How to Build an Impressive Portfolio That Gets You Hired

In this booming freelance industry, you need to rely on your unique personality to stand out.
One good way of doing that is by creating an impressive online portfolio.
Now, I’m not referring to the usual resume that shows your educational background, awards, and recognition – you know, the boring stuff.
What I mean with “impressive” portfolio is creating a website where you showcase your skills efficiently.
But here’s the problem:
Not all of you are good at designing a portfolio website.
And that’s okay – nothing is wrong with that!
When I built my site back in 2010 I spent lots of hours learning how to purchase domains, install WordPress themes, and made endless tweaks to find the perfect plugins so my site could impress potential employers.
Fast forward to today, I can proudly say it worked but someone building an online portfolio today should seek a less complex content management system like Spark CMS and focus on their craft.
Spark allows you to quickly build an online portfolio without needing to learn how to configure website themes or install widgets to build your marketing stack.
When you don’t have a portfolio, you’re letting jobs pass you by – jobs that were meant for you and your skills.
And all because you weren’t able to build a memorable portfolio!
But don’t worry – I got your back!
I will teach you the basics of creating a formidable portfolio. Your website should improve your online visibility and establish your personal brand to generate opportunities to work with brands.
Let’s do this!
Answer your “why”
As in:
“Why should I hire you?”
Clients hire people to fill a need in their business.
That’s why you need to know what they’re looking for and be the solution to their problem.
But first things first:
Determine your specialty!
If you’re a writer, then specialize in a specific writing skill like copywriting, blogging, or transcribing podcasts.
To niche down even further identify an industry to serve. When collaborating with brands often you have to choose between lifestyle brands, fitness brands, or business brands.
You need to state this in your portfolio to filter out jobs that you don’t qualify for.
Next – and arguably the most important part – is your mission statement.
On this part, it’s not enough to just say what you do.
Instead, tell how you can help increase their sales with your help!
Don’t say that you write great web content if you’re a content writer.
Instead, frame it this way:
I help B2B SaaS companies create a reliable stream of monthly recurring revenue by crafting engaging stories that convert website visitors into customers!
It’s not really your articles they want, but how your output affects their bottom line.
Don’t just say it, show it!
Back up your talk.
If you claim to be a content writer or influencer, then show samples of your work from previous clients.
Share published articles, blog posts that got thousands of views, or news stories that went viral.
Also, it’s not enough to merely share your work without describing what it is.
You need to flesh out the details for your prospective clients to truly understand how you can help them!
Think long-term about your portfolio because with consistency you can become an influencer. Here’s how leading influencers are defining meaningful work today.

If you want the ability to do work that matters and choose who you work with your WHY is everything.
As you complete projects explain the work you did on the project and the issues you’ve solved.
You can talk about it by sharing how you’ve managed to rake in many views, or what you did to make it go viral.
The goal is to provide potential clients a better idea of your work and how effective it is!
Now, if you don’t have any, then you’re working at a disadvantage.
Instead, here’s what you can do:
Elaborate on how you can help them with their problems.
Write the step-by-step process on how you plan on writing for them.
Will you be responsible for researching keywords for them? Do you promote the content on social media and other channels?
You need to answer these questions and more on your portfolio site!
Leverage your knowledge and show to people that you definitely know your stuff.
Feature client success stories
Show testimonials of clients impressed by your services.
If you don’t have any, Create and optimize your personal brand on LinkedIn. Then reach out and ask past clients for a quick 1-2 sentence positive feedback to feature.
On your LinkedIn profile page simply scroll down to your recommendations section and ask for a recommendation. I suggest customizing your ask to receive a higher response rate.

This works best if your clients are popular influencers or have worked for well-known brands (James and Patrick work for and as you can leverage on their followings.
You can also ask them to work with creating a success story post with you.
This shows the prospective customer how good you really are.
Again, it’s possible you haven’t got former clients under your belt.
If that’s the case, you can add positive words from other people who have seen your works and commented on it on social media or your blog.
You can take screenshots of their Facebook comments or Twitter replies and show it on your site.
They may not be as good as a testimonial from an employer, but they’re still worth something!
Provide free resources
Giving resources away for free shows goodwill to your audience and prospective clients.
It also tells people that you’re willing to create something of value without anything in return.
You can, however, make the content accessible only to your subscribers. So you’re doing this to help build your email list which could prove even more valuable down the line.
Lastly, your free resource also helps build your reputation as an authority in your field of work.
Now, there are two ways you can approach this:
Create a free downloadable e-book
Offer content upgrades like free e-books containing tips and advice on your primary skills.
To create an e-book, research for pain points that clients have in their business.
Are they having trouble generating site traffic and converting visitors into leads and customers?
Then relate this pain point to your skills as a freelancer. How can your services make this problem go away?
Once you’ve found a specific pain point to discuss, get cracking by creating the e-book using MS Word, Google Docs and saving them as a PDF file.
If you want to position yourself as a premium brand check out a tool like Flipsnack Flipbooks gives you the ability to create a uniques brand experience. Definitely worth the money (increased conversion rates) as eBooks become more saturated in years to come.

Build a blog
If you’re not a writer, then blogging may seem out of your realm of expertise.
However, don’t focus on the writing aspect of blogging.
Instead, look into how blogging can help you share case studies, ideas, and tips related to your expertise.
By sharing your knowledge, you are able to build engaged followers of your brand. More importantly, you get to engage potential customers as well!
The not-so-secret secret of blogging is this:
It helps make your portfolio site easier to find on Google!
By optimizing your blog posts for your target keyword, you can drive hundreds and thousands of visitors to your site whom you can convert into clients!
But I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s go back to blogging…
One of the issues with blogging is consistency.
Even for experienced bloggers, maintaining a publishing schedule to follow to a tee is very difficult.
Therefore, you need to develop an editorial calendar to help you keep track of your upcoming blog posts. Research for topics and schedule when you plan to write and publish them.
This way, you get to organize your blog’s schedule and churn out high-quality content for your target audience.
Improve your portfolio’s SEO
Since you’re already blogging, it makes sense to work on your portfolio’s online visibility on sites like Google.
One good way of doing that is by improving your SEO.
Now, freelancers usually approach freelance marketplaces like Gig Worker because you can gain a reliable stream of work if your able to craft a portfolio that stands out from the competition.

