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How To Eliminate Wasted PPC Spend

I am going to walk through some tips I have learned while working in Digital Marketing that will help find and eliminate wasted spend in your accounts.


Reblogged 1 year ago from

Remarkable impacts of COVID-19 on Google SERPs

30-second summary:

  • Google has rolled out some of its most revolutionary features and additions in years in terms of how it displays the SERPs.
  • These new SERP-related changes are meant as both a remedy and an insight into what the future of Google searches may look like.
  • These changes have allowed Google to finally make some headway in combining two essential but vastly different needs of its users, that is, personalization and diversity of results.
  • The new additions to the SERPs are tied to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, but its effect will undoubtedly take hold of Google’s future approach towards its SERPs.
  • This article explores exactly what these new additions bring to the table, what directions could they go into, and most importantly, how it helps Google help us better going forward.

What is perfection?

Though it might seem like a redundant question at first, it has been at the heart of all major tech innovations of our time. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple among others are examples of how this question drives constant improvements. Most of all, it reflects Google’s metaphorical rise as the de facto “gateway” to the internet.

What is it about Google that sets it so apart from the rest of the competition? At its core, it is the “yellow pages” of the internet. All our queries, questions, doubts, and inquiries can be answered from roughly the first five search results that Google presents us. These search results or more formally known as the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the proverbial jewel in Google’s crown. All of its extensive services rely on the infallibility of its SERPs.

Hence, it is unsurprising that Google pays meticulous amounts of attention to constantly maintaining and evolving these SERPs. This has paid great dividends for the tech giant’s fortunes while being the source of incredible help for the general public. Perhaps, Google’s latest round of improvements reflects these improvements the most.

These improvements are Google’s direct response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing its incredible litany of data resources, Google has made it possible for governments and citizens alike to know about the latest developments in real-time. But certain elements set these COVID-19 Google SERPs’ improvements apart from the rest.

Source: Twincreek

What are these elements and how exactly do they improve Google’s already remarkable precision-based SERPs protocols? More importantly, what do they mean for Google going forward? In other words, has Google achieved perfection? Read on below to find out the answers to these questions.

Tidying up the SERPs

While it may sound straightforward and almost routine, Google has visibly paid particular attention to these COVID-19 response changes to its SERPs. As users may have already noticed, searching “coronavirus symptoms” presents a sticky menu on the left side of the screen. Its simplicity is what makes it so groundbreaking as it helps Google address some of the key issues plaguing it for quite some time now.

Utilizing raw, user-driven data

Just managing all the data that it has at its disposal can be a daunting task at times for Google. However, with COVID-19 it has chosen to transform this user-driven data into infographic representation. This not only helps get the message across a lot more clearly, but it also helps it avoid any miscommunication. After all, it is likely that a world map showing how each country has been infected can be misinterpreted if proper markers are provided.

COVID-19 search personalization-in Google SERPsSimilarly, these infographics are a lot easier to update based on real-time user-generated data. If users click on any of these infographics, they can find more information as well as qualitative data on the issue. In short, this ability to incorporate data means that it can rely on the users to provide both real-time diversifications as well as the personalization to the SERPs.

The sticky menu

The sticky menu is undoubtedly a feature that millions of users will find incredibly useful. It breaks down data into several categories without requiring users to search for these separately. For instance, this is how the sticky menu looks when you search for “coronavirus symptoms”.

Google SERPs sticky menu

As users can see, all the SERPs are related to COVID-19 symptoms with their ranking dependent on their authority on the subject such as the WHO, official government sites, and reputable publications like the New York Times.

Similarly, users can further customize this menu to choose a selection of various filter bubbles or categories and have SERPs dedicated to them. This would help users avoid the hassle of having to skim through the results that a normal “COVID-19” inquiry would have brought and save the time it would take to make individual inquiries.

Google’s personalization problem is finally addressed

Unsurprisingly, personalization still represents one of the key issues facing Google in 2020. It becomes trickier when you take into consideration the fact that this issue has more to do with ethical concerns rather than Google’s technical ability. On the odd occasions when Google has achieved a customer-oriented form of personalization, it has had to face allegations of bias.

Apart from the external pressures that have curbed Google from building on its initial success, Google’s internal culture presents a roadblock as well. It has long been proud of its algorithms that it promises to deliver the most diverse SERPs as possible. To its credit, Google has maintained a non-partisan approach to its SERPs until now.

Google SERPs COVID-19 search

Even during the height of the 2016 US Elections, it managed to keep the SERPs as diverse as possible without becoming a catering platform for political extremists on either side of the aisle. However, there is a limit to the extent of which it can continue to do so. The need for increased personalization by users as well as diversification has meant that Google has never been able to achieve the highly sought “balance” until now.

As mentioned earlier, these latest technical additions to Google’s SERPs mean that it is finally able to merge both the filter bubble with issues of personalization and diversity. Without sacrificing much in terms of UI or accuracy of the SERPs, Google may have achieved or at the very least, has gotten on track to attain absolute personalization.

The answer lies in user input

Over the years, Google has looked at various solutions to its “personalization” problem. The most obvious solutions brought ethical issues that Google chose to avoid. It is becoming evident that the answer may have been far simpler than even Google may have anticipated i.e. user input.

Consider this, a liberal journalist that uses Google more than the average user to conduct their research. Naturally, over time Google’s algorithms will understand what this journalist’s typically sought SERPs are. If the user chooses to cite particular news outlets, it’ll make SERPs from those outlets more visible. All standard protocol, but what if the same journalist wanted to see the other side of the picture? What if in a particular moment, that journalist wanted to see what some of the more conservative publications are publishing on the same issues?

Of course, the journalist’s past search patterns mean that they’ll have to spend an extensive amount of time skimming through the results presented. These results would probably be relevant 99% of the time…but in that particular instance, they’re counter-productive to the journalist’s needs.

This is precisely the problem that these latest SERP changes address. The sticky menu on the left would allow this journalist to be in total control of the SERPs presented to them. Not all users have the same intent and more importantly, not all users have the same intent all of the time.

 Letting a user choose the intent and have greater control over the SERPs catering to multiple intents is the next step in Google’s quest to achieve the kind of personalization it has spoken of in the past. Imagine, being able to see two completely different sets of SERPs on two different tabs just by making some simple changes on the sticky menu.

Building a strong foundation

The COVID-19 SERPs represent a massive step towards building a standard protocol that supports a user-driven balance between personalization and diversity of results. There might be an argument that there are still some plaguing holes in the current SERPs update. However, as mentioned earlier, it is best to see these developments as baby steps. Steps that will hopefully serve as a strong foundation that balances out both of these.

For now, the sticky menu allows users to categorize their intent based on the filter bubble as shown above. This simple addition has removed a lot of extra steps, making the overall browsing experience more fluent for the average user. Similarly, it does not sacrifice the effectiveness or reliability of the results. Google’s traditional algorithms ensure users receive the most dependable SERPs in each category.

As for what else could Google does, there is never a death of suggestions. These suggestions will be of particular importance when it comes to an issue that has previously landed Google in hot water, that is, political bias.

Taking the example of the same liberal journalist as above, Google may understand their search intent. To mitigate any chances of confirmation bias, Google could have additional tabs such as “Also of Interest” or something similar. This would allow Google to ensure it does not have to compromise either on personalization or diversity of the results. At the same time, users may find it helpful that they’re being shown both sides of the picture regarding any issue.

Some final thoughts

Every time Google comes up with a new feature, it seems that it solves an issue that most users didn’t even know existed. SERPs have long been the most talked-about aspect of Google as they are undeniably what gives it its authority within the market. As Google advances in its interpretation of data and merges it with personalization, we may see similar improvements in SERPs going forward.

Final thoughts

Source: Slideshare Tiago Afonso

Without a doubt, COVID-19 inspired changes have allowed user-input to become a visible element in SERPs. The sticky menu represents to what extent users might have control of the SERPs visible to them. It is likely that in the time to come, Google will continue to work on it and implement it across the platform ensuring the same personalization is available across all pages.

Coming back to the original question, what is perfection? I like to believe that perfection is a lot of little things done well. A simplistic but adequate response that seems to fit the strategy Google has adopted. As radical as these changes might seem, they’re essential tweaks in a much larger scheme. However, the results indicate that Google may have finally found the answer to one of its most serious issues.

