To organize a webinar, find a handful of partner bloggers or brands that have a high concentration of readers in your own target market—then choose a topic that you’re all interested in and knowledgeable about. You don’t even need to make it fancy from a technology or presentation standpoint either, just sign up for the most basic Zoom account that allows for hosting webinars and you’re set. The best part about webinars too, is that everyone involved will bring some of their own audience, resulting in a great lead generation opportunity for all of you—and you’ve got a captive audience of people interested in your field from which you can drive traffic to your website after the live event wraps up.
What it does: Not everyone can afford to hire a graphic designer. But nearly any of us can learn to do some basic design ourselves. Canva makes design easy and fast. Its tagline, “Amazingly simple graphic design software,” is spot-on. Canva’s templates are optimized for social media, and they are stunning. A few customizing clicks, and you’re set with eye-popping visual content.

It’s a best practice to ask the referrer not only for a friend’s email address, but also for a full name so that the message is personalized. Most important, remember to add the referee’s full name to the email as well. By referencing whom the email content was recommended by, you gain instant credibility and will attain much higher conversion rates.


You mentioned: "many times clients have already done this work.  Ask them for copies of their market research reports when you start a project.  It will save you a ton of time and effort!"  We do this with most of our clients, like you said we have found that around 75% of the have some kind of Market research done, that saves you a lot of time and helps setting up the right SEO Strategy. 
This SEO tool will generate all possible combinations of two separate lists of search phrases. Find new ways to promote your website and reach your audience when you broaden your keyword horizons. Use these phrases to modify and create new content as well as to optimize title tags, URLs, and internal linking structure. For a new insight into your keyword prospects, generate combinations to kick-start the brainstorming process.
I completely agree that defintion of a target audience isa great first step, but would ask if adding in competitors to the analysis (mentioned here as a later step) helps draw out who your target audience would be via comparisons, i.e. showing who you are an who you are not - would be very interested to hear opinions on how this tactic can be used within the overall step in coordination with targeted keyword discovery.
As with life and love, if you want your business to get attention, you’ll need to “put yourself out there.” Also like life and love, you may have to make the first move before things start moving, which is where outreach marketing can come in handy. Simply put, outreach marketing is connecting with bloggers and other influencers in your industry, in order to increase exposure for your website and promote your products or services. The process will primarily consist of gathering your targets, (websites, bloggers, industry folk) and approach them via email to gauge their interest in a potential partnership and following up when necessary to create a lasting relationship. To learn more, we’ve got some great reading about the best outreach marketing tactics to promote your site.
Thanks for sharing such quality content online. I really loved the way you have written this blog post. SEO is the most important factor if you want to increase your online network. SEO, not just only helps in getting more organic traffic via search engines but also builds a good brand authority online. I have learned a few new tips which I think can help me out improving my blog’s SEO score. Looking forward to more quality content in the future… 🙂
Brian , your every post is like a book, I always read your post and try to find a few questions to ask .. but to be honest your posts are that comprehensive that, I don’t find a question to ask because you left nothing unexplained ! I wonder how long you take to prepare a post like this, I probably would take a whole year ! 🙂 Good luck Brian. you are a magician of IM strategies.
While not the most ideal way to drive traffic to your website since it requires a budget of money to spend in order to get that traffic, if you’re directing readers to the right page that converts well—whether that’s to an email sign up or purchase—then it can be a very lucrative investment scaling up your paid advertising spend when there’s a clear immediate financial return. Plus, the positive social signals you’ll be sending by having a lot of active visitors on your site, should help with getting more referrals and social shares—thus giving you more opportunity to drive traffic to your blog from other sources as well.
People love reading about results. That’s because it’s one of the best ways to learn. You can read information all day, but results show you the practical application of the information. Create content showing real life results. It’s easy in my industry because results are all that matter. But this can work in other industries as well. Here are some non-marketing examples:

Don’t “attack” people who don’t know you – create a short “email list builder” funnel instead :). Create an interesting video, promote it on YouTube or Facebook and create a remarketing list with people who already watched the video. After creating the list, use remarketing campaigns to reach them and promote content that’ll help them advance through your marketing funnel.
