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A System for Easily Publishing Consistently Great Content – A Pamela Wilson Series

This five-part series is a guest contribution from Pamela Wilson of Big Brand System.

Content marketing works — you know that. It’s one big reason you read ProBlogger! You like the content here and you want to learn more about how to create it yourself.

It’s all well and good to talk about how to write content effectively, of course.

But at some point, you’ve got to actually do it. Regularly.

Content marketing works best when it’s done consistently over time.

One single piece of well-written content won’t turn your business around. It’s the act of creating and publishing useful content over time that creates business results. Prospects and customers begin to trust you when you show up and are helpful week after week. You become like a wise friend who’s always there to lend a hand.

Which, of course, can seem like an incredibly daunting task and an overwhelming commitment. But it doesn’t have to be.

In this post, I’m going to make the case for creating less content, but better content. And I’ll begin to share my system for publishing high-quality content consistently. It’s a system I’ve used for years, and it made content creation faster, easier, and more fun.

This is the first of a five post series! It’s has been customized for ProBlogger readers and is an excerpt from my new book, Master Content Marketing: A Simple Way to Cure the Blank Page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience.

Why Creating Your Content Over Several Days is a Genius Move

Some people reading this post will be part of a team that creates content, and that team may include an editor. Lucky you.

Most of us, though, create our content without the benefit of input from an editor or other team members. For most of us, content creation is a solo act.

That’s how it is for me with my content on Big Brand System. I write it myself without any feedback from an editor. And early on, I discovered a way to create that content that allowed my “inner editor” to come to the forefront and improve the articles I was writing.

It all starts by spreading the content creation process out over several days. Doing this gives you a chance to:

  • Think about your content even when you’re not actively writing it. You’ll find yourself coming up with a new idea or a different angle when you’re working on something unrelated, or even when you’re doing something during your off time: watching a television show; washing dishes; taking a walk.
  • See your content with fresh eyes. Creative “blindness” happens when you’ve been staring at the same project for too long. It doesn’t allow you to see what a piece needs, or notice the errors you’ve made. Spreading out your content creation process allows you to develop “fresh eyes” again — eyes that can see mistakes. After you’ve stepped away and done something else, you’ll return to your article and notice what’s missing or what needs to be changed.
  • Create content in a stress-free manner. Looming deadlines can be incredibly stressful, and that stress doesn’t allow us to do our best work. By starting on the content creation process well in advance and doing it one small step at a time, you give yourself a stress-free environment in which to create. This will support your work and help your ideas to flourish.

The process I’ll outline here can be adapted to whatever publishing schedule you use. You may find it interesting to know that even though on Copyblogger we publish a new piece of content four to five days a week, no single author writes more than once a week.

So when I recommend one strong piece of content per week (as I will below), this advice can apply even to sites that publish more frequently than that.

Why You Should Focus on Creating Less Content — But Better Content

It’s true — there’s a lot of content on the web already. More is added each day. You may wonder how yours will ever get found and consumed.

How can you make your content stand out from the rest?

The answer is to focus on creating content that gets noticed because it’s written with the highest standards of quality.

There’s already plenty of badly-written, clumsy content out there.

But high-quality content that’s written thoughtfully and presented in a way that makes it easy to read and consume? It’s rare. Quality content stands out.

Great content — well-planned, masterfully written, easy-to-read content — always rises to the top.

High-quality content works, too. It gets read and acted on. It gets passed around and bookmarked. It gets reader comments and people actually remember it — sometimes for years to come.

If you are working alone and you’re creating several pieces of content each week, consider putting all that effort into creating one ultra-high-quality piece of content that’s published on the same day each week. The rest of the week can be spent promoting that piece of content and driving people to read it. And once your content is published, you can re-start the system and begin creating the high-quality content you’ll publish the next week.

Introducing the 4-Day Content Creation System

When I first started my Big Brand System website, I was running my marketing and design business full time, plus I had two children in high school who were still living at home, and I was keeping a household running. I didn’t have a lot of time to spare for content creation, and I certainly didn’t have a five-hour (or more) block free to use to create content every week.