Rameez Ghayas Usmani is Digital Marketer at PureVPN. He is a data-science and SEO enthusiast. He can be found on Twitter @RameezGUsmani.

The post Remarkable impacts of COVID-19 on Google SERPs appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

Five ways to get more product exposure with high powered influencers

30-second summary:

  • With marketers and brands alike losing trust in traditional advertising, alternative promotional channels need to be used and the numbers stack up in favour of influencer marketing as the solution for product exposure.
  • We’ll examine the concept of high powered influencers and case study successful influencer promotions.
  • What is influencer marketing and why should your brand rely on it?
  • To adequately take advantage of influencer marketing we’ll go through the best ways to partner with influencers and understudy partnerships that worked and why such collaborations succeeded.

How do you generate brand awareness and product exposure without traditional advertising? Influencers. 

These days trust in advertising is the lowest it has ever been, and for this reason, you need to look beyond regular promotional methods.


Influencer marketing can foster goodwill towards your product. But more than that, high-powered influencers can boost traffic, engagement, and awareness. 

Because of how tough it is to get product exposure, you’d want the satisfaction of achieving the feat all by yourself, right? Not just to prove people who had doubts about your ability wrong, but for that feeling of accomplishment that you succeeded alone. It’s truly an enticing thought most entrepreneurs can’t resist. 

Dictating the game and calling the shots is great and all. But at certain stages of your business, you need a helping hand. Your reach has limits. 

By connecting forces with people who have identical goals to yours, you gain their reach and create a symbiotic relationship for mutual growth and potential audience maximization. Your brand and product’s exposure is paramount, and by engaging, interacting and intriguing your target audience alongside individuals with similar ambitions, the possibilities are endless. 

With that said, let’s proceed. 

What are high powered influencers? 

An influencer is someone who turns the heads of your target audience. A person with a social presence so powerful that they can put your product in front of thousands to millions of consumers. 

A great example is Subaru’s #MeetAnOwner campaign that used influencers videos to promote its new Impreza with the objective to pull in millennial buyers. One of such videos was Dan Graham, a new YouTube influencer with over five million subscribers using a slip and slide to leap off a 500-foot cliff.

#MeetAnOwner - High powered influencers

While there were no mentions of the facts and figures that make the car great. It simply focused on the emotional aspect of consumers, which was the thrill of adventure consumers would associate with the car as a result of the influencer promoting it.

Influencers majorly achieve such goals as Dan did via social media platforms, which is where they showcase their influence.

But you need to ensure that your chosen influencer is the right fit for your product or brand. 

You may come across a person with millions of followers, but if their goals aren’t identical to yours – for example, using a hip hop artist to recommend your new software – a boost in engagement isn’t a possibility. Defining context is the most crucial aspect you can focus on when choosing an influencer, so ensure that’s the pillar of your decisions. 

Why use an influencer? 

1. Increase in credibility

Influencers increase your brand’s credibility, which naturally extends to your product. By collaborating with people who already have credibility in the industry, you boost your own. 

Sun Peaks, a ski resort, experienced this. In order to raise awareness about their various winter attractions, they involved Instagram influencer and Canada’s leading adventure photographer Callum Snape. 

With amazing Instagram stories, images and short Facebook videos he drove over 200,000 people to Sun Peaks landing pages. Which sparked a huge interest for Sun Peaks from their target audience. 

The consumer’s conclusion was simple – “If Callum Snape loves it, then it’s got to be great. ” 

Callum Snape - High powered influencers

2. Influencers add a new perspective 

Do you know that feeling? The one where you write or talk about the same topic repeatedly, and at some point, you feel redundant. 

Repeating the same thing you’ve always said, to relay the same information from a fresh perspective, and a different sound. 

That’s tough, but if you bring in someone else to speak on the same subject, they’ll have something new to offer. People vary. Each person’s life choices and experiences give them a worldview different from yours, even if they’re in the same industry. 

FIJI water knew this, so they teamed up with influencer Danielle Bernstein and her trainer Eric Johnson.  

FIJI water example of influencer marketing

The idea was to expose their product to their target audience in a subtle way and from a fresh perspective. 

Now, in the post-Bernstein promoted her own brand Bernstein but she reminded her followers about the importance of staying hydrated and included FIJI water bottles. 

This took the attention of forced placements off FIJI water since the post was about promoting her brand. The result was that it appeared to the audience as a reflective recommendation to stay hydrated rather than a promotion of FIJI water.

With high powered influencers, you can present your product from a fresh perspective to your target audience consistently.

3. Influencers offer massive exposure 

In the business world, it’s all about giving and receiving. You scratch my back I scratch yours.  It’s a system that you can’t override because it’s powerful. 

Think about it. Why would a guest blogger pen down a post on your page?  It isn’t because they love your brand so much, they just want to help. All actions in business are for personal intentions. They do it to get access to a bigger audience. Yours.

And in exchange, they pull their audience to your doorstep, and it’s a win-win situation for everyone. With influencers, that’s what you achieve.

Tom’s of Maine, for instance, is a brand that makes toiletries using natural ingredients only. To build exposure for their products, they decided to have influencers compel their followers to make posts about Tom’s of Maine products for a chance to win a gift package. 

The strategy initiated a snowball effect that got across to 4.4 million people in three months of the campaign.

Tom's of Maine - example of high powered influencers

Some high-powered influencers have followings in millions, and a single recommendation of your product can drive an unbelievable number of leads and conversions to your offer. 

They have traffic, exposure, and influence, and you have the cash. So you make a trade, everyone’s happy.

How to find relevant, high powered influencers?

1. Google search for Instagram influencers

A simple Google search can reveal individuals influential in your niche on Instagram. Input a related keyword and pick the top posts. Find out who’s behind them, learn about them, and then reach out. 

You can use the search keyword code: site: “k followers” niche.

Googl e search for Instagram influencers

2. Buzzsumo

This is such a great tool for locating influencers. All you need to do is enter your keyword or niche related phrase in the search. 

For instance, if your product is a content marketing tool. Type in the keyword “content marketing”, and you’ll see a bunch of buzzing posts will pop up. 

Buzzsumo example

Look up the persons behind the posts. Check out their social media profiles and followership. If they match up with the influencer type you’re gunning for, reach out to them. 

Best ways to partner with high powered influencers 

1. Run a referral program

Remember when we mentioned that the business world is all about mutual benefits? Well, referral programs are a perfect demonstration of that principle. 

During Airbnb’s expansion to Asia for example, a single influencer’s referrals resulted in 5000 signups and hundreds of bookings in the campaign’s first month.  


Offer influencers a nice payout, discount or relevant product for them throwing you a few hundred thousand customers isn’t a bad idea. Influencers invested an immense amount of time and effort into gaining those followers and desire to receive rewards for it. 

There are a bunch of tools for automating your referral program, you just need to set and forget. You can even find quality influencers via these tools as they reveal people that are part of your program and are driving the highest traffic to your brand. 

A referral program offers influencers a solid incentive to link people to your brand. The importance of this is even though a top influencer had an excellent experience with your product, without an active nudge they’d most likely not reference your product. And you may never know that someone with such an influence loves your brand. 

2. Gift them

Seen an influencer you like? Perhaps you’ve found that they have a similar passion and you’re convinced they’ll be all in with your brand or product. 

By sending them a product gift, they can test out your product and create exposure by sharing it with their followers. It’d be a good approach to drop them a message before sending over your product to them, as they may not be willing to tell the world about your generosity as you think without a nudge. 

Here’s a great example of what the influencer’s product exposure post would look like: 

Example post of high powered influencers

3. Freebies giveaways contest

The idea behind this is like giving gifts, but instead of giving your product to the blogger themselves with the aim of them promoting it, the blogger runs a contest with your product targeted at the audience. 

It’s a lot more direct in terms of the market of approach. As the influencer’s audience fights for an opportunity to win your product, it spurs a desire to have your offer before they’ve even gotten it. That’s a priceless effect to have on potential customers. 

Check this example out:

Freebies give away contest

Keep in mind that this method works great with influencers who own a blog, as the stats show that 90% of bloggers love to engage their audience in contests. So it might be easier getting a blogger to agree to this method. 

