How to Improve Your Alexa Ranking in 30 Days or Less

Numbers don’t lie.

When it comes to the popularity and overall value of your business, it’s important to have a solid Alexa Ranking.

Why? It’s a common metric that potential business partners, investors, etc. will use to determine the state of your business.

They’ll use it to gauge your business’s health and whether it’s trending up or down.

The lower your Alexa Rank, the better, and vice versa.

This is why so many business owners agonize over their Alexa Rank and work tirelessly to improve it.

In this post, I’d like to discuss two key things.

First, I’d like to talk about the factors that Alexa assesses when determining rankings.

Second, I’d like to offer a tangible strategy you can use to improve your Alexa Ranking in 30 days or less.

Let’s hit it.

What’s an Alexa Rank?

Just to be sure we’re on the same page, allow me to formally define an Alexa Rank.

According to Avangate,

“It’s a ranking system set by alexa.com (a subsidiary of amazon.com) that audits and makes public the frequency of visits on various web sites.

Alexa’s support section clarifies matters even more by explaining how its traffic rankings are determined:

“Alexa’s traffic estimates and ranks are based on the browsing behavior of people in our global data panel which is a sample of all Internet users. Alexa’s Traffic Ranks are based on the traffic data provided by users in Alexa’s global data panel over a rolling 3 month period.”

Here’s what Google’s Alexa Rank looks like at number one:

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And here’s what Quick Sprout looks like at the moment:

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Not nearly as good as Google but solid nonetheless, considering the fact that the lowest ranked website is somewhere around 30 million.

Which factors does Alexa analyze?

Before we can formulate a game plan, it’s important to understand what Alexa is looking at when assigning a ranking to websites.

Fortunately, Alexa is very upfront about how its data is calculated.

According to the Alexa Blog, “Every day, Alexa estimates the average daily visitors and pageviews to every site over the past 3 months. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews over the past 3 months is ranked #1.”

“The site with the least is ranked somewhere around 30 million. If no one in our measurement panel visited a site over the past 3 months there is no rank at all for that site.”

They also provide a couple of graphs to illustrate this:

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Of course, Google receives more traffic than any other site on the Internet.

It gets more daily visitors and pageviews, so it sits at the top of the mountain.

Alexa also points out the fact that the closer you get to the top of the plot, the harder it gets to move up a rank.

While it may be fairly easy for a site ranking 24,500,132 to move up to, say, 20 million, it’s significantly more difficult to climb from 50 to 40.

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The main takeaway is that it’s all about two key factors: (1) average daily visitors and (2) pageviews over the last three months.

That being said, here’s what you need to do in order to improve your Alexa Ranking quickly.

Certify your site metrics

If you don’t mind making a small investment, it’s a good idea to use Alexa’s Certified Site Metrics.

This will give you an Alexa Certified Code, which will directly measure your site’s traffic.

It offers several advantages:

  • You get a more accurate Alexa Rank
  • You have access to more in-depth analytics reports (there’s a private dashboard)
  • You can closely monitor your site’s performance
  • You also have the option of displaying unique visitors, pageviews, and ranks publicly

Here are the different pricing options:

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It’s also important to note that you get a free monthly SEO audit with the “Insight” plan and a full site audit with the “Advanced” plan every two weeks.

This is just something to keep in mind when choosing a plan.

Here’s a screenshot from Alexa support, explaining how to get your site certified:

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The bottom line is that certifying your site metrics gives you an advantage over other websites.

You can gain a clearer perspective on the health of your site and are equipped with tools to improve your ranking.

Produce epic content

Sorry if I sound like a broken record with the whole “epic content” thing.

But when you break it all down, it’s an essential component of online marketing on many levels.

I’m not going to bore you with all the gory details, but it’s extremely important to create A+ content that genuinely satisfies your audience.

Check out this guide I wrote on Neil Patel for pretty much everything you need to know on the subject.

This will be a necessity for boosting your Alexa Ranking.

Get quality backlinks

What are two critical factors that Google takes into account when assigning a ranking to your website?

Trust and authority. In fact, “Domain trust/authority represents 23.87% of Google’s ranking algorithm.”

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One of the most straightforward ways to increase your site’s trust/authority is to obtain quality inbound links.

You know the drill. They need to be from reputable, relevant websites.

I realize this is obviously easier said than done.

I wish it was as easy as putting out a few decent blog posts and having multiple big name publications chomping at the bit to link to you.

Of course, it’s a fairly arduous process.

But at the end of the day, it all goes back to creating great content.

In fact, I like to adhere to the 90/10 rule of link building, where “90% of your effort should go into creating great content, and 10% into link building.”

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And when it comes to the process of link building, there’s one technique that outshines all the rest: guest-posting.

Now, I’m not going to rehash what I’ve already written about this topic here. But you can learn the essentials from this guide on Quick Sprout.

If you can get even a few guest posts published on reputable websites, this should result in an improved Alexa Ranking within a month.

Analyze your competitors’ keywords

Here’s a question for you.

What’s your motivation behind wanting to improve your Alexa Ranking?

I bet it’s to have a better ranking than your primary competitors. Right?

Of course, you’ll want to outperform the competition. But how do you go about it?

One of the best ways to gain an edge with your Alexa Rank, and with SEO in general, is to analyze your competitors’ keywords.

You’ll want to know which keywords are bringing them the most traffic, generating backlinks, and so on.

Once you know which keywords are driving the bulk of traffic to their websites, you can optimize your site for those keywords and build momentum.

It’s like killing two birds with one stone. Not only will your Alexa Rank improve, your overall SEO rankings should improve as well.

But how can you analyze their keywords?

I recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner.

There are a lot of tools out there, but this is perhaps the most universal. Besides, Google is usually the go-to source for Internet data.

Here’s what you do.

Go to your Keyword Planner dashboard.

Click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.”

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Under “Your landing page,” type in the URL of a competitor.

I’ll just use quicksprout.com as an example:

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Click on “Get Ideas” at the bottom, and your screen will be populated with a list of competitor keywords.

Here are just a handful that popped up from my search:

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The great thing about using the Keyword Planner is that you can instantly determine the volume of monthly searches and the level of competition for each keyword.

Creating better content that outperforms your competitors is a great way to gradually boost your SEO and at the same time improve your Alexa Rank.

But in order to see a significant improvement within 30 days, I would suggest first going after the “low hanging fruit,” meaning keywords with minimal competition and a lot of searches.

Focus on those initially for a surge in your ranking.

