According to Nancy Pearcey: “Competition is a good thing; it forces us to do our best.”
When hearing the word “spy,” we usually think of a man with perfect hair in a black suit equipped with sophisticated gadgets and a gorgeous woman beside him, both of them trying to track down an enemy.
In business, “spying” means knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitor. This will help you with your business goals and allow you to plan out your next move.
Since we are currently in the era of technology where almost everyone in business uses the internet for marketing, spying doesn’t necessarily mean having to hire someone to physically follow your competitor around.
Here are some of the best online tools for PixlyPro Review.
Top 17 Online Tools for Spying on Your Competitors
It also helps you to discover all keywords your competitor is currently ranking for on any given page.
It can also find the keywords that are driving most of your competitor’s traffic.
SEMrush is an all around great tool.
Their pricing starts from $99.95/month and goes up to $399.95/month depending on what features you want.
Are you aware of what your competitors are up to?
I’m guessing not.
But, Adbeat is.
Adbeat is a vital paid advertising tool which gives you access to data that provides you insight when strategizing your next business plan.
Adbeat uses their Spider, Crawler, and Collector to crawl and pull data from over 100 thousand websites and publishers on a daily basis.
Each publisher is visited multiple times every day by the Adbeat Crawler. This means that the data you receive is correct within twenty-four hours.
Surprisingly, it can help you to dig up some competitors you never knew existed.
Adbeat is available in 3 tiers:
- Standard – $249/month
- Advanced – $399/month
- Enterprise – need to contact for price
WhatRunsWhere is a tool that provides smart service for online media buying.
Its purpose is to help online and mobile advertisers to be more competitive in their campaigns through intelligent/smart media buying, the discovery of new sources of traffic, and monitoring the competition.
It also helps users put data behind decision making for more clever advertising tactics and maximum returns on investments.
Founded in 2011 by Michael Cojanu, WhatRunsWhere accesses data from 120,000 sites from 7 different countries.
It can help you improve your campaigns by finding traffic sources and letting you know where your competitor is advertising.
It has a $1 trial for 30 days with a regular price of $299/month after that.
MixRank is a superb platform that helps you look into the display and contextual ad campaigns of sites that are monetized with the Google AdSense program. You will agree with me that not many spy tools on the internet can do that.
Discovering successful advertising on the Google AdSense network can give you all sorts of insights on how to make your website more profitable.
Not only can MixRank help you uncover successful AdSense ad campaigns, you can also select AdSense publisher sites and utilize competitive research data from those sites to help with your SEO campaign.
MixRank will help you beat your competitors in the following ways:
- Watch ad trends to target your competition’s most profitable campaigns and combinations of ads.
- Swipe your competitor’s ad copy.
- Find the domain names your competitor’s ads are served on.
It gives you valuable information and helps your marketing team know your future customers with its fully customizable filters.
It lets you know what ads other companies are using so you can outsmart them at their own game.
MixRank’s pricing starts at $500/month.
It helps you know how to prioritize your content for better results.
Apart from that, it will also help you learn where to promote your content by discovering authors who link to your content and offering you suggestions and tips for link building opportunities.
This kind of info will help you boost your SEO rankings. Ontolo offers useful reports and graphs so you can easily understand the information it finds.
Ontolo’s pricing starts from $97/month and goes up to $297/month.
Knowing your competitor’s keywords, ad clicks, impressions, and traffic are just a few of the things Adgooroo can do.
This information will help you if your competitor has better positioning with your keywords. You can make use of this insight to cut through their lead.
To get more traffic to your site, you can use the data provided by Adgooroo in identifying the high-value keywords which your competitors are using.
This Titans Of Zoo Review will give you an edge in your marketing campaigns.
Adgooroo has not provided their pricing on their website, but you can contact them and request the price.
Moat is an SAAS software that analyzes the efficiency of digital advertisements.
Its principal focus is on brand advertising with the purpose of developing technologies that can measure the success of marketing campaigns and discover ways to perfect those campaigns.
Moat introduces a relatively new and innovative service in the area of digital advertising, and it can be considered a search engine for display ads.
According to Moat, they can measure real-time analytics over 19 billion times per day, and measure ad viewability in most social media platforms.
Moat allows you to input your competitor’s brand and it will give you a report of the ads they recently posted. This information can help you decide on where to put your next ad.
Visit their website and request a DEMO to learn more about them and their prices.
KeywordSpy lets you quickly “spy” on your competitor’s keywords.
This tool has lots of amazing features; however, one of its features that I have found very helpful is the domain spy tool.
Just type any domain name into the search box, select the radio button for “domains”, and you can get a handful of accurate data on who their competitors are, how much the site is spending on paid searches, what keywords they spend the most money on, and other really great things to know.
With the lifetime free trial (with some limited capabilities), KeywordSpy helps you spy on your competitor’s keywords and ads and gives you a daily update in rankings.
Their pricing starts from $89.95/month and goes up to $139.95/month.
iSpionage is a newly-launched SEO tool that helps you efficiently perform competitive analysis and keyword management.
It’s also equally helpful in the area of PPC campaign building.
According to the owners, it has worked with over 35,000 PPC advertisers and agencies and uses its massive experience to deliver the best results.
It is praised and featured on websites like searchenginejournal.com, kissmetrics.com, entrepreneur.com, etc.
Ispionage offers three tools:
- Keyword and Domain Research
- Keyword Monitoring
- PPC Campaign Builder
With their Competition Analysis, they show your competitor’s keywords and rankings which you can also use for your campaigns.
It also has a Campaign Watch feature which allows you to check your competitor’s ad copy and landing page.
The sweetest part is that you can fully monitor them without them knowing. Well, that’s what spying is all about!
Their pricing starts from $29/month and goes up to $299/month.
If you want to know about the digital marketing campaign, ads, or any changes on the website of your competitor, then you should register for a free 14-day trial at Kompyte. You will be alerted every time your competitor posts ads, puts up a new banner, or makes the slightest change in their website… and in real-time.
Even changes that are not visible on their website can be monitored with Kompyte’s “hidden updates” feature.
Their pricing is not yet stated, but you can request a DEMO here to learn more.
SimilarWeb has a website analysis tool which helps you benchmark your website against your competitors in the market.
Like any other spying site, SimilarWeb can see any website’s organic and paid keywords and help you to find trending keywords that give the most traffic. It also provides a list of websites that are frequently visited by consumers.
To help you grow your business, the website provides information on various things — website referrals, searches, and even the inner trending pages can be searched.
It can even monitor your competitor’s web page and generate a report on which of their products are most popular.
SimilarWeb’s pricing starts at $199/month.
Apart from being an Amazon company, Alexa is a full suite of SEO and competitor analysis tools that help you boost your site’s traffic and revenue by granting you access to valuable competitor data like:
- Monthly searches
- Traffic sources
- Website comparisons
- Keyword research
- and so on…
These insights are then saved in your online dashboard so that you can use them later to fully maximize your website’s performance and search engine rankings.
Aside from that, Alexa also lets you dig up useful information, such as demographics and user locations to give you an understanding of your competitor’s traffic sources.
Alexa also can also perform full site and content audits.
Alexa offers a free 7-day trial.
Alexa’s pricing starts from $9.99/month and goes up to $799/month.
Ahrefs is one of those SEO tools every serious marketer should have.
The company promises to track your backlinks, keywords, brand mentions, and what your competitor is doing. Ahrefs is made up of six powerful tools:
- Site Explorer
- Position Explorer
- Content Explorer
- Position Tracker
- Crawl Report
- Ahrefs Alert
It has a very modern design and provides solid data analysis.
You can check your daily rankings as well as your competitor’s daily rankings in real-time. Keywords which are used by your competitors are also shown in the analysis report.
