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9 Best Practices for Creating a High Converting Pricing Page (With Examples)

Your pricing page is one of the most important parts of your website. It’s where all your effort in building a relationship with your customer finally leads to a sale.

But I’ve seen enough badly designed pricing pages to know that some businesses simply don’t know how to sell their offer. They either get confused on how much to charge, especially if they offer services, or don’t know how to demonstrate value on the price page.

Knowing the fundamentals of a good pricing page is important because simply copying the pricing page of another business without understanding why it’s designed the way it is, will only lead to a poorly optimized page.

Businesses too often forget the human element. Even though we buy all the time, when it comes to selling we forget the internal processes we go through before making a purchase.

In this post, I’ll share nine best practices to ensure your pricing page does what it’s supposed to do, make sales happen.

9 Pricing Page Best Practices

1. Keep your language simple and straightforward.

Buyers don’t like confusion. They’re about to give you their hard earned money and they want the entire process to be as clear as possible. In essence, they want to know what exactly they’re paying for and what it’s going to do for them. Your pricing page should clearly convey what your product or service will do for the buyer. Your pricing page is not the place to get witty or show expertise with hard to grasp grammar.

Making your pricing page as simple as possible should be at the core of your entire design.

The SaaS DNA project found that ease of understanding is crucial for visitors, so the best pricing pages for companies are often the simplest. The study recommends that pricing pages should stick to simplicity.

Dollar Shave Club is a brand synonymous with humor and eccentricity. Yet even they know that clear, easy to understand language beats being witty when it comes to talking price.

2. Limit your pricing plans to a few options.

The theme of simplicity extends beyond language. Even your price plans should be easy to understand. While this can be difficult if you serve multiple customer segments, complex price plans do limit sales. The less your buyer has to think before choosing a plan the better your conversion rate will be.

Take a page from Groove, they initially had a complicated pricing page that had a conversion rate of 1.17%.

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And their conversion rate increased by 350% when they simplified their pricing page.

Due to the nature of what you offer, having one price plan isn’t always an option. You can fix the issue of complex pricing by offering a customizable plan instead.

You can do this by offering: A ‘contact us’ option for enterprise: Where people can get in touch for a tailored plan.

Sliding scale plan: Where buyers can view price and features with a simple interactive element.

Campaign Monitor captures the essence of a customizable plan with both a sliding scale and an option for more demanding businesses. They save their customers from going through an otherwise complicated buying process.

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3. Reduce friction points.

Friction points, also known as FUDs (fear, uncertainties and doubts), are factors that keep people from buying — and you’ve probably experienced them yourself as a buyer.

There are several ways to reduce friction points:

Add FAQs to your pricing page

Have a chat with your customer service team and create a list of the most common questions potential buyers ask and answer them on your pricing page.

Include live chat

Something that’s becoming more popular by the day, is presenting buyers with an option to speak with a sales rep. Especially if you sell expensive products, buyers can get questions unique to them answered in a personalized way.

Offer a free trial or money-back guarantee

Before purchasing most people wonder if a service or product will meet their particular need, this objection might be strong enough to make them cancel a purchase. Businesses avoid this by offering a free trial for services or a money back guarantee for physical products.

Include testimonials

What other people can say about your business matters more than anything you can say about it. When people see others like them achieving success with your product they feel more confident about buying.

Adespresso deals with friction points on their pricing page by offering testimonials, answering FAQs and displaying the logos of companies already using their service.

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4. Utilize price anchoring.

Imagine you’re in a store for a watch and the store clerk shows you a $20,000 watch, your pulse quickens, then she displays the $12,000 variety and then finally a $2,000 watch. Psychology tells us that you’d probably see the $2,000 watch as cheap even though on it’s own you would’ve judged its price as too high.

A study conducted by the University of Arizona revealed that participants were more likely to judge a house as a bargain when it was placed next to an identical building with an artificially inflated price. Regardless of whether they were inexperienced undergrad students or real estate experts. This is because we tend to judge things based on what we were exposed to prior.

Price anchoring is applied in pricing pages by displaying the most expensive plans first. To test the effect of this on pricing pages, Conversionxl conducted a study and used task scenarios, eye-tracking and survey tools to gather feedback.

The result of the study revealed that participants chose more expensive packages more often when they were listed first, or furthest left in left-right order.

They found that why people generally took in the information at the same, listing the expensive plans first on the left resulted in longer ‘dwell times’ on the page. Overall the first two positions received the most attention.