But with SEO, you can generate inbound leads which give you leverage. I recommend using marketplaces to ensure you have a steady flow of client work while generating leads that will pay you a premium price.
Instead of looking for clients, it’s the clients that look for you!
Basically, you make your portfolio site easier to find on search engines by following the best SEO practices,
If you do SEO the right way, your blog can show up on Google’s search engine results pages or SERPs.
And the higher you rank on SERPs, the more visits and higher conversion rate you can expect!
Here are some of the points to consider with your portfolio site’s SEO:
On-page audit
This is where you thoroughly check your site’s SEO status.
The backlinks, response time, meta descriptions, headers, and grammar are some of the things to analyze.
Right now, some of these terms won’t make sense to you.
But what this all means is simply this:
Create a site that people will like!
You can break it down into smaller details by referring to the factors above.
Use a tool like Loganix Citation Audit to help you get clarity on what variables of your SEO to improve.
Looking at the big picture, you simply need to make a site that people would want to visit.
If more people come to your online portfolio, then traffic from Google will soon follow.
Keyword research
To make your portfolio easier to find on Google, you need to know what people are searching for that’s related to your services.
This is where keyword research comes in.
First, you need to find keywords with lots of search volume and optimize for them.
You can target multiple keywords on the same post if they share the same topic.
Then, use the right keywords and at the right frequency.
Spread them accordingly throughout your articles. Ideal keyword density depends per site, but it’s usually around 1% to 3%.
For stater, Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs Keywords Explorer are some of the best tools to help you.
Make your site secure
People prioritize online security.
In the anonymous online landscape, there are good reasons why you shouldn’t trust anyone.
And since you’re in the business of working with clients online, you need to make them trust you and your site.
You can do this by purchasing an SSL certificate for your portfolio website.
Instead of showing HTTP on your URL, a secure site will show HTTPS – the S at the end which stands for “secure.”
Not only will you make your site more trustworthy to people – it will also put your site in the good graces of Google.
After all, a secure site is one of Google’s main ranking factors!
Content creation
There’s too much content online about different topics.
And to cut through the noise, you need to create exceptional content.
Obviously, not everyone is a great communicator.
But it doesn’t matter because there are different kinds of content you can publish on your blog! You have the option to be a blogger, vlogger, or podcaster. Choose one based on your personality and skillset.
Your content doesn’t have to be perfect.
But focus on creating a body of work that displays your skills to brands.
The key to having an awesome portfolio is the ability to confidently promote your work and deliver clients’ expectations.
The last thing you want is going through a portfolio that has little or nothing to say about their job.
Include the ones you’re most proud of and present it in the best way possible.
Talk about the journey and the backstory of your career and be passionate about it.
By following the tips above, you’ll surely be getting that jackpot client deal in no time!

Local Search: How Google My Business Can Improve Local Rankings

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is dominating the internet for businesses when it comes to ranking on Google. It may seem impossible to get your business to appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERP), but in reality, it just requires putting time and effort into your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business (GMB) is a free online tool that allows business owners to manage their online presence through a business management system on Google. While keeping this tool updated can be time-consuming, it lets Google know that your business is still relevant to what people are searching for, when they are searching for it. Follow these best GMB practices to improve your business’ local search rankings.

Claim and Verify Your Listing
To get started with GMB, you must claim and verify your business listing. Before doing this, however, it is important to check for any existing listings for your business. After typing in the name of your business into Google Maps, check to see if there is an “Own this business?” button under the given information. If there is not, you will have to get ownership of this listing or get it unverified. If that button is available, you are in a good spot to claim the business listing.
In this stage of the game, it is critical to make sure all of the business information that is listed on the GMB listing is accurate. This includes your name, address, phone number, website (NAPW), and business hours. It is also important to optimize your listing with accurate categories that relate to your business. Google wants people to use them as their main search tool, so if your business is coming up for search queries that have nothing to do with what you sell or offer in terms of services, then Google will punish your listing, sending it to the bottom of SERPs.
In addition to claiming and verifying your listing, there are features to use consistently when managing your business. Four of the top features to use include Google posts, photos, reviews, and the most recent addition, Q&A.
Google Posts

The Google Posts feature can be a powerful tool for connecting with more customers — but it requires some effort upfront. Google Posts allow you to broadcast custom updates, events, and promotions directly from your GMB listings. Simply log into your account, select a location (if your business operates out of multiple locations), draft your post, preview, and publish. An image, video, or call-to-action button can be added to generate interest and enhance the impact.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when creating a new Google Post.

Only the first 100 characters show up in the Knowledge Panel, so it is imperative you make your pitch or deliver the crux of your message swiftly.
If your Post includes media, there is a minimum upload size of 400 pixels by 300 pixels (10 kilobytes) and a maximum of 10,000 x 10,000 (25 megabytes). The ideal display size for media is 750 x 750.
Google Posts are not archived and expire after seven days (unless your Post is tied to an event, in which case it will disappear after the event’s conclusion).

Google Reviews

The Google Reviews feature not only allows customers a way to leave feedback about your products or services, but it also proves to Google that you actually exist (real-life customers = real-life business). If your business is receiving a lot of feedback on Google Reviews, it goes to follow that you are relevant in your locality. Additionally, those customers are generating more content and keywords for Google to “read” from, helping it get more acquainted with who you are and what you do — which may, in turn, boost your SEO rankings.
Obviously, receiving a high percentage of 4- or 5-star reviews is going to build more trust and induce more clicks than mediocre or poor reviews. In any case, it is important to acknowledge and respond to customer reviews — both your customers and Google will appreciate the investment.

The Google Q&A feature is the newest element of the GMB feedback loop — and another that requires your attention upfront. This functionality allows both consumers and business owners to ask questions and answer them from the Knowledge Panel. The most frequently asked and/or helpful questions and answers will be displayed first (determined by the number of “thumbs up” they garner). Like Google Reviews, Google Q&A can be a boost to SEO rankings if handled correctly.
As a business owner, it is contingent upon you to reply to inquiries in a timely and constructive fashion, as future searchers will reference this when making purchasing decisions. Be as proactive as possible, and try to anticipate the most frequently asked questions and how to answer them in a friendly, clear, and concise manner. Remember, your GMB listing could be the first thing a potential customer sees after completing a search query. Make sure that it reflects your brand both accurately and positively, and both your local SEO rankings and your profits stand to benefit.

Everything You Need to Know About Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, gets so much attention – and for good reason. It sets successful blogs and websites apart from unsuccessful ones. For businesses, getting traffic via search engines is imperative to marketing: it drives sales and brand awareness.
If you’re new to the term, SEO can be a daunting concept to grasp. It changes regularly as search engine algorithms are updated and the number of websites populating the internet increases. However, its definition remains the same: SEO encompasses practices that drive traffic to specific web pages through search terms web users type into search engines, usually to find information or products.
Although much SEO advice tends to focus on Google’s algorithms, content creators also consider Bing and Yahoo! when trying to guide traffic to specific site. The goal is to get a website, blog, forum or other web resource as close to the top of web users’ search results as possible.
Content creators and website designers achieve this goal through a variety of methods. The main methods employed include:
SEO lies at the core of a successful content marketing strategies.

Varying content from page to page on a website
Using high-quality keywords in title, subheaders and captions
Creating high quality content that appeals to the intended audience
Consistent, frequent posting or updates rich with hyperlinks
Ensuring that pages are accessible to mobile devices

For businesses online, new traffic can mean new customers. SEO is an effective sales tool that is essential to modern marketing.
Statistics on SEO in Content Marketing
Employing an organized and focused content strategy can give you dramatic results in terms of engagement. According to Hubspot, 61 percent of marketing experts rate growing organic engagement through SEO as their main inbound marketing strategy. This is likely because organic traffic is 5.66 times more effective than traditional advertising.
Even though there are other search engines, attuning yourself to Google’s algorithm presents a considerable pay-off.

Google directs 94 percent of all organic website traffic and 96 percent of mobile traffic.
Upwards of 51 percent of mobile users claim that they’ve found a new product or company while using their smartphone, tablet or other device.
Approximately 90 of those looking for a product or service rely on search results to guide their purchase decisions.

