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In the beginning was authority. From the earliest days of advertising, authority was one of the first strategies used to persuade the masses. Then, a lot of us started using this internet thing to talk to one another. There was some speculation that authority was becoming an outdated concept. But it’s funny how these things
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All SEO experts know the power of link building.
It’s no secret that including links on your website, asking other sites for links to your pages, and creating content that is worthy of the powerful control+K helps your domain authority and SEO.
But is that all you can do?
What about those of you who are looking for new strategies to build SEO on your website?
And now, you’re wondering what is left to give.
Well, look no further.
We’re going to discuss the secret strategy that far too few websites are using: second-tier link building.
Most of the strategies I mentioned above qualify as first-tier link building.
A first-tier link is a basic backlink. It links directly to your website from another website.
And there’s no mistaking its power. When a high-authority website links to your site, it essentially serves as an advocate for your content in Google’s eyes.
For example, this image depicts a first-tier link scenario.
But a second-tier link is a little more complicated.
Instead of linking directly from an external piece of content to your website, a second-tier link goes from any website to the piece of content that links to your website.
I know. That’s a little confusing.
Let me explain.
Usually, second-tier links revolve around one singular strategy: guest blogging.
Here’s how it works.
You write a blog post for a publication that’s relevant to your website’s niche.
While you’re writing it, you include a backlink to your website either within the content itself or in the author bio.
You’re a smart marketer and you know the benefits of backlinking.
That’s no big deal.
Then, you run to all your social media accounts and share the guest blog piece after it goes live.
Congratulations. You’ve just engaged in second-tier linking.
Here’s an example that starts with Smart Blogger.
Mike Blankenship wrote this piece.
In the article, at the bottom of his author bio, there’s a link to a website, Booktrep.
Sure enough, if you follow the link, you’ll find that the website belongs to the same person who wrote the Smart Blogger article.
This is an example of a first-tier backlink. The link goes directly from Smart Blogger to Booktrep.
Here’s when the second-tier magic happens.
I saw a Facebook post from Aaron Orendorff sharing this same piece of content.
That link right there on the Facebook post is an example of a second-tier link for Booktrep.
But this is just one example of a second-tier link.
The link in the social media post goes to the guest blog post, which is then linked to Booktrep. Make sense?
Remember that a second-tier link doesn’t just happen on social media. It happens on any online property when another source links to your back-linked guest post.
We’ll discuss some of the other ways this can happen within this article.
First though, let’s discuss the questions at the top of your list.
How do second-tier links benefit your SEO strategy and why should you use them?
Yes, second-tier links help your rankings. And we’ll talk about exactly how in a second.
But first I want to talk about some of the other ways that second-tier links benefit your website and your business.
Perhaps the most important thing that second-tier links do is generate traffic to your website.
When you write a guest post and include a backlink to your website, all the traffic that goes to that guest blog post has a chance of also going to your website.
How? When readers click on the link you included in the guest post.
In other words, traffic to your guest post is a win for the publication and a win for your website.
The top challenge for marketers is generating traffic and leads.
Luckily, second-tier linking is perfect for doing just that.
Most publications will promote your guest blog article to their email list and social media channels.
But you can also help out the traffic-generation effort by scattering additional links throughout the Internet.
You can scatter them on your website, on other websites, or on social media.
Whatever the case, all of those clicks benefit your website to the same degree that they benefit the guest-written blog post.
With this in mind, even a guest blog post on a publication that uses no-follow links is worth your time.
Additionally, if your own website’s domain authority isn’t as high as the publication you wrote for, you’ll probably find it easier to promote the publication’s link.
To check a website’s domain authority, go here.
Enter the website’s URL and click the “I’m not a robot” box.
Then, you’ll see your domain authority score. This is on a scale from 1 to 100 where 100 is the best and 1 is the worst.
Compare your own domain authority with other websites in your field.
And determine if second-tier links might be better than first-tier links as a strategy for generating traffic to your website.
For many websites, they are.
Also, you benefit from the simple fact that second-tier links require you to guest blog for other websites and include your link in the content.
You can see a rise in traffic to your website as soon as you begin guest blogging, according to James Parsons.
And the story is the same for any content marketer who commits at least part of their time to blogging on other websites.
Think about it this way. The more links there are out there to your website, the more opportunities there are for people to access your website.
