Tag Archive | "Hack"

SearchCap: Google algorithm updates, right-to-be-forgotten & knowledge graph hack

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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SearchCap: Google hack removal, Allo goes goodbye & responsive search ads

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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SearchCap: Google mobile design, Google News breaks RSS feeds & Baidu hack

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google mobile design, Google News breaks RSS feeds & Baidu hack appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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How to Optimize Content for Both Search and Social (Plus, a Headline Hack that Strikes the Balance)

"The best content doesn’t win. The best promoted content wins." – Andy Crestodina

It’s as if they live in different countries: Searchlandia and Socialstan.

Search optimizers and social media marketers don’t get together a whole lot, at least not in the same piece of content. But there’s no reason they can’t peacefully coexist in one article, in one URL.

Imagine. One topic, one message, united in quality, but with two separate and equally powerful sources of traffic: search and social.

Is it possible? Can one post be optimized for both?

Yes. And when it happens, the traffic is greater than the sum of its channels.

Um. Actually, the traffic is equal to the sum of its channels. But we’re not here to do math. We’re here to create the right type of content that gets traction everywhere.

Optimizing for search

Let’s start with a rundown of search optimization.

Our goal here is to indicate relevance, not trick a robot.

After you’ve identified a target keyword phrase:

Use the phrase in highly visible places

Those places are the title, header, meta description, and body text (of course). Yes, the tiny, barely visible places are nice too — such as alt text and the file names of images — but they’re not as important as those primary spots.

If this isn’t obvious, just ask yourself:

If you were building a new search engine today, would an image file name be a major search-ranking factor?

Probably not.

Include words and phrases semantically connected to your phrase

You see words and phrases semantically connected to your phrase everywhere when you use search engines.

They’re suggested in the search box as you type. They’re in the “related phrases” at the bottom of the search results page. They’re in the other high-ranking pages.

Now work these words into your copy. This is the key to semantic SEO:

Target the topic, not just the phrase.

Go wide and cover related topics and phrases, so Google has more reasons to believe that your content is relevant.

Answer all the questions related to your topic

Find the questions that are related to your topic and answer them with your content.

You’ll find these questions in Quora, AskThePublic.com, LinkedIn Groups, and even your sent email folder.

Greater depth means a greater likelihood of ranking.

Optimizing for social

You’ve indicated your relevance, gone wide across semantically connected phrases, and gone deep into the answers that your reader is hoping to find.

Now that your content is rankworthy, let’s make sure it’s shareworthy.

We’ll focus on headlines first, since they’re such an important factor in social optimization. They’re critical.

Think of it this way:

Articles don’t get shared, only headlines do.

Our goal here is to trigger a social interaction. The advice below is more about psychology, so it’s a bit less prescriptive and a bit more fun.

Choose unexpected words

You always want to avoid creating boring content. That advice is especially true for social media.

After all, your potential reader is on social media looking to cure their boredom, right? We need to trigger their interest with some unexpected words.

  • Short, simple words will pop off the page.
  • Delightful words will squeak past the other headlines.
  • Direct words will skewer them before they scroll past.
  • Negative words kill it in social media
  • But be careful with long words — the circuitous path through the frontal cortex is too slow

Readers scan quickly, so we need some stopping power. That one, extra word can disarm, charm, and twist their arm.

Pique curiosity

Take a look at the headline below. It was one of the top three most shared headlines on Copyblogger over the last year:

One Skill that Will Take Your Writing from Good to Great

Does it make you wonder what that skill is? Me too. It’s hard not to click on it. And what gets clicked often gets shared.

Headlines that trigger curiosity and fascination are great for social media.

Fascination is one of the two most important qualities of compelling content. What’s the other? You’ll have to click here to find out.

See what I did there?

