Tag Archive | "Powerful"

Effective Landing Pages: 30 powerful headlines that improved marketing results

Get oodles of examples of effective headlines in this MarketingSherpa blog post to help spark ideas as you brainstorm your own headlines
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Using Empathy and Connection to Craft More Powerful Content

I recently heard our friend Joanna Wiebe say something that blew my mind. I didn’t get it down word for…

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A Powerful Key to Prolific and Potent Writing

I’ve always found the goal of meeting a word count to be a bit silly. Some messages can be clearly communicated in 200 words and others need 2,000 words. But if you use 2,000 words when 200 words would perfectly suffice, your writing will likely feel excessive or even self-indulgent. That’s why I consider the
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Powerful Habits, Potent Engagement, and a Double Dose of Pink

How’s your January going? I’ve been having a great time looking at our publishing themes and brainstorming cool new topic ideas with our editorial team. And I’m so glad you’re here starting the year with us.

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The Most Powerful Writing Voice for 21st-Century Content

In the beginning was authority. From the earliest days of advertising, authority was one of the first strategies used to persuade the masses. Then, a lot of us started using this internet thing to talk to one another. There was some speculation that authority was becoming an outdated concept. But it’s funny how these things
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Is the New, Most Powerful Ranking Factor "Searcher Task Accomplishment?" – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Move over, links, content, and RankBrain — there’s a new ranking factor in town, and it’s a doozy. All kidding aside, the idea of searcher task accomplishment is a compelling argument for how we should be optimizing our sites. Are they actually solving the problems searchers seek answers for? In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains how searcher task accomplishment is what Google ultimately looks for, and how you can keep up.

Searcher Task Accomplishment

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week, we’re chatting about a new Google ranking factor.

Now, I want to be clear. This is not something that’s directly in Google’s algorithm for sure. It’s just that they’re measuring a lot of things that lead us to this conclusion. This is essentially what Google is optimizing toward with all of their ranking signals, and therefore it’s what SEOs nowadays have to think about optimizing for with our content. And that is searcher task accomplishment.

So what do I mean by this? Well, look, when someone does a search like “disinfect a cut,” they’re trying to actually accomplish something. In fact, no matter what someone is searching for, it’s not just that they want a set of results. They’re actually trying to solve a problem. For Google, the results that solve that problem fastest and best and with the most quality are the ones that they want to rank.

In the past, they’ve had to do all sorts of algorithms to try and get at this from obtuse angles. But now, with a lot of the work that they’re doing around measuring engagement and with all of the data that’s coming to them through Chrome and through Android, they’re able to get much, much closer to what is truly accomplishing the searcher’s task. That’s because they really want results that satisfy the query and fulfill the searcher’s task.

So pretty much every — I’m excluding navigational searches — but every informational and transactional type of search — I mean, navigational, they just want to go to that website — but informational and transactional search query is basically this. It’s I have an expression of need. That’s what I’m telling Google. But behind that, there’s a bunch of underlying goals, things that I want to do. I want to know information. I want to accomplish something. I want to complete an activity.

When I do that, when I perform my search, I have this sort of evaluation of results. Is this going to help me do what I want? Then I choose one, and then I figure out whether that result actually helps me complete my task. If it does, I might have discovery of additional needs around that, like once you’ve answered my disinfect a cut, now it’s, okay, now I kind of want to know how to prevent an infection, because you described using disinfectant and then you said infections are real scary. So let me go look up how do I prevent that from happening. So there’s that discovery of additional needs. Or you decide, hey, this did not help me complete my task. I’m going to go back to evaluation of results, or I’m going to go back to my expression of need in the form of a different search query.

That’s what gives Google the information to say, “Yes, this result helped the searcher accomplish their task,” or, “No, this result did not help them do it.”

Some examples of searcher task accomplishment

This is true for a bunch of things. I’ll walk you through some examples.

If I search for how to get a book published, that’s an expression of need. But underlying that is a bunch of different goals like, well, you’re going to be asking about like traditional versus self-publishing, and then you’re going to want to know about agents and publishers and the publishing process and the pitch process, which is very involved. Then you’re going to get into things like covers and book marketing and tracking sales and all this different stuff, because once you reach your evaluation down here and you get into discovery of additional needs, you find all these other things that you need to know.