Second-tier linking just creates another open door to your guest blog post and, by extension, to your website.
To better understand how second-tier links benefit your SEO strategy, think about this.
It’s a way to increase your own website’s domain authority.
Because you guest post on websites with high domain authority that are relevant to your own website’s content. Then you link those websites to your own.
It’s a chain reaction.
You’re telling Google that you and the high-domain-authority website are in a friendly relationship. And Google gets the message loud and clear.
Then, by generating traffic to that guest post with second-tier links, you’re increasing the domain authority of your website by increasing the trustworthiness of the backlink you included in the guest post.
The more high-quality links to a piece of content, the more that search engines trust the links within that content.
Now we turn our attention to strategies you can use to build second-tier links for your website.
The first thing you’ll want to know as you start implementing your new set of knowledge on second-tier links is how to determine the number of second-tier links you’re generating.
Here’s how you can do that.
Go to Moz.
Type in the URL for the guest blog post you wrote.
Then, you’ll see some information come up. But the number you want to pay special attention to is the “Root Domains” count.
That Smart Blogger piece I mentioned earlier has 23 root domains.
This means that there are 23 open-door opportunities across the Internet for people to access Booktrep through this guest blog post.
That’s a lot of extra potential traffic.
Now let’s look at all the ways you can build second-tier links.
The easiest way to generate second-tier links is to share your guest blog content on your social media channels and to ask your friends to share it as well.
Since you’re not sharing a link to your own website, the post will naturally feel less invasive and more appealing to people who follow you.
Then, when people click on the link, they ideally won’t only check out the article, but they’ll also click on the link to your website as well.
That generates valuable traffic and increases your domain authority.
But, to make sure you get the most out of your social media shares, you need to understand the best times to post on each platform.
For Twitter, the best time is Thursday at noon.
For Instagram, the best times are Monday through Friday at 2 a.m. or 5 p.m.
And for LinkedIn, the best times to post are Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday at 5 p.m.
If you want to generate more traffic to your guest post (and your website through your guest post), try and post at the best time of day for each social media channel.
Once you’ve written an article for a high-domain authority website, there are a lot of other websites and blogs within your industry that would be willing to share and link to the article that you wrote.
To find these places that might be willing to build second-tier links for you, a quick Google search will suffice.
You can either search for your industry in general or the topic of the article you wrote.
Try “Content marketing tips,” for example.
Then, you can select any websites that you believe will find your guest blog content relevant to their own audience.
Email these websites with something like this.
This works great for any type of outreach. In this case, though, the [my product] is your guest post.
The more second-tier links you build to your guest post content, the more traffic you’ll generate to your own website.
So have your public relations specialist find and email any websites that will enjoy sharing your guest piece with their audience.
Or do it yourself.
You can also consider creating an easy-to-share infographic for your guest article so that it will be easier for other websites to share and link to the content.
However you do it, asking for second-tier links from high domain authority websites is an easy way to generate traffic to your website. It’s an absolute must if you’re serious about your SEO strategy.
Another second-tier link strategy that you don’t want to forget about is linking to the guest post from your own website content.
But why would you do that?
After all, the people who visit your website are already familiar with you and their traffic won’t necessarily provide any extra benefits.
In other words, if the strategy is traffic generation, why would linking to your guest post benefit your website?
Well, with traffic generation, it wouldn’t.
It wouldn’t help directly, at least.
What it will benefit, though, is your guest post’s rankings. And that can generate more traffic to your website.
If your guest post ranks well on Google, then more people will see the backlink to your website and potentially click on it.
The link doesn’t need to be anything extravagant. It could even be something as simple as this.
So why did I make sure to include this link?
I did it because I know that it will help the Quick Sprout article’s domain authority.
And if that domain authority increases, so too does visibility of my backlink to NeilPatel.com. And with it, traffic to my website.
This strategy is far too simple to ignore. It will take you a maximum of 30 seconds to include a link to your guest blog post, and the payoff is well worth it.
I thought I’d end with the best way to build a second-tier link strategy: Keep guest blogging.
With more guest blog posts, you can generate more traffic to your website with second-tier links.
Strategically link each guest post to a few of your other guest posts and then to your website as well.
Each time you publish a new guest post, share it on social media, ask for links to it on other high domain authority websites, and link to each one from your own website.