At the same time, I knew that publishing content on a consistent basis was the most effective way to get both people and search engines to notice my site. It was how I’d build the audience I wanted to develop for my business.

So I made a commitment to publish one new piece of content once a week. I knew this was a sustainable schedule that I could stick to consistently. And I suspected that fresh content once a week would be enough.

It was. Over the years, my audience grew, slowly but surely. When I first drew back the curtains on my website, there weren’t many people out there watching. But that changed quickly as I began consistently publishing helpful, useful, easy-to-read content.

Because I didn’t have big chunks of time available to write content, I developed a system that entailed spreading the content creation process over a period of days rather than creating content from start to finish in one sitting.

It turns out, this adaptive behavior was a highly efficient way to create quality content week after week.

In this series, I’m going to present my system for creating content over a period of four days:

Day 1: Build Your Article Backbone.

Day 2: Fill in the Details.

Day 3: Polish and Prepare to Publish.

Day 4: Publish, Promote, and Propagate.

Out of sheer necessity, I developed my strange system for getting content created.

And, as often happens when inventions are born from necessity, I hit on something that worked even better than sitting down and trying to write an epic piece of content in one single session.

In May 2012, a little over two years after I started my online business, I wrote about my weird little content creation system in what has turned into one of the more popular posts on Copyblogger: A Simple Plan for Writing One Powerful Piece of Online Content per Week.

The positive response that post received is one of the reasons I wrote my book, Master Content Marketing. It gave me the confidence to think that maybe I could actually teach people how to write content — even though I had just learned myself.

I’m going to share it with you here with some additional details that will help you put it into practice. It all starts with deciding which day you want to publish, and working backward from there.

What Day Should You Publish Your Weekly Post?

This system starts with finding a consistent day every week when you’ll publish your content. A few considerations for choosing your publishing day:

Think about a convenient day for your reader, not for you. It’s tempting to say, “I want to publish on ___day, because that day works best with my schedule. But it’s not about you, is it? You’re publishing content because you want to reach an audience. Think about what will work best for them, and work your schedule around that. Read on for more about this.

If your content is time-sensitive, publish it on the day it will be most useful. Let’s say your website features information about the latest happenings for antiques lovers in your region. You talk about sales, events, workshops, and new stores that have opened up in your area. You know that your readers do most of their antiquing on the weekend. When are they making their weekend plans? Probably on Thursday — or Friday morning at the latest.

Publish your content on the day it’s most likely to be useful to your readers. Think about how they’ll apply the information you’re sharing and when during the week they most need it.

Look for a traffic pattern in your site analytics. If your publishing schedule has been willy-nilly or non-existent, take a look at your site analytics. Is there a consistent spike in visits to your site on a specific day of the week? If so, make the most of existing traffic patterns by publishing a new piece of content that day.

In the end, you may find that none of the guidance above helps you choose a publishing day. In that case, it’s time to make an educated guess. Think about your audience first, and choose a day you expect will work for them. Plan to review your traffic after a few months to see if it spikes on the day you publish (that’s a good sign). You can even do a short audience survey to ask your readers what day they prefer to see new content from you and then look for a pattern in their answers.

With your publishing day chosen, work backward three business days. If you’re publishing on Friday, you’ll start your four-day process on Tuesday. If you’re publishing on Tuesday, you’ll start your four-day process on Thursday of the week before (take the weekend off!).

In the rest of this series, we’ll talk about what to do on each of your three publishing days. For now, choose the day you want to publish. In the next article, we’ll talk about what to do on Day 1.

Pamela Wilson is a 30-year marketing veteran and is the author of Master Content Marketing: A Simple Strategy to Cure the Blank Page Blues and Attract a Profitable Audience. Find more from Pamela at Big Brand System.

*Dislosure: This post contains affiliate links.

The post A System for Easily Publishing Consistently Great Content – A Pamela Wilson Series appeared first on ProBlogger.

