an e-book out of it, so you have the transcription, you make the transcription, reword it into normal reading-style text content and then create an e-book out of it. You can also go further and make it a webinar out of the video itself. Instead of making an hour long video, you could have a very interactive webinar for your customers or clients.
So that’s all the different ways that you can repurpose just one piece of content. You’ve made the video content, now you have a podcast, then you have a transcription, then you have a blog post, then you’ve made some PowerPoint decks out of it. You’ve also made some animated GIFs that you’re sharing on social media. You’ve taken screenshots and uploaded them to Flickr and other image sharing sites. You’ve created an e-book with it and you’re now doing a webinar and grabbing leads from a webinar. Great use of the one piece of content that you’ve created.
Mariska: Now that you have all this content, where do you share it? You can share things on free places, so you can share it, as Reese mentioned, on your website or on your blog.
Now that you know how you’re going to create your content and repurpose your content, you need to share your content, so where do you do that? You can do this free or you can do this paid, so let’s talk about the free side first.
You’ll have a website and a blog, so you can share it there and create a post around each piece of content. Other blogs, you can ask people to post and share your information on other blogs. You can post links and images to other forums.
Then there’s the web 2.0 option, so Tumblr, HubPages, and Blogger. Social bookmarking: Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Delicious, those type of websites where you bookmark your own blog post and it gets posted up on these other bookmarking sites.
Then social media of course, so Facebook, on your personal profile, your Facebook company pages, and even in groups if you’ve got groups that you’re or member of or groups that you’ve created, you can share it there.
Twitter, LinkedIn, and LinkedIn Groups. With LinkedIn Groups you need to be very sure that the content that you’re posting is relevant to the group that you’re posting to, so don’t just randomly post, say, content about SEO to a hair salon or something like that. It has to be relevant to the content within the group itself. Then you Pin it, post it to Instagram, Tumblr again, etc.
Then of course you have your e-mail list, so hopefully you’re collecting e-mail addresses in your marketing efforts, and you will be shooting out newsletters and messages to your e-mail list every so often, and you should include some images and links to your blog post and other places that you’ve shared your content there.
You would have other options with paid versions, so Reese will cover those.
Reese: If you have the money, paying for traffic is a great way to get instantaneous results. Everything that’s free, you have to do it and then wait for something to happen. If it’s something viral, great, it’ll happen immediately. If it’s not, it’s going to take time to get traffic to your blog or your website.
What can you do in the meantime? While you’re waiting for the organic traffic to kick in, you can pay for traffic. Where do you pay? There’s Google Adwords, this is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Whenever you type in something in the search bar in Google, you see the little ads at the top and right-hand side of the search results. Those are paid advertisements, so if you click on that, somebody is paying Google, and then somebody is getting paid. You can pay to have your ads appear on relevant websites across the internet by way of Google Adwords.
You can also do social media advertising, and pretty much every social media platform does advertising. You can start with Facebook. Facebook bought Instagram, so you can advertise on Instagram through Facebook. There’s also Twitter Ads. Pretty much any social platform that you use, they likely have a paid advertising option.
Banner ads, as well. Banner ads are on people’s websites. If you go to a popular website in your niche and you notice that they have space for banners, it’s either that they have the banners that they’re offering themselves or those banners are pay-per-click, Google Adwords. If they are making money via Google Adwords, then you can place your Adwords ads on their website. If it’s not a Google Adwords banner, and it’s just a straight banner, then you can contact them directly and ask them how much it costs to advertise on their site.
Other social media places, web 2.0 properties and such, that you’re able to share content. Digg, so if you like something you ‘Digg’ it, and that becomes your own little bookmark of that top content along the internet. You can pay to have Diggs ‘Digged’, so they become popular and become bookmarked to the top of the site, and you get a lot of traffic from the heavy hitters on Digg.com.
As well, StumbleUpon, you can pay for Stumbles. It’s the same thing, you StumbleUpon great content, so instead of having a big account and being very active and then having a huge following and just organically getting that traffic, now you’re going to pay to get the same results.
Other than that, you can go into other people’s newsletters. So if you’re doing well in your niche and you’re doing competitive research and stuff and you’ve signed up for some of your competitor’s newsletters, then you can look at that and see if they allow advertising on their newsletter. They might not let you if they realize that you’re a direct competitor, but maybe indirect competitors or bigger players in the industry. See if there’s any space available on their newsletters if you don’t have one yourself, or if your newsletter list is not big enough.
Then there’s ways to spread out your content. So if you have really, really good content, and you should always have really good content, then you can use tools like Outbrain or Taboola to get on massive websites like CNN. So, CNN or the Huffington post, those sites, on their own, you can never advertise on. If you use something like Outbrain or Taboola, you can actually pay to have your ad appear as a related article at the bottom of a big CNN story.
If you’ve read any of the big stories on CNN or you’re an avid reader of Huffington Post, you notice that there’s all those crazy ads at the bottom, usually about some freaky stuff that people do, they’re kind of clickbait, they make you just want to click it and read about it. Your ads or your blog post or whatever it is that you’re advertising can be at the bottom of those really big sites. You can get some really good value from advertising on CNN or Huffington Post, and a serious amount of traffic from there as well.
Once you have the content, you’ve pushed the content out as far across the internet as you can, now you’re going to kind of sit back and see what happens, but you need to be able to measure what happens. You need to measure a lot of different elements of your campaign to know what’s working, what’s not working, what to tweak, what to drop, what to continue with, and what to scale up.
Here are some of the things you’ll want to look at as far measuring or metrics to keep in mind. One is time on site, so this is inside Google Analytics. We’ll be talking about that in a little bit. So how much time does the average visitor spend on your website? The longer that they spend, the better it is and the better it looks for Google.
Your bounce rate is determined by how fast a visitor bounces from your page. So if somebody visits one page and leaves, that’s a 100% bounce rate. Let’s say one person visits one page, then clicks over to another page and then leaves, that’s a 50% bounce rate.
If you see one page and leave, that’s a 100% bounce rate. As soon as you go to the second page, that’s a 0% bounce rate, so out of those two visitors, the average is now a 50% bounce rate. One person left at 100% after one page, the second person went to see two pages, therefore their bounce rate is 0% because they didn’t bounce after one page. The combination of those two pages together will bring you an average bounce rate of 50%.
Really, anything under 50% is pretty decent as far as bounce rates go, so you’re trying to aim at lower than 50%, which means that generally half the people will go to a second page.
Unique visitors is just what it says: how many unique visitors? A visitor comes and they come back again 30 times to your website throughout the month, it will only be counted as 1 unique visitor.
