Top 10 Most Egregious SEO Mistakes

first_img SEO Originally published Mar 13, 2008 11:08:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 As an Internet Marketing Advisor at HubSpot, I get to talk to all of the people who are interested in learning more about our inbound marketing system and who want to do internet marketing more effectively.Some of them know that they want our help; know what they need to do and they have a pretty good idea of how to do it. They just need some guidance and the right tools and systems in place.Most people, though, still have a lot to learn. Search Engine Optimization, although only a piece of what we help people do, seems to be the most common challenge that causes people to initially seek our help. It’s also the thing that people seem most confused about, as well as the thing that people make the most mistakes doing, whether they have a SEO consultant involved or not.The name of the game for search engine optimization is extremely simple. Once you’re up and running with the right tools and systems, all you need to do is….Publish new GREAT content on new pages on your website REGULARLY.People get so confused about SEO. They are usually just wrapped up in all of the details.But, if you want to do SEO correctly, there’s one thing that you will spend the majority of your time doing: writing great content.We’re talking 90% of the time you spend doing SEO should be spent writing about you, your industry, your business, your products, your services and the problems you solve for your clients. All stuff that should be second nature to you.Yeah. You need to learn a few other things.But, if you can write, you can do SEO. The rest can be taught. And the rest should not distract you from writing.Unless… you fall victim to one of these mistakes.Top 10 Most Egregious SEO MistakesDavid Letterman Style, here it is:#10. You’re optimizing your website around really common (probably really popular) keywords that you’ll never be able to rank for. In the last week, I’ve had two people tell me they wanted to optimize their site around “leadership”. I said, good luck competing with Wikipedia and About.com.#9. Everyone of your title tags has the same keyword phrase in it. And it’s your company name. The title tag on a page is probably the most important on-page SEO factor to consider when creating new pages. You probably already rank well for a search on your company name, so you can safely leave that out and still get that traffic. So, make sure you pick appropriate keyword phrases for each page that are phrases that someone is going to type into a search engine in order to find a product or service like yours.#8. Dynamic URLs without your keywords in it. You bought a fancy shopping cart or content management system (CMS) that uses dynamic urls with all kinds of random numbers and random letters in the url. Your URLs should be readable by humans because search engines read words like humans too. The words in your URLs is another very important signal to search engines what that page is about. So, get yourself a CMS that allows you to control your urls or get yourself a URL rewriter. Include your keywords in your URLs.#7. You used images as headings. Headings are usually the big bold letters right above the content at the top of a page usually below your navigation. See “HubSpot Inbound Internet Marketing Blog”. That’s a heading. If these are “words built with images” (designers do this to control the font of the text), search engines aren’t reading them. These should be text. Pick a web safe font that’s close to what you want. Go with that.#6. Number 6 is equally egregious, but a little less common nowadays unless your website is circa 1997… If your navigation is built using image buttons instead of text, you’re giving search engine one less signal about what that page is about. See #7 for a fix: Use text.#5. All of the above. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen sites with all of the above mistakes. Really. Honest.#4. Doing SEO after the website is designed and built. For some reason, people think SEO should start afterwards. I’ve been racking my brain for an analogy, but it’s really pretty simple: Do you go on a trip before you pack? Do you launch a business before writing some sort of business plan? Do you visit to a friend’s new house without printing out driving directions?SEO done right allows you to determine what content to write in order to get traffic from search engines. And you shouldn’t design a site before you know what content will be on it. I’m not saying that you should change your business model or product name based on what keywords will be easiest to rank for, but you should consider it. I guarantee you that your competitors or smart internet marketers are doing this homework. Why not claim the search traffic for your business? It only takes a little bit of planning.Plus, if you go to a designer or web developer that isn’t an expert at SEO (Most aren’t – even though they say they are), they may not implement a system that allows you to publish new pages and optimize your site around your keywords without paying them $100/hour to make the changes and additions for you. Someone that knows SEO will launch your website in a system that allows you to easily do SEO on a continous basis.Which brings us to…#3. Our design firm “DID” SEO for us. This one is probably the most common. There is no such thing as “BEING DONE” with SEO. It’s an ongoing thing. Just the other night, I logged into HubSpot’s Keyword Grader tool and found 2 new keywords that we should target. We rank not-quite-on-the-first-page for both of them and both of them could deliver several hundred visitors/month once we get to the first page. That’s hundreds more visitors we could attract to our site – with a bit of effort. And we already rank for “internet marketing”, “internet marketing software” and a bunch of other great phrases that are relevant to our business. Doing SEO once is like doing prospecting once. If your salesperson said “I called prospects last month” as a reason for not calling any new prospects this month, what would you say to them right before you fired them?#2. You built your website entirely in flash. You might as well put an invisible shield up between you and the search engines because they don’t see you.#1. And the number one most egregious mistake. Drumroll, please… Your site is built entirely in flash, you’re a web design firm, and you advertise that you do SEO. I’ve run into two of these people recently. I won’t link to them even though they deserve to be called out.That about covers it. I hope this was a fun way for you to learn HOW TO DO SEO and not just HOW NOT TO DO SEO. I recently wrote a more detailed post on my blog about how to continuously identify new keywords for your content creation and link building efforts which details the few things that you need to know besides content creation to do SEO effectively. It should dispel any misconception that SEO is some mysterious science not comprehensible by mere business mortals. Have you seen other egregious SEO mistakes that should be included in the Top 100 List?  Leave a comment below and share with the community.Free eBook: Introduction to Search Engine Optimization Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img It’s about time your business started taking advantage of SEO to increase organic traffic.Download this free ebook to learn how to successfully optimize your website and content to get found online. Topics:last_img read more

