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The A – Z Guide To Creating A Winning Blog

Did you know that 55% of marketers say blogging is their top inbound marketing priority? Did you also know that these marketers are 13x more likely to see positive ROI than marketers who don't invest in blogging?

Over the last decade or so, businesses have increased revenue, improved brand awareness, and boosted conversions with valuable written content published for their target audience and customers. The key here is that their blog content is valuable — it isn't enough to simply have a blog; there has to be a purpose or reason for its existence.

So, how can you create and maintain a successful blog that provides your target audience with worthwhile and high-quality content, all while building your business's reputation as an industry thought-leader and expert?

The answer is with a blog marketing strategy.

Before we review the steps to your blog marketing strategy, let's take a look at how to create a successful blog first. These steps are a necessary part of building your blogging strategy — after all, you need to ensure you're creating great content before marketing it.

1. Choose a blog topic.

The first step in creating a successful blog is to determine your topic. This should be broad enough so you can write dozens (or hundreds) of articles about it, but also specific enough to relate it to your business, purpose, niche, and industry. For example, HubSpot has separate blogs for Marketing, Sales, and Service.

2. Pick a host.

Next, you'll need to pick a host for your business's blog. The (arguably) easiest way to host your blog is to do it through the same software you're using to run your website.

For example, as a HubSpot CRM user, you'll have access to website creation, management, and optimization, along with several other COS features including the blogging tool — HubSpot allows you to run all aspects of your business, including your blog, from a central location.

Here's a list of some of the features you automatically get when you choose HubSpot to host your blog:

  • Free blog editor
  • Blog scheduler
  • Mobile optimization
  • SEO optimization
  • CTA creator
  • Content collaboration
  • Content calendar
  • AMP support
  • Analytics

Another common way to host your business's blog is through WordPress — you can compare the features you get when hosting your blog through HubSpot vs. Wordpress here. Other popular options include Wix, Bluehost, and Squarespace.

3. Register a domain, subdomain, and subdirectory.

Now, let's talk about your blog's URL structure — this is where necessary a discussion about registering domains, subdomains, and subdirectories comes into play.

A domain name, also known as the root domain, is the text in a URL that identifies your website — and, therefore, your business — for a web browser. For example, HubSpot's domain name is hubspot.com.

Subdomains are a part of your root domain — they appear before the domain in your URL like this: blog.hubspot.com. "Blog" is the subdomain.

Subdirectories are divisions of your domain that live on your website, but represent specific pages on your website. For example, a subdirectory that'd take visitors to a specific blog post on a website would look something like this: hubspot.com/blog/article-name.

Subdirectories can also represent certain types of content within a subdomain. For example, blog.hubspot.com/marketing/article-name takes visitors to a marketing article on blog.hubspot.com.

The option you choose for your blog has the potential to impact your organic ranking which is why it's important to choose wisely. So, let's take a look at some of the implications related to your organic ranking that come with these options.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories

Subdomains are great for organizing a lot of content, including multiple content types. So, if you have a large blog operation, this structure can help you over time. However, it does pass less authority from your root domain in the short term.

Subdirectories often pass more authority from your root domain and subdomain. However, they can make it hard to scale your content strategy over time since you need more subdirectories to organize your content properly and protect your user experience (UX).

4. Decide who will write and manage your blog.

Now it's time to think about headcount — who's writing, running, and managing your blog? And who's accountable for each role within your blog strategy?

There are lots of moving parts when it comes to your blog — if you don’t create ownership around each component, it'll be difficult to reap the benefits of a successful blog operation. We've put together a list of some examples of the roles you need to fill to effectively implement a blogging strategy.

Note: Depending on your resources and the size of your marketing team, you may find one person holds responsibility for multiple roles.
  • Blog article topic ideation
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research
  • Facts, stats, examples, and personal stories
  • Copywriting and editing
  • Strategy and editorial calendar governance
  • Creative
  • Promotion
  • Repurposing and updating

5. Write compelling and valuable content.

This step may seem like it's a given, but it's important to reiterate how critical it is for your blog content to be both compelling and valuable to your readers. This plays a large part in how you're viewed by your target audience, customers, competitors, and other industry leaders. It's also how you're going to keep readers engaged and loyal to your blog.

Remember, it takes more time and energy to obtain new subscribers than to maintain current readers. Plus, your current readers have the potential of becoming your brand advocates faster than new subscribers do. So, focus on consistently producing content that captivates your audience all while providing them with useful and worthwhile information so they stick around for the long run.

6. Design your blog.

Designing your blog in a way that entices your readers to regularly read (and hopefully, share) your content is critical. You want your blog to look inviting and on-brand. It should be well-organized, clean, and easy to navigate, all while meshing with your other marketing, branding, and messaging. Your readers should know the blog they're looking at is published by your company, no matter where or how they're reading it.

To do this, choose a theme that will remain consistent (unless your business goes through a major rebrand and/ or change) throughout all of your blog articles. Depending on the host you choose for your blog, you'll likely have several theme options that are both free and paid.

For example, HubSpot offers a marketplace of free and paid blog template options for you to implement on your site. This way you can easily customize and edit your blog template to tailor it to your business.

7. Include CTAs.

Are any of the reasons you're developing your business's blog to drive organic traffic to your website, improve conversions, and boost sales?

That's great news — but to accomplish these goals, you'll need to include relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your blog posts.

CTAs can be paid or free for your audience members. Either way, effective CTAs provide readers with a level of value that they simply cannot pass up.

A CTA might share in-depth content and information with your audience on a specific topic. Or maybe it includes a discount code or special deal on your product or service. A CTA could also provide further training related to the subject of your blog article.

Check out this blog post if you're looking for some examples of clickable CTAs to insert in your content.

Note: If you're a HubSpot user, the CRM offers a CTA creation tool to help you develop relevant — and even personalized — offers to drive traffic to your landing pages and convert more leads.

8. Determine the frequency in which you’ll share blog posts.

How many blog posts can you commit to scheduling? How often are you planning on producing blog content for your audience?

You need to consistently produce blog articles to keep your audience engaged and interested. This will also allow you to maintain your status as an active thought-leader and expert in your industry. To do this, use an editorial calendar to manage and schedule your blog posts.

The beauty of creating this type of blogging rhythm and sharing that information via an editorial calendar is that it creates a sense of accountability among your team of bloggers. It ensures all writers and contributors have optimized for keywords, added CTAs, and edited their pieces  by a certain time and date. This way, you'll have a consistent stream of content your readers can get in sync with.

Note: If you're a HubSpot CRM user, you already benefit from an editorial calendar built right into the COS.

9. Launch your blog.

Now it's time to launch your blog! This is the exciting part — you finally get to share the content you've been working so hard to develop. Put your blog content on it's corresponding landing page on your website and send your email list of recipients their blog article(s). Share it via social media and send it to members of your network as you see fit. 

10. Track and analyze your blog’s success.

Remember to track and analyze the success of your blog over time. To do this, decide which metrics matter most to you and your business. Once you understand how a specific metric contributes to a positive outcome, then you'll be able to make your blogging strategy more targeted. Examples of blogging metrics you might track include:

  • Number of readers and subscribers
  • Number of page views per post
  • Number of conversions
  • Number of backlinks
  • Number of referrals
  • Overall traffic

When applying these metrics to the goals you're looking to set, consider the following questions to provide concrete targets that make sense for your business.

  • Does this goal help you achieve your purpose, or is there something more relevant we can aspire to?
  • Is this goal aligned with the initiatives of other parts of our business?
  • Which metrics track the progress towards this goal? Are these metrics complementary or counterintuitive?

Once you determine which metrics you're going to use, start by setting goals for a 60-day period. This gives you enough time to see whether your strategy is working and then you can adapt your goals based on the results you see.

Now that you have a better understanding of the steps to creating a successful blog, let's dive into your strategy next.

Blog Marketing Strategy

Once you've worked through the steps to creating a successful blog, you can apply them to create a larger strategy that promotes and markets your content to your target audience.

1. Determine your blog's purpose.

The first part of developing your marketing strategy requires you to clearly define your blog's purpose. You determined the topic your blog will be about above, but that's not necessarily its purpose.

When thinking about your blog's purpose, ask yourself, "Why does this blog exist?"

You should be able to answer that question in one, straightforward, defining statement. (Document your blog's purpose to you can refer to it as you grow and your business evolves.)

If you need help defining your blog's purpose, take a moment to ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the greater purpose your company is trying to fulfill?
  • What story supports this purpose?
  • Who shares your passion for this purpose?
  • Is your team aligned with the meaning of this purpose?

2. Always keep your buyer personas top of mind.

When writing, managing, and scheduling your blog — or working on anything related to your blog, really — keep your buyer personas top of mind. Your buyer personas are your target customers, or the group of people you aim to sell to.

Ask yourself, "Who are our ideal customers?" and "Why do they need our product or service?" Once you can answer these questions in detail, you'll be nail down your buyer persona(s).

Use this free template to create your business's buyer personas.

Once you create your buyer personas, document a detailed description of who this person is so you can reference it has your business and blog grow. You should be able to refer to this description every time you write a new blog post.

This way, you'll be able to create content specifically suited to your target customers' wants, needs, challenges, and/ or pain points. This will also help you turn your blog into a powerful lead conversion tool for your business (i.e. your blog will show your readers and target audience why they need your product or service).

To get a deeper understanding of the actions your buyer personas are likely going to take, research the behaviors of your target audience so you can adapt and tailor your blog content to meet their needs in a way that pushes them to convert in some way. To conduct this type of customer research, you can use:

3. Keep an eye on your competition.

Speaking of your competitor's blogs, it's important to keep an eye on these other thought-leaders in your industry. Your competitors provide insight into what's working (or not working) in terms of blog content among your target audience.

It also tells you a little bit about what they're experimenting with and what you'll need to accomplish to stand out and provide your readers with valuable content they can't get anywhere else — something unique to your business and your business only.

Create a list of 5-10 of your closest competitors with blogs you could conduct a content audit on. Make conclusions about the type of content they share, unique techniques they've implemented in their blog, and how they're doing in terms of ranking for the keywords you hope to rank for.

Then, look for gaps in their content so you can capitalize on them. To help you do this, use tools like QuickSprout, Open Site Explorer by Moz, and SEMRush Competitor Research.

4. Perform SEO and keyword research.

When one of your customers searches a phrase on Google (or any search engine), you want them to find your blog (or web page), not a competitor’s. To make this happen, dedicate some time to researching which keywords and phrases your target audience is typing into search engines so you can include them in your blog posts where they naturally fit.

In other words, you'll significantly improve your chances of ranking on the search engine results page (SERP) by performing appropriate search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research prior to writing your blog post, and then incorporating those findings in your content.

Start by creating a list of 5-10 keyword groups you want to rank for, along with their associated long-tail keywords, in the SERP.

Remember, Google's algorithms are constantly changing to become more intuitive — meaning, old tactics like keyword stuffing will hurt your ranking in the SERP. Instead, you're better off writing copy that engages audience members first and search engines second.

Note: HubSpot customers have access to a built-in keyword and SEO tool to help with this.

Focus on your blog's SEO and keyword research with HubSpot CRM's Content Strategy tool.

5. Decide where you'll distribute your blog content.

Strategically determine where you'll distribute your blog content. You chose a host for your blog already, meaning your content is likely already easily shareable on your website.

For example, if you use the HubSpot CRM and blogging software to host and manage your website and blog, it's simple to add your articles to their corresponding landing page on your site.

Other ways and platforms through which you might distribute your content include social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, and online publishing platforms, such as Medium. You might also work with industry leaders, experts, and influencers to share your content on their websites and social profiles.

6. Update and repurpose your content.

Creating blog content can be time-consuming, especially when you aim to command authority in your niche with researched, thoughtful, and planned posts.

This is why updating, repurposing, and republishing your existing blog content is so valuable — it saves you time and energy but it also allows you to efficiently achieve the results you're looking for.

What do I mean by this? Well, ranking in the SERP with a net new post takes significantly more time (I'm talking months) than an updated post. Meaning, you'll see a positive impact sooner if you start repurposing existing posts rather than solely creating new content.

Audit your existing blog posts to determine what you can repurpose and update. Outdated content to remove and/ or replace might include statistics, examples, infographics, quotes, product or service details, research, and irrelevant ideas. You can also add keywords you've determined are missing through your research.

(Check out this post if you're looking for more ideas on how you can effectively repurpose your blog content.)

7. Promote your blog content.

It's probably safe to assume you want your blog content to be as discoverable as possible. In terms of your blogging strategy, this refers to your ability to get your content out there so members of your target audience find, read, and (hopefully) share it.

There are many inbound tactics you can use to promote your blog. We touched on a few options above, but another common form of effective blog promotion involves an influencer marketing strategy.

Get started promoting your content with the help of a free influencer marketing guide.

To begin, identify the key influencers in your niche or industry you want to contact and work with. These should be people your current customers and target audience perceive as credible, trustworthy... and, yes, influential.

As you begin making and managing your influencer connections, remain in regular contact with the ones who are promoting your blog content. Be sure you know what they're doing to support, share, and promote your blog content and that their tactics meet your business's standards — you want to ensure they're representing your brand accurately. After all, you're likely paying them to promote your content among their audience members.

You can make your relationship with your influencers even stronger by interacting with their content regularly to show your support. For example, if you're working with an influencer who also has a blog, then go to their blog and read, comment on, and share it (even when the content they're publishing isn't necessarily related to your business). 

Grow Better With An Effective Blogging Strategy

Growing an influential blog in your niche is a surefire way to nurture your potential customers. By creating regular content that solves the challenges of your readers and fulfills their biggest curiosities, you'll start to build a vault of trust and advocacy. This will inevitably contribute to the overall success of your business. Start with your purpose — the big why — and slowly unpack the individual levers that will contribute to your blog marketing performance through the steps and strategy we've reviewed above.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in December 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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16 Super Useful Tips To Build Your Online Presence

The other day I was trying to find the perfect dress pant yoga pants because I wanted comfortable, professional clothing options.

