Are you ready to double your search traffic?
Understanding SEO is crucial to significantly increase your traffic and brand awareness.
Right now, thousands of people are looking for content just like yours. You can help them find it by becoming an SEO expert.
In fact, 40 percent of website traffic begins with a search query. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important.
Staying on top of SEO takes a lot of research and experimentation. Google’s algorithms are constantly updated, so it’s important to stay tuned into the latest news. With a bit of practice, you can become your own SEO expert.
That’s what I did!
Every day, people use Google to conduct over 3.5 billion searches. In the U.S., 78% of people use the web to research products and services before buying.
Once your website begins to rank on the first pages of Google’s search results, you’ll get more visibility. This means more traffic, more conversions, and eventually, increased revenue.
Getting to page one of the search results is vital. 75% of users don’t even click past the first page!
The first three organic search results get 60% of all traffic from a web search. Leads coming from a search have a 14.6% close rate, compared to just 1.7% from channels like print or direct mail advertising.
See why SEO is so important to your success?
Here are 19 advanced SEO techniques that you can implement right away to increase your search traffic. Getting more visitors should help you convert more people into customers too.
There’s more that goes into conversion optimization than just getting traffic, like making sure you have a clear lead capture form, a sales page, and descriptive product pages.
But you can’t sell to people who aren’t there, right?
So let’s get started!
Advanced SEO Tip 1. Complete An SEO Audit On Your Webiste
Auditing your website helps you figure out why you’re not getting enough search traffic and sales. Many SEO companies offer this service, but you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself.
In general terms, an audit is a systematic examination of an event, a concept, or financial books that is done in order to figure out where you stand and how to make smarter decisions in the future.
In the SEO world, auditing is a growth hacking technique that will help you attract and retain customers.
An SEO audit closely examines your overall site performance, creates goals based on what you find, and implements tactics to reach those goals. This process helps increase profits by making the best use of the content you already have and fixing any SEO issues.
This may not sound like an advanced SEO strategy, but you’d be surprised how many websites are missing basic on-page SEO like page titles or descriptions. It’s easy to overlook when creating your website, but easy to fix with an audit.
Here’s what you should be looking for during an audit:
Check #1: Do all your website’s pages have SEO meta titles and descriptions?
Check #2: Is each page on your website optimized for SEO keywords?
Remember, optimize appropriately without keyword stuffing!
Check #3: Is your URL structure optimized for search engines?
Your URLs should be simple, short, and easy for a search engine to tell what the page is about. Here’s an example:
I bet you can guess that article is about 21 ways to improve your Bing ads!
But what if the URL looked like this instead?
Seems a bit complicated, right? A search engine would have a tough time determining the topic of that post since the keywords are broken up by folders and dates. It’s not very clear.
When it comes to URLs, simple is better.
Check #4. Is each page and blog post formatted properly?
By properly, I mean is each page:
- Broken up with headings and subheadings (h1 and h2 tags)?
- Using two to three sentences per paragraph?
- Bolding or italicizing important points?
- Optimized with a call to action?
43% of people skim blog posts instead of reading the whole thing. Make it easy for people to read!
Check #5: Do all your images have keywords in their ALT tags?
Check #6: Are you using links in your content?
This includes both internal links (to your own content) and external links (to other websites).
I cover linking in detail later in this article, but it’s very important for SEO as one of Google’s top three ranking factors.
Now if you want to save some time, there’s an easier way to do a site audit. Here’s how to use Ubersuggest to conduct a site audit and discover opportunities for improving your search traffic:
Step #1: Use Ubersuggest
Go to Ubersuggest. Enter your website URL into the box, and press Search.
Step #2: View SEO Analyzer
You’ll be taken to a results page. Click SEO Analyzer. It’ll take a few minutes to crawl your site, but the results are worth it, I promise.
Step #3: Review Your On-Page SEO Score
This is your overall on-page SEO score for all pages scanned during the site audit. 0 is the lowest possible score and 100 is the highest. With a score of 84, my site is rated as “great.”
Step #4: Review the Health Check and Errors
There are four sections to review:
- Health check – Overall health of the pages of your website
- Critical errors – Issues that have the biggest impact on your SEO health
- Warnings – Less impactful issues that still deserve your attention
- Recommendations – Recommendations to consider, but don’t have much impact on your SEO health
Step #5: Check out Top SEO Issues
This is the final section of the site audit, and it outlines the top on-page SEO issues. You can click on each line for more information.
For example, “21 pages with duplicate meta descriptions.” Unique and engaging meta descriptions are critical to boosting the click-through rate from the search results to your website.
When you perform a full website SEO audit, you’ll likely find at least a few errors or suggestions for improvement. No one’s perfect!
Advanced SEO Tip 2. Learn What Your Users Want
Google isn’t an advertising company. They’re a big data company.
Every tool, platform, and device that they design has one purpose: to get data from users and use it to build a stronger search engine.
Think of yourself as a big data company.
You need to focus on what your target customers want. When you understand what they want, you can develop content that draws them in.
When you listen to feedback from your target customer, it guides the content you create to attract more of them.
The opinions of your users count. The public determines whose idea, article, product, or concept gets shared or funded.
Think about Kickstarter. Most campaigns languish unnoticed for days until a few people donate some money. Then, other people follow.
So, how do you get relevant data about your users’ interests?
And how do you get feedback from your ideal customer if you’re just starting out and don’t have any real customers to ask?
There are several ways to find out:
- Use social media platforms like Quora
- See your most popular pages in Google Analytics
- See what posts get the most shares
- Listen to visitor comments on your blog posts
Let’s cover the first one: social media platforms.
Ask yourself, “Where do the people I want to attract hang out online, and what topics do they talk about?”
I personally like to use Quora.
It gives me an idea of what my target audience is talking about and I can learn from experts in the process. If I wanted to write a book or course, the things people ask on Quora would be useful sources for content ideas.
Here’s how to find out what people want using Quora:
Step #1: Go To Quora
You’ll need to sign up for an account, or sign in with Google or Facebook to get in.
Once you’re logged in, type in your primary keyword (e.g. blog traffic) and hit enter.
Step #2: See What Questions People Ask
If you know how to answer one of these questions, write a blog post about it.
You already know that people want to learn about that subject. If one person asked it on Quora, chances are there are hundreds of other people wondering the exact same thing.
Step #3: Get Ideas From Experts
Quora is a great place to learn new things. When it comes to advanced SEO, you can never know everything so I visit it frequently to learn from others.
Use these answers to form the outline for your next blog post.
How to Use Google Analytics to Find Out What Readers Want
You can also use Google Analytics to find out what your readers want.
Step #1: Login to Google Analytics. On the left-side menu, click on Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages.
Step #2: Look at what your most popular pages and posts are.
The total number of page views is important, but also take a look at the average time spent on the page (the higher the better!), the bounce rate, and the exit percentage.
Here are my top pages from May 14th to June 14th 2017:
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
When you’re trying to make the sale, you want to be as tactful as possible. You want to talk to your customer at the exact time they want what you’re selling. This means going beyond storing their basic contact information and tracking points of contact, rebuttals, and previous sales deals.
That’s where contact management software can be one of your most valuable sales sidekicks. It helps you streamline your sales process so that you can close sales faster, keep your most valuable customers, and grow your business.
But how do you find the right contact manager to integrate into your sales system? Well, you’ve landed exactly where you need to be. In this extensive guide, I review five of the top contact management tools on the market and walk you through the best features as well as their price points. Let’s get started.
The Top 5 Options For The Best Contact Management Software
- Salesforce – Best scalable CMS
- Hubspot – Best free CMS
- Zoho – Best for simple contact management
- Pipedrive – Best for visual contact management
- Zendesk – Best for reporting and analytics
How to Choose The Best Contact Management Software For You
Choosing the best contact management software goes beyond making sure they provide the standard CMS tools scoping anywhere from sales tracking, keeping customer notes, emails, and sales history. Your business is unique, which means your CMS needs are also unique. Because of this, it’s hard to pinpoint a one-size-fits-all CMS that you can use in any given sales scenario or industry.
You also have to consider the size of your team, your plans for scaling and revenue growth, and what functionalities are non-negotiable in your given industry.
Beyond that, there are a few specific key factors to think through when trying to make the best choice in a sea of software. Here are a few additional factors to consider that I also used for this list to make sure you’re making the best contact management investment possible.
Reporting and Analytics Capabilities
Some contact management systems put more emphasis on sales reporting and analytics than others. This can prove to be a valuable asset or just an extra feature to your team, depending on how you uniquely handle your sales process.
These days, contact management software is increasingly robust in terms of the analytics it can gather to help you make the best sales decisions. Some of them can measure everything from live chat interactions to sales calls, email responses, and even what you’re prospective customers say on social media about you or your competitor’s product or service.
Deciding how deep you need your contact management analytics to go will ultimately depend on your sales goals and budget. Consulting with your sales team can be a sound idea in the process of making a final decision.
Sales Process and Software Fit
The sales process you use to sell printers isn’t necessarily the same one you’d use to sell premium car parts. This also means you’ll want to find a CMS that fits every unique point of sale your team goes through continuously.
If done right, this can mean higher ROI, shorter sales cycles, and more revenue. This is where it’s a good idea to take the time to test drive every prospective CMS that looks appealing to your sales team. Most of them have the option for a demo or a 14-day free trial. These trials exist for a reason. I highly recommend you take advantage of as many as you can.
The more scalable integrations and features a CMS has, the more likely it is to have a big learning curve. This is important to take into account when thinking about onboarding your sales team to the system successfully.
Besides that, the user experience for both your front-facing customer features like contact forms and chatbots and the backend features your sales team will have to interact with daily is also a crucial part of the process as far as ease of use goes. An array of powerful features is pretty much useless if your sales team continually runs into trouble using them or if integrations prove too clunky to operate properly.
This also raises questions about what support features your preferred CMS provides and whether they offer any accompanying training options like forums, live chats, or even training webinars.
The Different Types of Contact Management Software
Many contact management tools on the market offer lots of the same features, with a few differentiators. They can vary by industry or by business size. That’s why it’s crucial to shop around first.
It’s important to distinguish between contact management software (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM). Both tools offer many of the same functions and tools that they’re often thought to be interchangeable.
