Loading...

Follow Neil Patel | SEO Digital Marketing Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Do you want to be instafamous?

Well, who doesn’t?

Over the last few months, I’ve been running numerous Instagram experiments and I’ve finally figured out how to grow my Instagram following.

My Neil Patel account has been growing by 1,260 followers per week.

And I know what you are thinking… Neil, you are already well known, this can’t be replicated by anyone else.

Right?

Well, not only did we test this strategy out on my profile, but we also did it on 2 other profiles.

It works no matter what industry you are in. Heck, it works even better if you aren’t in B2B like me.

Just look at Dhavalilama. His likes per image have been growing by just using the heart trick, which I will explain in a bit, and he isn’t using my whole strategy. :/

So, how do you gain more Instagram followers each week without spending money?

Tip #1: Instagram wants long videos

You’ve heard everyone say that you need to upload videos. Social networks like Instagram aren’t just competing with other social networks, they are competing with traditional media and even companies like Netflix for your attention.

If you upload videos, you’ll find that you’ll get more engagement than if you just upload images.

But the key isn’t to just upload any video… it ideally needs to be engaging and long.

By long I am not talking about a 60-second video, I’m talking minutes. You’ll have to leverage IGTV for this, but that’s what they want as not enough people are using that feature.

Hence, if you use IGTV, they’ll push your video more.

That way when someone is watching a 5-minute video you just posted, they’ll be able to watch the first 60 seconds on their feed and then they’ll be pushed over to IGTV.

All you have to do is upload the video to IGTV and select the “post a preview” option.

What this does is, it uploads the video to IGTV and then also promotes the video through your feed.

Just look at this video that I only posted on IGTV.

It had 236 views before writing this blog post.

When I posted that video, I had 9,078 followers, which means I had an engagement rate of 2.59%.

Now if you look at this video that I posted…

It had 2,971 views before writing this blog post.

When I posted that video I had 21,047 followers, which means I had an engagement rate of 14.11%.

What’s crazy is, that one simple change increased my video engagement by 444%.

Tip #2: Ask and you will receive

Instagram’s algorithm is simple… the more views and likes your videos and images receive, the more people will see them, which increases engagement and your follower count over time.

There’s not too much more to the algorithm.

Of course, they are looking at things like what percentage of your followers actually engage… but still, the algorithm from a conceptual standpoint is simple.

So, have you thought about asking for people to “like” your image?

Now with Instagram, people are using it via their cell phone so it’s more of a “double tap” than a like… but you get the point.

On average, when I post an image on Instagram I can generate 945.6 likes.

Here’s an example of one of those images:

And as you can see from the engagement, that one did better than most of my images as it has over 1,000 likes.

Plus, the messaging resonates with a lot of people.

But here is one that is simple…

I just asked people to “double tap” if they need to improve their video skills.

It didn’t take much creativity to come up with that image and it received 1,441 likes. In other words, it produced 51.96% more engagement.

You should give it a try… I tend to use this tactic a few times a month and it works really well.

Just be careful though, if you use it every day or every week, people will get sick of it and it will stop working. Hence, I only use it a few times a month max.

Tip #3: Go live

Did I already mention that Instagram is competing with television networks and Netflix?

Because of that, what kind of content do you think they want more of?

Well, yes they want more video content, but we already talked about that.

They want more live content.

Think… reality TV.

Now the live content you produce doesn’t have to be like Keeping up with the Kardashians… they just want live content that people are looking forward to viewing.

You know how you will tune into shows like American Idol or the latest soccer or football match because it’s live and you want to see what’s happening in real time? That’s the effect Instagram is hoping for with live content.

Now, when you go live, Instagram is promoting it heavily so you’ll get more viewers. It doesn’t matter what you talk about… they just want to see more people go live.

Every time I go live, I am able to get at least 1,000 views. Just look at the live I just did…

In the first 6 hours, it’s already received 718 views and I did this live session on a Sunday during non-peak hours. Within the first 24 hours, it will easily surpass 1000 views.

In other words, go live! It’s a simple and quick way to grow your following count. Ideally, you should be going live on a weekly basis.

Heck, you can’t go live too much… feel free to go live daily.

Tip #4: Respond to comments

This one is simple, but no one really does it.

Social networks are supposed to be social. That means you should participate.

