Posts by Jon Clark:

5 Bad SEO Practices To Avoid (And What to Do Instead)

5 Bad SEO Practices To Avoid (And What to Do Instead)

If you want your SEO efforts to really pay off, then you’ve got to be using tactics that work for the long term. In 2004, you could spam your way to Google’s Page one but use those tactics today and Google algorithm updates like Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin and Pigeon would make your site completely forgotten.

And you don’t want your website slapped with a Google penalty. Some of those sites never recover and most times you can’t get them to without the help of a professional.

So here are those tips for staying in the good books of the search engines and what to do if you’re in their bad books.

1. Not Updating Your Pages

Google only wants to display relevant and user-friendly content. Depending on your industry, this may mean updating those pages weekly. Apart from a few needed design tweaks, a successful post from 2007 on Speed Reading Techniques would still be relevant to readers in 2017. How about one from 2009 on 13 SEO Tactics You Can Use Now  that hasn’t been updated? I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.

What To Do Instead?

Add more timely and relevant information. If you’re on WordPress, you’d need to play a bit with your theme so it has that Last Updated  look.



This guide should help.

2. Keyword Stuffing


See that post? Do that in 2006 and Google won’t notice. They could even place you on the first page for that keyword. Do it today and you won’t escape Panda and Penguin. And that post up there was clearly meant to game the search engines ’cause no one would waste five seconds reading that.

What To Do Instead?

Use LSI Keywords

LSI is short for Latent Semantic Indexing. But forget about understanding everything about this marketing jargon for now. Look at this strategy as a way of including synonyms or related phrases in your content so you don’t use the same keywords a thousand times.

Go to LSI Graph and enter your chosen keyword.



So instead of repeating the keyword “best dash cameras,” you’d see variations like dash cam reviews and top 10 dash cameras.

3. Article Spinning and Duplicate Content

And by article spinning, I don’t mean rewriting content for use on your site in a way that makes it readable and engaging. I’m talking about what’s popular among black-hat-SEOs. Using a software that spits out a rewritten version of an article in seconds. And 10 times out of ten, those posts are boring, unclear and just unreadable.

Here’s an example:


Did you notice the word content changed to substance? That doesn’t make sense, right?

Now to Duplicate content. Google wants to rank a page just once. If you’re copying and pasting content on different pages on the web, search engine spiders would think you’re trying to game the system and that’s not good for you.

And maybe you didn’t mean any harm, you just wanted your followers to read the same post you wrote for that high-authority blog.

Here’s What To Do Instead

Manually Rewrite

If you’re spinning content, you’d definitely need to spend time editing. But when you’re spending 5 hours on editing spun content, and it still doesn’t give you that aha! feel, you’re better off manually rewriting that piece.

Get A Freelance Writer

Writing takes time, and mental energy too. Maybe you don’t have much of those to spare, you can hire professional writers to get the job done. Yes, it’d cost you, but anything that safeguards your reputation doesn’t really have a price.

Post A Snippet

…Of the original. Get it on your site and others with a link to the complete post.

Deindex The Page

Search engines won’t find duplicate content if you don’t let them. So get those web spiders off your duplicate post.

4. Being Sleazy With Affiliate Marketing

You can do this in two ways, as a business seeking affiliates to promote your product and as an affiliate marketer for a business.

If you’re a business, don’t try building links by giving out your products for free to review sites. Google’s position on this is clear. Remind those bloggers to include the “nofollow” attribute so no link juice is transferred.

And if you’re a marketer, don’t use tactics like link-cloaking and dofollow linking for businesses you promote.

But you should still make money with affiliate marketing.

Here’s What To Do Instead

Encourage Honest Reviews

If you want the profit, your product has to be marketable. No one wants to buy a bad hack saw or a broken espresso machine. So make sure your product does what you promise and encourage affiliates to be honest in their posts.

Go For The Best

If you’re a marketer, you’re putting your reputation on the line wherever you decide to promote a company to your followers. So make sure it’s worth it. Test everything. Top-quality products would stand out at the end and those are the only businesses you should be risking it all for.

5. Buying Links

If you hang out on internet marketing forums for a while, you’d see offers like this.


I really wish you could rank on page one for just $5 but that’s not how these things work. What really happens is that you get your site to be part of shady link farms.

You may actually improve the rankings of some of your pages, but only before Google discovers what’s going on and your traffic stats begin to look really bad.