      

Reblogged 3 days ago from feedproxy.google.com

#SproutChat Recap: Company Culture Content

More and more brands are incorporating company culture into their social strategies. This is a great tactic for humanizing your brand while simultaneously making your employees feel valued. However, it can be challenging for social media marketers to document multiple team perspectives to provide a wholistic story.

This week at #SproutChat, we discussed incorporating company culture in a business’ social content strategy. Our community weighed in on everything from getting coworkers to submit content to tagging and expectations for employee advocacy.

Humanize Your Brand

Content focused on company culture isn’t going to help you reach your sales goals. But highlighting the exceptional parts of your work environment will only attract better talent and help fuel your company’s long term success.

Ensure Consistent Employee UGC

As your organization’s social media manager, you should be gathering content from company events and broader initiatives. However, an easier way to ensure variety is to ask for user-generated-content from your own employees. Ensure consistent content by setting up a protocol that doesn’t include too many specifications or barriers to participation.

Always Ask Permission

Always get consent from employees if you’re going to tag their personal social profiles. Employees should have their privacy respected, even at company functions. An alternate route is to forego tagging and just use first names.

Employees Should Opt-In to Advocacy

Fostering a culture of employee advocacy is a fantastic way to showcase company culture. One of the biggest benefits of an advocacy program is organic exposure via social. That being said, keep the initial efforts of your program optional and lighthearted. If employees are required to say great things about their employer, there’s no doubt the tone of those messages will quickly turn sour.

Take Note

You don’t need to be a Fortune 500 Company to curate and publish great company content. Take note from these SMB companies that understand the value in incorporating company culture into their social strategies.

Happy Motivation Monday from the Risas Dental & Braces team! Let's make it a great week!

A photo posted by Risas Dental & Braces (@risasdental) on May 16, 2016 at 11:09am PDT

At Risas Dental, the team huddles before treating patients.

Goodmanson Construction showcases their service, but also their employees in a year-end wrap up video.

Join us next week on Wednesday, February 1 at 2 p.m. CST  to discuss managing social media on the go. Until then, discuss industry topics with your peers in our community on Facebook.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Company Culture Content originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Reblogged 3 days ago from feedproxy.google.com

#SproutChat Calendar: Upcoming Topics for February 2017

It’s hard to believe that we’re days away from February 2017! We hope that you’re progressing toward your goals quickly by taking the time to read, learn and connect with industry colleagues. #SproutChat is the perfect place to gain new insight and keep your social strategies moving forward. Just jump on Twitter every Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. CST to learn and share best practices about social media marketing and community building.

Check out the topics we’ll cover this month and be sure to click “Add to Calendar” for the weekly Twitter chats that you don’t want to miss. Are none of the discussions catching your eye? Feel free to discuss your own social media wins and pain points in our Facebook community.

February 1, 2017: Managing Social Media on the Go

Sprout Product Focus: Mobile App

Consumers expect quick responses via social media. That means social media managers must be present and responsive 24/7. How can they maintain this level of service? With great mobile apps, of course. Join us for a discussion about best practices for managing social on the go.

Add to Calendar: OutlookGoogleYahooOutlook.comApple Calendar

February 8, 2017: How to Grow Your Business

Getting a business up and running is one thing, but maintaining and growing it is another. Join us for an insightful #SproutChat discussion with Sprout All Star and Owner of Social Media Unicorn, Krista Whitley. Krista joins our discussion with years of experience and expertise in growing her Las Vegas-based agency and personal brand.

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February 15, 2017: Discussing Marketing Success With Evernote

Social media marketers have a plethora of tools in their tool box. One of the tools many marketers rely on to nurture and share ideas and increase productivity for their team is Evernote. This week, Lolitta Gevorkova, Social Media Specialist at Evernote, will be joining our discussion to talk about getting the most out of Sprout’s platform and what quantifies as success on social.

Add to Calendar: OutlookGoogleYahooOutlook.comApple Calendar

February 22, 2017: Creating a Good Video

If you haven’t caught on that video needs to be an essential component of your social media strategy, you’ve been living under a rock. So why aren’t more brands embracing video content? When it comes to video and social there are definitely challenges ranging from quality to consistency. Today, we’ll discuss common challenges and offer solutions for producing more effective video content.

