4 “MUST DOs” to Drastically Improve Your Website’s On-Page Optimization

SEOThe first thing that most people do when they have a question nowadays is to “Google” it. In fact, that is the way many people research the product or service that they are buying.

It’s the dream of many small businesses to appear on the 1st page of a competitive search term or “keyword” ahead of their competitors. So pay attention to know how to optimize your website for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to find your business.

Generally speaking there is off-page and on-page optimization. Off-page optimization essentially relates to having more back-links to your website. On-page optimization refers to what you can do on your own website.

Here are 4 things you must do to improve your On-Page Optimization:

1. Have different landing pages for keyword themes

If you have keyword themes for your online search strategy, create landing pages such as: one for the main theme (keyword), one for competitor terms, one for each pain point you are trying to solve, etc. By breaking them up into different pages, you not only keep the page uncluttered, concise and easy-to-read, but also potentially be able to rank well on each of those terms.

Having more optimized pages, also means that more of your pages could end up on 1st page. One of my SEO expert partners dominated the first page of search results with high-quality pages containing the main keyword term as well as the other keyword themes, effectively “blocking” out their competition.

Remember to use hyperlinks to link pages within your website (internal links) with relevant terms to improve search results as well. Google robots will navigate from one page to the other and index your pages, checking the quality of content. This will boost the quality of your central pages (mostly the main navigation bar items: Home, Contact Us, About, Services, etc). The choice of anchor texts (what text is seen by the viewer as they click on the hyperlink) can also give you an additional boost.

2. Improve the performance & experience of your website

Google has listed performance and experience as one of the factors in your page ranking. Your website will be heavily disadvantaged if it is not responsive to different devices and screen sizes. You will also be penalized for poor loading speeds and poor site navigation (leads to high bounce rates too).

So add to your to-do-list to make your site mobile-friendly, check your hosting for speed and get a WebMaster account on Google and Bing, to submit your sitemap.

Try these Free Tools: Page Speed Testing, Mobile-Friendliness.

In fact, the performance and experience of your website also controls the quality score when you are doing paid advertisements, so it is worthwhile to invest into improving the performance and experience of your site. <Read about: What is Google Quality Score? What is Bing Ads Quality Score?>

Good Work3. Use WordPress SEO Yoast for page and post optimization

If you like most small businesses use WordPress as your CMS, a very useful plugin is SEO Yoast, which helps you to optimize pages and posts. It gives you a “green” light if your post or page is optimized.

 

There are a few factors:

  1. Starting with the URL Permalink: the keyword should ideally be part of the URL.
  2. Put the keyword in the Title of the page if it appears should be natural and not forced.
  3. The use of <h1>, <h2> …  sub-header tags is a minor advantage, and should be used logically. The keyword should not appear unnaturally in all sub-headers.
  4. While the Keywords should appear in the article, there is no fixed rule for how many times it should appear a.k.a. “Keyword Density.” In fact over-using the keyword may lead to penalties. According to an expert I consulted, Google may also compare it with “similar” businesses to check for a usual ratio of keywords.
  5. Lastly, while the meta Description does not affect ranking, it does affect conversion (meaning higher chance someone would click your search result than others). For example, we recently discovered that our welcome gate which gives away an ebook became our default website description. This would not help in converting someone searching for “Infusionsoft Singapore” our targeted keyword.

Search 1

Instead we resubmitted the sitemap, and now it is:

Search 2

which gives a clearer call to action: our telephone number and the relevant information, the prospect may be searching for.

4. Focus on good quality content not quantity

Google is moving towards quality content instead of quantity when determining page ranking. Spending more time to write good quality stuff that your potential customers want to know about, reduces the bounce rate (increasing experience), increases retention, as well as attracts more people to SHARE your articles.

Since you invested so much into content, you should then create different versions of it: podcasts, videos, transcriptions, infographics, PDFs, slides etc, and then post it on SlideShare, Scribd, Podcasting sites, Video-sharing sites, Infographics Directories (10 places to submit your infographics) and social sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram etc). Remember to point it back to your site (backlinks).

Other good (off-page) strategies to distribute your content are guest blogging (like this one), forums that are relevant (example: commenting in personal style magazines forums for hair-care professionals), and selected article directories.