Tweet Globally, Get Found Locally

first_imgWith around 21 million unique visitors to Twitter each month, Twitter is quickly gaining traction with small businesses. However, some local businesses are wondering if such a global audience is worth engaging with.  Last week, Deb Ward, a local business owner and Inbound Marketing Certified Professional, posted a thread to the inboundmarketing.com forum asking how she could localize her business’ tweets to a certain geographic location.  While it is not necessary to limit your tweeting so that only certain people in your area can see them, you CAN make your business’s location highly visible on Twitter, thus attracting more people to your brand and generating a network in your area.Here are a few ways to do this: 1. Include Your Location in Your Bio Utilize the 160-character bio each Twitter account has to describe your business and what town you hail from. Your business’s profile will then show up in Twitter’s search results for that area which will help you get found more easily.  You can also register your business on Twellow,  the yellow pages for Twitter, to make it easier for consumers to find you.  2. Follow People in Your Area and Your Industry Start following people from your area. Twitter best practices suggest that you start following people to increase the likelihood that they will follow you back. Twitter users can search for keywords on Tweet Scan to reach new audiences and to learn what these consumers want to know about in your industry. You can also search for the location of Twitter users with HubSpot’s Twitter Grader tool.  3. Tweet About Your LocationMake sure a good portion of your Tweets include geographically specific information — maybe town names, local landmarks or sports teams. If you figure out what people in your area are talking about on Twitter, then add to that conversation in a constructive manner, you’ll generate a lot of local followers. 4. Get Visible Lastly, geotweet. This application from Schmap produces a link to map with an icon pointing to your business and also allows users to rate the business on a 5 star scale.  Encourage fans of your business on Facebook or other social media sites to tweet the map and rate your business to create buzz.  Finally, above all else, don’t be spammy!  Just because you are following people does not mean you can message them every five minutes to go to your restaurant, bookstore, or hardware shop. Remember to keep your tweets interesting and relevant to your target audiences to get people to continue to follow you.  Tweet about promotional offerings or upcoming events that you are hosting and/or that pertain to your industry.  If you create content on a blog, tweet about it to drive visitors to your site.   Combine your geo-targeted efforts with thought leadership in your industry to get your target audience engaged while remaining relevant to the rest of the Twittersphere as well.      Twitter for Business Kit Learn how to use Twitter to get noticed in Social Media and spread news about your company.Download the free kit to learn how to get started with Twitter and use it to help your company get found online! Originally published Aug 7, 2009 12:54:00 PM, updated October 01 2013 Topics: Twitter Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Twitter’s New Retweet Feature Makes Quality, Unique Content Even More Important for Marketers

first_imgTwitter sure has been busy lately.  First, Twitter lists .  Now they’ve recently rolled out their following On your Twitter sidebar, you’ll notice a new option under your Favorites called “Retweets.” Clicking this will show you three different tabbed options: Retweets by others, Retweets by you and Your tweets, retweeted. Here’s an example of a retweet that appeared in my timeline.  Note that I am . Among other issues, users are also concerned about the new Retweet function What is your opinion of the new feature?  Will it change the way people tweet?  Because most of the credit is given to the tweet’s originator, does it take away from the power of the recommendation? Originally published Nov 19, 2009 1:59:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 seeming invasion to a beta group of users, making it easier to regurgitate others’ tweets.  The feature was rolled out to me today, but after testing it out I’ve started questioning, You’ll also notice that when you’re on the page of a user you’re following, you have the option of turning on/off the ability to see that user’s retweets.  The feature is on when the arrowed icon appears highlighted in green. To turn it off, click the icon so it isn’t highlighted: Reactions from the Twitterati: Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Perhaps the biggest implication of the new Retweet function from a marketing perspective is the increased importance of creating quality, unique tweets that others will want to retweet.  Because retweets are associated with the original user, that user who originated the tweet will have more widespread reach and visibility via the Twitter timelines of others who may not be following them.   for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. @SESConf Does the new feature enhance or diminish the quality of the retweet? One of my personal gripes about the new Retweet feature is the inability to add a personal touch to the tweet I’m re-posting.  When a user presses the Retweet button, the tweet is re-posted verbatim, with no opportunity to disagree or add any personal flavor.  After voicing my opinion on Twitter, I noticed that of their Twitter stream from users they aren’t following, since retweets appear with the avatar of the user who originally posted it, not the user you’re following who retweeted it. Twitter Engagement Explanation of Retweet Features: @Charwebmktg I’m not the only one who feels this way So What Does This Mean for Marketing? , but the tweet appeared because Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? am , who I Download the free webinar not The following is Twitter’s example of a retweet.  Retweets appear in a user’s timeline as the original tweet with a note below indicating the user (the person you’re following) who retweeted it: Topics: following, retweeted it. See also Twitter’s explanation bubble: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Finally, Twitter Search to Rank Tweets by Popularity