Varying Marketing Content for SEO
According to Moz, search engine algorithms – most notably Google’s – rank duplicate content lower. Original content on every page of a website shows search engines that the site is populated by high-quality, custom-designed content worthy of web users’ attention.
Paraphrasing and hyperlinking can provide consistency in information without exact repetition. If you use information from external sources, explain the information in your own words and then include the hyperlink in your text. Also, make sure every page is comprehensive in its assigned content, and then use internal links to reference that information in other areas of your website. In addition to helping with SEO, this will cut down on redundancy.
Assembling or employing a small team of marketing specialists can have exponential effects on your SEO, bringing thousands to millions of web users to your site.
However, the only sure-fire way to use this SEO method for successful marketing is to create as much original text, imagery and other media as possible. Following strategic steps involving brainstorming, research, drafting, design and group collaboration can generate large amounts of original content in a relatively short amount of time.
Using Keywords for SEO
Keywords are terms or phrases that search engine users might use to find a particular website or web page. Anticipating these phrases and using them in your content is one of the best ways to raise the SEO of a particular web resource. The Google Chrome plug-in, Keywords Everywhere, is an invaluable tool for anyone setting themselves up for SEO success.
Keywords Everywhere identifies three factors:

Search volume, or how many times per month the phrase is searched for
Cost-per-click, or how much you may need to pay a search engine or platform to include the term in advertising
Competition, or how many other sources are using the term or phrase

For SEO purposes, search volume and competition are the most important. A keyword with high search volume and low competition is a high-value term that will boost the SEO value of your web resources. You’ll want to use these high-value keywords in all the digital marketing content you create in as naturally as possible.
Keyword use in your marketing content can positively influence your SEO over time. It’s normal to see a steady increase in traffic once the practice is implemented.
There are multiple types of keywords to make note of though. You’ll want to alternate short-tail (for example, one to three words in length) and long-tail (usually greater than three words in length) keywords to give yourself the best chances of being found through a search engine. Short-tail terms often have higher search volume, but long-tail are more likely to pull in an audience that is interested in your particular niche. According to Hubspot, 50 percent of all search queries are four words or longer.
Remember to include keywords that direct local traffic to your page, too. An example for a bakery in New York City might read, “Best birthday cakes in NYC.” If you’re unsure of whether to include a low-volume keyword that has other advantages, such as local search optimization, see this Three Girls Media article on the subject.
Once you’ve determined the best balance of unique and accessible terms for your business, create a master list of them. Each time you write web copy, a blog entry or advertising text, include one or two keywords. More than one or two high-value keywords on a page is a red flag for modern search engines. According to Wordstream, up-to-date algorithms are trained to look for “keyword stuffing” or overuse of high-SEO terms and either exclude or drop the rank of pages that do it. Keyword stuffing essentially confused search engines, counteracting the intended effect of directing search results right to your website’s ‘doorstep.’
How Quality & Consistency of Content Affect SEO
With the introduction of Google Hummingbird in 2013, SEO became more about high-quality, informative marketing content. The algorithm’s updates made Google search more attuned to answering questions and prioritizing content that could answer an inquiry. Google is now geared more toward helping web users understand a subject and readily access specific answers than to bringing up exact matches to inputted terms. Clearly-written, concisely-phrased and well-edited content is more likely to rank high because it presents information directly.
Posting on consistent days and times also trains search engines to recognize your content as fresh and relevant. As they “crawl” through web pages to sort and rank content, they’ll become accustomed to seeing that you post at a particular time. That new content will rank higher in search results and attract more traffic than inconsistent or outdated posts.
SEO for Mobile Devices
Responsiveness – your site’s flexibility for a variety of web users – and consistency in content are two important components of an SEO-based marketing strategy.
Optimizing a web page for mobile viewing opens your page up to more traffic by virtue of making it accessible to mobile users. It also allows it to rank higher in search results. Introduced in 2015, Google RankBrain recognizes mobile-friendly content as more useful than desktop-only content.
Creating mobile-friendly sites or pages has several components to it. Your site, specifically your landing pages, must be scalable to different devices like smartphones and tablets. You will need to create an alternate URL, one following the format of, for mobile accessibility. It’s also important that Googlebot is able to access your page to assess its usability on mobile devices. For a guide on enabling Googlebot access, consult this Google help page.
How Long Will It Take to See Results of SEO?
According to SEO Mechanic, it can take 4-6 months to start to see results. Depending on the frequency of your digital marketing tactics, it may take closer to a year or two to experience the full benefits of optimization. Increasing traffic is a long-term investment that pays off in terms of increased sales, more followers on social media and heightened brand awareness. In that time, you can successfully grow a small- or medium-sized business into one that reaches out to millions of internet users.
Increasing SEO often has other positive effects over time, too. The work it takes to boost your website’s SEO can also:

Boost the richness of your content
Increase the word economy of web copy
Save money on advertising
Make you or your staff better writers and designers
Increase the efficiency of your overall marketing strategy

Multi-Channel Lead Generation Strategies for SaaS Companies

Lead generation cannot just depend on one singular lead acquisition channel. We live in a time where all your potential customers are lurking on different platforms waiting to be tapped. It would be a shame not to create multiple channels of lead acquisition channels.
In this short article, we discuss the multiple channels that you can use for your SaaS company.
Digital marketing experts claim that there are more than 200 factors that cause your site to rank first. However, which of these factors matter the most?
Being first on search engine results pages (SERPs) matters a lot to your company because most of your customers are actively searching for things on their phones all day long.
Due to this, it pays to be first on SERPs. We won’t dive into this in detail, but consider hiring an SEO specialist to help you rank your website properly. When you’re first, you know that people would consider clicking on your web property before the second or third guys in the search. This is always a benefit.
The priority keywords that you want to rank for the ones with buyer intent. Second, are more specific keywords relating to information about your industry.
You want to do this because you want to be focused on converting.
Industry Referrals through Websites
Back in the day, we used to rely a lot on word of mouth advertising, and industry referrals through websites are kind of the same. Make sure you make friends with other complementary services in the industry so that they can refer you and you can do the same for us.
A simple recommendation on their website can do wonders for your business (and your SEO will always love having new links being sent to your website) because it assures potential clients that you are trusted in the industry.
Lead Nurturing
Here’s a problem that you have: you might have a lot of leads, but most of them will drop out of your pipeline if you do not strategize your efforts correctly. Lead nurturing is an essential part of your lead generation campaign.
Strategies such as email drip campaigns are really effective in making sure that you keep potential leads interested. However, you have to make sure that the nurturing that you do is really appealing to your customer base without being too annoying or too promotional.
Whitepapers and EBooks
Giving out whitepapers and eBooks are great lead capture moves that you can easily implement on your web property. All you have to do is put in a gateway where they have to enter their email addresses so that you can send them the whitepaper or eBook.
This proves to the prospect that your industry leader status and that you are willing to do give away great information for free. Make whatever you release relevant to the potential customer that you have. It has to be able to solve a problem that they usually have in their industry.
You don’t have to promote your products in these materials, a simple logo of yours somewhere there is a good enough reminder of your company.
Advertising and Retargeting
Your potential customers aren’t just lurking on one platform. They are on multiple platforms. It’s also not enough that you are just advertising on a singular platform.
Let us explain.
Say you’re publishing whitepapers and articles on LinkedIn to establish yourself as an industry leader. Your first instinct would be to advertise on LinkedIn only, right? Here’s a better way of pulling this off. Make sure you’re able to pull the emails of the people who are interested in your services and retarget these people again on Facebook.
In a sense, you get them on two platforms, with one being a subtle way of getting your name out there, and the second being the platform on where you try to convert them.
Free Stuff
We never really use the stuff we all get (S.W.AG.) for free but we love getting what we can …as long as it’s free. What some people do not realize is that you can this as leverage. Everybody loves a generous person and it also translates to the company that you have.
There’s a lot of stuff that you can give out for free. You can set up a competition online to win a free subscription for a year. You could also do “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” promotional campaigns. The possibilities are definitely endless.
Just remember.
Always leverage the free stuff that you want to give out to your potential customers.
As you can see, you can definitely make more progress when you strategically divide your resources into multiple lead generation and acquisition channels. You will be able to cover more ground and ensure that your efforts are as efficient as possible. As the saying goes, “two is always better than one,” but in this case, having more than two is always better.

