Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Facebook removes 5K ad targeting filters to keep advertisers from discriminating against ethnic & religious groups

Along with fewer ad filters, Facebook is trying to fight discrimination with a new certification tool that is now part of its Ads Manager platform. The post Facebook removes 5K ad targeting filters to keep advertisers from discriminating against ethnic & religious groups appeared first on...

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Marketing Day: Facebook’s ad spend at a standstill, Google class action, new Instagram feature & more

Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web. The post Marketing Day: Facebook’s ad spend at a standstill, Google class action, new Instagram feature & more appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Twitch to monetize its Twitch Prime user base

Twitch Prime users wanting an ad-free experience will have to upgrade to the $8.99 a month Twitch Turbo account. The post Twitch to monetize its Twitch Prime user base appeared first on Marketing Land.

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As advertisers pull back on Facebook, Instagram’s ad spend growth rate is booming

Facebook's ad spend is at a standstill, but Instagram's is on the move. Here's a look at just how much it's up and what's driving the growth. The post As advertisers pull back on Facebook, Instagram’s ad spend growth rate is booming appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Google faces potential class action, FTC penalties for ‘surreptitious’ location tracking

A lawsuit filed last week and a request for the FTC to enforce a consent decree both stem from the AP story about location tracking. The post Google faces potential class action, FTC penalties for ‘surreptitious’ location tracking appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Instagram makes a play to keep users scrolling with new ‘Recommended For You’ posts

The new feature being tested conflicts with the digital well-being initiative behind Instagram's "You're All Caught Up" feature launched last month. The post Instagram makes a play to keep users scrolling with new ‘Recommended For You’ posts appeared first on Marketing Land.

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Less is More: Why I Wish I Never Wrote 4,784 Blog Posts

blogging

Can you guess how many blog posts I have on NeilPatel.com?

Well, if you guessed 4,784 you’re wrong. 😉

Technically I just published this blog post, which makes it 4,785.

That’s a lot of content! Especially considering that the blog has been around for roughly 4 years. That means that I am publishing an average of 3.27 blog posts per day.

I know what you are thinking… seems a bit too much content for one person to write.

Well, let’s first go over how I published 4,784 blog posts in 4 years.

Did you really write all 4,784 posts?

Just look at the screenshot below:

4784 posts

As you can see there really are 4,784 blog posts published on NeilPatel.com.

But here’s the thing: If you look closely at the image you’ll notice that some of the posts are in different languages.

There’s content in German, Spanish, Portuguese, and English. And no, I don’t know how to fluently speak all of those languages.

Which means I only wrote the English posts.

In other words, I paid people to manually translate my content into multiple languages.

In addition to that, I acquired the KISSmetrics blog and their 1,313 blog posts got merged into NeilPatel.com.

So, I only wrote 862 blog posts myself. The rest are from the KISSmetrics blog and translations (not all of the content has been translated).

Considering that I didn’t have to write all of the 4,784 blog posts, you are probably wondering why I regret it.

Why wouldn’t you write all that content?

More content doesn’t mean more traffic. It’s really that simple.

Sure, if you blog 100 times a day like those news sites your traffic should go up. But there is no guarantee because there are 199 other factors that Google is looking at.

Plus, it would be really expensive to produce 100 pieces a day!

Let’s look at the traffic on NeilPatel.com:

traffic

As you can see from the image above, my blog generated 1,701,486 unique visitors and 5,948,818 page views. Now let’s look at what pages are generating the visitors.

top 10 pages

You’ll notice that my homepage generates a lot of page views. A large portion of that is bot traffic that is coming from Turkey. Don’t ask me why!

So, let’s look at the “unique page views” number as that number excludes most of the bot traffic.

The top 10 pages account for 29.23% of the traffic. But what’s crazy is that 5 of the 10 most popular pages are tools. (That’s why I switched my SEO strategy to spend more time and money on technology.)

But I love blogging, so I wouldn’t just stop writing.

