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Content is King…But Why? Here is a Data-Driven Answer | Internet Marketing Tools

March 29, 2021 0

why is content king - twitter poll Neil Patel results

Tired of hearing “content is king?”

It’s a phrase that makes most marketers roll their eyes.

Does it still ring true? If so, why is content still so important?

Where Did the Phrase ‘Content is King’ Come From?

In 1996, Bill Gates wrote an essay that changed the course of digital marketing. Titled “Content is King,” he suggested most of the money generated on the internet would come from content, much like broadcasting.

Even more groundbreaking, Gates suggested content could serve as an equalizer because anyone (and any brand) could create and publish content:

One of the exciting things about the Internet is that anyone with a PC and a modem can publish whatever content they can create. In a sense, the Internet is the multimedia equivalent of the photocopier. It allows material to be duplicated at low cost, no matter the size of the audience.

Much has changed in the decades since Gates coined the phrase, so does it still ring true?

I set to find out by asking marketers and business owners on Twitter whether content is still king and why—or why not.

why is content king - twitter poll Neil Patel

The results were split— the vast majority of people believe that content still reigns, but a growing number of people think content is beginning to lose its crown.

What is even more interesting is the reason why people think content is still supreme—and there are a wide range of opinions on that front.

So, is content still king? If so, why is it still so critical more than two decades after Bill Gates said content would be the force behind monetizing the internet?

Users and Google Like Quality Content

The vast majority of survey respondents said content is still king because Google and people like content.

There’s no doubt that Google likes content. According to a study of more than 11 million SERPs, the average word count for pages that rank on the first page of Google is 1,447 words.

That’s quite a bit of content.

While Google has been notoriously quiet about what exactly it takes to get in their good graces, many expert marketers (and a few Googlers) have stated that high-quality content is the key to ranking well on Google. Twitter followers agreed:

is content king? Twitter commentary

It’s not just Google who likes content—people do, too. In fact, global online content consumption doubled in 2020.

Content is also one of the most effective ways to turn readers into leads, with companies that blog earning 67 percent more leads per month than brands that don’t.

This is probably why most brands are investing 41 percent of their overall marketing budget on content.

However, there is one caveat that many businesses and marketers overlook—when we talk about content, we’re not just talking about blog posts and e-books.

One of the biggest misconceptions about content is that it only refers to written content.

Content also includes video, social media, virtual reality, podcasts, and any other type of content people can read, listen, or interact with. Good content also builds links, so various types of content create “linkable assets” which makes it easier to build links naturally because the content is useful.

Consider this:

  • According to HubSpot, 93 percent of marketers report that video is an important part of their marketing strategy.
  • More than half of U.S. consumers over the age of 12 listen to podcasts.
  • Interactive content is 39 percent more likely to be rated as “very effective” at educating buyers than passive content.

If you rely on written content to bring in visitors and make Google happy, it may be time to expand your horizons.

More Content Improves Your Position in the SERPs

More than 15 percent of survey respondents reported that content is king because it increases your position in the SERPs.

Which is true. Mostly.

Google’s goal is to provide users with the most useful, relevant search results every time. Thus, it makes sense that more content is better, right?

Not quite.

It’s important to note that ranking high in the SERPs isn’t about quantity but rather quality.

Writing 50 terrible blog posts isn’t going to help you rank as high as three or four well-researched, well-written posts. Here’s more insight from Twitter:

is content king? Twitter commentary

While more content will obviously improve your position in the search results, it’s crucial to focus on creating quality content, which includes:

  • Be original: Google still dings sites that use duplicate content, so aim to create original content. Original content also tends to be more useful, as it provides users with information they can’t find anywhere else.
  • Answer questions: Answering questions provides a good user experience and can help you land Google’s featured snippets, which show up at the top of search results.
  • Be accurate: Add stats, links, and sources to back up your statements. This helps build trust with users and creates a resource other sites will want to link to.
  • Engage readers: No one wants to read or watch boring content. Use a hook to grab readers and ask questions to create a conversation. Interactive elements, such as polls, contests, and surveys, can also help.
  • Add images and videos: Images and videos break up long content and make it easier for users to understand complex ideas. Images also offer another opportunity for optimization through alt tags.
  • Eliminate fluff: Get to the point; avoid useless modifiers, and make sure every heading is useful to site visitors.
  • Be consistent: Creating good content is only part of the battle—if you want to improve your ranking, make sure to create content on a regular basis by creating an editorial calendar.

Content needs to be helpful to users, as reiterated on Twitter:

is content king? Twitter commentary

It’s also worth noting that tons of other factors can impact your ability to rank in the SERPs, including page experience, one of the newer Google ranking factors. Core website vitals also impact ranking.

Not having enough content on your site can affect your ability to rank in SERPs. If you are struggling to create high-quality content on a regular basis, our agency can help.

Content Helps You Optimize for Keywords

According to our survey, 15.3 percent of people think content is king because it helps optimize for keywords.

Which makes sense; keywords are the backbone of SEO.

However, optimizing for keywords goes beyond including them in your meta titles and adding it to your content as many times as possible.

In fact, the old way of targeting keywords is dead, thanks to Google updates like RankBrain and Hummingbird.

In the past, marketers found a single keyword (usually one that was low competition and had high search volume), wrote a post about it, sent it out via email and social media, did a little link building, and bam, Google rankings.

It’s not so simple these days.

Google has gotten smarter, and users have gotten savvier. If you want to rank for “how to do SEO,” for example, you can’t just publish a bunch of content about SEO.

Instead, you need to focus on related keywords, long-tail keywords, and user experience to rank well in Google.

You’ll also need to make sure your site speed is up to snuff.

However, writing high-quality, useful content is still one of the most important factors for optimizing for keywords—just don’t forget all the other factors that impact rankings.

Content is Losing Its Crown

Just over 10 percent of survey respondents reported that content is losing its crown.

Some people might just be tired of hearing about how content is the be-all and end-all of digital marketing.

I get it. The truth is there is a ton more to digital marketing than just creating content.

SEO, PPC, social media, technical SEO, and even link building are all crucial to increasing your Google rankings and driving leads and conversions.

If you search for “content is dead,” you’ll get tons of search results. Dig a little deeper, however, and those arguments don’t hold water.

Let’s look at a few of the most common reasons people claim that content is dead:

  • According to CMSWire, brands are burned out from creating oceans of content and readers are tired of salesy, low-quality content.
  • Dreamgrow reports content marketing is dead and 2021 is all about storytelling.
  • Mark Schaefer claims content marketing is not a sustainable strategy because our ability to consume content is limited, while the amount of content is doubling every 9 to 24 months.

Essentially, all these claims boil down to one thing: Consumers are tired of crappy content.

They don’t want to read a 500-word post that offers little value and is mostly aimed at pitching a product or service. Twitter agreed:

is content king? Twitter commentary

Here’s the thing, though, consumers never wanted to read crappy content. That content used to help you rank in Google, but it never really converted the types of customers you’d actually want to keep.

What has changed?

The truth is, not much. Consumers want content that convinces, that educates, that provides useful, interesting information.

One thing has changed since the 1990s when Bill Gates penned his essay. The type of content users want has changed dramatically. Back then, sending a single photograph over the internet was exciting. Now, podcasts, videos, courses, and interactive content are rising in popularity.

Today’s consumers want content in all forms—video, audio, and even interactive content.

While Google updates like core website vitals are gaining momentum, none of the new ranking factors can rank your site all on its own.

For example, having a perfect user experience won’t help if there is no content for users to read or interact with.

Instead of assuming content is losing its crown, it might be time to dig deeper by having a consultant perform a site audit to see what content isn’t performing and update other issues your site might face, like slow load times.