And no, I am not talking about just liking other images and viewing videos. I’m talking about engaging with people and talking to them.

So, when you like something that someone else posts, leave a comment.

And when someone leaves a comment on one of your posts… what do you think you should do?

You should respond to them with a comment.

Now, let’s look at some of my posts for a minute. You’ll see decent engagement, but more so, you’ll see me being very active.

Just look at all of my responses.

By engaging with people, you’re more likely to build a relationship with these individuals, which makes it more likely that they will back and continually engage with your posts.

Tip #5: The heart trick

Alright, are you ready for the heart trick? You know, the one Dhavalilama has been using to boost his like count by 300%.

The concept is simple, but it will take a bit of finesse to implement.

A part of Instagram’s algorithm is how much engagement you get from other Instagram users within the first hour of you posting anything.

Now, I’ve done a lot of tests with this… if you can get Instagram users who have more followers than you to like your image or video when it first goes live you’ll find that your content is much more likely to show up on the discovery page.

From a lot of testing, here’s what seems to be the most effective:

  • Get people with larger following accounts to like your image or video within the first hour it comes out.
  • Ask them to not like anything else within that hour. We’ve found that if they like too many images or videos it doesn’t work.
  • And if they are feeling extra generous, have them leave a comment.

The heart trick isn’t that complex, but it is hard to implement because you have to convince users who are more popular than you to like your content right when you publish.

And ideally, you need 6 people who have large accounts (the bigger the better), for this to work extremely well.

Tip #6: Create multiple stories each day

What do Tai Lopez, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Grant Cardone have in common?

Well, other than the fact that they all have over a million Instagram followers…

They all post a ton of stories per day.

And when I mean a ton, sometimes they are posting over 20 stories a day… literally.

The more stories you post, the more engagement you’ll create, which will lead to more followers.

Just look at the stats from the stories I just posted:

I can generate over 1,000 views within 8 hours of posting a story and generally in the range of 1,600 to 2,000 views within 24 hours.

The same story 23 hours later received 1870 views.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to maximize stories:

  1. Don’t post all of your stories at once, spread them out throughout the day. This will cause people to keep coming back and engaging with your profile.
  2. Use a combination of both images and videos within your stories. Overall, you’ll find that videos create more engagement.
  3. The more stories you publish, the better off you are.
  4. Add polls to your stories, this also helps boost engagement.

Tip #7: Quality matters

Have you noticed that some images get more likes than others? Or certain videos get more engagement?

Instagram is a visual social network. So the visual part is important… you want your images and videos to look great no matter what.

Now, they don’t have to be perfect, but you do want to make sure you are posting images that people enjoy.

Here’s what I mean…

When you look at my profile, you’ll see a ton of images of me that contain quotes.

Some of those images perform really well, while others don’t. For example, every time I post a quote using this image template…

It gets 21.4% less engagement then when I use this template…

Keep track of what your followers like and don’t like. Post more of what they like and stop posting the stuff that has low engagement.

Tip #8: Test, test, test

Speaking of posting more of what your followers like and less of what they don’t, you need to constantly test.

Even though quality matters, when you are testing you shouldn’t aim for perfection. Just aim for speed.

Once you find something that people like, do more of it.

For example, I ask people to double tap as I talked about in tip number 2 because I learned it through testing.

Here are some other things I’ve learned through testing:

  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – people prefer clean images that are simple.
  • Use bright colors – images that are darker, such as night photography don’t perform as well.
  • Switch things up – if you do the same thing every week you’ll find your engagement starting to drop.
  • People want to get to know you – they don’t want to get to know the Photoshop version of you. Be realistic and personal. Connect with your followers.
  • Filters don’t matter – don’t waste too much time modifying or adjusting your images. Little things like filters don’t make the biggest difference.
  • Hashtags aren’t game changing – I know everyone says you have to use hashtags and you should here and there… but they aren’t game-changing. So don’t spam and use 20 hashtags per image you post. And when you do use them, pick relevant and popular ones. You can use Ubersuggest to figure out what keywords are popular.
  • Use Instagram analytics – it tells you when your followers are online so you know when to post. If you post when they are online you’ll get much more engagement.

A good example of a test I’ve run is when I post on my feed. As you can see from my stats…

My followers are most likely to be on Instagram at 9am. So I try to post around that time, which has helped me get 8.41% more likes per image.