Here’s What To Do Instead

Be A White Hat SEO

Read the webmaster guidelines, follow industry Influencers, use content to get links. How? Find something everyone’s searching for but hasn’t been covered in detail, give that post your best and ask fellow bloggers to share. Learn other link-building techniques but just don’t buy a link.

Hire An Expert

You can’t learn everything about SEO in a day. Even the experts have a lot to learn. But they know better than to opt for quick fixes that don’t work. Go meet them with your questions and you’d get an answer.

In the SEO world, every detail counts. Play smart by avoiding these common pitfalls.

3 Fixes For Improving Your Website’s User Experience

3 Fixes For Improving Your Website’s User Experience

The attention span of an average internet user is 8 seconds, shorter than that of a goldfish. You know what this means? More work for you! It’s time to focus on what’s important for your site and forget about those fancy tweaks on BuzzFeed.

If your visitors feel good when they’re on your page, it’s easy to know. You’d be getting more comments, shares and faster growth.

Are your email unsubscribe numbers on the rise? Lots of negative comments? Reduced engagement on social media?

It’s clear you’re doing something wrong. You’re beginning to annoy those loving followers.

But you can fix it. Wanna know how?

Here they are, the 3 fixes for improving your site’s user experience.

1. Speed Up Your Website

The average site load time is 2 seconds, but you should do better than that. It’s so easy to see why. Apart from serving your visitors with content at a rate faster than that of your competitors, it’s something Google considers a ranking factor.

But if you don’t know it’s broken, it’s difficult fixing, right?

Here’s how to check your site load time

Go to, and enter your site details for a complete analysis

And here’s what the report looks like



If you have a bad grade, meaning a slow site, here’s what you can do.

> Enable Browser Caching

Anytime a visitor lands on your site, their browser sends a request to your server, so they’d have to download the HTML document, CSS stylesheets and images before it’s live on their browser.

The time in which all this is done is what’s called the page load time.

If browser caching is enabled, visitors won’t have to “re-download” that page when next they come visiting.

You can enable caching in WordPress by using plugins like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.

> Optimize Your Images

It’s important to include images in your content. It makes your post digestible. But if all your pictures are 5MB+, your visitors may not even get to see the post before leaving in disgust over your awful site load time.

Here are some ways to optimize your images:

# Good Ol’ Photoshop

Open your image files in Photoshop and go to File>Save>Save For Web

And don’t forget to reduce the image to 65-80%


# Online Tools

A simple Google search for “online image optimizer” and you’d get the results you need.


# WordPress Plugins

I’m not a big fan of having a WordPress plugin for everything but some of these plugins do get your pics ready for the web.

2. Make Your Content Readable

Whether you’re running an e-commerce site or a “how-to” niche blog, you need something that draws visitors from around the word. You need stellar, jaw-dropping content.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe content is king or not, your posts and pages must have very clear directions.

Here’s how to get it done:

> Add a Table of Contents

If you’ve been using the internet for some time, I guess you’ve stumbled on Wikipedia. You’d normally see something like this at the top of any entry


That’s a table of contents. And a clickable one at that. It gives your audience a bird’s eye view of what your post is about.

Long form contents are all the rage in the blogosphere. A visitor may need to jump right into an important section and these tables do the job.

You should check out this guide to see how it’s done.

> Use Images

It’s hard to describe how an app or a tool works without providing screenshots to support your point. You can even get your reader confused if you don’t. And that’s not a great impression.

If you want more search engine love, you need Alt Tags in your images that improve traffic to your site.

And almost nobody shares a “no-image” post on social media. It’s just not lively.

You can get free images on Flickr (read up the licenses first) and the other sites also.

Or you can create yours with Canva.

Just get something that doesn’t make your posts feel like a giant block of text.

> And Don’t Ignore Videos

A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? A video should be around ten thousand. There’s just no way you’re doing a DIY review post on how your new paint sprayer saved you a lot of time without inserting a video.

You can use services like YouTube, Wistia and Vimeo to host your videos.

> Check Your Grammar

No, you don’t need to write like it’s a college essay or anything like that. You’re writing for the web so there’s nothing wrong including conversational asides in your posts.

You can use tools like Grammarly and the Hemmingway App.

Bottom line: Not knowing that “you’re” is actually short for “you are” makes you look like an amateur.

