Tag Archive | "tools"

SearchCap: India fines Google, Bing Webmaster Tools login & Chrome on HTTP

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

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Free Local SEO Tools That Belong in Your Kit

Posted by MiriamEllis

What a lot can change in just a few years! When I wrote the original version of this post in January 2014, the local SEO industry didn’t have quite the wealth of paid tools that now exists, and many of the freebies on my previous list have been sunsetted. Definitely time for a complete refresh of the most useful free tools, widgets, and resources I know of to make marketing local businesses easier and better.

While all of the tools below are free, note that some will require you to sign up for access. Others are limited, no-cost, or trial versions that let you get a good sense of what they provide, enabling you to consider whether it might be worth it to buy into paid access. One thing you may notice: my new list of local SEO tools offers increased support for organic SEO tasks, reflective of our industry’s growing understanding of how closely linked organic and local SEO have become.

Now, let’s open this toolkit and get 2018 off to a great start!


For Research

US Census Bureau Tool Set

Looking to better understand a target community for marketing purposes? You’ll find 20+ useful resources from the US Census Bureau, including population statistics, economic data, mapping and geocoding widgets, income and language information, and much more.

Client Onboarding Questionnaire & Phone Script

Onboarding a new client? Reduce repetitious follow-ups by asking all of the right questions the first time around with this thorough questionnaire and easy-to-follow phone call script from Moz. Includes helpful tips for why you are asking each question. As local SEO veterans will tell you, a missed question can lead to unhappy (and costly) surprises down the marketing road. Be sure you have the total picture of an incoming client in clear view before you begin strategizing.

Location Information Spreadsheet

Vital when marketing multi-location businesses, this free Moz spreadsheet will ensure that you’ve got all the info at your fingertips about each locale of a company.

*Pro tip: When working with large enterprises, be certain that the data you’re inputting in this spreadsheet has been approved by all relevant departments. It’s really no fun to find out six months into a marketing campaign that there’s internal disagreement about company NAP or other features.

Local Competitive Audit Spreadsheet

Now we’re really getting down to brass tacks. When you need to look for answers to the perennial client question, “Why is that guy outranking me?”, this free Moz spreadsheet will help you document key competitive data. The end result of filling out the sheet will be two columns of stats you can compare and contrast in your quest to discover competitors’ ranking strengths and weaknesses. Need more guidance? Read my blog post in which I put this audit spreadsheet into action for two San Francisco Bay Area Chinese restaurants.

Manual GeoLocation Chrome Extension

Watch Darren Shaw demo using this tool to show how a local pack changes when a user virtually crosses a street and you’ll quickly understand how useful this Chrome extension will be in approximating the impacts of user-to-business proximity. Works well on desktop devices.

Our industry still hasn’t fully recovered from Google removing the Local Search filter from its engine in 2015, and I still live in hope that they will bring it back one day, but in the meantime, this extension gives us a good sense of how searcher location affects search results. In fact, it may even be a superior solution.

The MozBar SEO Toolbar

Local businesses in competitive markets must master traditional SEO, and the free MozBar provides a wonderful introduction to the metrics you need to look at in analyzing the organic strengths and weaknesses of clients and competitors. On-page elements, link metrics, markup, HTTP status, optimization opportunities — get the data you need at a glance with the MozBar.

Google Advanced Search Operators

Not a tool, per se, but the best tutorial I have ever seen on using Google advanced search operators to deepen your research. Dr. Pete breaks this down into 67 steps that will enable you to use these search refinements for content and title research, checking for plagiarism, technical SEO audits, and competitive intelligence. Be totally wizardly and impress your clients and teammates, simply by knowing how to format searches in smart ways.

Google Search Console

Apologies if it already seems like a no-brainer to you that you should be signed up for Google’s console that gives you analytics, alerts you to serious errors, and so much more, but local SEO is just now crossing the threshold of understanding how deeply connected it is to organic search. When playing in Google’s backyard, GSC is a must-have for businesses of every type.

BrightLocal’s Search Results Checker

This popular tool does an excellent job of replicating local search results at a city or zip code level. In some cases, it’s best to search by city (for example, when there are multiple towns covered by a single zip code), but other times, it’s better search by zip code (as in the case of a large city with multiple zip codes). The tool doesn’t have the capability to recreate user-level results, so always remember that the proximity of a given user to a business may create quite different results than what you’ll see searching at a city or zip code level. I consider this a great tool to suss out the lay of the land in a community, identifying top competitors.

Offline Conversion Tracker Form

Give this handy Whitespark form to anyone who answers your phone so that they can document the answer to the important question, “How did you hear about us?” Submitted information is saved to Whitespark’s database and tracked in Google Analytics for your future reference and analysis. For local businesses, knowledge of offline factors can be priceless. This form provides a simple point of entry into amassing real-world data.


For Content

Answer the Public

One of the best-loved keyword research tools in the digital marketing world, Answer the Public lets you enter a keyword phrase and generate a large number of questions/topics related to your search. One of the most awesome facets of this tool is that it has a .CSV download feature — perfect for instantly generating large lists of keywords that you can input into something like Moz Keyword Explorer to begin the sorting process that turns up the most powerful keywords for your content dev and on-page optimization.

Buzzsumo

Another great content inspiration tool, Buzzsumo shows you lets you enter a keyword, topic or domain name, and then shows you which pieces are getting the most social shares. For example, a search for wholefoodsmarket.com shows that a highly shared piece of content at the time of my search is about an asparagus and broccoli soup. You can also sort by content type (articles, videos, infographics, etc.). Use of Buzzsumo can help you generate topics that might be popular if covered on your website.

