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3 Types of Action that Stir Up the Desire to Keep Reading Your Article

Think back to the last time you were at an event where speakers gave presentations. Typically, some sessions fly by…

The post 3 Types of Action that Stir Up the Desire to Keep Reading Your Article appeared first on Copyblogger.

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

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

How a Blogger Uses Pinterest to Boost His Following

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did you go with today’s episode?

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

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TAG-certified ad channels shown to reduce invalid traffic by more than 80 percent, again

The second annual report on the efforts by this anti-fraud industry group finds that agencies, ad platforms and publishers following its guidelines reduced this fraud to under two percent.

The post TAG-certified ad channels shown to reduce invalid traffic by more than 80 percent, again appeared…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Reblogged 21 hours ago from

Your Easy Guide to Making a YouTube Thumbnail

Sometimes, your YouTube thumbnail just doesn’t cut it. You could’ve uploaded the most interesting video on YouTube, but it might not get the views it deserves if you’re relying on a simple freeze-frame to tell viewers what it’s about.

Thumbnails, the small, clickable snapshots that viewers see when they search for videos on YouTube, can be just as important as a video’s title. They preview your video and entice viewers to click through.

Creating vibrant YouTube thumbnails can also instantly grab people’s attention — the brain is programmed to respond to striking visuals — and this can help you differentiate yourself on a platform clogged with standard thumbnails all screaming for attention.

Thumbnails can affect your search ranking on YouTube, too. Since your video’s click-through rate is one of the most important ranking factors in YouTube’s search algorithm, especially during its first hour on the platform, an eye-catching thumbnail can make a huge difference in ranking number one for a query and not ranking at all.

If your video has an ordinary or sub-par thumbnail, it won’t persuade anyone to click through. YouTube could deem the video irrelevant and won’t rank it in their search results or distribute it through the “Recommended Videos” feed.

Fortunately, pulling freeze frames from your YouTube videos isn’t the only way you can create thumbnails. There are online tools, made specifically for people who might not have a ton of design experience, that can help you craft custom thumbnails — all for free.

Below, we’ll guide you through an easy five-step process for creating visually appealing YouTube thumbnails that will cut through the noise, boost your video’s click-through rate, and lift your rankings.

1. Visit a free online YouTube thumbnail maker.

There are seven free online YouTube thumbnail makers listed below, but we featured FotoJet in this guide because it’s one of the only YouTube thumbnail makers that doesn’t make you sign up for a free account before you can create a thumbnail. Their robust thumbnail maker lets you customize and download your thumbnails completely for free — no email address necessary.

2. Upload a photo or choose one of the thumbnail makers’ templates.

YouTube will let you upload any picture from your computer as your video’s thumbnail. But if you don’t have a vivid visual on your computer or you need some inspiration, Fotojet’s got you covered. They have over 23 free templates that can serve as your thumbnail’s foundation.

To create striking a thumbnail in Fotojet, consider including a talking head. People are naturally drawn to human faces because it’s an ingrained survival mechanism to help us quickly gauge someone’s emotions and determine if they’re a threat or friend. Research Gate also discovered that Instagram photos with faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments.

3. Add text, clipart, or a background to your thumbnail.

Once you’ve picked your picture or template, you can make your thumbnail stand out even more by adding text, clipart, or a background to it.

To further clarify your video’s subject matter, consider adding your video’s title to the thumbnail. Additionally, if your photo, graphic, or text is bright, consider placing it on top of a dark background. The color contrast will make your thumbnail pop. The same logic applies to dark objects and bright backdrops.

4. Download the finished product to your computer.

After you finish polishing your thumbnail, press the “Save” button at the top of the page.

Next, title your thumbnail and save it as a JPG or PNG. Its resolution will already match YouTube’s recommended resolution — 1280 x 720 pixels — so you don’t have to worry about resizing it.

7 YouTube Thumbnail Makers

Along with Fotojet’s free online YouTube thumbnail maker, there are seven other thumbnail makers that can help you customize your own YouTube thumbnails. Before you create a thumbnail with these tools, though, you need to sign up for a free account on their websites.