Conclusion

Content is not losing its crown; it’s just expanding the royal family.

Despite what some marketers might think, it’s safe to say that content is not losing its luster anytime soon. Google likes it, people are consuming it at an ever-growing rate, and it can drastically improve your ability to rank in SERPs.

However, how we create content and the most effective types of content are changing.

Google is using artificial intelligence to better understand the context of content, making it more important than ever to use multiple keywords and incorporate long-tail keywords into your content.

People are tired of boring, dull, and salesy content. Other content types, like videos and interactive content, are likely to become the norm.

This means marketers need to up their content marketing game, not give up on it completely.

Is content still king? Share your thoughts in the comments.

[…]

internet marketing tools
Internet Marketing

A Beginner’s Guide to Google Search Console | Internet marketing tools

March 24, 2021 0

Google search console guide for beginners

Want to know how your SEO efforts are paying off?

Google provides a free tool called Google Search Console that provides a ton of detailed information about your site’s performance, security issues, errors, and more.

How does it work? That’s what we’re going to cover today.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is a suite of tools from Google that helps you track your site’s performance, find issues, and help your site rank higher in Google. It is a powerful, but complex, tool.

Back in 2010, we wrote a thorough beginner’s guide to Google Webmaster Tools. Since then, there have been significant changes to Google Webmaster Tools, including a rebranding as Google Search Console.

We’ve updated this guide to include how to set up Google Search Console, what data you’ll find about your website, important data you might have forgotten about, and how to continually monitor for any issues that might affect your search engine rankings.

How to Set Up Google Search Console

If you haven’t already, the first thing you will need to do is set up your website with Google Search Console.

To do this, visit the Search Console website, sign in with your Google Account – preferably the one you are already using for Google Analytics.

Click the Add Property button in the upper left corner, and you’ll see this dialogue box:

Google search console guide add property.

Select the URL prefix, as it gives you more options for verification.

Next, you will have to verify this site as yours.

Previously, this involved having to embed code into your website header or upload an HTML file to your web server.

Now, if you already have Google Analytics, it will automatically verify your site for you and you will see this:

google search console owership authorization.

If this doesn’t work for you, use one of these other options for verification.

Once your site is verified, you will want to submit a sitemap if you have one available.

This is a simple XML file that will tell Google Search Console what pages you have on your website

If you have one already, you can usually find it by typing in http://yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml to see it in your browser.

To create a sitemap if you don’t already have one, you can use online tools like XML Sitemaps.

If you are running a website on your own domain using WordPress, you can install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.

Once you have activated the plugin, look under your Settings in the WordPress dashboard and click on XML-Sitemap.

The plugin should have already generated your sitemap, so there’s nothing else you have to do.

You’ll find your URL at the very top of the page:

search engines haven't been notified yet

Copy the link address and head back over to Google Search console, then paste it under “Add a new site map” in GSC.

google search console sitemap

It may take a few days for Search Console to start pulling information about your website.

Be sure to wait a bit, then keep reading to find out what else you can learn from Google Search Console!

What Data Can You Pull From Google Search Console?

Once you’ve added and verified your website, you’ll be able to see tons of information about your site performance in GSC.

Remember, this is a powerful tool; these are only the highlights of new types of data and the important data you should remember to check on occasionally.

Google Search Console Overview

Google search console overview

When you visit your website in GSC, you will first see your Overview.

This is an overview of the important data within Google Search Console. You can visit specific areas such as your Crawl Errors, Search Analytics, and Sitemaps from this screen by clicking on the applicable links.

You can also navigate to these areas using the menu in the left sidebar.

Search Results

In the left sidebar, you’ll see is Search Results.

Google search console search results

This section gives you an overview of how your site appears in the Search Engine Results Page, including total clicks, impressions, position, click-through rate, and what queries your site shows up for.

The filters at the top allow you to sort data based on location, date, type of search, and much more. This data is crucial to understanding the impact of your SEO efforts.

Index Coverage Report

This report gives you data about the URLs that Google has tried to index on your selected property and any problems Google has had.

As Googlebot crawls the Internet, it processes each page it comes across to compile an index of every word it sees on every page.

It also looks at content tags and attributes like your Titles or alt texts.

index coverage report google search console

This graph shows a breakdown of the URLs on your site that have been indexed by Google and can thus appear in search results.

As you add and remove pages, this graph will change with you.

Don’t worry too much if you have a smaller number of indexed pages than you think you should. Googlebot filters out the URLs it sees as a duplicate, non-canonical, or those with a no index meta tag.

You’ll also notice a number of URLs that have been disallowed from crawling by your robots.txt file.

And you can also check on how many URLs you’ve removed with the Removal Tool. This will most likely always be a low value.

Sitemaps

I mentioned sitemaps earlier, so I’ll cover this again in brief.

In GSC under “Sitemaps,” you will see information about your sitemap, including if you have one and when it was last updated.

If you notice the last date your sitemap was downloaded is not recent, you might want to submit your sitemap to refresh the number of URLs submitted.

Otherwise, this helps you keep track of how Google is reading your sitemap and whether or not all of your pages are viewed as you want them to be.

Removals

If for some reason you need to temporarily block a page from Google’s search results, head to removals.

google search console URL removal

You can hide a page for approximately 90 days before this wears off.

If you want to permanently remove a page from Google’s crawling, you’ll have to do it on your actual website.

Core Website Vitals

Core website vitals are a set of metrics that impact your search ranking. They include speed, usability, and visual stability. These are now ranking signals, so you’ll want to pay attention to them.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source initiative designed to provide fast-loading mobile websites that work with slow connection speeds.

You can go here to get started creating your first page if you haven’t got one already.

You’ll be given a boilerplate piece of coding that you can customize to your site.

accelerated mobile pages boilerplate code

To view pages in GSC, head to Enhancements > AMP.

Links to Your Site

Curious about your backlinks?

GSC shows you the domains that link to you the most as well as the pages on your website with the most links. Scroll down in the left side bar until you see “links.” Click and you’ll see a full report of links to your site:

google search console links

This is probably the most comprehensive listing of your backlinks (and internal links!) that you will find, for free at least.

It’s a powerful tool to know where your content is being leveraged around the web, and what performs best in Google’s eyes.

Manual Actions

The Manual Actions tab is where you can find out if any of your pages are not compliant with Google’s webmaster quality guidelines.

It’s one of the ways that Google has taken action against web spamming.

Mobile Usability

On the Mobile Usability tab, you can check to make sure that all of your website’s pages are aligned with what Google considers best practice.

mobile usability google search console

As you can see, you can have issues with text size, viewport settings, or even the proximity of your clickable elements.

Any of these problems, as well as other errors, can negatively affect your mobile site’s rankings and push you lower on the results page. Finding and fixing these errors will help your user experience and results.

While reviewing this information, I suggest that you also check your site’s mobile speed. I use Ubersuggest to do so.

The first thing you want to do is type your URL into the search box and click “Search.”

use ubersuggest to check mobile usage report.

After clicking the “Search” button, click “Site Audit” in the left sidebar and then scroll down the page until you seed “Site Speed.”

ubersuggest mobile usablity Google search console guide

You’ll see the site speed for both desktop and mobile devices. For the sake of this exercise, we’re more interested in mobile loading time. My site loads on mobile devices in two seconds, which scores in the excellent range.

In addition to overall site speed, there’s also an advanced breakdown for:

  • First contentful paint
  • Speed index
  • Time to interactive
  • First meaningful paint
  • First CPU idle
  • Estimated input latency

If you see any issues here, fix them immediately, and then re-test your site. It may be enough to improve your loading time.