OSHA Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System Search

Another interesting resource for brainstorming a wide pool of potential keywords for content dev consideration, OSHA’s SIC search returns big, comprehensive lists. Just look up your industry’s SIC code, and then enter it along with a keyword/category to get your list.

USPS Look Up a ZIP Code Widget

Working with service area businesses (SABs)? Note the second tab in the menu of this widget: Cities by zip code. When you know the zip code of a business you’re marketing you can enter it into this simple tool to get a list of every city in that zip. Now, let’s not take a wrong step here: don’t publish large blocks of zips or city names on any website, but do use this widget to be sure you know of all the communities for which an SAB might strategize content, link building, brand building, real-world relationship building, social media marketing, and PPC.


Schema/JSON-LD Generators

Rather than list a single tool here, I’m going to take the advice of my friend, schema expert David Deering, who has taught me that no one tool is perfect. In David’s opinion, there isn’t currently a schema/JSON-LD generator that does it all, which is why he continues to build this type of markup manually. That being said, if you’re new to Schema, these generators will get you started:


For Citations

Moz Check Listing

I can say without bias that I know of no free tool that does a better job of giving you a lightning-fast overview of the health of a local business’ listings. On the phone with a new prospect? Just plug in the name and zip and see how complete and accurate the company’s citations are on the sources that matter most, including the major local business data aggregators (Acxiom, Factual, Infogroup, Localeze) plus key platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, YP, and more.

Literally at a glance, you can tell if inconsistencies and duplicate listings are holding a business back. It can also be used for competitive analysis, defining whether a clean or messy citation set is impacting competitors. The value of the free Check Listing tool becomes most fully realized by signing up for the paid Moz Local product, which automates aggregator-level listing management even at an enterprise level with hundreds or thousands of listings, and offers options for review monitoring, ranking analysis, and more.

Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder (free version)

The free version of this cool tool from our friends at Whitespark will give you a sense of how the paid version can help you discover additional places, beyond the basics, where you might want to get listed. It also analyzes your competitors’ citations.


For Reviews

The Hoth’s Online Business Review Checker Tool

You’ll have to sign up, but this free tool gives you an overview report of a local business’ reviews on a variety of platforms. This is a smart thing to do for every incoming client, to gauge reputation strengths and weaknesses. The state of a company’s reviews indicates whether it has an offline problem that needs to be corrected at a real-world structural level, or if its core challenge is a lack of strategy for simply earning a competitive number of positive reviews.

Free Review Monitoring

Need to know when a new review comes in on a major or industry-specific review site? Signing up for this free tool will send you email alerts so that you can respond quickly. Watch the little video and pay attention to its statement that the majority of unhappy customers will consider visiting a business again if it quickly resolves a complaint. Good to know!

Review Handout Generator

Another freebie from Whitespark in partnership with Phil Rozek, this very simple resource lets you enter some business info and generate a printable handout your public-facing staff can give to customers. Active review management has become a must in even moderately competitive geo-industries. How nice to have a physical asset to offer your customers to get more of those reviews rolling in!

Google Review Link Generator

Google’s local product has gone through so many iterations that finding a link to point consumers to when requesting a GMB review has been foolishly difficult at times. Whitespark helps out again, at least for brick-and-mortar businesses, with this easy widget that lets you enter your business info and generate a shareable link. Unfortunately, SABs or home-based businesses with hidden addresses can’t use this tool, but for other business models, this widget works really well.


For social

Notify

Whenever your business gets mentioned on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin, Reddit, and a variety of other platforms, Notify uses Slack or HipChat to send you an alert. By being aware of important conversations taking place about your brand, and participating in them, your business can achieve an excellent status of responsiveness. Social media has become part of the customer service environment, so a tool like this comes in very handy.

Followerwonk

A free trial is available for this app which acts as serious analytics for Twitter. If Twitter is a favorite platform in your industry, definitely give this resource a spin. Understand the characteristics of your followers, find and connect with influencers, and use data to improve your outreach.

Character Count Online

I use this ultra-basic tool all of the time for three specific tasks. Some social platforms either have character limits and don’t always have counters, or (like Google Posts) truncate your social messaging so that only a limited snippet appear at the highest interface. Just plug in your text and see the character count.

And, of course, you’ll want a character counter to be sure your on-page title tags and meta descriptions read right in the SERPs.

My third use for this counter relates to content marketing. Most publications have character count parameters for the pieces they will accept. Here on the Moz Blog, we’re not into length limits, because we believe thorough coverage is the right coverage of important topics. But, when I’m invited to blog elsewhere, I have to rein myself in and be sure I haven’t galloped past that 800-character limit. If you’ve found that to be a problem, too, a character counter can keep you on-track as you write. Whoa, horsie!


So, what did I miss?

If you’re saying to yourself right now, “I can’t believe this totally awesome free local SEO tool I use every week isn’t included,” please share it with our community in the comments. One thing I know I’d love to find a free solution for would be a tool that does review sentiment analysis. Paid solutions exist for this, but I’ve yet to encounter a freebie.

My criteria for a great tool is that it makes work better, stronger, faster… or is that the intro to The Six Million Dollar Man? Well, Steve Austin had some amazing capabilities (and a cool 70s jogging suit, to boot!), and I’m hoping you’ll feel kitted up for success, too, with this list of free tools in the year ahead.

