Learn From Jon

Friday, June 30, 2017

Talking at Your Customers vs. Talking to Your Customers

There is a stark difference between talking “at” your customer and talking “to” your customer. Talking “at” your customer will create a disconnect; it simply tells the customer what to do but doesn’t tell the customer how to do it. Talking “to” your customer will create a connection; the message will feel relational and it will begin a conversation.

In this Quick Win Clinic episode (recorded live at MarketingSherpa Summit 2017), Flint McGlaughlin optimizes an email for BJ’s Wholesale that fails to talk “to” its customers and, instead, talks “at” them.



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Marketing Day: In-house SEO, featured snippets & Facebook targets spammers

Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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The value of an in-house SEO

Does your business really need an in-house search professional? Columnist Eugene Feygin explains what an in-house SEO can bring to the table, and why it's worth the investment for many organizations.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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Featured snippets: Optimization tips & how to ID candidate snippets

Contributor Brian Ussery breaks down featured snippets, explaining his observations and offering tips for pursuing the coveted "position zero."

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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2017: The year in social marketing so far

From Snap’s IPO to Facebook’s ad breaks to Instagram’s Stories, here are 2017’s biggest stories in social so far.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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Facebook targets individual spammers with latest news feed tweak

Facebook has identified a small group of spammers and will penalize links that those accounts share more than the average Facebook user.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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No longer brick-and-mortar vs. online retail: Customers view a ‘single lens’

Despite the ease of online shopping, consumers still crave the tactile experience of physical stores. Columnist Allan Haims explains how retailers can unify their channel strategies and take a best-of-both-worlds approach.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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How Life is Good built a content-first app with an 89% retention rate

Columnist Blaise Lucey takes a look at how lifestyle brand Life is Good developed an app that focuses on content, not just sales -- and why it keeps users coming back for more.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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Snaps launches a Marketing Cloud for chatbots, messaging and emojis

New York City-based company is offering a self-service platform so marketers can target users with automated conversations.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.


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Googles Huge $2.7 billion EU Fine, New Facebook Mission & More: Weekly Forum Update

This week’s biggest news was Google being fined 2.42bn euros by the European Commission after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.

Below we highlight the most indepth discussion of the news you’ll be able to find online.

In other news, Facebook is shifting its focus towards its groups functionality and Google recommends moving sites from m-dot to responsive before the Mobile First Index Launches,

Members also discuss the benefits of having dates in URLs and reputation management for someone sharing a celebrity’s name.

Google hit with $2.7 Billion by the EU

As reported by the BBC, Google was fined an astonishing $2.7 billion after the European Commission ruled that the Google search engine abused its market position by promoting its own shopping service comparison service on top of search results.
In a record fine, the European Commission orders  Google to comply with the ruling in 90 days or face further action, specifically additional fine per day that are 5% of its parent companys global earning.

The BBC, referencing Alphabets most recent reports, states that this may result in a potential $14 million in daily fees for non-compliance.

Webmaster World members discussed the decision from several different angles:

Anti-trust vs. Monopolistic abuse

Multipe members found it interesting that Google compares itself to other merchants in their formal response where Googles Gary Walker SVP and General Counsel states that,

“We think our current shopping results are useful and are a much-improved version of the text-only ads we showed a decade ago. Showing ads that include pictures, ratings, and prices benefits us, our advertisers, and most of all, our users. And we show them only when your feedback tells us they are relevant. Thousands of European merchants use these ads to compete with larger companies like Amazon and eBay”.

Members including Shadow, found this interesting because as Shadow suggests, the comment conflates the concept of “monopolistic abuse” and anti-trust, which the member differentiates conceptually using the following differentiating comments:

“’We’re not the biggest price comparison site’”
Vs
‘We’ve not been leveraging dominance in one field to distort the market in another field’”

Shaddow went on to state that these two are different in EU law, referencing the following article.

Member mosxu further noted the difference,

“I think google got it all wrong here thinking that they have competition from amazon or ebay which is not true it is about search where a monopoly exists in Europe and not what presses google internally and that is lack of buyer traffic.

50% of buyers type direct in their browser amazon.com and buy there no need for a search in google. Another 30% start at ebay and other brands so google may be left with 20% of buyer traffic. To stay on the right side of the law they should have started google-shopping.com and compete in the rankings like everybody else.”