When I searched for "dress pant yoga pants" on Google, I found the brand Betabrand.

Amazingly, the company dominated the top four search results. The first two results were their website, the third was their Amazon page, and the fourth was a review of their product.

Deciding I wanted to look into it further, I searched for Betabrand on Google and found their social media pages, a Wikipedia page, their website, their Amazon store, and reviews.

They were impossible to ignore online. Ultimately, I ended up making a purchase.

My buyer's journey is not unique.

In fact, according to Adaptive Marketing, 97% of consumers use the internet to find a business.

That's why having an online presence is important.

It helps consumers find your brand before they are aware you exist and it helps them learn about your reputation before making a purchase. Eventually, all of this information will play a role in your customer's purchasing decision.

Below we'll review what an online presence is, and explore 16 effective ways to build your online presence.

1. Build an email list.

One of the top ways to build your online presence is to create and grow an email list. An email list will enable you to engage with current and potential customers on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

To grow your email list, you can create gated content that users have to sign-up to receive. Additionally, you can use a call-to-action (CTA) on your website and social media pages to promote your email newsletter. With a newsletter, you're able to collect leads' emails -- additionally, it shows your leads and customers are interested in your content.

You can use tools in your content management system (CMS) to create forms, slide-in CTAs, or popups that are designed to gather email addresses. For example, HubSpot offers an email marketing tool, free pop-up forms, and a free online form builder to help build an email list. Alternatively, you might consider checking out MailChimp or GetResponse. To find a tool that works for your business, check out The 12 Best Email Newsletter Tools in 2019.

2. Master SEO.

With algorithms changing every day, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best tactics to build your online presence.

The first step to showing up online when people are searching is to master SEO.

SEO can be divided into two categories -- on-site SEO, and off-site SEO.

On-site SEO is all about the content. You'll want to use keyword research, include internal and external links, and create educational content that likely matches your target audiences' search queries.

With off-site SEO, you'll pay attention to the more technical side of things. For example, you'll want to make sure your site is set up correctly, has simple URL structuring, and loads quickly. Additionally, off-site SEO also includes building credibility with backlinks.

Lastly, if you want to show up on Google, create a Google My Business account, and use Google's keyword planner.

3. Create value.

Overall, your brand or company's goal is to make money. But before you can make money, you have to create value and be customer-centric.

One way to create value is to provide educational, free content online. Not only is this helpful for your customers, but it'll also improve your online presence.

To get started, write out a list of your customer's pain points and motivations. In other words, take a look at your buyer persona.

Then, brainstorm content that would answer their questions. What information would help your customers? This will be the basis for your content strategy.

Another way to create value online is to give advice. You could do this through guest posting, responding to comments, or appearing on a podcast. Wherever your customers have questions, you should be answering them.

4. Be active online.

In order to show up online, you have to be active online. This includes regularly posting to your owned properties, including your website and social media accounts.

Additionally, you should be active in other areas, as well. For example, you should engage with followers and subscribers on social media. If there's something that everyone is talking about in your industry, you can engage in the conversation.

5. Analyze your results.

Once you get started with a few tactics to build your online presence, it's critical you analyze your results. I would suggest testing your strategies so you learn what works and what doesn't.

In order to test your results, start out by deciding what metrics you're using. If you're working on your SEO, you might track your search engine results on Google. On the other hand, if you're building an email list, you might track the number of subscribers, plus your open and click-through rates.

Keep in mind that these are long-term strategies. Some may take time to produce results. Additionally,, some may be harder to track, like brand awareness. But that's okay -- just because results may be hard to track doesn't mean it's not worth doing.

6. Adopt new forums.

When new social media or popular websites emerge, be an early adopter. There are many benefits to being an early adopter.

First, if you're an early adopter, there's less competition. Second, most of these websites start out free and have high engagement rates.

To be an early adopter, make sure you're always in "the know.” Read industry news and research new, up-and-coming sites.

7. Have a social media presence.

Being on social media is a necessity in this day and age. In fact, in 2019 there are now 3.2 billion people on social media globally, so social media is a key tool for reaching your intended audience on whichever platforms they prefer.

Having a presence on social media instills trust in your current customers and prospects. Personally, if I see that a company doesn't have a presence on social media, I lose trust and feel unsure if they even exist.

Plus, social media is a great way to build your credibility and reputation and showcase your brand. When potential customers are researching your brand, the first place they'll look is social media to see what you're putting out there and what people are saying about you.

8. Make a website.

Not to be repetitive, but again, to show up online, you have to have a website online. Besides social media, one of the first places people will go to find out more about your company is your website.

Your website is where you can show off your brand through colors, fonts, text, video, and images. You'll appeal to your buyer persona's pain points and present a solution to their problem.

To make a website, there are many CMS sites you can use, including HubSpot, Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace.

9. Produce content.

The more content you produce, the more opportunities you have to show up online. Having an online presence is all about showing up in search engines, on social media, and sites like YouTube.

To start producing content, strategize what places you want to show up online. Do you want to be on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Etsy, Poshmark, Goodreads, or Amazon?

Prioritize the sites your customers are active on (based on customer research) and start brainstorming content that is best-suited for those mediums.

For example, with YouTube, you'll come up with video ideas -- whereas on Instagram, you'll come up with photo and caption ideas.

10. Personify your brand.

Building an online presence is a lot like building a brand. One tactic many companies use to build a brand is to personify their brand.

For example, The Skimm, a daily newsletter, personified their brand when they were founded in 2012. The founders created a persona called The Skimm Girl. This was the personification of their brand. They knew her likes, dislikes, age, job, financial situation, and sense of humor.

By personifying their brand, the company was able to appeal to their target demographic while staying true to their mission and values.

Having a clear brand helps users relate to your company and makes them want to engage with you, whether through a social media comment or by signing up for your email newsletter.

11. Experiment with online advertising.

A faster solution to building an online presence is through online advertising. If your ad shows up in the top search results, you'll build brand awareness and increase your visibility online.

You can advertise on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Additionally, you can look into social media advertising. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are well-known for their advertising options.

Before you begin advertising online, brainstorm what you want to promote. Do you want to promote a certain content offer? Alternatively, perhaps you want to advertise your email newsletter?

Once you choose what it is you want to advertise, you'll also need to decide on the platform that is best-suited (i.e. has the right audience) to promote that content on.

12. Research influencer marketing.

In order to stay active in your community, it's important to engage with the most popular figures in your niche.

For instance, if you sell beauty products, you might consider researching beauty influencers on YouTube and Instagram. Many consumers look to influencers for their honest reviews and promotion before purchasing a product.

Additionally, influencer marketing will get the word out about your brand online. The more people are talking about you, the more often you'll show up online.

13. Be competitive.

When you're building an online presence, remember to be competitive. Look at what your competitors are doing and discuss whether or not that's a good strategy for your business, as well.

You can also use your competitors to see what they're missing. Is there a gap they aren't filling? What information do customers want that your competitors aren't providing?

Researching your competitors should give you ideas for content and strategies. You won't be able to compete with or one-up your competitors if you aren't sure what they're doing.

14. Develop relationships.

Developing relationships with those in your industry is an important way to build your online presence.

For instance, if you have a relationship with blog writers or podcasters in your industry, they might feature you in their content. Perhaps they'll ask you to guest post or appear on their podcast.

Forging relationships with others in your industry will ultimately help you show up online.

15. Show up where your audience is.

To show up online, you have to figure out where your audience is.

If your audience is on Instagram, but they aren't on Twitter, you shouldn't be putting all your efforts into Twitter. On the contrary, you should be focusing your content and promotion strategy on Instagram.

If you show up where your audience is, you'll build a strong online presence that customers can't ignore.

16. Automate your process.

Lastly, building an online presence includes a lot of tedious tactics.

In order to ensure the system runs smoothly, automate some of your processes. For instance, you can schedule your content to go live on your CMS and social media.

Additionally, you can curate other people's content, which enables you to provide valuable resources for your audience without constantly creating fresh content.

You can also plan your email marketing newsletters in advance, and set up email sign-up forms on your site that show up automatically.

These marketing strategies can help you build your online presence, create brand awareness, and develop a strong reputation. Building an online presence requires effort, but over time it will pay off with increased sales and better brand awareness in your industry.

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The Ultimate Guide To Choosing A Successful Blog Name

Clothes, food, habits — outgrowing things is a natural part of life. That's true for brands as well. When brands decide they’ve outgrown their current way of doing things, this might call for a rebrand.

Outgrowing a brand, or at least a brand name, is common. Marketing platform Mailchimp used their rebranding to help the company transition to a more "grownup" brand that would allow them to serve more small businesses. Many blogs I read, like “Liv’s Healthy Life,” (Now known as just “Liv B,”) quickly rebrand when they realize their old blog name just doesn’t make sense anymore.

While rebranding a business can be a smart and necessary step to growing a long-lasting business, renaming your blog or business doesn't have to be. To combat outgrowing a blog name too quickly, let’s go over some strategies to use when naming a blog.

How to Choose a Blog Name

1. Identify your niche

What are you doing? What will your blog be about? Will it be an extension of your business or its own project? Identifying what your blog will be about is key to defining a name that’ll expand with you.

The blog name will represent your unique point of view in your industry or niche. It should vibe with the aesthetic of your blog and define the mood you want to give your readers when they visit your blog’s homepage. It should also be descriptive of the type of content you’ll publish.

An example of a well-named Blog, 'Hot for Food'

Image source: Hot for Food

I love the blog name “Hot for Food” so much. The blog is a companion to creator Lauren Toyota’s YouTube channel of the same name. It’s a great example of a name that goes well with its cooking niche.

The name is also broad enough that Toyota can grow her brand outward. If she wanted to release a cookware line down the road, “Hot for Food” would still make sense, and have about a million available puns at the ready. How fun would a saucepan labeled “Hot with Sauce” be?

2. Do your research

Look at what prominent blogs in your industry are doing. Take note of what you like and don’t like, and use their blogs as a springboard for what readers in your industry like to see. Look for how these blogs are branding, the names of their blogs, and the responses their content receives.

For example, if you’re starting a blog about technology, look at TechCrunch, a massive blog about startups and technology. Their name is short, memorable, and professes their content strategy all in one: to dissect and disseminate the latest tech news for their readers.

It’s also a good idea to think about how your blog will stand out from others. This is also a good time to find out if any of the blog names you were thinking of are already being used.

Start with a simple Google search and then get a bit more technical by checking LLCs in your state. Once you've found a name that's free, make sure that the domain is also available, and consider registering your chosen name to protect it. That way, you can refine how you want your brand to be perceived, and how you want it to grow within the market you choose.

3. Think about your message

What do you want to communicate? Consider your message now and in the future. When looking over your five-year plan, does your message expand as your company does, and will your blog name still reflect that?

For example, to say media giant Buzzfeed has grown exponentially over the past decade would be an understatement. Buzzfeed’s YouTube channels alone each have billions of views and millions of subscribers. As the company has grown, it diversified and expanded its YouTube content.

Buzzfeed YouTube channels were originally named after colors, for example, Buzzfeed Blue, Buzzfeed Ultraviolet, and Buzzfeed Yellow. Recently, those names have been stripped.

Buzzfeed rebranded their content to grow with their company. Yellow rebranded into Boldly, and later, when Boldly outgrew their name, rebranded into As/Is.

According to founder Jonah Peretti, the rebrand of channel names was to reflect “design and product features that reinforce their unique identities and better serve their many fans.”

Blogs with Growth in Mind

1. LADbible

LADbible, an entertainment company, originally had a blog of the same name. Over time, their messages expanded and required different funnels for them. LADbible now has multiple blogs in tandem with the original: SPORTbible and Pretty52.

An example of a blog that changed their name

Image source: Pretty52

2. Contently

Similarly, Contently’s blog has a named separate from the company: The Content Strategist. This name suggests that the blog is named after their target audience, a clever way reach the readers they serve.

Example of a blog that has a different name than its parent company

Image source: The Content Strategist

3. Whole Foods

Rather than name their blog “Whole Foods Blog,” the organic food company went with Whole Story. The name connects to its company but also has its own option for diverse content, telling stories of where their products come from and the customers it satisfies. Whole Foods also kept the keyword in the title, so SEO would be a breeze.

Whole Story is an example of a well-named blog

Image source: Whole Story

4. Target

‘A Bullseye View’ is Target’s all-encompassing blog name. Twisting in the logo was Target’s route, which reflects their branding. With a name like that, the opportunities are endless as to what Target can put on their blog as it grows, something the company keeps in mind with categories such as “Lifestyle,” “Team,” and “Company.”

Example of good blog names from Target

Image source: A Bullseye View

5. Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn wants you to know their company, ‘Inside and Out’ with this fun, immersive blog name. The name gives interior decorating buffs a nod, hinting that content will provide deeper information about the people behind the design, as well as the homes Pottery Barn caters to.

Image source: Inside and Out

When choosing a blog name that’s concurrent with the growth of your brand, think about how to be memorable. What’ll stick out to readers and search engines. And make sure the name will resonate with your target audience not only now, but five years from now.

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The Ultimate Guide To Blog Post Ideas

We all know blogging is an ultra-important asset to your business when it comes to building traffic and reputation. The hidden dark side, though, is how hard it is coming up with topics that will give you that ultra-good traffic.

If you've hit a roadblock when it comes to the content on your blog, don't sweat it.

An age-old question between marketers is "What do you blog about?". It can quickly feel like your company has blogged about everything under the sun.

To help, we polled fellow HubSpotters — who know a thing or two about blogging — and we've created a list of 101 ideas to keep your queue filled.