4. Run influencer events

There’s no greater way to empower and educate your Influencer about your product than to host an event that allows you to interact with them in-person.  

Sure you can send the influencer a box of your products and request that they feature it in their subsequent post. But imagine the depth of insight and content they could come up with if you invited them to where you make the magic happen.  

For example, if you run a makeup brand, you can invite beauty/makeup influencers to an event where you show them how everything comes together. You allow them to get their hands involved in the making procedures and walk them through the entire process. 

This is what ecommerce mattress brand Casper did. They got in touch with various Canine influencers that had a combined following of 3.5 million dog lovers to promote their new product for dogs. 

Casper's Pupperazzi campaign


The influencers were invited to a lunch party in New York, with “pupperazzi”, a green carpet and lots of food. The results were phenomenal. Different positive perspectives of their product at a go and 3.5 million people reached with ease.

You may have to include travel expenses into your budget, depending on your brand’s location. But the result is giving the influencer the ability to produce brilliant imagery that represents everything good about your product.  

It allows the influencer to communicate your product to the audience in the most elaborate way possible. 

5. Social media posts

Instagram sits high on this approach and is an excellent place to locate influencers to partner with. But ensure that you find users that not only have large followings but engagements proportionate to their follower size. The danger signs should go off if you come across an account with 300,000 followers, but only 12 likes per post. 

When you identify the best influencer for you, create a campaign that delivers multiple posts that appeal to various aspects of your target audience. With that approach, one post is bound to stick. You can ask them to try out your product and take a video or snapshot showing the features of your product. 

6. Blogger review

If done right, your influencer’s blog posts can rank on the top search results. Blog posts are an excellent way to boost product exposure. 

Partner with powerful influential bloggers known for their credibility and trustworthiness. You could send them a free product or pay them in exchange for crafting a blog post with an honest review of your offer.  

For example, if a web user is searching for “golf gloves” on Google, your influencers post could show up on the search results and as they visit the page, you’ve got a limitless flow of potential leads


Influencer marketing is powerful in driving product exposure. You just need to find the right influencers and build a solid relationship with them. Try out various methods, track your performance, and determine the right approach for your brand. 

Raul Galera is the Partner Manager at ReferralCandy, an app that helps ecommerce stores run customer referral programs, boosting their word-of-mouth sales.

The post Five ways to get more product exposure with high powered influencers appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

How to Write Convincing Sales Landing Pages Even if You’re Not a Copywriter

The best copywriters write with two things in mind: their audience and the action they want their audience to take. 

That means great writers adjust their copy for each marketing channel. While many of the writing techniques and strategies are similar, writing a landing page that converts visitors into subscribers is not the same as writing an email, social copy, or a blog post.

To help you write high-performing content for your landing pages, we asked professional copywriters to share their best writing tips. 

Check out what they had to say. 

Landing page copy should help people solve their frustrations and achieve their aims.

Henneke Duistermaat, Founder of Enchanting Marketing

What I see going wrong most often on landing pages is that we’re so focused on what we want to sell, that we forget to explain WHY people may want to buy it. 

So, always start with sneaking into the mind of potential buyers: 

  1. What problem do they want to escape? How does that problem make them feel?
  2. What aim do they want to achieve? How will that improve their lives? 

A product bridges the gap between where people are right now and where they want to be. For instance, someone might buy a course to improve their LinkedIn skills because they feel they’re wasting too much time achieving nothing (that’s their frustration) and they want to get more interaction and quality business leads (that’s their aim). The landing page should describe what people will learn so they can solve their frustrations and achieve their aims.

When you align your offer with what web visitors want to achieve (and when you do so using their words), it becomes much easier to increase conversions. 

Always remember: People don’t buy a product, they buy a better life.

Related: Find out how to use your audience’s words in your writing.

Clarity will always beat complexity.

Amy Woods, Founder of Content 10x

Jargon and buzzwords sound smart, but do they sound like something an actual human would say – or buy? Would you hire a gardener or a grassland cultivation and management disruptor?

The best businesses sell their products and themselves in simple words.

Going into detail and using industry-specific language is not a sin – it’s just that you need to find the right place to do so. Your landing page needs to be laser-focused on what you do, who you do it for, and very importantly what problem you solve.

This means focusing on the end-state, not the processes and features. A gardener doesn’t sell 2 hours of horticulture, they sell a beautiful garden for you to enjoy and show off to your neighbors.

To make this clear you need to have ONE simple call to action – and make it fun! “Make My Garden Beautiful”, not “Enquire”.

Ask someone who’s never heard of your business before to look at your landing page and see if they can tell you those three essential points after 5 or 10 seconds of reading: what you do, who you do it for, and what problem you solve.

If they can’t, it’s time to go back to the strategic illustration and writing display solution… Sorry, the drawing board.

Great copywriting joins the conversation already happening in customers’ minds.

Joel Klettke, Founder of Business Casual Copywriting

Great writers are great researchers. If an entrepreneur wants to write “amazing” copy, they need to understand the audience they’re communicating with inside and out:

  • Who are they, really?
  • What pain points are they trying to solve?
  • What outcomes do they care about?
  • Why would they see your solution as an ideal alternative to anything else out there?

Moreover, you need to understand these things in their own words. 

That means talking to customers through surveys, interviews, chat, review mining… doing the homework to learn how they talk about their problem, their need, and their ideal outcome.

Once you’ve done that, it’s less of an exercise in “wordsmithing” (gag) and more like building with Lego: putting the right pieces together to sell. 

Related: What is Review Mining?

The big mistake so many entrepreneurs make is assuming they know their market already. The things that are important to you as the entrepreneur may not matter to your audience as much as you think they do.

The way you talk about things may not reflect how they think. And that’s what great copywriting really is: joining the conversation already happening in the customers’ mind and subtly influencing the way they consider your offer.

And, landing pages need to be ruthlessly focused. Every line needs to earn its right to be there.

If you’re driving ads to a landing page or targeting a very specific set of keywords, then you’ve got a decent idea of the awareness level a lead is coming in at.

Everything on the page needs to be building a case towards a conversion (getting a lead to take action); there’s little to no room for waste. 

Answer these 10 questions to write awesome landing page copy.

Gill Andrews, Conversion Copywriter & Web Consultant

Answering these 10 questions will help you figure out what your landing page copy needs to say to convert prospects into customers to help you write awesome copy:

  1. What is it that you’re selling?
  2. Who will benefit from your offer most?
  3. How much do your prospects know about their problems and your solution?
  4. What problems does your offer solve?
  5. What results do your prospects expect?
  6. What reservations / fears do they have?
  7. What criteria do they use when deciding whether to buy from you?
  8. What words do your existing customers use exactly to answer questions 4-7? Use those words in your copy.
  9. Why should they buy from you and not your competitors?  
  10. Who are your competitors?

Related: 4 Experts Reveal How to Craft High-Converting Landing Pages

Write like a human to earn visitors’ trust.

Christine Otsuka, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Uberflip

Landing pages are designed for one purpose—conversion. So landing page copy needs to be both attention grabbing and persuasive. Here are a few tips to help you hone your conversion copywriting skills:

  • Spend time writing a killer headline. This is the visitor’s first impression and if the copy doesn’t entice them to keep reading, the rest of the page doesn’t matter. 
  • Keep it simple. Get to the point as quickly as possible and strip out any jargon or ambiguity. Aim to be clear, considerate, and concise.
  • Write like a human. Use short sentences and write the way you speak. You want your visitors’ attention and trust, so be relatable.
  • Lead with your value proposition. What’s in it for the visitor? The benefit needs to be  clearly articulated, aligned to their pain or need, and believable or specific to be persuasive.
  • Empathize. Relate to your visitors’ problem or pain and show them your company understands and can help.
  • Don’t forget your proof points. Use supporting copy to further describe the offer/product/service, support your value prop, and back up your claims with stats or testimonials. 
  • Ask for what you want. Include a clear call-to-action that’s short and sweet (button copy should be three words or less) and makes it clear to the visitor what will happen next.
  • Test for best results. A/B test the copy with a variation to maximize conversions. You can follow best practices all you want, but ultimately testing is your best bet to learn what works for your specific audience.

