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Some Must-Dos for SEO beginners

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

You might disagree, but I see Search Engine Optimization as both an art and a science.You need to be creative in your approaches to please search engines and outsmart competitors while also applying solid research and analytics-based strategies.

Following are some of the significant — but sometimes forgotten — levers you can pull to enhance your SEO efficiency.

Keyword grouping

Keyword grouping refers to the organization of keywords into clusters for a variety of purposes —to inform your site’s information architecture, to optimize landing pages, to identify potential areas of content development opportunity and more.But organizing your search keywords into the most valuable groups can be a difficult task,even for a seasoned guru.While different SEOs and tools take a variety of approaches, I find it best to unite keywords into clusters based upon whether queries using them results in similar URLs appearing in the top 10 results in Google.

Benefits of keyword grouping

*A keyword grouping strategy allows you improve your SEO and PPC workflow and get a better understanding
of how each type of a keyword is working for you.

*It helps with on-page SEO optimization, copywriting, topic selection and organizing your website architecture.

*You can prioritize your landing page creation based on what seem to be the most promising keywordgroups.
Page change monitoring

Monitoring page changes is a new tactic for me, but I find it’s absolutely crucial to SEO.With page change monitoring tools, you can receive alerts about any changes on the pages you are optimizing.If you’re a small business owner who is the only one touching your pages, this tip isn’t for you.But it will be invaluable for those who work within large marketing teams and agencies on projects where the website is accessed by many webmasters, marketing experts or clients.When you monitor pages, you will always know when your client or a webmaster make a website change that will impact your rankings — and you’ll be able to make any necessary adjustments before your rankings drop or you get penalized by Google.

Competitor SEO research
Staying smart on the competitive landscape is critical for SEOs and marketers.Inform yourself by keeping track of your competitors’ marketing activities, starting from search rankings down to new content and links.As I mentioned briefly above, one often-overlooked tactic is to use a monitoring tool to spy on the changes (like new links or new content) competitors are making on their sites.This will allow you to discover what they are doing to generate quality traffic and let you develop your own outsmarting strategies based on those findings.

Long-tail keyword variations
Embracing long-tail keywords is vital for online businesses that want to get high rankings in organic Google searches.Long-tail keywords are often neglected because they initially get less traffic, but by cultivating those who search for these terms, you will get better results in the long run.That’s because these searchers — with their very specific lower-funnel queries — are exactly the target audience you are seeking.The challenge is to find profitable and useful long-tail keyword variations for your niche and your website.

Mobile rank tracking
It’s impossible to ignore the incredible impact mobile devices are having in everyone’s daily lives,so mobile metrics are growing increasingly important.Using Google Search Console, you can check mobile rankings using the Search Analytics report.There, you can compare desktop and mobile rankings, looking at time frames, impressions and clicks for mobile rankings.

Local keyword ranking
If your products or services are of interest to folks in your geographical area, make sure you’re also optimizing for local searches.As people carry around their smartphones and perform searches while out and about, local search — like mobile — is becoming increasingly important.

SEO is a dynamic marketing field, which makes it both challenging and exciting.The good news is that you can gain a competitive advantage if you keep up with the latest tools and techniques,such as the ones I’ve detailed here.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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A Strategic SEO Framework

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Let’s look at how to apply this framework to discussions around the implementation of optimizing a website for organic search.

Understanding “See, Think, Do”

“I believe when you develop content around intent and think in a more focused way about the ‘required experience’ on the customer journey, you begin to change the voice and the way you communicate,too,”according to Grehan.“You begin to think more of the individual and speak in a one-to-one tone as opposed to the often copied ‘mass media audience’ voice.“I don’t think about awareness, consideration, purchase loyalty — these standard marketing models, I hate them,”Kaushik said in the video. “So I created a new one. I call it ‘See, Think, Do.’ And what it says is that rather than thinking selfishly as a company, you have to think from a consumer perspective.”

The buckets of consideration that Kaushik is referring to happen when an audience is on their buying journey.

See:This stage is comprised of the largest, qualified, addressable audience.

Think:This stage is the part of the audience that is actually thinking or considering a particular thing.

Do:This stage is made up of that subset of the audience that is looking to buy.

Applying the See, Think, Do Framework to Website Optimization
Let’s look more closely at how you might apply the See, Think, Do framework when discussing and implementing the optimization of a website to drive organic search, conversions, and revenue.Keep in mind that when talking about optimization, we aren’t just placing keywords;we’re creating an experience through content and the various elements on a web page.

See:This includes the larger audience of people online that are interested in something, and relates to the more generic search queries we see, for example, “doorknobs.” In this phase, if you’re in the market of selling doorknobs,you might create informational content in various forms on your website about doorknobs;varieties,uses, features and benefits, installations, etc. Again, we’re thinking about the intent of the audience here.

Think:Your audience is essentially thinking about a purchase.Your website’s job is to help that decision become easier.In this phase, you might create buying guides for doorknobs.You might also have functionality on your product pages that allow a person to compare various doorknobs.  