Add numbers

Here’s another one of the top 10 most shared headlines on Copyblogger in the last year:

21 Juicy Prompts that Inspire Fascinating Content

Numbers in headlines have always correlated with clicks and shares. There are at least two reasons why:

  1. Numbers are a clue that the content is scannable (low investment).
  2. Numerals stand out among letters in a line of text (high prominence). This gives them a big advantage in fast-flowing social streams.

Don’t break your promise

Your headline is a promise. Clickbait is a broken promise, a lie.

Everyone who sees your headline in their social stream does a split-second cost/benefit analysis. They think, “Is this worth the click? Is this worth two seconds of my attention?” The headline’s job is to tell them, “Yes, it’s worth it.”

Be specific. Let the reader know what they’ll get, what they’ll learn, and why it’s important. Give them a reason to stop scrolling. Look closer. Click.

Once they’ve clicked, you’d better keep your promise. Your job now is to meet or exceed their expectations. All the depth you added while optimizing for search will help.

Customize your images

If your content has no featured image, or a weak one, it has less stopping power in social streams.

Two main elements make images more likely to be clicked:

  1. Faces. We are hardwired to look at faces. It’s no wonder you’ll see them on virtually every cover of every magazine in the checkout aisle.
  2. Text. Since your image appears in a social snippet, it’s a chance to make that promise we talked about. It’s a chance to indicate the benefits of clicking. So put a benefit of reading the post (possibly the headline itself) on your image.

YouTubers learned these tactics years ago. Look at any popular YouTube channel and you’re likely to find both faces and text within the images in their custom thumbnails.

Collaborate (a social approach to writing)

If you want someone to share your piece of content, invite them to contribute to it.

An ally in creation is an ally in promotion.

Adding contributor quotes from experts both improve the quality of the piece and increase its social reach. If contributors are invested in an article, of course they’ll share it.

It’s also more fun to make things with collaborators. Content optimized for search includes keywords. Content optimized for social includes people.

The battleground for search and social tension: headlines

Images, answers, contributors, depth … most of the aspects of search and social optimization can easily coexist side-by-side, but there isn’t much interaction between them.

The exception is the headline.

So, how can a headline both indicate relevance for search and trigger emotion for social? Can you satisfy citizens of both countries? Yup.

Here are examples of headlines optimized for both channels:

  • Collaborative Content Marketing: 5 Ways to Make Friends and Rank Like a Champ
  • How to Launch a New Product … and Make Your Mom Proud
  • 10 Competitive Analysis Tools (and Tips for Spying on your Competitors)

Notice that in each example the target keyword phrase is near the beginning. They often use numbers and trigger words. Colons and parentheses allow you to add more benefits and details.

Here’s a template for search-friendly and social-friendly headlines:

keyword + colon + number + specific benefit and/or trigger words

For example:

Website Navigation: 7 Best Practices, Tips, and Warnings

Does it work? Search for “website navigation” and take a look.

A powerful way to attract more readers

Wherever you’re from — the land of search or the land of social — you’ll attract more readers if you optimize for both.

And you’ll push yourself to write better in the process.

The best content doesn’t win. The best promoted content wins.

The post How to Optimize Content for Both Search and Social (Plus, a Headline Hack that Strikes the Balance) appeared first on Copyblogger.


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How to Hack the Amplification Process – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Last month, Rand made a surprise virtual appearance at Full Stack Marketing, part of the Turing Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. He presented a special edition Whiteboard Friday to the audience, and the folks at Stipso who hosted the festival were kind enough to let us share it with you, as well.

Amplifying content to the right audiences is tricky business. It’s easy to hope people will find you organically—particularly if you have really great tools to share—but most of the time, it just doesn’t work out that way. In today’s special-edition Whiteboard Friday, Rand takes an in-depth look at how marketers should be finding the right audiences for their content and tools, effectively hacking the amplification process.

How to Hack the Amplification Process - Whiteboard Friday

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video transcription

Let’s talk about how to hack the amplification process. I see a lot of companies, small and medium businesses, startups that are seeking high growth, even enterprises that are launching products, launching services, and they have this problem. They announce to the world like, “Hey, we’ve just launched.” But there’s nobody listening.

