Case Study: Launching a Tool on Product Hunt is a Strategy for Success

This is such a true statement. If you successfully launch your tool, you can get a high number of visitors to your site. These visitors can become daily users and accelerate your revenue goal.
Even in our own team, we didn’t know this at first. We wanted to move our startup further along and find ways to shout about our SEO tool to a broader audience. As we brainstormed, we also came up with the idea of ​​launching the tool at Product Hunt. Finally, we tagged this idea with a lower priority and postponed it. Later, we got back to it, prepared it properly, and the final results surprised us pleasantly. Thanks to PH, we have received positive feedback on the tool, along with many new registered or paying customers.
Product Hunt is full of people who are passionate about technology, designers, marketers and developers in need to make their work or life easier by using better applications. Whatever your application is, launch it on Product Hunt!

Spotibo is a specific tool that can’t be used by everyone. It’s an SEO analyzer that can only be used by a person who has his own website or by a consultant helping a client with search engine optimization. This is the reason why we were surprised by the feedback and reach we achieved.
So, I am happy to share our results and strategy with you.
What are the main goals of a PH campaign?
To get traffic and new customers. I won’t tell you how to turn traffic into buyers, but I’ll tell you how to get traffic to your site from Product Hunt. To get the maximum results, try to be in the top 5. If your product makes it to the top of the list, all Product Hunt email subscribers will receive a newsletter a day later, where your tool will shine and you will get even more traffic.

Top hunts during our launch day. Our profile on PH here.
What web traffic to expect?
The answer to this question is very subjective. If you prepare everything for the launch in the best possible way, then you can expect traffic to be numerous times higher than you are used to on a regular basis.
In our case, we added 1,596% more new users during the launch day compared with the previous day. The traffic kept coming during the next two days in high numbers, too.

Traffic growth thanks to launching on PH.

The difference comparing launch day and the day before.

And what about online attention and backlinks?
We received dozens of tweets on Twitter, so the attention was big! But what was more interesting to us were backlinks.
We love backlinks. We are SEO specialists, so we know how domain authority is important, and that backlinks can help us to get better rankings. We also know how hard it is to get them.
After the launch, people started writing about the tool spontaneously, and for free! They published reviews and guides on how to analyze SEO, and they published it not only in English but also in different languages.
How to prepare for the launch:
When I was preparing the Product Hunt checklist for my team, I got inspired by this checklist from SpreadShare. In their checklist, there are tons of cool tips to not forget any single step throughout the process of preparation, submission, outreach and follow-up. I created a short version of the checklist according to the needs of our own working plan, and we followed these 20 steps one by one.
There are several guides on how to run a Product Hunt campaign on the web, and I don’t want to repeat the same “tips” all over again. Instead, I will try to skip to the questions that came to my mind during the preparation itself and for which we were unable to find answers.
Do we need a product hunter?
When you look at the products on PH, you’ll see that some were submitted by the creator, and some were created by another person — by a product hunter. What is better? Honestly, I don’t know. Internet opinions vary. While someone explicitly recommends reaching out to a product hunter who would be willing to launch the product and support it in front of his PH followers, some say it is nonsense to annoy people who may have nothing to do with the success of the tool.
In the beginning, I went the first way, and I was looking for a product hunter who would be interested in our tool and could consider it a quality one. There is a list of the top 50 hunters where I approached three users via LinkedIn, and I have not received any answers.

So, I chose another strategy. I opened previously submitted products that were similar to our tool (some kind of competition). I rummaged among the users who supported, commented or submitted the products and started to outreach them. Finally, Nivas Ravichandran, who also wrote the article How to generate leads on Product Hunt, said yes! Although he is not in the top 50, the launch of the tool was smooth, and I think his support helped us.
Can I change product information submitted by a hunter?
Cool, I found someone who will do the job. But what if I need to change information about the tool later on? Can I do that?
Yes. Hunter tagged me and our CEO as makers, giving us the right to make any changes. In addition, we could also add a comment under the product to describe our story and the problem we are trying to solve with our product.
When is the best time for launching?
The answer is simple – 00:01 Pacific time (PT). At that time, a new day starts on Product Hunt. The sooner you get to the list of products, the more time you will have for promoting it and to succeed.
After launching our tool, I noticed that other products popped up in similar time. During the day, more projects had been added, but only a few. This lowered their chances of getting a larger number of upvotes — a lot!
It was so important that our product hunter knew that our product needed to be posted during that time. He wouldn’t have done that if it was 3 a.m. and he had been sleeping. We were lucky because it was 9 a.m. for us in Europe, 2 p.m. for our hunter and midnight in Pacific time.
What promo materials do I need to prepare?
All these promo materials are needed:

Screenshots of the tool
Short description
Creator comment

Be sure to be as creative as possible in this section of preparation. Design and fun play a big part on Product Hunt.
We tried to play with the logo (for which we eventually created the gif), title, keywords and emoticons. On the other hand, we didn’t prepare a breathtaking video, and our picture materials could have also needed the touch of a graphic designer.

Do I need to support my website?
Yes, you do. Although we received 1,300 sessions, our tool was a bit overloaded, and unfortunately, we had some blackouts. Throughout the day, our developers were ready to act immediately.
Should I create a landing page?
We were also thinking if we should create a landing page specifically for PH. Some makers create a landing page that contains some graphics edits. Some of them also provided discount code. Some makers don’t adjust the landing page at all.
We decided to add a simple banner with a discount to the top bar. I think it was a good decision. Users of Product Hunt who clicked through our site saw that they were in the right place. In addition, I consider it more professional if the launch is ready on all fronts.
The discount prompted several users to buy our tool, which was a good outcome.

What we had forgotten and what we considered to be important after the fact was the preparation of this landing page for indexing on Google. Our PH optimized landing page was duplicate ( to After we got increased traffic, mentions from Twitter and a few backlinks, Google started indexing this page, and we really didn’t want that.
Therefore, when creating a new landing page for PH, do not forget to place a canonical tag in the header of the page. That should ensure Google understands which URL is unique and which one is duplicate.
Can I promote it?
Yes and no.
Upvote requesting is not officially allowed. Be aware that you can’t ask friends or users for upvoting. Although, you should absolutely tell your clients or followers that it’s a big thing for you and they should check it out.
During our launch, we were constantly monitoring the development of upvotes, along with the comments we were answering. At the beginning of the day, the tool remained at fourth or fifth place. After a few hours, another product took over. Suddenly, we were in the sixth position. I was surprised. and I was also worried we would stay in sixth place and thus we would not get to the top 5 products of the day. But the more I observed the product that took over ours, the more I began to suspect the unfair practices they used to get more upvotes and comments. The numbers grew rapidly, and the users who were involved were mostly newly-established accounts.
A few hours later, the product with a higher number of upvotes fell to a position under Spotibo. The team at PH probably judged that they were using unauthorized promo and manually moved them down.
The lesson is clear — don’t push hard, because you can get into trouble and you will not get to the top 5. Upvotes must look as natural as possible; and shouldn’t be received only from new accounts or users from one country.
My final advice is — do not hesitate and launch as soon as your product is ready; it’s worth it.

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7 SEO Analysis Tools You Need to Know About

SEO analysis is a never-ending search for opportunities to improve your website, be it fixing issues, polishing the content or spying on rivals’ strategies.
Each aspect that adds up to your site’s performance in search engines will naturally demand thorough research and careful data evaluation, as well as a keen eye for details to discover the missteps and room for improvement in each. Yet all the deliberate efforts and time invested in it will pay off big times.
The real choice you have is between trying to handle that many-sided task manually or grab a helping hand from a myriad of SEO analysis tools out there. To make a weighted choice, let’s go over the core aspects that a comprehensive SEO analysis tool would dig into for you:
1. Technical SEO and usability auditPoint errors scattered all over the site – be it broken links or pages loading forever – may ruin user experience; unintentional indexation restrictions may be blocking search engine crawlers out of your site; inefficient site architecture may break the internal link-juice flow throughout the pages. An SEO audit tool that can crawl your site in-depth and help you uncover technical issues timely will certainly save you hours of racking your brain over the consequences later.
2. On-page optimization analysisAnother essential part is optimizing your content and metadata to its full potential around the search intent you target. Good tools for SEO analysis would not only help you pinpoint the flaws, but they would also provide actionable recommendations on how to tailor each and every page element considering your target topic and best SEO practices.
3. Competitive intelligenceCompetitive SEO analysis is part science and part art. Comprehending your competitive landscape can help you uncover the winning peculiarities and traits your rivals’ pages have in common, as well as spot their oversights. A good SEO analysis tool would allow you to benchmark your own pages against the top competitors to see how you compare and help you reverse-engineer the raw data gathered from the top SERPs.
To help you find the best fit for your routine, I’ve tested a number of the best SEO tools and looked into the bright sides and drawbacks of each.
1. WebSite Auditor

WebSite Auditor is an SEO analysis tool providing comprehensive insights on your site’s tech health, as well as its optimization potential. The tool crawls each and every page and resource on your site and serves an in-depth site audit report featuring 50+ technical and on-page SEO factors for you to revise, fix or discover an opportunity behind.
The tool covers a vast number of website analysis areas: from site architecture to internal PageRank / traffic distribution, from indexation and crawlability to all kinds of broken, redirected or non-friendly URLs, from duplicate or missing metadata to hreflang errors. The dashboard is extremely intuitive: each factor is accompanied by a short description, actionable how-to’s, and a list of involved URLs. In addition, WebSite Auditor is equipped with an in-app sitemap and robots.txt file generators.
On the page level, WebSite Auditor allows you to analyze any page of your site for the keywords you target with it and compare its optimization level to the top-ranking pages in a search engine of your choice.
Looking through the sections dedicated to each page element – from meta details and body tag to link anchors and image alts – you get full keyword usage statistics and a side-by-side comparison to your SEO competitors’ pages, along with page-specific recommendations on how you could improve the content and metadata. Inspecting the top pages’ details also helps you uncover winning tendencies and best-performing kinds of content for the topic.

WebSite Auditor’s own TF-IDF tool supplies you with an extended list of keywords and phrases harvested from rivals’ pages. The most prominent keywords that you are missing out on, as well as the keywords you might be overusing, are pinpointed for your consideration. With all the ideas and stats at a glance, you are well-armed to create topic-driven content with keywords supported by the semantically relevant context.
Cool feature
Content Editor module – a page optimization playground where you can see how each change impacts the optimization rate on-the-go. A finalized version of the page can be exported to HTML, ready for re-uploading to your site.
Starting from $124 for the license key (one-off) with a minor maintenance fee after 6 months (from $4.44/mo), the number of projects you can create and pages you can analyze is unlimited in any paid version. Full trial available, no credit card details required.
2. Google Search Console
The next tool for a thorough analysis of Google’s relationship with your website is, undoubtedly, Google Search Console, a free SEO analysis tool by Google itself. Google Search Console provides all kinds of insights on your site’s well-being, helping you analyze and improve its search performance.
While not being a go-to tool for competitive intelligence, Google Search Console lets you create first-hand reports on how your website is being crawled, pinpointing broken pages and pages with any crawl anomalies, ambiguous restrictions or duplicated ones without canonicals. As it comes to indexing and understanding your pages’ contents, Google Search Console offers detailed reports on mobile usability, drawing your attention to problematic areas, and on structured data usage on your site, listing the valid items and the ones with syntax errors that require fixing. The Links report lists all the internal and outgoing links to your pages and shows the top linked pages for you to see where the linking power is steered to.

