The MozCon Virtual Video Bundle Is Here (Plus, Our 2019 Videos are FREE!)

Posted by cheryldraper

This year’s MozCon was unlike any other. In the midst of a global pandemic, we pivoted from planning our traditional 1,600-plus in-person shindig to an online conference that ended up bigger and more well-attended than anything we’d done before. MozCon Virtual was a delightful journey into the unknown. Just a few of the practical lessons we learned:

And while it may have felt a little different this year, with 21 industry experts covering topics all the way from easy-to-implement machine learning to effective content promotion to crafting a keyword strategy that accounts for a world in crisis, MozCon Virtual offered up the same caliber of high-quality content as any in-person event we’ve ever thrown.

And we’re happy to share that if you missed the conference live, the MozCon 2020 video bundle is now available for your viewing pleasure!

Start watching now

For $129, you’ll gain access to every presentation and speaker deck to watch as many times as you’d like. Schedule a viewing party with your team and get everyone on board with the best digital marketing advice, data, tools, and resources for the coming year.

If you’d like a taste of what this year’s video bundle’s got cooking, check out Rob Ousbey’s talk from this year’s event:

A Novel Approach to Scraping Websites

Throughout a decade in SEO consulting, Rob needed to extract data from websites on many an occasion. Often this was at scale from sites that didn’t have an API or export feature, or on sites that required some kind of authentication. While this was primarily a way to collect & combine data from different SEO tools, the use-cases were endless.

He found a technique that helped immensely, particularly when traditional tools couldn’t do the job — but hadn’t seen anyone using the same approach. In this very tactical session, Rob will walk through the steps he’s used to extract data from all sorts of sites, from small fry to the giants, and give you the tools and knowledge to do the same.

As a bonus, Rob’s put together a list of handy resources on his website to support you as you pursue your own data collection dreams!


Watch the MozCon 2019 videos for free in our SEO Learning Center!

Now that our MozCon Virtual videos are out in the world, we’ve released all the content from MozCon 2019 for free in our SEO Learning Center. Twenty-six sessions full of actionable insights and digital marketing advice await you — read on to see what goodies you might have missed last year!

Web Search 2019: The Essential Data Marketers Need

Rand Fishkin

It’s been a rough couple years in search. Google’s domination and need for additional growth has turned the search giant into a competitor for more and more publishers, and plateaued the longstanding trend of Google’s growing referral traffic. But in the midst of this turmoil, opportunities have emerged, too. In this presentation, Rand will look not only at how Google (and Amazon, YouTube, Instagram, and others) have leveraged their monopoly power in concerning ways, but also how to find opportunities for traffic, branding, and marketing success.

Human > Machine > Human: Understanding Human-Readable Quality Signals and Their Machine-Readable Equivalents

Ruth Burr Reedy

The push and pull of making decisions for searchers versus search engines is an ever-present SEO conundrum. How do you tackle industry changes through the lens of whether something is good for humans or for machines? Ruth will take us through human-readable quality signals and their machine-readable equivalents and how to make SEO decisions accordingly, as well as how to communicate change to clients and bosses.

Improved Reporting & Analytics Within Google Tools

Dana DiTomaso

Covering the intersections between some of our favorite free tools — Google Data Studio, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager — Dana will be deep-diving into how to improve your reporting and analytics, even providing downloadable Data Studio templates along the way.

Local SERP Analytics: The Challenges and Opportunities

Rob Bucci

We all know that SERPs are becoming increasingly local. Google is more and more looking to satisfy local intent queries for searchers. There’s a treasure-trove of data in local SERPs that SEOs can use to outrank their competitors. In this session, Rob will talk about the challenges that come with trying to do SERP analytics at a local level and the opportunities that await those who can overcome those challenges.

Keywords Aren’t Enough: How to Uncover Content Ideas Worth Chasing

Ross Simmonds

Many marketers focus solely on keyword research when crafting their content, but it just isn’t enough if you want to gain a competitive edge. Ross will share a framework for uncovering content ideas leveraged from forums, communities, niche sites, good old-fashioned SERP analysis, tools and techniques to help along the way, and exclusive research surrounding the data that backs this up.

How to Supercharge Link Building with a Digital PR Newsroom

Shannon McGuirk

Everyone who’s ever tried their hand at link building knows how much effort it demands. If only there was a way to keep a steady stream of quality links coming in the door for clients, right? In this talk, Shannon will share how to set up a “digital PR newsroom” in-house or agency-side that supports and grows your link building efforts. Get your note-taking hand ready, because she’s going to outline her process and provide a replicable tutorial for how to make it happen.

From Zero to Local Ranking Hero

Darren Shaw

From zero web presence to ranking hyper-locally, Darren will take us along on the 8-month-long journey of a business growing its digital footprint and analyzing what worked (and didn’t) along the way. How well will they rank from a GMB listing alone? What about when citations were added, and later indexed? Did having a keyword in the business name help or harm, and what changes when they earn a few good links? Buckle up for this wild ride as we discover exactly what impact different strategies have on local rankings.

Esse Quam Videri: When Faking It Is Harder than Making It

Russ Jones

Covering a breadth of SEO topics, Russ will show us how the correct use of available tools makes it easier to actually be the best in your market rather than try to cut corners and fake it. If you’re a fan of hacks and shortcuts, come prepared to have your mind changed.

Building a Discoverability Powerhouse: Lessons from Merging an Organic, Paid, & Content Practice

Heather Physioc

Search is a channel that can’t live in a silo. In order to be its most effective, search teams have to collaborate successfully across paid, organic, content and more. Get tips for integrating and collaborating from the hard knocks and learnings of merging an organic, paid and performance content team into one Discoverability group. Find out how we went from three teams of individual experts to one integrated Discoverability powerhouse, and learn from our mistakes and wins as you apply the principles in your own company.

Brand Is King: How to Rule in the New Era of Local Search

Mary Bowling

Get ready for a healthy dose of all things local with this talk! Mary will deep-dive into how the Google Local algorithm has matured in 2019 and how marketers need to mature with it; how the major elements of the algo (relevance, prominence, and proximity) influence local rankings and how they affect each other; how local results are query-dependent; how to feed business info into the Knowledge Graph; and how brand is now “king” in local search.

Making Memories: Creating Content People Remember

Casie Gillette

We know that only 20% of people remember what they read, but 80% remember what they saw. How do you create something people actually remember? You have to think beyond words and consider factors like images, colors, movement, location, and more. In this talk, Casie will dissect what brands are currently doing to capture attention and how everyone, regardless of budget or resources, can create the kind of content their audience will actually remember.

20 Years in Search & I Don’t Trust My Gut or Google

Wil Reynolds

What would your reaction be if you were told that one of Wil’s clients got more conversions from zero-volume search terms than search terms with 1000+ searches per month? It’s true. Wil found this out in seconds, leading him to really look at his whole client strategy through a new lens. It also made him question company-wide strategies. How prevalent is this across all clients? Don’t they all deserve to get these insights? It required him to dig into the long tail, deep. To use big data and see PPC data as insights, not just marketing.

What would your reaction be if you were told that Google’s “bad click” business could be generating as much annually as Starbucks or McDonalds?

Wil will be making the case for big data, agencies, and why building systems that looking at every single search term you get matched to is the future of search marketing.

Super-Practical Tips for Improving Your Site’s E-A-T

Marie Haynes

Google has admitted that they measure the concept of “Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness” in their algorithms. If your site is categorized under YMYL (Your Money or Your Life), you absolutely must have good E-A-T in order to rank well. In this talk, you’ll learn how Google measures E-A-T and what changes you can make both on site and off in order to outrank your competitors. Using real-life examples, Marie will answer what E-A-T is and how Google measures it, what changes you can make on your site to improve how E-A-T is displayed, and what you can do off-site to improve E-A-T.

Fixing the Indexability Challenge: A Data-Based Framework

Areej AbuAli

How do you turn an unwieldy 2.5 million-URL website into a manageable and indexable site of just 20,000 pages? Areej will share the methodology and takeaways used to restructure a job aggregator site which, like many large websites, had huge problems with indexability and the rules used to direct robot crawl. This talk will tackle tough crawling and indexing issues, diving into the case study with flow charts to explain the full approach and how to implement it.

What Voice Means for Search Marketers: Top Findings from the 2019 Report

Christi Olson

How can search marketers take advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of today’s voice assistants? Diving into three scenarios for informational, navigational, and transactional queries, Christi will share how to use language semantics for better content creation and paid targeting, how to optimize existing content to be voice-friendly (including the new voice schema markup!), and what to expect from future algorithm updates as they adapt to assistants that read responses aloud, no screen required. Highlighting takeaways around voice commerce from the report, this talk will ultimately provide a breakdown on how search marketers can begin to adapt their shopping experience for v-commerce.

