Tag: Tips

Internal Linking Guide: Actionable Tips, Strategies, and Tools

Internal links are a crucial part of a successful SEO strategy.

Small but mighty, simple yet complex, internal links help navigate users through your digital content and give search engine crawlers information about how your website works.

Internal links are found on almost every page on the internet. You’re probably already using them, even if you don’t know it. (Hint: there’s a few included in this intro,)

If you want to optimize your content for SEO, you need to understand how internal links work, where to place them, and why they matter.

In this post, we’ll dive into internal linking and cover best practices.

What Is Internal Linking?

Internal links are links from one page to another within a single domain.

These are different from external links, which point to pages on a different website.

Every website with more than one page should be connected through internal linking.

Think of your website’s home page. In the top navigation, you likely have a menu that links to other internal pages. This could be your About, Shop, and Contact pages.

This internal linking structure is essential for SEO because it establishes a site architecture and improves your link equity.

Having multiple web pages attached to a singular domain improves your chances of being ranked by allowing search engine crawlers to index more content.

Internal linking is a simple issue of site design and architecture, and the search engines expect it. All websites have a design and architecture that keeps them structured logically, such as this common silo model.

internal linking - silo model site map

Of course, site architecture and structuring can get far more complex.

internal linking guide - site architecture example

But as long as you have a strong internal linking structure, your website will be crawled, indexed, and ranked by search engines.

Internal linking is also an important part of your user experience, as it allows users to uncover related information or find what they are looking for, which improves dwell time.

5 Reasons Internal Linking Is Good for SEO

Internal linking is one of SEO’s most valuable weapons.

Why? Because it works.

Google’s machine-learning algorithm has come a long way since the early days of SEO. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to game the system.

As advanced as the algorithm is, there are still simple changes that will give you an immediate boost in SEO without gaming the search engines.

Internal linking is one of them. It’s not a trick or a gimmick, and it’s certainly not hard to do.

Here are some of the benefits.

1. Helps Google Index Your Site

Google’s crawler follows link paths throughout the internet to find and index websites.

If your website has strong internal linking, the Google crawler has an easier time finding new content you publish.

google crawler moving through internal links on website

Google’s bots regularly crawl the web for fresh content. If your content is woven together with multiple internal links, crawling happens a lot faster.

As a result, your content will get indexed faster, too.

Improved crawling and indexing can boost your SEO.

2. Increases Backlink-Earning Potential of Deep Content Pages

Take a look at where most of your website’s backlinks are coming from. You’ll probably see a lot of links that send users to your homepage.

When you compare the homepage backlinks to deep page backlinks, this is what you usually see:

internal linking start page and deep page

Unfortunately, too many home page backlinks are bad for SEO. We call this over-optimizing, and it should be avoided.

What you want to see is the pie chart reversed. The majority of your external links should point at deep internal pages, not your home page. That’s because the homepage doesn’t generally include the type of detailed information users search for.

When a website doesn’t actively publish and promote new content, its link profile looks like this:

internal linking structure ranking

Most of the links on the website go to social profiles or standard pages such as “About” or “Contact.”

This provides very little SEO value to the site.

If you create a strong internal linking structure, you can boost the link juice earning potential of the internal pages, by creating clear click paths and indexation throughout the website.

Why? Because you are increasing the overall crawl priority throughout the site with better distribution of your links.

3. Internal Linking Spreads the Strength of the Site to Internal Pages

When your website receives a link to the homepage, some of the link value is passed on to internal pages.

This is often referred to as “link juice.”

internal linking guide - link juice

If Page 1 then links to Page 2, the “link juice” flows from Page 1 to Page 2, helping it rank higher in the search engine results page (SERP).

The more tightly-knit a website’s structure (through internal linking), the better the overall site will perform in search.

4. Internal Linking with Optimized Anchor Text Is Good for SEO

An internal link is a simple string of HTML that links one website page to another. It looks like this:

<A HREF = “http://www.example.com/internalpage“> an article on cat food </A>

When you create an internal link with anchor text, as opposed to with an image or navigational text, however, the value of the internal link goes up.

Anchor text improves the value of the link by adding keywords and content to the linking process. Google isn’t just looking at an A HREF tag. They are also looking at the anchor text that is part of that link.

The days of keyword stuffing anchor texts are long gone. But, there is value in optimizing your internal anchor text.

Anchor text that flows well with the overall content, versus over-optimized anchor text, is best.

5. It Provides Value to Your Users

This is the most important point of all. Internal linking is an SEO technique, yes. But, it’s more than that.

Ultimately, internal linking is useful for users.

Think about it this way: When you’re researching a topic, do you check one source or multiple?

Do you enjoy exploring other content that reinforces your understanding of the topic?

Maybe, you just like the writing style of the article you’re reading and want to read more work by the same author.

Internal linking on a site increases the value of each piece of content by backing up claims and leading the user to related information.

While it may not drive conversions directly, internal linking does have a place within the marketing funnel—carrying people to a target destination.

As an added bonus, you can help readers stay on your site longer and increase their trust in you by using internal linking.

SEO is about user optimization, not just technical tweaks and sneaky tricks.

Even if you don’t care about the technical value of internal linking, at least do it for your users.

Internal Linking Best Practices

Now, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. How do you do internal linking? What’s the best method for creating the biggest value with links?

There are two things you need in place first:

  1. Written content on the site: Even if you have a single article, that’s okay. That’s your starting place. If you don’t have any written content but want to create some, check out our The Ultimate Guide to Writing Epic Content.
  2. Continually writing new content for the site: Getting into a regular publishing schedule is important for internal linking to be effective.

Okay, let’s get into it.

Link to and From Content-Heavy Pages

The best internal links are those that connect one article to another. This creates a strong internal linking structure deep within the site.

If you have good site architecture, you’ll have enough links to the site’s main pages, such as the homepage, About page, Contact page, etc.

You don’t need more links to these pages.

Obviously, if you’re trying to drive conversions using a squeeze page or sales page and the opportunity is right, link to it.

For the most part, I recommend creating links in and among long-form articles. This automatically spreads your internal linking naturally.

Create Text Links Using Anchor Text

What kind of internal links work best?

It’s simple: Links with descriptive anchor text.

What do we mean by descriptive anchor text?

You’re familiar with anchor text, right? An anchor text is the word or words that link to another page. They typically appear as blue text to the reader.

This is anchor text.

Your internal links should use anchor text, but not just any anchor text will do. Include phrases that describe what the target link is about.

Here are some examples of strong anchor text:

If you wanted to link to an article about the 10 most important SEO techniques, you could do it this way:

Here are a few important SEO techniques you should be using.

If you wanted to link to an article about Google Hummingbird, you could do it this way:

Google’s algorithm has been updated with new machine learning capabilities.

Each of those examples is associating the subject of the link with relevant phrases. The first anchor text contains “10 most important SEO techniques,” which is the subject matter of the article you’re linking to. The second anchor text has the phrase, “Google’s algorithm has been updated,” and the linked article contains information about Google, Hummingbird, algorithms, and updates.

Here are three things not to do with your internal linking:

  1. Do not try to create an exact match between the anchor text and the link target. This technique, known as “exact match anchor text” has been associated with SEO penalties via the Penguin update. Today’s search engines are sensitive to the regular use of exact match anchor text because it wouldn’t frequently happen in regular content. It appears unnatural because it is.
  2. Do not use phrases like “click here.” This adds no value. Anchor text needs to be related to the linked page in some way.
  3. Do not link more than one sentence. An entire hyperlinked paragraph is unsightly and makes for a poor user experience. Just stick to a few words or a phrase when using anchor text to point to an internal link.

Add an Appropriate Number of Links Per Page

When you write a new piece of content, you should include five or more links to old articles. This is really important to your internal linking strategy and how the search engines review and rank your content.

Why?

Websites have a “freshness value” that Google detects and uses as part of its ranking algorithm.

According to Cyrus Shepard, “links from fresh sites [or pages] pass fresh value.”

two web pages show fresh internal linking

Pinging old pages with a new link helps to boost its likelihood of increasing rank in the SERPs. In the eyes of the search engines, readers who follow your internal links are actually “refreshing” your older content by showing it’s still relevant.

However, be careful not to over-stuff your content with links.

According to Moz, search engine crawlers have a limit of 150 links per page. After that, they stop spidering.

Overstuffing your page with links could negatively impact your SEO.

Be sure to link, but don’t overdo it. This will help both the search crawlers and your user experience.

Update Old Articles With New Internal Links

You’ll get the most power from internal linking if you combine it with another SEO technique—updating old content.

When you update old content, Google’s crawler sees it again, indexes it again, and may increase its ranking in the SERPs.

We always recommend updating your old articles regularly. Here is a good process to follow on your old blog articles:

  • Add a new paragraph of content at the beginning, explaining your updates.
  • Add several new paragraphs throughout, adding additional or updated information.
  • Remove or replace outdated stats or information.
  • Add several new internal links to content you’ve recently created.
  • Add links in places where it’s logical and value-added.

Remember, internal linking isn’t only about linking new content to older content. It’s also about circling back to older content and creating internal links that connect to your newer work.

You’re accomplishing two things by doing this.

  1. It updates old content, which improves its ranking value.
  2. It creates an internal link between an old established page on the site and a new not-so-established page.

Add Links Where It Makes Sense

Now that you’ve learned so much about internal linking, you’re probably wondering where you should put your internal links?

It’s tempting to get lazy and throw them in at the end of an article: “For more awesome content, click here!”

Don’t do that, please. Or at least, don’t do just that.

Instead, look for areas in the content where the subject matter overlaps. These are logical points of connection to create an internal link. For example, you can add links to define complex terms or explain a related topic.

Think of internal links as a reference point that improves the experience of the reader.

Only Add Dofollow Links

Don’t add a nofollow tag to your internal links. Nofollow links do not have any impact on the search engine rankings of the destination site.

On top of that, Google does not transfer PageRank or anchor text across nofollow links. It won’t even crawl them.

While some data from Ahrefs has shown nofollow links can be useful when used externally, there is no reason to use them in your internal linking strategy.

Link to High Converting Pages

Do you have pages on your website that convert visitors more than other pages?

If so, link to these pages.

Some articles in our blog have super high conversion rates. The content is compelling, and the CTAs are so powerful that users convert in droves.

We always make sure to link internally to these pages.

This is where internal linking has more than just SEO value. It can have revenue value, too. The more visitors you can drive to a high-converting page, the more conversions you’ll have.

Take Site Navigation and Information Architecture Into Consideration

Site navigation and internal linking go hand in hand.

Internal links define site architecture and hierarchy by creating funnels that direct users through your website.

Ultimately, this is an important part of your UX/UI and will impact how long people stay on your web pages and how often they come back.

When building an internal linking strategy, consider the most important content on your site and how you’re promoting it.

If you have a piece of cornerstone content that you want more eyes on, point more internal links to it.

Create Lots of Content

The best way to have a healthy internal linking structure is to have lots of internal pages.

When you create lots of content, you’ll have lots of linkable content. The more links to the more places, the better your internal linking strategy will be.

Remember, simply having a lot of web pages doesn’t equal a robust internal linking strategy.

While internal links are essential to your website navigation, repeatedly linking to your homepage won’t move the needle on your SEO score.

Instead, consider writing a blog or creating landing pages that house resourceful content.

Whatever your strategy, do it well and do it often.

Internal Linking Practices to Avoid

Now that you know how to use internal linking correctly, let’s review some of the practices to avoid.

Adding too many links to your content can be detrimental to your score. Remember, Google does not crawl pages that have more than 150 links. It’s also important to note that your header, footer, and menu links are included in your on-page link count.

Don’t overdo it!

Keyword stuffing in anchor text is another internal linking practice to avoid. This black hat tactic was popular in the past, as SEO’s thought it would improve their chances of ranking.

These days, sophisticated search algorithms penalize keyword stuffing in anchor text. So, don’t do it.

Using internal links in header text should also be avoided. Links in headers signal spam to Google crawlers and can negatively impact your SEO.

Finally, be sure to check all of your internal links before posting them. Broken links don’t spread any link juice and signal to Google that your website is low quality.

Internal Linking FAQs

How many internal links should I include per post?

There’s no set number, but 5-10 for every 2,000 words is a good best practice. Remember, Google won’t crawl pages with more than ~150 links, so be careful about overstuffing your content.

Should I add internal links to my pages with more or less traffic?

According to Databox, internal links can spread link juice from low-traffic web pages to high-traffic ones. That being said, it’s also important to point as many links as possible to your cornerstone content so it benefits from increased traffic.

What is an example of internal linking?

Internal linking is a link that points to another page within the same domain. Internal links show up as hyperlinks, like this: Tips for building better evergreen links.

Are internal links backlinks?

No, internal links stay within your website domain, they do not come from an external source. Backlinks are external links that point to your domain.

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Summary of Internal Linking Guide

Internal linking is a core part of a solid SEO strategy. When done right, it enhances the user experience and can help you rank higher in the SERPs.