Brendan YongBrendan Yong is a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant specialized in marketing automation based in Singapore. His company Empathi Solutions helps Asia-based clients build Marketing Systems to Grow Predictable Revenue using Infusionsoft CRM as the primary marketing automation tool.

 

How To Get More SEO Value Out of Your Existing Content

Most bloggers would agree that high-quality content creation requires a significant investment in time and energy. Because of this sunk cost associated with any existing content on your website, it’s crazy that bloggers don’t invest additional resources improving, optimizing and ranking underperforming pages. This is especially true when certain posts are just shy of reaching the first page of Google’s search results, where they could be earning you a return on your investment.

With a few of the tactics below, digital marketers can make sure that every piece of content they publish is generating traffic, leads, and ultimately revenue.

Use Google’s Webmaster Tools To Optimize Headlines and Keywords

Are you ever surprised at some of the keywords a post ends up ranking for? Even when you complete keyword research, decide to target a specific phrase, and optimize the post to rank for that term, you sometimes end up getting traffic from unexpected terms. If you find a post that isn’t ranking for your targeted keyword due to higher than anticipated competition, then maybe it’s better to repurpose the post and optimize it for another term.

To find these types of posts, you will need to access Google’s Webmaster Tools. Click on the “Search Analytics” tab on your Dashboard, or go under “Search Analytics” at the left and choose “Search Analytics” there.

GWT - Search Analytics

I prefer the old “Search Queries” report, so I click on the link towards the top of the page. Now you need to click on the “Top Pages” tab, sort by “Impressions”, and expand the tabs you are interested in analyzing. If you have a large blog, instead of working within your browser, you may want to click on “Download This Table”.

GWT - Top Pages

Ultimately what you are looking for are pages that have high impression counts but low clickthroughs (CTRs). These pages constitute your highest potential content because they are getting exposure in Google’s rankings but aren’t high enough to get more clicks. Optimizing these pages could easily earn you significantly more traffic.

Here are a few ways to optimize your titles and on-page SEO:

  • Use a hyphen or colon. When writing a title, I create for both Google and humans. The first half of the title is usually an exact match keyword phrase and the second half is a killer description to get the reader’s attention. For example, if I wrote an article about affiliate marketing, I would title it “CPA Marketing – How To Increase Your Affiliate Marketing Revenue By 137%”.
  • Add more content. When targeting additional keywords, it may be helpful to add more content that directly addresses the related topic, thereby increasing your post’s relevance. In doing so, you may rank for even more long-tail terms.
  • Target lower competition terms. If you’re a small business owner learning how to build a blog, you should not be targeting high-volume, high-competition keywords. This strategy will quickly exhaust your resources with little results. Always start with easy terms to build traffic and recognition, and as your blog’s backlink profile strengthens, target more valuable keywords. If a page is underperforming, this might be the underlying issue.

Internal Linking – Connecting Old and New Content

Internal linking is easily overlooked and underappreciated. Not only does internal linking old pages to new and new pages to old help decrease bounce rate, increase time on site, multiply your email subscribers and promote conversions, it can provide a slight boost in your on-page SEO and rankings.

In an algorithm that takes into account over 200 ranking signals, each given a different weight, a small boost in one category that pushes you up a position can get you double the traffic from a single keyword.

While internal linking is mostly self-explanatory, here are a few guidelines:

  • Find older, authoritative posts that rank high and add internal links to newer, high-value posts.
  • Don’t use the same exact match anchor text to link to a page dozens of times. Diversify your internal links and incorporate long-tail keywords.
  • Internal linking offers subtle results. Even if the tactic doesn’t increase your rankings, it can provide a better user experience, keep readers on your site longer, and most likely improve conversions.

Other Tactics To Leverage Old Content

While the suggestions above constitute the easiest adjustments you can make overnight, there are other ways to grow your blog using your existing content. Here are a few more ideas:

  • Outreach marketing. On-page SEO is important, but a campaign to increase your blog’s exposure and earn natural links will boost not only the page you are marketing but improve your entire site’s authority.
  • Share your content more than once. Perhaps you’ve developed a great resource that you’ve recently updated. Be sure to re-share old work that stands the test of time, but know the best times to post on social media so your content isn’t buried or unseen.
  • Create different forms of multimedia. Bloggers and internet users absolutely love images, graphics and different types of media. Creating a quality infographic using your existing content may be the solution to grabbing people’s attention, increasing shares, and earning links.