If I search for “invest in Ethereum,” well maybe I know enough to start investing right away, but probably, especially recently because there’s been a ton of search activity around it, I probably need to understand: What the heck is the blockchain and what is cryptocurrency, this blockchain-powered currency system, and what’s the market for that like, and what has it been doing lately, and what’s my purchase process, and where can I actually go to buy it, and what do I have to do to complete that transaction?

If I search for something like “FHA loans,” well that might mean I’m in the mindset of thinking about real estate. I’m buying usually my first house for an FHA loan, and that means that I need to know things about conditions by region and the application process and what are the providers in my area and how can I go apply, all of these different things.

If I do a search for “Seattle event venues,” well that means I’m probably looking for a list of multiple event venues, and then I need to narrow down my selection by the criteria I care about, like region, capacity, the price, the amenities. Then once I have all that, I need contact information so that I can go to them.

In all of these scenarios, Google is going to reward the results that help me accomplish the task, discover the additional needs, and solve those additional needs as well, rather than the ones that maybe provide a slice of what I need and then make me go back to the search results and choose something else or change my query to figure out more.

Google is also going to reward, and you can see this in all these results, they’re going to reward ones that give me all the information I need, that help me accomplish my task before they ask for something in return. The ones that are basically just a landing page that say, “Oh yeah, Seattle event venues, enter your email address and all this other information, and we’ll be in touch with a list of venues that are right for you.” Yeah, guess what? It doesn’t matter how many links you have, you are not ranking, my friends.

That is so different from how it used to be. It used to be that you could have that contact form. You could have that on there. You could not solve the searcher’s query. You could basically be very conversion rate-focused on your page, and so long as you could get the right links and the right anchor text and use the right keywords on the page, guess what? You could rank. Those days are ending. I’m not going to say they’re gone, but they are ending, and this new era of searcher task accomplishment is here.

Challenge: The conflict between SEO & CRO

There’s a challenge. I want to be totally up front that there is a real challenge and a problem between this world of optimizing for searcher task accomplishment and the classic world of we want our conversions. So the CRO in your organization, which might be your director of marketing or it might be your CEO, or maybe if your team is big enough, you might have a CRO specialist, conversation rate optimization specialist, on hand. They’re thinking, “Hey, I need the highest percent of form completions possible.”

So when someone lands on this page, I’m trying to get from two percent to four percent. How do we get four percent of people visiting this page to complete the form? That means removing distractions. That means not providing information up front. That means having a great teaser that says like, “Hey, we can give this to you, and here are testimonials that say we can provide this information. But let’s not give it right up front. Don’t give away the golden goose, my friend. We want these conversions. We need to get our qualified leads into the funnel,” versus the SEO, who today has to think about, “How do I get searchers to accomplish their task without friction?” This lead capture form, that’s friction.

So every organization, I think, needs to decide which way they’re going to go. Are they going to go for basically long-term SEO, which is I’m going to solve the searcher’s task, and then I’m going to figure out ways later to monetize and to capture value? Or am I going to basically lose out in the search results to people who are willing to do this and go this route instead and drive traffic from other sources? Maybe I’ll rank with different pages and I’ll send some people here, or maybe I will pay for my traffic, or I’ll try and do some barnacle SEO and get links from people who do rank up top there, but I won’t do it directly myself. This is a choice we all have.

How do we nail searcher task accomplishment?

All right. So how do you do this? Let’s say you’ve gone the SEO path. You’ve decided, “Yes, Rand, I’m in. I want to help the searcher accomplish their task. I recognize that I’m going to have to be willing to sacrifice some conversion rate optimization.” Well, there are two things here.

1. Gain a deep understanding of what drives searchers to search.

2. What makes some searchers come away unsatisfied.

Once they’ve performed this query, why do they click the back button? Why do they choose a different result? Why do they change their query to something else? There are ways we can figure out both of these.

To help with number 1 try:

Some of the best things that you can do are talk to people who actually have those problems and who are actually performing those searches or have performed them through…

  • Interviews
  • Surveys

I will provide you with a link to a document that I did around specifically how to get a book published. I did a survey that I ran that looked at searcher task accomplishment and what people hoped that content would have for them, and you can see the results are quite remarkable. I’ll actually embed my presentation on searcher task accomplishment in this Whiteboard Friday and make sure to link to that as well.