While internal links are part of any strong website design, it’s important to find ways to include internal links in your content to ensure you’re getting the most out of your content. Make sure to use optimized (but not over-optimized) anchor tags, and add internal links that provide users with more information about a topic they’re interested in.

What internal linking practices have you found to be the most effective?

5 Actionable Tips to Get Your Website Added to Google News

You can get thousands of clicks to your site from Google News.

And, you don’t even have to be a journalist.

Smart bloggers, news publishers, and digital content marketers are already tapping into this huge resource for targeted traffic and better search engine visibility.

Google News is reserved for sites and blogs that publish timely, topical articles. You don’t necessarily need to be a news site but if you are consistently posting newsworthy content it’s possible to get accepted. 

Danny Sullivan once said: If you aren’t a news site, Google News and its web crawlers won’t likely show you love. 

But that isn’t a guarantee.

What is News?

A major search engine like Google defines news as “newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events.”

image07

If you’re at the forefront of your industry and reporting information that’d be of interest to your audience on a timely basis, then you’re a news publisher.

Google News is a content syndication platform that Google introduced to help organize the world’s news in many ways and to make it more accessible to its users, like a news XML.

Google News sends 6 billion clicks per month to publishers all over the world. Even if you get just 0.0001% of these clicks to your web site, that’s huge. Do the math.

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That said, it’s a challenge in many ways to get your website indexed as a news publisher by the Google News sitemap file crawler and your articles indexed and ranked in Google News.

Let’s look at some of the best practices for getting added to Google News XML sitemap and how you can get real-time traffic.

Adhere to the Principles of Good Journalism

If you look at recent additions to the Google News sitemap syndication platform, you’ll notice that Google, for the first time, is no longer 100% focused on news-related “current events”- type content. You can tell that just from looking at the meta tags.

It’s evolved over the years as a news sitemap, leveling the playing field for bloggers, content creators, and news publishing experts. This evolution may not be obvious from the search term headlines but the content reveals this expansion.

image17

However, the principles of good journalism haven’t been discarded by this major search engine. Google still cares about the style and substance of articles, especially as part of its XML. Good journalism is all about being honest and as objective as possible.

Why do you think the Google XML sitemap crawls, indexes, and publishes third party website content from CNN, BBC, Techcrunch, The Wall Street Journal and others in its search results?

One of the reasons is because these sites are true news publishers and adhere to strict standard journalism practices. They’re transparent and they adhere to the same professional standard. Just take a look at their search history and you can see they take their news seriously. 

image11

To be included in news XML’s your reporting must be original, honest, and well-structured with quality anchor texts, meta tags, and an authoritative voice.

Standard journalism is all about investigation and not just about search engine optimization. So, you should be able and ready to investigate a story and authenticate it, before reporting it.

For your story to strike a chord with editors, who will in turn syndicate it at Google News, PBS recommends that you present information from the most to the least important content points.

There’s an established application process to get your stories featured on the XML sitemap of Google News. But, before you apply, follow these guidelines:

1. Don’t copy from other sites. Write original news articles.

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your stories are original.

A major search engine like Google doesn’t want to syndicate the same piece of content verbatim and it’s search algorithm will pull you up. You’ve got to make your story original with accurate data points from credible sources. Wherever you got your information from, whether it’s trawling through search history, sitemap files, or exploring web pages – make sure your sources are trustworthy.

Take a look at the Google News homepage. All of the featured stories are original content with credible sources. And, no site is ranked more than once for its stories.

Google is a credible company, a major search engine that is trusted by millions all around the world. Imagine Google reporting a story that’s false, it would be a metasearch engine disaster!

What do you think would happen to its credibility?

And, speaking of credibility, Google is equally concerned with Author Rank.

There’s no better way to become a reputable author than to write for other news and magazine sites. If you’ve never written for trusted news web sites, such as Forbes, Inc. or Business Insider, you need to begin.

Google knows that reputable authors and columnists don’t copy news stories from other sources which is why they get included in their XML sitemaps.

Instead, they go all out to get an original story. Famous authors who publish original stories over a period of time are given credit so that they can build “rank” and improve their reputation, no matter what online publication they choose to write for.

image08

One way to get your story added to Google News quickly is to use a co-author who has a high Author Rank.

In Google’s view and when looking for inclusions on their news XML sitemap file, such an author brings a higher level of authority to your site and the resulting story is more likely to be original and credible.

To get started reporting news, you need original stories. The resource guide below will give you more guidance:

The Origin of Stories: How Journalists Find and Create News in an Age of Social Media, Competition and Churnalism

2. Write keyword-rich headlines that communicate the story topics.

Your headline makes a promise to the reader. If you get it right, your news story will likely be picked up by Google and other journalists who can amplify the content’s reach.

According to Poynter, you should “try to keep your headlines straightforward and unadorned. Use concise and familiar words, if possible.”

You may be tempted to use numbers in your news story headlines. After all, users love numbers. But, if you’re going to use a “listicle” headline type, it should provide specific insights and steer clear of “linkbait” territory. There is no way that linkbait and lousy anchor texts are going to get you placed on Googles news XML sitemap file.

I’ve noticed that authority sites that report stories daily rarely use the listicle format or “numbered” headlines.

They simply write an accurate, clear and compelling headline. Let’s take a cue from Search Engine Land.

Just like blog posts, your news story headline determines whether your story will be syndicated by Google or not.

Here are some tips to help you write newsworthy headlines that are sure to appear in the search results and remember the same approach can be taken with your meta tags:

i). Don’t repeat words: The purpose of getting your website or story added to Google News XML sitemap is to get clicks and views from the huge user base. You don’t have to repeat words or keywords in the headline, as though you’re actively doing search engine optimization.

Here’s a weak news headline:

“How experienced investors can mentor about-to-quit investors”

Avoid this repetition of words like the plague.

ii). Use active voice: A news headline is a quick way to demonstrate what’s inside the story and will catch the eye of the search engine.

Don’t bore users or discourage journalists from picking your story. Avoid using a passive voice.

In the passive voice, the subject is receiving the verb. For example:

  • Passive voice: Mary was hit by a car.
  • Active voice: The car hit Mary.

An active voice starts with the subject. With an active voice, you can say more with fewer words from the very first time. Brevity is an essential news publisher tactic that captivates the audience.

image12

Using active voice in your news headline also helps to trim down unnecessary words. If you check Digg’s homepage, you’ll see that most of the syndicated stories have headlines written with an active voice.

Here’s an example:

image03

The passive-voice version of the above news headline is obviously weaker:

  • An Episode of ‘Top Chef’ Was Produced with Help From the CIA

iii). Write in the present tense: This is another important point to keep in mind when writing a story headline with the hope of getting it syndicated on the Google News XML sitemap file.

Even if the story itself or content is written in the past tense, the headline should indicate what’s happening right now. After all, that’s why it’s called “news”, and that’s what the XML sitemap is looking for.

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Several stories on the Google News homepage are written in the present tense. Take a look:

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iv). Know which words to capitalize: Have you noticed that not all words in a news story headline are capitalized? As a rule of thumb, capitalize the first word of the headline. You must also capitalize proper nouns.

On the Google News homepage, both title case and first word/proper noun capitalization standards are used.

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If you use title case, don’t capitalize articles. So, for example, “Judge Rejects Kesha’s Last Effort to Free Herself From Dr. Luke” is correct, but if “to” were capitalized as well, that would be incorrect.

3. Write news-related articles, not evergreen content.

In adding sites to Google News, remember that a major search engine like Google can only include sites that follow their Webmasters Tool Guidelines.

If there’s nothing timely about your topic or story, it’s not news. It’s as simple as that. In journalism, “timing is everything.” Timely content makes it to the top, others get lost in the pages of the search history.

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For your site to be accepted, you’ve got to write news-related articles consistently. Evergreen content just won’t work with Google News.

Aside from that, the major search engine Google also has specific types of content that they accept. In Google’s words:

“We generally do not include how-to articles, advice columns, job postings or strictly informational content such as weather forecasts and stock data.”

In the world of blogging, creating evergreen content is your guarantee for sustainable organic traffic. And Google rewards such content in its organic results.

But, that kind of content isn’t news, so a search engine like Google won’t syndicate it.

When you look at the Google News homepage, you’ll notice that the stories are timely – mostly as the events unfold:

4. Write at least 2 news articles each day.

Are you the only one managing your site? If you want to get added to Google News, you may need to make a change.

The majority of the news media sites that are syndicated on Google News are multi-authored. In other words, more than one person writes for the site.

Think about CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, New York Times, Huffington Post, and so forth.

These sites are updated every minute of the day, by a crop of prolific writers who are transparent and accurate in their reporting, it’s why they are so popular in the search engines.

You need more writers who can source for fresh stories, write about them and submit them within hours.

You may find you have to train good writers. You could start by hiring freelance writers, then train them on the journalistic approach that Google News and other media platforms and search engines require for every story.

You should also work to teach your writers how to follow your brand guidelines, especially if they are writing for you for the first time. Let them know the elements that should be present in a news story – the headline, the appropriate voice, the requirement for sources and the rules of citation.

Ideally, create an author page on your site, where you introduce each writer on your team. 

Google will ask you for a list of authors who report stories on your site. In fact, you’ll be required to submit contact details for each author, when you apply.

5. Establish authority with your blog.

Google is understandably strict about the content it considers to be news. Not every article is news-related.

Most of the time, it’s not about the story, but the context or angle by which the author covered it, this is why lamestream media can be so popular. 

Since Google is passionate about timely, up-to-date stories, you need a way to prove to Google that you’ve adhered to its guidelines.

You need to establish authority with your blog. Authority, on the web, boils down to how many user-friendly sites and web pages link back to yours. Webmasters tool can help you check where you stand. 

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Let’s say that your 3-month old blog has been reporting timely, up-to-date stories as they unfold.

Another site (say, Mashable) has more authority than your blog and established search history.

Now answer this question:

If your blog reported the same trending story as Mashable, and both news stories followed the news-writing standard, which of the stories do you think that Google would crawl first, index, and offer a high pagerank?

Did I hear Mashable?

You’re 100% correct.

The reason why is obvious: Mashable has more authority in the search engines than your 3-month old blog.

Mashable publishes more timely content because it’s got the budget for a sufficient number of authors. If you’re a small business, you can’t beat that.

Building authority with your blog isn’t a straightforward thing. And, it definitely will not happen overnight.

You need to get off of your site. You should be everywhere.

While you’re building your Author Rank, by contributing to other trustworthy sites, always reference your story in a natural way. Ideally, use your branded keyword or story headline as anchor text to link back to your site.

The more authority sites you contribute to and get links from, the more authority your blog will get and the more you will show up in the search results and the search history. Your blog will build momentum gradually. Be patient!

Social media is equally vital, so spread the love. Get active on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

Don’t try to copy or mimic another author’s writing style. Find your own voice. Stick to it. That’s the only way to stand out from the crowd and get your news-related articles added to Google News.

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When your content is unique and compelling, more people will click your headline, visit your site and take action.

But, when your news is like everyone else’s, you’re not making an impact. To the audience, there’s nothing in it for them. Consequently, they’ll leave.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve seen the possibility of getting your website and news articles added to Google News, it’s time to take action and apply.

Don’t be too quick to do this. You first need to create a path, on your blog, that a Google News bot or spider can follow to crawl your fresh stories as they’re published.

Google suggests that you add a Google News Sitemap to make this easier. If your blog is hosted on WordPress CMS, you can find Google News sitemap plugins in the WordPress repository.

Once you’ve installed one of the plugins, you can apply to Google News here. This will connect with your Google Console account, thus making it easier to add several of your sites to Google News. Be sure to use the webmaster tool to check your indexing status.

Does your site meet the Google News requirements? If yes, why aren’t you tapping into Google News for real-time traffic?

15 Career & Business Coaching Resources, Tips, and Benefits

As business owners and marketers, we go through manic highs and lows. Things go well for a while, then follow with periods of low performance. This is normal. One way to help get yourself over the hump is with business coaching.

The best business coaches not only coach you in your business but also coach your life as a whole. This post breaks down the details of business coaching to help you better understand what it is and determine whether you need one for your digital marketing.

What Is Business Coaching?

Business coaches help business owners, managers, professionals, and individuals grow as businesses and people. They’re known for offering honest advice and consulting based on personal experience and research.

There are many types of business coaching, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. You’ll want to find the type of business coaching services that appeal most to your business and your goals.

What Does a Business Coach Do?

A business coach takes a look at you as an individual. This is the big difference between a coach and a consultant. A coach is going to look at your entire life: all aspects of it. They’ll focus on your achievements, your mistakes, and your behavior to help you grow as an individual.

As you grow on your own, you’ll develop better habits that you can translate into business growth and monetary gain. You should expect the best business coaches to challenge you both emotionally and spiritually. They’ll provide you with honest and sometimes brutal feedback on your performance, and they’ll hold you accountable in your business and personal life.

Your reason for hiring a business coach will likely fit into one of these scenarios:

  1. You’re struggling to get your business off the ground to a sustainable level.
  2. You’ve hit a roadblock and can’t seem to take your business to the next level.