Gary DekGary Dek is a professional blogger, SEO expert, and freelance writer. He is the founder of StartABlog123.com as well as a dozen other niche websites and specializes in content marketing and link building strategies. Previously, Gary was an investment banking and private equity analyst.

7 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your PPC Guy: An Easy-To-Use Checklist

As a small business owner, you know your business. But do you have time to master PPC? If not, you’ll want to hire someone to do this for you.

That’s why I’ve created this checklist — to help you pick the right PPC person and make sure they get the ROI what you want.

There are 7 critical things I’ve learned in my 14 years of optimizing PPC accounts. Having these at hand helps you get what you need out of your PPC guy. Let’s get started…

#1: Make Sure Your PPC Guy Uses Your Adwords Account For Their Work

If your PPC guy doesn’t use your Adwords account, you may not “own” the work they do for you. If you change providers, everything they’ve done for you may be lost.

Before hiring any PPC expert, ask, “Are you going to upload the campaigns you create to my account?” “Yes” is the only right answer for two reasons…

  • You “own” the work they do.  This way, if you change providers, you can just remove their access and keep the work that’s been done.
  • And it increases transparency.  If it’s in your account, you can check on the status of the campaigns without having to bug your PPC guy. You just login and do a spot check.

Bottom line: get this or walk away.

#2: Verify How Much Work They’re Actually Doing

ppc1It’s crucial you confirm the work they’re actually doing. Here’s how…

Once a week, go to “Change History” in your Adwords Account and go to “Tools”, and click on “Campaigns”. Then, click on “Change History”.

A log of what work has been done will come up. Then you can confirm the changes are what you agreed to.

#3: Ensure They Avoid Broad Match Keywords (With One Exception)

Adwords has five “match types” you can use for the keywords you’re targeting)…

  • Broad match
  • Modified broad match
  • Exact match
  • Phrase match
  • Negative keywords (I’ll discuss this later in the post)

Make sure your PPC contractor is using some combination of modified broad match, exact match and phrase match only.

A campaign with just broad match keywords lets Google give you the “kitchen sink” approach to showing your ads. This will dilute your ROI and hurt results.

The exception is when you’re marketing to a small to mid-size geographic region. In this case, your market will be smaller and you may have to use broad match to generate enough views of your ads (impressions).

#4: Confirm They’re Adding Negative Keywords

Adding Negative Keywords should be added to curb unrelated traffic. It will:

  • improve the quality of your traffic
  • reduce wasted spend and
  • improve your ROI
  • and boost your click-thru-rate (CTR).

Make sure this is part of your PPC guy’s plan and then confirm he does it each week.

#5: Insist They Specialize In PPC Only

Change is constant in SEO and Adwords. That means an expert in either has to specialize in either one to stay current and provide value.

No one can be really amazing at both. The bottom line:

If you want an SEO guy, hire an SEO guy. If you want a PPC guy, hire a PPC guy. As the saying goes, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”

#6: Verify Their Adwords Certification Is Current & Valid

When hiring a PPC guy, you’ll really want to make sure they’re Adwords certified. This means they’ve taken and passed a series of demanding tests from Google to prove their know-how.

So, before hiring someone, ask them for a link to their Adwords certification. Make sure it’s valid and current. This avoids problems down the road.

#7: Approve All Keyword & Campaign Creation Steps

No PPC guy will know as much about the intricacies of your business as you do.

This means that he’s going to have to rely on your expertise to guide his research and campaign creation. Therefore, make sure that you get to review and approve the keywords they’re going to use.

On top of that, make sure you get to look at and approve the campaign before it goes live (and you start spending money).

You’ll probably catch little things that they missed because of your industry knowledge. I’ve seen this save clients a lot of money.