Multimedia

1. Create a roundup of all the best GIFs on the internet marketers can relate to

2. Make a parody song that describes your office culture

3. Recap your latest company event with photos and/or videos

4. Post a product demo;

5. Write a post explaining a social media channel

6. Make a video that highlights your industry and write a post about it

7. Start a podcast and transcribe each episode on the blog

8. Record an interview with a colleague and conduct a corresponding writeup

9. Upload a photo diary of how your company celebrates culture

10. Share a cartoon that represents your company

Research

11. " We Asked People About [insert topic], Here's What They Said "

12. Research unusual holidays (ex: National Burger Day) and create a roundup your favorites

13. Make an infographic about your analytics and break down the pros and cons of each

14. Research the most popular social media channel and break down their numbers

15. Discuss the importance of knowing your lead data from a business standpoint

16. Share the most popular apps among a target audience and what that means for your business

17. Make a list of tools that are the best for you IT team

18. Explain your knowledge base and why it matters

19. Do an in-depth case study about delighting customers and examine the results

20. Based on the past, what are your predictions for the industry's future?

21. "Here are our failures, and what we learned from them"

Community Engagement

22. Highlight local rockstars in your field

23. Interview a local business owner

24. Create a survey about your business's ecosystem

25. Make a post that celebrates your user-generated content

26. Spotlight a "client-of-the-month"

27. Discuss the most practical uses for your product

28. Use employee stories to inspire your audience

29. Ask for guest posts from network members

30. Run a product/service giveaway

31. Throw a community-based event and recap it

Instructional (Guides and How-to)

32. A list of ‘musts’ for a career in your field

33. Interview an industry heavy-hitter about their tips for business

34. Post a series on landing your dream job

35. Write a roundup about "What I Wish I Knew When I First Started."

36. How to gain the right skillset to advance in your career

37. The hardest part of your job — and how you tackle that

38. Tips to handle burnout

39. Write an ultimate guide

40. Create a pillar page

41. Bust common myths about your field

42. Demo how to use a specific social media channel

43. Write about how to collect data from webpages

44. Recommend the best tools for completing certain daily tasks

45. Offer the benefits of a current trend your company has mastered

46. Relate your content to a current celebrity

47. Write a post about how to give an incredible speech under 20 minutes

Multichannel Integration

48. Discuss social media trends

49. Explain how your most recent Facebook Live session delighted customers

50. Rank the top social media channels for your brand

51. Dive into a social network's latest update

52. Explain how you use Instagram Stories to grow your engagement

53. Spotlight a brand killing it among multiple social channels

54. Rate five of the best Twitter polls in the right place at the right time

55. Find the best memes for content marketing on Twitter and Instagram

56. Discuss how your brand uses LinkedIn to connect with your community

57. Share your top analytics services and explain why they’re great

58. Write about how you engage millennials

59. Explain how YouTube is an asset to your business

60. Take a stance on a recent blog post from your favorite news-sharing site

61. Round up recent news in your industry

62. Share great quotes from an ebook in a roundup

Thought Leadership

63. Describe what your mission statement means to you

64. Dive into how a company boosted their blog traffic exponentially

65. Break down what an ideal company culture would look like

66. Write about ways your company is focusing on diversity and inclusion

67. Explain diversity and why it matters

68. Come up with a list of company outings for remote teams/employees

69. Describe how your team combats burnout and provide helpful tips to avoid it

70. Create a list of industry trends to keep an eye on

71. Compare and contrast different topics about marketing, business, or your industry, such as different types of advertising

72. Post a recap of breaking industry news

Content Marketing

73. Create a post dedicated to one or more FAQs

74. Invite a guest blogger to contribute

75. Create an office playlist and share the tracklist

76. Profile a co-worker or manager

77. Interview a customer

78. Run a contest

79. Write about your day-to-day workflow

80. Describe your career in five words and provide helpful advice to others

81. Compile a list of the best movies that depict your field

82. Invite your audience to join in with a quiz on your blog

83. Embrace popular holidays and make a themed post about them

84. Post a "Year-in-Review" about lessons learned throughout the year and what it means for your readers

85. Round up brands using IGTV brilliantly

86. A roundup of ways your team conducts successful content marketing

Miscellaneous/Fun

87. Have your team weigh in about if they work while traveling

88. Interview questions that help finalize decisions

89. Resources most helpful to SMBs

90. List of books that inspire professionals in your industry

91. "What has changed about our workflow habits over the years?"

92. Compile a list of weekly/monthly aspirations

93. Give your favorite historic moment about your industry

94. Your grade sheet on measuring quality product launches — and how it works in action

95. Explain common acronyms in your workplace or industry

96. Talk about a fun day at the office recently

97. Give a short history of your company

98. A peer-curated list of hobbies outside of work

99.Share highlights from a recent conference

100. Examine a recent movie trailer and how their marketing should be noted

101. Come up with a staff bonding event and recap how it went

Because it's easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day of your industry, it's also easy to run into the same types of blog posts. Blogs are important for SEO and lead generation, so picking the "right" topics is a crucial step in marketing planning.

Remember to mix it up and have fun with blogging it doesn't have to be the most formal part of your website. Blogs are an asset to your business, not a hindrance, and these post ideas are some of our favorites as HubSpotters.

For more interesting content ideas, check out our ultimate list of tips here.

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Want A Thriving Online Store? Focus On Free Traffic Sources!


Where online business is concerned, there are 101 ways to drive crazy traffic to your online store. The remarkable thing about these sources is that they are free. You don’t need to spend a cent to utilize them. Not only would you be able to send more than traffic to your store, but you will also be able to triple that figure as you progress and learn.

These free traffic sources don’t mean PPC ads and Facebook ads are useless. Far from that. They have continued to prove reliable over time. The only downside is that ads require effort, time and money. The primary purpose of this article is to introduce you to ways to drive insane traffic to your online store with a zero-dollar marketing budget.

Are you curious to know how? Read on!

1. Your blog

According to statistics, websites with a blog section has been known to drive 40% more traffic than those who don’t. If you have been overlooking your eCommerce blog, that is a colossal mistake you should rectify. 

When you focus on your blog section and make a lot of helpful articles about your product, you have more chances of ranking high on search engines. If you continue with this model, your contents will start getting backlinks, which can be very good in terms of SEO.

You have to take note that quality content is what you need if you must drive traffic to your site. Once you start ranking for them, you hit the ceiling.

For instance, if you are dealing with bed lamps, resourceful articles about this niche would go a long way to change how potential customers interact with your store. But most times, the fear of churning out a 2000 words article becomes a scary endeavor. If that is your fear, you are not alone.

To solve this issue, you can hire excellent freelance writers from sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

In order to make a tremendous impact through your blog post, you need to take a lot of things into account. In this section, you will learn tips that make a blog post stand out.

  • Your headlines:

Your blog headlines are significant. In fact, super important. You don’t joke with them if you want potential audiences to click. A well informative and helpful blog post without a catching headline is not good at all. It will negatively impact on your click-through rate (CTR), which might not be very helpful.

There are lots of things to consider when writing your headlines. First is the use of the main keywords of the article; the second is making use of power words. These two elements are what help convince a potential reader to click on the link. Some examples of power words are fast, quick, top, high, now, free, etc.

Take, for example; you want to write about “benefits of a bed lamp.”

Your primary keywords here will be ‘benefits’ and ‘bed lamp.’ If we can couple the headline with some power words, it makes potential customers click. Here is an example of a great caption, with primary keywords and power words.

“The Top Best Benefits of a Bed Lamp”

Although you might not be able to get the headline right every time, it is a trick you will master when you keep striving to be better.

  • What they want

Before you set out to write a blog post, it is important to know what your audience or potential customers want. If your niche is on bed lamps, you have to try as much as possible to answer all the questions about that niche. When they stumble on your blog through a search engine and your article was very helpful, they will go further to proceed to your store and make orders.

You can get ideas through related searches on Google, blogs and also, Google Keywords Planner, etc.

2. Social media

Another excellent source for traffic for your online store is the use of social media. There are billions of people on Facebook alone. If you can learn to adequately harnessed the power of social media, you will be amassing lots of traffic to your online store. One of the ways to begin is to create social handles on major social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you are using Facebook, create a page and start inviting potential customers to follow.

There are Facebook groups in your niche that you can join and connect to potential customers. In cases whereby these Facebook groups don’t exist, you can create yours and begin to manage a community.

When this is done well, you will begin to see consistent traffic from both your Facebook page and group to your online store. The more your followers grow, the more you can drive more traffic to your online store.

Getting lots of followers or likes is very good, but the main problem is converting them to actual customers. This is where your contents come to play. Your posts have to be crafted in a way that potential customers are compelled to take action. 

3. Email Subscriber List

One of the first mistakes online store owners make is not building their email list on time. That is a mistake you should avoid at all cost. When everything fails, your email subscribers won’t.

The first step to this tip is making sure your email widget is well placed on your online store. When they are visible, you have more chances of getting signups. You can put them at the top sidebar, your header or footer page. Perhaps, you can make them pop up as a slide. You can also offer a freebie; in which they can get once they sign up in your online.

One great thing about an email list is that they will always get notified whenever there is a new product, new blog post or promotion. In most cases, they are the first to get exposed to whatever you have to offer. The more subscribers you have, the more traffic you will be able to pull in your online store

Look at it this way; your email list is a group of people whose chances of buying are very significant. You don’t have much work to do when it comes to convincing them to order. Also, engaging inactive members is possible through your email list.

4. Guest blogging

There is no doubt that there are gurus in your niche with tons of followers and readers. What if you tap into their traffic? That will be pretty awesome. Make a list of top ten eCommerce sites or blogs in your niche. Discover a topic which they are missing. Contact the webmaster/blogger and request to guest post. The manner of approach is very crucial if you must be given an audience. 

Guest blogging is simply writing a post for a difference audience, other than your own. When you write for another blog or online store, you are guest blogging. It is one of the strategies which you can use to pull a lot of traffic to your store. Not only will you be able to pull their audience to your online store, but you will also gain some backlinks

Before you start to guest blog, make sure the platform has your potential customers or at least, have strong domain authority. It will ensure that you benefit from your hard work.

5. Quora

If you are looking for a platform that can give you tons of traffic, Quora is the place to be. This incredible platform is where you can ask questions and have industry experts answer them. The answer with the most votes gets on top. Quora is filled with people looking for solutions. That attribute has made them potential prospects. All you have to do is follow the topic that is related to your niche. Here are the top 10 most followed topic on Quora.

  • Technology
  • Science
  • Movies
  • Music
  • Health
  • Books
  • Education
  • Food
  • Business
  • Visiting and travel

When you give a groundbreaking answer to a question that has millions of followers, the possibility of getting incredible traffic becomes possible. When you answer questions, topic followers will be notified by email. Imagine what that will mean. Forget about traffic; Quora is an excellent place to get juicy backlinks to your online store.

6. Affiliate Programs

What if you use what you have to get what you want? That is what you can do with affiliate marketing. You can pull a lot of traffic to your online store when you convince your audience to refer and get a reward. The reward can come in the form of points, which they can use to order for products on your store.

However, you need to make sure that the profit gotten from per customer is greater than the affiliate reward. To get more idea about running an affiliate program, you can take a look at your competitors and discover how they do it.

If you reward your store visitors for inviting or referring to their friends, their friends will do the same, thereby boosting traffic. You can run this program without having to spend tons of money. The result will be mind-blowing.

7. Site design, mobile and speed

When designing your online store, there is a lot you need to consider. It will ensure that you boost traffic to a great height. Nothing annoys potential customers more than a site that loads sluggishly. It is a huge turn-off.

Design - The first thing to take note of is the design. There are lots of themes in the marketplace that are very responsive and simple. You don’t need a design that is cluttered, dull or complicated. You need something that potential customers’ can easily navigate. 

Site speed - Secondly, your online store load speed is another criterion. There are lots of tools on the internet that you can use to check the speed of your site. One of them is Google Speed Test. When your website is swift or fast, it encourages more browsing and more orders.

Mobile - Your site must be mobile-friendly. Fact is, 70% of your customers are on mobile. You mustn’t overlook them if you want to drive traffic and sales into your online store. Apart from using a mobile-friendly theme, using Accelerated Mobile Page plugin can prove to be very useful. It will positively impact on the speed and mobile responsiveness of your online store.

8. Work on SEO

If you want consistent traffic to your online store, then you must be ready to dabble into SEO. SEO means Search Engine Optimization. It means you have to optimize your online store to the keywords you aim to rank for.

Let’s say you deal on ‘bed lamps,’ you can rank your product page with those keywords and get impressive traffic. However, you don’t need to overdo or stuff keywords everywhere to avoid getting penalized by Google or other search engines.

Apart from keywords, another factor to consider in SEO is backlinks. You don’t just need backlinks; you need quality backlinks. These are merely links from other sites pointing to your domain. The more quality backlink you have, the more you build your domain and page authority. 

You can get these backlinks through guest posting, posting on forums or commenting on related websites. There are lots of bookmarking sites that give quality backlinks. When you do it right, you certainly will get it right.

Wrapping-Up

Like stated in the article, there are lots of ways to get thousands of traffic to your online store. All you need to do is discover methods that work for you and stick to them. Traffic is everything as long as eCommerce is concerned. The more people visit your store; the more chances you have of getting an order. When these traffics are organic and well-targeted, the result will be mind-boggling. Among these sources of free traffic, which one is more promising to your online business? Now is the time to write them down and devise a strategy that will pull in traffic.


The post Free Traffic Sources For Your Online Store appeared first on eCommerce and Affiliate Marketing Blog.

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You Will Thank Us – 8 Tips About Working From Home You Need To Know

At INBOUND this year, HubSpot CTO and co-founder Dharmesh Shah announced that our company now has more than 200 remote employees globally

Remote work is becoming so valuable to prospective employees that the second-most searched word on HubSpot's career page is "remote."

Clearly, people love the idea of working from home or a location outside the office. And this makes sense. Have you ever wanted to work for a far-away company you couldn't move to? Or have you ever wanted to cut a tough commute out of your schedule to spend more time with family? These are just a few great reasons why people might want to work remote.

If you're an employer concerned about how offering remote work as an option to employees could impact productivity,, a number of studies have concluded that remote work can be incredibly effective at increasing productivity

A 2016 survey found that 91% of participants said they get more work done when working from home. Many of this study's participants also said they felt happier at their job when they worked remote as opposed to in-office.

