SEO Negotiation: How to Ace the Business Side of SEO — Best of Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BritneyMuller

SEO has become more important than ever, but it isn’t all meta tags and content. A huge part of the success you’ll see is tied up in the inevitable business negotiations. In this helpful Whiteboard Friday from August of 2018, our resident expert Britney Muller walks us through a bevy of smart tips and considerations that will strengthen your SEO negotiation skills, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to the practice.

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Video Transcription

Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. So today we are going over all things SEO negotiation, so starting to get into some of the business side of SEO. As most of you know, negotiation is all about leverage.

It’s what you have to offer and what the other side is looking to gain and leveraging that throughout the process. So something that you can go in and confidently talk about as SEOs is the fact that SEO has around 20X more opportunity than both mobile and desktop PPC combined.

This is a really, really big deal. It’s something that you can showcase. These are the stats to back it up. We will also link to the research to this down below. Good to kind of have that in your back pocket. Aside from this, you will obviously have your audit. So potential client, you’re looking to get this deal.

Get the most out of the SEO audit

☑ Highlight the opportunities, not the screw-ups

You’re going to do an audit, and something that I have always suggested is that instead of highlighting the things that the potential client is doing wrong, or screwed up, is to really highlight those opportunities. Start to get them excited about what it is that their site is capable of and that you could help them with. I think that sheds a really positive light and moves you in the right direction.

☑ Explain their competitive advantage

I think this is really interesting in many spaces where you can sort of say, “Okay, your competitors are here, and you’re currently here and this is why,”and to show them proof. That makes them feel as though you have a strong understanding of the landscape and can sort of help them get there.

☑ Emphasize quick wins

I almost didn’t put this in here because I think quick wins is sort of a sketchy term. Essentially, you really do want to showcase what it is you can do quickly, but you want to…

☑ Under-promise, over-deliver

You don’t want to lose trust or credibility with a potential client by overpromising something that you can’t deliver. Get off to the right start. Under-promise, over-deliver.

Smart negotiation tactics

☑ Do your research

Know everything you can about this clientPerhaps what deals they’ve done in the past, what agencies they’ve worked with. You can get all sorts of knowledge about that before going into negotiation that will really help you.

☑ Prioritize your terms

So all too often, people go into a negotiation thinking me, me, me, me, when really you also need to be thinking about, “Well, what am I willing to lose?What can I give up to reach a point that we can both agree on?” Really important to think about as you go in.

☑ Flinch!

This is a very old, funny negotiation tactic where when the other side counters, you flinch. You do this like flinch, and you go, “Oh, is that the best you can do?” It’s super silly. It might be used against you, in which case you can just say, “Nice flinch.” But it does tend to help you get better deals.

So take that with a grain of salt. But I look forward to your feedback down below. It’s so funny.

☑ Use the words “fair” and “comfortable”

The words “fair” and “comfortable” do really well in negotiations. These words are inarguable. You can’t argue with fair. “I want to do what is comfortable for us both. I want us both to reach terms that are fair.”

You want to use these terms to put the other side at ease and to also help bridge that gap where you can come out with a win-win situation.

☑ Never be the key decision maker

I see this all too often when people go off on their own, and instantly on their business cards and in their head and email they’re the CEO.

They are this. You don’t have to be that, and you sort of lose leverage when you are. When I owned my agency for six years, I enjoyed not being CEO. I liked having a board of directors that I could reach out to during a negotiation and not being the sole decision maker. Even if you feel that you are the sole decision maker, I know that there are people that care about you and that are looking out for your business that you could contact as sort of a business mentor, and you could use that in negotiation. You can use that to help you. Something to think about.

Tips for negotiation newbies

So for the newbies, a lot of you are probably like, “I can never go on my own. I can never do these things.” I’m from northern Minnesota. I have been super awkward about discussing money my whole life for any sort of business deal. If I could do it, I promise any one of you watching this can do it.

☑ Power pose!

I’m not kidding, promise. Some tips that I learned, when I had my agency, was to power pose before negotiations. So there’s a great TED talk on this that we can link to down below. I do this before most of my big speaking gigs, thanks to Mike Ramsey who told me to do this at SMX Advanced 3 years ago.

Go ahead and power pose. Feel good. Feel confident. Amp yourself up.

☑ Walk the walk

You’ve got to when it comes to some of these things and to just feel comfortable in that space.

☑ Good > perfect

Know that good is better than perfect. A lot of us are perfectionists, and we just have to execute good. Trying to be perfect will kill us all.

☑ Screw imposter syndrome

Many of the speakers that I go on different conference circuits with all struggle with this. It’s totally normal, but it’s good to acknowledge that it’s so silly. So to try to take that silly voice out of your head and start to feel good about the things that you are able to offer.

Take inspiration where you can find it

I highly suggest you check out Brian Tracy’s old-school negotiation podcasts. He has some old videos. They’re so good. But he talks about leverage all the time and has two really great examples that I love so much. One being jade merchants. So these jade merchants that would take out pieces of jade and they would watch people’s reactions piece by piece that they brought out.

So they knew what piece interested this person the most, and that would be the higher price. It was brilliant. Then the time constraints is he has an example of people doing business deals in China. When they landed, the Chinese would greet them and say, “Oh, can I see your return flight ticket? I just want to know when you’re leaving.”

They would not make a deal until that last second. The more you know about some of these leverage tactics, the more you can be aware of them if they were to be used against you or if you were to leverage something like that. Super interesting stuff.

Take the time to get to know their business

☑ Tie in ROI

Lastly, just really take the time to get to know someone’s business. It just shows that you care, and you’re able to prioritize what it is that you can deliver based on where they make the most money off of the products or services that they offer. That helps you tie in the ROI of the things that you can accomplish.

☑ Know the order of products/services that make them the most money

One real quick example was my previous company. We worked with plastic surgeons, and we really worked hard to understand that funnel of how people decide to get any sort of elective procedure. It came down to two things.