Organic Vs. Paid Search: What’s the Difference?

My colleague Marian used to own a small IT repair and services business in the Northern Colorado area.
When people went searching for IT repairs and related services in the area she served, she wanted her business to show up in those search results.
She used a combination of paid and organic search tactics to drive awareness and sales for her business.
If you’re not sure of the difference between the terms “paid” and “organic,” stick with me because using both can improve the chances of people finding your business when they search.
So what’s the difference? Let’s look at typical search results
When you type something into the search box, Google looks at the term or phrase, and through their algorithms, they try to return the results that best match the term you were searching. The search results page (or SERP) contains the results, both paid and organic, that are most relevant to your query.
Below is an example of what showed up when I did a search for ‘custom garage door broomfield.’ The page includes both paid and organic listings. At the top, you’ll see the paid ads. Below those results, you’ll see the natural or organic search results.
Paid vs. organic search results
What is paid search?
If we define paid search, it’s when someone pays for an ad, like a Google search ads, to show up at the top of the search results page, increasing the chances of people clicking through and eventually doing business with them. In Google results, these paid advertisements are notated with the word “ad” in a green rectangle next to the website address.
Here’s a paid search engine advertising example on Google:
Google denotes a paid search add with the word “Ad” in a box.
Paid search marketing helps you compete in a busy marketplace to reach the top of the search results. In fact, 40 percent of clicks from search results go to the first three paid ads listed.
A paid search ad allows you to target the right audience through the most relevant keywords and phrases for your business and industry on a cost per click (CPC) basis. Cost per click means you pay only when some clicks on your ad.
Plus, you can reach people based on where your customers are located geographically which is especially important if you have a physical location. Google Ads are flexible so you can run them whenever you need to and with any budget you have.
What is a paid search strategy?
A paid search strategy includes a combination of aspects that allow you to reach the right audience through keywords and messaging that entices them to take action.
In order to set up a paid search strategy that works for you, it’s important to take some time to understand what you want to accomplish. For example, you might entice them to sign up to your email list to generate leads or make a purchase.
Having a specific goal helps you determine your target audience and other ad details. You want to understand their pain points and the reason for their search. This knowledge helps you to pick keywords and phrases that your audience is looking for.
Ad copy is also important. Ad text should be short and concise while catching their attention and inspiring them to click through to your website.
The last important piece is the budget. Google Ads allow flexibility to set a budget that works for you. You’ll only pay when someone clicks and your costs will be capped at a specific price so you won’t ever break your budget.
What is an organic search listing?
In the same search results page, below any paid ads are the organic or natural rankings. These non-paid results are determined based on algorithms for their relation to the keywords or phrases used in the search.
In some search results, people may see a “featured snippet,” also referred to as “position zero.” This organic result shows at the very top of the page, even above paid ads and it provides an answer to a specific question that the user is searching for.
While featured snippets don’t show up all of the time, they are a great way to answer a question and get your business in front of more people.
Below is an example of a “position zero” search result that answers the question “how to get my kid to go to bed?”
The result at the top of the page is know as a featured snippet or position zero.
Why is organic search important?
According to content marketing firm BrightEdge, organic search results account for more than half of all website traffic. Organic traffic to your website helps to improve your search engine ranking which also helps to show trust and credibility. Plus organic search results have staying power because they bring a more steady flow of traffic.
How do I get organic search results?
Ideally, you want your website to be at the top of the organic search results and you can use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your natural ranking. While there are technicalities that go into SEO, at its core is providing valuable content and answers to the questions that people are already searching for.
Think about the questions you hear from your customers all of the time. These are the types of questions you want to answer in your content. Create a blog or a resource center where you’re constantly answering questions and providing helpful content as this helps to improve your organic result ranking.
Do I need to use both paid and organic search?
As you can imagine, online search algorithms change constantly to better meet the demands of users.
A strategy that may work today for your business may not work tomorrow due to changes in algorithms and the way people are performing searches. Unfortunately, neither paid or organic search results are guaranteed.
It’s about focusing your time and energy to do both. Run some tests so you can see what works best for your business. Determine where most of your traffic is coming from and focus your efforts there.
Organic search typically helps while people are in the awareness stage. Paid results can help with this too, however, most of its impact is on those who are ready to make a decision.
Plus, when people see your business twice in the results, it only enhances your credibility.
While paid search ads can be valuable to drive traffic over time, they can also be used when you’re ready to boost your sales or even launch a new product or service.
Organic search results are important to generate a consistent stream of traffic. Don’t forget, always be testing as digital marketing tools are constantly changing.
When should I start using paid search ads?
If you’re just getting started with online marketing, it’s a good idea to build a strong foundation with your website first. That begins with providing great, valuable content on your website, by answering the questions your prospects and customers are likely to have in regards to your products and services.
Once you feel confident about your website and organic results, you can experiment with paid advertising to boost your results and extend your reach. A website is typically where you’ll want to drive people from your paid ad.
The good news is that there are a ton of resources out there to help you with both organic results through SEO and paid advertising. Plus, great tools like Google Ads by Constant Contact are built to save you time and take the guesswork out of creating an ad.
Paid and organic search work together
Marian’s company directed people to a landing page on its website from their Google Ad. They offered a coupon for their services and asked people to sign up with their email address. She says “a landing page is great to use for ads because it’s specific to what you want them to do. You want to have them do something.”
Just note that improving your organic reach through SEO and using paid ads take time to work. Marian says “it’s a constant process” to see what works and make adjustments to improve.
Understanding these basic concepts will give you a good foundation for attracting prospects when people are searching for a business or organization like yours.
Remember technology changes, so it’s not something you can set and forget.
Keep your website fresh and continually add valuable content to improve your organic results. Add paid advertising to your online marketing strategy to boost your reach for those who are ready to make a decision or a purchase.

10 Marketing Channels You Need to Try in 2019

Even though Google and Facebook’s share of the digital advertising market is expected to drop this year, data from research firm eMarketer shows that the so-called duopoly will still control roughly 60% of that market—or about $77 billion.

Within that other 40%, there are a surprising number of alternatives. Traffic may not be as high, but neither is competition for keywords and eyeballs—and, perhaps most appealingly, costs are usually lower, too. This makes it easier to test out new networks to strengthen your marketing plan with a cross-platform strategy.
We asked industry experts about their favorite marketing channels, and we narrowed it down to these top 10. Here are channels you need to test out if you’re looking to broaden your marketing strategy.
Why test new marketing channels?
It’s simple: ROI diminishes over time on well-worn networks because users grow accustomed to ads and learn to tune them out, said Ketan Pande, founder of entrepreneurial network Goodvitae.
In fact, according to Jake Mastrandrea, growth marketer at Adobe, marketers should tap into channels where the customer lifetime value is at least three times the cost of acquisition.