Conclusion

In many ways, your Alexa Rank directly affects the health and progress of your business.

It’s something that key stakeholders will often look at when determining whether or not your company is worth doing business with.

Therefore, achieving a favorable ranking (at least in the top 100,000) should be a priority.

If you follow this formula, I can pretty much guarantee that you will see at least a reasonable improvement fairly quickly.

However, if your site ranks really poorly, it may take awhile to get to the point where your business is attractive to stakeholders.

And because your Alexa Rank is such an important metric, I recommend making your efforts at improving it ongoing.

How big of a factor has your Alexa Ranking been in terms of business partnerships and opportunities?

6 Advanced B2B Lead Conversion Tracking Methods

One of the more loaded questions we hear from execs at our SaaS company is, “How is Marketing doing this month?” Fair question.

For B2B marketers who work with lead generation and conversion tracking, the answer beyond “great” may be tricky to communicate, based on whom we’re talking to and all the factors involved.

Ideally, your lead conversion-tracking data is presented in a way that can answer any sophisticated marketing performance question in less than two minutes without overloading the recipient. They need it this way.

Let’s dive into some key B2B lead conversion-tracking methods for win-win clarity.

1. Lifecycle Stages

Every B2B company is unique. More often than not, your funnel is unique too, making it extra important to clearly define the lifecycle stages of your leads based on the interactions they’ve had with your business (not only for marketing purposes, but for tracking as well).

For example, the way you communicate with and measure leads that have a contract in hand vs. leads that have downloaded an eBook should be much different. Lifecycle stages are the base of strong lead conversion tracking.

Here’s one way to define your lifecycle stages, from awareness to enlightenment:

  • Subscriber: Those who have read some of your blog content and opted to hear from you via one of your various email sign-up strategies. They might not know what it is you sell or do, but they find your content valuable.
  • Lead: Those who have shown interest in a general, top-of-the-funnel offer.
  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): Those who have provided detailed information such as company name, job title, etc., to receive gated content (depending on your form fields) like whitepapers, data studies, etc.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): Those who have shown interest in your product or service by requesting a live demonstration.
  • Deal: Real sales opportunities, where their company and yours appear to be a great match.
  • Customer: Anyone with an active closed won deal.
  • Evangelist: Strong advocates of your business that mention your business in conversations and content.

When defining your lifecycle stages, make sure they’re documented, known by all stakeholders and consistent. Once you have your lifecycle stages defined, you can then measure how many leads of each type you have and the conversion rates associated with them.

2. Source & Cost Attribution

Ideally your analytics and CRM are set up in a way that easily displays where leads come from and when. Source (or channel) attribution and the breakdown (by months) of where the leads were generated is key to understanding campaign performance from various sources. Traffic times conversion rate equals success.

Knowing which channels your leads originated from and how much money was spent in each channel can be represented in something like this (we break up the cost of content creation in thirds across Direct, Referral & Organic, since it affects each):

source-cost-attribution-spreadsheetfake numbers btw 🙂

From a cost perspective, it is equally important to match up the dollars spent with the month the leads were generated to measure the cost effectiveness of your lead sources. Each source will have different lead numbers and associated costs to compare. This also enables you to prioritize what to optimize next, support where to double-down and inform what to cut.

3. Goal Ramp Incorporation

Goals are mandatory for any company looking to succeed – so why not tie them into your lead conversion-tracking data? This way, everyone involved can easily see what the performance is relative to the goals in place. One example is an SQL goal ramp that increases by 10 percent month over month:

goal-ramp-spreadsheetsuper fake numbers again

As you can see, February’s total SQLs exceeded the February goal by 35, approximately 6 percent. To implement an “actual number in relation to goal number percentage” like this, use the following formula: (Actual – Goal) / Goal. This is helpful for any goals you have associated with marketing: revenue, other lifecycle stages, etc.

4. Monthly Recurring Revenue per SQL

This is where we start to tie in revenue generated from marketing to help display quality that’s associated with the leads being generated. Just like with content, quality beats quantity.

mrr-per-sql-spreadsheetsorta real numbers

Remember the SQL actuals compared to goal example in #3? We fell short of the goal in the month of December. However, when you look at the monthly recurring revenue (MRR) generated from sales qualified leads that originated in December, you’ll notice it is higher than the previous month, indicating the quality improved. MRR per SQL is just MRR / Total SQLs.

Exceeding lead quantity goals is fine, but not nearly as good as seeing monthly recurring revenue per SQL trending upward for your business.

5. Months to Payback

This one also takes into account the value of new customers generated from leads, and it’s my favorite indicator of marketing performance. Similar to the CLTV/CAC ratio, months to payback directly correlates to how fast your SaaS company can grow.

months-to-payback-spreadsheettrending strong

The calculation is Total Cost / MRR, and you want to see this number trend downward for your business, because it measures the number of months of new MRR generated that month required to “pay back” the dollars spent in marketing that month to generate the leads.

The lower number, the sooner the business is making profit. Anything in the 2 to 3 months range or lower is ideal for accelerated growth, especially if you offer annual deals.

6. Multiple views of the above data

To display all of the above B2B lead conversion-tracking metrics, set up a couple sheets in Excel:

  • One for all your different sources (referral traffic, organic search, paid social, etc.)
  • One monthly/master sheet that your sources data feeds into each month

A weekly sheet is valuable, too. Just keep in mind, the longer you’re tracking lead conversions like this, the longer it takes to update the data each time, since we’re attributing revenue and lifecycle stage advancement to prior months when leads originated.

The last step is sharing the data with all involved stakeholders. Walk them through all the components and the key areas they should watch.

Conclusion

Successful B2B lead conversion tracking takes into account several key factors to measure and communicate marketing performance, but it’s also an effective way to optimize future business goals and campaigns.

What lead conversion-tracking methods are you using for your SaaS company in 2017? Comment below to let me know.

About the Author: Ethan DeYoung is the VP of Demand Generation for ClearVoice, a content marketing software and services company with a vetted freelancer marketplace. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Tracking Offline Marketing Campaigns With Kissmetrics

Forrester estimates that companies allocate about 30% of their marketing budget to online.

It’s trending upwards, gaining roughly 1% per year.

That’s means that offline marketing spend will continue to outspend online for the next couple decades.

So if you’re like most companies spending the bulk of your marketing budgets on offline marketing campaigns, you’ll need to know how effective your offline efforts are. (That is why you came to this blog post in the first place, after all).

Here’s how you can intelligently set up those offline campaigns and track their returns in Kissmetrics.