Regardless of where you are on your professional journey, a business coach can help you accomplish the goals weighing on you.

6 Benefits of Business Coaching

Business coaching for entrepreneurs, business owners, or executives is all about the benefits. Everyone wants gratification without having to put the work in. It’s important to know that the best business coaches require a lot out of you. If you’re willing to put in the work, here are some of the benefits you could receive.

Increased Self Awareness

One of the best gifts we could ever receive in life is self-awareness. When we’re aware of our strengths and weaknesses, it makes it so much easier for us to capitalize on what we’re good at and make the most of every step.

Instead of focusing on our weaknesses, worrying about them, and minimizing ourselves, business coaching should teach us to focus on what we’re good at and double down on it.

Business coaches can help you find the fire inside of you to pursue the things you want, and along the way, you may realize you’ve been doing the wrong things all along.

More Confidence

Business coaching teaches you to be more confident. The job of a coach is not to bring you down but to lift you up and help you realize that you’re better than you thought. Sometimes, low confidence and self-esteem are the only things holding you back.

Sometimes we need someone to kick us into gear and tell us that we can accomplish the task that’s been plaguing us for so long.

However, sometimes we need someone to provide us with a healthy dose of reality, too. Confidence isn’t always about lifting us up and telling us how great we are. The best business coaches also tell us when they think we’re making a poor choice. You can go forth with confidence, knowing what you’re doing is the best thing for you, and no matter what happens, it’ll be okay because you’re capable of taking on anything. That’s confidence.

Comfort Outside Your Comfort Zone

An area that a lot of business owners and marketers fall into is a state of comfort. You reach a point where things are going well with your business, you don’t have to hustle as much anymore, and you can live comfortably off the money you’re making. That sounds great if you’re not at that point yet, but like everything else, it gets old.

Few entrepreneurs are satisfied with this because they’re used to the hustle and chasing after their dreams. When you achieve what you’ve worked so hard for, it’s easy to become anxious for the next thing.

Increased Clarity About Your Direction

On less of a mindset note, business coaches are going to help you with the business itself, of course. Sometimes it helps to have someone come and look at your operations, finances, HR, and everything from an outside perspective. They’ll see things you miss in the day-to-day trenches of running a business.

A business coach can help you identify bottlenecks in your process and provide you with a clear and concise plan for what you should do over the next 3, 6, 9, and 12 months.

This clarity is important because you’ll know exactly what you need to do. It doesn’t mean that if you do those things, you’re sure to achieve any results at all, but the clear goals are what matters. Business coaching helps make you aware of the things you may not have seen otherwise.

A great example is with business owners that want to do everything themselves. The “freelancer” mentality is hard to break because the individual is so used to doing everything on their own, they’re afraid to let go of some of that control.

Business coaches can help freelancers work less “in their business” and more “on their business.” When you see it from that perspective, it becomes easier to make the necessary changes.

Boosted Productivity

Productivity is one of the number one reasons why people hire business coaches. Everyone feels like there are some magic secrets to increasing your productivity, but that’s not usually the case. It’s often something much simpler than you think.

A business coach can help you get on a healthy schedule and develop the right habits. When you’re a business owner or marketer, and no one is standing over your shoulder telling you to work 9-5, it can be a lot harder to get things done.

It’s all about habits. Suppose you can get yourself in the habit of showing up to work at the same time every day, blocking off periods for work, taking short breaks, and limiting distractions. In that case, you’ll have a much easier time accomplishing your goals, which trickles down and impacts a lot of the other benefits of hiring a business coach in the first place.

Better Accountability

This could be one of the most important pieces of the success puzzle. If you don’t have the discipline to kick yourself in gear, work when no one is telling you to, and hold yourself accountable, you’ll likely struggle as an entrepreneur.

Benefits of Business Coaching - Better Accountability

Many of us don’t have the discipline and need someone to help us develop the right habits. It only takes about 66 days to develop a new habit, so if you can do something for a little over two months, you should have an easier time sticking to it.

Once you’ve built that initial foundation, you can then train yourself to be accountable for your actions. One thing I’ve found over the years is that I tell myself that “I want to be proud of myself.”

It might be a little vain, but think about it: When you goof off all day, accomplish less than you said, and push things off until tomorrow, how do you feel?

You probably don’t feel very good about yourself. The opposite is said for the days you break through barriers, tackle everything, and walk away feeling accomplished. You feel unstoppable.

4 Tips for Finding an Effective Business Coach

When it comes to finding a business coach, you must choose the right person. This individual or team needs to align with your goals, niche, and perspective on life and your business.

  • Match them with your niche: You want business coaching from a professional who understands the challenges of your unique industry. If the business coach you hire doesn’t have any actual experience, you might not get the most out of them.
  • Make sure their philosophy aligns: We all have a certain philosophy in life pertaining to ethics and beliefs. You should never have to change that for success in business. If the business coaching you’re receiving offends or insults what you believe, you should likely find someone else.
  • Read reviews: Make sure the coach you hire has a strong online reputation and presence. Checking out reviews from other people is a great way to gain insight into what your experience will be like.
  • Determine your goals ahead of time: Before you hire a business coach, you should have goals in mind, whether they apply to marketing, SEO, keyword research, or mindset. No matter what your goals are, the business coach you hire should listen to them and take into consideration what you want.

Business Coaching Platforms and Resources

As business coaching continues to grow, more and more tools and resources are becoming available. If you’re interested in receiving coaching in your business or life, here are some of the best platforms available.

Interview Kickstart

Interview Kickstart is one portion of the “knowledge coaching” trend. The platform teaches programmers how to handle technical interviews and has helped people land jobs for companies like Amazon and Netflix. This has caused people to take notice: Interest in the company has grown by a staggering 2700 percent in the last five years.

Building Champions

This platform offers trainers, events, and team workshops to help small business owners and managers become the best version of themselves. The company has been around for 25 years, so you don’t have to worry about reputation and social proof. They break down every aspect of your life, from the personal to the business stuff.

Melinda Emerson

Considered America’s number one small business expert, Melinda Emerson offers a ton of great resources for women entrepreneurs and business owners. She has information on how to grow your social media, market your business, and understand the boring financial side of business as well. She can help get your company off the ground or take it to the next level.

CEO of Your Life

I’m a big fan of business coaches that find a great way to meld business and personal life together into one program, and Melissa Dawn has done a nice job of this. She focuses on your spirituality and personal life to help you become not only the best CEO of your business but the best CEO of your life.

Neil Patel

Business Coaching Platforms and Resources - Neil Patel

I offer many great resources to help you with your SEO, content marketing, and paid advertising. If you feel like you have most of your business in order but need a little help with your marketing campaigns, we can help with that.

Career, Executive, and Business Coaching: FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about business coaching and hiring a coach.

How much does business coaching cost?

The cost of business coaching can vary dramatically from $100-1,000 per session. It depends on many factors, such as the demand of the coach and the level of personalization put into the coaching program.

How to start business coaching?

If you want to start business coaching, there are many ways to get started. Many people in many different industries are looking for help.

What services do business coaches offer?

Hiring a business coach is like having a partner, so the business coach should offer whatever services you need the most. They should put together an individualized plan that addresses your needs.

What is the first meeting with a business coach like?

During your first session with a business coach, they will likely talk about your needs, issues, pain points, and goals to tailor a strategy to help you.

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Conclusion of Business Coaching Guide

No matter who you are, we all need help sometimes to get ourselves back on track. Whether you’re trying to manage your team better, be more productive, or optimize your budget more efficiently, the best business coaching helps you accomplish the goals that have been weighing on you.

Have you ever hired a business coach? If so, what is the number one reason?

10 Automated Video Creation Tools, Tips, and Resources

Video content creation can be a massive headache. I get it.

Even for seasoned marketers, creating compelling content is a challenge. The real uphill battle is trying to create that level of content regularly.

That’s why we’re taking a closer look at automated video creation and some of the best tools your brand can use to expand its content strategy.

Here’s the thing—automated content doesn’t have to be terrible. When you produce an hour-long, high-quality interview, you’ve also produced several pieces of smaller, high-quality content.

All you have to do is repackage those valuable tidbits and present them to your audience.

Here’s how.

What Is Automated Video Creation?

Automated video creation is the act of using video editing software to automatically create short, interesting videos you can use for marketing and promoting your content.

Let’s say you recorded a podcast this week and released it to your audience. You received decent engagement, but you quickly noticed a problem. Many of your viewers aren’t watching the entire podcast.

Some viewers love to sit and consume two hours of content at once. Others want minute-long highlight clips, and simply aren’t interested in long-form content. By identifying key moments and topics discussed in your podcast, you can create bite-sized clips and videos that are more digestible. Plus, having long-form content that’s well produced arms you with plenty of future clips to use.

That’s where automated video creation comes in. Make no mistake, there’s a big difference between linking your podcast in your Instagram Bio and posting a 45-second highlight video with top-notch editing.

If you’re making several pieces of long-form content every week (interviews, podcasts, etc.), sifting through hours of content to find highlights and memorable moments can quickly become time-consuming.

By automating that process, you can regularly create custom, high-quality videos. As a result, you’ll add variety to your content, while being able to test unique marketing strategies quickly. For example, you can rapidly A/B test different format styles, or try two highlights against each other to see what resonates with your audience.

5 Tips for Automated Video Creation

Before we dive into specific automated video creation tools, it’s important to understand how your automated video creation journey should unfold. Savvy marketers always develop a clear plan of attack for marketing initiatives, so we’re walking you through the general checkpoints of the automation process.

1. Determine Your Automated Video Creation Priorities

Before you choose a platform, establish your video creation objectives. If you want to test a specific format, find platforms that support that testing. Beyond that, determine what features will serve your team best.

If your marketing team has little to no experience with automated video creation, a tool that prioritizes ease of use can make the video creation process easier. Marketing teams with plenty of video creation experience might need automation tools that offer more customization.

2. Decide on a Platform

As you narrow down your search, take a closer look at how each platform functions. Some platforms offer limited features aimed at supporting brands with little to no video marketing budget. Other platforms want to support your marketing efforts from start to finish.

While many of these platforms sound similar, they focus on different elements that can elevate your content creation.

3. Upload Your Content

So, you’ve established your video creation priorities, and you’ve chosen your platform. Now you can actually create your content. Upload your video and let the tool start to work its magic.

If you’re focused on automating as much of the experience as possible, you won’t need to do much other than confirming certain edits. On the other hand, choosing a platform with plenty of depth means you’ll be able to customize your content fairly easily.

4. Choose Your Visual Elements

When customizing your video content, visual elements like text animation effects can elevate the quality. Other effects like overlays and moving graphics can be implemented without much trouble, as long as you’re using the right automated video creation tool. Make sure your visual elements are consistent with your brand presentation.

5. Publish Your Content

Once you’ve customized your content and created a high-quality video, it’s time to send your content live. With some tools, you’ll even be able to publish your content directly after editing. Instead of signing into each of your brand’s social media platforms, automation means you can post on all of them at the same time.

10 Tools for Automated Video Creation

Now that you understand the process, it’s time to look at the automated video creation tools available. While many of these tools function similarly, they each have distinct features that make them unique.

1. Moovly

Moovly prides itself on being a user-friendly, in-browser automated video creation tool. In addition, they offer a tool that doesn’t demand constant software updates or even any design skills.

Tools for Automated Video Creation - Moovly

Looking for support with your footage-based videos? They can help. Want to experiment with cartoon or doodle styles? Moovly can create those videos, too. If you’re looking for a lightweight solution with plenty of customization options, Moovly might be the right tool for your brand.

2. Adobe

Adobe’s priority when it comes to video creation is efficiency. Using AI technology, they save users time and effort when editing. Some of the more interesting features include auto reframing, where Adobe automatically reframes the subject of a video shot in widescreen when exporting to social platforms.

Their AI also uses color match, changing your content’s color and light values, based on your customized reference point. To be clear, they aren’t just copying a specific color reference point onto your clips. Instead, the AI analyzes every selected clip and tweaks them until they properly match your reference point.

3. Wibbitz

Wibbitz is an automated video creation tool that speeds up production by offering a variety of useful templates and one-click solutions. One feature marketers will appreciate is the easy customization options. Wibbitz provides users with access to logo watermarks, video intros and outros, text overlays, and a full-spectrum color palette.

This automated video creation platform lets you maximize your reach by converting your best videos into impactful social media videos.

4. Kamua

Another browser-based tool, Kamua claims their product will have you working nearly 90 percent faster, without any previous video editing experience. They also feature automatic captioning in over 60 languages, saving you from having to transcribe hours and hours of content.

Kamua’s AutoCut feature actually automates video edits, by finding cut points in your content and letting you decide what to keep. Plus, their AutoCrop feature instantly turns your YouTube videos into TikTok videos.

5. Typito

If you’re limited by a modest marketing budget, Typito could be a great automated video creation tool. Not only is it free to start with, but each of their pricing plans are designed with reasonable budgets in mind.