Do:This is enabling a conversion on the web page, whether that’s buying a product or signing up for more information from your brand or any other type of conversion you deem important.This is usually facilitated by the elements on the web page (for example, a noticeable “add to cart”button,an easy-to-find way to request more information or talking to customer service via chat, and so on).

Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore the New Approach
Without an understanding of what your audience is trying to do, SEO strategies today can fall short, be too prescriptive and too tactical.in an era where search engines are becoming smarter at identifying the web pages that answer your audience’s intent, you can’t afford not to consider models like intent-based optimization and See,Think, Do.Without it, your chances of visibility online are becoming slimmer.Plus, approaching your conversations with the C-Suite in a more strategic way when discussing SEO is speaking a language they can understand, and presenting a roadmap they can get behind.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Influencer Marketing Can Benefit Your SEO Strategy

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Influencer marketing builds inbound links
The issue with using influencers for inbound links is that many will disclose the links as sponsored.One way to get around this is to create content-driven influencer campaigns.Traditionally, brands use influencers to create “commercials” for their brands.They are very sales-driven and are focused on pushing a product or brand directly.Instead of making them an extension of your sales team, get them to create video or text content based on their thoughts on a specific topic, citing your site as aresource. This may be a way to bypass the need for disclosure.Depending on your budget, you may need to start with micro-influencers (influencers with smaller, but highly engaged audiences) to begin earning thoseinbound links.

Influencer marketing boosts brand visibility and engagement
The biggest challenge many brands and marketers face is getting heard over the buzz.The competition in today’s digital marketplace is fierce.In fact, engagement and traffic ranked number five among most important ranking factors, according to Moz.Simply put, the more your engage your target audience, the more traffic you will drive to your site, products, and services.This makes influencer marketing an essential asset in every industry.Influencers amass followers who hang on their every product review or recommendation.You can take advantage of their community to enhance your brand’s visibility via social media, blogs, and vlogs.The traffic your influencers drive to your site will boost your SEO rankings in ways paid ads simply cannot.But don’t forget about content engagement.An influencer with one million followers may not be as powerful as a micro-influencer in your niche with 20,000 followers.“Posts from people with small followings get strong engagement, and bring an air of authenticity and trust,” according to Business Insider.

Influencer marketing keeps your content fresh
Creating fresh content can be challenging for marketers and brands, thus emphasizing the need for influencer marketing.The sole job of influencers is to develop unique and compelling content that your target audience can’t resist.Influencers can also leverage their followers to produce content for you. They can maximize a social campaign by encouraging their community to share unique images or thoughts associated with your brand or campaign.One excellent influencer marketing case study is when the brand Gloria Ferrer used influencer marketing to boost their brand awareness by launching the #GloriousBites campaign.

Influencer marketing leads to collaborative content and publishing

Cultivating meaningful relationships with influencers is a powerful way to maximize your SEO efforts.A quality partnership with your influencers ensures exceptional content with collaborative opportunities down the road.You and your influencer can benefit greatly from borrowing one another’s authority,proving to add more visibility for both sides.As partners you can earn more links to add to your robust link profile for a boost in SEO.The relationships you develop via influencer marketing could also provide you and your brand with an in to otherwise off-limit high-authoritative publishers.You influencer networking can open doors, and those doors could lead to social visibility on a global scale.

Finding relevant authoritative influencers
Finding relevant authoritative influencers is the most important aspect of influencer marketing.You want your influencer content to reach your target audience with engagement.This will make your influencersSEO assets to your brand.

Key influencer metrics include…
*Check the influencer’s domain authority
*How many unique visitors does the influencer get per day, week, and month?
*What does the influencer’s engagement per post look like?
*What are the audience demographics, such as age, location, and gender?

Despite influencer marketing’s trending nature, many marketers, SEOs, and brands are still coming up short.Don’t fail to utilize the true power of a well-cultivated influencer campaign.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Most Damaging Mobile SEO Mistakes

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Here are the top mobile SEO mistakes you need to avoid if you want to earn better positions in theSERPs, drive more traffic to your mobile site, and keep your mobile visitors happy.

1.Slow Site Speed
Page load speed is an important Google ranking factor.But it’s also important to the people who will visit your site.

*Minimize requests and redirects:Keep pages clean and simple. Eliminate as many 301 redirects as possible, remove unnecessary elements from your page, optimize your HTML code, and minify anything that might slow site speed like CSS and JavaScript.
*Resize and compress images:You can use built-in tools in WordPress to automatically resize images for you, and tools like compressor.io to compress your file size.
*Check your hosting solution:Cheap third-party hosting solutions won’t give you the site speed you need to host huge volumes of traffic.This is especially true for e-commerce.
*Check your progress: Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights as a quick and easy check of your website’s performance.

2.Blocked Files
Googlebot should be able to crawl your website like an average user, which means restricting access toJavaScript, CSS, and image files on your website can potentially harm your rankings.