Here’s a bar graph of the results when participants were asked to choose a plan.

image8-6

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The participants chose the Pro plan more when it was offered first.

Here’s how Unbounce, a company that knows a thing or two about optimization, designs their pricing page.

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5. Highlight a recommended plan.

You know better than anyone what option would fit the needs of the majority of your customers. Reduce the confusion faced by buyers by highlighting a plan you think will be a good fit for the majority of visitors.

It shouldn’t just be your most expensive plan though — it has to be a price plan that based on evidence, most of your customers will derive value from. And there’s proof that highlighting a plan works to reduce pricing page friction and buyer confusion.

Another study conducted by ConversionXL examined how highlighting a recommended plan impacted results.

Here’s a table showing the results of the study.

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The major takeaway from the study is that participants chose the PRO plan more often when it was highlighted, especially if it was placed in the expensive first order.

6. Add the number nine to prices.

Also known as psychological or charm pricing. It’s based on the theory that certain prices have a psychological impact. And you’ve probably seen this effect used in grocery stores and car slots.

Though not supported by everyone, some studies do show that charm prices work, for example, an experiment conducted by MIT and the University of Chicago found that clothing items at a women store sold more when it was priced at $39 than when it only cost $34 and even $44.

In another study, Gumroad shows how the number nine improves conversion rates.

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7. Make the CTA prominent.

The CTA is crucial to the success of your pricing page. Your CTA has to stand out and clearly convey what you want your readers to do. It shouldn’t be blocked by features and price.

Also, the wording in you CTA matter, for example, research done by HubSpot found that the word ‘submit’ negatively affects conversion rates.

Your CTA has to be in essence: Prominent, actionable, and specific. The best CTAs start with a verb and tell the reader what they’ll get by taking action.

Here’s how Sprout Social does it.

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8. Improve information and action

The SaaS DNA project, which I cited earlier, also revealed that pricing pages that had the most information and were action-oriented resulted in more confident users who in turn converted better. The study showed that pages that lacked either information or action resulted in lower conversions.

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The study advised that for a pricing page to be both informative and actionable people should be able to connect the dots between what each plan offered, and how they would actually apply the offerings in their own lives. An indicator that you’re on the right track, is if a new user can understand your pricing page.

Here’s an example from Box, a company that ranks highly in the SaaS DNA high information and action category.

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Easy to understand and actionable.

Box not only segments pricing by customer base so as not to overwhelm buyers, but each section clearly tells you what you get and how to get it.

9. Never stop testing.

As with anything in optimization, you have to keep testing. What works for one company might not work for yours and the only way to make sure that the features you implement are the best they can be is to test continuously. But these best practices provide you with guidelines to help you decide on what features to implement in your pricing page for better conversions.

how to design landing pages that convert

 
how to design landing pages for conversion

Reblogged 57 minutes ago from blog.hubspot.com

How to Unblock Someone on Facebook and Messenger [FAQ]

When you block someone on Facebook, they won’t be able to see anything you post on your profile, tag you in any form of content, invite you to any events or groups, message you, or add you as a friend.

But what happens if you accidentally block someone, or decide you want to unblock someone?

This quick guide will walk you through the process of unblocking someone on Facebook or within the Facebook Messenger app.

It’s important to note that when you block someone on Facebook, you will also automatically unfriend them. Unblocking them will not automatically add them as a friend again — you will need to send them a separate friend request after you unblock them if you wish to be their friend again.

Got it? Let’s jump in.

How to Unblock Someone on Facebook

1. On Facebook, click the down-arrow icon in the top right and then select “Settings”.

 

2. On the left side of your Settings page, click “Blocking”.

 

3. Find the “Block users” section, and click the blue “Unblock” link beside the name of the person you want to unblock.

 

4. Click “Confirm” to officially unblock that person.

How to Unblock Someone on Facebook Messenger

  1. In the Messenger app, click on your photo icon at the top left corner.

 

2. Scroll down and click “Account Settings”.

 

3. Click “Blocking”.

 

4. If you type a name in the text box, you can click the “Block” button to block them. Below the text box, there’s a list of previously blocked people. To unblock someone, click the “Unblock” button beside their name.

5. Click the blue “Unblock” button to unblock that person.

 

download our free facebook business page tips

 
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Reblogged 57 minutes ago from blog.hubspot.com

Google Speed Update – What It Means & The PPC Impact

The Google Indexing Speed Update implemented site speed as a SERP ranking factor for mobile web pages. Learn how the update could affect your PPC campaigns.