Forms of Offline Marketing

Let’s try to name all the offline channels you can throw marketing dollars at.

There’s direct mail, radio, coupons, television, guerilla marketing, business cards, conferences, speaking engagements, sponsorships, and more.

Even if you’re utilizing just one of these channels, you’ll still need to track it just as diligently as your online marketing campaigns. Qualitative feedback is great (“a lot of people said great things about us at the most recent conference we sponsored”) but you’ll also need to measure (“we received 5k visits and 580 signups coming directly from the conference”).

Let’s look at how Kissmetrics can help you in measuring the quantitative data.

From Offline to Online

So, how do we track a potential customer that heard about you from an offline channel and moves from the awareness stage to the interest stage?

Let’s say your company, a chocolate company, just sponsored a big food trade show in Dallas this past January. You’re trying to get more of your product in retail stores around the country. To get the attention of attendees, your company logo was all over, along with a custom site you made just for attendees. This site contains some background on your company, your sourcing, and information for retail buyers.

Your banners across the conference were all pointing to this URL, telling attendees they get a free consultation by going to the site and filling out the information form.

As long as you’ve kept the URL short and easy-to-remember, tracking this shouldn’t be a problem. People type your URL into the address bar, hit enter, and browse, contact you, inquire.

Tracking it is relatively straightforward. Just pull up a funnel report viewing direct visits to see how many of them signed up, contacted you, etc.

But let’s add a wrinkle that makes this a bit more tricky: let’s say you’re offering free box of chocolates if visitors enter a coupon code when submitting an inquiry to talk to one of your salespersons.

What we basically want to know is – of all the people that submit an inquiry with us, how many of them are applying the discount code? How effective is the free chocolate at generating inquiries?

In this case, the funnel is – Visited conference site > Filled out inquiry form (with or without discount code).

With Kissmetrics, you can track when people apply a discount code. Here’s how we’d set it up using Kissmetrics:

Anytime someone visits our site for conferences attendees, an event in Kissmetrics called Visited conference site fires. So our first event in the funnel is for people that visited the conference site:

visited-conference-site-funnel

The second event fires when someone files out an inquiry. We called this event Submitted inquiry. We’ll set that as the 2nd event in the funnel report:

visitied-conference-site-submitted-inquiry-funnel-step

We’ll want to find the people that have and have not submitted the coupon code, so we’ll click the small arrow button and add the property “Coupon Code” with the coupon code being conference100:

coupon-code-containing

We also want to find the people that didn’t enter the coupon code. For that, we’ll click this button:

add-additional-condition-to-step

And we’ll add an Or condition to this step, telling Kissmetrics to also find the people that did not have this coupon applied:

or-does-not-have-property

This will make it easy to compare the conversion rates for people that entered the coupon code vs those that didn’t.

So here’s how our funnel set up looks:

conference-signups-funnel-steps

Now let’s get our data. Let’s first look at a simple conversion for those that visited the conference site and then submitted the inquiry.

57-percent-conversion-funnel

This shows us we got about 2500 visits, and a little more than half of those submitted an inquiry. Now let’s look at how effective that coupon code was getting people to submit an inquiry.

submitted-inquiry-choice-funnel

So it looks like the bulk of conversions are coming with the coupon code applied.

does-not-have-coupon-code-funnel

Much lower conversions – meaning that the free box of chocolates were enough to get most people to submit an inquiry. We’ll now have to track these further down the funnel to see if they lead to meaningful conversations.

This example can stretch further – if you’re using direct mail, radio, billboards, or any display advertising you can point people to a URL and track the conversions with a coupon code. How many times on radio have you heard “enter coupon code to receive 15% off your first order”? As we’ve seen, using these coupon codes makes it much easier to track the effectiveness of these offline campaigns.

Shortened Domains

You may have a long domain name that can be too difficult to remember, too long to type, or not easy to hear (for those of you that advertise on radio).

For example, there’s a realtor in my area named Kris Lindahl. He frequently advertises on radio. His website, http://www.krislindahl.com, isn’t easy to remember (it’s a name) and Kris is usually spelled as Chris, which could lead many to type in the wrong URL. So via radio he advertises his url as soldwithkl.com, which is easier to remember than his actual name. Go to soldwithkl.com and you’ll be redirected to his officlal website landing page.

That can be a solid approach if your domain name isn’t memorable or very long. It also makes it very easy to track with Kissmetrics. Here’s how it works.

Let’s say you’re the Director of Marketing for a company called carworldautoparts.com. You are about to begin a radio campaign. The only issue is your domain name. It has a couple problems:

  1. It’s long (who wants to type a domain that long?)
  2. It’s not particularly easy to remember

You know that no matter what you offer, your long domain name is a roadblock for getting people to just visit your site. So you create a workaround by buying a shorter, easier to remember domain name that redirects to your main URL. This is the domain name you’ll advertise on radio.

Tracking your main funnel is pretty standard, but you’ll add a condition to the first step, telling Kissmetrics to only find the people that came from your shortened URL.

visited-site-km-referrer

You can then fill out the rest of your funnel – viewed product, added product to cart, and purchased. This will give you a focused view on how your radio campaign is performing.

By the way – you can also do this with other domains – you can see how traffic from twitter, facebook, and other referral sites impact signups and conversions.

Conclusion

Tracking offline campaigns can be tricky if people aren’t buying on the spot.

But following the steps they’ll take to purchasing, and tracking each step along the way, will make it much easier.

Questions? Put them in the comments.

About the Author: Zach Bulygo (Twitter) is the Blog Manager for Kissmetrics.

7 Tools for Generating Infinite Content Ideas for Your Blog

Blogging sucks.

Okay that’s a bit extreme. In fact, there’s a lot that I enjoy about blogging-mainly connecting with you guys.

But what does suck is having to constantly come up with new ideas for blog posts.

It’s a grind that can be quite exhausting, especially if you’re simply coming up with ideas off the top of your head.

Research from The Content Marketing Institute found that “57% of B2B marketers say that producing content consistently is their biggest struggle.”

And the struggle is real.

If you’re like me and writing up to eight posts per week while juggling multiple businesses, it can be seriously draining.

So out of pure necessity, I’ve experimented with a plethora of different tools to aid me in the process of generating new content ideas.

Some have been home runs and some have been strikeouts.

But there are seven in particular I really like and want to share with you.

Using one or more of these tools will allow you to generate an infinite number of content ideas for your blog-without having to do any heavy lifting.

1. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

This is one of my favorites for generating a handful of ideas quickly. Five to be exact.