It was before and after photos and price. So we knew that we could optimize for those two things and do very well in their space. So showing that you care, going the extra mile, sort of tying all of these things together, I really hope this helps. I look forward to the feedback down below. I know this was a little bit different Whiteboard Friday, but I thought it would be a fun topic to cover.

So thank you so much for joining me on this edition of Whiteboard Friday. I will see you all soon. Bye.

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SEO Pack: 21 Worksheets, Templates, and Cheat Sheets

SEO is tough.

It’s time-consuming and hard to implement.

And, because of that, I have a free SEO training course and even an SEO tool to help you out.

But what if you don’t have the time to go through a 21-part training series? Or what if my SEO tool doesn’t give you the step-by-step instructions you need?

What other options do you have?

Well, today I thought I would make your life easier by sharing 21 of my own SEO and content marketing worksheets and templates to help you get higher rankings in less time and, best of all, with less effort.

Marketing definitions

Let’s start off with the basics.

In marketing, we all use terms that might be a bit confusing.

Sure, you probably know what SEO is and what it means, but what about terms like CPC?

Or more complicated ones like CAC, BANT, LTV, or even NPS.

I’ve created marketing acronyms glossary that breaks down what each marketing acronym stands for and what it means.

So, when you are reading any marketing blog or book, you’ll now know what these “unusual” acronyms and words mean.

Local SEO

If you want to rank for local-based terms, it’s not just about optimizing for keywords. There’s much more to local SEO and a lot of it has to do with your landing page.

Here’s a template that breaks down the anatomy of an optimized local landing page.

What’s cool about this template is that it breaks down the percentage of impact each element will have when it comes to your SEO.

Keyword research

The easiest way to find keywords is to use tools like Ubersuggest.

Just type in a keyword…

You’ll see a report that looks like this…

Then click on “Keyword Ideas” in the left-hand navigation.

But as you go through the list of thousands of thousands of keywords, how do you know which ones are valuable?

Sure, in general, if a keyword has a high “volume” it means it is searched a lot, which is good. And if it has a high “CPC” it means that advertisers are willing to spend a lot to advertise on that keyword, which again is good because it typically means that the keyword drives qualified traffic that causes purchases.

And if a keyword has a low SD (SEO difficulty) that’s great as well because it means the keyword is easier to rank for.

When looking for keywords, ideally you want ones that meet all 3 of those requirements.

But just because a keyword doesn’t meet all of those 3 requirements doesn’t mean that it isn’t good for you and your strategy.

There’s actually a lot of hidden gems out there that don’t meet all of those requirements because marketers don’t know they are lucrative.

So to help you find the best ones, I’ve created a 220 profitable keyword cheat sheet. It breaks down keywords that have buyer intent for all industries.

Now, I want you to go back to Ubersuggest to perform a keyword search and look for keywords that contain some of the phrases within my profitable keyword cheat sheet. Those are keywords you’ll want to target.

Seriously, just spend 5 to 10 minutes hunting for keywords. Perform at least 10 searches and you’ll find some gold.

As you are doing the keyword research, you’ll find that it may be difficult to remember and keep track of all the amazing keywords you are finding, which leads me to the Ubersuggest keyword planner spreadsheet.

You can use it to keep track of the keywords you want to focus on first, second, third…

Trust me, it will make your life simpler.

SEO factors

There are over 200 factors in Google’s algorithm.

But let’s face it, you aren’t going to optimize for each of them because it takes too much time.

And even if you have the time, where do you start, and which ones do you fix first?

Well, an easy solution is to go here and put in your URL.

You’ll end up with a report that looks like this…

And if you click on any of the error boxes, it will break down what to fix in order.

You can then click through and get details for each SEO error.

And although I highly recommend that you fix your errors in the above report (it’s a great way to boost your rankings), you don’t want to just keep playing defense.

You want to start playing offense with your marketing and make sure that you are doing things right as you release new pages or make changes to your website.

So I’ve created an SEO factors cheat sheet that breaks down important factors that you need to think about when creating new pages on your site.

It’s great to pass along to your team members and your content writers as well (and even your developers!) so you can make sure that everyone is on the same page.

And don’t worry, it doesn’t break down all 200 factors as that would be too overwhelming… it focuses on the important ones that you need to get right from day 1.

But if your team does want something more detailed, I’ve also created a thorough SEO checklist that is 20 pages long.

Anytime my team is doing major changes like a redesign or change our site structure, I make sure that they go through that checklist as it helps ensure we at least maintain our rankings if not increase them.

Supercharging your content

Content marketing is a key ingredient to more search traffic.

But these days, there is so much content on the web. How do you make sure that your content stands out and ranks?

Just think of it this way, there are over a billion blogs on the web.

Let that sink in.

That’s such a large number it comes out to roughly 1 blog for every 7 people.

Do you think we really need more blogs?

Not really… we just need good ones.

And one way to make your content better is to use data and research that can be integrated within your content as that helps create more backlinks.

For example, look at this post I created on the future of content marketing. It contains tons of charts and data.

People loved it so much that it generated 414 backlinks from 110 referring domains.

PS: If you are wondering how many backlinks you have or any piece of your content has, just put your URL in here.

And best of all, I did it all without even sending one outreach email.

But of course, you probably don’t have the time, resources, or team to do the custom research we did.

So how do you create content that contains data, amazing insights, and research that people love? Well, I’ve created a data sources document that you can use to easily find all of the information I just mentioned.

It will break down sites that contain unique data, charts, and research that you can cite within your content so you can naturally build more backlinks like me.