In terms of content optimization, Google Search Console won’t give you hints on which keywords to add and where. However, lots of valuable strategic insights can be found in the Performance tab. The report lets you explore the queries your site already ranks for, detect the pages that might go up from page 2 to page 1 with minor efforts, track down the inefficient pages that rank high but have low CTR, or learn which queries are coming from a certain device or country to improve your mobile or local targeting.
Cool feature
The URL Inspection tool that allows you to retrieve the indexed version of a certain page as it’s seen and fetched by Google, check for AMP errors, structured data errors, and indexing issues.
3. On Page SEO checker
On Page SEO Checker from SEMRush is another SEO analysis tool that helps you put together a huge volume of SEO data. During a quick setup, you choose the pages you wish to gather optimization ideas for, your target location, language, and device.
Next, based on the data from SEMRush and by comparing your pages to the top SEO rivals for the target keywords, the tool supplies you with strategic, UX, semantic, content and new backlinks ideas. The pages are automatically prioritized based on the number of ideas gathered, traffic growth potential and ease of implementation. Switching to any page’s individual dashboard, you’ll be able to see where the room for improvement is: a better-choice page that already ranks for the keyword, a SERP feature opportunity you might win, major page elements you need to add keywords to, or optimal content length you should consider.

The semantic ideas section will offer a number of semantically-relevant keywords used by rivals, along with TF-IDF stats. And the Top 10 Benchmarking feature will analyze how your target page compares to rivals’ in a number of aspects like content length, referring domains, keyword usage, markups, and others, highlighting the factors you fall behind with.
Optionally, you can set up Site Audit in the same project for the tool to generate technical SEO ideas based on the found issues. Once the pages have been crawled, you can check the overall number of onpage errors, warnings, and notices, as well as thematic reports dedicated to crawlability, security issues, load speed and internal linking structure. For task prioritization, you may refer to the handpicked top issues, based on severity and the number of affected pages.
Cool feature
Integration with Trello that allows you to send reports with optimization ideas for individual pages directly to your Trello board, turning insights from your project into ready-made tasks.
Starting from $99.95/mo for 5 projects, up to 20K pages per project. Full trial available, credit card details required.
4. WooRank
WooRank is a web-based SEO analysis tool running automatic website audits and providing optimization ideas for boosting traffic and visibility. With the tool, you can crawl up to 10K pages of your site to spot a wide range of on-page issues (meta details being too long, too short or duplicate, body content being duplicate, thin or blank), accessibility and usability troubles (5xx server errors, 4xx client errors, redirect chains and loops, mixed content). The tool will also report non-indexable pages or pages buried too deep, as well as canonical and hreflang implementation issues.

Running a review for an individual page, you can revise your meta details as they appear in the SERPs, see the keywords your page is currently optimized around, and check for any structured data, mobile usability and page speed issues.
Promotion section will show where you stand in terms of backlinks, social media presence and local directories reviews associated with your site. If you add your target keywords and connect your Google Analytics account to the project, the Measurement section will keep you updated on your ranking performance and traffic stats in addition.
Tracking up to 3 competitors along with your site, you can see how your pages compare in terms of content optimization, off-page efforts, and rankings, and dig into competitors’ SEO strategies: detect the weak spots to surpass them in, or ideas worth adopting.
Cool feature
Marketing Checklist, which is a tailor-made, prioritized checklist of steps you may undertake to improve your site’s optimization, with an additional option to get help from a WooRank’s certified expert.
Starting from $59.99/mo for 1 project with up to 2K pages. Free trial available, credit card details required.
5. SEObility
SEObility is another online SEO audit tool that helps you detect the issues that might be holding your site from climbing up the SERPs.

With SEObility, you can crawl up to 100K pages within one project and get an overview of the technical, structural and content issues. Navigating through technical and meta dashboard, you can find crawling stats, URL details, status codes breakdown, as well as any neglected meta tags and page attributes. Structure analysis will uncover problems related to internal linking, anchor texts distribution, and pages’ distance from homepage.
Based on the pages crawled, you get a detailed report on content duplication issues and text quality. The tool extracts the keywords most frequently used across your website and raises an alarm if multiple pages are competing for the same keywords, to prevent wasting ranking potential.
Checking any certain page, you may look closely into its anatomy and detect the page elements optimized poorly. Analyzing competitors’ pages the same way, you can sport their target keywords and spy on the strategies they stick to.
Apart from performing SEO analysis, SEObility allows you to track rankings of your website alongside your rivals’ to spot any fluctuations or opportunities springing up.
Cool feature
As part of the content quality audit, SEObility reports on duplicate paragraphs within one page, content pieces appearing on multiple pages, and even typos (apart from the complete page duplicates).
Free version covers one project with up to 1K pages. Paid plans start from $50/mo with free trial available, credit card details required.
6. ContentKing
ContentKing is a real-time SEO auditing and change management tool that is designed to take your worries away and help you improve your site’s visibility in search engines.

This SEO analysis tool scans all the pages and reports on a wide range of aspects holding your site back: indexability issues, broken links, pages buried too deep, load speed and mobile readiness, and many more.
Each page is scanned for meta details being unique and in place, and is checked for social markups like OG and Twitter Cards, Schema markup, and Google Analytics tracking codes. Integrating your Google Analytics and Search Console, you can also see how pages perform to prioritize your optimization efforts.
At the end of the crawl, ContentKing arms you with an actionable to-do list based on all the pitfalls found.
The tool does not run in-depth content analysis, but only checks for titles, descriptions, and headings; still, it can provide insights on competitors’ overall SEO efforts.
Cool feature
Re-canning your website incessantly, ContentKing alerts you with emails on any technical issues or page-level changes popping up, for a well-timed and informed reaction.
Custom pricing depending on the amount of pages, starting from $19/mo for 1K pages. Free trial available with limitations, no credit card details required.
7. Website Grader
Website Grader is one of those free SEO tools, which is more of an express SEO analysis service running a quick review of your domain.

The service quickly scans the homepage to check on major aspects like performance, mobile usability and SEO. The performance report does not go into detail much but only shows the overall stats for the homepage’s size, speed and a few more factors adding up to it. The mobile usability section reports whether your page is responsive and whether the content fits into viewport. Additionally, the tool gives a heads-up in case there are security/SSL certificate issues.
In terms of SEO analysis, Website Grader only checks on the most basic things: availability of a sitemap, presence of meta title, description and headings, showing errors in case those are missing. While the tool does not crawl the website in-depth and won’t provide any keyword usage stats or optimization advice tailored for your pages, it’s still a handy option for a super-quick overview.
Cool feature
Website Grader has no killer feature (funny tooltips, though) but appears to be the most express tool from the list, giving a sneak-peak on a website’s wealth.
Same way as with any buying decision, your choice will depend on many subjective aspects: your specific needs, the areas your workflow focuses around the most, your budget, and many more. Yet, knowing what kind of SEO tools are out there and having an idea about their cons and pros can help you make an informed choice and consolidate your efforts in the winning direction. Hopefully, the post helped you find a promising candidate to try out!

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Amazon Prime Day—Retailers, Are You Prepared?

One of the biggest online retail events of the year is looming on the horizon and fast approaching. Amazon Prime Day 2019 will be the fifth annual event, taking place July 15th and 16th.
Amazon introduced Prime Day back in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its founding. It was a one-off sales event offering more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members.
Prime Day 2018 may have only lasted a day (and a half), but it was Amazon’s biggest shopping event in its history—sales surpassed Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Prime Day 2017 over a 36-hour period. Retailers offered over a million deals worldwide and sold over 100 million products. For any retail company, that’s a staggering growth opportunity.
Prime Day 2019 holds the potential for you to reach a colossal number of shoppers and drive incremental revenue.
Here’s what you need to know to advertise on Amazon.
Advertising Solutions
Advertising on Amazon can be an easy way to promote your listings and get your products noticed when people are shopping for similar items. There are two advertising solutions: Sponsored Products for promoting individual listings, and Sponsored Brands for registered brand owners to promote their brand and product portfolio. These solutions can give your products a visibility boost and maximize sales by bringing those products to a new audience.
Sponsored Products
Amazon Sponsored Products ads are a type of paid advertising where you’re only charged when a consumer clicks your ad (pay-per-click). Keywords trigger the ads, and they also drive the consumer to a product detail page within Amazon. The ads can be displayed on top of, alongside, or within search results and on product pages, and can appear on both desktop and mobile.

Sponsored Products ads can help you grow sales on Amazon by reaching consumers searching for products like yours and driving them to your product page. This ad type can increase eligibility and placement status for your top Buy Box offers, and help grow your new and low-exposure ASINs.
Sponsored Brands
As with Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands are a type of paid advertising where you’re only charged when a consumer clicks your ad. Note that this ad type is only available for professional sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry, vendors, booksellers, and agencies. You can display your ads at the top of, alongside, or within search results, on both desktop and mobile.

Sponsored Brands ads can help drive discovery of your brand. They’re great for generating awareness of a new product, promoting seasonal items, or creating more demand for a bestseller. They also allow you to drive consumers to your Store page, custom URL, or a bestselling product page.
Should I Advertise on Amazon?
Are you selling products online either via your own website or a third party? If the answer is yes, then Amazon Advertising is a must!
If you’re reluctant, start small. Only sell your top selling product(s) online, and then once you see the value, begin to increase your Amazon inventory.
Take a leap of faith and reap the rewards this Amazon Prime Day!

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Video Hosting Platforms: Which Is Best for Your Business?

Google “video hosting platforms,” and you’ll get about 50 million results, along with several paid ads. How do you choose the platform that suits your needs?
There’s no single answer. The best video hosting platform varies business by business, depending on factors like:

How often you’re uploading;
How you plan to use the video;
The viewing experience you want to give your audience;
The analytics you need;
The cash you have to spend.