Returning visitors, the reason you want to pay attention to this is, it’s kind of a metric to tell you how good your content is. If people are returning all the time, it means they’re looking for more information, so you either have really good content, or you have really regular content, or preferably really good regular content.
The number of inbound links, so how many people are actually linking to your content. An important metric to determine how much people actually like your content, or how much value they find in your content.
The number of page views, for number 6, how many pages does the average visitor view on your site. A higher number of pages, the better off you are.
The number of social interactions. If you see content with very little social interactions, there’s probably a good reason for that. It’ll give you an idea that you have to tweak either the content or where you’re sharing it. Maybe you have awesome content that’s about a niche that’s not related or is not really found on that social platform. It’ll give you an idea that either the content is not good or the platform maybe isn’t the right match between you and your content.
Number 8 is keyword rankings. Keywords, obviously you want to be found for your target keywords, and there’s a lot of other long tail keywords that you probably don’t know about, so you want to be checking all the time what keywords are finding your site or gaining impressions, and then you want to make sure that you’re building out the pages based on the keywords that are finding your site.
Comments are also a big indicator of how much engagement your content is getting. So the more comments, obviously the more people that are interested in it. You should be responding to each and every one of these comments as well, as that doubles the amount of engagement on your post.
Then the number of leads. Obviously you’re trying to get something from these people, and usually at some point in that funnel it’ll be a lead, and then eventually it’ll be a sale. So what are the number of leads that you’re getting from each of the pieces of content that you’re putting up? Maybe some pieces of content will go viral, but they will not do anything to push the envelope as far as leads are concerned.
You need to break it down to the metrics that are important to you. If you’re doing lead gen, then obviously the number of leads is extremely important to that campaign.
Then, of course, the ROI. What is the return on investment that you’re getting for the money that you’ve put into this campaign, or the combination of time and money that you’ve put into the campaign. Are you getting a positive return on investment? That will be able to determine, should you continue with this, should you scale up this campaign, should you just drop it and move on to something else? 11 very important metrics that you’ll want to measure, and we’ll be talking about how to measure those coming up.
How to measure? There’s a bunch of different tools there and we’ll go into each of these different tools.
The first and foremost and most important must-have on your website is Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. These two are free and as soon as you set up a website you must put these on. It’s just a piece of code that you add to your website and it allows you to track so many statistics from each of your visitors to your site.
UTM link tracking is a system set up inside of Google that allows you to deep track the promotional links or any campaign links. You create tracking elements to the link and then it tells you where the visitors came from, where they went, where they dropped in the funnel. So a lot of extra information that you can get from these UTM link tracking.
Then there’s plugins. If you’re a WordPress site, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be on WordPress, you can get the plugin called Jetpack. Jetpack just gives you a slew of different stats, and again this one’s free as well. A nice way to give you a visual look at all your stats for your site.
Then there’s Crazy Egg, which is a heatmap software. Hotjar also offers heatmap, click tracking, visitor tracking, so you can see exactly what your visitors are doing, what the users are doing, on your site once they’re visiting.
Optimizely is an AB testing platform. It allows you to test a headline against a headline, or maybe an image against another image without actually changing any of the code or design elements of the page.
Then there’s Social Network Insights. Insights into each of these social media platforms. The majority of the social media platforms out there have their own social insights into the actual platform itself. In the backend dashboard, you can login and go look at Facebook analytics for example, Twitter analytics, Pinterest analytics. Another way to get very good metrics about your visitors on the specific platforms that they’re visiting.
Google Analytics Dashboard. There’s so much inside of Google Analytics, and we’re not going to nearly cover the majority of it. This should tell you that you should have Google Analytics installed. Once you do have it installed, this is something that you might see.
We talked about, at the top left here, the metrics we see are sessions. That’s not unique visitors, that’s how many people came to your site, and every page, every time they came, every session. So a unique visitor, one visitor if they come back many times, that’s a new session every time that they come back.
Total sessions, versus the next one, total users, versus how many pages that they visit, average of pages per visit. Average session duration, so how much time they spent on your site. Then that bounce rate we were talking about, so below 50%, nice bounce rate. Then what percentage of all people visiting were new sessions that were coming in. It tells you the languages of the people that are coming to your site, the countries. So this is just an overview of returning visitors versus new visitors, and then there’s a lot of different metrics once you drill down inside of Google Analytics.
Traffic on site is one of those things that you can see. This is right now, happening instantaneously, as soon as you log in to your Google Analytics account and you click the ‘right now’, you will see who is on your site immediately, as of right now, and it will literally show you as they leave the site how long they’re staying on the site and which pages they’re visiting.
This is a good indication of what’s happening if you put out a campaign and you just start up Facebook ads or PPC campaign and you want to see the measurable results immediately. You can go here and see exactly what people are doing and what pages they’re visiting.
User behavior. You saw what pages they’re visiting, but now you can drill down and see what pages they’re visiting after they visit that particular page. You can go by country or landing page or search term. It allows you to see the flow of the visitor and where they’re dropping off.
The red here shows how many people are actually dropping off, so 8.9 thousand people came in from the index page, which is the homepage, and then out of the 8.9K, the red indicates how much dropped off. I can’t hover over it here and show you the number, but if you hovered over the red it would show you what percentage of those people are actually dropping off at each stage. Then you can evaluate which of your pages have a high drop off rate, and why is that, and what is it on there that is making them drop off?
Obviously some pages are going to have a high drop off rate, like a thank you page, where you’re driving them to that one page, whether it’s a landing page or a thank you page, obviously after a thank you page they’re going to drop off. After a landing page, not everybody is going to convert, so there’s going to be a high drop off rate there. Weed those things out, filter those out when you’re looking at drop off rates for specific pages.
Moving on, a Jetpack is a WordPress plugin. Mariska, I think she knows a little bit more about that than I do.
Mariska: We use this at Metamend, and I use it on my personal site as well. It’s basically a whole bunch of tools packaged into one WordPress plugin. This is beneficial so that you’re not installing a whole bunch of plugins, because the more plugins you have, the more it bogs down your website and the slower your website will get.
This one plugin, as you can see here, has got 15 different functionalities to it. The ones that we’re going to focus on today and that we use most are in the middle there under traffic growth.
Site stats collects the sites insights so you can see who has been on the page, what pages they visited, how many users came to the site and where they came from.
Then there’s the sharing, which adds your social sharing buttons to your pages and posts.
Publicize, you set it up with whatever social networks you want it to post to and it’ll post automatically as soon as you hit the publish button.
Related posts, which is super handy. It takes any tags that you have on your posts and then it goes and collects a number of posts, I think you can decide how many posts that you want at the bottom of your page, and it’ll put the related posts at the bottom. Hopefully that’ll encourage people to click on that to read further about the same topic.
