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COVER STORY: MASTERING FACEBOOK ADVERTISING IN 2014

KEITH KRANC >> THE ORIGINAL AND BEST INTERNET MARKETING MAGAZINE DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE IPAD, KINDLE FIRE, ANDROID AND THE WEB

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MEET OUR EXPERT PANEL Matthew Woodward

is a multi award winning internet marketing & business blogger. He has over a decade of experience which he shares on his blog at www.MatthewWoodward. co.uk Read his article on Building a Top 100 Blog In 12 Month on PAGE 14

CONTENTS

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1Expert

commentary on what are the big plays that have recently happened online and how they affect you.

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Kranc shares his entrepreneur and internet marketer. He runs a unique web knowledge on how marketing agency called Markitekt, a startup called Traindom and to master Facebook several niche internet business like T1Q and others. He has a free Advertising for 2014 website called Dreaminder. If you want to get in touch with Peep, in an exclusive shoot him an email at peep@convresionxl.com interview with Internet Marketing Magazine.

Peep Laja is the face of ConversionXL. Peep is an

1Keith

Read his article on eCommerce Checkout Flow Design on PAGE 24

Margot da Cunha

is a Customer Success Specialist at WordStream, a Search Marketing Software Developer and provider of Managed PPC Advertising Services. Margot’s expertice includes PPC, social marketing, and blogging. Follow her on Twitter and Google+. Read her article on Social Media Marketing Strategies on PAGE 33

Kristi Hines

is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing for personal, professional, and business bloggers. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Read her article on Twitter Advertising on PAGE 38

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1Learn

How to Build a Top 100 Blog in 12 Months.

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1Know

the eCommerce Checkout Flow Design that Converts.

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1Discover

the 12 Social Media Marketing Strategies

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1Set

Fiona Lewis

is an internet marketer and author of Mumpreneurs Online: EXPOSED. She established Mumpreneurs Online and Mentoring Mums Online as a way to pass over her knowledge to mums who are wanting to start an online business from home. Fiona also launched the Savvy Mastermind, a program which offers a higher level of internet marketing coaching and Super Savvy Business – an intersection of all Fiona’s activity as a Mumpreneur and as an Internet Marketer. Read her article on Google Authorship on PAGE 43

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Up Twitter Advertising to Build Awareness for Your Business.

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lKnow

Works.

How Google Authorship


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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acebook, Facebook, Facebook – that is the main subject that we are being asked about at the moment, as it seems so many businesses are now using Facebook to drive targeted traffic to build audience, community, list and ultimately sales. It’s for this reason that we deliberately sought out internationally sought after Facebook expert Keith Kranc for the cover of this issue. The audio of this really should be listened to in full as this is a subject matter that affects so many marketers in 2014. For those with iTunes the Podcast version may be more convenient.

The Internet Marketing Magazine team has also been doing a lot of testing in our lab of different Facebook Ad units and how cost effective they are. We will put the finishing touches on this over the next few weeks and share it with you next issue. If you haven’t got access to the member’s area please feel free to do at http:// internetmarketingmag.net/become-member/ (it’s free). This month’s complete audio interview with Keith Kranc has now been added. It has lots of sections in it that were not included in the magazine, so be sure to check it out. Our Google Play App is now live and working well. It gets updated roughly one day after the Apple Newsstand issue. So please feel free to check it out if you are on Android. We are working on a way to make it get automatically updated the same day as Apple Newsstand, so I’ll let you know if that comes off. A special thanks to those who have left reviews in the apple platforms as it really helps us out. If you are getting good value from Internet Marketing Magazine and you can spare 1 minute of your time to click this link to give us a quick honest review that would be greatly appreciated (click ‘view in iTunes’ then scroll down and click ‘write a review’, thanks :). New this year: Send us a screenshot of your review in iTunes or Google Play (info@ internetmarketingmag.net) and we will send you some great Internet Marketing Training resources that I have put together in recent months based on what we are doing in the marketing agency that is working right now.

Greg Cassar Regards,

Greg Cassar

is Australia’s leading Internet Marketing Strategist. With Collective.com.au Greg provides Digital Marketing Mastermind Coaching for Business Owners & Entrepreneurs. It includes everything you need to know to double your business using Internet Marketing & Digital Technology. You can follow Greg’s latest updates by subscribing to Internet Marketing Magazine at InternetMarketingMag.net for the new members area and the latest issue updates. internet marketing magazine may 2014

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INTERNET UPDATE

THE STATE OF THE INTERNET In this section of Internet Marketing Magazine our editor Greg Cassar cover’s the facts and provides expert commentary on what are the big plays that have recently happened online and how they affect you. > FACEBOOK TO ROLL OUT NEW LOOK AND FEEL RIGHT HAND SIDE ADS The trend with many Internet Marketers is to focus their advertising efforts on the newsfeed rather than the right hand side because of higher click through rates and lower CPC and CPM. Facebook is aware this is happening and are in the process of rolling out a change to the right hand side Ad unit to have a larger image size so as to encourage marketers to utilise it more so that the newsfeed doesn’t become ‘uncool’.

shape of desktop News Feed ads, marketers will no longer have to choose separate images for News Feed and right-hand column placements. They can now use the same image for both.” > AMAZON TWITTER SOCIAL SHOPPING Amazon never ceases to amaze us with their innovation. The most recent social shopping one is a beauty, but the conversion rate of it is still to be seen.

An Example of a #AmazonCart Reply which adds the product to the cart

Effectively Amazon now gives you a way to shop directly from your twitter feed when you see Amazon products listed that you like. An Example of the New Facebook Right Hand Side Ads

Facebook advised recently “The new look of the ads, along with their new distribution, is intended to offer a better ad experience on Facebook. In early tests we’ve seen increased engagement — up to 3X more — from people seeing the new design. Because the updated ads mirror the overall

It’s currently only available in the US and the UK but a global rollout is expected soon. There is a prerequisite step where you need to configure your Twitter and Amazon profiles to talk to each other. Here’s how it works - While you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed and a product with a link to an Amazon product pops by, simply reply

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INTERNET UPDATE to the message and add the hashtag #AmazonCart. The item will be placed in your cart so you can purchase it later. We believe the conversion rate on the cart will be low because there is a 2nd step required for the user to then visit Amazon to finish the checkout at a later time. > FACEBOOK CLEANING UP NEWSFEED SPAM Hot on the tails of Google cleaning up link spam, Facebook is now cleaning up Newsfeed Spam. They are cracking down on people and pages that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would. The first big area of focus is ‘Like-baiting’. “Like-baiting” is when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive. See the example below.

An Example of ‘Like-Baiting’ Facebook Newsfeed Spam

Similar to Google, Facebook will now analyse and determine the quality of sites that are being linked to. Facebook advises ‘Some stories in News Feed use inaccurate language or formatting to try and trick people into clicking through to a website that contains only ads or a combination of frequently circulated content and ads. For instance, often these stories claim to link to a photo album but instead take the viewer to a website with just ads.’ All in all this is good news for the Facebook user experience in general. IMM

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> COVER STORY:

EXPERT INTERVIEW

ALL ABOUT KEITH KRANC • Keith Kranc is a world-famous Facebook advertising expert. • Keith is currently co-authoring ‘The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising’ with Perry Marshall. • Keith runs the agency ‘Dominate Web Media’ to help businesses to effectively use Facebook advertising & other social media marketing to grow their businesses and their brand.

Break up your ad spend into 70/30 or 80/20. Spend 20-30% amplifying your high-value content that people don’t have to opt-in to get access to.

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EXPERT INTERVIEW

KEITH KRANC MASTERING FACEBOOK ADVERTISING IN 2014 An Interview by Internet Marketing Strategist Greg Cassar With Facebook marketing, what type of lead gen or sales offers work and what type of advertising do you believe marketers should avoid on Facebook because it’s either uncool or just not going to work? Keith: One main thing that people have to really realize is that Facebook is so much different than anything else, than Google, even TV - because with television, people are very used to commercials selling stuff. Facebook, if you are advertising in the news feed - people aren’t ready quite yet. The great thing about Facebook is you can have a piece of content that looks like content and can be delivering value, but the goal for the end result is to turn that person into a subscriber, a lead, a prospect, and eventually, into a customer. But you have to be very careful with this process. Often one of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is that they drive Facebook ad traffic to a landing page that is “Fill out this form,” that has seven or eight fields, such as “Fill out this form to go to this free live event”; “Fill out this form for an estimate,” or something like that. It might work well with Google search traffic, because they are searching for that specific service or product, and they are trying to solve a problem. Facebook is not that way. The problem with most cases is people try to bring people into their sales processes to quickly.