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How to Use the "Keywords by Site" Data in Tools (Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc.) to Improve Your Keyword Research and Targeting – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

One of the most helpful functions of modern-day SEO software is the idea of a “keyword universe,” a database of tens of millions of keywords that you can tap into and discover what your site is ranking for. Rankings data like this can be powerful, and having that kind of power at your fingertips can be intimidating. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains the concept of the “keyword universe” and shares his most useful tips to take advantage of this data in the most popular SEO tools.

How to use keywords by site

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

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about the Keywords by Site feature that exists now in Moz’s toolset — we just launched it this week — and SEMrush and Ahrefs, who have had it for a little while, and there are some other tools out there that also do it, so places like KeyCompete and SpyFu and others.

In SEO software, there are two types of rankings data:

A) Keywords you’ve specifically chosen to track over time

Basically, the way you can think of this is, in SEO software, there are two kinds of keyword rankings data. There are keywords that you have specifically selected or your marketing manager or your SEO has specifically selected to track over time. So I’ve said I want to track X, Y and Z. I want to see how they rank in Google’s results, maybe in a particular location or a particular country. I want to see the position, and I want to see the change over time. Great, that’s your set that you’ve constructed and built and chosen.

B) A keyword “universe” that gives wide coverage of tens of millions of keywords

But then there’s what’s called a keyword universe, an entire universe of keywords that’s maintained by a tool provider. So SEMrush has their particular database, their universe of keywords for a bunch of different languages, and Ahrefs has their keyword universe of keywords that each of those two companies have selected. Moz now has its keyword universe, a universe of, I think in our case, about 40 million keywords in English in the US that we track every two weeks, so we’ll basically get rankings updates. SEMrush tracks their keywords monthly. I think Ahrefs also does monthly.

Depending on the degree of change, you might care or not care about the various updates. Usually, for keywords you’ve specifically chosen, it’s every week. But in these cases, because it’s tens of millions or hundreds of millions of keywords, they’re usually tracking them weekly or monthly.

So in this universe of keywords, you might only rank for some of them. It’s not ones you’ve specifically selected. It’s ones the tool provider has said, “Hey, this is a broad representation of all the keywords that we could find that have some real search volume that people might be interested in who’s ranking in Google, and we’re going track this giant database.” So you might see some of these your site ranks for. In this case, seven of these keywords your site ranks for, four of them your competitors rank for, and two of them both you and your competitors rank for.

Remarkable data can be extracted from a “keyword universe”

There’s a bunch of cool data, very, very cool data that can be extracted from a keyword universe. Most of these tools that I mentioned do this.

Number of ranking keywords over time

So they’ll show you how many keywords a given site ranks for over time. So you can see, oh, Moz.com is growing its presence in the keyword universe, or it’s shrinking. Maybe it’s ranking for fewer keywords this month than it was last month, which might be a telltale sign of something going wrong or poorly.

Degree of rankings overlap

You can see the degree of overlap between several websites’ keyword rankings. So, for example, I can see here that Moz and Search Engine Land overlap here with all these keywords. In fact, in the Keywords by Site tool inside Moz and in SEMrush, you can see what those numbers look like. I think Moz actually visualizes it with a Venn diagram. Here’s Distilled.net. They’re a smaller website. They have less content. So it’s no surprise that they overlap with both. There’s some overlap with all three. I could see keywords that all three of them rank for, and I could see ones that only Distilled.net ranks for.

Estimated traffic from organic search

You can also grab estimated traffic. So you would be able to extract out — Moz does not offer this, but SEMrush does — you could see, given a keyword list and ranking positions and an estimated volume and estimated click-through rate, you could say we’re going to guess, we’re going to estimate that this site gets this much traffic from search. You can see lots of folks doing this and showing, “Hey, it looks this site is growing its visits from search and this site is not.” SISTRIX does this in Europe really nicely, and they have some great blog posts about it.

Most prominent sites for a given set of keywords

You can also extract out the most prominent sites given a set of keywords. So if you say, “Hey, here are a thousand keywords. Tell me who shows up most in this thousand-keyword set around the world of vegetarian recipes.” The tool could extract out, “Okay, here’s the small segment. Here’s the galaxy of vegetarian recipe keywords in our giant keyword universe, and this is the set of sites that are most prominent in that particular vertical, in that little galaxy.”

Recommended applications for SEOs and marketers

So some recommended applications, things that I think every SEO should probably be doing with this data. There are many, many more. I’m sure we can talk about them in the comments.

1. Identify important keywords by seeing what you rank for in the keyword universe

First and foremost, identify keywords that you probably should be tracking, that should be part of your reporting. It will make you look good, and it will also help you keep tabs on important keywords where if you lost rankings for them, you might cost yourself a lot of traffic.

Monthly granularity might not be good enough. You might want to say, “Hey, no, I want to track these keywords every week. I want to get reporting on them. I want to see which page is ranking. I want to see how I rank by geo. So I’m going to include them in my specific rank tracking features.” You can do that in the Moz Keywords by Site, you’d go to Keyword Explorer, you’d select the root domain instead of the keyword, and you’d plug in your website, which maybe is Indie Hackers, a site that I’ve been reading a lot of lately and I like a lot.