  • In-person conversations, and powerful things can come out of those that you wouldn’t get through remote or through email.
  • You can certainly look at competitors. So check out what your competitors are saying and what they’re doing that you may not have considered yet.
  • You can try putting yourself in your searcher’s shoes.

What if I searched for disinfect a cut? What would I want to know? What if I searched for FHA loans? I’m buying a house for the first time, what am I thinking about? Well, I’m thinking about a bunch of things. I’m thinking about price and neighborhood and all this. Okay, how do I accomplish all that in my content, or at least how do I provide navigation so that people can accomplish all that without having to go back to the search results?

To help with number 2 try:

Understanding what makes those searchers come away unsatisfied.

  • Auto-suggest and related searches are great. In fact, related searches, which are at the very bottom of the page in a set of search results, are usually searches people performed after they performed the initial search. I say usually because there can be some other things in there. But usually someone who searched for FHA loans then searches for jumbo loans or 30-year fixed loans or mortgage rates or those kinds of things. That’s the next step. So you can say, “You know what? I know what you want next. Let me go help you.” Auto-suggest related searches, those are great for that.
  • Internal search analytics for people who landed on a page and performed a site search or clicked on a Next link on your site. What did they want to do? Where did they want to go next? That helps tell you what those people need.
  • Having conversations with those who only got partway through your funnel. So if you have a lead capture at some point or you collect email at some point, you can reach out to people who initially came to you for a solution but didn’t get all the way through that process and talk to them.
  • Tracking the SERPs and watching who rises vs falls in the rankings. Finally, if you track the search results, generally speaking what we see here at Moz, what I see for almost all the results I’m tracking is that more and more people who do a great job of this, of searcher task accomplishment, are rising in the rankings, and the folks who are not are falling.

So over time, if you watch those in your spaces and do some rank tracking competitively, you can see what types of content is helping people accomplish those tasks and what Google is rewarding.

That said, I look forward to your comments. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Why We Can’t Do SEO WIthout CRO from Rand Fishkin

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Gear Up for a More Powerful Online Presence

Gear Up for a More Powerful Online Presence

Hey there! Before we get rolling, remember that if you’ve been thinking about moving your site to StudioPress Sites, this is the time.

Because we love to make your life easy, we’ll move your existing WordPress site over for free. And because we love to let you try stuff without stress, we’ll also give you your first month for free. It’s a sweet deal, but it goes away tomorrow, Friday, April 28, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific U.S. Time.

If you’d like a cost-effective way to get a fast, great-looking WordPress site that you don’t have to endlessly mess around with, I would strongly recommend you check this out.

This week on the blog, Brian Clark got our motor running on Monday with a thoughtful piece on what influence really means in a socially hyper-connected world — and how cheap shortcuts won’t do much more than waste your time.

On Tuesday, we introduced you to Loryn Thompson, our crazy-smart Data Analyst who also happens to love riding and working on vintage motorcycles. She’ll help you get started with social media advertising — without crashing into a concrete pillar.

And on Wednesday, I wrote about surviving the annoyances of social media, based on my nearly three decades of getting into pointless fights with people on the internet. I actually have figured a couple of things out, and I’m happy to share them with you.

On the Copyblogger FM podcast this week, I talked about the seven things that (in my experience) writers need to make a genuinely good living. And on The Writer Files, Kelton Reid looked into how bestselling author Douglas Coupland writes.

Hope you enjoy all the good stuff, and we’ll catch you next week!

— Sonia Simone

Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital

Catch up on this week’s content

true influence isn’t something you borrow. It’s what you embody.The Three Key Elements of Influential Digital Marketing

by Brian Clark

it’s like riding a motorcycle - honing your skills takes time and practiceYour No-Nonsense Guide to Getting Started with Social Media Ads

by Loryn Thompson

I’ve been online so long, I can remember when virtual community was going to save the world.Surviving the Social Web: 7 Things You Need to Know

by Sonia Simone

The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a (Good) LivingThe 7 Things Writers Need to Make a (Good) Living

by Sonia Simone

How Bestselling Author Douglas Coupland WritesHow Bestselling Author Douglas Coupland Writes

by Kelton Reid

Are You Overlooking This Proven Podcast Format?Are You Overlooking This Proven Podcast Format?

by Jerod Morris & Jon Nastor

The State of Freelancing in 2017, with Emily LeachThe State of Freelancing in 2017, with Emily Leach

by Brian Clark

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How to Craft Timelessly Powerful Stories with Freaks, Cheats, and Familiars

"You don't have to be a born storyteller. Storytelling is a craft, and it can be learned." – Sonia Simone

A few weeks ago, I recorded a podcast episode about Jonah Sachs’s book Winning the Story Wars. He had a particularly useful observation about three story elements that pull in audience attention. He calls them Freaks, Cheats, and Familiars.