Read more at PPCHero.com

Reblogged 2 hours ago from feedproxy.google.com

Update Bids and Monitor Changes with AdWords Scripts

Explore different ways to use Google Sheets and AdWords Scripts to change bids and handle uploads. Get started with creating your own bidding system!

Read more at PPCHero.com

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Factors that influence your website’s credibility

Your online website is the digital portrayal of your business. Viewers go through it with an intention of peeking into the functioning of your business and even the reputation of it.

One of the most decisive factors behind your brand gaining business through its website is the credibility it holds. The potential customers will only bank upon your business website after they trust it and the people behind it. In case you are an ecommerce website or a website that deals with customers’ sensitive information, you will have to put in extra efforts to gain customers’ trust.

As per the Stanford Web Credibility Research, websites become more credible by being useful and easy to access. A website’s usefulness is marked by its features, functionalities, and UI. However, the website’s ease of use is determined by the implemented web design. Hence, a lot of factors together contribute to enhancing your site’s trust score.

If you are clueless and would like to make your website more credible, here is a list of the factors that immensely influence your website’s credibility.

Search engines’ perception of your website

Search engines employ their algorithms and bots to assess the performance of your website and rank it, accordingly. If you are doing things in a right manner i.e. White SEO, following Google Algorithm updates and content policies, your website keeps moving up the search engine ranking ladder. That is a great first impression for your website visitors.

With tools like the  Alexa Traffic Rank tool, the online audience has access to your site’s global and location-based ranking. Your site’s search engine ranking is capable of heavily impacting your site’s credibility. So, make sure that you put efforts into that direction.

Social proof of your business

Establishing a social proof of your business website is crucial for its credibility impression. You need to put up links to all the social media pages of your business on your website. Apart from that, your website having a list of your clients/brands who have been associated with your business can be impactful.

Client/customer testimonials and reviews

Regardless of the nature of your business operations, i.e. whether it deals in product sales or services, you will always have customer reviews and testimonials coming in. Based on the customer experience granted by the business, these customers will either have a positive or a negative opinion of your business.

You can, however, put up the positive client/customers testimonials or reviews for your audience to see. But, refrain from putting up fake testimonials because the internet audience is smart enough to spot that. To make these testimonials and reviews more reliable, you can link them to the social profiles of the related client/customer, if permitted.

The presence of adverts on the website

Many blogging websites choose to put up targeted advertisements in order to make ad money. As beneficial and seemingly rewarding it might seem to the website owners, these ads irritate the audience who have to deal with them popping up every now and then.

To be honest, Ads make your website look less credible. Since it takes only 50 milliseconds for the users to form a first impression of a particular website, you wouldn’t want them to see these ads at least on the homepage of your website.

An updated blog

If you are starting career as a blogger and have just set up a website for it, you will obviously need more of your audience’s trust to help your blog grow. And if you are not a blogger but a mainstream business, you would still need a blog because that would eventually build your site’s credibility.

So, an updated blog that posts regular updates, fresh posts, and engages with the comments made on it, is termed as more credible by the audience.

Consistent website updates

If we suppose that your website was set up in the year 2005 and has managed to look the same, you have successfully killed its purpose and probably its audience engagement as well.

It is very important to keep updating the website content because it gives the message that your business is moving ahead and is growing. Without any updates, the site audience would be free to make an opinion that your business simply doesn’t care.

Accessible contact information

If your business or brand isn’t accessible to its audience, people will deem things to be fishy. It is very important for your website to make it easy for your audience to contact you. Hence, for building your credibility, put out your phone number, physical address, and an email address on the website.

Even if your website is strictly accessible only on a membership-based model, it should make the contact information public for all the audience to see.

A great web design that encourages seamless navigation

A study mentioned that 94% of the negative website feedback was design related. If your website design is such that the visitors are having a hard time navigating through its pages or if they get lost while browsing through different sections, your business is in for a loss.

On the other hand, if your audience is able to figure out the navigation and is able to quickly get to the part they are looking for, your site’s trust meter will go up.

A fast loading website

The truth is, if your website takes more than 2-3 seconds to load, visitors will be swift to abandon it. If they do so, they will never have the opportunity to go through the other content which would mean that you will miss out on those visitors who would have otherwise contributed to your site’s credibility score.