However, a CRM can give you all the functions of a CMS while also giving you additional tools for the overall sales process and scaling your business. A CMS by itself is a bit more limited in the scope of what it can do and how it can scale in terms of sales capabilities. In the end, it’s entirely up to your discretion if you ultimately decide to go for a more comprehensive CRM tool to manage your sales contacts and beyond or stick with a CMS.
Cloud-Based vs. Open-Source Software
A lot of contact management software is cloud-based, which can prove to be convenient as a subscription. This way, it doesn’t take up additional space on your sales equipment.
Moreover, there is also open-source software to think about. If your sales team includes in-house developers that can customize your system and take it beyond the standard features, it can be a worthwhile investment.
#1 – Salesforce — The Best Scalable CMS
Contact management software that scales with you and offers powerful tools to take you beyond the basics? There’s a tool for that. It’s called Salesforce.
The point of a CMS is to increase the efficiency of your daily operations, so you’re never blindsided by lost sales or missed relationship-building opportunities.
Salesforce does that by offering the tools to build a good contact management base. This means contact history, survey answers, and email responses. But they take it a step further with their social data tool to keep track of what your customer is saying about products and services.
Not only that, but Salesforce makes it easy to collaborate with everyone in your business. You can share documents, comments, analytics and insights, sales history, and any other information relevant to your ROI.
On-the-go contact management is also possible with its mobile app. You can hop on a call armed with plenty of preemptive information about your customer from anywhere. This awesome array of tools makes Salesforce not only a contact management tool but a sales closing system, too, which is why it’s made it on my top five picks.
Here’s a breakdown of each plan they offer:
- Essential – $25
- Professional – $75
- Enterprise – $150
- Unlimited – $300
Each plan comes with:
- Account, contact, lead, and opportunity management
- Email integration with Gmail and Outlook
- Access to the Salesforce mobile app and all it’s features
The higher the tier, the more access to customizable features and tools you’ll have. Thankfully, you don’t have to jump right into a plan without testing how they work first.
Salesforce also gives you the option of testing any pricing tier first before committing.
Try Salesforce for free first here and see what plan fits your contact management needs the best.
#2 – Hubspot — The Best Free CMS
Hubspot stands alone as a powerful free CMS with tons of accessible tools to enhance your sales cycle from beginning to end.
The list of contact management tasks you can do for free with Hubspot’s software is seemingly endless. You can keep track of contact website activity, deals, company insights, manage ticketing, manage ads, email tracking and notifications, and even messenger integrations.
Hubspot’s free contact management software is an excellent stepping stone toward more varied and growth-oriented contact management as your business grows since you can always upgrade to one of their paid CMS plans without having to migrate.
If you’re getting started with contact management and want to do more with your contacts in terms of sales strategy on a budget, I recommend you start onboarding Hubstop’s free tools for a strong beginning.
Start using Hubspot for free here.
#3 – Zoho — The Best For Simple Contact Management
A small or mid-sized business doesn’t always have use for tools built with enterprises in mind. Zoho takes the prize for a simple yet reliable contact manager you can easily start with.
A single dashboard unifies all your data points so you can make strategic decisions at a glance and manage everyone on your roster. It helps to think of it as your own personal yellow pages except for ten times more useful.
You can do things like adding your preferred tags to contacts to find what you’re looking for quickly, glance over at your expected revenue numbers, and see all your pending tasks.
Zoho makes it easier for you to close deals by scheduling follow-up activities and then closely monitoring results, all on an intuitive dashboard.
Zoho’s simplicity bleeds into its pricing structure, too. Instead of charging you per seat, they charge you a set monthly fee.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Single user
- 500 contacts
- Ten deals
Smart – $12.50 a month billed annually
- 25 users
- 10,000 contacts
- 1,000 deals
- 120 custom fields
Ultra – $20.83 a month billed annually
- 25 users
- Unlimited contacts
- Unlimited deals
- 120 custom fields
#4 – Pipedrive — The Best For Visual Contact Management
Pipedrive is loved not just for the wide array of CMS tools it offers but because it makes the whole contact management and sales process straightforward and visual. It’s been used by over 90,000 companies in more than 170 countries and business giants like Vimeo, Amazon, and Re/Max.
Pipedrive is a highly intuitive system that easily updates and automates contact tasks and sales calls. The easy drag-and-drop features and their clean and approachable interface make them an easily adaptable and usable system.
With a visual dashboard in mind, they don’t falter in the features department, as it offers plenty of tools for powerful contact management like task automation, lead pipelines, and smart lists that track the last time you contacted a prospect.
You can always try Pipedrive free for 14 days. It doesn’t hurt to spend a few days trying out the software’s ins and outs to see if they’re a good company match. Otherwise, the ricing plans break into four tiers:
- Essential – $12.50
- Advanced – $24.90
- Professional – $49.90
- Enterprise – $99
#5 – Zendesk — Best For Reporting and Analytics
Zendesk is a dynamic CMS that emphasizes the analytical and reporting aspects of contact management.
The last thing you want is to grow a robust list of leads and then have no idea what to do with them due to lack of data. Zendesk’s analytics make it possible for you to engage in better conversations with your prospects with their pre-built analytics features.
With them, you can track rep activities, call response times, and live chat interactions. Their rich reporting features ensure you keep a finger on every touchpoint of your sales cycle. This makes it easy to increase the ROI of each sales rep on your team.
Zendesk’s price breakdowns can get specific depending on the solutions and features you’re looking for. The contact and relationship management tiers start at $19 per seat.
Here’s a quick overview of the pricing tiers:
- Team – $19 per seat per month
- Professional – $49 per seat per month
- Enterprise – $99 per seat per month
- Elite – $199 per seat per month
Finding the right contact management system can make the difference between constant sales, shorter sales cycles, and more efficient business growth all around.
But it starts with figuring out what your sales needs are, how you go through your sales strategy, and what you need to optimize for higher ROI. Once you’ve figured out your key needs, you can start narrowing down your list of prospects.
My top choices for effective contact management are Hubspot, because of their extensive list of free tools, and Salesforce, because of how versatile and adaptable they are. Make sure to use this review as a roadmap to make your final decision.
Making a personal connection can be an effective way to increase sales, but the cost of personally reaching out to each customer is prohibitive.
In addition to it being costly, phone calls are also time-consuming. Most sales reps handle a high volume of calls, many of which don’t even reach a human on the other end of the line. Cold calling can also lead to burnout within your sales teams as they face repeated rejections or unanswered calls.
You need a better solution.
Ringless voicemails help boost outbound marketing efforts by delivering pre-recorded messages directly to voicemail boxes—without you or your customer having to pick up the phone.
Ringless voicemails can speed up your sales process, scale your outreach, and give your sales team more time to invest in qualified leads.
What Are Ringless Voicemails?
Ringless voicemails are audio messages sent directly to voicemail inboxes—without the telephone ringing first. You pre-record the messages and use software to directly drop those voicemails into users’ voicemail boxes.
You may have also heard these called ringless voicemail drops, voice broadcasting, or direct-to-voicemail messages.
Ringless voicemails are a direct marketing strategy that can increase the volume of customers you reach while keeping the outreach cost low. Instead of manually dialing each customer, you send a pre-recorded message to thousands of contacts all at once.
In most cases, messages can be sent at once or in batches at scheduled times.
5 Ways to Use Ringless Voicemail in Your Business
Nobody wants irrelevant sales blasts, but many people do welcome reminders, follow-ups, and other actions to support their experience with a company. In these cases, reaching a large volume of people makes sense.
Here are a few times that ringless voicemails might make sense:
- Thank new subscribers who have signed up for your newsletter
- Welcome new members to your subscription service or private group
- Update virtual conference attendees of schedule changes
- Connect with your best customers by sending a holiday greeting
- Reward your top clients with a promotional offer or coupon code
Remember to focus on relevance. Customers who find your messages helpful are unlikely to block ringless voicemails from reaching their inbox.
Are Ringless Voicemails Legal?
Ringless voicemails are legal in most areas but can be a bit controversial, as can any high volume sales outreach. Make sure you stay compliant with local and federal regulations. You’ll also need to be mindful of do-not-call lists and timezone restrictions.
These are essential questions to ask when selecting a service provider for ringless voicemails. A company representative should walk you through how to stay in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), state and federal regulations, and local laws in other countries if you are activating global campaigns.
How to Use Ringless Voicemails to Promote Your Brand
People don’t rely on salespeople the way they used to. In fact, 57 percent of salespeople agree buyers are less dependent on sales during the decision-making process compared to a few years ago.
Once you consider all the ways you’d like to reach out to engage your customers, you’ll likely find plenty of outreach opportunities where ringless technology could make a difference in your business.
Benefits of Ringless Voicemails
When you keep your customer’s experience in mind and offer them additional service, support, or welcoming, you’re likely to see positive results such as:
- Most people don’t answer unknown numbers, but they do check voicemails.
- Your customers can listen to your message at a convenient time for them.
- Customers can listen to a message more than once or refer back to it later.
- You can engage customers without them feeling pressured or on the spot.
- Save time by scaling your outreach to reach more people.
- Add these to your email and direct sales marketing to boost conversion rates.
- Cut the costs of your marketing outreach dramatically.
- Help reduce sales rep burnout from rejection and negative interactions.
- Give your sales team more time to devote to interested leads who call back.
What types of industries can benefit from this technology? Try ringless voicemail for real estate updates, automotive maintenance reminders, nonprofit outreach, and appointment reminders for personal services such as fitness centers, massage therapy, or hair salons.
Now that you understand the benefits, here are a few ways to use ringless voicemail to grow your business.
Ringless Voicemail Software
Ringless voicemail software allows you to leave or “drop” voicemail messages with server-to-server communication. Different platforms offer varied pricing plans, usually based on the volume of messages you send. Each company has its own platform to record messages, upload contact lists, monitor campaigns, access data, and reach out for support.
So, which company offers the best ringless voicemail software?
It depends on how many messages you want to send per month, where your target audience is located, and what features you need. The software platforms below all send messages to both mobile devices and landlines, though geographical coverage varies.
Slybroadcast calls itself a productivity tool and is used by over 3 million people, reaching customers in the US and Canada. You can send messages immediately via its platform, either at once, in batches, or at scheduled times.
The company app lets you record messages, send new campaigns, monitor status all from your cell phone. Other features include customizing Caller ID and integrations to increase automation.