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The key with Facebook is how can you use a compelling reason, maybe some curiosity, to get somebody to click and take action to learn something? Maybe you are delivering one, specific tip, or something free you can deliver as far as education. Maybe it’s a mistake that a lot of people are making and you can explain how not to make that mistake, and then smoothly transition into that which would be your product or service. The great thing about Facebook is the targeting. We now have the capabilities to target people based on the things they like, as well as their income, the value of their home, and the car that they drive. Greg: This is a unique time in history like never before. You and I are both Internet marketers with a long history. This has never been a capability ever before. It’s very exciting that you can narrow in on exactly what age they are, who they are, what they are interested in, even how much they earn.


> COVER STORY: Keith: It’s incredible. It’s available in the USA and it’s starting to roll out into the UK and Canada, but not Australia yet. It’s the data that comes from auto loans, home loans, frequent flier miles, grocery shopping rewards programs, all those types of things. All that data is sold off to big data companies. What happened is Facebook has partnered up with the big data companies, and they connect that data back to your Facebook account, if you have a Facebook account.

EXPERT INTERVIEW

an image post-type ad, and when you clicked on the image it went into a light box and hid Facebook behind it. You just saw your image, text, and call to action over on the right. I thought that was still pretty impressive, but the Facebook user had to make one more click to get over to your landing or blog page, but here it’s like a billboard, but as soon as they click on your billboard, they are straight away over to your site, which is incredible. Keith: Yes, and the cool thing about this is this shows up in the news feed. It looks like an organic post, and it says “Sponsored” very lightly on the top left or bottom right. It will be in light grey, so it looks like an organic post. You can use this to get out in front of your ideal audience. You will get people that will like, comment, and share it. If they share that post and one of their friends sees it on their wall and they click on it, you actually don’t pay for that. You can get some free traffic from it, but you are going to pay for 90% of the clicks that come from it.

Which type of ads do you believe are the most effective in 2014? Keith: Right now, the most effective ad is called a “link post ad.” It’s a page post, link post ad. It’s basically like you are copying a link to a landing page, a blog post, or a product page on your eCommerce store, and if you copy that link and paste it over on your Facebook business page, what’s going to happen is it’s going to pull up an image thumbnail from your page. You can also upload a custom image when you post that post, and now you can amplify that with Facebook ads. The difference between this post and others is when somebody sees the image and they click on it, it redirects to your landing page or article on your site. Greg: That is so good. Previously, there was

One of the things that’s changed in recent months with Facebook Advertising is it prompts you “Do you want to ‘optimize for clicks’ or ‘optimize for conversions’” etc. What are your experiences on those? Keith: That’s a really good question and it’s a tough one to record and be evergreen, because it’s changing so fast. This is something we are testing quite a bit right now. Basically Facebook is trying to help people. They are trying to make it easier for people who are not very technical. If you bid for clicks in the regular ad manager, you can let Facebook automatically optimize it. If you are going to bid for clicks, which is really called CPC, I would recommend manually internet marketing magazine may 2014

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> COVER STORY:

EXPERT INTERVIEW

bidding. I recommend bidding higher to get good positioning, and as your ad starts to go out and get impressions, they will reset your bid price to lower than what your bid is, and then you can start lowering your bid. That’s what bidding for clicks in the traditional costper-click, but they have another way to bid.

Keith: This is one of my favorite topics. What I like to tell people to do: break up your ad spend into 70/30 or 80/20. If your goal is to generate leads and sales get people into some kind of a front-end offer.

If you have bid for impressions, it’s kind of weird because the ad manager is different than the Power Editor with the bidding right now. It’s a little frustrating, so if you are bidding for impressions, what they do, basically, is you can put in your own bid if it’s in the ad manager. However, if you are in the Power Editor, you can do ‘Optimized CPM bidding’. Typically, we are seeing the best results when you do “bid for clicks”. If you select “bid for clicks”, what you can do is select to automatically optimize your bid for clicks, and you can test that, or, you can manually set your maximum bid for clicks, and then bid high on that. But don’t choose the “bid for impression” option. If you choose “bid for clicks” as your objective, keep it as the bid for clicks, and then let them optimize it, which in some cases, you’ll get good or better results than you doing it. We are actually seeing some cases where optimized CPM bidding, but the objective of “bid for clicks” is getting the best results, but in some cases, the normal CPC bidding is actually beating it. Greg: Yes, it really is test, measure, and figure out what’s working well for you.

What do you recommend as effective content marketing while still monetizing your efforts with Facebook Advertising?

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Plan on spending 70% or 80% of your budget on promoting your lead magnet instead of 100% like most people are doing. That other 20-30% should be spent amplifying your high-value content that people don’t have to opt-in for to get access to. I call this the “promoted post re-targeting loop”. The first step is to create a piece of quality content that is hosted on your blog or website. That is the key here. You are using Facebook to amplify that. We basically copy that link. We take that link, paste it into your business Facebook page, and then post it. Then, we amplify that. We run ads to that post. That post is going to show up in the news feed to your exact, ideal audience, not just your fans but your non-fans, people that would eventually buy from you. They click on it, come to your blog, and read it and watch the video. Now, the key here is this is the first step in the process. You now have them on your blog. It’s important that you have strong calls to action on that page. People


> COVER STORY: don’t share landing pages and sales pages, typically. You’ll get a lot of shares because it’s a blog post, and what that does is it gives you a lot more credibility and social proof. Now, they are on your site. Let’s say 20% of people opt-in or click-through to a webinar and sign up for it. However 70-90% or possibly more are going to bounce off and leave, but that’s okay, because you have a re-targeting pixel in place. So, you are building an invisible list of everybody you brought to your site. The next day, they are on a news site like Mashable or Oprah, and they now see a banner of your face or business that says, “Click here to download a free cheat sheet,” or, “The number one mistake people make when they...” and they have to optin or register for it. Now they become a lead, they are more like a prospect as they are more warmed up. This is very, very important. Greg: They already know who you are, and hopefully, they like and trust you. Keith: Yes, and you are getting them from different angles. I was at a mastermind at Jack Canfield’s house last summer. One of the guys there was an ex-movie producer. He did ‘We are the World’, with Michael Jackson. He talked about the “rule of three” that all the big movie studios use. They want all the viewers out there to be hit with three different versions of advertising within a short period of time like a day or two.

EXPERT INTERVIEW

Keith: E-commerce is tough, and it really depends on the type of eCommerce business. If you are selling something with no margin at all, and it’s strictly a price competition like flat screen TVs, it’s definitely going to be tough. But, in a lot of other eCommerce companies if you are building a brand, you are in a better situation. It’s still difficult, but with eCommerce, first of all, retargeting is really big. You’ve got to think about how to use Facebook to retarget people. You need to be creating content for your eCommerce store creating content and building a brand around that content. Facebook is where you would amplify all that content. Everybody that gets amplified is retargeted, and you can retarget them back into some type of offer.

So, three different versions, not just three T.V. ads, so a newspaper, a T.V. ad, and a billboard. Online, you can do the same thing. You bring them with a news feed ad to a piece of content. Then, the next day or later on that day, they might see a sidebar or banner that you have on Mashable, because they were on your site and it’s a retargeting ad. It’s cheap, because it’s only delivered to people who have already visited your site. You can get these different types of marketing by bringing them there originally from Facebook. Then, they think you are everywhere.

What do you believe are good models that can work for eCommerce stores with Facebook Ads for generating sales in addition to likes and community?

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EXPERT INTERVIEW

It’s got to be the right product. Often it’s related to the piece of content that you did or a tool that you used. Eg. If it’s a cooking product, and you did a cooking show, you could retarget back to the cooking product you used in that show.

From a funnel design, you and Perry Marshall did a textbook-perfect one with Perry’s book that was a penny plus shipping, that kind of thing. I think it’s a great example of taking Facebook traffic and turning them into customers, not just leads. Keith: Exactly. He’s got a free book and they pay $7 for shipping in the U.S and $14 international, and the average order is $35 because of the upsells. It’s low-cost per lead and low-cost per sale.