And voilá! You’ll be able to compete with even the most lucrative SEO websites.
But there’s a problem.
The best way to optimize your second-tier link building strategy is also the most time-consuming.
Writing the posts. It can take a lot of time to write guest posts for different publications.
If you don’t have time to keep writing blog posts for publications on your own, you could consider paying someone to do it for you.
The benefit of all those second-tier links will likely outweigh the cost for your business as long as your website and content convert effectively.
Just want to write them yourself?
Keep in mind that you don’t have to write one every day. Of course, the more you write, the better your SEO and traffic generation.
But some guest blogging is better than none.
You could challenge yourself to write one or two guest blog posts every month and then have those guest blog posts link to each other.
That will build up your second-tier link strategy while also linking directly to your website.
After just a few months, you’ll have a massive amount of first- and second-tier backlinking action at your disposal.
And as the number of guest blogging increases, so too does traffic to your website.
There is one side note worth mentioning, though, for when you’re guest blogging.
While you want to write content that in some way relates to the content on your own website, you don’t want to write content that directly competes with your own website’s SEO strategy.
In other words, you might want to think twice about writing a guest blog post that is trying to rank for “Content Marketing Agency” if your website is trying to rank for that same keyword.
Don’t create unnecessary SEO competition for your website to battle against.
Right now, first-tier links are all the rage.
Everyone wants to build backlinks to their websites by guest posting and creating high-quality, share-worthy content.
But what a lot of these websites don’t do is use second-tier link building to make the most out of those first-tier links.
After all, that’s why second-tier link building is so effective. It doesn’t build any new backlinks to your website, but it does make the most out of the links you’ve already created.
In other words, second-tier link building is a great way to drive traffic to your first-tier links and, ultimately, your website.
And now that you understand what second-tier linking building is, why it’s effective, and how to do it, you can start creating a strategy of your own to benefit your website’s SEO and traffic.
Simply share all of your guest posts with backlinks to your website on social media, ask for shares from other publications within your industry, link to the guest post from your own website, and guest blog again and again.
With these tips, you’ll be generating more traffic and leads while slowly increasing your website’s domain authority.
Still think first-tier links are better than second-tier links?
Well, first-tier links might be the cart, but second-tier links are the wheels.
What strategy do you use to build second-tier links?
The post An Inside Look at the Best SEO Strategy You’re Not Using: Second-Tier Link Building appeared first on Neil Patel.
Whether you’re a new business or have been in business for several years, getting more ecommerce sales will benefit your company.
Unfortunately, businesses go through plateaus and declines.
These things happen, but don’t get discouraged.
If you’re having trouble coming up with new ways to get more customers and increase revenue, I can give you some pointers.
Your previous methods may have worked at one point, but eventually, the same old strategies can grow stale.
It’s essential your business is constantly keeping up with new trends.
Consumer habits have changed, especially in the ecommerce industry.
As a marketing expert, I’ve analyzed these trends and come up with a list of tips that will actually work.
Here are the top 11 ways to generate more sales on your ecommerce site.
When businesses have trouble growing, they immediately think it’s because they don’t have enough customers.
This is a common misconception, so don’t jump to conclusions.
Instead of focusing all your effort on customer acquisition, you should improve your customer retention strategy.
Look at the impact loyal customers have on an ecommerce site:
Compared to new customers and customers who only made one purchase on your website, loyal customers:
Don’t get me wrong.
Obviously, it’s great for your business if you can keep getting new customers.
But that’s a more expensive marketing strategy.
It’s much more cost efficient to go after your existing customer base.
These people are already familiar with your brand.
They know how to use your products, and there’s no learning curve.
So focus on ways to improve their experience.
Try to come up with a customer loyalty program that gives people an incentive to spend more money each time they shop.
Each dollar spent can translate to a rewards point.
When a customer accumulates a certain number of points, they can redeem them for discounts or other promotions.
Nobody will want to shop on your ecommerce site if it appears sketchy or otherwise untrustworthy.
One of the first things you need to do is make sure your website is secure.
Check out this example from Foot Locker:
Cyber security is a major concern for shoppers these days.
In the last five years, 46% of Americans have been the victims of credit card fraud.
Security of their information is a priority for online shoppers.
You need to recognize this and make the necessary adjustments.
But what can you do to prove you’re trustworthy?
