Friday, 20 October 2017

Digital Marketing News: Twitter Video Ads, Livestreaming Rise, RIP Eric Ward


The Rise of Livestreaming: Why People Watch, and How Brands Can Benefit [Infographic]. Facebook users comment 10 times more on live videos than on regular videos. Find out what people are watching, what their preferences and behaviors are in this infographic from Koeppel Direct. MarketingProfs

The four habits of successful data-driven marketers. Econsultancy invited marketing experts to discuss what they do, the problems they face, and how they overcome obstacles which revealed 4 keys to data-driven marketing success from data management, to testing hypothesis and proper attribution models. Econsultancy

Twitter introduces a new video-centric ad format. The Video Website Card starts out as an auto-playing video with a customizable headline, which then opens up to a larger video and website preview, and ultimately directs viewers to the advertiser’s chosen website when they tap on it. Will this format take off? TechCrunch

Facebook Live cuts out the middle man, adds its own screen-sharing feature. Now this seems like a great feature for educational content. Facebook has added an option to share your screen directly on Facebook Live, eliminating the need for other software for many users. TheNextWeb

Top Brands by Customer Loyalty 2017

Fall 2017 Taking Stock With Teens report reveals favorite social networks. 47% of respondents say Snapchat is their favorite social network, and 24% say Instagram is their favorite. Guess which network only received 9% of the vote? Face who? MarketingProfs

Somehow, this is news. Snapchat is selling an $80 dancing hot dog costume on Amazon. The costume is based on Snapchat’s new celebrity character: the app’s dancing hot dog filter that quickly became an internet meme sensation over the summer. Business Insider

Eric Ward
The Search Community lost the Father Of Link Building, Eric Ward, aka Link Moses.
I met Eric Ward at my first Pubcon conference about 2004 or 2005, approaching him at a table to see if this SEO celebrity would be friendly to a nobody like me. Eric was the most generous, welcoming person I could have met and that openness is something that has stuck with me over the many years since. Eric was a really good guy and a true original when it came to search marketing and link building.

Like many in our industry, I learned a lot from Eric about low risk, high impact and high value link building and online PR. He used a photo I took of him in 2006 as his profile photo online and it always made me happy that he liked that image enough to use it. Eric will be missed and I wish the most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. See the outpouring of commentary on Search Engine Roundtable.

IBM Watson Webinar Lee Odden Michael Trapani
Save the date! Oct 26 I will be co-presenting a webinar: Connecting the Dots From Data to Better Customer Experiences with IBM Watson’s Michael Trapani. This is a free webinar and will highlight the new realities of the customer journey, obstacles caused by fragmented data and tools. We’ll also cover how a best answer strategy + cognitive marketing can deliver insights and context for creating conversations with customers that are relevant, personalized, meaningful and consistent across channels. Don’t miss it! More info here.

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on YouTube.

Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Digital Marketing News: Twitter Video Ads, Livestreaming Rise, RIP Eric Ward |

The post Digital Marketing News: Twitter Video Ads, Livestreaming Rise, RIP Eric Ward appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Article Source:

Boost The Quantity And Quality Of Your Business Reviews

Getting More Reviews For Your Business | Customer Reviews – How To Greatly Improve Yours In Just 5 Days – A 7 Step System   Customer reviews are more important than ever to your business, no matter what service or products you offer. Ask yourself this…what is the first thing you do when looking at […]

Boost The Quantity And Quality Of Your Business Reviews Read more on:

Article Source:

Thursday, 19 October 2017

How We’re Building a Content Marketing Dream Team

A few members of the TopRank Marketing content marketing dream team.

As the digital landscape continues to grow and shift, digital marketing — particularly content marketing — has a majority stake in most brands’ marketing strategies these days. After all, nearly half of the world’s population now uses the internet, and we want our content to meet people where they are and when they’re searching.

As a result, brands and agencies alike are on the lookout for savvy, driven content gurus with proven writing, planning and strategy skills to add to their marketing teams — including TopRank Marketing.

Our agency was born when digital was the new kid on the block — and before modern content marketing came roaring onto the scene. We’ve rolled with the changing tides and now we’re on the cutting edge of next-gen content marketing — namely influencer marketing and co-creation. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned in nearly two decades of work, it’s that the collective talent of our team members is what drives our clients’ success and our company’s success.

So, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to bring top-notch marketers across disciplines into the TopRank Marketing family; we’re building a dream team. How? We’ve identified three core building blocks — building blocks we think every organization should consider during their search for talent.

As it relates to finding outstanding, strategic content creators, below I share what makes up those critical building blocks.

The Foundation

Like any profession, there are hard skills and a certain level of expertise that are must-have requirements for marketing writers. From our perspective, these foundational skills not only signal that a prospective employee can handle the “tactical” responsibilities of the job, but also thrive in the role and feel personal satisfaction. Some of those important hard skills include:

#1 – Seasoned marketing writing chops that go beyond the grammar basics.

The ability to create clean, easy-to-read and grammatically correct content is a basic requirement for any content creator. But we’re also looking for writers who can build a compelling narrative and draw on their creative juices to deliver something unique. We want storytellers.

#2 – Research skills rivaling that of an investigative journalist.

All marketers need to be subject matter experts (SMEs) in order to create content that resonates with their audience. But in an agency setting, writers often work across multiple programs and industries — challenging them to be adept experts in several areas. As a result, their research skills — and the ability to understand and interpret what they uncover — need to be on-point.

#3 – Aptitude for drawing out data insights and using them to bolster a narrative.

We live in the age of data, and that data can be used to paint a picture and add credibility to the content we create. So, coupled with the research skills requirement, writers need to be able to discover, internalize and draw meaningful data insights, and use them to strengthen the story they’re telling.

#4 – History of leveraging multiple content marketing tactics to drive an integrated strategy.

TopRank Marketing’s approach to digital marketing is rooted in the belief that integration is key to creating best-answer content that drives results. As a result, we’re looking for marketing writers who have experience leveraging multiple types of content — from social media to influencer content — that work together to achieve success.

The Structure

It’s no secret that one’s ability to thrive as a marketer goes beyond hard skills. Soft skills and personality traits are the building materials that bring it all together, defining the individual and the professional. For us, some of those important qualities include:

#1 – Exudes their own brand of creativity.

From our perspective, cookie cutter doesn’t cut it. The best organizations are made up of individuals who can approach content and strategy through a unique creative lens — which not only spawns out-of-the-box ideas, but also brings out the creative perspectives of other team members and helps all of us innovate.

#2 – Empathetic mind that can internalize problems and communicate solutions.

In order to create content that resonates and inspires, writers have to have a deep understanding of who their audience is, what motivates them and what pain points they face; they need empathy.

#3 – Thrives as part of a tight-knit team.

TopRank Marketing not only believes in integrated content marketing strategies, but also in integrated teams. Simply put, crafting great content is a collective effort, involving team members across disciplines. It’s cheesy, but teamwork really does make the dream work. As a result, we’ve found that the most effective writers embrace collaboration and use it as fuel to do great work.

#4 – Driven to grow as an individual and part of a collective team.

As it’s been said, we believe that client and company success is rooted in our talented team members. But the formula for success is ever changing, so we want team member who are hungry for growth in all areas.

The Spire

The final touch on any magnificent structure is the spire that sits atop. The spire is what stands out across the city skyline. For us, that defining characteristic is simple: An undeniable passion for what you do and who you do it with.

Our company culture is built on the passion our employees have for their work and their respective co-workers. After all, think about how much time you spend at the office. Without some love for the tasks and people who occupy that time, personal satisfaction and excellence can’t be found.

Interested in Joining the TopRank Marketing Dream Team?

That’s good news. We’re hiring! Check out our Careers page to see a full list of open positions ranging from content to design to digital advertising.

For you content masters out there, if you want a closer look at daily life at TopRank Marketing, read my “A Day in the Life of a Content Marketing Manager” post.

Email Newsletter Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | How We’re Building a Content Marketing Dream Team |

The post How We’re Building a Content Marketing Dream Team appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Article Source:

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Gen X, Gen Y Targeting: How to Target Different Generations on Social Media

hv-blog-ppc-ecommerce Gen X, Gen Y Targeting: How to Target Different Generations on Social Media

Highly compelling copy—the kind that rattles the questions of your audience, and shockingly, (and instantly) gives them the answer—isn’t easy to do. It’s an even greater challenge when you’re targeting multiple generations at once. In this article, you’ll learn the three components of turning ‘good’ copy into ‘I gotta buy this’ branding, no matter how old or young your viewers may be.