Sure, we did keyword research, we recommended partnerships and widgets and architecture advice, but we didn’t step back and take a good look at our target audiences, what sites were meeting their specific needs in search results, and what we specifically could build into the product that would be far more desirable than what everyone else had (not even thought of yet ideally) to make sure our entire site is superior, resulting in the inevitable stealing of search traffic from our competitors.
See the screenshot below for some of the sections for specific recommendations that you can add which will provide the meat of the document. Keep in mind this is a very flexible document – add recommendations that make sense (for example you may not always have specific design considerations for a project). Remember, it will be different every time you do it.
It used to be that Google AdPlanner was unbeatable for comparing audience size and dimension. That's been folded into AdWords as the Campaign Planner and now limited to media sites, but still useful for finding size and quality of audience for partner and media sites and don't forget about the related Google Placement Targeting Tool useful for remarketing and research.
Typically, the number of keywords targeted depends on the size and scope of the SEO project. Once an SEO strategy plan has been mapped out, the analyst will have a better idea of the number of keywords, a plan can be developed for how those keywords fit in with optimized pages and link submissions necessary to make progress in the SERPs. Analysts start by researching keywords and coming up with a shortlist both the agency and client are happy with. This may include several research methods including keyword recommendations from the client, customers and suppliers, surveys, using keyword research tools and so forth.
However, the more organized you are, and the better you've presented your offer at the outset, the more likely you'll be to succeed with any one of these traffic methods or strategies. So, how do you track all of your efforts to ensure that you're doing the best to understand where your visitors are coming from when it comes driving traffic to your website?
When I first wrote this post I recommended the Google Keyword Tool, but now it's been renamed to the Google Keyword Planner, but is still THE indispensable tool alongside the Google Webmaster Tools integration now that The Growth of Not Provided keywords means we can't use analytics reliably to find referring keywords.  Here's the original. The latest version shows mobile estimates too.
Visitors to your website might overlook the call to sign up that you have at the top of every page, but it’s harder to ignore a lightbox or pop-up. Scroll boxes pop up on visitors’ screens after they’ve scrolled down a certain length of the page. The box encourages them to sign up for your email list. They can be effective for encouraging a user who’s already shown interest in your content (by staying on the page long enough to scroll) to sign up for your email list.
Studies have proven that top placement in search engines generally provide a more favorable return on investment compared to traditional forms of advertising such as, snail mail, radio commercials and television. Search engine optimization is the primary method to earning top 10 search engine placement. Learn more about the search engine optimization process and discuss an SEO strategy for your site when you contact a search engine specialist today.
Try to find groups on Facebook that are super topically relevant to your niche—and join the ones that have a lot of engaged members who appear to be within your target audience. Like on Reddit though, you’ll want to focus on engaging with the community by liking and commenting on others’ posts and building up a rapport for weeks (or months) before ever promoting your own content and trying to use the group to drive traffic to your blog. Group moderators are well-versed in spotting members who are there to shamelessly self-promote.
Although Bing Ads has intentionally made its experience as similar to Google Ads as possible to help advertisers make the transition or run complementary campaigns, one area Bing excels in is its reporting functionality. The Bing Ads Intelligence suite of tools offers some remarkable reporting, so if you’re serious about Bing Ads, be sure to explore Bing Ads Intelligence.
SEO, Search Engine Optimization is defined as, “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.” For the most part, this is true. (In a nutshell, but using a combination of tools from keywords, content, and other factors that can help you rank well on search engines) For the regular Joe out there, SEO is the process that can help you “get found on Google.”