Crawl Stats

For a more in-depth analysis of how often Googlebot is looking at your site, you can use the Crawl Stats report under Settings > Crawl stats.

Here, you’ll see how often the pages of your site are crawled, how many kilobytes are downloaded per day, and what the download times of your site are.

Google search console crawl stats report
time spent downloading a page

According to Google, there is no “good” crawl number, but they do have advice for any sudden spikes or drops in your crawl rates.

Fetch as Google (Now Called URL Inspection)

This tool is helpful as it lets actually do a test run of how Google crawls and renders a specific URL on your site.

It’s a helpful way to make sure that Googlebot can access a page that might otherwise be left to guesswork.

URL inspection google search console

If you’re successful, the page will render, and you’ll be able to see if any resources are blocked to Googlebot.

If you want access to the code of your site, click “View Tested Page” to see the HTML, a screenshot, and any crawl errors. (Note: Crawl errors used to be its own report, now it’s located in URL inspection under “Coverage.”)

When you get to the debugging point of web development, you can’t beat this free tool.

Robots.txt Tester

If you’re using a robot.txt file to block Google’s crawlers from a specific resource, this tool allows you to double-check that everything is working.

So if you have an image you don’t want to appear in a Google Image Search, you can test your robot.txt here to make sure that your image isn’t popping up where you don’t want it.

When you test, you’ll either receive an Accepted or Blocked message, and you can edit accordingly.

URL Parameters

Google themselves recommend using this tool sparingly, as an incorrect URL parameter can negatively impact how your site is crawled.

You can read more about how to properly use URL parameters from Google.

When you do use them, this tool will help you keep tabs on their performance and make sure they’re not pointing Googlebot in the wrong direction.

Conclusion

Google Search Console can give you powerful insights into how your site performs, as well as what you can do to keep Google’s attention. Once you have the basics down, learn how to use GSC data to increase your traffic by 28 percent or more.

Do you use Google Search Console? What areas do you find most useful? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and happy data analyzing!

[…]

Online Digital Marketing
Internet Marketing

Squarespace Review (Best Internet Marketing Tools 2021)

February 19, 2021 0

Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.

Do you need a website builder that lets you build beautiful sites without needing to learn all the technical stuff? Squarespace is an intuitive site builder that enables you to create beautiful websites easily and quickly. The huge drag-and-drop website builder was started in 2004 by a University of Maryland college student and has since flourished into an amazingly streamlined website builder that has been used to create millions of websites. 

Squarespace Compared to The Best Website Builders

Squarespace stands out for one main reason: it is amazingly easy to create beautiful websites for even the most clueless novice. Though it didn’t make our list of best site builders, Squarespace is still worth reviewing as one of the top website builders on the market today.

In our review of the best site builders, we painstakingly went through each website builder to determine the four top choices for different needs and use cases. I’ve been building sites for years at this point, so you can bet I know a thing or two about what makes a great website builder. Once you read it, you can make the most informed choice. See all of our top picks for the best website builders. Let’s dive in. 

Who is Squarespace Best For?

Without a doubt, Squarespace is the best website builder for designers, artists, and ecommerce stores that want to create appealing sites with incredible visuals with minimal fuss. This makes it an excellent choice for small business owners that want a leg up visually but might not have the budget or know-how for it all.

Since Squarespace is a hosted solution, you don’t have to get into any extra steps to find a server or install software. You can create a beautifully designed site right on your browser, all in one place. 

Bottom line? Squarespace is great for creative people that like to work with templates and a style editor that lets you personalize even the smallest site details. Still, there are major pros and cons to take into account. 

Squarespace: The Pros and Cons

Pros

Responsive site templates: Squarespace offers more than 100 site templates to choose from. Best of all, they’re already built to be mobile responsive. A perk you might not always get with templates from other website builders.

Unlimited storage space: Squarespace offers unlimited storage on every plan. This is stellar news for creative sites that’ll inevitably build an extensive media library over time. With Squarespace, you won’t have to worry about hitting a storage or bandwidth limit.

Supportive live chat: Stuck? No need to worry. With its live chat feature, there is always an agent there ready to help you solve any site building problem you might run into. 

Webinars and help guides: As with most website builders, Squarespace does have a bit of a learning curve as far as the backend is concerned. But to remedy this, it has built an extensive library of detailed help guides and webinars that’ll get you to Squarespace expert level in no time. 

Built-in email marketing: One of my favorite Squarespace features is their built-in email marketing tool. To put it simply, it’s an add-on that empowers you to build eye-catching emails with beautiful templates without having to go through a third party. I don’t know about you, but the less software I have to deal with to get the job done, the happier I am. And you get plenty of integrated analytics to boot. 

Tools built specifically for ecommerce sites: Squarespace doesn’t stutter when it comes to who they cater to. As soon as you find out about them, it’s clear they care about visuals, but they also care about equipping you with the best ecommerce tools to create a dynamic online store. This helps narrow down your web builder choices if you’re specifically looking to create a great ecommerce site. 

Cons

Limited control over your domain name: If you buy your domain name through Squarespace, you won’t be able to migrate it to another hosting provider if you ever decide to do so. This can be a determining factor in whether you want to call Squarespace your site’s home and purchase your domain name in-house.

Limited SEO features: Lots of digital experts question the SEO capabilities of Squarespace. While there are plenty of success stories of sites ranking on Google, optimizing your posts and pages on Squarespace isn’t as intuitive as with other website builders like WordPress or Drupal. If SEO is the primary way you’ll drive traffic to your site, this is a point worth considering.

Squarespace Pricing

Now, what exactly do you need to pay to start using Squarespace and all its beautiful templates? Well, you can pick from a few excellent options

  • Personal – $12 per month billed annually
  • Business – $18 per month billed annually
  • Basic Commerce – $26 per month billed annually
  • Advanced Commerce – $40 per month billed annually

Let’s start with stating the obvious: Squarespace isn’t the cheapest web builder and host out there. But if you’re primarily looking to easily build jaw-dropping websites that catch your target audience’s attention, the price tag for even a personal plan might not be an issue for you.

Personal

Once you decide to go with the Personal tier, you’ll get access to basic site features like a free custom domain, SSL certification, unlimited bandwidth and storage, additional SEO features, access to Squarespace extensions, and 24/7 customer support.

All for $12 per month. While you can get all this and sometimes more with other web builders for less, it’s still worth looking into each of their tiers for a Squarespace plan that fits your needs. 

Business

Squarespace’s business tier is great if you’re trying to find a reasonable price point for an online store with entry-level tools. With its Business tier, you get everything in the Personal tier plus a suite of fully integrated ecommerce tools that’ll equip you to sell and track inventory, accept payments, and more.

You’ll also be able to sell an unlimited number of products, accept donations, and give your customers the ability to create and send gift cards. Bottom line? The Business Squarespace tool is what you should start with for a beginner to intermediate ecommerce business.

Basic Commerce

Think of Squarespace’s Basic Commerce tier like the Business tier’s older brother. While you’ll get all the business tier capabilities, you get a few more powerful perks if you go the $26 a month route.

With Basic Commerce, your online store will be ready to quickly list and tag your products on both Facebook and Instagram, have access to advanced ecommerce analytics, and even create customer accounts. While other web builders can offer a similar mix of services, Squarespace categorizes them so that they uniquely cater to online selling.

Advanced Commerce

Possibly the most significant appeal of the Advanced Commerce tier for Squarespace, at $40 a month, is that there are no transaction fees.

What does this mean for your ecommerce business? A built-in payment gateway ready to process payments with absolutely none of the fees that can quickly cut into your profit margin. 