Proudly display any security badges your website is using.
These are some examples of popular choices.
I know this should go without saying, but I want to be clear. Make sure you’re not lying or misleading your customers.
Don’t just go slapping these badges all over your website unless you actually have a relationship with these companies.
Otherwise, you can find yourself in some legal trouble as well.
Which one of these security measures is the best?
I don’t want to talk about performance, but I can tell you which one speaks to customers the most.
Norton Antivirus won by a landslide in terms of public perception.
So if you’re using Norton and don’t have the badge displayed, you need to change that as soon as possible.
For those of you shopping for new potential website security providers, it’s not a bad idea to check them out as a top consideration.
Consumers love videos.
In fact, over half of marketing experts across the globe say that video has the top return on investment compared to other marketing tactics.
Websites that have videos can get the average user to spend 88% more time on their pages.
In addition, videos do as well as ads. That’s how the ecommerce brand Robo generated $4.7 million in revenue running video ads.
This creates an increase in engagement as well as interest in whatever you’re trying to sell.
Videos resonate more with people, so it’s likely that they’ll remember what they watched as opposed to just reading about it.
What’s a reasonable way to include relevant videos on your ecommerce site?
Create product demonstrations like Nato does with their smart mount:
The video shows users how they can use this product in their daily lives.
Their website explains that the mount works for smartphones, tablets, GPS devices, and lightweight laptops.
Listing this is one thing, but showing customers how it works through video demonstrations is much more effective.
The video shows a demonstration of the product in the kitchen, car, bedroom, boat, office, and even bathroom.
So it appeals to a wider range of people.
This strategy won’t necessarily work for all products.
For example, if you’re selling a shirt, you won’t need to demonstrate how to put on a shirt.
But if there’s something special about your clothing in terms of usage and functionality, a video is a great way to convey that message.
It’s also an ideal strategy for ecommerce sites selling new products that may be unique or creative.
User reviews and testimonials are a great way to show proof of concept.
But a message from some nameless and faceless person isn’t really that convincing.
Take your testimonials one step further.
Add a photo and include the person’s full name and title (if relevant to your product).
Here’s a great example from Pangea Organics:
Autumn Bree Fata is an integrative health coach, so her title provides some authority and tells us she knows something about this product.
Including a picture of her face shows she’s a real person and not just somebody you made up.
What do you think looks better and more professional?
The example above or:
“This product is great!” – Daniel L.
It’s obvious. The example from Pangea Organics will resonate more with the people visiting your website.
This testimonial can encourage others to make a purchase and drive more sales.
Here’s another example from Naturally Curly:
This ecommerce store sells beauty products designed specifically for customers with curly hair.
Their website allows users to share their stories and include pictures as well.
If your product is solving a problem, customers will be happy to share their stories.
I’ve explained before how storytelling can engage and persuade people.
Combining storytelling and photographs with your testimonials will help drive more sales on your site.
Just because you have an ecommerce website doesn’t mean you can assume your customers are shopping only from their computers.
The reality is that people use mobile phones and tablets to shop online.
Research shows 40% of mobile users have bought something online from their devices.
Furthermore, 63% of millennials shop on their phones.
These numbers can’t be ignored.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, it will turn potential sales away.
For those of you without an optimized mobile site, it could be one of the reasons you’re seeing a decline in sales.
I’d make that a top priority on your to-do list.
Something else you can consider is building a mobile app.
Look at why customers prefer apps compared to a mobile website:
All these reasons make things easier for the customer.
Improving the customer experience will help you get more sales and increase your revenue.
Find a way to focus on what customers want.
If your website, mobile site, and mobile application can provide these benefits, you won’t have an issue getting more sales.
It may sound simple, but not enough companies are offering discounts to their customers.
If you’re worried about your profit margins, just use a marketing strategy that’s as old as time.
Jack up the base price of each product and then put it on sale.
Take a look at this example from Express:
They are offering 40% off everything on their website.
So many times I’ll see websites offer “up to” a certain percent off “select items.”
Sure, that works too.
But that’s nothing compared to 40% off everything site wide.
Everyone loves getting a good deal, so this is a great way to drive sales.
Give your customers some direction.
Show them what people are buying the most.
I like it when websites include a “best seller” category on the homepage.
Not everyone browsing your site will know exactly what they’re looking for.
