Why Your Best Blog Posts are Also the Oldest (And How to Get More Out of Them)


update old blog postsJust like you regularly clean your home, you should regularly clean up your old content.

Why? Because old content brings in tons of website traffic.

HubSpot almost tripled the number of leads they generated on a monthly basis by optimizing old blog posts.

Plus, the company’s organic traffic increased by 106% after they updated older content:

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Those are huge results. And it takes a lot less effort than writing new blog posts.

Old content can easily become new again. All it takes is a bit of creativity and cleanup.

If you have any blog content on your site, a maintenance plan and schedule is essential for keeping all of your hard work relevant.

Most people obsess over sharing their brand new content to acquire traffic or convert leads.

But, if you play your cards right, you’ll find the greatest amount of success with a post after it’s been online for several months.

In this article, I’m going to tell you exactly why (and how) I keep my old blog posts relevant so that you can see more organic traffic, too.

Why should you care about old blog posts?

There are countless reasons why you should care about your old blog posts, but one of the biggest reasons is that Google likes fresh content.

Google displays dates right on their SERPs to show users when a piece of content was last updated.

Therefore, if you update older posts, Google will show the date you last changed a blog post on the results pages rather than the original post date.

This means that you can benefit from higher click-through rates, traffic, and more.

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Editing your old posts also prevents them from adding to the bounce rate of your website.

Since you’ll be adding relevant images, links, and information, readers will be less likely to click away.

Bounce rates, on average, are already pretty high for most sites. Content websites have the second highest bounce rate in comparison to other web pages.

Only landing pages have higher bounce rates than content websites. So you need to do everything you can to keep them low.

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It’s easy to upload a blog post and forget about it. But that’s the last thing you want to do.

Brian Dean of Backlinko did a simple content relaunch of the blog post below and saw huge results:

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In just two weeks, the organic search engine traffic for that page increased by a whopping 260.7%.

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The page also saw a massive increase in traffic from other blogs and social media:

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This increase in traffic led to tons of backlinks.

More backlinks led to higher search rankings.

And higher search rankings led to even more traffic and backlinks.

For example, my case study on white hat SEO is on the first page of Google’s SERP when you search “White hat SEO.”

That’s largely because I keep all of my content updated, evergreen, and as timeless as possible.

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Poorly managed content certainly limits your brand’s potential, but it can do even worse damage. Outdated posts could be hurting your reputation, costing you customers, and decreasing your revenue.

If your customers find outdated posts on your site, they’re far less likely to trust you. First impressions are lasting ones.

Your blog could even get you into legal trouble, depending on your industry, if you’re sharing outdated information with trusting customers. And you don’t want that.

It’s expensive and time-consuming and it makes your company look bad to the public.

Old blog posts are also bad for SEO, which I’ll tell you more about later on in this post. Search engines aren’t a fan of content that isn’t high-quality.

There’s really no excuse for not updating old posts.

Tweaking an old post takes far less time than writing something new, you’ll boost the quality of your blog, and your post will be easy to promote on social media.

If your old post already has some authority, you can almost guarantee that it will rank higher for searches after you spend some time updating it.

Basically, old posts are bad if you let them continue to be “old.” They are extremely beneficial if you know how to update or recycle them correctly.

All it takes is some quick planning, refreshing, and promoting. Here’s how to make old blog posts relevant again (and keep them that way).

Decide which posts to update

The first step to update old content is to pick which posts need to be updated.

Review old posts every week, month, or quarter to decide which content needs revamping.

Set a timetable that works best for you and your company. Pick posts by checking out Google Analytics.

Find posts with high and low page views. You can refresh underperforming posts to gain more views or you can harness the power of an article that’s already popular by updating it regularly.

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You may even want to consider deleting blogs with low page views if you can’t make the topic relevant again.

Check all incoming links on old posts and evaluate whether they’re still high-quality, timely, and relevant.

Conserve these posts. They have valuable backlinks that you don’t ever want to lose.

Use a backlink checker, like Monitor Backlinks, to easily identify and keep track of these articles.

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Never delete a post with high-quality backlinks. Always recycle them.

Only delete a post if it’s damaging to your overall reputation as a brand.

You should also run some search tests on your blog to see if current keywords are bringing up your posts.

Search trends are always evolving and changing. Old blog posts might show up in newly-trending search phrases, making them excellent candidates to refresh and reshare.

Check Google trends to find and compare keywords over time.

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The next step is to update your content as a whole.

Update content

Start your updates by checking and correcting references to people or public figures who have changed occupations, passed away, retired, or become irrelevant.

Delete any mentions of businesses or organizations that no longer exist or that could be problematic to mention.

Update any old references to popular culture that may have been trending at the time you wrote the article but aren’t anymore.

For example, a post with a joke about fidget spinners might be funny in 2017, but it probably isn’t a good reference to keep in a blog post years later.

Unless, of course, the fidget spinners defy previous trends and remain popular.

People won’t understand your humor if the content isn’t relevant anymore, and you’ll give away the age of the article with an outdated reference.

Take out any mentions of time — such as “It’s been one year since…” — so that events are referenced based on their actual year of occurrence instead.

Say “In 2016…” rather than “One year ago…”

Change present-tense references to past tense if needed. It’s also important to let people know you’ve updated the post with a small blurb at the beginning or end of the blog.

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Be sure to add new information where it’s necessary and always focus on making content evergreen.

Keep the fundamentals of a post the same and make sure that the core focus of your subject matter won’t be outdated too soon.

Take out any mention of plugins that are now outdated, for example, and remove dead links.

Avoid social trends where you can, and don’t use memes or fads that could be potentially embarrassing or a dead giveaway of a post’s age in just a year or two.

Another important thing to update is the length of your post. Back in the day, you could get away with sharing brief blog posts.

But now, Google loves long ones. Lengthen your posts where you can with useful information.

You should also proofread your blog post and fix any spelling or grammar mistakes. Run your article through Grammarly to easily identify and correct errors.

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All you have to do is copy and paste your text into Grammarly, and the site will give you suggestions for improving punctuation, word choice, spelling, and more.

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Once you’ve proofread, make sure you’ve laid out everything in a way that boosts readability.

Smaller chunks of text are best. Make sure that paragraphs aren’t a huge block of 20 sentences. Instead, keep paragraphs short.

This makes it easier for readers to scan your content.

You should also add some high-quality images and update any outdated ones.

Add branded images

If you’ve been blogging for a long time, it’s probably true that your site’s overall feel and appearance has changed.

I know mine has.

Be sure to update outdated images on your blog posts and add high-quality photos, like this one on my site.

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You can create tons of great images on your own by using a tool like Canva. They’ve got an entire section of templates to choose from for blogging and e-books.

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Once you pick a template, add elements like shapes, icons, or illustrations. You can even add text or upload your own images rather than using Canva’s photos.

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If your site has screenshots from other web pages or software that are outdated, you should also update those to keep your references fresh.

Be sure to update old keywords or add new ones in next.

Add or update keywords

When it comes to SEO, keywords are incredibly important. You can’t always rank for the best ones, but they still belong in your content.