And on top of that, if you really want to supercharge your content and make sure that it not only drives traffic but more importantly sales, here are a few more templates and worksheets I’ve created for you:

  • WHIPS – the WHIPS template breaks down the cycles people go through before they purchase. Such as someone could be a window shopper, in which they are interested in purchasing something, but maybe not from you. Or they may know that they have a problem and are just looking for the right solution. No matter what situation your potential customers are in, the WHIPS template breaks down each of them so you can create the appropriate content that fits their needs.
  • 20/20 Rulebook – whether it is you who writes your own content or if you have writers, have them follow the 20/20 Rulebook. It breaks down the 20 rules that your content needs to follow if you want it to do well. Now in many cases, you won’t follow all of them, but your goal is to get as close to 20 as possible.
  • Content creation template – if you want my framework to write blockbuster blog posts, follow the content creation template. It’s a 20-page process, but once you use it a few times you’ll quickly get the hang of it and find that it’s easy to remember. And I’ve found that when people use it to write 6 blog posts, by the 7th they don’t even need to look at it because they know the steps by heart.

Content editing

I know my content has grammatical and spelling errors every once in a while, but my content does well.

One of the reasons is I follow the templates and worksheets that I’ve mentioned above.

But it is because I put a lot of emphasis on editing.

See, once you write content, let it sit for a day. It will give you time to think about how it can be made better.

And the next day, you’ll want to go in and edit it.

Don’t worry, editing doesn’t have to take a lot of time… I’ve broken down our editing hacks into 3 worksheets:

  1. 10 Commandmentsthis worksheet breaks down the 10 things to look for when editing. If you are short on time, start with this worksheet because you can typically get your editing done in less than 30 minutes by following the steps.
  2. Editing checklist – and if you have someone dedicated to editing on your team, have them complete this checklist each time they edit any content.
  3. Step-by-step editing guide – for those of you who really want to master editing, here is a 27-page guide that breaks down each step of the editing process. I’ll be honest with you, it is a bit overkill, but it is great if you have someone dedicated to just editing.

You may find the editing process a bit overwhelming, and if that is the case, stick with the checklist or the 10 commandments.

You can also use this editorial calendar to help you out. It is an Excel file, but you can load it up using Google Sheets for free.

Fine-tuning your content

Whoever says editing is the last step of content marketing is lying.

Going the extra mile by fine-tuning little things and making those small tweaks is what can help your content go viral.

Look, no matter how good of a marketer one might be, you will make mistakes. Even if you make very few, there is always room for improvement.

If you have already published hundreds (if not thousands of blog posts), don’t worry. You can tweak them still.

So, lets fine-tune your content to get that extra traffic.

Every little bit adds up, right?

It’s how I grew my SEO traffic to over 4 million visits a month:

  • Headline formula – as David Ogilvy once said, you spend 80 cents on the dollar in the headline. And it’s true, 8 out of 10 people will only read your headline, but only 2 people will click through and read the rest of your copy. So follow this headline formula swipe file to create amazing headlines.
  • Constructive criticism – having the attitude that you can always get better will help you beat your competition. The moment you think you know it all is the moment you lose. This worksheet will teach you how to critique your own content without being biased. I love using it to critique my competitions’ articles as it helps me better understand how to beat them.
  • WordPress SEO cheat sheet – you’re probably using WordPress like me. And if you are, fine-tune your blog with this cheat sheet. It’s an Excel file, but you can use Google Sheets to open it up.

Don’t forget to build links

Link building sucks. But if you don’t build links, you won’t rank well.

I wish there was another way… but there isn’t.

How to Bring Your Best Self to the Online Conference Season

Posted by cheryldraper

Conference season is here! Of course, this year it looks a bit different. Instead of signing in at the front table and snagging seats next to some new pals, you’ll be setting up your computer as the main stage.

For some, this is going to be a major learning curve. Virtual events can be tougher to follow and engage with. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of best practices to show up ready and take on any online event you choose to attend this year.

Don’t forget, if you haven’t yet, there is still time to purchase your MozCon Virtual ticket!

Join us for MozCon Virtual!

Set your intention

To get the most out of your online event, you need to go in with an intention. That way you’ll be more likely to gain something from the experience.

Ask yourself, what are you hoping to achieve? Some examples could be:

  • Gain a business opportunity
  • Learn more about how to recover from the latest algorithm update
  • Find ways to increase efficiency within your SEO processes
  • Feel more confident selling your services

Schedule accordingly

    Many events will provide you with schedules ahead of time — look at them! (Pssst…if you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to check out the agenda for MozCon Virtual.)

    These schedules can help you go into the conference with a clear idea of how you’re going to spend your time. Going in with a plan will allow you to focus on the content of the event and your intentions each day, as opposed to wasting time frantically trying to decide what sessions you’re going to attend.

    Choosing your sessions

    Once you know what your intentions are and you have the event schedule, determine what will be the most beneficial content for you. This can be especially helpful when the event has multiple tracks, very few break times, etc.

    Choosing your sessions may come down to a process of elimination, and it’s much easier to eliminate sessions when you have some sort of goal in mind.

    Things to consider when choosing your sessions are:

    • The topic
    • The speaker
    • The time
    • The availability of on-demand videos post-conference

    Your intention may be to broaden your horizons this year, so instead of opting to see presentations with the same topics or speakers that you saw last year, you may see someone new discussing something you find interesting but haven’t had time to explore. You may have a tight schedule and not be able to make anything past 3pm. If some of the sessions will be available after the conference, it may be worth checking out topics you wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Know when to take a break

    When you’re planning out your schedule, you need to make sure you build in time for breaks. This means time to eat, time to decompress, time to refill your coffee cup, and time to do work or home stuff.

    Conferences usually have a lot of breaks and that’s for good reason. Ideally, you’re going to be learning a lot. But if you try to learn it all at once without giving your brain a break, very little of it will stick.

    So, be sure to listen to your body. If you start to feel foggy or overwhelmed, take a break, grab some water, and move around a bit.

    Build in networking time

    Something else you want to account for when planning your virtual event agenda is when you’re going to network. Some conferences will have time to network built in, but others won’t.