Add to Calendar: OutlookGoogleYahooOutlook.comApple Calendar

This post #SproutChat Calendar: Upcoming Topics for February 2017 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Ensure Bing Ads Are Part Of Your PPC Efforts

Did you know that Bing accounts for roughly 1/3 of the paid advertising search market at 31%? To be a comprehensive paid search marketer you have to be on Bing.

Read more at PPCHero.com

Reblogged 3 days ago from feedproxy.google.com

Pinterest, Sargento Kick Off Pinterest MVPP: Most Valuable Party Planner Microsite

Pinterest created something to do with the 8 million football party ideas and 58 million football ideas users have saved prior to Super Bowl LI Feb. 5.

The social network developed the Pinterest MVPP: Most Valuable Party Planner microsite, sponsored by Sargento, which enables users to create custom boards with Super Sunday recipes, tips and fashion suggestions, just by answering a few questions.

Visitors to the Pinterest MVPP are asked whether they are a rookie or pro at party planning; if their style is “can’t beat the classics” or “let’s shake things up”; and whether they are rooting for the New England Patriots or Atlanta Falcons.

Pinterest then uses its Pinterest API (application-programming interface) to curate custom content and add profile details including names and photos.

PinterestMVPPPin

Sargento senior digital marketing manager Cami Schenck said in a Pinterest for Business blog post:

Partnering with Pinterest for one of the biggest entertaining events of the year helps us bring more value to consumers. Party planners go to Pinterest first to find the perfect game-day dishes, and we want to help fans create the best “homegating” experience using delicious serving ideas and recipes from Sargento.

Alastair Cotterill, global head of The Studio at Pinterest, spoke with Lauren Johnson of SocialTimes parent Adweek, saying:

We started looking at our insights and saw the different things that people come to Pinterest to plan and get inspired in advance. For sports events, they tend to come about a week before.

This is a trend that we’re working with lots of brands on—how to create experiences that make sense with how people are using Pinterest but also ones that are personalized and tailored.

In terms of driving people to the experience, Sargento wanted Promoted Pins, and we also have some media outside of Pinterest. Sargento has a broader campaign that this is part of.

Readers: Will you use Pinterest to help plan your party for the “Big Game?”

Reblogged 3 days ago from www.adweek.com

Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative acquires AI-powered search engine Meta

The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, the $45 billion philanthropic organisation founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, has made its first acquisition – of a search engine.

The Initiative announced on Monday that it would be acquiring Meta, a scientific search engine that uses artificial intelligence to make connections between research papers.

The search start-up, which was founded in 2010, previously charged some users for subscriptions or custom solutions, but the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative intends to make it free to all after spending a few months enhancing the product.

The Meta search engine is designed to make it easier for researchers to search through, read and link together more than 26 million scientific papers. It also provides free, full-text access to some 18,000 journals and sources of literature.

Meta’s artificial intelligence capabilities allow it to draw connections between papers, recognising where authors and citations overlap in order to surface the most important and relevant research – rather than just what contains the right keywords. It provides an efficient and intuitive way to sort through reams of online studies and locate the most useful papers, in a way that more conventional search engines like Google Scholar can’t replicate.

If all of this sounds familiar, that might be because you’ve heard it before. Semantic Scholar is also a free, AI-powered search engine aimed at helping scientists to sift through mountains of research, using data mining, natural language processing and computer vision to analyse a study’s worth and present its key elements.

Semantic Scholar is also backed by a non-profit organisation: the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, or AI2 for short. The search engine was developed by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, in conjunction with AI2 and in collaboration with Allen’s other research foundation, the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

Semantic Scholar was only launched last November, while Meta has been around since 2010. Until now, the fact that Semantic Scholar was free to use might have given it an edge, but the intervention of the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative could change all that.