You could see, “Oh, cool. I’m not tracking stock trading bot or ark servers, but those actually get some nice traffic. In this case, I’m ranking number 12. That’s real close to page one. If I put in a little more effort on my ark servers page, maybe I could be on page one and I could be getting some of that sweet traffic, 4,000 to 6,000 searches a month. That’s really significant.” So great way to find additional keywords you should be adding to your tracking.

2. Discover potential keywords targets that your competitors rank for (but you don’t)

Second, you can discover some new potential keyword targets when you’re doing keyword research based on the queries your competition ranks for that you don’t. So, in this case, I might plug in “First Round.” First Round Capital has a great content play that they’ve been doing for many years. Indie Hackers might say, “Gosh, there’s a lot of stuff that startups and tech founders are interested in that First Round writes about. Let me see what keywords they’re ranking for that I’m not ranking for.”

So you plug in those two to Moz’s tool or other tools. You could see, “Aha, I’m right. Look at that. They’re ranking for about 4,500 more keywords than I am.” Then I could go get that full list, and I could sort it by volume and by difficulty. Then I could choose, okay, these keywords all look good, check, check, check. Add them to my list in Keyword Explorer or Excel or Google Docs if you’re using those and go to work.

3. Explore keywords sets from large, content-focused media sites with similar audiences

Then the third one is you can explore keyword sets. I’m going to urge you to. I don’t think this is something that many people do, but I think that it really should be, which is to look outside of your little galaxy of yourself and your competitors, direct competitors, to large content players that serve your audience.

So in this case, I might say, “Gosh, I’m Indie Hackers. I’m really competing maybe more directly with First Round. But you know what? HBR, Harvard Business Review, writes about a lot of stuff that my audience reads. I see people on Twitter that are in my audience share it a lot. I see people in our forums discussing it and linking out to their articles. Let me go see what they are doing in the content world.”

In fact, when you look at the Venn diagram, which I just did in the Keywords by Site tool, I can see, “Oh my god, look there’s almost no overlap, and there’s this huge opportunity.” So I might take HBR and I might click to see all their keywords and then start looking through and sort, again, probably by volume and maybe with a difficulty filter and say, “Which ones do I think I could create content around? Which ones do they have really old content that they haven’t updated since 2010 or 2011?” Those types of content opportunities can be a golden chance for you to find an audience that is likely to be the right types of customers for your business. That’s a pretty exciting thing.

So, in addition to these, there’s a ton of other uses. I’m sure over the next few months we’ll be talking more about them here on Whiteboard Friday and here on the Moz blog. But for now, I would love to hear your uses for tools like SEMrush and the Ahrefs keyword universe feature and Moz’s keyword universe feature, which is called Keywords by Site. Hopefully, we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Practical Tools for Finding Courage and Revealing Your True Voice

"My life has taught me to be more curious than afraid." – Ishi, the last of the Yahi people

In 1911, a man known as “Ishi” (the name just means man in his language), believed to be the last of the Yahi people, emerged from the wilderness after 44 years.

He was taken from Oroville, California to San Francisco by an anthropologist, to work with a group that wanted to learn more about Ishi’s language and culture.

When the train came into the station to take him to San Francisco, Ishi went to stand quietly behind a pillar. Puzzled, the researchers beckoned to him, and Ishi joined them and got on the train.

They asked him about it later, and he said his people had seen the smoky, noisy train snaking through the valley for many years, with faces visible through the windows. The Yahi had always believed it was a demon that ate people.

The researchers asked, if that is what he believed, how could he have possibly gathered the courage to get on board?

Ishi’s response was:

“Well, my life has taught me to be more curious than afraid.”

I first read that story in Pema Chödrön’s book Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living. Ishi’s story is sad and complex, but he struck the people who knew him at the end of his life as being markedly calm, measured, and kind.

His words have never left me — they strike me as being a true motto for a life worth living.

Fast-forward a few decades. Last summer, I was doing an “ask me anything” session in Chicago with Andy Crestodina, and someone asked me:

“Where do you get your courage?”

I genuinely thought it was a funny question. I told her that I don’t think of myself as particularly courageous at all. In fact, I’d say I’m scared most of the time.

But if Ishi, who had survived so much that he outlived all of his people, could be more curious than afraid, I’ve never thought I had much of an excuse for holding back just because something scared me.

Pursue the beautiful and rocky path

When you’re finding the courage to share your authentic voice, I can almost promise you’ll have days when you ask yourself:

What on earth was I thinking?

There will be trolls, creeps, delusional people, and the occasional idiot.

People will question your motives, your competence, your scruples, your beliefs, your body fat composition, and what you’re wearing.

I’m not going to tell you that it doesn’t matter, because that probably won’t help. If you could shrug these things off so easily, you probably wouldn’t have clicked through to read this article.

But I will tell you that courage is a habit, and you can get better at it.

Allow me, a lifelong coward, to share some of the techniques I’ve learned for being more curious than afraid.

Discover the biology of courage

I’ll start with a resource I discovered not too long ago. If you haven’t picked up Kelly McGonigal’s book The Upside of Stress yet, I found it fantastically useful.

It pulls together a lot of research to support a single point: Despite what we believe, stress is not always harmful.

How we think about our stress affects how our bodies react to it. For example, when people perceive stress as a sign that they’re doing something that matters — something hard but rewarding — their stress-related health risks drop dramatically.

“How you think and how you act can transform your experience of stress. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resilience.”

– Kelly McGonigal, “How to Make Stress Your Friend” (TED talk transcript)

But “embrace your stress” only goes so far. You’ll also want to take some practical measures to neutralize it.