    You’ll want to dedicate time to get to know the other attendees by joining conversations and adding people on social media. This will look a bit different in the virtual space, as you won’t be meeting for coffee or chatting in the lobby, but try to stay creative! Zoom chats and video calls are a great way to connect with new or old friends.

    Check out our recent blog on networking online like a champ for more tips.

    Recap at the end of the day

    At the end of each day, take some time to reflect. Think back to what your intention was, what you did throughout the day to fulfill that intention, and what you can put into action moving forward.

    This is a great exercise to ensure you’re making the most out of the event. Far too often, we take in all of the information and do nothing with it! That’s why we like to suggest creating at least three action items at the end of each day.

    Gather the essentials

      Okay, it’s the first day of the conference and you’re about to jump in front of the computer. BUT! Before you do that, you need to make sure you have everything you need to be successful.

      Get a clean notebook or start a fresh doc

      Having a clean slate for notes will help you stay focused while attending any conference (virtual or otherwise). So grab a new, crisp notebook or create a new document file on your computer before you get started.

      If you decide to go the computer route, be sure you close all other tabs and turn off notifications! You want to be sure that your attention stays on the conference.

      Taking notes during a virtual conference

      With that new notebook or document of yours, you’ll want to take the most effective notes possible. With that in mind, here are a few things to take note of:

      • What you learned
      • How can you apply it
      • What can you share with your team

      To ensure that you’re on track to capture each of these things, when you go into each session, write your intention for the session at the top of your notes page. Then, divide your pages by “what I learned,” “how to apply,” and “what to share.” This will keep your notes nice and organized and give you a visual cue on whether or not you’re getting what you expected out of the session. It will also make your end-of-day recap much easier.

      When it comes to virtual events, one of the biggest benefits is that you often get the slide decks and video bundles afterward. We suggest finding out whether the event you’re attending offers those things before you start taking notes, as it may lighten your note-taking burden a bit.

      Have some snacks, water, and coffee (or tea)

      Perhaps the most important things to have during a virtual conference are the snacks and drinks! As you know, at MozCon, we take this part very seriously, so we expect nothing less if you attend our virtual event.

      Brain food can help you stay focused. Some of our favorite snacks are granola bars, nuts, veggies, and of course, donuts. However, you have full control over the spread this year.

      Be sure to also have plenty of water and your favorite caffeinated beverage as well!

      Show up

        You’re ready to go! All that’s left is showing up. With virtual events, this can be hard to do. Especially if you know that the content is going to be available after the event is over. But there is so much to be gained by being a part of the live event and the conversations happening around it.

        So show up, and show out!

        PS: If you’re looking for a virtual event to attend this year, Roger is still hoping to give you a virtual hug at MozCon Virtual 2020.

        Join us for MozCon Virtual!

        Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


        9 Steps to Creating a Landing Page That Reads Your Prospects’ Minds

        mind reading landing page that is high converting

        So you’ve decided to create a landing page to promote your new product or service.

        But how do you know if your landing page will convince your readers to convert?

        There are a number of things you can do to ensure your readers are enticed by your landing page and want to know more information.

        In this post, we’re going to figure out exactly what you need to do to produce a mind-reading landing page. But first, let’s start with the basics.

        What is a landing page?

        Before you create a landing page, you need to understand exactly what it is.

        A landing page is a dedicated web page, often called a squeeze or splash page. The objective is to collect your visitor’s data through a lead capture form.

        You might use a landing page to give away a free e-book, webinar, or course in exchange for your audience signing up for your email list.

        Or maybe you collect emails before launching your new website.

        The best part about a landing page is that it’s only one page.

        It’s one page you need to optimize.

        Why, then, do so many people make mistakes with their landing pages?

        And why do so many people struggle to convert their customers?

        A well-crafted landing page will enable you to target a specific audience, create a compelling message, and increase conversions.

        But what goes into creating an effective one?

        What makes some landing pages successful and some fall flat on their face?

        It all comes down to whether you know your audience or not.

        Those who know their audience will be able to create the right messaging, hold their audience’s attention, and come up with a mind-reading landing page.

        But just how do you do that?

        Let’s find out.

        1. Create a persona

        It all begins with creating your ideal persona. When you know who you’re targeting, you will be better equipped to create a landing page that resonates with them.

        Your personas should be your ideal target audience. After all, if the right people aren’t visiting your landing page, you will never convert in the first place.

        Your personas should include demographic information like where they live, their ages, and their genders.

        But they should go further than that.

        If you want to create a mind-reading landing page, you need to know what inspires your ideal personas and what they hope to achieve.

        You must find out their opinions and how they feel towards specific ideas.

        When you do this, you’ll able to position your offer to them so that it’s irresistible.

        Buffer uses personas to connect with their target customers.

        Screen Shot 2017 09 20 at 13.57.16

        Using the information they’ve put together here, they will have a greater understanding of how to create their landing page.

        You want to increase your chance of conversion, so don’t try to make your landing page appeal to absolutely everyone.

        Instead, use the data in your personas to produce highly-targeted landing pages that speak to a specific group of people.

        You only have a few moments to grab your visitor’s attention. And in those short few moments, they’ll decide whether or not they want to convert.

        2. Present the offer

        The reason landing pages are so effective is that they isolate the action.

        There shouldn’t be a menu or other links on the landing page. It should all guide the visitor toward completing the action you want them to take.

        Distracting them with multiple options is a surefire way to confuse them. Your conversion rate will suffer.

        Do not give your visitors a choice. Make it clear what you want them to do.

        The only option they should have is to convert or not to convert, like in this example from GeicoScreen Shot 2017 09 15 at 16.12.02

        The clear landing page means that whoever lands on the page only has one option. Enter their zip code or not.

        But just making the chosen action clear isn’t enough to ensure that your visitors convert.

        You need to create an offer that resonates with them enough to take the action.

        Think about it. A landing page that asks its users to sign up for the newsletter in exchange for nothing isn’t going to convert very well.


        Because there’s no incentive. Why should your visitor do anything for you without getting something in return?