first_img SEO and Social Media Topics: That has finally changed!This past Friday Twitter API Announcements released information that it was working on a beta project to start ranking “the most popular tweets for a query, rather than only the most recent tweets”!  What this means is that Twitter search is starting to function more like a real search engine where authority (popularity) of a tweet is as important as recency!Here’s an example to drill my point home.  Earlier this year Sun CEO, Jonanthan Schwartz (@OpenJonathan) created a lot of buzz by using a #haiku to announce his resignation on Twitter.For someone searching for relevant or buzzworthy information on Jonathan Schwartz in general you’ll probably get his most recent tweets or @replies to him.  However, if you did a specific search for his resignation tweet using multiple search queries you get nothing!  Nada! A similar search query on Google, on the other hand, yields the results below, answering my question what about Jonathan Schwartz has been most relevent or popular on Twitter, up to this minute or at any time. Twitter has yet to divulge details of what is considered a popular tweet.  It might be number of retweets, it could be inbound links to a tweet from powerful blogs, it could be a combination of such things.  The key thing to note is this is a huge step towards making social search work better!People are spending 7 hours a month on Facebook, and generating upwards of 600 tweets per second on Twitter .  In fact, Facebook has dethroned Yahoo! as the second largest site and overtaken Google in traffic growth.  Businesses must social-media-optimize themselves to be found in these social networks for relevant keywords. In Twitter search’s current incarnation, all of the karma companies have acquired for creating buzz worthy tweets are lost.  However, with this small tweak in their API, we are a step closer to being social media optimized and found online for past efforts.How are you social media optimizing your business? Live Webinar: Social Media Optimization Is The New SEO With Brian SolisNew Media thought leader, Brian Solis, will share how to implement and manage a Social Media Optimization (SMO) program.Date and time: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 12:30pm EST Reserve your spot now to increas your visibility in social media! Originally published Mar 22, 2010 9:49:00 AM, updated October 01 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

7 Online Marketing Metrics to Beat Competition Online

first_img The list of data you could gather is endless, but there are a few key online metrics that can give you a clear idea of where your website stands relative to the competition and what you can do to be on top. . HubSpot’s Blog Grader that measures a site’s overall SEO readiness, including a scan for keywords, conversion forms and more. On a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being best, your website grade gives you a snapshot of your overall effectiveness in getting traffic to your site based on inbound marketing best practices. 3) Traffic Rank Originally published Nov 22, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 This simple metric indicates how many pages the search engines think you have. (Sometimes, based on your site structure, you might have more pages than they index.) More indexed pages generally means more content and more chances to build links and rank online. If your competition is blowing you out of the way on the other metrics, you can be almost certain they have a lot more pages. One of the ways you can easily create more pages is through blogging — every blog article is a new page and a new opportunity to rank for a valuable keyword by providing remarkable content to your audiences. ranking from Alexa . 7) Keywords in Top 100 HubSpot’s free 30 Day Trial to get your own Competitors Report. HubSpot’s Website Grader The lower this number the better. A Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , this is an indication of how much traffic your site gets compared to all other sites on the Web. If you ranked #1, you’d be the most popular site in the world. Your goal is to have a rank lower than your competition. One way to get similar data online is to check out your Compete rankings   Companies just like yours are trying to rank on the first page of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Some businesses rely on consultants, SEO firms or Pay-Per-Click ads to try and get placement in front of the right audiences. If you practice inbound marketing, you know that creating, optimizing and promoting high quality content can help you improve your search rankings. But how do you know what a good benchmark is — or how much work you need to do to move ahead of the pack? On a scale from 1 to 100, your blog grade is based on the level of traffic your blog receives and the quality and quantity of links pointing to it. Compiled by Competition on the web is fierce.center_img score from 1 to 10, 10 being best, is provided by SEOMoz , this report will provide you with actionable recommendations to improve your blog’s effectiveness. This is an overall grade provided by 6) Indexed Pages This is an approximate count of the number of keywords on your or your competitors’ sites that rank in the top 100 search results.  That means you are showing up within the first 10 pages. The higher the count, the better, because it means you get more chances to attract qualified visitors to your site. 1) Website Grade Conducting Marketing Research 2) Moz Rank 4) Blog Grade Topics: Is there a competitor that’s beating you in online rankings?  Do a little research to find out why and then develop an inbound marketing strategy to improve your position and start winning more visitors, leads and sales online. You can do the work of getting a lot of these stats from the different tools mentioned above — or, consider getting a quick benchmark by using The chart above, featuring a few of HubSpot’s own websites, combines the key metrics you should consider as you develop benchmarks for your inbound marketing strategy: 5) Inbound Links Yahoo’s Site Explorer This This often overlooked metric is one of the strongest indicators of your potential online rank. An inbound link is like an online vote for your content and site: the more votes you accumulate, the more attention search engines give you. To beat your competition online, you need to build more inbound links with higher quality. You retrieve such data from public sources, like and measures link authority and popularity. High quantity and quality inbound links are key to improving your rankings in most search engines.last_img read more