Pay as you go plans range from $10 for 100 message deliveries to $400 for 10,000 message deliveries. Monthly delivery plans lower costs, ranging from $8 for 100 deliveries to $500/mo for 13,000 deliveries.
Call Loop offers analytics, reporting, and integrations to improve automation. You can send personalized or bulk SMS, ringless voicemail drops, text to join or win promotions, and other alerts.
Call Loop offers a 14-day free trial to new customers. Monthly plans range from $29/mo for 250 message credits to $99/mo for 2250 message credits to start. Bronze, silver, gold levels offer more volume at $199-499 per month for 4500-11,000 messages. An enterprise-level plan provides custom solutions for larger clients, and additional messages can be added to any plan.
Drop Cowboy calls itself the ultimate contact engagement tool and says it achieves some of the industry’s highest conversion rates. The report response rates between 5 to 20 percent range for both ringless voicemail and online texting.
Additional features include missed call alerts, tiny links to shorten links in your text messages, and IVR or interactive voice response to field incoming calls and directing them to the appropriate contacts on your team. Drop Cowboy also offers international message delivery to more than 80 countries outside the US, including the UK, Canada, and Australia, for your global campaigns.
Drop Cowboy also offers a free service to explore the software before committing to a paid plan. Prices range from 9.9 cents per message with no monthly commitment, to plans ranging from $20 to $4000 per month for between 500 to 333,333 messages per month. If you send more than 1 million messages per month, the company provides custom plans.
CDYNE calls itself the world’s most cost-effective voicemail drop software. Additional features include customer support via live chat, phone, or email, and a free professional voice over actor to ensure smooth and confident delivery of your brand message.
It claims to have a 92 percent open rate and a 96 percent listen-to rate. It also offers to check your contact list against the National Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry, keeping you compliant with policies and laws. Pricing is available by email.
Stratics Networks offers ringless voicemail and text messages in Canada and the US. It also provides full reporting, including a recording of every voicemail left for recipients for accountability and compliance purposes. The company will work with you to ensure TCPA compliance and offers local timezone dialing protection.
Stratics Networks offers a flat monthly rate determined by message delivery speed. It does not bill per message or delivered voice drop, instead offering you unlimited messages per month.
Pricing is available when you set up an account, including standard and PRO plans. It provides a ten-day trial, and if you are not satisfied within the trial period, it will refund the remainder of the month upon request.
Texts vs. Ringless Voicemail
Ringless voicemail and texts or short messaging services (SMS) are designed to engage your customers by contacting them at times that are convenient for them. However, they serve different purposes.
When you are still building relationships and want marketing outreach to feel personal, use voicemail to show the warm welcome your customer could experience in person. If you want to send out information to an existing client base, and especially if you’re sharing a link or coupon code, explore text and SMS options.
The good news is, you don’t always have to choose. You can send a voicemail and later a text with links or information your customer would appreciate in writing. Many platforms make it easy to build workflows so you can combine features in the most effective way for your business.
What You Should Say in Your Ringless Voicemails
To make the most of ringless voicemails, script out your message in advance, making sure it’s crisp, clear, and aligns with your brand messaging. If the platform you select doesn’t offer a voice-over service, you may want to practice a few times to make sure you’re happy with the final recording.
Ensure the message’s content is general enough to be helpful but personal enough to feel like it was just for them. Check with your chosen platform on length, but most customers are unlikely to listen to a voicemail longer than a minute. Short and direct is best.
Ensure your messages abide by rules and regulations in your area, then get started!
While most sales teams have used telephone marketing over the years, many haven’t spent time updating their sales process. In many cases, they may have still struggled to tap the power of the phone call in sales. It’s likely time for a refresh of these skills anyway!
Ringless voicemail marketing is a powerful tool if you’re looking for high volume outreach with a personal touch. There are definite benefits to scaling up your customer engagement with low-cost options like ringless voicemail. Just think how often you could engage your customers if it cost a fraction of your current outreach strategy.
Getting creative with your marketing can help keep your business competitive and thriving. With the right digital marketing support, you can stay ahead of changing trends and stay focused on running your business.
How would you use ringless voicemails to connect with your customers?
Posted by jocameron
In this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday, Jo Cameron — Moz’s Learning Team Manager — dives into the process of addressing and capitalizing on traffic spikes, including how to determine where traffic is coming from and what to do with the increased attention. Enjoy!
Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!
Hi. Welcome to Whiteboard Friday. I’m going to be talking through the journey that you embark upon when you notice a sudden change in traffic to a particular page on your site. In our case, this was a sudden and consistent increase, which may on the face of it look great.
You may perceive that this is exactly what you and your clients have been striving for. But as we know, traffic funneling into your site isn’t the end of the story. You’re also going to want that traffic to convert. But also, when something like this happens, there can be other lessons that you can learn and potentially apply to other pages and areas of your site.
I’m Jo. I’m the Learning Team Manager here at Moz. We create all the course material that you’ll see on the Moz Academy. This is where you can advance your SEO education and earn your SEO Essentials Certification. We also write the documentation for how to use the Moz tools, and this is where our story begins.
What’s driving the spike?
Over the summer, we noticed a fairly drastic increase in visitors to a particular MozBar help page. We wanted to go beyond trying to understand why we’re getting that traffic and turn this into an opportunity to support our company goals.
So when you see something like this happen, your first question might reasonably be: Why? Why are we getting this traffic? What has changed? What has caused this? And also, what do we already know from the metrics we’re collecting?
What do we know?
On the Moz Learning Team, we track top-level metrics monthly, including unique visitors. We also collect visitor sentiment through the “Feedback” button on the page. And we also collect reporting every month in our Moz Pro campaign, using Keyword Explorer and Link Explorer as handy research tools in our toolkit.
So first of all, we had a dig into the monthly metrics on a more granular level. We looked at the cadence of the traffic in Google Analytics to see if this was a sudden spike or a consistent trend over time.
Now before you can be totally confident in the quality of your Google Analytics data, you may want to clear up and filter that data. You can learn all about this in the SEO Essentials Certification. With this course, we take you through our SEO methodology, which helps you to approach SEO strategically. This is made up of five sections: research, audit, optimize, amplify, and iterate. Reporting sits in the fifth section of the methodology, which is iterate. Within that, we break it down into awareness metrics, on-site activity, and the all important conversions. The lessons in the SEO Essentials Certification take you through this in much more detail, and you can download the SEO report card when you purchase this course.
So back to what we saw in Google Analytics, we noticed an upward trend that also reflected the pattern followed by our previous traffic trends. We saw these scallop shapes, which nicely line up with the weekdays and the weekends. You may be used to seeing a different shape depending on your industry.
We also looked at referral data in Google Analytics and compared this to what we saw before the spike. We also looked at how traffic was entering and exiting that page through Google Analytics, and we had a dig around in Google Trends to see if we could identify any related topics taking off. I’m tracking the help section of the moz.com domain in my Moz Pro campaign, and I have this connected to Google Analytics. This pulls in the overall visits and landing pages. This is the data that you’ll see in the acquisition section of Google Analytics.
So while my team is focused primarily on one area of moz.com, this gives me an idea of where this page sits as a percentage of search traffic in relation to other landing pages.
Now this is where it all starts to come together. Under the rankings tab in my Moz Pro campaign, I can now see the landing page data cross-referenced with my tracked keywords and their rankings. So I can also see search volume and estimated visits for each tracked keyword. We also entered the MozBar URL into Keyword Explorer to review the ranking keywords for that URL, and then added these keywords to my existing campaign to track them over time.
We know that SEO and SEO reporting is iterative. So by building out your tracked keywords in this way, this will help you to fill in the blanks as to which keywords are sending traffic to your site.
We also saw some interesting data from the “Visitor Satisfaction” button. This is the thumbs up or thumbs down option that you can select on this page and generally indicates if the content was helpful or not.
We saw that there were a lot more people responding that this content was indeed helpful. So this is not only positive for my team and I, but it’s also informative. It gave us a really good idea that the content on this page was generally matching the intent of the visitors. So we looked at all of this together, and we drew some conclusions.
It didn’t seem like this visitor traffic was coming from one particular source or campaign that we could reasonably attribute this to. It looked like it was reflecting our previous traffic trends, just a lot more of it. So it’s probably quite important now to explain a bit more about the page that we are investigating.
The page is about MozBar. It’s an overview of how to use our free Chrome extension. Now it would also be remiss of me not to mention the fact that we have had a massive shift this year in terms of changes to our lives and businesses due to COVID-19, which has had a massive impact on how people spend their time, how businesses are run, and many, many other areas of our lives.
So after we looked at data for that page, in addition to all the other reporting metrics, we took a step back and we thought, “Well, what is this page about, and how has this shift impacted demand for these types of tools?” Because of these two things, nothing else really standing out as a flag to indicate a single event and this global change, we started to lean towards this being part of an increase in demand for free tools.
MozBar is a free extension that sits at the top of your Chrome browser, and it displays link metrics for your pages that you visit on the web. It’s also got some other handy features, like the ability to highlight different types of links, so it can show you internal or external links on a page, and to check your on-page elements, and so on. So with all of this information we collected, we’re now circling around understanding what caused this.
What do we do with the traffic?
The trick for us wasn’t just to figure out why this was happening or why it happened, but to turn this into some kind of positive action. So what we decided to do was to test driving traffic directly from these pages or this particular page to our key Moz initiatives. So this would be our personalized, one-to-one walkthroughs of the Moz Pro tool and the Moz Pro free trial.
This was a quick edit for my team. We could add those in there fairly quickly to test this out. We already know that this page is doing a standup job of helping people to understand how to use MozBar, so let’s see if they are interested in our other SEO tools. We added length to this page to help people identify what to do next once they’ve given MozBar a go.
And what we found out was that we are indeed seeing people taking us up on this offer, and they are clicking through to have a chat with our excellent Onboarding Team and also to check out the Moz Pro 30-day free trial. So with this relatively small amount of effort from my team we’ve now started to collect data on visitor behavior that can better inform future decisions and future projects.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope that this helps.
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When you hear the phrase corporate branding, you might think of industry titans—car companies, ubiquitous hotel chains, and fast food arches.
Despite this association, corporate branding applies to businesses of all sizes, not just the giants with unlimited marketing budgets.
To better understand the role corporate branding plays, I’ve broken down the impact of corporate branding to help you know how it can drive your business forward, no matter how big or small your business is.