3.Interstitials Ads
Any page that provides a poor user experience could rank lower in organic search.This includes:
*Popups that cover a page’s main content, regardless of whether that occurs as soon as a user clicks through from Google search results or occurs as users scroll through the page.
*Standalone interstitials that are difficult to dismiss — especially if accidentally clicking these interstitials redirects you to a new page.
*Deceptive layouts, where the above-the-fold portion tricks users into thinking they’re viewing an interstitial.Note that there are some exceptions to this rule.Interstitial ads that are not adversely affected by the new ranking signal include:
*Legally necessary interstitials, including those for age verification and cookie usage.
*Login dialogs for unindexable content (e.g., private content like emails and content behind paywalls).
*Reasonably sized banners (e.g., the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome). Generally, these take up no more than 20 percent of a screen.
*Check your website’s robots.txt file to see if any essential elements are disallowed.

4.Unplayable Content
Before you include video or multimedia on your page, consider how it will affect your site speed and whether your video-embedding is playable on all devices.Also, include a transcript whenever possible. This will assist both Google (for indexing) and users who need closed captioning.

5.Bad Redirects/Cross Links
Faulty redirects are a major issue in websites that haven’t been optimized for mobile.This is especially true on websites with separate desktop and mobile URLs.

Common areas of improvement include:
*If a mobile user mistakenly lands on the desktop version of your website, redirect them to the mobile version of the page they were seeking.They should not be redirected back to your mobile site’s homepage.
*If you do not have a smartphone equivalent of your desktop pages, remedy that ASAP.Until those pages are live, you should leave users on your desktop page as opposed to redirecting them to your mobile homepage.
*Mobile users who request dynamically generated URLs should be taken to an equivalent mobile URL that will properly display the information they’re seeking.
*Mobile users across all devices should be served the same content.
*Avoid mistakenly linking to desktop-optimized versions of your pages from your mobile URLs.

6.Mobile-Only 404s
Users on the desktop and mobile versions of your site should be able to access the same content.You need to remedy any instance in which mobile users receive a 404 error while trying to access a page that desktop users can see.In general, you should eliminate all 404 and soft 404 pages as quickly as possible — these could help improve your SERP positions for your site.Website auditing software will help you easily find and fix broken links and 404 pages.

7.No Rich Snippets
If you aren’t yet using Schema or Structured Data markup to categorize your content, then you’re missing out a key driver of organic CTR.Google and its users tend to respond to rich snippets that showcase examples of the information they’re seeking.

8.Not Specifying Mobile Viewport
Mobile screens come in all shapes and sizes, so if you don’t specify the correct viewports using the viewport meta tag, then your users may experience pages improperly fitted to their device.Commonmistakes include:
*Using fixed-width viewports, which are only optimized for certain devices.
*Poor minimum viewport parameters, which leave users with smaller devices high and dry.

9.Poor Mobile Design
Your design must also be mobile-friendly.So design for smartphones and tablets, not the desktop experience.Space the elements of your pages so that mobile users aren’t at risk of clicking the wrong link or button.

10.Not Cross-Checking Metrics You Rely On
Understand how the tools you use on a daily basis work, and how the metrics you rely on are calculated. When you’re optimizing — whether for mobile or desktop — make sure you use a good site auditing tool to find your gaps.Check your content, your backlinks, your title/meta tags,your schema markup, etc.everything that will play a role in your website’s success.At the same time, understand that even when different tools boast similar functions (e.g., site audit), they often deliver measurably different results.Cross-check your results against another tool’s results; you might be surprised by how much they differ.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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When Optimizing for Local SEO in Year

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

This trend has given way to the “near me” search query – Google “coffee shop near me” while in Queens, and Google will fetch coffee shops in your local area.According to digital marketing expert Jordan Kasteler, 1 in 3 of all Google searches has local intent.This means users search for and expect local information in SERPs, and now more than ever, priority should be given to optimizing on-site and off-site strategies for local SEO.

Below are a few things to note when optimizing for local SEO in Year.

1:Title tags and meta descriptions still work
Title tags and meta descriptions are on-site HTML elements which reflect the content of your page,and are shown in SERPs and browser tabs as text.With Google increasing the width of the SERP to 600px, the length of title tags falls between 40 and 50 characters (best practices) while meta descriptions should be a maximum of 160 characters.Titles display what your page is about to both visitors and search engine crawlers, while meta descriptions summarize the content of your page.Your title tags and meta descriptions must include the keywords you are trying to rank for, for example, “cheap hotels in Las Vegas” (title tag includes a keyword and locality).Titles and meta descriptions must be unique, compelling and descriptive, as this can affect click-through rates from search results to your page.