The other thing that can work really well is if you figure out a very low-priced, impulse buy product that you have, or take a product that you have that is low-priced, and lower the price as long as you can figure out a way to move them into other products. You have to have a lifetime value and to be able to upsell them into another product or quickly move them to another one. If you don’t have that ability, this won’t work for you. Figure out a way… ‘How can I have a product that is an impulse buy that I could lose money on, or break even on to turn these site visitors into customers’? That gives you the ability to drive massive traffic. It separates you from your competition if you have something you can sell or give away for free where they pay for shipping. Greg: You’re talking about what the digital marketer guys call ‘The Tripwire’ where you are going to take them from a lead or prospect and turn them into a customer. Because then, something happens from a psychology point of view and they are ten or eleven times more likely to buy from us again.

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The other thing is, if you have an eCommerce store, a good ad to use is called a ‘Facebook Offer’ and those can work really well. What it does is almost gives you the ability to sell, because people have that Groupon, Living Social, daily deal effect. Because it’s a “offer,” it’s okay to take them to a purchase, because they are getting a discount on it. You are right up front about selling something, but it’s at a discount. It’s kind of like a restaurant. If you have a Facebook offer, people will love it and share it. But, if it’s an eCommerce store, especially if it’s retargeted traffic and they already know who you are, you can now run an offer to that.

If it’s not retargeted traffic, if it’s new traffic, it’s got to be a really good impulse buy and a really good deal. Then, maybe, you will have a video on that page. Those can work really well. The Facebook offers are great, too, because you get a lot of social proof. It will say that


> COVER STORY:

EXPERT INTERVIEW

50 or 100 people claimed it. That just means they clicked and said they will claim the offer and went and visited your page. That doesn’t necessarily mean they bought. Greg: Most people wouldn’t know that. It looks like 50 or 100 people bought it. Keith: Exactly. With Groupon or Living Social, they have to buy for it to be claimed. The other thing is if you have private label products on Amazon, use Facebook. You want to improve your rankings? You can actually drive Facebook traffic to a landing page that talks about your product, and then they can click the button on that page that moves them to the Amazon page. Keith: It’s basically like a sandwich page, and it’s only going to work in certain situations. You can’t just drive Facebook traffic to an Amazon listing. It’s just not going to work, unless it’s someone who already knows you. But, if you have a really cool product with a video about it, you can drive traffic to that video page, and then you can click below to get a discount on it or something. Then, they click the button and that redirects to your Amazon page. Now, you can retarget traffic that lands on that video landing page. Once they land on your Amazon listing, Amazon will start retargeting them with their own network. Of course, they have a high conversion rate, because it’s Amazon.

You really are a wealth of knowledge, Keith. How our readers, listeners, subscribers, and members get more information from you online? Keith: The best way is to visit DominateWebMedia.com/imm and grab the eight-step checklist on ‘Discover the 8 Most Critical Things You Must Do To Profit From Facebook’. IMM

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BLOGS

HOW I BUILT A TOP 100 BLOG IN 12 MONTHS & HOW YOU CAN DO IT TOO! (PART 2) By Matthew Woodward

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his is the story of how my MatthewWoodward. co.uk blog became a Technorati Top 100 Business Blog in just 1 year. I even took a month off!

*** Read the first part of ‘How I Built A Top 100 Blog In 12 Months & How You Can Do It Too!’ from the April 2014 issue of Internet Marketing Magazine.

Make a Bang! So I had a solid plan, I spent time setting up the blog and put some thought into the overall user experience. But what good is a blog with no content or traffic! I decided that my first few posts needed to make the biggest bang possible that would hopefully set off an avalanche. I looked though my content strategy and quickly decided that link building and more specifically tiered link building was an area that had a lot of misinformation. There were no real nitty gritty detailed tutorials and just so happened to be an area I excelled in. The tiered link building series took a total of 100-120 hours to produce. Then I gave away all of the hard work free of charge to anyone that would watch it! In the past 12 months that series has had a total of 99,882 visitors watching them for a total of

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284,253 minutes generating nearly $15,000 in affiliate commission. I have had so many people tell me I was stupid to give them away and if I launched the videos as a product I would of made a lot more money. That is probably true but what you can’t measure is the bang and impact these videos made as people began to watch and share them. As people watched and learnt, they formed a relationship with me – you cannot put a monetary value on that. Creating The Videos When I was younger I edited gaming videos and created animations in Adobe After Effects so I was pretty comfortable with that side of things. What I wasn’t comfortable with though was teaching others or even having the confidence to record myself speak. So with a cheap Sennheisser headset in hand I started to plan out the videos and how I would


> give them a bang! I also wanted to ensure the videos were branded, memorable and gave people a reason to stick around quickly. So I created a set of ‘video resources’ that I could use throughout my videos-

BLOGS

With all of those resources created I used Camtasia Studio to record and edit everything! Publishing The Videos When it came to publishing the videos on the blog I put some thought into the best way to present them. Videos offer a couple of problems from an internet marketing stand point. Firstly, Google bots can’t understand video so how will these tutorials attract search traffic? Secondly how do I get people to ‘convert’ after watching a video, whether that is subscribing to the blog, sharing the tutorial on a social network or clicking an affiliate link?

Introduction I used Adobe After Effects to render a quick branded animation. Fly In Banners I also used Adobe After Effects to render some fly in banners that I could use to get people’s attention and take action. PowerPoint Template I created a branded PowerPoint template that I could use to explain things in the tutorials. Watermark Just my logo on a transparent background that I could use to watermark the videos where necessary.

The first problem I solved by publishing a transcript under each video that could be shown/hidden by the user. It turns out that these are actually very helpful to readers with disabilities or struggle to understand my voice and I get a lot of praise for providing them. The second problem I solved with a plugin that would show a custom HTML splash screen at the end of the video and let me make certain parts of the video clickable which looked like this-

Closing Slide A closing slide asking people to subscribe to my blog and share my tutorials with others. Giving people a reason to stick around quickly was also important, so every video dives straight into telling people ‘What They Will Learn’.

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BLOGS I have since ditched that plugin and moved over to the much more robust LeadPlayer to drive video conversion. Then I needed a mechanic to drive social sharing to bring more traffic and better search rankings. By using a social locker plugin I was able to offer the videos for download along with exclusive resources. Finally I tried to keep the posts brief and to the point, internet marketers are busy people so I quickly tell people what they will learn and present the video. So that’s great content, that offers multiple points of conversion through email sign up/ affiliate clicks, set up to drive social sharing & user engagement taken care of. Promoting The Videos Promoting the videos was actually the easiest bit and it all started with a little forum called TrafficPlanet. I updated my signature to include a link to the videos with a catchy call to action driving initial trickles of traffic. Then I created this thread to share them with everyone and answer peoples questions. I also updated my signature on forums like DigitalPoint, BlackHatWorld & WarriorForum and started to take part in conversations helping people out. Not all forums like you sharing your own stuff and I have had my fair share of bans but even 1 year later, this is still a key method of promotion and driving traffic to the blog along with BuzzBundle.

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Because I have put so much time and thought into the user journey, the value each user can offer and how to extract that while providing consistent quality – all of the cogs are turning in my direction. Each and every visitor becomes a planted seed in one way or another. This is something I feel a lot of people overlook that are purely focused on keyword research, link building and affiliate clicks. Let The Games Begin! At this point I have launched the blog and it is starting to get initial trickles of traffic, nothing fancy just growing from 20-30 a day to 40-50 a day in less than a week. I have spent considerable time laying down the basic foundations for the blog to be a success, but what did I do next? I publish a series of income reports that details what I’ve done each month so lets take a look at the best bits month by month! August 2012 – $605.28 Profit / 2,125 Visitors I officially launched the blog, the first 4 parts of the tiered link building series & wrote about my zero link building experiment.


> I published a video conversion case study based on my research when creating the blog and launched my very first competition. The First Competition The tiered link building series featured a piece of software called Kontent Machine. Those guys were so impressed with it they sent me an email and we got to talking.

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September 2012 – $4,006.88 Profit / 4,518 Visitors With a great start in August and some fantastic feedback coming in I really pushed forward in September.