What Is Corporate Branding and Why Is It Important?
Think of your favorite brand (or one you interact with regularly.) What comes to mind? Do you think of their tagline? The logo? The color palette? The chosen ambassador?
These assets, among many others, are what make up corporate branding. Corporate branding is the outward projection of a brand’s mission and culture in colors, logo, tone, and design.
A successful corporate brand encompasses an organization’s goals, mission, and ideology and appears across all mediums (website, packaging, copy, ads, etc.) to ensure visual consistency.
A strong corporate branding strategy focuses on a wide range of assets, from details as small font and color options and as large as building structure and slogan.
This element might seem too complicated to enact at your organization, but corporate branding is vital to all businesses, from small local businesses to massive ecommerce brands.
Emotions play a large role in marketing, and when a consumer relates to your brand’s values, they build an emotional connection with your brand. These emotional connections increase customer loyalty, not to mention profits and word-of-mouth advertising.
How Corporate Branding Increases Sales
Companies with robust corporate branding strategies attract and maintain new customers, increase community interest, and improve overall marketing strategy.
Companies with strong brand affiliation offer a 31% higher shareholder return than their contemporaries.
In addition to increasing shareholder return, corporate branding fosters employee engagement and encourages 3x faster profit growth than an organization without a strong branding strategy.
While this might feel unattainable to small businesses without huge marketing budgets, the truth is, your organization can increase growth through a strong corporate branding strategy.
Here are five ways corporate branding can change how your potential consumers view your brand—and drive profits.
Corporate Branding Conveys Brand Personality
Brand personality refers to the personification of your company’s mission. This personality is conveyed through the style, voice, and tone you use in your business’ communication.
Just like we tend to judge people based on first impressions, your brand’s personality impacts how consumers perceive your organization from the start.
When building your brand’s personality, include language and sentiments that ring true to your mission and resonate with prospective customers.
A strong brand personality will help:
- Distinguish you from competitors
- Increase immediate recognition
- Build an emotional connection
Corporate Branding Improves Customer Relationships
Building a strong customer relationship isn’t just good business; it costs less, too. The average company spends five times more to attract new customers rather than focusing on keeping more of the customers they already have.
Like any relationship, the bond between you and your customer needs to be nurtured to grow.
With a corporate branding strategy, interactions with prospective consumers become a comfortable exchange. By including your organization’s voice and mission in all of your content and customer experience, you establish a shared relationship with your customer.
These two strategies can help your further nurture that connection:
- Share success stories: Everyone likes to feel like they belong, so sharing user-generated success stories is an excellent way to encourage consumers to engage with your brand. The beauty of user-generated content is in its creation. Since it’s not coming directly from your business, it feels more trustworthy and intimate, helping to foster a sense of community.
- Personalize communication: Personalized marketing can increase customer engagement. Using first names and other pertinent information can further the bond between buyer and seller, making the relationship feel more organic rather than sales-based.
Corporate Branding Sets Your Brand Apart
The internet is home to roughly 3.17 billion active social media users. The majority of companies are well aware of this statistic and harness an average of five social mediums to connect with those users.
This fact means the average consumer sees hundreds of advertisements daily.
To help your business be heard and seen online, you need to be one of many scrolled-past advertisements—you need to stand out.
Corporate branding can help you share your brand’s story. That story serves as a hook to draw your audience in and make you more than a company, but a community they can relate to.
Corporate Branding Boosts Customer Loyalty
The Pareto Principle says 80% of revenue originates from 20% of your existing consumer base. That percentage quantifies just how important it is to ensure customers are loyal and return to your business again and again.
After you’ve worked to foster strong customer relationships, you want to ensure those relationships last.
By growing your corporate branding strategy and incorporating it into new mediums and platforms, you ensure your message is reaching and resonating with your current base.
Consider offering a loyalty deal to your most valuable consumers to further build loyalty.
When people feel valued, they are much more likely to purchase from the company providing value. Nearly 60% of loyal customers make more purchases with their preferred companies, so building and establishing trust and loyalty can impact your bottom line.
Building a Corporate Brand
Building a brand is a long, ongoing process, but there are seven simple steps you can enact today to begin your journey to a memorable brand.
Get to Know Your Intended Audience and Your Competitors
Before wedding yourself to any decisions about your brand, get to know both your ideal customers and direct competitors. You can learn more about the shape of the market by:
- Conducting a web search of your product
- Exploring social media accounts followed by your target audience
- Speaking with individuals in your target audience to learn what products they are purchasing
Use a tool like Ubersuggest to explore what your competitors are doing. Look at the colors, phrasing, and images they use to connect with their audience and consider if similar branding aligns with your mission. (Just make sure your branding is original!)
Create a Mission Statement
A mission statement is a summary of your company’s goals and values. Your mission is the driving force behind your brand and is vital to align your audience with your business.
When creating your mission statement, ask these questions:
- What’s the purpose of providing our services and products?
- What do we aim to change in our consumers’ lives?
- Why is this change significant?
- What drives us?
Use the answers to craft a statement that outlines who your audience is, what your brand contributes, and what makes your product or service different.
Identify Your Brand Personality
Brand personality helps customers connect with your brand and build customer confidence. When choosing what you want to embody, use these questions to get started:
- Who would be the spokesperson for the brand?
- Which adjectives are connected to the brand?
- What is your brand’s value proposition?
After you’ve established a value proposition, use it to create a positioning statement that clearly outlines your target market and how you want your brand to be perceived.
Write a Slogan (or Write a Bunch of Slogans!)
A slogan is a short, catchy phrase associated with your organization that shares your product or service’s driving benefit. Ideally, your slogan should become completely synonymous with your brand, like McDonald’s “I’m lovin it!” jingle.
However, creating a catchy slogan can be challenging—you have a lot to say in very few words. Here are six tips to help you create a catchy slogan that encapsulates your brand’s essence.
- Short and to the point: Most slogans are curt (think: ‘Just Do It’ or ‘America runs on Dunkin’’). You know what the essence of your organization is, so make sure you convey it to your consumer concisely.
- Remember your target consumers: Whether you’re a local brand shipping nationally or a company going global, be sure to keep your consumer in mind. A slogan that may delight New Jersey residents may have the opposite effect on those on the West Coast.
- Draw on what differentiates you: Build on what makes your business stand out from your competitors by highlighting your value proposition.
- Consistency is key: Corporate branding is all about consistency. This tenet applies to your slogan, as well. Ensure your slogan represents your brand’s personality and serves as a verbal and visual manifestation of your ideals.
- Ensure a long shelf life: You don’t want to come to the unfortunate realization your slogan has lost its relevance after just a year or two. Consider the longevity of your slogan and how it can persist even in a fast-changing industry.
- Be sure your slogan can stand alone: If a new customer encounters your logo, they should know what your organization offers and what your brand does. By ensuring your slogan can stand alone, you eliminate confusion about your brand’s identity.
Select the Visual Manifestation of Your Brand
Colors and typography guide how your audience views your brand, so you want to make sure you choose the right one. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing your brand’s colors:
- Choose a color palette that matches your brand’s personality. Consider how color psychology impacts how your brand is perceived.
- Choose typography that makes sense for your brand and audience.
- Create a brand style guide to ensure consistency across platforms and mediums.
Design Your Logo
Your logo is the face of your company, so it should represent your brand’s personality and be memorable enough to be recognized anywhere.
The good news is, you don’t have to drop thousands of dollars; there are plenty of free tools to help you create a professional logo.
As you design your logo, ask yourself these questions:
- What best represents the organization?
- Do you want to include a tagline in your logo?
- Do you prefer a text-based logo or an image-based logo or a hybrid?
Put Your Corporate Branding to Work
You’ve spent a lot of time and effort identifying your target consumers, developing your story and personality, and determining the right font and colors for your brand.
It’s time to put all of those pieces together and deploy your corporate branding strategy. Keep in mind a corporate brand should be incorporated everywhere.
Don’t forget to include your branding strategy in your:
- Email signature
- Social media presence
- Physical items, like corporate swag
- Office design (if applicable)
Using your corporate brand everywhere your customers interact with your brand ensures consistency, which builds trust and increases engagement.
As you craft your corporate brand, keep your customer and your mission statement at the center to ensure your branding resonates and connects with your ideal customer.
What is the most effective corporate branding strategy you’ve used?
The post How Corporate Branding Translates Into Actual Sales appeared first on Neil Patel.
When you think about Google cache, what comes to mind? That thing you clear out when our computer is running slow? Cache can actually be a useful SEO tool to catch a glimpse of what Google wants you to do.
In this guide, we’ll go through some of the best ways to use Google cache to track competitors and help you potentially rise in the SERPs.
What Is Google Cache?
Google cached pages are HTML backups of the content on a page taken at a certain point in time. This information is stored on a server and can be retrieved later for various purposes.
Google also provides the date and time of that snapshot.
If you’re dealing with underperforming pages or concerns over indexing, or if you’re wondering how often Google is crawling your site, Google cache might be the answer to your problems.
The Three Views for Cached Websites
There are three viewing options for cached sites:
- Full version
- Text-only version
- Source code
Each version is important for different reasons.
The full version of a cached page will provide an exact snapshot of the site when Google passed through. It’ll show the ads, banners, font customization, etc. It’s a replica of the site, with all of the design elements.
Text-only is what Googlebot sees when it crawls the site. It doesn’t see the images, banners, and graphics; all it reads is the text.
This is important for one primary reason: sometimes high-ranking content gets hidden behind media, making it harder for the bot to crawl your site. For this reason, Google uses text-only cache when crawling sites.
If you are looking to obtain useful information from Google cache, you can use both of these views for different purposes.
The full version is essential for seeing updates made to sites. You can look at a competitor’s website that might be outranking you for specific keywords, and you can see what changes they made to their site over time. This applies to media and graphics.
With the text-only version, you can’t do that.
You can use the text-only cache to see what changes were made to the content itself without having to worry about formatting, photos, and videos. This provides a simpler way to look at the text alone, so you don’t miss anything.
To view the page source, right-click and select it from the menu or press CTRL+U on Windows.
This brings up the raw code for the page completely unformatted. Even if you can’t read website code, you might still have a use for this from a marketing and SEO standpoint by understanding what the different tags mean.