2:Keyword research
Keyword research represents the very foundation of your SEO campaign and when done properly,keywords can drive traffic and rankings for your web pages.Keywords represent terms and phrases people type as search queries to find local businesses.Keyword research for local SEO involves optimizing your web pages for keywords with geo-modifiers – i.e. place names and locations.For a furniture making business, a generic, non-local keyword might be “furniture makers” but for businesses optimizing for local SEO, an acceptable keyphrase would be “furniture makers Portland” or “furniture makers Portland Oregon”.To optimize your keyword research for local SEO,brainstorm keywords or phrases with a geo-modifier that customers might use when searching for a business like yours.Run generated phrases or words through Google Keyword Planner or Keyword.io to get keyword ideas together with monthly search traffic stats.

3:Optimize for Google My Business and Bing Places for Business
Google My Business, formerly known as Google Places, allows you to display your business hours, phone number and directions to your office on Google Search and Maps.This service is free and will aid your SEO efforts, as your business is listed when customers search for your services.When optimizing your Google My Business page,remember to upload your business logo and photos of your business (staff,office building, etc.).For an online business with no physical location, you can hide your address, but be sure to fill in and validate every other piece of information entered.A misplaced phone number or wrong address can result in you losing customers and revenue.

4:Local structured data
Structured data, sometimes referred to as schema markup, are codes which are added to websites toprovide search engines with in-depth information about your products, your business offering,prices of your products,location-based offerings and much more.There are various options for businesses when implementing Schema markup, you can optimize your website according to your business type (dentist, travel agency,etc.),events (business listing in upcoming events) and location (location markup).Google is forcing marketers to use schema markup and is rewarding websites who use this feature as structured data helps crawlers understand your web pages and the content in it.

The above points are a drop in the ocean for optimizing for local SEO, but implementing the points above will have you generating results and better conversion rates.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Get Your SERPs Back After an SEO Rankings Drop

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

SEO experts know how tricky our profession can be.Today, your sites could deliver impeccable results in terms of traffic and CTR, but tomorrow they could drop overnight.Is it a Google update or a manual report?Did I lose backlinks? Is it possible that someone plagiarized my content? Is it my developers’ problem?An immediate SEO rankings drop can be caused by anything, from poorly written content to a hacked website.

1.Check for Manual Penalties
This first step is fairly simple.When a specific page or your entire site gets penalized, you will receive a note in Webmaster Tools. Like this one:As you can see from the example above, Google is pretty descriptive about the causes of this particular manual penalty.In this case, figuring out why your site has received worse rankings or been entirely de-indexed won’t be a problem.

If you don’t see any penalty-related messages in your Webmaster Tools, there are only two options left:
*Google has updated its algorithm
*You or someone from your team is responsible for the rankings drop

2.Make Certain Your Site Isn’t Affected by Algorithm Update
I can’t stress enough how important the right answer is.Because if you fail to come to a conclusion,you will spend dozens of work hours and thousands of dollars to no avail.Everybody makes mistakes.One single error in your rankings tracker may have caused the problem.Alternatively, Google might have picked up your site for rankings experiments.An ordinary server error could also be the answer:Your site might be perfectly fine from an SEO perspective, but if you fail to locate the true cause of a rankings drop, you risk ruining your SERPs for real.

Here is what you can do to avoid mistakes:
*Access your Google Analytics.
*Sift out pages that have suffered a loss of organic traffic.
*Analyze traffic dynamics for these pages (week by week and day by day).
*Review selected pages to find similarities (or differences).
*Create a list of hypothetical reasons for why your SERPs suffered.

If your rankings are substantially declining in GA, Google Search Console, and search results,atectonic shift in the algorithm may be in place.Consider adjusting your SEO strategy but don’t rush.I strongly recommend allocating at least a couple of hours to conducting a more detailed analysis.

3.Run a Detailed Backlink Analysis
To figure out if that’s the case, use one of these link analysis tools:
*Majestic SEO

The screenshot below demonstrates the dynamics of referring domains in Ahrefs.The arrow shows the time period where rankings started to drop. Obviously, there should be a correlation.You can also combine results from both Ahrefs and Majestic to pinpoint every problem in your backlink profile.Your goal is to check to see if:

*Your site has suffered a sitewide link drop
*A link drop has affected a group of pages or a specific page
*Links have been removed from a particular site or several related sites

After you locate the problem(s), analyze every page that has lost backlinks.Consider their content,structure, visual elements, and so on.More importantly, list pages that are linked to the affected ones on your site.Screaming Frog SEO spider tool will help you to do this.Now that you have two lists of pages (those that lost links and the ones that are internally connected with them), analyze your backlink sources.You need to figure out why they stopped pointing to your site.Were the original pages deleted? Did they change URLs?Was their content updated? Was their design and structure enhanced?

4.Audit Your Content
Content has a major influence on the SERPs of any website.First of all, it feeds to search engines with data about your site.The better search spiders can understand how your site fits in with a specific niche, the higher rankings they will render.Secondly, content is what brings visitors to your site. Useful and valuable content has the ability to build backlinks from trustworthy resources.Dozens of trustworthy backlinks lead to higher search results, always.My point is that content is pretty important, and you have to analyze it to figure out if it might have somehow triggered an SERP drop. Specifically, check to make sure your content is unique.To ensure uniqueness, simply run your site through a plagiarism scanner such as Viper, Quetext, or Plagiarisma.You can also use a built-in plagiarism checker at the Small SEO Tools website.