Spelling and grammar

My personal favorite on the cringe-o-meter: a website with bad grammar and wrong spellings. One couldn’t agree more that a website with such characteristics is a big-time blunder. I personally prefer to stay away from such websites because they don’t appear to be trustable since the website owner does not simply seem to care.

If you are not a language expert, always rely on professional services to get your content crafted. Hiring an expert content writer will eliminate the chances of glaring mistakes and even help you create value-offering content.

Detailed product information

If you run an ecommerce website, you should put up detailed information about the products that you are showcasing. This information can include the physical attributes of the product, its usage, the variants, customer reviews and images to make it easy for the customers to make a choice. When your customers don’t have to look at external resources to retrieve information about the products listed on your site, your site looks more credible.

Trust seals and website security certificates

To build your site’s credibility, always consider getting Trust seals which are third-party seals are highly trusted by the online audience. Intended to display the trust score or the sales counter of a particular business, these trust seals are vouched by third-party internet security organizations. Also, having an SSL certificate for your website is a compulsion if you want to come across as a credible online business.

It is never a bad idea to shell out some investment towards getting trust seals and SSL security certificates for your websites.

Team members’ bios and photos with their social profiles

If you are a business that targets the maximum number of leads with its website, you must let out information about the team members who are the people behind your business.

Putting up bios along with professional looking photographs is a good idea to make your business website look more credible.

Errors and links

Broken links and pages that yield an error message every time a visitor clicks on them, make up a deadly combination and contribute to killing your site’s user experience. This could, in turn, make your site appear less reliable. So, figure them out and fix them before your site visitors come across them.

 

 

Reblogged 11 hours ago from searchenginewatch.com

Create Modern, Sleek Emails Faster than Ever

Email has changed quite a bit since AWeber sent its first automated message 20 years ago!

And as email marketing changes, the tools we use every day to create and send must change as well.

In continuing our mission to help creators, entrepreneurs, and small businesses connect with their audience in remarkable ways, we set out (with your help) to construct a better email builder.

Introducing your new email builder

Create modern, sleek emails faster than ever with the new Email Builder from AWeber.

We asked users what they needed from an email builder. Our goal was simple: Develop an email-building experience that’s fast, intuitive, clean, and easy-to-use for our customers. You don’t need to know a lick of code, or be a graphic designer to send emails that look great on any device.

Using our new layouts.

Awesome new features and layouts

We did more than simply apply a “fresh coat of paint.” This new email builder is faster, smoother, and has a few new features.

The biggest change you’ll notice is the reconstruction of the canvas to match the three-column layout found in our automation platform, Campaigns.

You’ll also feel the difference when dragging and dropping elements into your email templates, and when reordering elements within the email. The experience of building an email is now more fluid and flexible.

Customize your preheader text

The most requested new feature is the ability to customize your preheader text!

The preheader text is the snippet of preview text that appears next to your subject line. It’ll look different on mobile devices and desktop clients.

Preview or preheader text

Customizing your pre-header text is a great way to encourage subscribers to open your messages.

Pro-tip: This field even accepts personalization snippets, so you can include your subscriber’s first name in the preheader text if you’ve collected it.

Improved “Share This” element

We’ve also revamped our “Share This” element, which allows your subscribers to share an archive link or custom link from your email to their social channels. Inviting your subscribers to share your email content is a great way to grow your list.

We’ve made it easier to adjust the style and size of your social sharing buttons.

Flexible new email layouts

With the rollout of the new builder, we’re also releasing 8 new email templates called layouts.

These layouts are a set of modern, unbranded email templates. Just add your own brand logo and colors. Save each customized layout as a new template for every occasion –– like announcements, personal letters, product reveals, etc.

Our new layouts!

Start building awesome emails today

With your new Drag & Drop Email Builder and sleek layouts, you’re now equipped to create modern emails in minutes.

Start using it today! Simply log in to your AWeber account and check it out.

On August 1, the new builder will become the default drag and drop email builder in AWeber, replacing our old version. We invite you to take this opportunity to use the builder with your own emails and give us valuable feedback to make any necessary improvements. Just click the “Share Feedback” button when viewing the new builder and let us know.

Let us know what we can improve so we can continue to build the tools you need to connect with your audience.

Haven’t tried AWeber yet? Get to it!

Access our brand new email builder, easy-to-use automation platform, hosted web-forms, and more with a free 30-day trial!