        And no, your newsletter alone is not enough of an incentive.

        But creating a compelling offer doesn’t have to be a complicated task. You just need to provide your audience something they actually want.

        Autopilot knows their readers would be interested in growing revenue with Instapage, so a replay of the webinar would be beneficial to them.

        Screen Shot 2017 09 15 at 16.13.29

        This is a good example of a strong offer.

        If you already have a landing page that you’re looking to improve, ask yourself whether or not as a visitor you would take the desired action.

        If the answer is no, then there are changes you need to make.

        If you’re struggling to create an offer, but you know you want to build your email list with a landing page, then look at your most popular piece of content.

        We can see here that the most popular piece of content on my blog is [enter content].

        If you were to offer this content as a downloadable PDF or checklist, people would be likely to give you their email address in exchange.


        Because you already know it performs well. You have proof there’s a need for it.

        Here, the hard work is done for you. Find a popular piece of content, find a way to repackage it as a downloadable piece, and offer it to your audience.

        But what if your landing page isn’t for an e-book, checklist, or downloadable PDF?

        Think about other ways you can provide value to your audience.

        3. Write the headline

        Once you’ve got your offer down, you need to start working on the headline. The headline must be captivating.

        It’s usually the first thing your visitor will see, so you need to perfect it.

        The headline is often the deciding factor of whether or not a visitor will convert. And you only have one real opportunity to make it work.

        Your headline should be driven by the benefits. You need to outline exactly what will happen to the visitor once they take your desired action.

        Capital One makes use of both a heading a subheading to get their point across:

        Screen Shot 2017 09 20 at 14.10.15

        They know people who are interested in their service are going to want to have their business in order, so they position their offer in that sequence.

        Salesforce has a clear headline and message:

        Screen Shot 2017 09 20 at 14.01.23

        This headline is great because it grabs the audience’s attention. They’re immediately drawn to it. Visitors automatically know what will happen if they fill in the form on the right.

        Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers says if you’re struggling to find the right words, then look at the language your audience uses.

        Why is this effective?

        Because if you use your audience’s own language in your headline, it will resonate better with them.

        After the headline, you’re likely going to use a subheading.

        This is another opportunity to mention the benefits. It’s for people who were compelled by the headline but need some more convincing.

        It gives you another chance to keep their attention and draw them closer to your call to action.

        4. Create the copy

        Good copy sells. You know that.  It’s why some companies pay copywriters thousands to put words on a page.

        But it’s not as easy as just writing words on a page. They have to mean something to your target customer.

        As we mentioned with the headline, if you’re struggling to find words, then utilize the language your prospects use.

        Your copy is there as a tool to help you get your point and message across and increase the chance of conversion.

        It all begins with finding the sweet spot for the right amount of copy. Write too little and you won’t have enough words to get your point across. But write too much and the page will become overwhelming.

        However, just saying “find the sweet spot” doesn’t help you.

        In general terms, the amount you write depends on the offer. For things that need a lot of explaining and persuading, you’re going to need more copy.

        For things that require the prospect to provide you with more than just their email address, i.e. when they are making a purchase, you are naturally going to need to use additional copy to ensure all the necessary details are there.

        When it comes to actually writing your copy, you should mirror your brand’s style.

        Keep in mind that it’s not about you. It’s about the customer, so the phrasing you use should be customer-centric and focus on them.

        Evernote personalizes their landing page copy by avoiding using words like “we” or “our” and instead opts for words like “your” and “you”:
        Screen Shot 2017 09 20 at 14.11.57
        These words highlight to your prospects that the main reason for this landing page (and your business) is to help them solve their problems.

        5. Use visual aids

        Like we said, your landing page is only one page, so everything should be there for a reason and have a purpose. The same rule applies to any images or videos you use.

        When you’re adding images to your landing page, you should utilize ones that help your visitors visualize their life after they’ve taken your action.

        Airbnb is a business that focuses on people. So it makes sense that they should use images of people on their landing page:  Screen Shot 2017 09 15 at 16.23.39

        They want their users to feel accomplished and happy if they sign up as an Airbnb host, so they include an image of a woman smiling.

        For anyone thinking about signing up for the Airbnb platform, seeing an image like this will encourage them it’s a good idea.

        Shopify, an e-commerce platform, uses images to show visitors how their shop could look:

        Screen Shot 2017 09 15 at 16.24.15

        You can utilize images to guide your audience towards the call to action.

        The images make your offer more human.

        Your audience cannot touch or hold your product. Your landing page should make use of images to help them visualize it.

        6. Include social proof

        When creating a mind-reading landing page, understand that one question your audience will have is, “Do I need this?”

        This is true for every landing page.

        One way to read their minds is to address their question through the concept of social proof.

        People are more inclined to take action if they know other people just like them have taken action and benefited from it.

        Using social proof on your landing page provides prospects with another layer of trust. They feel like it’s more likely your product/service will actually do what you say it will because they can see what other people thought about it.

        For example, check out what Freshdesk does on their landing page:Screen Shot 2017 09 20 at 14.16.30

        Do you have reviews and testimonials for your product you can use on the landing page?

        Visitors get to experience how their life could be different from signing up. And they learn that from other people just like them.

        7. Utilize a call to action

        Your call to action button is important. It’s perhaps the most important element on the page.

        If your audience can’t see your button clearly, they’re not going to know what to do.

        Each landing page should have a call to action. The call to action is there to guide your user’s attention.

        Let’s talk about your call to action button copy.

        Your button copy should be action driven and relate to the offer available.

        “Download” copy on the call to action is vague, and the visitor might not even remember what it is they’re downloading.