Redefining Technical SEO

Paul Shapiro

It’s time to throw the traditional definition of technical SEO out the window. Why? Because technical SEO is much, much bigger than just crawling, indexing, and rendering. Technical SEO is applicable to all areas of SEO, including content development and other creative functions. In this session, you’ll learn how to integrate technical SEO into all aspects of your SEO program.

How Many Words Is a Question Worth?

Dr. Peter J. Meyers

Traditional keyword research is poorly suited to Google’s quest for answers. One question might represent thousands of keyword variants, so how do we find the best questions, craft content around them, and evaluate success? Dr. Pete dives into three case studies to answer these questions.

Fraggles, Mobile-First Indexing, & the SERP of the Future

Cindy Krum

Before you ask: no, this isn’t Fraggle Rock, MozCon edition! Cindy will cover the myriad ways mobile-first indexing is changing the SERPs, including progressive web apps, entity-first indexing, and how “fraggles” are indexed in the Knowledge Graph and what it all means for the future of mobile SERPs.

Killer CRO and UX Wins Using an SEO Crawler

Luke Carthy

CRO, UX, and an SEO crawler? You read that right! Luke will share actionable tips on how to identify revenue wins and impactful low-hanging fruit to increase conversions and improve UX with the help of a site crawler typically used for SEO, as well as a generous helping of data points from case studies and real-world examples.

Content, Rankings, and Lead Generation: A Breakdown of the 1% Content Strategy

Andy Crestodina

How can you use data to find and update content for higher rankings and more traffic? Andy will take us through a four-point presentation that pulls together the most effective tactics around content into a single high-powered content strategy with even better results.

Running Your Own SEO Tests: Why It Matters & How to Do It Right

Rob Ousbey

Google’s algorithms have undergone significant changes in recent years. Traditional ranking signals don’t hold the same sway they used to, and they’re being usurped by factors like UX and brand that are becoming more important than ever before. What’s an SEO to do?

The answer lies in testing.

Sharing original data and results from clients, Rob will highlight the necessity of testing, learning, and iterating your work, from traditional UX testing to weighing the impact of technical SEO changes, tweaking on-page elements, and changing up content on key pages. Actionable processes and real-world results abound in this thoughtful presentation on why you should be testing SEO changes, how and where to run them, and what kinds of tests you ought to consider for your circumstances.

Dark Helmet’s Guide to Local Domination with Google Posts and Q&A

Greg Gifford

Google Posts and Questions & Answers are two incredibly powerful features of Google My Business, yet most people don’t even know they exist. Greg will walk through Google Posts in detail, sharing how they work, how to use them, and tips for optimization based on testing with hundreds of clients. He’ll also cover the Q&A section of GMB (a feature that lets anyone in the community speak for your business), share the results of a research project covering hundreds of clients, share some hilarious examples of Q&A run wild, and explain exactly how to use Q&A the right way to win more local business.

How to Audit for Inclusive Content

Emily Triplett Lentz

Digital marketers have a responsibility to learn to spot the biases that frequently find their way into online copy, replacing them with alternatives that lead to stronger, clearer messaging and that cultivate wider, more loyal and enthusiastic audiences. Last year, Help Scout audited several years of content for unintentionally exclusionary language that associated physical disabilities or mental illness with negative-sounding terms, resulting in improved writing clarity and a stronger brand. You’ll learn what inclusive content is, how it helps to engage a larger and more loyal audience, how to conduct an audit of potentially problematic language on a site, and how to optimize for inclusive, welcoming language.

Get the Look: Improve the Shopper Experience with Image and Visual Search Optimization

Joelle Irvine

With voice, local, and rich results only rising in importance, how do image and visual search fit into the online shopping ecosystem? Using examples from Google Images, Google Lens, and Pinterest Lens, Joelle will show how image optimization can improve the overall customer experience and play a key role in discoverability, product evaluation, and purchase decisions for online shoppers. At the same time, accepting that image recognition technology is not yet perfect, she will also share actionable tactics to better optimize for visual search to help those shoppers find that perfect style they just can’t put into words.

Factors that Affect the Local Algorithm that Don’t Impact Organic

Joy Hawkins

Google’s local algorithm is a horse of a different color when compared with the organic algo most SEOs are familiar with. Joy will share results from a SterlingSky study on how proximity varies greatly when comparing local and organic results, how reviews impact ranking (complete with data points from testing), how spam is running wild (and how it negatively impacts real businesses), and more.

Featured Snippets: Essentials to Know & How to Target

Britney Muller

By now, most SEOs are comfortable with the idea of featured snippets, but actually understanding and capturing them in the changing search landscape remains elusive. Britney will share some eye-opening data about the SERPs you know and love while equipping you with a bevy of new tricks for winning featured snippets into your toolbox.


Ready for more?

You’ll uncover even more SEO goodness in the MozCon 2020 video bundle. At this year’s special low price of $129, this is invaluable content you can access again and again throughout the year to inspire and ignite your SEO strategy:

How to Choose The Right Digital Marketing Agency

Deciding to hire a digital marketing agency is easy. 

The hard part is deciding which digital marketing agency to hire. 

In today’s world, anyone with an internet connection can create a website and start offering services as an entrepreneur. The barriers to entry are slim to none. 

Which… is what makes choosing the right digital marketing agency so tricky. 

However, I know a few things that can help simplify the decision-making process. In this article, I cover what to look for, things to avoid, how to make the most of your digital marketing agency, and my top recommendations. 

But first, let’s start at the beginning. 

Know your goals and desired outcomes

Every business is different, as is every digital marketing agency. 

Digital marketing agencies usually specialize in one or two areas. And while many of them are “full-service,” they typically prefer projects within their specialty.

So the first step in choosing the right digital marketing agency is understanding your goals and what you hope to achieve by working with one. 

It may be easier to break this down into deliverables, the goal of those deliverables, and the outcome you hope to achieve. Knowing these things helps you communicate what you wish to get out of the project. 

And when an agency knows what you’re looking for, they know whether they can actually help you without wasting anyone’s time. 

Here are some examples to get your wheels turning. 

Example #1:

Pretend you want to hire an agency to help you develop a content marketing system. You ultimately want a blog that continuously runs on autopilot with no work required by you. 

  • Deliverable: a fully-managed content marketing plan, strategy, and system
  • Goal: attract more of the right visitors to your website with high-quality content
  • End result: a blog 100% managed by someone else

From there, you can start looking for companies that fit the bill because you know exactly what you’re looking for and how to communicate your desired outcomes.

Example #2:

Maybe you’re interested in creating a series of marketing videos you can use on social media and your website, but you don’t know how to do it or where to start. 

You also want someone to coach you through the process. 

  • Deliverable: a series of on-brand marketing videos and matching visual assets
  • Goal: communicate your new offer in a fun and engaging way for your audience
  • End result: a finished product and the know-how required to do it on your own

Now, you can actively look for digital marketing agencies that are willing to coach you through it. Coaching is more hands-on, so not all video marketing agencies can do this. 

But because you know what you want, you can find the right fit for you. 

Imagine the disappointment of hiring someone and realizing they can’t or won’t give you what you were really looking for. 

This is why it’s essential to pinpoint your goals and desired outcomes before doing anything else. 

7 characteristics that make a great digital marketing agency

Now you know what your goals and desired outcomes are. So, it’s time to talk about what makes excellent digital marketing agencies… great. 

So, look for these characteristics as you go through the process of deciding who you want to work with. They’ll help you vet out top-notch service providers from those who say they’re the best without proof to back it up. 

Let’s dive in!

1. A sizable portfolio and/or list of past clients

Smart digital marketing agencies are proud of who they work with and the work they do. Furthermore, they typically display their partnerships for the world to see. 

You don’t necessarily have to know who their past clients are (bonus points if you do). But if you can’t find a list of previous clients or examples of their work, that may mean they haven’t worked with anyone. 

Which… is fine if you’re on a budget. But not okay if you’re looking for the best of the best. 

That said, some types of services aren’t easy to display, like content marketing and SEO. So, agencies specializing in those areas may not be able to showcase their work in a portfolio. 

However, a client list is a good indication of their experience. 

Neil Patel Digital Social Proof

Note: with services like graphic design or website development, you should see a well-put-together showcase of the type of work they do. If you can’t find any examples, move on to a service provider with a portfolio that matches your expectations.

2. Experienced and specialized team members

Regardless of the type of services you’re after, it’s essential to make sure the agency you hire has the right team-members to suit your project. 

For example, you wouldn’t hire someone to design a logo if they don’t have a graphic designer. 

Look through their about page to see if they list their team members there. 

And if not, LinkedIn is also a great place to look. Start by searching for the agency. 