Role of politics in decision

Brotherhood of LAN and mosxu mused about the roll of politics may have been in such an action. Brotherhood of LAN noted that,

“from the technical standpoint I’m sure many would agree that the law has been playing catch-up, and big tech over the past 10 years has been taking various liberties with market dominance, privacy and ‘fair’ taxation. Hopefully this is a good thing for the market/web in general wrt market dominance.”

Member heisje contrasted the aggressive European Commission action with regulation in the SU, claiming  that

“I wonder when the U.S. authorities will stop Google from strangling the U.S. consumer and U.S. small business, by an abundance of “dominance abuse” tricks & practices. To date, U.S. authority inaction on this “elephant in the room” has been disastrous both for U.S. consumers and small / medium businesses – and truly disgraceful. Nothing less than dereliction of duty.

Breaking up data collection/storage and search presentation is the best way out of the nasty situation prevalent today.” .

Precedent

Shepherd chimed in with concerns about precedence of this action, saying that “A slippery slope does not care if you are wearing the same shoes as the person who fell before you.” Shepherd also quoted was the following from the European Commission announcement (linked to above),

“Today’s Decision is a precedent which establishes the framework for the assessment of the legality of this type of conduct. At the same time, it does not replace the need for a case-specific analysis to account for the specific characteristics of each market.”

Fining based on earnings of Alphabet:

Shaddows questioned the legality of such a move, that there may be jurisdiction issues in fining using a percentage of Alphabets global earnings. Shaddows claimed that if Google is an LLC company, its misdemeanors would not not be passed on to the parent company.

Google News Makeover for Desktop

Webmaster World members shared their thoughts on Googles redesign of the Google News homepage. Overall members were ambivalent about the look and feel but they did have some interesting insights about what the redesign may suggest about Googles general direction and perhaps a reference for what to keep in mind for ones own website. Member goodroi, mentioned that by the mobile focused design changes, that the focus is mobile users and for creating a more “sticky” experience to increase time in-product.

Member glitterball noted that the new experience currently only shows title – instead of title and snippet. Glitterball suggests that Google may be getting nervous about regulators in the EU. Engine agrees and adds that,

“showing less of the story may help it comply with the many publishers that feel too much is repeated in the news serps.” .

Engine also makes an observation on the treatment of citation and references on the new homepage, adding that,

“There seems to be, roughly, the same number of stories, but the “highly cited” and “most referenced” appearing as a short headline and link, with no coverage for the others without clicking the down arrow.

“Editors picks,” and “spotlight” appear on the right, with plenty of white space everywhere. Ads coming?”

Facebook shifts core Mission to put new emphasis on Groups

Quoting a recent article on NPR, Webmaster World Member Robert Charlton noted a recent update to Facebooks mission to be more oriented around groups,

“Today, the CEO explained, Facebook’s mission will change to focus on the activity levels of users, and to support the most active so that they can keep building the digital spaces that draw in the masses. In official language, the new mission is to “give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

Engine added

“Reading between the lines, and that’s not really difficult on this, Groups are becoming more important, and the huge audience already on FB will see even more groups in their feed. It’ll encourage people to join more specialist groups, and it’ll profile users even more, making even greater opportunity for highly targeted advertising.”

Members weight the pros and and cons of community in a closed ecosystem. On the con side iwrkalot noted that

“Up until now FB, in general, has been a time draining necessary evil for me. Being a forum owner has become much more challenging because of it. The inability to monetize my groups, in any meaningful way, has forced me to tightly control the members that are allowed to join. It’s a PITA.”

On the pro side EditorialGuy mentioned the benefit for organization and groups that have struggled to create a forum style community,

“I’ve found some of the groups to be quite useful. For example, I belong to a professional organization that has struggled for years to attract members to its online forum. The forum has never been successful and is nearly dead these days, but the organization’s Facebook group is growing.”

Dates in SERP’s – Good or Bad?

Crea8asiteforum member xyZed asked about dates appearing in SERPs and if including the date in content is beneficial or not. In general, members seemed to agree that if you’re not able to frequently update your content, that you would lose out in SERPs by displaying date updated. Member waitwhiterabbit provided some specific considerations including:

  • Health and medical content should consider including date updated
  • Having date updated may be valuable for news search

Famous person with same name

A new member on SEO chat has the same name as someone famous and looks to the community for ideas on next steps to be able to owned his named search, including considering the possibility of using a pseudonym.