Now, let’s look at the top 50 pages:

top 50 pages

The top 50 pages make up 45.75% of my traffic. As you can see, each post starts driving a lot less traffic when you go past the top 10 pages.

top 250 pages

And the numbers get smaller as you keep going down the list. The top 250 pages make up 64.49% of my traffic. The top 500 pages make up 72.96% of the traffic. And the top 1000 pages make up 80.99% of the traffic.

In other words, most of the content doesn’t even generate that much traffic. More than half of my content doesn’t even generate 83 visits a month.

Read that again:

More than half of my content doesn’t even generate 83 visits a month!!

There are a few popular posts and pages that do extremely well and then there is a huge long tail, in which the rest of the content barely generates any traffic.

And I am the unique case because I know SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing better than most people. I am able to generate more traffic to my unpopular posts than most blogs.

To prove it, I analyzed data from 11 blogs that generate anywhere from 1,301,492 to 24,502,503 unique visitors a month. And these blogs have anywhere from 5,592 to 29,095 blog posts.

Let’s look at what portion of their traffic comes from their top 10, 50, 250, 500, and top 1,000 pages.

traffic top pages

You’ll notice that their top 10 and even top 50 pages don’t make up as high of a percentage of their total traffic compared to NeilPatel.com, but you have to keep in mind that none of these blogs have tools. People love tools.

But their top 250 pages make up 68.97% of their total traffic, their top 500 pages make up 81.45%, and their top 1,000 pages make up 86.88%.

Assuming your blog is large, you’ll find that it is hard to generate traffic outside the top 10% of your content. If you know SEO well, you can make those numbers a bit better like I have, but it isn’t easy.

So why would you want to write tons of content people won’t read?

So, what would you do instead?

As I mentioned above, I love blogging. So, no matter what, I wouldn’t stop. It’s not only about the traffic, it’s not only about the revenue, blogging is just fun for me.

But I would have adjusted my strategy earlier on.

I would use tools like Ubersuggest and Ahrefs to see the top pages of my competitors (the screenshot below is from the new Ubersuggest tool, which is not out yet).

backlinko

Then I would dig in and see what keywords are driving their traffic.

top pages

From there I would double check to make sure that that the page also is loved by people and not just search engines. I would do this by looking at the social share count, which you can also see in the screenshot above.

In other words, if people are sharing content heavily on social sites like Facebook, it means that they enjoyed reading the content.

Once you have a list of blog posts that do really well for your competition, from both a human and search engine perspective, you’ll want to create better versions of it.

That means you will want to make your content more in-depth, with better screenshots, maybe even include video tutorials, infographics, or whatever else you can think of that will make your post better than the competitions.

This way you are ONLY writing content that has a good chance of getting tons of traffic versus cranking out hundreds if not thousands of content pieces that very few people will ever read.

So, would you still translate your content?

Similar to how I would still blog, but just not write 4,784 posts, I would translate my content, but just not all of it.

When I started translating my content, I made a huge mistake.

Can you guess what it is?

It’s that I was translating my content.

Here’s what I mean…

Even if you hire smart people who know your industry to translate your content, it doesn’t guarantee success. What’s popular in one country isn’t always popular in another country.

For that reason, you have to use keyword research tools like Ubersuggest to see what keywords are popular in each country.

ubersuggest

My traffic in regions like Brazil didn’t start growing fast until we started to transcribe the content and adapt it to the region. And now I can generate over 209,949 unique visitors a month from Brazil.

top countries

Even if you focus on only writing content people love and if you ever decide to expand internationally there is one big issue that you are going to face.

More content means more maintenance

People don’t really talk about this, but if you write thousands of blog posts as I have your traffic will eventually go down if you don’t update and maintain your old content.

It’s different for news website because their content isn’t evergreen.

But assuming you are writing evergreen content like me your traffic will drop if you don’t continually update your old, outdated content.