Keywords give people a sense of what your post is about, and these are the words that people might type into Google’s search bar to locate your blog post.

That’s why you should identify keywords and then repeat them a few times in the meat of your content.

This is a really easy way to boost your rankings and increase traffic. You’ve probably already used keywords in past blog posts, but you should always update them as needed.

An awesome tool to help you prioritize keywords is Moz’s Keyword Explorer.

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An old keyword that you might have prioritized in the past could be too general now, meaning you’d be competing with tons of other blogs to rank for it.

Moz will show you how often a keyword is used each month, how difficult it is to rank for, the organic CTR it brings, and what its priority is.

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The tool also gives a SERP analysis and several keyword suggestions that might be easier to rank for.

It’s important to link to new posts when you update old ones, too.

Link to other posts

One of my favorite things to do when blogging is to link to my other content as often as I can.

Here’s an example of where I did this in my post, “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Blog Posts That Rank in Google’s Top 10.”

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This provides readers with insightful information on a topic I mentioned and it’s also an easy way to boost traffic.

Here’s where the link in the image above will take you:

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It’s an entire article about referral traffic.

Your readers will appreciate that you’ve linked resources for them that are just one click away.

If you end up having to completely delete a post for any reason, 301 redirect the URL of the old post to the URL of a new one on the topic.

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Be sure to make the titles and links in your post SEO friendly, too.

Make it SEO friendly

The title of your post is one of the most important factors that contribute to your SEO.

If you want to rank higher, then add keywords right in the title.

The best way to rework old titles is to think of what a person might search for to find your blog post. Then, just add it to the title.

Changing the URL, like we just talked about, to include the keyword will give your post a higher chance of ranking for the keyword you’ve chosen.

For example, when you type in “how to rank higher,” the number one Google suggestion is “how to rank higher on google.”

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One of my articles shows up on the first page for this search query.

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Its URL is https://neilpatel.com/blog/improve-google-rankings-without-getting-penalized/.

Since this post ranks pretty high, I don’t plan on changing its web address anytime soon. If I ever do, I’ll lose any backlinks that link to this page unless I use a 301 redirect.

Not only is this bad for my website since I’ll lose the authority I once had, but it also hands rankings to my competitors.

This is bad for SEO. Don’t do it.

Deleting spam comments is another quick trick for keeping your old posts relevant.

Delete spam comments

Have you ever read a great blog post and then scrolled down to the comments section only to see tons of spam comments?

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I know I have. There’s nothing I hate seeing more than spammy comments with potentially dangerous links in them.

Delete any spam comments from your blog posts that are decreasing your credibility and making your site look cluttered and messy.

A good, engaging comments section can boost your reputation and relevancy in no time.

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You can also change the comments section of your site to require you to approve comments before they go live, which can help keep spam off your site.

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Once you’ve followed these steps, it’s time to republish your post and promote it.

Republish and promote the post

One of the most effective things you can do for an old blog post (once you’ve updated it, of course) is republish it on your homepage.

It will look like a fresh, brand new blog post.

Then, just promote it like you would with any new content.

Reshare it on social media by using a plugin like Revive Old Post.

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You’ll send new visitors to the blog post each time you share it on social media, meaning you’ll get more exposure.

And send out an email about the updated post to everyone on your mailing list like you would for a brand new blog post.

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You could even send out emails to those who commented on your blog post to let them know that you’ve updated it.

If they were intrigued by your content enough to comment on the original post, they’d probably be interested in checking out the updated version.

Conclusion

You should constantly be revising, updating, and cleaning up old content to keep it relevant.

It boosts your organic traffic like crazy and it can help you generate leads a lot quicker than writing a new blog post can.

Old content doesn’t have to stay old. All it takes is a few tweaks to make something new, interesting, and fresh.

Start out by deciding which posts you need to update.

Then, begin updating your content. Delete outdated links and information and add updated screenshots and images.

Delete any photos that are low-quality or low-resolution.

Add keywords that are currently trending and update old keywords to match with more effective ones.

Make your links and titles SEO friendly, and always delete old spam comments.

Then, republish your new (old) post and promote it like you would any other piece of new content.

That’s it!

How do you go about updating your old content?

The post Why Your Best Blog Posts are Also the Oldest (And How to Get More Out of Them) appeared first on Neil Patel.



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Not All Links are Equal: How Backlinks from Different Page Locations are Worth More (Or Less)


get better backlinks

What if I told you that backlinks can hurt you just as much as they can help you?

Would you cringe a little bit?

I think we all would.

We all trust backlinks to help our SEO. So we work at generating them from every website we can possibly get our hands on.

The problem, though, is that backlinks can hurt you just as much as they can help you.

To prove it, skip ahead to 55:40 on the video below and listen to John Mueller, Google’s webmaster trends analyst, describe how link building can hurt websites and why he would avoid it altogether.

That’s a scary claim coming from a Google representative.

Does it mean that all of your link-building efforts have been a waste of time?

Well, maybe it does.

It depends on the type of links that you’re building.

There are many factors that make the difference between a good backlink and bad backlink. I’ll explain what those factors are and how to get the good ones.

But first, let’s make sure you understand what a backlink is.

What is a backlink?

A backlink is a link that goes from an external URL to your website. If another website links to a page on your website, you receive a backlink.

And traditionally, these little beauties are excellent for your SEO.

In fact, for a long time, the top-ranking websites simply had to generate a massive amount of backlinks from other websites, regardless of the quality of those backlinks.

Eventually, though, businesses started link building through spammy websites with black hat SEO strategies.

This naturally led Google to update its algorithm to treat each backlink with the attention it deserves, whether that be positive, negative, or neutral.

Here’s an illustration showing how a backlink works.

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Link building, on the other hand, is basically the holistic process of using backlinks to improve your SEO rankings.

As I already mentioned, that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.

With Google’s system, one that they constantly update, it can be difficult to know which links are helping you and which ones are hurting you.

So let me tell you about how link building affects your website’s rankings.

Everything you need to know about how link building affects your website’s SEO

Yes, there are good links and bad links.

But here’s what we know for sure: You can use link building to increase your website’s rankings. You can also use it to decrease your rankings and hurt your domain authority.

My goal is to show you how you can do the former and avoid the latter.

The first thing to note is this study done by Moz, where they found that 99.2% of all top 50 results have at least one backlink to their page. And most had more than one.

They also mention that the leftover .8% is well within their margin of error and could be completely negligible.

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Now, before you go and start building links from every which way, keep this in mind:

This result means that websites ranking high on Google have backlinks, but it doesn’t mean that websites ranking low on Google don’t.

In other words, while this result probably means that backlinks are important for ranking well, it doesn’t tell us anything about how backlinking can negatively affect your domain authority.

Here’s the rub.

When Google sees a backlink, there are three things they can choose to do:

  • Benefit your rankings.
  • Do absolutely nothing.
  • Penalize your rankings.

When link building works, and Google decides to benefit your rankings, it can take an average of 10 weeks per link to go up one position.

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That should give you an idea of just how long it takes to reap the benefits of your SEO strategy.