So which search engine will emerge victorious? Both have the backing of heavyweights in the technology industry – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft’s Paul Allen. Both use artificial intelligence to open up access to scientific research in a whole new way, and both are soon to be free to all.

Semantic Scholar’s field is also quite narrow still, currently only covering 10 million published papers in the fields of neuroscience, biomedicine and computer science. However, it has a huge amount of potential and has grown quickly in the two months since its launch, with 2.5 million people using the service to perform millions of searches.

Maybe the question should be: are the two search engines even competitors? Oren Etzioni, the CEO of AI2, has already refuted the idea that Semantic Scholar would attempt to compete with Google Scholar, saying that their goal is just to “raise the bar” and provide scientists with more effective options to carry out their research. They may take the same view towards Meta, opting to work with the other company for the ultimate benefit of the scientific community.

For the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Meta is just one step towards their larger goal of helping to “cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century”. Sam Molyneux, the co-founder and CEO of Meta, wrote in his own announcement on Facebook that,

“Helping scientists will produce a virtuous cycle, as they develop new tools that in turn unlock additional opportunities for faster advancement. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s recognition of this “meta” effect is why Meta can be a key piece of the puzzle to enable the future of human health that we believe to be possible within this century.”

Regardless of whether Meta and Semantic Scholar will be competitors or collaborators, one thing seems certain: artificial intelligence has unlocked a whole new set of possibilities for the way that we engage with scientific research, and there’s no doubt that we will benefit from it.

Whatever happens next, it’s going to be exciting.

Reblogged 4 days ago from searchenginewatch.com

Release Notes: Bringing the Data with AWeber Stats 2.1

How do you know if your email marketing strategy is effective?

With data, of course. Sweet, sweet data.

Fortunately, viewing the performance of your emails just got a heck of a lot easier.

Discover what’s working with AWeber Stats 

Our recent release of AWeber Stats 2.1 – the ultimate email marketing analytics app – brings all-new data visualizations to help you understand the performance of your emails and identify opportunities to optimize them.

“When we set out to improve the Stats experience, we spent a lot of time listening to the needs of email marketers,” says AWeber’s product manager, Meghan Nesta.

“At first, we encountered a desire to learn more about email marketing performance by bubbling up key data points. Our customers are busy entrepreneurs. They don’t have time to pour through every nook and cranny of their analytics,” she adds. “With Stats, we’re elevating the right information so you don’t have to dig for it.”

Stats App 2.1 Screenshot

What’s new?

For this recent release, we incorporated the feedback we heard from email marketers and customers. As a result, the team primarily focused on overhauling the presentation of Broadcast stats.

View more key metrics at-a-glance

From the moment you open the Stats app, you can see essential email marketing metrics right away.

Simply tap the Broadcast icon, and you’ll get a glimpse of list-level stats like open and click-through rates for all sent broadcasts. You’ll also see the percentage of complaints and bounces for those emails.

As you continue scrolling, you can view more detailed metrics for individual broadcasts, including the total number of subscribers who received the email, send time, open rate, click-through rate and percentage of complaints.

And with that kind of juicy data, you can extract important insights about what’s working and what isn’t working in your emails – and more importantly, figure out ways to get your subscribers more engaged with your content. 

If you notice your open rates decreasing, for example, that might mean it’s time to test a new approach to writing subject lines.

Or if you have a low click-through rate, you may want to try changing the color of your call-to-action button.

You might also like14 powerful tactics to increase your email click-through rates.

Understand where subscribers are opting out

The latest updates to Stats 2.1 also allows you to easily view the total number of unsubscribes by list and individual broadcasts sent. Viewing your open and click-through rates alongside your unsubscribe data will help you best understand what content your customers are engaging with, and what content is causing others to opt-out of your emails.

“No one likes unsubscribe stats,” Meghan says. “Seeing how many people opted-out can be a bummer, but we know that learning from the emails that people didn’t like is one of the most effective ways to tweak your strategy and send awesome emails that’ll delight your audience.”