Tools for Automated Video Creation - Typito

Of course, it’s worth figuring out exactly what Typito is offering. They provide an easy drag and drop editor and a brand kit, along with 600,000 free images and over 500 free templates.

6. Rocketium

Rocketium understands the digital media landscape is constantly shifting. That frequent change demands an approach to marketing that’s as flexible as it is accurate. That’s why Rocketium aims to accomplish two goals. Eliminating repetitive creative work is their first goal, saving brands the hassle of creating completely new content for new campaigns.

From there, Rocketium aims to make targeted marketing even easier. They use an AI copywriter to help you craft the right visual for different products and unique target audiences. Teams with demanding content calendars should take a look at this tool.

7. Animaker

Developing unique creative content within an automation tool might not sound optimal, but tools like Animaker prove it’s certainly within their power. Armed with their templates, you can make a video in five minutes, according to their official website.

8. OFFEO

OFFEO’s appeal can be broken down into four subsections. Their near limitless supply of assets means that users will have access to hundreds of templates. Being easy to use and browser based, OFFEO lets you animate your content, leveraging the skill of their professional designers to provide you with high-quality animation.

9. Magisto

As an end-to-end video marketing tool, Magisto aims to support users at every stage of the marketing process. When it comes to creation, you can expect the support of a computerized video editor.

Magisto lets you host and distribute video content on your website using their native player. Take those optimized videos and then use engagement analytics to gain clarity about your marketing initiatives.

10. InVideo

For the truly budget-conscious, InVideo offers some fantastic automated video creation support, absolutely free. While there are certain features locked behind paid subscriptions, there are plenty of tools available to users on the free plan.

Tools for Automated Video Creation - InVideo

You can export 60 videos per month, with a maximum duration of 15 minutes. Transcription is automatic, as well as over 4,500 handcrafted templates. You’ll even have access to branding presets, intros, outros, and team sharing.

If you’re on the fence about automated video creation tools, feel free to try InVideo out and see how it improves your marketing efforts.

Automated Video Creation FAQs

Can you automate video editing?

Absolutely, you can! With the help of AI, you can begin automating your video editing, as much or as little as you’d like.

How can I add subtitles to a video automatically?

There are plenty of tools that can do this for you, some offering support in over 60 languages.

Do I need video editing experience?

While it’s certainly a positive, there are several user-friendly platforms that don’t require any previous editing or design experience.

Do I have to pay for an automated video creation tool?

Not always! Some tools are completely free; the only drawback is they lack some key features.

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Automated Video Creation Conclusion

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s no getting around the fact that audiences want quality content. If your brand doesn’t produce something new and exciting on a regular basis, you run the risk of losing your audience’s attention.

Instead of trying to constantly reinvent the wheel, consider using an automated video creation platform to break in-depth content down into digestible clips and share them on social media.

It might seem like a simple solution, but it’s a powerful way to offer more consistent content, expand your reach, and potentially create a genuine moment of engagement with your audience.

Why do you want to automate your video creation? How do you think it will help your brand?

The Ultimate Guide to Customer Acquisition: Examples, Tips, and Resources

Customer acquisition is a huge pain point for many business owners. Even more difficult is developing a consistent way of bringing in new business.

Your goal should be to put together a system that acquires customers almost on autopilot. That’s easier said than done, though.

This guide should help get you started.

What Is Customer Acquisition?

Customer acquisition is your business’s process of bringing in new customers. The goal of every business is to create procedures that make acquiring new customers simple and systematized. Unfortunately, many small businesses and freelancers have a hard time developing a process for bringing in new clients.

An important piece of the puzzle is a business’s ability to measure its customer acquisition cost. In the digital marketing realm, this is often referred to as “CPA” or “cost-per-acquisition.”

It applies across the board, whether you’re using paid advertising, organic reach, print, radio, TV, or anything else. You should know how much you need to spend to acquire a customer. Once you determine that, it becomes much easier to scale up your marketing because you know you can pump more dollars into your campaigns and get XYZ in terms of customers out the other end.

What Is the Purpose of Customer Acquisition?

The purpose of customer acquisition is self-explanatory. Without a customer, you don’t have a business. Without consistent customers, you don’t have a stable business.

A little caveat here is businesses should also focus on customer retention, which is different from an acquisition. Retention is your effort to keep the customers you already have rather than going through the vicious cycle of constantly needing to acquire new ones. Increasing your retention by only five percent can increase your profits by as much as 95 percent.

When you combine customer acquisition and retention, you have a sure-fire recipe for success. Here’s why:

  1. It helps you make the money you need to cover costs and pay employees, allowing you to reinvest in the business and drive better results for your clients.
  2. It shows steady growth and success to partners, investors, and outside influencers.

Being able to continually drive new business towards your company keeps everyone happy, but it’s not the end goal. The goal is to retain the customers you have as long as you can. Although it costs money to acquire new ones, it doesn’t cost anything to keep them.

Customer Acquisition Versus Lead Generation

There may be some confusion about the difference between the two, but it’s actually simple: Lead generation is one step of the customer acquisition funnel. A person or entity must first become aware of your business before they can buy anything from you. This generally happens as a result of lead generation.

For example, let’s say your business is running a Facebook ad. This usually happens to cold traffic (people who have never heard of you). They see your ad and pause to look for a second. They’ve now become a lead and are no longer cold traffic because they are aware of you.

Maybe they click the ad, fill out a form, and end up having a conversation with you. All of these are steps in the overall customer acquisition funnel. Lead generation is simply one step.

How to Create a Customer Acquisition Plan

Now let’s talk about some of the actionable steps you can take to develop the best customer acquisition strategies.

1. Identify Your Customer Avatar

The first step for every business (before they’re even a business!) should be to create a customer avatar or buyer persona. This is your ideal customer: who they are, what they like, their problems, and their demographic information.

It’s a great strategy for a business to know who their customer is as early as possible. For example, if you sell anti-aging cream, you have a very clear audience who would be interested in that product. Your audience might be women ages 40+ who have a developed skincare routine but are looking for a little extra help. They might be middle to upper-middle class and can’t afford surgery or cosmetic procedures, but they can afford your cream.

If you know exactly who your target is, you’ll have a much easier time acquiring them because your ad copy, text, images, and products will speak their language.

2. Determine Goals

Once you have your customer avatar, jot down some goals and objectives. What are you trying to achieve with your marketing efforts? Here are some examples:

  • Awareness: Are you trying to spread awareness of a cause, shed light on something, or make yourself known to a specific audience?
  • In-person: Does your business require people to physically come into a brick-and-mortar location?
  • Phone call: You might need to convert the online traffic into a phone inquiry.
  • Form: Is your traffic still in the early stages of learning about you? If so, you might just want them to complete a form.
  • Conversion: If the traffic you’re targeting already knows who you are, you might simply be trying to get them to convert into a sale.

Regardless of what your goal is, you need to have one. The clearer the direction you take, the easier it will be to convey the proper message and get your audience to do what you want them to.

3. Choose a Platform or Avenue

Once you’ve figured out who your audience is and what you want them to do, you need to determine what method to use to reach them. There are many different customer acquisition channels, both online and offline. Here are some of the most popular:

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a great long-term way to develop customer relationships and drive traffic to whatever it is you’re looking to accomplish. Best of all, there’s no right or wrong way to do it because you can put together content based on your niche.

Just keep in mind that content marketing isn’t as simple as blogging on your website and expecting people to find it. You need to understand basic SEO and realize that this is a long-term strategy and can take months before you see results.

Social Media

Acquiring customers on social media offers a few different avenues. You can use paid ads, which I’ll discuss shortly, or you can do it the slow way by building up an organic following, posting regularly, and reaching out to people to start conversations.

I like using social media in the most natural way possible, and that’s by “being social.” Start conversations, send messages, and provide value to people. They will respond. Seventy-three percent of marketers find social media “somewhat effective” or “very effective” in their business. It all starts with a conversation.

Paid Advertising

Whether you choose PPC on Google or social media ads like Facebook, paid advertising is a great way to get your business in front of the right audience right away. Keep in mind that Google Ads have a 100 percent ROI, but that does require you to understand how to do it right.

4. Set a Budget

You need to have a budget and customer acquisition cost formula if you plan to have success. Marketing can quickly run more expensive than you expected if you don’t have a set budget in place ahead of time.

Start with a small budget and work your way up as you start to experience success.

5. Optimize and Tweak

Once you’ve had a chance to compile data on how people are receiving your ads, pieces of content, etc., you can optimize and tweak as necessary. For example, if you find that a specific demographic is converting the best on a social media ad, you might want to allot more ad spend to those people and take some away from the people who aren’t converting.

3 Examples of Successful Customer Acquisition

One of the best ways to understand how to implement and measure customer acquisition is to see other companies do it successfully. Here are some examples you can piggyback off of:

Shopify: Interactive Content

Examples of Successful Customer Acquisition - Shopify

Shopify is the e-commerce giant responsible for thousands of successful e-commerce stores. One great way that they drive customers towards the site is with interactive content such as business name generators, quizzes, and even product choice suggestions. This is not only fun, but it keeps you on the site longer, which looks good to Google.

The content you create needs to be interesting and unique. The internet is a highly competitive environment, and you can’t just post anything and expect people to read it and react.

Turbotax: Free, Free, Free

Examples of Successful Customer Acquisition - Turbotax

Turbotax is a great example of using multiple platforms to convey your message. We’ve likely all seen their ads somewhere when they talk about how their service is free for individuals and always will be. If you understand neuro-linguistic programming, you know that “free” is a big buzzword.

Make sure you’re offering enough value to your customers in exchange for what you’re asking. Advertising has changed, and it’s no longer as simple as telling people what you do. You need to provide value.

Swagbucks: Referral Marketing

Examples of Successful Customer Acquisition - Swagbucks

One of the best ways to get more customers is to have your customers get them for you. Referral marketing is a powerful method because it doesn’t cost much, and you’re rewarding the customers you already have, which can help increase customer retention.

This method is especially useful at the beginning of a business’s life when you’re trying to grow your network and establish credibility. Offer something to your customers for every lead they bring your way.

5 Tips to Improve Your Customer Acquisition Strategy

Here are some bonus tips to help you nail down your customer acquisition:

1. Master the CTA

Your call-to-action (CTA) needs to be perfect once you know your audience and have traffic. At this point, it becomes all about what you’re doing to convert the traffic you have. Conversion rate optimization becomes the key, and it usually starts with having a crystal clear and persuasive CTA.

2. Track Everything

You should be tracking every little detail about your prospective customers. Most importantly, focusing on the right metrics will take things to the next level. Demographic information, heat maps, abandoned carts, retargeting—all of these are important. This data can help you understand more about your audience so you can further optimize the ads for future success.

3. Make Sure the UX Is Perfect

If you’re getting traffic, the ads are working, and everything seems to be going well, but you still don’t have customers, there could be another reason. Make sure your site is fully functional, mobile-optimized, fast-loading, and easy to use.

4. Be Patient

It can take as long as a week to build up enough data on Google ads. If you change or cancel an ad before that time, you might be shooting yourself in the foot. The same applies to content marketing. It takes a long time for Google to recognize your content and index it properly.

5. Diversify

I believe in spreading yourself around and making sure you’re reaching as many people as you can. If you think some of your audience would respond to a different method of customer acquisition, set a budget for it, and give it a go.

Customer Acquisition FAQs

Below, see some of the most frequently asked questions about customer acquisition.

What is a good customer acquisition cost?

A good customer acquisition cost is whatever you need to be profitable. It will vary from business to business. All that matters is that you’re not spending more to acquire a customer than they will pay you. Keep in mind operating costs as well.

How do you manage customer acquisition?

Many businesses have people in charge of this or an entire department. Of course, it can be difficult for small businesses, so it might make more sense to outsource it.

Is it more cost-effective to keep a customer than to acquire a new one?

Acquiring new customers has been deemed the “startup killer” for a reason. It’s much cheaper to retain than acquire, but you can’t have one without the other. Make sure you’re focusing on both.

What is acquisition rate?

Find this number by dividing the total number of people who opted into your campaign by the total number of people who saw it.

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Summary of The Customer Acquisition Guide

There are many ways to approach customer acquisition, and while most of the methods lead to the same place, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to figure out what marketing method works best for your business and how you can implement it consistently.

Most importantly, understanding your customer and their objective is crucial. Once you’ve done that, the rest falls into place.

What customer acquisition methods do you use in your business?

Longtail Keywords: How-To, Strategies, Tips

How do your website visitors find you?

If they’re clicking to your site from the search engines, chances are they’re finding you through longtail keywords. This free traffic is a huge bonus for your business, and understanding how to integrate longtail keywords better can help you do this.

Here’s how you can integrate longtail keywords in 2021.

What Are Longtail Keywords?

Longtail keywords are long, specific queries letting search engines know not just what words searchers want to know about but why they want to know them.

For example, “longtail keywords” is a keyword; “what are longtail keywords?” is a longtail keyword.