1. Canva

With more than 2 million images in their library, hundreds of fonts, and customizable backgrounds and colors, Canva gives you more than enough resources to unleash your creativity.

2. Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark lets you select from thousands of photos on the web and a variety of built-out themes with their own unique layouts, colors, and fonts to craft eye-catching YouTube thumbnails.

3. Crello

With Crello, you can create engaging thumbnails by blending a multitude of designs, photos, backgrounds, text, and objects together.

4. Visme

Choose from a wide selection of templates, photos, graphics, colors, and fonts to create a thumbnail in Visme.

5. Fotor

Fotor provides templates under certain themes to help you create captivating thumbnails.

6. Picmaker

With over 100,000 graphics, 1,000 stock photos, stickers, borders, backgrounds, text, icons, and filters, and an automatic background remover, you can create a gripping thumbnail on Picmaker in plenty of ways.

7. Snappa

Snappa has over 500,000 stock photos, an assortment of professionally designed templates, and customizable graphics, shapes, and text to help you create a YouTube thumbnail. They also have a drag and drop functionality to help you create your own custom thumbnail template.

YouTube for Business


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Using Google Data Studio for Auction Insights Reporting

Explore how to use Google Data Studio for Auction Insights reporting and gaining competitor insights.


Reblogged 1 day ago from

What startups need to know about SEO and domain names

SEO is a huge part of a business’s overall online reputation, and every startup needs to go through it as well.

If you are a startup, you cannot simply ignore the crucial factors of your business i.e. the domain name of your website and its SEO strategy.  So, what does your startup need to know about SEO and domain names? Let’s find out.

Choose the right domain name that reflects your brand

To begin with, always appropriately name your startup business. It is important to consider the foundation of your startup and what it stands for, bearing in mind that this name will be your startup’s first and sometimes only impression, especially when it comes to funding.

Once you have arrived at a business name for your startup, your next big challenge would be to decide on the domain name. A domain name carries a lot of value in terms of your website’s digital marketing aspect as well as the first impression of your business. So, choosing the domain name can just be as challenging as choosing the niche of your startup.

A short and simple domain name that preferably carries the name of your brand is highly recommended. A long domain number or the one with numbers is a strict no-no. A unique domain name with sensible extension based on the nature of your business operations can do better for you. A “.com” extension is still preferred by many and it has its own SEO benefits. Including your keywords can help you rank better in search engines.

If you are having a difficult time arriving upon your ideal domain name, you can seek help from several tools available such as DomainIt, Domainsbot, NameStation etc.

Target the right keywords

Once you have a final thought around the domain name of your startup business, it’s time to jump right into the “keyword” bandwagon. But, make sure that you do that cautiously. Since you are new to the business website competition battlefield, your efforts will require double the throttle to get the engines working.

Using long-tailed keywords is highly recommended if you are a startup. This will make sure that your chances of ranking for a certain service offering/product become higher as compared to the other startups that are not running this strategy.

Obviously, there are great keyword suggestion and research tools available in the market to help you. The Ahrefs Keyword Finder tool helps you discover thousands of great keywords to rank for, analyze their ranking difficulty, and calculate traffic potential. In fact, it is touted to be the most complete keyword research tool on the market. All you need to do is enter up to 10 “seed” keywords into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer and you’ll get a huge list with thousands of great keyword ideas.

The KWFinder tool is an easy-to-use keyword research tool that helps you get an idea about the perfect keyword for your new startup business. It features the most accurate keyword difficulty score which makes it simple to find profitable keywords you can really rank for. You can use this tool to get real-time keyword SEO difficulty in one click and expand your keyword research thanks to immediate Google SERP analysis based on specific SEO metrics.

The Google Adword Keyword Tool helps you reach the right customers for your startup business with the right keywords by helping you get keyword ideas to help build your campaigns with the Google Ads Keyword Planner. With this tool, you can discover new Keywords, compare Keyword trends, and start choosing better keywords.