Protect your privacy

One concrete thing you can do is reduce the number of things you need to worry about.

If you’re going to claim a public voice, it just makes sense to be smart about keeping yourself secure. There are sensible actions everyone can take to keep our sanity and protect our privacy.

Before you explore the technical solutions, start by making a commitment to be intentional about how much personal information you share.

Decide how many details you want to share about your family. You can draw this line wherever you feel is best for you — there are plenty of folks with successful online businesses who share pictures of their kids. Just be conscious about it, and be consistent.

Protect your website. Use hosting, themes, and plugins that have a good security reputation. Subscribe to a monitoring service like Sucuri to make sure bad guys aren’t doing anything weird to your site.

Protect your online privacy. It’s always smart to use free, legal privacy protections.

For most of us, trolls aren’t much more than an annoyance. But if you were lying awake at night worrying about burglars, it would make sense to get up and lock the door. These are straightforward measures that can help prevent problems.

When you do encounter trolls, block and report them promptly. Don’t engage with them, and don’t try to convince them to be good people.

At first, you’ll be sorely tempted. You’ll think that if you just calmly explain to them that you are not, in fact, possessed by Satan, surely they’ll see reason.

I can tell you from annoying experience, it doesn’t work. Worse, it’s an invitation to the troll to live rent-free inside your head. Block them so they can’t keep spewing their nonsense at you, report them if it’s an option, and move on to more important things.

If you’d like more thoughts on how to deal with trolls, you might benefit from this podcast episode, in which I compare trolls to flaming bags of poop.

But courage is about more than protecting ourselves against creeps.

Focus on service

You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: When you know why you’re doing what you do, you’ll have more courage, more power, and more resilience.

Making a living is a perfectly good place to start. It’s where I started, and it’s still important. I have bills to pay, like anyone else does.

But a life spent just paying the bills becomes a grind.

Business, and especially online-based business, is built on helping people.

When you know who you help, and why it matters, it will give you an energy and resilience that’s hard to describe.

The first time you get a heartfelt message from someone telling you that you meaningfully changed their life, you’ll realize:

This is why I do this.

And, unlike so many things in life, it never gets stale.

Find your people

Are you going to have tough days? Maybe even serious crises of faith?

Sure you will.

Most of those outwardly ultra-confident people you see have moments, or days — or whole years — when they feel afraid and small. Being fearless is not normal, and it’s not beneficial.

The handful of genuinely fearless people are usually fearless because they lack empathy. Their ability to help others is seriously compromised, because trying to help without understanding tends to do more harm than good.

Nothing is better for getting through the rough days than having a crew who understands you.

It might be an official mastermind group, a community of business owners, or just a few friends who get it. Assemble a Council of Allies who are in the same game you are. Lean on one another when the days get tough.

Another thing I learned from McGonigal’s book is that oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” is also a stress hormone.

When we’re afraid, we can choose to “Tend and Befriend” — seeking the comfort and company of people we care about — over the more common “Fight or Flight” response.

Not only is Tend and Befriend more comforting, it’s also actually healthier. Here’s another quote from McGonigal’s TED talk:

“… oxytocin doesn’t only act on your brain. It also acts on your body, and one of its main roles in your body is to protect your cardiovascular system from the effects of stress. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory. It also helps your blood vessels stay relaxed during stress. But my favorite effect on the body is actually on the heart. Your heart has receptors for this hormone, and oxytocin helps heart cells regenerate and heal from any stress-induced damage. This stress hormone strengthens your heart.”

Reaching out to your community will not only help you feel better and manage your stress, it actually creates a physiological response that benefits your heart health and keeps your stress on the “healthy” side of the equation.

Live a life worth living

Why put ourselves through it?

Why stand up and speak with a true voice, about something that matters, even when we know that we may have some rocky days because of it?

Because, whether your life is long or short, it’s a good idea to spend it on worthwhile things.

Spend your life creating meaning. Spend it helping other people. Create a satisfying life, not just an easy one.

Take reasonable measures to protect yourself. Remember the rewards of service. And get your crew together to Tend and Befriend on the rocky days. Finally, realize that stress is a sign that you’re doing something you truly care about.

Be more curious than afraid.

How about you? What’s your best tip for finding your courage? Let us know in the comments!

The post Practical Tools for Finding Courage and Revealing Your True Voice appeared first on Copyblogger.


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SearchCap: AdWords call tracking, SEO failures, & SERP tools

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

The post SearchCap: AdWords call tracking, SEO failures, & SERP tools appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Google to launch new voter registration search tools & live-stream conventions on YouTube

Both the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions will be broadcast via a live stream on YouTube.

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Four Tools To Break You Out Of The Keyword Research Box

Need inspiration for expanding your keyword research? Columnist Paul Shapiro has some creative suggestions for you.

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Updated! A Master List of Social Media Marketing Management Tools

TopRank-Social-Media-Marketing-Tools

Social Media Marketing Management Tools

Tools make reaching social media marketing goals possible. Whether you’re a soloprenuer or a multinational enterprise, it’s nearly impossible to manage a social media marketing program without using 3rd party tools.

During your journey through the 3D chess of social media tool options, you’ll have many decisions to make: Which tool should you start with? Should you use specialized or multi-purpose tools? What features distinguish basic from intermediate to advanced and when should you upgrade?