Then click “People” to see a list of everyone who works there. 

Note: this typically won’t show you any freelancers or contractors they work with, so it’s not always 100% indicative of who’s on their team. 

Furthermore, some of their team members may not be on Linkedin at all. 

But this is an excellent place to start. You can always ask questions during your consultation if you aren’t sure. 

3. Social proof and a strong industry reputation

Social proof, like testimonials and previous client reviews, can give you deep insight into what working with that agency is like.

Furthermore, smart marketers understand the importance of displaying social proof on their website. So, if you can’t find any, they may not have any previous clients, or they may not understand the industry as well as you’d like them to. 

Besides positive reviews, negative or neutral reviews can also shine a light on areas that agency struggles with to get a clear understanding of their work. 

Lastly, you can search for in-depth reviews on Google to see what others in the industry (and their past clients) say about their experiences with the agency. 

4. Similar core values and company culture

Take a moment to revisit your company’s core values and culture.

Why? Because it’s crucial to work with a digital marketing agency that values the same things and operates in a similar environment. 

Doing so ensures they mesh and work well with your team. Ultimately, an agency is an extension of your business. Choosing an agency with the right values and culture is just as important as considering the quality of their work. 

The last thing you want is the stress of working with a group of people who don’t value the same things or operate in the same way. 

Look at the words and phrases an agency uses to describe what they do. Does this align with your core values and the results you expect to see? 

If not, move on to an agency that feels like a better fit. 

5. A well-designed website

Your website is like a cozy entryway that makes the right people feel welcome. 

The best digital marketers know how essential a well-designed website is. So, if they’re not executing internal projects well, why would you expect them to deliver something better for yours? 

This is especially true if they offer website development or design services. 

So, look through their website and listen to your instincts. 

If it doesn’t feel right or appears low-quality, you’re better off moving on to an agency that values good design and delivering exceptional user experiences

6. They don’t make outlandish promises

The type of results an agency promises on their website is a strong indication of how well they understand the industry. 

For example, anyone claiming to fast track your way to the number one spot on Google doesn’t know that SEO is both a long-term and short-term marketing strategy. Or that it requires continuous work to maintain. 

So, that’s probably not someone you should hire to help optimize your website. 

Pay close attention to the claims and promises they make. 

Make sure they align with what you know about the industry. And remember outlandish or seemingly impossible promises are a huge red flag. 

Stick to digital marketing agencies that offer transparency and realistic promises. 

7. And they’re easy to get in touch with

The best digital marketing agencies make it as easy as possible for potential clients to get in touch with them. 

Navigating their website shouldn’t feel like a maze,

In a perfect world, their contact information isn’t more than one click away regardless of what page you’re on. And they provide a clear call to action, so you know what to do next.

Furthermore, your first step should be painfully clear. Do they want you to schedule a consultation? Maybe you’re supposed to fill out a contact form for more information or a custom quote. 

If it isn’t obvious or you’re struggling to figure out how things work, consider choosing a digital marketing agency that simplifies the process. 

How to work with a digital marketing agency

There are quite a few things you can do as a client to maximize your results and get the most out of your strategic partnership with a digital marketing agency. 

Doing these things helps set the stage for effective and successful collaboration through every phase of the project.

Prepare your team and do your homework

It’s essential to have everyone on the same page. So, have a meeting with your team and let them know the extent of your new project or partnership with plenty of time to get ready for it. 

If you owe the agency anything, be sure to spend time on it and do it well. They need to learn the ins and outs of your business, and this is your chance to put it all out on the table. 

This sets the precedence for the rest of the project, so don’t rush to get it done. 

Understand the scope, process, and timeline

Before the project starts, make sure every person with a stake in it agrees on the scope and timeline before moving forward. This is just as much your job as it is your agency’s. 

Furthermore, most digital marketing projects go through these four phases:

  1. Discovery and research
  2. Project planning
  3. Execution
  4. Review, results, and offboarding

Layout the details of each step with your team and agency so everything is crystal clear before the project begins. 

Don’t expect a hands-off experience

The best digital marketing projects are highly collaborative. 

Furthermore, your input, thoughts, and ideas help move the project forward in the right direction to match your desired outcomes. 

Some agencies and projects are more collaborative than others. So make sure you understand what they need from you throughout the entire project. 

It may help to have a dedicated point of contact and a team or team member ready to manage the project. Having someone readily available helps ensure you’re not holding things up on your end. 

Be ready to forfeit control

It’s important to remember that the agency you hired is excellent at what it does, and you hired them for a reason — their expertise. 

This means giving them complete control over certain aspects of the project to let them do what they do best. It’s also important to listen to what they say. 

If they have a reason for doing things a certain way, remind yourself they’re the experts. 

You don’t necessarily have to agree, but it’s worth keeping an open mind. 

Ask questions

If you’ve never worked with a digital marketing agency before, you will see and experience a lot of new things. 

And it’s completely normal if you don’t understand everything that’s happening. 

The best thing to do is ask questions.

Maybe you don’t know why they chose this color over that one. Or there’s a piece of data you don’t get. Perhaps someone said something that doesn’t make sense to you. 

There’s nothing wrong with not knowing. However, asking about the things you’re unsure of is an excellent opportunity for everyone to learn more. It also helps clear up any uncertainties. 

How to find the right digital marketing agency for you

There are countless “full-service” agencies offering every type of service you can imagine under one roof. Which… sounds great, but I don’t recommend hiring them. 

Why? It makes more sense when you think about other industries. 

Example #1: Would you rather hire a general contractor or a custom porch specialist to build a custom-fit back deck for your house? The specialist, right? 

Example #2: Who do you see when you have specific medical issues that need attention? A specialist for that particular problem. Or you get referred to one by your general care physician. 

The best digital marketing agencies excel at one or two things with their other services being add-ons or secondary options. 

So, choose a niched digital marketing agency specializing in the types of services you’re looking for to get the best results and the most bang for your buck. 

The 6 top digital marketing agencies

Now you know what to look for and how to choose the right digital marketing agency for your next project. To help you get started, these are my top agency recommendations for different types of projects.

1. Neil Patel Digital — Best for SEO and content marketing

Neil Patel Digital is a holistic digital marketing agency specializing in content marketing and SEO for brands interested in disrupting their industry. 

Our goal is to change the way brands think about the content they produce. 

And we also care about helping that content get the attention it deserves

Our team of highly-skilled content marketers and SEO experts are equipped with my tried-and-tested digital marketing strategies to help your business deliver the right types of content… at the right time. 

2. Storm Brain — Best for social media marketing and advertising

Storm Brain specializes in helping brands of all sizes generate more leads and leverage social media through organic and paid campaigns. 

They go the extra mile by looking at clients through the lens of an audience member to help craft and deliver long-term experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. 

3. Action Rocket — Best for email marketing campaigns

From workshops and online courses to full-scale email campaign creation services, Action Rocket is a go-to expert for all things email marketing

Their team specializes in email strategy, design, and coding so you don’t have to worry about planning your campaigns or designing them. 

Plus, you can rest easy knowing your email code aligns with today’s best practices. 

4. Pop Video — Best for visual content marketing

Pop Video is a visual content marketing agency specializing in video and visual content marketing as well as matching visual assets for digital brands of all sizes. 

They understand the importance of deep collaboration between clients and their team, which is why they call themselves video partners… not video producers

At Pop Video, they consider themselves an extension of your team that works in parallel
Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/digital-marketing-agency/

Adjusting Paid Campaigns During a Recession

Posted by ryanmoothart

Our world changed dramatically in March of 2020 as a new viral threat to our livelihoods took hold in the United States and around the world. Here in the US (at the time of writing this post), COVID-19 has not relented

Some industries have been more heavily affected than others. For example, travel and tourism businesses have been hurting far more than many other industries due to social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders.

However, all businesses should re-evaluate their planned budgets for paid search and other paid digital campaigns for the next 12 to 24 months. Hopefully, this pandemic cedes faster than that and the economy comes out of our pending depression more rapidly at some point next year. But since nobody can know for sure when that will happen, it’s better to be safe and plan accordingly. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What assumptions did you make about your priorities heading into 2020?
  • How has the global pandemic and economic recession affected those priorities thus far?
  • How have your trends changed and what shift(s) have you already had to make?

You’ll be on your way to creating a more stable plan for your paid digital advertising campaigns once you’re able to answer those questions.

Now comes the most difficult part: how do you take these changes into account and plan ahead for the next year, or even two years?