First Up: Know the Difference Between X and Y (Even Z!)

While you may know a millennial when you see one, do you know how to reach them in a sentence or two? Do you know how to turn a Generation X viewer (otherwise known as a ‘latchkey kid’) into a devoted consumer?  Don’t sweat it out. Instead, learn the key psychological components of what makes them ‘click and buy’ – and then sit back, ride the waves of high sales and repeat:

  • Generation X. Generation X are those who were born between 1966-1976. From no technology to highly sophisticated technology, they’ve come a long way. However, they also tend to get overwhelmed by too much digital ‘noise.’ Consider Generation X your highest educated generation (26% have a bachelor’s degree, or higher). Lead them into full-fledged online engagement by education based products, facts or interview-type posts.
  • Generation Y. Generation Y, otherwise known as the Millennials, dominate on social media. Born between 1977-1994 they are career professionals, many of whom learned in the early 2000’s how to create a website, sell a product and market it to the masses.

Now in their 30’s and 40’s, they are prone to ignoring the typical marketing pitch, and look for compelling content, fine-tuned sales funnels and impeccable images to stay engaged.  They’ve been in the presence of technology since childhood, and crave a variety of digital content, such as ezines, podcasts, and blog posts. Blast them with a variety of marketing content and you’ll keep them engaged and excited for what’s next.

Want to grab hundreds (or thousands) of leads within days and watch your business skyrocket? Give them a free gift (like an ebook or meditation track) in exchange for their email. They want instant gratification now, and they’ll become a loyal customer if you can offer something of high value.

  • Generation Z. There isn’t as much market research for Generation Z, because they’re the ‘babies’ of all generations. Born between 1995-2012, they may grow up to be the most technologically savvy of any generation. Chances are, they will be raised to expect diversity in their classroom (and online learning, such as social media), through interactive learning platforms (live streaming, anyone?). One of the greatest marketing tactics you can use to reach them as they grow up? Interactive webinars, and eCourse platforms.

Three Techniques to Reach Each Generation on Social Media Instantly

Now that you know what each generation is about, it’s time to dive head first into targeting each generation on social media—and meet them where they already are. Here they are: three generations, and three strategies that payoff:

  • Generation X. The baby boomer generation is most responsive to emails, so use it to your advantage! Create an email marketing campaign (do this easily by using a service like Aweber or MailChimp) and grab their attention with three inspiring or informative blog posts a week—sent right to their inbox.

Being the most financial responsible of all generations, hook their loyalty with online deals, home ownership tips, or ‘freebies’ (for example: offer free customization on a product you sell).

  • Generation Y. Ah, the millennials. The generation that makes up for over 70 million, and the potential to become your target audience, alone. Sharp, smart and innovative, they are thirsty for more knowledge constantly.

According to The New York Times, over 64% of millennials would rather make less than $45,000 a year doing what they love than make more money, doing something they aren’t inspired by.

Create content that inspires them. Promote a product that will trigger fearlessness in them to do what they love, increase their productivity, or allow them to instantly achieve greater work/life balance. Just make sure it’s 100% ‘you’. Don’t fake your way to building a brand. Speak, write about, or post videos that are in alignment with your vision, and that you’re passionate about. When you’re ‘you’ and your brand is authentic, they’ll beg for more.

  • Generation Z. According to a study done by, Generation Z spends 74% of their time on social media While they might not be as technologically experienced as Generation Y, they’re on social media constantly—and expect instant contact. Cater to your generation Z audience by developing (and maintaining) a strong presence on Snapchat, or with Instagram Stories (they respond well to stunning visuals and fun filters!) Kill two birds with one stone by live streaming videos on Facebook, and/or weekly YouTube videos.

Do you know what generation your audience is composed of? Or, is it a combination X, Y and Z? To know your audience is to compel them to fall in love with your brand. Use the above techniques and see what works best!

The post appeared first on

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

So it's been a while since posting here.  SEO and SEM is getting easier rather harder.  For example,

Links and embeds are helping to rank all over the place.  Yes I know you're watching rivals so take this and use it if you think you can keep up.