Also keep in mind that the lower your domain authority, the better your initial results. And the higher your starting point, the slower the climb.

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SEO is a little bit like going to the gym and building muscle.

At first, you’ll build muscle quickly because you had so little to begin with. But as time goes on, you have to lift more and more weight to keep building muscle.

With SEO, the higher your ranking climbs, the more strategic and intentional you need to be with your approach.

Remember that as your SERP surges, you start competing with SEO website experts. You’ll need to improve your strategy as the competition gets more fierce.

Now, let me hit you with another fascinating piece of information.

The higher up a link is in the HTML text of a page’s content, the more value that link will provide.

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In other words, in this article from Smart Blogger, the “publishing online content” is a more valuable backlink than the “Habits of a happy brain” link is.

How to Write a Paragraph in 2017 Yes the Rules Have Changed Smart Blogger 2

Why?

Because the “publishing online content” link comes first and Google values the first backlinks more than they value the last ones — or even the ones after.

Lastly, in your education about link building’s effect on SEO, you need to understand the difference between internal links and external links.

An external link is the same as a backlink. It’s a link that goes from an external website source to your website.

But an internal link is when you link from one page of your website to another page of your website.

And just in case you were thinking of revolving your link-building strategy around internal links, keep in mind that external links are far more beneficial to your rankings.

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I’m not saying that internal links are worthless. In fact, internal links can be incredibly useful for lowering your bounce rate and increasing engagement on your website.

But when it comes to SEO, external links are where the rankings live.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the difference between helpful links and harmful links.

You need to be able to determine which links help you and which ones hurt you.

Nofollow and dofollow links

The first thing you need to be familiar with when it comes to backlinks is the difference between nofollow and dofollow links.

Dofollow links are your basic backlinks. When the website owners don’t fiddle with the HTML surrounding the link, the link will always be a dofollow.

And that’s good for your website.

Dofollow links tell Google that the linking website trusts your domain, which can help your rankings. And that’s usually the case as long as the linking website is reliable.

But we’ll discuss that in a little bit.

Nofollow links, on the other hand, look like this in HTML.

Why Not All Links Are Created Equal Prime Focus Lab

The problem with nofollow links is that they intentionally tell Google not to trust your website even though they’re linking to it.

In other words, nofollow links will still take someone from website A to website B, but they won’t help website B’s rankings. They also won’t let you pass “Go” or collect $200.

Why would a website use nofollow links?

Because linking to low-quality or low domain authority websites can hurt the link-hosting website’s rankings.

So websites will often use these links to avoid destroying their own rankings with a low-quality external link.

But don’t think that nofollow links are a complete waste of time. They’re not.

In fact, they can work wonders for generating traffic to your website and increasing the visibility of your business despite their unhelpful SEO influence.

To illustrate the power of nofollow links, consider when Moz published two maps showing the ISP landscape of the U.S.

The map got mentioned by @Amazing_Maps, whose account has over 160,000 followers.

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But since the link was on Twitter, the post had a nofollow link and so did all of the retweets.

And you might think to yourself, “What a waste of SEO potential.”

But listen to what happened next.

The Huffington Post mentioned the map on their front page because of all the publicity the map received on Twitter.

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That’s a lot of love from a simple nofollow link.

And it proves the point that, while nofollow links might not help your SEO, they help plenty of other things to make them worth your time.

Traffic generation, business awareness, and even customer engagement are all great benefits of nofollow links.

But how do you know when people are linking to your website with nofollow links?

That’s a great question.

And there’s a simple answer.

You can use tools such as SEO Quake

A Powerful SEO Toolbox for your Browser SEOquake

Or Nofollowsimple for Chrome.

NoFollow Simple Chrome Web Store

And try Nodofollow for Firefox.

NoDoFollow Add ons for Firefox

However you do it, it’s important that you keep an eye out for nofollow and dofollow links and give each the attention they deserve.

High DA and low DA links

DA, or domain authority, is your overall SEO website’s authority.

But why is domain authority important for your link-building strategy?

Because if a lot of your links are spammy, low-quality, or have extraordinarily low domain authorities, that’s not a good sign to Google.

So even if you have a lot of backlinks leading to your website, Google still might penalize you.

Now, they probably won’t penalize you if a few trashy websites are linking to yours. It’s when a lot of these websites are linking to yours that this happens.

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Why does this happen?

Well, when Google sees a lot of low-quality backlinks leading to your website, they assume that you’re using a sketchy strategy to generate those.

You could be paying for them or hiring an agency that tries to cheat the system.

And Google wants to punish anyone who tries to cheat.

Also, linking to these websites from your own website can hurt your rankings. If you can avoid a relationship with these URLs, then do so.

Here’s how you can determine the domain authority of a website.

Start with a tool like this.

Website Authority Checker PR DA PA MOZ Backlinks 4

Enter the website URL of the domain you want to check and click the “I’m not a robot” box.

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Click “Perform check,” and this page will come up.

Website Authority Checker PR DA PA MOZ Backlinks 3

You’ll see a “Page Authority” section and a “Domain Authority” section.

The first is the authority of the page that you typed into the URL box. The domain authority is the overall authority of the domain as a whole, all pages included.

But, for checking on the quality of a backlink, you’ll want to pay special attention to the “Domain Authority” section.

Website Authority Checker PR DA PA MOZ Backlinks 5

Here’s the reason.

Moz found during one of its studies that a backlink from a low domain authority page on a high domain authority website provides more value than a backlink from the opposite.

In other words, the domain authority of the backlinking website as a whole is far more important than the domain authority of the specific page that’s hosting the backlink.

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When you’re building links to your website, it’s best to aim for high domain authority websites, as these will help you more than they hurt you.

Low domain authority websites can potentially hurt your rankings if they link to you in massive quantities.

So before you go chasing backlinks, research the domain authority of the websites you’re going to target.

The quality of other backlinks on the website

If the website you received a backlink from has a low domain authority, then the backlink isn’t very helpful.

But it’s not just low domain authority that can make for an unhelpful SEO experience.

It’s also the quality of the other backlinks on the website that’s hosting your backlink.

That sounds a little confusing. Let me explain.

Let’s pretend that you receive a backlink from a website with high domain authority.

You’re excited. It helps your rankings and makes you feel like the SEO pro that you know you are.

But one day, the website that gave you that precious backlink turns around and links to a low-quality website full of spam.

That has nothing to do with your backlink, right?

Wrong.

Since that external link will hurt the rankings of the website where you received your own backlink, your rankings will suffer as well.

In other words, pages that link to spam websites will devalue all other links that they host.

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It’s important that you evaluate the websites you get backlinks from. That way, you avoid any harmful URL relationships.

Make sure they are trustworthy and do their own link evaluating when choosing which links to include so that your website won’t be at risk.

Additionally, and as a bit of a caveat, beware of buying backlinks from online sources.

There are certainly ways to generate backlinks that are reputable, such as through SEO or PR firms.

But black hat SEO strategists will simply have a massive amount of low-quality websites that will link to your domain.

Don’t pay these people a dime.

Even if it will help your rankings for a little while, once Google finds out, they’ll punish you.