They agreed to give me a lifetime license worth $37 per month in exchange for creating a dedicated video tutorial about the product. I decided to turn this into a competition with the goals of1. Increasing traffic to the blog 2. Capturing new subscribers 3. Driving affiliate sales The competition was a huge a success bringing 274 new subscribers & generated nearly $1,200 in affiliate commission. Competitions & giveaways quickly became a core part of the blogs strategy moving forward. Traffic & Promotion I didn’t do anything special to promote the blog. All I did was post regularly on forums with links to my tutorials in my signature. I focused on DigitalPoint, TrafficPlanet & WarriorForum making a total of 927 posts. I also had a few Google Alerts setup to monitor link building related keywords so I could engage people with my tutorials where possible. Key Statistics • Unique Visitors: 2,125 • Subscribers: 288 • Profit: $605.28

Reaching Out To try and shine some light on the blog I decided to create a guest post which ended up getting published on SearchEngineJournal.com. That post was shared over 800 times and was one of the most popular posts on SearchEngineJournal.com in 2012. It was great to see my tutorial be so well received on one of the biggest search engine blogs on the planet. Sunday SEO With Terry Kyle For those that don’t know who Terry Kyle is, he runs TrafficPlanet.com and created one of the most popular forum based SEO experiments we have ever seen. He has has a weekly video series called SundaySEO and he invited me to produce a video for his audience last minute. I jumped at the opportunity and created a

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BLOGS tutorial that taught people how to manage their backlinks and hooked up an exclusive discount for the featured software.

front page for a competitive term.

That opportunity brought me 467 visitors, a whole bunch of new subscribers & delivered $675.46 in affiliate commission. Thanks to Terry for the opportunity at such an early stage. In fact he has helped me a bunch of times as you’ll see throughout this post! Feeling The Pain As the blog became more popular I was getting more and more emails and private messages. This started to become a problem with the sheer volume of them coming in. However answering them was critical as it allowed me to form relationships with people that might just return the favour by sharing my tutorials. So previously when time was purely spent on content creation and promotion, I now had to factor in the increasing volume of messages from people.

Google was also kind enough to move me up to the #1 spot when you searched for my name-

The main problem was I was putting so much time into answering all of these messages, the answers were just getting locked away in someone’s private inbox somewhere. So I knew something needed to change and I started to think about a possible solution that would allow me to extract more value from the time invested.

It was great to see the zero link building experiment slowly start to pay off!

Google Starts To Show Some Love This was the first month where Google started to pay attention to the blog.

Traffic & Promotion Again I didn’t do anything special here however I did start to post on Blackhatworld alongside TrafficPlanet, WarriorForum & DigitalPoint.

It had moved onto the front page for the term ‘Buy SEO’ completely by accident.

I made a total of 456 posts across the 4 forums which in turn sent me 3,929 unique visitors.

I hadn’t targeted the term or even tried to rank for it, but Google decided it was worthy of the

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Although I did get banned from DigitalPoint ^^


> Key Statistics • Unique Visitors: 4,518 • Subscribers: 696 • Profit: $4,006.88 October 2012 – $6,907.60 Profit / 6,240 Visitors The blog quickly went from not earning much, to earning quite a lot in a short amount of time. I published a bunch of helpful tutorials including how to work out which Google Algorithm penalised your site and shared my blogs traffic strategy with the how to find & engage your target audience for profit post. Oddly that is one of the least popular posts on the blog but is the post that offers the most value in my opinion.

BLOGS

John Chow vs Search Engine Journal When I was trying to get my guest post published I sent it to both Search Engine Journal & John Chow. After not hearing back from John Chow, it was published on Search Engine Journal. 6 weeks later it magically appeared on John Chows blog, he still hadn’t replied to my email to even acknowledge receipt never mind let me know it was going live. Either way this not only exposed me to his audience but also gave me the opportunity to create the John Chow vs Search Engine Journal case study. The Second Competition I also launched the second competition, this time it was for the Inspyder team offering up prizes worth a total of $715. I actually cheated a little bit here and repurposed the video from last month’s Sunday SEO and posted it on the blog. Although it didn’t quite perform as well as the previous competition, it still helped to bring $654.38 in affiliate commission. Solving The Email Problem In the previous month I was having a hard time keeping up with emails and messages from readers.

Took A Shot At Disavow Google had just announced the Disavow tool which caused a bit of the stir in the SEO world. I took a stab at it and highlighted why the tool was actually bad news for SEO and not the saving grace everyone thought it would be. This post ended up going viral (see the big spike in the graph above) to a degree and sparked discussions in a few places including this post which has nearly 5,000 views.

I was getting overloaded and I spent a lot of time replying which ended up just been hidden away in someones inbox. So my solution to this was to integrate a forum into the site and get people to post questions there. This had a number of benefits1. Anyone that joined the forum, became an email subscriber 2. The questions & answers were publically viewable for everyone’s benefit 3. It introduced a new form of user

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BLOGS generated content to the site 4. It increased visibility in the search engines ranking for long tail keywords

Here’s a sample of what it looks like-

Self-Serve Banner Advertising I also introduced the OIOPublisher plugin to the blog that would allow banner and text link adverting across the blog. The plugin makes things really easy and allows advertisers to buy advertising, check statistics and so on.

Although it did cost $37 it did make the RSS feed much more engaging! Discovered A Secret Weapon I was already pretty organised but I was introduced to The Secret Weapon GTD system by Malcolm Simmonds who is the master of all things productivity by the way. It took less than an hour for me to learn and integrate & across the past year this is one of changes I have made that has had the biggest impact on my business.

It is a fully automated setup – all I have to do is approve or reject ads as they come in. The plugin handles everything else automatically.

If you don’t use any kind of GTD or organisation system check it out. Its a small change with huge benefits for anyone. Won My 1st Award

OIOPublisher costs $47 but has earnt $2,931 in advertising revenue serving over 2,985,328 banner views since its introduction.

Remember that guest post I published on SearchEngineJournal last month?

Upgraded The RSS Feed In an effort to keep people coming back to the blog I decided to upgrade the RSS feed with some nifty features.

Well it was so well received it ended up winning The Best Of SearchEngineJournal.com 2012 award!

I used the Bring My Blog Visitors Back plugin to add things to my RSS feed like1. How many comments a post has 2. A link to add a comment 3. Display related posts 4. Add social sharing buttons 5. Add a footer line linking back to the site

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The post attracted huge amounts of social shares and comments making it one of the most popular posts of the year. Traffic & Promotion I continued with my mantra of posting on forums, still banned from DigitalPoint my focus was purely on TrafficPlanet, WarriorForum & Blackhatworld.


> This brought a total of 4,521 visitors from just 328 posts across the 3 forums. I’m not going to include the traffic & promotion section again because well, you get the jist – this is what I did every month. I’ll detail anything I did differently Key Statistics • Unique Visitors: 6,240 • Subscribers: 1,145 • Profit: $6,907.60 November 2012 – $9,315.59 Profit / 5,008 Visitors In the previous month I hadn’t published an awful lot of content so I put a huge focus on this in November.

BLOGS

them up and rank them every month! Both of these regular features were well received and have been a part of the blog every month ever since! Resource Bottleneck I was struggling to keep up with rendering and uploading tutorials. It was taking around 5-8 hours to render each one which made the computer unusable for long periods of time. So I decided to upgrade my PC from a shoddy 2.5Ghz dual core/4GB ram to a 3.4Ghz quad core/16GB ram & an SSD drive.

I posted a grand total of 8 posts including how to spin content properly, how to add a forum to your site, how not to launch a website & the John Chow vs Search Engine Journal case study.

This was a huge benefit and I was able to render tutorials in less than an hour and still be able to use the computer! At the same time I upgraded my broadband line from 24MB ADSL to 76MB Fibre which helped with uploading tutorials often weighing in at ~500MB a piece.

Regular Features I also decided to introduce 2 regular features to the blog that would be posted every month. What I Have Read This Month – Quite simply this is just a roundup of posts that I have found interesting across the last month. Income Report Roundup – Quite a few blogs publish income reports, so I decided to round

Both changes combined saved me a bunch of time and helped me to get more done in less time! John Chow & Terry Kyle Features With the whole John Chow vs Search Engine Journal showdown, John followed up with a post on his own blog! This sent a new wave of traffic and subscribers allowing me to squeeze even more value out of a guest post that got published on 2 major sites, allowed me to create a case study, get a

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BLOGS dedicated feature from John Chow AND won an award.

WarriorForum, BlackhatWorld along with using BuzzBundle for 1 hour each day.

Terry Kyle was also kind enough to feature my blog as an example of how to sell through teaching!

#1 Ranking! Traffic from Google had grown steadily since the start of August and this month saw the ‘Buy SEO’ keyword move up to the #1 spot.