I love it because it’s incredibly easy to use.

Literally within seconds, you’ll have five legitimate blog post titles at your fingertips.

All you have to do is enter up to three nouns in the search boxes:

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In this case, let’s try “content marketing.” Here’s what happens:image12

Voila! I instantly get five viable blog topics.

If you want more, click “Try Again,” and it will take you back to the home screen.

From there, you can perform another search using the same keywords, or you can experiment with different keyword options.

I will say that HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator isn’t ideal if you need to come up with dozens of ideas right out of the gate.

But it’s a great starting point.

2. BuzzSumo

You may have heard me mention BuzzSumo before.

I love this tool and have been using it to guide my content marketing efforts for a few years now.

It’s awesome because it does more than just provide you with content ideas. Much more!

It also does the following:

  • tells you the number of shares and social engagements content receives
  • identifies key sharers
  • displays backlinks
  • shows you top trending content

In other words, you can quickly tell how well content is performing and what’s resonating the most with readers.

This information is helpful because it lets you know which angles to take with your blog and makes it easier to strike while the iron is hot when topics are peaking.

Here’s what happens when I search for “content marketing” on BuzzSumo:

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Notice that it provides me with an in-depth glimpse of the content that’s crushing it at the moment.

More specifically, I can see the number of:

  • Facebook engagements
  • LinkedIn shares
  • Twitter shares
  • Pinterest shares
  • Google+ shares
  • Links
  • Total shares

If you look to the right of this info, you’ll notice two more features: “View backlinks” and “View sharers.”

Both add a whole new dimension to the content prospecting process.

But let me give you a heads up.

The free version is fairly limited and won’t necessarily show you the big picture. You also can’t take advantage of all the features.

That’s why I recommend using the Pro version if you’ve got the budget.

As of early 2017, it costs $79 per month.

I know this may seem steep to some marketers, but it’s a worthwhile investment in my opinion.

3. Alltop

This is basically a news aggregator that lets you know what’s happening online.

Alltop runs the gamut in terms of topics and covers everything from science and religion to photography and fashion. It’s all there.

Here’s what you see when you first land on the Alltop homepage:

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It’s basically a hodgepodge of different content.

Skimming through the homepage may help you generate some ideas, depending on your niche.

But what I recommend is searching for a specific topic in the search box.

Here’s just a fraction of what I get when I search for “content marketing:”

image08

Alltop displays five posts from relevant blogs, and you can simply browse through the list for ideas.

Or you can take it one step further and click on a specific blog and scan it individually.

I’ve found this to be helpful, and you can potentially find some epic new resources you haven’t been aware of before.

The bottom line is that you can usually come up with a ton of ideas in a short period of time.

You can also get a feel for overarching trends to gauge what’s popular at the moment.

4. UberSuggest

Using this tool is simple.

Enter a keyword, and UberSuggest will supply you with dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of phrases that include your keyword.

Here’s a screenshot of what popped up when I used “content marketing” as a keyword:

image01

It’s kind of like the Google Keyword Planner but more streamlined.

UberSuggest won’t provide you with info such as search volume, competition, etc., but it’s perfect for coming up with content ideas for your blog quickly.

Another cool feature is “Expand this keyword,” which you’ll see after clicking on a particular keyword.

Here’s what happens when I expand “content marketing strategy.”

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Notice that it’s a more comprehensive list of keyword phrases based on “content marketing strategy.”

Pretty cool.

In theory, you can use one simple keyword to generate thousands of content ideas with UberSuggest.

5. Google Trends

I’m sure you’re at least somewhat familiar with Google Trends.

I use it for several marketing purposes, mainly to perform market research and determine interest in a particular topic.

But did you know that Google Trends can be used for generating content ideas as well?

It’s true.

Now let me say that this isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the previous tools I listed, but it definitely serves a purpose. Three to be exact.

Again, let’s use “content marketing” as an example.

First, you can browse through “Related topics” to see what’s popular.

image07

This can help you identify other influential resources you may want to check out, which can potentially give you additional ideas.

Second, you can scan through “Related queries” to see which search queries are most popular on Google at the moment:

image04

Third, you can use Google Trends to determine whether a topic is trending up or down.

Here’s what the interest in content marketing looks like at the moment:

image05

When you put it all together, Google Trends can be quite handy for generating ideas.

6. Portent’s Content Idea Generator

If you’re looking for a super quick way to come up with a click-worthy blog title, look no further than this tool.

While it’s by no means as robust as, say, BuzzSumo, it works great for generating a title that your audience will eat up.

Here’s an example:

image11

For more ideas, click the refresh button.

I like Portent’s Content Idea Generator because it’s an easy way to come up with cool and catchy titles.

It’s particularly good if you’re looking for a dash of humor.

7. Content Row’s Link Bait Title Generator

So here’s the deal with link bait.

It can potentially be detrimental to your marketing campaign.

I mean it may drive some initial traffic to your blog, but you’re likely to have a high bounce rate and a minimal number of return visitors if your content doesn’t actually measure up.

For that reason, I don’t recommend using titles purely intended for link bait without actually having high quality content.

That being said, Content Row’s Link Bait Title Generator is still a pretty awesome little tool to have.

The concept is simple. You enter a subject, and a handful of relevant link bait title ideas will appear.

Here’s what pops up when I enter “content marketing.”

image06

Not too shabby.

This isn’t to say you’ll want to use every single idea this tool suggests, but you can definitely use it to streamline your brainstorming.

Most of the time, you can come up with some pretty catchy titles that will bring in considerable traffic.

Just make sure your content hits its mark.

Conclusion

I think we can all agree that coming up with fresh content ideas is a pain at times.

If you’ve been blogging for over a year, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

But fortunately, you don’t have to sit around brainstorming on your own, trying to come up with new ideas from scratch.

There are numerous tools available (many of which are free) that will assist you with this process and enable you to come up with pretty darn good ideas.

In fact, it’s tools like these that have enabled me to make continual progress and establish the audience that I have.

If you’re a serious blogger, I suggest at least checking out each of these seven tools and doing a little experimenting.

This should make it much easier to populate your blog with killer content without driving yourself crazy in the process.

Can you suggest any other tools for generating content ideas?

Where Does Analytics Fit Into Your Customer Experience?

Analytics is integral to refining the customer experience.

Research shows that “90% of business managers believe analytics has the ability to improve sales, and another 62% report they believe analytics can increase sales by more than 20%.”