Cold Calling Cruelty! Second Episode of “Captain Inbound” Animation [Video]

first_img @ Annie Analyze . (as himself) : @ OneAndOnlyCJ the second episode of HubSpot’s animated cartoon web series Greta Get Found: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack : @ vleckas @ Captain Inbound EricGuerin Ring ring! Ring ring! repcor Sultan of Spam jlopin shares some words of wisdom with Greta Get Found, Chris Convert, and Annie Analyze. Then, led by the fantastic Captain Inbound, Team Inbound comes to our rescue! MAKE IT STOP!center_img (@ Animated by Eric Guerin Watch marketing hero Captain Inbound defeat the Sultan of Spam to save the day in Chris Convert : @ Narrator Cortenberg The Sultan of Spam is at it again, this time with a cold calling campaign designed to interrupt you every day for the rest of your life! Character Voices: : @ The Adventures of Captain Inbound: Episode Two Chris Brogan: Originally published May 18, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 :@ Chris Brogan ) andrewtquinn chrisbroganlast_img read more

Everything Marketers Need to Measure and Prove Content ROI

first_img Topics: Originally published Jan 24, 2012 5:16:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Marketing content creators have a lot of potential content assets at their disposal. But whether they’re drafting an ebook , writing a blog post, or producing a webinar, they usually have different goals in mind for the content they’re creating. And just as each content asset is associated with different goals, each must also be measured by different metrics.After all, if you’re using an ebook to generate leads , landing page submissions, not page views, should be your top priority metric. Let’s examine some of the most popular marketing content assets — ebooks and whitepapers, webinars, and blog posts — and how you should be measuring their success. What Does Content ‘Success’ Mean? Before we dive into each individual content asset, the first question you’ll need to ask yourself is, “What does ‘success’ mean for my particular business and each of its content assets?” This can depend on a number of factors, from the results your competitors are achieving, to benchmarks in your industry, to how each piece of content is being used in your marketing program. For example, a webinar or an ebook can be used as either a top-of-the-funnel offer to generate new leads, or a middle-of-the-funnel offer to nurture existing leads , all depending on the subject matter the content covers and when it’s introduced to prospects. For the former, net new leads would be the focal metric, whereas for the latter, reconversions would likely be the end goal.Before you create a new piece of content, keep in mind what your goals for that content are so you can effectively tailor it to suit those needs and be sure you’re measuring its success as accurately as possible. Ebooks/Whitepapers Possible Goals: An ebook or a whitepaper is a long-form piece of content, usually offered as more premium content used in lead generation or lead nurturing. Typically, a visitor to your website must complete a form on a landing page to acquire the ebook/whitepaper, thus converting them (or reconverting them) into a lead for your business. Metrics to Track Landing Page Visits: Tracking the number of visitors to your landing pages is a great way to see how much traffic you’re driving to your content. If you notice your landing pages aren’t driving a significant amount of traffic, you maybe need to increase your page’s visibility in social media, search, and in calls-to-action on your website. To do so, make sure your landing pages are equipped with social sharing buttons and that you’re actively sharing it via your social channels, optimize your landing pages with the keywords you want your page to get found for, and make sure every web page and blog post you create includes a relevant call-to-action for your landing pages. Conversions/Submissions: This metric refers to how many people actually completed the form on your landing page and downloaded your content. Depending on the goals of your content, submissions can also be categorized as new leads (if lead gen is the goal) or reconverted leads (if lead nurturing is the goal). This number is probably the most telling indicator of your content’s success. Conversion Rate: This metric provides insight into the percentage of visitors that turned into conversions/submissions. It’s important to track this percentage to identify problems with your landing page. For example, if it’s generating a lot of traffic but isn’t converting visitors into submissions, your landing page may need to improvements, such as better communication of the offer’s value some A/B testing to identify problem areas. In addition, boosting your conversion rate will help you generate more submissions from existing traffic. Social Media Shares: How many people are sharing your ebook’s landing page on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+? Social media shares is a great secondary metric to analyze how well your ebook offer resonates with your audience and the sentiment of your audience toward your content. Plus, the more social shares, the greater its reach! If your ebook isn’t generating a lot of shares, again, make sure you’re sharing it yourself in social media and that your landing pages include social media sharing buttons. Live & Archived Webinars Possible Goals: Webinars are typically live, online presentations about a particular topic. Businesses can use them to educate attendees about a number of things, from industry best practices to the capabilities of their products/services. Webinars can be recorded and archived to be distributed to those who could not attend the live event. Metrics to Track Landing Page Visits: Whether you’re trying to gather registrations for an upcoming live webinar or encouraging downloads of a recorded, archived webinar, landing pages will again be the primary page by which you can track success. (Tip: Use the same landing page to capture registrants and archived downloads; just re-purpose the page to include the recording when it’s available. This eliminates the need to create a brand new landing page and also capitalizes on the traffic the page will already generate organically through search and social sharing.) Evaluate webinar landing page visits just as you would ebook landing page visits (see above). Social Media Shares & Hashtag Engagement: Social media shares can give you a pulse of how much visibility your webinar is getting in social networks. Hashtags allow you to monitor the conversion