To do this effectively, you need to make a choice about which overarching business goal is more important to you:

1. Drive sufficient sales volume even at the expense of profitability.

    OR

    2. Maintain a profitability margin even if it means losing out on sales volume.

      Don’t pick both. Obviously, you want to drive more sales and maintain or increase profitability — everyone wants to do that. But if your business has struggled since the breakout of this recession, you don’t have the luxury right now of picking both. If you pursue both goals, you’re more likely to implement competing tactics in your campaigns that may result in hitting neither. So, pick one. If you can hit it consistently going forward in this new environment, then you can start striving to hit the other in addition.

      Focusing on sales volume

      If your primary goal is sales volume, reference the year-over-year trends you’ve witnessed since the COVID-19 outbreak and the onset of the recession. Pay close attention to the last month or two since things have started returning to a “more normal” outlook with regards to businesses reopening (albeit with strong rules around social distancing). For instance:

      • Have you seen website traffic bounce back a bit since May, but not sales or conversions?
      • Have these things increased in certain channels but not in others?
      • How has your ad spend volume correlated with these shifts in conversions?
      • Have you seen increases in cost per conversion levels that look more stable now?
      • How do all of these things compare year over year?

      Whatever you’re witnessing after answering these questions, plan on those year-over-year trends continuing for the foreseeable future. Take into account seasonality and plan out how many conversions, sales, and/or how much revenue you want to acquire each month or each week going forward. Once you have those hard numbers planned out, do some quick math by accounting for your cost per conversion and return on ad spend (ROAS) levels, and correlate how much money you’re going to need to spend to meet those sales targets.

      

      Do these new budgets and targets allow you to meet your overall sales goals? You may find you’re able to hit targets for a certain channel directly (paid search, for example), but will still be behind overall. If that’s the case, reference your impression share or share of voice metrics, competitive insights, and tools like Moz or Google Trends to see if it’s realistic to push for even more sales volume if your existing forecasts don’t meet your goals.

      If these things indicate little room for potential growth, revise your sales volume targets and expectations down to account for this new post-COVID normal. In this instance, your opportunity for potential growth will lie in high-funnel channels (e.g. programmatic advertising, digital video ads, traditional media buying) to reach more potential new customers. Just be sure to account for how many conversions or sales these high-funnel channels actually assist with to make sure you’re putting your advertising budgets to good use.

      Focusing on profitability

      If your primary goal is profitability, reference the same trends and answer the same set of questions as above. Again, pay close attention to the last month or two as the economic recession has begun settling itself in for the long haul. Whatever you’re witnessing, plan on those year-over-year trends continuing. Then, taking into account seasonality, forecast what your campaign budgets should be by month or by week given your desired ROAS or ROI levels.

      Instead of having to adjust your budgets up in order to hit a desired sales volume threshold, you may find that your forecasted budget is lower than you originally anticipated coming into 2020. You’re likely going to have to cut budgets down or pause certain campaigns entirely that just aren’t profitable right now as changes in conversion costs and/or demand have negatively impacted your trends. If this is happening to you, plan on taking that budget you’re now cutting out of your certain paid campaigns and reinvest any potential remaining funds into other channels or savings (assuming such funds aren’t wiped out by lower sales volume).

      This opportunity to maintain a certain profit margin will likely result in less overall revenue and return for your business as a whole. The goal here is to stay profitable enough where you don’t have to make significant cuts to your overall business. Sacrifice what you need to in paid digital advertising to stay afloat and maintain viability throughout the duration of this economic recession.

      One more thing to keep in mind

      As we’re still in the early stages of vast uncertainty, be nimble and reactive as economic circumstances change. You may find yourself doing a lot more re-forecasting on a consistent basis this year and next year due to fluctuation in economic climate and outlook. Just remember everyone else is in the same boat as you — nobody knows what’s coming in the next year or two, let alone the next few months.


      To help us serve you better, please consider taking the 2020 Moz Blog Reader Survey, which asks about who you are, what challenges you face, and what you’d like to see more of on the Moz Blog.

      Take the Survey

      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!


      Source: https://moz.com/blog/adjusting-paid-campaigns-during-recession

      Using the Flowchart Method for Diagnosing Ranking Drops — Best of Whiteboard Friday

      Posted by KameronJenkins

      Being able to pinpoint the reason for a ranking drop is one of our most perennial and potentially frustrating tasks as SEOs, especially in 2020. There are an unknowable number of factors that go into ranking these days, but luckily the methodology for diagnosing those fluctuations is readily at hand. In this popular Whiteboard Friday, the wonderful Kameron Jenkins shows us a structured way to diagnose ranking drops using a flowchart method and critical thinking.

      Flowchart method for diagnosing ranking drops

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

      Video Transcription

      Hey, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Kameron Jenkins. I am the new SEO Wordsmith here at Moz, and I’m so excited to be here. Before this, I worked at an agency for about six and a half years. I worked in the SEO department, and really a common thing we encountered was a client’s rankings dropped. What do we do?

      This flowchart was kind of built out of that mentality of we need a logical workflow to be able to diagnose exactly what happened so we can make really pointed recommendations for how to fix it, how to get our client’s rankings back. So let’s dive right in. It’s going to be a flowchart, so it’s a little nonlinear, but hopefully this makes sense and helps you work smarter rather than harder.

      Was it a major ranking drop?: No

      The first question I’d want to ask is: Was their rankings drop major? By major, I would say that’s something like page 1 to page 5 overnight. Minor would be something like it just fell a couple positions, like position 3 to position 5.

      We’re going to take this path first. It was minor.

      Has there been a pattern of decline lasting about a month or greater?

      That’s not a magic number. A month is something that you can use as a benchmark. But if there’s been a steady decline and it’s been one week it’s position 3 and then it’s position 5 and then position 7, and it just keeps dropping over time, I would consider that a pattern of decline.

      So if no, I would actually say wait.

      • Volatility is normal, especially if you’re at the bottom of page 1, maybe page 2 plus. There’s going to be a lot more shifting of the search results in those positions. So volatility is normal.
      • Keep your eyes on it, though. It’s really good to just take note of it like, “Hey, we dropped. Okay, I’m going to check that again next week and see if it continues to drop, then maybe we’ll take action.”
      • Wait it out. At this point, I would just caution against making big website updates if it hasn’t really been warranted yet. So volatility is normal. Expect that. Keep your finger on the pulse, but just wait it out at this point.

      If there has been a pattern of decline though, I’m going to have you jump to the algorithm update section. We’re going to get there in a second. But for now, we’re going to go take the major rankings drop path.

      Was it a major ranking drop?: Yes

      The first question on this path that I’d want to ask is:

      Was there a rank tracking issue?

      Now, some of these are going seem pretty basic, like how would that ever happen, but believe me it happens every once in a while. So just before we make major updates to the website, I’d want to check the rank tracking.

      I. The wrong domain or URL.

      That can be something that happens a lot. A site maybe you change domains or maybe you move a page and that old page of that old domain is still listed in your ranking tracker. If that’s the case, then the rank tracking tool doesn’t know which URL to judge the rankings off of. So it’s going to look like maybe you dropped to position 10 overnight from position 1, and that’s like, whoa, that’s a huge update. But it’s actually just that you have the wrong URL in there. So just check that. If there’s been a page update, a domain update, check to make sure that you’ve updated your rank tracker.

      II. Glitches.

      So it’s software, it can break. There are things that could cause it to be off for whatever reason. I don’t know how common that is. It probably is totally dependent on which kind of software you use. But glitches do happen, so I would manually check your rankings.

      III. Manually check rankings.

      One way I would do that is…

      • Go to incognito in Google and make sure you’re logged out so it’s not personalized. I would search the term that you’re wanting to rank for and see where you’re actually ranking.
      • Google’s Ad Preview tool. That one is really good too if you want to search where you’re ranking locally so you can set your geolocation. You could do mobile versus desktop rankings. So it could be really good for things like that.
      • Crosscheck with another tool, like Moz’s tool for rank tracking. You can pop in your URLs, see where you’re ranking, and cross-check that with your own tool.

      So back to this. Rank tracking issues. Yes, you found your problem. If it was just a rank tracking tool issue, that’s actually great, because it means you don’t have to make a lot of changes. Your rankings actually haven’t dropped. But if that’s not the issue, if there is no rank tracking issue that you can pinpoint, then I would move on to Google Search Console.

      Problems in Google Search Console?

      So Google Search Console is really helpful for checking site health matters. One of the main things I would want to check in there, if you experience a major drop especially, is…

      I. Manual actions.

      If you navigate to Manual Actions, you could see notes in there like unnatural links pointing to your site. Or maybe you have thin or low-quality content on your site. If those things are present in your Manual Actions, then you have a reference point. You have something to go off of. There’s a lot of work involved in lifting a manual penalty that we can’t get into here unfortunately. Some things that you can do to focus on manual penalty lifting…

      • Moz’s Link Explorer. You can check your inbound links and see their spam score. You could look at things like anchor text to see if maybe the links pointing to your site are keyword stuffed. So you can use tools like that.
      • There are a lot of good articles too, in the industry, just on getting penalties lifted. Marie Haynes especially has some really good ones. So I would check that out.