Later, in 2019, a two-year Stanford University study found that remote employees can boost a company's productivity.

As the remote workforce has grown, HubSpot has embraced the work style. In fact, our Marketing team recently held a remote quarterly meeting. Instead of booking a large conference room, all HubSpot marketing employees -- even those who worked in-office -- simply logged on to the video call from remote locations. At the end of the virtual meeting, we heard from a small group of remote HubSpot marketers about their experiences with working out of the office.

Although this all seems pretty promising way to work, you might still be thinking, "Remote work sounds great, but is it possible for managers or leaders?"

At HubSpot, the answer is yes. In fact, our blogging team alone has six fully remote members, including two people managers from across the United States.

Sounds great, right?

If and when you transition to your first semi or fully remote job, you might be excited about your role's helpful out-of-office location. But, you might also have concerns like, "How will I get visibility in my company?" or "Will I miss important meetings or be out of the loop?"

To help answer some of your burning work-from-home questions, I spoke with a handful of remote HubSpot employees from different departments to get their eight most valuable tips.

1. Determine if remote work is right for you.

For some people, working remote on a full-time basis feels ideal and most productive. However, some people prefer having meetings in person in the office during the week with only one or two full remote days. And, lastly, others might feel like they get the best work done in an office.

Everyone is different, so if you think you'd like to work remote, testing out all three of the work styles noted above can be a helpful way to make a decision about where you'd like your role to be on a daily basis.

At HubSpot's internal quarterly marketing meeting, which I mentioned above, those who spoke on the remote panel suggested that employees should test a few work-from-home schedules if they think this working style is right for them. These panelists also suggested that it can be helpful to start with one remote day a week and then expand to two or three days as you get used to the new environment.

2. Schedule meetings and work hours in chunks.

When you're remote, it's easy to get distracted by family, friends, errands, or other aspects of your day-to-day life. Working in your own house might cause distractions as you think of chores or tasks you need to do related to your home. Meanwhile, prepping for multiple scattered work calls might distract you from completing bigger projects that require heads-down attention.

To avoid distractions from life or your other duties, establish a solid schedule when you start your remote position.

According to Rebecca White, a California-based junior staff writer for the HubSpot Blog, planning and sticking to a firm schedule can be incredibly important if you're transitioning into a remote position for the first time.

“Set up a schedule and routine for yourself as quickly as you can. This means setting boundaries for what you do during the day," says White.

White explains that setting schedule boundaries can involve designating offline times when you aren't working. Since you might be working during or outside of your office's standard hours, you could also set time blocks for yourself to be online when your team is in office.

During work hours, White warns that a schedule with vague boundaries can cause you to end up working at odd hours.

"It’s easy to fall into the trap of getting things done during the day, but still feeling like you’ve wasted your time and now need to work later in the evening," White explains. "Setting boundaries for yourself and having a routine schedule will help avoid those pitfalls.”

Scott Tousley, a California-based senior team lead on thef user acquisition team, echoed this sentiment, saying he also schedules his entire workday, as well as breaks, in large blocks.

Tousley says that his first work chunk occurs from 7 a.m. to noon. Then, he takes a break from noon to 2 p.m. followed by his last work block from 2 to 7 p.m.

Many of the other remote employees we talked to also encouraged scheduling multiple meetings within the same day or in dedicated blocks of time.

For example, you could consider dedicating the first few days of the week to meetings and smaller tasks. Then, use the meetingless days to focus on the bigger projects.

“If you can, group all your meetings so they happen over the course of two or three days. Leave a couple of days wide open to get that heads-down, max-effort work done," says Allie Decker, a content writerbased in Chicago.

Scheduling meetings all together will not only prevent you from having to stop working on a big project for a 30-minute call, but it will also allow you to streamline the time you spend preparing for meetings.

Decker adds, "You can also use these [meetingless] days to get out of the house, change up your workspace, and not have to worry about taking video or phone calls in loud public spots.”

Scheduling a workday when you can't be in the office can be tricky. While you might be able to schedule your own meetings on specific days, your in-office or remote coworkers in another time zone might need to meet at a time that doesn't always work for you. While you should make exceptions for important meetings, you’ll still want to try your best to stick to a regular week-to-week schedule and communicate your working hours with your team.

If your office has a calendar system where any of your colleagues can see your schedule and book time with you, check with your manager to see if it's okay to schedule a block of time that says something like, "Do Not Book," "Writing time," or "Email me to book meetings during this time." With notes explaining why you’re unavailable for meetings on your calendar, colleagues will be able to see that this time is dedicated to bigger projects and tasks.

3. Over-communicate with everyone.

When you're remote, your colleagues in another time zone might unknowingly invite you to video calls at a late hour that doesn't work for you. Or, even if you are in the same time zone, you might find that there are consistent miscommunications happening because you sent an email rather than having a face-to-face conversation about what you wanted to achieve from a team project.

To avoid confusion points between you and your in-office team, err on the side of over-communicating. Be sure to regularly check in with colleagues on phone calls, during video chats, or through your office's direct messaging system.

"Over-communicate everything," says Christina Perricone, a manager on the blogging teambased in Atlanta.

"Since people can’t stop by your desk to clear up misunderstandings, it’s important to explain everything with thorough detail and share more information than you think is necessary," Perricone adds.

While you should still be polite and professional, be transparent and firm about your schedule, your current list of tasks, your bandwidth, and your expectations of other team members so that your colleagues and managers know what you're up to and what you need from them.

4. Plan virtual coffee chats with colleagues.

When you work outside of the office, it can be hard to get that valuable visibility that could move your career forward. Because your team will be bonding during informal office chats, outings, lunches, coffees, or events that you won't be able to attend, it's important to come up with creative ways to get to know your colleagues and improve key relationships with team managers.

“As a remote employee, it’s easy to be out of sight and out of mind," says Henry Franco, an Illinois-based social media manager. "Setting up regular one-on-one meetings with every member of your team on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis is a great way to stay connected.”

Perricone ads, "Capitalize on any opportunity to connect with colleagues -- use team meetings, one-on-one meetings, or impromptu video calls to work through problems."

"You want to use every opportunity to make up for the lack of in-office interactions that typically build rapport," Perricone explains.

On the Blog team, one great one-on-one strategy we use to catch up with coworkers is called "virtual coffee." During these virtual coffee chats, you schedule a time to simply get to know your remote or in-office colleagues over coffee or lunch, without a set agenda.

You don't necessarily have to use the virtual coffee time to talk about work. Instead, you could use that time to learn more about your coworkers or managers. Building these relationships can help you create more meaningful relationships with colleagues who are farther away. These chats will also help you learn more about how your team works together in the office.

5. Create an efficient working space.

Working in your bed or kitchen could make you want to sleep, cook, or clean when you're on the clock. Meanwhile, a noisy space in your home might open you up to distractions. If you want to get serious about working from home, you'll ideally want to have an effective office or quiet workspace that has a designated work surface, great lighting, internet, and limited distraction points.

"Try to designate a space in your home exclusively for work," says Perricone. "Taking calls from your bed or writing memos in front of your TV likely won't be very effective. You need a space that allows you to focus and be productive. That way, you can keep your work and home life as separate as possible."

As Perricone mentions, when you're working from your own home, the line between work life and your personal life can get blurry. To avoid bringing your work stress into your personal life, do your work in one isolated location of your house so that you can mentally and physically walk away from your job when you're off the clock.

"Avoid working from your bedroom or living room because there are more distractions there and it’s hard to draw a firm line between work and relaxation," Franco explains. "If you use an office, it’s much easier to close the door at the end of the workday and transition into another mindset.”

6. Work outside of your house.

Sometimes, your house can still be the most distracting place to work, even if you've created a solid workspace.

On top of the distracting environment, associating your home with work all the time might not be so great for your mental health. For example, a recent Buffer survey found that 22% of remote employees have trouble tuning out at the end of the workday.

Difficulty tuning out of work might mean you miss out on happenings in your personal life or feel stressed about your job or a deadline even when the workday is over.

As Franco mentions in the fifth tip, a home office offers you an opportunity to leave your work behind at the end of the day. But, if you don't have a home office, it might be hard to escape looking at your computer or answering emails at night when you should be focused on your personal life.

If you've tested out a number of home workspaces and find that your house or apartment isn't a great place for getting tasks done, consider going to another location -- like a coffee shop, library, or shared working space.

"I work from home primarily, but sometimes I need a change of scenery to boost productivity or simply chat with other humans," says Decker.

Decker notes that finding the best workspaces can be a process, so you'll need to do a bit of trial and error testing.

"Don’t beat yourself up if the first few locations aren’t a perfect fit. Over time, you’ll find your favorites," Decker says, adding, "Bonus points if you work regularly at a coffee shop and you’re recognized by the baristas!”

7. Prepare for video calls.

As a remote employee, regular video chats will most likely be part of your role. So, make sure your working space is properly lit and offers a professional, non-distracting background.

While it might be tempting to keep your camera off and avoid showing your surroundings to your team, Perricone says that attending a video call with the camera turned on is important for interpersonal communication and office visibility.

"Turn on the video during your calls," Perricone advises. "Ninety-three percent of communication is non-verbal. Being remote puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to reading facial expressions and body language during meetings. Video calls mitigate the disconnect that can arise from not being in-person."

8. Don't forget to take breaks.

At a normal nine-to-five job in an office, you'll usually take one or two breaks throughout the day as well as lunch. But, when you're at home and focused on a big project, time can slip away from you and you might forget to take a much-needed breather. That's why you might want to schedule breaks on your calendar.

"Since you miss out on the social cues to head out for lunch or end the workday that are inherent in in-office settings, you have to create them," says Perricone. "Set calendar appointments for lunch or a walk or a midday workout. Otherwise, you might find yourself sitting in front of your computer for 10+ hours a day."

When you do take breaks, it can be helpful to do something relaxing but still productive, like going out to lunch or taking a nice walk outside.

Tyler Littwin, HubSpot's Art Director, echoed Perricone's thoughts on scheduling break times and encourages remote workers to get some fresh air during the workday.

"Without coworkers there to grab lunch or coffee breaks with, it’s easy to stay in one place for far too long. In my humble opinion, walks are an essential part of keeping your sanity and improving your productivity. Even 15 to 20 minutes is enough of a recharge,” says Littwin.

Establishing a Healthy Remote Routine

As my remote colleagues noted continuously, the key to successful remote work is establishing a routine that allows you to effectively complete different tasks while allowing you to still keep work and home life separate -- even when you literally have to bring work home with you.

As you begin working from home, or test out a partially remote lifestyle, be sure to nail down your work and life-related schedules and set vital boundaries for yourself and your team. These strategies will keep your workdays productive and could help your remote career thrive successfully.

Want to learn more about what it takes to be a great remote employee? We recently published a post about research reveals five more researched-based tips for a successful remote career.

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Your Key To Success: 27 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Website

You know you're a marketer when you're sitting in traffic on the highway, it's completely bumper to bumper, and all you can think about is "Why can't I drive traffic to my website like this?"

If you've struggled with driving traffic to your website, you're not alone. According to 2019 research done by Content Marketing Institute, 61% of content professionals are challenged with knowing what is most important to their audiences, 50% are challenged with knowing the goal of the audience at a particular stage of the customer's journey, and 49% are challenged with knowing the steps in the customer's journey.

Between writing a new blog post, posting on social media, and strategizing for a new email campaign, it's hard to look back and see what's driving traffic to your site and what isn't.

The list below will help you increase the traffic to your website, generate more leads, and improve ROI.

1. Content creation

Inbound marketing focuses on attracting the right people to your company. One of the best ways to do this is by creating content through blogging.

To come up with content that will attract the right visitors to your website, you should know your buyer persona. Once you know your audience, you can create content that will attract them to your website.

But how do you write a good blog post that will attract the right audience? Follow these five steps:

  • Identify your buyer persona: Find out more about your audience, from job title to pain points.
  • Conduct SEO research: Learn what your audience is searching for on search engines so you provide the right content.
  • Write a draft: Begin by drafting a post that answers your audience's questions.
  • Publish: Publish your post on your blog.
  • Promote: Promote your blog post on social media and email newsletters to generate traffic. The more traffic your post generates, the higher it will rank in search engines.

You can learn more about how to implement a blogging strategy here.

2. Topic expertise

Ranking higher in Google will increase the organic traffic to your site. At HubSpot, we do this by using the pillar/topic cluster model. Google favors sites that are known to be topic experts on the subject matter they're writing about.

To be seen as an expert, you can create a pillar page, which is essentially a longer blog post that broadly covers all aspects of a topic. Then, you write "cluster content," or supporting blog posts, targeting long tail keywords that show you've covered a topic exhaustively. Focusing on long-term traffic will help you rank higher on search engines

Christina Perricone, team manager of HubSpot's pillar page content, says, "The pillar cluster model organizes content on your site around a single topic and search term through internal linking. This organization helps search engines easily crawl and categorize all of the content that you have on a particular topic, thereby making it easier for you to rank for that search term. When the model is done right, it also helps visitors navigate your site and move through related pages, boosting traffic for all of the pages in your topic cluster."

Want to get started on pillar pages for your company? Learn more here and here.

3. Paid advertising

You can drive traffic to your website quickly with paid advertising. With search engines, you can run pay-per-click or retargeting ads. With social media you can run display ads or sponsored posts. Your strategy will most likely include a combination of different types of advertising.

In fact, according to the 2019 CMO survey of 341 executive-level marketers conducted by Deloitte, American Marketing Association, and Duke's Fuqua School of Business, spending on social media will rise by nearly 90% in the next five years.

The same study found that companies making 10% or more of their sales online will increase their social media spend by even more, allocating 27.6% of their marketing budget to social media by 2024.

Getting started with paid advertising can be a simple process. Learn more about it here.

4. Organic social media

Organic social media is not a new strategy, but it's still something marketers should pay attention to. Besides posting on social media platforms, you can also use Instagram Stories (Hello, swipe up feature!), live video, IGTV, or Facebook Messenger. The key with organic social media is to be an early adopter of new features

For instance, Facebook is releasing an automated lead generation feature on Messenger, allowing businesses to create an automated chatbot experience within Messenger to link to content offers on your site. This is a great feature for sending traffic to your website.