happening before, during, and after your webinar, and helps you identify the audience’s sentiment toward your webinar in terms of topic, production quality, and content value. It’s a best practice to create a hashtag for your webinars so you can track this conversation, join in, and enable attendees to engage with each other. It also enables you to generate some buzz around your event and encourage non-attendees to catch the archived version later. Registrations: Registrations is the number of registrants for your webinar. These are people who completed the registration form on your landing page to secure their spot in your upcoming live webinar. You want to generate as many registrations as possible, since only a fraction of registrants will end up actually attending your webinar. Live Attendees: Live attendees are the number of registrants that actually attended your live webinar. You can also calculate your registrations-to-live attendees conversion rate to identify the percentage of registrants who actually showed up. This can show you how well you were at getting registrants not just to register, but also to attend. It’s important to identify which registrants actually attended so that you can nurture these leads differently than those that registered but did not sign up. For example, in your follow-up email to non-attendees, you might want to include the webinar recording and mention that it could be useful since they weren’t able to attend live. Submissions/Downloads: For archived webinars, this number shows how many people downloaded your webinar after the live showing. Offering archived webinars is a great way to extend the life of your webinar content and generate more conversions and views post live event. (Note: For some middle-of-the-funnel focused webinars such as group demos or product-focused webinars, it might not make sense to put this content behind a lead gen form, as views, not leads, is likely the goal.) Conversion Rate: A webinar’s conversion rate could refer to the rate at which landing page visitors converted into registrants (for live webinars) or the rate at which landing page visitors converted into downloads (for archived webinars). Again, as with ebook conversion rates (see above), this percentage can pinpoint problems with your landing page, and an improved conversion rate could help you generate more submissions without increasing traffic. Business Blogging Possible Goals: Business blog posts include any content you publish to your business blog and usually serve as shorter-form content. Business blogging can contribute to a number of goals — establishment as an industry thought leader, improved search engine optimization, lead generation, social media reach, or lead nurturing. Metrics to Track Page Views and Overall Traffic: Because each blog post you publish lives on its own web page, page views will give you an idea of how many visitors viewed a specific post. This can provide some powerful insights into the types of content — subject/topic, format, etc. — that resonates with your audience. It can also help you conduct deeper analysis into which factors make killer blog posts for your blog. Use this knowledge to write more about the topics your audience responds to and less about the ones they don’t. In addition, track the traffic to your blog as a whole. You’ll want this to steadily increase over time to ensure that your blog is effectively contributing to an increase in traffic to and exposure for your business’ website. Keyword/Search Rankings: One of main benefits of business blogging is an increase in your website’s search engine rankings. Be sure you’re tracking if your business increases its ranking for the keywords you’re targeting over the course of your blogging career. And make sure you’re optimizing every blog post you publish for those keywords to ensure you’re steadily moving the needle. Increased search rankings lead to increased traffic, and increased leads!  Inbound Links: While also a driver for SEO success, inbound links into your blog content can give you a powerful indication of which posts were valuable enough to link to from another website. Analyze which of your posts received the most inbound links to get an idea of what types of content generally gets rewarded with an inbound link. Then apply the lessons learned to future content. Submissions/Conversions: How well is your blog contributing to lead generation? Again, submissions/conversions can be segmented into new leads or reconverted leads. Both are valuable, but depending on your goals, you may want to track one more closely than another. If you can attribute few leads to your blog, make sure each post you publish includes a relevant call-to-action (CTA) to a landing page for one of your more premium content offers like a webinar or an ebook. If you’ve already done so, conduct some A/B testing on your CTAs to maximize conversions from your blog. Comments and Social Media Shares: Just as with ebooks and webinars, social media shares can be a great way to gauge your content’s success. Shares as well as blog comments can also serve to indicate your audience’s sentiment toward your content. Be sure you leave comments open on your blog and make sure every blog article published includes social media sharing buttons to encourage visitors to share you content with their networks. Pulling It All Together As we all well know, a marketer’s job doesn’t stop at lead generation. So it makes sense that marketers should also analyze how their content assets work both individually and together to achieve their business’ bottom line: customers and revenue . Using closed-loop data , marketers should analyze which content assets are most successful in generating customers. Is one content format (e.g. ebooks vs. webinars) more successful at generating customers than the other? Does one content topic tend to produce more customers?Using  lead intelligence , marketers should also identify whether leads who consume multiple types of content become more qualified customers. That analysis in itself is fodder for a more advanced post, which we discuss here , but at the very least, marketers should understand that many prospects and leads will likely engage with your content in more ways than one.Marketers who effectively leverage the data at their fingertips to gather insights about their content’s performance have the opportunity to significantly improve their content strategy. Are you making the most out of the data available to you?Image Credit: Jamiesrabbits Marketing Reporting Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