What All This Means For You

Use this checklist and you can make sure of two things:

  1. you’ve picked the right PPC guy
  2. once hired, you can make sure he’s delivering on his promises

You’re ready to start succeeding at Adwords!
Tim GogginTim Goggin is the founder of recessionRebirth, Inc. – a PPC & Facebook consulting agency. They help small- to medium-sized businesses create money-making ads, generate & convert more leads and accelerate the growth of their ROI. Download his free supplementary checklist, “10 More Ways To Get The Most Of Your PPC Guy” here. Once signed up, claim a free Adwords audit (limited to first 9 businesses that apply).

 

4 Simple Ways to Grow Your Service Business Online

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photo credit: flickr

Service businesses don’t get much love on the internet. It seems like all the best online marketing advice is reserved for software startups or product based companies.

What about folks who sell good old fashion services? We have needs too.

The good news is there are strategies that are working incredibly well for service providers. These strategies are proven, battle-tested, and ready for you to put to work.

#1 – Email Newsletter

Social media gets all the fame and glory. But according to a study by McKinsey & Company, email is nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Why is email such a powerful medium? Not only is delivery almost guaranteed — there’s a lot less noise in the inbox than on social media. Your email is far more likely to reach its recipient than a tweet or Facebook post.

The challenge is getting permission to enter the inbox. To entice prospects to join, your newsletter offer needs to evoke the fear of missing out.

Case Study: Bond Beebe Accountants & Advisors has an entire library of accounting newsletters. From taxation to payroll, their newsletters are indispensable to CFOs and Controllers — the kind of people who decide which accounting firm to hire.

#2 – Guest Blogging

If you’re reading this, you’re witnessing the power of guest blogging first hand. I’m a service provider and I know my target audience reads Duct Tape Marketing — that’s why I’m here.

If my strategy works, you’ll be intrigued by this post and you’ll click over to my website to join my newsletter. After that, it’s up to me to make sure you never regret it.

The odd guest post here and there won’t do much for you though. Guest blogging only becomes powerful when you start regularly showing up on your industry’s popular blogs.

Case Study: Rachel Rodgers is an intellectual property lawyer. She recently made waves among Copyblogger’s massive audience of digital media producers when she wrote this post on how to protect your content.

#3 – Podcasting

Podcasting today is where blogging was 10 years ago. It’s getting crowded, but there’s still tons of opportunity to stand out and reach your audience.

You don’t need to be some kind of entertainer or radio personality to produce a successful podcast either. In fact, the easiest way to build a popular podcast is to interview other experts in your industry.

Interview based podcasts are not only less work to produce — they also grow faster because your guests will share the interview with their networks.

Case Study: Trent Dyrsmid is a digital marketer who runs the Bright Ideas podcast. His podcast quickly rose to the top through high profile interviews with people like Jay Baer, Guy Kawasaki, Rand Fishkin, Michael Stelzner, and more.

#4 – Online Courses

Online courses are becoming a popular medium for service providers because they offer an opportunity to build extreme trust before the sale.

If your space is ripe with DIYers who think they can do it on their own — they’ll jump at the opportunity to learn how to do what you do. Then it becomes your job to demonstrate why the task is better left to the pros.

On the other hand, if you offer a service that people know they can’t do on their own, your course will differentiate you from the competition by demonstrating your expertise and authority.

In both cases, if your course delivers the goods, you should be top of mind when it comes to making a hiring decision.

Case Study: Henneke Duistermaat offers a free 16-part snackable writing course on her website. Why would Henneke give away her “trade secrets” for free? Because she knows that many of her students will eventually end up hiring a professional copywriter.

Where should you start?

If you’re just getting started with your online presence, start with a simple email newsletter.

Email is a low-stakes way to get your feet wet and start producing content right away. Done right, the process of publishing an email newsletter will generate plenty of ideas to fuel your guest posts, podcast, and online courses.

Ready to get started planning a newsletter? Download this worksheet today.

 

IMG_1864Ahmad Munawar is the founder of Boutique Growth — a digital marketing agency for professional services firms. He helps professional service providers and consultants generate more leads, win bigger deals, and accelerate growth. Ready to take your service business to the next level? Join his once-a-week email newsletter for expert marketing advice you don’t want to miss.