Examining the data offers the chance to learn what you did right and what needs more attention. Without analytics, you’re simply hoping that your actions make an impact.

Take the guesswork out of the equation. Track consumer behavior, record support interactions, and question the reasoning for customer dissatisfaction.

Your business can’t afford unnecessary risks. Integrate analytics into your strategy to improve the customer experience.

Transform Product Launches

Bringing new products to market is critical for businesses. And it’s not only about the actual product. Teams need to prepare for the marketing portion of the launch.

Developing messaging for a new product is a make or break moment. If done correctly, you’ll earn brand awareness and drive sales. But if you take the wrong direction, you’ll fail the product and might damage the entire brand.

Build demand for your product before it even launches. Segment your email list to send a VIP product announcement to your loyal customers. Or send samples of the new product to existing customers based on their current usage of your product.

Snapchat created a viral marketing sensation around the launch of Spectacles. The company creatively mapped out where to place vending machines for consumers to purchase the camera sunglasses. The locations ranged from high-foot traffic areas to famous attractions.

Online product launches also are significant to your business. From the landing page to the checkout page, you’re responsible for charting the customer’s purchasing path.

Most companies invest in session recording to help them understand the visitor’s journey on their websites. You’ll gather data about how consumers interact with your content and exactly what they are looking for.

For instance, Ben & Jerry’s used A/B testing for the online launch of its new peanut butter fudge ice cream. The company discovered that the best branding announcement included a cross section image of the ice cream pint and a straightforward description. Consumers also wanted access to the nutritional facts and a store locator.

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Embrace analytics to revamp product launches. It’s your competitive advantage to deliver more conversions.

Connect Customer Touchpoints

The buyer’s journey consists of multiple touchpoints, and every customer interaction is essential to your brand perception.

How consumers think and feel about your company is a reflection of how you treat them. So, if buyers are disappointed with product quality, you’ll become a subpar brand in the eyes of customers.

Step up your game by analyzing all your customer touchpoints. From Facebook ads to packaging to service calls, evaluate how you listen and respond to the buyer. Are you creating an environment for customer satisfaction, or are you self-sabotaging the experience with complicated processes?

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Customer touchpoints should build upon the previous interaction. The goal is to reinforce the brand’s positioning and to deliver a memorable shopping experience.

Apple is a master at customer touchpoints. Its website is easy to navigate with innovative product descriptions and access to customer support. In-store demos offer a chance to sample the product and receive explanations before purchase. The technology company builds a consistent pathway, regardless of where the buyer falls in the sales funnel.

Personalization also helps strengthen your team’s ability to provide better service. Look for opportunities to customize interactions based on the buyer’s behavior.

“Use data to create personalized experiences for your audiences. Customer interactions leave behind hints, creating digital fingerprints that can be analyzed for an abundance of information-right down to what your customers are doing or even how they’re feeling at that very moment,” says Jared Lees, senior manager of industry strategy for financial services at Adobe.

Consumers place high expectations on brands. Aim to convert visitors into customers with every interaction.

Build Frictionless Experiences

Customers run from poor shopping experiences like it’s the plague. They don’t want to waste their time or money attempting to navigate a poorly-designed website.

A frictionless experience centers around an ongoing effort to anticipate your customer’s needs, while leading them to their desired path. For example, if most consumers arrive at your site searching for articles to read, your blog link should be in the header, not buried in a menu tab.

These small changes can make a big difference toward ensuring customer convenience. Not making adjustments can lead to consumers venting their frustrations on social media-negatively affecting your brand.

“Problem pages, an unnecessary complex checkout process, ineffective forms, and JavaScript errors will all have an impact on the bottom line, which is why it is important to understand your site and its issues from the visitor perspective,” states Ben Harris, CEO of Decibel Insight.

Heatmaps offer the ability to optimize the site experience. It measures the attention people give to particular areas of a web page. This information helps you detect potential usability issues or decide how to prioritize content.

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Keep buyers coming back to your website. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses with data.

Delight Customers Often

Most people live repetitive lives-wake up, go to work, tend to the family, and do it all over again. Shatter your consumers’ daily monotony by delighting them during the shopping experience.

To delight an individual means to show to a high degree of gratification. It’s all about expressing your appreciation for the person’s past deeds.

Because your brand is more than just a stuffy corporate logo, your team should take steps to express gratitude to customers. A proper thank you can easily lift the spirits of a buyer.

Moreover, a study reported that “thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.” By acknowledging your customers, you’re opening the door to establishing loyalty.

Avoiding customer satisfaction isn’t an option. And delighting consumers must happen throughout the entire brand experience-so revisit your buyer personas and customer purchasing history.

“Retailers must delight their customers at every stage of the journey-including delivery and beyond. Loyalty is hard won but easily lost and consumers judge brands on their whole experience, not just up to the point when they press the ‘buy’ button,” writes Christer Holloman, author of How to Sell Online.

Set up a plan to execute a ‘thank you’ tour. Determine your target audience and how you will initiate the engagement. Then, select your goal, an appropriate timeframe, and the platform. Below is a graphic detailing the process for a social surprise and delight campaign.

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If you’re stuck on customer delight ideas, here are a few: a handwritten thank you card, a Twitter shout-out, a free swag offer, and a charity donation. No matter what you choose to do, your intentions should reflect your customer’s desires.

Go the extra mile to serve your customers. A little appreciation never hurt anyone.

Analytics Knows Best

Change how your team refines the customer experience. Keep analytics on the front lines of your sales objectives.

Use session recording to pinpoint mistakes before official product launches. Study behavioral data to polish customer touchpoints. And test marketing campaigns to successfully surprise and delight your customers.

Analytics is an asset for the customer experience.

About the Author: Shayla Price lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology and social responsibility. Connect with her on Twitter @shaylaprice.

Why You Need to Measure Brand Equity – and How to Do It

Before we get started, let’s get one thing straight:

If the product or service your company offers doesn’t live up to your customers’ expectations, your business isn’t going to get very far.

That being said, it’s important to note that the quality of your product or service isn’t the only factor that determines the level of success your company will achieve.

You also need to worry about how your company’s brand is perceived by your customers and prospects.

Think about some of the most famous companies in the world – and what their brands represent:

Apple is known for its innovative technology and for always looking to the next big thing.

Mercedes-Benz consistently develops high-end luxury vehicles that exude class.

IKEA sells durable furniture at a price even college students can afford.

When you think of a product from one of these companies, you don’t even need to know what the item is. If it’s from Apple, it’ll be innovative. If it’s from Mercedes, it’ll be classy. If it’s from IKEA, it’ll be sturdy.