30-Day Challenge: 8 Little Changes to Your Marketing That’ll Make a Big Impact

first_img Topics: You’ve all heard of TED Talks, right? Their tagline is “Ideas Worth Spreading,” and some colleagues of mine have surfaced one of their talks that I think has an idea worth spreading to a lot of our readers.So, I’m blogging about it. Like bloggers do.The TED Talk is from Google’s Matt Cutts, and the central idea is that you can do anything for 30 days. “Think about something you’ve always wanted to add to your life, and try it for the next 30 days,” Cutts says. “If you really want something badly enough, you can do anything for 30 days.”The 30-day timeline seems, to Matt, to be the perfect amount of time to add a good habit to your daily repertoire — or subtract a harmful one. I think this is a fantastic challenge for anyone on a personal level, but I also thought maybe inbound marketers could take on the challenge in an attempt to improve their marketing.In our office, some of us have taken on our own personal 30-day challenges (which I’ll share with you at the end of the post) but I wanted to put forth both the video that explains the challenge, as well as some ideas that inbound marketers could possibly try out for the next 30 days. Monday is the start of a new month, after all, so I thought this would be a good time to noodle over what we could do every day for the next month to improve our marketing.Here is the video clip (it’s short, just a couple minutes), and some possible 30-day inbound marketing challenges we could take on below it.The 30-Day Challenge: What Could You Do in 30 Days?Some 30-Day Challenges for Inbound Marketers1) Write 500 WordsMany inbound marketers cite content creation as a challenge, which is why I was immediately struck by an example Matt gave in his TED talk:”Have you ever wanted to write a novel? Every November, tens of thousands of people try to write their own fifty thousand-word novel from scratch in 30 days. It turns out, all you have to do is write 1,667 words a day, for a month. So I did. By the way, the secret is not to go to sleep until you’ve written your words for the day. You might be sleep deprived, but you’ll finish your novel.”This really resonated with me as a content creator, because when you’re suffering from writer’s block (or just really don’t want to write), the best solution truly is to just do it. So, consider writing 500 words a day for one month. You could use the content for an ebook, blog post, whitepaper — whatever. Heck, some of it might be total rubbish that you never even publish. But you’ll get used to writing content, and after 30 days, I have a hunch you’ll feel a lot less intimidated about content creation, and be much better and faster with it, too.2) Learn a New Tool in Photoshop… or another visual content editing or creation tool, if Photoshop isn’t your jam. We all know visual content is hot, but we don’t all know how to take advantage of it in a practical way — because we’re not all designers, and we can’t all afford to hire one. At the end of this post is a free visual design crash course. That’s a good place to start if you’re looking to up your design chops, and maybe center your 30-day challenge around improving your ability to create visual content.3) Learn a New Excel FunctionEffective inbound marketers make data-driven decisions. If you’re comfortable using Excel, you can do a lot of really cool number crunching that sheds remarkable insights on your marketing activities. Spend 30 days trying to learn new Excel functions — you can start simple, and as you get more comfortable crunching numbers, experiment with weirder and geekier functions. Your marketing will certainly thank you.4) Call One CustomerMarketers are typically pretty closely aligned with their sales organization — or at least they strive to be — but its easy to forget about leads once they become customers. But if you’re truly practicing inbound marketing, you’re trying to solve for the customer, not just the close. So perhaps a month of talking to customers could help you get back in touch with what it’s really like to use your product or service, if you feel out of the loop. For instance, our CEO Brian Halligan makes it a habit to speak to at least three customers every week. It’s an invaluable source of feedback that can help you make better Marketing and Sales decisions.5) Sit on a Sales CallOr perhaps you don’t feel as connected to your sales organization as you wish. Spending a little time every day listening in on a sales call is an excellent use of time to get some insight into the kinds of questions Sales is fielding. You could use the information to guide your content creation, SEO, and sales enablement strategies.6) Use a New Social NetworkSometimes people give up on those things too fast. We just don’t have the time, you know? It might be time to give one of those new social networks the old college try, though. See if Pinterest really could work for you. Or Twitter. Or LinkedIn. Or Quora. If you don’t put in a concerted effort on a consistent basis, it’s really hard to make anything work well.7) Run a New A/B TestA/B tests help inbound marketers make incremental improvements to their marketing — backed by data, not feelings. Imagine if you ran a new test every day for a month. The impact on your marketing would be huge! If it seems insane to run that many A/B tests, just check out this blog post — there are 25 experiments in there that you can run on your email marketing alone.8) Read for 30 MinutesIt’s so easy to get into work, open your email, and dive into your work — tasks, calls, meetings, etc. Before you know it, your day’s over, and you start it all over the next day. When do you have time to actually learn new things, though? Challenge yourself to spend 30 minutes a day just … reading. Industry news, inbound marketing news, a book, or even brand new sites you’ve never heard of before. I even recommend reading stuff that has nothing to do with marketing or your industry at all. It gives you perspective that helps you do your job better, spurs ideas for new types of content, and keeps you sharp when you’re working with people outside the four walls of your company.And, If You’re Curious What We’re Doing …A group of us are supporting our fundraising campaign for our partner, charity: water. We’re taking on more personal challenges — things like no sugar or no coffee (aaah!), or adding in things like reading 20 pages or working out every day. Any day we fail to live up to the challenge, we’re donating a dollar to our #failwhale jar, which you can see to the right. So, you know, it makes failure a little less dire. 😉 I, personally, am taking on a 30-day challenge to not slouch, and a marketing challenge to not leave work until my inbox is under 20 emails (when you work in editorial for an inbound marketing department, that is a very real marketing-related challenge).Whether you choose to do a personal challenge or marketing-related one, take one last piece of Matt Cutts’ advice to heart:”When I made small sustainable changes, things I could keep doing, they were more likely to stick. There’s nothing wrong with big crazy challenges — in fact, they’re a ton of fun — but they’re less likely to stick … The next 30 days are going to pass, whether you like it or not. So why not think about something you have always wanted to try, and give it a shot for the next 30 days?”So, what will you try? Share your ideas in the comments — or, if you’ve already done this challenge in the past, share what you did, and whether you stuck with it after the 30 days were up!Image credit: Moyan_Brenn Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jun 28, 2013 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Strategylast_img read more