“So, if competitive bids have increased and prices are getting too high at your conversion rate, or if you’ve exhausted search and you start to experience fatigue in that channel, here are three things you can do: Work on optimization efforts to enhance conversions, expand the scope of your search terms, or try a new channel altogether,” he added.
For his part, Roger Maftean, content marketing specialist at career network Zety, noted brands and marketers should consider new or different channels based on forward-looking data and trends.
“So let’s say we are thinking about where digital marketing is headed come 2021,” he said. “How are we preparing for it and what steps are we taking precisely to make our digital marketing strategies ahead of the curve for 2021?”
What’s more, marketers who rely too heavily on a single channel risk losing traffic if, say, Google updates its algorithm or Facebook disables an account, said Nelson Jordan, head of marketing at the Ecommerce Profits, a digital marketing firm focused on ecommerce platform Shopify.
“Figuring out channel product fit is a balance of resources, monetization strategy, and customer interests,” Mastrandrea added. “When thinking about which new channel(s) to prioritize, reverse engineer who your customer is and pick a channel based on where their interests take them. Always test before you lean in and continue to keep an eye on your metrics as you measure efforts.”
But the key is balance between tried-and-true and up-and-coming channels.
“Once an opportunity has been identified, double down and spend 80% of your time working that channel,” said Jeremy Ong, owner the money-making blog Hustlr and other similar sites. “At the same time, 20% of your time should be spent experimenting on media channels that could possibly work for your business to find the next low hanging fruit.”
Ong said his sites generate 60,000 visitors, 3,000 email leads, and nearly 1,000 conversions per month, which results in $600,000 in annual revenue. And 67% of first-time traffic comes from search.
Ben Lund, founder of Rise Marketing Group, is a bit more cautious, recommending advertisers earmark 10% of their ad budgets for testing.
“The expectation of this investment is learning to understand what will and what won’t work,” he said. “The benefit is that through testing other platforms you can unlock other revenue channels.”
Testing is important to figure out which platforms will work for you and your business. Here are 10 channels to try out, recommended by these industry experts and more!
1. Quora
If you’re not familiar, Quora is a Q&A site that allows brands to reach users by answering relevant questions and promote select answers—for the platform’s 100 million users. According to Pande, many marketers have yet to tap into this impressive audience.

“A well-written answer, along with a link to your landing page at the bottom, can do wonders,” he said. “Once, I wrote an answer in the business section, which garnered more than 100,000 views and sent 5,000 users directly to the landing page. Also, I found out that the dwell time from Quora users on your platform is pretty much [always] higher, as Quora users have a habit of reading everything in detail.”
Mark Nardone, executive vice president of marketing at PR firm Pan Communications, noted Quora has recently become popular for B2B marketers in particular.
“Quora not only provides a forum for marketers to gain insights, but it allows experts on the topic to link to owned content in their responses,” he said. “Because of these backlinks, Quora has the ability to drive valuable traffic and SEO results for those who leverage all of the platform’s capabilities.”
Jason Thibault, owner of content marketing agency Massive Kontent, agreed Quora is “a great platform to build both subject matter expertise and brand trust,” noting it has added new features like keyword targeting, bulk-create ads, duplicate ad sets, and retargeting.
Mason Mitchell, content marketer with messaging platform Airy, said another bonus is that it’s not a labor-intensive channel: Airy hasn’t touched the site for a few months, but its answers are still driving traffic.
What’s more, Eric Hoppe, director of marketing at content writing service Crowd Content Media, said Quora Ads let marketers target specific questions, which is a great way to target top- and mid-funnel prospects.
Plus, it’s more affordable—Thibault said rates are often a fraction of the cost of Facebook and Google ads.
2. LinkedIn
Ong recommends professional network LinkedIn because in part it has a growing community of high-value users and is less competitive.
“This means that the content creator to active user ratio … is insanely low,” he said. “This translates to higher engagement and lower CPC costs for paid marketers.”
Lund said B2B marketers in particular should pay attention to LinkedIn and its lead gen and sponsored message ads, which “generally work very well.”

3. Reddit
Marketers looking for a new channel to push content should consider Reddit Ads, which can connect brands to top-of-funnel prospects, Hoppe said.

Reddit is one of the most visited websites in the world, yet eMarketer anticipates Reddit advertising spend representing less than 1% of total spend this year.
Marketers can target subscribers and viewers of specific sub-Reddits, which gets very precise. This level of audience targeting makes up for lower traffic potential—plus, advertising on Reddit is also much cheaper than more popular alternatives.
4. Voice Applications
Whether it’s Amazon, Google, Apple, or another platform delivering results, voice search is on the rise.

That means marketers need to recognize consumers using voice search will only hear one result, added Nikki Bisel, owner of marketing consulting agency Seafoam Media.
“Cater your long-tail keywords, optimize your meta descriptions and titles for speech and only use important keywords for top search spots,” Maftean said. “It’s a completely different marketing strategy, doesn’t necessarily utilize old-school SEO, but if you do this in advance, you’ll see a massive boost, not just now, but well into the future.”
5. Stories
Stories aren’t just for consumers anymore.
That’s according to Hamna Amjad, content marketing executive at media outlet Gigworker, who said brands can take advantage of the feature to connect with followers and humanize themselves with content like behind-the-scenes footage, tutorials, and polls.
Morgan Lathaen, marketing and brand coordinator at print and marketing logistics company Thumbprint, agreed Stories can help enhance your online presence and connect with your audience.

“They are increasingly popular among Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube because people are consuming digital video content faster,” Lathaen added. “Take advantage of this feature, because Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds.”
6. Bing
While it has a smaller audience, don’t count out Bing. In fact, Hoppe said Bing Ads are very similar to Google Ads—and he has found cost per lead to be about 40% cheaper with Bing.
Lund agreed you should move top-performing Google campaigns to Bing.

“You should expect to receive similar performance and an incremental 20% more traffic,” he added.
7. Chatbots
Alexa Kurtz, marketing strategist and paid ad specialist at digital marketing agency WebTek, said she is prioritizing chat as a marketing channel for her clients, in part because consumers want instant gratification.
“Users have questions and want the answers as soon as possible,” she added. “With [chat messages] being sent directly to your desktop [or] email or via text message, you can reply to your customer in a matter of seconds.”
Robb Hecht, adjunct professor of marketing at Baruch College, agreed users want to simply ask their question and receive personalized responses rather than having to dig through “a huge, impersonal website.”
With some chat tools, there are even options to capture names and email addresses, Kurtz said.
In addition to customer service, Amjad recommends using chatbots to serve as personal assistants and to screen candidates for jobs.
According to figures from Mani Makkar, who handles content strategy for A/B testing and conversion optimization platform VWO, messaging is up to 75% cheaper than other communication channels—and it has an open rate of 80% on average.
8. Text Messaging
While it may seem intrusive at first blush, text messages are actually a great way to connect to consumers who have shared their phone numbers. That’s according to Charlie Worrall, digital marketing executive at web design firm Imaginaire Digital, who recommends texts like daily deals.
John Frigo, SEO lead at ecommerce site, agreed push notifications are an underutilized tactic that are effective and cheap.
“You know they are a target buyer as they had to visit your site and opt in and there’s many push notification apps that have free tiers to get started and see if it’s an effective means of marketing,” he added.

For example, he is spending $95 a month on a push notification service, which results in $300 to $1100 in sales per message.
9. Podcasting
In order to create an interesting podcast, brands and marketers should use their own networks to find topics and interviews.