Here’s a breakdown of the key features—and drawbacks—for eight popular video hosting platforms.
1. YouTube
YouTube is an obvious and popular choice. You don’t pay to host videos on YouTube, nor do you need a license to create your own library of publicly available videos. Simply sign up using your Google account, create a channel, and upload your video files.
YouTube shines when it comes to brand awareness. It’s the second largest search engine in the world, and content from their platform reaches more 18–49 year-olds than any broadcast or cable TV network.
(“YouTuber” is now the dream job for 34% of children—beating traditional roles like athletes, musicians, lawyers, doctors, or actors.)
Since Google owns YouTube, videos rank highly in Google SERPs. Many occupy the Featured Snippet box, with snippets selected algorithmically. Here’s an example for “how to tie shoelaces fast”:

The basics of SEO (with some adjustments) apply to YouTube videos as well, giving YouTube publishers a chance to drive more awareness on Google and within YouTube.
All that said—YouTube has its downsides. The interface is designed to keep people on the platform. (The average mobile viewing rates are 40 minutes per session.) Suggested videos encourage people to increase their watch time not just on your channel but on the platform as a whole.
For example, my personal recommendations are a mix of business and pleasure. That makes it difficult to keep people focused on what you want them to do—like visit your website. As a result, YouTube works less well for engaging and converting users who are further down the funnel.

Recommendations can also be more than a distraction—they can highlight competitor offerings. As Kasey Bayne of DataTrue notes, “I love YouTube for the audience, but don’t love how they can show competitor or off-brand videos as suggestions afterwards.”
Pricing: Free, regardless of video upload volume.
2. DailyMotion
DailyMotion reports 300 million active users; they watch more than 3.5 billion videos per month. Those figures look impressive upon first glance.
But DailyMotion’s geographic distribution of users doesn’t mirror YouTube, especially within the United States. Just 138 million video views happen in the United States despite a population of 329 million (0.42 views per person).
Compare that to views in other countries, like Turkey, which averages 1.13 views per person, or France, where Daily Motion is located, which averages 7.13 views per person. (According to SimilarWeb, only 15.7% of all DailyMotion traffic comes from the United States.)
Like YouTube, you can monetize DailyMotion videos with in-stream advertisements. (Enabling ads is optional.) But the smaller audience—and more intrusive ads—reduce the potential for profitability and user enjoyment.
Indeed, DailyMotion viewers have expressed frustration at the overload of ads:

DailyMotion is another distribution option for media companies seeking to monetize content, especially if they’re located in one of the platform’s top countries. Beyond that, the use case is less compelling.
Pricing: Free, regardless of upload volume. Video files are limited to 60 minutes. (There are time-based upload limitations to limit spam.)
3. JW Player
JW Player is often cited as an alternative to YouTube. In fact, JW Player was the technology that ran the earliest version of YouTube. It has continued to offer technical capabilities at the forefront of online video.
For companies who live stream regularly, JW Player can host the original video and simulcast it to Facebook Live. That allows some to escape the trap of hosting videos on Facebook, which locks content into the platform.
JW Player also offers real-time audience analytics, broken down by:


(In comparison, Facebook Live shows overview metrics like minutes viewed, average percentage completion, and unique viewers.)
The platform also hosts video using HTML5, which promises superfast download speed. This helps retain the 80% of online users who will click away if a video stalls while loading.
The technical features of JW Player have attracted enterprise-level publishers (e.g. Fox, BBC, Vice, Univision) who have the development resources to take advantage of JW Player.
Pricing: If you’re a small business, plans start at $12/month, with a maximum of 50,000 video plays. Anything over that falls into the Business plan, charged at $50/month for up to 150,000 plays.
Alternatively, there’s a six-month Developers Plan, whereby you get access to all features except live streaming. The plan targets data scientists and video engineers.
4. Wistia
Wistia has been around since 2008. While it began as a hosting platform for individual videos, it has expanded its offerings.
The recent introduction of their “Channels” feature allows website owners to create a series of related videos and display the collection on their website—no coding required.
Here’s how Nextiny’s channel appears on their website:

Users can customize the look of a channel (e.g. video placement, landing page content), and—unlike YouTube—Wistia’s channels have no “recommended videos” or unwanted branding (for paid users).
As Wistia’s Phil Nottingham argued:
With Wistia, you can customize the look and feel, create branded Channels for video series, and measure impact rather than just impressions.
In terms of concrete features, it’s the look and feel of the video player, the speed and quality of video delivery, and ease of use of the platform.
Wistia’s analytics can help connect the dots between video consumption and conversions. They include features like engagement graphs and video-based heatmaps, and also integrate with Google Analytics and several CRMs.

Wistia can A/B test video components, like which video thumbnail drives more engagement. (Image source)
Wistia has a paid upgrade for multilingual, searchable captions. Once synced with your video, Captions are interactive. Viewers can search captions and jump to a specific point in the video by clicking the text. (The automated captions may require editing.)
Of course, with Wisita, you must create the audience for your videos—there’s no inherent distribution network (unlike YouTube). You’ll get zero views unless you’re driving people to pages on your website with the embedded video.
Pricing: It’s free to host up to three videos, but you’ll have the Wistia branding overlayed on your content. You’ll need to upgrade to a Pro plan (starting from $99/month) for up to 10 videos and to remove the branding. Additional videos are $0.25 each.
5. Vimeo
Vimeo allows users to embed videos on their website (like Wistia). It works especially well for content that’s gated behind a form fill or paywall.
Vimeo can deliver video passwords within purchase confirmations while keeping content hidden from non-purchasers and search engines. It’s why Chelsea Baldwin of Business Bitch uses the platform:
I use Vimeo for paid-access content, and I love it because its security and privacy settings are really malleable and let you do a lot as far as who can view, password access, and select embedding.
CXL’s own Kyle Brodeur, who manages thousands of videos for CXL Institute courses, likes it for similar reasons:
Vimeo has the cheapest cost for storing our videos with the feature sets we require. Some of these features are privacy controls, ease of updating video content in place, and integrations with caption services like
So far, Vimeo has kept us pretty nimble as course content creation has developed over the years.
David Peterson, who uses Vimeo for HealthMarkets’ video hosting, offers an example of what “nimble” is for them:
We often have to make minor updates to our videos, and Vimeo lets us replace a video without having to generate a new URL, which helps us streamline our workflow and keep track of our analytics.
That feature might not sound all that important, but if you have to make a series of small edits to a handful of videos, it becomes quite significant.
Also similar to Wisita, Vimeo’s benefits focus on the technical aspects of video hosting, not distribution (unless you’re planning to promote a show or film).

Vimeo’s audience comes to the platform to watch movies and shows, not check out “how tos” or promotional videos.
A note of caution: Both an article and a number of reviews state that, after upgrading to a paid account, any attempt to revert to a free account will remove videos from the site:
Basic Vimeo is great, but beware, if you ever upgrade, all your content will permanently become part of the process account and you will never be able to go back to basic without them deleting all your content!
Pricing: Start using Vimeo free with their Starter plan. You can upload up to 10 videos per day, or 500MB per week. Plans then depend on storage: 5GB per week is $7/month; 20GB per week is $20/month; unlimited is $50/month.
6. Vidyard
Vidyard allows businesses to create personalized videos at scale. As Vidyard’s Jesse Ariss pitched it:
We’ve introduced the ability to personalize videos on-demand, allowing our customers to put their viewer’s name directly into the video, with the end result being the most engaging, compelling video experiences that can be found today.
Arris also highlighted that Vidyard is “the only major video hosting platform with a native Salesforce integration.” You can also connect HubSpot, Marketo, Act-On, Zendesk, and Mailchimp accounts.
What does “video personalization” look like? Here’s a demo featuring my name:

Who is personalized video right for? It often makes sense for account-based marketing strategies (both for marketing and, if relevant, onboarding).
Boston University used Vidyard to create personalized videos that encouraged people to promote their fundraising event, “Giving Day.”
Their 36,000 personalized videos resulted in a 49% open rate (more than double the average for their sector), 7% click-through rate (triple the 2.3% average), and 1,000+ donations.

Personalized videos from Vidyard will set you back at least $5,000. (You need to send an inquiry to their sales team for an exact quote.) That price might be too steep for businesses with a small budget or for those who can’t show an ROI from personalized videos.
Pricing: Don’t need personalization? Start hosting up to 20 videos on Vidyard from $150/month. This Starter plan doesn’t include integrations; you’ll need to upgrade to their Plus plan, charged at $850/month, for one integration.
7. Loom
Loom isn’t a “standard” video hosting platform—it’s a screensharing tool. (Only videos you’ve recorded via Loom can be uploaded to their server.)
Still, it fills some video marketing needs. For example, it was how Loom’s co-founder and CEO, Joe Thomas, responded to me when I asked for information about the platform:

The platform uses Loom’s desktop app. You can record your screen or add a voice-over or video of yourself. It’s designed for two core use cases:

Internal training;
Product demonstrations.

Screen recordings upload automatically, and you get a link to share the video with co-workers or customers.
There are other screen recording tools that do this—most notably, Soapbox by Wistia. Loom doesn’t require an Internet browser; Soapbox, on the other hand, is a Chrome extension. Anyone using Firefox, Safari (or other browser) won’t be able to use the tool, and you’ll need a Wistia account to get started.
Adecco Group, the largest temporary staffing firm in the world, uses Loom to nurture leads. They record their screen as they talk candidates through roles they have to offer, which simplifies their process: “it’s a pain for companies to record a video and have to upload it to YouTube or send the big video file via email.”
It improved hiring, too, driving an 8X increase in applicants from 200 to 1,600 in just two weeks. Their email open rates also doubled, and they received “overwhelmingly positive feedback about the video.”
Pricing: It’s free to record and host 100 videos using Loom, but all content will be recorded in standard quality. Unlimited video storage, HD quality, and access to their editing suite is $10/month.
8. Brightcove
Do you need complete control over the videos you’re hosting? Brightcove includes:

Interactive content;
Transcription (with their SubPly partnership);
Digital rights management.

Brightcove also integrates with many other platforms, including HubSpot, Marketo, and Oracle, which allows you to easily view, embed, and use videos from products you’re already using (rather than learning to navigate another).
Their HTML5 player offers the highest standard of video playback. That high standard, however, does require high bitrates (to avoid buffering). Whereas other platforms deliver HD video with as little as 2.8 Mbps, Brightcove recommends a stable bitrate of 10 Mbps.
Brightcove also supports a number of custom viewing experiences:

Change button sizes. Adjust sizes to be mobile friendly or accommodate those with poor eyesight.
Overlay text. Display relevant links to content during in-video discussions of certain topics.
Adapt video sizes. Display the video in 16:9 format for desktop viewers, then automatically resize to square or vertical for mobile viewers.

Brightcove’s Players & Plugins Lounge details the extent of potential customization. Implementation is technical (i.e. developers required) but scalable.
Among reviews, common themes emerged:

Brightcove worked well for companies with large video libraries that distributed videos on multiple sites or platforms.
Brightcove analytics aggregated data effectively across those platforms.
The learning curve for its interface can be steep.

Pricing: Brightcove doesn’t display team prices on its website. Some reviews indicate that pricing starts from $199/month, with the exact cost depending on the number of video plays. A free trial is available.
Can’t I just host videos on my site?
There’s no point investing in another piece of software if you can house all your content on your website, right?
HTML5 made it easier to host videos on your website. (Before, running videos directly on your site required a plugin, like Flash.) If compatibility is a concern, HTML5 video code works with the latest versions of Chrome, Explorer, Safari, and Firefox.
So why do people still pay for third-party video platforms?