Such a universally-held perception of a brand’s products or services provides an incredible amount of value to a company.

This value is a company’s brand equity.

Brand equity can be broken down into three components:

  • Consumer perception
  • The effect this perception has on your company
  • The value of this effect

This value can be broken down even further, into tangible and intangible factors.

Tangible factors are quantitative values, such as revenue, profit (or loss), and sales numbers.

Intangible factors are qualitative values, such as consumer awareness of your brand, and goodwill.

Because brand equity involves tangible and intangible factors, determining brand equity from an objective standpoint can prove to be difficult. In the next section, we’ll take a look at the important metrics and factors to focus on when attempting to come to a consensus on your brand’s equity.

Which Brand Equity Metrics Should You Measure?

According to Branding Strategy Insider, measuring brand equity requires you consider three metrics:

  • Knowledge Metrics
  • Preference Metrics
  • Financial Metrics

metrics-of-brand-equityEach metric is equally important to your company’s overall brand equity. (Image Source)

As we describe each of these metrics in greater detail, you’ll learn how they relate to the components of brand equity mentioned above. You’ll also get a better idea of how tangible and intangible metrics can be analyzed and assessed not just in isolation, but as cohesive parts of a greater whole.

Knowledge Metrics

Put simply, knowledge metrics measure the popularity of your brand.

But knowledge metrics go much deeper than a simple “yea” or “nay” with regard to your brand’s popularity.

According to a 2011 article published in the Asian Journal of Business Management, these metrics assess the consumer’s awareness of and association with your brand throughout various stages of aided, unaided, and top-of-mind recognition and recall.

This awareness can then be classified into one of two groups.

Functional associations relate to the use of your product or service.

To best illustrate what a functional association is, consider the following scenarios:

  • You see a picture online that’s clearly been doctored. You scroll down to the comments section and furiously type “Photoshopped!”
  • You sneeze five times in a row, then ask your coworker to hand you a Kleenex.
  • You cut your finger and run to the bathroom to get a Band-Aid.

What do all three of these examples have in common?

In each of these cases, you used a company’s product to describe a generic item. The photo wasn’t necessarily doctored using Photoshop – it could have been any photo-editing program. When you asked for a Kleenex, you were really just asking for a tissue. Even though the bandages in your bathroom are generic store-brand items, you still called them by the more well-known company name, Band-Aid.

These products are so well-known that their functions have become synonymous with their brand – even though there are numerous other products like them on the market.

When assessing your brand’s functional associations, consider the following questions:

Do customers or prospective customers know and understand what your product or service actually does? Do they know of the value they’ll get from using it? Do they perhaps have a misguided or misunderstood sense of its functions and/or value?

The answers your customers or prospects provide to these questions can prove to be extremely valuable to your company as a whole.

You might recognize a need to focus more on clarity in your advertising and marketing initiatives with regard to what your product actually does.

Or you might realize you’ve been targeting the wrong persona from the get-go.

Or, you might learn that your customers are merely content with the service you provide – but would be even happier if you provided a bit more than you currently do.

Whatever the case may be, data regarding functional associations allow you to better understand how your customers actually use your product, whether or not they’re using it in the way you’ve intended, and what else they’re looking for from your company.

Emotional associations detail how your product or service makes your customers feel.

How did they feel about purchasing your product for the first time? How about while they were using it? After using it? Do they think about your brand even when they aren’t in need of your services?

To be sure, the answers to these questions relate to the functional associations mentioned above – but they are important in their own right, too.

value-destroying-adding-emotionsThe way your customers feel about your brand is vital to your company’s success. (Image Source)

While the functional information is more utilitarian in nature (as in, it tells you whether your customers got the expected value out of your product), the data related to emotions will tell you how the customer felt once such value was (or was not) provided.

Consider the following example:

Two customers walk into a coffee shop. Customer A is a coffee enthusiast, while Customer B simply needs a cup o’ joe before heading to work. Their orders are identical. Customer A takes one sip, realizes the coffee is terrible, reluctantly swallows, and pours the rest out. Customer B takes a sip, recognizes it’s not the best coffee he’s ever had, but finishes the cup on his way to work anyway.

Obviously, Customer A didn’t get any functional value from the product – and his emotional association with the brand will be tainted. Customer B, on the other hand, did get full value from the product, but is relatively neutral in terms of emotional association.

Now, consider a Customer C, who’s just looking for a quiet place to get some work done. To him, the quality of the coffee offered is actually secondary to the coffee shop’s atmosphere. For this customer, both functional and emotional associations would be completely different than our first two customer examples.

For a less hypothetical example, consider Nike.

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The popular athletic apparel and equipment company is based around a single, three-word slogan: Just Do It. You planned on hitting the gym after work, but got stuck in traffic for an hour on the way home? Just do it. You want to start walking during your lunch break, but don’t want to be sweaty and sticky for the rest of the day? Just do it. Thinking of skipping leg day because you have a cold? Just do it.

Youth has no age limit. #justdoit

A post shared by nike (@nike) on Aug 14, 2016 at 12:31pm PDT

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When a brand empowers its customers as much as Nike does, the company’s products essentially sell themselves.

When focusing on knowledge metrics, you’ll end up collecting a wide range of data. In turn, you’ll have a much better understanding of the subjective value of your product or service across a large customer spectrum – and can focus on improving your services for those who make up the bulk of your customer base.

Preference Metrics

Compared to knowledge metrics, preference metrics are a bit easier to nail down.

Preference metrics do deal with how your customers perceive your brand. But these metrics are measured objectively with regard to your company’s position within your industry.

When looking at preference metrics, you’ll want to consider the following factors:

Brand relevance is a company’s ability to identify and provide a specific benefit – and to align the company’s brand with this value.

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Companies with high brand relevance have at least one unique selling proposition (USP) that sets it apart from the competition. A good example of this is TOMS and its One for One program. Though the shoes TOMS sells are relatively ordinary, the company pledges to help a person in need for every pair it sells (in addition to any other TOM product sold). To the socially-conscious consumer, this USP allows TOMS’ shoes to stand out among a sea of run-of-the-mill walking shoes.

Accessibility is the ability of a brand to reach its target market – and provide its intended value to consumers.

When it comes to accessibility, there may be no better example than Starbucks. No matter where you are in the United States, there is a pretty good chance you’re no more than five miles from the nearest Starbucks. The company even has kiosks located inside malls, supermarkets, and department stores. Whenever the mood for a cup of coffee hits you, there’s almost certainly an accessible Starbucks nearby.