This is what the dashboard looks like. You can see here, this is set to the days, and you can see how many people were on your site and how many pages they visited. The dark blue line is the number of visitors and the light blue line is the number of pages viewed. You can see here on, say, the 14th and the 30th of September, there were a lot more pages viewed than visitors, so people were visiting more than one page on the site, whereas here on October 8th, it’s kind of even, so the number and views are the same.
It gives you a bit of information, especially if you’re not too familiar with Google Analytics, it’ll at least give you a preliminary view of what’s going on on your website.
Here’s the social sharing functionality, so you can see the setup. Your Facebook, Twitter, Google, I think LinkedIn is in there as well, and then here on the right you see what the related posts looks like. Both very handy to keep traffic on your site and to keep the social shares going.
Crazy Egg is a heat mapping software that Reese is going to tell you a little bit more about.
Reese: So if you don’t know what heatmaps are, it basically shows you, by way of colors, what are the most popular areas of your site. This is monitoring clicks. What you see, the arrows there are pointing out the lighter colors. The colors that are orange and yellow, yellow is more clicks than orange and orange is more clicks than blue. Here, the ones that were really popular were there two links at the top where you see the arrows.
What does this do for you? What we do here is we have a new site design and we’re not sure, for example, how the customers are going to interact with the new site. Maybe we think that we want to bring them down a certain path and to take a certain action, but then we want to check to see if the customers or the users are actually going down that path and if they’re following the flow that we want them to take.
Maybe something’s not right on the page, something doesn’t gel with them and they’re taking a different action, and this kind of software will show us where we need to improve or where we need to look at the funnel and kind of re-evaluate.
What this showed us was that the most important or the most clicked link on their entire homepage was the ‘About Us’ navigation link at the top, so that’s the one with the big arrow at the top right there. This had substantially more clicks than any other area of the site, and what it says is that the users don’t know about this company. So without looking at the products or anything first, we want to know ‘who is this? Who are the people behind this?’
If you’re looking at this and you’re saying ‘wow, they’re really going to the about page’, well then, you best really, really build out that about us page. If people are going there and spending time there and wanting to know more about the company, then that’s your opportunity to tell them everything that you can about the company and to try to convert them through telling them the story about the company itself.
Maybe that’s by way of how long you’ve been in business on your about page, maybe that’s by the level of expertise the staff had that’s on your about page, maybe that’s about the commitment to the world that you have or the environment, and that’s a section on your about page.
Rather than just having a ‘we are company X and this is what we do’ as an about page, if you realize that all this traffic is going to your about page, you want to do something special with that about page, and then have links that go back to the next area of the site after you think that someone knows about your company, where else would they go?
This would probably be a products page, or your main product page, or your main page or something like that; the next action that you originally want these people to take, that you thought they were going to take, but now you find out that they’re going to the about page, so now you try to lead them from the about page, after they’ve figured out all about your company, back to the page or action that you were initially trying to get them to take.
That’s one piece of software, Crazy Egg. That’s the clicking. Crazy Egg also has a scroll map, so the first one tracks clicks, this one’s tracking scrolls. The lighter the area is the more impressions that you had. What this tells us right here is, instead of thinking that the top banner would be the most viewed place, it’s actually showing us that the most viewed place by way of scrolling is the white section right there.
This means that maybe you want to re-evaluate the heading image, maybe you want to extend the heading image down to include that section. Maybe you want to put more of an important message into the white area. This just gives you another way to re-evaluate the layout of your page and what’s important to your user.
They also have an overlay list. This tracks the number of clicks and then it lists out the number of clicks. The first one, we saw, by way of heatmap, we got an idea of how many clicks there were. The lighter the area of the heatmap, the more clicks there were.
This one’s telling you, by way of color and these little plus icons, where people clicked, and then you can click the plus icon and it will bring out this table that shares with you what type of link it was. Was it a text link? A layout link? An image link? And then how many clicks to that, and what percentage of the clicks for that page were to that particular section of the site.
As we can see here, the about page was actually 13.5% of the clicks, and the next highest was less than 5%. So almost 3 times the amount of clicks went to the about us section of the page rather than taking any other action, going to the products or learning more. So again, very valuable information once you have this running on your site for a little bit and you can gather this information.
HotJar, very similar to Crazy Egg, but they actually have a couple more tools in their suite. HotJar is free, they have up to I think 100 recordings. You can install this on your website today and then track what actions visitors are taking and then tweak your webpage or your website accordingly. Then if you need more visitor recordings or such, then you can just upgrade to a paid plan.
They have a heatmap, which we showed you with Crazy Egg. They have visitor recordings, which is different, and it actually records the mouse and every little click and every action or route that the mouse takes. So it shows a line where the mouse is going across the screen, and then every time the user clicks, it’ll show you where they clicked as well. Visitor recordings, very valuable tool.
They also have something called funnel tracking. Funnel tracking tracks your funnel literally every step of the way, and it’ll tell you where along the funnel your customer dropped off. Maybe they drop off 2 steps before the thank you page and you can’t understand why. This information will tell you that that’s where they’re dropping off, and then that allows you now to go in and re-evaluate that stage of the funnel and see why that is? Why are people leaving at that stage? What can I do to fix that?
Form analytics. So you have a form on your site, maybe you’re testing between 10 fields in the form versus 3. You want a lot of information but you don’t want to scare the customer off, so you attach form analytics to measure which of the form fields are being filled out most and which ones aren’t being filled out. Then you can tell, if somebody didn’t fill it out then obviously they didn’t complete that page, so then is that one field necessary? You start evaluating each of the different fields and testing each of them through A/B testing.
Surveys or polls allows you to survey your client list or your website visitors by way of little popups and stuff, so another way to engage and to find out information from your actual users.
This is the visitor recordings, as you can see. It just shows you where they go and then where they have clicked, and maybe sometimes they’re on the site for 6 minutes, so you can fast-forward through all the non-actions and just see exactly where they scrolled and where they clicked.
The funnel tracking, again, just shows you each step of the funnel and where they dropped off, and then you can evaluate the drop-off at each stage. So, obviously, you know the 3rd drop-off being 51% is fairly high, so why are so many people dropping off there? And then go back in and evaluate why are they dropping off and what can we do to fix it?
Optimizely. So Optimizely is an A/B testing tool that allows you to test without changing the content of your site, so you don’t have to go in and change the layout and send somebody to do different variations of the URL. Nothing difficult, it does it all inside the platform for you, you just add a little piece of code to your website. You can test a lot of different things from images that you’re using, video that you’re using, layout design, headlines, buttons, button colors, text. Anything that you can imagine, you can test.