Not everyone is using the latest browser versions. (You can check what your audience uses in Google Analytics: Audience > Technology > Browser & OS.)
Uploading videos to your website using HTML5 requires coding aspects like video height, width, pause, play and volume buttons, etc.
Self-hosting requires a bespoke analytics setup (via Google Tag Manager, for example).
Hosting video on your website can negatively impact your page speed.

As with other video hosting platforms that don’t have a native audience, self-hosted videos also miss out on the distribution network built into a site like YouTube.
You can pick more than one
Struggling to decide on which platform best suits your needs? Don’t force yourself into a box. You can optimize videos for several platforms. Few solve every challenge.
As Brodeur noted, “I’m not really a fan of any of them right now. There are features from a lot of platforms that I wish were all in one.”
Nathan Gotch, for example, uses both YouTube and Vimeo for GotchSEO’s video content:
Video content with the objective of growing our audience, driving traffic, and driving leads is on YouTube [. . .] We use Vimeo to host our sales-driven video content because the goal isn’t distribution. The goal is to get the user to watch the video and then take a specific action.
We could host these on YouTube and keep them private. But it feels more organized to keep YouTube as our marketing vehicle and Vimeo as our sales vehicle.
There’s no definitive answer to “What’s the best video hosting platform?” But, generally speaking, this is what the platform-by-platform breakdown looks like:
PlatformBest suited toPrice point:

Distribution, brand awareness

Promoting or monetizing videos to a non-U.S. audience

JW Player
Technical control, live streaming
Free trial, $12+/month depending on number of views

Customer education, lead generation
$99+/month depending on video quantity

Exclusive videos, password-protected videos
Freemium, $7+/month depending on storage

Personalized videos
$150/month (basic); likely $5,000+ for personalization

Recording, hosting screencaps
Freemium, $10/month

Technical management, video libraries
Free trial, $199+/month

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What is Thin Content and Why Does It Matter?

Thin content was one of the first SEO issues Google targeted with its Panda algorithm update in 2011. That update rocked the entire industry and kick-started the search giant’s war against low-quality content.
It also made life increasingly difficult for black hat SEOs trying to game the SERPs. However, there are plenty of genuine, technical reasons why you might end up with thin content on your website. In this article, we explain exactly what thin content is, how to find it on your site and what you need to do about it.
What is thin content?
Google describes thin content as having “little or no added value”. This is the description you’ll see if you’re unlucky enough to get a manual action warning in Google Search Console, informing you that you’ve been penalized for having thin content on your site.

You definitely don’t want one of those.
The question at this point is: what kind of content does Google consider to have “little or no added value”?
Back in the early Panda days, Google was mostly targeting deceptive uses of thin content – for example:
1. Content that’s automatically created
In this case we are looking at low-quality content, often created by basic machine concatenation, and offering limited, if any, value. For example, grabbing a news story in Spanish and then running it through Google Translate before adding it to your site – a big no-no.
We are starting to see examples of machines (or ‘robots’) writing high value content and this is something that will become more prevalent as AI and machine learning continue to improve. This does not fall into thin content but you would still want a human editor to review this type of content before publishing it.
2. Low-value affiliate content
Affiliate websites offering useful, comprehensive purchase advice have nothing to fear from Google. However, pages filled with affiliate links that offer no useful or relevant information for the end user are prime targets for getting hit by a search penalty.
If you’re in the affiliate game, stick to the following guidelines:

Make sure your website has a purpose beyond that of any affiliate offering alone. Affiliate pages should contribute to a tiny percentage of your total website.
Add something new to the affiliate audience. Not only will this provide access to new online niches, fuelling your affiliate ROI, but will create value to encourage SEO success.
Be objective; ask yourself whether there’s a reason why a user should land on your website before going to the actual product/service originator website. Remember, your site is an added step in the process between the user and their end destination, so there has to be a value-enhancing reason for them to take this detour.
Only offer affiliate opportunities that are closely matched to your target audience. This helps to overcome diluting your offering, mixed messaging signals and barriers with user engagement and interaction.
When you refresh and improve your main website copy, remember to review, update and add depth of value to your affiliate content too. Don’t have scraped, duplicate affiliate content on your website – make it unique, better than any other examples and something of value to your website audience.

3. Content scraped (copied) from other sources
If you systematically add content to your website from external sources, you’re also at risk of a thin content penalty. There are a number of ways in which content is copied (or scraped) from other sources, a few of the more common ones being:

Copying and pasting full articles that were not created by you.
Adding external content in part, or in full, to your site without any extra unique value.
Completing minor tweaks and changes to predominantly copied content.
Using automated means to re-purpose content that exists externally, trying to display this content as unique.
Embedding lots of other content types (video, images, infographics etc.) without bringing anything new or adding value.

4. Using doorway pages to rank in Google
Doorway pages are a means to spam the search engine results pages (SERPs) with very thin content that target a very specific term or close group of terms with the purpose of sending this traffic to another website or destination.
This creates a poor user search experience and adds unwanted steps for the user to get to their desired end result. Often, doorway pages mean that the user ends up on a lower quality and less relevant search result page than required, resulting in excessive searching to discover the content they needed.
It’s all about adding value
Essentially, if your content is copied from anywhere else, generated by software or you’re creating pages with little or no content, you could be in trouble. Even if you’re not trying to be deceptive (for example, reposting relevant news stories), you have to question why Google would choose to rank your page when it’s simply repeating content that’s already available – it has nothing new or valuable to offer.
As Google explains over at Search Console Help:
“One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.
“However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.”
It all comes down to adding substantial value to the end user because this is what Google aims to deliver as a search engine.
For more info on thin content, take a look at this video from Google’s former head of web spam, Matt Cutts:

It’s not a particularly recent video but everything Matt Cutts says is still relevant today.
What are the dangers of thin content?
While the most publicized danger of thin content is getting hit by a Google search penalty, your problems run much deeper than this if you’ve got too much of it. If Google’s algorithms can tell you’re using thin content deceptively, then you can bet the majority of users who visit your site can see it as soon as they land on the page.
Whatever your objectives are with the page, you’re not going to convince many people to take action this way. You’ll struggle to keep users on the page, encourage them to engage with your brand or inspire them to convert.
Essentially, this is the real danger of thin content: your marketing objectives are going to fall flat.
Now, in terms of the Google Search penalties, these can be pretty devastating and it helps to understand how Google’s Panda algorithm works.
Thin content and Google Panda algorithm updates
The Google Panda update was first released in 2011 with the purpose of de-valuing low-value and thin websites, to stop them from appearing so prominently in SERPs.
The other, lesser communicated, side of this update was the additional ranking gains (tied to content quality signals) rewarding websites creating high-quality content.

Google Panda updates can impact (remember, this ‘impact’ can be positive or negative) a single page, a whole topic or theme, multiple themes, or entire websites.
The Panda filter applies a number of perceived content quality criteria as well as questions that the Google Quality Raters would be asking themselves when manually viewing content – things like:

Does the content convey expertise, authority and trust (E-A-T)?
Are the ‘Your Money or Your Life’ (YMYL) pages present and providing everything needed (think about pages tied to transactions, financial details, private information collection and more)?
Is there depth of content? For example, do core service pages cover the main topic, plus supplemental information, and enable the user to immerse themselves into the topic (and discover more information easily, should they choose to)?
Is the content accessible? Can it be accessed easily within the site structure? How quickly does the content load? Does the content work effectively on mobile devices?

The above is just the starting point for Panda protecting your website and content.
It is important to get a second opinion on your content. Be objective and honest with yourself and your team about the quality of what is being produced, and how it needs to improve.
Not all thin content is deceptive
While the penalties for having too much thin content can be severe, there are quite a lot of scenarios where you’re naturally going to end up with content that could fall into this category.
Search results pages
If you have a search function on your website, the results pages are going to offer very little or no original content. This can’t be helped, of course. The purpose of a search results page is to show snippets of other pages across your site and help users choose the most relevant option.
Solution: Prevent Google from indexing results pages by adding a disallow line for these pages in robot.txt file.
Photo/video galleries
In many cases, it’s perfectly reasonable to have a photo or video gallery on your website. You might be a wedding photographer, a marquee hire company or a business with a bunch of video case studies to show off.
If the purpose of this page is to allow visitors to browse your photos or videos and choose which ones they want to view, this causes some thin content issues. You probably don’t want a load of text getting in the way on the gallery page itself and your problems get worse if each image or video has its own dedicated page.
Solution: This really depends on how you structure your gallery. You might choose to create content for your gallery page and no-index the individual image/video pages, for example. Or you might take the opposite approach and create unique content for each image/video and no-index the gallery page.
Alternatively, you could create a carousel that displays all images/videos on the same URL – it all depends on what you want to rank for and the kind of content you’re planning to create.
Shopping cart pages
Shopping cart pages aren’t there to provide users with valuable content; they’re designed to help people manage orders and complete purchases. Technically, we’re in thin content territory here but the fix is pretty simple.
Solution: Once again, stop Google from indexing these pages by no-indexing them in your robot.txt file.
Duplicate pages
Duplicate pages are a natural part of managing a website. Moving over to HTTPS from HTTP creates duplicates, as does having www and non-www domains while managing multilingual websites and recreating pages for multiple locations can also result in duplicates.
Technically, duplicate content isn’t quite the same thing as thin content but the two do overlap in certain cases.
Solution: Mark the page version you want to rank with canonical tags, use 301 redirects if you’re sending users to a different URL and use hreflang tags for international languages/locations.
In many cases, thin content isn’t detrimental to the user experience at all. In fact, it’s sometimes better to forget about content and simply deliver the functionality users need – eg: shopping carts.
Luckily, keeping these pages safe from search penalties is relatively simple. By no-indexing pages, telling Google which version to index (canonical tags) and/or using 301 redirects to send users to the right place, non-deceptive thin content shouldn’t be a problem.
Can I have thin content on product pages?
This is one of the most common scenarios where thin and/or duplicate content occurs on a website. This is especially true if you’re selling multiple versions of the same or very similar product.
Naturally, brands try to avoid having duplicate content across these pages but it’s difficult to say the same thing in a hundred different ways.
It becomes a battle of thin content vs duplicate content and this causes a lot of confusion for website owners, SEOs and marketers in general.
The truth is, duplicate content is the lesser of two evils here and it’s better to provide users with comprehensive product details – even if they’re the same or similar – than publishing pages with very little (albeit unique) content.
Here’s What Google’s Andrey Lipattsev had to say about duplicate product pages during a Q&A on duplicate content with fellow Googler John Mueller.
“And even, that shouldn’t be the first thing people think about. It shouldn’t be the thing people think about at all. You should think, I have plenty of competition in my space, what am I going to do? And changing a couple of words is not going to be your defining criteria to go on. You know, the thing that makes or breaks a business.”
More to the point, there is no search penalty for duplicate content but there is for thin content.
So, when it comes to product pages, don’t worry too much about duplicate content for very similar products or variations of the same product. Instead, focus on optimizing for the best experience and giving Google any clues you can about which page to prioritize in terms of indexing.
Here are some tips:
The key takeaway from the Q&A on duplicate content is that when pages are similar (or the same), Google is looking for a way to differentiate between them and product descriptions are just one of the hundreds of factors it looks at.