Because of that, you get these giant crickets — giant crickets because my stick figure’s leg is about the same size as them – just going, “Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp.” Nobody is listening.

The problem right here…

is that you might have an amazing product, but when you combine that with a small megaphone that doesn’t reach your audience, you get abysmal adoption.

Solution A:

Look, I see a lot of folks, particularly in the startup, high growth, tech industries thinking like, “Oh, you know what the solution to that is? We need to make the product better.” There’s this mindset mentality that great products will spread virally, and marketing is just for bad products or poor products.

That’s a little crazy in my view. But the process that they therefore use is, “Well, let’s go add some features. We’ll improve the UI/UX, and we’ll push our customers to virally spread for us.”

I won’t argue that this doesn’t work sometimes. I think people point to cases like Google and Slack more recently. They sometimes point to Dropbox. Although, all of those companies, I would argue, had some marketing elements in them that were not just add features and improve UX and make customers do it. But still, I think that mentality, if it works for you, great. But if it’s not working, I’d suggest you try something else.

Solution B:

Another methodology that some folks try is this Solution B I’ve got here. You might say, “Hey, here’s Cindy. She loves our product. Great. Let’s go sell more Cindys on our product.” So that process is very sales driven and sales focused. It’s identify your customer target, find their contact information, and do outreach, whatever outreach might mean. It could mean phone calls. It could mean in-person visits. It usually means email, and LinkedIn is often big for that.

This process can work, and I think if you are a sales heavy, sales focused organization and you have a lot of experience in that area, great, go try it out. If that’s how you want to build your business, terrific.

But I would say that too few folks give this a try. This is an area, this organic amplification that we’re trying to hack here with this Whiteboard Friday today, this is really powerful and has high potential, but it’s a longer, more indirect process. We need to be aware of that when we’re going in, or we can have that slow timed ROI and get cut off by our executive teams, our investors, and our CEO.

Solution C:

So the way that Solution C works is, basically, we identify the folks who are in our audience. They’re potential target customers and people who influence potential target customers. We try and figure out what they consume, what they care about, and then we try and get mentioned, included, visible in the places that they already go to organically.

What’s great about this is it doesn’t cost money. It costs elbow grease. It takes time investment. It takes sweat equity. It doesn’t take direct dollars. Although, you could argue that advertising could go into here and could be a way to scale with dollars or, in your case, pounds.

When we go through this amplification process, what we need to do is identify who our audience are, their influencers, the media and publications, and all the things that they might consume. What will resonate with them? What kinds of messages, content, and branding will resonate? Then we need to test, measure, learn, and improve.

I’ve got some hacks for you. Probably some of you have been through parts of this process or you’re doing it in your day jobs right now. So I have some clever little hacks that I want to share.

Who?

When you’re doing this “who,” trying to figure out like, “Who is my audience? How do I reach them,” well, start with some of these. Try some in-person interviews. Look at surveys. By the way, you can survey your audience, but there’s actually now a process whereby you can identify custom audiences using Google’s audience surveys or SurveyMonkey’s audience features. That will actually let you target folks, specifically across the world, through ad platforms that make you take a survey before you can see content. That can be a very powerful and interesting way to get data.

We’ve used that at Moz ourselves. I did a survey last year, with the help of Mike King from iPullRank, and we got fascinating data about the SEO market from that.

You can also use Facebook ads and Facebook’s audience network to reach potential customers. You can use Google AdWords campaigns. These are usable in two ways. You can use them to identify people who might be in your audience and then market to them directly using advertising. Or you can also use them to reach your audience and then give them a survey so that you can learn more about them and who they are and what they need, what they listen and pay attention to, all that kind of stuff.

Influencers

There are some really great tools here. Followerwonk is one that is run by Moz. There’s actually a great tool that I think is a very impressive competitor to Followerwonk called Klear. It used to be called Twtrland, but they’ve moved to Klear now. I think that’s an impressive tool. I’d urge you to give that a try. It will help you identify influencers, specifically on Twitter. Klear has some Facebook stuff too.

