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How AI is disrupting major industries

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

Advances in artificial intelligence tend to provoke polarizing reactions for most people.One,adystopian anxiety where humans huddle in fear of their metallic overlords.Or two, a utopian futurist society where humans are freed from mundane labor and complex challenges are solved by machines.Wherever you fall on the AI anxiety spectrum, the fundamental truth is that we are entering a major transformative cycle across nearly every industry.While AI is currently dominated by increased media attention and business hype, the way consumers and brands interact is quietly poised to make a tectonic shift over the next two years through marketing solutions built with AI in their core DNA.

The proliferation of customer data volume via mobile devices, Internet of Things (IoT) technology like FitBits,beacons and smart appliances, and even open, public data sources have far outstripped human capability to process, generate insights and drive action.Meanwhile, today’s consumers increasingly expect highly contextual, fluid interactions with brands, which traditional marketing automation and personalization tools can’t provide at meaningful scale.The train may be driven by data, but marketers are currently tied to the railroad tracks.Although companies like Netflix, Google and Uber are often cited as the disruptive AI vanguard, traditional industries are increasingly adopting AI technology to help bridge the digital transformation gap and compete against industry outsiders threatening to grab market share.

Finance and the machine
The shift is already underway within banking.With banking services scrambling to meet the consumerdemand for personalized online and mobile interactions, bankers believe AI will play a key role in bridgingthat digital gap.Four in five bankers believe AI will “revolutionize” the way in which banks gather information, as well as how they interact with their clients, said the Accenture Banking Technology Vision 2017 report, which surveyed more than 600 top bankers and also consulted tech industry experts and academics.The report forecasts that AI will become the primary way banks interact with their customers within the next three years.While the concern is that artificialintelligence will take away the human component to banking, the truth is that emerging AI technologies —particularly on the marketing side — allow banks to simplify interactions and only deliver the most relevant experiences for customers.Conversely, it allows financial services marketing teams to move away from mundane data and campaign processes, in favor of spending more time on creativity and innovation.

Free-to-play gaming fuels AI growth
While gaming has leveraged varying levels of artificial intelligence since its inception to simulate human characteristics in non-player characters and drive good game play, the challenges associated with the free-to-play gaming model has brought AI marketing technologies to the forefront to improve the holistic player experience.Formerly, studios typically invested in producing big titles and gaming franchises that required an upfront purchase to play.In the traditional platform model, 90 percent of their revenue came from 28 percent of their users.Within this environment, leveraging in-game data to deliver personalized, real-time experiences to encourage playing time and decrease churn has become mission-critical, which has driven gaming companies to look to core AI solutions to continuously optimize the entire player experience.

AI prevents subscriber churn among mobile carriers
In the ultra-competitive and saturated telecommunications industry, major carriers are constantly stealing mobile subscribers from one another to bolster growth.Because of this, the primary players Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T — are heavily investing in emerging AI solutions to help predict and prevent customers leaving for another carrier (called churn within the industry).Traditional offline predictive models are unable to provide an in-depth view at the velocity needed to actually prevent churn.Because of the pace of the industry, the sheer volume of data available and its position as a conduit for all mobile experiences, telecommunications is a leading candidate for the industry poised to see some of the greatest return on investment from AI technology.

Humans welcome
While the prevailing concern around automation focuses on job replacement, we’re actually seeing a surge in creativity and innovation as overloaded marketers and data scientists are freed from the manual labor of wrangling data and building complex targeting rules.Customers should expect a creative surge over the next two years from brands they interact with as the focus shifts from traditional marketing technology to core AI solutions.


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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International SEO: Ways to Scale Performance

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

The Internet offers brands an unprecedented way to reach their customers across borders and regardless of language or cultural barriers. Reaching different populations requires an understanding of whatpeople want in these different countries and then producing content to meet these needs.It’s not a matter of simply translating content into different languages, but of applying basic SEO principles of relevancy and localization on a global scale — while also ensuring technical SEO content is delivered in the correct language to the appropriate population.

Your international SEO strategy, here are some ways you can scale your practices to maximize your potential.