Put up fresh content that imparts value

This should be the most important rule that you should abide by, always. Your startup’s business website exists for a reason; to inform your audience about the content that is relevant to your industry and help them stay posted about the latest updates. Hence, you should create good quality content and put it out for your audience to consume if you really want to stay ahead with the SEO if your website.

Update blogs once a week

If you are aware of the right blogging tips meant for business websites, you probably know that blogs are crucial for the well-being of your website. If you are a startup business that has recently rolled out their business website or are planning to do so, make sure that you blog at least once a week so that the Search engines stay in the loop and keep your site indexed.

Bonus tips

  • Don’t forget to take care of your site’s On-Page and Off-Page SEO optimization.
  • Create a strong link profile for your website so that you can accomplish a good amount of internal linking and also receive external links to and from your site. A great link profile is a huge SEO booster for your startup’s business website.
  • Use of the right SEO audit tools is just as important as everything else, regardless of the site builders in use. These SEO Audit tools such as SEMRush, Screaming Frog, Majestic SEO gauge your SEO strategy and help you have an idea of what you might be missing.
  • Your startup can scale the competition and gain brownie points in terms of SEO by abiding by the responsive web design. Hence, put efforts in the direction to making your website mobile-friendly and highly responsive.
  • Last but not the least, pay attention to your site’s speed. Your startup’s website should not take more than 2 seconds to load. Always invest in a reliable Web hosting service provider.
  • Your site’s user experience will bring a new set of audience to your site and retain the existing ones. So, never underestimate their prominence.


Even if you are a freshly-brewed startup business, your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy remains to be the heart of your online success. Good content, high SERP rankings, and satisfied customers will be the ones to take your startup to a more established phase of its being. Hence, if you are a startup,  SEO can provide you the much-needed edge and maximum leverage more than anything else. This also makes it imperative for you to understand a lot about SEO and also how domain names can make or break your game.

Reblogged 1 day ago from

Organic reputation management & brand protection

Driving visitors to your site is about much more than just rankings. Branding is playing a larger and larger role in acquisition. 

In this article we look at the importance of branded searches and provide guidelines to help you understand, keyword by keyword, what you need to do to maximize your branded traffic. All you’ll need is Google Search Console and as many days of data as possible.

Firstly let’s go over why this is important.

It’s your company’s traffic

Branded traffic is very rarely traffic you’d be happy to have leak through to another site. Aside from reviews and similar searches, you’d hope that 100% of branded searches land on your site. Unfortunately we see that this is not always the case. Between the floorboards of SEO and PPC there are cracks that rob you of valuable visits, sometimes deliberately, often by simple chance — regardless, we want to help you reclaim that lost traffic.

In a recent talk at BrightonSEO, Rand Fishkin of SparkToro (and previously Moz) suggested that the future of SEO is in the SERPs and less “on the site.” While there is a growing trend in enhanced search results, data cards and featured snippets, there will always be an place at the table for digital (organic) brand reputation.

Who cares about your brand’s reputation?

This isn’t just about traffic or revenue. Your reputation can affect a number of crucial potential relationships both with individuals and other companies or institutions. Some of the more important potentially affected parties are listed below:

  • Consumers
  • Business partners
  • Stockholders
  • Marketers
  • Journalists
  • Prospective employers and employees
  • Co-workers
  • Personal contacts

Branded vs non-branded traffic

If I were to offer you 100 new visitors that come via a branded search or 1000 who come via a generic non-branded search term, which would you chose? I suppose the answer will depend on a range of factors, one of which is your conversion rate. Regardless, it’s likely that exposure to the brand will have increased their likelihood to either convert or to investigate — and then convert!

Understanding what percentage of your traffic is branded will help you to understand just how valuable this tool and article could be to your company.

Measuring your brand / non-brand split

In this (optional) section we’ll walk you through how to see your brand vs non-brand split without any need for paid tools or insane extrapolations of GA data. This is an optional step but will be relatively easy even for a “novice nerd” to follow. If you’d like to leapfrog this and don’t want insight into your branded traffic split, then skip ahead.