Membership has four tiers:
- Lite – $99
- Standard – $179
- Advanced – $399
- Agency – $999
Starting at just $25 a month, SpyFu is one of the cheapest spying tools on the market.
Like other spy tools, it secretly finds out all the keywords used by your competitor and identifies which one gives them the most traffic. In this way, you can improve your keyword research and outrank your competitors.
Not only that, SpyFu can help you eliminate bad keywords from your website to ensure you have a top 50 spot.
Every month, SpyFu will send you out a fully customizable report.
SpyFu’s paid plans start from $25 and go up to $299/month.
Monitoring websites like Yahoo, Google, AOL, and many other prominent sites, The Search Monitor tracks ads for ALL countries.
It has a desktop and mobile app and creates custom reports and charts which a client can print and transfer for easy review.
The Search Monitor also has a weekly crawling system that adjusts for random, frequent, and unexplained changes that the search engines often make on how they serve ads.
What is great about The Search Monitor is that it monitors data from any country you want data from.
Just recently, the website added a powerful tool, Seller Reach Report, which according to their website uses data collected worldwide from leading shopping sites such as Amazon, Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, eBay, and Shopzilla to calculate how sellers promote their manufacturers on the internet.
Their pricing is not clearly stated on their website, but you can request a DEMO here.
Majestic is a very handy SEO tool that basically specializes in one thing and does that one thing very well.
Majestic focuses on backlinks.
With this tool, you can download the backlink profile of your competitors and use that info to knock them off the road.
Majestic will not give you information like monthly search volume, ranking info, keyword difficulty, on-page/technical SEO audits, content tool, or organic traffic data as seen in most other tools we mentioned here.
However, if you’re serious about building quality links for your website, then this tool will help you a lot.
Their pricing starts at $49.99/month and goes up to $399.99/month.
Tools To Help You Spy On Your Competition
Finding data from your competitor and spying on their every move always comes with a price.
But of course, there are FREE WAYS to do this – you could follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and other social media platforms, and even subscribe to their email list to know about their latest promotions and updates. But that takes a lot of time and you’re limited as to what data you can get.
Therefore, any one of these spying tools will allow you to monitor your competition more closely.
If you want to remain in business, you have to start stalking your competitors now, monitor their every move, and find ways to outsmart them.
Remember the famous saying:
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
If not, your name, your brand, your products, and your services will soon be a thing of the past.
So now I want to hear from you: What tools do you use to keep track of your competition? Have you tried any of the ones on this list? What is a tip you can share with us to make spying more effective? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Motion graphics are exploding in popularity on the web — which means that a lot of marketers are integrating motion graphics into their online campaigns for the first time. But what are the best strategies for online marketing using motion graphics? We asked one of our regular clients, Jeffery Dempsey of Carrington College, to offer his insights based on his most recent project — a motion graphic that outlines the history of vaccines and explains how they work.
When Jeffery approached us with this idea for a motion graphic, we knew it was a pretty big topic, which led to the question: How do we craft an engaging narrative from such an enormous amount of data? That’s step one of marketing any infographic, after all: crafting a complementary aesthetic to a strong, clear narrative.
The Designa Review we found: A bright, simple art style coupled with fluid and seamless animation, all directed by a conversational voiceover. Original music composition and sound design complete the package.
So now that the motion graphic is complete, where does a marketer go from here? We asked Jeffery to share some insights on Carrington College’s marketing strategy, and on how the college has successfully used static infographics and this motion graphic to promote its brand.
Killer Infographics: What was your goal in creating this motion graphic?
Jeffery Dempsey: Our primary goal with any content, video or otherwise, is to educate. A secondary but equally important goal is engagement. The more people we can reach, the more people we can teach. The way we see it, is if we create an amazing piece of content and no one reads it, we didn’t accomplish our primary goal of education.
KIG: How does Carrington College use motion graphics like this one as part of its marketing strategy?
JD: We are always looking for new ways to educate our readers. But let’s face it, sometimes people don’t want to read 40 pages on vaccines. Video provides us with a medium to educate and entertain.
KIG: This motion graphic doesn’t mention Carrington College until the logo is shown at the end. Why did you opt for minimal branding when it came to this project?
JD: While we are very proud of the motion graphic, we don’t believe that our brand is more important than answering our readers’ questions about vaccines. The way we see it is, if someone was wondering if vaccines were safe, their first question wouldn’t be who made this graphic. So, we choose to focus on Vidfuse Review, and if they want to know who created the video, we can answer that, too, but at the end.
KIG: You’ve created static infographics with us, as well. How does your marketing strategy change when you’re releasing a motion graphic vs. a static infographic? Are there situations in which motion graphics are more useful than static infographics, and vice versa?
JD: We love infographics; they are like a bento box of data. We can take complex data and put it into a beautiful box that is easy and fun to consume. However, there are times when we want to have a deeper conversation with our audience. Motion graphics allow us to tell a story and guide the reader through the information. We defer to motion graphics when the topic is complex and the user needs more guidance to understand the concepts.
KIG: Did you learn anything new, or anything that surprised you, about motion graphics over the course of this project?
JD: Motion graphics are a blast to create but it takes a lot of work to get there. You have to be meticulous with your planning because you can’t just do a reshoot like with traditional videos. The end product looks clean and simple but that’s a byproduct of quite a bit of effort. It’s worth the work, though, because the payoff is great.
KIG: Do you have any tips for fellow marketers on how to promote a motion graphic or infographic — or how a motion graphic can help an existing campaign?
JD: Your goal shouldn’t be to get a “like” or a share — that’s just a byproduct of good content. Instead of chasing social chatter, identify active communities who are deeply passionate about your topic and create relationships. This will give your content longevity and credibility.
For more help with your social media and visual marketing, try the Local YouTube For Cash Confidential Review.
These are the tools I use to make my business run smoothly, look great, and make money!
Some products here are my own, created because I (or my readers) needed them. 💜
Some are affiliate products where I may make a small commission if you purchase, but you won’t pay more. I only recommend products I use and love! I believe if they work for me, you should know about them too. You can read my full disclosure here.
Download the PLR Bundle Deals V2 Review. No opt-in! Just right-click and “Save As” to get my Top Tools List.
Marketing Strategy, Social Media Ideas & Planning
Marketing Strategy, Social Media Ideas & Planning
Content Marketing Basics for Small Businesses: If you’re using blogging and social media to promote your business and it’s not working – or you don’t know where to start – set the right strategy with this video & PDF course. Click here to learn more.
Social Media Strategy Guide: Post smarter, not harder! Set a social media plan to help you grow your business. PDFs & checklists. Good for newbies to one or all social platforms. It gives an overview plus specifics for each network. Click here to learn more.
2018 Social Media Content Planner: Get over 200 content ideas every month, and a way to keep them organized! Printable PDF. Geared toward those who are up and running on social media, but need ideas and a plan to stay consistent. Click here to learn more.
Not sure which of the 3 above is right for you? Read this!
Online Photo Editing & Graphics Creation and Stock Photos
Online Photo Editing & Graphics Creation
PicMonkey is a fun and easy option for photo editing and graphics creation.
Read my blog post about How to Use PicMonkey or click here to try it.
Stencil is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make images online! Free, or Pro version.
Read my blog post about Quote Images with Stencil or click here to try it.
Snappa is another super-fast online image creation tool with lots of templates– over 250 for Pinterest Pins! Free or Pro upgrade. Click here to try it.
PromoRepublic: create and schedule graphics with 100,000 post ideas and templates. This one’s ideal for Facebook and Twitter. Click here to try it.
Adobe Photoshop – my favorite, and more affordable than you think. Choose “Photography” for Photoshop + Lightroom at $9.99 a month. Click here to learn more.
DON’T KNOW WHICH? Read the blog post or get the quickie comparison chart.
Low Cost Stock Photos
When you don’t find what you need on free photo sites, try these inexpensive resources for more professional options:
Dreamstime: No need to sign up for a subscription – buy credits for as little as $16 USD. This is the one I use because I don’t need to purchase a lot of photos. Click here to check it out.
Adobe Stock: Get one month free when you choose the 10 or 40 images per month plan. My client has a subscription here because we need a lot of top-quality photos for Facebook posts. Click here to check it out.
Social Media Management & Scheduling Tools
Social Media Management & Scheduling Tools
These are my fave tools to keep on top of social media, quickly & easily!
Tailwind: schedule Pinterest to get more repins and followers! Approved Pinterest partner.
Read my blog post about Tailwind for Pinterest or click here for a free trial.
Tailwind: schedule Instagram with super-helpful Hashtag Finder tool. Read my blog posts about Tailwind’s Instagram hashtag finder or Instagram-approved auto-posting.
Click here for a free trial of Tailwind for Instagram.
Post Planner: Rock your Facebook Page and Twitter by finding proven content you can share, or use to inspire your own viral posts. Get started for as little as $36 for a YEAR!
Click here to try Post Planner.
MissingLettr: Automate your blog post sharing to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Medium and Google+. Creates quote images for you! Read my blog post about MissingLettr social media marketing for bloggers or click here for a free trial.
PromoRepublic: create and schedule Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn posts with 100,000 ideas and templates right in your dashboard. Click here for a free trial.
Done-for-you Social Media Marketing & Graphics
Done-for-you Social Media Marketing
From PromoRepublic at the seriously-amazing price of $97 per month. To get details and try it for a week FREE, click here.
Offered for these industries ONLY: Accessories, Apparel, Beauty Salon, Café & Bar, Dental, Etsy Shop, Fast Food, Fitness Studio, Gym, Real Estate, Restaurant, Spa Salon, Yoga Studio.
Done-for-you Social Media Graphics
Super affordable, and so much faster than making your own! Read my blog post on how to schedule to Facebook for FREE.
Ready-to-Post Inspirational Quote Graphics: Pack of 20 in 4 different collections.
Ready-Made Holiday Graphics for Social Media: Pack of 25 will see you through December.
WANT MORE OPTIONS? Find thousands of social media graphics on Creative Market.
Website & Business Tools
How to Start a Small Business Blog
A video course with PDFs and spreadsheets to help you set your blogging goals and strategy!
Buy for only $17.
FREE if you buy your website hosting through my link below. Send me your receipt and I’ll set up your access (or refund the course purchase price if you bought the course first).
HostGator: I use for all my satellite websites. Inexpensive hosting for beginners, or anyone on a tight budget! You can read my post about How to Set Up Your Website with HostGator, or click here to learn more. Be sure to use my promo code LouiseM60 for big savings!
ConvertKit is the easy way to automate email marketing for bloggers and online businesses. Click here to learn more.
StudioPress: The best! LouiseM.com is built on the Genesis framework, currently using the Beautiful theme. My theme is subject to change at any moment – and it’s easy with StudioPress.
Social Media Marketing & Graphics Trainings
Pinterest 101: Business Basics is my inexpensive course in Pinterest marketing for beginners. Includes an eBook with checklists, 6 short videos, Pin templates and a mini-tutorial to add text in Canva. Click here to check it out.
How to Master Master Tailwind is perfect if you want to save time automating your pinning with Tailwind. From Pinterest master Kate Ahl. Click here to check out this course.
I know for most of the year I’ve been telling you that links are going to lose value – and I still think it’s true. However, I’ve been careful to point out that for now, links are still pretty powerful stuff in SEO.
Further, even if links eventually lost all their (direct) power to move your rankings, they’d still have value for you as a marketer, because links are great for exposure and branding.
But the ultimate link is not just good for SEO and branding, it also sends referral traffic.
What’s so great about referral traffic? Do you really have to ask?! Referral traffic is great because it gets your content in front of new audiences, creating new opportunities for audience engagement and conversions.
A recent survey of MozCon attendees showed that after organic search, referral traffic is the channel marketers most want to grab more of (social media is a form of referral traffic too):
But do most links naturally lead to referral traffic?
I Got a Viral Traffic Machine Review! That Means I’ll Get Referral Traffic Too, Right?
Sorry, dude. The fact is, not all editorial links – even links from big domains that gets tons of traffic – translate into referral traffic. That’s because people aren’t necessarily going to follow every link they see in an article.
Sometimes a link is just there as a kind of hat tip (as in, this is where we got this information) but there’s no need to actually follow the link, because the site you’re on provides all the context you really need. Similarly, some links are there only if you’re looking for more information (as in, “Hey, if you’re unclear on this concept I just mentioned, you can read more about it here”), and a lot of readers won’t be in “further research” mode.
To drive real referral traffic, there has to be a compelling reason for the reader to click through to your site. And if that traffic is going to be ongoing for you, the linking page also needs its own source of ongoing traffic – for example, if it ranks highly in a high-volume keyword search, it will continue to get evergreen traffic, so the link will drive evergreen traffic your way as well.
With this The Growth Mindset PLR Review in mind, here are three types of links that will cause a noticeable bump in your referral traffic numbers.
Referral Traffic Source #1: Links from news aggregators
News aggregators like Reddit, Hacker News, Inbound.org, Growth Hackers etc. usually use a submission and upvoting system where users can submit cool links and vote on their favorites. Other times, a single editor or editorial board is making the call on what's worth sharing (see the Boing Boing model). When a link makes its way to the top of the front page, it has high visibility and attention, since the assumption is that it’s already been vetted as high-quality by other users in the community or by a trusted source.
Why these links drive referral traffic
The aggregators just aggregate links, they don’t reproduce the content. So you have to actually visit the site to get the value and see what all the fuss is about. Hence, the incentive to click through is extremely high.
Example of a news aggregator link
Back in May, Larry wrote an article analyzing why eBay got slammed so hard by Panda 4.0. The stars aligned and we got a ton of pickups, including great placement on several major news aggregators (including Inbound.org and Hacker News). But the biggest spike in referrals was driven by Ars Technica – they gave us a link in the “Editor’s Picks” box on the home page, real estate we shared with the New York Times and National Geographic. Not bad, right?
Plenty of other sites (Search Engine Land, Forbes, etc.) wrote up the story and gave us credit and a link, but most of those sites wrote a summary of our findings, so the incentive to click the link was low. Incentive to click an “Editor’s Pick” link is high.
That Massive Site Builder Review was responsible for a lot of this huge spike in referrals
Note: The downside to this kind of traffic is that it is a spike, not an ongoing stream. News aggregators are constantly refreshing, so your link isn’t likely to stay on top for long. (It was lonely up there anyway, right?)
Similarly, a share on a social network from someone with a huge following will drive a spike of social referrals, but once your link falls away from the top of the stream, that traffic will die off. C’est la vie.
Since these traffic spikes aren’t evergreen, it’s awesome if you’ve already got something in place to capture some of those visitors and turn them into return traffic – for example a prominent blog or newsletter signup prompt.
How to get referral traffic from news aggregator links
Create awesome content and then promote the shit out of it. It’s helpful if you’re already active on some of these communities, because then it’s more likely that other users are already reading and interested in your stuff. Also, check out these data-driven tips on how to get more upvotes on Inbound.org:
Referral Traffic Source #2: Links in lists of resources
Getting a link like the one on Ars Technica is a major win for an SEO; you’ll feel that link buzz all day. But it’s potentially even more valuable to your business to score a link in a list of resources. That’s because the incentive to click through to your site is equally strong – and you have the added bonus of evergreen value. This type of link can be a somewhat more consistent way to increase traffic to your website.
Why these links drive referral traffic
Let’s say a user googles “best keyword tools” and finds a list from a reputable site, ranking near the top of the SERP. They are obviously looking for a keyword tool, so intent is really high. They don’t just want the list of tools, they want to check out the tools themselves. If your keyword tool is on that list, they’re highly likely to click through. And “best keyword tools” is an evergreen keyword with steady traffic month over month, so as long as that list maintains its ranking, it’s going to keep sending clicks your way.
Example of a resource list link
We get thousands of page views every month from this one link:
As of today it’s the #4 organic result in Google for the keyword “SEO tools,” so no wonder!
(And can't hurt that we're #1 on the list.)
How to get traffic from resource list links
Referral Traffic Source #3: Links in third-party reviews
This is a pretty similar scenario to the one above, but if you’re lucky, instead of a spot on a list, you’ve got a whole article dedicated to a review of your offering alone.
Why these links drive referral traffic
Again, the process works like this:
Step 1: Person who is curious about products like yours searches for more information
Step 2: Person finds positive review and clicks through to your site to try it or learn more
Once again intent is high, and a third-party endorsement increases trust, so they’re all the more likely to click to your site and hopefully take the next step (i.e. buying your stuff or signing up for a free trial).
Example of a review link
Another solid source of month-over-month referral traffic is this review in Search Engine Land of our AdWords Performance Grader.
How to get referral traffic from review links
First you need something reviewable, but if you’re a business you should already have this (duh). If the reviews aren’t coming naturally, look for sites that review similar products or services, then create a pitch list. Offer free demos or a free extended trial (if it’s a software product) or send out samples if it’s a physical product – if you get a review and it sends referral traffic, the giveaway should pay for itself. But make sure you wait until you have a stellar product before you do outreach. Negative reviews aren't going to help you much.
What Kinds of Links DON’T Send Referrals?
There are plenty of other kinds of links that won’t be referral traffic goldmines. Here are a few types that generally don’t send much referral traffic:
- Links in guest posts and contributed articles – Contextual links in contributed articles can send traffic – if there’s a really good reason for the user to leave the article they’re currently reading and if it’s a blog with a big readership, but they won’t always. Likewise bio links are a best practice (see Rand’s “Mad Scientist” slides for the reasons why) but they probably won’t send you much actual traffic.
- Image credit links – Again, nice to have for branding and a few people will click through. This is why “linkable assets” are, well, an asset. The vast majority won’t care, won’t click.
- Blog comment links – Just DUH. It’s 2014. You’ve gotta have a better link building strategy than this. We went ahead and killed all the links in our comments, in fact. They were always no-follow, but we decided recently that spammers don’t even deserve a no-follow link. (The exception: You're a proven, respected member of a community and you share a truly relevant link; we got quite a boost of blog traffic when Gianluca Fiorelli, a Moz regular, left a link to our blog in a comment on a Whiteboard Friday post.)
I’m not saying links that don’t get clicked are worthless, of course – links from authoritative domains are still influential in the ranking algorithm and they can still be great for branding. But if your manager is on you to increase referral traffic – not just links – focus on the types of links that actually get clicked.
A B2B marketing funnel can be your sales team’s best friend — or its worst enemy.
Your marketing funnel generates traffic, which generates leads. The leads are then qualified as sales prospects, and ultimately closed by your sales team (hopefully, at a high rate).
Any point of failure, or even underperformance, along your marketing funnel means your sales team will struggle to close new accounts. Perhaps there aren’t enough leads. Or there are many low-quality leads, but too few truly qualified leads.
By contrast, a high-performing B2B marketing funnel will generate a huge number of qualified leads that close at a high rate. Sales targets get met or exceeded, and sales reps love the marketing department!
In this Storeless Review, I’m going to explain how to build a simple but high-performing B2B marketing funnel that generates, nurtures and qualifies leads in one fell swoop.
I’ll even provide three specific funnel models — funnel “blueprints,” if you will — that leverage currents trends in content marketing and social media advertising to outperform.
But first, let’s review the “duties” of a B2B marketing funnel versus a sales funnel.
The 3 Requirements of a Successful B2B Marketing Funnel
The marketing funnel builds brand awareness, attracts a stream of targeted traffic, and generates leads from that traffic stream.
Once the lead is generated, it goes into the sales funnel, where the lead may be qualified as a prospect, nurtured, contacted by your sales team, and ultimately closed as a new account.
Problems occur when the marketing funnel and sales funnel aren’t well-aligned. If the marketing funnel is focused mainly on lead quality, at the expense of volume — or vise versa — it will be very hard for your sales team to meet its goals.
So I believe that an “all star” B2B marketing funnel should go “above and beyond,” and meet the following SyndBuddy Review.
REQUIREMENT 1: Your marketing funnel should deliver a high volume of leads. Perhaps this is “obvious,” but it isn’t always easy. In the quest to target your ideal customer, your funnel can become very narrow; and as a result your leads are high quality, but too few in number.
Thankfully, the rise of content marketing and massive social media ad networks make it easier and cheaper to generate qualified leads.
But many B2B marketing departments struggle here. “Old school” B2B content marketing devices, such as whitepapers and ebooks, often under-perform on social media ad platforms. Even if the campaigns reach the right audience, the response rate is low.
Instead, I recommend you Social Leads Review, but doesn’t necessarily advertise your product or service itself. Don’t worry, we’ll identify some specific examples of this later in the article.
The result is a creative that performs better on the social ad platforms, which reward you with more reach and volume at a lower cost in return for optimizing your campaigns for their platform’s context.
REQUIREMENT 2: Your marketing funnel should qualify leads from the very beginning, before sending them to the sales team. Modern opt-in forms — especially in the context of a high-trust, low-pressure offer — can integrate additional form fields with little to no drop-off in conversion rate.
If your lead volume is relatively low, and it is cost- and time-effective for your sales team to manually review each incoming lead, then lead qualification at the opt-in stage is less important.
But if you deal with a high volume of leads, the time and cost savings can be huge. Your sales team will be receiving MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) rather than a mix of qualified and non-qualified leads.
But more importantly, your marketing funnel — and the people running it — will be aligning more tightly with your sales team. Rather than optimizing your marketing campaigns to generate “more leads,” you’ll have the data locally — in the marketing department — to optimize for a higher volume of qualified leads.
REQUIREMENT 3: Your marketing funnel should nurture leads with high-value, low-pressure content that builds brand authority and trust. The “old school” B2B marketing playbook uses content marketing to great effect. Whitepapers, ebooks, case studies and so on can narrowly target ideal customers who are somewhere in the buying cycle for your company’s products and services.
As we discussed above, however, “nurturing” type B2B content that relates to (but doesn’t directly sell) your products and services will tend to perform much better on social ad platforms.
The good news is, this type of “Recurro Review” (but highly targeted) content will establish trust with qualified leads who enter your sales funnel.
The decision you will face is whether to further nurture and qualify these opt-in’s with an email drip campaign, or hand them off immediately to your sales team.
In sales funnels with more time-sensitive buying cycles, it usually makes sense to send qualified leads immediately into the sales funnel.But it may make sense to send opt-in’s into a more MOFU (Middle Of The Funnel) type drip campaign, where you can make them aware of your specific products and services, plus further qualify them via offers for demo’s, webinars, and so on.
Either way, the customer’s relationship with your brand began with a piece of high-value, low-pressure content. The brand trust, authority, and goodwill created by this type of content will pay off later in the sales process.
So What’s My TLDR;?
An all-star B2B marketing funnel will:
- Generate a ton of targeted leads, cheaply via social ad platforms, using cutting-edge content marketing;
- Pre-qualify those leads at the very beginning, aligning the marketing funnel to generate high-value MQLs (rather than mixed-value non-qualified leads); and
- Nurture new leads with high-value content that builds trust and authority, helping your sales team close more new accounts, since prospects have already developed a positive relationship with your brand.
At this point, I think we’ve talked enough “theory.” Let’s show some specific B2B funnel blueprints, along with real-world examples that crush it!
B2B Marketing Funnel #1: The 1-2 Punch Funnel
The 1-2 punch is deceptively simple, but it can be amazingly effective on social ad platforms. Here’s how it works.
First, you target “cold” traffic to a relevant, social-friendly un-gated piece of content. This is the jab… the “one” punch.
Next, you retarget the newly-”warm” traffic to a related, gated piece of content (a squeeze page). This is the right cross… the “two” punch.
Again, the 1-2 Punch Funnel seems simple (and it is). But don’t underestimate its power.
On social ad platforms, many B2B marketers make the mistake of primarily promoting their gated content (squeeze pages, lead magnets, etc.) The trouble is, gated content — especially in B2B verticals — will often receive a hostile response from social media users, even those who are highly targeted.
As a result of the poor engagement your campaign receives, the social ad platforms will decrease your campaign reach and increase your CPM rates, essentially tanking your campaign. In other words, the social ad platforms “punish” advertisers who use ad creatives that don’t get high positive engagement.
So the 1-2 Punch Funnel relies on your “jab” — the social-friendly, un-gated piece of content — to be the “workhorse” of social ad campaigns. Since this type content of content will receive much better response (and positive engagement) from users, it’s the best type of creative to serve to targeted “cold” traffic.
Want an example? I’m going to use Hubspot content as specific pieces which are worth modeling (not copying!). Note that I have no connection whatsoever to Hubspot, they are just a great example to use because they create so much high-quality content geared towards B2B audiences.
As a “jab”, Hubspot might launch an ad campaign directing targeted “cold” traffic to the following un-gated blog post: “How to Learn Social Media Marketing: 30 Resources for a Beginner.”
Even if much of this cold traffic lacks existing familiarity with the Hubspot brand, social-friendly content like this will usually receive high positive engagement. When the content receives high positive engagement on the social ad platform, the campaign will be rewarded with extensive reach, and discounted CPM rates.
Any traffic that visits the un-gated blog post can be pixeled, and added to a “warm” audience on the social ad platform. This “warm” audience can then be retargeted to a related gated piece of content (the “right cross.”)
In this theoretical example, Hubspot could retarget the “warm” audience to their squeeze page offering “The Social Media Content Calendar Template.”
This is a classic B2B lead magnet (and it’s an example that I really like!) But like any squeeze page, its “gated” nature will hurt engagement and performance on social ad platforms, especially among “cold” audiences.
By using the 1-2 punch, the vast majority of traffic on the social ad platform will be seeing your social-friendly un-gated content (the “jab”); only “warm” traffic that clicks through to the un-gated content will be retargeted to the more aggressive gated content offer (the “right cross”.)
Note: opt-in’s that you generate with a 1-2 Punch Funnel may be considered qualified, or not, depending on two things.
First, if you require additional qualifying data fields in your opt-in form (and qualify / disqualify leads accordingly), you can qualify leads from the beginning.
Second, to the extent that the lead magnet itself reflects buyer intent, can be construed somewhat as a qualifying factor.
In the case of our theoretical example, “The Social Media Content Calendar Template” probably doesn’t reflect strong buyer intent. Moreover, the opt-in form only asks for email address, rather than additional qualifying data fields (such as “Your company size”). As such, leads from this theoretical campaign might be best placed into an email drip campaign, whereby a second content offer — one that more strongly reflects buyer intent — allows the lead to “raise their hand” and move down the funnel as an official MQL.
B2B Marketing Funnel #2: The Content Upgrade Funnel
The Content Upgrade Funnel is very similar to the 1-2 Punch Funnel… but it’s even simpler.
Essentially, you need a social-friendly un-gated piece of content that relates to your niche.
And again, this piece of social-friendly, un-gated content will act as the “workhorse” for your social ad campaigns. The social ad platforms will “reward” you for using this type of content, with lower CPMs, and higher reach. As such, it’s the best type of creative to serve to targeted “cold” traffic.
But instead of retargeting these (now “warm”) visitors to a related gated piece of content via the social ad platform, you will present visitors with your gated content offer within the original un-gated content.
Typically, the offer will ask for the visitor’s email address in exchange for receiving a PDF that is tightly related to the un-gated content they’re already reading. But you can even offer the visitor a PDF version of the same exact un-gated content they’re currently reading, and you will still receive plenty of opt-in’s!
As a real world example, Backlinko published an un-gated, social-friendly piece of content titled “Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List.”
Within this un-gated article, visitors are presented with a gated offer to download a PDF checklist that highlights the 10 most important ranking factors.
So in this case the gated offer is a difference piece of content, but it’s very tightly related. For an even easier implementation, Backlinko could offer visitors a PDF version of the original article (Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List).
I’m a huge fan of this simple implementation because it only requires one piece of (very good) content. So you have the ability to quickly test multiple un-gated content pieces, using PDF versions of each article as its Content Upgrade.
Those which perform the best can become your “workhorse” campaigns on social ad platforms. It’s a cheap way to “warm up” targeted “cold” traffic, plus receive targeted opt-in’s.
Again, based on your opt-in form, as well as the buyer intent reflected in the content piece, you will need to decide if these opt-ins represent qualifieds, or if they leads that now need qualified.
If they’re the latter, you can place the leads into an email drip campaign, and qualify them with offers for demo’s, whitepapers, webinars, and similar offers that reflect stronger intent.
B2B Marketing Funnel #3: The Online Tool Funnel
The third funnel we’ll discuss here is the Online Tool Funnel. Depending on your technical resources, this may be the hardest (or easiest) funnel to execute.
The Online Tool Funnel depends on creating a unique, value-added online tool with a function that’s related to your niche (and ideally, your products and services).
To the extent the user interface, design, and input form looks “cool” and “sexy,” an online tool will tend to get high positive engagement on social ad platforms.
Well, a tool, is cool… web visitors think so, anyway.
Perhaps this is because there are relatively few online tools compared to the number of content articles published. Or maybe visitors intuitively understand that a tool is usually “harder” to create than a content article.
Either way, a tool input form is the perfect lead generation mechanism. Your tool input screen should ask visitors for their email address in exchange for the ability to view a PDF or email report of the tool’s output.
I’d recommend including a qualifying field or two here, too, simply because visitors probably won’t object. If they want to use the online tool, they’re usually happy to trade a bit of personal information in exchange.
If qualified, a lead can be sent as an MQL directly to your sales team, or, you can qualify leads further with offers sent within an email drip campaign.
A great real-world example here is Hubspot’s Marketing Plan Generator tool. The tool itself is tightly related to Hubspot’s products and services. The tool’s input form is multi-step, so the qualifying form fields are even “hidden” from the initial view!
As an aside, Hubspot’s marketing team is amazing. They have truly mastered the art of B2B marketing funnels!
Which B2B Marketing Funnel Is Right For You?
The three funnels above can work in almost any B2B niche.
The truth is, most high-performing marketing funnels aren’t the “first” funnel. Or the second, or third, or even fourth.
The best B2B marketing funnels usually originate from marketers that have a funnel system, whereby they continually create, test, and optimize new funnels!
This needn’t be overwhelming. Even one new funnel per month is often enough to continually improve your funnel performance against former benchmarks.
The best place to start usually begins by identifying what funnel pieces you already have. For instance, if you already have a social-friendly, un-gated piece of content that performs well on social ad platforms, it’s trivial to build a Content Upgrade Funnel that offers visitors a PDF version of the same article.
Boom! You have a new funnel.
As long as you’re willing to test, iterate, and build new funnels, you should have the wind at your back!
After making its debut last year, Facebook Live has quickly proven its unique ability to engage audiences in a more personable and human manner.
To be able to easily go live whenever, interact with users real time, all without the need for specific codes and URLs, makes it incredibly simplistic for both marketers and users.
Currently, Facebook Live only allows you to stream from either your mobile device and, as of March 2017, your desktop as well. But, if you’re looking to stream with other people, specifically people who aren’t standing next to you, you’re fresh out of luck.
This creates a problem. For many marketers, video content, especially in webinar and interview formats, are incredibly useful ventures that allow you to educate your audience. Streaming these to Facebook opens up a whole way to deliver that content and interact with your audience (while drawing a new one in the process).
While Facebook may later integrate the ability to stream live with others, the current solution is to use additional software that integrates with Facebook live.
So, what are your options?
To aid in your search for streaming software for your next webinar, hangout, or interview, here are 7 different SaaS tools, free and for purchase, to get your party on Facebook Live.
Wirecast is a video capture software that allows you to pull video feeds from your desktop, iPhone, DSLR, etc. into your computer and stream them live on Facebook.
Unfortunately, the software does not allow you to create a multiparty conference room, so you’ll need to utilize additional meeting software to organize everyone in one space. From here, you can set the video to capture your desktop and connect to Facebook live with that in view.
What’s unique about the software is that you have the ability to edit and enhance your video on the fly by utilizing transitions, text and lower-thirds, countdown timers, title screens, scoreboards, audio mixing etc.
Wirecast is available for a free trial or purchase at a one-time fee of $495. If you intend on streaming to Facebook outside of a conference setting, and need more customizable settings, this may be a better option.
While many know Zoom for its online meeting software, they also provide additional software, Zoom Webinar, that enables you to create a conference room, invite participants, and stream live to Facebook. Also, it just so happens to be the software IMPACT has started using for our Website Throwdown.
Before hosting your webinar, you first need AutoWebinarX Review. The link can then be sent out to your participants ahead of time and scheduled on your respective calendars.
Once you and your participants have the software downloaded to your computer, you can each enter through the webinar link. Once everyone is in, and all participants are promoted to Panelists, all you need to do is select the ‘more’ button at the bottom of your Zoom window, and select ‘Live on Facebook’.
Once this is activated, you will be streaming live! There is no preview mode before people can start seeing the stream.
The Zoom Webinar package starts at $54.99 at 100 attendees if attendees are being invited to watch within Zoom. There is no limit for how many people watching through Facebook Live.
BlueJeans is another multi-party video platform that grants users the ability to create video conferences that can be streamed easily to Facebook Live.
Like Zoom, you first need to schedule your video conference ahead of time within your account’s portal. While doing so, you invite additional hosts so they can receive the webinar link ahead of time.
Once you’re in the meeting, you have the option to share your screen, change the layout of the videos, and invite additional members.
To go live on Facebook, the main host simply needs to press the ‘Start Broadcast’ button on the right side panel, login and choose the timeline and audience. Before going live, you can preview the stream to verify that what you're sharing is exactly what you want your viewers seeing.
The onSocial package starts at $39.95 for up to 25 remote participants, any more will require you to get a custom quote based on your needs.
Although only in Beta, StageTen enables you to share your computer screen and stream it to Facebook Live or Twitch. This means you’ll need to utilize additional software, such as Bubbles Review, to gather you participants into a conference room.
What's nice about StageTen is it does all the video processing from the cloud, avoiding any slowdown on your computer.
If you are looking to make your show more dynamic, the software also gives you the ability to switch between your live steam, pre-recorded videos, or other graphics you may want viewers to see alongside the video.
Since it's in Beta, you can sign up for early access and see a demo of the product before deciding whether or not it’s ideal for your video needs.
Free Facebook Live Streaming Alternatives
Similar to other types of software, OpenBroadcaster in not meeting software, but allows you to select a video source (such as your desktop or webcam) that can be streamed through Facebook Live when you generate a Stream Key.
The software will need to be combined with a conference room tool which you can have as the active screen when you set your video source to share your desktop.
What’s nice about Open Broadcaster is you can seamlessly switch to other screens as your streaming, whether that be pre-recorded video resources, a DSLR camera, mic only, etc.
There are a variety of step-by-step video tutorials to help you get everything configured on YouTube. For a piece of software that’s free, Open Broadcaster is fairly robust and also has a wonderful community who's willing to help if you have any questions.
While HopLive advertises itself to gamers, the software is just as useful for marketers and those alike looking to stream to Facebook.
Like some of the other options listed, Hoplive does not actually enable you to create a conference room to invite people to. Instead, the software is able to share your desktop screen and stream that to Facebook Live.
This means you will need to utilize additional conferencing software listed within other examples. Once everyone is in an online conference room, one person will need to start up HopLive from their desktop (ideally someone hosting the webinar).
From here, sign in to Facebook from the program, choose the resolution you’d like to stream at(I’d recommend 720p), and press the ‘go live on facebook’ button.
All you need to do from their is keep the conference room window in view for your streamers to see. Whatever the person hosting the HopLive stream sees is what the people on Facebook Live see.
The only issue with Hoplive is it’s Windows only, so those using an Apple product are out of luck unless a compatible version is released.
BeLive is an easy-to-use free alternative that enables you to go live with a single guest immediately or on a later date.
Like Zoom, the software allows you to control the layout of you and your guest's video with the click of a button.
If your stream has a specific agenda you want to showcase to your viewers, the software allows you to write on-screen updates that will show to the Facebook stream.
Another neat feature BeLive has is its ability to pull all Facebook comments on the live video into the BeLive software. This way, you aren't going back and forth between the Facebook page and the video chat to monitor comments.
As mentioned, the software only enables one other user to join you which can be problematic if you require a larger group of panelists.
Step 1: Keyword Research – How to Select Keywords
The first and most important search engine optimization step is keyword research. What is keyword research? Simply put, it's figuring out what people might search for in order to find what your website offers — what keyword topics best identify your website content.
In this Rival Keywords Review, you learn the basics of how to do keyword research, try out some free keyword research tools, and start your SEO plan of attack!
Getting Started with SEO Keyword Research
The first task is simply brainstorming. Ask yourself some basic questions to select keywords that might make good targets for search engine optimization, like:
- What is your website content about?
- What would you ask a search engine to find what your website offers?
- What do you think other searchers would ask for?
- What are your most popular pages/items about?
Most people can make a short (or long) list of keywords that might be used to find their own site. But ask other people these questions and write down their keyword suggestions, too. Doing so will help you go beyond the jargon words that only you and insiders know. When doing keyword research for SEO, you want to discover what real people in your target audience would call what your site offers.
Don't limit your ideas; brainstorm whatever subjects and phrases could lead the kinds of visitors you want to your site. Type them into a spreadsheet. Your brainstorming will "prime the keyword pump."
This initial list will be expanded upon and refined in the next few steps, but start with the logical keywords.
Find Keywords People Already Use for Your Business
If your site is already live, you may have hidden keyword gold just waiting to be dug up.
- A good place to look for keywords is your internal site search. Offering visitors a search box within your site is good for users but also good for you, because it collects search query data. Looking at these queries primarily helps you improve usability (since it reveals what people want to see, what website content may be missing, and where your site navigation is weak). But you may also find nuggets of keyword gold, useful phrases that people search for. Add those to your list.
- You can find valuable data using Google Search Console (formerly called Webmaster Tools). This free service from Google gives website owners a wealth of information about their own sites (especially with Google Analytics set up, too). Particularly useful is the Search Analytics report; when you look at it by Queries, you can see what key search terms are bringing up your web pages in Google searches. Google also uses Search Console to notify you of errors or penalties, and you'll need the diagnostic SEO tools offered there to keep your site in good health. So don't miss out. (Here's how to set up Google Search Console.)
- Dig through your customer communications to find additional, actively used keywords. Talk to your customer service people to find out what customers are asking about (in their words). Also check social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to read what your community has said, and search for your primary keywords to discover how people are currently talking about your products, services or subjects.
Get Keyword Suggestions
Take advantage of free keyword research tools to find additional keywords. Re-KaChing Review shows you keyword ideas that are related to any seed word you enter. Type in one word or phrase at a time. The resulting suggestions come from actual search query data, so select the keywords that match your website content and add them to your growing keyword research list.
SEO Tools – Use our free Keyword Suggestion Tool:
Top of Form
Enter Search Word
Bottom of Form
What the Keyword Data Tells You
With our tool you can see keyword suggestions with data on the average click-through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC) for advertisers bidding on that keyword. It also reveals how many web pages contain those words in their Title tag (not necessarily as an exact phrase) under AllInTitle. These metrics indicate how competitive a keyword phrase may be.
You can also see an Activity column, which shows the approximate number of monthly searches for that keyword (also known as "search volume"). CAUTION: Don't get greedy looking at keyword activity counts. Record this statistic with the keyword in your spreadsheet. But keep in mind that a keyword's search volume should not overly influence your choices, especially at this point. You want to select keywords only if they reflect what your website is truly about. Going after high-volume keywords that don't relate to the rest of your content would be deceptive and even punishable as spam.
What should you call this?
Keyword research can tell you.
How Should You Use Search Activity Data?
Search volumes do cast light on your keyword research. They reveal what people actually call things, and they help you prioritize similar keyword phrases.
For instance, a retail site might choose to use "rolling backpacks for kids" (1,600 monthly searches) rather than "wheeled backpacks for kids" (320 monthly searches) because the first keyword phrase gets searched 5 times more often. However, that retailer should not pin its hopes on ranking for the broad term "backpacks," no matter how attractive that word's sky-high search volume looks.
The moral: Don't be tempted by the huge numbers for broad keywords. With enough time and effort you might be able to rank for them, but you'd be battling large, established brands for unfocused visitors that might not even be ready to buy. (We'll talk more about broad keywords later in the tutorial.)
Save that keyword spreadsheet! You'll find out more about Headline Creation Sweet Spot Review
Step 2: Competitive Research – Who's Your SEO Competition?
Now that you've brainstormed a long list of potential keywords, you may be wondering which keywords are most important. Good question! We'll spend two lessons on competitive research to help provide some answers. First you'll learn who's your SEO competition among the top-ranked websites.
Identify the Top-Ranked Websites for Your Keywords
In this step of the SEO tutorial, you begin to evaluate your potential keywords by finding the websites currently ranking for those terms. Knowing these "keyword competitors" helps you determine whether your site belongs in the competition for that keyword.
Look at the keyword competition and ask, is this really my field?
You can think of a search engine results page (or SERP) as a competitive field. Each search query changes the game and the opponents entirely, depending on what the search engine perceives the searcher's intent to be. Identifying who's competing for a particular keyword topic can tell you what type of game is being played and whether you should even step on that field.
Some keyword competitions just won't be your game.
Since your keyword choices influence who can find your website, optimize your pages for the phrases and terms that buyers, not just masses of window shoppers, might use to find what they need. You must select keywords that interested site visitors would search for (and then make sure the content on your page answers their needs AND uses those keywords). Whatever you hope your site visitors will do (whether to make a purchase, sign up for your newsletter or other), you need to figure out which keywords those people will search for.
Fortunately, the search engines are trying to figure out the same thing — what people really want — for every search query. So the best way to tell whether a keyword could lead to conversion on your site is to see what kinds of results the search engine delivers. If at least some of the top 10 websites offer the same types of products, services or information that yours does, then that's probably a relevant keyword worth putting on the list. But don't worry. We have another free SEO tool to make your competitive research easier.
Here's how to use the Top-Ranked Websites by Keyword tool:
- Enter a keyword or phrase below and click "Research Keyword."
- View the list of URLs returned for each search, which may be your keyword competition (more on that in a moment).
- Keep these lists of keyword competitors in your spreadsheet (next to each keyword), as these are sites you may want to analyze later.
SEO Tools – Top-Ranked Websites by Keyword
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
What the Competitive Keyword Research Shows
The Top-Ranked Websites by Keyword tool lists the sites with the most top-25 rankings and shows the specific pages that rank highest for the keyword you entered.
The numbers represent each site's current (real-time) ranking position in several search engines (1 means first position, 3 is third, etc.). Keep track of the individual page URLs that are ranked best and are your major competition (we'll identify your true competitors in a moment). The example to the right shows the top-ranking web pages for the keyword "campsites in southern california."
Can't I just run a search? If you search directly on Google or Bing, your results are biased by your personal settings, city, and previous searches and clicks. Using our SEO tools eliminates almost all bias and personalization. This unbiased ranking information provides helpful benchmarks for SEO competitive research.
However, if you're a local business or service, you'll want to run your keywords through the search engines directly (with personalization turned off, but your location set to the market area) to see the local competitors.
Know Your True Competitors
Are all the top-ranking sites really my keyword competition? Well, yes and no. In the above example, one result is the Parks Service, an authority .gov website. Will your campground ever be able to compete against it? Probably not for this keyword. You may not consider the government or other high-clout sites (like Wikipedia) to be competitors. Nevertheless, where these and other search result giants are competing for the same SERP space, they're among your keyword competition.
Still, the results reveal what kind(s) of pages search engines think are most relevant to this keyword's perceived user intent. If ALL the top-ranking sites serve a different kind of visitor from the person you want to attract, then maybe you don't want to compete for that keyword.
Bruce Clay optimizes the company's annual holiday party with go-karts.
For example, if your business designs go-kart tracks, should you optimize for the keyword "go-kart racing"? Looking at search results shows the answer: none of the top-ranked websites offer what your company offers. The search engine assumes that everyone searching for "go-kart racing" wants to go for a ride, so it will probably never consider your design company a relevant match.
You'd better keep doing keyword research looking for more relevant keyword phrases whose top-ranking websites include some true competitors.
You can see how keyword research leads to competitive research, which leads to more keyword research, and so on.
Shopify was early to bring its merchants the ability to converse directly with customers via Facebook Messenger, and now it’s launching the ability to actually sell directly within messages between stores and customers.
The integration works by giving customers a “Shop Now” option when they start a conversation with any Facebook Business Page store using Shopify’s Messenger sales channel, which will bring up the merchant’s entire product catalog and let them tap through to browse and buy, completing purchases via Shopify’s checkout portal, which actually operates completely within Messenger, so there’s no round-trip needed.
Shopify sees a lot of potential in using Messenger as a vector for direct sales, but the company acknowledges that it’s early days yet for an entirely in-message shopping experience, especially in the North American market.
“From an end-consumer perspective, it’s still pretty novel to think of messaging a business first when you want to interact with them, so that’s going to take some time to catch up with some of the interactions that are common in Asia,” explained Shopify product manager Brandon Chu in an interview. “The outcome is moving to an internet version of what retail used to be, where you walk into a store and share with a merchant some of your problems or the thing that you’re looking for.”
Still, Chu says that Messenger is a “very good complementary channel” for Shopify’s various other channels, since it allows merchants to do things like send order status receipts to customers via the platform, which kicks off a direct relationship that could lead to things like direct purchases within the service further down the line.
“There are a few really important platform features that we’re going to be taking advantage of in the months to come, to keep more of that purchasing flow in the chat,” Chu notes when I ask about the future potential of shopping directly in Messenger.
The first is Azon Funnels Review, which Messenger’s 1.2 platform update enable, and the other is the use of web views, which uses a new feature that Messenger offers to let developers set the height of web views within conversations. Chu says this is actually key, because it means you can set a half-height web view that gives customers the info they’re looking for from the merchant’s online store, while still keeping them visibly within the context of the conversation they were having via Messenger.
Chu also says they’re designing their messaging tools to be as useful across various platforms as possible for merchants down the road, but adds that Shopify sees Messenger as the clear leader right now in terms of reaching the highest number of people in the North American market.
Shopify is definitely a leader in e-commerce when it comes to exploring new platform options: recent launches include Stackn Review for merchants who sell via various messaging and social apps. A bigger bet on Messenger seems smart, especially if the North American scene moves (as many are hoping it will) to more closely mirror the state of mobile in other markets, like We have Paul Harvey with us and he’s going to tell us how to use Facebook Messenger Ads to increase your Amazon FBA product sales. We’re covering the use of Facebook chatbots to increase sales.
What are Facebook Messenger Ads?
- It’s a Messenger app in Facebook that everyone uses
- When you create a Messenger Ad, it sends Messages to individuals with your ad copy in it as a conversation
Compared to other Ads on FB with Messenger Bots you can…
- With straight traffic engagement ads, the buyer clicks on the ad, makes the purchase and are gone
- With Messenger bots you can engage with them in a conversation and have them in your feed until they opt out
How to use Facebook Messenger Ads to help…
- To help launch products and get reviews at the same time
- Ad spend is a little higher than a normal ad but it’s much more effective, talking to them and offering the sale
- You can talk to the buyer before to verify them, then show them the offer and if they want it they can buy direct from the Facebook App
- This goes direct to Amazon and it’s quality traffic that Amazon loves
Setup is My Top Money Maker Review
- How to use Facebook Messenger Ads can be manual – You can create your own Messenger Bots in Facebook but it’s a pain
- Recommend you use a software solution Moneychat, Chatflow, there’s a few and they plug into your Facebook Ads account
- Then select an ‘objective’ which for us will be ‘traffic’ for Messenger and then sleect Messenger Pop-up
- Create the add and have 1 or two options
- Click on the ads and have messenger bots popup with you ad
- 2or, Make it so they ‘comment’ on the ad and then Messenger popsup
- Option 2 comments mean they are more viral when people comment on the ads. When they comment their friends see it too.
- As soon as they comment, the bot will popup and say ‘Hi, how are you?’
- When they respond to the bot (button click or message) then they are automatically subscribed
- How to use Facebook Messenger Ads with software tools
- Moneychat is $10/month
- Login with FB Login
- It will connect each page to it’s own Messenger Bot
- Then you setup the Traffic Ads on FB
Engagement Page One For Cash Confidential Review
- You’re on FB and you see an ad that says buy this product 80% off, just comment below and we’ll send you the deal via Messenger
- Messenger will popup and say ‘Hi, thanks for your interest in our offer’
- It will then show them the deal and some info and they can then clickthrough to go straight to Amazon
- The Buyer thinks they are interacting with you
- You can pre-script everything and also you can take over and reply yourself if you need to
- Very similar to scripting an email sequence
Size of the campaign
- If you have 15 people at once coming at you….
- Messenger users expect a rapid response straight away – gotta keep an eye on your phone all the time to respond quickly
- A lot of people don’t even understand why Messenger has popped up and so you need to hand-hold them through
- How to use Facebook Messenger Ads to get high engagement
- This has a norm of 80% open rate currently
- Big difference from 10% on email opens currently
- Of the 80% opens what sort of engagement can you expect?
- Paul says it’s about 66% (two-thirds) that engage and reply
- Because people have spoken to you already and developed that ‘trust’ you can sell them down to your shopify store without needing to reply on the Amazon trusted platform to get the sales
- The typical Messenger user has the memory of a goldfish – you have to keep them engaged all the time
- You must throw lots of interaction (gifts, jokes, pictures of your store) and fast responses to keep them engaged and get them to trust your brand
- Messenger bots have been around since February/April this year
- Gaining traction quickly and likely only another year or so before the market gets saturated
- Now is the time to start and make the most of it
You should not do…
- Do not abuse your audiences
- It is like the Wild West currently
- FB not really put up stringent rules to follow, people getting away with a lot
- You don’t want to ‘bug’ your customers
- Once they opt-in to your bot you can message them
- You might have to pay for it with FB
- Spamming could be a big problem so be careful and respectful
- You are collecting these people on your bot like a mailing list
How to maintain engagement ?
- How to use Facebook Messenger Ads to maintain engagement with your buyers
- Once they click on the ad the Messenger bot engages with them and they talk – this ‘should’ lead to a sale on Amazon
- The next stage is that they get an automatic message (you have 24hrs to message someone again – after that you have to pay for it according to FB)
- Let’s say they click on Monday at 1pm, Paul sends them an automatic message the following day asking them if they took the deal
- If they reply YES, then Paul sends another message saying he’ll followup in a few days time
- Paul then pays for another message and send to them a message asking what they thought of it and if they say YES then he asks if they’ll leave a review, it’s quite nice that they say they love it while on FB and Paul asks them if they’d mind leaving the review on Amazon (might be breaking ToS)
- If on that day one message they say NO they hadn’t taken the deal, then the Bot says “Don’t worry there is one more hour left on the promo, do you want it now?” and it gives them the link to the offer
Paul’s own Script for giving coupons out
- How to use Facebook Messenger Ads for doling out single-use coupon codes
- Big issue is if you use a group code for a lightning deal and it goes viral you could get wiped out
- Paul created an ad-on for Messenger that will automate the pulling-out of one-time use coupon codes and lock it to that user
- This works by:
- You setup a campaign and download 100 unique coupon codes
- Running a script that draws the code from a CSV file and distributing a one-time user code to each buyer
- Even if they share the bot with someone else the one-time use coupon code is locked to that user
- Results are:
- Quite a few roadblocks as they have to talk to the Messenger bot, then click through to Amazon, etc
- But we’re getting subscribers and the option to get reviews
- And these people really want to get weekly deals from me, I can send at 30% off and they still buy
- Also, because all the traffic is going through to Amazon we’re not worried because they have been ‘vetted’ through the Messenger bot
- Conversion rates are good – Amazon seeing high converting sales coming straight from Facebook
- Paul setup a product of 100 units, did 4 sales targeting one keyword (setup took an hour) and he went to page 1, number 1 on one keyword in 1 day – worked really well
- Using a storefront URL with keyword for this
Language for the “request” for review…
- Keep it informal for the Bot
- I pose as a single mother trying to run a business – “Hi Honey, how are you”
- We ask “what did you think of the product” and they really engage and send pics of the product etc.
- Then he asks “what did you think of the product?” and the say they loved it or hated it…
- If they loved it I say “Would you mind leaving me your thoughts?” and give them a link to Amazon
Closing the loop on coupon codes
- To match coupon codes to your sales to match off against your organic sales
- Use Seller Legend to track the coupon codes to see how many were redeemed and who the customer was
- Also, with Messenger bots you can track your sales use the off-line sales data on Facebook to see how many people matched up to your orders on Amazon
Cool thing is…
- The chatbot in the bottom right had corner for support on websites for help can cost money $10-$50 per month
- Why not replace it with Messenger bot because it will capture them as subscribers – don’t need to collect their email addresses
- Reach out to Anthony Webster on Facebook at ‘BuilderAll for Amazon Sellers’ Facebook Group