How to View Google Cached Pages
If you want to use Google cache to view page versions, there are a few ways you can do this: manually, or with extensions and tools to help you.
We’ll start with the most basic method.
Do a Google search for whatever page you want to view. In this case, we’re searching for neilpatel.com.
If you look at the URL for the first result, neilpatel.com, you’ll see a small downward-facing arrow to the right of it. Click that, and a menu will appear with a single option: “Cached.”
Click that link to see a cached version of the page. You’ll see a banner at the top with the date and time the snapshot was taken and a link to access the current page.
Another simple method is to type “cache:URL” in the search bar. If you type “cache:neilpatel.com,” it will bring you to the same page we see above.
If you click text-only in the banner at the top, it will eliminate all media, color, graphics, and formatting, and you’ll have a basic snapshot of all the text and links on the site at that time.
Google Cache Checker
Another method for viewing cached pages is the Google Cache Checker. A few different tools are available, but the one I’ve found most accurate and simple is through Small SEO Tools.
Here you’ll be able to enter up to five domains, and it will provide you with a cache URL and a link you can click to access the cached version of the page.
This method is nearly as simple as using Google, and has the added benefit of letting you do five URLs at once.
Archive.org provides a more in-depth picture of a website’s history, and also offers a Chrome extension of its Wayback Machine. Using the Google search method or Google Cache Checker only lets you check the most recent version.
In some cases, the page you want information on was just cached the day before, so you probably wouldn’t get much data out of that.
Wayback Machine provides a ton of information about how many times a site was cached, and they even break it down each day.
You can click any date and find every single page update that has been made for years. This is a powerful tool that you could use to find small page changes that possibly resulted in increased traffic or ranking.
4 Reasons to Use Google’s Cached Website Feature
You might be wondering, “Why would I want to view old versions of webpages? Isn’t this just for Google to crawl sites, index them, and find errors?”
Well, that’s true, but there’s much more to it than that. There are several uses for Google cache searches, and some can be pretty powerful.
View Changes to Competitors’ Sites
This ninja strategy is a great way to get an idea of what your competitor is doing differently.
Let’s say you’ve been competing for a super challenging keyword for months with a competitor site in the same niche. Thankfully, you’ve been outranking them now for four months straight.
Out of nowhere, they take the number one spot with snippets, and you can’t understand what happened. You didn’t make any changes to your site, there haven’t been any big updates, and everything seems the same for the most part.
What could you do in this situation?
You could use Google cache to see what changes they made.
Check out how many updates they made, what specific changes they made, and compare it to what the page looked like before. You just might find those updates are the reason they’re outranking you.
Check How Frequently Your Site Is Indexed
When Google determines your site is relevant and authoritative based on the keywords you’re using and what audience you’re targeting, Googlebot will index your site more often.
You can use Google cache to see how often they’re indexing your site, and that can help determine if your content is on-par with your target audience and relevant, according to Google.
If you find your site was crawled yesterday, and it updates in a day or two, you could guess the page has high relevance because Google isn’t letting outdated pages sit around.
Google also updates pages that input new content regularly more frequently. If you have a blog you contribute to regularly, Google will start to understand your cadence and will crawl and update the site more frequently.
All of these factors combined could have a positive impact on your rankings.
Use Google Cache to Diagnose Content Errors
If you’re looking at a Google cache of your website, and you’re not thrilled with how frequently they’re indexing your site, you might want to look at your content.
Being able to see older versions of your webpages can help you determine what steps you need to take to make positive changes.
For example, if you updated your site three months ago, and it resulted in a steep climb in the rankings, you might want to make some of those same changes to other pages on your site. With Google cache, you can see what those changes were so you can implement them elsewhere.
See What Information Google Caches
Another great idea is to find competitor sites that are getting cached most often and mimic the same actions on your site. If you notice a top-ranking competitor uploads a small weekly feature to their site, you might want to consider doing the same.
Ideally, you want to model everything the most frequently indexed sites are doing because Google believes their pages are most relevant to the audience, and that same audience applies to your business.
If you can do what they’re doing, Google might think your website also meets the needs of the audience, and you may have a higher chance of increasing in the SERPs.
Limitations of Google Cache
It’s true that everything in SEO has a caveat. Nothing is ever perfect, and we should always take what we see with a grain of salt. While it’s is a great way to get an idea of what your competitors are doing right, it’s not exactly what “Google” sees.
No matter what you do, you’ll never see what Google sees, and we can only try to get as close as possible.
For example, Google uses a web rendering service that uses an outdated version of Chrome, which doesn’t support many of its features.
Rendering exactly what Google sees is impossible without using the same version of the browser they’re using.
The cached pages could also be inaccurate because Google doesn’t always refresh the version each time they index it. Sometimes you might see the same version for weeks or months while small changes are made each time.
It would be easier to implement changes on your site if you could see them on a rolling basis instead of all at once, but that isn’t the case with Google.
Keep in mind a lot of sites use mobile-first indexing, and that can cause error pages. While this isn’t the only reason you would receive an error message, a site change may cause the cache to register improperly.
Finally, sometimes Google doesn’t cache a page at all. Although they index all pages, they don’t cache all of them, so you may never see any changes made to your site or someone else’s. This could lead you to believe Google isn’t even indexing your site.
The moral of the story is, don’t make drastic changes to your site as a result of what you see or learn from the cache. You can use it as a tool for research and guide page improvements, but it shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all.
If this information seems insignificant, we have various other ways to help you increase in the rankings and get more traffic.
Don’t stress too much about this. It’s a great way to see what changes your competitors are making and whether Google thinks your content is relevant, but you don’t have to rely too heavily on it.
There are many ways to increase ranking — this is simply a back pocket strategy for a rainy day.
Have you used Google cache to improve your site? What did you learn from it?
Not sure what a 302 redirect is or when to use them? Are you curious about the impact on your SEO efforts?
I’ve got good news: 302 redirects are actually pretty simple. At its core, a 302 redirect is a way to tell search engines and users that a page has moved temporarily and to direct them to a new page for a short period.
Simple enough, right?
The problem is using the wrong redirect can significantly impact SEO and user experience. This is why getting the redirect right is crucial to your overall digital marketing strategy.
So what’s the difference between the types of redirects, and when should you use a 302? Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the Difference Between a 302 Redirect and 301 Redirect?
A 302 redirect is an HTTP response status code that tells search engines a page has moved, but only temporarily. It then directs users (and search engines) to the new, temporary page.
A 301 redirect is a server-side HTTP response status code that tells users and search engines a page has permanently moved, and it won’t be coming back.
For users, there’s little difference between the two types of redirects. They get sent to a new (hopefully more useful) page regardless of the redirect type.
The core difference between a 302 redirect and a 301 redirect is the amount of time the redirect is in place, but a 302 also leaves something important behind: link equity and page rank.
When you use a 302 redirect, the original page usually maintains its Google ranking, so it shouldn’t impact your SEO efforts. However, a 301 redirect causes the original page to lose ranking and can cause it to be deindexed by search engines.
According to Google, the main reasons to use a 301 (permanent) redirect are:
- You’ve changed domains
- People access your site through multiple URLs
- You are merging two websites or pages
You might also use a 301 redirect when switching from HTTP to HTTPS or when you merge two related pages. Any time you move a page and have no intentions of bringing it back, use a 301.
When you use a 301 redirect, the original page is no longer considered by Google, which is the main reason you want to ensure you use the correct type of redirect.
Say you’ve spent years establishing a pillar content page to rank for a key term in your industry. You decide to take the page down for a few days to redesign and update the page. If you use a 301 redirect, Google thinks the page is gone forever and removes the page from indexing.
Use a 302 and Google knows the page is coming back.
The type of redirect you use severely impacts your SEO, so make sure you always use the correct type for the situation.
Four Reasons to Use a 302 Redirect
So, what are the exact benefits of using a 302 redirect? Not all redirects are created equal, and using the wrong redirect can have a severe impact on your site’s SEO, as we’ve already covered.
Remember, a 301 redirect is permanent. You are telling Google and users that the page is gone and will never return. If the change is not permanent, you’ll want to use a 302 redirect.
Here are a few benefits of using a 302 over a 301 redirect.
302 Redirects Improve UX
Few things are more frustrating than clicking on a link and not finding the content you expect. It’s enough to send most users back to the search results (and to a competitor).
A 302 redirect makes sure users and search engines always find the content they are looking for. For example, if a product is temporarily out of stock, you might use a 302 redirect to send customers to a related product page or a page letting them know when the product is likely to be back in stock. You might also use a 302 to send users to related content while you redesign a pillar content page.
302 Redirects Are Temporary
Unlike 301 pages, 302 redirects are temporary, which means you can switch back at any time. This provides a lot of flexibility for site owners. For example, you could temporarily send site users to a related page while you redesign a landing page.
Because the switch is temporary, Google won’t remove the page from search results or otherwise devalue the page in its ranking.
302 Redirects Shouldn’t Hurt Your SEO
A 302 redirect tells Google (and all other search engines) that the move is temporary and preserves the page’s ranking and link equity. As a result, implementing the redirect shouldn’t impact your SEO. That means all your hard work won’t be in vain!
When the page no longer needs to be redirected, simply remove the redirect, and your SEO shouldn’t be affected.
302 Redirects Are Easier to Implement
Creating a 301 redirect requires access to your server, which means most digital marketers and site owners have to enlist the help of a developer to implement a 301 redirect. 302 redirects, however, can be created relatively easily using meta tags or a WordPress plugin. That means you can quickly implement them and easily take them down.
Note: Do not use 302 redirects when permanently moving a page just because they are easier. If a page move is permanent, always use a 301 redirect. Depending on your site, 301 redirects might be easy enough to create. If you aren’t sure where to start, head to your host’s knowledge base or look for a WordPress plugin.
When Should You Use a 302 Redirect?
Remember, the core difference between 301 and 302 redirects is the permanency of the move. If you are moving a page for a short time, you’ll want to use a 302 redirect to preserve the original page’s integrity (and ranking).
Let’s look at a few examples of when you’d want to use a 302.
When a Page Is Moved Temporarily
A 302 redirect makes no practical difference for users. They still get sent to the new page regardless. For search engines, however, the temporary nature of the switch is crucial.
Essentially, you are telling search engines, “Hey, don’t worry about this page right now; the other page will be back soon.”