Every little bit adds up!

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend money on ads to grow your Instagram following. If you follow the tips above, you’ll do well and find that you can grow your weekly following count by over 1,000 net new followers each week.

Now, I know you may not want to use Instagram because it doesn’t have your “ideal” audience, but you can drive conversions from Instagram.

For example, when I went live on Instagram and I told the audience to check out my ad agency Neil Patel Digital, I was able to generate 2 leads.

Neither of the leads were ideal customers, but it is a numbers game. If I continually do it I will be able to generate clients.

In the past, I have closed 3 deals from Instagram… one paid $120,000, the other paid $1,000,000, and the last paid $300,000.

They were all consulting arrangements, so I had substantial costs associated with the revenue, but it shows that Instagram does work.

Heck, if it didn’t, I wouldn’t be back on Instagram again (this is my 3rd profile, I no longer use the other 2).

You can also use the swipe up feature to drive people to your site and this will help you generate leads and sales.

So, what do you think about Instagram? Are you using it on a daily basis?

The post How I Gain 1,260 Instagram Followers Per Week appeared first on Neil Patel.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

When you think about SEO and what’s changed over the last 5 years, what comes to your mind?

Chances are, it’s something related to how it’s harder to get rankings on Google.

But why has it gotten harder to get more organic traffic?

Well, if you ask most SEOs, they’ll say it’s because Google has created a much more complex algorithm.

They look at factors like page speed, brand queries, and hundreds of other factors that it may have not been placing much emphasis on in the past.

But that’s only half the story.

The reason SEO has gotten harder is only partially related to Google’s algorithm changes.

Here’s what most SEOs aren’t talking about that you need to pay attention to because this will show you the future of SEO.

Google’s ever-changing layout

When you perform a Google search, what do you see?

Some organic listings and some paid results, right?

And that’s what Google has shown for years. Much hasn’t changed from its core concept.

But over the years, they have continually made small layout tweaks which have added up to big changes.

Let’s look at Google’s layout changes over the past few years… lucky for us, Orbit Media performed random Google searches in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and compared them to Google’s current layout for us.

The big differences from 2013 versus 2019 are:

  • The first organic listing is drastically pushed down
  • The ads used to be clearly identified through design elements, but now they blend in more.

Now let’s look at 2014 versus 2019:

And 2015 versus 2019:

The big trend is that the organic search results have been drastically pushed down below the fold. Roughly by 3.3X.

That’s a huge difference!

A listing these days may have a map, elements from their knowledge graph, more videos and images, and whatever else Google feels their users may want.

Another big trend is that there are now featured snippets. Although these featured snippets can drive traffic to your site, they also provide the searcher with the answer they are looking for without having to click through to your site.

Just perform a search for the largest tree in the world…

Sure, I could click through over to livescience.com to get the answer, but why? Google gives it to me right then and there.

With organic listings being pushed down, and Google answering a portion of people’s questions without them even needing to click through, this means organic listings will get fewer clicks over time.

And it’s not stopping there

Let me ask you a question…

How many organic listings are on the first page?

10, right?

Well, that’s what we are used to, but when’s the last time you actually counted?

Google’s dumped 5.5% of organic first page listings. Yes, the first page does have 10 listings a lot of the time, but not as often now.

Here’s a graph that’ll show you the change:

18%!! That’s the percentage of first page listings with less than 10 organic results.

What’s crazy is it used to be 2%. That’s a huge jump.

So, what else is Google testing with their layout?

This is a small test that they are doing with their layout, in which some results may not have any listings.

But Google did report that was a glitch. The page was not supposed to contain any organic listings, but at the same time, it was supposed to contain no paid listings either.

And over time you should continually expect Google to run more layout experiments and make more permanent changes.

Now before we get into the future of SEO, let’s get one thing straight.

Google is a publicly traded company. Sure, their goal is to create an amazing product, but they have to make money at the same time.

You can’t blame them for making changes that increase their ad revenues.

Yes, you may claim that this is creating a terrible experience for users, but is it really? If it was, people would switch to Bing or any of the other alternative search engines out there.

I still use Google every day. Yes, it may be harder to get clicks organically, but as a user, they’ve created an amazing experience.

The future of SEO

Google doesn’t just make changes to their layout blindly. They run experiments, they survey users, they try to figure out what searchers want and provide it.