While you get everything in all the previous tiers, you also get advanced tools to handle shipping, advanced discounts, as well as an abandoned cart recovery strategy that can put more money in your pocket. It’s clear Squarespace has thought of everything when it comes to successfully building an ecommerce business with special attention to both the frontend and backend of things. For this, I’d say they deserve plenty of brownie points. 

But don’t take my word for it. I recommend you carefully read through each of their pricing levels to see which one appeals to you the most. Once you lock into a website builder, it can take a lot of extra work and hassle to switch to a new one. 

Now, let’s see how Squarespace’s main offerings stack up and what you can learn about each of them as far as building your best website goes. 

Squarespace Offerings

There are tons of features Squarespace offers to create and optimize your site. Overall, their offerings separate into three distinct yet helpful categories where they concentrate their web builder tools. Taking a closer look at each one can help you make the best web builder decisions. 

Website Builder and Hosting

Squarespace likes to call itself the leader in web design. And this claim isn’t made in vain. The drag-and-drop web builder and site templates help you create portfolios and professional websites that stand the test of time. To complement their roster of web builder tools, they also offer site analytics as a nice plus.

While I wouldn’t call Squarespace the absolute best content management web builder, it undoubtedly does its due diligence in the design and visual department. It also hones in on the flexibility you’ll need to create a portfolio that’s up to par with your design needs.

Ecommerce

Squarespace does its fair share in the ecommerce department, too, making them a strong contender to house your online store. Their offerings empower you to sell anything, whether it’s products, services, or by booking appointments of any kind. 

If you’re a brand that cares about first impressions to drive sales, Squarespace takes care of you not only with plenty of store templates but also a robust backend that can streamline your work order management. This sets it apart as a web builder tool for selling online since some others simply don’t go the extra mile in this department.

Squarespace goes as far as enabling you to create a membership site, which speaks volumes as far as innovation and keeping up with trends go. Not every web builder out there gets specific with the tools they provide. This is yet another feature that differentiates Squarespace from the rest. 

Brand Building Tools

If there’s one thing Squarespace focuses on as a web builder tool, it’s branding. We’ve already discussed Squarespace as a heavily visual builder. But this doesn’t mean they lack tools in the brand strategy department.

Squarespace lets you create dynamic email campaigns that are just as creative and visually powerful as your site. This means you can easily click and drag the products on your site that you want to showcase or let your audience know about a storewide sale. 

Along with email, Unfold is Squarespace’s unique “storyteller tool.” With it, you can create awe-inspiring social content that’s easily shareable for additional brand exposure. Filters, sticker packs, and easy image editing let you tell your story as a unique brand.

Squarespace is a groundbreaker in the web builder space when it comes to catering to a visual community. They do this by unifying both powerful website building tools that get results and the beauty of design. 

As a website builder that doubles as a host, you won’t see many other Squarespace-like builders that are truly comparable. At the same time, lots of Squarespace features make it more of a niche website builder. It caters to its intended audience powerfully well. 

The Best Website Builders

To make your best choice in website builders, don’t forget to read my in-depth review of four other top website builders you should consider. Here’s a quick overview for your convenience:

  1. Wix — Best for general use
  2. Weebly  — Best for beginners
  3. Shopify — Best for ecommerce
  4. WordPress — Best for content management

Squarespace is a reliable web builder for creatives, artists, and ecommerce stores that keep visuals at the forefront of their business strategy. While its site plans tend to be a bit pricier, Squarespace more than makes up for it by allowing you to build and host your site all in one place and equipping you with a long list of site templates you can customize to your heart’s content. 

Now it’s your turn. What has your experience with Squarespace been? I’d love to hear about it below. 

Get started with Squarespace today and start building your site. 

The post Squarespace Review appeared first on Neil Patel.

[…]

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Internet Marketing

The 10 Biggest Trends in Entrepreneurship to Look For Internet Marketing 2021

February 19, 2021 0

The 10 Biggest Trends in Entrepreneurship to Look For in 2021

Ever wish you could predict the future? Me too.

If only you could predict what’s shaping business trends, or what your clients need, you could plan and grow your company, right?

Well, there’s good news. While we don’t have a crystal ball, it’s entirely possible to gain a little insight into how the market is evolving and how the changes affect your long-term business planning.

The more you know about market trends, the better you can leverage them to your advantage and get a head start on your competition.

Remember, entrepreneurship is all about investing in your long-term success.

Sure, there’s value in studying short-term data for day-to-day business planning, but don’t neglect your trend forecasting. Here are the ten key trends influencing entrepreneurs this year and beyond.

Current 2021 Trends in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is constantly changing gears, and technology is central to much of this accelerated growth.

Briefly, here’s what’s going on right now.

  • We’re spending more on social media and digital marketing than before.
  • Growth in new technology means it’s easier than ever for small businesses to create their own programs, innovate, and collaborate with specialized teams.
  • Micro-influencers are helping drive sales, especially in niche markets.

There’s the return of some old, favorite strategies like email marketing, but we’re moving forward into exciting new territory, too, especially when it comes to remote working and app development.

Let’s take a look at what’s in store.

1. Low-Code Websites

Mobile apps and e-commerce stores are big business. According to Hootsuite, over 4.2 billion people use social media apps, and 77 percent of internet users ages 16-64 buy something online each month. How do you capitalize on this trend, though, if you don’t have web development or design expertise?

The answer lies in low-code website technology.

Every entrepreneur can now build an app, social media platform, or e-commerce website. All you do is choose a development tool and use the point-and-click tools to build your program.

Whether you dream about designing an e-commerce store like eBay or a collaboration tool like Trello, low-coding technology makes it possible.

  • You can quickly scale and alter your apps based on metric tracking and customer feedback.
  • It’s easy to integrate popular payment platforms, like Stripe.
  • Even pro developers can use these design tools to quickly test new ideas or cut down on development time.

The upshot? In 2021, don’t let a lack of IT expertise hold you back from innovating.

2. Email is Trendy Again

OK, so email marketing didn’t go anywhere, but there’s been a huge focus on other digital marketing strategies in recent years. However, email marketing is a reliable, cost-effective way to improve your reach.

Why’s email marketing making a comeback right now, though?

Well, a lot of it comes down to evolving search engine results pages (SERPs) and the blurring line between paid and organic search results.

First, there’s more space dedicated to paid ads in Google search results, so it’s harder to draw traffic from organic results than ever before.

For example, Google “price comparison websites” and the four paid ads take up most of your screen space:

Entrepreneurship - Email is trendy again

It’s also harder to distinguish paid ads from organic listings too, which runs the risk of confusing and frustrating customers. Check out the image above, for example. Other than the small “Ad” sign, how can we tell them apart from organic results?

Next, social media is another problem. Why? Because you often need to pay to boost or promote your posts, so again, it’s harder to reach an organic audience this way (at least cost-effectively).

Email marketing isn’t a new trend, but it’s not going anywhere, so rather than relying so much on social media or SERPs, consider building a solid subscriber list. Here are some strategies for growing your list.

  • Include engaging, valuable CTAs on your landing pages.
  • Talk up your newsletter or email content on social media.
  • Set up scroll boxes encouraging people to download guides and e-books.

3. Micro-Influencers

Micro-influencers typically have less than 25,000 followers and operate in super specific niches. Why is this a good thing?

They’re highly engaged with their audiences, for one thing. Less followers mean they have more time and energy to dedicate to answering messages and discussing products, which is great news for marketers pushing new merchandise.

Before your competitors take advantage of micro-influencers, start exploring how they fit into your marketing strategy.

  • Check out the micro-influencers working in your niche, either by using analytics tools or running your own research.
  • Connect with the influencers who best resonate with your brand personality.
  • Set a marketing budget and plan a campaign, e.g., is it Instagram-only or multichannel? How long will the campaign last?
  • Choose relevant hashtags for influencers to use.