GMB url:

reviews short url:

Maps Embed code:
maps short url:

an offer you can't refuse video embed: 
Article Source:

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Black Friday SEO Advice to Get More Sales in 2017

hv-blog-on-page Black Friday SEO Advice to Get More Sales in 2017

Black Friday is just around the corner, and for many business owners (small and large) it’s the most profitable time of year. According to Techradar, a whopping $3.34 billion was spend last Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Ready to get your piece of the pie this November? It starts, and ends with optimizing your website. Learn the most effective SEO tips to strengthen your brand, achieve higher sales and surpass your ecommerce dreams!

First Things First: Cheat Your Way to Sales Success (With a Checklist)

It’s not really cheating—in fact, it’s a strategy to blow your competition out of the water so that you reach the true ecommerce sales potential that you deserve. While Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, it can also be the most stressful day of the year as well. How do you guarantee your website won’t crash with high volume traffic? How do you best increase the amount of spending per customer? With this handy checklist, of course! Cross off each task one by one, and you’ll skyrocket your sales just in time for Black Friday:

  • Set up an autoresponder series for abandoned cart visitors. If you already use an automated email marketing series to keep your customer engaged, make sure to add a ‘Black Friday’ campaign. All you have to do is capture those viewers who added your product to their cart (but then left your site). Send a reminder email to them with a special, additional 10% off coupon – if they come back by midnight to complete their checkout.
  • Create a pop-up landing page with a discount code. The average viewer only takes three seconds to view your site. Instantly grab their attention with a compelling pop-up landing page, placed front and center on your homepage. Do you want to create a greater sense of urgency? Design a landing page that includes a timer, counting down the hours, minutes and seconds before your deal expires.
  • Create a banner to display your too-good-to-pass-up Black Friday deal. Banners are easy to create (just head over to to create a free one). Create a bold heading and font that specifies what your deal is. The more instantly visible your Black Friday deals are, the more viewers are likely to buy.
  • Be absolutely sure your store can deal with the demand. Don’t underestimate the power of your product. When Black Friday comes, consumers (old and new) will want to take advantage of your deals. Check ahead of time with your suppliers, making sure they can handle your surplus of orders.

Now that you have a website equipped for high sales and a low drop-off rate, it’s time to optimize your online business to reach the masses in record time. Apply these five tips to your site ASAP, and you’ll become the epitome of #salesgoals.

Create SEO-Focused Gift Guides

Forget struggling to optimize your sales. One highly effective shortcut is by suggestive gift guide pop-ups as they go through check-out.  According to Google’s trend report from 2016, over 70 percent of online consumers start shopping without having something particular in mind that they want to buy! For example, if you sell women’s clothing, put together a few gift guides that include related interests for women, such as fashion bracelets, necklaces and a subscription to a women’s magazine.

Utilize YouTube

Make a few ‘Black Friday Gift Idea’ videos on YouTube and reach even more potential customers (a whopping 68 percent of consumers turn to YouTube when they don’t know what they want to buy!) Just make sure you follow YouTube’s SEO rules by including no more than 2% density keywords and 700 words—max—in your video description (or your video won’t get uploaded).

Add Popular Keywords for Holiday Gifts in Your Marketing Copy

Black Friday is the perfect time to utilize SEO keywords in all platforms of your marketing copy, including: emails, landing pages, PPC ads, blog posts and product descriptions. Start off your search with ‘Black Friday’, and make sure to also utilize ‘related searches’ for more keyword ideas.

Know Your Buzz Words

Once you have your list of Black Friday keywords, make sure that you add holiday specific buzz words to your marketing copy. For example, it’s not enough to simply describe what your product is with ‘Black Friday’ keywords. You have to hook your audience with additional words like ‘Best,’ ‘Incredible,’ ‘Rare,’ or ‘One of a Kind.’

Peak their curiosity with buzz words, so that whether you’re selling champagne filled chocolates or cashmere sweaters, you’ve hooked them and compelled them to click, buy—and become a customer for years to come.

Force the Masses to Discover Your Sale

While content has been and always will be king, never underestimate the power of a really good image. Many businesses use images in their blog posts or web content, but fail to maximize their exposure by forgetting about the alt tags. This holiday season (as well as any other day of the year) remember that your audience is visually inspired. Add stock photos of a picturesque setting, or of a child receiving the perfect gift on Christmas morning. Find images that evoke Universal desires we all have: a sense of joy, wonder and even magic. Then, take advantage of alt tags so that visitors can find you—and inevitably, the perfect Black Friday deal they just can’t pass up.