      But you have found your problem if there’s a manual action in there. So focus on getting that penalty lifted.

      II. Indexation issues.

      Before you move out of Search Console, though, I would check indexation issues as well. Maybe you don’t have a manual penalty. But go to your index coverage report and you can see if anything you submitted in your sitemap is maybe experiencing issues. Maybe it’s blocked by robots.txt, or maybe you accidentally no indexed it. You could probably see that in the index coverage report. Search Console, okay. So yes, you found your problem. No, you’re going to move on to algorithm updates.

      Algorithm updates

      Algorithm updates happen all the time. Google says that maybe one to two happen per day. Not all of those are going to be major. The major ones, though, are listed. They’re documented in multiple different places. Moz has a really good list of algorithm updates over time. You can for sure reference that. There are going to be a lot of good ones. You can navigate to the exact year and month that your site experienced a rankings drop and see if it maybe correlates with any algorithm update.

      For example, say your site lost rankings in about January 2017. That’s about the time that Google released its Intrusive Interstitials Update, and so I would look on my site, if that was the issue, and say, “Do I have intrusive interstitials? Is this something that’s affecting my website?”

      If you can match up an algorithm update with the time that your rankings started to drop, you have direction. You found an issue. If you can’t match it up to any algorithm updates, it’s finally time to move on to site updates.

      Site updates

      What changes happened to your website recently? There are a lot of different things that could have happened to your website. Just keep in mind too that maybe you’re not the only one who has access to your website. You’re the SEO, but maybe tech support has access. Maybe even your paid ad manager has access. There are a lot of different people who could be making changes to the website. So just keep that in mind when you’re looking into it. It’s not just the changes that you made, but changes that anyone made could affect the website’s ranking. Just look into all possible factors.

      Other factors that can impact rankings

      A lot of different things, like I said, can influence your site’s rankings. A lot of things can inadvertently happen that you can pinpoint and say, “Oh, that’s definitely the cause.”

      Some examples of things that I’ve personally experienced on my clients’ websites…

      I. Renaming pages and letting them 404 without updating with a 301 redirect.

      There was one situation where a client had a blog. They had hundreds of really good blog posts. They were all ranking for nice, long tail terms. A client emailed into tech support to change the name of the blog. Unfortunately, all of the posts lived under the blog, and when he did that, he didn’t update it with a 301 redirect, so all of those pages, that were ranking really nicely, they started to fall out of the index. The rankings went with it. There’s your problem. It was unfortunate, but at least we were able to diagnose what happened.

      II. Content cutting.

      Maybe you’re working with a UX team, a design team, someone who is looking at the website from a visual, a user experience perspective. A lot of times in these situations they might take a page that’s full of really good, valuable content and they might say, “Oh, this is too clunky. It’s too bulky. It has too many words. So we’re going to replace it with an image, or we’re going to take some of the content out.”

      When this happens, if the content was the thing that was making your page rank and you cut that, that’s probably something that’s going to affect your rankings negatively. By the way, if that’s happening to you, Rand has a really good Whiteboard Friday on kind of how to marry user experience and SEO. You should definitely check that out if
      Source: https://moz.com/blog/diagnose-ranking-drops

      Daily SEO Fix: Investigate Changes in Your Rankings with Moz Pro

      Posted by Ola.King

      As members of the Moz onboarding team — which gives one-on-one walkthroughs of Moz products to over 500 customers a month — we have our finger on the pulse of what people are asking for when it comes to SEO. We’re here to help you uncover the relevant Moz Pro features for your business.

      We know that somewhere along the journey of improving your website and drumming up more traffic (and hopefully conversions), you’ll want to track rankings for your target keywords. Perhaps you started by noticing a traffic drop on your website. Or maybe you’re actively adapting your business in response to new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll ultimately want to know how your page rankings were affected, and start to explore what you can do next.

      In this series of Daily SEO Fix videos, the Moz onboarding team takes you through workflows using the Moz Pro tools. We help you coast through your rankings analysis to gain some actionable insights, from tracking your performance against your competitors to making impactful improvements to your pages.

      Don’t have a community account or free trial yet? Sign up first, then book your walkthrough to chat with our onboarding team.

      Start your free trial


      Segment and sort keyword rankings

      One constant in SEO is that ranking positions are always changing. Some keywords tend to move around more than others, and they can be tricky to spot. Luckily, Moz Pro has a simple way to focus on these keywords.

      In this Daily Fix, Maddie shows you how you can sort out your keywords by ranking gains and losses, so that you can glean some insight into how to make the relevant improvements.


      View rankings over time and vs. competitors

      They say you can’t manage what you don’t measure. This is also true for SEO.

      By tracking your keywords, you can measure the impact of your SEO efforts and identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to optimize your SEO.

      Moz Pro allows you to track your ranking performance over time. You can quickly see exactly what page on your site is ranking in the highest position for a particular keyword, as well as other pages that may be ranking for the same keyword. This helps you easily flag potential keyword cannibalization on your site.

      In this Daily Fix, Jo on the learning team will shows you exactly how this works.


      On-page optimization

      There aren’t many things more confusing than seeing pages rank for keywords that have absolutely nothing to do with your business. You’re always signalling something to the search engines — whether you intend to or not. Optimizing your on-page SEO ensures you control that signal.

      On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages for specific keyword(s) in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines.

      In this Daily Fix, I show you how to use the page optimization tool to improve your on-page SEO.

      Be sure to check out our post on on-page ranking factors if you want more tips.


      Compare link profiles

      Link building is one of the aspects of SEO that can’t be done in isolation. In order to know how much effort you should dedicate to link building, you first need to look at your competitive landscape.

      Moz Pro’s link explorer allows you to compare the link profile of up to five websites. In a snapshot, you get insight into many important metrics like domain authority, spam score, external and follow links, etc. You can easily use the graphs to spot trends in the type of links your competitors are getting, and even click through to see the individual links. In this video, Alicia shows you how.

      For more tips on building links, check our beginner’s guide to link building.


      All crawled pages

      Technical SEO is table stakes, and arguably the most important aspect of your SEO work.

      Even if you use the right keywords, create the most optimized pages, and have every authoritative site in the world linking to you, if the crawlers are’t able to index your pages correctly or you’re not following best technical SEO practices, your pages won’t rank as well as they deserve. Moz Pro’s Site Crawl tool helps you ensure that your technical SEO is on point.

      In this Daily Fix, Emilie shows you some tips you can use to improve your rankings with Site Crawl.

      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!


      Source: https://moz.com/blog/daily-seo-fix-ranking-changes

      Content Marketing Unlocked: Your Content Marketing Training Course

      Blogging is so effective that there are over a billion blogs on the web.

      Just think about that… that’s roughly 1 blog for every 7 people.

      Sure, we don’t really need any more blogs, but people still create them because they can be such effective marketing channels.

      And best of all, unlike social sites, the moment you create a blog that has an audience, you can continually reach them without having to worry about algorithm changes.

      So, to help you with your content marketing efforts, I’ve created a free 4-week training course called Content Marketing Unlocked.

      Introducing Content Marketing Unlocked

      As I mentioned, over the next 4 weeks I am going to teach you all about content marketing.

      Everything from the basics of content marketing and how it works to the advanced parts such as generating traffic and sales from blogging.

      To get you started, make sure you watch the welcome video:

      The welcome video breaks down what you’ll learn over the next 4 weeks and, under the video, you’ll find a goal worksheet and a course outline.

      Then you’ll learn about the history of content marketing:

      In that lesson, you’ll find 2 worksheets:

      1. Content outline – this will show you how to outline and create content.
      2. Content steps – this breaks down the steps you need to follow in order to write amazing content.

      After you get the hang of writing content, you’ll want to learn how to rank your older (existing) content on your site.

      And in that lesson, you’ll also get a list of tools that you should use and a master resource guide that’ll help speed up the process.

      From there I teach you about the different types of content you can leverage to get more traffic. Believe it or not, there are actually 18 types you should be using.

      Over time I will continue to add more lessons, but I don’t want to drown you in information by embedding all the lessons in this post.

      So, what else will you learn?