If you are confident the move is temporary, 302 is the way to go. For example, you might move a page temporarily because:
- You are updating the page, but the new page isn’t live yet
- You’re looking to get feedback about a new page before moving permanently
- You’re running a time-sensitive promotion and want to redirect visitors to the page for a short time
When a Page Is Under Development
Another reason to use a temporary redirect is when a page (or website) is under development. Extensive redesigns might require taking your site offline, which can be frustrating for users and confusing for search engines.
Rather than leaving users hanging, a temporary redirect lets them know the page or site will be back very soon.
In this situation, you might send users to an email sign-up page or to offer a countdown clock so they know when the site will be back. Here’s an example of a countdown page from Themeforest with a countdown clock:
The page also offers links to social media accounts to help build a social media presence.
When the Content Is Inactive or the Page Broken
You might also use a 302 redirect when a page is broken or inactive. You don’t want users to land on a blank page (or get a 404 error), so a temporary redirect may be the way to go. Remember, only use a 302 if you plan to bring the page back.
For example, the content might be inactive because you run a semi-annual sign-up period for a membership site or you have a landing page for a recurring webinar that’s currently unavailable. A 302 should ensure the site maintains its SEO ranking and is ready to go when you want to reactivate the page.
When a Product Is Unavailable
Think about the last time you tried to order an item online, only to find out the product was no longer in stock. You were so close to having that item in your hands, only to find out it’s gone, and you have no idea when it might be available again.
It’s frustrating, and you’re likely to head to a competitor to complete your purchase. This is why stockouts (when a product is out of stock or unavailable) can hurt overall revenue and impact brand trust.
The reality is, items will sometimes go out of stock. It’s just part of doing business. A manufacturer might run out, or the supply chain might otherwise be impacted by something out of your control.
While you might not always be able to control stockouts, you can use redirects to preserve user experience. For example, you might use a 302 redirect to send users to a waitlist page, like this one:
You could also send users to a related product (just be sure to let them know!). When the product is back in stock, you can reactivate the original page and preserve all that SEO you worked so hard for.
When A/B Testing Content or Design
Whether you are in e-commerce, the service industry, or run a local business, A/B testing is crucial to your bottom line. A/B testing allows you to test two different versions of the same page to see which version drives conversions, sales, or any other behavior you want users to take.
For example, I used A/B testing to figure out which CTAs to use in the sidebar of my website.
It turns out, the orange button converted much better than other colors.
Here’s another example of the power of A/B testing: WallMonkeys, a company offering wall decals and murals, increased conversions by 550% by using A/B testing to figure out what site users were more likely to respond to.
So where do 302 redirects come into play?
Well, you don’t want to permanently redirect your page because you might find out the original page was the best! Instead, use a 302 redirect to temporarily send a portion of your users to the adjusted page without losing your ranking. When the test is over, you can remove the redirect and go right back to normal.
If you are struggling with A/B testing, check out this guide for creating a winning A/B testing strategy.
To Redirect to the Desktop or Mobile Version of Your Site
If you aren’t already offering a mobile-friendly website, it is past time to do so. Seriously. Google moved to mobile-first indexing in the summer of 2019.
Your site should already work well on both mobile and desktop, but there are some reasons why you might still have a mobile version of a website.
For example, a banking app might offer a streamlined version of their website for mobile users, or they might find most mobile users are looking for a branch location. A 302 can send those users to the most useful page. You might also use a streamlined navigation bar for mobile and allow desktop users to access the complete version.
In both cases, a 302 redirect ensures every user lands on the site most useful to them.
Redirects can get confusing: 301s, 302s, plus 404 errors for when pages are broken.
Navigating these can be a pain if you are not a developer or a technical SEO expert. Hopefully, I’ve helped you better understand when and why you’d want to use 302 redirects on your site.
Here’s the TL;DR version: 302 redirects are temporary and generally preserve the SEO of the original page. 301 pages are permanent and tell search engines to disregard the old page in favor of the new page.
Now that you understand the difference, make sure to implement the right one on your site.
Have you used a temporary redirect before? What challenges did you face?
Posted by Rachel.Vandernick
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you can’t predict the future of tourism. Unlike nearly any other industry, tourism is simultaneously dictated by a number of factors including consumer proclivity, weather and climate, global economics, and government.
Travel was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit sectors in the 2020 shutdowns, which affected every business domain from the largest destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to local small businesses that thrive on the foot traffic tourism normally brings. US Travel’s year-end assessment determined there was a 48% drop in travel-related spending for December 2020 compared to 2019, and a year-long loss of $500 billion. Success in tourism in 2020 meant simply surviving for many businesses, accompanied by total content strategy revamps, product pivots, local SEO investments, and local marketing activations.
What worked in 2020
With out-of-state quarantines in effect for most of the US, and especially prevalent in the northeast, once global destinations and metros became intensely local. Succeeding locally meant celebrating local culture and playing to the hometown advantage, and creating and activating hyper-local content and SEO to sell reimagined experiences and drive renewed interest at home.
Visit Philadelphia, the DMO for the greater Philadelphia region, revamped its 2020 marketing efforts to rollout “Our Turn To Tourist” through winter 2021, a “regional marketing initiative [that] encourages people to take staycations and close-to-home drive trips.”
Visit Philadelphia’s main objective is to attract tourists from all over the country to the city of Philadelphia. With millions of out-of-state visitors each year, and huge growth each year proceeding 2020, Visit Philadelphia had the early foresight to create content geared towards both locals and visitors, and adopted a local-first SEO strategy for things to do, see, and eat nearby.
The organization went so far as to create local-centric mini itineraries based off of current restrictions, optimizing for local tourism and attraction-related keywords, and widely distributing new COVID-19 content. This campaign supported not only the hotels and attractions in the city, but also the local restaurants and small businesses.
While not totally divergent in its approach, the long-term investment that Visit Philadelphia has made into winning at local search, snagging SERP features, and embracing new features like Discover, helps ensure it will continue to be a successful advocate for Philadelphia as “the greatest city in the USA to spend the weekend”.
Tourism and experience-based companies hadn’t extensively ventured into the virtual space prior to 2020 — after all, why plan to watch the action from home when you could board a plane and take part live and in-person?
Philadelphia-based Beyond the Bell Tours, the only LGBTQ+-owned-and-run tour operator in the city, faced a critical decision in May 2020: Their hallmark Pride-themed “Drag Me Along” drag queen trolly bar crawl was unable to launch with bars closed indefinitely and social gatherings restricted. As searches continued to increase for virtual events, virtual gatherings, and virtual things to do, businesses that rose to meet the demand found success. For Beyond the Bell, that meant turning the “Drag Me Along” concept into “Pride In A Box”: a series of five different themed Pride boxes that included products and experiential components for use at home.
Though their website was originally built on a tour-booking engine, to execute a pivoted product strategy, they restructured it to allow an e-commerce integrated function, and optimized to sell products and experiences for Pride.
Founder Rebecca Fisher said, “We thought about how a box could embody a community. We highlighted queer people, businesses, and queer products, and held weekly events for Pride, all proceeds of which were donated to racial justice. A single ‘box’ purchased during Pride supported many queer businesses, and we wanted people to feel that impact.”
Ultimately, businesses that adapted quickly to changes in consumer search behavior, and that conducted and implemented keyword research for new content targeting previously unranked/low-volume terms, were better positioned to maintain consumer support and visibility even though actual travelers continued to drop.
Up-to-date info on expanding and changing regulations
Domestic travel is rarely regulated in the US, so when cities across the country responded to shut down orders, hot spots beloved by locals and tourists alike emptied out and revenue began to drastically fall.
As an SEO community (especially local!) we’re always advocates of the value of keeping local listings in Google My Business up-to-date, and it never mattered more than in 2020. Coming out on top were those who updated hours, COVID-19 policies and procedures, and published delivery or third-party partnerships. Unsurprisingly, AirBnB’s and VRBO’s new Covid content “enhanced cleaning protocol” and “guidelines for owners” come out top in searches for short term rental cleaning best practices, and cleanliness related to travel accomodations. Updated local listings allowed exasperated consumers to easily see what businesses were open, and allowed search-savvy businesses to leverage their GMB to position themselves as safety-conscious, accessible, and prioritize addressing consumer concerns (not to mention the features released to help businesses access these tools).
What to expect from tourism in 2021
It’s hard to remember a time of greater collective cabin fever. Though with border closings, pre-travel testing, and business closures remaining a moving target, we can still expect that a majority of travel will happen closer to home in early 2021. Here’s where we can expect to see growth first.
Short term stays: road trips, workspace respites, and snow birds
What’s ahead for short-term travels? Continued RV sales, for one, which were up 4.5% annually in 2020. These growth indicators, as well as public perceptions of travel safety, continue to slate hometown and close-by exploration as the early 2021 winners.
Outdoor and spaced-out activities show continued interest in search volume and sales. Yellowstone National Park alone saw a 21% increase in year-over-year visitation in September 2020. Don’t expect this to slow down any time soon.
Another trend we expect to see continue in early 2021? Snow birding. Once reserved for the retired, heading south for the winter is especially popular this year for northerners leaving lockdowns at home. Expect extended stays, fuller flights, and busier beaches than normal.
One final place you can expect to see travelers? In a nearby hotel. Formerly reserved for the luxurious staycations, local hotels have become workplace respites for those fully remote workers who lack adequate home office space. Though not “technically” travel, many hotels (Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton, for starters) are offering single-day, day-time only, “work from hotel” deals to help relieve lost revenue and fried nerves of managing co-occurring zoom calls at the kitchen table.
Extended visits: remote relocations
With many children and families, not to mention formerly remote employees, feeling the squeeze of their walls at home, many hotels and villa properties are offering cost-effective extended stays (three weeks or more). Mid-term relocations are becoming incredibly common, with particular flight happening from metro centers in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Individual countries are actively trying to scoop up consumer demand for change of scenery and pace, with countries like Dubai, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands offering temporary extended work visas to US citizens as a way to revive local tourism.
Short term rental properties such as beach house bookings, waterfront properties, mountain cabins, and southern getaways — or you know, just a yard if you’re a city-dweller — are booking in greater numbers in 2020 than nearly any time in 2019. AirDNA notes, “Among those leading the rebound are beaches, mountain towns, lakeside getaways, and really anything within driving distance of a major urban hub.”