Related: How to Pinpoint Your ‘Hook.’ Find Your Unique Value Proposition in 6 Simple Steps

Write your own landing page today

AWeber’s Landing Page Builder makes creating a landing page for your business easy. Log in to your AWeber account, or start a 30-day free trial, to start building your landing page today.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

3 Types of Marketing Videos That You Can Make Remotely

In our 2020 State of Marketing report, video beat out common tactics like blogging and SEO as the most heavily prioritized marketing strategy for businesses this year.

The growth in video marketing isn’t all that shocking. Today, video is dominating the internet — especially on social media. And, throughout the last decade, social media platforms like Reddit and Facebook have changed dramatically to favor video over other content.

At this point, while tactics like blogging and advertisements are still vital to success, many groups, such as millennials or Gen Z prefer to learn about products, topics, or people through video.

But, as the trend of video marketing continues to grow, so does the number of companies opting into remote work. If you’re in a company that is quickly taking its processes out-of-office or a video marketer who’s always wanted to try working remotely, you might be wondering, “Can I actually make a marketing video from remotely?”

The question of whether videos can be filmed anywhere is definitely valid. After all, high-quality videos do require you to film in an optimal location that’s quiet, looks aesthetically pleasing, and has good lighting. And, if you’re less familiar with the process of creating scalable videos, you might envision that you’d need a perfect film studio filled with a camera crew, makeup artists, and expensive equipment.

The truth is, marketing videos can cost you some time and money. However, many of them can be quite scaleable and filmed in all sorts of locations.

In 2020, we’re already seeing a number of brands and influencers market products or services through social media or online videos filmed in their own home or a remote location nearby.

But, what’s the best way to navigate filming marketing videos from home? The first step could be deciding on a video format that’s both scalable and feasible to create from multiple locations.

In this blog post, I’ll highlight three types of videos that marketers can easily film from home while showing you a few examples. In the conclusion of this piece, I’ll highlight a few tips for creating quality videos from anywhere.

3 Types of Marketing Videos You Can Film Remotely

Demos or Tutorials

For years, startup founders have been filming demos and tutorials in home offices, shared workspaces, or screen-share videos. Because the center point of a demo or tutorial is a product or process, viewers’ eyes will be locked on that. While you should film in an environment with a non-distracting background, limited noise, and good lighting so the viewer can properly focus on the demonstration, you can zoom in on the product for most of the video and don’t necessarily need studio lighting or a pricey background to please viewers.

One example of a brand that has embraced the at-home tutorial for years is Kylie Cosmetics. Although the company does have offices in Los Angeles, Kylie Jenner or members of her marketing team will often film makeup tutorials for Instagram in a home setting.

Here’s one example of a demo video Kylie Cosmetics published on IGTV.

In a way, these makeup tutorials make the brand and product feel more authentic. Because they’re filmed in natural, but still strong, lighting, the tutorials better highlight what the products will look like on a person in real life. This can be hard for customers to determine when viewing highly edited product shots of makeup.

If you’re trying to highlight something that isn’t a physical product, such as software or digital services, you can also consider an animated demo or screen-recorded video that shows how your product works or highlights the digital services you offer clients. This might add extra editing time to your video production, but it eliminates the need to prepare your workspace for a film shoot.

Here’s a great demo from SurveyMonkey, which combines screen grab images with animation to show the ins and outs of its survey products:



Within two minutes, SurveyMonkey demonstrates how easy it is to use its products and how it can integrate with other common office tools like Slack.


An explainer allows you or a credible person affiliated with your business to explain a product offering or a topic related to your industry. For example, explainers could discuss a piece of industry news, a new trend, winning strategies related to your industry, or even tactics to avoid. Or, if your business is too complex for a basic demo or tutorial, you could film explainer discussing an important strategy and how your business could benefit it.

Explainers are slightly different from tutorials or demos in that they focus on explaining a complex topic or strategy, rather than just demonstrating how to use a product.

Although an explainer doesn’t need to specifically discuss your product, this format allows you to show your audience that you have expertise in the industry that your product is in. Additionally, if you have access to a known thought leader or influencer that can film an explainer for you, audiences of your brand and that person could see the video and think your brand is more credible because a well-known expert is associated with your content.

There are multiple ways to film an explainer. The most basic type could involve filming yourself or a thought leader talking to the camera about the topic while standing in front of a basic background or whiteboard. To add some depth to this type of video, you could then edit it to include text or visuals that note other facts not explained on camera.

While this explainer was filmed in HubSpot offices, those in it are simply speaking in front of casual basic backgrounds. To zest up the video format and further inform the viewer, the editor added simple transitions, related images, and data visualizations:



Although the explainer above’s primary goal is to explain email marketing to viewers, it also nicely wraps a shoutout for HubSpot Academy’s email marketing course. This makes the video informative and a solid marketing tool.

If you or someone on your team knows graphic design or how to animate videos, you could also consider an explainer that relies on only graphics. While this type of explainer will take more time, it will eliminate the need for prepping a home or remote location for a video shoot.

Here’s a great explainer on how artificial intelligence works from the emerging technology company Qualcomm:



Expert Q&As

Recently, a number of brands have been experimenting with pre-recorded or live Q&A videos. These videos allow an expert that’s part of the brand or an industry influencer or thought leader to answer questions either asked by a host or an audience of commenters — if the video is live.

Like explainers, these videos allow experts affiliated with the brand to share their knowledge, which can make the brand seem more credible. If the questions asked to the expert are commonly asked about the industry topic discussed, the audience will also get solid value from the content and consider the brand as a trusted resource. Additionally, if the video features an influencer or thought leader, their audiences might tune in and incidentally learn more about your brand.

Currently, there are a number of ways to do a Q&A that doesn’t require a stage and people sitting next to each other.

For example, HubSpot, which has over 300 full-time remote employees will collect questions from its audiences and ask its in-house experts to answer them via Instagram Stories. With this strategy, the expert can film themselves with a smartphone in a location they prefer and send their best clips to our social media team. Then, the social team can easily publish the content on Stories:

SEO Q&A Instagram Story from HubSpot

More recently, it’s also become more acceptable to perform pre-recorded interviews via video calls. This could allow a host and an influencer or a host and another expert on your team to perform an interview from separate locations.

Below is an example of a Facebook Live Q&A where a rep from Healthier Lifestyle 4 You, a company that sells wellness products, remotely interviews a health expert about alkaline water.

Although many brands are opting to do Q&A on live streams, you can alternatively pre-record your interview. This will enable you to edit the footage as needed, add transitions, and overlay useful text or captions.

Filming Remote Marketing Videos

Now that you’ve gotten a few examples of how brands filmed marketing videos affordably and remotely, you might be ready to get started on your own.

As you prepare to shoot your first video, keep these tips in mind:

Pick the right equipment: Although filming from home could save you more money than in a studio, you’ll still want to invest in equipment as needed. For example, if you’re filming an Instagram video and have a low budget, using a smartphone with a solid camera might do the trick. If you want to amp up the quality, you should consider purchasing a digital photo or video camera which will allow you to film with high resolution and adjust your environment’s white balance. You might also want to purchase a microphone if your home is in a noisy location or an affordable floodlight if your home doesn’t have strong natural light and you don’t have lamps or extra lighting fixtures to work with.

Leverage your software: You don’t need expensive software to edit a video, film a screen share video, or record a Zoom Q&A. The truth is, many apps that allow you to do these things are free, might already be installed on your laptop, or incredibly affordable. For example, Mac users have iMovie pre-installed while you can download a number of screen-recording apps out there.

To learn more about the ins and outs of marketing videos, check out this guide. For a list of affordable video editing software and apps, read this blog post.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

9 Tips For Sending a Sales Email That Converts in 2020

Statistics show that a total of 300 billion emails are going to be sent throughout the year this year. It’s hard to even comprehend the scale at which emails are going around nowadays. However, despite the sheer dominance of emails in the current era, some still struggle.

In particular, many people struggle with the seemingly Herculean task of sending out sales emails that actually convert. In a decade where spam is both persistent and ubiquitous, it takes a solid strategy to get people to open your emails, much less read your call-to-action.