      The four lessons above are a great start, but there is much more to the content marketing course. This is what you can expect from Content Marketing Unlocked:

      Week #1

      Lesson #1: Getting Started

      • Course Introduction
      • Strategies You’re Going to Learn
      • What Google Wants
      • Content Production Strategy Overview
      • Understanding the Algorithm & Updates
      • The Right Mindset

      Lesson #2: History of Content Marketing

      • History of Content Marketing
      • Fact & Fiction About Content Marketing
      • Understanding Your Target Audience
      • How to Find Keywords That Will Make You Money
      • Refining Your Keyword Lists
      • Content Examples

      Lesson #3: Optimizing Your Existing Content

      • How to Audit Your Existing Content
      • How to Optimize Your Content the Right Way
      • How to Re-Write Your Content So It Gets You Traffic
      • Step-by-Step On-Page Optimization Tactics
      • Content Templates to Rewrite Your Content

      Week #2

      Lesson #1: Major Content Types

      • Credibility & Trust Through Content
      • Types of Content
      • Blogs
      • Articles
      • Infographics
      • Videos / Visual Content
      • Podcasts / Radio Shows
      • Facebook Posts / Pages
      • Courses / Digital Classes / eBooks / Checklists
      • How-to Guides
      • SlideShare / PowerPoint / Webinars
      • Photographs / Graphics / Art
      • Instructional Guides
      • Magazines (Digital & Print)
      • Streaming Media (Periscope, Facebook Live, Snapchat)
      • Forums / Wikis / Groups / Resource Centers
      • Whitepapers / Case Studies
      • Memes (Twitter/Facebook)
      • Testimonials / Reviews
      • Content Templates for Different Content Types

      Lesson #2: Pilar & Cluster Pages

      • Turn Your Keywords Into An Outline
      • How to Write Content That Gets You Traffic
      • Topical Clusters
      • Pillar Pages
      • Cluster Pages
      • Pillar & Cluster Templates

      Lesson #3: Alternative Content Strategies

      • Building Authority Through Guest Posting
      • Content Production Tools
      • Plugins to Use
      • FAQ Schema
      • Live Case Studies, Market Data & Field Reports
      • Share Worthy Content
      • Content Outline Templates

      Week #3

      Lesson #1: Marketing Your Content

      • Site Structure
      • Theme & Topic
      • How to Rank Your Content Faster
      • Promote Your Content on a $0 Budget
      • Content Marketing Strategy
      • Content Promotion Workflow

      Lesson #2: Link Building Tactics

      • What is Link Building?
      • External Link Building
      • Internal links
      • Your Link Profile
      • Advanced Linking and Off-Page Optimization Strategies
      • How to Build Links from Authority Sites
      • How to Launch Link Campaigns

      Lesson #3: Tracking & Analytics

      • Setting Up Google Analytics / Google Tag Manager
      • Setting Up Google Search Console
      • Must Have Content Marketing Tools
      • Live Ranking Case Studies, Market Data & Field Reports
      • Determining KPI’s
      • Budget Planning

      Week #4

      Lesson #1: Ranking 1 Long Term

      • You’ve Got Content & Links, What’s Next?
      • Content Marketing in a Competitive Space
      • How to Get Started if You Are New & Have Little to No Budget
      • How to Scale if You Do Have a Budget
      • Build a Brand Long-Term

      Lesson #2: Media Outlets

      • Getting on Huge Media Websites (Forbes, HuffPost, NYTimes, etc)
      • Guest Blogging
      • Podcasts
      • Social Media
      • Connecting with Influencers

      Lesson #3: Omni-Channel Strategies

      • Going Omni-Channel
      • Back Office Infrastructure
      • Analyzing and Measuring Results
      • More Content Marketing Case Studies
      • Become A Great Content Marketer
      • Summary – How to Get the Most Out of This Course

      How can I follow along?

      You can go to the training section of this site as I keep all my courses there.

      Every Monday, Thursday and Saturday I will be adding new lessons and content.

      Each lesson is roughly 10 minutes in length and contains worksheets, templates, cheat sheets, checklists, spreadsheets, and more that will make your life easier.

      In general, if you take the time to follow along each week and complete your homework assignments, it shouldn’t take you more than two to three hours each week.

      Some weeks will be less work, but because this course involves writing and promoting content, you will have to put in a little bit more effort than some of my other courses.

      As a heads up, I won’t be blogging about each lesson, so the easiest way to keep up is to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

      Once you click the link above, you’ll see a subscription box popup on YouTube. All you have to do is click the “SUBSCRIBE” button.

      A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

      Once you click “Subscribe,” you’ll notice a bell image next to the subscribe button. Make sure you click that as well.

      A close up of a logo

Description automatically generated

      When you click on the bell, you’ll be given a few options.

      A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

      Click on the “All” option. Next to the “Subscribed” button, you should see a new bell notification:

      A close up of a logo

Description automatically generated

      This makes it so YouTube notifies you when I release a new Content Marketing Unlocked lesson.

      Conclusion

      I hope you enjoy Content Marketing Unlocked.

      I created this course because content marketing is one of the best ways to market your business and compete with the large companies.

      Best of all, you won’t have to spend a dollar on marketing.

      Let me know what you think about the course so far.

      And also, what free course would you like me to create next?

      The post Content Marketing Unlocked: Your Content Marketing Training Course appeared first on Neil Patel.


      Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/content-marketing-training-course/

      Welcome to Content Marketing Unlocked: Your Free Blogging Course

      Blogging is so effective that there are over a billion blogs on the web.

      Just think about that… that’s roughly 1 blog for every 7 people.

      Sure, we don’t really need any more blogs, but people still create them because they can be such effective marketing channels.

      And best of all, unlike social sites, the moment you create a blog that has an audience, you can continually reach them without having to worry about algorithm changes.

      So, to help you with your content marketing efforts, I’ve created a free 4-week training course called Content Marketing Unlocked.

      Introducing Content Marketing Unlocked

      As I mentioned, over the next 4 weeks I am going to teach you all about content marketing.

      Everything from the basics of content marketing and how it works to the advanced parts such as generating traffic and sales from blogging.

      To get you started, make sure you watch the welcome video:

      The welcome video breaks down what you’ll learn over the next 4 weeks and, under the video, you’ll find a goal worksheet and a course outline.

      Then you’ll learn about the history of content marketing:

      In that lesson, you’ll find 2 worksheets:

      1. Content outline – this will show you how to outline and create content.
      2. Content steps – this breaks down the steps you need to follow in order to write amazing content.

      After you get the hang of writing content, you’ll want to learn how to rank your older (existing) content on your site.

      And in that lesson, you’ll also get a list of tools that you should use and a master resource guide that’ll help speed up the process.

      From there I teach you about the different types of content you can leverage to get more traffic. Believe it or not, there are actually 18 types you should be using.

      Over time I will continue to add more lessons, but I don’t want to drown you in information by embedding all the lessons in this post.

      So, what else will you learn?

      The four lessons above are a great start, but there is much more to the content marketing course. This is what you can expect from Content Marketing Unlocked:

      Week #1

      Lesson #1: Getting Started

      • Course Introduction
      • Strategies You’re Going to Learn
      • What Google Wants
      • Content Production Strategy Overview
      • Understanding the Algorithm & Updates
      • The Right Mindset

      Lesson #2: History of Content Marketing

      • History of Content Marketing
      • Fact & Fiction About Content Marketing
      • Understanding Your Target Audience
      • How to Find Keywords That Will Make You Money
      • Refining Your Keyword Lists
      • Content Examples

      Lesson #3: Optimizing Your Existing Content

      • How to Audit Your Existing Content
      • How to Optimize Your Content the Right Way
      • How to Re-Write Your Content So It Gets You Traffic
      • Step-by-Step On-Page Optimization Tactics
      • Content Templates to Rewrite Your Content

      Week #2

      Lesson #1: Major Content Types

      • Credibility & Trust Through Content
      • Types of Content
      • Blogs
      • Articles
      • Infographics
      • Videos / Visual Content
      • Podcasts / Radio Shows
      • Facebook Posts / Pages
      • Courses / Digital Classes / eBooks / Checklists
      • How-to Guides
      • SlideShare / PowerPoint / Webinars
      • Photographs / Graphics / Art
      • Instructional Guides
      • Magazines (Digital & Print)
      • Streaming Media (Periscope, Facebook Live, Snapchat)
      • Forums / Wikis / Groups / Resource Centers
      • Whitepapers / Case Studies
      • Memes (Twitter/Facebook)
      • Testimonials / Reviews
      • Content Templates for Different Content Types

      Lesson #2: Pilar & Cluster Pages

      • Turn Your Keywords Into An Outline
      • How to Write Content That Gets You Traffic
      • Topical Clusters
      • Pillar Pages
      • Cluster Pages
      • Pillar & Cluster Templates

      Lesson #3: Alternative Content Strategies

      • Building Authority Through Guest Posting
      • Content Production Tools
      • Plugins to Use
      • FAQ Schema
      • Live Case Studies, Market Data & Field Reports
      • Share Worthy Content
      • Content Outline Templates