Understand demand variations from region to region
When completing a global search, you will find that even within Google, content types and SERP layouts will vary from country to country.For example, a particular keyword might trigger a Quick Answer in one country, but in another it will not.In each region, Google models its SERPs based upon local trends and interests to provide an optimal user experience.Different regions have different expectations frombrands within the same industry in terms of what they want to see before they make a purchase decision.As you develop an international search strategy,you must understand that ranking well for a particular term in one country does not mean ranking well for related terms in another.You must optimize locally and build content and user experience precisely for that local audience.Before taking any steps toward building an international search strategy,you must understand keyword demand and traffic within that country.

Build a global framework for your international SEO
As you create an international search strategy, you’ll find that incorporating technical aspects of SEO will be necessary.Primarily, you will need to employ hreflang tags.A hreflang tag is a piece of code that helps Google understand the intended language and country for your content.This will ensure your content is displayed in the right region.For example, a Spanish language site written for an audience in Argentina will not provide the optimal user experience for those in Spain because there are differences between the two countries in the vocabulary used, even though both speak Spanish.The hreflang tag helps to ensure that the consumer audience sees the content that has been written specifically for them to provide the most relevant and helpful experience.

There are three main strategies to ensure content is correctly marked with the hreflang tag.
*Place the tag in HTTP Header and ensure it is present on every page.
*Place the tag in the site map.
*Mark up the page itself.

Localize the content you create
Once you understand how to create the framework for your global audience, you must also create content for the region-specific site.Recognize that you do not want to simply translate content for one site word-for-word into another language.The content itself should be localized so that it appeals to the audience within the new region.This means creating content to reflect local search trends and interests and performing keyword research specific to each country.You also want to incorporate local vocabulary and slang, and work with native speakers to ensure your content resonates with those reading it.

Unify differing strategies
For an effective global strategy, you must bring together your global, local, and mobile optimizationstrategies.Rank countries in order of where you are most likely find customers.Use these rankings to help you identify priorities.Use your global framework to ensure search engines understand where to display your content to maximize your relevance to the intended audience.Your local and hyperlocal strategies will then guide your content creation process.With local keyword research and by working with a native speaker to identify regional dialects and vocabulary, you can then produce content that appeals to the local audience.Finally, make sure your content is available for users on mobile devices.Globally, mobile now outpaces desktop, and in some regions, it represents a large segment of the population.

Measure your results
As with all SEO strategies, expanding globally requires you to take careful measurements of your progress.You can use the information from your metrics to see where you still need to improve and build a more effective international SEO strategy.

*Take measurements of your presence and ranking in different countries before, during, and after you implement a concrete global strategy.This will allow you to clearly see your progress throughout and narrow down potential areas for improvement.

*Track your page rankings to assure pages rank correctly in each country.Errors with your hreflang tags and keyword rankings, such as ranking a term common in the US in the UK, can reduce your relevancy to the local consumer base, ultimately hurting your rankings and ability to engage prospects and leads.

*Measure success and impact of alternate digital channels, such as the Twitter account for a particular country.

*Consider the potential for PPC when expanding into new markets.When you begin your international SEO efforts, it may take time to gain high rankings for your site.Using PPC can help you gain traction in a new territory.Measure your success with these efforts to better understand search behavior andconversion rates in new territories.


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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Social Media Updates & Tips

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

Here are some of the latest updates in social media along with those tips and tricks.

Whether you’re building a brand on social media, marketing a business event, or campaigning for a cause, you’re fighting everyone else for space — not just your immediate competitors.In today’s market, social media noise is a serious problem, hindering a company’s reach on the powerful marketing medium.

Whether you’re in pursuit of new customers or trying to win back old customers, you’re almost always operating in a competitive space.This means you can’t rely on the same tired ad copy to break through the noise and resonate with your target market.Facebook is rolling out support for AMP as part of its open source Instant Articles software development kit.The company’s new SDK will have an extension that allows publishers to create content in the Instant Articles, AMP, and Apple News format.Facebook’s SDK will work by building AMP and Apple News pages with the same markup used to build Instant Articles.In addition, it will include the unique customization options offered by each publishing format.

Do you feel like your Instagram strategy could use a refresh? Even if you’re happy with the results you’re seeing from your Instagram campaign, there’s always room for improvement.Instagram marketing ideas to spruce up your feed and create an Instagram marketing strategy that connects,converts, and builds your brand.These tips will help your Instagram feed look better,drive higher engagement, and grow your followers.

Snapchat added the ability to create custom stories limited to specific friends, or to direct contacts and their friends within a geofenced area.These new custom stories otherwise operate just like regular Snapchat Stories but will disappear entirely if no one within the group adds any updates for 24 hours.