The post Create Modern, Sleek Emails Faster than Ever appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Reblogged 11 hours ago from blog.aweber.com

Five Content-Led Marketing Campaigns That Drive Results

Promoting too many sales and discounts can devalue your brand and hurt your bottom line in the long run. Instead, use content to build audience engagement, boost your brand, and increase ROI. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Reblogged 15 hours ago from www.marketingprofs.com

Webfonts And Performance: SmashingConf Videos

Webfonts And Performance: SmashingConf Videos

Webfonts And Performance: SmashingConf Videos

The Smashing Editorial

2018-07-20T14:35:35+02:00
2018-07-21T10:55:17+00:00

Webfonts are difficult to get right. An often overlooked and disruptive piece of web performance, webfonts can slow down your site and leave your visitors confused and agitated. No one wants agitated visitors.

Webfonts Are ▢▢▢ Rocket Science

Recorded at our special web performance themed SmashingConf in London, Zach Leatherman demystifies webfonts in order that we can avoid font-related performance issues. He takes us through a detailed guide to best practices when using webfonts, so you can use beautiful fonts without sacrificing performance. If you have ever asked, “What is the best way to load webfonts?” then you need to hear this talk. Zach breaks down the various approaches in a straightforward way, so you should feel able to make the best decisions for your own use of webfonts.

In addition to this video, you can take a look at Zach’s “Comprehensive Guide To Font Loading Strategies,” and subscribe to his newsletter fontspeed.io.

Fontastic Web Performance

Another great introduction to font loading was made by Monica Dinculescu at SmashingConf Barcelona. She spoke about which new platform features are here to help us deliver pretty (but also!) fast experiences to everyone.

In her talk, Monica also mentions the following resources — in addition to Zach’s work:

We also find Monca’s Font Style Matcher tool really useful, helping you find a font that matches your webfont closely to prevent a jarring shift between the sizes.

Enjoyed listening to these talks? There are many more SmashingConf videos on Vimeo, and we’re getting ready for the upcoming SmashingConf in New York — see you there? 😉

Smashing Editorial
(ra, il)
Reblogged 15 hours ago from www.smashingmagazine.com

Reputation Management SEO: How to Own Your Branded Keywords in Google – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

A searcher’s first experience with your brand happens on Google’s SERPs — not your website. Having the ability to influence their organic first impression can go a long way toward improving both customer perception of your brand and conversion rates. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand takes us through the inherent challenges of reputation management SEO and tactics for doing it effectively.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we are chatting about reputation management SEO.

So it turns out I’ve been having a number of conversations with many of you in the Moz community and many friends of mine in the startup and entrepreneurship worlds about this problem that happens pretty consistently, which is essentially that folks who are searching for your brand in Google experience their first touch before they ever get to your site, their first experience with your brand is through Google’s search result page. This SERP, controlling what appears here, what it says, how it says it, who is ranking, where they’re ranking, all of those kinds of things, can have a strong input on a bunch of things.

The challenge

We know that the search results’ content can impact…

  • Your conversion rate. People see that the reviews are generally poor or the wording is confusing or it creates questions in their mind that your content doesn’t answer. That can hurt your conversion rate.
  • It can hurt amplification. People who see you in here, who think that there is something bad or negative about you, might be less likely to link to you or share or talk about you.
  • It can impact customer satisfaction. Customers who are going to buy from you but see something negative in the search results might be more likely to complain about it. Or if they see that you have a lower review or ranking or whatnot, they may be more likely to contribute a negative one than if they had seen that you had stellar ones. Their expectations are being biased by what’s in these search results. A lot of times it is totally unfair.

So many of the conversations I’ve been having, for example with folks in the startup space, are like, “Hey, people are reviewing my product. We barely exist yet. We don’t have these people as customers. We feel like maybe we’re getting astroturfed by competitors, or someone is just jumping in here and trying to profit off the fact that we have a bunch of brand search now.” So pretty frustrating.

How can we influence this page to maximize positive impact for our brand?

There are, however, some ways to address it. In order to change these results, make them better, Minted, for example, of which I should mention I used to be on Minted’s Board of Directors, and so I believe my wife and I still have some stock in that company. So full disclosure there. But Minted, they’re selling holiday cards. The holiday card market is about to heat up before November and December here in the United States, which is the Christmas holiday season, and that’s when they sell a lot of these cards. So we can do a few things.

I. Change who ranks. So potentially remove some and add some new ones in here, give Google some different options. We could change the ranking order. So we could say, “Hey, we prefer this be lower down and this other one be higher up.” We can change that through SEO.