How to get beneficial backlinks

Now that you know the difference between backlinks that can help you and backlinks that can harm you, let me walk you through a few strategies you can use to get more of the former.

Ultimately, your strategy for generating quality backlinks needs to revolve around producing high-quality content on your website.

When you do, other websites and businesses will be more inclined to link to your content when they borrow it.

The first way to encourage people to link to your content is by using original images.

People love to include images in their blog posts. If they find your image and include it, you just won yourself a backlink.

Of course, image backlinks aren’t as valuable as in-text attributions, but they’re still far from worthless.

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Another thing that people love to use when writing blog posts is expert quotes.

If you can interview experts and get some original quotes about a certain topic, people writing on that topic will link to you when borrowing the material.

That’s why publications like Entrepreneur publish blog articles like this. It helps their link-building strategy.

50 Inspirational Entrepreneurial Quotes

Bloggers also love to include data and statistics to prove the point they’re trying to make.

If your business has original data about your customers, website, or product, that’s a backlinking goldmine that’s just waiting to be exploited.

Real estate SaaS company InvestorCarrot created its own original data in their blog post, “How to Attract a Motivated House Seller Like a Mind Reader.”

But they didn’t just include their own data. They also created these simple but easy-to-share images that illustrate the data they came up with.

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And can you guess what happens every time another website wants to use their data?

That’s right. InvestorCarrot wins a backlink.

Images, quotes, and original data are all ways to generate backlinks starting with your own website, but that’s not the only way to go about it.

You can also start guest posting on other websites and include a link to your website.

This is easier than ever before with 65.5% of websites having at least a few guest posts on their blog.

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To guest post for other blogs, simply send the editor an email pitching your topic and a brief outline and ask if they’re interested.

Make sure that the topic is relevant to their audience or they’ll decline your offer.

And don’t forget about those quality referrals you already have and don’t want to lose.

If you ever make updates to your website or change the URL of a certain page, be sure you try and fix all the backlinks linking to that page.

To do so, you can use the Check My Links plugin for Chrome.

Check My Links Chrome Web Store

With this plugin active, go and visit the website that hosts your backlinks. When you do, the links that are working will show up green and the ones that are broken will show up red.

This will help you determine which backlinks to your site need to be fixed.

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Then, you can send an email to the editor of the website with the updated backlink.

Be sure to include the new link and consider adding a screenshot of the broken link to make it even clearer.

The easier it is to fix your backlink, the more likely it is they’ll do it.

Here’s the kind of email you’ll want to send.

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Most people will be more than willing to add the backlink for you.

These are all ways you can get and maintain your beneficial backlinks.

Since not all backlinks are created equal, it’s critical that you leverage the full potential of the ones that are worth your time.

Conclusion

Backlinks can either bandage wounds or create them.

And sometimes, knowing which one you’re accomplishing is a real challenge.

Luckily, now you know the kinds of backlinks to avoid, the kinds that benefit your SEO strategy, and how to get beneficial ones.

In particular, you know that nofollow links are valuable for traffic, but not SEO.

You know that domain authority will help you determine the quality of a backlink.

And you know that the external links a website currently uses will be a sign of things to come for your own backlink.

Also, original images, quotes, data, and guest posting will help you get the backlinks your website craves, and fixing broken links will maintain those helpful attributions.

Since you know all of that, I’ll end with one last reminder.

Not all backlinks are equal, but all backlinks affect your SEO. It’s up to you to decide whether that impact is positive, negative, or neutral.

What kinds of backlink strategies have helped your SEO the most (or the least)?

The post Not All Links are Equal: How Backlinks from Different Page Locations are Worth More (Or Less) appeared first on Neil Patel.



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How to Create a Highly Effective Value Proposition


I see people make this mistake all the time.

They come up with a slogan and assume it’s an effective value proposition.

Yes, slogans are a great way to build your personal brand.

It’s a great way to help consumers remember who you are.

But slogans are not value propositions.

What’s a value proposition?

It’s a unique message to the consumer that conveys the main reason why they should buy from your brand.

Your value needs to be relevant to the customer. Explain why your brand, product, or service can offer a solution to a problem.

Be specific when you’re talking about these benefits.

Differentiate yourself from the field.

Why should your target customers buy from you instead of your competitors?

Overall, this message needs to attract customers by creating value.

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Keep these five types of value in mind while you’re coming up with a unique proposition:

  • Functionality – Focus on convenience. What problems are you solving? Why is your company better than the competition?
  • Emotions – Put emphasis on the most attractive part of the product or service. How can you get customers emotionally attached to your brand?
  • Economics – Mention any financial advantages. Is your product less expensive than alternatives? Will it save your customer time or money in the long-term?
  • Symbolism – Figure out what your company represents. Will your customer feel environmentally responsible after shopping? Or will your product elevate their social status?
  • End value – Stress the importance of customer satisfaction. Be clear and concise. What are you guaranteeing?

If you’re looking to improve your current value proposition or build one from scratch, I can help.

I’ll tell you everything you need to know about creating a highly effective value proposition.

Focus on your target market

Your value proposition should not appeal to everyone and anyone.

Define your target audience.

You won’t be able to please everyone, so don’t try to.

Trying to reach a wider audience with your value proposition could potentially backfire.

It could end up turning people away.

Here’s an example from Dollar Shave Club:

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Look at the wording and terminology they are using in this value proposition.

I pointed out a couple of key points.

It’s clear they are trying to appeal to a younger audience.

Older generations may not understand the “level 9 yogi” analogy of their flexible cancellation plan.

The same people may not respond well to something as informal and direct as “C’mon. Do it.”

But Dollar Shave Club clearly defined their target market.

Changing their value proposition to something more basic could turn off their existing customer base.

Why?

People could see a generic pitch as boring or not as cool.

This company handles their value proposition really well in terms of focusing on a specific audience.

The small things make a big difference

What added value can you provide?

It may sound like something small, but it could make or break the customer’s decision to buy something from you or a competitor.

If you offer added value, show it off.

Here are some examples:

  • Free installation
  • Free shipping
  • Next day delivery
  • Cancel subscription at any time
  • Money back guarantee
  • Fully customizable

Don’t wait until the checkout page to tell customers about these benefits.

If you don’t put it on your homepage, they may never even get to your conversion page.

Look at how Bed Bath & Beyond accomplishes this on their website:

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The website visitors instantly see two pieces of added value:

  1. free shipping
  2. free truck delivery

Now they know they can get their order shipped free even if they are buying furniture.

It can entice them to add something big, like a couch or a table, to their shopping carts.

According to Marketing Land, free shipping is the top incentive for consumers who shop online.

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This is an essential piece of information to anyone in the ecommerce industry.

Why?

Because it’s something that adds value to the customer.

How to present your value proposition

There’s no perfect way to display your proposition.

It’s not like there’s a blueprint that has specific requirements.

With that said, there are certain components you should consider when coming up with this display on your website.

Start with a headline.

Keep it short, and try to grab the customer’s attention.

Next, create a subheader.

It will be slightly longer than your headline, adding a little bit more information.

The subheader should be specific.