        Take a look at the call to action button on Hired. It stands out as the only red button on the page:

        <img class="wp-image-47143" src="; alt="Screen Shot 2017 09 20 at 14.22.19" srcset=" 1600w,×184.png 350w,×403.png 768w,

        Page Speed Optimization: Metrics, Tools, and How to Improve — Best of Whiteboard Friday

        Posted by BritneyMuller

        Page speed has always been a crucial part of SEO work, and as more companies make the shift to online operations, optimization becomes more important than ever. However, it’s a complex subject that tends to be very technical. What are the most crucial things to understand about your site’s page speed, and how can you begin to improve? To help you answer these questions, we’re sharing this popular episode of Whiteboard Friday (originally published in February 2019) where Britney Muller goes over what you need to know to get started.

        Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

        Video Transcription

        Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re going over all things page speed and really getting to the bottom of why it’s so important for you to be thinking about and working on as you do your work.

        At the very fundamental level I’m going to briefly explain just how a web page is loaded. That way we can sort of wrap our heads around why all this matters.

        How a webpage is loaded

        A user goes to a browser, puts in your website, and there is a DNS request. This points at your domain name provider, so maybe GoDaddy, and this points to your server where your files are located, and this is where it gets interesting. So the DOM starts to load all of your HTML, your CSS, and your JavaScript. But very rarely does this one pull all of the needed scripts or needed code to render or load a web page.

        Typically the DOM will need to request additional resources from your server to make everything happen, and this is where things start to really slow down your site. Having that sort of background knowledge I hope will help in us being able to triage some of these issues.

        Issues that could be slowing down your site

        What are some of the most common culprits?

        1. First and foremost is images. Large images are the biggest culprit of slow loading web pages.
        2. Hosting can cause issues.
        3. Plugins, apps, and widgets, basically any third-party script as well can slow down load time.
        4. Your theme and any large files beyond that can really slow things down as well.
        5. Redirects, the number of hops needed to get to a web page will slow things down.
        6. Then JavaScript, which we’ll get into in a second.

        But all of these things can be a culprit. So we’re going to go over some resources, some of the metrics and what they mean, and then what are some of the ways that you can improve your page speed today.

        Page speed tools and resources

        The primary resources I have listed here are Google tools and Google suggested insights. I think what’s really interesting about these is we get to see what their concerns are as far as page speed goes and really start to see the shift towards the user. We should be thinking about that anyway. But first and foremost, how is this affecting people that come to your site, and then secondly, how can we also get the dual benefit of Google perceiving it as higher quality?

        We know that Google suggests a website to load anywhere between two to three seconds. The faster the better, obviously. But that’s sort of where the range is. I also highly suggest you take a competitive view of that. Put your competitors into some of these tools and benchmark your speed goals against what’s competitive in your industry. I think that’s a cool way to kind of go into this.

        Chrome User Experience Report

        This is Chrome real user metrics. Unfortunately, it’s only available for larger, popular websites, but you get some really good data out of it. It’s housed on BigQuery*, so some basic SQL knowledge is needed.

        *Editor’s note: We’ve edited this transcript for accuracy. In the video Britney said “BigML,” but intended to say BigQuery. It’s hard filming an advanced-topic Whiteboard Friday in a single take! 🙂


        Lighthouse, one of my favorites, is available right in Chrome Dev Tools. If you are on a web page and you click Inspect Element and you open up Chrome Dev Tools, to the far right tab where it says Audit, you can run a Lighthouse report right in your browser.

        What I love about it is it gives you very specific examples and fixes that you can do. A fun fact to know is it will automatically be on the simulated fast 3G, and notice they’re focused on mobile users on 3G. I like to switch that to applied fast 3G, because it has Lighthouse do an actual run of that load. It takes a little bit longer, but it seems to be a little bit more accurate. Good to know.

        Page Speed Insights

        Page Speed Insights is really interesting. They’ve now incorporated Chrome User Experience Report. But if you’re not one of those large sites, it’s not even going to measure your actual page speed. It’s going to look at how your site is configured and provide feedback according to that and score it. Just something good to be aware of. It still provides good value.

        Test your mobile website speed and performance

        I don’t know what the title of this is. If you do, please comment down below. But it’s located on This one is really cool because it tests the mobile speed of your site. If you scroll down, it directly ties it into ROI for your business or your website. We see Google leveraging real-world metrics, tying it back to what’s the percentage of people you’re losing because your site is this slow. It’s a brilliant way to sort of get us all on board and fighting for some of these improvements.

        Pingdom and GTmetrix are non-Google products or non-Google tools, but super helpful as well.

        Site speed metrics

        So what are some of the metrics?

        What is first paint?

        First paint is he first non-blank paint on a screen. It could be just the first pixel change. That initial change is considered first paint.

        What is first contentful paint?

        First contentful paint is when the first content appears. This might be part of the nav or the search bar or whatever it might be. –That’s the first contentful paint.

        What is first meaningful paint?

        First meaningful paint is when primary content is visible. When you sort of get that reaction of, “Oh, yeah, this is what I came to this page for,” that’s first meaningful paint.

        What is time to interactive?

        Time to interactive is when it’s visually usable and engage-able. So we’ve all gone to a web page and it looks like it’s done, but we can’t quite use it yet. That’s where this metric comes in. So when is it usable for the user? Again, notice how user-centric even these metrics are. Really, really neat.

        DOM content loaded

        The DOM content loaded, this is when the HTML is completely loaded and parsed. So some really good ones to keep an eye on and just to be aware of in general.

        Ways to improve your page speed


        HTTP/2 can definitely speed things up. As to what extent, you have to sort of research that and test.

        Preconnect, prefetch, preload

        Preconnect, prefetch, and preload really interesting and important in speeding up a site. We see Google doing this on their SERPs. If you inspect an element, you can see Google prefetching some of the URLs so that it has it faster for you if you were to click on some of those results. You can similarly do this on your site. It helps to load and speed up that process.

        Enable caching & use a content delivery network (CDN)

        Caching is so, so important. Definitely do your research and make sure that’s set up properly. Same with CDNs, so valuable in speeding up a site, but you want to make sure that your CDN is set up properly.