Based on the layout changes they have made over the years, you can make a few assumptions:

  1. More rich snippets – people want the answers to their problems as quickly as possible. You’ll see more versions and variations of rich snippets integrated within future layouts as this provides searches with their answers faster.
  2. Less clicks to your site because of voice search – according to Comscore, 50% of searches will be voice searches by 2020. Don’t expect people to go to your site because of voice search.
  3. People are trained to ignore ads – no matter how much Google pushes the first organic listing below the fold, people are trained to ignore ads. No matter how much Google blends them in, most people tend to click on organic listings.
  4. 43.9% of the world still hasn’t come online – we all know Google is the dominant global search engine. But only 56.1% of the world’s population has Internet access. As more people come online, more people will use Google as their search engine, which means more people to click on your organic listings.

In other words, SEO isn’t dead and it is still an amazing channel. Just look at my traffic stats over the last 31 days:

Now of those 4,362,165 million monthly visits, guess how many come from search engines like Google?

A whopping 2,343,362 million visits.

In other words, SEO makes up 53.71% of my traffic. That’s a ton of traffic.

And even with Google’s continual changes, you would expect my traffic to be lower, but it isn’t… it’s gone up.

A year ago, I was generating 1,088,251 visits a month from Google. It’s now gone up to 2,343,362 even though Google’s algorithm has continually gotten harder and organic results are continually being pushed further below the fold.

But still, you shouldn’t only rely on SEO

I love Google and even though there is a future for SEO, you shouldn’t rely on it. No matter how good you are at SEO, it doesn’t guarantee success.

Let’s look at a company that you are familiar with… Airbnb.

Did you know that Airbnb didn’t come up with the concept of renting out your house or rooms in your house?

Can you guess who it was?

It was VRBO and they came up with that model 13 years before Airbnb did.

But here’s what’s interesting… who do you think wins when it comes to SEO?

Shockingly, it’s VRBO.

VRBO crushes Airbnb when it comes to Google rankings and they have for a very long time. Here are just a few examples of keywords VRBO ranks for that Airbnb doesn’t:

  • hilton head rentals
  • ocean city maryland rentals
  • cape cod rentals
  • cabin rentals
  • vacation homes
  • vacation rentals
  • vacation home rentals

Airbnb does rank for organic keywords as well, but most of them are brand related.

They crushed their competition without relying on SEO and they were 13 years late when it came to entering the market.

So how did Airbnb win? Well, the main way was they built a better product.

But in addition to that, you focused on an omnichannel approach. From SEO to PPC to advertising on TV screens in airplanes, they tried all of the major channels out there.

Yes, you need to do SEO, but you can’t rely on it as your only source of traffic or income. Diversify, not because of Google, but because you can’t control consumer behavior.

People may not prefer to use search engines in the future, they may want something else, which means you will have to adapt.

Plus you can no longer build a big business through one channel.

Yes, Facebook did grow through referrals. Quora did grow through SEO. Dropbox grew through social media… but those circumstances don’t exist anymore. What worked for these old companies won’t work for you.

You have to leverage all channels to do well in today’s market.

Conclusion

Google may be making changes that you don’t like as a marketer or business owner, but that doesn’t mean SEO is dead.

You can see it from my own traffic stats. You can still grow your traffic, even with Google’s ever-changing algorithm.

Don’t worry about the future because you won’t be able to always predict it or even prevent the inevitable.

The only real solution is to take an omnichannel approach so that you aren’t relying on any one channel.

What do you think about Google’s current layout?

The post How Google’s New Layout Predicts the Future of SEO appeared first on Neil Patel.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I have a question for you…

How do you figure out what you should blog about?

If I had to take a guess, you probably come up with ideas based on one of two strategies.

The first is to use tools like Ubersuggest to come up with a list of keywords.

But once you find popular keywords, you have to brainstorm topic and titles ideas.

What a drag, right?  

Now, the second way you probably come up with ideas is by using tools like Buzzsumo.

You type in a keyword and it shows you the most popular blog posts that have performed well in the past based on social shares.

But there’s an issue… actually a few issues:

  1. Buzzsumo only shows you 10 ideas… unless you pay them $99 a month.
  2. And just because a blog post has a ton of social shares, it doesn’t mean it will get consistent traffic like you would through SEO. Social shares typically provide a boost in traffic for only a few days and that’s it.
  3. Tools like Ubersuggest show you popular keywords, but it’s not easy to come up with titles based on those keywords.