“The bigger the names, the more likely they are to generate interest and a following and provide further leverage to secure future high profile guest,” said Kent Lewis, president of search marketing agency Anvil Media. “Industry influencers are also likely to have their own following and market the podcasts to their networks for added reach.”
Marketers should also consider appearing on existing podcasts in their industries.
According to Lewis, Anvil recently helped build a content and marketing strategy for the Craving the Future podcast, which netted a global hotel client with a few months.
10. Livestreaming
The rise of platforms like Twitch, Tik Tok, and Linkedin Live demonstrate livestreaming isn’t going away anytime soon—and the channel now has potential for B2C and B2B brands alike. That’s according to Kristen McCabe, senior community marketing specialist at software review platform
Go find new marketing channels!
And there you have it: 10 expert-approved marketing channels to try out for yourself. Remember, set your goals for each platform, start testing slowly to figure out which works for you, and then keep testing often!

5 Agency Reporting Tips to Prove Your Value to Clients

If you’ve been providing paid marketing services to clients for any extended period of time, you know that every person you work with has a different level of online marketing knowledge. Some people might be experienced account managers, others might know basics, while others still might not know the industry at all. It can be easy to overwhelm and confuse your points of contact with too much data or jargon outside the realm of their experience. That’s why providing a personalized, concise, and streamlined method for reporting on the successes (or failures) of your hard work is foundational to building a long-lasting client relationship.

Creating personalized reports will also cut down the issues in client communication and make your check-in calls go more smoothly. Regardless of your client’s size or how long you have been working with them, providing improved reporting will always strengthen your relationship. In this post, I’ll walk you through some of my favorite tools and methods that provide superior paid channel reporting so that you can make your value clear to your clients.
1. Use the right tools
The first step in generating compelling reports for clients is to use the right tools to pull and translate the performance data. If you’re used to using spreadsheets for this data, you may be reluctant to switch to something else that requires additional investment. But you could be spending way too much time pulling and presenting data weekly or monthly—way more time than you would using real-time technology to do the same thing faster and better.
There are a variety of tools out there to help make pulling and translating performance seamless and aesthetically pleasing. I’ll walk you through a few that I use myself, as well as a few that I’ve heard great things about from other agency owners.
I am somewhat biased here: Databox is my personal favorite reporting tool. I’ve mentioned Databox in some of my other posts, but the sheer versatility it provides both the agency and the client is worth talking about again. Connect multiple data sources for a complete performance overview. Create templates that can be duplicated and personalized for each client. You can also invite your clients to their own portal where you can assign them specific dashboards just for them.

Specifically tailored to agencies, NinjaCat is a great tool that is similar to Databox in many respects. It allows you to create personalized client reports and dashboard across 750+ data sources. Additionally, NinjaCat gives you the ability to monitor budget and KPIs to stay on top of your accounts, call tracking for paid search, and all of the native integrations you could ask for.

This is another great option for reporting and monitoring performance. And in addition to reports and dashboards, ReportGarden has a plethora of features related to franchise marketing, proposals, budgeting, invoices, as well as an SEO audit tool. Some agencies might find these additional features as a selling point to cleanly operate their agency. I would suggest comparing ReportGarden to the other tools listed to determine which features are the best fit for your agency’s needs.

WordStream Advisor for Agencies
What’s better than automated reporting? How about a platform that allows you to streamline Google Ads, Facebook, and Bing workflows, recommends optimizations across platforms, and allows you to share success reports with clients? For PPC agencies, there really is no better complete offering than WordStream Advisor for Agencies. Outside of the robust optimization and budget monitoring features, WordStream’s platform makes it easier for you to demonstrate your value to clients with customizable Success Reports that allow you to share performance results across every campaign. Not only would you eliminate spreadsheets in the process of adopting WordStream, but you would also streamline numerous other time-consuming aspects of running your agency.

2. Personalize your reports
There isn’t going to a one-size-fits-all report: Each client you have is going to have unique reporting needs regardless of the particular niche that your agency operates within. Because of this, it’s important to make general reporting templates for basic performance data and then customize these templates to be specific to the client that you’re making it for. The best way to do this is by focusing on each client’s business goals.
Conversion reports
The tracking of tangible results is the common thread for the vast majority of paid acquisition clientele, so creating a report or dashboard related specifically to conversion activity over time is a great way to prove that your actions are visibly impactful on your client’s bottom line. Time frames for presenting such data vary from client to client, but I typically choose to display this information both monthly and quarterly. With advanced reporting tools, your clients will have the ability themselves to expand the date ranges to view trends if they so desire.

A great method for presenting this information is to run through conversion trends via screen-share with your clients. Allowing your points of contact to view (hopefully improving) trends within conversion volume and CPA will give them an immediate insight into overall performance as it is related to their goals. This will allow you to later supplement this information with supporting evidence via other metrics that indicate a healthy improvement of their overall account. The strategy here is this: Show your clients what is most important and easily digestible first.
Impression and click-related reports
As mentioned, you’ll want to present the goal-centric information first. This will allow you to show the client where they were previously and where they currently stand from a general performance standpoint. From here, you will be able to concisely convey the reasons behind the trends in the broader scope with the supporting data related to them. Some clients may be more interested in impression and click-related data, as that may in fact be one of their goals.
Funnel reporting
A great feature that these reporting tools have gifted agencies is the ability to track performance throughout the funnel. You aren’t limited to only displaying the surface-level metrics of Google and Facebook, for example; you also have the ability to connect HubSpot, Salesforce, Google Analytics, or others. The clear advantage to this is the fact that you have real-time access to how things are performing further down the funnel. This allows you to make more informed adjustments to the campaigns based on how the leads driven from them are performing on the backend. This also makes the job of presenting this information to the client much easier. Instead of reporting on the surface metrics within each channel and having to ask them to pull the information on their end, you both can have this information in one place. Reporting capabilities on how your ads are affecting your client’s bottom line will grant you undeniable value and proof of a job well done.
3. Break out the channels
If you’re using the right tools—like the ones I mentioned earlier—you can create single dashboards that compile all of the channels together. Unless the information is very high-level and straightforward (budget pacing, for example), I would argue against trying to jam everything into one report or dashboard. Instead, break out each individual channel (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc.), and give each its own series of dashboards that effectively break down the layers of metrics. In addition to giving you more room to display supporting KPIs, breaking out the channels will prevent the client from being distracted by poor performance in one channel versus another. The last thing you want on a call is the client ignoring the good performance while obsessing over the bad.

The inherent differences between paid channels is another good reason to do this. Your strategy between Google and Facebook is most likely going to be very different. The simple fact that these channels serve ads and optimize via their algorithms differently is reason enough to keep the information separate. I would suggest keeping the data all in one place if the client is small enough and the performance data is fairly straightforward. Otherwise, take the time to make channel-specific dashboards.
4. Have more than one report for each channel
In addition to breaking out reports by channel, I suggest creating multiple reports for each of these channels. As I had mentioned previously, you’ll want to start simple but have the option to display more complex information depending on the client and the evidence you need to present. Compiling all of the necessary data within one report may sound like the best option, but it makes more sense to create reports with varying degrees of detail and complexity. A main dashboard that addresses high-level metrics related to budget pacing, impressions, clicks, and conversions is a good place to start. From there, you’ll allow your client to take a look into some of the details of the paid campaigns, such as targeting, keywords, and impression share.

Paid search alone has so many data points and moving pieces that are a part of the whole puzzle that it makes sense to create templates for these. You may never need to use these templates for some clients, but for others you will—and with templates, when the time comes you will be able to quickly duplicate the report and connect the necessary data sources. This will save you hours of time in the long run because you won’t have to build entire reports from scratch every time.
5. Create reports for your own use
These tools are great for clients to get a real-time look at how things are performing, but there is additional value in being able to compile important information into one dashboard for yourself. You’re likely spending hours a week logging into your respective channels just to determine your next plan of action. The beauty of these platforms is that you can make separate dashboards or reports for you and your team to stay on top of the most important aspects of running an agency. Spend pacing per client, conversion pacing towards goals, and dips in KPIs can all be monitored quickly. This will save you time when making your optimizations and prioritizing which client accounts need your immediate attention.