With the help of Emeric Ernoult (CEO of AgoraPulse, which is included in the list), we’ve updated our list of social media marketing management tools to help lead you in the direction of answering those questions. The list below contains information on 22 of the best social media marketing management tools, platforms and services to help manage and scale your online marketing efforts on the social web.

How to use the list: To help you navigate the list, we’ve split it into two segments:

  • Self-service tools (between $ 10 to $ 200 per month, many of which offer free trials)
  • Enterprise tools (typically starting at $ 1,000 per month, that require a demo with their team to get started)

Which is the best tool for you? Typically, self-service tools are best suited for small and medium businesses and enterprise tools are best suited for large organizations. However, there are exceptions to every rule, so we urge you to research and tools that best meet your company’s needs.

SELF SERVICE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TOOLS

1. Sprout Social

Sprout Social 0714
Sprout Social provides great reports for social accounts and shows social content and monitored keyword searches in one stream. You can schedule content on all your accounts with a convenient publishing system and manage your Social messages on the go with a mobile app available on iOs and Android. Supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
Pricing starts at $ 59/user/month.

2. Hootsuite

Hootsuite 0714
Hootsuite is the leader in the Social Media Marketing Management space. It offers everything a Social Media manager needs from publishing, to monitoring, including reports and team collaboration features. Contrary to Sprout Social, it displays all your Social Media accounts in multiple streams. Some users prefer the unified stream approach of Sprout Social and Agorapulse, some like the multiple stream approach. Really a matter of personal preference. Hootsuite also provides a mobile app to manage Social streams on the go.
Hootsuite offers a free plan, paid plans start at $ 9/month.

3. AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse 0714
Agorapulse is a social media management toolkit for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, supporting contest applications, monitoring, CRM and one-click, customizable ppt reports. All social content is funneled into an ‘email-like’ inbox feature and syncs accounts in real time while retaining past conversations and social data from fans & followers.
Pricing starts at $ 29 per month.

4. Buffer

Buffer 0714
Buffer is the pioneer of Social Media publishing. It was the first software to introduce the queue publishing system allowing its users to schedule content accross most social networks without having to individually schedule them. It covers all Social Networks except for Instagram, and is definitely the best publishing system out there. Buffer offers a free version.
Paid plans start at $ 9 per month.

5. Sendible

Sendible 0714
Sendible is a Social Media marketing platform supporting 30+ networks with services for accounts/profiles, messages and social content, social contacts, content discovery, engagement, blog content and promotion, monitoring, and analytics. Sendible also provides a white label version for agencies.
Pricing starts at $ 59 per month.

6. Post Planner

Post Planner 0714
PostPlanner is a publishing solution for Facebook and Twitter. It allows to schedule posts at specific times or add them to a queue. The most unique feature of PostPlanner is its “viral content” feature. In a nutshell, you can see the most viral photos, videos and linked from pages in your industry and use them on your own Social accounts to increase your engagement.
Pricing starts at $ 9 per month.

7. Edgar

Edgar 0714
Edgar is a social media scheduling tool that allows you to recycle categorized social media updates and re-post them later automatically to reach more fans & followers.
Pricing starts at $ 49 per month.

8. Rignite

Rignite 0714
Rignite is an all-in-one social media management platform, covering daily posting, goal-based campaigns, and analytics data. Its unique staple†is the campaign based posting feature that allows you to set a specific set of posts to promote a product, an event or a promotion and track the results of that campaign.
Pricing starts at $ 28 per month.

9. ScheduGram

ScheduGram 0714
Schedugram is an Instagram post scheduler, with support for multiple accounts and bulk uploads. Schedugram is one of the very few apps that make it possible†to schedule posts on Instagram via a web interface.
Pricing starts at $ 20 per month.

10. Oktopost

Octopost 0714
Oktopost is Social media management platform for B2B marketers, focused on delivering and measuring clicks and conversions for lead generation campaigns.
Pricing starts at $ 55 per month.

11. Communit

Communit 0714
Communit is a Twitter CRM that provides support for community management, influencer identification, customer communication, multiple profiles, tweet scheduling, and more.
Pricing starts at $ 25 per month.

ENTERPRISE SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TOOLS

12. Shoutlet

Shoutlet 0714
Shoutlet manages social media marketing communications- building, engaging, and measuring, support for multiple accounts and platforms, social CRM and e-commerce for Facebook, and email marketing.

13. Spredfast

Spredfast 0714
Spredfast is an enterprise social media management system for managing, monitoring, and measuring across multiple social media channels, with a white label option for agencies. Recommended for large enterprises and large agencies.

14. Sprinklr

Sprinklr 0714
Sprinklr is a Social media marketing platform and consulting service for marketers and agencies in B2B and B2C markets. It provides social media audience research, acquisition, content promotion, and measurement tools. Recommended for large enterprises.

15. Oracle SRM

Oracle 0714
Oracle SRM is Social Relationship Management platform offering a suite of tools- Oracle Social Marketing Cloud Service, Oracle Social Network, and Oracle Social Data. Oracle SRM was started after the acquisition of Vitrue and Involver by Oracle. Recommended for large enterprises.

16. Janrain

Janrain 0714
Janrain is a customer Identity Management platform that supports customer acquisition across multiple devices, recognizes customer profiles wherever they are, and provides accurate customer data for highly targeted marketing campaigns. Recommended for large websites needing to manage social logins at scale.

17. SocialFlow

Social Flow 0714
SocialFlow is a social media management platform that handles content publishing schedules, goal-oriented social advertising, and intelligent reporting and licensing. Recommended for mid-size enterprises.

18. Engagor

Engagor 0714
Engagor is an enterprise class social media management solution, which enables posting and scheduling on every major social network, real-time monitoring, team performance tracking, legal compliance assurance,†and analytics. Recommended for mid-size enterprises.

19. Falcon Social

Falcon Social 0714
Falcon Social includes the usual social media management features, along with team tracking and permissions, competitor listening, and more. Designed for large enterprises.

20. Viralheat

viralheat 0714
ViralHeat is a content marketing and social media management platform, supporting digital marketers with social media monitoring, publishing, analytics, content intelligence, and reporting.

21. Conversocial

Conversocial 0714
Conversocial is a Cloud-based solution for managing social media customer support across multiple networks through multiple teams as part of a larger customer service channel. Recommended for mid-size enterprises needing a solid social media customer service tool.

22. Sysomos

Sysomos 0714
Sysomos is a social media business intelligence tool, monitoring social networks, blogs, and forums to analyze how brand and products are portrayed in them. Recommended for large enterprises needing a comprehensive listening solution.

Getting Started with Social Media Marketing Management Tools

Although the most robust platforms – the ones with every kind of tool imaginable – might seem like the best, that’s not always the case. Tool selection should be entirely dependent on the unique needs of your organization.

What social media marketing dashboards, software and management tools from the list above have you tested or used? Reviews, observations, insights and questions are greatly appreciated!

Obviously, tools are only as good as the expertise of the people using them. TopRank Marketing is always interested in helping companies develop their social media marketing strategy and as part of our consulting services, we can help identify the right tools for implementing a successful social media marketing program.

If there is an enterprise level tool dedicated to social media marketing management that you feel we’ve left out, please be sure to share it in the comments.

Top image via Shutterstock

The post Updated! A Master List of Social Media Marketing Management Tools appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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The Copyblogger Editorial Team’s 10 Must-Have Tools To Ensure a Smooth Workday

Lego holding a miniature iPad

When I’m not reminiscing about the days of card catalogs and telephone books, I’m busy looking for ways to make my workday easier.

Luckily, for those who get nostalgic like me, you don’t have to completely abandon old-school routines to fit in the contemporary content marketing world.

We now have the luxury of combining classic organizational methods with the latest technologies to stay on top of our crazy schedules and take our online businesses to the next level.

I decided to ask some of the smartest people around — the Copyblogger editorial team — about the tools that help them the most.

After contributing a few of my favorites as well, here are ten of the tools we use every day, both newfangled and old-fashioned, to help you discover even more ways to be productive.

Efficient email

1. AwayFind

Jerod Morris, VP of Marketing, gets a lot of email — so much email that if he wanted to stay at inbox zero, he’d never get any work done.

He checks and processes his emails twice a day, which gives him time to focus on other important aspects of his job. The only problem with this strategy is that he doesn’t want to ignore urgent emails that land in his inbox while he’s doing other work.

Enter AwayFind. The service can alert you via phone call, text, or push notification when you get emergency messages from anyone you pre-select, as well as when you receive certain keywords in messages (like “ASAP”).

Your AwayFind account has its own inbox, so you don’t get sucked into the email vortex when responding. And the service allows you to send an autoresponder to people not on your VIP list, so they’ll know you’ll get back to them during one of your email processing sessions.

The cost starts at $ 5/month.

2. Gmail’s labels, filters, and archive

Stefanie Flaxman, Manager of Editorial Standards, can’t concentrate without an organized inbox, so she uses Gmail’s free labels, filters, and archive to keep her email use efficient.

Her email process entails creating labels for common email topics and archiving messages after she’s attended to them. Then, if she needs to reference a certain email, she can quickly find it under its label.

For example, she uses the “Blog Posts” label to file emails she gets with blog post text scheduled to run on Copyblogger. When she’s ready to edit a post at a later date, she knows exactly where to find it — in her “Blog Posts” folder.

Filters allow you to automatically label email that meets certain criteria, or even set messages to bypass your inbox and land in a specific folder. You can send all of those board meeting minutes for that organization where you volunteer to a specific folder, or filter hate mail from that one person directly to the trash.

3. SaneBox

SaneBox is my solution for when my inbox runs amok.

For around $ 7/month (more with multiple email addresses, less with an annual subscription), it uses an algorithm to filter less important messages into a folder called SaneLater. Past behavior, such as when you open and respond to messages, informs the algorithm, but you can retrain it using rules you create.

I love SaneBox for when I’m traveling because it allows me to quickly scan messages sent directly to me, and not worry about the newsletters and marketing emails accumulating in my SaneLater folder until, well, later.

Traditional tools

4. Post-its

A fancy software tool doesn’t always trump pen and paper. Pamela Wilson, Director of Special Projects, says that Post-its are key to her productivity. She uses four-by-six-inch, lined Post-it notes ($ 12.99 for a five-pack) for her daily to-do lists.

“If my tasks don’t fit on one of those pages, I know there’s a good chance I’m overestimating what I can actually get done in a single day, something I’ve always struggled with,” Pamela says.

Even if you use a different project management tool, a list of tasks on a Post-it can help make your daily workload manageable without losing sight of the big picture.

Another bonus? Crossing an item off of a physical list may feel more satisfying than checking off a task in Basecamp — and you can always use software for long-term project management and Post-its for outlining each day’s tasks.

5. A kitchen timer

A tool co-founder and Chief Content Officer, Sonia Simone, can’t live without is a kitchen timer, which she says gets her to sit in her writing chair when she’s having trouble finding the right words.

Making yourself sit down and write for a set amount of time can help you put the finishing touches on an article that’s almost complete, brainstorm ideas and topics for upcoming posts, or even just get thoughts out of your mind as you work through an issue you’re not quite ready to write about publicly yet.

Or you can experiment with timed writing exercises to get your creative juices flowing.

The cost? Pick one up for around $ 7.99, or use the one that’s already in your kitchen. There’s a meditation timer you can use on your phone, as well.

6. Moleskines or other lined notebooks

No matter how sleek and sexy your new MacBook Air is, there’s something about regular, old notebooks with lined paper. Sometimes they help you express your thoughts and feelings more easily than typing away on a laptop.

Stefanie is fond of Moleskines, which she uses to work out ideas before going digital. And she’s in good company. Similar notebooks were used by the likes of Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway going back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

But if you don’t want to spend $ 12.95, any lined notebook will work. Use it to meet your daily writing goal.

Another bonus? You can write your little heart out at a cafe without worrying about finding a power outlet.

Writing and editing

7. Google Docs

Both Pamela and Sonia are big fans of Google Docs, which they use for everything from joint venture product planning to results tracking to co-authoring web content.

What’s so great about Google Docs? The web-based word processor works across platforms, so it can be viewed by anyone regardless of whether they’re on a Mac or PC. It also allows multiple people to collaborate on a document, creating and editing work in real time.

I’ve used Google Docs at conferences to keep track of tools and articles that speakers reference, and shared the link with other attendees via Twitter, using the event hashtag. It’s easy to share the link to a file, so you don’t have to worry about emailing or uploading to Dropbox.

There are multiple settings, so you can control who sees a document, and whether they can simply view it, edit it, or comment on it. Adding links and images is straightforward and simple.

Amazingly, it’s free.

8. Draft

As an editor, I’m a bit of an evangelist for Draft, and here’s why. When writers submit articles to me as Microsoft Word documents, I have to use the Track Changes feature to edit.

When my comments or questions for the writer are long, instead of showing up on the page, they show up on the side of the text in tiny comment boxes, and it’s very difficult for writers to know which comments relate to which sections of text.

If using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature makes you want to bang your head against the wall, consider Draft as an alternative. This beautifully designed app is incredibly efficient for collaborative editing.

If I add text to someone else’s document, the additions are highlighted in green. Deletions are highlighted in pink. Draft displays comments next to the appropriate section of text, and you can view multiple versions side by side.

The writer can accept or reject changes, and there is a version control feature — so you can go back to a previous edition, if needed.

Best of all, you can upload documents from Draft directly to WordPress, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and MailChimp.

Draft can be used for free, but you can support it by paying $ 3.99/month (or $ 39.99 annually). The paid version has a few additional perks, and proofreading, which Draft refers to as “editing,” is also available for an additional fee.

Content management

9. WordPress

WordPress obviously helps you connect with your audience online, but Chief Copywriter Demian Farnworth uses it as a writing instrument as well.

He likes to write drafts directly inside WordPress itself, even if he has to turn in a Microsoft Word document. Why? Because it helps him code the article with html. Later, he can simply copy and paste the coded text into any other file format.

It also allows him to review his draft on an actual web page to give him a better sense of how the published article will look.

“And now that WordPress has distraction-free writing, it’s approaching the simplicity of other platforms like Medium and Ghost,” Demian adds.

Prices for a self-hosted WordPress website with excellent hosting will vary.

10. Rainmaker Platform

Many of you already listen to the New Rainmaker podcast, hosted by Brian Clark and Robert Bruce. And many of you have also signed up for the New Rainmaker Training Course, which includes seven foundational lessons (audio and text formats), three webinars (with transcripts), follow-up lessons, and case studies. (The two week training course is currently free for a limited time.)

How do Brian and Robert easily manage all of these different components of their website, so that they have time to focus on creating episodes of their popular podcast? The Rainmaker Platform, naturally.

The Rainmaker Platform is a complete, turnkey website solution for serious content marketers and online entrepreneurs. It contains the tools to build a content-driven website without the hassle of finding hosting, battling to achieve solid SEO, dealing with maintenance, and performing upgrades. Rainmaker takes care of all of those time-consuming tasks for you.

You can actually do much more with the Rainmaker Platform, which also includes 27 different mobile responsive designs built on HTML5. Experience this brand-new online sales and marketing engine for yourself through the free trial.

Over to you …

When you find systems that work for you, they can help jumpstart your writing and provide peace of mind during your workday.

To share your favorites, including any helpful secret weapons we may have missed, head on over to Google+ to join in the discussion.

Flickr Creative Commons Image via ntr23.

About the Author: Yael Grauer is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in making complex topics accessible. Find her at YaelWrites.com. Get more from Yael on Google-Plus.

The post The Copyblogger Editorial Team’s 10 Must-Have Tools To Ensure a Smooth Workday appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Social Media Marketing: Tools and takeaways to implement today

Featuring tips on social media marketing, this post takes insights from three speakers and the organizer of the recently held DFW Rocks Social Media Day event held in Dallas, Tx. Find out what these social media experts have to share and take advantage of a number of useful links to no-cost social media analytics tools.

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