There must be a better way to find topics you should blog about, right?

There will be in 30 days with your help!

Content marketing made simple

A few weeks ago I made an upgrade to Ubersuggest: I added a free backlink checker called Backlinks.

But why stop there?

I now plan to release a new feature on Ubersuggest that will provide data similar to what you would find on Buzzsumo, but I need your help to do so.

Let’s say you are interested in creating content that gets a lot of traffic.

What’s the process you use?

Well, you probably head over to Ubersuggest and type in a keyword. You’ll see a report that looks something like this:

You then pick a few keywords and create articles about them. Now sure, at least with this approach you are writing content about keywords that have decent search volume.

But what about the title?

Here’s an interesting stat for you… 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will click through and read the rest of your article.

So how do you come up with that title or headline? One that grabs attention.

What if I made that easy for you?

What do you think of the idea of seeing a list of blog articles that have done well anytime you type in a keyword into Ubersuggest? Something that looks like this.

*The screenshot has fake data… the real version would show real data with real-time results.

It would list out all of the articles that people have written in the past that contain the keywords you researched in both the title and meta description.

The results would then be sorted by:

  1. Social shares – which content got the most shares on social sites like Facebook and Pinterest.
  2. Estimated visits – how many visits is each article receiving from Google? And what are the keywords that each article ranks for?
  3. Backlinks – how many people are linking to each article? What are the URLs, their domain score, and even page score?

What if I showed you all of that in this “Content Ideas” report that I’m going to add to Ubersuggest?

Here are some more screenshots that’ll help describe what I am trying to create for you… this one shows keywords that a blog post ranks for.

And here is one that shows the web pages linking to a blog post.

Would it help you come up with better content topics to write about?

Why should you want this new Ubersuggest report?

When you write any type of content, as a marketer, you want to ensure that it gets the most amount of traffic.

The current tools will either show you how many social shares a similar article received in the past or how people shared content with specific keywords.

But that’s the problem… you aren’t presented with enough data, which means you are more likely to write content that doesn’t perform well.

See, social algorithms are much harder than they were in the past, which means you probably won’t get as many social shares as some of the other articles that have done well.

And SEO is also harder than what it was in the past, which means it won’t be as easy to get rankings.

By seeing content broken down by social share count, estimated visits (organic monthly Google traffic), and backlinks you will have the data you need to pick the right topic to write about. Because if you are picking topics that have a lot of all 3, the chances are that the topic is worth writing about and will do well.

Social shares will provide you that quick influx of traffic at the beginning. Backlinks will help you with referral traffic and over time help you boost your search engine rankings. And estimated visits shows you which keywords to focus on for that article.

And best of all, you’ll see over 100 content (topic) ideas so you’ll have a lot to choose from. I don’t know how long it will take to show you 100 ideas per keywords, but I do know I can do it well under 60 seconds. 🙂

Competitor analysis

I don’t know if you knew this but I already have half of what you can get from Buzzsumo built into Ubersuggest. This part is already live.

Did you know that you can enter a URL into Ubersuggest?

Then when you click on the “Top Pages” navigational button you can then see a list of all of the top articles and pages on your competitor’s site.

The results are broken down based on estimated visits a page receives from Google on a monthly basis, the backlink count, and the number of social shares each page has.

Just click “view all” underestimated visits and you will see all of the top keywords that drive traffic to that page.

And under backlinks, if you click “view all” you can see all of the sites linking to that page.

Conclusion

What do you think of this new content ideas report that I am trying to create?

In other words, something similar to Buzzsumo, but I will show you more results as well as show you who is linking to each of those articles and how many visits each article is generating from Google each month?

My goal is to make it easier to find ideas for your next blog post. And of course, increase the odds of you creating content that actually gets traffic and backlinks.

So, what do you think, should I release this free feature within the next 30 days?

And if you think I should do it, what other features would you want me to release?

The post How to Generate 100 Content Ideas in 60 Seconds (Seriously) appeared first on Neil Patel.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Do you know what the number one email request I get is?

Come on, take a guess. What do you think it is?

Ok, its people asking me for money.

But, do you know what the second most common email request I get is?

Companies asking me to rank them number 1 on Google for a specific term.