1. Start by ensuring you are logged in to a Google account with access to your Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools).

2. Following this, visit in a separate tab and create a fresh blank report.

The phrase: “It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas” comes to mind!

3. Now, click in the bottom right of your screen to create a new data source.

4. Select the Google Search Console connector as shown below.

5. You may need to provide authorization to Google Data Studio.

6. Now find your site in the list and select URL Impression and the ‘Connect’ button in the top right.

7. You should now be presented with a list of fields, however, we want to make a new one! Simply click the ‘add a field’ button.

8. The code you need can be seen below, you’ll need to replace the example brand with your own. The expression we have used will look for any search term containing either “zaz” or “le me” to determine whether the keywords are branded or not, keep this simple and short.

CASE WHEN REGEXP_MATCH(Query, (“.*zaz.*|.*le me.*”)  ) THEN “Branded” ELSE “Non-Branded” END

You can add more between the speech marks with a |.*text here.* expression.

9. Give the field a name (such as ‘Branded Split’), save it, and we’re almost there!

10. You may still need to add the data source to the blank template, select it from the list to the right and click “Add to Report”

11. Your report will change into a grid and you can now make your chart show brand vs non-brand.

12. Select the type of graph you want to use (I favor area graphs personally) and draw an appropriately sized rectangle. When the graph is selected you’ll need to adjust the ‘Data’ menu to show:

Time Dimension: Date

Breakdown Dimension: Branded Split (or whatever you called your field)

Metric: URL Clicks

13. You can adjust how the chart displays in the ‘Style’ menu, below is my example where I have disabled stacking to show separate lines.

14. Changing your metric to ‘Impressions’ can allow you to quickly see the difference between the two, it often helps to highlight where you may rank for a huge keyword that is unrelated such as a celebrity or a similarly named brand.

15. While this information is useful you may find it difficult to understand how the data averages out – as such, a pie chart may provide you with a clearer ratio. Naturally, a high ratio of branded search increases the importance of this article and our associated tool.

16. You can use data studio to list the keywords making up these impressions/clicks etc, but for the purpose of this investigation we’ll just be using Google Search Console directly from now on.

If you’ve enjoyed this dabble into Data Studio, let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to produce more insightful posts using it.

Keywords to Protect

When looking for the keywords you want to assess, ensure you consider the below aspects of your company.

  • Your Name
  • Company
  • Brand(s)
  • Product(s)
  • High profile employees
  • Handles/usernames
  • Brand and Reviews
  • Brand vs Competitor

Tool and training for brand reputation

1. Zazzle Media offers a free [gated] Google Sheet available here for brand reputation protection.

2. Make a copy of this sheet on your own Google account or the shared business account you have for all things ‘web’.

3. Name the sheet to whatever you like.

4. In the Dashboard tab – Cell B3, pop your root domain such as or

5. The only other input on the Dashboard tab is for you to list your keywords between B6 – B27.

6. You can find these quite easily by nipping into GSC and filtering by your brand. Alternatively you can do this with your Bing WMT account, however the important keywords will likely be the same regardless of search engine.

7. Add both the appropriate brand keywords and the associated impressions to the table. We’ve used Wonga in our example data.

8. Your impressions won’t be weighted but it can help you identify high impression (high importance) keywords that have low scores.

9. Now that you’ve entered your keywords into the Dashboard you can move to the Scoring tab.

10. You’ll notice there are 10 positions for each keyword, to mirror the results page in either Google or Bing – depending on where you are running your investigation. Simply enter the full URL of the pages into the Full URL column.

11. The domain column will fill out automatically. If you’ve accidentally removed the formula just enter the below code into cell E6 and drag down

<wrap the below in code tags>

12. Similar to the domain column, the Title column will also fill out automatically. Again if you’ve removed the formula, enter the below code into cell F6 and drag down too (and stop deleting the formulas!)