Internet Marketing Magazine Feature I also got invited to publish an article in the Internet Marketing Magazine which had a readership of 26,000 people around the world. In an effort to squeeze even more value out of that one guest post, they republished it along with a pretty picture of me! As you can probably tell – I like getting as much value out of things as possible, that guest post got abused hard. The Third Competition I also launched the 3rd competition on the blog – the biggest yet with a total prize fund worth $1,497.00! Winners could win either an enterprise license ($999) or pro license ($399) of SEO Powersuite with a third winner choosing from any one of the standalone products worth $99.75. Developed My Traffic Generation Strategy I was invited to try the beta of a new piece of software at the time called BuzzBundle. In essence it listened to forums, blogs, answer sites & social media for any keyword you wanted. I started to use it to monitor keywords that were relevant to tutorials I had produced. When it found a match, I could get involved with the conversation directly and introduce my tutorial all without leaving BuzzBundle. So over the coming months my traffic strategy consisted of posting on TrafficPlanet,

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Again I hadn’t targeted this keyword or even tried to rank for it, but for one reason or another Google thought my post was the most relevant result. What this did show though was that Google was starting to trust the site and give it more and more weight in the search results. Key Statistics • Unique Visitors: 5,008 • Subscribers: 1,571 • Profit: $9,315.59 ‘How I Built A Top 100 Blog In 12 Months & How You Can Do It Too!’ - Part 3 continues in June 2014 IMM Issue


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ECOMMERCE

HOW TO DESIGN AN ECOMMERCE CHECKOUT FLOW THAT CONVERTS By Peep Laja

Specific tactics depend on your site, but the principles for coming up with the answer are universal. A framework for thinking about this: Fogg Behavior Model Bottom line is this: Behavior = motivation x ability x trigger. Here’s the model:

T

he checkout flow is where the money is at.

Think about it, random strikers leave the site before ever entering the checkout funnel, while motivated buyers come here to finish their order. Any small increase in this step usually has a direct impact on how much more money your site makes. Example: An Ecommerce site that I analyzed recently had a payment page where 84.71% of the traffic proceeded to buy. I calculated that if we can increase that to 90%, that would result in 461 more orders and additional $87,175/month. That would be 23.94% growth in revenue. So yes – “small” gains here can be very big. So, the question is how do we get more people to go through our checkout flow and complete purchases?

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Used with permissions by Persuasive Tech Lab

You want to aim to be at the top right of the graph (high motivation, easy to do, a trigger in place). If you have high motivation and low ability (difficult to do), what you’ll get is frustration. If it’s low motivation, but easy to do (e.g. take out the trash), you get annoyance.


> How Amazon does it: When Amazon sends you an email with a product promotion – that’s motivation AND a trigger. People click on the link, and get to the product page. They read the copy, reviews, look at picture = more motivation. ‘Add to cart’ is the trigger to initiate the checkout process.

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what the product page looks like:

What about ability? How easy it is to complete the checkout process? This is where Amazon kicks butt. You only need to type your password + click a couple of times. Here is the actual workflow on Amazon’s mobile commerce application:

Done and done. So let’s walk through the whole checkout flow step by step, and see what makes a good one. Best Shopping Cart Design It all starts with people adding something to the cart. The moment a visitor adds the first item to their cart, they’re not browsing – they’re shopping. What Should Cart Add Look Like? When people add something to the cart on your product pages, what should happen? Most importantly: it should be stupidly obvious they’ve added something to the cart. Clear confirmation. It’s ridiculous how many sites screw this up either by not displaying a proper confirmation or showing a tiny animation, or small confirmation text that’s hard to notice.

And this is what you see after you click ‘Add to cart”:

The cart appears with a small animation which is good because human eye reacts to movement, and it’s a subtle visual cue that indicates the shift from visitor to buyer. The cart contents along with “Checkout” button also remain visible until the user clicks somewhere else. That’s good. I would change the “Checkout” button color to something other than blue – it doesn’t stand out enough. The main thing in the visual hierarchy here is the Add to Cart button, but the product is already in the cart! Asos shows a small animation as well, they open up the cart contents, and fold it in a few seconds:

You can’t miss a cart add in Bonobos. This is

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ECOMMERCE The exact strategy to choose depends on your industry and strategy, and you definitely want to test this. Metrics to keep in mind here: • Average transaction value • Average quantity per transaction We don’t want to just increase the number of transactions, but also the amount spent for each transaction.

• Clear call to action • Even an attempt to get you to add more items in the cart Indochino has nice minimal approach to presenting cart contents (with a few issues like prominent coupon box and inability to change quantity):

Displaying Cart Contents Well Key principles for displaying cart contents are clarity and control. Clarity: it’s easy and obvious to understand what’s in the cart and what’s the final cost including shipping and taxes. Surprise costs down the line make people abandon carts. Control: it’s easy to make changes (update quantity, remove products). Asos has a good take on the cart page:

Get the visual hierarchy right The number one thing in the visual hierarchy should be the “Continue to checkout” button (test different CTAs), and you should have two of them: one above and one below the cart. Something like this – their 2 checkout buttons clearly stand out:

What they get right: • Product photos • Product name & price • Ability to remove, save for later, change details like size • Show the kind of payments they accept • Show total price with the option to change shipping

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What’s bad: updating quantity requires typing. There can be a more elegant solution to this. What’s good: Notice that Modcloth also offers PayPal option. While most people prefer to pay with credit card, offering 1-2 alternative payment methods (PayPal, Amazon etc) is a


> good idea and has shown to help conversions along. Too many choices are hurtful though. Modcloth also reminds you that they have free returns + exchange AND secure transactions. Don’t make coupons prominent When people see a “Enter coupon code here” field, they feel less special. “How come I don’t have one?” Many go to Google to find a coupon; many never return. Leaving the site in search for coupons is a common reason for shopping cart abandonment. So this is not a good idea:

Instead, have a text link saying “Got a coupon?” or something similar, and clicking on the link makes an input field – like the one above – appear. Text links are not visually very prominent, so less people will pay attention to them. Customers who already have a coupon code will be looking for a way to enter it – so unless you hid it really well, they will find it and will be able to apply their coupon code. Remind Them About The Good Stuff: Shipping, Returns and Security When will they get the goods? How much is the shipping, is it free? Will the transaction be secure? Remind people. Asos shows these 3 key messages underneath the Checkout button (which also says “Pay Securely Now”):

ECOMMERCE

don’t let the cart contents expire. Use cart abandonment emails and retargeting ads to bring people back next week or next month and continue where they left off! Sign Up Process: To Create An Account or Not? Many ECommerce sites want buyers to sign up before they buy. Some even force registration (not possible to buy without registering). Long story short: don’t do that, it hurts conversions, a lot. 1 in 4 abandon online purchases due to forced registration. It’s part of the “greedy marketer syndrome”. It’s easy to understand why Ecommerce marketers want that – they’re hoping the user gets “locked in” and will now start shopping with them since they have an account with them. Is that really the case? Oh please. Ask yourself honestly: how many websites do you have a registered account on? Do you now feel loyal to them for this reason? I bet you haven’t logged in to most of them more than once. Here’s a good story on forced registration, told by usability guru Jared Spool: It’s hard to imagine a form that could be simpler: two fields, two buttons, and one link. Yet, it turns out this form was preventing customers from purchasing products from a major e-commerce site, to the tune of $300,000,000 a year. What was even worse: the designers of the site had no clue there was even a problem. The form was simple. The fields were Email Address and Password. The buttons were Login andRegister. The link was Forgot Password. It was the login form for the site. It’s a form users encounter all the time. How could they have problems with it?

Persistent Carts FTW When people add something to the cart,

The problem wasn’t as much about the form’s layout as it was where the form lived. Users

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ECOMMERCE would encounter it after they filled their shopping cart with products they wanted to purchase and pressed the Checkout button. It came before they could actually enter the information to pay for the product. The team saw the form as enabling repeat customers to purchase faster. First-time purchasers wouldn’t mind the extra effort of registering because, after all, they will come back for more and they’ll appreciate the expediency in subsequent purchases. Everybody wins, right? We conducted usability tests with people who needed to buy products from the site. We asked them to bring their shopping lists and we gave them the money to make the purchases. All they needed to do was complete the purchase. We were wrong about the first-time shoppers. They did mind registering. They resented having to register when they encountered the page. As one shopper told us, “I’m not here to enter into a relationship. I just want to buy something.”

account creation on the Thank You page. You’re asking them for their name, email and address anyway so they could buy and get their stuff, you already have this info. So now on the last page you can just offer to create an account with 1-2 clicks: ask for their desired password (or provide option to auto-generate it for them) along with just the permission to create account. Bad Any kind of forced registration where one is not able to buy without registering. Still bad In my experience this is the most common approach on Ecommerce sites, and it’s suboptimal. It always seems to have too many things going on here (busy), but the most important bit is that there are 2 choices given for new customers – that’s too much, and creates hesitation.