3. Infuse A Little Common Sense

There are internet marketing rules you need to throw out right now. And there are others to live by if you want to boost your user experience. You’ve got to abide by these rules.

Here are some of them:

> Forget The Long Signup Forms

To get people on your email list, the most important thing you need is their email address. Then maybe you can ask for a name. And it doesn’t need to be their full name.



Their Twitter handles, Facebook profiles and websites are really not important. You need tons of followers, don’t piss anyone off by making your Signup form look like an application.

> Add Social Sharing Buttons


Nobody spends time creating customized intros on Facebook for an “unsocial” site.

So get those buttons, it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes.

If you have an infographic, add an embed code to the page so it’s easy to share.

> Clear Navigation

Let your site give direction. One of our clients, Dairyland Insurance, does a great job of quickly getting the consumer to the content most applicable to them via the homepage:

Dairyland Insurance Navigation

Going for a responsive theme makes this easier.

> Give Feedback

People are going to come to your contact page with questions. Have a feedback mechanism that shows you’d be responding to their queries shortly.

You can use an autoresponder service that does that or get a contact form that has this feature.



You just can’t ignore your visitors. They’re the reason you’re in business. And you should listen to them. Non-verbal cues like a huge drop in traffic and increasing unsubscribe rates mean you need to get to work.

Get that audience to love you again. Make them feel good on your site. These tips should give you lots of ideas.

Keyword Competition Analysis: One Metric That Matters To All SEOs

Keyword Competition Analysis: One Metric That Matters To All SEOs

So you’ve gotten your website all set up. It’s time to get those visitors, right? The thing is, getting them all depends on your keywords. Good luck getting on page one of Google with the Fortune 500 companies all targeting your keywords. To win on page one, you’d need to compete, using the right metric. So, what’s this metric?

Page Authority (PA)

A page’s authority is the value a search engine assigns to that particular web page. It determines how well a page would rank in search for a keyword or a set of keywords. PA was actually developed by Moz and does a good job scoring tons of pages on the web.

So let’s say you start an affiliate niche site and go for the buyer long tail keyword, “best handheld cordless vacuum.”

SEM Rush Keyword

SEM Rush Keyword Overview

That’s a keyword with 390 monthly searches. But what do the PA stats say?

Head over here and get MozBar.


Sign up for Moz Toolbar

Sign up for Moz Toolbar

When next you do that search, you should see this:


Mozbar Search Results

Mozbar Search Results

PA is influenced largely by the quality of backlinks a page has. So you can see that the highest ranking page has a PA of 43 with 435 links. 435 links!!! Why isn’t PA 97? Remember, I said quality and not number of links. The average PA for the top three pages is 42. With a 193 link average, that keyword would be too difficult to rank for.

If you modify that and try targeting “best cordless handheld vacuum for pet hair,” with just 50 monthly searches, there’s a different result.

SEM Rush Keyword Overview

SEM Rush Keyword Overview

Let’s look at the PA stats:

Mozbar Results

Mozbar Results

The average PA for the top three ranking pages sits at 23. The links also are nothing to go “oh shit” over.

Now that’s a golden keyword. You can actually compete and have an easy win on this keyword than you would on the first.

And that’s not all there is to this tactic. Even without the guide, (cause you won’t see the MozBar on a mobile device) you can determine keywords with low average PAs by looking out for SERPs with user generated content. That’s content from  Yahoo, HubPages, Quora and forums. Content from these sites are usually not of high-quality and hardly go viral so they only appear on the SERPs when search engines are starved for content at that level. Translation? There’s an opening, go feed those bots!

The MozBar also displays DA, short for Domain Authority. It’s the value assigned by a search engine to a domain or a website. But PA is King on SERPs. That’s because if search engines placed DA over PA, newer sites with top-quality content would find it difficult to rank. Search engines want to serve users the best “pages,” not the best domains or websites.

Content is served on your web pages. If you’re going to win at analyzing the competition of a keyword, look at the ranking pages for a keyword on the SERPs and see how they stack up.

The Art of Marketing and Advertising Promotion

The Art of Marketing and Advertising Promotion

It is common knowledge that for a business to prosper it has to be visible and out there to capture audiences as well as raise awareness your service or product benefits.

Undoubtedly, the internet is at the forefront. An open pathway that offers a route that is far less expensive to reach audiences. ‘Offline’ methods complement the online activities.

In order to build loyalty, unique branding is key.

Know the rules. Break the rules and remake the rules.