Twitter introduced an updated privacy policy that has users worried about how their private information is being tracked, stored, and used.In the policy, the micro-blogging platform announced its plans to discontinue a privacy preference it previously honored, store your cookies for a longer period, and change how Twitter shares your private data.With the update, Twitter users will have access to more inclusive emoji options for gender and skin tones.Fittingly for Twitter, the update also includes some of the sassiest icons that exist: the raised eyebrow, the hand giggling emoji, and — my personalfavorite — the shush emoji.

Some Google and Bing searches show Quora’s answers in the first search position.Quora is always growing and gaining more authority.SEJ writer Will Robins explains why Quora is worth paying attention to, how you can use it to drive traffic to your site, build your authority on topics, and even get some SEO benefits.


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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Few Areas to Deliver Big Results in E-Commerce SEO

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

When it comes to e-commerce SEO at scale, many of the traditional tactics used for on-site optimization simply aren’t feasible.How are you going to write individually optimized titles/meta descriptions for hundreds of thousands of products?How are you going to perform keyword research for the millions of different keyword combinations your products might rank for?Because of the large scale of many e-commerce sites, traditional SEO tactics may simply be too time-intensive or tedious to make a top priority.On top of the time commitment that would be required for traditional SEO, e-commerce sites tend to present a unique set of SEO hurdles that need to be addressed.

From our work with e-commerce clients, we’ve identified five areas for e-commerce SEO that can lead to strong organic traffic and revenue growth:

1.Site indexation
As mentioned above, crawl budget is a crucial consideration for large e-commerce sites.All of the on-site optimization in the world won’t help your site if Googlebot and other crawlers aren’t finding your content in the first place.There are a few tactics you can employ to improve your site indexation.One is to review the number of 5xx server errors your site returns in Google Search Console.Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes recently wrote a blog post on crawl budget in which he specifically directs webmasters to pay attention to the number of server errors in the Crawl Errors report in Search Console. This is because a large number of server errors or connection timeouts generally indicates poor site health.It turned out that a lot of discontinued products were still being included in sitemaps on the site, even though the pages were removed,which meant that Google was continuing to waste valuable crawl budget on products that were no longer in stock.Ensure that your sitemaps are dynamically updated to reflect the arrival of new products and the discontinuation of old products.

2.Main menu navigation
Though main menu navigation is important for internal linking and SEO in general, it takes on a renewed level of urgency for e-commerce sites.The pages identified in your menu are the ones most likely to be indexed and ranking in search results, especially since that menu will appear across hundreds of thousands of pages. The value of internal linking in main menu navigation is amplified for e-commerce sites.One way to capitalize on this menu navigation opportunity is to use secondary navigation options. Home Depot is a prime example of this.Their “All Departments”menu only includes their 17 most general product categories.However, when you hover over each category, it expands to secondary options within that category (and even tertiary options beyond that).

3.On-page copy for category pages
Many webmasters think it’s okay to have product category pages that merely list the available products and are otherwise devoid of page content.I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not.Just listing products on a product category page provides almost no indication of what that page should rank for in Google.Crawlers like to see textual HTML content on a page to help understand what search results the page should appear in.Even something as simple as a two-paragraph description of the category provides crawlers with indexable content that gives you a much better chance of ranking in search results.It doesn’t matter if the content is at the top of the page or the bottom, as long as it’s visible to users and to crawlers.

4.Product schema
While there are many helpful uses for Schema.org structured data, quite possibly the most helpful SEO use of structured data is for Product schema.Google puts a lot of emphasis on product schema,especially for e-commerce sites.In addition to appearing in similar items searches, proper use of Product schema can make your products stand out in search results.Google will display a variety of structured data elements from Product schema, including price, star ratings, availability and more.You can see in the example below how Wayfair uses this markup effectively to increase their product visibility in search results.If possible, dynamically update your Star Rating field when customers leave new reviews on your products, as this adds more credibility to your schema and makes it likelier for Google to display your ratings.

5.URL structure
When it comes to URL structure, the best solution is to keep your products as close to the root folder as possible.Although it may feel more logical to have your products several directories deep (like www.example.com/products/stuff/things/thing-1), you’re not going to want to adopt that system.Longer URLs mean that searchers don’t see your actual product name until the end of the URL, which can sometimes be abbreviated or clipped in search results.If you look at almost all major online retailers, you’ll see that their actual product listing pages are rarely more than one to two folders away from the root directory.It’s okay to include longer parameter strings after the product folder, but make sure that product name is visible in the URL for search results.