If your company sells a wide range of different products, it can be overwhelming, especially for a new customer.
When someone stumbles upon your site, they may get drawn to products that are popular.
Here’s how Black Yeti does this on their ecommerce site:
You can also take this opportunity to promote products with the highest margins.
Even if they aren’t actually your top sellers (nobody needs to know that), you can put them on your homepage.
In a perfect world, your top selling products are also your most profitable products, so try to make that happen if you make adjustments to increase profit margins.
Special events are a time when people are looking to shop and spend more money than on a normal day of the year.
That’s why I always tell ecommerce sites to actively promote holiday sales.
You’ve got a small window of opportunity to get massive sales during these events.
Take a look at these statistics for ecommerce sites during cyber week:
So break out your best offers during this time of year.
The shopping malls are packed, so it’s more convenient for consumers to shop from home.
Use that to your advantage.
I said this earlier, but here’s another opportunity for you to target your current customers.
Send out emails to your subscriber list to entice them to buy during the holiday season.
Keep in mind people are buying gifts for friends and family as well as themselves.
Promote your products accordingly.
Market items as “the perfect gift” or “the best ways to show someone you care.”
Phrases like that should do the trick.
You’ve got to create a sense of urgency when you’re selling products on your ecommerce site.
This will get shoppers to act fast instead of waiting to complete the purchase at a later date (which they may never do).
Tell your customers you have a limited quantity of items remaining even if that’s not the case.
Airlines do this all the time.
Check out this example from Delta:
Four out of the 6 prices on this page show a limited quantity remaining.
The lowest ticket price is for $303.20, but there’s only one ticket left at this price.
This strategy can get a price sensitive customer (most people) to make an impulse buying decision.
It creates a fear that if they don’t buy it now, they’ll end up spending more money later.
Another way to do this is by running flash sales.
Here’s an example of something you could email your customers or put directly on your website:
Again, this creates a sense of urgency.
The sale ends at midnight, so if the customer doesn’t act now, they could miss out on a great deal.
It’s much more effective than sending a coupon that expires at the end of the month, giving people an excuse to put off their shopping.
Make sure your marketing campaigns are actionable, and you’ll get more sales.
You have to give people different options to pay for the products and services on your website.
If you only accept Visa and MasterCard, you’re alienating lots of potential customers.
Make sure you have the capability to accept debit cards in addition to credit cards.
Look at this checkout page from Best Buy:
Best Buy accepts 6 different types of credit cards on their website.
They also give customers the option of paying through PayPal.
The last thing you want is a customer who wants to make a purchase but can’t complete it because you don’t take their primary payment method.
Continue to adapt to the new trends as well.
Alternative payment options such as Apple Pay are growing in popularity too.
If you have a mobile application, customers can easily pay for items via Apple Pay with just a few clicks.
Making the checkout process as simple as possible will help you get more ecommerce sales.
What does the customer see when they get to your website?
Is it your phone number?
Your company’s mission statement?
Those aren’t effective.
Instead, put more emphasis on value.
Tell your customers what separates your product from similar items on the market.
Look how effectively Square does this with their point of sale systems:
Their value proposition tells you everything you need to know about the product.
It has a headline that captures the consumer’s attention.
Next, a brief description explains exactly what the product does.
They include a bullet list of their top features for customers to focus on.
Square also includes a photograph of their POS system to show customers what it looks like.
If you can create a highly effective value proposition, you’ll be able to drive more sales on your ecommerce site.
If sales are starting to slow down or get stagnant, it’s time for you to come up with some new and creative ways to market products and services on your ecommerce site.
Rather than trying to find new customers, focus your marketing efforts on your existing customer base.
Make sure your website is secure so customers feel comfortable entering their personal information as well as their credit card numbers.
Use video demonstrations to show customers how to use your products.
If you’re currently using customer testimonials, that’s great.
But if you want to improve those testimonials, add a photograph to them as well.
Offering lots of promotions and advertising during special times of the year, such as the holidays, can help you improve sales.
Create a sense of urgency to entice customers to make an impulse buy.
Don’t forget about mobile users. At the very least, your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices.
If you want to go the extra mile, consider developing a mobile application.
Promote your top selling items.
Come up with a unique and actionable value proposition.
These tips will help you boost sales on your website.
What methods have you used to help you grow your ecommerce site fast?
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