5.Analyze Your Site’s Structure and Usability
As an SEO professional, you should work with designers, developers, and usability experts to make sure every change and fix in a site’s design is justified from an SEO perspective.Your top-priority task is to ensure a site is redesigned in such a way that both users and search crawlers can navigate it easily. Your site’s structure and usability are tricky.They can trigger a rankings drop at any time, but you won’t be able to identify the cause.Thus,ifanything goes wrong, contact your designers and UX pros immediately to analyze what happened with the affected pages.For instance, someone from your team might have:

*Changed a page’s URL
*Added an intrusive pop-up that triggered a high bounce rate
*Removed targeted keywords from content and tags
*Unintentionally merged several pages
*Placed content that has not been optimized
*Tweaked a page’s design, resulting in code errors
*Messed up the internal linking structure and backlinks
*Deleted a crucial piece of content

Keep your finger on the pulse of everything that happens or is due to happen on your site.Designers and usability professionals may not know much about search engine optimization,so you should coordinate with them to avoid SEO-related mistakes.

6.Review Your Site’s Code

A site is hidden from indexation in robots.txt

Every site that is updated on a regular basis should have a dev version.Basically, this is a copy of the site that is used to implement and test new features before moving them to the live website.A dev site is closed from indexation in .htaccess and robots.txt files to prevent crawling and indexing of duplicate pages. Mistakes sometimes occur when developers move new functionality to the site’s main version, forgetting to provide access in robots.txt.A specific page or even an entire section of the website can remain hidden from search bots which,eventually, leads to a drop in rankings.

A site’s pages are tagged with “noindex, nofollow”
The same scenario is often triggered by “noindex, nofollow” meta tags.Developers noindex, nofollow a specific page when releasing new functionality onto the site and then forget to index,follow it.Search bots’ access to your page gets restricted and eventually, your site drops significantly in search results.The solution is fairly simple.Check to ensure that your developers haven’t accidentally made any SEO-specific mistakes in your website’s code after every update or fix. Make it a rule that they should notify you to look through the updated pages every time a change is made.

301 redirects are placed incorrectly
The only problem is, sometimes, even developers place 301 redirects incorrectly.As a result, you can end up with duplicate pages, which are immediately downgraded by search spiders.Ensure that your developers are properly instructed on how to place 301 redirects.One single error can ruin it all for your site, so be careful.

7.Conduct a Competitor Analysis
Meanwhile, you and your team might not be to blame for a rankings drop.Sometimes, your competitors do such a good job with their site, content, UX, and SEO that your website immediately drops in search results because of their fierce competition.To avoid unpleasant surprises, I recommend monitoring competitor sites on a regular basis.You can do it manually or use Versionista, which unfortunately is not free but is an efficient instrument that compares site differences.

A drop in rankings is a challenge to every SEO professional.However, there are sure-fire methods to pinpoint and eradicate the issues that tanked your site’s performance in the search results.Analyze your SEO campaign step by step, and I guarantee that you will locate the problem and put yourself back on the path to success.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy. His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Digital Analytics of Biometrics and Neuroscience

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

This holds true today, and it unsettles us as digital marketers. The utopian message that underpins our industry is that everything is measurable, with Google AdWords the gold standard bearer in this regard. Le Bon’s statement is a truism that haunts Facebook, which offers a new form of engagement between consumers and brands, but has been plagued by measurement scandals of late.Google’s great success has always been in that accurate measurement of actions, and the easily calculable positive ROI that CMOs crave.Facebook brings that paradox inherent in the quotes from Le Bon and Bernays back to the fore in our industry, as it simply isn’t sufficient to measure actions alone on Facebook.

Why have we strayed from campaigns designed to shape emotion?
In digital marketing – particularly in search – the truth is that we have never really aimed to shape emotions in our audiences.We understand that emotion is an important driver, but it lends itself more readily to what some dismiss as ‘fluffy metrics’.Therefore, this lies outside the realm of the cold, hard numbers that we take to represent the ineluctable truth of campaign success or failure.This makes sense, placed in context.As a direct response mechanism, search comes into play once the work to shape emotions has already been done.To be successful,we need to make optimal use of those efforts (TV campaigns, for example), or make up for branding shortfalls, to maximize sales.

The challenge of measuring emotion online
Leaving aside the ongoing battle between Facebook and Google over data ownership, notably the difficulties in sharing data across their reporting platforms, the fact of the matter is that we will never be comparing apples to apples when we assess these two rivals.Put simply, the most successful Facebook campaigns manage to shape emotions through great creative, and drive actions through intelligent targeting.Applying a rational framework to an irrational interaction will inevitably and invariably come up short, but it’s the best we have.Measuring the subconscious is an undeniably complex task,but it is of pressing significance as brand spend slowly permeates its way into digital channels.