Overall, there’s definitely a trend toward hiring influencers who embody a specific brand and engage with audiences on a more personal level, so don’t miss out.

4. Producing Content in Multiple Formats and for Multiple Channels

Did you know the typical consumer spends over seven hours a day on average engaging with media?

This doesn’t just mean reading blogs, either. Most of us consume content in various formats (such as videos and podcasts) across multiple platforms.

What does this mean for entrepreneurs? There’s a huge opportunity to recycle or repurpose your existing content so it reaches as many people as possible. For example, here’s what you can do with a single podcast.

  • Film a video alongside the podcast.
  • Transcribe the show into a blog or article.
  • Quickly post snippets on social media.

You could also convert old blogs into tips newsletters or convert webinars into video tutorials.

Think of it this way: You’re not spending time brainstorming or crafting new content. You’re simply putting a fresh spin on existing successful content instead.

How’s that for efficient marketing?

5. Growth of Entrepreneur Communities

Do you ever wish you could connect with like-minded people, exchange insights, and build your network? You can, thanks to the growing popularity of entrepreneur communities.

Entrepreneur communities bring creative, innovative people together to help them flourish. Whether you’re thriving or struggling, there’s someone ready to celebrate with you (or commiserate.)

  • You’ll find people at every level within the same community, from those just starting out to highly successful entrepreneurs.
  • Communities attract investors looking to connect with promising businesses and their founders.
  • They’re a great opportunity to network and learn from the best.

Where do you find these communities? Here are some examples.

  • Facebook groups
  • Reddit communities
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Slack channels

Do some research and find your perfect fit.

6. Depersonalize Your Marketing

Personalized marketing is great. The problem? It’s overdone.

In fact, according to Evergage, over 94 percent of marketers employ personalized marketing techniques, whether it’s using name tags, sending out abandoned cart emails, or making product recommendations.

What’s less common?

Authenticity.

According to Edelman, 81 percent of customers won’t buy from a brand unless they trust them, and authenticity is key to building that trust.

For entrepreneurs, this could mean depersonalizing your marketing. Focus on a few techniques that boost your ROI. Don’t overwhelm your audience with personalization.

Here’s an example of valuable depersonalized marketing. All we’ve got is a promo code, but this is valuable to the customer and encourages a click-through:

Entrepreneurship Trends in 2021 - Depersonalize Your Marketing

7. Hire Employees With Specialized Skill Sets

Technology continues to evolve at an accelerated pace, so you need employees who can help you take advantage of the possibilities without compromising your business.

  • As cloud computing grows in popularity, you need cybersecurity expertise to help you safeguard critical business data.
  • Hiring virtual assistants or deploying automated assistants can help you focus on business growth without stressing over admin.
  • Collaborating with niche tech experts allows you to develop new products and get the edge over your competitors.
  • Specialist teams let you focus your energy on what you do best, running your business and innovating.

Before you hire anyone, though, think about your goals. What do you hope to achieve? Where could you run your business more efficiently? The better you understand where your business is going, the easier it is to make the right hires for your objectives.

The bottom line? Hire quality, not quantity.

8. Digital Nomadism

Remote working is hugely popular now, and the trend isn’t slowing down. This is actually good news for entrepreneurs, because you can focus on simply hiring the best employees based on skills rather than physical location.

However, if you’re not sold on digital nomadism, here’s why it’s a big deal.

  • According to FlexJobs, 51 percent of employees work better from home because they’re less distracted.
  • Gartner revealed that over 80 percent of company leaders they surveyed plan on facilitating a flexible workplace, where people can work on-site or from home.
  • Even if you’re on a work trip, building a remote IT architecture for your business means you’re connected around the globe.

If it fits your business plan, embrace the remote working trend and introduce flexible telecommuting to your workplace.

9. Display Social Awareness

For today’s consumers, it’s not just about choosing a product. It’s about shopping with brands that align with their values. Not convinced this is a thing? Well, these stats might make you feel differently.

The growth of social media, influencer culture, and increasing social awareness among millennials are all responsible for this trend, and it’s not dying out anytime soon. Here’s how to capitalize on it.

  • Choose charities to support and highlight your efforts.
  • Go green and engage consumers in environmental topics.
  • Engage with your target audience and show them how passionate you are about your shared values.

Whichever strategy you choose, promote a clear and consistent message across all channels. Here’s an example of clear messaging from Patagonia. You can tell instantly what this brand stands for and who its target audience is:

Entrepreneurship  Trends in 2021 - Display Social Awareness

Carve out your niche and build a solid, sustainable consumer base.

10. Subscription-Based Business Models

With a subscription-based model, customers pay to use your services for a specified period e.g., paying a monthly subscription to Netflix or Microsoft 365.

Why is it popular with businesses?

  • You can build relationships with customers over time and track metrics over a long period.
  • There’s no need to keep selling or promoting your services to customers once they’re registered.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Choose a few pricing tiers.
  • Set up a multichannel service, e.g. phones and laptops.
  • Choose a payment gateway.
  • Continuously monitor metrics, especially those like retention rate and profit margins.
Entrepreneurship  Trends in 2021 - Subscription-Based Business Model

Conclusion

To achieve your goals, you must think about how customers are changing and how you can move with them. This could mean changing direction or simply expanding your company in creative, innovative ways.

Sure, you should make some decisions based on short-term data, but you should always have an eye toward the future.

If you need extra guidance, check out my consulting services, or read through my free digital marketing training guides.

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

The post The 10 Biggest Trends in Entrepreneurship to Look For in 2021 appeared first on Neil Patel.

[…]

Internet Marketing club
Internet Marketing

25 Sneaky Online Internet Marketing Tools and Gadgets to Help You Spy on Your Competitors

February 19, 2021 0

25 Sneaky Online Tools and Gadgets to Help You Spy on Your Competitors

There are dozens of factors to consider when spying on your competition–what are they ranking for, what are they doing on social, is there a new platform you should be considering?

It can be overwhelming, but paying attention to what is working and what doesn’t can make or breatk your long-term success.

This is where marketing tools come into play. In many cases, the same tools that help monitor your own web performance can also help you gather data on your competition.

You might be using some of these tools already, without using the features that help you evaluate your competitors. Here are some of the best competitive analysis tools out there:

1. Google Alerts – A Tool for Monitoring Mentions

google alerts tool for competitor analysis

This is a very simple and easy-to-use tool that will send reports right to your inbox. If you want to know every single time your competitor is mentioned online, whether as a link or simply a mention, you’ll get that report. You can monitor keywords as well. It’s up to you what you want to track.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Get competitors’ backlinks
  • Monitor social (or other website) mentions of your company
  • Monitor keyword mentions

Price: Free

2. SocialMention – A Tool for Monitoring Mentions

competitor analysis tool social mention

This tool has lots of cool features that focus on blogs, video, and social (all the “cool” stuff). Enter in a search term, either a keyword or a company, and the tool will tell you what’s being said about that term across blogs and social platforms.

You can see how many times and how often it’s mentioned and you even can subscribe to an RSS feed for that term, so you never miss a beat.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Monitor and track keyword mentions
  • Monitor company mentions
  • Cross-analyze what is being said across different social networks

Price: Free

3. Ubersuggest – A Tool for Keywords

ubersuggest competitive analysis tool

Ubersuggest is an all-in-one SEO tool that provides keyword analysis, competitive analysis, and SEO data. You can use it to explore new content ideas, find keywords, and see what your competition is doing. There’s also an Ubersuggest Chrome extension so you can get data on keywords and traffic as you browse the web.