Fanpage Karma, another great tool for finding influencers and influential pages on Facebook specifically and then trying to figure out what other pages people who follow a given page might follow.

Klout and Kred lists, those provide lists of influencers in specific industries and verticals and niches that you can then go identify and do outreach to them.

I actually find that very few people use this, but powerful is going and looking at conferences and event lists and checking out all the speakers. If you see that someone is speaking at an event that you know your audience attends, that’s a great influencer target and potentially someone that you might have missed in these other analyses.

Media and publications

Basically, “What is my audience consuming? If I can figure that out, I can get in front of them with those publications.” I think using Google search is a great starting point.

One advanced search query that very few folks use is the “related query.” So I can type in “related:website.com” and I can see what Google thinks are other sites about that topic or visited by the same people. Pretty cool, actually. You can use this on both domains and pages. So if you see a resource or an article that’s on a journalistic site, on The New York Times, The Guardian, The Observer, or The Independent, you can type “related” that URL and see other articles or other publications that write about those same things. Potentially great for journalist outreach and those kinds of things.

SimilarWeb does something really cool with related sites. I can take a site and kind of hack that process of finding other sites that are visited by that same target audience.

Compass is a tool that I haven’t personally used, but several folks have been recommending to me recently. It’s sort of like SEMrush in that it gives you data, but about ads rather than about keywords. So SEMrush is great for keywords. Compass, give that a try for the ad side. They’ll sort of show you, “Where are my competitors advertising? What ads are they running? What’s resonating?” That kind of stuff.

Then Feedly, as well as Twitter and Facebook fan counts. Feedly will give the you the count of the subscribers for any given blog or RSS feed, so you can get a sense of how popular a given publication might be. Then, of course, you can use Twitter and Facebook statistics for those pages, for that account to figure out how popular those folks are as well.

I’m also a big fan of SimilarWeb for that, for figuring out how a popular a given website is. Please, do not use Alexa, Compete, Quantcast, Hitwise, Nielsen. The data is not good. You’d be better off flipping a coin. No offense, they’re just not good.

What’s going to resonate?

So this is us trying to figure out what type of content that if we could get in front of folks on our own site, on other people’s sites, what kinds of messages, what would work to reach them?

Look, no doubt about it, search is still very powerful. If we know the search terms that people in our audience are looking for and we can rank for those or we can advertise for those, just a direct way to acquire competent, high conversion likely customers.

AdWords is kind of the default, but you can also check out SEMrush and SimilarWeb. SimilarWeb will give you the terms and phrases that are sending traffic to any given website. If you find a competitors’ site, you can plug them in. SEMrush, same story and they’ll also give you a bunch of other keyword options.

Then, I love BuzzSumo. I think everyone in the content marketing world loves BuzzSumo. That will show you content that has performed well around a particular keyword.

You can also check out Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs or Majestic for the top pages to see what are the top performing pages on a given domain.

Finally, trial and error. A lot of stuff, when it comes to content, is going to be you putting things out there, those things failing to resonate, and you learning what your audience does and doesn’t like. There’s no substitute for it. You can learn everything you want from all of these hacks and tools, you’re still going to have to try and have some failure rate. If you’re unwilling to fail, this is not the path for you.

In order to do this effectively, we need to…

Test, measure, learn, and improve.

So hopefully, we’re getting better and better over time. To do that, we need four kinds of analytics.

We want web analytics, like Google Analytics or Omniture, if you’re using that. Product analytics, something like a Mixpanel or a KISSmetrics.

We need some finance analytics, especially if you have a software as a service type product or an ongoing subscription product. My recommendation would be to use Stripe and then something like ProfitWell or Baremetrics on top of Stripe to be able to see all of the data about who’s performing well, what your customer lifetime value is, where you acquired those people, from which channels, etc.