This article is going to teach you everything you need to know to boost the conversion rate on your sales emails, even in the challenging landscape that marketers are currently facing. Without further adieu, let’s get into these tried-and-tested tips.

Stay Concise

The last thing you want to do is send a wall of text to your prospects. No one has time to read long paragraphs in this day and age. Many people are constantly on the move, rushing to get to their next important business meeting.

If you want people to actually read your emails all the way through to the CTA, then you have to learn to be concise while still getting the message across. We’re not saying that you have to make every email super short, but don’t add in any non-essential text.

Every sentence in your email should serve a distinct purpose since you don’t know how far the prospect will read before closing the tab. This also ensures that your email doesn’t drag along. After all, a slow pace can be significantly detrimental to your conversion rates.

Keep It Simple

In addition to staying concise, you should also keep your emails simple. Some marketers think that shoehorning jargon into their sequences will help them acquire new clients since it shows prospects that they know their stuff.

In reality, your conversion rate will be hindered by the overly complicated language that you’re using since the recipient won’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about. Sure, they might think you know your stuff, but they won’t know your stuff — so what’s the point?

You should be trying to inform your prospects of all the reasons why they should reply to you or act on your CTA, but how are you supposed to do that if you can’t get the message across? Using simpler language will ensure that recipients get a firm grasp on your value proposition.

Proper Format

Remember what we said about not sending a wall of text? Well, that doesn’t only refer to length but also to formatting. Even a relatively short email can come off as too much of a burden to read if you don’t use the proper email format when writing it.

The human mind likes to see empty space in between content when it’s digesting a piece of information, that’s why most online editors have automatic paragraph spacing. Readability is such a key determiner of your conversion rate, so put some effort into formatting.

Try to split paragraphs every other sentence — or even every sentence — so that you don’t give your prospects a headache when they read it. People are far more likely to read an email all the way through if it’s well-formatted since they know it won’t end with a migraine.

Creative Formatting

You’re probably wondering why we have another section on formatting right after the first one. No, we’re not aiming for redundancy. Proper formatting and creative formatting are two different things. The former is about keeping things clean while the latter is about going the extra mile.

While you might split paragraphs to achieve a proper format, you’d want to put some more effort into creative email formatting. A prime example of this would be the addition of bullet points. They aren’t necessary for cleanliness, but they present information in an eye-grabbing way.

Another great example is the use of headings. Again, not at all necessary when writing your emails, but they add that extra pop when readers see it. Furthermore, it makes them feel like they’re reading something crafted by a professional rather than a spam bot.


When you send your emails is just as important as what they actually say. You could send a perfectly crafted email, and it still won’t do you much good if it reaches the prospect’s inbox at three o’clock in the morning.

If they catch it before bed, then they’ll likely skim it for a few seconds before ultimately deleting it since they’re too sleepy to dedicate more energy to random CTAs. In the rare event that they do read it all the way through, they won’t act on the CTA at such a late hour.

“I’ll do it tomorrow” will be the first words out of their mouth after they finish reading your email. Of course, they’ll surely forget before waking up. Late-night emails can also get buried in other emails that come in after them. Aim for weekday mornings, around an hour before noon.

Names, Names, and More Names

Names are everything when it comes to email marketing. The first name that you should be concerned with is the name of your prospect. Inserting their name into the subject line and opening paragraph will make the email feel more tailored to them.

This reassures them that they haven’t just received another run-of-the-mill spam email. The second name that you should include is your own. This reminds prospects that they’re listening to a real person, not a bot that sends emails out in the thousands.

Lastly, you’ll want to finish things up with your company name. This makes it easy for the prospect to find your website — if you don’t have one yet, you should really get one — after reading your email, which presents yet another opportunity to hook them into one of your offers.

Solution-Centric Formula

If you really want your prospects to read a random email all the way through, then you should find a way to make them care about the message that you’re trying to get across. The easiest way to do this is by solving a problem that they’re currently facing.

The solution-based format of marketing has become a running gag over the years due to those old infomercials that would always open with lines such as “are you tired of toilet stains” or “sick of paint that drips on your floor?” but it’s actually a very effective strategy when done right.

Don’t go for the cheesy approach that the infomercials of yesterday were known for. Instead, try to be more subtle while still clearly outlining the problem that you’re trying to solve so the recipient will read to the end, assuming they suffer from the same issue.


This is the sequence that many veteran email marketers go by since it gives you a pretty good chance of reeling in a new prospect. You start by hooking the reader so that they actually dedicate their attention to the message.

Once you have them interested, provide value so that they keep reading instead of closing the tab. After you’ve provided enough value to establish yourself as a knowledgeable authority with a solution, you can make your request.

This can be a CTA to sign up for a course, join a mailing list, or buy a product. Regardless of what it is, you should be making your requests after you’ve provided the value. Prospects are more likely to buy something if they feel indebted for the value they received, so go capitalize.


The last tip that we’ll give you today is the importance of focus. You have to send every email with one specific purpose in mind. It’s very tempting for many email marketers who are new to the field to cram as many CTAs as possible into each sequence, but that’s not ideal.

If you really want to convert your prospects into paying customers, then you should only be throwing one CTA their way. Otherwise, you’ll overwhelm them with a million requests, and they’ll end up ignoring every single one.

Our rule of thumb is that you should open with the offer that’s most likely to get you a new customer. This may be one of your smaller offers that can lead to an upsell down the road. You don’t need them to make a big purchase straight away, just get the prospect on board.

As you can see, sending out emails that convert doesn’t have to be rocket science — and you can still get astronomic results without overcomplicating things. If you follow some of the tips that we’ve laid out above, then you should be ready to give your conversion rate a nice boost.

What are you waiting for? It’s the new decade! Go out there, be confident, and crush it!

Author Bio

Adam Hempenstall is the CEO and Founder of Better Proposals, simple proposal software for creating beautiful, high-impact proposals in minutes. Having helped his customers at Better Proposals win $120,000,000+ in one year only, he’s launched the first Proposal Writing University where he shares business proposal best practices.

The post 9 Tips For Sending a Sales Email That Converts in 2020 appeared first on Benchmarkemail.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

How to Get Quick Results With SEO Sprints: The DriveSafe Case Study

Posted by ChristopherHofman

Currently, many businesses face challenging times and are moving their SEO budget to disciplines which offer quicker wins.

But you can also create instant results with SEO, and it can be done on a small budget even when you are up against bigger players in your industry.

In this blog post I will show you my framework to do SEO sprints. I will show you how you can use Google’s ability to index and rank faster to your advantage. Later, you will be presented with a case study, where we used SEO sprints for a chain of opticians. The result: an increase in bookings of vision tests of 73%.

But first, let’s have a look at the layout on page one of Google (for most queries).

Google never took SEOs into account when designing for the user. As a result, their transformation over the last few years from the “10 blue links” format to “the portal” has pushed the organic results on page one down by several pixels.

Today, the four Google Ads at the top of the SERP cover most of the pixels above the fold. In many cases, your screen can also be covered with a Google Shopping ad. Apart from the ads, Google fills up the space on page one with SERP features such as featured snippets or their own platforms such as Youtube or Google Maps.

In some industries, Google will even place their booking search engine at the top. Examples are Google Flights or Google Hotels.

During the last few months we have seen more desktop traffic, but in general users are moving to mobile. An iPhone’s screen of 758 pixels makes it nearly impossible to rank above the fold for an organic result.

We, as SEOs, have to rethink our way of doing SEO.

The Google challenge

Do you know your numbers?

For a particular query, how high is the expected click-through-rate if you rank number one? Is it 20%? Twenty-five? These are the typical estimations coming from CTR benchmark studies. But in reality, for competitive queries, the right CTR will be much lower, which means that you could be basing your business case on the wrong numbers.

Instead, I would recommend looking at your Google Search Console data to see what your CTR is when ranking number one for a non-branded term.

As an example: In the retail industry I have a client ranking consistently at number one for a broad generic term with a monthly search volume of 2.8K. How high do you think their CTR is?


They are not the only ones with a meager CTR. Doing some research, I discovered that positions three and four for this query had CTRs of 1.1% and 2.4%, respectively.