II. Change the content of the ranking pages. If you have poor reviews or if someone has written about you in a particular way and you wish to change that, there are ways to influence that as well.

III. Change the SERP features. So we may be able to get images, for example, of Minted’s cards up top, which would maybe make people more likely to purchase them, especially if they’re exceptionally beautiful.

IV. Add in top stories. If Minted has some great press about them, we could try and nudge Google to use stuff from Google News in here. Maybe we could change what’s in related searches, those types of things.

V. Shift search demand. So if it’s the case that you’re finding that people start typing “Minted” and then maybe are search suggested “Minted versus competitor X” or “Minted card problems” or whatever it is, I don’t think either of those are actually in the suggest, but there are plenty of companies who do have that issue. When that’s the case, you can also shift the search demand.

Reputation management tactics

Here are a number of tactics that I actually worked on with the help of Moz’s Head of SEO, Britney Muller. Britney and I came up with a bunch of tactics, so many that they won’t entirely fit on here, but we can describe a few more for you in the comments.

A. Directing link to URLs off your site (Helps with 1 & 2). First off, links are still a big influencer of a lot of the content that you see here. So it is the case that because Yelp is a powerful domain and they have lots of links, potentially even have lots of links to this page about Minted, it’s the case that changing up those links, redirecting some of them, adding new links to places, linking out from your own site, linking from articles you contribute to, linking from, for example, the CEO’s bio or a prominent influencer on the team’s bio when they go and speak at events or contribute to sources, or when Minted makes donations, or when they support public causes, or when they’re written about in the press, changing those links and where they point to can have a positive impact.

One of the problems that we see is that a lot of brands think, “All my links about my brand should always go to my homepage.” That’s not actually the case. It could be the case that you actually want to find, hey, maybe we would like our Facebook page to rank higher. Or hey, we wrote a great piece on Medium about our engineering practices or our diversity practices or how we give back to our community. Let’s see if we can point some of our links to that.

B. Pitching journalists or bloggers or editors or content creators on the web (Helps with 1, 4, a little 3), of any kind, to write about you and your products with brand titled pieces. This is on e of the biggest elements that gets missing. For example, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle might write a piece about Minted and say something like, “At this startup, it’s not unusual to find blah, blah, blah.” What you want to do is go, “Come on, man, just put the word ‘Minted’ in the title of the piece.” If they do, you’ve got a much better shot of having that piece potentially rank in here. So that’s something that whoever you’re working with on that content creation side, and maybe a reporter at the Chronicle would be much more difficult to do this, but a blogger who’s writing about you or a reviewer, someone who’s friendly to you, that type of a pitch would be much more likely to have some opportunity in there. It can get into the top stories SERP feature as well.

C. Crafting your own content (Helps with 1, a little 3). If they’re not going to do it for you, you can craft your own content. You can do this in two kinds of ways. One is for open platforms like Medium.com or Huffington Post or Forbes or Inc. or LinkedIn, these places that accept those, or guest accepting publications that are much pickier, that are much more rarely taking input, but that rank well in your field. You don’t have to think about this exclusively from a link building perspective. In fact, you don’t care if the links are nofollow. You don’t care if they give you no links at all. What you’re trying to do is get your name, your title, your keywords into the title element of the post that’s being put up.

D. You can influence reviews (Helps with 3 & 5). Depending on the site, it’s different from site to site. So I’m putting TOS acceptable, terms of service acceptable nudges to your happy customers and prompt diligent support to the unhappy ones. So Yelp, for example, says, “Don’t solicit directly reviews, but you are allowed to say, ‘Our business is featured on Yelp.'” For someone like Minted, Yelp is mostly physical places, and while Minted technically has a location in San Francisco, their offices, it’s kind of odd that this is what’s ranking here. In fact, I wouldn’t expect this to be. I think this is a strange result to have for an online-focused company, to have their physical location in there. So certainly by nudging folks who are using Minted to rather than contribute to their Facebook reviews or their Google reviews to actually say, “Hey, we’re also on Yelp. If you’ve been happy with us, you can check us out there.” Not go leave us a review there, but we have a presence.