You can test for banners. Which of these banners performed the best, and then you have a control that you’re always trying to beat. So you’ll have one that’s the best performing banner, and then every new design is trying to beat out that control, or the one that’s the winning design.
Forms, we said that you can find out which part of the forms are not being filled out, and therefore you can evaluate, at that point, do we need that field or can we get that information later on in the funnel?
Social Network Insights, so like Facebook. We can look inside of Facebook, you see what posts had some interaction. Same thing with YouTube, so what videos were popular, what about the engagement in the video, what area of the video did they stop watching, so that tells you ‘maybe I need to cut that area down or make it more exciting.’ How many page likes, what kind of reach do you get on your Facebook posts, all the way down to summaries of total Tweets and Tweet impressions for Twitter.
Pretty much every social platform has their own analytics or insights embedded in the dashboard, so very valuable to find out what’s working and what’s not on your social sites.
That brings us to the end of the presentation. We’re ending this with a Peter Drucker quote. Peter Drucker was a very famous American business guru. His quote is “what gets measured gets managed”. It means that if you don’t measure something, then you can’t manage it in the company that you work for or whatever; you’re a one person business, you can’t personally manage it unless you’re measuring it, and that goes for a ten employee business or a hundred employee business.
Anything that’s going to get measured is going to have a number next to it, and then that one can be managed now, ‘we need to lower that number, we need to increase that number’, but unless you have that number, you have nothing to go on. You need to measure something to get a baseline to even begin. Once you have that baseline, you work towards always trying to better it, always trying to beat the control, always trying to tweak and test and test and test and try to get a better ROI.
That’s the end of this presentation. If you’d like more information, please visit our website, Metamend.com or give us a ring at 250-381-6382. We’re located in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Thanks.
Metamend is proud to sponsor the Victoria Web Marketing Meetup Group. Join now and don’t miss our next Victoria, BC event!
If you’re interested in finding out more about what Metamend does, check out their Online Services page.
In order for your YouTube videos to be found and end up in your search engine results, you will need to do some SEO optimization when you upload your video. This post will explain how to optimize your YouTube video for SEO with a step by step guide.
Metamend is proud to sponsor the Victoria Web Marketing Meetup Group. Join now and don’t miss our next event!
This slide presentation was presented at the Victoria Web Marketing Meetup by our own Reese Richards on November 4th, 2015.
Topics covered in this Backlinks – Still the Web’s Currency for 2016 presentation:
- Backlinks – What are they and why are they important?
- Structure of a backlink
- Good vs Bad backlinks
- 24 Backlinking Strategies
Find the presentation on SlideShare here. And be sure to follow us on both SlideShare and LinkedIn.
Download the PDF version HERE:
[Transcription] Backlinks – Still the Web’s Currency for 2016
To start off, what are backlinks? Also known as back links, links back, inbound links, incoming links, in links and inward links. Basically, a backlink is any link from one web property to another. From one web property to yours is what we’re looking for. It is a popularity vote for one webmaster to link to another website. Basically, they are saying, “I think that this website that I’m linking to is a solid website, I think it has good content.” Back links are also a major ranking factor for Google’s ranking your websites and the link’s structure of back links are also important. You can see down in the picture here so we have the link itself and the “search engine ranking factors” is what is called the anchor text. That is the wording that you see on a website when you click on the link and it brings you over to another webpage. That’s the anchor text, what you write or what is written as the anchor text is very important as we’ll see later on.
The most important thing to remember if you’re Google, is to be natural. Natural here doesn’t refer to being naked and walking around outside. No, it refers to how Google looks at your site and your back link structure. If something was natural, i.e. a popular piece of content that hit the web, then what would normally happen to that content in order to gain back links? You have maybe the latest puppy or kitten video that’s going to go viral that the people are going to start sharing it, and people are going to start linking to it and sending emails to friends, “Hey, check out this wicked puppy video!” In that sense it is natural and everyone is linking to it and sharing it and the links that it develops is natural in Google’s eyes. With SEO we’re trying to mimic being natural or we’re trying to do things that Google looks at as if it’s going to be a natural thing that happens when content gets published. Naturally, does your back link profile of your website look like it was not SEO-ed or was not done on purpose? There’s a lot of little factors that Google looks at and they can tell whether something is natural. For example, does your website have zero back links and all of a sudden today it has 10,000 back links? That’s very unnatural. There’s no way in one day that you’ll get 10,000 back links and then none for the remaining days.
Natural, very important; then there’s also good links and bad links. Not every link is good. Some of the factors that play into the quality of the link or whether it’s good and bad is the quality and the number of outbound links or links that are leaving your website going to somebody else’s website. The inbound links as well, how many links are coming into that webpage, the page rank, domain authority, page authority, citation flow and trust flow of a page. Page rank is not really used anymore but it’s a metric that determines how authoritative the page is. Now we are using things like domain authority and page authority; the authority of that domain in general and the authority of the page that it is linking to or linking from and the relevance of the site. If you have a bunch of links coming from a health site but you sell guns, nope, not healthy. It’s not related; so it’s going to be a problem. Google is going to look at that, see what the content is of the site that is linking to you, and then determine whether your site is related and relevant. Are those links relevant to your site? The more relevant the content of the linking site is, the better is the quality of that back link.
Referring domains and the content quality. The domains that are linking to you, again, with the domain authority and the page rank, are these quality sites that are linking to your site that is giving you a back link? You don’t want something in a bad neighborhood. Maybe these guys have linked to absolutely everybody. Maybe it’s just a page full of links to anybody and everybody that wants them. Maybe they sell the links. There the quality of that referring domain is not good and it will cause a problem with your rankings.
Anchor text was the wording that you click on when you’re on a webpage. It takes you to another webpage. Sometimes it goes to say, “Click here,” and it’s a highlighted link, well, that is anchor text and it plays a very important role into the ranking of your website and the quality and quantity of your back links. You don’t want to have every anchor text being the same thing. Maybe your site is Bob’s Doors and you sell doors and so you think that, “Oh, I’m going to get some links built and I’ll put Bob’s Doors in every single link.” The anchor text will be “Bob’s Doors”. That’s a problem because Bob’s Doors, if it was natural and people were actually linking to you, there’s no way that everybody would write “Bob’s Doors” as their anchor text. It’s impossible. Naturally people would write things like “Click here,” “Look at these doors,” “Love this style of door,” things like that, that are more of something that a non-webmaster would write.