Provide full product details on every page
List the key benefits of each product
Include images and videos where relevant
Create unique content where you can
Avoid copying product descriptions from other sites (eg: Nike’s descriptions of its shoes you’re selling)
Allow users to select different versions of the same product from a single page (sizes, colors, etc.)
Use canonical tags if you want Google to index one version of the same or very similar pages
Focus on adding value beyond product descriptions: page speed, mobile optimization, navigation, etc.

How do you find thin content on your site?
There are a number of ways to discover thin content (levels of words, duplication, and value) and a few of the more common actions can be seen below.
1. Copyscape
Using Copyscape (and other free tools), you can crawl the web to look for any content that has been copied from your domain, as well as any content that may have been added to your own site over the years copied (in part or full) from external sites.

2. Google search operators
You can also use Google search operators to manually check Google for instances of content copying/scraping or duplication.
Here’s an example of what you need to do:

Copy a selection of content that you feel may have been copied (consider more successful content types you have added to the site)
Paste into Google (in this case assuming it was text content) within quotes (“”)
Review the results

Here’s an example of the above in action. In this case checking any duplication of content from a post I created for Search Engine Journal:

As you can see, the first site appearing is the originator website, and as this content is opinion-driven, it is intended to be distributed, shared socially and used on other websites.
An important aspect of this is the purpose of the content, whether it’s to drive traffic back to the main website, encourage shares or something else.
3. Deep data platforms
I’ve been using our machine learning software Apollo Insights for nearly ten years. One of the ways in which I use the data is to locate pages that are not contributing towards total site success.
You can see this in action below (the ‘Page Activity’ widget):

Another metric I use Apollo Insights for is locating content with a limited word count.
Although more words doesn’t always mean better quality content, in most cases a page with very few words is unlikely to be providing the depth of user and search value needed to deliver an optimum search experience.
You can see this below using a deep data grid – in this case I am looking at depth of content based on expected content structural elements, things like the presence of multiple levels of header tags, and checking that the page is active and real:

Remaining with Apollo, ‘Auditor’ tells me how many pages have fewer words on them than I would expect from a high-quality website page. I can also look at the bigger picture and combine this knowledge with items like: external linking, framed content, pages orphaned off from the main website and much more.

How do you fix thin content?
The first stage in fixing thin content is understanding what high-quality and value-enhancing content looks like in the first place. The example below is from Think With Google: ‘The Customer Journey to Online Purchase‘.
Some of the key points which flag this as high quality for me include:

The use of unique data to provide user meaning.
The ability for the user to engage with the content and work with it to create new value.
Mixed content types and content segmentation for easy understanding and skim reading.
Responsive design, supporting universal access to information.
Solving a problem – purposeful content is a key factor for truly valuable content creation.
Detailed supporting information placing the report into context, backing up the stats and enabling further reading on the topic.

Using external comparisons is a great way to put in place the lowest benchmark for your own content quality. The goal is to create content on your website that is far better than any other examples available online.
Once you identify what ‘good’ looks like in your niche, you want to move towards creating ‘great’ content. At this stage, you need to find the content that doesn’t work at present (see previous section on ‘finding thin content’) and boost the content so that it can contribute more towards total site success, as well as its own standalone value.
“You will also need to find new opportunities for effective content creation. Don’t limit your content value by re-purposing alone, there is always an opportunity to create something amazing with digital content.”
Other tactics for creating new quality content include:

Looking at real-time data changes for new content ideas and action points.
Following social media trends to see what your audience needs.
Keeping up to date with industry changes and regularly revisiting old and existing website copy.
Looking at big data (all of the relevant data) so you can base decision making on more than gut feel.
Creating tiered content strategies and aligning them – a blog post is great, but supporting this with an infographic and updating it from the data you receive after it goes live, is much better.
Asking your audience what they want – after all, the content should be primarily to help them solve their needs.

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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!

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9+ Must-Track eCommerce KPIs to Ensure Google Ads Success

Last month we looked at all the top eCommerce KPIs to follow and how to create your own based on your goals. But what about those KPIs that specifically help you monitor and optimize your Google ads? What are the must-track PPC KPIs to ensure your ads are not only bringing in a lot of juicy, targeted traffic, but doing so within your budget?
You asked, we answered!
This week we will run through the 9+ most important Google Ads KPIs and metrics to monitor to ensure Google Ads success. Ultimately helping you to increase conversions and order values while reducing your cost per acquisition.
Google Ads KPI #1: Budget Attainment
The first KPI we will look at isn’t a common one. If you want to keep a close eye on how close your Google Ads results came to your goals within the budget you set for the month, then budget attainment is a vital eCommerce Google Ads KPI.
Often overlooked by beginner Google advertisers, this KPI is very important for the following reason:
Marketers tend to over- or under-spend when adjusting bids and budgets daily because Google ad campaigns require constant optimization and adjustments. Budget attainment, however, will show you how your budgets are being managed.
Simply put, your budget attainment KPI is the total Google ad spend for the month vs. the allocated budget.
If you are exceeding your overall monthly budget but are getting good results, it is time to increase – if you have the spend. Or if you’re leaving money on the table and getting good results, then it’s time to add more campaigns to your Google Ads strategy. If, when looking at the month as a whole, you’re over-spending and getting bad results, it’s time to pull back and optimize your campaigns so that you’re not throwing away your allocated budget.
Google Ads KPI #2: Cost Per Acquisition / Conversion (CPA)
Yes, reaching your conversion targets is cause for celebration. But what if you notice from your budget attainment reports that you are exceeding your budget in a huge way? Then it’s time to look at what each campaign, ad group or ad conversion is costing you. This is where your CPA comes in. CPA is the cost of acquiring each new customer and is worked out as follows:
Total cost of conversions ÷ total number of conversions = CPA
Let’s say that your CTRs are great and your CPCs (we will talk about these in more detail below) are within budget, but your conversions are low – your CPAs will be higher than they should be, eating into the profits you do make. There are a number of reasons why this could happen, such as having either landing page/Google ad content discrepancies or an optimized web store that doesn’t instill trust or isn’t easy to navigate. Or if your conversions are great but your CPCs are too high, then again, you may find your CPAs are too high and leaving you without profit. Ultimately, you should be setting your maximum CPAs ahead of time to ensure your business is still profitable, and testing and optimizing your ads and store to ensure you do not exceed it.
Pro Tip: Use Google’s Targeted CPA bidding technique to enable you to get as many conversions as possible without exceeding the CPA KPI you set. To use this, you will need to be doing at least 30 sales per month and have conversion tracking set up.
Google Ads KPI #3: Cost Per Click (CPC)
CPCs are probably the most well-known eCommerce KPI to monitor when running Google ads. It’s the amount you are paying every time a user reacts to your ad. You work it out as follows:
Total campaign cost ÷ total number of clicks = CPC
In short, it’s the cost of your ad being displayed and the clicks it receives when displayed. Remember: with Google, the bids you set will play a part in the final CPC of your ad. If you are bidding on terms with a lot of competition and in a popular niche, you may need to plan for a higher CPC result to ensure you are able to compete. At the same time, if your CPC is too high and your conversions are low, your CPAs may be higher than the profit you earn on selling.
It is a balancing act.
Therefore, it’s best to work out ahead of time what your maximum CPC will be for Google Ads, to ensure you’re able to get as many results as possible for the budget you have. AKA: good ROIs. Here is a step-by-step guide for working out your max CPC:
Step 1
Work out the amount of profit you can earn with each sale. Remember to take your costs into consideration. You can do that as follows:
Average lifetime value per acquisition – (taxes + internal costs) = acquisition profit
Step 2
Next, you will want to work out what your current conversion rate is.
Total conversions ÷ total clicks = average conversion rate
Step 3
Use your profit equation and conversion rate averages to work out the CPC where you break even.
Average conversion rate X acquisition profit = break-even CPC
Step 4
Lastly, you will need to adjust for CPC fluctuations and profitability. You want to make sure that your max CPC is lower than your break-even CPC, as this will ensure you are not using all your profits. The trick is to not go too low, or you won’t get the reach and the clicks. And not to set them too high, or you will be spending far more than you’re making. Generally speaking, you want to aim for around 70% of your break-even CPC, but you will want to do the math and see what works for your business and budget in terms of how competitive your niche is.
Break-even CPC X 0.70 = max CPC

Google Ads KPI #4: Quality Score
Your Google Ads Quality Score is one of the most influential PPC KPIs because it not only summarizes how relevant your ads – and their landing pages and keywords – are to your shoppers, but plays a direct role in how Google decides which ads to show. It will also directly affect the cost of the clicks.
So, what is a good Quality Score for Google Ads?
Quality Scores are reported on a scale from one to ten and awarded at the following levels:
Account level: This is based on the historical performance of all your keywords and ads in your account. A good score for your account should be 7-9.
Ad group level: Here, you are shown the Quality Score of each ad group. At an ad group level, you want to aim for a score of 6-9.
Keyword level: This will point to the relevance of your keywords. You should be aiming for the following scores:

Ad keywords with high intent – Quality Scores of 7-9
Branded keywords – Quality Scores of 8-10
Ad keywords with low intent – Quality Scores of 6-8
Competitor keywords – Quality Scores of 3 and up

Ad level: This is the Quality Score of each ad in your ad group.
Landing page level: This is the Quality Score of the URL linked to your ad.
Looking at Quality Scores at every level is hugely telling. Let’s say your average Quality Score at ad group level is 6, but some ads in the group are higher while one or two ads in the group have a score of 3. Then you know which ad you need to optimize first to improve your average. Other Quality Scores are for Display Network and mobile.
Quick Tip: If you’re looking to improve Quality Scores at each level, you should optimize your landing pages, test ad text, and double-check your keywords and their organization.
Google Ads KPI #5: Conversion Rate (CVR)
The next vital Google Ads KPI to track is your campaign conversion rates (CVR). This is the percentage or rate of your ad clickers who end up becoming paying shoppers. In other words, sales!
You can work out your Google Ads campaign or ad CVR by dividing the number of conversions for the ad or campaign by the total number of clicks. Ultimately, it ensures you are meeting your ROI eCommerce KPI objectives for Google Ads.
Conversions ÷ clicks = CVR
Why are CVRs so important for ascertaining Google Ads success?
Let’s say your campaign clicks are high but CVRs are low. This could point to issues with your landing pages and their CTA text, or if coupled with a bad Quality Score, will show URL irrelevancy issues – all in real-time. Additionally, it helps you set and keep your conversion goals in mind for your click/impression campaigns.
Google Ads KPI #6: Impressions and Impression Share (IS)
Impression metrics may not seem like an important indicator of your ad performance on their own. But they can point to scheduling and targeting issues. Why is that important? Well, you can craft a highly strategic ad that promises to convert clicks, but it’s worthless if no one is seeing it.
Newbie Tip: Some basic reasons for low impressions for your campaigns, groups or ads include forgetting to un-pause campaigns or your budget limitations (your total set budget has been used, your ad approval is still pending or your negative bid adjustments are too low).
However, it’s impressions in relation to clicks (i.e. your impression share) that are really telling. IS is worked out by dividing your campaign impression totals by the impressions the campaign was eligible for.
Impressions ÷ total eligible impressions = Impression Share
This can be found in your Google Ads campaign manager and analytics.