By removing forced registration they increased sales by $300 million dollars. Jarad’s team also figured out that most people have multiple accounts in the system! People had forgotten that they had accounts, got error messages when trying to create one with their standard email, so had to use an alternative emails to create more accounts. What you should do instead? You should always offer a guest checkout. (But add some great twists.) There are 2 good approaches: • Don’t even mention the word “register”. Say New Customer or use other similar terminology. • Wait until they check out, and offer

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Better #1 Just 2 choices: Returning users and new users.


> Asos didn’t always have this approach. This was their previous sign up page with 3 choices:

ECOMMERCE

and can easily start abandoned cart recovery process. Also, easy 2 choices – no sensory overload.

Killing this approach and switching to the current page reduced abandonment by 50%! So when you click ‘New’, what happens? They take you to this screen:

Better #3: Another great way is to skip login/new/ returning screen altogether – so it’s defaulting to guest checkout. People with existing account can log in via link, and new clients are offered to create account after they pay.

It’s still forced registration essentially, but packaged as something completely different! A typical usability problem is now just a single text field – password. The rest of the data is your typical checkout information. Better #2 Shopping cart abandonment is a major issue. Bonobos is asking for your email up front,

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ECOMMERCE What Diamond Candles is doing well here is not even visible. They create an account for you automatically, but don’t mention it. Let’s say you do 4 different guest checkouts here with the same email address, then then finally decide to create an account (enter a password essentially). What now happens is that all your previous order with that email address are going to be merged for this account, so your freshly created account comes with a proper order history and everything. Better #4: Account registration is offered together with an incentive upon completing the purchase.

principles of commitment and consistency into action. Once people start doing something, they feel like they should finish. They’ve already been asked to enter their name, email, and shipping info (which ideally is the same as billing address, so they don’t need to type it again). Same principle applies for form fields – start with the easier fields first, like name. Credit card number field is the hardest so it should come last. This is what you should NOT do:

Speedo example:

People are not bothered with any account stuff until they pay you money (if you had to choose, what’s more important to you: account registrations or purchases?). Usually “thank you” pages are not very useful, but not so here. They give you a no-brainer offer: just enter password and get a coupon (+ order tracking, fast login next time). The account creation percentage for new users here is over 75%! Very high. Ecommerce Checkout This is the money page. Any lift on this page will make a nice difference to your bank account. A few principles that will help you create a better checkout page. Asking For Credit Card Info Last Have people complete shipping information before they get into billing. This puts Cialdini’s

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This is better (you get here from the shipping page):


> The good: clear 1-2-3 step flow, name before card details, billing address same as shipping. The bad: main CTA is “Save & Continue”. To what? It should be specific, like “Continue to review” or whatever the next action is. Payment Form That Looks Like An Actual Credit Card Add real life touch by designing the payment form in this skeumorphic way:

ECOMMERCE

Different background color (you can have that only for the credit card number field) • SSL logo • Written statement: “Secure credit card payment. This is a secure 128-byt SSL encrypted payment.” • Explanations for expiry and security code Note that if your audience is not tech savvy, they might not know what SSL and https are, so better to speak in plain terms. Store Credit Cards In Your System Sure, you have to deal with PCI compliance and there’s a risk of getting hacked, but you will make so much more money off of returning users. When people don’t need to enter their billing info anymore, buying becomes a 1-click thing. Amazon is killing it largely because of this: friction for returning buyers has been almost completely removed! Returning visitors are much more likely to buy than new visitors, but that’s nothing compared to returning buyers. Make it easy for them to buy.

You can get an interface for this called Skeuocard free of cost, and implement on your system. Try demo here. Make It Look Secure Security is a serious concern for many. Besides making payments actually secure by using SSL, tell people about it. This is an example of a form made to look secure:

Conclusion Start your eCommerce optimization efforts at the checkout flow. Relative gains here will result in very nice absolute sums. IMM

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SOCIAL MEDIA

6 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGIES

TO DRASTICALLY IMPROVE YOUR EFFORTS IN 2014 By Margot da Cunha

D

id you know social media is the number one daily activity among Americans, topping time spent on email and Google? According to Fast Company, 93% of marketers use social media to promote their business. Social media is BIG and only getting bigger. If you are not marketing on it, you are likely missing a large chunk of your target consumers. As a product of the Mark Zuckerberg generation, it is easy to understand why people are so obsessed with social media; for marketers, the potential to grow their business via these networks is endless. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ – these are some of the prime networks every company, big or small, young or established, needs to have an active presence on. It is now inexcusable for any business that wants to thrive to not be tweeting! And now we are being exposed to more and more social advertisements. As I complete my morning ritual of sipping coffee and scrolling through my Instagram feed, I now notice sponsored ads appearing in between filtered pictures of scenery and food. It is impossible to visit one’s Facebook news feed without popping into a few compelling ads along the way. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve fallen victim to several of these ads, and been captured and clicked through to their site, sometimes even converting – shameful, I know.

But before diving into paid ads it is important to build out your social channels with rockstar content, quality customer service, and eyecatching visuals. Once you optimize your social channels for success, you will not only gain loyal brand promoters, but you will begin capturing leads and converting visitors into customers. For those of you who have let your social channels develop cobwebs and cockroaches over the past year, here are six social media strategies to take control of your social

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SOCIAL MEDIA channels and give them a much needed facelift in the New Year.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #1: Create A Game Plan & Stick To It If you have no execution strategy, your content is likely going to fall through the cracks. Set a limit on how many tweets you have to publish per day. This number can be adjusted as needed, but having a number you have to hit, even something as small as four tweets per day, gives you a benchmark and a goal at the very least. TIP: Investigate how often your competitors are posting and conduct industry research to see the ideal amount of content to publish per day on each channel. You want to be active, but not overly active. Compile all content in an easy-to-read editorial calendar. Google Excel Docs is a good place to start. Set up a weekly, shareable publishing calendar, then separate by social channel, and provide columns for co-workers within your content team to provide their feedback before posting. Plan ahead, but continue making additions as necessary, for example if a great PR hit is published cover this in a timely manner even it was not on your original posting schedule.

Look into social media management platforms, like Hootsuite, Buffer, and TweetDeck, to help schedule posts ahead of time, monitor and manage your social feeds, and access performance analytics.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #2: Treat Each Channel As An Individual Entity Each social channel needs to be treated as a separate entity. There can be content that is spread across all channels – for example if your business was recently acquired by a global company, this is likely news you want to share across the board, but you should adjust your strategy depending on the audience for that channel. For example, LinkedIn tends to have a more business-focused audience looking for in-depth, educational content, compared to Instagram, which is likely to have an audience looking for engaging visual content. Pay attention to your follower demographic on each channel to publish content that appeals to them.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #3: Go Above & Beyond In Customer Service If a visitor tweets at your handle or posts on your Facebook page and never receives a response, trust is lost. Due to your lack of communication, the dissatisfied potential lead is now turning to your competitors to seek answers to their questions. On the other hand, when you deliver a thoughtful response in a timely manner that visitor is flattered and intrigued by your brand. It’s humanizing to take the time respond to a personal inquiry, and it builds your authority. Alexa, a friend of mine who formerly resided in NYC, commented on a picture on Instagram posted by her favorite city dive bar. The social

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> media manager quickly responded by offering her a free T-shirt for the positive feedback. A few weeks, when later Alexa drove six hours from Boston to collect her free shirt (and visit a few friends), the bartender realized, “Wow! Social media does work!” She has in turn become a free promoter for the bar, and encourages her large network that still resides in New York to check out her former go-to spot – essentially free PR for this small, neighborhood bar. And this is one minuscule example – if you haven’t heard the Morton’s Steakhouse story about delivering a joking tweeter a free steak at the airport, I suggest you use this as a prime example of BOMB customer service that led to a ridiculous amount of free press. Negative feedback needs to be addressed as well, preferably with patience and respect. But think of your social channels as an opportunity to display how awesome you treat your customers. Take these four steps to boost the happiness of your Twitterbirds: • Assign a first responder to post and monitor each channel your brand has a profile on. • Create a troubleshooting library of common bugs or complaints that arise, and how to handle these issues. This will ensure the issue is addressed properly and in a timely manner. (NOTE: If the issue needs further investigation or requires confidential information, have the user email support, send a private message, or call your help line.) • Be creative – use giveaways, personality, and a sense of humor to engage followers and convert them into free brand promoters. • DO NOT IGNORE any comment posted to your account on social, whether stellar

SOCIAL MEDIA

or critical. No need to create brand detractors!