Longer-term remote stays, whether for yourself or your family, are increasingly popular, as are remote work options which, according to Google trend data, have increased by two-times the previous levels pre-pandemic. Searches for extended stay vacations peaked at the end of December 2020, with previous highs in October and April 2020. Moving into 2021, we’ll likely see expanded tourism offerings to match this consumer demand, and also to accommodate pre-quarantine requirements, which vary city to city.
Travel isn’t what it used to be, and for the time being, we’re seeing increasingly important local search activations and feature adoption. And as remote work and location agnostic work becomes more the norm, the lessons we learned from pandemic travel search will help businesses thrive in this new tourism climate moving forward.
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Yahoo Groups was one of the original online communities. You could use it to create or participate in online chats with people from across the world who have the same interests and ideas as you.
A host of new online communication tools have been released in recent years. Many of these new platforms offer features Yahoo Groups doesn’t. After lagging behind their competitors for a few years, Yahoo Groups officially shut down in December of 2020.
Thankfully, if you were a fan, there are a plethora of alternatives to Yahoo Groups. Below, we’ll discuss our favorites so you can pick the best online group platforms for you.
What Was Yahoo Groups Used For?
Yahoo launched Groups in January 2001. Users could post messages, polls, photos, events, files, mailing lists, links to websites, and more. The platform soon became a popular host for vibrant online discussion boards.
If you owned a group, you could also assign moderators to help you run and oversee all the group’s activities.
Online businesses and marketers took advantage of the platform. This is a place where you could easily post a recent blog, image, or file to drive brand awareness and increase website traffic.
I know what you’re thinking—this sounds very similar to many of the online tools we have today. That’s because Yahoo Groups was similar. In fact, you could argue that Yahoo Groups was the foundation for many popular social media and online groups.
At the height of its popularity, Yahoo announced it had 115 million users and 10 million groups.
But a quick search for the platform today will show you this:
Where do you go from here?
Here’s a list of the best Yahoo Groups alternatives to create valuable online connections with your market.
What Are the Best Alternatives to Yahoo Groups?
If you used Yahoo Groups and want to continue creating online communities with like-minded people, drive traffic to your website, or build brand awareness, it’s essential to look for an alternative that will meet your needs—and the needs of your audience.
Here are five options to consider.
1. Facebook Groups
Besides catching up with old and new friends, creating a group on this platform makes sense, especially for businesses. It can help you position your brand, find potential customers, and build long-term relationships with them.
Like Yahoo Groups, Facebook Groups allow you to schedule group events, share files, images, and other useful tools to continue engaging and connecting with your market.
While many brands may have Facebook Pages, Facebook Groups are where the magic lies because they see a lot more engagement than Pages.
Facebook Groups allow members to start and participate in conversations easily. They can also be private—when you have a closed group, members can engage and share their thoughts in a private setting that can only be seen by group members.
There are three types of Groups to choose from. Depending on your needs, you can create:
- A Public Group: Anyone can access the group and see what users post.
- A Closed Group: This is a private group. You can search and find the group, but members still need approval before gaining access to the group.
- A Secret Group: These are invite-only groups where only invited users can find the group or see what other users post.
Here’s how to create a Facebook Group:
After logging into your account, click the + button from the top right and select Group.
Next, enter your group name, choose privacy options, and invite people to join the group.
Once you’ve filled in the details, select Create.
You can further personalize the group by adding a description and cover photo.
If you want to start a successful Facebook Group for your brand, the first step is to decide on your Group’s purpose.
- Are you a new brand and trying to increase brand awareness?
- Are you trying to reach new customers?
- Do you want to provide a group for your existing customers where you can nurture long-term relationships?
- Would you like to showcase your expertise and establish authority in a niche market?
Understanding the purpose of your group will help direct all the content you create.
For instance, let’s say you sell a weight loss coaching program that lasts for six months. You can create a private Group for customers who are currently in coaching to share unique content and allow members to support each other.
Creating this type of group allows members to learn more about your brand and get the support they need while using your service.
The concept behind Meetup is simple—choose what you’re interested in or passionate about, find a local group that shares that same interest, attend events the group organizes, and connect with like-minded people.
The groups you join or create on this platform can be about anything: book clubs, bike rides, business networking, music, or other niche social activities.
Of course, the main difference between Meetup and Yahoo Groups is that Meetup focuses on creating real-life encounters with the people you meet online.
If your business or brand caters to local communities, then Meetup could be a great fit.
Let’s say you own a coffee shop in New York. You can find and join groups of other coffee lovers in the area. Once you’ve joined the groups, you can engage with members, build relationships, and invite them to a company event.
If you can’t find a relevant group, you can create one.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll go through a seven-step process. This includes:
Selecting your group’s location:
Choosing topics that best relate to your group:
Choosing a group name:
Describing what your group will be about:
It is free for users to sign up for the service. However, meeting organizers pay a monthly fee.
There are currently two pricing options:
- $4.99 per month for six months. This plan is for smaller groups.
- $15.00 per group per month for six months. This plan includes unlimited groups and allows you access to attendee emails.
Whichever plan you choose, creating a Meetup group will help you connect with relevant people in real-life.
Like Meetup, Nextdoor is a platform where local communities connect in real life, outside of online communications.
For Nextdoor, you must be a part of a particular neighborhood, as the focus is more on building a good network with your neighbors.
On the site, they explain:
“It’s where communities come together to greet newcomers, exchange recommendations, and read the latest local news. Where neighbors support local businesses and get updates from public agencies, borrow tools, and sell couches. It’s how to get the most out of everything nearby. Welcome, neighbor.”
Nextdoor shares a few similar features to Yahoo Groups, such as file sharing, chat messaging, and wiki pages.
For a local business or brand, creating a Nextdoor account makes sense as the platform has grown exponentially. It doesn’t just focus on residential neighbors anymore. Local businesses, public agencies, nonprofits, and brands are also recognized on the platform.
You can then decide whether you want to create an open or a private group.
For an open group:
- Anyone in the neighborhood can search, find, and join the group.
- Potential group members outside the community can still request to join if you send them a link.
For a private group:
- Anyone in the neighborhood can find and request to join the group.
- Group admins approve requests.
- Only members of the group can view messages and discussions.
The platform is completely free to use, but you can also advertise your business or brand using Local Deals to gain traction. This is where you can share discounts and promotions with your neighborhood.
The price for Local Deals depends on your neighborhood and how long you want to advertise, but the average cost is $75.
Mark Fletcher created groups.io. You might have heard of him before. He founded ONElist, which eventually became known as Yahoo Groups.
When he introduced Groups.io, Fletcher explained that:
Yahoo Groups and Google Groups both exude the dank air of benign neglect. Google Groups hasn’t been updated in years, and some of Yahoo’s recent changes have actually made Yahoo Groups worse! And yet, millions of people put up with this uncertainty and neglect, because email groups are still one of the best ways to communicate with groups of people. And I have a plan to make them even better.
Groups.io is an email-based service with features that include:
- Integration with other popular products, such as Slack, GitHub, Facebook Pages, and Dropbox
- Hashtags to help keep group messages organized
- Unlimited chat rooms
Groups.io is a Freemium product, which means the basic features are free to use, but you can pay extra to customize your homepage, access extra storage space, schedule events, and send reminders.
The best part about Groups.io is that there is no advertising! If you spend a lot of time online, you’ll appreciate this.
Another popular online discussion forum is Discourse. Users can use it as a discussion forum, mailing list, or chat room.
Creating an online group on a different and unfamiliar site can be an overwhelming process. There’s a free 14-day trial, which you can use to help familiarize yourself with the platform and see if it can be a good fit for you and your needs.
Like Yahoo Groups and the other options on our list, Discourse is an online discussion forum that allows you to create discussions, share links, files, and integrate with various devices and online tools.
If you’ve been on online discussion forums for a while, you’ll know that some users don’t follow the rules. The platforms we’ve covered so far allow group moderators to filter out inappropriate content and users.
On Discourse, the focus is more on community moderation. However, they do offer various moderation tools, including the ability to move posts to an existing topic, merge with other posts, or delete.
Members who’ve displayed consistently positive behaviors earn likes and badges. Furthermore, they can help to maintain and moderate content and resolve disputes.
There are three pricing plan options:
- Standard: $100 per month
- Business: $300 per month
- Enterprise: You’ll need to contact them for a custom quote
A lot has changed in the world of online communication. Yahoo Groups was once a popular pioneer of online communities, but it’s closed down, like many other trailblazers. Thankfully, there are plenty of advanced Yahoo alternatives to choose from.
Whatever you decide on, I hope you found the above information helpful.
Can you think of other alternative online groups that are great for building connections?
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
There is a tool that helps you create a repeatable and seamless workflow. A system that lets you look at the bigger picture of any given work process and its current status. A place where you can make sure your whole team is on the same page, so your boss doesn’t scream at you.
It’s called workflow management software, and it makes your work life at least ten times easier.
Workflow management software takes chaos and organizes it into a clear roadmap that helps you achieve your work goals in less time and with better results. The trick is finding the one that fits perfectly with the way you do business.
To help you with that, I’m taking a look at the top workflow management tools in detail below so you can choose which one can work best for your team.
The Top 5 Options For Workflow Management Software
- ClickUp – Best for versatile workflow management
- Monday.com – Best for remote teams
- Wrike – Best for creative teams
- Trello – Best free workflow management tool
- Smartsheet – Best for IT and operations
How to Choose The Best Workflow Management Software For You
The more complex your process to finish work and reach deadlines becomes, the more likely you are to need efficient workflow software to help you get the job done. First, you always want to take stock of your current workflow system regarding what it’s lacking and what is already working well. This way, you can choose a workflow solution that’ll integrate with your work style and more accurately solve your issues.
To start, ask yourself a few simple questions:
- Is your team scrambling to know what work was assigned to who at the last minute?
- Did your Excel spreadsheet get too complex to automate your work processes efficiently?
- Is there repeatable work that could be streamlined more effectively to save you time and resources?
- Is your team too overwhelmed to turn in great work because there isn’t a supportive framework to help them through their work process?
- Are there current limits that could be removed for more efficient work delivery or completion?
Workflow management and project management systems are often confused as the same thing because they share a lot of the same tools and processes. However, there is a difference.