<wrap the below in code tags>
=ARRAY_CONSTRAIN(IFERROR(importxml(D6, “//title/text()”),”Please Enter Manually”),1,1)

13. The titles should automatically fill out due to the importXML feature, however it’s not always 100% perfect, you may need to manually enter a title. The titles are only used to help you judge the impact any article might have and naturally relies on competitors/sites having appropriate titles.

14. Lastly you’ll need to score the URLs from -10 to 10 the table below suggests how you should score, but always take into account where the page is ranking too, a slightly negative article in position 3 is potentially worse than a competitor in position 9.

Score Notes
-10 Site actively tries to discourage users from using your service. Potentially a very damning review or customer complaint/scandal.
-5 Site loosely attempts to acquire your visitors with no benefit to you. This could be natural crossover with another brand’s service or review aggregator.
0 Neutral site that is unlikely to alter brand perception. Or is a totally unrelated brand. Alternatively the incorrect page on your site.
5 Positive story against your brand such as a news story or great review. Alternatively a useful (but not 100% perfect) page on your own site.
10 The correct page on your site that should be ranking or an acceptable secondary page that is helping you to own the SERPs.

15. We’ve filled the sheet in with the company who recently closed their doors and are no longer offering new loans. This combined with the cannibalistic nature of lenders meant that we were guaranteed a vibrant set of results.

16. Once you have scored every URL you can move back to the Dashboard tab.

17. You’ll find automated lists of both the positive and negative sites, there is a good chance your site will be the only positive but this depends heavily on the media’s representation of your brand.

18. The original tab where you entered your keywords will also now have scores for your site. You’ll find an overall average, an external site score and a score specifically for pages that your site has featured in the SERPs. In the example we’ve produced there is (or was!) a clear need for Wonga to own their reviews more and improve their targeting of “wonga login”.

19. Below the automated graphs and keyword table you’ll also find a simple score for Offence, Neutral Game and Defence.

  • Offence: This score shows how well you’ve optimized your site’s pages within the search results. A low score suggests the wrong pages are ranking.
  • Neutral Game: This is an overall score of your brand’s performance within SERPs, taking into account both your site and competitor sites.
  • Defence: This figure shows how negative the other sites are in the search results, it excludes your site entirely from the scoring.

20. Individual keyword scores are certainly more actionable however the overall scoring provides you with a good benchmark for brand protection KPIs.

Hopefully you’ve been able to gain some interesting insight into your brands perception within branded search results and, if needed been able to make use of the training recommendations made within our tool.

Improving Organic Brand Reputation

We’ve provided a ‘Training’ tab that suggests some of the basic but nevertheless critical points around brand protection. Following these is a great starting point, however if you have additional resource beyond managing these factors consider doing a similar exercise with a copy of the sheet for your competitor’s terms – put yourself in their shoes and discover how they are doing certain elements better than you.

To hark back to the example we showed earlier for Wonga, one of their primary competitors was QuickQuid who just have a simple page to target this term:

It’s better than nothing, and is a good step towards trying to outrank the Trustpilot page that might be a darn sight more damaging.

If you need additional support or help with managing your digital reputation – get in touch! And be sure to get the tool to help you with managing your brand reputation in the SERPs.

I hope you’ve found the tool and associated insight to be useful. Please let me know how you get on @StuartShawUK.

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4 Ways This Expert Launched His Coaching Career with Email Marketing

Before Michael Port became a highly sought after professional speaking expert, he needed a way to convert his website visitors into customers. That’s when he discovered the power of email marketing.

“Email marketing launched my career,” Port said. “Very rarely does anyone ever buy anything just because they went to our website. It doesn’t work like that, especially when you’re selling services.”

Michael Port is the co-founder of Heroic Public Speaking, a speaker development and coaching company helping new and established speakers. He is the author of the six books, including bestsellers Book Yourself Solid and Steal the Show. He is also the host of the most popular podcast on public speaking and performance, Steal the Show with Michael Port.