How to Use Email Tracking to Dramatically Ramp Up Sales

It’s no secret that email marketing metrics offer great insights.  They let you learn from your customers’ behavior and steer your marketing ship accordingly.

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 7.04.09 AM

But how do you find the best strategy for connecting with customers and prospects directly?  Welcome to the world of email tracking.

Email tracking will let you use context to your advantage.  This is huge because getting in front of recipients at the right time will drastically increase your likelihood of winning their business.

How Email Tracking Works

Tracking platforms live on your email service.  Most track opens, clicks, and responses, and they let you store and test email templates.

The technology works by embedding a small transparent image in each email, which is hosted on the platform’s servers.  The platform knows the email is opened when the image is accessed.  Email links are converted to tracked links so clicks can be measured.

The Right Strategy

1. Start with a Great Email

Your email should offer value.  When you’re reaching out to a prospect or customer, ask yourself, “What will he helpful to this person, even if they never hire us?”

Here is an example.  It’s optimized for tracking, which we’ll cover next.

Hi Rachael,I’ve been a fan of [COMPANY] since I read about you in Inc.  I’m glad I finally have a good reason to reach out.We created a tool for measuring email marketing ROI (attached), which we’re rolling out to two companies this month.  Our owner suggested I include you because a couple of your competitors, [Co.A] & [Co.B], responded well.In addition to discussing the tool, I’d like to hear what you’re doing for email marketing.  Even if you don’t hire us anytime soon, I promise you will leave with valuable information.

Can we have a quick call on Wednesday @ 2p?  We’ll need less than 15 minutes.

Best,

Dan

2. Track Clicks Strategically

With the above in mind, include the tracked link at the end so you’ll know if the message was read.

3.  Connect with Context  

Use tracking to understand email context and respond accordingly.  As Mike Volpe, CMO of Hubspot, argues, “Getting calls from reps when I’m on their website or actually reading their email is much more relevant to my day and my schedule.”

4.  Follow Up at the Perfect Time

One of the biggest questions is “When should I follow up?”  Tracking answers that question with concrete data.  Use the technology in conjunction with other timing-based tools to improve your follow ups.

5.  A/B Test Templates

When crafting email templates, make the differences big.  Compare apples to apples: don’t stack the results from customers against those from prospects, and vice versa.

6.  Measure Results

After you send a solid number of direct emails (ie. 50+), review the results.  From there, create a new template and test it against the old one.

But What About Privacy Concerns?

If tracking feels weird, remember that you don’t have to track everything.  Track your pitch email only.  Also, you can include a line at the end of your message letting recipients know about the technology, and that no personal information will be shared.

Email Tracking Platforms

YesWare

YesWare hooks up to Gmail as an extension in Chrome or Firefox.  It’s free for up to 100 emails per month, and $12 per user per month for unlimited messages.

SideKick by Hubspot

If you’re already on Hubspot, then SideKick might be your best bet.  It’s free for up to 200 tracked emails per month, and $10 per user/month for unlimited.

ToutApp

Tout is another popular platform.  It’s much more robust than the others in terms of analytics and other features.  It starts at $30/month after a free trial.

SalesForce Tracking for Outlook

If SalesForce and Outlook are your world, then this may be most convenient.

Tracking is a valuable tool, but it’s not a silver bullet: it must be used in conjunction with a strong value proposition.  Assuming you’re reaching out to the right person with the right message, tracking will leverage context and bring you to a higher level.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-18 at 7.06.38 AMDan Englander is the author of “Mastering Account Management”.  He’s the founder of Sales Schema, a site that helps professionals find the right balance between sales and customer or client service.  And he’s a decent living room guitarist.  Follow him @danspalace  

 

Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Machine

placeit (1)

The Duct Tape Marketing website generates leads, does yours? Created using PlaceIt

Your website is a very powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. It is completely customizable, flexible and is the base for all of your marketing efforts in the modern world. Without it, you would be missing out on the countless people that search for your industry and product online.

But even with a powerful website and a content marketing strategy, most websites don’t instinctively collect leads on their own. You could have all of the website visits in the world, but unless you have an opportunity to nurture those leads and convert sales, those metrics are just hollow numbers that may not affect your bottom line.