Final thoughts
By employing these five tactics, we’ve seen some noticeable SEO progress for our e-commerce clients. Here’s one client we’ve been working with since October 2016.E-commerce SEO can have strong effects on your or your client’s online revenue, and the five tactics outlined above are the best way to get a jump start on that SEO progress.


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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Reasons to Make a Compelling Case for PPC

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

PPC can have a major – and positive – impact on most businesses and brands.If you aren’t doing any PPC marketing, you’re likely losing out on valuable traffic and revenue.Need to make the case for PPC advertising?

Here are just seven powerful benefits of using PPC.

1.PPC Contributes to Business Goals
This is often the most compelling reason to use PPC advertising.PPC can help you achieve a vast number of business and marketing goals.These goals range from high-level brand exposure and thought leadership to a hot lead submission or e-commerce sale.Nearly any type of conversion goal can be tracked.PPC is a powerful tool for aligning website traffic drivers to end-goals.PPC can support many parts of the sales funnel and the path that your prospects take from awareness to becoming a customer.Regardless of the set of identified goals, PPC campaigns can be set up effectively.

2.PPC Is Measurable & Trackable
A major benefit of PPC advertising run through AdWords is that it’s easy to measure and track.Simply use the AdWords tool in combination with Google Analytics.There’s no mystery to your PPC performance.Stats are readily available and show how your campaigns are performing and what kind of traffic and results they are driving for your budget.In other advertising and marketing channels, the picture isn’t as clear for attribution of the budget to direct results.When you send your PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages and track it all the way to conversion using Google Analytics, you’re able to clearly see what you spent and what it drove in terms of your end goals.No billboard or magazine ad can attribute to sales like that.

3.Quick Entry
Even if you’re a decade behind your competitors on jumping into PPC marketing, you can get up and running quickly with a little bit of optimization.When compared to other channels like email and organic social, you have the advantage of targeting people outside of those who are already aware of your brand, and you aren’t limited to your existing followers or customer lists.PPC lets you quickly cast a wide net to find new prospects and customers.Plus, most of the work is done within the PPC advertising platform — from the research to campaign build out, to writing ads.You can get up and running quickly with minimal involvement of your development teams,aside from help setting up conversion tracking and any desired landing pages.

4.You’re in Control
While there are several nuances regarding default campaign settings, you ultimately have control over a wide range of options for how you reach potential customers.This starts with the keywords or placements you choose to target and how restrictive you want to be.You also have a lot of budget flexibility if you want to start small.You can can set your own ad budget and bids, and choose what you’re willing to spend (though you have to pay at least close to a market rate to play in most cases).If you’re seeing positive results, you can scale up immediately.And if you want to take a break, you can always pause and stopyour ad spend right away.This is hard to do with other ongoing marketing campaigns, giving you the advantage and budget flexibility to move quickly when necessary or desired.The good news is that you have the flexibility to make quick edits and to optimize while your ads are running, and to try new tests every day if you wish.There’s not a long cycle from edit to deployment that you see in other mediums, and if an ad stinks, you can pull it without having to let it finish out a contracted media cycle.

5.PPC Works Well With Other Marketing Channels
Content marketing has taken over the digital marketing world and content plans and calendars are the norm in most businesses now.With the investment in producing original and unique content to support the customer buying cycle and establish thought leadership positioning, AdWords is an engine that can drive visitors to content more quickly and improve the ROI on your content investment.PPC and SEO work well together as the impressions and opportunities for traffic are often to the same audience — the people using Google to find information, services, or products.The performance data of impressions, clicks, and conversions from AdWords can provide great insight and direction on a keyword-by-keyword basis for where to prioritize SEO efforts.On the flip side, organic traffic performance data and SEO strategy can also advise PPC if the data is available.All of this helps align with content marketing and ensures that efficiencies are gained and business end goals are not siloed.

6.Incredible Targeting Options
Many advertisers take a multi-layered approach in AdWords to test and ensure full coverage across the networks and targeting types that can gain brand exposure.This ranges from targeting keywords through text ads, to running ads through remarketing based on their past behaviors, or focusing on specific audience demographics on the display network.By testing and trying out a mix, you can ensure the full scope of AdWords is leveraged and that you’re getting as many impressions as possible while staying targeted to the personas in your prospective audience.