The main clues of outsmarting elements embezzled in the promotion puzzle for your service or product is to be aware that:

  • 80% of success in anything having a presence.

  • Customers do not buy the products, they buy the solutions that products offer

  • Branding is identification, marketing defines what you do, and is about selling what you do.

Stand out in the industry crowd. Make the marketing leader stand out to be visible and audible above the crowd. Get third party approval. Always keep the WIIFM (what is in it for me) as a driving tool for prosperity.

The very first step is sourcing out the needs of the customer and providing a solution to serve the customer

The next step is identifying prospective customers or clients and markets to build profits.

STRATEGIES: Plan – Execute – Delegate

Learning these strategies and applying them enable the following:

  • Understanding your marketing effectiveness online, as well as offline.

  • Breaking through marketing ‘clutter’

  • Creating  marketing messages that influence behavior of the customer

  • Maximizing marketing dollars

The four main reasons outsourcing works:

Outsourcing work allows you to focus on other business aspects, allowing your brand to expand.

  • It is comparatively a low percentage of investment

  • A method to leverage of existing relationships

  • Increased flexibility on contract-based employment

Devising a Marketing Plan

A marketing plan defines a strategy and targets priorities to reach the key audiences in specified timescales. The marketing plan serves as an invaluable key for opening doors in the whirlwind of the business world and accomplishes goals while keeping track of the fuller picture.

Ultimately, a marketing plan should essentially cover a year, as change with evolving markets and the revolving of customers is eminent. The initial focus should be the year ahead. When devising marketing plan the main challenge is deciding what is possible and how to put it into effect.

At later stages, the focus should be securing your medium-term goals in the coming two to four years.

The marketing plan should be referred to regularly with performance reports monthly. Review the plan from every perspective even if you are a solo operation. Envision yourself in every aspect as a manufacture, finance, personnel, marketing and supply.

Every level needs to be tackled to achieve a marketing plan that is workable. Set realistic input on what is achievable and pathways to reach the goals to unleash all marketing opportunities that remain unrealized.

The Relationship Between the Business Plan and Marketing Plan.

Business plans detail highlights of the business activities and the ultimate goals. It encompasses more than the marketing aspect.

Business plans include:

  • Locations

  • Staffing

  • Strategic alliances

  • Financing .

The marketing and business plan needs consistency.

We all know that plans are imperfect. Predicting 12 months ahead or five years seems like a waste of time and many assume that this time is better spent meeting real customers and fine-tuning the product or service they offer. It may be a valid point, but it is a narrow perspective or point of view. Without planning, you will most likely reach the cliff edge.

Even though plans are inaccurate, it is better to have one, than to have none. You need to vision the planned destination. A marketing plan is about keeping focus in that direction.

Make time to review the marketing regularly:

  1. Does it provide all you aspire to?

  2. Can innovative wrinkles be added?

  3. Are you achieving full benefits from your services or products in markets and sales?

3 “Youtube SEO” Basics That Every Marketer Needs To Know

3 “Youtube SEO” Basics That Every Marketer Needs To Know

When marketers talk about “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO), usually we’re referring to the basic web-based search engines that everyone is familiar with.  SEO experts need to know the ins and outs of ranking content on Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest.

But there’s another realm of optimization that’s invaluable to boosting web traffic, and little understood by many marketers: Youtube SEO.  While it may sound counterintuitive since the platform only handles video content, Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google.

Which means that as a digital marketer looking for new places to gain traffic, you need to know the basics of optimizing content published on the internet giant’s domain.  Here’re some Youtube SEO basics to help you unlock this search engine’s huge potential.

1.  Keywords Matter, Bigtime

SEO marketing for platforms like Google starts with good keyword research, and the same rings true for optimizing content based on Youtube’s search algorithms.

Just like building an SEO plan for Google visibility, it’s a great idea to start your research with Google’s proprietary Adwords tool.  Enter a term that’s related to the content of your Youtube video, and you’ll see a long list of related keywords and their relevance to your video.

Once you’ve got a list on Adwords with keywords to choose from that relate to your content, there’re a couple things you should keep in mind when narrowing down your selection for SEO purposes:

  • Choose keywords that are most relevant to your video.  The more closely your keywords describe your content, the better.

  • Look for keywords that have a good number of searches per month.  Mixing in lower competition keywords isn’t a bad idea either, but stay away from keywords with very few searches.