It's also important to have a diverse social media strategy and use the right social media platforms — not just Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Platforms like YouTube or Pinterest generate a lot of traffic. Pinterest has great engagement rates — 66% of Pinterest users make a purchase after seeing a brand's Pins.

Henry Franco, a brand marketing associate at HubSpot, recommends two things regarding organic social media. "First, don't spam your audience — it costs a user nothing to scroll past your post, and if you don't offer them any value, that's exactly what they'll do. Know your audience, and craft content that speaks directly to them," Franco says. "Second, stay active with community management. People love when brands like and reply to them — it'll humanize your business, and keep people coming back for more content."

Check out our ultimate social media marketing guide to learn more.

5. Website analysis

Let's do a little reverse engineering of our thought process. Before you drive traffic to your website, it's important to learn about your audience. To do this, there are platforms that will analyze your website, such as Crazy Egg, to see where you're losing visitors. With this information at your disposal, you can create the right content to drive the right traffic to your website.

6. Contests/giveaways

A simple way to drive traffic to your website is through contests and giveaways. This can give you a quick boost, while also rewarding your followers. You can host giveaways on social media, through your email list, or both.

Implementing a strategy like this can be simple. Just follow these six steps:

  1. Decide what platform on which to host your giveaway (can be multiple)
  2. Choose a prize (free tickets, discount, etc … )
  3. Select the criteria (website comments, email sign up, etc … )
  4. Write ad copy
  5. Create graphics
  6. Post and promote

7. Influencers

Influencer marketing isn't a passing fad. In fact, it's a budget-friendly option to drive traffic to your website. According to Think with Google, collaborations with YouTube influencers are four times more effective at driving brand familiarity than those with celebrities. When influencers post discount codes, links, reviews, or giveaways, you are tapping into their audience to drive traffic to your website.

Remember Brian Halligan's INBOUND 2018 keynote speech? Customers are more likely to buy from organizations with excellent word of mouth. How do you create great word of mouth? First, delight your customers. Second, work with influencers.

8. Email list building

Using your current readers and customers is a great way to drive traffic to your website. When you post a new blog or content offer, you can promote it to your followers/subscribers for a quick traffic boost. With content-heavy websites, having repeat readership is helpful for traffic goals, conversions, and lead generation.

To get started with this, build an email list or grow your current list. Below are a few strategies you can use:

  • Content offers (see #23 for more information): Generate gated content for visitors that requires them to provide an email address to receive. Include CTAs (calls to action) for your content offers on your website.
  • Easy-access newsletter sign-up: Include sign-up forms on your website, from your homepage to your about page. If a visitor had a delightful experience on your site, they might want to sign up for a newsletter. Make this an easy process.
  • Social media: Promoting your email newsletter on social media, whether through a post or contest/giveaway, is a great way to convert your current followers into subscribers.

Learn how to build an email list from scratch here or grow your email list here.

9. Community engagement

The more brand recognition you have, the more traffic you will drive to your website. One way to achieve brand recognition is to be active and engaged in your community. You can implement an engagement strategy today by participating in Facebook group discussions in your industry, answering questions on public forum websites, and interacting with your followers on social media.

One of my favorite brands on social media is Taco Bell. Taco Bell engages with users on social media to delight their customers every day. See a couple examples from Twitter below.

Taco Bell delights customers on Twitter.

Image source: Twitter

In the example above, Taco Bell uses a simple tweet from a customer to engage with their audience.
Taco Bell uses humor to delight customers on Twitter.

Image source: Twitter

Just remember to be helpful and human. No one likes spammy links when they're asking a quick question online.

10. Guest posting

In that same vein, writing guest posts can generate traffic to your site. Guest posting shows you're active in your community, while also linking to your website — more on generating backlinks below.

To implement a guest posting strategy, you need to find a site that would be a good fit for your company, draft a blog post, and then write a pitch. Caroline Forsey, staff writer on the HubSpot Marketing Blog, says, "I'm always particularly intrigued with a guest pitch if it shows me the writer has done their research ahead of time.

For instance, I'd pay much closer attention to a pitch if it tells me how this piece could appeal to my readers. Additionally, I'm impressed when a writer can recognize gaps in our content and how their piece will fill those gaps, rather than competing with existing content."

11. On-page SEO

On-page SEO can help your website rank higher in search engines and bring in more traffic. Some on-page SEO elements include page title, header, meta description, image alt-text, and the URL (plus more). Showing up in search engines will generate more traffic for your site. To get started with on-page SEO, check out our ultimate guide on on-page SEO here.

12. Quality backlinks

In order to drive traffic to your site, you need to rank high in search engines. In order to rank higher in search engines, you need to be an authority in your industry. One way to do that, besides the topic/cluster model described above, is by acquiring quality backlinks. If websites with high authority link to your site, that gives you more credibility.

Irina Nica, senior content strategist at HubSpot says, "There are two main ways in which high-quality backlinks can help drive more traffic to a website: boosting ranking and driving referral traffic. On the one hand, backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for every major search engine out there. By constantly earning high-quality backlinks from relevant websites, you'll improve your rankings in SERP and, as a result, see a lift in your organic traffic."

Nica adds, "On the other hand, backlinks can also drive a substantial amount of referral traffic. That's something to be expected if you get a mention in popular news website. You can also see referral traffic coming through if you're mentioned (and linked to) in an article that's already ranking well for high search volume keywords and is getting a constant flow of traffic.

Want to learn how to earn backlinks? Find out more here.

13. Video marketing

It's time to add video marketing to your content strategy. According to a report by Cisco, video will account for 82% of traffic by 2022. Start implementing video marketing into your strategy as soon as possible because this is the content people are clicking on.

You can create video for Instagram or Facebook Stories, live videos, IGTV, Facebook Watch, news feed videos, YouTube, etc. Want to get started today? Learn everything you need to know in our ultimate guide to video marketing.

14. Content repurposing

Need content to drive traffic to your site but struggling to come up with ideas? I get it. A great way to overcome this hurdle is to repurpose old content. Take a well-performing blog post and repurpose that into a video. Or if you have a podcast that did really well, write up a blog post on that topic. Using content that has already performed well will continue to drive traffic to your site.

15. SEO tools

To drive traffic to your website, it's important to be a student of SEO. Learning SEO tools such as Google Analytics, Ahrefs, and SEMrush will help you develop a strategy to generate traffic to your website.

These tools will help you learn and analyze what's working on your site and what isn't. Plus, these help you come up with ideas for content that has potential for high traffic. Check out our roundup of the best SEO tools to monitor your website.

16. Historical optimization

Historical optimization is the process we use at HubSpot to update old blog content and generate more traffic and leads. If you're anything like us, a majority of your monthly blog views and leads come from older posts.

Pamela Vaughan, a principal marketing manager on HubSpot's Web Strategy team, a.k.a. the woman who introduced us to the concept of historical optimization, has written about this extensively.

She says, "Historical optimization is a tactic best-suited for a blog that's been around for several years, because you need to be generating a significant amount of organic search traffic, have built up a critical mass of blog subscribers and social media followers, and you need a sizable repository of old posts at your disposal."

Vaughan adds, "Historical optimization should be a piece of your overall blogging strategy — not the whole strategy."

Here, she lays out her step-by-step process to historical optimization.

17. Voice search optimization

Remember in "The Little Mermaid" when Ariel wanted to go where the people were? That same principle applies to digital marketing. In order to drive traffic to your website, it's important to show up where people are searching.

Voice search is an increasingly important area in which to rank. In fact, according to PwC, 65% of 25- to 49-year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day. That's why optimizing your content for voice search is essential.

Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Research long tail keywords: When people use voice search, they speak in full sentences. To optimize for voice search, start researching longer tail keywords.
  • Write answer-focused content: The content you write should answer your audience's questions.
  • Optimize for snippets: Smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home look for short, concise answers. Writing quick summaries in your posts make it easier for search engines and smart speakers to find the answer they need.

18. Local SEO

If your company is a brick and mortar store, local SEO is an important factor to consider. My colleague, Kelsey Smith, wrote about it in this blog. She says, "To gather information for local search, search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to provide the most relevant local results to the user."

For example, when someone types in "best pizza near me" on Google, the results are generated by the user's location. Tools such as Google My Business and Moz Local help businesses manage their directory listings and citations so they show up in local searches.

To rank for local search:

  • Ensure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent on your Google My Business and social media pages.
  • Use a directory management tool to monitor directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Best of the Web, etc.
  • Research and use location-based search terms on sites like Google Trends, which analyzes popular search terms across various regions.

19. A/B testing

Besides driving traffic to your website, you know you're a marketer when your motto is "Test, test, and test again."

A/B testing is a split test that helps you determine what version of a campaign performs best. These tests can give you key information about your audience so you can create tailored content and offers that drive traffic to your site. There are a lot of tools you can use to get started. Check out our roundup of the best A/B testing tools here.

20. Internal linking

When a visitor comes to your blog, your goal is to get them to continue reading on other pages of your website. That's why internal links — links to other pages on your site — are very important. When visitors continue to other pages of your website they're more likely to convert and become a brand enthusiast.

For example, you can create an internal linking structure using the pillar/cluster model described above. Pillar and cluster pages link back and forth, which boosts your site's credibility on search engines, while also increasing the likelihood of a conversion.

21. Technical SEO

Technical SEO focuses on the backend of your website to see how the pages are technically set up and organized. Factors include elements like page speed, crawling, indexing, and more. Matthew Howells-Barby, HubSpot's director of acquisition, has written about technical SEO in this blog. In it, he says, "Don't underestimate the power technical SEO changes. [Technical SEO] resulted in us growing our organic traffic by more than 50% in just one month."

To get started with your technical SEO, use some of the tips from Howells-Barby's article, including:

  • Fix broken links and redirects
  • Create an XML sitemap for your subdomains
  • Set up language meta tags
  • Add custom H1 and introductions to topic pages

22. Community building

Building a community of brand enthusiasts is a great way to continuously drive traffic to your website. You can build a Facebook group, Twitter chat, LinkedIn Group, or Quora Space specifically for your followers and others in your industry where you create value, while also linking back to your site.

A great example of community building comes from career coaching business CultiVitae. They have a closed Facebook group where Emily, the founder, answers questions and provides networking opportunities. With over 3,000 members in this group, CultiVitae creates value for its followers, while also promoting its product.

Career coaching business Facebook group.
Career coaching Facebook group rules.

Image source: Facebook

These types of communities keep you top of mind in your customer's eyes. Plus, it's a great way to engage with your followers and learn more about your audience as they evolve over time.

23. Content offers

Content offers, sometimes referred to as lead magnets, are a way to use content to drive traffic to your site and generate leads. Content offers vary depending on what stage of the buyer's journey your customer is in, but can include webinars, guides, reports, trials, demos, checklists, and more. You can learn about different types of content offers here and how to create content for every stage in the buyer's journey here.

24. Media coverage and public relations

Earned media coverage is a great way to drive brand awareness for your company and traffic to your website. If your marketing and public relations teams work together, you can generate traffic to your site and create excellent word of mouth.

Ellie Flanagan, a senior corporate communications manager at HubSpot, says, "Although most outlets these days try to stay away from including backlinks in their stories (it's usually against their editorial guidelines), that doesn't mean that a good story won't drive folks back to your site. Media coverage provides great third-party validation for your company. Stories about new products or services, your company culture, or even industry thought leadership can all be great drivers for a reader who maybe hadn't heard of your company before and wants to learn more."

25. Social share buttons

Social share buttons are links that make it easy for your readers to share your content on social media. When your readers become promoters of your content, your traffic will increase. Here's a quick cheat sheet on creating social share buttons.

Once you've created your social share buttons, how do you get people to share your content? Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Ask people to share on social media
  • Create strong content
  • Include quotable content
  • Add multimedia such as images, videos, infographics, etc.

26. CTR optimization

Once your content is posted and you begin ranking on search engines, make sure people are clicking through to read your posts. Your click through rate (CTR) measures who clicked on your post and read it against the number of people who viewed the link to your post (e.g., the landing page, email, or advertisement) in total.

A great tool to measure your organic CTR is Google Search Console. To get more people to click through and drive traffic to your site, it's important to write compelling and apt meta descriptions and titles. To write quality meta tags that are click-worthy, make sure your titles are short and snappy, and your description leaves visitors wanting more. This ties into on-page SEO, described above.

27. Academy/knowledge base posts

One form of content that can drive traffic to your website is educational content. If you create courses, certifications, or knowledge based posts that are helpful to your audience, you'll likely see an increase in traffic.

For example, HubSpot uses HubSpot Academy to generate content that is helpful to our audience. We provide videos, certification courses, and knowledge base articles to answer questions. See an example of a knowledge base article below.

HubSpot knowledge base article.

Image source: HubSpot

If you're struggling to get traffic to your website, you're not alone. Implementing the tips above can help you increase your traffic as soon as possible. Once your traffic has started to improve, it's time to think about conversions. Learn more about conversion rate optimization here.

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60 Step Checklist for Ways To Get More Traffic To Your Wix Store

Setting up a Wix store might seem very easy and exciting. Well, that is the natural part. After setting up your Wix store, the next burning question becomes how to drive traffic and make a lot of money. When it comes to driving potential customers into your Wix store, there are hundreds of options available. Tons of it! Here are the ways you can utilize to achieve that.

1. Starting an affiliate program

One of the cost-effective ways to drive traffic to your store is to design a mutually beneficial affiliate program. The tremendous benefits of an affiliate program cannot be overemphasized. Numerous online shops like Amazon have tested it, and the result is always said to be enormous. When it comes to affiliate marketing, the most recommended source is https://www.osiaffiliate.com. They have been known to revive online stores from the grave. Affiliate marketing is number one on this list because of its immense potential in driving traffic.