[bctt tweet=”Tweak your #email strategy by learning from what subscribers didn’t like. – @mjnesta” via=”yes”]

One powerful tactic that’ll allow you to send relevant and contextual emails subscribers will love? Segmentation.  

You can segment subscribers based on links they’ve clicked or messages they’ve opened. You can even create segments based on which emails subscribers didn’t open, or more specific attributes like geographical location or custom field selections.

If you find that a particular email didn’t garner a significant number of opens, for example, you might re-send an email to a segment of subscribers that didn’t open the email – but with a different subject line.

Find trends, test changes

Using Stats, you’ll be able to quickly find trends and performance indicators.

Perhaps you notice messages sent at a certain time perform better than others, or that differences in your subject lines yield higher open rates. Or maybe emails that promote certain products have higher click-through rates, while emails without a strong call to action yield unsubscribes.

You’ll never know until you dig into the data, and with the Stats app, you’ll be able to demystify your email analytics and identify opportunities to improve performance that can help grow your business. 

Need a few ideas to tweak your emails after you’ve learned more about its performance?

Check out our 18 tried-and-true ways to improve your email content, and learn how to keep your subscribers engaged. Whether it’s writing a more compelling call-to-action, or including interactive elements like GIFs or video thumbnails, you’ll be sure to find some ideas to make your stats shine.

Download Stats today

While I’ve only highlighted our latest updates, the AWeber Stats app also includes subscriber details, follow up stats, the ability to preview sent and scheduled broadcasts and much more.

If you’re an AWeber customer, check out Stats for free on Android or iOS. Simply install the app on your phone or tablet, log in with your AWeber username and password and get instant access to all of your data.

Not an AWeber customer? Sign up for a 30-day free trial so you can take advantage of our AWesome email marketing features such as email automation, subscriber segmentation, and of course, Stats 2.1!

The post Release Notes: Bringing the Data with AWeber Stats 2.1 appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Reblogged 4 days ago from blog.aweber.com

4 Ways to Avoid Google’s Mobile Sign Up Form Penalty

Earlier this month, Google launched an update that has the potential to decrease your website traffic and limit the number of people who see your sign up forms and subscribe to your email lists.

Now, websites with intrusive mobile interstitials (aka sign up forms) displaying on mobile devices may see lower rankings in Google search results.

Since organic traffic accounts for up to 64 percent of website visits and 33 percent of people click on the first listing in Google search results, this update could significantly impact your website traffic.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the update. Plus, get four tactics you can use to avoid the penalty and continue collecting new subscribers from mobile devices.

Everything you need to know about Google’s mobile interstitial penalty

On January 10, 2017, Google made the following announcement on their Webmaster blog: “Starting today, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as high.”

According to Google, they’ll penalize forms that interrupt or impede mobile users from consuming the content on your site. The purpose of the update is to make websites more accessible to mobile users, who account for 51.3 percent of internet usage worldwide.

[bctt tweet=”Google now penalizes websites with forms that interrupt mobile users from consuming site content.”]

Here’s an image Google shared in their post that shows what forms they consider intrusive and may penalize:

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-3-36-14-pm

As this image shows, there are certain types of forms that would be affected by this:

  • Pop up forms that cover the main content of a page
  • Slide in forms that cover the main content of a page
  • Full page forms that completely cover the content on a page
  • Page takeover forms that need to be dismissed before a user can see content

To avoid Google’s penalty, you should not display any of these forms for your mobile site visitors.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t use pop up, slide in or full page mobile forms that cover the main content of your website.”]

You can, however, still use these types of forms on desktop devices without the risk of being penalized.

Although this rule has some well-intentioned email marketers up in arms, the sad reality is that not everyone uses these types of forms to help and educate visitors. Too often, these intrusive forms are difficult or impossible to exit out of, or don’t deliver content visitors would actually want. (I’ve seen many of these types of intrusive forms – ones that block content, take forever to load and can’t be easily dismissed –in recent months.)