      Week #3

      Lesson #1: Marketing Your Content

      • Site Structure
      • Theme & Topic
      • How to Rank Your Content Faster
      • Promote Your Content on a $0 Budget
      • Content Marketing Strategy
      • Content Promotion Workflow

      Lesson #2: Link Building Tactics

      • What is Link Building?
      • External Link Building
      • Internal links
      • Your Link Profile
      • Advanced Linking and Off-Page Optimization Strategies
      • How to Build Links from Authority Sites
      • How to Launch Link Campaigns

      Lesson #3: Tracking & Analytics

      • Setting Up Google Analytics / Google Tag Manager
      • Setting Up Google Search Console
      • Must Have Content Marketing Tools
      • Live Ranking Case Studies, Market Data & Field Reports
      • Determining KPI’s
      • Budget Planning

      Week #4

      Lesson #1: Ranking 1 Long Term

      • You’ve Got Content & Links, What’s Next?
      • Content Marketing in a Competitive Space
      • How to Get Started if You Are New & Have Little to No Budget
      • How to Scale if You Do Have a Budget
      • Build a Brand Long-Term

      Lesson #2: Media Outlets

      • Getting on Huge Media Websites (Forbes, HuffPost, NYTimes, etc)
      • Guest Blogging
      • Podcasts
      • Social Media
      • Connecting with Influencers

      Lesson #3: Omni-Channel Strategies

      • Going Omni-Channel
      • Back Office Infrastructure
      • Analyzing and Measuring Results
      • More Content Marketing Case Studies
      • Become A Great Content Marketer
      • Summary – How to Get the Most Out of This Course

      How can I follow along?

      You can go to the training section of this site as I keep all my courses there.

      Every Monday, Thursday and Saturday I will be adding new lessons and content.

      Each lesson is roughly 10 minutes in length and contains worksheets, templates, cheat sheets, checklists, spreadsheets, and more that will make your life easier.

      In general, if you take the time to follow along each week and complete your homework assignments, it shouldn’t take you more than two to three hours each week.

      Some weeks will be less work, but because this course involves writing and promoting content, you will have to put in a little bit more effort than some of my other courses.

      As a heads up, I won’t be blogging about each lesson, so the easiest way to keep up is to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

      Once you click the link above, you’ll see a subscription box popup on YouTube. All you have to do is click the “SUBSCRIBE” button.

      A screenshot of a cell phone

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      Once you click “Subscribe,” you’ll notice a bell image next to the subscribe button. Make sure you click that as well.

      A close up of a logo

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      When you click on the bell, you’ll be given a few options.

      A screenshot of a cell phone

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      Click on the “All” option. Next to the “Subscribed” button, you should see a new bell notification:

      A close up of a logo

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      This makes it so YouTube notifies you when I release a new Content Marketing Unlocked lesson.

      Conclusion

      I hope you enjoy Content Marketing Unlocked.

      I created this course because content marketing is one of the best ways to market your business and compete with the large companies.

      Best of all, you won’t have to spend a dollar on marketing.

      Let me know what you think about the course so far.

      And also, what free course would you like me to create next?

      The post Welcome to Content Marketing Unlocked: Your Free Blogging Course appeared first on Neil Patel.


      Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/content-marketing-training-course/

      What Do Dolphins Eat? Lessons from How Kids Search — Best of Whiteboard Friday

      Posted by willcritchlow

      We’re bringing back this slightly different-from-the-norm Whiteboard Friday, in which the fantastic Will Critchlow shares lessons from how kids search. Kids may search differently than adults, but there are some interesting insights from how they use Google that can help deepen our understanding of searchers in general. Comfort levels with particular search strategies, reading only the bold words, taking search suggestions and related searches as answers — there’s a lot to dig into. 

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

      Video Transcription

      Hi, everyone. I’m Will Critchlow, founder and CEO of Distilled, and this week’s Whiteboard Friday is a little bit different. I want to talk about some surprising and interesting and a few funny facts that I learnt when I was reading some research that Google did about how kids search for information. So this isn’t super actionable. This is not about tactics of improving your website particularly. But I think we get some insights — they were studying kids aged 7 to 11 — by looking at how kids interact. We can see some reflections or some ideas about how there might be some misconceptions out there about how adults search as well. So let’s dive into it.

      What do dolphins eat?

      I’ve got this “What do dolphins eat?” because this was the first question that the researchers gave to the kids to say sit down in front of a search box, go. They tell this little anecdote, a little bit kind of soul-destroying, of this I think it was a seven-year-old child who starts typing dolphin, D-O-L-F, and then presses Enter, and it was like sadly there’s no dolphins, which hopefully they found him some dolphins. But a lot of the kids succeeded at this task.

      Different kinds of searchers

      The researchers divided the ways that the kids approached it up into a bunch of different categories. They found that some kids were power searchers. Some are what they called “developing.” They classified some as “distracted.” But one that I found fascinating was what they called visual searchers. I think they found this more commonly among the younger kids who were perhaps a little bit less confident reading and writing. It turns out that, for almost any question you asked them, these kids would turn first to image search.

      So for this particular question, they would go to image search, typically just type “dolphin” and then scroll and go looking for pictures of a dolphin eating something. Then they’d find a dolphin eating a fish, and they’d turn to the researcher and say “Look, dolphins eat fish.” Which, when you think about it, I quite like in an era of fake news. This is the kids doing primary research. They’re going direct to the primary source. But it’s not something that I would have ever really considered, and I don’t know if you would. But hopefully this kind of sparks some thought and some insights and discussions at your end. They found that there were some kids who pretty much always, no matter what you asked them, would always go and look for pictures.

      Kids who were a bit more developed, a bit more confident in their reading and writing would often fall into one of these camps where they were hopefully focusing on the attention. They found a lot of kids were obviously distracted, and I think as adults this is something that we can relate to. Many of the kids were not really very interested in the task at hand. But this kind of path from distracted to developing to power searcher is an interesting journey that I think totally applies to grown-ups as well.

      In practice: [wat do dolfin eat]

      So I actually, after I read this paper, went and did some research on my kids. So my kids were in roughly this age range. When I was doing it, my daughter was eight and my son was five and a half. Both of them interestingly typed “wat do dolfin eat” pretty much like this. They both misspelled “what,” and they both misspelled “dolphin.” Google was fine with that. Obviously, these days this is plenty close enough to get the result you wanted. Both of them successfully answered the question pretty much, but both of them went straight to the OneBox. This is, again, probably unsurprising. You can guess this is probably how most people search.

      “Oh, what’s a cephalopod?” The path from distracted to developing

      So there’s a OneBox that comes up, and it’s got a picture of a dolphin. So my daughter, a very confident reader, she loves reading, “wat do dolfin eat,” she sat and she read the OneBox, and then she turned to me and she said, “It says they eat fish and herring. Oh, what’s a cephalopod?” I think this was her going from distracted into developing probably. To start off with, she was just answering this question because I had asked her to. But then she saw a word that she didn’t know, and suddenly she was curious. She had to kind of carefully type it because it’s a slightly tricky word to spell. But she was off looking up what is a cephalopod, and you could see the engagement shift from “I’m typing this because Dad has asked me to and it’s a bit interesting I guess” to “huh, I don’t know what a cephalopod is, and now I’m doing my own research for my own reasons.” So that was interesting.

      “Dolphins eat fish, herring, killer whales”: Reading the bold words

      My son, as I said, typed something pretty similar, and he, at the point when he was doing this, was at the stage of certainly capable of reading, but generally would read out loud and a little bit halting. What was fascinating on this was he only read the bold words. He read it out loud, and he didn’t read the OneBox. He just read the bold words. So he said to me, “Dolphins eat fish, herring, killer whales,” because killer whales, for some reason, was bolded. I guess it was pivoting from talking about what dolphins eat to what killer whales eat, and he didn’t read the context. This cracked him up. So he thought that was ridiculous, and isn’t it funny that Google thinks that dolphins eat killer whales.

      That is similar to some stuff that was in the original research, where there were a bunch of common misconceptions it turns out that kids have and I bet a bunch of adults have. Most adults probably don’t think that the bold words in the OneBox are the list of the answer, but it does point to the problems with factual-based, truthy type queries where Google is being asked to be the arbiter of truth on some of this stuff. We won’t get too deep into that.

      Common misconceptions for kids when searching

      1. Search suggestions are answers

      But some common misconceptions they found some kids thought that the search suggestions, so the drop-down as you start typing, were the answers, which is bit problematic. I mean we’ve all seen kind of racist or hateful drop-downs in those search queries. But in this particular case, it was mainly just funny. It would end up with things like you start asking “what do dolphins eat,” and it would be like “Do dolphins eat cats” was one of the search suggestions.