How are the tech giants approaching this?
The approaches taken by Google, Apple and Facebook fall broadly into two camps: biometrics and neuroscience.Progress has been swifter in the former camp, but we should not surmise from these advancements that biometrics alone will provide the answers we seek.Biometrics techniques measure physical characteristics (pupil dilation and facial expressions, for example), while neuroscience is the study of brain functions and patterns of brain activity.Both tasks are Herculean,but the big tech companies are more likely to make notable gains with biometrics in the short-term.

Google and ‘Satisfaction Value’
This is a crudely-drawn example, and perhaps reflects how far Google still have to go in this field, but it is a mixture of exciting and disconcerting.Google has termed this metric ‘satisfaction value’,and the measurement of facial expressions will no doubt be viewed in some quarters as overly intrusive.Biometric measurement is just phase one, of course.Facial expressions are limited and open to interpretation, so Google and its rivals will be looking for a further level of confirmation before using this as conclusive evidence.Neuroscience may ultimately provide the answers to the eternal questions of what really drives people to take actions, but this field understandably will take longer to arrive at those conclusions.

From emotion to action, from action to habit
That is an alluring prospect and is one that allow our industry to develop significantly, with the possibilities for click fraud reduced and the rewards for useful content increased.For now, it would be fair to surmise that digital marketers do not refuse to acknowledge the role of emotion in driving actions; it is rather the case that we have made a rod for our own back by insisting on themeasurability of everything we do.Until emotion becomes measurable as a contributor towards improved performance, this area may remain an untapped source of creative inspiration.However,with the collective might of Google, Facebook and Apple, fed by the hastening effect fierce competition has on progress, we may soon enter a fascinating and illuminating era for digital marketing.The culmination of this process could ultimately see us deliver on the goal of measuring the motives which have, thus far, escaped our observation.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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SEO Schemes That Will Burn You

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

One of the things I like most about search engine optimization (SEO) is the diversity of different approaches it offers that can work for it.You don’t have to use a one-size-fits-all, cookie cutter approach, and in most cases, you can’t.Some of them are obsolete practices, serving as remnants of strategies that used to work; in these cases,companies may not realize that search engines and best practices have changed.Others are the product ofwishful thinking, created by a logic that on the surface seems sound, but doesn’t reflect reality.

1.Keyword stuffing
Keywords are a somewhat divisive issue in the SEO world, with some people arguing that keywords are no longer a relevant consideration, while others claim they still have value for audience targeting and performanc evaluation.In any case, no matter whether you’re using keywords as the strategic basis of your strategy or you’ve abandoned them altogether, stuffing keywords into your content in the hopes of ranking for queries containing those keywords is a bad idea.

2.Engaging in link schemes
Link-building is an essential component of an SEO strategy.However, participating in link schemes as a way to build your authority faster is going to hurt you.As a general rule, any link built with the deliberate and exclusive purpose to increase search rankings may be considered an unnatural and harmful link; it could therefore be flagged as spam and drag your authority down.

3.Publishing fluff content
Each piece of content you create adds a new title and a new page to Google’s index, provides morecontent for your users to read and search engines to index and provides more opportunities to acquireconversions and inbound links.So, it stands to reason that having more content is a good thing.The problem is, many novice search-optimizers are blinded by this thought, and start churning out content in high quantities rather than paying attention to that content’s value.

4.Fixating on rankings
Keyword rankings are a good metric to measure for the health of your SEO campaign — but they’re only one of several.Assuming they are, are those keywords the kinds that would be input by future potential customers, or tire kickers?There are too many variables and metrics that influence the overall “value” of a position for you to obsess over a single metric like keyword ranking.That tunnel vision can compromise your interpretation.

5.Hiring cheap agencies or freelancers
Speaking generally, in SEO, you get what you pay for.Expensive agencies are expensive because they work hard,have more experience, offer more tools and spend time to make sure you’re satisfied.Cheap agencies are cheap because they blitz through their work without care, take shortcuts and probably outsource the work to even cheaper (and less qualified) people.Trying to save money this way could leave you with an inexperienced service provider, and if you aren’t careful, could land you with a Google penalty.You have a degree of flexibility and forgiveness in SEO.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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Stop Companies From Publishing Winning Content

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

I’ve been around the organic search sector data for nearly a decade.I’ve spoken to agencies and clients extensively about both their marketing objectives and, behind closed doors or in a bar,their frustrations.The issues with their content marketing performance nearly always seemed to come down to two things: data and people.