This data can be used in a number of ways. If you have a low impression share and ad rank or Quality Score, then you could try raising your bid or work on increasing your quality score. If the campaign is performing well but you’re not getting enough views, then it could be time to up your budget. Additionally, it could point to poorly performing keywords.
Newbie Tip: Absolute Top Impression Share (ATIS) is your impression share specifically for your Google Shopping campaigns. A low ATIS could point to a need to increase bids or budgets. The slight difference between ATIS and IS is that ATIS takes into account all your Shopping ads you’re showing at once. You can read more about the difference here.
Google Ads KPI #7: Clicks and Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The next top Google Ads metric you want to closely track are your clicks. Clicks are one of the most important indicators of a campaign’s success and simply measure the number of people who click your ads. But it is your click-through rates that really bring your ad performance home.
Because if you have the impressions but aren’t getting the clicks, then it’s time to test some ad variations. Your CTRs are the percentage of potential shoppers who click your Google ads after seeing them and can be viewed at a campaign and ad group level. Here are some quick tips on how you can raise your Google Ads CPCs.

Edit and test meta description variations
Review your focus keywords
Test and optimize your CTAs
Improve your engagement metrics – such as time on site, bounce rate, page views and dwell time
Combine Google remarketing ads and Facebook marketing

Google Ads KPI #8: LTV (Lifetime Value)
Another super important eCommerce KPI to track to ensure peak ad performance is your LTV. This is an excellent indicator of your overall Google strategy health and will point to a lot of valuable data to help take your marketing – and business – to the next level.
In a nutshell, LTV measures how valuable each of your customers is to your business and will differ slightly per business owner. The more complex your business is, the more involved getting to this KPI will be as you will need to consider things like profit margins per counters, retention rates and the average lifespan of your shoppers.
Within Google Analytics, you are able to assess a variety of LTV metrics such as pageviews, session duration, revenue, transactions and goal completions per user. Choosing which one is most urgent to watch will be unique to your specific business, marketing or campaign goals. Let’s say your goal is to drive traffic or convert previous shoppers with Google remarketing campaigns: you may want to track pageviews LTV of promotional page or revenue LTV.

Google Ads KPI #9: Keyword Performance
The last top eCommerce KPI to monitor for Google Ads success is your keyword performance. After all, keywords are the foundation of Google Ads and without good performing keywords you will either not be reaching the right shopper or not reaching anyone at all. Therefore, it is vital that you have a clear keyword performance goal and then monitor and optimize based on your performance KPIs.
This will include metrics such as Quality Score, CTR, clicks and other important keyword performance indicators, and can be done at various levels. If you want to view keyword performance, these four easy steps will get you there:

Here you will be able to see which match types result in more conversions, clicks or impressions and which are duds. Remember to add irrelevant (non-performing) keywords that have low ROIs to your negative keyword list as this will help keep ROIs up and prevent unnecessary spend.

Ultimately, you need to look at your unique business, audience and objectives to find the top Google Ads KPIs to monitor for your success. As your business evolves, so will your goals and the KPIs you will put on top of your must-watch, must-optimize list.
Have questions on which Google Ads KPIs you should be monitoring for campaign success? Post them in the comments below!

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How to Turn Your WordPress Website into an SEO Powerhouse for Better Conversions

I know why you’re here.
You want to get better conversions, don’t you?
I don’t blame you.
After all, it doesn’t matter how seemingly lucrative your prospective business idea is, without having the capability to turn your web visitors into paying customers, you’ll never get a single cent from your website.
Nada. Zilch. Zippo.
And you don’t want that, do you?
If you’re sick and tired of getting poor sales results month after month, then allow us to share with you these SEO strategies to help you get better conversions.
Let’s hop right in.
Polish your Landing Page
First things first!
Your would-be customer’s experience in your website starts on your landing page.
That means you need to work on the CRO and aesthetic part of your website to make it more user-friendly.
Once your visitors come to your landing page, direct them to the right conversion path, displaying clear call-to-action buttons, adding sign-up forms, etc.
Here are more key traits you need to look into for better conversions:

Have a simple, yet intuitive design
Create a captivating headline title that lures in visitors
Include authentic testimonials and reviews from happy customers
Have clear images to grab visitors’ attention
Include social sharing icons to allow visitors to share your site with the world
Add a live chat option

Get Rid of Duplicate Content on your Site
Once the aesthetic and conversion optimization part of your website is out of the way, it’s time to check your content.
Your content can make or break your site. While having great content optimized for particular phrases will help your site rank better, having duplicate content can cause you some serious issues.
If you have duplicate content on your site, you might want to get rid of them before you get penalized by Google — causing your pages to be removed from the SERPs.
If you have to, go ahead and check your pages manually or use tools such as SEMrush if you have lots of content.

Here’s another trick you can consider:
If your site has two or more pages with identical content, consider consolidating them, keeping the one containing the most internal links and ranks better and then redirecting the other pages to it.
WordPress has a number of plugins you can use to redirect your internal links. The premium version of YoastSEO also offers this functionality.

Integrate your WordPress Site with Google Search Console
If you care about your search engine traffic, you’ll need to integrate your site with Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tool.
This tool monitor and analyzes your site, letting you know the phrases that you are actually ranking highly for and if there are any errors or broken links on your site that you should work on. You can then use these pertinent details to create an effective marketing strategy/campaign.
Through Search Engine Console, you may discover pages or posts that have been linked incorrectly by other bloggers, leading visitors to a 404 page.
Once you are aware of such links, you can redirect them to another relevant page to maintain the link juice and keep the traffic being redirected to your site.

If you have not already integrated this tool to your site, you can do it easily via the Yoast plugin. Just click on the ‘Search Console’ Option on Yoast and follow the prompts as outlined by Yoast.

Work on your Page Load Speed
The importance of page load speed cannot be stressed enough when it comes to improving the ranking of your WordPress site.
Google and other search engines consider page load speed as a key factor when ranking sites, so it goes without saying that you need to work on yours.
Now, assume you are a website visitor; would you be patient enough to wait extra seconds for a site to load?
You answer with a “no,” didn’t you?
Just like you, no one has the patience to wait forever for a site to load. They’ll just leave and opt to use the services of your competitors.
In order to know how your site is doing speed-wise, you can use a number of online speed tools such as Page Speed Insights and Pingdom.

To give you an idea of the kind of insights you can get out of these website testing tools, I ran with Pingdom. Here’s how the results look.

Those are just some of the many insights you can get out of using Pingdom.
Pretty awesome, huh?
When it comes to cleaning and streamlining your website, for starters, you can remove all clutter that’s not adding value to your site.
Deactivate plugins that you don’t use, optimize your images, minimize your redirects, and if necessary, reduce large size images.
You can also run a compression audit using WordPress tools, such as the ones listed below.

Have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate
The SSL certificate does not only make your site to look good; it also reassures your users that any information you collect from them, including emails and credit card details, is in safe hands.
Google recently made this a crucial ranking factor, meaning, if your site is encrypted, it stands a better chance to rank better.
You can know if your WordPress site has an SSL certificate by checking the beginning of the URL.
For instance, if it reads, then it doesn’t have an SSL certificate. If it reads, then it uses an SSL certificate.
In simple terms, if it has HTTPS, then you know the site is encrypted and secure.
Use SEO-Friendly URL Structure
How do you know a URL is SEO friendly?
Well, it’s simple. SEO-friendly URLs usually have words explaining the content behind the link and are easy to be discovered by both search engines and human beings.
An example of an SEO-friendly URL would be something like this:
See? It explains to readers what they are likely to find if they click on the link and lets Google know what your page is all about.
Now, notice the difference with this link:
With this kind of URL, a user can’t possibly guess where the link goes.
It also doesn’t help when it comes to optimizing your links to allow search engines to know what the page is about.
To make sure your links are always correct, go to your WordPress Settings Permalinks, check the field for Post name and then hit Save Changes.

Write Great Content
When it comes to optimizing your website for the search engines, you probably know this already – you create need mindblowing content for your pages.
The fact of the matter is, you can concentrate on all things we have highlighted on this post, but if the content on your site is poor, your website will be buried under hundreds if not thousands of other results — and should any web visitors land on any of your pages, there’s almost a zero chance that any of them will buy.
Don’t just write any content and hope that Google will index it; provide useful, informative content with focus keywords.
If you are not sure if your content is up to standard, go ahead and use Yoast SEO, a free WordPress plugin that analyzes your posts, giving you the option to add a description, title, and focus keyword.
It also gives you a readability score of the content you are about to post, giving you suggestions to make your articles SEO-friendly.
Conclusion – A Word for the Wise
Ranking your web pages online can be a neck-breaking task, considering that your competitors are working equally hard to impress search engines.
But hey, you can’t just sit there and watch as your site is buried by Google and other search engines. Employ these simple tricks, and you will certainly see some positive changes on your site.
They may not work magic overnight, but over time, your pages will rank better, giving you the traffic you’ve always wished for. It’s time to get those conversions!

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Complete SEO Checklist for Your Business Website

Search engine optimization as a practice is strong as ever despite notions among expert groups who believe SEO is dead after Google’s Panda & Penguin updates. SEO, in retrospect, evolved from a singularly-focused practice aimed at boosting ranking to a unique art form that involves branding, keyword research, content creation and promotion to attract traffic to a business website.
In a 24×7 connected digital world, 81% of consumers perform online research before buying something. According to 57% of B2B marketers, SEO generates more leads than any other marketing tactic in modern times. So, it would not be wrong to say that SEO is extremely important for your website.
To help you out in building or refining a full-proof SEO strategy, we have outlined some important aspects in the form of a checklist. Follow this detailed SEO checklist to boost your search engine rankings.
Fine-tuning the Basics: Technical SEO
Before planning to do anything about on-page and external factors, it is important that you focus on the basics- i.e. technical aspects of SEO. Technical SEO ensures that your site is discoverable and easily navigable by the search engines for indexing and crawling purposes. To get the best results out of technical SEO, you need to focus on the following aspects:

XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is your way of telling the search engine that your website is ready to be crawled and indexed. A sitemap is just like ‘table of contents’ of a book and a way of submitting all the pages of your website.
You can use any website analytics platform or plug-in to create a dynamic sitemap that gets updated automatically as you make changes to your website.