Emotional connection relates to a brand’s ability to form a relationship with its customers, in turn leading to loyalty.

You see this all the time when it comes to “warring” companies. Coke vs. Pepsi; Sony Playstation vs. Microsoft Xbox; Apple vs. Samsung. The list goes on.

The products these companies offer are objectively similar. Whether an individual consumer chooses one over the other often comes down to preference. But, once that consumer makes a choice, that company must provide as much extra value as possible in order to forge an emotional connection if it wants to keep that customer from switching sides.

Value compares the cost of your product or service to what your customer gets in return.

Simply put, your prospects will always be looking for “more bang for their buck.” If you can provide the same service as your competitors, and do so for a lower cost, you’re already providing more value to your customers.

Putting all of these together, you’ll then be able to gauge where your brand ranks among competing companies in your industry. This information can then be used to determine whether your company is in a position to create or increase loyalty within your customer base.

Financial Metrics

Financial metrics are perhaps the most straightforward of the three measurements of brand equity.

By analyzing your company’s financial situation – both internal and compared to the competition – you’ll gain a better understanding of the monetary value of your brand.

The most important financial metrics to consider are your company’s:

  • Market share: The percentage of overall sales in your industry that your market takes in
  • Transaction value: The price you offer your product or service for
  • Price premium: Your company’s ability to offer your product or service for a higher-than-average price to increase its appeal
  • Revenue generation and potential: The amount of money your company has made by selling products or services, and the potential revenue to be made if trends continue
  • Growth rate and sustainability: Your company’s ability to scale as revenue increases

While analyzing these measurements in isolation will give you an idea of the success of your company as a whole, by assessing them in relation to knowledge and preference metrics you’ll be able to discern the value your brand brings to your company.

3 Strategies for Measuring Brand Equity

Now that we know what brand equity entails, let’s take a look at some ways to measure it.

Come to a Consensus

Before you assess your brand’s equity, you’ll need to ensure your company’s stakeholders have a complete understanding of what brand equity actually is.

Above all else, make sure everyone understands the above-mentioned facets of brand equity, as well as how they relate to one another.

Once everyone is on the same page, ensure your team understands why analyzing brand equity is so important. Though the definition of brand equity is objective, the reasons for measuring it will vary from company to company.

Are you:

  • Analyzing what drives your brand’s strength?
  • Assessing the performance of brand management?
  • Determining the value of your brand in anticipation of selling your company?

While you should always assess each of the above-mentioned metrics to get a complete picture of your brand’s equity, some factors will be more important than others depending on your purposes.

For example, if your company is relatively new and you want to assess your customer base’s loyalty, you’d focus more on knowledge and preference metrics than financial. On the other hand, if you’re preparing to sell your company off, measuring financial metrics would be your top priority.

Once you’ve determined which factors to focus on, you can then begin looking at the bigger picture.

Look for Trends and Anomalies

When analyzing brand equity metrics, both consistency and inconsistency among the data collected can provide information that can be valuable to your company.

First, take a look at your industry as a whole. Are there any areas in which some, most, or all companies fall short when it comes to providing value to customers? Have certain companies within the industry recently seen better results than in the past? If so, what have these companies changed that may have caused such improvements?

After answering these questions, look inward to your own company. What have you done to increase customer loyalty, or to provide added value to your most loyal fans? How have you improved your service to adapt to the changing needs of your customer? Have these initiatives been worth the effort?

It’s worth noting here that, while it’s easy to pinpoint anomalies in data, it’s much more difficult to pinpoint the cause of such inconsistencies. The coffee shop example mentioned earlier in this article illustrates this perfectly: unless you collected more data about each customer’s desires, there’d be no real way to tell why they were satisfied or not satisfied by the service they received. In other words, when analyzing anomalies in your collected data, you need to consider all concurrent data if you want to have a hope of figuring out why the anomaly exists, and what it means to your brand.

Think Quantitatively and Qualitatively

We alluded to this sentiment earlier, but it bears repeating:

To get a good sense of your brand’s equity, you need to think in both quantitative and qualitative terms.

As you might expect, quantitative data is most pertinent when analyzing financial data relating to brand equity. Data such as sales numbers, revenue generated, and your company’s net worth are all worth paying attention to, as are data regarding market position and product value.

But this data won’t tell you much about your brand’s equity if analyzed in a vacuum.

That’s where qualitative data comes into play.

Qualitative data is “intangible,” meaning it cannot be pinned down as easily as quantitative data. This is data such as customer satisfaction, brand recognition, and emotional connection. Without a frame of reference, the information customers will provide with regard to such data will be subjective to that specific customer only.

However, by providing reference points for your customers when asking them to complete surveys regarding your brand, you can gather such intangible data in a way that makes it quantifiable. For example, you might ask your customers to rate their understanding of the service you provide on a scale of one to five, or to rank five qualities of your service in order of importance.

(Note: You can collect additional qualitative data by asking them to explain their responses to these prompts, as well. This will make it much easier to discern what qualities of your brand your customers deem important, and why they believe so.)

As mentioned in the previous section, analyzing quantitative and qualitative data in conjunction with one another will allow you to pinpoint trends and anomalies, determine the root cause of such, and make adjustments to your company’s operations as necessary.

Brand Equity and the Sales Funnel

The insight gleaned from brand equity data can benefit your company in a number of ways.

Once you’ve analyzed and assessed this data, you’ll:

  • Have a better understanding of your target personas
  • Be better equipped to develop and improve your company’s marketing and advertising strategies
  • Be better prepared to meet the needs of customers throughout all stages of the sales funnel – in turn maximizing the potential of these customers becoming loyal to your brand.

The way your brand is perceived by your target customers can determine whether they end up doing business with you or with your competition. After you’ve ensured the product or service you offer is of the highest possible quality, implementing strategies to improve your brand’s equity can be the “oomph” your company needs to become the go-to in your industry.

About the Author: Josh Brown is the Content & Community Manager at Fieldboom. Create beautiful forms and surveys in less than 5 minutes with Fieldboom. Try it free. You can follow Fieldboom on Twitter.

These Six Content Marketing Tactics Will Give You 142% More Traffic in Six Months

You don’t need me to tell you how potent content marketing is.

I could spout off a laundry list of stats, e.g., “conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters” or “content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.”

You get it.

But the term “content marketing” is a wide umbrella, encompassing a nearly infinite number of strategies and variations.