You’ll also want to come up with a few sentences that describe your brand, product, or services in greater detail.

It’s always helpful to include some bullet points that outline some of your top benefits or key features.

Images work well too.

Visuals help make the customer understand exactly what you’re offering or how the product works.

Let’s take a look at the value proposition from Square:

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I love this homepage because it encompasses everything we just discussed.

The header instantly grabs the attention of prospective customers.

What exactly does the company do?

The sub header explains that you can “accept credit cards anywhere,” and the brief description goes into greater detail about how it works.

Square also included bullet points with their top features:

  • free magstripe reader
  • take chip cards
  • countertop POS system

What does the product look like?

The image shows exactly what they’re offering.

Showing scale implies more added value as well. It’s so small that it can fit into your pocket.

If you’re struggling to come up with a layout for your company’s value proposition on a website, you can treat Square’s site as a template.

Just swap out their benefits and description for your own.

But what if you don’t know your top benefits?

If that’s the case, it sounds like you have a marketing problem or a possible issue with your company’s identification.

It’s fixable if you’re willing to put in some research.

Think back to what we outlined earlier.

Start with your target audience.

Conduct a study.

Here’s an example of some critical consumer research in the IT industry in relation to the value proposition.

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If you’re in the IT field, you should focus your proposition on:

  • ecommerce
  • landing design
  • online experiences
  • analytics
  • innovation
  • digital transformation

That’s just one example.

It’s up to you to conduct research based on your company and industry.

Reach out to your customers directly and ask what they’re looking for.

Create online surveys. Conduct customer interviews.

This will help you accomplish a couple of things at the same time:

  1. build a better relationship with your existing customers;
  2. use the information to create a value proposition that attracts new customers.

Essentially, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

Test your value proposition

Now that you’ve developed a value proposition, it’s time to make sure you have it optimized to maximize conversions.

A/B testing is one of the best ways to do this.

Make sure you test only one thing at a time.

If you change too much, you won’t know which aspect of the test increased or decreased conversions.

Here’s an example from California Closets:

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At first glance, these website versions appear identical.

The only thing changed was the heading.

Split-testing your website to find out which part of the value proposition is more effective will increase your conversion rates.

After you test the header, test something else.

In the example above, they could test the background image next.

They could also add more bullet points or put the bullets on another part of the screen.

The options are endless.

Another way to test your value proposition is through pay per click (PPC) advertising campaigns.

For the most part, we’ve been discussing your value proposition in relation to your website.

But that’s not the only place where you’re trying to acquire customers and get conversions.

It makes sense to have an effective value proposition on other platforms as well.

Consider using Facebook’s PPC services.

It just depends on how much you’re willing to spend.

The placement of your advertisement will impact the price.

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Back in 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion dollars.

If you want to run a PPC campaign on Instagram, you have to go through Facebook.

This will be one of the most expensive ways to test your value proposition through PPC advertising.

However, if you have the funds, you could get the most accurate results with this method.

But don’t feel obligated to use Instagram.

Facebook offers other, more affordable, placement options.

If you’d like to avoid Facebook and social platforms altogether, you’ve got other options.

Consider running your PPC testing through Google AdWords.

You can test your value proposition at a local level or internationally.

Google lets you set this up by:

  • cities
  • regions
  • countries

Less than half of small businesses are currently investing in PPC advertising.

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Even if your business is small, you can still take advantage of this strategy.

It will give you an edge over your competitors.

Focus on customer emotion

The emotional value was something we briefly discussed earlier.

I want to elaborate on this because I think it’s important.

Triggering an emotion in your value proposition can elicit a certain response from your customers.

In your case, obviously, you want this response to be a sale or conversion.

Take a look at how different industries are rated based on emotional responses:

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How can you elicit certain feelings from your customers?

Think about the goals and mission of your company.

Your value proposition should portray what your business represents.

Here’s an example from Mercedes-Benz:

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Look at the phrases they are using in the top left corner:

  • benchmark of luxury
  • peak of intelligence
  • eloquent expression
  • leading edge luxury

It’s clear what kind of emotions they are trying to elicit.

They used the word luxury twice, so they’re targeting people who want to have a very specific experience.

Symbolism.

This car portrays a certain level of social status.

That’s how they have effectively branded their company.

Let’s take a look at another example that’s on the opposite end of this spectrum.

We’ll discuss a company involved with charitable organizations.

Have you heard of Project 7?

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They sell gum and mints.

A portion of their sales goes to nonprofit businesses, suppliers, and distributors who help people in need.

The money goes to 7 different missions:

  1. Save the earth
  2. House the homeless
  3. Feed the hungry
  4. Quench the thirsty
  5. Heal the sick
  6. Teach them well
  7. Hope for peace

Businesses that give back to the community both locally and internationally should be proud of what they’re accomplishing.

Share that information with your customers in your value proposition.

It can trigger an emotional response leading to a sale.

Conclusion

If your company has a catchy slogan, that’s great.

But your slogan is not the same thing as a value proposition.

Your value proposition should talk about the functionality of your brand, products, or services.

What differentiates your company from the competition?

Your value proposition won’t appeal to everyone.

Don’t worry—it doesn’t have to.

Focus on your target market.

Mention any added value as well.

Even if it’s something small like free shipping, free installation, or a money back guarantee, it could be the deciding factor that drives a sale.

Learn how to present your value proposition:

  • header
  • subheader
  • description
  • bullet points
  • images

After you build an initial value proposition, test it.

I recommend using A/B testing and PPC advertising to find the best option for your layout.

What does your company stand for? Use this to generate an emotional response from your customers.

If you follow these tips, you can create a highly effective value proposition.

What added value does your business offer to differentiate itself from the competition?





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SEO Cheat Sheet to Steal Your Competitor’s Rankings, Traffic, and Leads


seo cheat sheet

Search engine optimization isn’t an easy task.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to get more organic traffic and improve your SEO.

On top of that, SEO takes countless months of work, testing, and trial and error.

You have to go through the ups and downs of SEO to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

You need to learn what’s worth your time and which tasks will destroy your budget before you can see any real results.

It’s not for the faint of heart and it isn’t something you can do overnight.

But you also need that organic traffic to survive.

What if I told you there was a way to bypass the months of effort and work it takes to build better SEO?

What if I told you that you could skip the A/B testing and bypass the budget issues that come with it?

Thankfully, you can. How?

You need to take a deep look at the most important aspects of good SEO and analyze your competition.

If you can go in-depth with their content to see what works, you can copy their strategies and skip the grunt work.

Here’s an SEO cheat sheet with four ways to steal your competitor’s rankings, traffic, and leads.

1. Steal their backlinks

Backlinks are critical when it comes to stealing your competitor’s rankings, traffic, and leads.

Backlinks have the power to do a few major things:

  1. Increase your ranking potential
  2. Drive targeted, high-quality traffic to your site
  3. Increase brand awareness

Let’s break each one of these down before diving into the “how-to” portion.

For the first one, it’s true. The more backlinks you get, the better rankings you get:

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The highest-ranking posts on Google will always have the highest number of backlinks.

That’s true for now, at least.