Then there’s do-follow and no-follow links. Do follow means that you are telling the search engines that you want them to follow the link and give link juice, to give some relevance to the site that you’re linking to. No follow basically says that, “Yes, I’m linking to the site but it could be something like an advertiser and I don’t want to give it any credibility or pass on any link juice so I’m going to make it a no-follow link. Naturally speaking, websites will have many do-follow and many no-follow links. Although do-follow links are more important and will give you a bigger boost as far as back links are concerned, you also need to have no-follow links in order to look natural. As a small local business, many times your competitors don’t have any links so if you’re just putting up a no-follow link, that in and of itself can be enough to boost you up in the rankings.
Bad links. Links that, when Google finds them, they will penalize your site and you will lose rankings. These are back links that have been manipulated by SEOs throughout the years and Google has caught on and now they don’t count these links and actually they will harm your website. What are some of these links? Any links that you can get in the thousands are these links, are bad links. If you can pay for links like in the screenshot here from Fiverr.com; don’t buy these links, but here you have 56,999 back links, the pyramid. Then you have 31,001 back links and another 18,000 contextual back links. These are all for $5. As you might imagine, if you buy something for cheap you can expect that it will probably not work. That is what you can get from Fiverr back links. If you buy these back links you will have problems with your rankings. Bad links are paid links, anything that you have to buy or pay for, bad links. Link farms, if you don’t know what the term is don’t worry about it. Don’t order any of those from the internet. Back link pyramids, again, you don’t need to know what they are. Don’t order them. They will get your site penalized.
PBNs are Private Blog Networks. These are… so somebody can mimic the naturality of a bunch of similar sites in a similar niche linking to your — what they call money site. To do this, you would set up maybe 10 or 12 different sites and start populating the sites with content in your niche and then they’re all registered to different people so it looks like a bunch of different people are now linking to your website but you actually own all those blogs. Very difficult set-up; very against Google’s terms of service and not worth your time or effort.
Low quality directories; there’s a bunch of these – any site which lists local businesses. Some of these are good; some of them are bad. You want to check to make sure that the one that you’re getting the links from are actual decent directories. We’ll cover those in a little bit.
Over-optimized links; we talked about anchor text so over-optimizing your links is using the exact same anchor texts for the majority of your links. It is not natural. So over-optimizing it is a red flag to Google and they will penalize your site. Basically any link that is easy to acquire; they are easy to get, generally speaking, it’s not going to be good links or if it’s a bunch of links, 10,000 links. I don’t care if it’s $100, 30,000 links; it’s unnatural and it’s not going to be effective in SEO.
Okay, so that brings us to some backlinking strategies that do work for 2015 and 2016 and beyond. Twenty-four, I will go into detail with each one. We have featured content, guest posting, website review site, industry comparison, a site called My Blog U, HARO which stands for help a reporter out, competitors’ links, audio sites, donations, blog
reviews, testimonials, reclaiming links, premium paid directories, .edu resource pages, blog aggregators, scoop.it, broken link building, infographics, social platforms, better mousetrap, sponsor events, Wikipedia and ego-bait. Let’s get into it.
Link Building Strategy #1 – First one, very simple, Featured Content. This one’s very easy to do but you need to have content to feature. It just means putting your best or most important content at the front of whatever your property is. If it’s a WordPress blog or a website, then you can sticky or feature the best content that you have. If you have a top blog post that’s doing very well, so you can feature that at the very top so that everybody that gets to that page will see that first. You can use the Jetpack WordPress plug-in if you are on WordPress to feature the content.
Link Building Strategy #2 – Number two is Guest Posting. Guest posting has been in the news, SEO news with Matt Cutts, the former head of web spam for Google, saying that he’s devaluing guest posting and any links that are coming from it. That can be said for a lot of different back linking strategies. If you do it properly it is still a very, very valid form of back linking. Doing it properly means being very careful with the way that you reach out to people with the message that you use to reach out. Email or contact forms could be a little bit tricky and you just have to be very careful with how you’re wording it because it is against Google’s TOS (terms of service) to ask for a link. All back links must be earned in the eyes of Google. Another way to get around this is to use Twitter and if you’ve got a Twitter account, just use the search functionality, type in your niche, so SEO, for example, plus the word “guest post” or SEO + “guest author” or SEO + “guest article” and you’ll come up with a bunch of different tweets where people are offering writers the opportunity to post an article and they’ll get a link back. Twitter is an excellent way to reach out
and get these guest posts. Once you have this list you can reach out to them and say, “Hey, I would like to write an article for you.” You either have an article in mind already and you’ve already researched this person’s site and the article fits well or you reach out to them and you ask them if they would like you to write an article in your area of expertise and you get them to suggest what the article could be.
Link Building Strategy #3 – Website review sites, you know sites that you just go and put in your own website and then people critique the design and the layout of the site. We’re not really using this to get feedback but you can which is great if you have a new site and no one’s ever mentioned if your site is good or not, you can leave your site on one of these websites, criticue.com with a “c” or conceptfeedback.com and you just register and then review other people’s sites and then they will review yours and you get a link back to your site; and maybe some helpful information about how to fix your site.
Link Building Strategy #4 – Number four, industry comparison. In your industry, just doing a big lists of the most useful industry tools, the top 10 companies in your industry, the top products compared. Here’s an example of one – SEO tools 2015 edition and it has, just look at the shares here roughly 1.6K for Twitter shares and 248 likes Facebook, 218 from LinkedIn. A lot of engagement and a lot of sharing that you get from these industry comparisons. They take a bit to put together, a little bit of research at the beginning but well worth the back links that you get from it.
Link Building Strategy #5 – MyBlogU.com is a blog or writing collaboration platform. This is run by Ann Smarty and it allows you to choose – whether you want to hire a writer or you can ask somebody to write some of your content for free. There are paid and free writers and then there are people that are looking for collaboration on specific articles. If you have maybe an industry comparison for example, you come out with the top 20 products or services or tools in the industry and then you come out to My Blog U and say, “Hey, I’m doing a review of the top SEO tools. I have here fifteen, (or whatever you have), here’s 20. Can you add any to the list?” Then people will weigh in and they will add their contributions to the list and they’re going to link back to their website or their blog from their contribution. You can use this to contribute and get links back. You can use this in order to get content for your own site either free or paid.
Link Building Strategy #6 – Number six, HARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. It is basically a website that is set up for people to provide their expertise in order to help reporters meet their deadlines. It’s pretty simple, you sign up and you choose what industry you’re in and then you get alerts that are saying this reporter is looking to interview somebody on the subject. Looking for some information and then you provide the information to them and then they give you a link back from their post or their article. Also the media, the studio, or whatever, the newspaper or the radio and you have the possibility of earning a lot more back links from the article itself.