When CTRs used to be higher, I went after the big keywords. At the peak of my “Big Keywords” career, I reached the number one ranking in Google (Denmark) for the biggest keyword in the banking industry: “Lån” (loan). It took one and a half years to go from the bottom of page three to number one in Google, and the investment paid off handsomely for the client.

The strategy was straightforward, with a focus on technical SEO, on-page, and off-page factors. In other words, SEO as we have always approached it. However, working with SEO in a silo frustrated me, because I felt that we could get better and faster results by working together across disciplines and across departments.

In October 2018, a new insight gave me the chance to rewire my SEO thought process. This led me to develop a new framework aligning SEO with other marketing activities.

The big insight: Google indexes and ranks faster

Back in the year 2000, Google updated their index every five to eight weeks. This gave SEO a reputation as a discipline where patience was key, and where results were a long-term project. This understanding is still common inside the industry, and many SEOs will still tell their clients to be patient and expect the results to come inside one or two years.

However, if you do it right, this is not the case anymore.

Let’s fast-forward to 2018: I discovered that Google had changed gears.

My client was planning to run a marketing campaign starting in October. My SEO team was invited late to the party, as I only met with the client two weeks before the campaign launch.

I was not too optimistic about the time frame to get them results, but we gave it a shot.

The results surprised me.

Inside 20 days, they went from not being indexed to ranking in the top three for their main keyword.

I was baffled. This was not the Google I knew.

This insight was huge, because it meant that SEO could break free of the classic silo and be part of other marketing activities.

The idea of the SEO sprint was born.

What is an SEO sprint?

Let’s stop and think for a minute.

How often do marketing campaigns ignore SEO? SEO data can actually be a central element in marketing, because the data reveals the inner feelings of users when they search on Google. This is data which would be very hard to get from qualitative interviews.

Have you tried to convert mentions to links months after a PR campaign ran?

Ever worked on an SEO project where you never talked to the PPC team (even though they have valuable information, like which keywords convert, that you can use for your SEO work)?

Have you delivered a tech audit with a long list of to-dos without really knowing what the business strategy was, hence the priorities of the SEO tasks?

These are examples of SEO working in a silo. Silos waste knowledge and they miss the big picture. Instead, SEO activities should be aligned with the marketing plan.

When you rank at the top of Google for the keywords and user intentions which support your business strategy, it is due to teamwork across your marketing department.

This is what SEO sprints are all about: Based on the company’s business strategy, SEO sprints are an integrated part of your marketing mix. They are SEO activities which support a marketing campaign, where the objective is to be present at the most important touch points in Google for particular customer journeys.

An SEO sprint consists of five steps:

  1. Strategy
  2. Data
  3. Insights
  4. Execution
  5. Measurement

I’ll dig into each of these steps in the case study below.

The secret behind a successful SEO sprint

In late 2018, I performed other SEO sprints, which proved to me that there was an opportunity to work differently within SEO. For example: a New Year’s campaign where the client’s main keyword went from out-of-index to the bottom of page one within 10 days. While they didn’t make the top three, they still obtained a 6% CTR from a ready-to-buy audience.

So, how can you use a sprint to rank faster in Google? Do sprints focus on links, content, or page speed?

Those factors are only partly important. The main ranking factor is the competition. Let’s face it: You rank number one at the mercy of your competition. It matters a lot for your ranking if competitors don’t focus their SEO efforts in the same direction as you.

In my experience, when broad media sites and forums rank, it’s a good sign that competition is not so strong. The ideal scenario is when competition is manageable and Google results have low volatility, meaning the results don’t fluctuate much. This is a signal to me that I can rank quickly and remain at the top of Google for a longer period.

While you should try to rank for all your keywords, the key is to identify and prioritize important, low-competition keywords to get results quickly. When you have established yourself, then you can start to build out your topical authority and aim for the keywords with tougher competition.

The DriveSafe case study

Let’s put the SEO sprint framework into practice. Nyt Syn is a Danish chain of 57 opticians. They have a 6% market share in a market dominated by three bigger players. During 2018 and 2019, I ran two successful SEO sprints for their DriveSafe campaign.

DriveSafe glasses are glasses produced by ZEISS. You can use them as normal eye glasses, but they are particularly useful to avoid being blinded by the headlights of oncoming cars at night. They retail at $500 (USD), so it is not a low-priced item, but they are the safest solution in the market.

The target group of the DriveSafe campaign is primarily 35-year-old women and above. They are not worse off than men when it comes to seeing badly at night, but our research showed that they are more ready to do something about it. Our main objective was to have them book an eyesight test at their local Nyt Syn optician.

The results

After running the first DriveSafe campaign in Q4 2018, which was fairly successful, we managed to triple the organic traffic during the second SEO sprint a year later.

During the period, 23.7% of the organic traffic to went to the DriveSafe pages. More importantly, Nyt Syn increased their bookings by 73% for the second campaign when compared to the first.

How we did it

1. Strategy

Before we started our SEO tasks, we needed to understand the objective of the DriveSafe campaign and how SEO would support the business goals.

In order to translate the marketing strategy into SEO activities, I use customer journeys to map out the customer needs and define the content touchpoints on Google.

This was our SEO mission statement:

“We are present in Google when users make queries related to night vision with the intent to solve a user challenge leading to the booking of an eyesight test.”

2. Data

You need to understand user behavior before you can execute your strategy. Fortunately, it has never been easier to get access to data. While many still stick to one tool (e.g. Google Keyword Planner or Moz), I have come to realize that the more tools you add, the more you will identify your user’s intentions. I use Google’s own tools (Google Search Console, Google Analytics) and different Clickstream tools (e.g. Moz Keyword Explorer). Each tool will bring something new to the table.

To this stack I also add the company’s own data sources, like live chat. It’snot only a tool to communicate with your customers! No one ever contacts a company simply to engage in small talk. The data from the chat history is a gold mine of user questions. Zendesk and Internal Site Search are two other underestimated resources, where small observations can turn into big insights.

In the end we managed to identify hundreds of keywords within the range from general symptom searches to specific product requests.

3. Insights

Insights depend on the strength of your data. If you don’t dive deep enough during data retrieval, you won’t get a full understanding of user behavior, thus missing out on important user intentions. By looking at the keyword list, we identified various user intentions. With them in hand we created customer journeys to map out which content to build or repurpose.

Here are the user intentions mapped out in different stages of the customer journey for this campaign:

Awareness: What is night blindness?

Consideration: Do I have a bad night vision? Can I use glasses with yellow tint?

Decision: DriveSafe glasses from ZEISS

We discovered four interesting insights from the data:

1. Early funnel content is notoriously underestimated. We identified the bridge between the symptom searches for “night blindness” in the early stage of the customer journey and the need to drive safely at night. By creating the page “What is night blindness?”, we answered the users’ symptom questions and moved them on in the funnel towards our solution.

2. The keyword data revealed a need from users to test their eye sight online. We converted a general eye vision test into a night vision test. The test took off. More than 180,000 users ended up completing the test via different channels.

To boost the general authority of the DriveSafe pages and this particular online test, we also acquired links. Apart from the extra authority, the referral traffic was decent.

3. We could see that users went for a premature choice when looking for a solution. If you are a mountain bike rider, you probably use cheap plastic glasses with yellow tint. These are not good for driving at night, but this was the best guess for many users.

An interview with a professor from the School of Optometry in Denmark revealed that glasses with yellow tint let in too much blue light. This is the light which our eyes are exposed to at night. Instead of ignoring users searching for yellow tinted glasses, we decided to warn them instead. The page “Don’t use glasses with yellow tint!” attracted a lot of traffic. It also showed that you can rank number one for keywords which counter the primary user intention on page one of Google.

4. The optometry industry jargon is different than the terms that users search for. Company policy can sometimes prevent you from optimizing your site for the user terms, but Nyt Syn embraced the opportunity.

There are 800 monthly searches for the query “natbriller” (night glasses). This is not an industry term, but we decided to create a page with it anyway It paid off. Nyt Syn has now ranked consistently number one and two on Google for this important keyword for more than a year, bringing in lots of profitable traffic.

The search terms mentioned in the last two insights. are low competition, low volatility keywords, which made us rank quickly. An instant result motivates the team, and it builds authority in the eyes of Google. Subsequently, this enabled us to rank for more difficult search terms. Today we rank in the top three for over 100 non-branded keywords, and every tenth search results in a click on a DriveSafe page.