Secondly, it gives you the chance to drive highly targeted traffic back to your site.

For instance, when a new post goes live on a different site than mine, or I get mentioned, it can drive huge groups of traffic with a single link:

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Lastly, it can help you build major brand awareness on new sites and potentially new markets.

Getting your brand in front of new audiences is the best way to build a following and grow your leads.

But doing that isn’t easy. You need to get mentioned and even put a face to the name.

For example, check out my author page on Entrepreneur:

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These backlinks help me build huge brand awareness and establish myself as a thought and topic leader in the industry.

It shows that I am a skilled professional and that my advice and brand are credible.

Now that you’ve got a grasp on the three major ways that backlinks can help you, you know how critical it is to acquire them in larger amounts than your competition.

To get started, you want to explore their backlink profile to see where and how they get these links.

Fire up Moz’s Open Site Explorer and enter their link into the URL bar:

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From here, hit “Search” and then navigate to the “Compare Link Metrics” section:

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This will help you analyze whether or not the site of your competitor is worthwhile when looking for links to steal.

Scroll down to the section with root domain metrics to see how many total links their entire site has:

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If they’ve got thousands of links, it’s definitely worthwhile.

If they don’t have many, you can probably skip them as they probably don’t have a dedicated link strategy to copy.

Next, head back to the inbound links section and select the following search filters:

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This will display all the links for the entire site as well as only external backlinks.

Lastly, click on the domain authority (DA) button to sort the list by top-ranking sites.

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With all that setup work, it’s finally time to dig into their links.

You now have a curated list of their top backlinks just waiting for you to steal.

The key here is to find sites that are excellent and to analyze how those links were acquired.

To do this, I’ll show you an example.

Here is one of the best links that Kissmetrics has right now:

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That’s a 100 domain authority link. It’s the best of the best. You want this type of link badly.

So, how did they get it?

First, read the title of the backlink source:

5 Simple Ways to Reduce Bounce Rate on Your Website

That’s interesting. So this article is about proven ways to reduce bounce rates. Now, take a look at the link anchor text:

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It says “ran a study.” This means that AddThis, the backlink provider to Kissmetrics, used a data point from Kissmetrics’s own study for reference in their article.

That data was what helped secure this link.

It wasn’t just any data from another source, either. It was a study done by KISSmetrics itself!

That’s a goldmine for a marketer.

That shows me that non-replicable data sets are huge sources of links.

If you can run a study or publish a case study and a proprietary data set, you have the chance to get tons of links.

How do you do this? Create a quick survey on Google Forms and blast it on your social media and email lists.

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Try to get some data that is interesting in your niche.

The goal here is to replicate all of the tactics that your competition used, giving you a great shot at getting the same (and more) links.

2. Hijack their keywords

Keyword research is one of my least favorite things to do for SEO.

It takes a long time to find long-tail keywords that are worth your time.

And most of them seem to be overly crowded by great sites, meaning it’s nearly impossible to rank high for them.

But when you find the right keywords, you can make a big difference on your site and get more traffic.

Luckily, there is a way to bypass the time spent doing keyword research while still reaping the rewards of the process!

How?

You can spy on your competition. You can hijack their keywords and use them against them.

My favorite tool to do this with is Alexa.

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To get started, you can run a free report for your competitors without signing up for a trial just yet.

To do that, head to Alexa’s Site Info tool and plug in your competition:

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Hit “Find” and you can pull up some great data.

First, you can see how much of their traffic is from organic search:

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I like this feature because it’s a great indication of whether or not the competitor is putting a lot of effort into SEO.

If the number is higher, they are likely investing heavily in it.

Next, as a free bonus, Alexa gives you the top 5 keywords that a given site is ranking for:

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This is a good benchmark measure of what types of keywords your competition is using and which ones you should start to target.

For example, if they take up more search engine traffic percentages, they are higher in search volume.

If you want even more data, I suggest creating a free trial account:

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Once you’ve created a free account, navigate to the “Competitor Keyword Matrix:”

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Next, enter the sites that you want to spy on:

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If you have multiple competitors, simply keep adding them to the box to gather a comprehensive report on all of your competitors!

From this search, you should start to turn up tons of amazing keywords and data:

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You can see the popularity of the search, competition levels, and more.

Once you’ve created a list, you can download all of it into a spreadsheet by hitting the download button up in the top right corner.

The last step here is to decipher which keywords are going to be your best bet.

To do this, head to the “Keyword Difficulty Tool.” You can see your chances of personally ranking for the keyword based on your site strength:

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The combination of these tools will save you hours of work and research to find the right keywords.

Chances are, your competitors have found amazing keywords that are just waiting for you to steal.

Get more traffic in less time by piggybacking on their keywords.

3. Create better content than them by improving on their ideas

Better content is crucial when it comes to driving more traffic, leads, and better rankings.

But again, creating topics and writing posts takes time.

Thankfully, by conducting just a few minutes of spying, you can steal ideas and improve upon them to outrank your competition.

First, you need to know what type of content is best.

Currently, according to Orbit Media data, the typical marketer is writing blog posts that are just over 1,000 words in length:

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That’s great, but when you look at the disparity between top-ranking content and this data, you can see a huge untapped opportunity:

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The top 10 ranking content is at least 1,750 words.

If you want the number one spot, you have to write double the average word count.

Though this might sound daunting, it’s an opportunity.

Your competitors are probably writing 1,000-word posts. If you take their post and make it better, adding another 1,000 words, you can outrank them and steal their leads.

To get started, head to BuzzSumo and search for their top-performing content:

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Next, click on the first result that you see.

Open up the link, select all of the content on the page, and paste it into a new Google Doc to see the word count. Here’s what it looks like with one of my blog posts:

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Once you’ve noted the word count, set a target goal.

If the word count is 1,000 words, double it.

The goal here is to make your content a one-stop shop so that no user needs to navigate back to Google to click on the competition!

It’s a trick that has gotten me tons of traffic and leads, leaving my competition in the dust.

Next, you can copy their outline. To do this, simply run through the post and take notes and inspiration from their structure.

Figure out which topics they have covered and add those to your list.

Lastly, head to Google to put the icing on the cake. With this move, you can enter your keyword for the post and get more ideas to expand that blog post and get more traffic.

Scroll down to the bottom of the SERP and look for the related searches box:

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These are common searches related to your keyword. People who are interested in content marketing, in general, are also searching for examples, strategies, and how-to guides.

This is a resource that can tell you exactly what your article needs.

For example, adding a strategy guide, explaining the types of content marketing, and offering a lead-magnet PDF could be a game changer for your SEO.

You would virtually supply all of the things that users are looking for with a single post, making it much less likely that a user will click on a competitor.

Pull topics from here that you can use to expand your competitor’s post and steal their rankings, traffic, and leads.

4. Be faster than your competition

In 2017, Google released a huge report showcasing the importance of page speed when it comes to SEO.

The key factor they found was how it impacted CTR, bounce rates, and rankings.

One of the most important graphs was Google’s data on bounce rates:

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The longer it takes for your site to load, the higher the likelihood of someone bouncing.