Social Media Marketing Strategy #4: Embrace Mishaps We are humans, so mistakes are unavoidable. This is especially true when it comes to the fast-paced world of social media. Rather than flat out ignoring these hiccups, embrace them. I am not saying that when a comma is missed in a tweet you should announce this small grammar error, but DO NOT delete the tweet. It has already been published, and followers are more likely to notice if you are continuously re-posting. For larger mistakes, like a product error or multiple overcharges to customer credit cards, you’ll want to proactively respond in an apologetic, actionable manner, and send out content from your social accounts apologizing and addressing how the error is being handled so customers are aware.

But what happens if a BIG, truly embarrassing mistake is made? Personally, I love how Pamela Vaughan, a HubSpot employee, handled her baby bump mishap. Pamela accidently posted

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SOCIAL MEDIA a picture of her growing pregnant belly to HubSpot’s company Twitter account, which has close to 350,000 followers. Instead of crawling into a hole of embarrassment, Pamela embraced her faux-pas and created this awesome blog post. The post has received a lot of love, with several shares and comments mostly showing respect for HubSpot’s human element – a key that makes them one of the most loved marketing companies out there.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #5: Track & Talk! Tracking is often perceived as tedious and time-consuming. It can be, but it only needs to take a few hours each month. Set aside time to review metrics that are important to your business on a monthly basis (preferably the first day of the month). Here are some stats to focus on: number of posts, follower growth, clicks to your site/products, pageviews, post likes or shares, impressions, etc. Look at each channel separately, and compare to your largest competitors to get a sense on how you’re matching up (or how you’re CRUSHING them!).

If you’re crunched for time and analytics is not your thing, invest in software to help track data. A lot can be tracked using free tools like bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Diving in to see which content received the

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most clicks, shares, etc. will show you what to repurpose in the future. Look for common themes in your analysis, for example if advice posts with numbers in the title perform wonderfully on Facebook then up these on that platform. Share your results and set monthly strategy meetings with your different marketing forces within your company to plan for the future. Working collaboratively and taking a step back to brainstorm and reevaluate your strategy can drastically improve your social efforts. Also leverage other departments within your business. Various teams like client services and sales might have stellar ideas for social since they are the people who communicate with prospects and customers on a daily basis.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #6: Stay Active On Google+

Many of you may be raising an eyebrow, but Google+, often viewed as the Facebook


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SOCIAL MEDIA

wannabe, is not going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s only becoming more and more important for businesses to actively engage and grow their circles on this platform. When you search on Google you will notice that Google+ is everywhere. If your business is actively posting on Google+, you will receive essentially free ad space when users search for you on Google.

Notice when I do a search for Salesforce not only does their Google+ follower number display, but there’s a call-to-action to follow their brand, as well as recent posts on their Google+ page, on the right side of the SERP. According to a Moz.com survey, leading marketers believe the number of Google +1’s plays the second largest part in determining search engine rankings. This isn’t proven to be true, but clearly marketers are seeing that Google+ is affecting the visibility of their content on Google. Google+ is also integrated with YouTube, so users are unable to comment on the platform without being opted into Google+. Essentially Google is making having a Google+ account pretty much essential. IMM

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TWITTER ADVERTISING

SET UP TWITTER ADVERTISING TO BUILD AWARENESS FOR YOUR BUSINESS By Kristi Hines

A

bout a week after Twitter Advertising became public, I signed up for access. I then received the following email invitation to expand my presence on Twitter by advertising on Twitter.

other than the one you were invited with, it will give you a message that you do not have access and must request it on the Twitter for Business site. The Welcome Page Once you are signed in with the correct Twitter account, you will be greeted with the Welcome to Twitter Advertising page.

Today, I want to tell you about the Twitter Advertising options available to businesses and show you the setup process for creating your own Twitter Advertising campaign with Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends.

Signing In to Twitter Advertising When you click the Start Advertising button in your email, you are taken to a login screen to sign in with your current Twitter handle and password. If you try signing in to Twitter Ads with an account

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There, you will find a little description of the types of Twitter advertising options available to you, plus an introductory video on Twitter for Small Business. Types of Twitter Advertising Options Before you click the Get Started button, let’s look at the three types of Twitter Advertising options available. Promoted Accounts Promoted Accounts allows you to promote your account as one to


> follow. An example is when you log in to your Twitter account and go to your main dashboard. To the left of your Twitter stream, beneath your Twitter statistics, is a box showing suggested users to follow based on your interests. If an advertiser has related keywords in its profile and is targeting an audience in your location, you will see it as a promoted account in this section. You also may see Promoted Accounts when viewing other Twitter profiles if the targeting demographics match, such as this one I found while visiting the Twitter profile for Search Engine Journal. In this case, the Promoted Accounts are shown in the user’s Similar to… box.

TWITTER ADVERTISING

for Facebook based on their ad’s targeted audience. Overall, Promoted Accounts simply gives your business’s Twitter profile more exposure and helps you build followers who should be interested in your business. They are great for helping more people discover your brand and can help you build up your account before a big event or capitalize on a time when your business is most relevant (like TurboTax in March). Promoted Tweets Promoted Tweets allows you to highlight a particular status update to get more exposure for it. You will have Promoted Tweets throughout Twitter included on your profile itself in expanded view…

While this is great when you’re trying to advertise, this also means that Promoted Accounts could be showing up on your Twitter profile when others view it. Another place Promoted Accounts appear is in search results for particular keywords if you click on People. At the top of search results for particular keywords…

It’s interesting that Capital One pops up right in the middle of official Twitter accounts

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TWITTER ADVERTISING Overall, Promoted Tweets simply gives your business’s status updates more exposure on your profile and throughout Twitter. Promoted Tweets are great for: • Sharing content • Building awareness • Building a brand voice • Offering deals. Promoted Trends Promoted Trends are topics and hashtags that are moved to the top of the Trending Topics list. You can see them when you visit your Twitter homepage and look under the Trends section. Just like regular trending topics, people can incorporate them into their tweets and view a page following anyone who has posted an update using the particular keyword or hashtag. At the top of the tweets, you will likely see a promoted tweet from the account that created the trend. Overall, Promoted Trends simply gives your business the ability to start a trending topic on Twitter.

Promoted Trends are great for: • Building mass awareness for product launches • Building mass awareness for events • Brand building by association Setting Up Your Twitter Advertising Campaign Now that you know what each specific Twitter Advertising option is for, you can continue setting up yours by clicking the Get Started button and filling out the following information. Tell us where your customers are located. Do you want to target an audience in a specific city, state, region, or country? Choose the option that best fits your business and enter the names of specific locations, if applicable.

As you are typing, suggested locations will pop up beneath the text field. Gain new followers by promoting your account. If you are interested in using Promoted Accounts to get more exposure for your business’s Twitter profile and build followers, you can enter a daily budget for a Promoted Account campaign and a suggested bid amount.

In my case, new followers could cost anywhere from $0.01 to $1.25 each. Using the maximum bid amount ensures that your profile will show up in areas where your target audience is likely

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> to find you. You can choose to start promoting your account or skip to the next option. You also can go back to previous options if you want to change your information. Amplify your message by promoting your tweets. Next, you can choose a Promoted Tweets campaign. Be sure to tweet the update you want to advertise before coming to set up your ad, as this is where you will select the tweet(s) you want to promote.

You can either manually choose your tweet(s) or have Twitter pick tweet(s) based on engagement. You also will set a budget based on how much you want to spend daily and the maximum bid that you want to pay per click. In my case, clicks on my tweets could cost anywhere from $0.01 to $0.75 each. You can choose to start promoting your tweets or skip to the next option. You also can go back to previous options if you want to change your information. Add a payment method.