2. Newsletters

Another fantastic way to drive more traffic to your Wix store is through disbursing of newsletters to subscribers. There are lots of email marketing services that you can utilize. It is one of the fantastic ways to notify subscribers about new posts or products. In cases where you have an important announcement, it can prove to be a reliable channel. The number of subscribers, and also the number of emails sent determines how much you pay. Most of your store's visitors might not visit again. But by converting them to subscribers, you create a hook.

3. SEO optimization

Getting ranked high on google for lucrative keywords is one of the ways to drive traffic. Working with keywords and setting up your store's SEO isn't rocket science. But in cases whereby they seem cumbersome, you can always hire an SEO expert to handle the advance aspect. Like building your stores' page authority and domains through backlinks. There are lots of SEO software on the web that can disclose keywords you have the potential to rank. Some software also guides on how to optimize your items or blogpost in ways that they perform better on a search engine.

4. Social media

Another fantastic route you can look into for traffic generation is social media. There are billions of users connected on social media, in which your target market exists. Imagine what happens if you can tap into this overwhelming source. You can create social handles on;

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Quora
  • Pinterest, etc. for free.

If you are on Facebook, the first step is creating a Facebook page for your store. They even offer a store template that allows you to sell products directly on Facebook.

5. Have a blog

According to research, online stores that have a blog section tend to perform better than stores that doesn't. By continually updating your store with blog posts, you perform better in search engines and also, give readers reasons to revisit the store. To pull this off, you need to learn how to write keyword targeted blog posts. That will be your step to driving insane traffic to your Wix store. Writing valuable content is critical. If you are not a writer, there are lots of freelance writers who are ever ready to take over the job. Whatever you do, make sure that every content adds value.

6. Online directories

Although many are of the notion that online directories are outdated and not very useful in this era. Well, that might be right, but adding your website to these directories is free and doesn't hurt. So, what can you lose? One of the reasons why enlisting your website in these online directories is the added value they offer. By linking to your website, they become juicy links that search engines use to rank sites.

7. Guest blogging

Writing a guest blog is still a useful measure if you want to drive traffic to your store. But you must find the right website. One of the indications that prove a site is suitable for guest posting is their domain authority. The higher, the better. When such sites link to your website through a guest post, it is considered a quality backlink.

8. Give PPC a try

If you want to take it a little higher, you can spend a few bucks and dabble into the world of paid advertising. There are lots of websites that offer packages where you can advertise your website or products. One of them is Google AdWords, and Facebook sponsored posts, Instagram sponsored posts, twitter, etc. There are also popular blogs that you can message for advert space. You don't need to worry about not seeing the result since you pay when there is a click on your website.

9. Brand awareness

If you are looking for a way to boost traffic on your Wix store, increasing your brand awareness will be like killing two birds with one stone. There are numerous ways you can create more knowledge about your store. The number one option is through social media, popular forums, and blogs. By having a strong brand, you will be able to establish a base filled with loyal customers. Make sure you have a distinctive logo, a favicon, and be consistent with the design layout of your website. A funnel that pulls in traffic into your store is not hard to accomplish if you know what you are doing.

10. Shopping experience

The way you design your website, and the structure impacts on the overall shopping experience of your customers. The design, development, and creation should come with a goal in mind. Potential customers have to find it easy to navigate through the website. Furthermore, the cart feature shouldn't be hard to find. It should be placed strategically for the best result. Most online stores prefer to position the element at the top right on the platform. Perhaps you can do the same. Another feature to consider is the responsiveness on screens. The store should be responsive to both desktop and mobile.

11. Customer behavior

A professional marketer will tell you that monitoring your website stat and performance is very critical to your online success. If you want to drive both sales and traffic, you need to understand the behavior of your customers. Is there a stumbling block on the process of ordering? Their browsing pattern on your website will help you formulate a marketing strategy that guarantees a great result. One of the tools used to monitor your website performance is Google Analytics. It provides incredible insight about your site and how users interact.

12. A great domain

When choosing a domain name, you have to make sure that it is easy to memorize. It has to be easy to type and understood without any hurdle. If you make any mistakes in this initial stage, you might find it very hard picking up in the market. One of the good news is, you can purchase a domain name directly from your Wix account easily. Go for something smart, catchy, and straightforward. You will never regret it!

13. Use long-tailed keywords

In your SEO endeavor, make sure you do your research before you kick off operation. That is because you will be working with keywords in everything you do. Product description, blog posts, and web content are to be tailored to the targeted keyword. Long-tailed keywords are pretty easy to rank for, compared to short-tailed keywords. If you are dealing with 'best cupcakes.' You might find it hard popping up on search engines due to the competition. Make it long and more specific. A great example is; gluten-free and vegan cupcakes in New York.

14. Titles and description

Your website title and description is probably the first step in your SEO 101 crash course. Your website title or metadata is very crucial if you wish to drive targeted traffic into your store. The more specific and keyword targeted your title and description is, you have more chances to get clicks on a search engine. By now, you already know the keywords you are targeting; it should act as a guide into creating something catchy and simple.

15. Mobile-friendliness

About 60% of your visitors will be on smartphones and guess what, the number is still growing. Though this is out of your control, you can leverage this into driving more traffic and sales in your store. The best thing to do is to ride with the waves. Design your store in a mobile-friendly way. Luckily, your Wix store comes with a mobile version. With Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) at your disposal, the sky will be your starting point.

16. Describe your images

Another factor that can spill in some chunks of traffic is your images. When your pictures are well optimized to the targeted keywords, it can serve as a valuable channel. Search engines like Google have a section for images. A well-described picture means a higher chance of appearing there. Apart from that, including images to your items or blog posts sends a strong signal to search engines. Websites with better images that are well described are often granted better overall ranking.

17. Engage with influencers

Just like guest blogging, you want to tap into someone else's network and drive traffic to your store. Working with influencers is an outreach marketing tactic that can make a lot of difference. Influencers are those who have established credibility in the industry, with a reliable network that you can utilize. One of the effective ways to find influencers is to use WEBSTA. An Instagram web viewer with great features. All you need do is punch keywords related to your industry, and it will pull up influencers. Message them and send product samples. Offer their network crazy discounts and see them jump at the offer.

18. Submit a sitemap

Your store's sitemap is more like a map to a building. It discloses how different pages are connected. Sending your sitemap to search engines makes crawling and indexing of pages easy and fast. It is one of the basic SEO that you shouldn't overlook. One of the ways to send your sitemap to Google is through the Search Console. The process is not technical if you know what you are doing. If you still find it tacky, watching YouTube videos on how to submit a sitemap will help.

19. Smart Social Icons

Another unique way to drive traffic to your Wix store is by encouraging social sharing on your website. There should be social sharing buttons on the button or top of your pages. Encouraging them to share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. would be a fantastic way to skyrocket traffic in a significant way. Make sure you add popular social media for a great result. If your content is excellent, be assured that users will always share with their circle of friends.

20. Keep it up

One thing with driving traffic to your Wix store is this; you have to work to maintain and grow continuously. You should never relax or be satisfied. From an SEO standpoint, you should continue building quality backlinks. You should always monitor your website performance and also, your SEO health on software like Semrush. Driving traffic is something you never stop doing. When everything has been set, there is always room for improvement. So, never relax. Never stop! Keep it up!

Driving traffic to your online store is not easy. But with determination and the technical know-how, you will be able to pull it off within a few months. For these measures to kick off, you need to give it time. You don't expect to execute these tips and start seeing results the next day. It doesn't work like that. You have got to give it time, and you will be amazed at how great the result will be. If you are yet to start doing the already mentioned ways to driving traffic to your store, perhaps now is the right time to begin.

21. Email Member Subscription

Almost all businesses with an online presence today have and still use email marketing to generate leads and convert those leads to customers. You can do the same for your Wix store by disbursing newsletters to subscribers. There are lots of email marketing services that can use like OSI Feedback Software.  With newsletters, your subscribers are notified about products and sales campaigns. By converting visitors to subscribers, you keep in touch with them, and get to make them long term customers.

TIP: Include call to actions in newsletters to redirect subscribers to your store.

22. Design a mutual beneficial program

Affiliate marketing has immense potential in driving traffic. One of the cost-effective ways to drive traffic to your store is to design an affiliate program. We cannot overemphasize the tremendous benefits of an affiliate program. Online shops like Amazon have tested it, and the result is out in the open for everyone to attest. You could also introduce coupon codes and issue them to affiliate marketers as a way of encouraging more customers to buy from your store.

23. Leverage on Search Engine 

Some of the significant traffic channels for online e-commerce stores are the search engines. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Every internet-related enterprise leverages this approach. It encompasses the practices undertaken to improve a site's performance on search engines.  

SEO typically describes the practices put in place to get your store to rank high on search engines like Google and Bing. There's a whole lot to SEO for your Wix store, but you can wrap your head around it with some research. In cases where it seems daunting, you can always hire an SEO expert to handle the difficult aspect.

24. Dive into blogging

Online stores that have blog sections always have an edge over other stores that don't. By continually updating your store's blog with engaging blog posts, you keep customers in the loop, perform better in search engines, and also give readers reasons to revisit the store. Your blog can also provide free advertisement for your store. 

If you can't create content for you blog, there are a handful of freelance writers waiting to be hired to do the job. See to it that every content is valuable and targeted at some keywords. Remember to include ads of products you sell and call to actions as well to trigger purchases from your Wix store.

25. Use social media

The social media is a goldmine beaming with potential, waiting to be fully tapped. The vast connection of millions of subscribers is a channel to find customers that are looking to buy what you’ve put up for sale on your Wix store. No matter who your target audience is, they'll always be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other networks.

Driving traffic from social media to your Wix store is not rocket science. Starting with the basics, you’ll need to create a page on these networks and engage with your audience. Announce your brand; maybe organize a couple of giveaways or challenges. Ad campaigns are great tools social media offers to bring your store to even more customers. There's no end to the significant number of customers social media alone yield.

26. Link sharing

One way of driving more traffic to your Wix store is by sharing links. It could be a link to your online store or to certain pages with product descriptions. To pull this off, you need to put forums to good use. Create threads in an area of interest and follow the conversation closely. For example, if your store deals with smart gadgets, you could begin a thread on "What's your best smart home gadget?". You could follow up each response with a recommendation and links as well. Quora and Reddit are good places to start out. Be careful not to spam the whole net with links.

27. Blog Contributor

You're probably asking, “does guest blogging still work?” It sure does!

Writing a guest blog, especially on a site with high domain and page authority scores, is an efficient tool for driving traffic to your online store. The high domain authority indicates that the blog you’re writing on as a guest is relevant in the niche and has a handful of followers that might turn out to become your customers. There are certain things to consider before writing a guest blog if you’re to get traffic for your Wix store:

  • The site has to be related to your store (if you have sports wears stocked, a fitness blog would be the best place to write a guest blog).
  • The site should have high domain authority. This gives your store some backlink juice, which is good for SEO.

28. Paid advertising

Until now, we've been playing it safe with the ways of driving more traffic to your Wix store. If your willing to spend a little for traffic influx, then paid advertising is right for you.

There are lots of platforms on the internet with packages you can choose from. From Google AdWords to Facebook sponsored posts, from advert spaces on blogs to Instagram sponsored posts, the list is endless.

Keep an eye out for PPC ad campaigns because they are designed in a way that you only pay based on the number of clicks that redirect to your store. However, Facebook sponsored posts make use of impressions instead of clicks. This means that you pay for your products or store to be viewed by some people. Whether or not they click on the ads is not accounted for.

29. Get noticed

If you are looking for a way to boost traffic on your Wix store, then getting people to know your store exists and to know what you sell is the next line of action. You can create more awareness for your store through social media, popular forums, and blogs. With a strong, established brand, you will be able to amass a loyal customer base. Branding won't be completely effective if you don't have features that distinguishes your store from other stores. Therefore, make sure your logo is distinctive. Own a style that helps your brand stand out.

30. A memorable and simple domain

Your store's domain name plays an exciting role in how much traffic trickles in especially from search engine result pages (SERPs). A great domain name is easy to remember and has relevant keywords tied to your Wix store. For instance, if your store is Minuel’s Collections, a domain name like minuel.com or minuelstore.com would likely outperform a domain name like Minuelcollectionswixstore.com.

Keep it relevant and straightforward.

31. Utilize the power of keywords

Keywords research is an essential part of SEO optimization for your blog posts, product descriptions, image descriptions, and other descriptions in words on your Wix store. Long-tailed keywords stand out because they are easy to rank for on search engines. Therefore, it's advised to use long-tailed keywords for titles, captions, and descriptions to increase your chances of shooting up the number of visitors coming to your store from search engines.

SmallSEOTools, Semrush, and Ubersuggest are great tools for keyword research. Play around them!

32. Optimize titles and descriptions

Websites use some mechanisms to announce their presence to search engines. Some of those mechanisms include metadata and h1 tags. Metadata is just a placeholder for your site's description –anything that tells search engines what your site is about.

If you're looking to drive more traffic to your Wix store, optimize the metadata to contain relevant keywords. Also, put h1 tags on your site to good use when writing titles.

33. Hit up influencers

Reaching out to a target audience on social media could be difficult, especially if you're just starting. Ordinarily, it should take a while to build a network of followers that you can convert to customers. With influencers, you jump plenty of tedious steps and head right into getting a target audience to check out your store and make purchases.

Influencers are those who have established credibility and recognition in the industry, with a reliable network that you can utilize. They are everywhere; from Instagram to Twitter. Because you can reach an extensive network of people through influencers, engaging with them is one way to create awareness, grow your brand, and have traffic directing to your store with profitable returns. 

34. Price slashes

Offering products at reduced prices is definitely a good channel to drive traffic to your store. Call it a promo, Black Friday or whatever. An enticing sales campaign is sure to bring you a lot of customers and income in the long run.

35. Don't forget image alt description 

Well described images have a better chance of ranking high on search engines for certain keywords. It gets better when they are optimized for SEO. When your images are optimized to the targeted keywords, it serves as a valuable channel to drive both traffic and sales on your Wix store. This is because the search engines like Google pop up pictures related to a search query. Therefore, a well-described image (using alt texts and captions) has a higher chance of appearing there. 