And I have to say, it’s a big waste of time for you to focus all of your energy on ranking number 1 on Google for a specific term or even a handful of terms.

Just take a look at my site… here’s my Google traffic over the last 31 days:

As you can see from the graph, I’m generating 2,375,455 organic visits from search engines each month.

And can you guess how many keywords I’m tracking when it comes to my rankings?

A big fat ZERO!

I’m not saying I don’t do SEO, I’m saying I don’t focus on rankings.

Can you increase your search traffic without tracking rankings?

The short answer is yes.

As you saw from the graph above, I’m getting over 2 million visits from organic search each month. If you look back a year, I was getting 970,459 visitors a month from search.

In other words, I was able to grow my organic search traffic by 144% in roughly 12 months. That’s not too shabby considering I don’t focus on any one particular keyword.

So why don’t I focus on specific keywords or track my rankings?

Number 1 doesn’t guarantee the most clicks

Ahrefs recently did a study where they showed how being number 1 doesn’t guarantee the greatest number of clicks.

The number 1 listing gets the majority of the traffic only 49% of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather be number 1 than number 2, but getting there doesn’t guarantee the most amount of traffic.

And over time it’s just going to get worse.

Just look at how SERP listing pages looked in 2014.

Now let’s look at how SERP listings look today.

What are the big differences that you see?

  1. Paid listings blend in – paid listings aren’t as clearly defined as they used to be. In other words, they blend in, which helps ads generate a higher percentage of the clicks.
  2. Localized listings can be ads – the first listing in the localized listing is also paid.
  3. The right side no longer has ads – most of the elements on the right side, when you click on them, drive you to perform another Google search.
  4. Less organic listings – the homepage only has 9 organic listings if you exclude the localized listings.
  5. Organic results are pushed down – not only do the paid and local listings show first, but news results are also in-between the organic results. This causes the 3rd, 4th, 5th… organic result to get fewer clicks.

The common trend is people are focusing on the paid ads more than the organic listings. And organic listings are no longer guaranteed to be as high up as they once were.

Just look at this eye tracking study of a Google SERPs result.

It clearly shows how the paid ads have the majority of the attention.

So, does this mean you should give up?

No, I am not trying to paint a picture of how you shouldn’t try to rank high on Google or that SEO is useless. Because although Google keeps adjusting the layout of their SERPs page, it’s still the most popular site in the world.

Commanding 57.34 billion visits a month means… you have no choice but to do SEO!

But you shouldn’t waste your time thinking about each and every change Google is making because it’s out of your control.

Just look at how many algorithm changes they made in the last 12 months. It’s too hard to keep up with each change or predict Google’s next move. That’s why I take a different approach to get ahead of Google’s upcoming algorithm changes.

I focus on user experience.

What should you do?

You aren’t going to be able to control your rankings for every single one of your keywords… especially if you are doing SEO the right way.

The majority of your traffic should be coming from long tail phrases. Just look at my blog, I rank for 477,000 keywords.

That’s far too many keywords to track on a regular basis.

I focus on 3 things:

  1. Create an amazing user experience – Google doesn’t want to rank sites at the top that are the “best optimized.” They want to rank the site that users love the most at the top. So, focus on providing that and, in the long run, you should rank higher.
  2. Overall organic traffic growth – keywords have trends and they change in popularity over time. Instead of focusing on a handful of keywords or even a few hundred, I just focus on increasing my overall organic traffic. As long as it keeps climbing quarter over quarter, I’m happy.
  3. Conversion rate – more traffic doesn’t guarantee more sales. I continually optimize my conversion rates so that each additional organic visitor I get has a higher chance to convert into a customer.

And I know I said I focus on 3 things, which is true… but every once in a while I focus on one more thing. It’s updating my old content.

If I had to add in a 4th, it would be updating my old content. Even though I know SEO fairly well, there is no guarantee the even my traffic keeps going up and to the right.

Just like you, my traffic drops every once in a while.

It sucks when your traffic just drops 6.94% in a week and it is scary when that trend continues. But when it does happen, follow this and you can reverse the trend of your declining traffic.

Which strategy should you follow?