Link Building Strategy #7 – Number seven, competitors’ links. You know who your competitors are, you can use a tool, a back link tool called Majestic.com. There is a free version and you can compare up to five of your competitors at once and see their back link profiles together so then you can sort through the back link profiles and find ones that they all have in common. And then look at the links that you have coming to your website, find the ones that they have that you don’t have and then reach out to that website asking for a link to yours.
Link Building Strategy #8 – Number eight, audio sharing sites; there’s a service called Vocaroo.com and you can use this to record your own voice or you can strip out the MP3 of videos that you’ve already uploaded somewhere and that you already have and then you can upload the MP3 to audio sharing sites like Sutros.com or YourListen.com. Basically, these sites are set up for people that are interested in producing music. These are people that would sing and then upload it to the site and people would critique it and maybe get their start. Don’t worry that yours is not an audio recording of music because most of the people on these sites will never be published and you’ll never hear from them again either. It’s okay that your website appears on these sites for a link back.
Link Building Strategy #9 – Number nine, donate to charity. It feels good because of that warm, fuzzy feeling. It costs money. Search queries, in quotation marks, “donate to us,” or “sponsors page” or allintitle:”sponsors”. So that means that the word “sponsors” will appear in the title of every search result that is returned. Here’s a screenshot we did allintitle:”sponsors”. This is geo-targeted to me here in Victoria so you see the Bank of Montreal Vancouver Marathon and Sunfest Country Music Festival in Cowichan Valley here on the island. Any one of these you can donate, give them some money and they will give you a link back from their site.
Link Building Strategy #10 – Number ten is blogger reviews. First is you’ve got to find the bloggers. You can find industry leading bloggers from alltop.com. It lists off all the top blogs and then you reach out to them with an offer of a product or service for free. In return, you’re not asking for a link but you’re suggesting. The law of reciprocity says that they have to kind of give you a link back. I gave you something, now they feel the need to give you something back. That will be usually, hopefully, in the way of a back link to your site. Let’s say you have a product or a service, let’s say a piece of software and you reach out to top bloggers in your niche with the software and say, “Hey, we have this piece of software. We usually sell if for $249.95. I’d really like to get your opinion on this software so I’m sending it to you, free” To reach out to these people you can do email, contact form, social media.
Here’s an example of an email template:
“Hey, [site owner name]! I was searching for some useful link building strategies today and I came across your site. I see that you have a lot of great content on
your site about link building. I’m actually putting together a new e-book called 24 White Hat Link Building Strategies. I’d love to get your feedback on it and if you think that it would provide value to your readers, you might want to mention it on your blog.”
I don’t ask for a link because that’s against Google TOS and if someone gets a hold of that email they can forward it to Google and you can find yourself in trouble. You just want to mention it in a way that makes them feel that they should be giving you a link or that the ideal response is a link back. You’ll find that most people will provide some type of a link back if you got a response from the initial email.
Link Building Strategy #11 – Number eleven is give testimonials. You probably used a lot of different products or services for the past month or months wherever you live. Go through them, make a list of every
one that you’ve used all the products, all the different services and then think of the ones that are fantastic. Then look to see if they have a testimonial page on their website and reach out with your testimonial and you’ll get a link back that way. Here’s an example, says “You are in good company, meet other awesome people that use our themes”, WordPress themes. You see their testimonial with their name and then a link directly back to their website.
Link Building Strategy #12 – Number twelve is link reclamation or reclaiming links. You need to have some sort of popularity to begin with for this one because this is going on the web and trying to find mentions of your company or your brand where the website that mentions it does not actually contain a link to you. You use software like buzzsumo.com, it has a free version; socialmention.com also has a free version and the
screenshot is from BuzzSumo. I typed in Viatec, so you can see that Viatec has been mentioned on three of the different results here and then I’ll go in and look at each of the different results, see what the mention is, see if there’s a link back. If there’s not then I’ll reach out.
Link Building Strategy #13 – Thirteen is free directories. There are hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of free directories. Some of them you know; some of them you probably don’t. Yellow Pages, good to get listed in, don’t pay for it. BrownBook is another one. BrownBook allows you to put in your social media handles which will give a little bit of a boost to your social profiles as well. You can submit your links and a unique description. Don’t submit the same description to everybody. They’ll have more value if it’s a unique description to each of the different directories. Some have the option to deep link which means link deeper into your website, to internal pages. Again,some will allow you to add social media profiles and you can add in whatever link you want. If you don’t have a website, and you have a Facebook page, go on and get a directory set up, claim your profile and then put your Facebook page where it says URL.
Link Building Strategy #14 – Paid directories, excellent, works well but of course, they cost money. And some of them are annual costs so you have to pay every year but the benefits from a link that strong kind of outweighs the cost sometimes. The more expensive ones on the top of this list is the Yahoo directory, $300. Here the double stars, meaning that’s annual, so that is yearly cost. You have to determine if the $300 per link is a worthwhile expense for the benefit that you get from it. Are you at position eleven and one link is going to drive you to the first page, then yes, that is worth it for you.
Link Building Strategy #15 – Number fifteen is .edu resource pages. We’re just searching for dot-edu, educational dot-com. They’re more valuable as links because they’re harder to get and they’re harder for people that are trying to game the system. Because they’re harder to get, they’re more valuable as back links. You want to search for these; the best place to start is EDU resource pages. Your search query will be site:.edu “keyword” and then you can add “resources” to it or add “other sites”. For example site:.edu, the keyword is “veterinarian” and then I have space plus inurl:links. Inurl means somewhere is mentioned the word links and it’s .EDU sites are going to be returned and looking for the keyword “veterinarian”. As you can see I have links from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and then another one .edu Vet Med. Then you just go over to each of these, look at their page, you see the page on the right here, this is Washington State University and it’s just a big list of links out to veterinary services, resources, groups, organizations, that kind of thing. Find a valuable resource from your site and then offer it up to this resource page and then send them a contact form or send them an email.
Link Building Strategy #16 – Blog aggregators are number sixteen. These are sites that aggregate blogs so just a big listing of blogs. You want to submit your blogs to these different aggregators. You can search for “blog directory”, “blog directories” or just “submit blog”. Here again make sure you have a unique description for each place. ShoutMeLoud, the screenshot here, shows a listing of 131 manually-verified free blog directories. You can go there and then just start going through the list. Submit your blog to each directory; make sure you have unique description for each one.