Workflow management systems exist to manage and maintain ongoing work processes within a business. In contrast, project management systems are used to start and finish individual business projects as efficiently as possible.
So, a project management system can exist within a workflow management system while the workflow management system takes care of the bigger picture and recurring work processes in your overall business. A bit of a mouthful, but it becomes more understandable once you dive into the world of workflow management software and what it has to offer.
Once you know the distinction and made sure a workflow management system is what you’re looking for, here are additional specifications to think about when choosing a workflow system that makes the most sense for your business.
Your team’s size and planning for growth matter when you’re trying to choose a workflow tool. Why? Workflow management tools tend to charge by user. This can be a deciding factor in which system you select due to budgeting constraints. The more users you add to a system, the more you’ll be paying per month.
To add, if you don’t have to deal with a complex team structure, you might not need workflow software with all the bells and whistles that a larger business might find more useful. Sometimes, more functionality doesn’t mean it’s better for your needs.
Think about a few things as you move forward: Are there different departments that’ll need to communicate with each other frequently to greenlight work processes and projects? Are your teams adaptable to new software, or are there new API integrations you’ll need to make?
The simpler your team structures, the simpler your workflow system can be. This also often means less of a learning curve.
Tasks and Workflow Complexity
What tasks need the most comprehensive management? This can differ by niche, meaning you might need some features specifically designed for your industry and the value you create.
Some workflow systems are more equipped to deliver specific tasks than others. This can be done with anything ranging from:
- Dashboard reporting
- Gantt charts
- Document sharing and collaboration
- Scheduling software
- Task assignments and sign-offs
- Work status reports
- Integrations with third-party software
- Kanban boards
- Advanced data analysis
- Scrum work management boards
Communicating effectively with the appropriate workflow system will eliminate possible bottlenecks that slow down your growth.
With open API and integration features, your workflow system can be a seamless communication tool amongst each team member. This way, you can quickly review and respond to related emails, review project feedback, make corrections and comments, use team chat or message boards, and make sure changes to scheduling or project direction are accessible to each team member as part of your daily workflow.
If tons of communication isn’t how you handle business, and you have a more straightforward workflow management approach, you can always adjust your processes with a more customizable system.
An additional factor to think about is workflow views and how you choose to organize the information, processes, and tasks you input. Effective workflow management software gives you different ways of managing and viewing tasks and workflows.
To illustrate, a Gantt chart view, a graphical organization of a project or process, can help you simplify complex workflows. Kanban boards make viewing workflows easier and more manageable as you move cards from one chronological board to another.
A scrum board breaks down work processes into sprints and can be ordered into horizontal and vertical lanes. Looking for a workflow management system with the flexibility in preferred style makes your team’s life easier and may make your work processes faster.
The Different Types of Workflow Management Software
There are two main categories of workflow management software. Here I take a look at each.
Highly Customizable vs. Niche-Specific
With workflow management software, you can either choose a highly customizable system that fits just about any niche or go with software that caters to a set of specific ones. The choice is ultimately up to you after you audit what tools your teams need to create a better workflow process.
For instance, software like ClickUp is highly adaptable to just about any industry that wants to use it to manage their ongoing work operations. On the other hand, Wrike provides tools that are specifically adaptable to creative industries.
Cloud-Based vs. Local
Most software on this list is cloud-based, meaning you can access them from anywhere at any time. You can choose to go with software that lives on your local servers and computers, too, though keep in mind that brings its own set of pros and cons.
With a cloud-based solution, your team will be able to access the software from anywhere from multiple devices to stay accessible and updated.
#1 – ClickUp — The Best For Versatile Workflow Management
ClickUp is a powerful workflow management system that makes sure every part of your workflow can be streamlined and optimized for efficiency and speed.
That’s why it’s my top recommendation for almost everyone.
Companies like Google, Airbnb, Uber, and Nike are all optimized for a seamless work process with the ability to plug into over 1,000 integrations. With ClickUp, you won’t only manage your workflow. It’s customizable enough to also manage your projects all from one place with tools like:
- Resource management
- Goal tracking and reminders
- Email and chat features
- Complex or simple spreadsheets
- Third-party app integration
- Strategy management
With the ability to create chat views, table views, timeline views, or mind maps, you can always be sure your team is staying on top of each work task and their progress in a way that makes work easier for them.
Because of its setup, ClickUp allows you to save a lot of time by linking all project tasks, email, comments, or wikis together and allowing you to view your projects however you want and automating recurring work tasks. The tool is equipped for bigger and more complex workflow management, as well as for small businesses that want to get a handle on their growing workflow systems.
If you’re switching to ClickUp from another workflow management system, it is super easy to automatically import all your work and project information with the import feature.
One of the best parts of using such a versatile workflow manager is their price point. You can start using the system in a matter of seconds by signing up for a free account. You’ll immediately get 100 MB of space with unlimited members and unlimited tasks.
The paid plan is only $5 per user, and you get access to unlimited storage, integrations, calendar tools, guests, portfolios, boards, and custom fields.
If you’re managing a growing team, you have the option of negotiating a price point per user or team size once you fill out a quick form and send them a short proposal. All in all, ClickUp’s versatility goes far. That’s why more than 100,000 teams use it and why I’d recommend it to just about everyone.
Start your free account with ClickUp here and use it to optimize every aspect of your workflow.
#2 – Monday.com — The Best For Remote Teams
If you manage a growing remote team, Monday.com is the workflow solution that seamlessly brings everyone together.
It’s an excellent workflow system used by BBC Studios, NBC, Discovery Channel, Hulu, Cocacola, Deezer, and 100,000 other teams to ensure they’re effectively managing every step of their workflow processes with onsite and offsite team members.
With Monday.com, it’s easy to collaborate with your team from anywhere in the world by aligning work progress, video chats, and plenty of synced calendars to make sure you’re always meeting collaborative work deadlines.
You can easily start organizing tasks and automating workflows with templated daily team tasks, knowledge libraries, remote team requests, employee statuses, and one-on-one meetings. Of course, if none of these templates will do it for you, you can start from scratch and build your own any time with their vast array of tools.
Some Monday.com features that are great for remote workflow management are:
- Weekly schedules
- A meetings board with updates and recaps
- Zoom integrations to record meetings
- Local time zone tracking for each team member
- Workload and work capacity maps for any given project
- The ability to create contingency plans from project data
Monday.com charges per seat based on the tier you want access to, and each of them comes with an extensive list of features. The tiers start at three seats each, and you can save money if you choose to go with an annual plan. Here’s a quick breakdown of each level:
- Basic: $8 a user per month starting at three seats
- Standard: $10 a user per month starting at three seats
- Pro: $16 a user per month starting at three seats
- Enterprise: Contact them for more information
If you’d like to test drive Monday.com first, you can get started with their free trial here.
#3 – Wrike — The Best For Creative Teams
Wrike is a dynamic workflow management system built for creative teams. Repetitive admin tasks and reiterations can be the bane of any creative team trying to ship great work. Wrike makes it easy to streamline all your tasks in one place to ensure both productivity and speed.
With Wrike, you can manage incoming creative requests throughout their entire lifecycle with customizable forms, templates, briefs, and markup tools, so you always know the progress on each job.
For instance, Wrike’s approval tool makes it easy for anyone to leave clear project feedback on deliverables with comments for specific images, videos, or documents. You can check who is working on any project whenever you need it and create a more streamlined intake system for work requests by creating one formal point of contact for each work project.
This makes it easy to finish projects that require multiple reviews and revisions.
Some of their best features for creative workflow management are:
- Project approval templates
- Project scheduling
- Task assignment
- Daily marketing operations management
- Drag-and-drop dashboards
Wrike is free for up to five users and includes 2 GBs of space, along with tools like spreadsheet view, task management, file sharing, and basic integrations.
You can take advantage of a free trial and see how you like it. Once you’re ready to choose a paid plan, the main plans are:
- Free: Up to 5 users with a shared tasks list for small teams
- Professional: Up to 15 users at $9.80 per user per month with full project planning and collaboration
- Business: Up to 200 users at $24.80 per user per month with work management customization and reporting
- Enterprise: Unlimited users, contact their team for custom pricing for the most comprehensive solution
Wrike also offers plans that cater specifically to marketing/creative teams and professional services teams. Both of these categories have a free trial and unlisted pricing.
While Wrike does get meticulous with their pricing and feature breakdown, it ensures that you get the best plan for your specific creative workflow needs. I recommend you check out their pricing page for a full list of features to get more familiar with what’s included.
But first, you can try out Wrike free for 14 days here.
#4 – Trello — The Best Free Workflow Management Software
If you’re on a budget, Trello’s workflow system can get you on the right track for free for up to 10 boards per team.
Millions of users are already using Trello and their organized dashboards to prioritize and automate daily tasks and projects. With it, you can create boards and name them, add your tasks and team, and then add specific details to each card like due dates, work briefs, checklists, attachments, and comments.
Trello works great as a simple workflow manager for smaller teams geared for growth and efficiency without shelling out a ton on work software expenses. It is a Kanban board style layout and is especially popular for people who like very visual task and workflow management.
As mentioned, Trello is free for up to 10 boards per team, with unlimited cards and lists and a 10 MB per file attachment limit. If you love their free version so much that you want to go with a paid plan, you can choose from two options:
- Business Class: $9.99 per user per month
- Enterprise: $17.50 per user per month for 100 users (the more users you add, the less you pay per user)
Get started with Trello for free here and use their easy boards feature to begin organizing your workflow.
#5 – Smartsheet — The Best For IT and Operations
Smartsheet makes for excellent workflow management software in IT and operations teams. Generally, the two things you need when working in IT management are consistency and speed. Smartsheets deliver on this by allowing you to quickly adapt and archive projects, coordinate data center migrations, and even set up automated alerts and approvals to save you time.
Smartsheets enables collaboration across teams and gives you control access to resources. They bring it all together on an easy-to-use dashboard with plenty of reporting capabilities.
Smartsheets offers a free 30-day trial. For the paid plans, they break down their pricing tiers into four categories. These include individual, business, enterprise, or premier. To learn their prices, you’ll have to contact them first. I recommend visiting their price page to get a feel for what features and capabilities you get with each tier from their exhaustive list of features. You can also watch a demo of the tool.
Try Smartsheet free for 30 days and start creating better workflows for your team today.
Choosing the best workflow management software for you depends on a lot of variables. But you can