Finally, some search, social, kind of inbound marketing analytics. Moz is fairly good for that. Searchmetrics is another really good choice. We really like TrueSocialMetrics here for the social aspect of getting analytics.

So now you have these hacks. Now you know this process, and I think you can effectively hack the amplification process. I’m very excited to see what you all do, and I hope to be joining you again, next year, at the Turing Festival.

Thanks so much. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Racist Anti-Obama Hack Strikes Google Maps

Where previous Google Maps hacks were arguably playful, this is ugly.

The post Racist Anti-Obama Hack Strikes Google Maps appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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How to Hack a Dominating Domain Name for Your Website

Posted by Cyrus Shepard

It's a familiar story. My first website name came from Go Daddy, found using a hunt-&-peck method, one name at a time. Using a $ 7.99 promo code, if a name wasn’t available I moved on to the next.

Let's step into the modern era.

Each letter of a domain name is big business. In today’s environment, your domain name may appear thousands (or millions) of times daily in Google’s search results. A change in rankings or clickthrough rate of just 1% can make the difference between fortune and bust. Choosing the right name is both an art and a science.

Domain Name Generator

How One Seattle Startup Chose a Name

Recently, a startup that I work with (full disclosure: I’m the part-time Director of Marketing for this company) undertook this naming process. Here’s how it played out:

1. Origins
Before I joined the company, the co-founders paid an upscale branding/advertising agency to help develop a logo and name.

2. Survey 1
A handful of people, including myself, disliked the name. After some feedback from investors, we decided to open the issue back up before launching. We brainstormed for days, went back to original ideas, and then surveyed a group of 40 friends, families and investors using a free service from Survey Monkey.

3. Survey 2
Using the results from Survey 1, we took the top contenders and crafted a 2nd survey, soliciting feedback from 30 top-notch online marketers who were unfamiliar with our concept.

4. Contest
We held a name contest on NameStation. (Good, clever results from the community there. The only drawback is the community is so very small at this point)

5. Clickthrough Rate Test
I took the top 10 contenders from 1-4 and created an Adwords campaign with 10 individual ads. The keywords related to our market. Each ad was identical except for the company name in the title and display URL. The ad led to a generic “coming soon/sign up” page. For $ 100 we generated over 100,000 impressions and measured the CTR for each ad, trying to keep all other variables equal.

Surprisingly, the CTR test resulted in a clear winner: the original name we paid the agency to develop. This cinched it.

The Results:
I present to you PlaceFull.com

PlaceFull Inc

Today, I like the name a lot better. Data has a funny way of doing that. Lessons learned:

  1. You can’t please everyone.
  2. Good names often have negatives. If you had asked me to evaluate “Pinterest” a couple years ago, I would have given you 18 reasons why the name was a miserable choice.
  3. Gather feedback. Data rules. There is no substitution for testing.

Dominating Domains & Science

It stands to reason that certain names perform better in search results than others, and correlation data shows that certain domains tend to perform better than others.

Does Length Really Matter?

Two recent correlation studies, one performed by the Open Algorithm and another in 2011 by SEOmoz support the notion that shorter names are associated with higher search rankings.

Domain Length Correlation

What this data shows is that longer domain names tend to rank lower than their shorter counterparts. (Remember the difference between correlation and causation). Most likely, this is not due to an algorithmic bias, but rather:

  • Older, more established domains tend to be shorter.
  • Long, exact match domains tend be disproportionately owned by spammers.
  • Companies with larger marketing budgets can afford shorter, more desirable names, and also can spend more on content and SEO.
  • Shorter domains are more memorable.

If given the choice, "toothfestiva.com" would make a better choice than "chicagodentistscheduleanappointmentnow.com". As of this writing, both are available.

A-Hyphen-Too-Far

When the perfect domain is already taken, some webmasters resort to hyphenated versions. Is this a good idea? Bill Slawski, the Google patent guru, recently identified a patent that describes how Google might handle hyphenated domains.