Speed is critical when it comes to rankings. If waves of users are clicking on your content but bouncing due to load time, Google will easily pick up on that and move your site down in the rankings.

So, if you want to steal your competition’s leads and traffic, you need to be faster than them.

You need to give the user your content without hesitation.

To do this, you also need to know how fast your competitor’s website is.

Head to Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool and run it on your competition:

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If you notice that their speed levels aren’t up to par on mobile or desktop, you have a window of opportunity to outrank them:

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For example, if they have poor mobile speed, they are making a mistake, like me.

Mobile traffic is currently more popular than desktop traffic.

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Optimizing your pages for speed could give you a big edge over your competition.

And the good news is, Google notes that most sites in every industry are too slow:

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A great way to quickly improve your speed is to start compressing images.

Compressing your images can save your page speed and it requires almost no work!

It’s a quick fix that can help you improve your speed and technical SEO.

One of my favorite plugins is WP Smush, which you can install for free. You can instantly start to smush the existing images on your site or do a bulk upload:

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Pro tip: when you install this plugin, navigate to the settings tab and make sure to enable smushing every time you upload a new photo to your site:

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Take advantage of the technical improvement in your SEO by adding an image compression tool to your site.

It can increase your speed and give you that edge to outrank and outperform your competition.

Conclusion

Search engine optimization is tough and time-consuming.

There are dozens of ways to make your SEO better and more effective, but knowing which ones will have a big impact isn’t easy.

On top of that, your competition is probably trying to do the same exact thing.

They may even already outrank you with better keywords, rankings, traffic, and leads.

That means that they are probably already ahead of the curve.

Thankfully, that presents a great opportunity for marketers looking to boost their SEO traffic.

It means that you can copy what they have already done, avoiding the potential downsides that come with overhauling an SEO strategy.

To get started, you need to steal their backlinks.

Backlinks are a huge factor when it comes to ranking high for organic searches, and you can easily do it on Moz.

Scout their best backlinks and try to replicate their strategy.

Next, hijack their keywords. See what keywords are driving tons of traffic and start to compete for them.

Be sure to create better content than they do by expounding on their posts and adding more valuable content.

Lastly, make sure you’re faster than your competition so that you get the majority of clicks and your traffic stays on your site.

Simply use a plugin like WP Smush, and you’ll be on your way to a faster site.

If you want better traffic and rankings, spy on your competition with these tips.

What are your favorite ways to spy on your competitors to get better SEO rankings?

The post SEO Cheat Sheet to Steal Your Competitor’s Rankings, Traffic, and Leads appeared first on Neil Patel.



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Your Email Marketing Isn’t Working Because No One Gets Your Emails (and Here’s How to Fix It)


boost email roi

Your email ROI reflects the overall success of all of your email campaigns.

And, on average, email marketing has the highest overall ROI in comparison to other marketing techniques.

It’s a whopping 4,000%. That’s a $40 ROI for every $1 spent on email.

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Talk about massive potential!

But, unfortunately, there are many problems.

For example, your email ROI is likely low because your emails aren’t even reaching the inboxes of your recipients. And you probably don’t even know they aren’t if you aren’t tracking them.

Email ROI is all about deliverability. Deliverability refers to the number of emails that make it to the recipient’s inbox without the email provider bouncing it or marking it as spam.

In this post, I’ll tell you about some quick, simple ways to boost the deliverability (and ROI) of your email campaigns.

But first, how are your emails missing your recipients’ inboxes in the first place?

What determines whether an email hits the inbox?

In the past, the only way to make sure that filters didn’t mark your emails as spam was to make sure that the content of your writing wasn’t “spammy.”

Spam filters searched for certain flagged words and language and then scored your email based on how many of those phrases your emails contained.

If your spam score was low, your email went into the inbox. If it was high, it would never make it in.

The same factors still apply today, except email providers search for spam using even more advanced methods.

Now, an email provider will look at open rates and replies to decide whether or not to let your email into a recipient’s inbox. There’s good news and bad news with this.

The good news is that you can use a tool like GlockApps to check the spam score of your email before you send it out.

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The bad news is that if a filter does send your email to a spam folder, it may never get out of it.

Gmail automatically deletes emails that have been in the spam folder for more than 30 days. If a user never checks their spam folder, your email will go there to die. RIP.

If a user does check their spam folder, they’ve got the option to mark your email as “Not spam.” And that means you shouldn’t totally give up hope.

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But the best thing to do is make sure that your email doesn’t end up in a spam folder in the first place.

Now that we know that email providers are sticklers when it comes to marking content as spam, let’s take a look at the common kinds of spam filters (and what triggers them).

Common kinds of spam filters (and how to avoid them)

According to Litmus, Gmail is the second most popular email client.

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However, Gmail’s spam filters, along with pretty much every other email provider’s spam filters, can be pretty intense.

For example, if a user enables Blatant Blocking, Gmail will bounce or delete an email before it ever reaches the user’s inbox. This happens with the most obvious types of spam emails.

A Bulk Email Filter will filter the rest of the spam that makes it into the email server.

From there, each user has the option to adjust four other filters to mark spam according to their selections and preferences.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Users can also set up their own spam filters if they want to.

So how can you escape being locked in the spam folder with only a terrible email ROI to show for it?

Well, there are lots of ways.

For one, you can use merge tags to make it seem like you know the person receiving the email.

You should also ask all of your email recipients to add your email address to their address book.

Adding an “Add us to your address book” button to your emails, like the one below, is a quick solution.

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It’s also important to note that your IP address can affect spam filters. Some spam filters will flag email campaigns if they have received spam emails from that IP address in the past.

That’s where automated email tools, like MailChimp, are a huge help. They’ll deliver emails through their servers, not your own.

These tools also come with email templates, so you won’t have to code your own campaigns. Incorrect coding or code that comes out of Microsoft Word can trigger spam filters.

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Since open and reply rates can alter spam filters, it’s important to test your emails before running a full campaign.

A/B testing is also available with most email automation tools, including MailChimp.

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Just design the different versions you want to test right in the software and you’ll be able to track the metric of your choice for each campaign.

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Anti-spam efforts from your email provider might seem like they don’t want your emails to succeed.

But they’re actually helpful because you’ll have less competition if you format your emails to make it into your readers’ inboxes.

So now that you know how to avoid spam filters, how can you actually correct your deliverability issues?

For starters, make sure your email list is a great one.

Build out your email list

You don’t have to spend any money to get quality email contacts.

And you shouldn’t.

Focus on building your email list organically. If people are opting in to receive your emails, your open rates will be much higher than if you’re blindly sending them out to people who don’t know you.

A high-quality email list means reduced spam complaints, too, which will tell your provider to keep your emails out of spam folders.

All you have to do is add an email sign-up page to your website.

It helps to offer exclusive deals to subscribers or give them an incentive to join your email list.

For example, H&M offered 20% off for signing up for their emails:

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BaubleBar did the same thing with their sign-up incentive of 15% off:

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You don’t have to offer discount codes, though. You can give away something like an e-book full of insider industry information.

If your customers feel like there’s something in it for them, they’ll be more likely to subscribe.