7.A Wealth of Marketing Data
While there’s a lot of data and performance information directly available in Google AdWords, the value of information gained goes beyond just PPC performance.Impression, click, and conversion data for each keyword can be used to advise SEO strategy and content marketing efforts.

Is Your Boss or Client Still on the Fence?
By looking at what the cost will be for media, management of the campaign, and any content that must be created, you can put that cost up against what you’re currently spending for similar management and development activities in organic search, email, social, and offline marketing channels.

PPC advertising has proven to be a reliable and profitable channel for tons of B2B, B2C, nonprofits, and other companies seeking quick, quality traffic and conversions.Considering all the benefits PPC offers, there’s little risk in testing it out to see where it can move the needle and to gain a wealth of valuable data you can use to inform you other marketing and optimization efforts.


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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Track Conversions Like a Pro

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

The goal of SEO is not to just drive more traffic — it’s to drive better traffic.And the only way to know if we have hit our goal is to measure how our users are interacting with our site after they’ve arrived.Conversions are usually associated with e-commerce and business transactions.But in truth, there are a number of different types of conversions.Today’s websites have multiple conversion points, from subscribe widgets and phone numbers to pop-ups and chatbots.But the conversion elements are onlypowerful if you have the right audience interacting with them.Tracking conversions will give you a better understanding of your website’s traffic.By learning what your users are doing after they land on your site,you will be able to know whether you are driving the right type of traffic.

1.URL destination
In this type of conversion, you are tracking when a user lands on a specific page URL, link www.yoursite.com/thank-you.This is usually used to track if a user has completed a form submission.To set this up, you’ll need to go to your admin section, and under “view,” click goals.From there, you can create a new goal.On thing to note: In the goal URL you don’t need to add the full URL, just what comes after the domain.For match type, you can specify how strict you want Google Analytics to track.If you want just one specific URL,choose “Exact Match.” If you have a number of user-generated URLs that all start with a specific string, you can use the “starts with” option.

2.Duration goals
you can set up a duration goal inside Google Analytics to find out.Unlike a conversion that is tracking a destination, this type of conversion is focused on your users’ behavior.To create this goal, you’ll need to go back to the admin section of your website property in Google Analytics.Create a custom goal type and click “duration.”Instead of tracking a destination, you’ll be tracking time on the site.Give your goal a name to help you you keep track of the conversions you’re measuring.The condition is where you will decide how you want to track.For engagement,we’ll want to choose “greater than.” Next, you’ll add the goal time.As you can see,you can get pretty specific here.This will help you understand if your users are finding your site engaging.If you notice that they are leaving quickly, you know that either you are driving the wrong traffic or your site is not meeting users’ needs.

3.Pages per visit
Similar to the duration goal, pages per visit is about understanding user engagement.The hypothesis is that if you are driving the right type of traffic, they will engage at a higher rate.So let’s talk quickly about how to set this up.You’ll choose a custom goal, and this time, select Pages/Screens per session.For the condition, you can choose “greater than,” “equal to” or “less than.” For the purpose of tracking user engagement, we’ll choose “greater than.” Then add the number of pages you want to see trigger a conversion.

Final thoughts
Knowing whether your users are engaging with your site will help you better qualify your SEO efforts. Reporting is often one of the hardest parts of any SEO or digital marketer’s job.Since there is so much data, it’s often difficult to know what to track.


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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PPC Ad Extensions You Should Be Using

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

Here are four PPC ad extensions you should be using today.

1.Structured Snippets
Structured Snippets are one of the easiest ad extensions to create because they have a predefined “header” for information and are not linking to the website.Each snippets extension has a “heading” such as:

*Degree programs
*Featured hotels
*Insurance coverage
*Service catalogs

After selecting the header, enter the values – such as “free WiFi” or “pool” for amenities.These extensions also tend to show frequently on both platforms.Both PPC platforms allow for scheduling of a start/end date and a custom schedule.

2.Affiliate Location Extensions
These AdWords extensions are really interesting because they allow companies who sell through retail outlets to promote nearby stores where their product can be purchased.In the past,manufacturers would be limited to serving a reference page or locator page listing their resellers.Now, the ad can be shown with affiliate location extensions, showing locations by address or map with the ability to click for directions from mobile.