Since his entrepreneurial start in 2003, Port has leveraged the power of email marketing to nurture and convert business prospects into clients.

During a recent interview with Port, I asked him to share the email marketing blueprint he and his team uses to turn subscribers into customers.

4 keys to the Heroic Public Speaking email strategy

For the Heroic Public Speaking team, an effective email strategy comes down to four key pillars:

1. Determine an audience and goal for every email.

Every email you send should have a goal.  The Heroic Public Speaking team’s goal is to get their email subscribers to visit and watch the videos on their website. And the goal of these videos is to convert them into clients.

Ports team uses a very simple checklist of 3 questions to evaluate the purpose and audience for each email and landing page:

  1. Who is our audience?
  2. What do we want them to do?
  3. How are we going to get them to do it?

They run every single email through this checklist. If they can’t run it through that framework, they cut or revise it.

(Is your small business or nonprofit making an impact beyond the inbox? Tell us how, and you could win $20,000 from AWeber! Click here to learn more.)

2. Use pattern interruption to grab attention

Port is a firm believer in well-designed emails that adhere to your brand identity. Yet, he says you should sometimes stray from using designed email to leverage a psychological cue known as “pattern interruption.” Pattern interruption is when you intentionally disrupt an established pattern to grab your audience’s attention.

That’s why he occasionally sends text-only emails. Since he regularly sends templated and branded emails, text-only emails interrupt the pattern and stand out. This increases his click-through rates and engagement.

“Design matters. Yes, we still do text-only emails, because sometimes the pattern interrupt feels more personal and will create a quick, direct response from the recipient. But because we’re an organization, not just an individual, there needs to be consistent visual brand identity in addition to consistent written brand identity.”

If it feels like a personal email from an individual, subscribers pay attention and are more likely to respond in the way you would like.

Pro tip: AWeber’s email templates support beautifully designed templates as well as text-only templates, all of which are mobile responsive. Log in now to try them out. Don’t have an AWeber account? Try AWeber free for 30 days.

3. Tailor your message to your audience with segmentation.

The Heroic Public Speaking team targets two types of customers: individual consumers and corporate businesses. Since these audiences have different pain points and goals, Port’s team communicates with them in different ways.

With their corporate funnel, Port’s team uses more one-to-one outreach for these prospects at the top of the marketing funnel, and then use automated systems to move these leads through the sales cycle.

With their consumer funnel, they use email automation throughout the entire buying process to move prospects through the funnel.

Their consumer group contains 4 different types of individuals:

  • People who are already very successful professional speakers
  • People who want to be professional speakers but are just getting started
  • People who speak to help spread their message/brand
  • Professionals who want to get better at presenting because it’s a big part of their job

Because these groups have unique goals, Port’s team sends a customized automation series to each one.

To automatically add the right person to the correct customized automation series, Port relies on his sign up flow. Here’s how it works:

First, Port shows site visitors a simple signup form that offers lead magnets in exchange for subscribing. By minimizing the fields on this form, Port can get more people to complete it.

Once subscribers sign up, they arrive on the “thank you” page. This is where they can self-select the segment that best fits them. After selecting an answer, they’re automatically added to the corresponding automated email series. This allows the Heroic Public Speaking team to provide each unique segment with content that’s relevant to their needs.

If subscribers don’t select on option on the thank-you page, they have additional opportunities to self-select within the email series.

Pro tip: You can use AWeber’s tagging and behavioral-automations to allow your subscribers to self-select their segments. Simply assign tags to the custom field selections on your sign up form or add/remove tags when subscribers click a link within your welcome email. Then you can start them on targeted automated email campaigns, or save them for future broadcasts.

4. Choose the right email marketing platform.

According to Port, it’s easy to choose the wrong email platform when you’re just getting started.

“Small business owners get sucked into all of the bells and whistles of these massive platforms that they do not need. It just gets too complicated,” he said.