When you run your keyword research, it’s easy to be attracted to the short tail or head keywords. These are the keywords like “SEO” or “keywords,” and they’re likely to have a high search volume, attracting the attention of many marketers.

Where there’s search volume, there’s lots of competition. Longtail keywords with slightly less volume tend to be a little easier to rank for.

Why Should You Integrate Longtail Keywords in Your Blog Posts?

What do you want from your content marketing?

The first thing is probably traffic, and after that, you want conversions. Longtail keywords can make a massive difference to your business in both of these areas.

Paid advertising is a great way to get your brand in front of your target audience, but there’s a catch. You’re paying for every click. If you can gradually replace those paid clicks with organic traffic, not only do you save money, you could see better results. In fact, Google’s Economic Impact Report states organic search is five times more valuable than paid search.

Searches of more than four words make up 95.88 percent of Google searches, meaning there are lots of clicks to be had. Because these searches are more specific, the people making them tend to have greater buyer intent.

Compare the two searches:

“Real Estate” vs. “4-bed real estate in Naperville.”

Which search indicates a buyer who is more ready to purchase?

Longtail keywords often indicate a searcher is well on the road to conversion, and that alone is a pretty strong reason to use them in your content.

How to Integrate Longtail Keywords in Your Posts

Longtail keywords are essential for any business. It doesn’t matter how authoritative your site is; the sheer volume of longtail keywords means they’re something you can’t ignore.

You can’t just take longtail keywords and try to stuff them into your content, though. Modern SEO is about providing the user with the best experience. To do this, you need to integrate longtail keywords into high-quality, relevant content.

1. Set Your Content Marketing Objectives

What do you want to achieve with your blog post?

Your honest answer can help you create user-friendly blog posts to rank more highly in keyword search results.

Copyblogger showcased 10 content marketing goals worth pursuing, including:

  • build trust and rapport with customers
  • attract potential customers to your marketing system
  • explore prospect pain
  • illustrate benefits
  • overcome objections
  • build your reputation with search engines

With hard work and patience, great content marketing can achieve any of these goals. The best approach is to choose one or two core goals that you want every piece of content to achieve.

Whatever your goals, if you want to attract new prospects, you have to find out what longtail keywords they use. This allows you to create valuable, evergreen content based on those longtail keywords.

Plus, longtail keywords likely play a big part in Google’s algorithm, so you need to understand how to align them with your goals.

Longtail keywords in Google algorithm pie chart

Generally, when potential customers find their long-tail keyword search terms in your post, it will increase engagement. It’s about matching user intent.

Longtail keywords and searcher intent

Longtail keywords can help you achieve different goals, so you should define what you want to achieve before starting writing.

2. Create Buyer Personas to Help You Understand User Intent

If you’re going to match user intent, you’ve got to understand the people searching for your products/services (your buyer personas).

Without a clear picture of what your buyer personas look like, you’re just guessing at what people search for and how they search for it. Instead, you want to have a clear image of how your target audience searches for information, why they look for it, and how you can respond to their queries.

Creating buyer personas is a simple way to help you respond effectively. It’s a representation of a specific ideal reader you’d like to attract to your blog or site.

Buyer personas for longtail keywords

Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer persona and ask yourself what questions they have, what information they’re looking for, and how they search for it?

You need to understand how your audience searches and use this information to match user intent by integrating longtail keywords.

3. Research and Select Your Longtail Keywords

You have to be picky about your longtail keywords.

Longer variations of your keywords may have lower search volumes than head keywords, but their conversion rates are usually very high.

Longtail keywords and buyer intent

Let’s find those long-tail keywords right now.

Step 1: Go to Ubersuggest, type your main keyword (e.g., car insurance), and click the “Search” button:

How to Integrate Longtail Keywords in Your Posts - Research and Select Your Longtail Keywords

Step 2: Click “Keyword Ideas” in the left sidebar:

How to Integrate Longtail Keywords in Your Posts - Use Ubersuggest to get keyword ideas

Step 3: Choose your long-tail keywords from the results list, by identifying keywords with four or more words.

How to Integrate Longtail Keywords in Your Posts - Find longtail keywords with Ubersuggest

Step 4: Filter the results in search of high volume, low SD long-tail keywords:

How to Integrate Longtail Keywords in Your Posts - Filter longtail keywords with Ubersuggest

For this industry, which is highly competitive, I set the SEO difficulty to no greater than 40 while keeping the search volume in the 2,000 to 7,000 range. Here’s what you get:

Not only are there 80 keywords meeting the criteria, but many of them are prime candidates. For example, “cheapest car insurance in Michigan” is desirable. Here’s why:

  • 5,400 monthly searches are more than enough to move the needle (more on this below).
  • A relatively low SD of 34 shows ranking on the first page is attainable.
  • A CPC of $37.89 proves it’s a high converting keyword (typically, the higher the CPC, the better it converts).

So, if you decide to target “cheapest car insurance in Michigan,” the next step is clicking on that keyword. Doing so displays the following:

Longtail keyword results with Ubersuggest

This is a list of the top search results for the keyword, complete with:

  • URL
  • estimated visits
  • links
  • domain score
  • social shares

A few things stand out to me:

  • Estimated visits per month for the top three spots are strong.
  • The average number of backlinks of page one results is 16.
  • None of the websites in the top five have done an outstanding job with social media.

In other words, this is a long-tail keyword you can win.

It’s important to remember that Google and the other search engines aren’t just about numbers, though. At its heart, Google is about the experience: giving people the information they need in a way they enjoy. Longtail keywords won’t get you where you want to go unless you understand user intent and can provide them with the experience they’re looking for.

This means your goal can’t just be to rank. It’s got to be to provide the user with the highest quality content that matches user intent.

The mindset of longtail keywords

SEO requires caring about your users and solving their problems. This is why smart long-tail keyword use helps you with search engine results, not hurts you.

To maximize your use of keywords, focus on two to three keywords, and don’t stuff them into your content.

4. Write the Content

Your content is there to help your visitors answer questions and solve problems, and keywords firmly take a back seat to this.

Having done significant research, make sure you’re using your longtail keywords to demonstrate your content matches user intent.

Longtail keyword pyramid

If you’re creating content matching user intent, you should be able to incorporate longtail keywords naturally. “Naturally” is the crucial element here.

Some marketers look at one keyword per 200 words as a good benchmark, but quality is far more important than quantity. For a 2,000-word article, I generally aim to use my keyword 10-20 times—but it’s not a hard and fast rule. With some articles, frequent use of both standard and longtail keywords flows naturally; for others, you won’t use them as much.

As long as your content is good and your context is clear, you usually don’t need to panic if your keyword only shows up less often.

Remember that titles and headings are essential parts of your content, so again, try to integrate your longtail keywords. This will also make it clear to the user that you match their intent, encouraging them to read on.

Again though, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be natural. In the early days of SEO, Google’s algorithms weren’t as sophisticated, and people did benefit from putting their keywords in at every opportunity. Today though, Google is super smart, and it’s focused on the value your content offers the user. If you’re keyword stuffing, you won’t get far.

Longtail Keyword Integration FAQs

What is considered a longtail keyword?

Longtail keywords are keyword queries of generally four words or longer and can demonstrate high buyer intent.

What are examples of longtail keywords?

Take the word “dogs” as your regular keyword. Longtail keywords might include “Labrador dogs for sale,” “How to look after a dog,” or “Why should I get a dog.”

How do you target longtail keywords?

You can target longtail keywords by creating valuable content answering people’s questions and helping them solve their problems.

Do longtail keyword phrases need to be exact?

Google is good at understanding semantics, which means it knows how words link together to create meaning. As a result, your longtail keywords don’t always have to be exact.

Longtail Keyword Integration Conclusion

Search engines want to see you provide your users with the best possible experience. To do this, you’ve got to understand your target audience and how they search.

Longtail keyword research should be a big part of your content marketing strategy. Successfully incorporating these keywords into your content will enable you to match user intent and give your visitors a great experience.

When you boost your traffic and engage users better by using the language they use to search, it can bring significant results for your website.

Have you had success with longtail keywords?

Technical SEO Audits: Tips For Successful Implementation

According to BrightEdge, 68 percent of all online experiences start with a search engine, and 53 percent of website traffic comes from organic search.

Yet, only 0.78 percent of these searchers click results on the second page of Google.

That means if you’re not showing up on the front page of the SERPs, you aren’t getting traffic. 

It’s clear why SEO is a top priority for marketers. In fact, 61 percent say it’s their main focus when it comes to inbound marketing.

If you can get your client’s website to the top of user search, you’ll have a much easier time improving their ROI.

Of course, mastering SEO is no easy task. 

There are so many things to consider, from on-page SEO to off-page SEO, copy, content, and even technical SEO.

A truly effective SEO strategy includes all of these strategies, plus regular optimization to ensure consistent returns. 

This post dives deep into technical SEO and how you can use it to increase organic traffic, show up in search, and improve your overall site experience. 

What Is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is an area of SEO that covers optimizations that improve search engine ranking by making your site easier for search engines to crawl. For example, improving site load time, checking robot.txt files, and making redirects work properly. 

Essentially, it’s the process of ensuring your website can be seen, crawled, and ranked by search engines. 

Search engines, such as Google, give preference to websites that meet their webmaster guidelines. The basic principles state your website content should be accurate, easy to access, and user-friendly.

If your website loads slowly, has an unresponsive design, or lacks a secure connection, your content will not meet these guidelines.

This is where technical SEO comes in, as it can help you improve the technical characteristics of your website to improve organic traffic.

Why Is Technical SEO Important?

Imagine you wrote the most amazing content in the world. It’s content that everyone should read.

People would pay buckets of money just to read it. Millions are eagerly waiting for the notification that you’ve posted this new, incredible content. 

Then, the day finally comes, and the notification goes out. Customers excitedly click the link to read your article.

Then, it takes over 10 seconds for your web page to load. Readers are annoyed and they don’t want to wait. 

For every second that it takes for your web page to load, you’re losing readers and increasing your bounce rate.

technical seo for bounce rate

It doesn’t matter how great that piece of content is—your site isn’t functioning well, and you’re losing precious traffic.

That’s just one example of why technical SEO is so critical.

Without it, Google and other search engines are incapable of finding, crawling, and indexing your site.

If search engines can’t access your site, you can’t rank and you become one of the 90.63 percent of websites that get no organic search traffic from Google. Yikes.

Even if your site can be found, user experience issues, like page load times and confusing navigation, can still negatively impact SEO.

Other issues like mobile optimizations, duplicate content, and site security can cause search engines to rank your site lower. 

Elements of Technical SEO

While crawling and indexing are important factors in SEO, there are many more aspects to consider when performing a technical SEO audit. These include:

  • mobile optimization
  • page load speed
  • link health
  • duplicate content
  • schemas
  • crawl errors
  • image issues
  • site security
  • URL structure
  • 404 pages
  • 301 redirects
  • canonical tags
  • XML sitemaps
  • site architecture 

At a minimum, a technically sound website should be secure, quick to load, easy to crawl, have clear and actionable navigation, and not contain any duplicate links or content. 

It should also have systems in place to engage users even if they do hit a dead end, such as content created for 404 errors and 301 redirect pages.

Finally, a site should have structured data to help search engines understand the content. This can come in the form of schema graphs and XML sitemaps.

When conducting a technical SEO audit, be wary of over-optimizing your website. Too many improvements can work against your best intentions and actually damage your SEO rankings.

What Is an SEO Audit?

An SEO audit is the process of evaluating your website to see how well it is performing on search engines. 

SEO audits are a great way to create actionable plans to outperform your competitors, identify opportunities within your website, find and fix exit points, and create better customer experiences.

You should perform technical SEO audits, on-page SEO audits, and off-page SEO audits regularly. 

As you go through your audit, you’ll find places where you can improve or optimize your website performance to improve performance and keep site visitors happy. 

You may not be able to fix every error at once, but you can figure out what’s going wrong and make a plan to fix it.

What Are the Key Elements of a Technical SEO Audit?

There are three key factors to look at during an SEO audit:

  • back-end factors, such as hosting and indexing
  • front-end factors, such as content, keywords, and metadata
  • link quality and outside references

Sometimes, you won’t have the time to address each pain point. So, when deciding which audit insights are worth taking action on, use the 80/20 rule.

The most important part of your site’s SEO is the part that your incoming traffic actually sees.

That’s all washed away if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, though.

With the introduction of the mobile-first index, you need to make sure you understand how your site performs on mobile to ensure proper placement on SERPs.

What does the mobile-first index mean? 

Due to 52.2 percent of global web traffic coming through mobile, Google has adjusted its algorithm to crawl the mobile version of websites. 

technical seo -  mobile first indexing example

It boils down to this—if your site doesn’t perform well on mobile devices, you are not just losing traffic; your site also looks bad to Google. That can result in lower rankings, and even less traffic. 

How to Perform a Technical SEO Audit

SEO guidelines are constantly changing. Every time a major search engine significantly updates its algorithm, SEO has to adapt.

The good news is the frequency of changes in technical SEO tends to be lower. 