Link Building Strategy #17 – Scoop.it, it’s kind of like Digg where you’re just scooping popular content from around the web; you’re curating it. This is a no-follow link but it is very easy to get. You just go in and look for a related board. Let’s look for content in your niche and then type it in and use their auto-fill functionality. You’ll want to click one of the topics that auto-fills because that is where you’ll find the Suggest button. When you choose your own topic it will not have a suggest button. Social media, SEO, Mobile and Digital Marketing for example was one of the topics suggested. You go in there and then you punch in your URL, just copy-paste your URL and then click the suggest button.
Link Building Strategy #18 – Broken link building; this is where you find broken links, links that don’t work in your industry and you reach out to these people and update them with your link which works. You’re updating the broken links with working links from your own site. You search industry resource pages with search queries such as your “keyword” + “links” or “keyword” + “resources” or “keyword” + “resource page” or “recommended site”. There’s a Chrome
extension just Google Chrome extension Check My Links and you’ll find some of the screenshots here is from Check My Links. You go to a resource page, click on Check My Links and it will tell you how many of the links are good and it will highlight them as well. It will tell you how many are bad. Look at the bad links; do you have content that can replace that bad link? If so, reach out; if not, move on.
Link Building Strategy #19 – Number nineteen is infographics. Very difficult and time-consuming to prepare but can get a ton of very, very valuable backlinks from the effort. Research what’s out there already and find the hole. Gather the data and then hire a designer. If you’re not a designer yourself, you can find those people on Upwork or on fiverr.com. Fiverr.com is good for a lot of things, not back linking, but design works. Make sure you sort by reviews when you’re looking for designers. You could probably expect to pay at least a couple of hundred bucks for a decent design of an infographic. Then you want to reach out to blog owners and offer them a unique, personalized write up for each site. This way instead of getting an embedded link, an embedded link is where they embed the graphic onto your page and then you click on it and it links over to your site but embed links can be spammed and a lot of people, black hat SEOs, not the good guys, the bad guys, have been using that technique to get the back links so the embedded link itself has been devalued. Instead try for a contextual link which means that it is a link inside of some text and the text surrounding the link is relevant to your niche. You also want to share wherever you can on your blog and all your social media properties when you’re finished designing your wonderful infographic.
Link Building Strategy #20 – Number twenty is social media platforms. All social media platforms allow you to link out to your website. Most of the social media platforms are no-follow links. Still valuable links. Google Plus will give you a do-follow link so make sure that you do deep linking to internal pages on your Google Plus page and a good write up with the links to your main and your internal pages.
Link Building Strategy #21 -Number twenty-one is building a better mousetrap. You search for what’s already out there in the industry. You find lists or infographics or top whatevers – the best content out there. Find one that’s got a lot of shares so you can check for backlinks for that particular piece of content and then just build it better. You want to find something that’s inferior, build on it, make it absolutely outstanding and then reach out to the people that linked to the inferior piece of content and offer them a brand new, better piece of content to link to.
Link Building Strategy #22 -Twenty-two is sponsor industry events. This one’s pretty straightforward. Find events in your industry. Check to see if they have sponsor opportunities and then reach out to them. What would you get? Here’s an example of Social Media Camp. Social Media Camp is a very large social media conference that’s held on Vancouver Island in Victoria. Lots of people sponsor the event so you get a link back from a very popular event and this is obviously in your industry (if it’s social media and you’re in that like we are). This will be perfect for Metamend, for example, to sponsor and get a link back.
Link Building Strategy #23 -Number twenty-three is Wikipedia. This is a no-follow link but is very powerful still. It’s difficult to get because it has to be unbiased. A couple of different ways if you happen to have a company page then you can go into the company page and just basically add some better links to it or links to deeper internal pages from it or in this example one of our clients is Beltone and we wanted to get them ranking for “beltone reviews” so I went and added a link to the Wikipedia page with “beltone reviews” listed as their anchor text or in the anchor text. That one stayed on so sometimes when you suggest to Wikipedia, the editors will remove it if it’s too promotional so make sure it’s very non-biased and it is a wicked piece of content that you’re linking back to. If you don’t have your business listed in Wikipedia then, maybe your business is “cable ties” and
you type in “cable ties” and there’s a big page on cable ties. You can maybe create a PDF or a resource piece that they link out to from that topic.
Link Building Strategy #24 -Number twenty-four is ego-bait content. You stroke somebody’s ego and they will likely give you a backlink. How do you do this? You create a list basically of people or companies and these could be influencers, like social media influencers, top bloggers, people with best blogs, that kind of thing. This example is the top ten climate change influencers on Twitter. The fact that these people were on Twitter in the first place means that they have massive Twitter followings. And these are influencers on Twitter which will do even more for shareability on that platform. You can do it on Twitter, you can do it as blogs, you can do a web page, whatever you want and then you reach out to these people. Something like, “Hey, you were listed as our top ten most influential people when it comes to climate change. I thought you’d be interested.” You send out the article. They feel all good and then they post on their blog and on Twitter, “Hey, we just got listed as the top most influential people on Twitter.” It’s a very, very great strategy; doesn’t take too long. You just need to take the time to come up with seriously good content or really good lists and make sure that you check and these people are actually the biggest influencers. Again you can use BuzzSumo or SocialMention to find out who are these influencers and there are lots of other Twitter tools.
This page is the final page and this is just ranking all these different strategies by how efficient or effective they are and how easy or hard they are to acquire. If you see a blue that if it’s a plot, ten obviously is the highest, so the higher the blue dot is, the better, the more effective that link is. But then if you follow down to the brown dot, the closer the brown dot is to the ten, so if you have the blue and brown dot together at the top, that’s the most ideal situation. It means that it’s very easy to acquire that link and the link itself is very effective. Just looking through guest posting, feature content for example the first one here is very, very easy to acquire because you already have the content but not effective, okay? It just shows the content at the top of your page. It doesn’t necessarily bring you a slew of new links. Compared to something like Social Media Platforms near the end, very easy
to put a link onto it (the about section on social media platform) and very effective links even though they are no-follow most of them. Google Plus being a do-follow one so very simple strategy. So that should be one of the first things that you do when you leave this presentation is to go in and sign up for all the different social media platforms and just stick your link in there. Wikipedia is also good. Infographics is wicked but very, very difficult to produce or very expensive. Broken link building ranks very high. A Blog review is another one that’s up there. You have the product already, just reach out to somebody. Look out for, on this slide, look for ones that rank high in blue and then rank high in brown as well. Start with those and then move down the list.
That’s it for backlinking strategies for 2016.
Photos from the Meetup event:
Responding to negative social media comments is never a fun task and, at times, not an easy one. Your company may receive negative comments on your social networks targeting the company directly around customer services or product / service quality.
Today’s post will outline strategies you can use to diffuse any negativity online before it turns into something bigger (and maybe even turn these commenters into happy customers).