The post appeared first on

Friday, 1 September 2017

Bing is Proving the Future of AI is Now for Small Businesses

chatbot-social Bing is Proving the Future of AI is Now for Small Businesses

Small businesses rely on each employee to wear several hats, but being a jack-of-all-trades also takes time away from employees to do their job and do it well. Small business owners need as much help as possible, whether that is freeing up the hostess to get away from the phones and greet customers or focusing your executive administrator on running the front office instead of taking payments.

An employee’s day can easily be derailed by customers calling to ask the same questions over and over again; Are you open today? Where can I pay my bill? How do I find your prices? Where are you located? So, it’s easy to understand the necessity Bing sees in creating chatbots for small businesses. Chatbots save your paid employees time, which saves you money.

How Chatbots Work for Small Businesses

Bing launched Business Bots several months ago and is the first major search engine to do this. Bing Bots are programmed to know the answers to simple questions about a business. The business owner simply supplies answers to frequently asked questions such as hours of operation, location, menu items and more. The chatbots are engineered to understand questions and respond to those questions in natural language. This gets employees off the phone every other minute to say, “yes, we are open.”bingbot-1024x672 Bing is Proving the Future of AI is Now for Small Businesses

Bing’s bots can be used directly on Bing, Skype and even on a business’s website. If someone searches for a restaurant in Bing, the search engine results page (SERP) will bring up the listing with buttons to the website to call or to chat (see screenshot below).

So what if a bot doesn’t know an answer?

The bot has information stored for general questions, but if a customer asks a question it does not know the answer to the bot will provide the person with the business’s phone number. The bot will then reach out to the business owner so the owner can provide the answer to the question, so in the future the bot can be more helpful and again, continue to provide information about the business for its customers. This development may allow bots to continually update data and conduct transactions in the SERP.

The bot will also be available across platforms in the future – you create it once and publish across multiple channels such as Bing, Skype and SMS. Facebook Messenger and Cortana capabilities are coming soon.

The Evolution of the Chatbot

So, what is a chatbot, exactly? It’s a program that maintains a conversation with a user, using natural language. The bot understands the person’s intent and responds with the appropriate information. A mobile messenger is used for the chat, whether it’s SMS, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, or website.

The explosion of interest in chat bots can be surmised by a few developments:

  1. Mobile messenger popularity: Mobile messengers have grown in popularity and are the most used apps on mobile devices. According to Chatbots Magazine, WhatsApp has reached over a billion users, Facebook Messenger is at 900 million and WeChat is at 700 million. Messenger apps have surpassed social media apps in global popularity. It’s easy to surmise that today, people prefer talking via typing, and businesses should adapt to make that an easier and more developed option.bingbot-1024x672 Bing is Proving the Future of AI is Now for Small Businesses
  2. App fatigue: If you’re thinking about creating an app for your business, you may want to reconsider. App fatigue is growing. App fatigue refers to consumers who are tired of installing and then constantly updating new apps onto their smartphones. Put simply, users often download apps, use them once or twice and then never use them again. According to the same Chatbots Magazine study, as much as 23 percent of mobile users abandon an app after one use. A typical consumer has about 30 apps on their phone, but uses less than five on a consistent basis.  As you can see, often times, the development and launch of an app ends up being a waste of resources.
  3. Support for bots through Facebook, Microsoft and other technology leaders: Bot support has grown within the last year, as both Microsoft and Facebook made announcements in 2016 for development and support of chat bots. This has led to the possibility of creating an approved bot and launching it across platforms, seeing affects all across the globe. bingbot-1024x672 Bing is Proving the Future of AI is Now for Small Businesses
  4. Dramatic reduction in chat bot development costs: Finally, the development cost behind chatbots has dropped dramatically. Recently, major software companies like IBM, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have released free advanced development tools, frameworks and research data that has allowed companies to design chat bots for a relatively low price. This has led to advances such in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Understanding, Speech Recognition and other advanced technologies.

The Takeaway

In the end, it’s easy to see that the mobile world we live in has become the perfect place for businesses to take advantage of chatbots to garner more interest. Chatbots work well with the generations that have grown up on technology and want the easiest, fastest and simplest way to get information. Of course large corporations see value in these and have the development capabilities, but small businesses should pay attention to this as well. With a small team and everyone stretched to capacity, a chat bot could make a big difference in operations and allow your employees to focus on the jobs that take creativity, personality, and intuition.

The post appeared first on