… when two, three, or more hyphens are present, this is often an indication that these domain names are associated with companies that are attempting to trick search engines into ranking their web pages more highly.
United States Patent 8,046,350

Takeaway: "chicago-hotdog.com" might pass the mustard, but "best-chicago-hot-dog-cart.com" is going nowhere fast.

Dating Exact Match.com

If you sell “pink widgets”, does it still make sense to use an exact match domain like "pinkwidgets.com"? There’s been a lot of debate over exact match domains over the past year, but the correlation data suggests it’s still a good idea. The most recent SEOmoz study showed a fairly good 0.22 correlation between exact match .com names and higher rankings.

Exact-Match-Domain

Recent Google algorithm changes and concerns about Penguin and over-optimized anchor text have cooled exact match enthusiasm, but a more recent study by the Open Algorithm showed a still respected 0.181 correlation.

Although it’s clear to SEOs that their effectiveness has declined since their heyday, the data shows exact match domains still perform well in search results.

The SEO benefit of partial match domains is less clear. A partial match domain includes part of your keyword without the exact match. (For example, "widgetman.com" is a partial match domain for the keyword phrase "widget seller".)

Although there may be a branding benefit of including a relevant keyword in your name, Mark Collier of the Open Algorithm argues that "having the keyword in some of your domain isn’t very beneficial. It’s either exact match or forget it." Controversial words, for sure.

Regardless, if you become successful, your domain can become an exact match brand, much like Amazon, Facebook and Target.

TLD with Tomato and Lettuce

In early 2013, ICANN plans to introduce 1000s of new domain extensions in addition to the 22 generic TLDs (like .com and .net) already in existence.

For now, .com still rules.

Although correlation data shows very little preference for .com extensions, the public has traditionally embraced the dot com. Companies often start with non-traditional names, such as del.icio.us and bit.ly, only to seek mainstream success with a dot com. Regardless, many webmasters believe the dot com domination won't last forever. My friend Andrew Dumont successfully uses the .me extension, and numerous examples of successful non-.com alternatives are not hard to find:

A few years from now, we might remember .coms as an interesting relic of the early days of the Internet.

For the record, it cost $ 185,000 to apply for a new gTLD. Google applied for 50.

International Domains

If you do business outside the United States, should you use a country code top-level domain such as .de or .uk?

In this case, there’s no one rule that applies to all circumstances. In many cases there may be some ranking and branding advantages to targeting a specific country. The problem is if you want to expand later, it causes a lot of work. Most experts agree that it’s usually best to snag a .com, even if you don't use it right away.

International domains are good for other uses as well. In fact, SEOmoz uses mz.cm, from the country of Cameroon, for its URL shortener.

mz.cm

Note: For history buffs who want to buy a domain from the collapsed Soviet Union, the .SU extension is still available.

The $ 100 Google Ad Test

In the PlaceFull.com example above, we used Google Adwords to test our 10 best candidates in the real world. Using ads that matched our brand message, this allowed us to gauge clickthrough rates and engagement on a massive scale at low cost.

Spending $ 100, we generated over 100,000 impressions on Google's search and display network. The ads led to a public DropBox URL that displayed a generic "Coming Soon" signup page. Each ad was identical except for the first word of the title and the display URL – which represented the name we were testing.

Clickthrough Rate Test

The winning name earned a CTR almost 250% better than the lowest performer, and about 10% higher than the second place winner.

Validating your assumptions early can lead to higher earnings in the future.

Pulling it Together

So, the "ideal" domain is a short, exact-match .com (for now) with no hyphens that's easy to remember, spell, and accurately represents your brand.