Your plan talks about content strategy, content marketing channels, landing pages, social newsrooms and lots of other flavors of the content lexicon. What’s not in there is a stated requirement or expectation that you should have published the high-value content that satisfies what searchers are looking for and the quality of that content should brilliantly answer the queries.“One of the challenges we face is that we have a two core purposes for our content – drive conversion, and explain the technology,” he says. “The reasons for the latter are that (a) it helps to justify the price point and (b) we are really genuinely rather keen for people to get as excited about the technology as we do.”Mark House is the Programme Manager at Bibby Financial Services, a multinational corporation which provides financial services to SMBs, believes it is imperative to have clear objectives.“I love the idea of making sure that the content has a target and that it is exceeded,” he says.“It helps to create more focus on the page and to deliver quality to both a search engine and the end user who might find that content useful. It also drives research better – if you are targeted at getting X visits or activities then the research around end-user needs and keywords will be more complete.”House also reminds us that search is all about the consumer.“It has to meet their demands, and in this age we know more and more about what they do and don’t like – make sure you include this in your research and targeting, and you will be on the right track.”Stephen Morris SEO and Content Specialist at TSB argues that the key to successful content strategy is that ability to “cut through noise” and “produce content that is both visible to – and resonates with – your audience”.

We all put things off that we should be doing in favor of what we think is an easier way to spend our time.And let’s face it, planning takes time and can be pretty technical if you are up for getting knee-deep in data.Skinner adds that there’s also a risk that: ”By putting off a proper audit today,the amount of issues and workload that an audit tomorrow will find grows continually until the whole thing turns from regular, affordable review and maintenance into a giant, expensive project.”Morris has a more pragmatic approach and reminds us that, although there are never enough hours in the day, there is always support available if you have a bit of budget or buy-in from other functions. “If you’re new to a role or company, an audit is vital to understand what content you have and how it’s performing before you can start looking for gaps.Not only will it save time, but it may also be political to have it done externally in order to get an independent view,” he says.

Brands are precious things.We want to build our own and disrupt others.To help, we appoint teams that create and police guidelines.These guidelines include graphical instructions as well as guidance on things like tone of voice and language use.Because of this, brand agencies are often the authors of web pages and their best copywriters craft copy them to briefs that are agonized over.When published, they are exactly what the agency and brand wanted to say.So what’s the issue? It’s just that all too often they don’t reflect what searchers wanted to find, they are not optimized for search and not designed to compete on Google.Which doesn’t stop CMO expecting them to compete, of course!This disconnect can cost traffic at the very least, but I’d also argue brand equity, too.I say this as I suspect that consumers are more about depth and detail, and less about the art of persuasive ad copy than ever before.But whilst so many of us are fixated on the future, Morris encourages us to look to the past.“That Venn diagram that we’re all so fond of, that shows the intersection between what brands want to say and what (potential) customers want to know, is still appropriate to wheel out some days.”He believes that although it’s important to understand how a brand speaks and presents things, it’s also important to think about what the target audience is searching for, “so that you can legitimately have an opinion on and create the brand’s answer.”

Red Tape
The bigger the company the more red tape there is.How many people are going to be involved in the briefing, sign-off, and publishing? How many opinions are going to be voiced and listened to?The more there are, the slower it goes and content by committee can often turn out to be little more than average.House has also experienced difficulties in this area and has studied disruption in larger firms extensively.“For sure they are slower to move because the decision-making process is well known (to competitors) and highly collegiate,” he says.He also suggests that it’s important to keep an eye on their competition and to learn from their success.“When offering advice to some of these larger firms, who are often concerned about the newer entrants in their marketplace, my advice is to follow those things that these entrants do well.One of them is the ability to look at data and to get things out there – these entrants use people who are good at what they do and they empower and trust their ability to get the job done.Big organizations can learn a lot from that.”Taking a slightly different approach, Morris suggests that the answer lies in preparation.“If you’re in a big organization, you need to create frameworks,” he says.“Get people to approve them and understand that you’re not going to ask them to sign off on everything after that.”

Conversion Rate Optimisation makes companies a lot of money.Getting people to click the big green button with as few distractions as possible comes at a price.Great main and supplementary content.There needs to be a balance with no harmful compromise.Everyone needs to win this battle.“This comes back to delivering what the customer wants to get the action that the business needs,” says Mark House.“It is genuinely a science and in almost all instances experts are better placed to deliver the goals that every customer and business wants.”

Knowing what content is needed in your market is not rocket science, but data-driven content planning is a must.But it’s one thing coming up with content ideas and another proving that they’re actually valuable.“One of the things we used to do back in the day at Sift that a lot of clients got a lot of value from was deep investigation,typically by interview, of all the potential sources of content (most of which were previously not considered) within an organization,” says Skinner.“But it was still rather theoretical – just because we found it,doesn’t mean anyone wanted to consume it.Newer technology means test and iterate becomes much easier,including around content.”House has a similar belief, explaining that, “Ideas have to be founded on real information that is up to date and genuinely reflects what your customers want.So many times, decisions and ideas are based upon what it is believed they want (or in fact what anyone in the room would want), and that is not the path to awesome achievements.”