With NeilPatel.com my traffic has continually grown over time because I constantly update my old content, but I didn’t do that with my previous blog, Quick Sprout.

quick sprout traffic

Quick Sprout peaked at around 518,068 unique visitors a month. New content is still published on the blog each week, the on-page SEO is fine and the number of sites that link to Quick Sprout has grown over time.

link count

Yet the traffic is continually dropping because I haven’t been updating the old content.

When you have a lot of content like I do, it is a huge pain to update thousands of blog posts each year.

Luckily for me, I have an amazing team that goes through each post at least once a year and figures out if it needs to be updated (and if it does, they update it).

Conclusion

If I were starting over, I would use the simple process I described above, in which I would only write new content based on what both people and search engines love.

I would figure out what that content is by using tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest. I would look at total search traffic each blog post gets as well as how many social shares it has.

And as for how many posts you should publish, it really depends on your competition.

For example, if no one in your industry is doing content marketing, I would start off with one post a week until you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Because you wouldn’t be able to use tools Ahrefs or Buzzsumo to see what’s hot in your industry due to no one doing content marketing.

On the flip side, if you are in a space where all of your competitors are doing content marketing, I would try to play a game of catchup and crank out a blog post a day based on what’s popular.

But I wouldn’t write more than one post a day because content marketing isn’t just about writing content, it’s also about promoting the content.

And it is really hard to promote more than one piece a day. That’s why I blog weekly now instead of daily.

If you are wondering what process I use to promote and market my content, I break it down here. Here is a quick overview of my process:

  • Boosting posts – I spend $400 to boost each of my posts on Facebook. I don’t know why I spend $400 instead of $100 or even $1,000… it’s just a random number that I am comfortable spending each week.
  • Email everyone I link to – the second step I take is to email everyone I link out to. I ask them to share my content on the social web. (I provide an email template that you can use in the original post that breaks down my process)
  • Top sharers – I look to see who shared competitor articles on the social web and I ask them to share mine. (I also provide instructions and a template for this in the original post)
  • Beg for links – see who links to your competition and ask them to link to your site. This will help boost your search engine rankings. (I also provide instructions and a template for this in the original post)

And if you are wondering how much time you should spend writing versus marketing, use the 80/20 rule.

20% of your time should be spent on writing content and 80% of the time should be used to promote your content.

Keep in mind the goal isn’t to write more blog posts than everyone else in your space, it’s to only write posts that generate high volumes of traffic.

Of course, when you are following this advice, you’ll still find yourself writing content that doesn’t do too well every once in a while. That’s ok and every blog has that issue… but overall you won’t be stuck with thousands of blog posts that generate little to no traffic.

If you look at the NeilPatel.com blog, you’ll also notice that I only blog once a week. It’s because I’ve found it more effective. Once I switched to the strategy of blogging less, my traffic started to climb faster.

traffic compare

Sure, it’s less content for Google to index, but I’m spending more time promoting the content, hence my traffic is 21.31% higher.

So how many blog posts have you written? Are you going to change your strategy of blogging less frequently?

The post Less is More: Why I Wish I Never Wrote 4,784 Blog Posts appeared first on Neil Patel.



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Why more automation from Google Ads is good for tool makers and PPC careers

Marketers who question their future in an industry dominated by automation need to embrace change, says contributor Frederick Vallaeys. Here's how one man and his company said "bring it on" and thrived. The post Why more automation from Google Ads is good for tool makers and PPC careers appeared...

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3 Famous Writers on Process and Productivity

There is something both tragicomic and cathartic about trying to assume the dispositions of incredibly successful and prolific authors when you’re staring at a blank page. But what better way to procrastinate than to live vicariously through the habits and productivity secrets of renowned writers of yore. A brief tour of the scribe Hall of
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The Central Role of Advertising In The Customer Journey?

The Central Role of Advertising In The Customer Journey? written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

When you think of advertising, your first association might be with attracting new customers. Ads are supposed to reach out to audiences unknown, introduce them to your brand, and bring them on board.

