YouTube SEO: Top Factors to Invest In – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

If you have an audience on YouTube, are you doing everything you can to reach them? Inspired by a large-scale study from Justin Briggs, Rand covers the top factors to invest in when it comes to YouTube SEO in this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday.

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about YouTube SEO. So I was lucky enough to be speaking at the Search Love Conference down in San Diego a little while ago, and Justin Briggs was there presenting on YouTube SEO and on a very large-scale study that he had conducted with I think it was 100,000 different video rankings across YouTube’s search engine as well as looking at the performance of many thousands of channels and individual videos in YouTube.

Justin came up with some fascinating results. I’ve called them out here @JustinBriggs on Twitter, and his website is Briggsby.com. You can find this study, including an immense amount of data, there. But I thought I would try and sum up some of the most important points that he brought up and some of the conclusions he came to in his research. I do urge you to check out the full study, especially if you’re doing YouTube SEO.

5 crucial elements for video ranking success

So first off, there are some crucial elements for video ranking success. Now video ranking success, what do we mean by that? We mean if you perform a search query in YouTube for a specific keyword, and not necessarily a branded one, what are the things that will come up? So sort of like the same thing we talk about when we talk about Google success ranking factors, these are success factors for YouTube. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these are the things that will get you the most possible views. In fact, some of them work the other way.

1. Video views and watch time

First off, video views and watch time. So it turns out these are both very well correlated and in Justin’s opinion probably causal with higher rankings. So if you have a video and you’re competing against a competitor’s video and you get more views and a greater amount of watch time on average per view — so that’s how many people make it through a greater proportion of the video itself –you tend to do better than your competitors.

2. Keyword matching the searcher’s query in the title

Number two, keyword matching still more important we think on YouTube than it is in classic Google search. That’s not to say it’s not important in classic Google, but that in YouTube it’s even more important. It’s even a bigger factor. Essentially what Justin’s data showed is that exact match keywords, exactly matching the keyword phrase in the video title tended to outperform partial by a little bit, and partial outperformed none or only some by a considerable portion.

So if you’re trying to rank your video for what pandas eat and your video is called “What Pandas Eat,”that’s going to do much better than, for example, “Panda Consumption Habits” or “Panda Food Choices.” So describe your video, name your video in the same way that searchers are searching, and you can get intel into how searchers are using YouTube.

You can also use the data that comes back from Google keyword searches, especially if videos appear at the top of Google keyword searches, that means there’s probably a lot of demand on YouTube as well.

3. Shorter titles (<50 characters) with keyword-rich descriptions

Next up, shorter titles, less than 50 characters, with keyword-rich descriptions between 200 and 350 words tended to perform best in this dataset.

So if you’re looking for guidelines around how big should I make my YouTube title, how big should I make my description, that’s generally probably some best practices. If you leak over a little bit, it’s not a huge deal. The curve doesn’t fall off dramatically. But certainly staying around there is a good idea.

4. Keyword tags

Number four, keyword tags. So YouTube will let you apply keyword tags to a video.

This is something that used to exist in Google SEO decades ago with the meta keywords tag. It still does exist in YouTube. These keyword tags seem to matter a little for rankings, but they seem to matter more for the recommended videos. So those recommended videos are sort of what appear on the right-hand side of the video player if you’re in a desktop view or below the video on a mobile player.

Those recommended videos are also kind of what play when you keep watching a video and it’s what comes up next. So those both figure prominently into earning you more views, which can then help your rankings of course. So using keyword tags in two to three word phrase elements and usually the videos that Justin’s dataset saw performing best were those with 31 to 40 unique tags, which is a pretty hefty number.

That means folks are going through and they’re taking their “What Pandas Eat” and they’re tagging it with pandas, zoo animals, mammals, and they might even be tagging it with marsupials — I think pandas are a marsupial — but those kinds of things. So they’re adding a lot of different tags on there, 31 to 40, and those tended to do the best.

So if you’re worried that adding too many keyword tags can hurt you, maybe it can, but not up until you get to a pretty high limit here.

5. Certain video lengths perform and rank well

Number five, the videos that perform best — I like that this correlates with how Whiteboard Fridays do well as well — 10 to 16 minutes in length tend to do best in the rankings. Under two minutes in length tend to be very disliked by YouTube’s audience. They don’t perform well. Four to six minutes get the most views. So it depends on what you’re optimizing for. At Whiteboard Friday, we’re trying to convey information and make it useful and interesting and valuable. So we would probably try and stick to 10 to 16 minutes. But if we had a promotional video, for example, for a new product that we were launching, we might try and aim for a four to six minute video to get the most views, the most amplification, the most awareness that we possibly could.

3 takeaways of interest

Three other takeaways of interest that I just found potentially valuable.

Older videos do better on average, but new videos get a boost

One is older videos on average tend to do better in the rankings, but new videos get a boost when they initially come out. So in the dataset, Justin created a great graph that looks like this –zero to two weeks after a video is published, two to six weeks, six to twelve weeks, and after a year, and there are a few other ones in here.

But you can see the slope of this curve follows this concept that there’s a fresh boost right here in those first two to six weeks, and it’s strongest in the first zero to two weeks. So if you are publishing regularly and you sort of have that like, “Oh, this video didn’t hit. Let me try again.This video didn’t hit. Oh, this one got it.This nailed what my audience was looking for.This was really powerful.” That seems to do quite well.

Channels help boost their videos

Channels is something Justin looked deeply into. I haven’t covered it much here, but he looked into channel optimization a lot. Channels do help boost their individual videos with things like subscribers who comment and like and have a higher watch time on average than videos that are disconnected from subscribers. He noted that about 1,000 or more subscriptions is a really good target to start to benefit from the metrics that a good subscriber base can bring. These tend to have a positive impact on views and also on rankings. Although whether that’s correlated or merely causal, hard to say.

Embeds and links are correlated, but unsure if causal

Again on the correlation but not causation, embeds and links. So the study looked at the rankings, higher rankings up here and lower rankings down there, versus embeds.

Videos that received more embeds, they were embedded on websites more, did tend to perform better. But through experimentation, we’re not quite clear if we can prove that by embedding a video a lot we can increase its rankings. So it could just be that as something ranks well and gets picked up a lot, many people embed it rather than many embeds lead to better rankings.

All right, everyone, if you’re producing video, which I probably recommend that you do if video is ranking in the SERPs that you care about or if your audience is on YouTube, hopefully this will be helpful, and I urge you to check out Justin’s research. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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How to Step Up Your Content Marketing Game: 4 Tips

Almost every marketer will gladly tell you that content marketing is the top way to drive traffic to your website and increase revenue. There’s a very good reason all of the best marketers feel this way.

Content marketing generates three times the leads of outbound marketing and it has the benefit of costing a staggering 62 percent less.

Now, we know what you’re thinking. “I’ve tried putting out content for my business website’s blog, and it didn’t seem to have a strong impact.” The truth is, many people come to this conclusion without wondering one simple question — why?

There’s a reason that content isn’t working for your business. Instead of assuming it doesn’t work, think about why your last batch of blog articles left you listening to crickets with no substantial revenue boost.

If you’re here to learn how to step up your content marketing game once and for all, prepare to learn how the most successful companies create killer content that gets results.

Research Your Audience

It seems obvious, right? Research your audience before you post content. Believe it or not, an alarming number of business owners fail to dig deep into their targeted audience.

Because most people have access to the internet all day, every day due to the inventions we all have like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and even video game consoles, people are exposed to brands more than ever before.

Social media scheduling app, Buffer, reports that people are now exposed to around 10,000 brand messages every single day. Due to this surge of brands in our face 24 hours a day, many companies get overlooked. You have to “speak” directly to your audience in order to get them to engage with your business.

There are plenty of ways for you to gather information about the people who would be interested in your content. You can create surveys for those who shop at your site (perhaps offer them a coupon for participating), use your website’s analytics to gather information, or look at the people who are going to your high-ranking competitor’s websites. The people who like their content are typically going to be the ones who enjoy the kind of information you’re offering.

Create Content with Value

How many times have you visited a blog only to find nonsensical information filled with information that’s not even remotely helpful? Did you want to go back? The obvious answer is a resounding “No.”

When you’re trying to step up your content marketing game you have to not only think about your audience but think about what information is going to be relevant to their lives. Most people browse blogs because of the following reasons:

  • They want to learn generally about a topic
  • They have a specific question that needs answered
  • They are looking for an opinion

While crafting your content, make sure you can answer one of these three requirements — the more, the better. Are you offering them broad information about a specific topic? Are you answering a specific question about a topic? Are you qualified and expressing an opinion about a topic of an event?

Share, Share, Share

The last time you created content for your blog, did you make sure to share your content on all of your social media platforms? If not, you missed out on a key opportunity to expose your blog to a wider audience.

You should always make sure that you’re keeping up to date with your latest blog post and pictures on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. It’s possible to diverse your content to make it easier to post to multiple platforms.

For example, if you discussed a piece talking about email marketing statistics of 2018, you could create an infographic and share it on your Instagram with a link to the post. Small tweaks like this can result in an explosion of traffic and sales. All you need is one piece to go viral and your business’s name is on the map.