3.Price Extensions
These are a great alternative for advertisers that don’t have product feeds and can benefit from showcasing products and services with price points.Price extensions are presented in the search results below the main ad text and can be useful in attracting greater attention to the ad as well as driving to deeper content on the advertiser’s website.These extensions can be added to the account, campaign, or ad group level.Adding to the ad group level is a great place for more detailed items to be tailored to a subgroup.For example: “vacations in Europe” vs “French vacations”.Google has created a way to bulkupload price extensions into the account should manual entry be too time-consuming.In the ad extensions tab, under the price extensions view, advertisers can download a spreadsheet template under the edit menu.

4.Call Extensions
Call extensions serve a phone number with the ads.These aren’t new, but are more important than ever as mobile has become the primary device for many searchers.Advertisers who have avoided call extensions in the past should take a second look.Besides connecting searchers directly with the business by phone call, using the PPC platform’s forwarding numbers will show some call information, call conversions, and valuable search data on how people are finding the phone number.A phone call can be counted as a conversion, defined by the number of seconds a caller is on the phone call.The number of seconds should be defined based on each business’ unique phone behavior for closing callers.

Final Thoughts
Ad extensions can be critical to rise above the competition in search results with more visibility and strategic messaging.It’s important to review ad extensions and audit them on a scheduled basis (try quarterly) to ensure you are learning about new opportunities available and revisiting old ones.


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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How to Vet An SEO Agency

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Finding the right SEO provider is important.It also can be a lot of hard work.This is why vetting SEO agencies is so important.

You want to make sure your SEO agency is:
*Easy to work with.
*Going to deliver real value to your business.
*Knowledgeable about the industry.
*Within your budget.

The stakes are high.In most cases, SEO can make or break your business.Choose the right SEO agency and your business could start generating more traffic and revenue than it’s ever seen.Choose the wrong SEO agency and it could lead you to failure.We’re talking wasted money,penalties, and countless lost opportunities.

The SEO Agency Horror Show
As the head of an SEO agency, I’ve seen the success stories.It’s always great to see clients grow and succeed because it helps us take pride in our work and showcase what SEO can do for businesses.But I’ve also heard some horror stories.One frustrating aspect of being an agency is hearing stories from businesses that come to us wary and frustrated from bad experiences they’ve had with unreliable SEO agencies.In speaking with such clients,there seems to be a common crescendo that leads them to their unfortunate breaking point, and it goes like this:A business decides SEO is the next step in their growth plan, so they seek out and speak with an agency about services.The agency sells them potential results of successful SEO and makes guarantees about what they can achieve for the business.

An Insider’s Guide to Vetting SEO Agencies
Businesses can protect themselves from and prevent sticky situations like this by asking the right questions on the front end.That’s easier said than done when you’re new to SEO and unsure of what you need to be asking an agency,But this guide will help with that.

Tips for Vetting SEO Agencies
The advice and questions that follow are what businesses absolutely must consider and ask while vetting SEO agencies from an actual SEO agency’s behind-the-scenes perspective.

1:Develop a List of Criteria
Having some criteria beforehand will make you think critically about your expectations, protect you from going in blindly, and keep you in charge of what you want.

Think about things like:
*Desired contract duration.
*Whether you want a local service provider or if you’re OK with a remote agency.
*Reporting frequency.

2:Talk to 3 Different SEO Agencies
It’s smart to talk to at least three SEO providers before you make a decision.Aside from this being a generally good idea for the sake of knowing all your options, it also helps give you some leverage for possible negotiations regarding prices, services, and contract stipulations.

3:Make a List of Interview Questions
Have the questions ready to ask each agency you speak with, so later you can compare answers and have plenty of information to help guide your decision.Any honest and well-established agency will happily answer your questions and address the concerns or reservations you have about SEO.

A lack of preparation makes you susceptible to being taken advantage of dishonest and shady SEOs.Do your research and prepare beforehand so you can easily identify the right SEO agency when you find them, and from there they’ll help you determine the best strategies to address the needs of your business.


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 Fresh Perspective on SEO for B2B Companies

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is no longer how you can optimize your site to rank for keywords; instead, SEO is about how you can optimize your company to be found by your target audience for different queries and on various sites throughout the search engine.This means that if you want to optimize your site for search engines,you need to be ever-present on paid search,organic results and digital placements.