Sachs explains how these elements can be deployed, like the Hero’s Journey, to make stories much more memorable and engaging.

As I was reading Story Wars, it struck me that there’s a well-known figure who illustrates all three of these elements in one person: legendary bodybuilder, action star, two-term California Governor, and crafter of potent analogies, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Here’s how it works:


Remember when we talked about not being so damned boring?

Sameness is boring. Conformity is boring. You break the brutal cycle of boring by being different.

Sachs’s freaks are story characters who compel our attention because they are different. They might be particularly tall or short, particularly handsome or ugly, or physically distinctive in some other way.

They also might be quite normal-looking people who stand out because they’re in a particular context. Normally we wouldn’t call Justin Trudeau a freak, but he’s almost bizarrely good-looking for a head of state. I’m a quite ordinary-looking person, but my pink hair stands out, particularly in a business context — and it becomes a freak element that people remember.

Schwarzenegger, of course, achieved freak status with his remarkable physique. To this day, he’s one of the most influential figures in bodybuilding history, with five Mr. Universe and seven Mr. Olympia wins.

But there are lots of bodybuilders. I’d argue that it’s Schwarzenegger’s strong Austrian accent that helps make him instantly memorable. That combination — the massive physique with the specific accent — creates a kind of “sketch” of him in our minds, even if we haven’t seen him often.

Freaks make great characters because they have good hooks to make them stick in our minds. A voice, a walk, a scar, a costume. Note that “freak” in this case isn’t pejorative and doesn’t imply that there’s something wrong with the person’s appearance.

One way to determine if you have a freak: if you saw them drawn in a graphic novel, with minimal context, would you recognize them?

Other memorable freaks, from both stories and real life, include:

  • Darth Vader
  • Dennis Rodman
  • The Joker
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Carrot Top
  • David Bowie
  • Gollum


Sachs’s second engrossing element is the cheat.

These are characters who cheat the system — who violate some social norm. They embody the trickster archetype and are notable in that they can be either a hero or a villain. (A few, like the Norse god Loki, manage to be both.)

Good cheats challenge corrupt social norms and undermine them. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a cheat in this sense. So are all those detectives in novels who just can’t seem to follow the rules.

Bad cheats are the ones who undermine the social rules we value. Liars, thieves, betrayers of trust.

Cheats bring massive energy to a story. When we find out that someone is breaking the rules, we’re almost compelled to find out more … and to figure out if this is a brave visionary or a dangerous crook.

Schwarzenegger’s reputation as a trickster started with the documentary Pumping Iron, which showed him cleverly tricking his opponents into sabotaging themselves. His 2003 run for Governor of California revolved around breaking the “business as usual” political norms that voters found boring and unsatisfying.

Whether he was a “good” or a “bad” cheat in that context depended on your politics — but he did manage to win the governorship for two terms. (His opponent, Gray Davis, was a politician whose name perfectly described his political charisma.)

Schwarzenegger continues to bend the political “rules,” as a prominent Republican voice urging action on climate change.

Other memorable cheats include:

  • Han Solo
  • Tim Ferriss
  • Richard Nixon
  • Bernie Madoff
  • Iron Man
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Ulysses


So … freaks and cheats are inherently interesting and memorable, but they aren’t inherently trustworthy.

Stories that motivate us to action need another element: familiarity.

If Schwarzenegger hadn’t been a celebrity, it’s hard to envision him as a successful candidate. People knew his name, his accent, and his penchant for thumbing his nose at the establishment. The first person to mimic his famous “Terminator” accent did so about five minutes after the premiere of The Terminator. (Note: I made that up, but you know it has to be true.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger was widely known, so his oddness seemed fairly safe. He helped things along by being willing to play with his own image. He was widely called “The Governator,” by his fans and critics alike. A typical politician couldn’t call the California state assembly “girly men,” but Schwarzenegger, riffing off of the Saturday Night Live parody of characters like him, pulled it off … because everyone understood the reference.