E. Filing trademark violations (Helps with 1 & 3). So this is a legal path and legal angle, but it works in a couple of different ways. You can do a letter or an email from your attorney’s office, and oftentimes that will shut things down. In fact, brief story, a friend of mine, who has a company, found that their product was featured on Amazon’s website. They don’t sell on Amazon. No one is reselling on Amazon. In fact, the product mostly hasn’t even shipped yet. When they looked at the reviews, because they haven’t sold very many of their product, it’s an expensive product, none of the people who had left reviews were actually their customers. So they went, “What is going on here?” Well, it turns out Amazon, in order to list your product, needs your trademark permission. So they can send an attorney’s note to Amazon saying, “Hey, you are using our product, our trademark, our brand name, our visuals, our photos without permission. You need to take that down.”

The other way you can go about this is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protocols. You can do this directly through Google, where you file and say basically, “Hey, they’ve taken copyrighted content from us and they’re using it on their website, and that’s illegal.” Google will actually remove them from the search results.
This is not necessarily a legal angle, but I bet you didn’t know this. A few years ago I had an article on Wikipedia about me, Rand Fishkin. There was like a Wikipedia piece. I don’t like that. Wikipedia, it’s uncontrollable. Because I’m in the SEO world, I don’t have a very good relationship with Wikipedia’s editors. So I actually lobbied them, on the talk page of the article about me, to have it removed. There are a number of conditions that Wikipedia has where a page can be removed. I believe I got mine removed under the not notable enough category, which I think probably still applies. That was very successful. So wonderfully, now, Wikipedia doesn’t rank for my name anymore, which means I can control the SERPs much more easily. So a potential there too.

F. Using brand advertising and/or influencer marketing to nudge searchers towards different phrases (Helps with 5). So what you call your products, how you market yourself is often how people will search for you. If Minted wanted to change this from Minted cards to minted photo cards, and they really like the results from minted photo cards and those had better conversion rates, they could start branding that through their advertising and their influencer marketing.

G. Surrounding your brand name, a similar way, with common text, anchor phrases, and links to help create or reinforce an association that Google builds around language (Helps with 4 & 5). In that example I said before, having Minted plus a link to their photo cards page or Minted photo cards appearing on the web, not only their own website but everywhere else out there more commonly than Minted cards will bias related searches and search suggest. We’ve tested this. You can actually use anchor text and surrounding text to sort of bias, in addition to how people search, how Google shows it.

H. Leverage some platforms that rank well and influence SERP features (Helps with 2 & 4). So rather than just trying to get into the normal organic results, we might say, “Hey, I want some images here. Aha, Pinterest is doing phenomenal work at image SEO. If I put up a bunch of pictures from Minted, of Minted’s cards or photo cards on Pinterest, I have a much better shot at ranking in and triggering the image results.” You can do the same thing with YouTube for videos. You can do the same thing with new sites and for what’s called the top stories feature. The same thing with local and local review sites for the maps and local results feature. So all kinds of ways to do that.

More…

Four final topics before we wrap up.

  • Registering and using separate domains? Should I register and use a separate domain, like MintedCardReviews, that’s owned by Minted? Generally not. It’s not impossible to do reputation management SEO through that, but it can be difficult. I’m not saying you might not want to give it a spin now and then, but generally that’s sort of like creating your own reviews, your own site. Google often recognizes those and looks behind the domain registration wall, and potentially you have very little opportunity to rank for those, plus you’re doing a ton of link building and that kind of stuff. Better to leverage someone’s platform, who can already rank, usually.
  • Negative SEO attacks. You might remember the story from a couple weeks ago, in Fast Company, where Casper, the mattress brand, was basically accused of and found mostly to be generally guilty of going after and buying negative links to a review site that was giving them poor reviews, giving their mattresses poor reviews, and to minimal effect. I think, especially nowadays, this is much less effective than it was a few years ago following Google’s last Penguin update. But certainly I would not recommend it. If you get found out for it, you can be sued too.
  • What about buying reviewers and review sites? This is what Casper ended up doing. So that site they were buying negative links against, they ended up just making an offer and buying out the person who owned it. Certainly it is a way to go. I don’t know if it’s the most ethical or honest thing to do, but it is a possibility.
  • Monitoring brand and rankings. Finally, I would urge you to, if you’re not experiencing these today, but you’re worried about them, definitely monitor your brand. You could use something like a Fresh Web Explorer or Mention.com or Talkwalker. And your rankings too. You want to be tracking your rankings so that you can see who’s popping in there and who’s not. Obviously, there are lots of SEO tools to do that.

All right, everyone, thanks for joining us, and we’ll see again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

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