Reporting is the most important factor in client satisfaction outside of your expertise and ability to run successful paid marketing campaigns. Giving your client an easy, great-looking way to understand a report or dashboard could make a world of a difference. If your client is relatively new or has had bad experiences with other agencies, your ability to be a cut above the competition in the customer relationship department will go a long way.

How to Improve Engagement on Your Blog

Engagement is the backbone of every conversation that happens online. Business owners and blog creators struggle to get the attention of their perfect audience due to all of the noise that comes with bringing half of the global population together in one place.
When creating a blog, you have to do more than get your audience’s attention for a few seconds. You have to inspire them to stay on the page and comment, share your post with others, and potentially sign up with your email list, or purchase a physical product.
We want to take a look at some simple ways you can encourage your audience to engage with your brand.
Know Your Audience
The most important rule to keep in mind when attempting to improve engagement is that you must have a deep understanding of your ideal audience. There are multiple ways to get to know your audience before creating more content.
The first and most common way to get to know your audience is by simply asking them questions. You can create polls on your website asking users what kind of content they want to see in the future. You can use this information to get a better handle on what type of content appeals to your audience.
Next, you’re going to want to check your Google Analytics account. From your dashboard, you can see your most popular posts — a queue as to what kind of content will do well in the future. Looking beyond your page views, you can see complex statistics about your demographics, such as their location, age, and browsing method.
Take all of this information and build multiple customer persona charts. These charts are lists that feature the interests of your users, their goals, their pain point, median income, and much more. If you want to create engaging content, you have to reach the right audience.

Stay Active on Social Media
According to Statista, there are currently close to 2.77 billion people on social media globally. You can’t miss out on all of those potentially engaging customers by skipping out on creating business social media accounts.
Many businesses schedule out their blog content to release throughout the day to catch the attention of potential prospects and get them to go to their websites. An additional benefit to this technique is existing customers may find and read your content, which could result in a share or comment.
When you create content that is shared widely, there is a better chance that it will reach your target audience and inspire a conversation on your blog or social media account.
Create Valuable Content
A little over a decade ago, it was common for businesses to create a blog online in an attempt to “keyword stuff” and artificially inflate their SEO ranking. Now, engagement is one of the fastest ways to make it to page one of Google. Since SEO is still prominent, but not nearly as important as it once was, there has been a shift in the way that marketers and businesses release content.
The best advice we can give here is to consult the customer personas you’ve made. Look for pain points and interests; those are likely going to be the most engaging content on your site. Now you’re tasked with finding unique ways to incorporate this content into blog posts that provide value to the reader.
Let’s look at an example. If you owned a gardening website and noticed that most of your customers have one problem — they don’t have enough time to tend to their garden — you would be responsible for helping them solve this pain point.
You could create a multi-article post detailing some tips and tricks for gardening when you are short on time. If the content is valuable and the tips are practical, gardeners who find this information and enjoy it will engage with the content and your business.
Incorporate Multiple Types of Media
Finally, try to include multiple types of media throughout your blog posts. We have all heard the phrase about a picture is worth one thousand words, and images can have a significant impact on the way people interact with your brand. For example, if you went to a website and decided to sign up for their mailing form, what would you find more appealing? A bland, black and white box, or this:

Videos are another excellent form of media that will keep your readers on your website longer. Research shows that blog posts with videos result in users staying 100 percent longer! Furthermore, people are far more likely to consume the whole video, as opposed to skimming through an article.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways to boost engagement on your blog. It’s important to note that every industry is a little different, and you may have to shift your focus periodically to keep audiences engaged across all channels.
Your blog should feature original, valuable content. Keep in touch with your followers on social media and always share your latest blog posts. Finally, mix up the media that you include in your articles. Before long, you’ll have a strong following of engaged readers.

30 Terms Digital Marketers Should Know

Digital marketing has so much specific jargon, terms, and acronyms that it’s almost like learning another language. Are you new to digital marketing, or need a refresh on what’s new? Have you ever felt left out and lost during a conversation with your co-workers? We’ve got your back because we came up with 30ish important terms every digital marketer needs to know. So the next time you are caught up in a discussion, you’ll be able to spread your digital wings.
1. Algorithm: a set of rules identified by certain calculations or problem-solving processes. In digital marketing, an algorithm can play a huge role in understanding your audiences’ behavioral & psychographic segmentation by pinpointing their interests, activities, likes, etc.
2. API (Application Programming Interface): designed to show the process of how programs communicate/interact via data with applications.
3. Automation: marketing technologies and platforms are designed to increase effectiveness by automating repetitive tasks.
4. Avatar: refers to user’s profile picture on a website, social media, etc.
5. Backlink: a link provided in an external website or a web page that leads back to your website. This is a popular SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy that can increase your website’s search ranking, traffic, engagement, etc.
6. Banner: a form of digital advertisement located in high visibility & traffic areas of a website.
7. Bounce Rate: percent of people who exit after viewing only one page of a website.
8. Call tracking and analytics: this technology allows you to attribute conversions that happen on the phone to your digital marketing. When a customer call is placed, AI-driven speech analytics technology goes to work. Predictive models analyze spoken conversations to classify call outcomes like purchases made, appointments set, or applications submitted — all customized for a marketer’s business objectives. This call intelligence can then be pushed into marketing platforms, whether it’s Google, Facebook, Salesforce, or any one of the hundreds of martech solutions out there.
9. Cookie : well-known as a small, sweet, baked food … but in the digital marketing world, a tracking cookie is a small file from a website a person visits that is stored in his/her browser that helps marketers identify and track unique demographics and preferences to customize web experiences and target ads.
10. CPC (Cost Per Click): also known as PPC (Pay Per Click), CPC refers to the dollar amount companies are charged for each click driving to their website by external publishers.
11. CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization): % of the number of website visitors that take further action out of the number of total visitors.
12. CTR (Click-Through-Rate): percent of people who click the link of ads on a website out of the total visitors. Marketers can use CTR to measure a particular advertisement’s performance.
13. Domain: the address/direct link to a website. Picking a domain name is one of the very first steps of SEO marketing.
14. Email Marketing: promotes your product/service through email campaigns that can help you develop and nurture the relationship with your customers.
15. Engagement Rate: measures the comments, likes, shares, etc. from an audience. Engagement rate can be reported on at different levels, from specific posts to campaigns.
16. Heatmap: represents how people are interacting with a website by using a color map (red = many clicks, green = few clicks). There are many ways to track and analyze this data; popular methods are: click tracking, eye tracking, etc.
17. Hyperlink: a link located within a website or a web page that directs people to another website or web page.
18. Impression: represents when a piece of content (a display ad, social media post, etc.) is viewed by website visitors once.
19. Inbound Link: a link outside of your website or a web page that drives to your website.
20. Internal Link: a link provided in your website that drives to another page within your website.
21. Keyword Stuffing: including an excessive amount of keywords that are not always relevant to the content in a website to influence Google search rankings. Search algorithms can detect this and penalize your ranking.
22. Landing Page: page on a website that visitors initially land on when they click on a hyperlink. Common landing pages are the website home page or pages for specific product offerings. But, landing pages can be customized for many different marketing purposes, from content downloads to events. It is important for landing pages to catch your audience’s attention and drive them to take action. Interested in stepping up your mobile landing page game?
23. Long-Tail Keyword: keyword phrases of three to four words that are particular to your product or service. Long-tail keywords target customers who are looking for a specific product/service.
24. Mention: when another brand, industry influencer, or publication mentions your brand or product.
25. Metadata: a dataset that provides information about other data. It controls the communication between your website and search engines. It’s nearly invisible to website visitors, as it is built into the HTML of a web page. Metadata help working with different types of data. Metadata is a great resource to help analyze and improve SEO.
26. Organic Traffic: unlike paid traffic, organic traffic does not involve any paid ads; all visitors are organic visitors that were not referred by other websites. For example, this result for “call tracking and analytics software” is driving organic traffic to the Invoca website:

27. Pop-Up: a form of online advertisement generated in a new browser window. Generally seen as annoying and prone to blocking.
28. Real-Time Bidding: when online advertisements are bought or sold in real-time per impression on a website. It increases overall efficiency by reducing the number of impressions being wasted. Real-time bidding usually happens on supply-side platforms which help bidders decide which ads impression to purchase.
29. Referral: rather than using traditional marketing methods, referral marketing relies on word-of-mouth marketing where customers talk about a business or product/service with interested shoppers. Online review sites play a huge part in referral marketing. Sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Epinions can help shoppers make the decision to buy a product.
30. SaaS (Software as a Service): a business model that allows customers to access software. See what the process of implementing a new marketing analytics SaaS product looks like.
31. SEM (Search Engine Marketing): a marketing strategy designed to increase Google search rankings of a website or a specific post, primarily through paid advertising. Digital marketers are often responsible for improving web page rankings.
32. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): increasing both quality and quantity of traffic to a website. SEO tactics includes making sure title tags, meta descriptions, and internal links are all created correctly to drive traffic to a web page.
33. SERP (Search Engine Results Page): a page people see when they use search engines, like Google or Bing, to search for something by using certain keywords. The page consists of two different results—paid vs. organic. Paid results are from advertisers paying to display their websites or web pages on the SERP, whereas organic results are websites that are displayed based on SEO.
34. UI (User Interface): every element a person sees or interacts with on websites or apps. UI plays a significant role in determining design aspects, such as the size of a logo or an icon or the overall alignment. UI is used to define UX later on.
35. Unique Visitor: a user who visits a website at least once within a particular period. This is usually calculated by distinguishing multiple visits from the same IP address. Identifying unique visitors can be used in many ways in terms of website data analytics. For example, it helps marketers to build metadata that can be used to create user sub categories in the future.UX (User Experience): refers to the overall interaction between an end-user and the brand, the product/service, etc. It contains marketing, engineering, and design components that go beyond simply providing customer satisfaction. Analyzing UX helps marketers to identify improvements that can be made.
36. UX (User Experience): refers to the overall interaction between an end-user and the brand, the product/service, etc. It contains marketing, engineering, and design components that go beyond simply providing customer satisfaction. Analyzing UX helps marketers to identify improvements that can be made.

5 Tips to Optimizing Your Content for SEO

Optimizing your content for SEO is the most effective way to ensure your content will rank in search engines. What is your audience searching for? Which keywords are easiest and hardest to rank for? Addressing these questions before you begin writing will save you time and trouble wondering why your content is underperforming. Here are five tips for optimizing your content for SEO:
Relevant Topics and Effective Headlines

First and foremost, optimizing your content for SEO means making sure you’re writing about topics people are searching for! Choosing timely topics and deriving effective headlines are essential for getting your blog seen. An obscure topic may perform well for a very specific subgroup of people, but if you want your blog to really perform at scale, it needs to be relevant to the most number of people.
When researching topics in your niche, consider using available tools like Buzzsumo, Answer The Public and HubSpot Topic Generator. Buzzsumo is particularly effective at providing the data to see what content is performing best in your niche. This is endlessly valuable! Thinking about utilizing the skyscraper method? Seeing what has been published in your niche lets you determine what your next topic should be and how to structure it.
Another favorite is Answer The Public. This site functions as a visual keyword and content research tool. Offering free and paid services (honestly, the free services are more than enough for most people), Answer The Public uses suggested searches from both Bing and Google to create a “search cloud” offering keywords and content topics. If the visual throws you off a little, you can opt to reformat the data in list form, making it more easily readable.
Keyword Research

Next on the list for SEO content writing is keyword research. You’ve picked a topic, now you need to incorporate relevant keywords. This doesn’t mean stuffing as many keywords as you can down the throat of your readers, but more on that later.
SEMrush provides the amazing Keyword Magic Tool under Keyword Analytics. Type in your seed word and it provides an incredible list of relevant keywords along with mountains of data including (most importantly) keyword volume and keyword density. You have the option to filter out certain items and check not only specific keywords, but also view searched questions using your seed word. The latter can be particularly helpful in topic research, as well.
Adding the keyword results to their Keyword Analyzer gives you a customized list you can easily export for personal use. This makes it easy to keep data for future use in other blog posts, as well.
When researching, look for keywords with varying levels of volume and density. Choosing only high-volume keywords makes it harder for your content to rank for them. Choosing a combination of higher and lower volume keywords allows you to rank more easily and get visibility for the tougher words. A not-so-secret, though often overlooked, tactic is to incorporate long-tail keywords in your content. Optimizing content for SEO also means remembering who you’re writing for: people. Think about how people type in search queries and utilize that language into your content for a clever way to rank more easily.

Continuing the consideration of who you’re writing for, readability factors into optimizing content for SEO. Content needs to be crawlable, but the most important thing is for it to be readable by the audience. Simply keyword stuffing your content won’t help it rank. How are you benefiting the reader if they can hardly make it through your content?
Syntax plays a big part here. SEO content writing means using language your readers are used to. This doesn’t mean avoid technical terms. It means writing similarly to regular speech patterns. Writing too formally makes your content stuffy and boring. People are more likely to read and share content they find informative and relatable. Don’t lose your audience before you get the chance to show your expertise!
There are a variety of tools you can use to check the readability of your content. Yoast SEO provides a readability score for content and is easily incorporated with implementing on-page SEO. Another tool for checking the readability of your content is Hemingway Editor. This site also has a desktop app and provides a readability score for your content along with color-coded areas for improvement.
On-Page SEO

On-page SEO is essential to getting your content to rank. Improper technical structuring can lead to crawlers misreading your content and causing it to underperform. Yoast SEO is a great plug-in which analyzes your content and provides ways to improve your SEO. It will highlight keyword density for provided target keywords, analyze images, check header tags, meta descriptions, internal/external links and a whole host of other items.
As mentioned previously, Yoast SEO also rates the readability of your content and provides suggestions based on keyword density, verbiage, voice and word length. This makes the plug-in a sort of one-stop tool for optimizing your content for SEO!
Off-Page SEO

You’ve optimized your content for keywords, structure and everything else. What’s next? Get it out there! Off-page SEO is essential to getting your content seen. Outreach for link building, guest post submissions and sharing on social media all improve the visibility of your content and drive traffic to you site. As your brand becomes more and more established as an authority and web traffic increases, your domain authority will increase and ranking will improve in the SERPs.
Content writing isn’t simply putting words on the page. Planning and developing an SEO content writing strategy is the best way to get your content ranking. Considering your next post already? Use these tips and see the difference for yourself.
A version of this article originally appeared here.