Other tips include:

  1. Say the name out loud. After reading your computer monitor all day, make sure your customers don't need to speak Klingon in order to pronounce your business name.
  2. Different cultures are attracted to certain letter combinations, like double letters (apple, zoom) and palindromes. Be sure to experiment.
  3. Domains that start with letters early in the alphabet are often listed higher in directories, lists of links, sponsor pages and so on. As links higher up on a page general carry more weight, domains like "aadvarkhunter.com" might earn marginally more link juice than "quiglyfy.com"
  4. Even if the domain is available, take precaution so you don't sued for using it. For folks in the United States, run the name through the Patent and Trademark Office's search system to root out any potential conflicts. Europeans can search OHIM.

17 Super Useful Domain Tools

No more hunt and peck! For savvy marketers, the days of typing single domains into a search box are long gone. Below is a list of my favorite domain hunting tools.

Name Generators

1. LeanDomainSearch

Dead simple, fast and intuitive. Helps you quickly find names you never would have considered.

Lean Domain Search

2. NameStation.com

This premium set of tools offers both a free and paid level of membership. The paid level is well worth the cost, and the small community of human idea generators can offer professional naming ideas for a fee.

NameStation 

3. Bustaname.com 

The standard. Great when you already have a few ideas, and want to quickly see what’s available.

Bustaname

4. Wordoid.com

The made-up word generator.

Wordoid

5. Domai.nr

Combines unique TLDs to generate names like elbo.ws and thehipsterho.me.

domain.re

6. Impossibility.org

Is this one of the best domain name generators ever?

impossibility.org

7. Panabee.com

Combines Panda and Bee. Get it? A great name-combining tool.

panabee.com

8. DomainNameSoup.com

So many tools here, you could get lost for days.

domainnamesoup.com

9. Nameboy.com

Solid, all-around domain tool.

nameboy.com

10. Domainsbot.com

Another well-rounded tool. Also checks Facebook and Twitter availability.

domainsbot.com

11. Domize.com

Fast and easy domain suggestions.

domize.com
 

Auctions & Premium Domains

You know you’ve made it in the online marketing world when you can afford to spend more than $ 11 on a domain. Seriously, it drives me crazy to hear about startup founders (with funding!) still limiting themselves to available domains. Great after-market names are available at any price range, often starting as low as $ 25.

Yes, there are still great domains out there unregistered, but if you’re a million dollar company launching a new venture, why not expand your horizons?

12. Sedo.com

Super large collection of premium domains. In the screenshot below, the name "firstrankseo.com" is available for $ 60.

13. NameCore.com

Hand selected premium domains. 

namecore.com

14. BuyDomains.com

Listing over 4,000,000 premium domains.

buydomains.com

Expired Domains in 3… 2… 1…

Great opportunities can often be found buying recently expired domains. Some of these are well-aged domains with hard to find keywords.

15. DropDay.com

Lists tons of data about domain about ready to expire including backlink information, PageRank, age and more.

Dropday.com

A word of warning: Some webmasters buy expired domains because of a strong backlink profile, but often these domains come complete with a spammy links and a black-hat history. A PR6 expired domain isn’t always what it appears to be. Buyer beware.

Pre-Branded Domains

If you don’t want to spend weeks digging for the perfect domain, there are websites that will do it for you – complete with a new logo. In minutes, you can be up-and-running with your new brand starting with just a few hundred dollars.

16. Stylate.com

Every domain on the site is $ 250 and comes with a color logo.

Stylate.com

17. BrandBucket.com

Often a little pricier than Stylate, but a big, well organized selection.

BrandBucket.com

What's your favorite domain tool? Let us know in the comments below.

What's in a Name?

The best name is one you take pride in, want to print on a t-shirt, and enjoy.

That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
A good name delivers to its master high ROI.

- Bill Shakespeare, Silicon Valley

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How to Stalk Your Competitors in 10 Minutes [Marketing Hack]

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You’re a rockstar inbound marketer. You spend your time figuring out how to increase your web traffic, generate more leads, and analyze your marketing analytics so you can keep your competitive edge on the web. Come on, what’s more rockstar than that?

There’s just one thing getting in between you and inbound marketing dominance — your competitors. And what you don’t know about your competitors may actually be doing more harm to all your hard work than you realize. But what’s a marketer to do?