      2. Related searches are answers

      Similar with related searches, which, as we know, are not answers to the question. These are other questions. But kids in particular — I mean, I think this is true of all users — didn’t necessarily read the directions on the page, didn’t read that they were related searches, just saw these things that said “dolphin” a lot and started reading out those. So that was interesting.

      How kids search complicated questions

      The next bit of the research was much more complex. So they started with these easy questions, and they got into much harder kind of questions. One of them that they asked was this one, which is really quite hard. So the question was, “Can you find what day of the week the vice president’s birthday will fall on next year?” This is a multifaceted, multipart question.

      How do they handle complex, multi-step queries?

      Most of the younger kids were pretty stumped on this question. Some did manage it. I think a lot of adults would fail at this. So if you just turn to Google, if you just typed this in or do a voice search, this is the kind of thing that Google is almost on the verge of being able to do. If you said something like, “When is the vice president’s birthday,” that’s a question that Google might just be able to answer. But this kind of three-layered thing, what day of the week and next year, make this actually a very hard query. So the kids had to first figure out that, to answer this, this wasn’t a single query. They had to do multiple stages of research. When is the vice president’s birthday? What day of the week is that date next year? Work through it like that.

      I found with my kids, my eight-year-old daughter got stuck halfway through. She kind of realized that she wasn’t going to get there in one step, but also couldn’t quite structure the multi-levels needed to get to, but also started getting a bit distracted again. It was no longer about cephalopods, so she wasn’t quite as interested.

      Search volume will grow in new areas as Google’s capabilities develop

      This I think is a whole area that, as Google’s capabilities develop to answer more complex queries and as we start to trust and learn that those kind of queries can be answered, what we see is that there is going to be increasing, growing search volume in new areas. So I’m going to link to a post I wrote about a presentation I gave about the next trillion searches. This is my hypothesis that essentially, very broad brush strokes, there are a trillion desktop searches a year. There are a trillion mobile searches a year. There’s another trillion out there in searches that we don’t do yet because they can’t be answered well. I’ve got some data to back that up and some arguments why I think it’s about that size. But I think this is kind of closely related to this kind of thing, where you see kids get stuck on these kind of queries.

      Incidentally, I’d encourage you to go and try this. It’s quite interesting, because as you work through trying to get the answer, you’ll find search results that appear to give the answer. So, for example, I think there was an About.com page that actually purported to give the answer. It said, “What day of the week is the vice president’s birthday on?” But it had been written a year before, and there was no date on the page. So actually it was wrong. It said Thursday. That was the answer in 2016 or 2017. So that just, again, points to the difference between primary research, the difference between answering a question and truth. I think there’s a lot of kind of philosophical questions baked away in there.

      Kids get comfortable with how they search – even if it’s wrong

      So we’re going to wrap up with possibly my favorite anecdote of the user research that these guys did, which was that they said some of these kids, somewhere in this developing stage, get very attached to searching in one particular way. I guess this is kind of related to the visual search thing. They find something that works for them. It works once. They get comfortable with it, they’re familiar with it, and they just do that for everything, whether it’s appropriate or not. My favorite example was this one child who apparently looked for information about both dolphins and the vice president of the United States on the SpongeBob SquarePants website, which I mean maybe it works for dolphins, but I’m guessing there isn’t an awful lot of VP information.

      So anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little adventure into how kids search and maybe some things that we can learn from it. Drop some anecdotes of your own in the comments. I’d love to hear your experiences and some of the funny things that you’ve learnt along the way. Take care.

      Video transcription by Speechpad.com


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      Source: https://moz.com/blog/how-kids-search

      6 Connectors to Spice Up Your Reporting: Introducing Google Data Studio Connectors for STAT

      Posted by brian.ho

      Data visualization platforms have become a vital tool to help illustrate the success of a body of work. Painting a clear picture of your SEO efforts is as important as ever, whether you’re reporting out to clients or to internal stakeholders at your own company. More and more SEOs are turning to data visualization tools to do so — pulling in data from across multiple SEO tools, blending that data in unique ways, and helping to pull back the curtain on the mystery of SEO.

      Platforms like Tableau and Google Data Studio are becoming more commonplace in the SEO community as we seek better ways to communicate with our teams. We’ve heard from a number of folks in the Moz community that having a central dashboard to present data has streamlined their own reporting processes. It’s also made information more digestible for colleagues and clients, as they can see everything they need in one place.

      Thanks to the helpful feedback of many, many STAT customers, we’ve been hard at work building six Google Data Studio Community Connectors to help pull STAT data into Data Studio. Fortified by beta testing and your thoughtful input, we’re excited to launch the six connectors today: Historical Keyword Rankings (site and tag level), Share of Voice (site and tag level), and Ranking Distributions (site and tag level).

      If you’re already using STAT, dive into our documentation in the Knowledge Base to get all the nitty-gritty details on the connectors. If you’re not yet a STAT customer, why not chat with a friendly Mozzer to learn more?

      See STAT in Action

      Want to hear a bit more about the connectors and how to implement them? Let’s go!

      Historical Keyword Rankings

      Tracking daily keyword positions over time is a central part of STAT and the long-term success of your site. The Historical Keyword Rankings connectors send historical highest rank data to Data Studio for every keyword you’re currently tracking in a site or a tag.

      You can start out with a simple table: perhaps if you have a group of keywords in a dynamic tag, you might want to create a table of your top keywords ranking on page one, or your top keywords ranking in positions 1-3.

      Turn that table into a line graph to understand average rank for the whole site or tag and spot trends:

      Find the Site Level Historical Keyword Rankings connector here and the Tag Level Historical Keyword Rankings connector here.

      Share of Voice

      In STAT, share of voice measures the visibility of a group of keywords on Google. This keyword set can be keywords that are grouped together into a tag, a data view, or a site. Share of voice is calculated by assigning each ranking a click-through rate (CTR) and then multiplying that by the keyword’s search volume.

      It’s important to remember that share of voice is based on the concept that higher ranks and higher search volume give you more share of voice.

      The default chart type will display a doughnut chart for current share of voice, and a line graph will show share of voice over time:

      Find the Site Level Share of Voice connector here and the Tag Level Share of Voice connector here.

      Ranking Distribution

      Ranking Distribution, available in the Daily Snapshot and Ranking Trends views in the STAT app, shows how your keyword rankings are distributed across the top 119 Google results.

      View your top ranking positions as a bar chart to easily eyeball how your rankings are distributed, where shifts are taking place, and where there is clear opportunity for improvement.

      Find the Site Level Ranking Distributions connector here and the Tag Level Ranking Distributions connector here.

      Getting started with the connectors

      Whether you’re a Google Data Studio pro or a bit newer to the tool, setting up the connectors shouldn’t be too arduous. Get started by visiting the page for the connector of your choice. Authorize the connector by clicking the Authorize button. (Tip: Each connector must be authorized separately.)

      Once you authorize the connector, you’ll see a parameters table like this one:

      Complete the fields using the proper information tied to your STAT account:

      • STAT Subdomain: Fill in this field with the subdomain of your STAT login URL. This field ensures that the GDS connector directs its request to the correct STAT subdomain.
      • STAT API Key: Find your API key in STAT by visiting Options > Account Management > Account Settings > API Key.
      • STAT Site/Tag ID: Retrieve IDs through the API. Visit our documentation to ensure you use the proper API calls.
      • Allow “STAT Site/Tag ID” to be modified in reports: Tick this box to be able to edit the site or tag ID from within the report, without reconfiguring the connector.
      • Include Keyword Tags: Tick this box to add a column to your report populated with the tags the keyword is a member of (only applicable to site and tag historical keyword rankings connectors).
      • Allow “Include Keyword Tags?” to be modified in reports: Tick this box to be able to turn the inclusion of the Keyword Tags column on or off from within the report, without reconfiguring the connector (only applicable to site and tag historical keyword rankings connectors).

      Once you’ve filled in the table, click Connect in the top right.

      Confirm which columns you’d like to include in the report. Review the columns, and click Create Report.

      Once you’ve created a report, the exciting part begins! Whether you’re pulling in your STAT data for a fresh report, adding it into a report with other pieces of data, or using Data Studio’s data blending feature to create compelling views of your search presence — there are so many ways to slice and dice.

      Ready to put the connectors into production? We can’t wait to hear how your Google Data Studio reports are strengthened by adding in your STAT data. Let us know how it goes in the comments.

      Not yet a STAT user but curious how it might fit into your SEO toolkit? Take a tour of the product from your friendly neighborhood Mozzer:

      Learn More About STAT


      To help us serve you better, please consider taking the 2020 Moz Blog Reader Survey, which asks about who you are, what challenges you face, and what you’d like to see more of on the Moz Blog.

      Take the Survey

      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!


      Source: https://moz.com/blog/stat-google-data-studio-connectors