Best Uses For This Tool:

  • See what content and keywords are performing best for your competitors
  • Find keywords to target
  • Get content inspiration
  • Find new competitors

Price: There’s a free limited plan, or you can get a paid plan starting at $29 per month.

4. Owletter A Tool To Track Competitor’s Email

owletter email marketing spy on the competition

Most of the competitive analysis tools on this list focus on SEO, social, or paid ads. This one gives you a window into your competitor’s email marketing strategy. Tell Owletter which sites to track and you get access to every email your competition sends, including when they send it and their spam reputation.

Best Ways To Use This Tool:

  • See how often competitors send emails
  • Track emails based on specific keywords
  • Long term access to data so you can spot trends over time

Pricing: $19 a month for up to 10 sites/$79 per month for unlimited

5. Social Blade – A Tool for Social Media Follower Counts

social blade competitor analysis

See real-time stats about your competitors on social media, including follower counts and the number of uploads. This tool is a quick way to get a lay of the land so you can build a stronger social media marketing strategy.

Best Uses for This Tool:

  • See where your competition stands on multiple social platforms

Pricing: Starts at $3.99 per month, but there is a free limited version.

6. Google Keyword Planner – A Tool for Keywords

google adwords

Formerly the Google Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator, this tool seems to have it all. Although it doesn’t focus specifically on competitor analysis (it’s more focused on your own website), finding competitor data is one feature of the tool. Because it’s from Google, it’s considered one of the best out there.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

Price: Free, but you need to sign up for a free AdWords account to access

7. Instapaper – A Tool for Organization

instapaper marketing tool for organization

This is a simple tool that allows you to save web pages for later to read on your computer, mobile phone, or even Kindle.

Once you sign up for an account (which takes just a few minutes), you can add the bookmarklet to your bookmark bar to keep things easy. When it comes to spying on your competition, it’s incredibly helpful to know who your competition is, first and foremost, and this tool will help.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Save webpages to read later
  • Add a bookmarklet to keep your content organized
  • Visit competitor sites and save content that might be of use to you

Price: Free

8. Monitor Backlinks – A Tool for Keywords

monitor backlinks marketing tool

This is another company with great customer service, and you can follow different competitors’ backlinks and have them sent straight to your inbox, with a description of which are the highest domains, which are the lowest, and whether or not they are dofollow or nofollow.

You have a dashboard you can look at and compare your results, but I like to use it primarily to look at links my competitors are earning.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Send competitor backlinks to your inbox
  • Analyze the highest and lowest domains of the links of your competitors
  • Get a good picture of links that are nofollow vs. dofollow
  • Compare your results with competitors thanks to the dashboard
  • Find new link-building opportunities

Price: Pricing varies based on how many domains you want to manage.

If you want to manage only 1, it is $25.00/month, 2 is a Freelancer plan for $48.00/month, 4 is a Small Business plan for $90.00/month, and anything more is a custom plan which you would discuss with the company to determine a price.

They currently offer a free trial, so you can test before you commit.

9. Semrush – A Tool for Keywords

SEMrush marketing tool for keywords

This definitely is one of my favorite tools because it specializes in competitor data. You can visit the homepage and type in a competitor’s website (completely free) and immediately get information regarding organic keywords and rank, ad keywords, and traffic. The best part: it all comes to you in a graphic format.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Get organic keywords and ranks of competitors
  • Get ad keywords and traffic numbers of competitors
  • Look at data in a graphic format

Price: You can get a large amount of information right on the homepage search bar. (Try it out yourself and you’ll see in less than three seconds.)

If you want some really detailed data, plans range from $99.95/month to $399.95/month.

10. SpyFu – A Tool for Keyword and Ad Monitoring

spyfu marketing tool

This is an easy-to-use tool that lets you know which keywords your competitors are targeting, both in organic search and in AdWords. You simply type in your competitor and you can download an entire list of these keywords.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Obtain a list of keywords your competitors are targeting for AdWords
  • Obtain a list of keywords your competitors are targeting in organic search

Price: The Basic plan is $39/month, the Professional plan is $78/month, and the Agency plan is $299/month.

11. Competitor Analysis from WooRank – a Little Bit of Everything

woorank competitor analyssi

This is a tool that has competitor data as just a small section of all it can do. You create your project, and then it will help you track and optimize your website based on the results of that project. If you want to spy on competitors, that’s an option.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Create projects to track
  • Optimize your website based on project results
  • Spy on your competitors as a potential project

Price: For agencies, they recommend the Premium plan for $179/month. For Webmasters, they recommend the PRO plan (only 1 project) for $59/month. You can start with a free trial.

12. SpyOnWeb A Tool to Find Domain Information

spyon web tool

This is a very popular tool because it’s so easy to use. With this tool, you enter a URL, Google AdSense or Google Analytics code, or IP address to find out what resources belong to the same owner.

In other words, when you type in a domain, you get results for all of the different IP addresses and then a list of domains that have that same IP address (in some cases a site will have more than one IP address).

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Discover the different IP addresses to find domain information

Price: Free

13. SimilarWeb – A Tool for Web Rankings

similar web marketing tool

This is a tool that allows you to get traffic insights for any website. You type in a website and right away you’ll get the global rank, country rank, and category rank of that website, along with a nice graph that shows the weekly number of visitors in the last six months.

You can see how many leads come from social, search, referrals, display ads, and many more. There also is a big orange bar that lets you add competitors and even gives you suggestions on who you may want to watch.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Obtain traffic insights for any website
  • Obtain global, country, and category rank for any website
  • Receive suggestions of competitors you may want to watch
  • View the data in graphic format

Price: There is a basic free account that offers limited metrics and data. You can contact the company if you’re interested in the enterprise package.

14. What Runs Where – A Tool for Monitoring Ads

what where

Although this resource specializes in online media buying and helping businesses buy correctly, it has some great features for watching your competition. It supports over 40 ad networks across several different countries and allows you to track a list of your competitors. You then get an alert every time that competitor launches a new ad or publishes new content.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Track ad production of competitors
  • Receive alerts each time a new ad or content is published

Price: Plans run for $299/month for the Basic plan and $399/month for the Full Coverage plan.

15. Link Explorer – A Tool for Backlinks

line explorer marketing tool for backlinks

This tool comes from Moz, so you know it’s got to be good. It’s one of the most popular tools out there today, and it allows you to follow your competitors’ link-building efforts. You can see who is linking back to them regarding PageRank, authority/domain, and anchor text. You also can compare link data, which can help keep things easy.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Find out who is linking to your competitors
  • Compare link data of your competitors

Price: You can get some data for free right away, but in order to use Link Explorer to the fullest extent, you will need Moz’s Analytics Standard package for $99/month.

16. Ahrefs – A Tool for Backlinks

ahrefs marketing tool

This is another popular tool. It will show you things like top pages, IPs, and external links regarding your competitors. Speaking from experience, the site has great customer service and works with you to make sure you get what you need.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Find IPs and external links to your competitors

Price: You can start a trial for $7.00, then upgrade to a variety of plans starting at $99.00/month.

17. Alexa – A Tool for Web Rankings

alexa marketing tool

This is one of the more advanced tools available, and it has been rating websites for a long time (much like a PageRank). In fact, if you have the Moz toolbar, you will see the Alexa ranking of a site right there on your SERP.

This tool does it all when it comes to spying on your competitors (linking, traffic, keywords, etc.) and is an excellent resource if your competitors are international.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Obtain data on international competitors
  • Obtain rankings of websites for an overall picture

Price: The Advanced plan is $149/month for one user and one site. You can upgrade to the Agency Plan to include 20 users and 35 sites. You can start with a free trial.