  • Look for keywords that are more than one word long.

Once you’ve selected a list of keywords that you plan on targeting for Youtube optimization, it’s time to put that research into action.

2.  Get Strategic With your Titles and Descriptions

Just like when you’re crafting SEO friendly headlines for Google rankings, it’s important to put some thought into video titles and video descriptions for everything you upload to YouTube.  Luckily, you’ve already completed the first step in your strategic approach by researching relevant keywords.

From the list of keywords you’ve narrowed down, you’ll want to craft a video title that’s about eight words long or less.  Ideally, you want your video title to accomplish the following:

  • Answer a “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” or “why” question that a member of your target audience might enter into their search bar.

  • Incorporate keywords with a high number of monthly searches, as well as some keywords that are less competitive.

  • Read as simple and to the point.

If you’re having a hard time coming up with good titles, bounce some ideas off of a colleague.  Remember that simplicity is the goal, but incorporating those keywords you researched is essential.

When filling out the “description” section, keep the same principles in mind.  You’ll have a lot more room to work with, and to an extent, long is good.  But just like with your titles, simplicity is key.

Your video descriptions should consist of tight, professional sentences with no spelling mistakes.  Include as many keywords as you can naturally, and you’re on your way to mastering Youtube SEO.

3.  Use Tags That Are Already Working for the Competition

Tags are incredibly important in ranking Youtube content, and there’s an easy way to borrow tags from other videos that are already optimized for the platform.  Here’re 4 steps to getting ahead of the competition by using their own keywords against them:

  1. Enter your content’s targeted keywords in Youtube’s search bar and note the top three video results.

  2. Visit each of the videos.  On the video page, press “Ctrl + u” to bring up the source code for the page.

  3. Press “Ctrl + f” to start a search, and search for “keywords.” You’ll see a list of tags, separated by commas.

  4. Copy and past those tags into your own video’s “tags” section, making sure terms are still separated by commas.

You’ll want to include additional tags based around the keywords you’ve selected, but borrowing tags from other successfully optimized content is a great place to start.  Doing so will increase the chances that your video is listed as “related content,” and will also place your content higher in Youtube’s search results.

The Bottom Line?

There’s a lot to learn about Youtube SEO, and it’s best to think of the platform as its own search engine with its own nuances to master.  But every digital marketer needs to have a basic understanding of how optimization on Youtube works, and the three fundamentals above will point you in the right direction to rank your content and see your traffic soar.


The Hidden Marketing Power In Blog Posts You Aren’t Using

The Hidden Marketing Power In Blog Posts You Aren’t Using

Posting links to your latest blog posts on social media is a great way to promote your posts. But that’s where most bloggers stop. Some may go the extra mile and duplicate the post a few weeks later, trying to squeeze a little more promotional juice from the post. But there is a far more effective way to continually promote your latest blog post.

It’s All In How You Word It

Creating a colorful post that’s filled with engaging wording, great looking images and follows SEO best practices should be your baseline. Meaning, this should be the least every post has. To get the most out of your posts when it comes time to promote, make sure you have memorable wording sprinkled throughout. For example:

  • A great related quote
  • Valuable reference with a link to the source
  • Pithy statement that sums up an important topic

Once you’re ready, it’s fine to post the blog title along with its link to your social media accounts. This gets the promotion ball rolling.

Using the structure above, you now have literally several more unique social media posts for the same blog post. For each, just switch out the title for any of the memorable group of words and add the link. You can probably create a social media post for every other day until the end of the month.

There Are Plenty Of Pros Who Can Help With Marketing

Want to get even more out of your post and have big names help out? Go to some of the most popular posts of influencer bloggers in your niche. Grab a group of memorable words from their post and quote it in yours. Somewhere in the quote, link back to the influencer’s post. The stage is now set for a supercharged promotion campaign. Let’s say you have

The stage is now set for a supercharged promotion campaign. Let’s say you have wording from three different influencers. You can post that exact wording into your social media post and tag the influencer’s social media handle so they know. Now sit back and wait for the influencer to

Now sit back and wait for the influencer to repost to their social media accounts. It might not happen every time but you’ll certainly have better chances than not using this tactic at all.

…And The Benefits Keep Coming

Posting snippets from influencer blog posts can start building relationships for you. Don’t stop with only posting their content to social media. It’s always about going the extra mile.