Not only do you have to share your content, but you have to also make it shareable. When people visit your website they should be able to share your blog posts in a couple of quick steps. You can make it a breeze by adding social media share icons to your blog so someone can simply click the button, and bam, your content is instantly shared with their friends. It’s even possible to add “like” and “follow” buttons so people who discover your content organically can like and follow your social media page.

Sharing your content is crucial and if you want to step up your marketing game you have to make the content to social media (and vice versa) flow seamless.

Have Clear Goals in Mind

If you ask most business owners what their “goal” is when creating a blog, you’ll likely get a simple answer like, “I want to grow my revenue,” or, “I’d like more followers.” There’s nothing wrong with these broad goals, but you must narrow it down and come up with specific, long-term goals.

Ask yourself questions like, how much do you want to make in revenue due to your content marketing? How many new email subscribers do you hope to get with this batch of content? How many more unique page views are you looking to get this week? Month? Year?

You must ask these questions because they play a key role in goal setting. When you create goals for your business, you can follow up and tweak your formula over time.

If you say “I want more revenue,” and make an extra 100 dollars, is that enough? Probably not. Instead, set a goal like 1000 extra dollars a month. If you reach your goal, great! Look through your analytics and make sure that the increase in revenue correlates with the new blog posts.

However, if you only make 500 dollars, you can go back through and find out what you did wrong. Your analytics are key to figuring out what you need to change and what’s working. If your content on email marketing is getting tons of views, but content on customer service is oddly quiet, it might be time to ditch the customer service content and shift your focus to email marketing.

Conclusion

Content marketing is a mix of trial and error, luck, and skill. The good news is luck plays a very small role in how well you do.

You can control the trial as well as your skill. The hope is that this piece gave you some insight as to why your blog and content marketing is on the decline or not moving at all. Tweaking the way you write, the audience you target, your sharing methods, and your goals can help you turn your website from no traffic to reputable powerhouse if you keep at it.

There is no instant key to success. You have to work hard and keep at it. Constantly evolve your content, toss out the things not working, and improve on the things you’re doing well. Before long, you’ll be a content marketing whiz!

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!//my.leadpages.net/leadbox-781.js


Source: jhonchow

10 Tips to Help You Land a Job as a Freelance Blogger

The post 10 Tips to Help You Land a Job as a Freelance Blogger appeared first on ProBlogger.

10 tips to help you land a job as a freelance blogger

This post is based on Episode 185 of the ProBlogger podcast.

Whether you’re looking to become a full-time blogger, want to supplement your blogging income, or simply want to make a bit of money to support your own blog as it grows, finding a paid blogging job can help you go further, faster.

Back in 2006 I started the ProBlogger job board. Since then we’ve had well over 10,000 jobs listed on that board. Typically there’s at least one new job each day, and often as many as five or six. Most of them are writing-related, but there are also jobs aimed at editors and other types of content creators.

Featured jobs appear at the top of the board (where advertisers have paid a little extra), and the other jobs appear beneath them with the most recent at the top. There are usually three or four pages of active jobs at any given time.

I even use the job board myself. Several times a year I advertise for writers for Digital Photography School. But while we get a lot of applications (often 60 or more), a lot of those applying don’t do themselves any favours.

So today I’ll be sharing ten tips for applying for a job on the ProBlogger job board (or any other job board) in a way that will help you stand out for the crowd.

Tip #1: If You See a Job You’d Like, Act Quickly!

Advertisers sometimes remove a job within 24 hours of posting it because they managed to fill the position. Obviously you don’t want to send a rushed, half-complete application. But you should get it in fairly promptly.

Here are a few ways to find out about the jobs as soon as they’re advertised:

  • Use the jobs board RSS feed of all jobs.
  • Set up an email alert on the jobs board. (Look in the sidebar, or scroll down if you’re using a mobile.) You can enter a keyword to get only jobs that use that keyword, or leave it blank to get a daily email with all the new jobs.
  • Follow the ProBlogger Twitter account, where we tweet each new job once.

By default, jobs stay on the board for 30 days. We encourage advertisers to close their jobs once they’re filled, but not everyone does this. If you see an older job that looks like a great fit for you, it’s fine to email the advertiser and check whether the job is still open before applying.

Tip #2: Follow the Instructions in the Job Listing

Different advertisers will want you to apply in different ways. And they often tell you exactly what they want from you.

When advertising for Digital Photography School writers we’ve asked for specific things, such as examples of their work. We’ve also told applicants not to send in a full resume. But if you looked through the applications we get you’d be amazed how many people clearly didn’t read the instructions.

If you apply for a job and don’t follow the instructions, it’s a signal to the advertiser that you don’t pay attention to detail. So make sure you read the job listing carefully and do everything you’re asked to do.

Tip #3: Be Willing to “Sell Yourself”

So many people applying for DPS jobs sell themselves short. I know it can be hard to write confidently about your skills and abilities. But you need to put your best foot forward and give people a reason to hire you.

Talk about your previous experience, your knowledge, and your passion for the topic. Emphasise skills such as working with others or whatever else you can bring to the job. It’s not about selling yourself as something you’re not. It’s about making the most of everything you have.

Tip #4: Write Your Application Well

I’m always amazed at people who don’t proofread their applications. When you’re applying for a blogging job – which inevitably involves a lot of writing – your written application gives the advertiser an idea of how good you’ll be.

If you send an application that’s well written, well structured, spell-checked, and grammatically correct, you’ll put yourself ahead of your competition. Proofread your application and, if you can, get someone else to proofread it for you too.

Tip #5: Give Examples of Your Previous Work

Most of the jobs on our jobs board ask for examples of posts you’ve written previously.

Sometimes they’ll ask for links to articles you’ve had published somewhere else. (Ideally these will be on someone else’s site, but articles on your own site is often fine too.) Sometimes they’ll ask for a document or PDF file with a sample of your writing. Look at what they’re asking for, and make sure you send your samples in their preferred format.

When you’re deciding which pieces to use, think about:

  • Including a link to your own blog (if you’re already a blogger). This will help demonstrate your experience.
  • Choosing pieces relevant to the job (e.g. a post about travel for a travel writing blog). If you don’t have anything, you may even want to write a post for your own blog you can link to.
  • Choosing pieces that match the style the advertiser is looking for. Take a look at their blog and find out what type of content they produce. Is it conversational or formal? Is it short and concise or more detailed?
  • Offering a range of different types of content to show your versatility (unless they’re only advertising for a particular type of content, such as list posts). For instance, you may want to show them:
    • a list post
    • a “how to” post
    • a more humorous post
    • a story-driven post.

Tip #6: Be Concise and Don’t Overwhelm the Advertiser

When I talk to advertisers who post jobs on the ProBlogger job board, they often tell me they’re getting a lot of applications. If they receive a long application, it can take them quite a while just to read and process it.

So while you should include everything they ask for in your application, you should also be concise. This isn’t the place to tell them your life story. Don’t overwhelm the advertiser with tons of detail. Instead, select the most important information.

Tip #7: Demonstrate a Knowledge of Blogging Itself

As well as showing you know the topic area well (which I’ll get to in a moment), you need to show you understand the technical side of blogging.

For instance, if you regularly share content on a blog, and you’re familiar with WordPress or another blogging tool, make sure you let the advertiser know. Give them a link to your blog, or tell them how long you’ve been using WordPress.

These tell the advertiser that you’re serious about blogging and already have the skills you need. They’ll know they won’t have to invest time teaching you how to create a blog post in WordPress or how to add an image to a post.

If you don’t already got a blog of your own, get one going. We have an entire free course to help you.

Tip #8: Demonstrate Knowledge of the Topic

I’m sure this is obvious, but people won’t employ you to write for their blog if you don’t have a good understanding of the topic.

Ideally you’ll have already written about that topic. But you may be able to show your understanding of the topic in other ways. You may have had some training on it through work, or delivered workshops. Or maybe it’s a hobby you engage in extensively.

Demonstrating you know their topic well and you’re up to date with the latest trends within it will add a lot to your application.

Tip #9: Only Apply to Jobs That Are a Good Fit for You

In the past few years I’ve found that some people apply for every job that appears on the job board. And it inevitably comes across in the applications, where are pretty much copied and pasted from one job to the next.

Don’t give an advertiser the impression you’re desperate for any job. They want to know you’re a great fit for their job. Tailor your application to what they need, and make sure you have the skills they’re looking for.

Tip #10: Demonstrate You’re Willing to Go Beyond Just Writing

While it’s crucial to show advertisers you have the writing experience and abilities they’re looking for, you can also offer them something more.

For instance, if you have experience in design, search engine optimisation, editing, creating video or anything like that, list it at the bottom of your application. It will show the advertiser they’re not just getting a writer. They’re also getting someone who can help with search engine optimisation, or create new types of content for their blog.

You can also include links to your social network profiles, and tell advertisers you’re willing to promote the content you write on your social networks. This can be an added bonus for an advertiser, as it will help bring traffic to their site.

If you follow even half of these tip you’ll immediately put yourself ahead of a lot of other people applying. Follow them all, and you’ll really stand out from the crowd.

Check out the ProBlogger jobs board and see if there are jobs you’d like to apply for.

Good luck with your hunt.

Image credit: Grovemade

The post 10 Tips to Help You Land a Job as a Freelance Blogger appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Source: problogger

The Only Thing More Important Than Quality Content

If you clicked through on this blog post hoping to find some sort of magic bullet, some magic formula for near instant riches where you can get rich quick and retire on some tropical island, I’m sorry to say you’re going to be disappointed. It doesn’t exactly work that way.

You might see the fast cars and fancy mansions of the Internet’s rich and famous, clamoring over that kind of dot com lifestyle. Some of these folks might look like they just popped out of nowhere, but the truth of the matter is that they were indeed an overnight success, years and years in the making. And yes, this very much applies to bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters too.

When it comes to online content creation, regardless of the actual format, you’ll frequently be met with a couple pieces of rather common advice. First, you’ll be told that you need to stop waiting for all your ducks to get in a row. You need to stop telling yourself that you can’t launch your YouTube channel yet, because you need to wait until you have the right camera. Just get started. That’s the first and most important step. If you don’t get started, you’ll never know where you might go.

Second, you’ll be told that content is king. More specifically, you’ll be told that quality content is king. If your stuff is no good, nothing else you do is going to matter anyway. It won’t matter if you’ve mastered the art of long-tail keywords and latent semantic indexing for search engine optimization. If people find you through Google and discover that your blog is a heaping pile of trash, they won’t come back, you won’t grow your audience, and you won’t make a dime. That’s the simple, hard truth.

Above all else, quality content is of paramount importance. It’s also not enough on its own. In fact, it’s not even the most important thing, really. It’s the second most important thing. Maybe.

Consider this scenario. An upstart blogger has a wildly infectious personality, clever manner of writing, and remarkably effective research skills. He’s insightful and is able to boil down some rather complex and confusing concepts into simple language that almost anyone can understand. He writes a blog post that explores and illustrates truly novel ideas in totally unique ways. This is great content if you’ve ever seen it.

And he’s lucky enough to have it catch some attention on social media, so the blog post gets shared around and he enjoys his 15 minutes of fame. But then the blog goes dormant for a couple days. Then a week. Then a couple weeks. Before you know it, he’s only put up two new blog posts in the last four months. Then, he unleashes a flurry of five blog posts in two days and the cycle renews.

The problem here is that none of that initial success is sustainable, because this blogger lacks consistency. Consistency is arguably even more important than quality content, because it’s consistency that will fuel your long-term and sustainable growth. There are arguments for all sorts of different publishing schedules, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to stick with it. If you’re going to commit to blogging four times a week, then make sure you blog exactly four times a week, every week.

Making use of an editorial calendar can help a lot with that. Over on my own blog, Beyond the Rhetoric, readers can expect to get a poignant or thought-provoking quote every Sunday with my Sunday Snippet series. They can expect to see a “speedlink” on the last Wednesday of every month with What’s Up Wednesdays. And they know that they’ll have a new vlog to watch every Monday too. The schedule is predictable and it’s consistent.

The only way that you have any shot at achieving any semblance of success with your online content is to stick to a routine and to provide a consistent experience for your audience. This is no different than when you want to lose weight or when you train for an upcoming event. If you decide that you’re going for a run every morning, then you need to go for that run every morning. Skipping one day can lead to a rather unfortunate snowball effect. You need to show up every day and commit to your regimen.

Do it well, do it better, and do it consistently. That’s “get rich quick” magic bullet to becoming an overnight success. It just might take some time to get there.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!//my.leadpages.net/leadbox-781.js


Source: jhonchow

What Do You Do When You Lose Organic Traffic to Google SERP Features?

Posted by Emily.Potter

Google’s increasing dominance of their own search engine results pages (SERPs) has kicked up a lot of panic and controversy in the SEO industry. As Barry Adams pointed out on Twitter recently, this move by Google is not exactly new, but it does feel like Google has suddenly placed their foot on the accelerator:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Follow that Twitter thread and you’ll see the sort of back-and-forth these changes have started to create. Is this an ethical move by Google? Did you deserve the business they’re taking in the first place? Will SEO soon be dead? Or can we do what we’ve always done and adapt our strategies in smart, agile ways?

It’s hard to think positive when Google takes a stab at you like it did with this move on Ookla:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

But regardless of how you feel about what’s happening, local packs, featured snippets, and SERP features from Google, properties like Google News, Images, Flights, Videos, and Maps are riding on a train that has no plans on stopping.

To give you an idea of how rapid these changes are occurring, the image below is what the SERP rankings looked like in November 2016 for one of our client’s key head terms:

And this image is the SERP for the same keyword by early December 2017 (our client is in green):

Check out MozCast’s Feature Graph if you want to see the percentage of queries specific features are appearing on.

Who is this blog post for?

You’re likely reading this blog post because you noticed your organic traffic has dropped and you suspect it could be Google tanking you.

Traffic drops tend to come about from four main causes: a drop in rankings, a decrease in search volume, you are now ranking for fewer keywords, or because SERP features and/or advertising are depressing your CTRs.

If you have not already done a normal traffic drop analysis and ruled out the first three causes, then your time is better spent doing that first. But if you have done a traffic drop analysis and reached the conclusion that you’re likely to be suffering from a change in SERP features, then keep reading.

But I’m too lazy to do a full analysis

Aside from ruling everything else out, other strong indications that SERP features are to blame will be a significant drop in clicks (either broadly or especially for specific queries) in Google Search Console where average ranking is static, but a near consistent amount of impressions.

I’ll keep harping on about this point, but make sure that you check clicks vs impressions for both mobile and desktop. Do this both broadly and for specific key head terms.

When you spend most of your day working on a desktop computer, sometimes in this industry we forget how much mobile actually dominates the scene. On desktop, the impact these have on traffic there is not as drastic; but when you go over to a mobile device, it’s not uncommon for it to take around four full scrolls down before organic listings appear.

From there, the steps to dealing with a Google-induced traffic drop are roughly as follows:

  1. Narrow down your traffic drop to the introduction of SERP features or an increase in paid advertising
  2. Figure out what feature(s) you are being hit by
  3. Gain hard evidence from SEO tools and performance graphs
  4. Adapt your SEO strategy accordingly

That covers step one, so let’s move on.

Step 2.0: Figure out which feature(s) you are being hit by

For a comprehensive list of all the different enhanced results that appear on Google, Overthink Group has documented them here. To figure out which one is impacting you, follow the below steps.

Step 2.1

Based off of your industry, you probably already have an idea of which features you’re most vulnerable to.

  • Are you an e-commerce website? Google Shopping and paid advertising will be a likely candidate.
  • Do you tend to generate a lot of blog traffic? Look at who owns the featured snippets on your most important queries.
  • Are you a media company? Check and see if you are getting knocked out of top news results.
  • Do you run a listings site? Maybe you’re being knocked by sponsored listings or Google Jobs.

Step 2.2

From there, sanity check this by spot-checking the SERPs for a couple of the keywords you’re concerned about to get a sense for what changed. If you roughly know what you’re looking for when you dig into the data, it will be easier to spot. This works well for SERP features, but determining a change in the amount of paid advertising will be harder to spot this way.

Once again, be sure to do this on both mobile and desktop. What may look insignificant from your office computer screen could be showing you a whole different story on your mobile device.

Step 3.0: Gain hard evidence from SEO tools and performance graphs

Once you have a top level idea of what has changed, you need to confirm it with SEO tools. If you have access to one, a historical rank tracking tool will be the most efficient way to dig into how your SERPs are evolving. I most frequently use STAT, but other great tools for this are Moz’s SERP features report, SEOmonitor, and SEMRush.

Using one of these tools, look back at historical data (either broadly or for specific important keywords) and find the date the SERP feature appeared if you can. Once you have this date, line it up with a dip in your organic traffic or other performance metric. If there’s a match, you can be pretty confident that’s to blame.

For example, here’s what this analysis looked like for one of our clients on a keyword with a regional search volume of 49,500. They got hit hard on mobile-first by the appearance of a local pack, then an events snippet 10 days later.

This was the clicks and impression data for the head term on mobile from Google Search Console:

As this case demonstrates, here’s another strong reminder that when you’re analyzing these changes, you must check both mobile and desktop. Features like knowledge panels are much more intrusive on mobile devices than they are on desktop, so while you may not be seeing a dramatic change in your desktop traffic, you may on mobile.

For this client we improved their structured data so that they showed up in the event snippet instead, and were able to recover a good portion of the lost traffic.

How to adapt your SEO strategy

You may not be able to fully recover, but here are some different strategies you can use depending on the SERP feature. Use these links to jump to a specific section:

Have you tried bidding to beat Google?

I cover what to do if you’re specifically losing out on organic traffic due to paid advertising (spoiler alert: you’re probably gonna have to pay), but paid advertising can also be used as a tactic to subvert Google SERP features.

For example, Sky Scanner has done this by bidding on the query “flights” so they appear above the Google Flights widget:

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP is a project sponsored by Google to improve the speed of mobile pages. For a lot of these challenges, implementing AMP may be a way to improve your rankings as Google SERPs continue to change.

If you’ve noticed a number of websites with AMP implemented are ranking on the first page of SERPs you care about, it’s likely worth investigating.

If you are a news website, implementing AMP is absolutely a must.

Featured snippets and PAA boxes

If you’re losing traffic because one of your competitors owns the featured snippets on your SERPs, then you need to optimize your content to win featured snippets. I’ve already written a blog post for our Distilled blog on tactics to steal them before, which you can read here.

In summary, though, you have a chance to win a featured snippet if:

  • The ones you’re targeting are pretty volatile or frequently changing hands, as that’s a good indication the owner doesn’t have a strong hold on it
  • If you rank higher than the current owner, as this indicates Google prefers your page; the structure of your content simply needs some tweaking to win the snippet

If you’ve identified some featured snippets you have a good chance of stealing, compare what the current owner has done with their content that you haven’t. Typically it’s things like the text heading the block of content and the format of the content that differentiates a featured snippet owner from your content.

Local packs

At SearchLove London 2018, Rob Bucci shared data from STAT on local packs and search intent. Local SEO is a big area that I can’t cover fully here, but if you’re losing traffic because a local pack has appeared that you’re not being featured in, then you need to try and optimize your Google My Business listing for the local pack if you can. For a more in depth instruction on how you can get featured in a local pack, read here.

Unfortunately, it may just not be possible for you to be featured, but if it’s a query you have a chance at appearing in local pack for, you first need to get set up on Google My Business with a link to your website.

Once you have Google My Business set up, make sure the contact and address information is correct.

Reviews are incredibly important for anyone competing within a local pack, and not just high reviews but also the number of reviews you’ve received is important. You should also consider creating Google Posts. In a lot of spaces this feature is yet to have been taken advantage of, which means you could be able to get a jumpstart on your competitors.

More queries are seeing paid advertisements now, and there are also more ads appearing per query, as told in this Moz post.

If you’re losing traffic because a competitor has set up a PPC campaign and started to bid on keywords you’re ranking well for, then you may need to consider overbidding on these queries if they’re important to you.

Unfortunately, there’s no real secret here: either you gotta pay or you’re going to have to shift your focus to other target queries.

You should have already done so, but if you haven’t already included structured data on your website you need to, as it will help you stand out on SERPs with lots of advertising. Wrapped into this is the need to get good reviews for your brand and for your products.

Google Shopping

Similar to paid advertising, if the appearance of Google Shopping sponsored ads has taken over your SERPs, you should consider whether it’s worth you building your own Google Shopping campaign.

Again, structured data will be an important tactic to employ here as well. If you’re competing with Google Shopping ads, you’re competing with product listings that have images, prices, and reviews directly in the SERP results to draw in users. You should have the same.

Look into getting your pages implemented in Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which is sponsored by Google. Not only has Google shown it favors pages that are in AMP, better site speed will lead to better conversion rates for your site.

To see if implementing AMP may be beneficial to your business, you can read some case studies of other businesses that have done so here.

Knowledge panels and carousels

Knowledge panels such as the one below appear for broad informational searches, and rarely on highly converting keywords. While they are arguably the most imposing of all the SERP features, unless you’re a content site or CelebrityNetWorth.com, they probably steal some of your less valuable traffic.

If you’re losing clicks due to knowledge panels, it’s likely happening on queries that typically can be satisfied by quick answers and therefore are by users who might have bounced from your site anyway. You won’t be able to beat a knowledge panel for quick answers, but you can optimize your content to satisfy affiliated longer-tail queries that users will still scroll to organic listings to find.

Create in-depth content that answers these questions and make sure that you have strong title tags and meta descriptions for these pages so you can have a better chance of standing out in the SERP.

In some cases, knowledge panels may be something you can exploit for your branded search queries. There’s no guaranteed way to get your content featured in a knowledge panel, and the information presented in them does not come from your site, so they can’t be “won” in the same way as a featured snippet.

To get into a knowledge panel, you can try using structured data markup or try to get your brand on Wikipedia if you haven’t already. The Knowledge Graph relies heavily on existing databases like Wikipedia that users directly contribute to, so developing more Wikipedia articles for your brand and any personal brands associated with it can be one avenue to explore.

Search Engine Journal has some tips on how to implement both of these strategies and more in their blog post here.

Google Jobs

Google Jobs has taken up huge amounts of organic real estate from listing sites. It will be tough to compete, but there are strategies you can employ, especially if you run a niche job boards site.

Shifting your digital strategy to integrate more paid advertising so you can sit above Google and to generating content in other areas, like on news websites and advice boards, can help you.

For more details on how to employ some of these strategies, you can read Search Engine Journal’s Google Jobs survival tips.

To conclude

Look, I’d be lying to you if I said this was good news for us SEOs. It’s not. Organic is going to get more and more difficult. But it’s not all doom and gloom. As Rand Fishkin noted in his BrightonSEO speech this September, if we create intelligent SEO strategies with an eye towards the future, then we have the opportunity to be ahead of the curve when the real disruption hits.

We also need to start integrating our SEO strategies with other mediums; we need to be educated on optimizing for social media, paid advertising, and other tactics for raising brand awareness. The more adaptable and diverse your online marketing strategies are, the better.

Google will always be getting smarter, which just means we have to get smarter too.

To quote Jayson DeMers,

“If you define SEO as the ability to manipulate your way to the top of search rankings, then SEO will die. But if you define SEO as the practice of improving a website’s visibility in search results, then SEO will never die; it will only continue to evolve.”

Search, like nearly every other industry today, will continue to come against dramatic unanticipated changes in the future. Yet search will also only continue to grow in importance. It may become increasingly more difficult to manipulate your way to the top of search results, but there will always be a need to try, and Google will continue to reward content that serves its users well.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Source: mods2

4 Awesome Marketing Tweaks to Make to Your Blog

It’s important you have unique ways to build engagement on your blog. Over the years, we have learned a lot about the way people interact with blogs. This is cool because it allows us to keep up-to date with changing trends within the industry. Let’s explore some cool tweaks you can make to your blog to help WITH marketing.

Let’s get started, and your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

  1. Always Tell a Story Through Text or Video

The name of the game is sales, and people must know within a second or two of landing on your site exactly what you are selling. If it’s vague, unclear or hidden behind a lot of wordage you`ll have lost their interest. You lose their interest and you lose the sale which is going to completely ruin your bottom line.

You have to be clear and bold with product placement. Entice the reader through blocks of text or Demonstration videos, and it`s important to be creative so you come up with unique ways to sell and market your product.

A strategically placed demonstration video can add significant revenue to your monthly income. For example, despite the 3-minute length of their video, the Crazy Egg video has brought in an additional 21, 000 dollars per month because of the way they market to their customers and/or visitors.

Telling your story is vital to the sale. People must understand what service you are providing, and what you have to offer. We recommend using personal accounts, and testimonials which shows potential customers the opportunity to understand the product. I also give them examples of my own personal experience because when people can relate to your own personal situations, they are more likely to see the value in the product or service you are offering.

The data doesn’t lie. 37 out of 119 customers surveyed commented that they only became customers after reading personal stories. This alone shows the huge effect telling stories can have on your bottom line.

Storytelling is a craft and you must master this craft to achieve results. You can use customer feedback to help build the foundations of your story. A survey asking customers what they know of your company, and how they would describe what you do is a very good place to start if you are just beginning the process.

  1. Understanding Your Customer

Marketing involves understanding your customer and how they think. Not all people are visiting your site with the intention to buy but all visitors CAN become potential customers if use a few simple strategies.

How you market your product is crucial in attracting attention but even more important is how you re-market your

product and keep someone’s attention long after they have left your site. Consumers are always enticed by free information kits or coupons. Whether you are selling a service or a product, the possibility of getting a bonus for free is often very appealing to potential customers. These kits are generally sent out via email which can come attached with a weekly subscription to a product newsletter. This allows your product to remain in the customer’s consciousness and build awareness on a consistent basis.

Building trusting and lasting relationships with your customers is the ultimate goal and you can do this by creating a series of at least 7 emails called follow-sequence which will highlight the product or service in a new and unique manner. Often it is time and information that will convince a customer to buy and the efficiency of an email strand can effectively accomplish this feat. Head over to your competitor, and you’ll see how they have effectively put together an information kit for their readers. I would focus on those which have been around a long-time so you can learn from the best in the industry.

Re-marketing allows you to have an online presence in a digital era. Upon entering your site, visitors will be pixeled with a cookie which simply means that your advertisements will pop up on their browsing screen thus reminding them again of the services you offer. The ingenious part of this is that there already exists an interest so it’s just a matter of keeping the awareness alive. Many marketing networks now offer affordable remarketing package. Do a quick search in Google to find some which you’ll find very attractive.

The business world is evolving quickly and so is the face of marketing. Push your business into the next stratosphere by adopting a few key strategies and you’ll be well on your way!

  1. Focus on What’s Important

The bottom line in marketing is that you are only as strong as the processes you employ so it’s important to take the time to create a solid marketing initiative. Consistently measure to test out new strategies, and you’ll discover where you need to make changes. It’s important to mention that online blogging, and marketing is always about finding out what works. This means you’ll have to track data so you can find ways to optimize at a later time. Flaws and weaknesses are to be expected but it’s the constant revision, and adjustments that will help add profitability to your business.

The online marketing world has a lot of competition, and those looking to use any tactic to acquire business.  You have to embrace the competition. A strategy may be successful for a short term and then others may catch on. This is all part of the marketing game, and you must expect this so you can refresh your approach at regular intervals. Remember, I mentioned above how tracking your results is very important because it helps you keep a close eye on your competition. It also helps you determine what’s been working, and what needs to be changed.

Lastly it’s important to create a diverse portfolio. Putting your eggs in more than one basket allows multiple channels to generate revenue as each drives a percentage of your overall profit. Marketing your business through a variety of different outlets increases the chances that a wide demographic will be exposed to the services and/or products you provide.

Focus on what’s truly important; the marketing process. Don’t be afraid to be creative, and innovative in your approach and your business will reap the rewards.

  1. Call-To-Actions Matter – Time to Maximize

The goal of a Call-to-Action Button is to convert browsers into buyers. Call-to-Action buttons include tactics such as free consultations, appointments or offers of downloadable e-books.  All of these are designed to draw the customer in when they click on the icon. The promise of free products, and services increases the possibility that somewhere down the road browsers to the site might become valued customers to the business.

To get a good idea of the call-to-actions available, especially those which perform, I like to visit competitor blogs to see how they are doing things. Remember, some have been in the industry for a long time so have tested out many of the methods.

Here’s how to design effective call-to-action buttons:

Location, color and button placement are the first things that you need to consider when designing your Call to Action Buttons. You want to ensure they are in a place where they can be seen for optimal conversions. If they can’t be seen then we can conclude they won’t be clicked.

Consumers respond in different ways to color, for example, QuickSprout.com mentioned how SAP software solutions increased their conversion rate by over 32% by employing the color orange in their Call-to- Action Button. It comes down to trial, and error when deciding on the right color fit for your site. This doesn’t mean orange will work for you, but means color does make a huge difference. I encourage you try different ones until you find a combination that works

The location of your call-to-action Button is also crucial. Some consumers prefer to read your story and understand what you are offering before visiting other links. Placing your button below the fold may actually be a more effective tactic.  However,

This can only be taken on a case by case basis so it is necessary to test different locations within your landing pages. Remember, again, it all comes down to testing everything…right?

White space around your call-to-action button allows it to be more visible, and thus increase the probability that consumers will click on it. Providing credit card symbols, trust symbols or placing product logos around your Call-To-Action Button can help increase customer satisfaction and convert browsers to buyers.

Here are some additional tips to follow going forward.

Special Effects, Unique Slogans and Ingenious Exit Call to Action Buttons can be very effective customer conversion techniques. Many people I know have added flash to some of their buttons because this helps them stand out when visitors are on your page.

Unique slogans such as “Show me my Heat-map” are creative ways to excite customers to click on your call-to-action button. For example, CrazyEgg.com who show’s bloggers their heat-map increased CTR by 20% by simply employing a button flashing with this text – “Show me my Heat-map”. They tested this strategy, and it had enormous results when optimized so they continue to implement it till today.

Designing effective call-to-action buttons is the key, and over the year’s businesses have used psychology and creativity to harness untapped markets. Amazingly enough, utilizing a “don’t click” button can actually entice people into clicking on that button. Trust me, I have fell victim to this trick when I have been on a niche relevant blog.

Knowing human psychology can help you market your service in creative and exciting ways. We all know how frustrating it is to wait in a long line to get into our favorite night spot only to discover the bar is empty. It’s awesome how call-to-action buttons, and advertisements which read “SOLD OUT” can actually generate interest in your product as the perception of desirability is what consumers are responding to. It’s all about enticing the reader, and giving them the idea that they might miss out on a cool opportunity if they wait too long.

Utilize a variety of techniques and make sure you are constantly measuring your success rate. Call-to-Action buttons can be very effective conversion tools when used properly, but the process always remains the same. Create a strategy, measure your successes and make necessary adjustments on a regular basis. Persistency and consistency will drive your business to the next level if you take into consideration a few of these helpful hints, and put them into action!

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ll use this information, and start applying some of these strategies to your blog going forward. It’s amazing how some of the call-to-action techniques have helped me double even triple my conversion rate. You have to make sure you take the first step, and implement these strategies right now. I know if you wait, you might get lazy and never get around to implementing what you have learned.

Here’s what I need you to do…

First, it’s time to go through this content again making notes on the important idea’s discussed. Secondly, please implement these strategies as they would apply to your business or niche. It’s important you do this right now because any delay will cause you to neglect going forward. A delay also means you’ll be gathering important statistics much later. Third, install Google Analytics because this tool is great for you to find information on how conversions have improved. GA will provide you the following:

  • Location
  • Referrals
  • Landing page
  • Search queries
  • Bounce rate
  • And much more.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!//my.leadpages.net/leadbox-781.js


Source: jhonchow

The Advanced Guide to Keyword Clustering

Posted by tomcasano

If your goal is to grow your organic traffic, you have to think about SEO in terms of “product/market fit.”

Keyword research is the “market” (what users are actually searching for) and content is the “product” (what users are consuming). The “fit” is optimization.

To grow your organic traffic, you need your content to mirror the reality of what users are actually searching for. Your content planning and creation, keyword mapping, and optimization should all align with the market. This is one of the best ways to grow your organic traffic.

Why bother with keyword grouping?

One web page can rank for multiple keywords. So why aren’t we hyper-focused on planning and optimizing content that targets dozens of similar and related keywords?

Why target only one keyword with one piece of content when you can target 20?

The impact of keyword clustering to acquire more organic traffic is not only underrated, it is largely ignored. In this guide, I’ll share with you our proprietary process we’ve pioneered for keyword grouping so you can not only do it yourself, but you can maximize the number of keywords your amazing content can rank for.

Here’s a real-world example of a handful of the top keywords that this piece of content is ranking for. The full list is over 1,000 keywords.

17 different keywords one page is ranking for

Why should you care?

It’d be foolish to focus on only one keyword, as you’d lose out on 90%+ of the opportunity.

Here’s one of my favorite examples of all of the keywords that one piece of content could potentially target:

List of ~100 keywords one page ranks for

Let’s dive in!

Part 1: Keyword collection

Before we start grouping keywords into clusters, we first need our dataset of keywords from which to group from.

In essence, our job in this initial phase is to find every possible keyword. In the process of doing so, we’ll also be inadvertently getting many irrelevant keywords (thank you, Keyword Planner). However, it’s better to have many relevant and long-tail keywords (and the ability to filter out the irrelevant ones) than to only have a limited pool of keywords to target.

For any client project, I typically say that we’ll collect anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 keywords. But truth be told, we’ve sometimes found 10,000+ keywords, and sometimes (in the instance of a local, niche client), we’ve found less than 1,000.

I recommend collecting keywords from about 8–12 different sources. These sources are:

  1. Your competitors
  2. Third-party data tools (Moz, Ahrefs, SEMrush, AnswerThePublic, etc.)
  3. Your existing data in Google Search Console/Google Analytics
  4. Brainstorming your own ideas and checking against them
  5. Mashing up keyword combinations
  6. Autocomplete suggestions and “Searches related to” from Google

There’s no shortage of sources for keyword collection, and more keyword research tools exist now than ever did before. Our goal here is to be so extensive that we never have to go back and “find more keywords” in the future — unless, of course, there’s a new topic we are targeting.

The prequel to this guide will expand upon keyword collection in depth. For now, let’s assume that you’ve spent a few hours collecting a long list of keywords, you have removed the duplicates, and you have semi-reliable search volume data.

Part 2: Term analysis

Now that you have an unmanageable list of 1,000+ keywords, let’s turn it into something useful.

We begin with term analysis. What the heck does that mean?

We break each keyword apart into its component terms that comprise the keyword, so we can see which terms are the most frequently occurring.

For example, the keyword: “best natural protein powder” is comprised of 4 terms: “best,” “natural,” “protein,” and “powder.” Once we break apart all of the keywords into their component parts, we can more readily analyze and understand which terms (as subcomponents of the keywords) are recurring the most in our keyword dataset.

Here’s a sampling of 3 keywords:

  • best natural protein powder
  • most powerful natural anti inflammatory
  • how to make natural deodorant

Take a closer look, and you’ll notice that the term “natural” occurs in all three of these keywords. If this term is occurring very frequently throughout our long list of keywords, it’ll be highly important when we start grouping our keywords.

You will need a word frequency counter to give you this insight. The ultimate free tool for this is Write Words’ Word Frequency Counter. It’s magical.

Paste in your list of keywords, click submit, and you’ll get something like this:

List of keywords and how frequently they occur

Copy and paste your list of recurring terms into a spreadsheet. You can obviously remove prepositions and terms like “is,” “for,” and “to.”

You don’t always get the most value by just looking at individual terms. Sometimes a two-word or three-word phrase gives you insights you wouldn’t have otherwise. In this example, you see the terms “milk” and “almond” appearing, but it turns out that this is actually part of the phrase “almond milk.”

To gather these insights, use the Phrase Frequency Counter from WriteWords and repeat the process for phrases that have two, three, four, five, and six terms in them. Paste all of this data into your spreadsheet too.

A two-word phrase that occurs more frequently than a one-word phrase is an indicator of its significance. To account for this, I use the COUNTA function in Google Sheets to show me the number of terms in a phrase:

=COUNTA(SPLIT(B2," "))

Now we can look at our keyword data with a second dimension: not only the number of times a term or phrase occurs, but also how many words are in that phrase.

Finally, to give more weighting to phrases that recur less frequently but have more terms in them, I put an exponent on the number of terms with a basic formula:

=(C4^2)*A4

In other words, take the number of terms and raise it to a power, and then multiply that by the frequency of its occurrence. All this does is give more weighting to the fact that a two-word phrase that occurs less frequently is still more important than a one-word phrase that might occur more frequently.

As I never know just the right power to raise it to, I test several and keep re-sorting the sheet to try to find the most important terms and phrases in the sheet.

Spreadsheet of keywords and their weighted importance

When you look at this now, you can already see patterns start to emerge and you’re already beginning to understand your searchers better.

In this example dataset, we are going from a list of 10k+ keywords to an analysis of terms and phrases to understand what people are really asking. For example, “what is the best” and “where can i buy” are phrases we can absolutely understand searchers using.

I mark off the important terms or phrases. I try to keep this number to under 50 and to a maximum of around 75; otherwise, grouping will get hairy in Part 5.

Part 3: Hot words

What are hot words?

Hot words are the terms or phrases from that last section that we have deemed to be the most important. We’ve explained hot words in greater depth here.

Why are hot words important?

We explain:

This exercise provides us with a handful of the most relevant and important terms and phrases for traffic and relevancy, which can then be used to create the best content strategies — content that will rank highly and, in turn, help us reap traffic rewards for your site.

When developing your hot words list, we identify the highest frequency and most relevant terms from a large range of keywords used by several of your highest-performing competitors to generate their traffic, and these become “hot words.”

When working with a client (or doing this for yourself), there are generally 3 questions we want answered for each hot word:

  1. Which of these terms are the most important for your business? (0–10)
  2. Which of these terms are negative keywords (we want to ignore or avoid)?
  3. Any other feedback about qualified or high-intent keywords?

We narrow down the list, removing any negative keywords or keywords that are not really important for the website.

Once we have our final list of hot words, we organize them into broad topic groups like this:

Organized spreadsheet of hot words by topic

The different colors have no meaning, but just help to keep it visually organized for when we group them.

One important thing to note is that word stems play an important part here.

For example, consider that all of these words below have the same underlying relevance and meaning:

  • blog
  • blogs
  • blogger
  • bloggers
  • blogging

Therefore, when we’re grouping keywords, to consider “blog” and “blogging” and “bloggers” as part of the same cluster, we’ll need to use the word stem of “blog” for all of them. Word stems are our best friend when grouping. Synonyms can be organized in a similar way, which are basically two different ways of saying the same thing (and the same user intent) such as “build” and “create” or “search” and “look for.”

Part 4: Preparation for keyword grouping

Now we’re going to get ourselves set up for our Herculean task of clustering.

To start, copy your list of hot words and transpose them horizontally across a row.

Screenshot of menu in spreadsheet

List your keywords in the first column.

Screenshot of keyword spreadsheet

Now, the real magic begins.

After much research and noodling around, I discovered the function in Google Sheets that tells us whether a stem or term is in a keyword or not. It uses RegEx:

=IF(RegExMatch(A5,"health"),"YES","NO")

This simply tells us whether this word stem or word is in that keyword or not. You have to individually set the term for each column to get your “YES” or “NO” answer. I then drag this formula down to all of the rows to get all of the YES/NO answers. Google Sheets often takes a minute or so to process all of this data.

Next, we have to “hard code” these formulas so we can remove the NOs and be left with only a YES if that terms exists in that keyword.

Copy all of the data and “Paste values only.”

Screenshot of spreadsheet menu

Now, use “Find and replace” to remove all of the NOs.

Screenshot of Find and Replace popup

What you’re left with is nothing short of a work of art. You now have the most powerful way to group your keywords. Let the grouping begin!

Screenshot of keyword spreadsheet

Part 5: Keyword grouping

At this point, you’re now set up for keyword clustering success.

This part is half art, half science. No wait, I take that back. To do this part right, you need:

  • A deep understanding of who you’re targeting, why they’re important to the business, user intent, and relevance
  • Good judgment to make tradeoffs when breaking keywords apart into groups
  • Good intuition

This is one of the hardest parts for me to train anyone to do. It comes with experience.

At the top of the sheet, I use the COUNTA function to show me how many times this word step has been found in our keyword set:

=COUNTA(C3:C10000)

This is important because as a general rule, it’s best to start with the most niche topics that have the least overlap with other topics. If you start too broadly, your keywords will overlap with other keyword groups and you’ll have a hard time segmenting them into meaningful groups. Start with the most narrow and specific groups first.

To begin, you want to sort the sheet by word stem.

The word stems that occur only a handful of times won’t have a large amount of overlap. So I start by sorting the sheet by that column, and copying and pasting those keywords into their own new tab.

Now you have your first keyword group!

Here’s a first group example: the “matcha” group. This can be its own project in its own right: for instance, if a website was all about matcha tea and there were other tangentially related keywords.

Screenshot of list of matcha-related keywords

As we continue breaking apart one keyword group and then another, by the end we’re left with many different keyword groups. If the groups you’ve arrived at are too broad, you can subdivide them even more into narrower keyword subgroups for more focused content pieces. You can follow the same process for this broad keyword group, and make it a microcosm of the same process of dividing the keywords into smaller groups based on word stems.

We can create an overview of the groups to see the volume and topical opportunities from a high level.

Screenshot of spreadsheet with keyword group overview

We want to not only consider search volume, but ideally also intent, competitiveness, and so forth.

Voilà!

You’ve successfully taken a list of thousands of keywords and grouped them into relevant keyword groups.

Wait, why did we do all of this hard work again?

Now you can finally attain that “product/market fit” we talked about. It’s magical.

You can take each keyword group and create a piece of optimized content around it, targeting dozens of keywords, exponentially raising your potential to acquire more organic traffic. Boo yah!

All done. Now what?

Now the real fun begins. You can start planning out new content that you never knew you needed to create. Alternatively, you can map your keyword groups (and subgroups) to existing pages on your website and add in keywords and optimizations to the header tags, body text, and so forth for all those long-tail keywords you had ignored.

Keyword grouping is underrated, overlooked, and ignored at large. It creates a massive new opportunity to optimize for terms where none existed. Sometimes it’s just adding one phrase or a few sentences targeting a long-tail keyword here and there that will bring in that incremental search traffic for your site. Do this dozens of times and you will keep getting incremental increases in your organic traffic.

What do you think?

Leave a comment below and let me know your take on keyword clustering.

Need a hand? Just give me a shout, I’m happy to help.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


Source: mods2

Six Ways to Grow Your Twitter Following by Leaps and Bounds in 2019

Are you wondering how to increase your Twitter followers in 2019? You’re not alone. Millions of business owners, independent artists, musicians, and content creators all want to know how to increase their Twitter views, engagements, likes, and followers in 2019. It’s not too early to start planning for the new year. You need to work on putting a marketing strategy in place that will help you gain Twitter followers and fans in the coming year.

Now is the time to start planning ahead for the new year, before the holidays come upon us or other things distract from what we know we need to do in order to prepare for the months ahead. People respond to many things such as improved colors, graphics, or other components. Check out this post to learn more about what you could do to increase your impact.

You could pay for Twitter followers through a service such as Famoid and many others. You do need to thoroughly check these services out, however, to make sure you are going to be getting quality views, engagements, and likes before you pay. Check out these services and make sure you are only getting authentic, real people preferably within the U.S. as a general rule. Even if you are marketing to other countries, be careful not to sign up for a service that uses bots to come to your site, or you might get dropped in your Google ranking.

Instead of purchasing views, try some practical tips for increasing your views yourself. The following six tips may help you to improve your Twitter following in 2019 which will help you promote your brand using Twitter. There is an accompanying infographic that you can refer to for even more tips that you will find at the bottom of this post.

Add a unique profile image

Just as is true with Instagram, Facebook, or any other kind of social media, you need a compelling social media profile. Start with your profile image. Look at the quality of your photo. Is it fresh and crisp or could the image use some work? If you need to do so, take a new picture of yourself with a selfie stick or a webcam then upload it to your Twitter account. Make sure you have a friendly, professional smile. People who do not know you may decide whether they want to do business with you or not based on your photo. Don’t try to look “shifty” or cute. Be yourself but try to communicate the idea that you are someone they can trust.

Focus on the Header Image Next

The header image is important also when it comes to attracting new Twitter views, follows or likes, and engagements. It’s also important to know the size specifications of the header image. The latest information on this shows that the perfect Twitter Header dimensions is 1500 x 500. You can use any of the standard files types such as jpg, gifs, or png. It’s a good idea to choose colors and photos that will complement your profile photo since the profile photo is located to the left of the header image.

Create an engaging and interesting Bio

Writing an interesting biography about yourself will also help increase interest in your profile. When people are searching for people to add, they may be interested in connecting with people who share their interests, political views, or music tastes, for example. Be real and share what matters to you to connect with people that you are most likely to connect with. If you are a business owner, you should think about what your ideal customer looks like and include things that potential customers will connect with on your profile page.

Add a “follow button” on your blog

How will people know about your profile if you don’t make your social media presence known to them? Encourage more adds and follows by providing a “follow” button to your Twitter account so that you can get automatic “adds” from your blog or websites to your Twitter account. It’s a good idea to put up a follow button on all of your digital assets so that people will come to your Twitter page from several different channels or platform. The idea of “branding” includes creating a multichannel network of information on your brand that people will recognize no matter where they come from.

Just like on this blog, you should also make it easy for your visitors to click a button and have the page data (title and url) and @username sent right over to Twitter for a quick tweet. This can all be done through the power of WordPress and using a plugin like SassySocial.

Embed tweets in your blog posts

It’s great to link your Twitter account in your blog posts. But don’t forget to do the opposite and also put some of your best Tweets inside your blog posts. If it is relevant to what you are saying, why not share some of your Tweets within your blog. While you have your target audience on your blog, you need to expand the reach you have with these people through tweets and media that you place within your blog posts.

Want to see a real example of this in action? Simply look at the tweet from John Chow below.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Connect to influencers within your industry

As you are working on building your tribe, you will also want to borrow from other influencers who have a wider scope than you do. Find people that you can get to do a podcast with you or a video. If you cannot do this, ask if you can link to their content as a way to help both them and you to promote your brand and purpose.

Many top blogging influencers are authors, webinar experts, and many others who are more than willing to spend some time with you to promote their branding while help prop up your ideas on their site as well. Ask them what they are willing to do and be sure to tell them what you can do. In most cases, if you are unable to contact them or make a connection, they don’t usually mind you linking to their site without permission as long as you portray them in a positive light and put in a plug for their brand, book, or idea.

Bringing it all together

The key to improving your number of Twitter followers is not just one thing. It’s a combination of things that you do, perhaps one at a time to see which one is the most effective. You could start by changing your photo profile. If this gets you more views and followers, keep it that way. Then try sprucing up your Header image, updating your profile, or moving a few things around to help illustrate what your brand stands for. Run an experiment in which you change different elements, a few at a time until you see the result. Then you can use the methods that work the best for you and bring in the most views and engagements.

In Summary…

We hope this infographic and included tips helps you to get started in the new year. We are only a couple of months away from another year. We hope your new year is more prosperous than ever and that you will be able to find ways to increase your following, likes, and views, improve your reach to your target audience, and use your Twitter account to better get your message across to the people who are the most likely to respond to what you have to offer.

Some Extra Twitter Studies to Check Out

If you crave even more information that is backed up by plenty of facts, statistics, and other information on social media and how to improve your Twitter reach, check out the following links we’ve compiled by researching how to increase your Twitter following.

How to Increase Security on Twitter for Companies

This study on security on Twitter by Our Social Times shows how to increase your security to avoid cyber hacker that could compromise your reputation or sensitive information on their platforms.

The Heinz Mayochup Initiative

This case study shows how the Heinz ketchup company marketed their new “hard-to-sell” product that combined mayo with ketchup on Twitter and got 1 billion impressions in under 48 hours. If, for no other reason, they got attention using Twitter. Their primary strategy was to illustrate the advantages of combining ketchup and mayo in one bottle so that you would not have to have two different bottles if you enjoy the tastes together. To achieve this, they partnered with Starcom and created an ad that was meant to entice people to try it. They also conducted a poll. The results were split but think of all of the potential followers, likes, and engagements they got just for putting out the ad!

Check out the infographic

If you think these six tips will help you increase your Twitter following, you may want to check out the Twitter marketing infographic for the other tips, too. Try different strategies until you figure out what works best for you.

If you have good results from any of the ideas we have shared, let us know. Our goal is to provide helping resources and information that will help you plan for the new year and make 2019 even more prosperous than this year has been.

When it comes to finding success on social media, you never know what will work best. Use your imagination and combine it with the resources and links we have provided here. You never know what you can do until you try!

Good luck!

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!//my.leadpages.net/leadbox-781.js


Source: jhonchow

269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months

The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

How a Blogger Uses Pinterest to Boost His Following

Welcome to the final episode of our Blogger Breakthroughs series. Today we share a story from Rowan Sims, Digital Photography School writer and ProBlogger podcast listener.

How Rowan Sims grew his Pinterest following to 300,000 in two months

 

Rowan’s also a landscape and travel photographer who uses his blog to teach readers how to improve their photography, as well as share his photo adventures and location guides.

The biggest challenges he faced with blogging were being inconsistent and not attracting the right audience.

So he switched his blog’s focus from just sharing photography to teaching it as well.

He’s also written some guest posts. Don’t underestimate the power of guest blogging. It’s about more than just link building.

Another breakthrough for Rowan was discovering the power of Pinterest. It’s become Rowan’s largest source of referral traffic.

Rowan has used various tools and social media sites to promote his photography, but Pinterest needed a different approach and was a steep learning curve.

No matter what your niche is, Rowan has suggestions on how to optimize Pinterest for best results:

  • Set up a Pinterest business account and review your Pinterest insights/analytics to know what’s working and help identify your target audience
  • Create attractive pins
  • Use Tailwind to drip feed pins and create tribes

Pinterest is one option, but experiment with different platforms to figure out what works best for you.

Rowan’s blogging breakthroughs have not only helped increase his traffic, but has brought him the right traffic. People are genuinely interested in what he has to say and share.

Links and Resources for How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months:

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Darren: Hey there and welcome to episode 269 of the ProBlogger podcast. My name is Darren Rowse. I’m the founder of ProBlogger which started out as a blog with lots of blog tips and has become a blog, a podcast, ebooks, courses, and a job board as well to help bloggers to find jobs. There’s a lot on ProBlogger. You can check it all out at problogger.com where we really are about trying to help bloggers to monetize their blogs.

Today is the final episode in our blogger breakthrough series. We may do this again in the future because I’ve had a lot of really great feedback on the stories that we’ve been featuring. I’m going to get back to a noble flow of things next week. But today, I want to share with you a story from Rowan Sims. Rowan actually is a writer over on Digital Photography School. I didn’t realize he was also a listener of this podcast. You hear at the end, he worked his way back through all of the archives of the podcast—all 269 episodes. He may be up there as one of the most avid listeners of the podcast.

He submitted his story of how he grew his blog. He took his blog from fairly inconsistent blogging, he switched his focus, and he shares two strategies that he used to help grow his traffic particularly Pinterest. He gives some good tips on driving traffic with Pinterest as well. He actually submitted a short 4 ½-minute story and then I asked him to submit a few more tips so you will a bit of a change in the audio—that’s kind of part two coming in halfway along where he gets to be a bit more practical about Pinterest.

Before I introduce you or put Rowan onto you, I do want to mention a little personal project that I’ve been playing around with, and that is a new podcast. This is not just a podcast with me, it’s actually a podcast with Vanessa, my wife, and my three boys. We’ve been talking for a while now about having a family podcast and also, we’re not completely sure how it’s going to roll out completely. We don’t even know what the name will be down the track. We’re calling it the Rowse Report at the moment. It is, at this moment, a one pilot show. It’s about what we’re reading, what we’re watching, what we’re listening to, what we’re playing.

We each have a little segment where we talk about the books, the podcast, what we’re watching on Netflix, what movies we enjoy, what games we might be playing. I’ve got plans for a few episodes. We’re just putting it out there at the moment. If you’d like to have a listen to that, there’s not actually a website for it yet, but you will be able to find the latest episode linked to either on my Facebook page—facebook.com/problogger or I will link to it in today’s show. We are hosting it on the Anchor platform and it should go up in iTunes as well in the next week or two. You might want to do a search there for Rowse Report.

Anyway, you can find it all on today’s show notes. The show notes also will have transcription of today’s story as well as some links that Rowan mentions in the show. He mentions a couple of tools that you might want to check out and then an article that he has written as well. I’m going to hand over to Rowan and I’m going to come back at the end just to wrap things up and give a few thoughts of my own and suggest a couple of things that you might want to do as a result of what you hear. Here’s Rowan.

Rowan: Hi guys. My name is Rowan and I’m a blogger and photographer from New Zealand. My blog name is Rowan Sims Photography and you can find me at rowansims.com. I started my blog back in 2010 so it’s been about eight years. I’m a landscape and travel photographer, so I use my blog to teach my readers how to improve their photography. I also use it to share my photo adventures and location guides.

My audience is mainly beginner to intermediate photographers. As I said, I’ve been blogging for about eight years, but really inconsistently. I’ve seen some small success with a few posts getting some serious traffic. In the past, I use my blog mainly to share my travel and landscape photography with a little monetization from some affiliate products.

My biggest challenge is with being consistent and tracking the right audience. There have been periods of every year when I didn’t blog at all. The little audience I did have completely forgot about me. I also found that the search traffic that was coming to my blog was basically just leaving. Visitors weren’t interested in subscribing or following me on social media once they have found what they were looking for. I’ve built up a small email list and social media following but not enough to drive traffic to my blog.

I’ve had a couple of big breakthroughs this year. At the end of 2007, my girlfriend and I decided to spend some time in Australia after living in Canada for a couple of years. She’s also a travel blogger and have had some similar struggles to me, so we decided to make the most of the fresh start and really focus on our blogs in 2018. I also decided to shift the focus of my blog from just sharing my photography to teaching others as well.

One of the things I decided to work on was guest posting. I’ve written a couple of guest post in the past, but never really pushed it. To start with, I approached Digital Photography School which I’m sure you’ve heard Darren talk about on this podcast. They were happy to have me write for them, so I submitted an article. That first post was really well received which was a huge encouragement for me.

The second breakthrough I’ve had this year was discovering the power of Pinterest for driving traffic. I’ve used Pinterest inconsistently for a few years and it’s a personal use. I’ve never really seen it as a tool for promoting my photography or my blog. I thought it was really just for moms sharing recipes. I decided to take another look at it this year, so I switched to a business account and I’ve a whole another profile. I really had no idea how powerful Pinterest could be for bloggers. Pinterest has become my largest source of referral traffic in just a few months.

Learning how to use Pinterest for business was a pretty steep learning curve. It’s such a unique platform. I’ve used many tools and social media sites to promote my photography over the years, but Pinterest required a very different approach. Fortunately, as a blogger, I’ve had a ton of visual content which Pinterest is all about. This meant that I was able to hit the ground running with a decent amount of content that I could optimize for Pinterest and experiment with.

There are a few things that I did which I think set me up well on a path to seeing results from Pinterest. Every blogger is going to use it differently, but I think these things are going to be useful no matter what your niche.

The first thing I’d recommend is setting up a business account, as I mentioned. This may sound obvious, but I didn’t realize the value of it until I did it myself. There aren’t a ton of differences between a regular account and a business account but the biggest one for me has been Pinterest Insights. If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of time looking at your analytics. I probably spend way too much time in there, but it pays off if you know what to look for.  Pinterest Insights are incredibly powerful, and they can help you in a couple of ways. Firstly, you’ll see what’s working and also, you’ll see where your target audience is. It’s pretty different than Google Analytics, so don’t expect to be able to understand it straight away. But give it sometime and I’m pretty sure you’ll see the value in it for sure.

The second thing that really helped me was to create really attractive pins. Again, this sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed how many pins I see everyday that have had virtually no thought going to them at all. It’s a visual platform so learning to create beautiful pins is an absolute must. I’m not a designer by any means so my pins are pretty basic. I’ve created templates in photoshop to make it easy to create new pins for each post. I switch up the photos and text and it’s done in just a few minutes. If that sounds way over your head, there are free tools like Canva that make it super simple. This was a process of experimentation and it still is. Some of my templates get a lot of engagement and the ones that get little just gets scrapped. I regularly try new fonts and overlays to see what works best. I’m a prolific experimenter and that’s served me really well, so I encourage you to do the same.

The third thing that’s really made a big difference in growing my Pinterest account is actually another tool called Tailwind. You may have heard of it. It’s a tool that makes scheduling and repining really simple. One of the unique things about Pinterest is that you need to be very active to see results. But bombarding your followers with a ton of pins each time you visit doesn’t work. Tailwind allows you to drip feed your pins over the day so they’re more likely to be seen by your followers. It also has a fantastic feature called Tribes which encourages members to re-pin other member’s content. It’s really effective and it’s been super helpful for me especially considering I have a relatively small following.

I actually wrote a whole post about how I grew my account from about 1000 views a month to over 300,000 in only about two months. It’s written for photographers, but the principles are valid no matter what niche you’re in.

The biggest advantage of these two breakthroughs is that I’m not only getting a lot more traffic, it’s the right kind of traffic. People who are visiting my blog because they’re genuinely interested in what I have to say, they’re sticking around longer, and are subscribing.

In the last six months, I’ve more than doubled the email list that I’ve built over the last four years. I’ve also been given a few opportunities as a result of writing for other photography blogs. I’m getting in front of a much larger audience and building a larger profile as a result. Getting to where my target audience and guest posting there has been one of the best things I could have ever done for my blog.

What I want to say to listeners is don’t underestimate the power of guest posting. It’s about so much more than just link building. If you can write for blogs that have a bigger audience than your own, some of their audience will inevitably become some of your audience. The second thing I would say is keep experimenting with various tools and platforms. It might be something you’ve tried in the past and decided isn’t for you. Test out new stuff but be careful about dismissing the old stuff. You never really know what might work for you.

That’s it. Before I go, I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Darren. I spent the last few months listening to the entire back catalog of the ProBlogger podcast. It’s been insanely helpful. Every time I listen, I get inspired. I’ve learned so much. I’m sure I probably would’ve given up by now if it wasn’t for you sharing your knowledge and passion. Both of your blogs, ProBlogger and Digital Photography School had been hugely helpful for me, so thank you very much.

Darren: Thanks so much to Rowan for sharing his story today. You can find his site at rowansims.com. I have a link to the article that he mentioned on his advice on Pinterest in the show notes today as well. You can find that show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269.

I love this story for a couple of reasons. One, Rowan has found for himself the reality that guest posting isn’t dead. Guest posting was huge five or so years ago now. Most people were using it to build their search engine traffic, getting links from other sites, but Google cracked down on this and so those links aren’t as valuable as they used to be than what really valuable at all. As a result, a lot of people gave up on guest posting.

I’ve long argued that there was more to guest posting than just the links. Certainly, the links were helpful but getting in front of other people’s audiences is something that is well worth doing, particularly, if it’s the right type of traffic, the right type of audience. Rowan talked there about how he targeted where his audience was, and he focused on those places to build profile. He did that through Digital Photography School which is the perfect audience for him if he wants to teach people how to do photography. We’ve heard time and time again from our writers that it’s a benefit for them to do that purely for the traffic that they get and that the profile, the expertise that they’re able to build on their particular topic.

Guest posting isn’t dead, I’m going to link in the show notes today to a previous episode on guest posting if you want to check that one out. It’s one the early episode that I did right towards the beginning of this podcast, back in episode 37. If you want to dig back and have a listen to that, it’s on iTunes. Some of those early episodes, I should say, on iTunes have probably disappeared at some point because I think there’s a limit of 300 episodes that I can show you at a time, and we are approaching that point. We’re at 269, so in another 31 episodes, the first episodes will disappear. You might want to go back and listen to those early episodes if you haven’t already. That’s just a little side.

The other thing that I love that Rowan found for himself is that Pinterest is a great way of driving traffic. Every time I meet bloggers, I meet people who are using Pinterest in really interesting ways as well. They always tell that they’re surprised about how their topic works on Pinterest. Photography is a topic that works on Pinterest. I’ve seen topics like motorbikes, gardening, fashion. I’ve seen technology boards do really well. There really isn’t a limit since some of those stereotypical niches that you might think do well on Pinterest certainly do work, but it’s a lot broader than you might think. Great tips there from Rowan.

I do plan on doing an episode in the coming months hopefully before the end of the year on Pinterest as well because I’ve met some good people on that particular topic. Do get into that article that Rowan mentioned. I will link to it in the show notes today. Also, check out those tools that he mentioned. I’ll link to those in the show notes too. There’s Canva which you’ll find at canva.com and tailwindapp.com. That’s the tool that enables you to schedule into Pinterest your pins. Check out Pinterest. I think Pinterest is a great one because Pinterest really does rely upon content.

A lot of bloggers have found the hard way that Facebook has changed their algorithms a lot and that’s because they don’t really need content on Facebook. Facebook’s much more than people sharing links, it’s about people having conversations, and people watching video, and people engaging in communities, so it’s not really in Facebook’s best interest to allow us to share links that lead people off Facebook.

The whole point of Pinterest is that people go there to find content. They actually reward people who create great content. I do think it is a platform that is well worth checking out if you haven’t already. As Rowan says, it’s well worth revisiting. We actually are in the process of probably having a full look at Pinterest for Digital Photography School in particular. We’ve never quite cracked it but based on some of the advice that I received over the last few months, we’re going to give it another go. That’s high on our agenda for 2019. I’m interested to see if we can replicate some of the results that Rowan got being in a similar niche to him.

Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. Again, you can find today’s show notes at problogger.com/podcast/269. You’ll find the link there to out family podcast as well, if you do want to have a listen to that. It’s called the Rowse Report. Anchor is slowly adding it all in the different podcasting app.

At the point I’m recording this, it’s not on iTunes yet, but is on Anchor and I think also on Pocket Casts. But hopefully, it will all be added in the coming days and weeks as well. Just search for Rowse Report or check out the show notes. I would love to know what you think about it and we would love any suggestions you’ve got for a name for that podcast as well. Have a listen and see what you think. I do think that the stars of the show will be my kids though, so you might want to have a listen to that. It’s kind of funny seeing your seven-year-old talk about a book that he’s reading. Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. You can check that one out. I’ll chat with you next week where we’re coming back to our normal schedule called Podcasting at ProBlogger. Thanks for listening. Chat with you next week.

How did you go with today’s episode?

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The post 269: How Rowan Grew His Pinterest Following to More Than 300,000 in Two Months appeared first on ProBlogger.

Source: problogger

The Streaming Service Takeover

Netflix has over 137 million subscribers. There are 15 million viewers on Twitch watching people play video games on daily basis. This isn’t counting YouTube, Microsoft’s streaming service, Hulu, or the new DC Universe. Podcasting has taken over and there are just as many podcasts on iTunes and Spotify and there are songs. To top it all off, Disney is releasing its own streaming service next year. And people are responding. Cable and satellite services are being cut faster than ever before. What does this mean for marketers? Keep reading to find out. Traditional Advertising is Waning TV and radio
Source: showmoney