For some companies, budgets are an issue but money is not.What I mean is, there’s budget for paidsearch,display ads, retargeting, social media, agencies and more.Only a fraction of any one of these is needed to drive up the execution quality of the website’s content and ROI.Yet the money is not spent.Weird.House argues that it’s often a case of ‘doing’ just to be seen ‘doing’.“In so many cases, spending money is often just to be able to say ‘I do this’ whenever there are questions about a business’ approach to delivering marketing,” he ponders.“It is a sweeping generalization, yet a more critical assessment of what your customers want, what the business needs and what activities would deliver these at the lowest cost and highestreturn are surely the best way forward.This is how smaller firms or new market entrants operate and is something that larger firms really ought to take notice of.”But is this a new issue? Morris argues not.“I’m not sure whether it’s about content or just spending money on something ‘new’. We’ve had the same debates around SEO and social media spending over the years.Those holding the purse-strings need to understand the value and then commit to it, but there will be pressure from other areas for that same budget,” he says.

“Crucially, everyone has to work as a joined up team,” says Skinner.“The barrier is often lack of consensus, mutual objectives, and mutual understanding of the benefits.That’s not a challenge unique to content, it’s a wider digital challenge.”But genuine talent is hard to find, argues House.“They don’t advertise.They don’t need to. The world is full of people who can write, can deliver search, and so much more.”And as many of us are becoming increasingly aware, talent is harnessable in a number of ways.As House suggests, “For many, it is easier to just outsource and challenge and make sure that the firms or people you use are more talented than you have the ability to directly acquire”.Interestingly, Morris approaches the issue from quite a different perspective, suggesting that, “The skills to deliver this stuff exists in many companies, but having leaders that can unlock closed doors and get access to expertise that may sit outside the immediate team is key”.

Different to procrastination, this is about timing.If the number one project in the business is another project and that’s taking 100% of resource, other things, however necessary and desired,can sometimes take priority.So what should always be a top priority becomes a mid-tier to-do.“Timing is everything,” House agrees.“This is the one area that is all about the data and the business.The customer need is also highly important, but if you are debating timing, you’re probably aware of this.If you’re not debating timing, you’re probably not quite there with the customer need.”Morris, however, suggests that it’s not always so black and white.“Resources always shift with business priorities.So you could find your editorial team becoming copywriters feeding into projects, with multiple stand-ups and dial-ins and minimal time to deliver a content strategy.

There’s a lot of very average content out there that’s published by companies that should know better. Behind this is often a perception that, if it ain’t broke, it don’t need fixing.My opinion is that given the potential ROI of the fix,the CFO might have a different view.Skinner believes there’s a general need for digital education in what might be termed “traditional” businesses.“Even as little as 5 years ago, our web ambition was not much more than having a decent online brochure.We’re investing huge sums in transforming our digital capability, and part of that is educating the senior team in the art of the possible.House argues that money, or at least how it is perceived and invested by every member of a company’s team, is pertinent to doing modern business.“I have always treated business money as my own, judging decisions on whether I would spend it myself.Sometimes I have underinvested, and I have learnt from that, but mostly I cannot stand the ‘we have to do this because we always have’ or ‘why don’t we give this a few more months’ approach.These are both statements of fear, and fear is always near to the unknown.If you don’t understand why you are doing something, make it your business to find out.Really understand what adds value and make sure you only ever do those things,” he expands.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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LinkedIn Launches Lead Gen Forms

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Even though people are using mobile devices to do just about everything today, conversion rates still tend to be much lower compared to desktop conversion rates.With the new Lead Gen Forms,LinkedIn hopes to fix that problem on its own platform.This is especially important for LinkedIn considering that 80 percent of its users who engage with Sponsored Content do so on smartphones.

LinkedIn’s New Lead Gen Forms Work
Whenever a user clicks on one of your ads, LinkedIn will pull their information from their profile and automatically populate an in-app form.That means users won’t have to type in all their info into the typical lead generation form,which is usually a pretty painful experience on mobile.

That information will include:
*Person’s name.
*Contact info.
*Company name.
*Job title.

After users have submitted a form, advertisers can either show an in-app thank you page that sends people to your content or website.LinkedIn said its version of Lead Gen Forms are more valuable than the typical website lead gen form.This is because this data is pulled from someone’s LinkedIn profile, whereas when people are filling out a website form they can enter false or incomplete information.That means you should see higher quality leads.

LinkedIn Coming Attractions
*More Lead Gen Forms: For now, Lead Gen Forms are only available for Sponsored Content campaigns on LinkedIn’s mobile app.LinkedIn said Lead Gen Forms will be available on the desktop, as well as for Sponsored InMail campaigns (mobile and desktop).

*New reports: For now, you can track metrics like cost-per-lead, form fill rate using LinkedIn Campaign Manager.LinkedIn plans to add demographic reports to “show the exact number of leads you’re getting from specific audience segments.”

*Lead management: For now, advertisers can download lead lists from Campaign Manager or sync leads with any marketing automation or CRM system through LinkedIn’s partners Driftrock and Zapier.In the future, LinkedIn said marketers will be able to send lead data directly to Marketo,Eloqua, and Microsoft Dynamics accounts.


Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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