4. Execution

From these insights, the Nyt Syn content team went to work on the pages we needed to be present at every important touch point in Google.

The team is small with only one content writer. However, this case shows that you don’t need to be a big team to beat your competitors as long as you know where to focus. In total, five pages were created and a couple of existing pages were repurposed.

You need some time at this step, since it takes time to write great content. At this point we also prepared a link building strategy based on advertorials, which we rolled out during the campaign.

We were ready to launch.

5. Measurement

We use a dashboard to constantly measure the performance and gain new insights. This enabled us to change course midway if necessary.

Here are two good examples:

1. One month after the launch of the second SEO sprint, Nyt Syn decided to run two Facebook campaigns based on the SEO data. The first campaign aimed at getting users to take the online night vision test. The second campaign told users to avoid glasses with yellow tint for night driving.

The two campaigns worked great and increased the number of bookings significantly. This was a perfect example of using SEO data across channels.

2. During the campaign we obtained some nice customer testimonials. With the customers’ permission, we placed them on the DriveSafe pages. This enabled us to display the five star ratings in the Google SERPs, which lifted the general CTR overnight by 2-5%.

Learning and adjusting is central to SEO sprints. With Google’s ever-changing landscape, we need to be agile and ready to adapt. We learn from each SEO sprint and use what worked for the next sprint to constantly improve the results.

The third SEO sprint for DriveSafe is set for September. What can we do to build upon our past achievements?

Let me leave you with some insights gained, which you can hopefully use for your own campaigns:

1. GSC data tells us when users will start searching for night vision search terms. This means that we know when to launch our campaign next time. For SEO sprint one, we had a blank page. We could only use Google Trends data, so it started in October. Now we run it from mid-September because the data tells us that users are asking Google earlier.

2. GSC data will reveal new user intentions because we are building up more data. This data, coupled with customer feedback, creates a base to produce even more relevant content and thereby a better chance to own the most important touch points on Google.

3. From our PPC data, we now have more data to know which keywords generate orders and vice versa. We will have more GSC data to add new keywords to our Google Ads.

4. By A/B testing the communication on Google Ads and Facebook, we know which words and which USPs work. We can use these insights to update titles and meta descriptions to communicate more directly on Google.

5. We know that SEO insights can be used to create successful Facebook campaigns. We will double down on Facebook and test other channels such as Instagram.

6. We know which links brought us referral traffic, so we will focus on similar links for the third sprint. While it is only correlated data, we can compare the ranking history with the publication of advertorials to look for keyword jumps. Some advertorials are duds. Some are gold. It does help us to pick the better link opportunities.

7. We got the star ratings for the DriveSafe pages. By studying the Google landscape, we can see which other Schema markups we should add.


Companies are currently looking for instant results, which make them put SEO on hold. However, with SEO sprints you have an agile framework to get quick results — when done right.

You can use Google’s speed in indexing and ranking results to your advantage. It will enable your organization to integrate SEO as part of the marketing mix. While you can now rank inside a few days or weeks, fast rankings will depend on the level of competition on page one in Google. When you have low competition and low volatility for keywords with strategic importance, then you have found your sweet spot for quicker results and stable traffic long-term.

SEO sprints consist of five steps, and they can be performed on a small budget inside a short period. The learnings from one SEO sprint are passed on to the next one, so you can reuse what worked efficiently.

Good luck with your SEO sprint!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 1 year ago from

Pro Tip: How brands can enter TikTok with a viral challenge

Hashtag challenges on the platform are generally top of funnel campaigns designed to create buzz, awareness and affinity.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

In a consumer-driven world, CDPs are essential

As brands try to keep up with shifting consumer behaviors, are customer data platforms becoming the MVP of martech stacks?

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Reblogged 1 year ago from

Learning Resources In Challenging Times: Online Workshops, Meetups And Events

Learning Resources In Challenging Times: Online Workshops, Meetups And Events

Learning Resources In Challenging Times: Online Workshops, Meetups And Events

Iris Lješnjanin


In these current strange times of isolation and social distancing (with almost all events and conferences being cancelled), it can be quite difficult to feel connected to family, friends and colleagues. Here at Smashing, we believe that is is now more important than ever to stay in touch and support each other. Behind the scenes, the team is working tirelessly on ways to keep the community connected, and oh boy do we have a lot of things in store for you! You didn’t really think we’d give up that easily, did you?

Your workplace may look a lot like Topple’s, but even if it isn’t, make yourself comfortable! We’ll help you boost your skills online and learn practical, actionable insights from experts in the industry.

We’ve been busy over the last few weeks, and we’re not stopping yet! We have online workshops, SmashingConf Live, Smashing Meets and last but not least, Smashing TV coming right at your fingertips! But first, let’s see what else we’ve been up to…

Look What’s Cookin’!

Exciting times! Click!, our latest Smashing book, is available for pre-order with a friendly discount — you can already start reading the eBook until your printed copy arrives at your doorstep. Written by Paul Boag and beautifully designed by Veerle Pieters, the book is split into 11 chapters: from exploring the psychology of decision making and how to measure conversion to exploring ways of how to encourage users to act without alienating them.

There is no shortage of books on marketing and UX, but when it comes to bridging the gap between the two, many of us struggle to find the right balance. Pre-order today →

Of course, if you’re feeling smashing today, we’d like to invite you join the Smashing family and get the eBook for free (among with many other eBooks and a few fancy cats!).

Learning And Networking, The Smashing Way

Despite the current circumstances, we’re keen to find ways in which we can offer Smashing experiences to anyone interested in learning from experts in our industry — without needing to leave your desk! We’ve been asking what type of resources you’d like to have, and so all of the following online events is what has landed in our Smashing wishing well. Thank you to everyone who has shared their thoughts and feedback — we’ve been all ears!

1. Online Workshops (May–July)

Topple the Cat ready for the new adventureOur friendly online front-end/UX workshops are bound to boost your skills and help you gain practical, actionable insights from experts in the industry — live. There will be plenty of insightful takeaways, exercises, slides, recordings and friendly Q&A time. Of course, we’re happy to provide discounts for large groups and students.

We already have you covered for the next three months — make sure to save your spot as soon as you can:

When? What? Who?
May 7–22 Advanced CSS/Sass Miriam Suzanne
May 12–26 Smart Interface Design Patterns Vitaly Friedman
May 28 – June 12 Web Performance Masterclass Harry Roberts
June 11–12 The CSS Layout Masterclass Rachel Andrew
June 16–30 Front-End Accessibility Masterclass Marcy Sutton
June 18–26 Building Modern HTML Emails Rémi Parmentier
July 2–17 Buy! The eCommerce UX Workshop Vitaly Friedman
July 7–21 Design Systems Brad Frost

Note: If you’re also interested in how you too can run online workshops, listen to Smashing Podcast episode 14 with Rachel Andrew in which she talks about running online workshops and how a traditional event can adapt when participants can’t attend in person.

2. SmashingConf Live (June 9–10)

Topple the Cat sitting on a comfortable couch with a laptop on its lapMeet SmashingConf Live (June 9–10), a truly smashing, friendly online conference on front-end & UX. With interactive live sessions, practical insights, accessible speakers, collaborative notes and fireplace chats with like-minded folks. Jump to first confirmed speakers. Check schedule  →

Both days start at 8 AM PDT (check your time), with interactive sessions, followed up with a time for Q&As and discussion zones.

Ah, and the best bit: a conference in which you play an active role — taking part in live sessions, Q&As, discussion zones and challenges. To the schedule. But of course that’s not all! Be prepared for design & coding challenges, scavenger hunt and fireplace sessions with mystery guests. And to keep in style, of course we’ll throw a Smashing Party.

Do you like what you see, but are worried about getting some time off from work? Well, you surely didn’t think we would leave your hanging? We know how difficult it can sometimes be, and so we’ve prepared a neat lil’ Convince-Your-Boss template to help you out. Good luck!

3. Smashing Meets (Free)

Topple sitting next to a campfireWe’re super excited to run our very first Smashing meetup next week! We will focus on front-end and UX, but also cover all sorts of topics from performance to accessibility. Smashing Meets wouldn’t be possible without some amazing communities from around the world, so another Thank You to everyone involved!