After all, it’s not like search engines or readers will suddenly decide they’re okay with slower speeds.

If anything, you will see the average acceptable speed continue to drop. Your site simply has to be faster if you want to keep up with SEO demands.

Your website has to be mobile-friendly. This is only going to become more important over time, too.

It has to work without errors, duplicate content, and poor images.

Search engines also have to be able to crawl it successfully.

These things are all crucial to your success on search engines and site visitors. If you want to prioritize your SEO efforts, make sure you tackle the technical aspects first.

1. Crawl Your Website

The most important part of the SEO audit is the crawl.

Before you do anything else, start a crawl of your website. You can use Ubersuggest to make it a simple process. Here’s how you do it:

  • Step 1: Enter your URL and click “Search.”
  • Step 2: Click “Site Audit” in the left sidebar.
technical seo ubersuggest sidebar
  • Step 3: Run the scan. Upon completion, you’ll see this:
technical seo - Ubersuggest audit page crawl

Crawling is useful for identifying problems such as duplicate content, low word count, unlinked pagination pages, and excess redirects. Ubersuggest will even rank issues in order of importance, so you can focus on what matters most. 

technical seo audit with Ubersuggest

If you find anything here, click on it for more information and advice on how to fix it. For example, our website has 32 pages with a low word count.

technical seo audit links

You can then review these pages to determine if you need to add more content.

What does this all mean?

In short, it gives you a glimpse into how the Googlebot is crawling your site.

If you don’t use Ubersuggest for your technical SEO audit, you can also search your site manually. We’ll explain that below.

2. Perform a Manual Google Search

A few Google searches can tell you approximately how well your website is ranking. This will help you figure out where to start your technical SEO audit.

How many of your pages appear in relevant search results?

Does your site appear first when you search for it by name?

Overall, where does your site appear in the results?

To figure out which pages are actually being crawled, you can use a “site:rootdomain” search to see what shows up.

Here’s what this looks like in action: 

technical seo audit - root domain search

Missing pages don’t automatically mean that your site is un-crawlable, but it’s useful to understand what’s happening behind the scenes.

Your website doesn’t need to be at the very top of your searches, either. By using the site search, it will show you only pages on your own site. 

3. Make Sure Only One Version of Your Site Is Browseable 

If your website has multiple “versions” of itself, you send search engines a mixed message about how to crawl your site.

Basically, the crawlers don’t know which one is the right one.

If search engines don’t even know how to show your site to prospective traffic, your site’s SEO ranking will be negatively impacted.

This could be a mobile and desktop version warring with each other, or a duplicate “https” version and a non-”https” version

The impact of HTTP vs. HTTPS on a site’s SEO is debated in the SEO community. Some sites using AdSense saw a decrease in revenue after making the switch to HTTPS.

For example, Crunchify’s revenue decreased 10 percent after switching to an HTTPS site.

However, it seems that websites without SSL protection are being deprecated on Google SEO moving forward.

Google is even taking steps to make it more known which sites have SSL protection and which do not. Chrome is marking pages as “Not secure” to make it clearer.

technical seo audit http

With this change from Google, it seems you will need to make sure that your website only uses “https.”

4. Conduct On-Page Technical SEO Checks

When evaluating your site and the results from your crawl, there are tons of things to check. Don’t get overwhelmed! Start by looking for duplicate pages, headers, and title tags.

If you’ve published a lot of content with similar themes, like me, some seemingly unrelated content will show up in your crawl.

That’s okay. You’re looking for duplicates of the same content.

You can use a tool like Copyscape to assess potential technical SEO problems arising from duplicate content.

technical seo audit plagiarism

From there, closely examine a few key criteria that Google evaluates in their rankings.

Page Titles and Title Tags

A title tag is an HTML code that tells search engines the title of a page. This information will be displayed on SERPs.

It looks something like this:

technical seo audit serp

You’ll want to make sure these are relevant to the content on your page. The content should also answer the questions your users are asking as fast as possible. 

The optimal length for title tags is between 56-60 characters. You can use a pixel width checker to make sure that your title isn’t truncated. 

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions don’t directly impact ranking; but they are still incredibly important because it’s the first thing a user sees in the SERPs. 

Meta descriptions should be compelling, engaging, and give a taste of what the user will find on the page.

Google recently expanded the limit for descriptions from 160 to 320, which provides even more real estate to draw in a click.

Clear Hierarchy

You’ll want to make sure your content is organized, with a clear hierarchy on the page.

This makes it easy for Google to analyze your site and index it for search.

technical seo hierarchy

Essentially, you want to make sure the placement of pages makes sense—all your service pages should be under your “services” tab, for example. Make sure users don’t have to click through four levels of pages to find best-selling products. The goal is to make it easy for Google —and users—to find the information or products they are looking for. 

Keyword Placement

Every page on your site should have a focus keyword included in the first 100 words.

For example, in this post about social proof, it’s included twice in the first 100 words.

technical seo keywords

This helps Google understand what the post focuses on—but don’t stop there.

While keyword stuffing will penalize you, you should be strategic about keyword placement. 

Include them, when possible: 

  • title 
  • alt tags 
  • URL 
  • subheadings (h2, h3, etc.) 
  • meta description 

Overall, on-page SEO checks are incredibly important, but they are only one part of your overarching technical SEO strategy. There are also other SEO checks to consider. 

5. Manage Your Internal and External Links

Sites with logical hierarchies have improved SEO rankings. That’s why it’s important to check your internal and external links—to make sure visitors can navigate your site intuitively. 

Pages might be deleted or moved, which can result in broken links and annoyed site visitors. 

Don’t worry; you don’t have to do this manually.

Integrity and Xenu Sleuth can help you identify your broken links on your site. (Note: Integrity only works for Mac.)

While both tools are straightforward to use, I’ll use Integrity as an example.

Once you download it, add your URL in the text bar at the top of the page and click “Go.”

technical seo audit integrity

Then the tool will begin testing all the links found on your site and provide you with the results.

technical seo audit backlinks

In the top-left corner, you see a snapshot of links and how many are bad. 

Depending on the size of your site and how many links you have, you might consider viewing the results by link, page, status, or flat view to understand the results. 

You’ll want to change any links marked in red with the “404 not found” label. These dead ends can negatively impact your technical SEO.

Google does score clicks from internal and external links differently, although both have their purpose in improving your SEO.

technical SEO audit links tweet

6. Check Your Site Speed

People are impatient. Google knows this.

Your customers don’t want to wait around. The longer your page takes to load, the higher the chance your customer will bounce.

You need to check your site speed, and Ubersuggest can help. Here’s how to get started:

  • Step 1: Enter your URL and click “Search.”
  • Step 2: Click “Site Audit” in the left sidebar.
  • Step 3: Scroll down to “Site Speed.”
Technical SEO - ubersuggest site speed

Ubersuggest displays loading time for both desktop and mobile devices. The results above show my site is in the “excellent” range for both.

In addition to loading time, it also tests:

  • First Contentful Paint
  • Speed Index
  • Time to Interactive
  • First Meaningful Paint
  • First CPU Idle
  • Est. Input Latency

Take action if your website scores less than excellent or good.

You might need to optimize your images, minify JavaScript, leverage browser caching, or more.

Ubersuggest will outline just what you need to do to improve site speed. 

7. Leverage Your Analytics and Compare Site Metrics

This step determines whether your analytics service (e.g., Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, etc.) is reporting live metric data.

If it is, your code is installed correctly.

If not, your code is not installed correctly and needs to be fixed.

If you’re using Google Analytics, you want the tracker code to be placed above the header of each web page.

Once you have an analytics service up and running, compare the metric data to the results of your earlier “site:rootdomain” search.

The number of pages showing in your metric data should be comparatively similar to the number of pages from the “site:rootdomain” search.

If not, certain pages aren’t properly accepting crawl requests.

Check Your Bounce Rate

Google Analytics can be helpful when assessing your page’s bounce rate. 

A high bounce rate means that people aren’t finding what they are looking for on your site. This means you might have to go back and make sure the content is optimized for your audience.

You can check your bounce rate by logging into your Google Analytics account and clicking on Audiences > Overview.

Compare Metrics With the MozBar

In addition, you can use Moz’s tool called The Mozbar to benchmark between pages.

The MozBar is a tool that provides various SEO details of any web page or search engine results page.

The toolbar adds an overlay to your browser and offers a number of features. 

For example, MozBar can be used to highlight different types of links that you view.

technical seo mozbar tool

This is useful on its own, but it also lets you compare link metrics on or between pages.

It also comes with robust search tools to make your life easy.

With it, you can create custom searches by location, down to the city.

Page Authority is also supported by the MozBar.

It ranks each specific page from 1 to 100 in terms of how well it will rank on search engine results pages.

When doing a technical SEO audit, tools like this help you quickly take the temperature of your site’s relationship with search engines.

The less guesswork you have to do, the better quality your SEO audit will be.

8. Check Your Off-Site SEO and Perform a Backlink Audit

Backlinks are critical for SEO success.

This way, Google and other search engines will know that your page is particularly relevant and that other users will find it useful.

Remember that hyperlinks are not the only thing crawlers look for in off-site SEO.

Your site is also crawled for brand mentions. This is why it’s crucial to pay attention to what’s happening both on and off your site.

Perform Your Backlink Audit

Use a tool such as Ubersuggest to perform a backlink audit and assess the kind of backlinks pointing to your site. Here’s how: 

  • Step 1: Enter your URL and click “Search.”
  • Step 2: Click “Backlinks” in the left sidebar. 
  • Step 3: Review the report. 
technical SEO backlinks ubersuggets
technical seo audit new and lost backlinks

Backlink audits are helpful because:

  • You can assess your current link profile and see how it is affecting your site.
  • You can identify areas where you can focus on getting more high-value links.
  • You can assess your competitors’ number of backlinks and work to outperform them.

Don’t just stop with your site’s backlink audit—you’ll also want to see what the competition is up to. 

Analyze Competitor Keywords

Your competitors were busy upping their SEO capability while you were sleeping. Now, they rank higher for your most important search terms.

Ubersuggest can also help with this.

It allows you to see what keywords other sites are ranking for. It also shows what backlinks are going to those sites.

Basically, you want to explore your competitors’ backlinks and see how they compare to your own. Here’s how you do it:

  • Step 1: Enter your competitor’s URL and click “Search.”
  • Step 2: Click “Keywords” in the left sidebar.
  • Step 3: Review the results. 
technical seo keywords list
ubersuggest technical SEO audit

This provides a clear overview of what your competitor’s site is ranking for. In addition to a list of keywords, you can review:

  • Volume: the average number of monthly searches for the keyword
  • Position: position the URL is ranked in Google search
  • Estimated Visits: estimated monthly traffic the webpage gets for the keyword
  • SD: estimated competition in organic search, the higher the number, the more competitive the term is 

Engage on Social Media

Social media is a conduit for consistent backlinks and engagement. You can use it to support your technical SEO efforts.

technical SEO social media chart

You want to figure out which additional social media platforms are frequented by your target audience.

Simply put, social media can improve your SEO by:

  • Increasing the number of your backlinks. Those who discover your content on social media might be more likely to link to it.
  • Increasing brand awareness, which can help with search queries including your brand’s name.

Social media is an opportunity to increase traffic and mentions beyond what people are searching for on a search engine.

Social media saturation is also simpler than putting together a link-building campaign.

Use the Facebook Sharing Debugger to see what your web content looks like when shared on Facebook.

This tool also allows you to check your Open Graph tags.

Technical SEO: Final Thoughts

There are three different aspects of SEO, and technical SEO is the most important of the three.

It won’t matter how amazing your on-page SEO is if you fail at technical SEO.

It also won’t matter how great you are at off-page SEO if you’re horrible at the technical stuff.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of it being “technical” or complex. Start with the big, critical aspects discussed above and tackle them one problem at a time.

How have you found success with technical SEO on your site?

How to Block Bots From Coming to Your Website: Tools & Tips

If you have a website, you need to know what bots are and how they can find your site, as well as what they can do (either intentionally or indirectly) to cause frustration to your online marketing efforts. Blocking bots may be a necessity to protect your site’s speed, users, and security.

Let’s talk about what bots are and how you can put up some defenses to start protecting your website.

What Are Bots, and How Can They Be Bad?

Before we dive into the details of what they can do and how you can stop them, we need to take a step back and explore what a bot is.

A bot is a software script that performs a data task over and over again. It’s that repetition and data interaction that makes them a fellow member of the online world we interact with.

Some of the other names you hear bots associated with help explain what bots are and how they work. Think of terms like spiders, crawlers, or web bots.

Are They All Bad?

There are a couple of misconceptions we can set aside right away.

Even though the term is short for robots, bots are not robots in the form of metal, gears, and computers. They are bits of script, as we discussed, that run continuously over the data of websites or other online platforms.

Also, they are not necessarily maliciously driven by a hacker or person with ill intent. Sometimes they’re neutral or even useful, such as bots used by search engines to index websites.

How Do Bots Work?

As we mentioned above, bots are generally bits of software script that repeat a task over and over again. An outside person, either friend or foe, may deploy these to accomplish a specific task.

However, bots are getting “smarter,” so to speak, and some are created with artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning technology. Some examples of these are chatbots for e-commerce that brands can use to learn from human interaction and deliver a better customer

service experience for their audience.

Here’s an example of an e-commerce chatbot on the ModCloth website:

block bots - modcloth chatbot example

What Do Bots Do?

As we’ve said, bots can be useful, such as indexing for a search engine or improving customer experiences.

They can also be malicious and cause trouble for your website or other web presence. Some bots are intended to crawl websites and steal data like passwords, identifiable information, or personal data. They can also deploy malicious attacks on websites, computers, and other places. Some get sophisticated, unfurling a series of steps to cause chaos for another user or organization.

They can also be used to surge interactions online. This may come in the form of flooding a page or forum with comments, driving up purchases or popularity of something to stir up interest, bumping up social media interaction to improve views, or other ways to “game the system.”

These are often the ways you may start to see bot activity on your website.

How Can You Tell If Your Website Has Bot Traffic?

Do you need to block bots on your website? Here are some signs and how to check.

Red Flags You May Need to Block Bots

There are some signs that bots have been to your website, and those may be the first place to start. Here are a few to look for:

  • excess commenting in your blog or other pages
  • comments that don’t seem readable or human-generated
  • comments with excessive linking or obvious spam
  • excessively or suddenly high bounce rates on a particular page
  • a sudden surge of sign-ups for your newsletter or other forms
  • email sign-ups that don’t seem human-generated
  • log-in attempts from unknown sources
  • any other activity that appears fishy

Where Can You Check to Block Bots?

If you have a gut reaction that you need a bot blocker, you can do a deeper dive to determine whether bots are a problem for your website and whether it’s worth investing time to block bots.

Here are a few places to explore:

  • Google Analytics to investigate traffic on your site
  • A service like Copyscape to check if your content was plagiarized somewhere else
  • your web server logs to learn more about where people are coming from

10 Steps to Block Bots From Coming to Your Website

Trying to block bots from coming to your website can feel a little like trying to put up an invisible shield around your site to ward off invaders.

While it’s not quite so fanciful, taking steps to keep bots from invading and causing chaos on your website is about being proactive and putting processes into place ahead of any problems.

It starts with understanding the enemy, removing any current problems, and then preparing for future attacks. Here are some steps you can take:

1. Identify the Weight of the Problem

If you’re reading this far, you probably have some concerns about bots and want to know more about how to block website bots. Before jumping in, though, it’s always good to consider what’s happening on your website.

Are you having a significant problem with bots, or are you just noticing some increased activity?

Further, consider what the impact has been or could be on your online marketing efforts. As we mentioned above, some bots are good, and some are bad. Some are just neutral.

For instance, you might have a bump in activity on your website on a given day or a given page for no apparent reason. You can’t link them to a specific marketing campaign that promoted that page and caused a spike. The surge in activity may have come from a bot.

If the surge was short-lived and you haven’t seen any other issues, it may be worth looking into but may not warrant extreme or rushed reactions.

On the other hand, if you’ve found your e-commerce site was hacked, or if parts of your website have been infected and are no longer functioning properly, you probably want to act quickly to batten up the hatches and clean up your website. If that’s the case, you may want to jump to the later steps here and start taking immediate action.

2. Understand the Source

Once you realize that web bots have been bothering your website, you’ll need to go on a bit of an investigation to find out where they’re coming from.

I listed above some places that can help you explore whether bots are attacking your website. They can also help you figure out the origin of those bots.

For example, in Google Analytics, your web server access logs, or any log-in attempt emails, you may be able to see data related to those visiting your site. You can check for a pattern or a series of the same IP address repeatedly.

3. Make a Plan

Now it’s time to decide what to do.

If you’ve already suffered an attack, you’ll need to take steps to clean up the problem and patch any vulnerabilities in your site to avoid further problems.

If you’ve been seeing bot activity but haven’t been attacked, you should focus your plan on looking for vulnerabilities that could be exploited in the future and tighten them up now.

4. Stay Up to Date

Keep your website and all its integrations up to date with the latest releases. Whichever website CRM provider you use, ensure you’re staying current with that platform’s releases. For instance, if you use WordPress, you need to ensure that your theme and plugins have the latest updates.

Staying up to date has its advantages. First, bots may use older versions to gain access. Further, platforms are motivated to provide secure products to their customers. The latest updates may come with increased security features and bot blocker options.

5. Add CAPTCHA Tools

One way to block bots from interacting with parts of your websites (such as sign-ups, contact pages, and purchase options) is to ensure that only humans can perform those actions.

CAPTCHA forces the user to perform a challenge or other action to prove they’re not a bot. Unless a bot has the correct action written into their script, they won’t finish this task and move on.

Here is an example of a CAPTCHA you’ve probably seen before:

Block Bots From Coming to Your Website - Add CAPTCHA Tools

6. Check Your APIs and Other Connections

Especially if your website is a few years old, you may have installed many API integrations and other connections to other web platforms. If you’ve permitted that integration to connect with and share data with your website, APIs could be an area of vulnerability.

Conduct an audit of every API, plugin, connection, or other integration:

  • Do you use them all? Remove the obsolete ones.
  • Are you using the latest versions? If not, update them.
  • Are you using quality products? If they don’t have security measures in place, consider replacing them.

If you have questions, reach out to the platform owner and make sure they are secure.

7. Block Older Browser Versions

This is not foolproof, but another way to close up some ways bots can access your website is by blocking older versions of browsers from accessing your website. You might achieve this by requiring users to use new versions of browsers to view your website.

TechRepublic encourages using this method as most human users will be forced to update to a newer browser version.

This requires accessing and updating the .htaccess file of your website, so unless you are experienced with coding, we recommend engaging with a web developer for this.

8. Patch It

If you’re struggling to stay up to date with the bots coming to your website or feel like the problem may be bigger than you want to control, you can turn to a professional to start digging deeper into bots that may be heading to your website.

If you notice a specific bot that keeps arriving at your website and causing problems, such as offensive comments or attempts to gain unauthorized access, you can block that IP address from gaining access to your website in the future.

Many web hosts, such as GoDaddy, provide detailed information about how to accomplish this task. However, you should know that this is only a patch. It can stop a rather insidious attack in its tracks, but many hackers or malicious bot launchers have ways of coming in from other IP addresses, so the solution may not hold long-term.

Also, Hubspot reminds us that blocking an IP address means blocking all access from any person or bot from that IP address, so weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

9. Keep Up With It

For a long-term solution, you may choose to pay for a bot blocker service. Although there are many different options, they all promise you a bit of peace of mind as their integrated solution stays on your website, comparing visitors with their information to watch for and alert you of any problems. A few options include:

  • DataDome
  • Cloudflare
  • Radware Bot Manager
  • ClickGUARD
  • Google ReCAPTCHA

10. Ongoing Monitoring

Bot blocking isn’t a one-and-done situation. You will need to continue to monitor your website for any problems.

You can watch for any of the problems discussed above and take steps to close up any holes. You may want to add this to your calendar to check in monthly or quarterly.

You can also keep an ear out for public data breaches. If you hear of any wide-scale attacks, take a look at your website and look for signs of any bot activity.

Conclusion

As AI in marketing continues to grow, our discussion of blocking bots, as well as adding them to our marketing stack, will likely increase as well. Bots can be helpful in our digital work and can support our digital marketing strategy.

They can also be malicious and attack your website at any time. The best way to block bots is to stay vigilant and keep your web presence up to date and cleaned up.

Don’t let vulnerabilities like outdated plugins or open access ports linger, inviting opportunistic bots. Monitor as you go and consider hiring an outside third party if the problem or the risks start getting bigger than you want to handle.

What’s the first step you’re going to take to block bots?

How to Decide on a Business Name: Tools, Tips, and Strategies

There are dozens of considerations entrepreneurs have to keep in mind when launching a new company, from the logo to the product to the packaging. The business name, however, may be the most important of all.

There are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., according to the U.S Small Business Administration. That means you have to go above and beyond to stand out. The right name can help you do just that.

If you’re stuck on what to call your business or just want to make sure your chosen name ticks all the right boxes, I’m here to help.

In this article, I’ll cover my top tips for picking a winning business name, show some examples of what a great business name looks like, and even let you in on a sneaky way to get a load of business name ideas fast.

10 Tips to Pick a Business Name

Your business name can be almost anything you want it to be. As long as it’s legal and isn’t already in use, you’re good to go. However, there are several best practices most legal and marketing experts agree on.

I recommend the following tips to make sure your business gets off to the best start possible.

1. Ensure the Business Name Is Not Copyrighted or Trademarked

The first step in picking a business name is to make sure it doesn’t infringe any copyrights or trademarks. You can search copyright records and trademark records online.

I’d recommend going one step further and make sure it’s possible to trademark your brand name. You never know what the future will bring, after all. Even if you plan to keep your business small, I strongly recommend making sure it’s possible to copyright and trademark your brand.

Not doing so could land you in hot water years down the line. Just look at Apple. When Steve Jobs started the company, he chose Apple’s name because he was a fan of the Beatles (their recording label was called Apple Records).

There wasn’t any conflict initially because the two companies operated in completely separated industries. That was until Apple launched the iPod and the iTunes store, however. When they started operating in the same industry, Jobs quickly found himself saddled with a lawsuit.

2. Ensure the Business Name Isn’t Already Taken

This is a no-brainer, but it’s important to mention. Ideally, your business name will be unique and not used by any other business in existence. At the very least, it shouldn’t be used in any way by other companies operating in your industry.

A quick Google search can help you out here. If any results or domains come up that suggest another company is already using your name, either as a business name or as the name of one of their products, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

3. Ensure the Business Name Is Descriptive

You want customers to have an idea of what your business does just by hearing your name. You don’t have to know anything about TripAdvisor to know it is in the travel industry or that Burger King sells burgers.

Don’t be so descriptive that your name is downright boring, however. Seattle Plumber Inc. isn’t exactly inspiring and doesn’t separate your brand from any other plumbers in the city. First Call Plumbing is much catchier and easier to remember.

4. Make Sure the Matching Domain Name Is Available

Coming up with a brilliant business name is just the start. Before you can commit to it completely, make sure a matching domain name is available.

If it is, buy it.

If not, consider coming up with another business name. Having a domain name that is the exact match of your brand can be a real boost, particularly when it comes to SEO.

If your heart is set on a specific name, then all is not lost. There are several strategies you can use if your domain name is unavailable. Adding extra words or extending the name of your brand in your URL is becoming increasingly common.

5. Get Creative

This is your chance to embrace your inner copywriter and let your imagination and creativity run wild. Don’t be afraid to make something up. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of the best brand names use made-up words or acronyms.

There are a couple of reasons for that. Firstly, existing words already mean something to many of your potential customers. You’ll need to decide whether this is a good or bad thing. Second, competitors may well be using the same or similar words.

6. Don’t Choose a Business Name That Is Hard to Pronounce or Spell

You’ll want your brand name to be accessible for everyone. That means no words that are impossible to pronounce when written down or easy to misspell.

While mixing up the letters or removing vowels from common words may look cool, it doesn’t help your customers find your business online. If customers can’t easily search for your business after hearing your name phonetically, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on leads. You’ll also spend a lot of time spelling out your URL for customers.

7. Complete a Secretary of State Search

One way to make sure your business name is different from everyone else operating in your area is to complete a Secretary of State Search. Most states have a way to do this easily online, so it’s simply a matter of visiting your state’s website and typing in your proposed name.

If in doubt, ask your attorney for help. I’d also recommend searching in Delaware, even if you don’t live in that state. Delaware is a haven for company registrations, and so searching there helps ensure no businesses anywhere else in the country have similar names.

8. Get Feedback on the Business Name Before Making It Official

Test your business name out on your friends and family and get their feedback before committing to it. While you may think you’ve looked at your name from every angle, there’s a chance you’ve missed something.

If you’re not sure about a business name yet, give people a shortlist of your ideas and ask them to pick their favorite. If everyone agrees on the same one, you may just have found your new name.

9. Choose a Business Name That Isn’t Accidentally Offensive

Make sure your business name doesn’t mean something offensive in another language or as a slang term.

No self-respecting business owner would want to insult potential customers. Yet dozens of businesses do this without knowing it because of their business name.

Just because your business name isn’t offensive in your own country doesn’t mean it’s inoffensive everywhere. Any language or cultural issues can spell bad news for companies wanting to expand abroad.

Luckily, it’s never been easier to check whether your business name is offensive or not. Just head over to WordSafety.com and enter your proposed name. The site will quickly find whether there are any potential issues.

10. Keep It Simple and Easy to Remember

Long, complicated business names are bad news. The shorter, catchier, and more memorable your name is, the better. Try to keep it under 20 characters for the sake of your URL and avoid combining more than three different words.

Examples of Great Business Names

Tips and guidelines aren’t always enough to get the creative juices flowing. That’s why I’ve compiled five examples of great business names below, along with a description of what makes them so good.

Hopefully, these will give you a jumping-off point.

Google

Examples of Great Business Names - Google

In a parallel universe, someone is currently searching for something on BackRub. That’s the name Google was initially called because of the backlinks it used to rank websites. Eventually, they settled on Googol, a mathematical term for a number with a million zeros in it. The final brand name of Google was the result of a spelling error by an employee.

In the end, it worked out brilliantly. The name is catchy, creative, and random. “Google” is also easier to spell, remember and pronounce than Googol too.

Whole Foods Market

Examples of Great Business Names - Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market is the most descriptive name on this list, and that is part of the reason it’s so effective. It sends subtle signals that attract the brand’s target audience.

Choosing the word market rather than grocer or store was a stroke of genius in this regard. Market conjures up images of farmer’s markets and suggests the kind of well-off consumer Whole Foods’ targets.

Lego

Examples of Great Business Names - Lego

Lego is a simplified portmanteau of the Danish words leg godt meaning “play well.” Brilliantly, Lego also means “I put together,” so the name works on two levels.

Not only is the name descriptive for the native Danish market, but it also sounds great in other languages and doesn’t have any additional meanings.

Pepsi

Examples of Great Business Names - pepsi

Caleb Davis Bradham, the inventor of Pepsi, originally called his concoction Brad’s Drink. Thankfully, he rebranded three years later. Pepsi is derived from the word dyspepsia, which means indigestion as Bradham believed the drink aided digestion.

Pepsi is way more creative and memorable than Brad’s Drink. Perhaps most importantly, the new name in no way infringed on Coca-Cola, created just a handful of years earlier.

Verizon

Examples of Great Business Names - Verizon

Verizon was formed in 2000 by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. The business name combines the Latin word for truth, veritas, and horizon to signify the new company’s honest and forward-thinking nature. It’s creative, it has meaning, and it’s definitely memorable!

Use a Business Name Generator to Find Your Perfect Name

If you’re still stuck, help is at hand in the form of business name generators. There are plenty of software tools to help entrepreneurs quickly brainstorm business names.

Here are some to try:

Shopify

Shopify is famous for helping small business owners thrive. Coming up with a brand name is no different. Enter a keyword into the search bar, and Shopify will instantly spit out 100 business names you can create a store from today.

Freshbooks

Bookkeeping software Freshbooks has a pretty comprehensive business name generator that tailors recommendations based on your industry.

Start your search by choosing whether you operate in creative and marketing, legal or business services, trade, and home services, or IT. Enter a keyword, and Freshbooks will serve up three suggestions. You can ask for more suggestions or change your keyword to get a different batch of names.

Namelix

Namelix is a free AI-powered business name generator. Enter one or several keywords to get started, then filter suggestions by name, length, and style. There are hundreds of names to scroll through and a mix of basic and premium names. Premium recommendations come with a logo and domain name attached to make building a brand easier.

Conclusion

The right name can impact your SEO, branding, and customer perception. Would Google be where it is now if it was called Backrub? I don’t think so.

The business landscape is becoming more competitive every day, and a great business name can help your brand stand out.

Take inspiration from some of the great business names already out there, and use a business name generator if necessary. Just make sure your business name sets you up for long-term growth.

What are you going to call your new business? Let me know in the comments!

10 Tips for Creating Real Estate Video Ads

Did you know that 73 percent of sellers prefer working with agencies that use real estate video marketing? Whether it’s a walkthrough of the property or a Q&A session, sellers expect their agents to use video marketing to reach the right buyers and sell their properties.

For real estate agents, this demand presents a few challenges. How do you make an engaging real estate video to impress both sellers and buyers alike, and how do you track a video’s performance for your marketing purposes?

Luckily it is not as hard as it might seem. Although real estate videos serve a unique purpose, they’re similar to regular marketing videos in many ways, so don’t be intimidated by them.

Let’s take a closer look at why real estate videos are worth the effort and how you fit them into your overall video marketing strategy.

Why Should You Create Real Estate Video Ads?

Real estate videos do two things: they attract buyers to your listing, and they encourage prospective sellers to choose your agency over your competitors.

Are they worth the effort, though, when you could create social media ads or optimize your listings? Maybe with the current market, you think it will be a waste of resources. Let’s look at what the numbers say.

  • 46 percent of buyers think video tours are the most influential content on an agency’s website.
  • Listings with embedded videos are 53 times more likely to rank highly on Google than listings without embedded video.
  • Real estate videos attract up to 403 percent more traffic than other content.
  • You’ll earn around 60 percent more qualified leads through real estate videos.
  • A caring personality is one of the top reasons sellers choose a particular agent or agency, and that’s easier to share in a video than, say, a picture or article.

What’s more, 84 percent of video marketers feel they’ve generated more leads thanks to video marketing, and 94 percent of us use videos to learn more about the products we’re buying.

The takeaway? To draw traffic to your listings and impress your sellers, try out real estate video marketing.

Before we dig into strategies, let’s cover the basics.

What Equipment Do You Need to Create Real Estate Video Ads?

There’s no need to spend a fortune on top-of-the-range lighting, props, or cameras. However, you’ll still need some recording equipment before you shoot your first real estate video. How much you spend depends on your marketing budget, but let’s break down the basics.

First, you’ll need a camera capable of shooting in 4K or HD to make sure the videos are high quality and not blurry or pixelated. A smartphone works, too.

If you opt for a camera, make sure it’s capable of capturing both high-quality video and images. Practice shooting with the camera before filming day to ensure you get the most from the equipment.

Using a smartphone? Clip on a wide-angle camera lens. This allows you to shoot larger scenes while minimizing glare and improving image quality. Here’s what the lens looks like:

What Equipment Do You Need to Create Real Estate Video Ads

Lenses like this one shown above are cost-effective and widely available, so shop around.

Want to go all-out? You can always buy a drone for 360 aerial footage. However, you’ll probably need a permit to fly a drone in most areas, so keep that in mind.

Next, you’ll need lighting filters. Use a neutral density filter for shooting outside, and get a pocket-sized LED light you can attach to the camera (or smartphone) for filming in poorly-lit areas.

Got the lighting sorted? Now you’ll need a microphone. You can either buy a mic attachment for your smartphone, or a portable mic for attaching to any camera device.

You’ll also need editing software. Check out tools like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X for professional editing support. You’ll likely pay for a subscription, but they’re easy enough to master, and you’ll produce the sharpest, most professional videos this way. Alternatively, you could outsource editing to a freelancer.

Finally, you’ll probably need a stabilizer like a selfie stick or a gimbal. These tools keep your camera steady and minimize shaking while you walk around a property.

10 Tips for Successful Real Estate Video Ads

A real estate video is all about setting a great first impression. You want to bring the property to life, connect with potential buyers, and ultimately set yourself apart from other realtors with your professional marketing skills.

To help ensure your content achieves these goals, here are ten tips to produce the highest-quality real estate video ads.

1. Know Your Real Estate Video Ad Budget

Be clear about what you can afford to spend on video marketing. Unsure how to allocate your budget? Let me give you a few pointers.

First, consider your target audience. It’s worth watching real estate videos in your listing’s price range to see how your efforts compare to your competitors’ video ads.

Next, think about how much you’ll spend on actually promoting your videos. From social media ads to targeted email marketing, the costs can eventually add up. To keep things more cost-effective, repurpose your real estate videos into digital ads so you can double your content output without spending more.

Also, take the time to research paid ad strategies, or hire a digital marketing consultant to take care of the budget, targeting, and testing.

2. Plan Your Angle in Advance

A great real estate video doesn’t just happen. It takes planning. Remember, you’re trying to tell a story, so you need to spend time thinking about what story you want to tell.

For example, determine what equipment you’ll need, whether you’ll hire actors to play any roles, and what time of day or night you plan on filming. Do you want to sell your own real estate skills or help a buyer fall in love with an unusual property?

Depending on the seller, you might also need their approval before you start filming or sending the video out to prospects, so factor in time for adjusting your angle and making changes as required.

3. Keep Your Real Estate Video Ad Short and Sweet

The length of your real estate video depends on where you’re marketing it. For example, according to HubSpot, popular Twitter videos average around 43 seconds, while popular YouTube videos run a little longer at two minutes.

A real estate video can be as long as six minutes, but it’s not always wise to fill this time. Why? People have short attention spans. Don’t risk losing a potential buyer’s attention just because you’ve added 30 or 40 seconds of filler to your video.

For example, here’s a video for a property listed by Douglas Elliman. It’s just over 90 seconds long, but it’s visually engaging and covers every angle a potential buyer needs to see without extra fluff:

4. Script the Video

Great real estate videos typically follow a three-act story structure, according to research by Vimeo.

  • Act one: Give a clear, frontal view of the property and a few clips of the neighborhood.
  • Act two: This part focuses on showcasing each room. Start with the main feature rooms before moving on to the smaller rooms.
  • Act three: End the video ad with an exterior view of the property. If you’re using drone footage, place it here.

Remember, you’re telling a story, so following a traditional story structure works!

5. Provide an Engaging House Tour

If you want to ensure a prospect watches your video the whole way through, keep it engaging. Be enthusiastic. Show people why you’re excited about the property, and inspire potential buyers to envision themselves living in the property.

Focus on the possibilities. What could make this property truly special for the right buyer? How might the property be flexible over time? For example, a first-floor bedroom can be an office now and a bedroom for an aging parent or partner later. A basement can be a game room, an in-law suite, or an at-home gym. Drive home how the property can meet their needs over time.

6. Focus on Special or Unique Features

No matter the price range, every property boasts a special, unique, or at least intriguing feature.

Maybe there’s cool history attached to the building, or there’s a custom marble countertop in the kitchen. Or, maybe it’s just the first house to come to market in the area for a long time.

To identify unique features, ask the buyer what changes they’ve made since they bought the house, and if it’s an older property, identify if they kept any key features like original wooden flooring.

Special features can be anything from dual sinks to fully-landscaped gardens, so look for those little quirks that make the property unique compared to similar properties.

For example, this property in Montecito has a wine rack:

Tips for Successful Real Estate Video Ads - Focus on Special or Unique Features

Plus, it boasts a hot tub:

Tips for Successful Real Estate Video Ads - Montecito property example

Capturing these features in the video highlights the unique aspects of this home.

7. Show Off the Neighborhood

It’s great to show off a property, but what’s going on around it? Include a few clips of the surrounding area, even if you just zoom out to capture the apartment block and a couple of nearby amenities. Make sure to include any famous landmarks, fun events, schools, and even sidewalks.

Is the neighborhood a little rundown or potentially off-putting? An aerial view might work best, so you don’t focus too much on the finer details.

8. Sell the Lifestyle

When you’re looking for a property, it’s not just about the unit. It’s about the life the buyer will lead when they live there. For example, if you’re near the beach or a park, talk up the family-friendly vibes. Are you close to the buzz of shops, restaurants, and cafes? Highlight the walkable, cosmopolitan lifestyle.

Use the property to sell the lifestyle, too. For example, going back to the Montecito property, the landscaping gives off seriously chilled, secluded vibes:

Tips for Successful Real Estate Video Ads - Sell the Lifestyle

9. Interview Neighbors

People make neighborhoods. After all, who better to tell you what a neighborhood is really like than the residents? Try to get a testimonial or two to add some authenticity and personality to your real estate videos.

Unless it’s a new neighborhood, try to find residents who’ve lived there a few years. Otherwise, potential buyers might wonder why people don’t stay there very long!

10. Use Interactive Elements

From CTA buttons to clickable links, interactive elements help bring your videos to life. Use your editing software to add a CTA inviting people to book a showing, or include a link to a page where buyers can learn more about the listing and the services you offer.

Remember, real estate videos are a marketing tool. Use them effectively and treat them as you would, say, a YouTube video or digital ad.

Measuring the Success of Your Real Estate Video Ads

You’ve filmed your real estate video and launched some ads. How do you know if it’s working for you? The answer’s in your metrics. Here are five key metrics to track if you’re trying to measure your success rate.

  • View count: Your view count tells you, well, how many people watched your video!
  • Engagement: Video engagement levels tell whether people watch your video all the way through or stop watching.
  • Click-through rate: Want to know if people interact with your video and click those links and buttons? Check the click-through rate.
  • Conversions: Your conversions tell you if people are taking the desired actions, such as booking a showing or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Social media shares: Are people sharing your videos across social media? It’s a good sign if they are, so track your social media shares.

To get this data, either integrate your videos with your usual marketing platform to track metrics, or use a dedicated video analytics platform like Vidyard.

Conclusion

Video ads bring a whole new dimension to real estate marketing. With the right editing tools, a sharp eye for detail, and some enthusiasm, you can bring your property to life or show possible clients why you are the best choice.

There’s one final point to remember. You can shoot a clear, engaging, and professional real estate video with little more than a smartphone.

Don’t feel like you need to splurge to create successful video ads unless it’s within your budget to do so!

Need any more help with marketing? Check out my consulting services.

Have you made a real estate video ad for a listing yet? How did it go?