        Compress images

        The easiest and probably quickest way for you to speed up your site today is really just to compress those images. It’s such an easy thing to do. There are all sorts of free tools available for you to compress them. Optimizilla is one. You can even use free tools on your computer, Save for Web, and compress properly.

        Minify resources

        You can also minify resources. So it’s really good to be aware of what minification, bundling, and compression do so you can have some of these more technical conversations with developers or with anyone else working on the site.

        So this is sort of a high-level overview of page speed. There’s a ton more to cover, but I would love to hear your input and your questions and comments down below in the comment section.

        I really appreciate you checking out this edition of Whiteboard Friday, and I will see you all again soon. Thanks so much. See you.

        Video transcription by

        Scoop up more SEO insights at MozCon Virtual this July

        Don’t miss exclusive data, tips, workflows, and advice from Britney and our other fantastic speakers at this year’s MozCon Virtual! Chock full of the SEO industry’s top thought leadership, for the first time ever MozCon will be completely remote-friendly. It’s like 20+ of your favorite Whiteboard Fridays on vitamins and doubled in size, plus interactive Q&A, virtual networking, and full access to the video bundle:

        Save my spot at MozCon Virtual!

        We can’t wait to see you there!

        Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


        Behind the Scenes at MozCon Virtual

        Posted by Dr-Pete

        Re-imagining MozCon hasn’t been easy. I won’t lie — I’ll miss seeing so many of you in person, and, yes, I’ll miss the magic of the big stage. We’re working hard to make this year special, including leveling up our speakers for their remote sessions. I recently shared my own set-up on Twitter:

        This stirred up quite a bit of interest in our set-up and equipment list, so thanks to Cheryl on our events team for filling in the blanks for me, and thanks to our amazing A/V partners at Seamless Events for helping this all come together. Also, many thanks to our speakers who gave me permission to share their photos and let you in on some of the magic behind in front of the curtain.

        MozCon Virtual equipment list

        Before we get to the fun part (or maybe this is the fun part for you), here’s the standard equipment list our A/V team used for MozCon Virtual (some speaker set-ups may vary):

        • Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam (more info)
        • Neewer Backdrop Support System (more info)
        • Neewer Gray Photography Backdrop (more info)
        • UBeesize 8-inch Selfie Ring Light w/ Tripod Stand (more info)
        • Z ZAFFIRO USB Lavalier Lapel Clip Microphone (more info)
        • Vilcome 4-in-1 USB C Hub Adapter (more info)

        Note that some of the models/sizes linked to in [more info] may not be exact matches to our kit. While Moz doesn’t endorse any of these specific products, I’ve personally been pleasantly surprised at how affordable and accessible decent A/V equipment has become, and quarantine is making the value proposition even stronger.

        The presenter remote on my desk is not part of the kit, but is my own Logitech R400 (more info). I’ve had this one for almost six years, and wish I’d bought my own remote sooner. I use it even when I’m presenting at my desk or practicing on a plane (that may say more about me than about Logitech, admittedly). The LEGOs and half-finished LaCroix were not included in the speaker kit, although LEGOs factor heavily into my MozCon presentation.

        Sneak-peeks with our speakers

        Just for fun, here’s a sneak-peek at a few of our speakers and their set-ups.

        Dana DiTomaso (@danaditomaso)

        I was going to make all of the photos 16:9 like the one above, but Dana ruined that by having this amazing skylight in her loft, so all of the speakers are getting big photos now.

        Dana’s MozCon Virtual session:
        “Red Flags: Use a discovery process to go from red flags to green lights”

        Izzi Smith (@izzionfire)

        If I hadn’t resorted to full-sized photos for Dana, I would’ve done it for Izzi’s wall art.

        Izzi’s MozCon Virtual Session:
        “How to Be Ahead of the (CTR) Curve”

        Shannon McGuirk (@ShannonMcGuirk_)

        Shannon braved a trek to the office just for MozCon and wins the award for looking more professional than the rest of us. I cleaned my home office. That counts for something, right?

        Shannon’s MozCon Virtual Session:
        “Great Expectations: The Truth About Digital PR Campaigns”

        Ross Simmonds (@TheCoolestCool)

        Ross has clearly got chair game. My $79 knock-off Aeron from Costco is looking pretty sad…

        Ross’s MozCon Virtual Session:
        “Designing a Content Engine: Going from Ideation to Creation to Distribution”

        Robin Lord (@robinlord8)

        Robin went for the rare standing set-up. Robin has also delegated his copy of “Pandemic” to being a monitor stand, as it’s far too depressing to play right now.

        Robin’s MozCon Virtual Session:
        “Whatever You Do, Put Billboards in Seattle – Getting Brand Awareness Data from Google”

        Rob Ousbey (@RobOusbey)

        I’m not sure if Rob is expertly offsetting his window light with two ring lights or if we just forgot to send him the instruction sheet. He’s my boss, so I’ll assume the former.

        Rob’s MozCon Virtual Session:
        “A Novel Approach to Scraping Websites”

        Sarah Bird (@SarahBird)

        Last, but certainly not least, our own CEO, Sarah Bird, who apparently gets to have a hammock outside her office, because she’s the boss.

        Sarah’s MozCon Virtual Session:
        “Welcome to MozCon Virtual 2020 + the State of the Industry”

        The idea for this post was a little last-minute, and I didn’t want to personally annoy every speaker with photo requests, so a big thanks to all of our speakers for going the extra mile to make the shift to a virtual event with us and set up all of this equipment. Special thanks to Cheryl and Carly for all of their work pulling this plan together.

        What’s your home set-up?

        Have you leveled up your A/V set-up and you’re just itching to show it off? Let us know about your favorite equipment in the comments, or send us your home-office photos on Twitter (@Moz).

        Join us for MozCon Virtual!

        Hope to see you at MozCon Virtual on July 14-15. No need to book a hotel or flight, so there’s still time to join us, and the $129 special price includes all speaker videos!

        Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


        Facebook says it will prioritize original reporting and ‘transparent authorship’ in the News Feed

        Facebook announced this morning that stories with original reporting will get a boost in the News Feed, while publications that don’t clearly credit their editorial staff will be demoted.

        The change comes as a number of high-profile companies have said that they will pull their advertising from Facebook as part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, organized by civil rights groups as a a way to pressure the social network to take stronger steps against hate speech and misinformation.

        On Friday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company will start labeling — but not removing — “newsworthy” content from politicians and other public figures that violates its content standards. (He also said that content threatening violence or suppressing voter participation will be removed even if it’s posted by a public figure.)

        Today’s blog post from VP of Global News Partnerships Campbell Brown and Product Manager Jon Levin doesn’t mention the ad boycott, and it suggests that these changes were developed in consultation with news publishers and academics. But these certainly sound like concrete steps the company can point to as part of its efforts against misinformation.

        What gets prioritized in the News Feed has long been a thorny issue for publishers, particularly after a major change in 2016 that prioritized content from friends over content from publishers.

        “Most of the news stories people see in News Feed are from sources they or their friends follow, and that won’t change,” Brown and Levin wrote. “When multiple stories are shared by publishers and are available in a person’s News Feed, we will boost the more original one which will help it get more distribution.”

        As for “transparent authorship,” Facebook will be looking for article bylines, or for a staff page on the publisher’s website. As Brown and Levin noted, “We’ve found that publishers who do not include this information often lack credibility to readers and produce content with clickbait or ad farms, all content people tell us they don’t want to see on Facebook.”

        While these same like smart, straightforward changes (Google announced similar steps last fall), Brown and Levin also warned publishers not to expect “significant changes” in their Facebook traffic, since there are a “variety of signals” that go into how content gets ranked in the News Feed.

        Also worth noting: These changes only apply to news content.


        How to Build Links Using Google Alerts

        Link building is hard. But did you know that Google makes it easier for you?

        Seriously… they do make it easier because they provide you with free tools.

        No, I’m not talking about the ones you already use like Google Search Console and Google Analytics

        They actually have tons of other tools. Some you may have heard of, but I bet you don’t use them.

        And today I am going to show you how you can build links using Google Alerts.

        What is Google Alerts?

        As the saying goes, if it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.

        Google is the most popular search engine in the world. Their database contains hundreds of billions of web pages and is over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size.

        Because of their massive size, they are able to crawl web pages more frequently than any SEO tool including my own, Ubersuggest. This is precisely why you want to start using Google Alerts to build links.

        So, what is Google Alerts?

        As I mentioned above, they have a bigger database of web pages than any other link building or SEO tool. So, you’ll want to use their database to find easy link opportunities and ideally without wasting time digging through billions or even thousands of web pages.

        Google Alerts allows you to create notifications on any subject, topic, or keyword.

        So, when a new web page talks about anything that could be an easy link opportunity, you’ll get notified in an email.

        Just like this one…

        So, let’s set it all up step by step so you can get some backlinks.

        How to set up Google Alerts

        First, I want you to go here.

        You’ll see a screen that looks like this (make sure you sign in at the top right).

        I want you to type in your domain name without the www or the https part.

        In my case, I would type in:

        You may see an alert preview like the one above, but if you have a newer site you probably won’t see any results, which is fine.

        Then I want you to click on the “Show Options” link next to the “Create Alert” button.

        Your settings should match mine:

        • How often – at most once a day
        • Sources – Blogs, Web (select those 2 options, you don’t want news as an option as it tends to create more irrelevant results and we’ve found that it is harder to get news sites to link back to you)
        • Language – English (or the language you are targeting)
        • Region – any region (or you can select the country you are targeting although I recommend picking “any region”)
        • How many – all results
        • Deliver to – should be your email.

        And then click “Create Alert.”

        Up to once a day, you’ll get an email with a list of pages that mentions your website or domain.

        I want you to repeat the process and create an alert for the following items:

        • Your domain – you should have just done this.
        • Brand name – in my case I would create an alert for “Neil Patel.”
        • Product names – if you are selling any services or products you can create an alert around that. In my case, I would create an alert for “Ubersuggest.”
        • Industry terms – create alerts for anything related to your industry. When people are talking about your space, it is an easy link opportunity. In my case, I would create alerts for the terms: digital marketing, online marketing, and SEO.
        • Your email address – create an alert anytime someone gives out your email. Again, another easy link opportunity.

        Here’s what mine looks like:

        You’ll also notice for all of my two-word phrases I have quotation marks around them.

        For example, I would not create an alert for: Neil Patel

        But, I would create an alert for: “Neil Patel”

        The reason being is that alerts for two-word phrases without quotes aren’t as relevant. For example, here are some alerts from the term: online marketing.

        When I use quotes, here are the results.

        See the difference?

        Getting links

        Now that you have alerts set up, it is time to get links.

        Keep in mind that when you get an alert email, someone could have already linked to you. So, not every alert will be a link building opportunity, but many will be.

        Typically, more than half will be opportunities.

        Depending on the alert type, some will be easier than others. So, let’s go over how to convert each opportunity into a link.

        Your domain

        You’ll find that a good portion of the mentions of your domain will contain a link back to your site.

        For those, you don’t have to do anything as you’ve already got a link.

        TikTok goes down in India, its biggest overseas market

        A growing number of internet service providers in India have started to block their subscribers from accessing TikTok a day after New Delhi banned the popular short-video app and 58 other services in the world’s second largest internet market over security and privacy concerns.

        Many users on Airtel, Vodafone and other service providers reported Tuesday afternoon (local time) that TikTok app on their phone was no longer accessible. Opening TikTok app, users said, showed they were no longer connected to the internet.

        For many others, opening TikTok app promoted an error message that said the popular app was complying with the Indian government’s order and could no longer offer its service. Opening TikTok website in India prompts a similar message.