Robots.txt can be said to be an extension of your sitemap and informs search engines about which pages or parts of your website are required to be indexed. Search engines tend to crawl through all the content.
Robots.txt gives them the right direction to make sure you get the best SEO results. Robots.txt ensures that no critical part of content is missed by search engines to be indexed.


Speed is a critical factor for the success of any website. Online users are becoming more and more impatient with each passing day. If a website is not optimized for best performance and speed, it is more likely to have a higher bounce rate.
Also, search engines rank pages and websites based on how fast they can load. Using JavaScript minimally and avoiding heavy pieces of code on a webpage can help in optimizing website loading speed.


52% of global internet users use mobile devices for performing a search. The trend has been on the rise for past several years, growing the need of having a mobile-friendly website. If your website doesn’t have the essential responsive elements, search engines will definitely punish the same with low rankings.
Make sure to invest properly towards enhancing the user experience and performing QA testing to enhance the site responsiveness. A custom web design company can help you out with your responsiveness goals.


Security and privacy are the biggest concerns at present for online users. And search engines have also taken security seriously. If your website isn’t secure and covered under an SSL certificate, you may start losing visitors. Modern-day browsers show security warning to users who are trying to enter websites with no SSL certificate. Make sure to embed an SSL certification on your business website.
Moving ahead with On-page SEO: your shot at better search engine rankings
Once you have aced technical SEO, you might want to look at on-page SEO status of your website. Gone are the days of selective on-page SEO. Today, search engines are smarter and award websites with contextually-relevant and value-rich content, irrespective of the keyword placement.
You can’t just update Meta tags to get great rankings. Here are the things you must focus on while working on improving your website’s on-page SEO:

Topic & Keyword Research

The first ladder to great on-page SEO results begins way before you actually start to pen down content for your website. You need to know what you want to write, for whom you want to write and what are users searching for. If you have not performed comprehensive keyword research, there are very bleak chances that your target audience will be able to find you online.
The goal here is not about finding keywords to stuff in the content but identifying what users might be interested in. Keyword research helps in identifying topics for your website by helping you discover the terms, phrases and topics users are searching online.


Website owners and administrators often ignore the importance of a great URL. URL creates the first impression and simplifies your website directory structure. Including keywords and contextual phrases in URL by personalizing generic URL drives a better message home, making a website more attractive to both search engines as well as humans.


For a web page to rank well, having a clear, relevant and unique title tag is a must. You should follow ideal title length and try to include keywords in the title based on the topic of the page for best SEO results. These days, using dynamic formulas for title tags that populate page titles are also garnering huge support and performing well in search engine rankings.

Meta Description

Meta description tells search engines what information to display about a page on your website in search results. For the best SEO results, you need to have a customized and relevant Meta description with appropriate keywords. The goal of Meta description should be to assist the title and provide information to users on what to expect on the page in terms of content.


H Tags or headings on the web page should be well-organized and include the relevant keywords that you are targeting. Using heading tags in a hierarchical and orderly fashion not only gives structure to your page but allows search engines to index the page in a better way.

Body Copy

Your body copy should include focus keywords in a way that they appear to be naturally flowing. Don’t overstuff keywords into the content of the body as it can lead to penalization from search engines. Remember, this part is the biggest chunk of content that can be indexed by the search engines. So, make the most out of it by creating a clear, relevant and interesting copy for visitors.

Image Alt Attributes

Alt attributes for images are often forgotten leading to lower search engine rankings. If you fail to account for these, you are missing out of a huge indexing opportunity. Search engines cannot see images and make use of alt text to understand what an image is all about.
Adding relevant keywords to alt text attribute of an image can do wonders for your search engine ranking. Just make sure to be relevant as you would want your website to be accessible & enriching, even for those using a screen reader.
Bonus tips: Leveraging external SEO factors

Link Building: Try to get inbound links from high authority websites as it will boost your rankings sooner than you expect.
Local Search: Listing your business online using an online business directory can boost your SEO efforts. Make sure to add maximum information to your business listing for higher search engine rankings.
Social Media Presence: Though social media doesn’t directly impact search engine rankings, being active definitely helps in engaging audience and ultimately push your online presence to the top of search engine results.

That’s it from our end. Hope that this checklist will help you achieve your growth goals from SEO. If we missed something or you need further advice, let us know in comments. Remember, mastering SEO is a long term process and you can’t really optimize your rankings, quickly. Even Rome was not built in a day. How can we create an evergreen empire with some quick hacks?

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70 Web Design and Development Terms We Wish You Knew, Part One

We’ve been designing and developing websites for 16+ years. So, naturally, we use a good bit of jargon. Sometimes it’s shorthand but the majority of the time we use these terms because they are the best way to describe a thing we do, need, etc.
So, I asked our creative and development directors to send me the terms they wish our clients knew. Our intentions are honorable here, I promise. We simply want to make sure you understand us when we “speak geek.” Or at least our brand of Geek.
We’re always happy to explain what a term means. But, maybe this list will help us all be even more productive.
And, if there are any terms we’ve missed, please let me know. We’re breaking this into two part because let’s face it, 70 definitions is a lot for one sitting.
Here’s a quick view of our vernacular and their definitions (sources at the end of the post) followed by a Wood Street clarification or further explanation as needed…
301 redirect
Definition: “A permanent redirect from one URL to another, usually from your old website to the new website. (e.g.“” now redirects visitors to “” on the new website.”1
Wood Street: Basically, when you redesign a website, some links will change. So, make sure Google can still find the content. 301 redirect rules give Google instructions for finding your new pages.
Definition: “An error page that a user sees when they try to reach a non-existent page on your website. Usually, this is due to a visitor mistyping the URL or attempting to access a page that has been deleted from the site. An effective 404 error page should communicate why the page doesn’t exist and what users can do next.”1
Wood Street: Users will see this page if the link they’re using no longer exists. Create a 404 page that acts as a directory to redirect the user so they stay on your website. Here’s our 404 page…

Accessibility / 508 Compliance
Definition: “Website accessibility concerns making a website accessible by people with disabilities. All websites built should follow guidelines outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.”1
Wood Street: Also known as 508 Compliance, there is a list of rules on a website run by the GSA. Basically, make sure that people with disabilities can access and use your website. So, fonts need to be clear and legible, images must be labeled for people who are visually impaired so the name of the image can be read to them. 508 compliance is still only “required” for government websites. That said, it’s always a good idea to make sure your website is as compliant as possible. There are lots of tools to check for this. Your webmaster should be able to run a quick report to let you know what issues need to be resolved to get your site in compliance.
Definition: “A is for agile, a major buzzword across the entire tech industry right now. Agile web development essentially refers to a particular way of working, and you’ll often hear this term in the startup world. In an agile team, web developers will work according to weekly or biweekly sprints. A sprint usually consists of five phases: design, develop, test, deploy and review.”2
Wood Street: Agile means you are developing and deploying features as they are completed. So, you’d launch with something much sooner and make adjustments and improvements to a live website or app. This initial launch is known as the minimal viable product/website/app. Agile is growing in popularity and is the preferred method of most developers. That said, it’s not always preferred by clients who want a fixed price and fixed deliverables.
Definition: “An algorithm is basically a set of steps for carrying out certain tasks. In computer programming, algorithms are a key part of problem-solving. When creating an algorithm, developers will document all the necessary steps it took to arrive at a solution to a problem, and what each step involved.”2
Wood Street: An algorithm is a programmatic solution to a problem. It’s the code equivalent to an instruction manual.
ALT tag
Definition: “Alternate descriptive text that is displayed inside the image placeholder while the page is loading. ALT text plays a role in optimizing a website for ADA compliance [see above], helps with SEO ranking, and overall web accessibility.”1
Wood Street: It’s the text associated with an image that displays when an image isn’t loaded or able to be seen. You may have seen something similar in an email before you download or show the images.
Definition: API stands for Application Programming Interface. An API enables two different programs to communicate with each other by making some parts of the website code available to developers. Developers can use this code, i.e. the API, to build tools and widgets that can be connected to that particular website.”2
Wood Street: Let’s say you have a WordPress or Drupal website and you need your contact form to connect to your email marketing solution, say MailChimp or ConstantContact. An API would facilitate that connection. Whenever a developer mentions an API, they are looking for a way to connect two pieces of software for a singular purpose.
Definition: “Software that is used for business or entertainment. The terms “application,” “application program,” “software application” and simply “app” may refer to virtually any type of program from spreadsheets such as Excel to media players such as iTunes to virtual reality games such as Second Life. However, the term specifically excludes essential control software such as the operating system .”3
Wood Street: An app is a standalone piece of software. Google Chrome is an example of software that can function as a web app, desktop app, and mobile app.
Definition: “Back-end development essentially refers to everything that goes on behind the scenes. What happens at the back-end — or server-side — powers what happens at the front-end, i.e. what the user sees and interacts with. Back-end development can be broken down into four main components of a software stack: the server, the database, the operating system, and the software.”2
Wood Street: Basically, if you cannot see it happen, it is likely a back-end function. For example, the interface where you type in a search in Google is the front-end. The back-end is what happens after you hit enter.
Definition: “The points at which a website’s content will adjust to accommodate various screen sizes to provide the user with the best possible layout to view content. In responsive design (see term below), breakpoints are often defined by common device widths, such as smartphone, tablet, and desktops above 1024px.”1
Wood Street: These are the sizes where a design layout will change, ie a desktop view, tablet view, mobile view, etc.
Definition: “Bootstrap is a free, open-source front-end framework for designing websites and web apps. It was developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter in order to encourage consistency across internal tools. Bootstrap includes HTML and CSS-based design templates for typography, forms, buttons, tables, navigation, modals and more, plus JavaScript plugins.”2
Wood Street: Bootstrap is a bunch of pre-written code that front-end developers use to turn a design into a functional website. At Wood Street, we have a similar framework we created to streamline our front-end development.
Definition: “A web browser is the software used to access the internet and display web pages. When you type a web address or URL into the browser, you are effectively sending out a series of requests. The browser will gather all the different elements that make up that particular webpage, such as images, ads, and content, from wherever they are stored (i.e. different directories or servers) in order to display the page that you see. The most common browsers include Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari for Apple, and Opera.”2
Wood Street: Every device uses a browser to access the internet. When we ask what browser you are using, it is usually one of the ones listed above in the definition. We need to know this because all browsers are different and can display a website differently than the others. We need specific browser information so we can replicate the bug (see below) you are seeing and fix it.
Definition: “A bug is an error that prevents a website or app from running as it should.”2
Wood Street: When we are debugging code, we are literally looking for errors in the code. Sometimes a bug could be missed during initial testing. This occurs because some bugs don’t reveal themselves until someone performs a unique action. That’s why when you encounter an error, it’s important that you recount the steps it took to get to that point and relay those back to us in detail. This way we can recreate the issue and fix the bug. Otherwise, it could be a matter of reviewing thousands of lines of code to find the bug.
Definition: “A cache is a temporary data storage mechanism that aids in site speed by storing relevant information on your computer the first time you visit a website so that your computer does not have to reload that information each time you access the site again.”2
Wood Street: We will often ask you to clear your cache when we’ve posted a change for you to review. The reason for this is, as you see in the definition above, your browser has stored elements of a website so they load faster the next time you go there. If you go to see a change and it isn’t there, you’ll need to clear your cache. You can do this by pressing CTRL/CMMD + F5 while in your browser.
Call to Action (CTA)
Definition: “Specific text, image, banner or button that uses action-oriented language that urges a visitor on a website to act. CTAs are designed to move a visitor from one page to the next and persuade them to take an expected, predetermined action. (e.g. Download a Whitepaper, Register for a Webinar, Contact Us, Learn More, etc.).”1
Wood Street: A CTA should be clear and obvious. You want your most important CTAs to appear “above the fold.” You can see two examples in this desktop view of a website we designed for JoJo’s Restaurant and Tap House in Frederick, MD…