36. Customer behavior

Online stores stay afloat due to the action of customers (purchase and referrals). Concentrating on funnelling traffic and generating leads to your store isn't the only factor to consider. It's important to analyse customer behavior. Where are your customers coming from? What channel is turning in the most customers? 

Monitoring these metrics will give an insight to better your traffic driving efforts. You get to create scalable marketing strategies which will boost sales on your site. Google analytics is a great tool to use.

37. Touch up user experience

It's not enough to just get people to check out your Wix store. What they do and how smooth their activities remain critical to the success of your business.

Do users bounce off after viewing just a page and in few seconds too? Does an aspect of your web page lag?

Customers have to navigate your site with ease, ordering what they want without needing much help. Hence, your website needs to be user friendly. Also, it should be mobile-friendly as well because a whole lot of internet users are mostly on mobile devices. Nevertheless, your site must be responsive both on mobile version and desktop version so everyone is catered for.

38. Create visual contents

Videos have catchy things about them that could sell your store to prospective customers and eventually have those customers heading over to get stuff from the store. Every now and then, millions of people are keeping themselves entertained on YouTube and a lot of vlogs out there.

Creating visual content is a means to reach them, introduce your Wix store and drive insane traffic to your store. Whether you create a YouTube channel or you pay for video ads, make sure your contents are engaging, reasonably short and have an edge over other contents littering the internet. If this is going to bring you customers and cash, you need to treat it as serious business.

39. Conduct giveaways

Giveaways are useful ways to pull customers to your Wix store. You certainly can't sidestep the place of giveaways in brand awareness. You could set up challenges, share them on social media, engage with your audience and offer the giveaways.

40. Keep it up

It's one thing to want to drive traffic to your Wix store and another thing to start out and keep up with efforts. You have to work to maintain the influx and grow continuously.

It gets better when you're consistent and up to date with SEO practices. Leverage every channel you can find and make the most from your Wix store. Monitoring your website's performance should be top priority as this will point out areas that need improvement.

Driving traffic to your online store is not easy. The results won’t pop out of space overnight. You've got to give it time and dedication, and you will be amazed at how great the result will be. If you are yet to start doing the already mentioned ways to drive traffic to your store, now is the right time to begin.

41. Backlinks

One way you can ensure that your website is getting the most attention that you need is to make use of backlinks. Backlinks from external websites can be linked to your websites in content to let Google know that your website is relevant, reliable and important based on the anchor texts (the words that can be clicked). You can also use a backlink to potentially drive activity to your online store as people who visit the external site will sometimes click through interesting anchor texts and visit your website. These visits from backlinks will not always lead to a purchase but is great to have.

42. Competitor analysis

There are many tools online that you can use to analyze what competing websites are doing to get traffic to their website. A free tool that can help you with this is Alexa. When you type in your competitor’s URL, check for the upstream websites to see the websites that visitors go to before arriving at the website of your competition. In cases where most arrive there from Google, this tells you that you should pay more attention to Google Ads and making sure that your websites rank higher on search engines. For those cases where Facebook is the top source of visitors, you then know that you must include Facebook ads in your marketing plans to ensure that you can get as much traffic as you need.

43. Diversify your content types

SEO is more effective when you are able to keep your content type fresh. Once in a while, go through your web pages and refresh the content. Take out outdated content and replace with fresh ones, videos and graphics. This will allow Google to know that there is regular activity on your website and rank it better. You can also integrate a product review addon to your website that will give your customers the opportunity to leave feedback and positive reviews on your product page. This helps you to always have a consistent stream of content that will improve your SEO and ranking, leading to better traffic.

44. Add daily content to your website

Freshness of content is important in the way that Google ranks website on search engines, so it is crucial to always add new content so that visitors have something to look forward to. Daily content or products to your shop will ensure that your SEO efforts are well-supported, and your ranking can get higher. When visitors know your website for having new things whenever they visit, it makes it easier to get more traffic to your website.

45. Join several search engines

SEO is best analyzed through your search engine rankings and while Google is the most popular of them all, you can submit your URL to other search engines like Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. These engines will crawl your site and index it accordingly. This will also increase your chances of getting noticed during web searches of your relevant keywords.

46. Create interactive posts

Enable social media engagement on your website by creating content such as quizzes or polls that can be shared on social media. This way, when your visitors or users interact with a post, the results are easily shareable to their favorite social media accounts and can help you to get all the website traffic that you need. This also works by helping you to grow your email list simultaneously. Many companies also make use of interactive posts to create wish lists or product recommendations which can be tailored to the answers provided by the users.

47. Podcasting

This is an immensely popular and exciting type of content to add to your marketing mix. More than 50% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly and these sometimes have a large audience. Create a podcast and spread the word on your website to help you to grow a large social media following that will improve traffic to your website. Podcasts are effective in improving your brand awareness, customer relationships and content for SEO.

48. Giveaways and freebie contests

People like free stuff and would probably come back for more if they find that you have a nice incentive as part of your ecommerce strategy. Giveaways and freebies generate a lot of referrals and word-of-mouth traffic that you can take advantage of to grow traffic to your website. Most people enter giveaways and contests to get a chance to win free things but also give you the opportunity to target them later with your products and services. While most entrants into contests are unwilling to receive information in the future, there are still enough upsides to running contests on your website.

49. Blogging on Medium

An easy way to build content online is to use Medium to post your content. Medium allows simple online publishing for individuals and companies with semi-automatic CSS editing and coding. It also has a lot of features that can help you to create a community of followers as a publisher and promote your content. With some time and resources, you can create great content on Medium and gain traction among readers. You can then insert back links to your website that will encourage users to visit your online store and purchase your goods and services.

50. YouTube Marketing

YouTube is a great source of content and advertising. You can create YouTube ads and include links to your website in the description section. You can also annotate videos on YouTube with links or collaborate with popular YouTube channels with large number of subscribers to share your link. These may ask you for some payment or request that you become affiliates for them. This is typically effective in the short term and you can optimize the traffic potential by creating your own channels and uploading content regularly.

51. Facebook marketing

Facebook is not only a great place to meet friends and share cute pictures but a nice platform to grow your website traffic. Sources of website traffic from Facebook include business pages, Messenger groups, engagement posts, creating a business page for your brand and running Facebook adverts. You can join different Facebook groups and promote your products in these groups. People that are interested will use the links to visit your website and check out your products. You can run a Facebook business page and consistently share your product links on your posts to drive traffic to your Wix website.

52. Social Share Buttons

You have a lot of pages on your website that contain shareable content. These include blog posts, pictures, product reviews and descriptions. You can add social share buttons so that your users can easily share your content and auto-generated links to their social media pages You can add Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media websites. When these posts are live on the social media, there is a high chance that other people will share and thus increase the reach of the links which will go a long way in boosting traffic to your online store.

53. Twitter Marketing

Twitter is fast becoming one of the most popular social media websites and because of the restrictions on the length of characters, you can rely on hashtags to push traffic to your website. What you can do to boost your content marketing on Twitter is to retweet a link that has a lot of people featured and then piggyback on popular hashtags to get more people reading your tweet. The more people see your tweet, the higher the click through rate that your website will see. You can also create hashtags for your tweets and promote them like adverts to increase reach and engagement. Including pictures or videos to your tweet also brings more attention to your link.

54. Public Forums

A great way that you can use public forums is to engage in conversations that relate to what your niche is. For example, you can check Reddit, Yahoo Answers and other websites and answer questions that have to do with your product. You have to do it in such a way that you are not breaking the forum rules and participation is organic and natural. It is also important to build relationships and foster a sense of belonging before you can share such content on a public forum. Quora can be very useful in delivering organic content for people to enjoy. If they like your content, they will find their way to your website via your link.

55. Ad Networks

If you have money to spare and you have content that you can push, you can register with different ad networks to produce digital adverts that you can use to promote traffic to your website. You can further channel these adverts to your specific target audience and then see how much traffic the network can generate. Quality ad networks that you can join include Google Display Network, Quora ads, Outbrain etc.

56. Brand partnerships

Brand partnerships help to give your business a solid reputation and make it easy for users to trust you. Partnerships don’t have to be expensive and it could be in form of cross-promotion with established bloggers or influencers or websites. A good brand collaboration is one that allows you to leverage on the partner’s audience to promote your own digital content as that is the only way it can help to bring good traffic to your website. When these brands share your links on their website or social media or newsletter, it showcases your site to a new audience and connects you to new traffic streams that you can then leverage on for conversion.

57. Press release

Have you done something noteworthy in your business? Then you can use that opportunity to publish a news release to announce it to the world. For your news release to be effective, you need to post it to your website’s blog and social media channels. You can also improve the reach by paying a syndicate like PR Newswire to spread the press release to new markets where you can attract new customers.

58. Retargeting adverts

There are a lot of customers that will come to your website and fail to complete their order. By using retargeting software, you can reach out to those customers and offer them discounts or special offers to come back and complete their order. Because they have been incentivized to come back to the website, they will be more likely to make a purchase and even invite others.

59. Focus on your best traffic source

It is important to analyze your website’s traffic to identify what channel or source gives you the most traffic. You can check this by figuring out which sources bring in the highest amount of traffic, the sources that have the best conversion rate for traffic and the sources whose leads have the highest level of engagement. When you identify these sources, take some time to understand why they are effective and drill down to the reasons why and find out what you can do to make them even more effective.

60. Social events

You can get involved with planning marketing events if you have a physical store. You can organize a marketing drive with special discount codes that people can use online. These sort of marketing activities will help you to attack a new audience that is different from the ones that come online. This helps to increase awareness of your website among the neighborhood and remind your audience that you have an online store. Social events can serve a dual purpose of increasing your traffic and also converting some of your offline customers to online ones.

The post 60 Ways To Get More Traffic To Your Wix Store appeared first on eCommerce and Affiliate Marketing Blog.

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How 7 Brands Are Using TIK TOK Is Crucial To Your Business. Learn Why!

According to HubSpot's social media team, the video-based social app TikTok is "leaking" with brand opportunities.

The one-year-old platform, which allows users to make short, looping videos with special effects and musical overlays, is booming with more than 500 million monthly active users -- most of them young= adults.

While Gen-Z has begun using the platform to show their creative side, some brands are also beginning to experiment. But, because TikTok is still such a young app, many marketers might be wondering, "Is getting on this app even worth it?"

This question is understandable, considering that TikTok only recently launched an advertising process and hyperlinking capabilities for brands.

However, TikTok's current big brands have done a great job of using it for brand awareness rather than generating traffic or leads. They're also using it to engage younger audiences and show off a lighter side of themselves through funny videos, challenges, and other strategies that you'd only see on the platform specifically.

Since TikTok is so quirky by nature, brands need to be creative to truly gain attention from their audience. A simple ad or sponsored influencer endorsement might not cut it on this creative and fast-paced app.

While it's too early to create a list of best practices around TikTok marketing, it's a great time to start getting inspired by the brands who've already thought outside the box and succeeded on the app.

In this post, we'll discuss seven companies and organizations that have already gone viral or achieved success on TikTok. We'll also offer takeaways that even smaller companies can use to build a scalable, fun, and creative strategy.

Chipotle

Chipotle, a popular Mexican restaurant chain, has over 55,000 fans on TikTok. They publish a variety of posts that use music, memes, and other references to highlight menu items. Here are two examples:

Here, to celebrate #oneyearofTikTok, a video shows tortilla chips propped around a bowl of guac with the Adele song, "Someone Like You" overlaying the clip. Because the sound bite features Adele's audience singing back to her, it feels like the chips are actually singing to the guac.

This is a funny way to work a well-known song into a video that creatively shows off menu items.

In this next video, posted on National Avocado Day, Chipotle nails a popular meme reference by posting The Guacamole Song's music video with the caption, "TFW guac is free. Online/in-app only 7/31 #GuacDance Terms: chip.tl/avoday."

Not only was the video fitting for the meme-friendly app, but it also sparked a viral #GuacDance Challenge. In just a week, it became the highest-performing branded challenge on TikTok to date.

As part of the challenge, people posted videos of themselves dancing with avocados. Here's just one:

Although the original video is a pretty obvious plug for free guacamole, the content feels perfect for TikTok because it is musical, silly, and embraces pop culture. This is a great example of how a brand can use a beloved song or reference to promote their own product.

While it can be hard to get a challenge to go viral, posting or encouraging one -- especially if it involves one of your products -- can help your company spread brand awareness. It also allows you to engage with potential new fans in an interesting way.

People who didn't know much about the restaurant deals or menu might follow this challenge, participate in it, and learn more about the brand indirectly in the process. If you need a creative way to spread brand awareness quickly, taking a note from Chipotle, and starting a challenge on any social media platform might be a great experiment.

NBA

With a whopping 5.1 million fans, the NBA's account mixes game highlights with music montages and inspirational quotes.

Unlike its Instagram channel, which focuses purely on basketball games and highlights, the NBA's TikTok posts show a lighter side of the organization. For example, they'll often post videos of players working out dramatically to music, dancing on the court, or adventures of team mascots.

In this video, the NBA shows off a highlight reel of a gorilla mascot doing tricks and slam dunks:

Occasionally the NBA will post motivational posts, like this one where basketball player RJ Barrett talks about being drafted by the New York Knicks:

While you might expect the NBA to focus more seriously on stats and games, it uses the app's musical features to lighten up the branding and make its athletes look more relatable. While the videos still promote basketball, they also fit in well with other funny or musical posts on TikTok feeds.

When a brand or company shows off a more personal side, audiences might start to relate to it a bit more. Even if a viewer isn't a basketball fan, they might still consider following NBA players or rooting for certain teams if they saw a funny or motivational video about them.

In other business settings, making your brand feel more personal can have the same effect. For example, if your restaurant's TikTok account posts funny videos of waiters dancing, viewers might think the restaurant has a pleasant and happy staff. This might make them want to eat there because they think they'll have a dining experience with a fun waiter and positive vibes.