Types of Negative Comments
To get an idea of how to handle negative social media comments you may be faced with, we’ve compiled a list of types of negative comments that you may see on your social networks.
Some negative comments you may come across may include:
- Negative / Bad experiences
- Product / Service quality complaints
- Defective products
- Profanity ridden comments
- Racist comments
- Hate speech
Hiding / Deleting the Comment
Most social media networks allow page admins to manage incoming user comments. As a page admin, you have the ability to delete comments as well as ban the commenter from posting future comments. In some situations, deleting the comment is enough, while in others, you may want to ban the user from commenting again, especially if they tend to post negative comments on a regular basis.
In the following situations, you’ll want to hide the comment but not (necessarily) ban the person. Hiding the comment makes it visible only to the person who wrote the comment and their friends.
- Negative responses from real fans – responses to existing comments. You don’t want to ban these people because they wouldn’t have commented negatively if they weren’t invited to do so by the original commenter. You’ll want to hide these comments because they don’t (usually) make sense on their own once the original offending comment has been removed/hidden.
- Profanity – if someone uses profanity and it’s not against another individual, group or organization, just hide the comment.
Example: “Great! It’s about ****ing time this law came through.”
Hiding / Deleting AND Ban the Commenter
There are times when deleting a comment is not enough. Under certain circumstances, the original user will simply post another negative comment if the first one is deleted. In the following situations, the commenter should be banned from the page:
- If the content of the comment advocates against any individual, group, or organization
- Content that incites hatred or promotes violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.
Responding to Legitimate Negative Comments
By legitimate here, we’re simply referring to the type of negative criticism that most businesses are faced with online – comments against the company, product / service, price, customer service etc.
These users are commenting on things that are within a company’s control and should therefore be handled quickly and appropriately.
10 Ways to Manage Negative Comments on Social Media
- Categorize the comment into one of the following categories.
- Business Error – This includes comments against your company, its products / services or the way you do business.
Example: “Your company has the absolute worst customer service!!“
- Misunderstanding – This includes any situation where the customer expected a different outcome than they got. A misunderstanding here could be because one party thought something was implied, no clarification was given, something was misunderstood over the phone, a friend gave them old / outdated information etc.
Example: “I expected free shipping but was charged $25!”
- Just Negative – This is where someone has decided to complain just for the sake of complaining and their comment doesn’t fall into one of the other categories.
Example: “Every construction company is the same – they all try to rip you off!”
- Spam – These comments make no sense to anyone and more often appear on blogs than they do on other social media networks.
Example: “The very don’t have, your lady declares, would likely produce a drop in the standard goods and services and so coerce sometimes firm organizations bankrupt.”
By categorizing the comment, you can more easily decide on the appropriate response. In each case –other than spam– the end result is the same: an apology.
- Document the Comment
You’ll want to document everything when you’re handling negative comments on social media. Take a screenshot of the offending comment in case the commenter decides to edit their comment later on. Use this documentation to create a list of frequently used responses for future use.
- Don’t Delete Unless Absolutely Necessary
You don’t want to delete all types of negative comments because it’ll look like your company is shirking its responsibilities by brushing customer complaints under the rug. You want to set an example and show other page visitors who see the comment that your company cares and takes complaints seriously.
- Keep Your Cool
One of the great things about social media is that you have time to plan your response before posting it – this is not always an option in person. Take a breath, don’t take it personally (even though it may be) and respond with a level head. Ask a colleague to proof-read it, if necessary.
- Acknowledge the Comment and Respond Immediately
Social media is a time-sensitive platform. That means that most people who post comments expect to receive a reply within 24 hours at the most. So when you receive a negative response, make sure you reply as quickly as possible. To ensure that you don’t miss a comment, make sure your social media notifications are turned on on your mobile device.
- Respond Publicly
If the commenter has left a public message, you’ll want to make sure that you respond to that message in public as well. Do this so that everyone else can see that your company is addressing the issue.
- Take it Somewhere Else
If a comment is particularly nasty or, based on the initial comment, you expect their follow-up to your response to be worse, leave a public message asking them to connect with you via message, email or by phone so that you can better help resolve their issue. Take things out of the public eye when you foresee more negativity coming. Responding in public first shows other users that your company cares. Secondly, if the conversation gets out of hand, the remainder of it will (hopefully) be behind closed doors (i.e. via private message / email).
- Don’t Get Defensive
You want to own up to your mistakes and not get defensive when someone leaves a negative comment or review on your social media page. Listen to what’s being said. Many times the negative comment is one person’s way to be heard and they often have legitimate concerns that can point out inefficiencies in the way your company currently operates. If, for example, every second comment your company receives is about horrible customer service, then there’s a very good chance that you need to address customer service with your staff. No one’s perfect and nor is any business, but customers already know that. Be real, admit when you’re wrong and fix the situation.
- Be Real and Genuine
People can tell when you’re being genuine and when you’re not. If someone has a legitimate complaint, the last thing they want in return is some canned response in the form of a non-apology apology. These non-apology apologies look similar to this:
Example: “We’ve been successfully serving clients in the catering business for over 25 years. We’re sorry we were unable to meet your expectations.
This basically tells the customer that they were wrong in expecting more because this company has obviously been doing everything right to be able to stay in business for 25 years. The lack of sincerity of this response is very evident. Even if a comment hurt your feelings, do the right thing and APOLOGIZE. Apologize if they were right or if they were wrong; or whether the incident really happened or not.
- Offer an Incentive – If it’s a legitimate comment and someone really did have a bad experience, received a broken product or otherwise wasn’t happy with your company and / or its products or services, make it better. You can do this by offering the customer their money back, offering a replacement product or service, giving them a free product or service etc. Do whatever it takes to make things right online, for the way that you respond to your customers online will stay online – forever showing future customers how your company handles customer satisfaction issues.
As your business grows, your social media presence will grow with it. People like to share their experiences on social media – positive and negative. People will vent their negative experiences they’ve had with your product or service – some of them can be quite nasty – and you need to be prepared to manage those situations appropriately.
Every time you deal with an angry user on social media, you are not dealing with just that person, but also with thousands of people in their network who may be watching the interaction. It’s important to keep the above steps in mind when responding to these remarks. Acknowledge, respond publicly with sincerity and take the conversation offline as quickly as possible.
Do whatever it takes to make things right online, for the way that you respond to your customers online will stay online – forever showing future customers how your company handles customer satisfaction issues.
Do you have something to add? Tell us about your experience with negative comments on social media below.
Groups are an integral part of LinkedIn and, when used properly, a great way to attract employees, position yourself and your company as industry experts and / or generate highly targeted leads for your business.