Instead, Port suggests choosing a platform that fits three qualifications:

  1. It’s easy to use.
  2. It fits your current business needs.
  3. It can scale with your business as it grows.

By using a simple, user-friendly platform, it’s easier to see fast results from your email marketing efforts.

Try AWeber free for 30-days

Port recommends AWeber because of its ease of use and ability to turn leads into customers.

“Without a tool like AWeber, it’s very difficult to do the work you need to do to get someone to say ‘Yes’ once they become aware of you.”

Ready to start getting clients to say “Yes” to your services or products? Start your free 30-day trial of AWeber today.

The post 4 Ways This Expert Launched His Coaching Career with Email Marketing appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

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How to Download and Save Facebook Videos

Over the past year, Facebook Watch has seen some significant success — since the start of 2018, total time spent watching videos in Watch has increased by 14x.

Facebook Watch offers thousands of impressive, high-quality videos for both entertainment and educational purposes. It also provides content you can’t find anywhere else, like Huda Kattan’s behind-the-scenes show Huda Boss, or Bear Grylls’ show, Face The Wild.

So what happens when you stumble across a great Facebook Watch video but don’t have the time to watch it fully, or find the content so useful you want to save the video and use it as a reference tool later? Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy way to download and save Facebook videos on desktop — here, we’ll show you how.

1. Go to Facebook Watch, find a video you want to download, and click the three-dot Settings icon. Then, select “Copy link”.

2. Go to and paste your URL into the text box. Then, click the “Download” button beside it.

3. You’ll have two options — “Download Video in Normal Quality” or “Download Video in HD Quality”. For our purposes, I clicked the “Download Video in Normal Quality” link.

4. Once your video downloads, click on it in your downloads and it will open within your web browser. Now, right click, and select “Save Video As … “.

5. Give your video a name, and save it wherever you want to find it later.

6. After a couple minutes of downloading, your video will appear wherever you saved it. That’s it, you’ve officially downloaded and saved a Facebook video!

video marketing starter pack

video marketing starter pack

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How to Set Up Google Analytics for WordPress

Have you ever wondered what people actually do when they enter your WordPress website?

Have you thought about which website pages they tend to stay on longest, what campaigns bring them there, and which of your website pages covert the best?

Google Analytics can help you understand all of this information and so much more. By simply installing a Google Analytics plugin on your WordPress website, you can start collecting this data immediately. As is most things with WordPress, installing Google Analytics is a painless process.

In just five easy steps, you can uncover insights about your website visitors and what is and isn’t working for them so you can improve user experience, increase conversions, and learn about the people who are interested in your business.

How to Set Up Google Analytics for WordPress

Depending on the Google Analytics plugin you choose, set up may differ slightly. The WordPress plugin library has several options, such as Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, MonsterInsights, WooCommerce for Google Analytics, and Analytics Cat.

For the sake of this example, we’re going to review how to set up Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics. No matter which plugin option you end up picking for your own WordPress website, the process will look fairly similar.

1. Sign Up For Google Analytics

The first thing you’re going to need to do is sign up for Google Analytics. If you already have a Google account, you’re off to a great start because that’s the only way you can actually use Google Analytics.

Either sign up for or sign into your Gmail account.


Then, head to the Google Analytics sign up page and click “Sign Up”.



You’ll be given the option to choose between using Google Analytics for your “Website” or “Mobile app”. We’re going to stick with “Website” for this example.

Complete the necessary information — Your “Account Name” will be the Google Analytics profile name for your website. You can choose whatever name you like, but best practice is to use your domain name.



Once you have completed the form fields, click “Get Tracking ID”. Your tracking ID and website tracking code will appear on the next page.Your tracking ID is included in your tracking code — this is what tells Google Analytics which account and property to send the data that is collected to. Depending on the plugin you chose, you may need add this information to the plugin, so it’s a good idea to keep this tab open.


2. Install Your Plugin

Next, you’ll need to actually install your plugin. If you are unsure how to install a WordPress plugin, check out the “Install Your Plugins” section in this WordPress guide.



Once your plugin is installed, click “Settings” and then “Insights” to gain access to your new Google Analytics plugin.