United Nations IFAD

When you think of how agriculture or government groups market themselves, the last place you'd expect them to be is on an app like TikTok.

But the United Nations' IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) is challenging that misconception with its fascinating account.

The group, which aims to fight world hunger by promoting rural agriculture, is using TikTok to spread awareness of their cause to new audiences. While most accounts on this list are using humor to engage fans, IFAD has taken an approach that embraces informative posts and motivational videos that optimistically encourage viewers to change the world.

In the more informative posts, IFAD publishes high-quality short films of people farming around the world. This allows viewers to learn how agriculture works and why supporting it might solve world hunger.

Recently, IFAD got creative by launching the #danceforchange challenge. As part of the challenge, the organization encouraged audiences to film themselves dancing while using the #danceforchange hashtag in captions.

Here's the post that IFAD published to launch the challenge:

This is a great example of how getting creative can help you or your brand spread awareness about dryer topics, like agriculture or world hunger. Although the organization is trying to spread knowledge about a serious topic, it uses beautifully shot videos, peppy music, and challenges to engage, motivate, and entertain audiences at the same time.

Looking at IFAD's strategy could be helpful for companies or organizations with a serious mission, like those in government, legal, or financial industries. While it might feel inappropriate or unnatural to make funny videos about a tough topic.

You can take a more informative route, like IFAD, by filming short narratives or starting a challenge that encourages people to learn about something related to your mission.

The Washington Post

The Washington Post was one of TikTok's earliest brand adopters. Those who haven't seen their videos, but follow them on other social networks, might be anticipating investigative or serious content. But in reality, The Washington Post operates differently on TikTok.

Surprisingly, the newspaper actually uses its account to post comedic behind-the-scenes videos and skits about the newsroom. These videos fit in perfectly with the platform because they;re funny, musical, and embrace some of TikTok's weirdest special effects.

Here's one great example where the news team discusses The Bachelorette instead of the Democratic Debates:

While this account is far from a breaking news page, posts occasionally infuse news and quotes into their videos. Here's an example where they hilariously highlight a slip up made by Sen. Kamala Harris during a recent debate:

The Washington Post displays how brands can succeed on a given social platform by talking directly to its specific audience.

The prestigious newspaper is not trying to pose itself as that on the platform. Most people already know and respect the publication. Its marketers are also not trying to post investigative videos that might be more interesting for older crowds.

Instead, the team is tailoring content to the young viewers who want to laugh and be entertained.

And although they post edgy content, it isn't totally off-brand. Their posts are still pleasant, appropriately funny, and show you the real people behind the hard journalism.

Young viewers might see these cheeky videos and trust the journalists in them because they seem like relatable people. For that reason, fans might go to The Washington Post as a trusted news source when they want to read something written by sources they identify with.

Because The Post has a long history of groundbreaking, award-winning, and intellectual journalism, this humble and comedic social media approach might also attract young readers who want to follow the news but used to worry that content from a newspaper would be too advanced or out of touch for them.

If your brand is in publishing, academia, or similar industries, testing out a video strategy that shows off your lighter side could be an interesting experiment. It might make your content and brand feel less intimidating and help you gain attention from newer audiences.

Guess

While Guess only has 35,000 fans and just three posts, the high-fashion company is included on this list because they were the first to launch a challenge on TikTok.

Shortly after the app launched, TikTok partnered with Guess for the #InMyDenim challenge, which encouraged users to film themselves in interesting places while wearing Guess' new denim line. They also had to overlay Bebe Rexha's "I'm A Mess."

This is was the first branded challenge to go viral on TikTok. Here's a clip of one of the responses:

While they haven't done much experimentation with videos, Guess demonstrated how a challenge on a highly-visual platform like TikTok could quickly spread product-based awareness.

A challenge like this, that directly shows off clothing worn by real people, could also entice customers who might see an outfit and want to buy it for themselves.

This is a strategy that could easily be used by other fashion companies or businesses that sell visually interesting products.

For example, say an ecommerce company wants to sell a new line of spinning chairs. It might launch a challenge called "#SpinnyChairChallenge" where participants have to spin in one of the brand's chairs to a specific song.

People who watch these videos might want to learn more about a brand that started such an odd challenge, or they might see the chairs and want to buy one for their office.

San Diego Zoo

Everyone loves a cute animal video once in a while. And the San Diego Zoo's TikTok account pleasantly takes advantage of this well-known fact.

The zoo's strategy is simple: Post videos of cute animals with fun music. And with over 50,000 fans, it seems to be working. How could anyone not want to follow them after seeing this video of a lounging meerkat?

If that cuteness wasn't enough, the zoo has also dueted with other animal-friendly accounts, like the Monterey Aquarium:

Not only is this appealing to penguin lovers, but it's also a great example of how two similar brands can cross-promote using TikTok features. Because of the zoo's tagging strategy, this video might be seen by fans of the aquarium and the zoo. This way, zoo followers might gain more interest in the aquarium and vice versa.

Sometimes, your brand might be a perfect fit for a new social media app. When that happens, it can be important to get yourself on it and start experimenting. The San Diego Zoo is a great example of a brand that quickly identified a fitting platform and fully embraced it. At the end of the day, this can be much more productive than spending valuable time on platforms that make no sense for your industry or fan-base.

NBC's Stay Tuned

Stay Tuned was originally an NBC-produced Snapchat news show targeted at Gen-Z. After gaining success on that platform, the network started making content for TikTok. The account, which has nearly one million fans, offers a mix of behind-the-scenes videos and quick news bites that touch on weird events and pop culture.

In this example, they report on a survey of the top fast-food chains:

In another post, a Stay Tuned host does a good job of explaining complicated AI news in a short amount of time:

Like The Washington Post, Stay Tuned creates content that is much lighter than NBC News' usual journalistic work. When they report on stories, their videos are quickly paced, well-edited and focused on stories that might seem more interesting to the younger audiences on the app.

Although Stay Tuned has had huge success on Snapchat, they aren't repurposing content or putting similar content on both channels. The news team tailors each piece of content to the app it will be published on.

While smaller companies may need to repurpose content to save resources, Stay Tuned demonstrates how creating specific content for different platforms can give you big wins for brand awareness and engagement.

Because they've done so well at curating and tailoring news stories for emerging platforms, Stay Tuned's strategy might be helpful to publishers, entertainers, bloggers, or academics who are looking to post about news, studies, or other interesting topics on different platforms.

Tips for Brands on TikTok

While it might be challenging to get your content to go viral like the bigger brands, TikTok could be a great tool for getting into sync with younger audiences. And since the app is so new, you can pretty much experiment with any strategy you want to see if it works.

If you think TikTok might be part of your marketing strategy soon or in the future, now would be a great time to get ahead of your competitors by downloading the app and investigating what similar brands or potential audiences are doing there.

If you're raring to go on a TikTok strategy, here are a few tips and takeaways that we've gained from looking at the brands who have already done well on the app.

  • Show a different side of your company. The app is a hub for creativity and humor. Embracing a more personal tone or a behind-the-scenes approach could make your company appear more relatable or trustworthy to potential customers.
  • Don't be afraid to experiment. As mentioned above, the app is incredibly new. Unlike platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, there aren't as many norms, best practices, or rules about what works and what doesn't. If you think something might be interesting or funny, try it and see if it gets any likes, comments, or shares.
  • Engage with your audience. Between challenges, duets, likes, comments, and shares, there are plenty of ways to engage with other TikTok users -- even if you don't know them. Try to come up with videos, challenges, or duets that aim to interact with others. As with other platforms, the more you engage with people, the more your fan base could grow.

Even if you aren't interested in TikTok right now, we highly recommend checking out the app. Although it might be too niche for you right now, its branded videos could help your brainstorm content ideas for your current social platforms, or give you insight on how other companies are experimenting with new platforms.

If you want to learn more about TikTok, check out this how-to guide or read about its backstory here. Interested in researching other new social platforms? We've also got a great guide for that.

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An Analysis Of The 20 BEST Google Chrome Extensions… Here’s What We Learned

If you’ve been a marketer for, say, more than five minutes, you know SEO is important. In fact, 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. And since Google owns 90% of all searches, it’s easy for marketers to spend hours optimizing every day. This makes saving time where possible key to a busy marketer’s workflow.

Thankfully, when it comes to improving SEO and maximizing your time, there’s a Google Chrome extension for that. In fact, there are many of them, and most can be used right in your browser.

To help you navigate the crowded world of Chrome extensions, we’ve come up with 20 of our favorites for SEO. Most are compatible with Firefox and Safari as well, and each of them keeps track of most of the analytics for you. Because less time fussing over SEO means more time for finding the perfect dog GIF to share with your team.

Chrome extensions are helpful when looking for ideas to improve SEO strategy and seeing the analytics of competitors instantly. Some even have the ability to make colorful graphs and charts for us visual folks to make presentations and comparisons a breeze.

The 20 Best SEO Extensions for Google Chrome

1. MozBar

MozBar allows its users to check SEO within their browser using just one click. MozBar provides metrics while viewing any webpage, and allows users to export SERPs into a CRV file and access analytics. Upgrading to MozBar Premium offers functions like analyzing keyword difficulty, page optimization, and digger SERP metrics.

2. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere is a tool that shows three different information types for keywords on Google: monthly search volume, cost per click, and Google Adwords competition. By having this extension installed, going back and forth from Google Keywords to your open browser page is a thing of the past, as it’s an in-browser extension.

3. SimilarWeb

Offering traffic and key metrics for any website, SimilarWeb is a popular extension that allows users to see statistics and strategy for any website while searching the internet with one click. This extension is helpful for those looking for new and effective SEO strategies, as well as those interested in analyzing different trends across the market.

4. Redirect Path

Microsoft Word’s infamous red squiggly line that alerts their user of improper grammar has an SEO doppelganger: Redirect Path. This extension flags 301, 302, 404, 500 HTTP Status Codes, Meta, and Javascript redirects catching potential issues immediately. It also shows other HTTP headers and server IP addresses.

5. SEO Meta in 1 Click

SEO Meta in 1 Click displays all meta tags and main SEO information for a web page with just a single click. This includes the lengths of titles and descriptions, URL, headers in order of appearance, and the number of images without alt text.

6. BuzzSumo

Need SEO tracking for social? BuzzSumo’s got you covered. This extension allows you to easily track shares and top-performing content on social media pages. Using BuzzSumo can help aid in future SEO decisions and check the backlinks you provide on your pages.

7. Hunter

Hunter makes it easy to find contact information instantly in your browser. This process, named “Domain Search,” is accessible by an icon in Chrome. Hunter finds all the email addresses related to a website.

8. Mangools

Check the SEO strength of websites with Mangools, which offers you the top SEO metrics of websites using Moz and Majestic. Access premium features such as the self-described “Google SERP on steroids” function, aiding with keywords, backlinks, and profile analysis.

9. Google Trends

Trends is part of Google Webmaster Tools, a set of extension tools for building websites and integrating them with Google. Trends presents analytics, using graphs, on the top searches in Google (from Taylor Swift to Kim Kardashian) from across several countries. Trends can help you identify the SEO performance on your website.

10. SEMrush

SEMrush presents itself as a dashboard, reporting on domain performance, as well as that of individual pages. One of its prime features is its SEO toolkit, which allows its users to analyze backlinks and watch keyword rank. It also provides on-page SEO suggestions, fitting itself into an SEO strategy nicely.

11. Serpstat

By using Serpstat, you can instantly check the SEO of your website as well as competitors’. After clicking the in-browser icon, you’ll be able to receive a full SEO audit of a domain. Serpstat has three sections: On-page SEO parameters, page analysis, and domain analysis.

12. Ahrefs

With their SEO toolbar in Chrome, Ahrefs examines website properties and produces keywords, links, and ranking profiles that offer SEO improvements on your website. To receive a detailed report on an SEO metric, just click on it.

13. Check My Links

Aptly named, Check My Links does just that with one click, scanning through webpages for broken links. A huge time saver when designing link-heavy web pages, the extension makes sure the links are working properly, notating when links are broken.

14. NinjaOutreach Lite

The free extension from NinjaOutreach makes browsers capable of advanced data mining. It offers various SEO functions such as webpage URL, title, links, meta descriptions, follower counts on social media, and monetization techniques.

15. PageSpeed Insights by Google

Part of Google Webmaster Tools, PageSpeed Insights is an SEO tool that provides information on desktop and mobile sites. After running an analysis, PageSpeed Insights gives a score on the site and provides suggestions on how to make the web pages run faster.

16. Woorank

Woorank is a site analysis tool similar to PageSpeed Insights, allowing users to see suggestions for improvement on their web pages. It provides an in-depth report on online visibility, social media, and usability, allowing you to keep track of ways to improve different metrics.

17. NoFollow

With NoFollow, marketers can see an outline of web pages that are coded with the nofollow metatag. Because Nofollow links don’t add to SEO metrics, users can identify any external web pages that are backlinking to their websites with indexed links. For pages you don’t want to be indexed — like a landing page — NoFollow checks to see if those pages are coded correctly and highlights any links that aren’t working correctly.

18. Impactana

This toolbar gives a set of metrics, available right in Chrome. The metrics are divided into two categories; “Buzz,” which analyzes social media content that best fits your audience, and “Impact,” which analyzes user engagement. The latter includes data on clicks, comments, views, and more.

19. BuzzStream

BuzzStream allows marketers to organize and perform outreach that’s specialized to your business. The extension, BuzzMarker, connects with BuzzStream to assist in building links, promoting content, and pitching influencers.

20. Screaming Frog SEO Spider

Search marketing stressing you out? This tool is here to help. Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider enables you to crawl website URLs and add key elements to analyze SEO and fix detected issues, making an excruciatingly long process simplified. Some elements include finding broken links, discovering duplicate pages, and site visualizations.

Using these extensions will lessen your SEO stress. And many provide useful information on how to refine skills like backlink building and keyword accuracy. You’ll be acing this section of Marketing 101 in no time.

Happy browsing!

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