Members suggest using adwords but in cases like the one here, where it would be difficult to take over the search,  a pseudonym may be best.

Google recommends moving sites from m-dot to responsive before the Mobile First Index Launches

In a recent Webmaster Google hangout, Googles John Mueller that people migrate their m. mobile sites [mobile subdomains] and move to a responsive template.

On Threadwatch, one member expresses a concern for what this will mean in terms of if content is different on mobile sites vs. desktop sites, even if they do not use a mobile subdomain and serve a very different mobile only experience by detecting the device from the browser.

Over on Webmaster World, member iamlost mentioned that the reason for this – as stated by several Googlers recently – is because the lack of backlinks compared to desktop.

Join in the above discussions to contribute your thoughts!

The post Googles Huge $2.7 billion EU Fine, New Facebook Mission & More: Weekly Forum Update appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.



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How I Built 826 Backlinks to a Single Article in 8 Weeks

No matter how much SEO evolves, backlinks remain the primary “currency” for Google when ranking websites.

In fact, a November 2016 study from First Page Sage found that backlinks are still the number one overall ranking factor in Google’s algorithm:

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And I seriously doubt this will change any time soon.

Of course, there are other critical ranking factors, but building backlinks should still be your top priority.

When you break it all down, the more high quality, relevant backlinks you have pointing to your site, the better your rankings will be.

And that’s great and all, but how exactly do you go about quickly sending a high volume of backlinks to your website?

More specifically, how do you send them to a single article?

I’m about to show you.

I’m going to use a particular guide I created on Quick Sprout a while back as an example.

It’s The Advanced Guide to SEO I wrote with Sujan Patel.

I managed to build a grand total of 826 backlinks in just eight weeks to the guide.

SEMrush stats

First, let me give you a quick overview of the article’s stats.

I’ll use SEMrush to show you the details.

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Now, that’s just a drop in the bucket when compared with the total number of backlinks for Quick Sprout.

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The particular article I’m referencing accounts only for 1% of Quick Sprout’s overall backlinks.

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But when you beef up the backlink volume for multiple articles, it all comes together to create a very powerful link profile for your site.

How did I do it?

It all starts with epic content

If you look through the Quick Sprout archives, you’ll see a massive body of content.

Some articles are better than others, but I always strive to maintain quality.

One content format that’s really helped bring in backlinks is the in-depth guides.

There’s a guide for general online marketing, content marketing, landing page optimization and so on.

Here’s a list of 12 guides and two courses offered.

And, of course, there’s The Advanced Guide to SEO I’m using as an example for this post.

If you browse through it, you’ll quickly see it’s not your average guide.

It’s incredibly comprehensive and detailed.

There are nine exhaustive chapters, covering everything from indexation and accessibility to link-building techniques and search verticals.

The various techniques are also broken down step-by-step so beginners can understand the specifics and ultimately gain a deeper perspective on the underlying theory.

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In other words, it’s not something you’ll find on your average SEO blog.

My point here is you need to begin with epic content.

It needs to deliver value the bulk of your competitors aren’t currently offering.

As I’ve pointed out before, this doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel.

In fact, you can take an existing topic, improve upon it and still completely crush it.

This is known as the skyscraper technique.

If the quality level is there, the backlinks will come.

But if it’s not, it’s going to be an uphill battle.

Target multiple keywords

I’m sure you know by now that long-form content ranks consistently higher than your average, run of the mill, 500-700-word post.

One of the more recent studies on word count from Backlinko found that “the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.”

02 Content Total Word Count line

There are multiple theories as to why this correlation exists, but regardless of the reasoning, it’s undeniable.

One reason why I really love long-form content is because it gives me the opportunity to rank for several different keywords at once.

Just think about.

If you’re writing a 500-word post, you’re essentially limited to targeting two or three keywords (unless you’re obnoxiously stuffing keywords).

But if you go significantly longer and hit upwards of 2,000 words, you can target several different keywords.

This approach allows you to cater to multiple segments of your demographic, increasing the number of times people link to your article.