But in reality, advertising can be used effectively throughout the customer journey. It’s not only a tool to reach prospective clients; it can also keep those you’ve already converted around for many years to come.

I’ve talked a lot in the past about the marketing hourglass, and while you’re undertaking that approach to marketing on the whole, you can incorporate advertising into each of the seven key steps along the hourglass.

Advertising to the Know and Like Crowd

Before someone ever becomes a customer, they will first need to come into contact with your brand and decide that you’re offering a product or service that’s unique and that will serve their specific needs in a way that no one else can.

If you’re looking to reach prospects, you want to target people who are similar to your current customers. It stands to reason that those who will have similar needs and wants to your current clients probably also have other similar attributes (age, location, budget, etc.).

Online advertising tools have become increasingly advanced and allow you to direct your ad spend only at those who are most likely to want to know and like your brand. Facebook offers a service called lookalike audiences, where business owners are able to upload the contact list of their current customers, and Facebook in turn identifies people with similar attributes for you to target with your ads. Google Ads offers business owners the ability to target users by geographical location and by those who are searching for specific keywords.

The key to advertising to prospects is knowing and understanding your current clients. The more data you have on them and their habits, the more likely you are to be able to hone in on a similar audience who would be more than happy to stumble across your business.

Advertising to the Trust and Try Crowd

Once someone becomes aware of your company, they move a bit further along the marketing hourglass to the trust and try stages. Here, you’ll want your advertising efforts to help users build confidence in what your brand can do, and to give them an opportunity to take what you’re offering out for a spin.

A key part of a prospect developing trust in your business is seeing you around consistently. The mere exposure effect in psychology says that people are more likely to trust someone or something that they see over and over again. Advertising across various channels (both on- and offline) will help to keep your brand front and center in prospects’ minds.

This also means that part of your advertising strategy is just about hanging in there. If you don’t see results right away from your advertising spend, don’t throw in the towel. Sure, it’s fine to tweak your approach, but scrapping the entire thing will take your business off the radar screen of those who might have been interested in giving your product or service a try if it had only popped up on their screen one or two more times.

Once prospects have seen you around and you’ve piqued their interest, they might want to take your product or service out for a test drive before committing and converting. Providing offers for free, advanced content like an eBook or access to a webinar, or giving prospects a free trial option can be the final step before converting. While I’d suggest that you take a more personalized approach to your interactions with prospects, it’s also possible to include offers in more general advertising. Just be sure that when you’re targeting specific people with personalized messaging, you’re offering something that isn’t generally available to anyone coming across your advertising.

Advertising to the Buy, Repeat and Refer Crowd

Congratulations! Your earlier advertising efforts were successful, and you’ve now gained your newest customer. But your work is far from over—now your focus needs to be on keeping the customer experience high.

Once someone has converted, your contact with them can be much more specific and personalized through other marketing channels, but it’s still possible to use advertising to keep current clients happy, have them coming back for more, and (most importantly) telling all their friends about you.

One of the most important things for creating repeat business is staying on-brand in your advertising. You’ve worked so hard to get in front of these customers and to win their trust, so you want to continue to hammer home your mission statement and keep your messaging and voice consistent so that your customers feel like they really know and understand your company. This helps to reinforce your trustworthiness, and will make those customers all the more likely to come back themselves and to become a referral engine.

You can also use these loyal customers as a part of your advertising efforts. Including testimonials from those who are already brand-loyal in your advertising campaigns can help to win over those who are still in the trust phase of the hourglass. Indeed, 70 percent of people say that they’re influenced by other consumers’ opinions shared online.

Advertising can be a powerful way to reach your customers and prospects alike. Advertising can be seen by and have an influence on people no matter where they are in marketing hourglass. Identifying the proper audience for your advertising efforts, creating a consistent message that builds trust, and staying top of mind with both prospects and current clients will ensure that you get the most out of your advertising dollars.



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