There are a few SEO strategies I use to get more traffic that still work well today. If you follow them, you should get more traffic over time:

  1. Globalization – search isn’t too competitive outside of English. That is changing fast though, so I would follow these globalization tips as soon as possible.
  2. Off-page SEO – it still impacts rankings significantly and you can’t ignore it. Here are 6 off-page strategies you should follow.
  3. Link building – here’s one of my favorite strategies for link building… it works really well. Even if you have a new site and no one knows who you are, you will be able to build links using it.
  4. Land and expand – you already rank for terms on Google. This strategy will allow you to turn one ranking into hundreds.
  5. Brand building – Google wants to rank brands higher than non-brands. Follow this as it will help you build a brand.

There are tons of other tactics and strategies that people are using, but the 5 main ones I mentioned above still work well in today’s competitive search landscape.

Conclusion

Yes, you want to continually improve your search traffic over time, but obsessing over whether or not a keyword is ranking number 1 doesn’t mean much.

SEO has moved to a long-tail strategy. The goal isn’t to rank for one keyword, or even a hundred or a thousand… the goal is to rank for hundreds of thousands if not millions of keywords over time.

And as long as that trend is continually going up and to the right, you’re fine.

One way to see if things are going directionally right is to use Ubersuggest. When you put in your domain, you’ll see a chart that looks something like this:

You want the total number of keywords to increase over time and you want the small green bar to continually go up over time as that means a higher portion of your listings are moving up in Google.

So, are you going to continue focusing on rankings?

The post Why You Shouldn’t Try to Rank #1 on Google appeared first on Neil Patel.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

You already know it’s harder to get traffic from the social web unless you spend money on ads.

There’s nothing new with that fact… just look at the graph above: It breaks down how the average number of social shares per blog post has been dying year over year.

But the reality is you can’t ignore platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube or any other new contender that comes out and gains traction.

These social sites command so much traffic, that we have no choice but to be on them.

Just look at the Similar Web numbers for Facebook… they get an estimated 19.2 billion visits a month.

That’s ridiculous! And it’s not just Facebook either… according to Similar Web, all of the big platforms get tons of traffic:

  • LinkedIn – 917 million visitors a month
  • Twitter – 3.62 billion visitors a month
  • YouTube – 22.77 billion visitors a month
  • Instagram – 2.86 billion visitors a month

In other words, whether you like their algorithm tweaks or not, you have no choice but to be on these platforms as they attract so many eyeballs.

So, what should you do with your organic social reach? How should you combat their algorithms so you can generate a positive ROI as their ad prices keep going up?

Well, I surveyed 183 companies that generate at least 5 million dollars in revenue a year all the way up to $1.7 billion to show you where social media is headed and what you should do to succeed in the landscape.

Let’s dive into the data…

Expect less traffic from the social web, even if you pay for it

Look at the graph below. What do you see?

Since 2015, the amount of shares a blog post receives from the social web has been declining. One of the large reasons for social sites to clamp down on organic reach is that that makes it so you need to spend money to get the reach that you were once used to and relied upon to generate traffic.

Now let’s look at the percentage of digital ad spend going towards social media sites.

Over time it has increased, and you’ll notice that things really started to ramp up in 2016.

An interesting fact is that in the United States during mid-2017, Facebook had more advertisers than inventory. In other words, the demand was higher than the supply which caused CPM and CPC rates to increase.

But similar to the game of cat and mouse SEOs play with Google, marketers also play that game with social networks. In recent years, marketers have figured out how to reverse the trend of their dying organic reach.

2017 was a low point, but since then marketers have figured out a way to boost organic social traffic.

It won’t last forever… but can you guess how?

Don’t expect your employees to help

Well, it’s not by asking your employees to share your content.

Roughly 74% of the companies we surveyed asked their employees to share their content. Might as well get those extra likes and comments, right?

I know I used to do it.

But then I stopped because the majority of my employees didn’t want to share the content. And it’s not just my companies, other companies experienced the same thing.

In other words, the first few times you ask your team members to share, they’ll do it. After a while, they’ll ignore you.

So how are marketers boosting their organic reach?

You have to use chatbots

Here’s how much time companies are spending on each form of social media content.

As you can see, everyone loves posting images and text-based updates because they are easy to post.

But they don’t produce the best engagement. It’s actually live video and other forms of video.

Social platforms are trying to compete with television networks and they are even competing with platforms like Netflix.