Longtail keywords in particular are great for maximizing your organic traffic and attracting a larger percentage of your audience.

An example

Let’s say you’re a web developer writing an article on the topic of coding/web development.

You’re looking to showcase your expertise, build backlinks, bring in organic traffic, etc.

Just a little keyword research on The Google Keyword Planner will supply you with a handful of potential keywords to target.

Here are some keywords that look pretty good to me:

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From there, you could include different sections in your article to cover PHP, RWD and mobile web development.

As long as your content hits its mark, it’s reasonable to expect that a sizable number of people will link to you.

Answer a relevant Quora question

I’ve mentioned before that Quora can be an incredibly powerful resource for generating referral traffic.

But it’s also a great place to build backlinks.

Here’s what you do.

First, do a search that relates to the article you’re trying to build backlinks to.

I’ll stick with web development as an example.

Just type in “web development” into the search box to find a relevant topic.

Then click on the topic you’re interested in.

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This particular topic looks good because there are over 163,000 questions and 1.5 million followers.

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Now, scroll down until you find a question relevant to your article.

This one might work:

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It’s got plenty of upvotes and comments, which is good.

Now, leave a detailed, quality answer, and link to your article.

The idea here is that people will be impressed with your answer and click on the link you provide.

From there, a portion will be even more impressed with your article and link to it.

That way, you’re instantly gaining a solid link from Quora and potentially more from people who land on your content.

But here’s the thing.

You never want to be spammy about it.

This is only going to hurt your credibility on Quora.

That’s why it’s essential that your link is highly relevant to the question asked.

Spy on competitors for backlink opportunities

Sometimes, the best way to build backlinks is to simply ask for them.

But how do you know whom to ask?

One technique I’ve found useful involves first seeing where your main competitors are getting their backlinks from.

Since you’re in the same niche, there’s a good chance the sites that link to your competitors will link to you too.

Here’s what you do.

Start by searching for a competitor’s backlink profile on Cognitive SEO’s Site Explorer.

I’ll just use Backlinko as an example.

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Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see who’s been linking to their site.

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From here, I can see exactly where those links are coming from.

Next, reach out to those relevant sites with an email like this:

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This is a great way to get on the radar of some of the more influential sites in your niche, and it can help you quickly gain some valuable backlinks.

It can be a bit of a numbers game, so you may need to send out a high volume of emails to get the results you’re looking for.

Create a round-up post

Okay, this last technique is a little different.

It doesn’t involved building backlinks to an existing article.

Instead, it revolves around strategically creating a “round-up post” with the specific purpose of gaining massive backlinks.

If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, it works like this.

You come up with an interesting question a lot of people have.

Then you contact a large list of experts and ask them for a response to the question.

Here’s a really good example from Clambr:

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In it, Richard Marriot asks 55 experts what their three favorite SEO tools are.

A quick search on SEMrush lets me know he got 56 backlinks, which isn’t too shabby.

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But there’s no reason you couldn’t get a lot more than that.

And the process is fairly straightforward.

You identify at least 30 relevant experts to answer your question and contact them.

HubSpot provides a template for your email:

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You then compile the answers you receive into an easy-to-digest article.

The logic behind a round-up post

You may be wondering what the point of creating this type of article is.

Well, it’s simple.

After you’ve published it, you send all the participating experts a quick email that includes the URL to the post.

Like this:

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You can expect a fair number of those experts to link to the article or share it on social media.

In some cases, your article might even go viral.

Just think of the implications of a big name expert, with a massive following, linking to it.

At the very least, you should be able to generate a good number of backlinks.

For more on the topic of round-up posts, I recommend reading this guide from HubSpot.

It will fill you in on the details.

Conclusion

Google looks at numerous factors when deciding where to rank your site.

But backlinks have been and will continue to be one of the primary ranking factors.

You need to come up with a viable strategy for generating backlinks—and plenty of them.

I find that creating top-shelf, long-form content and targeting a handful of relevant keywords is a good starting point.

That’s half the battle.

Beyond that, there are several strategies you can implement that will increase the visibility of your article and encourage others to link to it.

The ones I mentioned here can be a tremendous help and net you as many as 826 backlinks in just eight weeks.

What’s your number one go-to backlinking strategy?



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