To ensure you don’t run the risk of getting penalized, all you have to do is turn off those forms for mobile device users. Many sign up form builders (such as SumoMe and OptinMonster) allow you to target forms based on the device from which people are accessing your site. And that makes it fairly simple to ensure you’re abiding by Google’s new policy.

While you may be worrying about how this will hurt your list growth, this update doesn’t end your ability to display sign up forms to mobile site visitors and collect subscribers. There are still plenty of non-intrusive ways to show your forms without being penalized by Google.

Four ways to avoid Google’s penalty

1. Use top or bottom bar forms

Top or bottom bar sign up forms avoid the Google penalty because they do not cover the content on your website. Instead, they are located either at the top or bottom of a web page and follow users down the page as they scroll.

The advantage of this type of form over a pop up is that it can’t be dismissed or closed by the user. It also creates a much better user experience.

For example, TwelveSkip uses a sign up form at the top of their blog post pages:

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-3-37-07-pm

The form catches your eye with its vibrant color and sticks at the top of the page as you scroll down. It’s also responsive, meaning that it resizes to fit the screens of mobile users.

2. Add embedded forms to your site

When compared to pop up forms, embedded forms often get the bad reputation of not earning high conversion rates. The fear is that because these forms don’t block a visitor from reading content, they may not capture people’s attention and encourage them to opt in to their email list.

However, there are ways to make your embedded forms stand out and capture email addresses. And by using these forms, you won’t have to worry about getting penalized by Google since these aren’t restricted.

All you have to do is make sure the design, copy and location are optimized for success.

Take a look at this embedded form on DigitalMarketer’s home page:

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-1-45-45-pm

While this form is embedded into the page content, it’s the first thing you see because it’s at the very top of the page and uses a bright blue and green color scheme to capture attention.

So while poorly designed embedded forms may not gather many subscribers, using contrasting colors and good placement can turn embedded forms into a subscriber magnet.

[optin-monster-shortcode id=”p1ybp2w6h2juxuhs”]

3. Create click-to-open forms

Another form type that doesn’t interrupt a user from consuming the content on your website? Click-to-open forms. With this type of form, website visitors must click a link or button in order to expand the full sign up form.

For example, SumoMe includes this link to access their secret strategy at the bottom of a blog post:

screen-shot-2017-01-27-at-10-54-55-am

When you click on the link, this form opens up:

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-1-48-19-pm

While this is a more subtle way to add a sign up form to your page, there are psychological studies that support their effectiveness. A study from Stanford, for example, found that people are more likely to meet a larger demand after completing a small request.

When you apply that behavior to our click-to-trigger forms, the “small request” is clicking on the link and the “larger demand” is subscribing to an email list. Because people are more likely to do something once they’ve committed themselves, click-to-trigger forms are ideal for convincing people to follow through.

4. Show an exit-intent form before subscribers leave

While exit-intent forms often cover content by popping up on the screen or taking over the page, Google doesn’t consider them intrusive.

Google only penalizes sites when forms make the content “Not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results.” Exit-intent forms don’t appear on the transition from search results, but rather, when a user tries to exit your site. Since this is the case, Google won’t penalize people who use them on their site.

And this is great for you, because exit-intent forms often have high conversion rates. In fact, according to OptinMonster, their customers have seen as much as a 600% increase in conversions with exit-intent forms.

[bctt tweet=”Avoid Google’s penalty by using top or bottom bar forms, embedded, click-to-open or exit intent forms.”]

Making the internet a better place

While you may worry you’ll see a dip in list growth because of this update, there are still many ways to collect subscribers from mobile devices with non-invasive forms, like the ones mentioned above. Plus, you can continue displaying pop up forms and collecting subscribers for desktop users.

And if this update will help make the internet a better place and improve the user experience for all, we know it’s one we can support.

Ready to build a better sign up form? Enroll in our free, seven-day list building course, Your First 500 Subscribers. During the course, you’ll learn how to do things like build a high-converting sign up form, grow your email list with social media, drive more traffic to your website and more.

The post 4 Ways to Avoid Google’s Mobile Sign Up Form Penalty appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Reblogged 4 days ago from blog.aweber.com

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