For the competitive marketer looking for their “next” opportunity, all of this data begs the question: “What about the other 67.58 percent?” The other 67.58 percent of the market is what you can capture when you change your perspective to optimizing for the entire page instead of just your own website.Thus, I would like tointroduce…share of SERP: a way for B2B companies to take more market share around their most profitable keywords.Share of SERP starts with the careful analysis of the SERP for your most valuable keywords — you can start to understand what types of opportunities exist and what types of results Google is focusing on for that keyword.If your B2B SEO strategy is based around ranking your own website instead of positioning your brand, you’re missing the bigger picture.The reality is that yourown website is no longer the best answer in Google’s mind for the keywords that are lowest in the funnel. Google favors independent websites that allow visitors to compare and review their options (you can thank Yelp for this).Thus, if you want to not only increase your B2B company’s visibility, but also drive leads, you need to think about how you can take share of SERP by getting exceptional reviews on sites like Software Advice, G2 Crowd, Capterra and more.The harsh reality is that the line between an SEO’s role and a PPC strategist’s job is slowly blurring.It’s no longer enough to have SEO campaigns that don’t leverage data from your search terms report.And it’s no longer acceptable to have paid search specialists not looking at the entire search engine results page, managing PPC campaigns on channels like Capterra, or launching digital placements on sites within Google’s display network that rank in the top five for your most valuable keywords.

It’s time to rethink B2B SEO
In conclusion, the entire point of SEO has never been to rank websites.It has been to drive revenue from a marketing channel that has no ongoing cost per acquisition.Most every other marketing channel since the beginning of time has forced you to continually pay for the leads it generates:Google search ads, social media ads (organic social is over), radio ads, television ads,print ads — all of these channels have an ongoing cost per acquisition.The channels that do not apply here are content marketing and public relations.Both these channels,however, form the foundation of B2B SEO.Thus, SEO is simply the digitized 2017 version of digital PR and content marketing.And, just as these both drive their value from audience exposure and placement, so must your SEO strategy.But, as an SEO myself, I am not claiming that SEO is dead by any means.Simply that it’s time we start thinking about SEO differently.It’s time that we treat B2B SEO as the art (and science) of positioning a brand at every stage of the buyer journey, throughout the entirety of a search engine results page.


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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The Silent Revolution of Search

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Internet Marketing

Conventional wisdom within ad tech is that search is boring.In the display ecosystem, life is exciting: in the last decade alone, thousands of niche companies have emerged, nearly as many have folded, and major new technologies have come and gone.In contrast, search seems dull: it’s still the best-performing and highestspending channel by far, but the makeup of the industry and the basic way in which ads get deliveredhaven’t changed much. The industry has missed one of the most powerful changes in the last decade of ad tech: the rise of people-based search.In the last year, with little fanfare, Google has launched two features that dramatically expand the power of search marketing: “Customer Match” and “In Store Conversions.”

Customer Match
Customer Match is a tool that allows marketers to use first-party data to optimize their bids and creatives for search campaigns.Now, for the “credit card” keyword, every bank can use its CRM data to decide whether it should bid for a particular searcher, how much it should bid, and whether it should show an ad for a “Platinum” or regular card.Searchers receive an ad that’s relevant to them, and click-through rates and conversion rates skyrocket as a result.People-based search is a powerful use case — and marketers seem to be flocking to it. For the last decade, as display targeting has radically improved, marketers have been forced to make a choice: run ads that are contextually relevant (like search), or run ads that are targeted to the right person (like display).Customer Match has eliminated the need for that choice.This has big implications for theretail, financial services, telco, travel, auto and entertainment verticals, where marketers have rich data in their CRMs and love the contextual relevance of search.

In-Store Conversions
The second feature that has silently revolutionized search is the introduction of closed-loop measurement.Through Google’s “In-Store Conversions” program, retailers can now close the loop to see if ads drive in-store purchases.If someone searches for “New TV,” clicks an ad and visits a store to buy the TV in person, marketers can now close the loop by tying search ads to loyalty card data.Forcompanies with a big offline presence, this allows much more direct measurement of the value of search ads.Between these two launches, search is dramatically more powerful than it was just a year ago.The results are compelling: early anecdotes show marketers more than doubling their return on ad spend for search by using these programs.


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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