Stories that are populated only by freaks and cheats will feel unnerving. Familiars allow regular people — those who aren’t freaks and cheats — to feel at home in the story being told.

And sometimes, someone like Schwarzenegger with strong “freak and cheat” credentials becomes a familiar simply by virtue of being highly visible over a long period of time.

Familiar characters are relatable. They seem like “real people.” While they may have accomplished amazing things (they could even be freakish in their abilities), they also feel like someone we could know personally.

I’d argue that all of these folks have elements of the familiar:

  • Luke Skywalker
  • Oprah
  • Captain America
  • Peyton Manning
  • Frodo Baggins
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • The Bush family

The trifecta

The strongest stories will often include all three of these elements, but they don’t always come wrapped in the same character.

Schwarzenegger’s not the only one, though, by any means. Neo in The Matrix starts off as a mild-mannered Familiar, becomes an ultra-powerful Freak, and then evolves into the ultimate Cheat who sees through and disrupts the Matrix’s corrupt nature.

Tyrion in Game of Thrones is an obvious “Freak,” whose physical differences cause him untold pain. He’s a Cheat when he scoffs at the norms of his society and manages to talk his way out of situations that would kill off anyone else. And he plays the role of Familiar as one of the few characters who seems to show actual human feelings. (Game of Thrones makes extensive use of the three elements. Notice that two other triple-threat characters, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow, stand out among a cast of ultra-vivid characters as particularly memorable.)

Most comedians also pull all three elements together. Louis C.K., like many comedians, has a speaking voice that’s immediately recognizable (Freak). He gets laughs by poking at social norms, sometimes brutally (Cheat). And he does it as an average-looking guy — digging deep into the psyche of “regular people” (Familiar).

Jonah Sachs didn’t make up “freaks, cheats, and familiars.” He just noticed how they worked to make many, many stories more memorable.

If you’re looking for ways to tell stories that resonate more deeply, that move your audience to action, and that are just plain interesting, give these a try. Don’t think you have to be a born storyteller. Storytelling is a craft, and it can be learned.

Ever use one (or all) of these elements in your content? Let us know in the comments!

Image source: reza shayestehpour via Unsplash.

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A Strategic System that Produces Powerful Content Marketing Campaigns

take aim to reach your content goals

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun parts of content marketing. Being creative, writing articles, and seeing a post go live are all exciting and enjoyable parts of the job.

So, a lot of us jump right in, quickly publishing and sharing without taking much time to think about what we are doing and why. We are just excited to get our work out in the world.

And this is a problem.

Because effective content marketing that drives pre-planned business goals is strategic — not just fueled by initial excitement.

Let’s look at a system that will help you incorporate the fun parts of content marketing with a thoughtful plan to track your results.

Why smart content marketing is goal-driven

Goals differentiate strategic, results-driven content marketing from random, haphazard publishing.

When you approach content marketing without goals, your content marketing strategy is based on guesses. It’s difficult to see if your content produces value for your business.

And key performance indicators (KPIs) turn that guessing game into a strategic plan.

Goals and KPIs help you see where you are going, how you will get there, and if you took the right route to the finish line.

At the beginning of a campaign, they help you create a plan and decide:

  • What type of content to create
  • How much content to create
  • How to promote the content
  • Where to promote the content
  • How long to wait for results

And at the end of a campaign, they help you reflect on your work and:

  • Measure your success in concrete numbers
  • Determine your ROI
  • Identify what’s working and what’s not working
  • Plan future campaigns

Goals and KPIs bookend a powerful campaign because they direct your content strategy at the beginning and rate effectiveness at the end.

Set your content marketing goals

When you begin a content marketing campaign, focus your efforts on one or two primary goals (even if you find that your campaign also produces results for other goals).

Those primary goals may be to:

  • Increase traffic
  • Get more leads
  • Grow an email list
  • Improve search engine rankings
  • Build a social media presence
  • Demonstrate authority in your niche
  • Engage and entertain your audience
  • Educate your audience about products or services
  • Increase brand awareness

Once you decide on your primary goals, match them with measurable KPIs that will allow you to see the results of your work.

Each of KPIs in the list below will help you measure content marketing campaign results, but select the KPIs that best match the goals for your campaign.


Conversion indicates how many users took an action that you wanted them to take on your website or landing page.

For example, if you offer a free ebook when someone registers for your site, the number of users who signed up for your email list to download the ebook help calculate your conversion rate.

Measure this when goals are to get more leads, grow an email list, and educate your audience about products and services.

Try this:

Track conversions in your digital sales and marketing platform, set goals in Google Analytics, or use your preferred analytics tool.

Email list subscribers

Email list subscribers are the number of people who have signed up for your email list.

Pay attention to this KPI when your goal is to grow an email list and get more leads.

Try this:

Measure and track your number of new email list subscribers through your email marketing software.

Number of leads

Number of leads represents the total number of times potential customers and clients have connected with you. This may include users who join a list or use your contact form.

Measure this when goals are to get more leads and educate your audience about products and services.

Try this:

Depending on your specific lead goal, you can measure and track your leads using your digital marketing and sales platform, email marketing software, or Google Analytics.

Number of new customers and sales

Number of new customers and sales is the total number of new business transactions that occurred.

This is an important KPI for your business’s bottom line.

Try this:

Track your customer growth in the database where you monitor transactions.

Rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs)

SERPs show the placement of your website in organic search. This is an important metric for your site’s main keywords or branded terms.

Measure this when goals are to improve rankings on SERPs and increase traffic.

Try this:

Use Google’s Search Console to find the keywords your site ranks for and the positions they have in SERPs.

Organic traffic

Organic traffic is the amount of traffic sent to a website from organic search. Users are sent to your website after they find it on a SERP. This may correspond to how high a site ranks in organic search.

Measure this when goals are to improve rankings in SERPs, increase traffic, and increase brand awareness.

Try this:

Measure and track organic traffic in Google Analytics.

Referral traffic

Referral traffic is the amount of traffic sent to a website from other websites. Users are sent to your site after they click on a link to it from another website.

Use this KPI when goals are to increase traffic and increase brand awareness.

Try this:

Measure and track referral traffic in Google Analytics.

Press mentions

Press mentions are the number of times that other publishers mention your business or brand. They increase your reach and visibility because other publishers expose their audiences to your brand.

Use this KPI when goals are to demonstrate authority in your niche and increase brand awareness.

Try this:

Set a Google Alert for websites that mention your business. You can also use Google’s Search Console, BuzzSumo, or Moz’s Open Site Explorer to find the sites that link back to your site.

Social shares

Social shares represent the number of times that a piece of your content was shared on social media.

Measure this KPI when goals are to increase brand awareness, increase traffic, and build a social media presence.

Try this:

Use a social share plugin or counter to see the number of shares for a URL.

Page views

Page views are the number of pages on a website that are viewed over a measured period of time. This number indicates if there is an increase or drop in usage for a website.

Use this KPI when goals are to increase traffic, improve rankings on SERPs, and increase brand awareness.

Try this:

Measure and track page views in Google Analytics.

Unique visits

Unique visits are the number of users that visit a website over a measured period of time. The metric counts a user as “one,” even if they visit the website multiple times.

Use this KPI when goals are to increase traffic and increase brand awareness.

Try this:

Measure and track unique visits in Google Analytics.

Bounce rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave a website shortly after accessing it. When a bounce rate is high, it indicates that users aren’t finding what they want or they are not engaged with the content.

Measure this when your goals are to educate your audience about products or services, demonstrate authority in your niche, and increase brand awareness.

Try this:

Measure and track bounce rate in Google Analytics.

Inbound links

Inbound links are the number of times that other websites link back to your website.

While the total number of inbound links is important, you should also factor in the authority of the site linking back to you. Sites with higher authority that link to you are more valuable than links from lesser-known websites.

Use this KPI when goals are to increase traffic, improve rankings on SERPs, and demonstrate authority in your niche.

Try this:

Use Google’s Search Console, BuzzSumo, or Moz’s Open Site Explorer to view your site’s backlink profile.

Social traffic

Social traffic is the amount of traffic sent to a website from social media platforms. Users are sent to your site after clicking on a link from sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

Measure this when goals are to increase your social media presence, increase traffic, and increase brand awareness.

Try this:

Measure and track social traffic in Google Analytics.

Number of social media followers

Number of social media followers are the number of users who follow a business on social media platforms where you publish updates.

Track this metric to see if your content is engaging, attracting new audiences, and building your authority.

Try this:

Measure this metric through each social media platform you use.

How long should you track and measure goals?