TWITTER ADVERTISING

Last, but not least, you will need to enter a payment option for your Twitter Advertising campaign. Now you can click the Complete Setup to Start Advertising button to get your advertising campaign going, or you can save your information to complete later. You also can go back to previous options if you want to change your information. Some Questions about Twitter Advertising I’m sure that after seeing the above Twitter Advertising setup options, you may have a few questions like the following. Where was the option for setting up a Promoted Trends campaign? I’m guessing that, in my case, there wasn’t one because of an answer I gave about my estimated monthly advertising budget in the Start Advertising request form. (Media Bistro reports that Promoted Trends cost Republicans $120,000 to promote #AreYouBetterOff during the Democratic National Convention.) If your estimated monthly budget isn’t large, you might not get the option to promote a trend. What about enhanced profile pages? Twitter is offering a small selection of brands (most likely advertisers) the opportunity to create enhanced profiles with a customized header image, a featured tweet at the top of their profile with Promoted Tweets, and other features. You can see some examples of enhanced profiles if you visit brands like @Dell, @AmericanExpress, and @Subway. Where was the option for targeting Promoted Accounts or Promoted Tweets by keyword? The only targeting option thus far for Twitter Advertising is location. Twitter uses keywords in your business’s Twitter profile and status update to determine who to target your

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TWITTER ADVERTISING Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends campaigns toward. Hence, make sure your profile and tweets are keyword optimized so that they reach the right audience on Twitter. How do I know if my Twitter Advertising campaign was successful? Twitter offers two layers of analytics to advertisers showing both paid and unpaid activity on their Twitter accounts. This will include the number of impressions for Promoted Accounts, Tweets, and Trends, insights into your followers, and even measurements of traffic and conversions that Twitter drives to your website.

(like KISSmetrics) to connect your ads to real people. It’s the only way to know if your marketing is truly working. In Conclusion… If you are interested in getting more followers for your Twitter account, increasing exposure for your business, and promoting your tweets to a relevant audience, then give Twitter Advertising a try by signing up for access and keeping an eye out for your invitation! Then use this guide to help figure out the right advertising options for your business among Promoted Accounts, Promoted Tweets, and Promoted Trends. IMM ** This article was originally published on Kissmetrics Blog.

Make sure you’re using customer analytics

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GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP

UNDER THE LOOP:

GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP (OR THE ROAD TO ROBO-SAPIENS) By Fiona Lewis

I

n this article I am going to explain what Google Authorship really is and how it came to life. You are going to find out why Google is placing so much emphasis on Author Rank and how they are planning to make use of this markup in the future. Whether the authorship is related to SEO or not – we’ll see that too. Google Authorship has become a hot topic amongst internet marketers and its importance for online businesses – although it remains a mystery to the majority of business owners. But, truth be told, just like the Panda and Penguin updates Google has released during the last year or so which had a dramatic impact on the ranking of many websites, Google Authorship has the potential to do the same. WARNING: I may have to use a bit of ‘techno geeky’ language in this article, but will try my best to explain as I go! But first things first: the Google Authorship markup is heavily based on Author Rank. To gain an idea about what that is, you only have to make a comparison between how search engines display results now, and how Google is planning to display them in the future… Now Well, things have started to change since 2005, but Google is still using a kind of ‘robotic’ search algorithm. But as complex as this algorithm is, it is still not able to guess exactly what people are searching for.

It lacks something. And no, it is not a super power… it is just the human aspect that a robot will never be able to supplement. In the future In this case, we are already living the future. It all started a few years ago. Google have identified this need for a human factor in their algorithm, so in 2005 they patented the Agent Rank, which soon became Author Rank. This Agent Rank meant that Google was planning to use a series of guidelines to determine which agents are popular and trustworthy (or, in other words, which online writers and publishers have the greatest authority in their niche). It was not much, but it surely was a starting point in bringing some life into the coldhearted robotic algorithm. internet marketing magazine may 2014

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GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP

In fact, if I think better, I could say that Author Rank is the breath of life the internet was missing… But how could they use Author Rank without a source which could provide the parameters they need…? The solution? When it was launched, many accused Google of trying to copy Facebook and to bring them down. But nah, Google was not interested in offering people something they already had and loved… Google Plus was not conceived as the enemy of Facebook, but as the social platform which would help Google determine a person’s authorship in SEO terms. In other words…

How does it work? • It analyses the number of followers an individual (read: author) has on social networks. • It keeps a close eye on how often the author’s content is shared by their followers. • It also keeps track of how often an author’s content is appreciated by their peers/ followers in terms of: • Links • +1’s

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• • • •

Shares Tweets Facebook Likes Co-citations, aso.

Perhaps the most important result of these analyses is that Google has stopped looking only at the website where the content is published and have started to pay increased attention to the person who produces that content. So if you are wondering about the things that impact Author Rank, these are: • Engagement on Google Plus • The number of Google Plus circles • The number of shares and pluses (shares being more important than likes, since only the really good content gets shared) • Comments • The connections to other authors (and whether or not they are related to the same niche) • The authority an author has on other social media platforms (see Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) • External engagement • Inbound links • Page Rank of individual articles • Other authority signals: • Articles • Citations • Mentions via news release


> Google Authorship markup and its effect on content marketing You are a writer. You write articles on various websites and you also have your own www. where you share interesting stuff about your niche. Author Rank knows this. It has this… superpower which allows Google to remember the authority you have built, as compared to the authority of the websites where you have been writing during the years.

GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP

publish your content and viceversa. To do this, you can insert the tag: <rel=”author” link=”your-googleplus-url”/> into your content. You can also use WordPress plugins. YOAST SEO and All in One SEO work wonderfully in this regard.

So the content now belongs to you and not to your website. What this means is that Google will be able to trace you (and your value) to virtually any website you want to write on. Thus you are now able to increase the value of a website and to attract more traffic to that website than it could ever do on its own. Because YOU bring value to that website. You, the human and not a cold-hearted robotic algorithm. And the two IF’s are…: IF there are other authors publishing content on your website, then you will need to acknowledge them as individual writers/ publishers. You can do this easily by tagging each author in their articles. So from their Google Plus profile they have to have a link to your website in the Contributes To section.

And tadaaaa! There you have it: the internet as robo-sapiens. How to use Google Authorship for business? It’s simple. All you need to do is CLAIM AUTHORSHIP OF YOUR CONTENT How? Tie everything you write (no matter on what website) to your Google Plus profile. You will need to have a link to the websites where you

IF you are the ‘other’ author, producing content for third party websites, then you have to add this tag in your Author Bio section. Your Google Plus profile picture and a link to your Google Plus profile will be automatically included in your Author Bio from that website. …and this is AWESOME on SO many levels! . Whenever your content will appear in SERPs your photo will accompany the result. . You will start to get traction on your Google Plus profile and you will be identified as an author, contributor and expert of your niche. . You can become an internet guru expert

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GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP which people admire because now they have a face with which to associate the content they like. They will like you, not a website. (*wink*) How to establish yourself as a market leader through Google Authorship I always say there is no social media marketing without a solid social media schedule. So in order to become an expert, you need to know what you’re doing and when you are doing it.

Create a schedule which includes: . Share of content . Share of funny pictures and videos . Google Plus hangouts . Interacting with other people (preferably experts of your industry) . Increase the number of comments on your profile . Include your Google Plus profile whenever you write comments on others’ websites Google Plus hangouts: it is important to organise them because this way you can increase your credibility and trust in front of your customers. You can answer their questions and give advice regarding the proper use of your products or services. Interacting: perhaps one of the things Google loves most is knowing that other highly-ranked authors are sharing, liking and commenting on your content. It just goes on to prove to Google

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that you have smokin’ hot stuff that can make a change in your niche.

Comments: Getting more comments is no longer a thing of self-confidence. Now quality matters more than quantity, and quality relies deeply on the ‘background’ of the profile behind the comment: ▪ How often does a profile comment on your blog? ▪ Is that profile an influencer in your field? ▪ Does that profile have authority?

So why is Author Rank important? ▪ Through Author Rank Google is trying to change the notion of social when talking about the online world. A social platform is no longer a place for people to just hang out and have fun; it is a place where Google Authorship for businesses is starting to play a MAJOR role. ▪ It is a resource that can change the face of the internet, turning it into a sociallybased environment. ▪ And, of course, it gives everyone a chance to shine. IMM


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Internet Marketing Magazine May 2014