4. Smashing TV (Free Webinar on May 19th)

Photo of Carie Fisher and Harris SchneidermanLooking for ways to help you expand your accessibility test coverage beyond automation? With very little resources, you can make a meaningful difference. Join us with Carie Fisher and Harris Schneiderman at 7:00 PM CET/1:00 PM EDT who will demonstrate the basics of automated testing and share key lessons on on maximizing your accessibility impact.

Sharing Personal Experiences And Stories

Smashing Podcast moderated by Drew McLellanWe’re moving onto our 16th episode of the Smashing Podcast next week! The Smashing Podcast is the perfect way to take a little bit of Smashing along with you on your morning walks, while washing the dishes, or anytime you like really. You can subscribe in your favorite app to get new episodes as soon as they’re ready.

Your Design Work Deserves Attention

Do you have artwork you’d love to share with the design community? If so, please do! We are always looking for creative talent, so if you have an idea for a wallpaper design, please don’t hesitate to submit it. Join in! →

We publish a new article every day on various topics that are current in the web industry. Here are some that our readers seemed to enjoy the most and have recommended further:

  • Setting TypeScript For Modern React Projects Using Webpack And Babel
    by Blessing Krofegha
    This article introduces Typescript, a superscript of JavaScript that presents the static type feature for spotting common errors as developers codes, which enhances performance, hence results in robust enterprise applications. You’ll also learn how to efficiently set up TypeScript in a React Project as we build a Money Heist Episode Picker App, exploring TypeScript, React hooks such as useReducer, useContext and Reach Router.
  • A Complete Guide To Mechanical Keyboards
    by Ben Frain
    How much thought have you put into your primary input device? Ever considered how much better your interface with your computer might be? In this article, we dive into the possibilities of mechanical keyboards. The different layouts, switch types and even keycap material. Strap yourself in — this will be a deep dive!
  • Micro-Typography: How To Space And Kern Punctuation Marks And Other Symbols
    by Thomas Bohm
    For hundreds of years, we have been using white space in typography. Today, in 2020, how do we add spacing to punctuation marks and other symbols, and how do we adjust the space on the left and right side in an easy and consistent way? It is actually not as easy and quick as it should be.
  • How To Pass Data Between Components In Vue.js
    by Matt Maribojoc
    With so many different ways to share data across components, you should know which technique is best for your situation. Let’s analyze three of the most common ways to pass data in VueJS.
  • Reducing Design Risk
    by Eric Olive
    The pressure to rush market and usability research carries risk. We’ll offer four practical techniques to mitigate this risk and create designs that better serve customers and the company: context over convenience, compromise, better design decisions, design reduction.

Best Picks From Our Newsletter

We’ll be honest: Every second week, we struggle with keeping the Smashing Newsletter issues at a moderate length — there are just so many talented folks out there working on brilliant projects! Kudos to everyone involved!

Interested in sponsoring? Feel free to check out our partnership options and get in touch with the team anytime — they’ll be sure to get back to you right away.

P.S. A huge thank you to Cosima Mielke for writing and preparing these posts!

Creating Accessible Color Palettes

Finding the perfect tint or shade of a color is not only a matter of taste but also accessibility. After all, if color contrast is lacking, a product could, in the worst case, even become unusable for people with vision impairments. A very detailed contrast checker to help you detect potential pitfalls ahead of time comes from Gianluca Gini: Geenes.


The tool lets you tinker with hue ranges and saturation and apply the color palettes to one of three selectable UI mockups. Once applied, you can trigger different kinds of vision impairments to see how affected people see the colors and, finally, make an informed decision on the best tones for your palette. To use the colors right away, just copy and paste their code or export them to Sketch.

Command Line Love

It’s not uncommon for technical documentation to be dry and feel intimidating, especially for people who are just getting started with a new tool. That can get quite frustrating especially when a manual is difficult to read or follow, or the explanations are verbose and lack examples.

Dash Dash

Dash Dash takes the Unix (Linux, BSD, macOS) open source manual pages and sets the content in a beautiful type and layout. It provides not only explanations of all commands, but also search, examples and TL;DR sections. Also, The Art of Command Line takes you on a journey to Command Line from basics to system debugging.

And if you are up for advanced command line techniques, cmdchallenge prompts you to solve tasks with a single line of bash. (vf)

Accessible Component Libraries

While many of the component libraries we create are trying to cover all the usual suspects (the accordions, the tables, the carousels, the drop-downs, along with typography, colors and box shadows), No Style Design System by Adam Silver is focused primarily around accessibility and web forms.

Accessible Component Libraries

As a system created for and used in his book on Form Design Patterns, Adam’s library provides a set of accessible components for everything from autocomplete, checkboxes and password reveal to radios, select boxes and steppers. Most of them have a minimal CSS styling with clean, accessible markup. And if you need slightly more advanced components, Heydon Pickering’s Inclusive Components has got your back: with comprehensive tutorials on accessible cards, data tables, notifications, sliders, tabbed inerfaces, tooltips, menus and toggles. (vf)

Custom CSS Cascades

Miriam Suzanne built a demo to illustrate a very clever way to define a cascade of custom properties. One that allows you to determine which intent should take priority, without worrying about the specificity of how the value is defined.

See the Pen [Custom Cascades]( by Miriam Suzanne.

See the Pen Custom Cascades by Miriam Suzanne.

Miriam shows how it works at the example of a button. Due to how the cascade is arranged, the default button is always falling back to --btn-bg--default. Adding the disabled attribute, always overrides any other button colors, no matter where they are defined, and, when new button types are created, --btn-bg--type ensures that only the defaults are overridden but not the state. The approach also lets you set these values contextually. A smart solution to avoid the usual dangers that highly-specified inline styles usually bring along.

Front-End Bookmarks

Some of us save all the useful articles and talks they come across in one ever-growing bookmark folder (which can make finding what you’re looking for quite a challenge at times), others have a more organized approach. Like Manuel Matuzović.

Front-End Bookmarks

Manuel collects articles and talks about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript on his site Front-End Bookmarks, grouped alphabetically by elements, attributes, properties, selectors, methods, and expressions. No matter if you’re looking for information on how to correctly use aria-labelledby or what the ::marker pseudo-element is all about, chances are good that Manuel already compiled helpful resources on the topic. By the way, if you feel that a resource is missing in the collection, don’t hesitate to contribute to it on GitHub.

GitHub Tips And Tricks

Do you know how to automatically squash commits on GitHub when merging pull requests? Or how to open a repo in the browser using GitHub CLI? If not, Joe Previte’s collection of GitHub tips and tricks might be for you.

GitHub Tips And Tricks

In bite-sized videos, Joe shares small but powerful tips to take your GitHub workflow to the next level. And for those of you who prefer to learn by reading, most tips are also available as short blog posts. Handy little timesavers.

The Sound Of Colleagues

Working from home can have some real advantages over working from an office, but let’s be honest, it can be a rather lonely experience, too, when there are no colleagues around. If you feel your home office is getting too quiet and you need some bustle in the background to stay focused, The Sound of Colleagues has got your back.

The Sound Of Colleagues

The Sound of Colleagues lets you mix office noises to create your custom office ambient noise. People typing and talking, phones ringing, the coffee machine, the printer — all of these little things add up to bring a bit of office feeling to your home. Maybe it’ll even help you boost your productivity, who knows?

A Minimalist And Modern Media Player Library

If you want to embed a media player on your site, Vime might be worth taking a closer look at. Built around the idea that you control the player, not the other way around, the open-source library provides an alternative to Videojs and Plyr and supports HTML5, HLS, Dash, YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion.


Vime does not only shine with a minimalist, sleek look, but it is responsive, accessible, modular, and lightweight, too. It gets by without any external dependencies and comes in different packages tailored to different needs so that you can pick just what’s required for your use case. And since minimalist doesn’t mean bland, Vime is backed up by a plugin system that offers a lot of room for customization — think custom controls, settings, tooltips, and more. The last two versions of all modern browsers as well as IE11 are supported.

Smashing Editorial
(cm, vf, ra)

Reblogged 1 year ago from