Now that you have installed your plugin, you’ll need to authenticate your Google account through WordPress so Google Analytics can access WordPress.

3. Authenticate Your Google Account

To authenticate your Google account, head to “Insights”, Click “Authenticate with your Google account”.



This will take you to the Google login page again where you can complete your information and click “Next”.

Google will ask if you want to allow the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin — or whatever plugin you chose — to access your information. Click “Allow”.

Note: When your plugin is installed and authorized, and a default domain is selected, the Google Analytics tracking code is automatically inserted on all web pages.

Some plugins may require you to insert the tracking code yourself if they don’t come with the same level of automation.

For example, Insert Header sand Footers is a Google Analytics plugin that does not install the tracking code for you. Instead, you’ll need to head to “Settings,” then “Insert Headers and Footers,” copy your tracking ID code and paste it into the “Scripts in Header” box.


Click “Save” to store your tracking ID.

4. Select the Profile You Want to Track

Once you’ve allowed your plugin to access your Google Analytics information, you need to select the profile you want to track. Select your website and click “Continue”.



You’ll then be redirected back to your WordPress website.

5. Start Tracking

Now, Google Analytics will start tracking data your website data.

You can view your Google Analytics data by heading to your Google Analytics dashboard through your Google account and clicking “Reporting”.



There is also a menu on the left side of your dashboard that includes different tabs with reports on your audience, acquisition, visitor behavior, and conversions.

Depending on your plugin of choice, you can also view your Google Analytics data in WordPress. In your WordPress menu, click “Dashboard” and your analytics should be visible.


Google Analytics for WordPress: What Can You Track?

Whether you’re looking for details about who is visiting your site, what they’re doing while on your site, or how long they’re staying on specific pages, Google Analytics will provide you with the report you need. The tool allows you to track many interactions between your website and visitors.

Let’s review some more of the specific types of reporting Google Analytics provides.


The audience tab will help you understand who your visitors are, their demographics, and other characteristics such as their interests, preferred language, and how they navigate to and from different pages on your website.


The acquisition tab will help you understand where your visitors are coming from.This information is helpful when setting up your marketing campaigns because it can show you exactly what’s working best for your acquired visitors.


The conversion tab will help you understand your conversion rates. You can compare them to your goal and understand what is and isn’t working. You’ll learn more about which CTAs and landing pages on your site are successful and what is keeping your visitors most engaged.


The behavior tab will help you understand what your visitors do when they arrive on your website. It dives into information about how they choose to get around your website, where they end up going on your site, and how they tend to interact with the different aspects of your site.

Analytics Specific to Your Plugin

In addition to the plethora of information that you receive from Google Analytics, your chosen plugin will also provide you with unique insights. For example, let’s review what Google Analytics Dashboard for WP provides. Some of these insights and features come standard with other analytics plugins in the WordPress library as well.

In-Depth Performance Reports. These reports provide you with in-depth performance details, such as bounce rates, referrals, page views, organic searches, and more, for each post and page on your website so you can segment your analytical data in a way that makes sense for your website and business.

Real-Time Stats. With Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, you’ll be able to review real-time statistics any time you open the plugin. Some of these stats include the current number of visitors on your website, your acquisition channels, and the source of your current traffic.

Custom Dimension Tracking. You can create custom dimensions to get specific data that matters to you and your business. For example, you can create custom dimension tracking about certain events and types of user engagement that are important to you.

Set Permissions Based On User Roles. If you have a large team, or team of people with different qualifications and needs when it comes to your analytics, you can set permissions based on user roles. This way you can ensure only the right people can make changes.

Back To You

Google Analytics provides you with insights and data that can help you drastically improve the state of your website. You can learn more about what is and isn’t working for your visitors as well as discover more about who they are so you can continue to tailor your content to their needs. With WordPress, installing Google Analytics on your website is quick and easy. In just minutes, you can start collecting the information that you need to enhance user experience and increase conversions on your WordPress website.

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