In addition to posting influencer snippets to social media, comment on their blog posts so they will see your name there also. Feel free to even email them if you have something valuable to say about their content or to share.

All Of This From One Little Blog Post

That’s right. All of this started from the right structuring of one blog post. Now that you know how to do it for future posts, you can go back and rewrite some of your older posts. You don’t have to worry about a complete rewrite. Where you can, add in valuable snippets of wording and links to other bloggers.

Hope that helps in getting your name out there more. You can see there isn’t really any magic to it. Just a little elbow grease and imagination.

Out of Blog Post Ideas? Try These 4 Unusual Hacks

Out of Blog Post Ideas? Try These 4 Unusual Hacks

It’s no secret that great blog content is a lynchpin of inbound marketing, and today, almost every business has a blog that they update regularly.

But when you’re putting out epic content on a regular basis for a long period of time, you can run into a problem: you’ve already used up all of your best ideas.

Between keyword research and your own real world experience, you started off with tons of fruitful blog post ideas. But eventually, you’ll find yourself running through the cream of the crop.

This is more of a problem in some industries than others. It’s something you run into with a lot of “unsexy” service industries, like moving companies or HVAC repair services. When you’ve already covered the obvious topics with engaging, SEO friendly blog posts that cover things in detail, you can hit a bit of a dead end.

If you’re hard up for new content ideas, these simple “hacks” can help you refuel your creativity and spark a “lightbulb moment” that gets the ball rolling again.

1. Check out what comes up on BuzzSumo.

BuzzSumo is an online service that shows you the top performing content for various search queries. It gives you a peek at what kind of content your competitors are putting out, and at what kind of content gets the most engagement and social shares.

You can search for either a topic or a particular domain. As a simple example, here’s what comes up for “digital marketing strategy.”

This shows you what kind of content is doing well in that particular niche. From topics, to target audiences, to headline structure, there’s a lot of information you can glean from BuzzSumo.


This is just a limited selection of what BuzzSumo can offer. Although they have a free 30-day trial, and you can see a few top results for free any time, it is a paid service. However, something like this could be worth the investment.

2. Use a longtail keyword tool like UberSuggest.

There are a handful of great online keyword research tools that are designed to help you find unique, interesting longtail keywords. These are search queries that consist of several words, and that don’t get a super-high search volume. These can be easy to target, without nearly as much competition as broader “head” keywords.

Tools like Ubersuggest are useful for SEO, but they’re also a great way to find new content ideas. There are several tools like this out there, but we’re spotlighting Ubersuggest because it’s one of the best.

Plus, it generates a nifty word cloud for each search, which shows which words tend to occur in the same queries as your main keyword. This can help you pinpoint related ideas and concepts, sparking new ideas for content that your audience would like.

Here’s what comes up for “digital marketing strategy” on Ubersuggest.


This is just the top of the list. UberSuggest found 192 total keywords. But even this tiny snippet from their search results provides some interesting information.

You can see that people search for things like “digital marketing strategy template,” “digital marketing strategy implementation and practice,” and “digital marketing strategy framework.” This suggests that people are looking for actual techniques and substantial, actionable advice that they can implement themselves.

You can also see that people are looking specifically for “digital marketing strategy pdf.” They’re looking for Powerpoint presentations (“ppt”) as well. You could create a whitepaper or ebook about strategy that’s available in PDF format, or create a powerpoint slideshow about it.

We mentioned that Ubersuggest also generates a word cloud. These are actually pretty massive, but here’s a screencap of part of it.

Ubersuggest Wordcloud

Pretty cool to look at, right? And if you look closely, you can find valuable information. You can see words like “newspapers,” “hospitals,” “government,” “schools,” and “hotel.” This implies that people are looking for digital marketing strategies specifically tailored for certain industries.

As an example, you could create a comprehensive longform blog post about digital marketing strategies that work specifically for hotels.

Ubersuggest’s meaty longtail keyword results are full of blog post ideas, based on things your audience is actively searching for. This can be a great way to help yourself brainstorm when your well of creativity starts to run dry.

Other longtail keyword research tools include,, and the humorously named KeywordS*****r.

3. Use “Answer the Public.”

Like Ubersuggest and similar online tools, Answer the Public is a free resource for finding longtail keywords. We’re discussing this separately because Answer the Public takes a unique approach that sets it apart.

This tool focuses on two types of queries: those in the form of a question, and those that contain a preposition. It’s for finding who questions, how questions, why questions, and more. It gives you a glimpse into what kind of questions your audience is asking, which is fertile ground for new post ideas.

Not only does Answer the Public provide a list of results, but it also generates two highly intuitive graphical representations.

One is for queries in the form of a question.

Answer The Public

The other is for queries that contain a preposition.

Answer the Public Tool

Pretty cool, right? These visualizations are easily digestible, showing you what types of questions are common for your query.

Each question can act as a writing prompt, seeding an entire blog post.

4. Check Reddit and Quora to see what kind of questions people are asking.

 Reddit is one of the world’s most widely used social media platforms, with a structure similar to old-school forums. There’s a subreddit for just about anything you can think of, and with a little Googling, you can find active communities relevant to your company’s product or service.

People use subreddits to ask questions and hold discussions. Reddit posts and comments can give you valuable insights into your audience, and you can find questions and concerns you might not have known about before.

Quora is another website that can provide this kind of information. It’s kind of like a higher quality version of Yahoo! Answers (which is still around, but less valuable than Quora or Reddit). People ask all kinds of questions here, and in many cases, they get answers from real experts.

Quora’s also a great opportunity for you to get yourself or your company out there by participating in the community and actively answering questions.

Ideas are out there. All you have to do is find them.

Eventually, we all hit a wall when it comes to good blog post ideas. Once you’ve covered the obvious, you have to get creative. These free resources can all help you spark the ideas you need to take your content marketing strategy to the next level.

How To Be A Better Digital Marketer Using Heatmaps

How To Be A Better Digital Marketer Using Heatmaps

As a digital marketer, the most valuable information on your website would be to know what areas your clients click on the most, and why. To know this, you would opt to conduct a survey and have your visitors directly tell you where they are clicking, and why.

But, surveys are not the most appropriate methods of gathering this information, especially because not all your visitors will respond to your questions, or even give accurate information. This is where visual analytics, especially heat maps, come in handy, for a digital marketer.

What Is A Heatmap?

A heat map is a graphical representation of data in a two-dimensional image. Usually, this data will be presented using different colors, which will show different levels of activity on a website.

For example, by observing heat map results, you will understand what parts of your website visitors spend the most time, hence using that information, to informatively decide on where to place your marketing campaigns or social media icons.

Types Of Heatmaps

There are different types of heat maps, each possessing its own visualization technique.

These are:

Eye-Tracking Heatmap

Eye-tracking heatmaps work by showing you exactly where your audience is looking at in your webpage.

To get this information, eye-tracking heatmaps use complex technology and expensive software, making them the most expensive type of heatmaps.

Let’s see in the image below, an eye-tracking heatmap results, for National Cancer Insitute:

Webpage Heatmaps

Mouse-Movement Heatmap (Also Known As Hover Map)

As the name alludes, this tool tells you how many visitors hover over a particular section of the page, showing how users read and navigate through your page. Consequently, this information helps you point out the most interesting and boring areas in your website.
Here is an example of how this feature looks like:

Mouse Movement Heatmap

Source: Staticflickr

The main idea behind hover maps is that people tend to hover where they look at, meaning that there is a strong correlation between mouse-movement heatmaps and eye-tracking heatmaps.

But, is this true?

The truth is, mouse movement heatmaps borrow their technique from eye tracking heatmaps but they are not as accurate. No wonder Peep Laja, calls this tool ‘a poor man’s eye tracking tool’.

Peep is supported by Guy Redwood at Simple Usability, who has a similar belief about mouse tracking as shown in the screenshot below:

Mouse Hover Heat Maps

Screenshot Source: Conversion XL

Now, where is the evidence?

Dr. Anne Aula, Senior User Experience Researcher at Google gave a presentation in 2010, talking about the disappointing facts about mouse tracking heatmaps.

According to her research, it was found out that:

  • Only 6% of people showed some vertical correlation between mouse movement and eye tracking
  • 19% of people showed some horizontal correlation between mouse movement and eye tracking
  • 10% hovered over a link and then continued to read around the page looking at other things.

Clearly, there is a very insignificant relationship between mouse tracking and eye tracking heatmaps.


Do not just rely on mouse-movement heatmaps. Instead, use a combination of heatmaps to get the most accurate data.


This is a very great feature especially when you want to track performance of important buttons such as the CTA button, since it shows you where site visitors are clicking, and presents this info as aggregated click data

Usually, colour intensity and what a shade of colour means, is dependent on the heat map provider.

Scroll Map

These show how far your audience scrolls down a webpage. This information is very important, because you get to know the desired length of content, and what part of the page (top, bottom or centre) you should put important CTA buttons.

In addition to Google guiding you on the length of content, you can use scroll maps to know how much your audience is reading. After which, you can re-strategize on your content length.

Way Forward

Struggling with content marketing or your social media campaigns are not picking up? Fret not, because by using different types of heatmaps, you can decipher why you are getting the desired ROI.  Get a heatmap tool today, and use all scroll maps, clickmaps, hover maps and eye-tracking heatmaps, to become a better digital marketer.

14 Reasons SEO is the Best Local Business Marketing Strategy

Still looking for some insight into how to do SEO the right way?

Join the club. You, and just about every other entrepreneur who isn’t already a pro on the matter, seems to struggle with the dearth of reliable information on how to get SEO tactics to work for them.

This isn’t to say that there is no advice on how SEO is supposed to work out on the ‘net. Quite the opposite. There’s too much advice, and not all of it is stellar. There’s article after article composed confusing, misleading, and downright incorrect tips that will have you chasing your tail until the end of time.

No matter which way you slice it, this is a disheartening state of affairs. Instead of embracing SEO, many are shunning it, turning their backs in favor of less effective methods that they feel aren’t as complicated. A critical error, unfortunately, as a well-developed SEO strategy can translate to big gains for you and your business.

In fact, SEO can be so effective that it don’t even have to employ the most complicated techniques. Even simple SEO, done right, can give you a leg up. All you have to do is be willing to give it a try. Let’s take a look at 14 reasons why SEO is still one of the most transformative steps you can take towards growing your business.

Content and Design Support by OutreachMama.

Debunking Some Common Internet Marketing ‘Rules’

Debunking Some Common Internet Marketing ‘Rules’

Do a web search for ‘best practice internet marketing’ or something similar and you will be inundated with thousands of articles and blogs on the ‘must dos’. Once you go through about a dozen of them, you’ll notice some common points. However, as many internet marketers have found out the hard way, the fact that these views are widely held does not necessarily make them true. We look at some of these ‘internet marketing rules’ and explain why you should tread carefully.

“You must understand search engine algorithms”

There is no harm in knowing how search engines work. However, focusing on search engine bots can be a major marketing miscalculation. Instead, create content that is appealing to the humans who will read it. It would be a loss to rank highly on search engine results and draw in tons of new eyeballs only for them to be disappointed when they eventually land on your website. Repairing the damage to your website’s reputation may prove costly.

“Focus on search engine rankings”

This ties into the previous point. Ranking high on a particular keyword is great. It should never be your number one marketing objective though. Ultimately, you want a return on investment (ROI) so conversion is what counts most. Remember, a keyword you rank well on may not always be the best fit for your business. More visits to your site will not always translate to a proportionate rise in sales. Marketers sometimes ignore or spend insufficient resources on the long-tail keywords that would be ideal for growing their reach.

“Check analytics data daily”

This would make sense for a large website with probably millions of visitors per month. However, for the majority of sites (which are small or medium-sized), this can not only be an unnecessarily time-wasting task but also potentially misleading. In low visitor traffic environments, using a daily spike to determine what works can lead you down the wrong path. It’s better to schedule analysis for weekly (or even monthly) so you can better pick out broader trends.

“Successful organic search ranking is sufficient”

Think about the ads you most often see on the internet (whether on a specific website, in search results or on social media). A lot of the ads are by some of the biggest brands in the world. They obviously already rank pretty decently on organic search so why are they doing Paid Search (PPC) and Paid Social Media Advertising? Because organic search ranking is never enough. For best marketing results, set aside a budget for paid ads.

“When it comes to social media, focus on Facebook and Twitter”

Facebook is by far the largest social media platform on earth. Twitter has always had a buzz around it and has newfound significance thanks to America’s President Donald J. Trump. Nevertheless, social media is a vast space that goes far beyond just Facebook and Twitter. It all depends on what you are selling and who you are selling to. If you are pressed for resources, find out which platform(s) your target market is likely to be found on. That could be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest etc.


Be flexible and keep an open mind. Some of the rules that worked 2 years ago are probably not as effective or relevant today. Do not be afraid to change course when it is apparent that there is a better way to do things.