The most useful websites to small business owners actively collect leads for the owners to convert. They have mechanisms in place that get their visitors to volunteer their information. With that, you have a lead that is not only well informed about your brand and product, but has also expressed interest in learning more.

Preparing the site

Before you can actively seek your visitors’ information, you must first have the infrastructure to collect that information. There are numerous tools that allow for lead capture on most websites. You can have a subscription plugin, something like WPSubscribers. This tool allows you to put a widget in the sidebar, header or footer that allows your customers to submit their information (you’ll see something similar on the right of this post.)You may have seen several sites with popups (you may have even encountered ours on this site.) These can be created by tools like Smart PopUp or PopUpAlly..

Of course, most of these tools can be integrated with the email service you already use. If you aren’t using email services like to reach out and collect email lists, you really should, but that’s a topic for another day.

So how do you get them to submit their information? Well, as usual, it all begins with content.

Give them value

An email address is valuable these days. So many people look to keep their inbox as free as possible. It means something to most people to hand it over. That is why you must be willing to give them some value in return.

Be prepared to create something special in return for their email addresses. Most businesses create weekly newsletters to send to their customers. Here at Duct Tape Marketing, we offer our “Best Stories on the Web Weekly,” a collection of some of the best small business marketing tips and stories on the web. It just takes a bit of time to curate and load into an email blast, and you’ve got a valuable piece of content for your audience.

Another strategy is to offer an eBook or White Paper in exchange for the information. You’ve heard of companies that use this strategy. In my hometown, there’s a local lawn service company that offers a “Guide to choosing the right lawn service” for free. The white paper offers very valuable information without selling, all while providing their salespeople the information they need to follow up and complete the sale.

You can even collect your content in themed eBooks and get more mileage out of the great content you’ve created in the past. These are very similar to white papers, just a bit longer.

Your website is powerful, but you can lose business if you can’t use it to gather leads and close sales. Unlock all of its power by turning your website into a lead generation machine.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

Are Paid Content Distribution Platforms Cost Effective?

Content Distribution img3_BK_HoCCreating great content is only one aspect of digital marketing. In order for that content to be effective you need an audience, you need eyeballs and traffic.

Generate enough traffic and that content will drive a steady uptick in conversions and a return on your marketing budgetary spend. Finding that audience is often the hardest challenge.

Social and Guest Blogger Networks

Social media is becoming an increasingly pay-to-play environment, especially on Facebook. Organic traffic to Pages is below 2%.

With over 100,000 factors influencing who sees your content on Facebook, if a post isn’t popular enough it may only reach a few hundred unless you put some ad money behind it.

An alternative is to target bloggers and media outlets directly. Ask to be published as a guest blogger. Get enough outlets in your network, and you could have hundreds of thousands of new readers and fans of your content, which ultimately leads to conversion upticks. This approach does take time, but it works. Buffer, a popular social media sharing tool, leveraged a guest network to generate millions in revenues.

Paid Content Platforms: A Distribution Alternative?

Not unlike creating a sponsored post on Facebook, a range of content distribution platforms have emerged over the last few years, aiming to automate the challenge of finding an audience for your content.

They broadly work in the same way: you upload the content (which is published locally, on your blog), set the budget and timescale, then launch the campaign. Anyone familiar with online publishing and managing ad campaigns should be fairly well accustomed to the technology and processes.

The following are some of the most popular distribution platforms on the market.

Outbrain

Content Distribution img2_BK_HoCCost-per-Click (CPC) $0.25–$0.35

Outbrain boasts a global reach of over 560 million (as of September 2014, comScore), with 80% of the world’s leading brands already working with them. They have a distribution network (which is ultimately what you are paying for) which includes real estate on some of the most high-profile media outlets, including CNN and ESPN.

Nativo

The Outbrain link appeared at the bottom of an article on the Independent websiteViewable CPM rates (vCPM): $10–$18

Rather than just an iteration on the Outbrain model, Nativo has two key differentiators: Firstly, it charges vCPM rates rather than CPC rates, which means you know people have seen your content. Secondly, content is published within media outlets and blogs, like Entrepreneur.com.

They work with over 1,700 publishers and claim a 300% increase on the performance of native ads. It is like having an external content network, with all the heavy lifting taken care of.