Definition: “Code is essentially what web developers write using programming languages. To see exactly what code looks like, right-click on your internet browser window and click ‘view page source.’ You’ll then be able to see the code that’s behind this particular website.”2
Wood Street: We develop in a few different types of code (definitions in this list): HTML/CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and jQuery.
Definition: “CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It is a markup language responsible for the visual elements of a website. HTML (another markup language) is used to determine the structure and content of the webpage. Web developers will then use CSS to style this content; in other words, CSS tells the browser how the HTML elements should be displayed. CSS is used to apply colors and to determine font, text size and alignment, to name just a few.”2
Wood Street: You may have gone to a website and it looks like it went through a “Way Back Machine.” All the images are gone, the text is very plain, and the links are all underlined and blue. This usually means the CSS is not loading properly as CSS is what controls how the information is displayed. Without CSS, the browser will simply show the basics. Not all CSS is created equal. Some can be poorly written or bloated causing a website to load slowly and not display properly. Wood Street’s CSS is, of course, good stuff!
Content Management System (CMS)
Definition: “A software system that is used to edit the content on your website. This allows you to login into the “back-end” of your website to edit the text and images. Some examples include WordPress and Drupal. A CMS is designed to simplify the publication of website content, without requiring technical knowledge of code.”1
Wood Street: Universal access to open source content management systems like WordPress and Drupal have revolutionized digital marketing. A CMS allows an organization to make all website edits themselves. It’s a time and money saver but, more importantly, it means you can manage your own content. This removes any bottleneck so you can be agile with your marketing efforts. If you have a CMS but do not know how to use it, get training. If you don’t have a CMS, we highly recommend upgrading to one. We have yet to find an organization that can’t benefit from a CMS.
Definition: “When a user takes a specific desired action related to online marketing and lead generation. This includes completing a web form, submitting a request for information, subscribing to a newsletter or making an e-commerce purchase.”1
Wood Street: You would use a CTA (see above) to drive conversion. The success of your website will be, more than likely, dependant on how many conversions occur within a given period. This is the most effective way for you to measure ROI. If your conversion rate is low, you may want to consider implementing some CRO or conversion rate optimization.
Definition: “A small text file (up to 4KB) created by a website that is stored in the user’s computer either temporarily for that session only or permanently on the hard disk (persistent cookie). Cookies provide a way for the website to recognize you and keep track of your preferences.”3
Wood Street: Cookies have gotten a bad rap over the years. Yes, cookies can be used for nefarious purposes, but for the most part, they are used to improve the user’s experience. Cookies can be used to reduce load times or to keep users from having to enter data multiple times. Trust us when we tell you that cookies are your friend. Don’t believe me? Delete all the cookies stored in your browser and then talk to me after you’ve had to fill out a bunch of forms, etc again on sites you use all the time.
Domain Name
Definition: “An Internet domain name is a unique name of an organization or person on the Internet. The name is combined with a generic top-level domain (gTLD), such as .com or .org. For example, is the domain name for the publisher of this encyclopedia. By 2019, there were more than 300 million registered domain names.”3
Wood Street: A website can have multiple domain names but only one is the primary. The other domains can be set to point to the primary.
Definition: “Domain Name Servers (DNS) are like the Internet’s version of a phone book, controlling your domain name’s website and email settings. When a user visits your website address, the DNS settings control which server to point them to.”1
Wood Street: Please, please, make sure you know where your domain is hosted. And please be certain that you’ve set the account to “auto-renew.” We’ve seen too many companies either lose track of their login, or the account was setup with an ex-employee’s Yahoo email. This is how you lose your domain. Take this seriously as it is the #1 way that people find your company. Here’s a useful article on DNS.
Dots per inch (DPI)
Definition: “DPI is used to measure the resolution of an image both on screen and in print. As the name suggests, the DPI measures how many dots fit into a linear inch. Therefore, the higher the DPI, the more detail can be shown in an image. It should be noted that DPI is not dots per square inch. Since a 600 dpi printer can print 600 dots both horizontally and vertically per inch, it actually prints 360,000 (600 x 600) dots per square inch.”4
Wood Street: Oftentimes we will ask you for “high-resolution images.” This is what we’re referring to. So, even though the web only requires 72 DPI images, we prefer to start with 300 DPI images so we have enough space/resolution to crop or manipulate the image to work with your new website.
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)
Definition: “EPS is a PostScript image file format that is compatible with PostScript printers and is often used for transferring files between various graphics applications. EPS files will print identically on all PostScript-compatible printers and will appear the same in all applications that can read the PostScript format. PostScript code is used for storing font and vector image information. Vector images are usually drawings created by programs such as Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW. EPS files may also include a rasterized version of the image used for previewing the contents of the file.”4
Wood Street: As you can see, an EPS is so much more than just a graphics file. When we design your website or create collateral materials for you, we need your logo in an EPS format. We can ensure the logo will display properly if we start with an EPS. The graphic designer who designed your logo should have provided you with an EPS format of that logo design. If not, ask if you can get one and then store it somewhere safe that can be easily accessed by those who might need it.
Definition: “A small icon image, often a company logo, that displays on the title bar or tab of a browser.”1
Wood Street: This is a small but very meaningful little piece of design. If you’re anything like me, you keep a lot of tabs open on your desktop. So, it helps to have a favicon in your tab so users can easily go back your website when they’re in another tab. Here’s our favicon…

And here it is with a bunch of other favicons…

Fluid Layout
Definition: “A fluid layout is a type of webpage design in which layout of the page resizes as the window size is changed. This is accomplished by defining areas of the page using percentages instead of fixed pixel widths.”4
Wood Street: We present our designs to clients as a flat JPG file at first. Sometimes, clients are confused and wonder why the design looks different in various browsers or on different computers. Our explanation is usually something about this being a flat JPG and that the functional website will be fluid and fill the screen appropriately. This is what we’re referring to.
Fonts (True type / Postscript / OpenType /Sans Serif / Serif)
Definition: There are a few here to define…

TrueType Fonts: TrueType is an outline font standard developed by Apple and Microsoft in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobe’s Type 1 fonts used in PostScript. It has become the most common format for fonts on the classic Mac OS, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.5
PostScript Fonts: PostScript fonts are font files encoded in outline font specifications developed by Adobe Systems for professional digital typesetting. This system uses the PostScript file format to encode font information. “PostScript fonts” may also separately be used to refer to a basic set of fonts included as standards in the PostScript system, such as Times, Helvetica and Avant-Garde.5
OpenType Fonts: OpenType is a file format for scalable (outline) font files that extends the existing TrueType font file format used by Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. OpenType was developed jointly by Microsoft and Adobe and allows an Adobe postscript file to be part of a TrueType font file.5
Serif and San Serif: In typography, a serif is a small line or stroke regularly attached to the end of a larger stroke in a letter or symbol within a particular font or family of fonts. Times New Roman is a serif font. Arial is a sans serif font.6

Wood Street: We included all of these different definitions so you understand how complex typography can be. This is just scratching the surface. For most of our websites, we use Google Fonts unless the client has a specific request. Some clients will have purchased the rights to use a specific group of fonts so that their website can stay on brand.
(The) Fold (or Above the Fold)
Definition: Above the fold is also used in website design (along with “above the scroll”) to refer to the portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling. As screen sizes vary drastically there is no set definition for the number of pixels that define the fold.5
Wood Street: The fold is literally a moving target. A “fold” on a person’s computer screen may be completely different on someone else’s. Remember, users will scroll. If you focus too much on getting things “above the fold” you may miss some users who scroll automatically and zoom right past your targeted content. Instead, focus on the user experience and use design and technology to drive conversion instead of thinking of your website as a newspaper… because that’s where the term “the fold” comes from. Get with the times, man.
After I wrote this I came across a post on Facebook that is just perfect.

When you are scrolling through a website, this is how it goes. Think about things in terms of weight and visibility and less about ordering.
Definition: “Frameworks were invented to make the process of building a website faster and easier. You can think of a framework as a collection of solutions, tools, and components that you can access in one central location — rather than seeking them all out separately each time. Some common frameworks include Ruby on Rails, Bootstrap, and AngularJS.”2
Wood Street: We use Laravel for a lot of our larger builds. For the front-end (see below), we actually have our own internal framework which helps to speed up development. That said, we can develop in Bootstrap if desired. Bootstrap is a front-end framework. It helps to know your project framework in the event that you need to move from one developer to another. For example, your developer quit, or joined the circus, or went on a Magic The Gathering Quest and is no longer servicing your custom application. A new developer may ask what framework the application was built in. Knowing this answer will help speed up your search for a new team. And you’ll be able to make a selection based on their level of experience with that framework.
Definition: “Remember how the back-end is everything that goes on behind the scenes, and powers what goes on at the front-end? The front-end of a website, also known as client-side, is what the end user sees and interacts with. Front-end languages include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which all have a hand in determining the visual output of a website.”2
Wood Street: Front-end code is what makes a website a website. Without this code, a website would be nothing but a useless image or text with no functionality. Front-end code and frameworks continue to improve which is why it’s important to overhaul your design and UX every 3 years, give or take.
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Definition: “It is a user interface that includes graphical elements, such as windows, icons, and buttons. The term was created in the 1970s to distinguish graphical interfaces from text-based ones, such as command line interfaces. However, today nearly all digital interfaces are GUIs.”4
Wood Street: GUI made computers accessible to everyone. Without GUI, only coders would be able to use computers in any meaningful way. So, thanks to Jobs and Woz for putting that Xerox GUI to good use!
Definition: “The web servers where your website files are housed, served, and maintained. A web server is a computer running web server software connected to the internet that allows visitors to access a website through an Internet-connected web browser or mobile device.”1
Wood Street: Where you host your website is very important. We recommend you host on a business class server with excellent ratings and super fast speed. If you host on a cheap hosting platform, just remember, you get what you pay for.

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