18. Sprout Social – Social Media Management Software

sprout social social media management marketing tool

Sprout Social helps you find and connect with the people who love your brand. With tools to compare social analytics, social engagement, social publishing, and social listing, Sprout Social has you covered. You can also check hashtag performance and Facebook reviews and track engagement on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Best Ways To Use This Tool:

  • Listen to what your audience wants
  • Track engagement
  • Publish new content

Price: A basic plan is $99/month.

19. Majestic SEO – A Tool for Backlinks

majestic seo backlink marketing tool

One of the more popular tools, Majestic SEO allows you to download the link profile for any of your competitors’ sites. This means thousands and thousands of links will be right at your fingertips. You can export the link profile, and then slice it and dice it as you wish.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Download the link profile of any competitor
  • Export the link profile and move the data around as you see fit

Price: Choose from the Lite plan for $49.99/month, the Pro plan for $99.99/month or the API plan for $399.99/month. I recommend checking out their pricing page because it lets you know which types of companies should use which types of plans.

20. The Search Monitor – A Tool for Keywords & Competitive Analysis

the search monitor competitive analysis tool

This tool is not nearly as popular as many of the others, but I still think it offers great information. It focuses solely on competitor data. Also, it allows you to monitor affiliates and trademarks. It monitors results from Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, and Baidu along with blogs, websites, forums, news, mobile, and shopping.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Monitor affiliates and trademarks
  • View results from Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, and Baidu
  • View results from forums, news, mobile, and shopping

Price: There is a Pro package for $599/month or the Ultimate for $899/month. You also can pay a few dollars more for extra keywords. There is an option for an Enterprise package where you call the company and discuss a price.

21. iSpionage – A Tool for Keywords

ispionage marketing tool for keywords

This is another keyword monitoring tool that allows you to type in a competitor and see the best performing keywords for organic as well as for PPC (in both Google and Bing), and how much the competitor spends on both organic and paid search. You can see the competitor’s most effective ad copy, and you can look at graphs that compare all of this data.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Analyze best performing keywords of competitors for organic
  • Analyze best performing keywords of competitors for PPC (Google and Bing)
  • Find out how much competitors spend on paid search and organic
  • View the most effective ad copy of competitors
  • View the data in graphic form for comparison

Price: The Starter package is $59/month, the Professional package is $99/month, and the Advanced package is $299/month. Contact the company for customized Enterprise package options and pricing.

22. Ontolo – A Tool for Backlinks

ontolo backlink marketing tool

Although often labeled as a backlink tool, this also focuses on content marketing. It helps you know how to prioritize your content to keep things moving, learn where to promote your content by identifying authors who link to your content, and gives you suggestions for link-building opportunities.

Of course, this is a more advanced tool so there are quite a few more details that go into how it works, which is why I highly recommend their free trial.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Identify authors who link to your content
  • Receive suggestions for link-building opportunities

Price: The Professional package is $97/month, and the Agency package is $297/month.

23. Link Prospector – A Tool for Backlinks

link prospector marketing tool

This is one of my personal favorites because it’s all about link building and how that relates to your content. You choose your type of report – guest posting, links pages, reviews, donations, content promotions, or giveaways – and then enter your key phrases. A list of link-building opportunities based on what you’re looking for is generated for you.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Get link-building opportunity suggestions

Price: If you are going by the credit system, you can try it for free and pay as you go with 1 credit for $5. After those choices, you can choose to select a package, all of which have monthly fees and price per credit per month. It’s a tad confusing, so definitely check out the website to see their price chart.

24. BuzzSumo – A Tool for Viral Content

buzzsumo viral content marketing tool

Want to practically guarantee the success of a blog article or other piece of content? Then look no further than BuzzSumo, a tool that lets you track the virality of nearly every piece of content online.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Track the types of content most popular for a given keyword
  • Search and contact influencers that have shared content similar to yours
  • Find out which pieces by your competitors have received the most shares

Price: Free for a few searches a month. Paid plans range from $79/month to $499/month when billed annually.

25. Feedly – A Tool for Content Marketing

feedly content marketing tool

Your competitors are publishing content all the time. But it’s nearly impossible to check up on the dozens of competing blogs you want to follow. How can you know what your competitors are publishing? How can you stay up-to-date with their content marketing strategies?

With Feedly. Just plug in their blog and get updates whenever they release new content.

Best Ways to Use This Tool:

  • Track competitor’s content marketing strategies and get instant updates when they publish new content
  • Follow your favorite marketing blogs and learn new techniques as soon as they’re released

Price: Free for up to 100 sources, paid plans start at $6 per month.

Can You Spy on Your Competition Without Using Marketing Tools?

The answer certainly is yes,” but it does take a little bit of planning and preparation. If you’re not interested in investing in any tools or relying on any free tools, use the help of Google and Bing to find the site owners by doing some advanced query searches.

There essentially are two different approaches you may want to take. Both of the following strategies are more advanced “secret cheats,” but they will keep you away from using any tools!

Find All of Your Competitors’ Websites

There are four steps you can follow if you want to find your competitors’ websites:

  1. Reverse Google Whois Lookups
  2. Perform Reverse IP Lookups
  3. Reverse Google AdSense Lookups
  4. Reverse Google Analytics Lookups

The Takeaway

Competitive analysis is the cornerstone of a successful digital marketing plan. Use the data you find to build a stronger social media plan, find better keywords to target, or even up your email marketing strategy.

Keep in mind that most of the competitive analysis tools above offer a free trial of their upgraded version so you can give them a test run before making a purchase. Definitely take a look at the free trials before paying.

If you can’t find one, try emailing the company. You might be surprised at just how many will give you a free trial even if it’s not explicitly offered!

Once you’ve settled on a tool (or two or three!) make sure to add competitive analysis to your overall marketing plan. Keeping your eye on the competition is crucial to long-term growth.

Are there other competitive analysis tools I missed? Share your favorite tools in the comments!

The post 25 Sneaky Online Tools and Gadgets to Help You Spy on Your Competitors appeared first on Neil Patel.

[…]

Twitter Advertising Internet Marketing Strategies
Internet Marketing Strategies

10 Successful Twitter Advertising Internet Marketing Strategies

February 18, 2021 0

With no minimum advertising budget to get started, Twitter offers the chance to grow your business without significant upfront investment. You can use Twitter for marketing, engagement, and customer service. Paid twitter advertising allows you to target audiences with keywords, demographics, and hashtags.

Twitter advertising campaigns work best when they are creative, clever, and aligned with your brand message. With low costs and high potential return, Twitter is worthwhile to explore when trying to grow your business.

The Top 10 Twitter Advertising Ideas

You can choose from various Twitter advertising formats, including promoted tweets, promoted accounts, promoted trends, and automated ads managed by Twitter.

Best practices change often, so be sure you’re staying on top of changes to the Twitter platform as you plan and execute new advertising ideas. Get familiar with how the site differs from other social media, too.

For instance, when you compare Twitter and Facebook advertising, you’ll notice Twitter demographics skew younger, and the platform tends to be a popular source for trending news.

Remember that ads should only be a portion of what you’re sharing each day. Your Twitter advertising strategy should combine paid ads with genuine engagement and organic content posting for the best results.

Make sure you always follow Twitter advertising policy when creating ads. Let’s look at some Twitter advertising examples to see how you can best use this platform to reach your audience effectively:

1. Make Sure Your Ads Are Creative

Ensure your brand message is clear through the text, images, and videos you use in your ads. Incorporate bright colors and easy to read fonts so your ads will stand out. When in doubt, follow Twitter’s best practices as you brainstorm Twitter advertising ideas.

Just remember, Twitter is a high-volume platform. Thousands of tweets are sent every second, meaning it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Generic won’t stand out, so don’t be afraid to push the boundaries to make an impact.