Luckily, in the immortal words of Apple, there’s an app for that! It’s called the Marketing Grader app, and with it, you only need about ten minutes every week to stay up to date on your competitors. This ensures you’re doing the work you need to maintain your stellar online presence and slowly overtake that your competitors. Learn how you can monitor your competitors in just 10 minutes a week with this free marketing web app — let’s get started now by setting it up!

Set Up the App

Go to marketing.grader.com and run a free Marketing Grader report — it’ll be done in a flash!


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Once you’re in the report, click on the Sign In link on the top, right-hand corner of the application.

 

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If you don’t already have a HubSpot account, Register for a free Marketing Grader Account. If you already have a HubSpot account, sign in!

 

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Enter your competitors’ websites so the tool can start tracking them. For the sake of this example, we’ll pretend we’re Dunkin’ Donuts, and we want to track Starbucks.

 

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Voila! You’ve just set up competitive tracking in the free Marketing Grader app! Now, let’s learn what to do with the information.

Weekly Check-in (5 Minutes)

Now that you’ve set up your Marketing Grader app, set aside 5 minutes each week to log in at marketing.grader.com to see how you are faring against your competitors. When you first log in, you will see the Grade History tab. The Grade History tab lets you see how the Marketing Grade for your website and your competitor’s website has changed over time. To get really specific feedback, click on the By Metric button, as indicated by the blue arrow in the screenshot below.

 

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When you click on the By Metric button, you’ll be able to explore the following metrics Marketing Grader is tracking to get specific ideas for ways to improve:

  • Indexed Pages – We all know that Indexed Pages can increase your website visitors by up to 55%, so it’s no surprise that this is a big metric to keep an eye on for your competitors. You don’t want them stealing your traffic, do you?

  • Linking Domains – Inbound links are the best way to increase your web authority, but the key is breadth of links rather than depth of links. Make sure your inbound links are evenly distributed across a number of domains to get the most impact!

  • Facebook Fans & Twitter Followers - Sure, social media is a great way to build a community to evangelize your products and service. But the bigger your social media following, the more eyes on your oh-so-valuable content — that’s what we like to call “reach,” and it’s critical for getting traffic and leads.

 

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All of this nitty gritty analysis is great, but the Marketing Grader report you know and love is still available to you, too. If you want to see that analysis broken down into the three sections that matter to you most — Top of the Funnel, Middle of the Funnel, and Analytics — you can always head back to the Reports tab. In case you forgot, the top of the funnel addresses how you bring in traffic, the middle of the funnel addresses how you convert that traffic into qualified leads, and analytics addresses which marketing activities work, and which do not.

 

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Develop an Action Plan (5 Minutes)

So you’ve set up your Marketing Grader app, you’ve seen the competitive data — now what? Now, it’s time to craft your plan of attack! Start by asking yourself 2 questions:

1) Where did you underperform against your competitors?

2) What actions can you take to improve your performance in these areas?

Let’s use Dunkin’ Donuts as an example. Here in New England, there’s a pretty big loyalty divide between Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks — except on the web. Dunkin’ Donuts has a lower overall Marketing Grade and is lagging behind Starbucks when it comes to indexed pages, linking domains, and Facebook fans.

So what would you do if you were Marketing Director of Dunkin’ Donuts?

That’s right! You would need to beef up your content strategy; I’d get started with more frequent blogging as the most efficient way to solve your problem with indexed pages and linking domains. Think about it — every new blog post you publish is a brand new page for your website, a brand new opportunity to generate inbound links, and a brand new piece of content that you can feed to your social media followers. Talk about a powerful marketing opportunity! And you’ll not only be able to identify this opportunity with the free Marketing Grader app, but track the impact of your efforts in just a few minutes every week.

See? You can handle this! Take your competitors by storm with this new weapon in your arsenal! Now, let’s get started…

Have you started tracking your competitors’ online performance yet?

Image credit: Gamma Man

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