What you really need to know is which content marketing tactics will get you legitimate results-which ones will boost your traffic and generate sustained leads.

In other words, which strategies are truly worth your time?

In this post, I’d like to discuss six key tactics I feel are most pertinent for content marketers in 2017.

More specifically, these tactics will give you 142% more traffic in six months.

Here we go.

1. Create multiple landing pages

I’m sure you have a landing page on your website.

But there’s absolutely no reason to stop at just one.

In today’s digital marketing world, customer segmentation is vital, and the one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it.

Take a look at this data from HubSpot, demonstrating the correlation between the quantity of landing pages and leads generated.

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According to HubSpot, “While most companies don’t see an increase in leads when increasing their total number of landing pages from 1-5 to 6-10, companies do see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.”

Here’s the impact that multiple landing pages can have for both B2Bs and B2Cs:

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The point I’m trying to make here is that the more landing pages you create, the more opportunities you have to rank for different keywords, generate more organic traffic, and ultimately increase conversions.

After all, leads are more likely to convert when they arrive on a landing page that’s fully customized to address their specific needs and concerns.

Now, I’m not saying you necessarily need to create 10 or more landing pages. That may be an overkill in some cases.

But what I am saying is that it’s smart to segment your audience and create an individual landing page for each specific customer type.

Here’s an example:

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This approach is almost guaranteed to help you reel in more quality traffic.

2. Make infographics an integral part of your content formula

I feel a little bit like Captain Obvious by pointing out the impact of infographics.

But the bottom line is that this medium is your ticket to massive traffic.

Why?

It’s simple. Infographics get shared like crazy.

In fact, “Infographics are Liked and shared on social media 3x more than other content.”

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Here are a few more stats that prove the traffic-generating potential of infographics:

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They’re visual. They’re easy to follow. And they make it incredibly simple to digest complex information that would be difficult to consume in a traditional, text-based format.

Not to mention they’re fun.

There’s something inherently playful about infographics that makes people “eat ’em up.”

Just check out the number of shares this infographic from Copyblogger has gotten since the day it was published back in 2012:

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Pretty impressive.

I realize there are definitely newer, sexier content marketing tactics out there.

I also realize that interest in infographics has waned slightly over the past few years.

But they’re still one of the top forms of content in terms of traffic-generating potential.

That’s why I recommend making infographics a top priority this year.

Check out this post from neilpatel.com and this post from Quick Sprout to learn the essentials.

3. Create “cornerstone” blog posts

If you’ve been following any of my blogs for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed I like going big.

By this I mean that I:

  • create long-form posts (typically over 1,500 words)
  • include a lot of visuals
  • include statistics
  • cover a lot of facts and details that others may not always touch on

In other words, I strive to provide my audience with as much value as possible.

Keep in mind I don’t always drive the ball out of the park with each blog post, but there’s a consistent level of depth I strive to achieve.

And this has been a big part of my success over the years.

This is why I can’t stress enough the importance of creating “cornerstone” blog posts, and not merely your average, run of the mill posts so common on the Internet.

In a post on Kissmetrics, I highlight just a few of the benefits of creating comprehensive, long-form content:

  • higher rankings in search engines

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  • increased time on site
  • success in social media
  • a position of authority

One technique I’ve found useful for creating cornerstone content is to treat each blog post like a be-all and end-all guide.

Attack it with the intent of creating a definitive post that will answer nearly any question your audience may have.

Cover the entire spectrum.

I really recommend checking out this post I wrote on neilpatel.com to learn more about this process.

It also includes some concrete examples you can use to guide your efforts.

Now, of course, you probably won’t have the time to create five-plus posts like this each week (or even three).

That’s why I suggest at least considering scaling back your content and focusing on creating fewer but higher quality in-depth posts rather than churning out dozens mediocre ones.

4. Get cozy with video

Here are some quick stats from HubSpot regarding the state of live video.

  • “Cisco projects that global Internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019.”
  • “4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it.”
  • “43% of consumers wanted to see more video content in 2016.”

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No matter which way you slice it, a steady diet of video content is going to crank up your traffic.

This brings me to my next point.

5. Behold live video

I’d like to take it one step further and discuss a key video trend that’s catching on currently.

And that’s live video.

Platforms such as Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube offer live streaming, allowing your audience to watch your video content in real time.

In my opinion, live video is one of the top ways to increase engagement levels and bring a massive influx of traffic.

Here are some numbers to back this up:

  • “A significant number (50%) of marketers plan on using live video services, and 50% want to learn more about live video.”
  • “People spend 3x longer watching video which is live compared to video which is no longer live.”
  • “Facebook generates eight billion video views on average per day.”

I love this medium because it allows me to create an authentic, one-on-one-connection that’s nearly impossible to create otherwise.

It’s also cool because most live video services allow you to answer your viewers’ questions, giving you the opportunity to interact with them in a very personal way.

If you haven’t experimented with live video yet, I recommend giving it a shot.

It can push your traffic numbers off the chart.

Check out this post to learn how to use live video to build your personal brand.

6. Harness the power of content curation

At first thought, content curation might make you feel that you’re being lazy or maybe even unethical, as if you’re a poser who’s taking credit for the hard work of others.

But it’s not like that at all.

In fact, “only 5% of marketers worldwide never share other organization’s content, while nearly 1/3 share blogs, industry publications, or other resources on a daily basis.”

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Content curation is an integral part of social media marketing, and almost every legitimate brand participates in it to some extent.

When you do it correctly, this practice can do the following:

  • boost your brand equity
  • establish you as a thought leader
  • bring in a steady stream of high quality traffic

More specifically, “41% of marketers that curate content indicate it has increased the number and/or quality of their sales-ready leads.”

The key is to curate content the right way.

By this I mean upholding rigorous quality standards and always ensuring that the content you select is relevant to your audience.

One person in particular who I feel crushes it at content curation is Brian Dean of Backlinko.

Just check out his definitive guide on link building.

Embedded within the guide are plenty of links to external resources that greatly enhance the content and provide additional insights.

Here’s what I mean:

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Of course, this is just one example. There are plenty of other ways to go about it.

Just use your imagination.

Conclusion

In my opinion, all six of these content marketing tactics are incredibly useful for revving up your traffic.

They target your audience in different ways, and when used collectively, they can produce a traffic surge.

I’ve experimented with each one and have seen positive results. Collectively, they helped me increase my traffic by 142% in six months.

Be sure to work these into your 2017 content marketing plan.

Which specific content marketing tactic have you had the most success with?