On one specific project, one of the SEOs on my team was brought in during the wireframe stage. T­he entire product team held SEO-specific meetings every week to go over specific recommendations, taking them very seriously, and leaning on every word our team said. We were thrilled. We were hailing their efforts, promising big wins for the relaunch, and even hyping up the launch and it’s projected SEO results in the company SEO newsletter.
YouTube is a great resource for driving free organic traffic to your website. Maybe it's because Google loves YouTube, and considering that it's the second most popular search engine in the world, gaining exposure on YouTube could be huge. Create useful tutorials and videos that add an immense amount of value and be sure to link to your content through the description.
Use your keyword list to determine how many different pillar pages you should create. Ultimately, the number of topics for which you create pillar pages should coincide with how many different products, offerings, and locations your business has. This will make it much easier for your prospects and customers to find you in search engines no matter what keywords they use.
During your campaign, you should be given progress reports by the SEO expert you have hired. Bear in mind that Search Engine Optimization is a long term strategy, and you will not be able to see results straight away. As a rule of thumb, agencies will provide clients with monthly reports. Communication is recommended throughout the process, but this is your opportunity to ask any questions about the campaign or tweak it slightly. Typically, the results of an SEO campaign can take anywhere from 3 months to a year before showing up in reporting.
During your campaign, you should be given progress reports by the SEO expert you have hired. Bear in mind that Search Engine Optimization is a long term strategy, and you will not be able to see results straight away. As a rule of thumb, agencies will provide clients with monthly reports. Communication is recommended throughout the process, but this is your opportunity to ask any questions about the campaign or tweak it slightly. Typically, the results of an SEO campaign can take anywhere from 3 months to a year before showing up in reporting.

This is the exciting part of SEO strategy plans. The agreed changes to your website are implemented on your pages either directly by your consultancy if you have a content management system (CMS) or they will liaise with your web developer for them to code the changes required. The off-page optimization including link building and options such as optimizing Google Places pages is also done at this critical stage. This is the core of an SEO strategy – the on-the-ground work that helps to increase your site’s visibility in search engines.
How we use Canva: The optimized sizes and built-in templates make it fast and easy to create tall pictures for Pinterest, rectangular ones for Twitter, square for Facebook or Instagram, and any size in between. We find Pablo (another free alternative) to be great for Twitter-sized images of 1,024 pixels by 512 pixels, and Canva to work really well for all else.
People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.
Sure, we did keyword research, we recommended partnerships and widgets and architecture advice, but we didn’t step back and take a good look at our target audiences, what sites were meeting their specific needs in search results, and what we specifically could build into the product that would be far more desirable than what everyone else had (not even thought of yet ideally) to make sure our entire site is superior, resulting in the inevitable stealing of search traffic from our competitors.
Maybe you’re looking to spice up your blog up with some different content for your readers. Instead of doing all the research and reporting back on your findings, you may want to look into having a guest blogger. Why, you ask? Having a guest blogger can be helpful in multiple ways, as you allow others to add content to your website. Your readers will be able to receive fresh content from a different perspective, and your guest may carry an expertise in a subject that you don’t have. Another benefit to getting some fresh blood in your blog is that your guest’s followers will likely head to your website when the post is published. It’s a win-win for the both of you.
Thanks for bringing up this point - I agree Eric - competitive positioning can help you determine value that you bring to the table that your competitors dont.  I'm all for it.  Neilsen does some reports that provide awareness, likelihood to recommend, sentiment and other insightsfor your site/brand and your competitors. You can also pull some of that type of insight out of social listening platforms like NetBase, SM2, Radian6, Dow Jones, Nielsen, and so many others.  I've even done some hacked compeitove sentiment comprisons before using Search: searching for [brand or feature] + "like", "love", hate", "wish" etc. 
Specifics: Be as specific as you can with your recommendations. For example if you’re suggesting partnering with meal home delivery sites, find out which ones are going to provide the most relevant info, at what cost if possible, and what the ideal partnership would look like for content and SEO purposes. Even provide contact information if you can.
You can also add the campaign name here such as facebook_offer or summer_sale or new_product_lineup or anything else for that matter. Be sure to separate the spaces with underscores. And, if you're placing ads on Google, YouTube or any other platform, and you're bidding for keywords, place the campaign terms in there, separated by plus signs such as best+running+shoes or best+mens+polo+shirts or anything else for that matter.
Yahoo!'s Pay-Per-Plick (PPC) Program shows paid ads at the top and right of the results pages. websites that show up here bid on keyword phrases and pay Yahoo!® a small fee each time the ad is clicked on. The more you bid per phrase the higher your ad will appear on the results page. Yahoo! PPC is a great way to help drive traffic quickly to your website. You can set a daily budget. When you max out your budget, Yahoo! will pull your ad for the remainder of the day.
Tailwind is a super simple yet supremely powerful content scheduling solution for Pinterest and Instagram. You can use it to save time with bulk image upload, really easy drag and drop calendar, multi-board pinning and pin looping, hashtag lists, and more. Plus, you can automatically optimize your Pinterest and Instagram schedules based on when your audience is most engaged.
Not having a website doesn’t mean you can’t quickly set up a landing page and display it on your tablet or mobile phone. Just edit one of the ready-made templates, change the colors and copy to match your branding, sync it with your email list – and you’re good to go! To motivate your prospects to fill out the form you can offer them a lead magnet, e.g. a free ebook or chance to win something.
Save any new documentation as a PDF for download, and require that individuals enter their names and email addresses in order to access it. The value of the information you are offering is directly proportional to the amount of personal data your customers are willing to provide, so make sure the tradeoff is fair. A highly anticipated white paper or report can garner a high number of new email subscribers who are openly expressing interest in your brand, so don’t leave this opportunity unaddressed.
Like many SEOs, I was hired with one vague responsibility: to set up an SEO program and achieve results. Like many SEOs, we jumped right in and started spewing out SEO audits, rewriting title tags, offering up link suggestions, rewriting URLs and so on. And like many SEOs we promised results. But what we didn’t do, until that fateful launch, was develop a comprehensive strategy.
Include social sharing buttons and an "Email to a Friend" button in your marketing emails. That way, you'll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a "Subscribe" CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.
How to use HubSpot Marketing Free: You can gain a lot of great information about your leads from HubSpot Marketing Free. This pop up tool quickly gathers email addresses from your website and provides key data points like employer and which pages your leads have visited. And if you’re wondering which pages are converting at higher rates than others, it can help with that, too.
How we use Canva: The optimized sizes and built-in templates make it fast and easy to create tall pictures for Pinterest, rectangular ones for Twitter, square for Facebook or Instagram, and any size in between. We find Pablo (another free alternative) to be great for Twitter-sized images of 1,024 pixels by 512 pixels, and Canva to work really well for all else.
Relevancy is the first qualifier of a quality link opportunity. The next qualifying factor is the authority of the opportunity. Since Google doesn’t update PageRank (PR) anymore, you must rely on third party metrics. I recommend you use Domain Authority (DA) from Open Site Explorer, Domain Rate (DR) from Ahrefs, or Trust Flow from Majestic to determine the quality of your link opportunities. You should use all three tools if you can.
Once you are happily ranking on Search Engines, you will need to discuss with the experts at your SEO consultancy whether you should expand your keyword portfolio and target more keywords or choose to maintain the optimization of your site. This will depend again on factors such as how many pages your website has, the competition in your industry, the traffic driven to your site, your conversion rate and so on.
Wow, brilliant strategy! I am thrilled to learn something new and effective that isn’t “black hat”. And yes, this does require work, but that’s precisely what it should require. I would rather see sites ranking high because they contribute terrific content (i.e. useful/interesting infographics) to their niche vs. the person exploiting the latest loophole. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

I agree 100% with quality content. If the quality is outstanding, the back links just pour in. Must also add that I am not exceptional when it comes to English, as it is not my first language. Best investment I ever made was to hire a proof reader to check a post before I publish it. I also use a good quality grammar tool. Grammar and spelling issues is an absolute “website killer”. Great post, keep up the good work!
Thanks so much for this entry, Laura! I loved the way your post is so practical, straightforward, newbie-friendly - and most importantly, how it emphasizes the bottom line at all times. It's easy to get "lost in the fog" of SEO with so many looming tasks and forget the main purpose, so it's wonderful to have a straightforward outline of what to do and why certain tasks need to be done. I look forward to reading your future insights!
Typically, others in the industry will be maintaining ongoing SEO on their sites, so it’s usually advisable to continue with monitoring, tweaking, and expanding your SEO strategy as time goes on. The logic is that if you’re not acting on your own search visibility, but your competitors are, it’s likely that you’ll eventually lose any hard earned progress in search engine rankings.
There's a diverse mix of free tools available, one of the enjoyable aspects of working in digital marketing today. I’ll start with the most widely used. Please let us know about the “essential free tools” you use in the comments. For many more tools suggestions - check out our free guide to digital marketing tools. We've structured it around our RACE planning framework covering 30 categories of digital marketing tools that every business that is serious about improving digital marketing needs. Apart from the insights tools we cover here, it includes many more tools needed for essential digital marketing activities like conversion rate optimization, personalization and marketing automation.
Don’t “attack” people who don’t know you – create a short “email list builder” funnel instead :). Create an interesting video, promote it on YouTube or Facebook and create a remarketing list with people who already watched the video. After creating the list, use remarketing campaigns to reach them and promote content that’ll help them advance through your marketing funnel. 

Traditionally, defining a target audience involves determining their age, sex, geographic locations, and especially their needs (aka pain points). Check out usability.gov’s description of personas and how to do task analysis & scenarios for more details, or better yet, read Vanessa Fox’s upcoming book about personas related to search and conversion.
People look up instructional videos online for everything these days—from how to replace a screen on their laptop to how to make a website and seriously so much more. Even with just a small number of tutorial videos on my own YouTube channel so far, I’ve been able to drive traffic to my blog in a very meaningful way from the platform (especially for the relatively small time investment to create a video compared to writing a 10,000 word article).
Spider-driven search engines such as Google®, Yahoo!® and MSN® use "robots" or "crawlers" to score websites across the Internet. Robots "spider/crawl" each site and "score" pages based on how relevant they are. A website's score or placement within a spider driven search engine is derived from hundreds of variables such as link popularity, density and frequency of keywords in page content, HTML code, site themes and more. You will want to focus many criteria in your SEO strategy to position yourself well among the major search engines. Here are two of the most influential factors:
17) Make your business website trustworthy. Make sure you have a privacy policy and full business contact information posted and use business and privacy seals to verify this information to your website visitors. If you are payment processing, obtain an SSL Certificate and use a secure connection and make sure that potential customers know that your connection is secure.
This tool will run a search query in the selected search engines and then graphically compare the results. Users can compare the keyword position on each search engine. A line is drawn between search engine results for matching URLs. From these results, you will notice how each search engine gives different ranks for different pages by comparing their appearance order. Mouse over the dots to see the URLs they represent. Click on them to open the URL in a new browser window.

If you’ve ever looked at your site analytics and yelled “what do you want from me?” you’re not alone. That’s why Inspectlet lets you analyze user activity via eye-tracking heat maps, screen capture, and user interaction analytics. You’ll be able to watch how users interact with your site and figure out where they may get confused. And then get to work fixing those areas.


Brian. You talk about how all these variables matter in getting this article to rank #1 for “list building” and how competitors have way more links than you, but then you also consider your DA and your PA together, you have almost the highest score out of the top 10 rankings; and when you consider you are more topical authority, then that explains why Hugpages (all purpose site) is not ranking higher. Maybe its not all as complicated as you suggest.
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