How to Convince Your Boss to Invest in Social Media Marketing

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jan 29, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Social Media Marketing Topics: This post originally appeared on Inbound Insiders, a new section of Inbound Hub. To read more content like this, subscribe to the Inbound Insiders section.Picture this: You’re sitting in front of your boss, eager to pitch your idea of using social media to engage prospects and market your brand. The only thing standing in the way of your idea’s approval is the person in front of you — a hardened executive whose facial expression says they can’t wait to say “no.” Your palms are sweating, as you realize you’re not prepared to defend your position.Don’t let this happen to you! If you want to convince your boss that social media marketing is integral to your overall marketing success, you’ll need plenty of resources to back up your argument.To determine the best method of convincing your boss to invest in social media marketing, read the four ridiculous arguments typically made by the C-Suite against social media marketing I’ve outlined below.These scenarios will help you learn how to respond appropriately to each one and support your points with the right data and arguments of your own.4 Arguments the C-Suite Makes Against Social Media1) “Our prospects don’t use social media.”This is probably the first argument you’ll hear, especially if you’re a B2B company. While not all industries engage on every social media platform out there, you can be certain that most industries do so on at least two or three of them that make the most sense for their brands’ interests.How to RespondPerhaps the number-one social media platform for B2B industries is LinkedIn. As the “professional-only” site (you won’t see pictures of lattes or comments about cats), millions of people use LinkedIn, as do numerous brands — many of which take advantage of the site’s Company Pages.Let’s use this platform as an example of one you could pitch to your boss as a site you should be using in your marketing efforts.First, log in to LinkedIn at your boss’s desk and show them LinkedIn Groups. Now, type in whatever your primary prospect’s industry is. From avocado growers, to agricultural groups, to xylophone manufacturers, you’ll find more professional groups represented on LinkedIn than you care to know about.Then, tell your boss that by joining LinkedIn Groups relevant to your products and services, you can begin contributing to discussions and commenting on posts with valuable information of your own.Note, however, that spammy comments, sales pitches, and irrelevant input are not tolerated. Be genuine, be smart, and be aware. Engagement must be authentic and helpful to Group members. If it’s not, you could be asked to leave. When you join a Group and contribute wisely, you’re establishing credibility and value.Next, take the same approach with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Find your company’s top-10 prospects on these sites and show their pages and accounts to your boss. Many, if not all, of them will have a presence on one or the other and interact with their customers, leads, and partners through the platforms.If your prospects are on social media, that tells you — and your boss — that they’re accustomed to that way of communicating and understand its value. It also tells you that you’re behind and need to establish a presence of your own!2) “None of our competitors use social media.”Even if your competitors aren’t on social media (they are), being first on the scene is an opportunity to stand out and keeps you from playing catch-up. It means you’re a big fish in a pool of prospects searching for valuable information that could help them grow their businesses.In short, the earlier you get in, the better your chances are of making a mark and establishing your expertise and credibility.How to RespondIf your brand is the “first one in,” it won’t be alone for long. Download and show your boss HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report, which clearly shows that social media marketing is on the rise.Here’s just one of many statistics you can use to back up your reasoning: 23% percent of marketers invested in blogs and social media during 2013, up from 9% in 2012.You can also prove that competitors are on social media simply by searching for each of them on the most widely used networks — including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube — and outlining your competitors’ activities.After seeing how active one or more of your competitors have been on these sites, your boss may finally decide it’s worthwhile to join them on social media and attempt to reach more members of your core audience.3) “Social media is just a fad.”Years ago, I’m not sure if anyone knew just how consumed our daily lives would be with social media. Aaron Lee addressed the subject