Once you get your email list built, it’s time to look at your email content. For instance, the number of images inside each email matters. Too many email images can actually decrease your email ROI.

Lower your image count

Emails with images capture the reader’s attention.

Just look at this intriguing, high-quality email image from GetStat:

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It’s charming, right? This is a good example of what you should aim for in an email.

But don’t get carried away with images.

Spam filters flag emails with a small amount of copy but a large number of images. If you aren’t careful, your delivery rate will suffer.

Even using one image that is too large can send your email to a spam folder.

Plus, tons of people don’t turn on image visibility in their inboxes. This means that if your emails have tons of images, subscribers might not be able to view all of your content.

In fact, image blocking affects up to 43% of emails. That’s why you should keep it to about one image per email.

Make it interesting, though. This email from ToneItUp contains a single GIF, for example. This is enough to capture your attention, but not so overwhelming that you can’t read the email.

this is why we decided to go on tour jlmongold gmail com Gmail

It’s witty and clever, too.

Be sure to add images with readability in mind. Use alt text for images so that your subscribers will have an idea of what they consist of if they can’t see them.

If your image usage is under control, authenticating your emails is another great way to ensure that your deliverability is the highest it can be.

Authenticate your emails and use a reply-to address

If you’re using an email marketing tool like Campaign Monitor, you can authenticate emails to send from your own domain, like Pipefy does:

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Email providers love these authenticated domains. They prove that you’re a real company running real email campaigns.

By having an authenticated domain, email providers will automatically know you aren’t a spammer since your email address contains an official company name.

In turn, your email will actually make it to your readers’ inboxes, boosting your sales and revenue.

Using a reply-to email address will provide the same result.

Google and Outlook love seeing emails that have received responses because people usually don’t respond to spammers. They just ignore spam emails or delete them.

If you’re actually getting email responses, your email provider will view you as a legitimate sender.

That’s why you should always avoid using email addresses like noreply@yourbusiness.com to send out your content.

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These kinds of email addresses give your recipient the feeling that you don’t want to talk to them. That’s bad for building customer relationships.

Instead, use an email address like hello@yourbusiness.com, like Maven Clinic does.

mavenhello

This encourages your readers to respond to you, and email providers will see this as a good thing.

It can be an easy way to keep your emails out of spam folders. Running double opt-in for your email list helps, too.

Use double opt-in

Double opt-in means that once a person signs up for your email list, they will have to confirm their subscription in an email to receive more.

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Single opt-in refers to a sign-up form where a user only has to enter their email address one time to receive emails.

But an overwhelming 79% of initial subscription emails are double opt-in.

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With this setup, users will only be added to your email list after they confirm their subscription by clicking a button or link in your initial email.

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This strategy is popular for good reason.

It helps protect your email list from spambots and people who don’t actually want to see your content, meaning that fewer people will mark your emails as spam.

In turn, more people will actually get your emails on the list, creating a higher ROI.

By asking those who subscribe “Are you sure?” one last time, you’re ensuring that they really want to engage with you.

Segmenting your emails will also help if you aren’t already.

Segment your email lists

Instead of sending out emails to every person on your subscriber list, try segmenting your list instead.

That way, you can target readers with the right kinds of emails that they’ll be interested in.

You probably already know by now that you can easily improve open and click-through rates by segmenting your email lists. If you aren’t already doing it, you should be.

MailChimp recently found that segmented campaigns get 14.64% more opens and 59.99% more clicks than campaigns that are non-segmented.

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That’s a huge win for your ROI because the more clicks and opens you’re getting, the more sales you’ll make.

Take Amazon, for example. They’re notorious for segmenting emails and customizing them for each individual customer.

Just look at this email I received from them recommending products similar to something I recently purchased for a friend:

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This ensures that the content of their emails is relevant to me, boosting the chance that I will open it and interact with it.

That also tells my email provider that I want to keep seeing Amazon’s emails, keeping them out of my spam folder.

There are tons of options for segmenting data, but the most basic is by demographics.

You can easily target people based on age, gender, income, and more.

Email engagement can be another great segmenting tool, especially for boosting email ROI and deliverability.

Open rate and click-through rate are the main metrics you’ll want to track. You can easily track these with an email marketing service, which I’ll discuss next.

If you need to compare your company’s open and click-through rates against the rest of your industry, take a look at these email statistics from Sign-Up.to.

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Geographical data is another way to segment because you can target users in specific locations (or within an area close to your business).

In addition to that, segmenting your audience by where each reader currently is in your sales funnel will make sure your messages are customized and relevant.

You can also segment based on past purchases, like Amazon does, by recommending similar items to those that a user has previously bought from you.

And once you have made all of the corrections listed above, you need to make sure you’re tracking your emails correctly if you aren’t already.

It’s the fastest way to make sure your messages are going to your recipients’ inboxes, plus you can make some quick changes if you don’t see the results you want.

Track your emails

Providing meaningful content to your users isn’t all that there is to email marketing.

As we’ve talked about, email marketing (the right way) means making sure that your emails are getting into users’ inboxes.

You’ve got to keep them out of spam filters and get users to open them.

But you won’t know if they’re going to your recipients’ inboxes or if they’re opening them unless you track your emails.

ContactMonkey’s email tracking software is an awesome tool to monitor leads and track emails.

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With ContactMonkey, you’ll be able to see results in real-time. You’ll know who opened your email, where they’re located, and what type of device they are using.

Plus, you can see when users click on your links. You can also integrate ContactMonkey with Salesforce.

Yesware is another great resource for tracking emails.

Much like ContactMonkey, you can see who opened your emails, which links they clicked, and which attachments they’ve downloaded with Yesware.

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MailChimp, as I mentioned earlier, provides you with campaign reports for every email campaign you run.

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You’ll be able to see audience growth, campaign engagement, e-commerce performance, and more right from your dashboard.

One final, amazing tool for tracking emails and boosting deliverability is Campaign Monitor.

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You’ll be able to see delivery rates right from your dashboard if you navigate over to the “Campaign performance” page.

Conclusion

If your email ROI is low, it’s likely because no one is getting your emails.

Email marketing has the highest potential ROI out of every other marketing technique, so you should focus on fixing your deliverability rates ASAP.

If your emails are going into a spam folder or bouncing, they’ll never see the light of day. Luckily for you, there are several ways to correct the problem.

First of all, you should build out your email list organically. Be sure to only use double opt-in forms rather than single ones.

Don’t add too many images to your emails, either. Email service providers will think you’re a spammer.

Authenticate your emails so they end with a company name and use a reply-to address so you don’t turn customers off (or make your email service provider think you’re sending junk mail).

Always segment your email lists so that each customer will receive a customized email. They’ll engage with your content more, which Gmail or Outlook will see as a good thing.

And don’t forget to track your emails with an email marketing tool of your choice so that you can view reports on your campaigns and fix any mistakes that are lowering deliverability rates.

What specific tips have you used to boost your deliverability and email ROI?

The post Your Email Marketing Isn’t Working Because No One Gets Your Emails (and Here’s How to Fix It) appeared first on Neil Patel.



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