The time frames for measuring your KPIs will depend on your campaign type.

  • For long-term campaigns like growing your email list subscribers, measure KPIs for as long as you use content marketing. Set benchmarks for measuring and reviewing these goals weekly or monthly.
  • For multi-content campaigns like a blog post series, measure KPIs a few days after each you publish each piece of content. Then, review KPIs once a week for a few weeks after the campaign ends.
  • For a one-time campaign like a guest blog post, first measure KPIs a week after the content has been published. Then, regularly review the metrics over the next two to three months.

Typically, you can stop tracking campaign-specific KPIs when the metrics plateau or stop growing. But you may want to schedule a bi-annual or annual review of all campaigns in case your content picks up momentum and continues to provide powerful results.

Your turn

When you start your next content marketing project, remember the importance of setting and tracking your goals before you create content.

For help setting goals, check out this free Content Marketing KPI Spreadsheet that outlines goals and specific metrics you should track for each of your campaigns.

How do you measure the results of your content marketing campaigns? Share in the comments below.

The post A Strategic System that Produces Powerful Content Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Struggling to Write for Technical Experts? Try These 3 Powerful Content Marketing Practices

tips for top-notch technical content

Engineers and other technical experts take to the web to educate themselves on their options now more than ever before.

When sifting through online content, engineers and other experts in their fields want facts, not a hard sell. They’re conducting serious research.

In fact, according to a study by CEB in partnership with Google, 57 percent of the B2B purchasing process has been completed by the time someone contacts a salesperson.

So, as content marketers, we need to give them the information they need to make smart purchasing decisions. But engineers have already studied for years to accrue their subject matter expertise. Can marketers actually talk intelligently to them online?

A marketer’s challenge lies in extracting the best information and translating it into relatable content, while not sacrificing accuracy in the process.

Journalists like Ed Yong and Carl Zimmer bring cutting-edge science to the masses on a regular basis, and content marketers can follow their leads.

Here are three content marketing tips that non-experts can use when writing about technical subjects.

1. Gather facts from experts

When you interview experts within your clients’ companies and mine their heads for their hard-earned knowledge, you’ll find that many of them love to be asked about their fields.

It’s not every day a layperson asks a metallurgist about induction furnaces or an architect about designing aircraft hangars.

Fair warning: At first these interviews might be overwhelming or intimidating. Marketers often feel afraid to ask “dumb” questions.

However, a state of “non-knowledge” is a great place to start. Admit to your expert that you’re not too familiar with their topic, and they’ll realize that they need to start at the beginning.

Ask them to use long-form phrases instead of acronyms, and never let them gloss over something you don’t understand just to keep the conversation flowing. Asking for clarification shows how closely you’re following along.

Pro tip

Get approval from a company’s communications or marketing department before talking to any technical experts. You want to make sure they don’t divulge any proprietary or protected technical information that could get them in trouble.

Once you’ve written your content, have the company’s legal team review and approve any information that will be published outside the company.

2. Supplement your interviews with your own research

Read what’s already been written so that your target audience doesn’t have to, and synthesize that content in a way that is straightforward and easy to understand.

Google Scholar and government websites are resources you could use to conduct your own research.

For example, if new EPA rules affect how your client engineers their generators, go right to the source. Government agencies will have published those rules, so familiarize yourself with them and learn how they’ll affect your client’s customers.

3. Clarify and satisfy

It’s a content marketer’s job to simplify ideas so that they’re accessible, but not so much that they’re inaccurate.

Metaphors and storytelling are great techniques to incorporate into your content.

Can you make a connection between something complicated and something that’s encountered by most people on a regular basis?

You also want to consider the different types of people who may read your content. Will highly technical engineering content resonate with your target audience? Or do you need to produce content for a decision-maker who’s considering how an investment will affect the bottom line or deliver ROI?

If both types of people are part of your audience, consider how your content marketing strategy can satisfy both perspectives.

The power of education

When writing online content for a technical audience, it’s imperative to keep your overall goal in mind.

You want to cultivate trust by providing education — not by being a pushy salesperson.

B2B content marketing that informs helps marketers give technical audiences the content they’re looking for. And they’re likely to remember where they got that help when it comes time to buy.

Do you write for a technical audience? Share your methods in the comments below.

The post Struggling to Write for Technical Experts? Try These 3 Powerful Content Marketing Practices appeared first on Copyblogger.


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