So, if you want the most engagement you have to feed into their goals. If you start producing live video or even recorded video, you’ll find that you can boost your engagement. What this will do is get more of your followers engaged so when you post other forms of content they’ll be a higher probability that the content will be seen.

The other reason videos work so well is because they keep people on these social platforms versus driving people back to your site.

But of course, you want your followers to go back to your site… and you can do that through chatbots.

As you can see, 41% of the companies reported that chatbots (also knowns as messenger bots for social sites) provided their biggest traffic gains.

In other words, if you want to drive people from social sites like Facebook, you’ll have to start using messenger bots like Mobile Monkey.

The chances are you aren’t using messenger bots yet, but they are super effective. Just follow this guide and it will walk you through setting them up.

Now, not every social network has messenger bots, but over time you’ll see this change.

You’ll have to start expanding globally

I’ve been blogging a lot about global expansion from an SEO perspective, but the same goes from a social media perspective as well.

The chart above clearly shows how people are now getting traffic from regions where English wasn’t the native language.

And as companies noticed that trend, they also started posting their social content in multiple languages.

You’ll see a trend of this continuing over the next few years in which companies will be leveraging globalization as social marketing campaigns in non-English speaking countries in most cases is more profitable.

If you want the most out of your organic social traffic and paid ads you should consider posting content in multiple languages.

Some social networks like Facebook give great targeting options where you can pick which regions you want to show your content in.

For other platforms like Twitter and Instagram, this doesn’t exist yet.

When you also look at it from an advertising perspective, ads are expensive in regions like the United States, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany… but they aren’t as costly in most parts of Latin America and Asia.

Now let’s look at social media from a sales perspective.

Here’s how to maximize your social media revenue

Similar to content marketing, don’t expect social media visitors to convert right when they land on your site.

On average, a social media visitor will convert after 3 visits.

That means you are going to have to focus on getting people to continue to come back to your site if you want more sales.

In other words, you’ll have to play the long game.

The simplest way to do this is to remarket your social visitors. But there are other solutions as well that you aren’t currently using.

You can use a combination of the methods above. You’ll find that one won’t be enough and you’ll have to combine a handful of methods, including SMS.

You’re probably not using SMS marketing yet, but did you know that when I send SMS messages my response rates are 68%?!

That’s crazy high!

I’m not talking about opens, I am talking about responses!

For email, you can use tools like Hello Bar and for push notifications, you can use tools like Subscribers.

But there are multiple ways to boost your sales from social media, including focusing on specific content types.

Did you know that if you leverage chatbots (messenger bots) and post video-based content you’ll generate more sales on average than if you just posted status updates?

I know that sounds counterintuitive as it is easier to drive people to your site using status updates than to create a video, but you have to consider that social algorithms favor video.

You can also optimize your sales by picking specific social networks

Sales is a complicated formula. There’s more to growing your revenue than just focusing on specific types of content social media sites love and optimizing your landing pages.

To get a full picture, you also have to look at the first touch and last touch sales.

First touch sales are the traffic source that people first found you from. They don’t necessarily convert right then and there, but it’s the way they first found you.

It’s no shocker, but Facebook is the leader when it comes to first touch sales.

Now let’s look at last touch sales, which is where a visitor comes from right before they convert. Remember, someone may have found your site from Facebook, but they may not convert right away.

Sure, Facebook is still the winner, but YouTube is a close second and, shockingly, WhatsApp is in 3rd place.

It makes sense as texting has an extremely high open and click rate. I know you aren’t using WhatsApp for your business yet because that’s what the data shows, but you should check out their business API.

Conclusion

Over the upcoming years, you can assume social algorithms are going to get tougher from both an organic and paid perspective.

Social media companies are facing heavy governmental pressure due to fake news, privacy concerns, and issues related to political campaigns.

But that doesn’t mean you can ignore the social web or stop using it. It’s not dying and it is here to stay.

The data shows social media is on the rise. Sure, these sites aren’t growing at a rapid pace anymore but that’s due to the majority of the world already being on one of these platforms if not a few of them.

They are effective because people trust what they see on these sites and that should continually increase as they fix issues like fake news.

As long as you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to maximize your social media traffic and revenue even when the algorithms change in ways that don’t favor you.

So how are you maximizing your social media traffic?

PS: If you want to know where content marketing is heading, check this out.

The post 17 Charts That Show Where Social Media is Heading appeared first on Neil Patel.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview