Saturday, 29 April 2017

6 Things You Must Do Before You Ever Accept Guest Posts by @seocompanymiami

Guest posting can be an incredibly valuable marketing tactic. For most, guest posting is all about publishing your content on other websites. However, there is also a big opportunity when you allow others to guest post on your website.

Accepting guest posts is a great way to grow your blog without having to do a ton of work. Guest posters will share their content when it’s published and will subsequently promote your blog. Free marketing! That free marketing can lead to more social media shares and, hopefully, links to your site.

But accepting guest posts isn’t easy in the beginning. You need to prepare.

Here are six things you must do before you ever accept guest posts.

1. Figure Out Your Goals

Publishing guest posts on your blog is almost guaranteed to bring in new visitors to your website. So what are your goals for these extra visitors?

  • Do you want them to subscribe to your email list?
  • Is your ultimate goal to increase your conversions or your click-through rate?
  • Do you want more social media followers?

Whatever your endgame might be, it’s important to put some thought into it before you allow people to start guest posting. You can then prepare your website to best utilize the extra traffic to meet your specific goals. A big mistake companies make is running toward this strategy hoping to reap all the benefits, and oftentimes their website is unprepared and they end up actually missing opportunities.

If you want people to sign up for your email list, include a contact form and maybe even a sign-up incentive on the first page of your site so no one will miss it. If you want to increase conversions, consider running a sale or promotion around the same time you publish your first guest post. Set a goal (or a few), prepare your site, then let your guests do the marketing for you.

2. Create Guest Posting Guidelines

Once you open your blog to guest posts you’re bound to get a lot of inquiries about your expectations for posts. You can save yourself some time and easily address these questions by posting a guidelines page (check out SEJ’s rules for guest contributors page as one example). This will also let visitors know that you’re open to guest posts and hopefully encourage them to contact you.

Consider including information about how long you want posts to be, some possible topics you’re interested in, your preferred style of writing, and any incentives you might be willing to offer.

SEJ writers program

For instance, SEJ’s Writer’s Program page lists a few nice perks to attract writers:

  • Share your expertise with a whopping 1 million+ monthly viewers, over half of whom are internet marketers.
  • Earn up to $75 in Amazon gift cards each month for top performing articles.
  • First dibs on free conference press passes in exchange for covering it on SEJ.
  • Access to exclusive SEJ programs and events including webinars, SEJ Summit, podcasts, and more.
  • Access to an exclusive SEJ Writer’s Facebook Group where you can network with other SEJ writers.
  • Monthly email from Jenise Henrikson, SEJ’s Executive Editor, with tons of article ideas. (These go fast!)
  • The undying, eternal love of the entire SEJ team. <3

You can also optimize your guidelines page by including keywords like “guest post guidelines” or “write for us.”

3. Highlight Your Stats

Again, no one is going to write for you for free, so make sure you can explain why it’s worth it for them to choose you. You should have statistics readily available like how many monthly visits your site attracts, audience demographics, or how many people are signed up for your newsletter or email list.

They might want to know how many Twitter followers you have, or what your following looks like on LinkedIn or Facebook. While they have access to some of this information without your help, it will look good if you can immediately answer their questions with some hard stats.

If not all of your numbers are great (because whose are?), try to just focus on the best statistics — something that’s easier to do if you have control of the conversation.

4. Create a Plan for Promoting Guest Posts

Another thing that guest posters might be wondering about is how you plan on advertising their post after they’re done writing it. It’s just as important for your success to have a plan in mind as it is for theirs.

If social media is a big part of your marketing plan, then emphasize that. Share how often you usually tweet new posts, or how many shares you get when you post content on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you generally share your posts through a newsletter or email list then explain that to your guests.

You should promote guest posts exactly the same way you promote your own content; this is definitely not a time to slack off in that area. Remember, the more you promote the post, the more others will be motivated to do the same, and this will result in increased traffic for your website.

Sergio Aicardi bio

In addition, have an idea of where you’ll put their author bio. Guest posters should submit a nice photo and specific (but not too detailed) author bio, and they’ll want this information displayed prominently somewhere on your website. Knowing where you’ll put it ahead of time will send the message that you value their work and are proud to promote it.

5. Make Sure the Content on Your Home Page Is the Best You Have to Offer

This has more to do with you than with your guests, but it’s important nonetheless. Think about what message you want to send to all these new visitors.

What’s the first thing visitors going to see when they arrive on your page? Is it representative of your brand and your company? If not, it’s time for a revision.

Think specifically in terms of content — if a visitor reads one post and ends up on your site, they might be motivated to read more. You want to make sure the articles they see first are some of your best work, and it doesn’t hurt to feature a few with engaging headlines (as long as the content inside the article is valuable, which it always should be).

6. Give Your Social Media Presence a Boost

There’s nothing wrong with using the increased traffic generated from guest posting to give your social media presence a little “pick-me-up.” In fact, it’s encouraged!

You can do this by making sure your Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media sites you use have buttons visible on your website so people can easily access these websites.

Consider including your Twitter handle or LinkedIn web address in your contact form, which should also be displayed somewhere prominently on your site.


There are many benefits to allowing guest posts on your website:

  • You have the chance to highlight a different voice or opinion on a topic.
  • It’s free content for your blog.
  • You’ll receive increased social media exposure.
  • You’ll have free time to complete other tasks that would normally be neglected when you’re writing.

Just make sure you’re prepared to accept guest posts. Remember, there are plenty of other great blogs looking to attract guest writers. Following these six tips will help make sure your blog looks professional and stands out as one of the best in your industry.

Image Credits

Feature Image Credit: DepositPhotos

All screenshots taken by author March, 2017

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Author: Sergio Aicardi

The post 6 Things You Must Do Before You Ever Accept Guest Posts by @seocompanymiami appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Friday, 28 April 2017

Daily Search Forum Recap: April 28, 2017

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

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Author: (Barry Schwartz)

The post Daily Search Forum Recap: April 28, 2017 appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


SearchCap: Google job search, metrics on search update & cheese doodle

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:


Local & Maps

Link Building



SEM / Paid Search

Search Marketing

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Author: Barry Schwartz

The post SearchCap: Google job search, metrics on search update & cheese doodle appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Search Ad Revenue Up 19%, Now 48% of All Digital Ad Revenue [REPORT] by @MattGSouthern

According to a report from iab, total revenue from search ads has hit a new high which can be attributed in large part to the success of mobile ads. As a result of an unprecedented level of spending on mobile search ads, the search ad format accounted for $35.0 billion in revenue in 2016 — up from $29.5 billion in 2015.

Broken down into desktop and mobile:

  • Desktop Search accounted for $17.8 billion in 2016 revenues, down 13% from the $20.5 billion 2015.
  • Mobile revenues increased 77% from $20.7 billion in 2015 to $36.6 billion in 2016.

Mobile ad formats are doing so well this year they are selling a combined 51% of digital ads compared to desktop digital ads. This has led to an unsurpassed $72.5 billion in total digital ad spending.

The rising tide raises all ships, as the saying goes. More mobile ads being sold means more digital ad types are being sold in general. As advertisers shift their spend to mobile it’s clear they still see search as an integral component of their mobile marketing campaign.

As users change their searching habits, with more searches now being conducted on mobile than desktop, it makes sense for advertisers to shift their spending to mobile. They’re naturally going to want to invest their advertising dollars where their advertising will be seen.

For more information about digital ad spending in 2016 you can view the report in its entirety.

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Author: Matt Southern

The post Search Ad Revenue Up 19%, Now 48% of All Digital Ad Revenue [REPORT] by @MattGSouthern appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Marketing Day: Facebook rights manager, pixel upgrades & earnings reports

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

From Marketing Land:

Online Marketing News From Around The Web:

Affiliate Marketing


Blogs & Blogging

Business Issues

Display & Contextual Advertising


Other Items

Social Media


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Author: Barry Schwartz

The post Marketing Day: Facebook rights manager, pixel upgrades & earnings reports appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Report: Google Assistant beats rivals for questions answered and accuracy

In January, Stone Temple Consulting released a virtual assistant consumer survey showing the majority of respondents wanted the assistants to provide “answers” rather than conventional search results. Today, the firm published a follow-up study that measured the relative accuracy of the four major assistants.

It compared results of “5,000 different questions about everyday factual knowledge” on Google Home, Alexa, Siri and Cortana, using traditional Google search results as a baseline for accuracy. The following table shows the study’s top-line results.

As one might have anticipated, the Google Assistant answered more questions and was correct more often than its rivals. Cortana came in second, followed by Siri and Alexa. Of the questions it could answer, Amazon’s Alexa was the second most accurate assistant. Siri had the highest percentage of wrong answers of the four competitors. (Apple is reportedly “finalizing” its Amazon Echo competitor.)

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

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Author: Greg Sterling

The post Report: Google Assistant beats rivals for questions answered and accuracy appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Is Google testing its own jobs search engine?

Google seems to be testing a new search feature. This one is designed to help searchers find new job openings. John Doherty spotted this test for queries on Google that include [jobs online], [data entry jobs online], [newbury street jobs] and so on. Google shows job listings and takes you into what appears to be their very own job search portal to drill down deeper.

Here are some screen shots of the job search results in the core web results:

After you click on “more jobs,” it takes you into this jobs-specific search results interface that gives you additional filters for job categories, titles, dates, types, state, city, company type and employer. The interface looks a little bit like the local results interface, with the listings down the left-hand side and results in the middle.

This story is developing, and we will update it as we have more information from Google. As we wrote earlier today, Google performed 9,800 live traffic experiments last year; this is just one of the many new ones.

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Author: Barry Schwartz

The post Is Google testing its own jobs search engine? appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


How to Create the Ultimate Marketing Plan

Four out of five B2B buyers start their journey with a web search. Nearly three quarters of the buying process is complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with your sales team. With customers now in control, how do you create an effective marketing plan that resonates with target audiences?

Compelling content, martech solutions that support your strategies, reporting plans that establish and track funnel metrics and KPIs – are all critical to marketing success. But it’s more important than ever to understand how customers make purchase decisions before you can put the right plan in action.

Join our B2B marketing experts as they explain how you can develop a great marketing plan that builds your brand, drives demand, and improves the customer experience.

Register today for “How to Create the Ultimate Marketing Plan” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by Act-On Software.

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Author: Digital Marketing Depot

The post How to Create the Ultimate Marketing Plan appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


Brandwatch, Crimson Hexagon join Twitter’s Official Partner program

Twitter announced Wednesday two more participants in its new channel partner program, Brandwatch and Crimson Hexagon.

This brings to five the number of channel partners. Sprinklr, Sprout Social and Conversocial were announced earlier this year, and Twitter said at the time:

We are investing in deeper partnerships with a few select solution providers (including Sprinklr, Sprout Social, and Conversocial) to help brands realize greater value from our data and platform. As an example, our new Sprinklr channel partnership is focused on driving marketing innovation for large enterprises. This partnership [with Spinklr] is a multi-year deal, totaling more than $90 million, with collaboration in product development, sales, and marketing.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

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Author: Barry Levine

The post Brandwatch, Crimson Hexagon join Twitter’s Official Partner program appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


IBM enlists Watson to define customer segments and insights

IBM is now using Watson’s brain to predict customer behavior.

The tech giant has released Watson Marketing Insights, which collects and analyzes data about identified users, generates targeted segments that can be exported to marketing tools and displays cognitive insights in natural language.

Project Manager David Pugh told me that this Watson product is “forming hypotheses at scale,” based on how users with certain attributes have responded in the past. The attributes come from email, website interactions, social media posts, in-store purchases and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Watson might predict, for instance, that users who do not open emails from campaigns may be more at risk of leaving the brand than those who regularly return the brand’s products.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

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Author: Barry Levine

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How well do you know Search Engine Watch? The SEW Friday quiz

Following the success of our previous Easter trivia quiz, we decided to mix it up again this Friday with another quiz – this time testing how well you’ve been paying attention to the content we’ve been publishing on Search Engine Watch this week.

All of our questions (bar one, for fun!) are drawn from the past week’s worth of content, including last week’s search news roundup. So brush up and give it your best shot!

Rebecca Sentance is the Deputy Editor at ClickZ and Search Engine Watch.

Want to stay on top of the latest search trends?

Get top insights and news from our search experts.

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Author: Rebecca Sentance

The post How well do you know Search Engine Watch? The SEW Friday quiz appeared first on On Page SEO Checker.


6 key paid search trends from Merkle’s Q1 2017 report

Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q1 points to strong growth from Google and the continued strength of PLAs (Google Product Listing Ads). Expanded text ads have yet to yield promises of CTR gold. Bing and Yahoo’s lack of mobile market share is hampering growth. Here’s a look at some of the key trends from the report. (Keep in mind the data reflects spending from Merkle’s own client base, which skews large retailer.)

AdWords Q1 year-over-year growth outpaced that of Q4

Spending on Google AdWords increased 21 percent year over year in Q1 2017, up from 19 percent in Q4 2016. Click volume increased 20 percent over the previous year. CPCs ticked up 1 percent.

Merkle credits the addition of a fourth mobile text ad, PLAs in image search, Google Maps ads and the return of separate device bids as key contributors to growth over the past year.

Tablet bids fall, mobile bids improve relative to desktop

Tablet bids have steadily declined relative to desktop since Google enabled advertisers to bid separately on the two devices last summer. Merkle says decoupling tablets from desktop helped drive growth, with advertisers able to adjust bids separately for higher-value desktop clicks.

Google AdWords phone and desktop spend increased 51 percent and 12 percent, respectively, while tablet spend fell 23 percent.

Phone CPCs continued to gain ground on desktop in Q1. For non-brand queries, phone CPCs were 43 percent lower than desktop CPCs in Q1, compared to being 51 percent lower in Q4. Tablet CPCs were 25 percent lower than desktop in Q1, down from near-parity in early 2016, when the devices were combined in bidding.

Source: Merkle

PLAs keep growing faster than text ads

With 52 percent click share, PLAs accounted for more than half of retail search ad clicks in Q1, up from 48 percent in Q4. For non-brand queries, PLAs drove a whopping 75 percent of all clicks for retailers.

Spending on Google Shopping rose by 32 percent year over year in Q1, compared to 12 percent for text ads. Growing impression volume on mobile is helping to increase PLA click share, and growth was largely driven by non-brand queries.

Source: Merkle

Search partners, which includes Google image search, accounted for 11 percent of PLA clicks for the quarter, similar to Q4’s share.

Local Inventory Ads gaining traction

In Q1, Local Inventory Ads (LIA) accounted for 19 percent of all Google Shopping clicks on phones. CTRs on LIAs are 19 percent higher than PLAs on phone and desktop. Not surprisingly, online conversion rates for LIAs, which are designed to direct store traffic, are lower than PLAs.

CTR boost for expanded text ads (ETAs) remains elusive

Merkle has consistently reported seeing mixed results since ETAs first came on the scene last year. The Q1 results for ETAs show a CTR lift compared to standard text ads only on desktop ads shown at the bottom of the page.

After accounting for device, keyword type, and ad location, there is still no clear evidence that Expanded Text Ads are producing consistently higher click-through rates than the legacy Google text ad format.

Source: Merkle; high-traffic ad groups with both formats active in Q1

Overall, text ad spending on Google increased by 12 percent. However, non-brand text ad spending rose 16 percent year over year. Merkle says the fourth mobile ad unit and the addition of ads in Google Maps has done more to buoy text ad growth than format changes.

Bing & Yahoo mobile troubles

Across Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini, spend fell by 14 percent compared to the previous year, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of spend declines.

With Google as the default search option on Android and iOS devices, mobile weakness continues to be a considerable handicap for Bing and Yahoo. Google accounted for 97 percent of mobile phone traffic in Q1. Bing and Yahoo clicks made up 19 percent of desktop clicks for the quarter.

There is much more detail in the report, including on organic, social and Amazon. It’s available for download here.

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Author: Ginny Marvin

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How to secure buy-in for your content marketing program expansion

While you understand the importance of content marketing and the potential it has to drive business, do those above you? If you’re struggling to secure buy-in from your management or executive team to expand your content marketing program, here are a few tips that can help.

Understand their position

Most executives are responsible for a budget and, in turn, proving ROI on the expenditures they approve. To secure buy-in for your content marketing program expansion, you need to make it easy for them to see the return they’re getting.

If you want to expand what you’re doing today and need extra help, new tools or a bigger budget, you must make the case but explain it in terms that matter to the executive team. Can you tie your efforts to the bottom line somehow? That’s probably what matters most to them.

Many higher-ups aren’t as familiar with the day-to-day work involved in running a successful content marketing program. They don’t have the time to be in the weeds with the details. They are responsible for multiple business areas, and you need to make a case for content expansion.

If your program is working well, can you show them with data? Program ROI is often what’s used to determine the success or failure of an initiative.

Set yourself up for success

Since you know you need to prove ROI, make sure everything you do is easily trackable. Create your strategy and tactical plan. Establish baseline program metrics. What are your goals for this program? Outline them. Make it easy to follow.

If you don’t have ROI metrics from what you’ve done to date, it’s OK. It’s time to set yourself up for next year so you can focus on the work this year and go for the expansion in the future.

Establish goals

If your goal is to drive brand awareness, then be sure you have baseline metrics that will support this goal. You may want to use vanity metrics like social media likes and shares — or if you have access to share of voice software — that can help prove awareness.

Your overall website traffic should increase with an increased brand awareness, too. Create a baseline report with your year-over-year traffic and SEO percentage of traffic (SEO traffic/total site traffic) and establish your trend lines.

You need to know what your traffic grew YoY last year to this year so you understand what your normal expected growth rate is. To prove your effectiveness, your traffic for the next year should grow at a larger percentage increase year over year.

If you’re trying to prove content can drive revenue, then you need to make sure your analytics program is set up right. If you’re hoping to expand your blogging program next year, then you need to show how much revenue your blog drives.

In Google Analytics, you can do this by viewing the traffic your blog refers to the website (if it’s set up this way). You can determine how many visitors you’ve driven, what they purchased, and how many were new visitors. When you can show that your blog drove X number of new visitors, X number of orders, X number of dollars in revenue, it’s easier to ask for more budget next year.

If your analytics account is set up with goals and e-commerce information, you can tie revenue back to the specific blog post. You can prove how much you make off each post that’s written.

If your goal is to increase keyword rank and use content to support your SEO efforts, take a baseline keyword rank report before you begin your efforts. Establish your keyword strategy and targeted keyword list. Track your keyword rank for those words over the course of the year.

As you add more content, and if it’s good, targeted and linkable, you should see your keyword rank start to increase. You can also track your domain authority and backlink profile to show the increase in the number of links you’re earning and the DA growth.

Additional metrics

Maybe you work for an organization with a sales team, rather than an e-commerce website. You can track the number of leads that content generated.

If you can get information from the sales team on the number of leads they’ve connected with or those that have converted, you can prove your ROI that way. If there’s an established value for each prospect at X place in the funnel, you can determine the potential ROI if the actual isn’t available yet.

Analyze your social media feeds for customer sentiment. Rather than just focusing on the number of likes or shares, focus on the comments and determine how many are positive vs. negative. What’s the average sentiment? Are customers happy with the brand? Are their concerns addressed in a timely manner? Has customer sentiment changed over time?

Ask for the expansion

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, established your baseline metrics and worked on the content marketing program for a while, compile your results and schedule time to present to the team. Be prepared, share your data, prove the ROI and provide a forecast for next year’s ROI based on the investment you’re asking for. What can they expect to receive next year if they approve the requested program expansion?

Keep it straightforward, and focus on the ROI this year and what you expect to drive next year with a bigger program. Good luck!

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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Author: Rachel Lindteigen

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