Taboola

CPC: $0.25–$0.30

Similar to Outbrain and other competitors, such as Disqus, Taboola provides a content distribution platform on a CPC model.

How to implement (while factoring in downsides)

With all of these you can target using geography. None will get you as close as a sponsored post on Facebook, so all come down to trial and error. Have a budget and timescale that will allow for some fine tuning. Most also provide detailed analytics, which allows you to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Depending on your budget and resources, doing a side by side comparison (depending on your audience and the content) with promoted content across social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr – where the average promoted post gets reblogged 10,000 times). See which works best for your brand, which results in the highest upticks in traffic and conversions.

Winning the distribution game is key to making the most of your content marketing. As Gary Vaynerchuk noted, content may be king, but without distribution you have no queen and your household will be a mess.

Benjamin+KerryBenjamin Kerry is Managing Director of Precise English, an SEO copywriting agency in Stockton on Tees, England.  He specialises getting businesses set up online, from well-written content to designing and developing a beautiful & functional website.

 

Turning Leads Into Customers With an Email Autoresponder

Today’s Guest Post is by Jack Reamer – Enjoy!

Imagine if your marketing ran on autopilot…

You could sit back, kick your feet up and watch your sales go through the roof.

You could grow your business (and take that much-needed vacation) without worrying about how you’ll get your next customer.

Sounds good, right?

Now, you know that marketing isn’t that easy. But a good email autoresponder can bring you new customers like clockwork – even when you’re not working.

What is an email autoresponder?

An autoresponder is an automated series of emails that gives your leads value, draws them closer to your brand and eventually makes them buy what you’re selling.

Basically, it puts your email marketing on autopilot.

How can your business sell with an autoresponder?

Photo credit: Banquet hall via flickr (license)

Photo credit: Banquet hall via flickr (license)

Picture yourself in a 10,000 square foot banquet hall that’s packed with your potential customers.

You’re holding a microphone, and your potential customers are waiting to hear your best sales pitch. What would you say? What would you want them to know before they made a buying decision?

Those are your selling points. And as long as you have your lead’s attention, your email autoresponder can deliver your selling points just like this fictional banquet hall sales pitch.

You need to know two things to sell with an email autoresponder:

  1. What do your leads care about?
  2. What are your selling points?

If your autoresponder messages are about things your leads care about, they will open and read your emails. So earn their attention by sending emails that will help your leads solve a problem or reach a goal.

Then how do you sell? Easy. Just connect one of your selling points to each email.

Let’s look at an example:

Let’s say you’re a bookkeeping company that wants to turn your leads into customers with an autoresponder.

Your leads are busy small business owners who care about saving time running their business. And one of your selling points is you can save business owners one hour a week by doing their bookkeeping.

An email that would work well in your autoresponder is:

“How any business owner can save 5 hours this week”

Then, inside that email, give five time-saving tips for small business owners.

Make sure one of the tips talks about hiring a bookkeeper to instantly save 1 hour every week. (Include a link back to your website so your leads can click to learn more about your bookkeeping service.)

Why does this email work well?

  • It’s a topic your leads care about so it will get opened.
  • You provide five helpful tips so it will get read.
  • You tie your selling point to the email so your leads can click for more details.

Three email ideas for an autoresponder that sells:

1) Welcome Email

Use this email to get your leads to look forward to future emails (by telling them what’s coming up) and to ask, “what are you struggling with?” so you know exactly what your leads need help with.

2) Problem Solver

Help them solve a problem they’re struggling with. (Just make sure the problem relates to your business.) Give your leads helpful tips to establish your credibility and to prove you’re an expert.

3) Case Study

Talk about a past customer’s problems (and how you helped them solve it), so it’s helpful to your leads. Make sure to provide insights with this case study, but don’t forget to include a testimonial.

Have any questions about selling with email? Leave them in the comments, and I’ll answer each one.

Jack ReamerJack Reamer is an email marketing expert who specializes in helping B2B companies turn leads into customers with helpful & engaging emails. Jack shares actionable email marketing insights on his blog emailsthatsell.com. Want to bring in more sales with your emails? Click here to learn the four biggest mistakes business owners make with email marketing (and how to avoid them.)