This promoted tweet from Sportsnet has eye-catching colors, an urgent call to action (CTA), and packs a lot of information into a few short lines.

Twitter Advertising Ideas - Make Sure Your Ads Are Creative

You only have 280 characters to make your point, so communicate your value with snappy copy and concise messaging. Offer just enough detail to provide clarity about your brand. If you’re adding a link, use a vanity URL to save space and keep the focus on your message—Twitter automatically shortens links to 23 characters, which are factored into your overall account.

Someone seeing your tweet should be able to tell who you serve, what you offer, and know what to do next.

2. Use the Right Hashtags

Using the right hashtags ensures maximum exposure for your tweets, which is critical on a platform like Twitter, where the volume of tweets is very high. Anyone looking for a particular topic can find relevant tweets and conversations by merely searching hashtags.

Tweets with hashtags get more engagement, so don’t skip over learning how and what to use to bolster your efforts. HubSpot says the right hashtags can boost engagement by over 1,000 percent.

You can use hashtags for topics, events, places, industry terms, or popular themes. Try a mix of popular, trending hashtags and ones that are uniquely yours so people can find your content.

You can find hashtags by looking at trending topics and hashtags on Twitter or checking out hashtag generators.

Most will give you relevant and trending hashtags specific to your brand and content to help you maximize your followers and grow visibility for your tweets. Some will even tell you which hashtags to avoid.

A few hashtag generators you could try out:

  • Hashtagify
  • Tagsfinder
  • HashtagsForLikes
  • All-Hashtag
  • Trendsmap

3. Promote Your Best Tweets

Promoting tweets allows you to pay to display your content to people who aren’t yet following you on Twitter. People can interact with them like a regular tweet, but they’ll be marked “promoted.”

Which tweets should you promote? The ones with the best content and ones with a photo or video get more engagement and retweets, as you’ll see below. You should also promote tweets with links in them as they should drive more people to your website, downloadable content, or most recent blog post.

Make sure a new viewer can understand what you’re all about from your promoted tweet. They may not see any others, so give them everything they need to know what you’re about at once.

4. Use Images and Videos in Your Twitter Ads

Adding images to your Twitter advertising can boost engagement by 200 percent. Additionally, Twitter users post images 361 percent more than videos but save videos to their favorites 49 percent more.

Visuals can help explain your campaign and increase the chances that people will notice it and get the message within the short amount of time you hold their attention.

This ad from NICE Ltd. gives a quick message with a direct CTA to watch a demo. The ad itself contains a video showing a visual of what people can expect to see in the demo itself, with more information and a website URL. It’s a lot packed into a tweet!

Twitter Advertising Ideas - Use Images and Videos in Your Ads

The best Twitter advertising ideas catch people’s attention, likely creating immediate recognition and response. No matter how creative your written tweets are, they generally won’t stand out the way an image can.

Clear messaging is particularly important when promoting your tweets to people who don’t follow you. They need to recognize what you offer and what your business/brand is in a quick impression.

5. Share User-Generated Content

User-generated content is any content created by users and followers instead of brands and can include text, photos, or videos. Voluntarily created and shared by your fans, it creates connection and draws attention from other users who want to be included.

Sharing what real people think of your product or service through customer testimonials and product reviews can add a valuable human element to your ads.

How can you tap into this powerful source of credibility? Get your followers involved by asking them to create content based on their experiences with you. They may start looking for ways to engage with your brand or be chosen when you feature your followers’ work.

Listening to your fans can help you generate Twitter advertising ideas. You could involve your followers in decisions like product naming, have them upload content to participate in contests, and even create your hashtag.

6. Host a Twitter Chat on Twitter Topics With the Most Engagement

A Twitter chat is a virtual gathering or discussion that takes place on Twitter at a specific time. They can be a one-time event or a recurring meeting. Usually, a Twitter chat will focus on one main topic, attracting like-minded users to tweet with one another using a hashtag.

Whomever is hosting a Twitter chat guides the conversation, asks questions, and encourages participants to engage.

Hosting a successful Twitter chat can give you valuable insight into your target audience. You could gain valuable feedback, build brand awareness, and establish your authority on relevant topics. If you do it well, you may also make connections, build relationships, and gain followers.

Try to choose topics where interest is spiking, but no one has stepped forward to lead the conversation. If you can offer valuable content and no other brands are engaging directly with fans about a subject, you may see significant results with little time or expense.

Tell everyone the chat and its time, topic, and other details in a promoted tweet. If you want to offer more information, write a blog post and publish it on your site, including a link to the post in your promoted tweet.

7. Use Influencers or Micro-Influencers

Influencers have large followings on social media platforms and have shown they can guide those followers’ opinions and decisions. You can engage with influencers who are active in your industry or have fans from your target audience.

Brands partner with these users to promote their products and services in relatable, authentic ways.

Start by responding to influencers’ tweets, sharing their content by retweeting, and building relationships with them. They may return the favor, which can help you assess which influencers might make the right partners for paid promotions.

A twist on influencer marketing is micro-influencer marketing, which is similar but on a smaller scale. Typically, micro-influencers have smaller followings of very loyal fans, meaning they may share your content with fewer people but likely only promote brands they genuinely like and trust, making their recommendations valuable.

If you can come up with unique Twitter advertising ideas that influencers find attractive, you may be able to benefit from their large followings.

8. Research the Right Keywords and Use Them Creatively

Twitter advertising success depends on your ability to be seen by your target audience as much as possible. You want to use the right keywords to attract users to your content and target users when promoting your tweets based on their recent activities and posts.

You can use a tool like Ubersuggest to do keyword research to learn what keywords you should be using in your content and hashtags (you can also use the free Chrome extension). This free tool offers key terms and long-tail phrases to try in your Twitter advertising and other marketing. You’ll be shown hundreds of suggestions, complete with search volume, competition, and trends for each.

9. Discover What Makes Your Brand Stand Out

What makes you stand out?

Figure out the primary value proposition behind your product or service, and play on it to help your brand stand out. Ensure you understand why your target audience needs or wants what you offer, and personalize your message based on their needs.

See what your competitors are doing that works for your ideal audience. Don’t copy, but allow yourself to be inspired to try new ideas. Do A/B testing to see what works best, and use analytics to help figure out which tweets your audience enjoys most.

10. Leverage Twitter Trends

Understand what brings people to Twitter, such as critical events. If a massive volume of people will be on Twitter because of something happening in sports or entertainment, jump in with relevant content.

Events and conferences, whether live or virtual, are often great ways to connect with like-minded people.

This promoted tweet from Salesforce calls attention to an event currently live, uses an event hashtag to bring participants together, and mentions a name people may recognize. By using the person’s Twitter handle, Salesforce also makes it easy for that person to see and possibly retweet their post.

Twitter Advertising Ideas - Leverage Twitter Trends

If you connect your brand to the current conversation, you can gain visibility, shares, and followers.

Look for hashtags about local, timely, relevant events and happenings and use them to increase exposure. This could mean holidays, game days, and TV events like the Grammys or Oscars. If you have a local business, capitalize on nearby events.

Conclusion

Twitter advertising offers many ways to target your ideal audience and connect with them in real-time. Appropriately used, paid Twitter advertising costs can be very reasonable and can help you grow your business.

Want to do a deep dive into Twitter advertising? We’ve got all the Twitter advertising guides you need.

Need help with Twitter advertising strategy or other digital marketing ideas for your business? We’ve got you covered there, too.

With a few creative Twitter advertising ideas in your toolbox, your ads can stand out and draw the right users to your business.

Which of these Twitter advertising ideas do you think would resonate best with your audience?

The post 10 Successful Twitter Advertising Ideas appeared first on Neil Patel.

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