of social media and its prospects for longevity a few years ago, describing it as a “fundamental change in how we communicate” — not just a fad to be waited out and dismissed. It seems he was on-point, wouldn’t you say?How to RespondYou can start by sharing this Pew Research Center study with your boss, which found that 73% of online adults use social networking sites. Specifically, the report noted 71% of adults use Facebook, 22% use LinkedIn, and 18% use Twitter — three of the most popular social networking sites. With that many adults on social networks, it doesn’t seem like they’ll be going away anytime soon.You can also give your boss a snapshot of social media’s impressive growth from 2006-12 by sharing this detailed article by Steven White, which shows considerable growth in pretty much every major social media site during the six-year period.The numbers bolster the argument that social media is a change to our lives, not just a fad that will have its 15 minutes and go the way of the pet rock. And as networks become stronger, features become richer, platforms become easier to use, audiences become larger, and — in turn — brands have greater opportunity to leverage social media to engage with their best prospects and grow their businesses.4) “We won’t get any leads from social media.”Executives want you to get the brand’s message out to prospects and deliver quality leads, yet their perceptions that social media is for young kids sharing fashion photos and videos of cute puppies doing human-like tricks works against its legitimate uses.How to RespondTo fight this argument, go right back to the State of Inbound Marketing report. It’s full of information related to successful use of social media in generating leads.The study shows, among other things, that social media is one of the top drivers of leads, that it’s the top driver of reducing the cost-per-lead (CPL) for B2B and B2C businesses, that CPL is actually reduced when social media marketing is used, and that 52% of all marketers surveyed actually sourced a lead from Facebook in 2013.You’re not going to win any arguments about social media without some cold, hard facts, especially if the C-suite executive you’re talking to is a traditionalist who’s unfamiliar with the power of social media.But with a fact-based defense, even the most stubborn exec won’t have any choice but to dive in and start taking full advantage of the networks that make the most sense for his or her brand.Which social media platform do you want to start utilizing for your marketing efforts that you haven’t tried yet? Which ones have worked best for you so far? Let us know in the comments!last_img read more

Had a Busy June? Catch Up on the 5 Hottest Posts of the Month

first_imgSo, another month has come and gone. At HubSpot, that means a lot of new content has been created and published. As content creators know all too well, not all of the content you publish will be wildly successful. In June, we saw another month of content — some pieces performed very well with our audience and some didn’t.We wanted to make sure you weren’t missing out on the great stuff. This blog post offers a roundup of the most-shared blog posts from June. Take a look and catch up on anything you may have missed.The Recipe for Perfect Social Media Posts [Infographic] Topics: Share Share It can be difficult to determine what exactly will make your desired followers engage with you on Twitter. To help you improve your Twitter game, this blog post offers some template Twitter “formulas.”What was the most interesting thing you learned this month on Inbound Hub? What do you want to see more of? Leave your feedback in the comments! Share Confidence and success are highly correlated. But many times, confidence and extroversion are mistaken for each other. This blog post discusses the reasons introverts can make very talented leaders.The Engagement Ring Story: How De Beers Created a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry From the Ground Up Why is it that diamond engagement rings are a symbol of love and commitment? This blog posts describes the ways De Beers used marketing to create demand for diamonds from nothing.How to Write a Tweet: 8 Formulas to Get You Started If you want lots of people to engage with your social media posts, you have to optimize your posts for each individual social network. This blog post will teach you optimization tricks to help you make every future social media post count.Better Content Through Chemicals? How Caffeine, Alcohol, & Other Substances Affect Creativity Have you ever wondered how chemicals like alcohol and caffeine actually impact your productivity and creativity? This blog post will give you the down-low on it all. Why Introverts Make Great Leaders Share Social Media Engagement Originally published Jun 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Share Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more