Alexa Blog https://blog.alexa.com Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:41:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.6 Conversion Rate Optimization Best Practices: 5 Mistakes Beginners Make https://blog.alexa.com/conversion-rate-optimization-best-practices/ https://blog.alexa.com/conversion-rate-optimization-best-practices/#respond Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:41:17 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5693 The great news about conversion rate optimization best practices is that other marketers have already pioneered successful recipes and identified some sure-fire duds. So you won’t have to waste time and money repeating those mistakes. As a beginner, you can leapfrog the competition by using your resources more intelligently and avoiding costly errors. You will [...]

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7 minute read

The great news about conversion rate optimization best practices is that other marketers have already pioneered successful recipes and identified some sure-fire duds. So you won’t have to waste time and money repeating those mistakes.

As a beginner, you can leapfrog the competition by using your resources more intelligently and avoiding costly errors. You will end up saving a ton of budget and hours by making these simple changes to how you approach your conversion rate optimization strategy.

Today, we’re going to share the top five mistakes CRO beginners make.

1. Making Changes Based on Opinion over Data

One of the most common rookie errors is launching a new variation without testing it. Just because a design looks cleaner, more modern, or more beautiful than its predecessor doesn’t mean it converts better. Resist the temptation to replace something old with something new without testing just because you think it will perform better. Be patient. Make sure the data supports your hypothesis that the shiny, new version is better than the original.


Just because a design looks more modern than its predecessor doesn’t mean it converts better.
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The most successful marketers aren’t the ones who can always predict which test will win—they’re the ones who don’t let their biases and ego get ahead of the data. They’re humble enough to know that their assumptions can be wrong—and often are. Note that there are some exceptions to the rules of analysis that we cover further down.

Most importantly, data never lies. If you’ve hit a conversion optimization plateau, the first place to look is your testing approach. Here are some real-world examples of how this happens.

Website Redesigns

People love to launch fancy, premium WordPress themes without testing because they assume the new version is superior to the old version.

However, a trendy or unique design doesn’t matter as much for conversions as you think. And even with experience, you can’t always predict the winning design by looks alone. So even though a new design may seem better, the numbers may tell a different story. A data-driven test can help you figure out which design guides users through the process most intuitively so you can base your decision on more than just a feeling.

Landing Page Layout

Landing pages play a crucial role in conversion optimization because they are the most common pages for lead collection.

Often, a marketer blindly launches a visually appealing landing page with more information and slick graphics because they assume that more is better than less. But the truth is that too many elements placed in the wrong areas can distract users from opting in. We’ve run into this scenario time and time again. With the best of intentions, marketers start “giving away too much of the farm”—so much so that users no longer feel the need to opt in.

Incremental Changes

Site owners often upgrade lead magnet designs or smaller elements, like footers, without testing. They think it’s such a minor change that a test isn’t needed and that a more modern design will surely outperform the old version. But that’s not always true.

Familiar designs may incentivize prospects more. Analyze the data to see if the new version actually converts better than the original. At the least, you’ll gain insight into whether it’s worth the time and money to invest in minor design upgrades in the future. 

Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker tool can give you data-driven facts to guide your conversion optimization. The tool identifies SEO opportunities that increase the chances of ranking in search engines to generate more traffic.

2. Writing Ad Copy That Doesn’t Match Your Landing Page Message

Another common mistake is discrepant messaging between your ads and landing page. While it may seem obvious to keep the message the same, this conversion rate optimization best practice is often lost in the shuffle when juggling a litany of moving parts.

Any medium- or large-sized company likely has multiple ad variations running and a laundry list of buyer personas they’re targeting in Facebook ads and AdWords. For example, an established law firm may be targeting everything from “personal injury lawyer” to “how to countersue.” With so much to manage, advertisers try to conserve time by using a few landing pages for everything. That way, they don’t have to create and maintain tons of pages.

The problem with this approach is that you end up with watered-down messaging on landing pages that doesn’t effectively align with your ads and demographics. If your ad offers a report or solution but your landing page says to sign up for updates, users will get confused or angry and bounce. This poor user experience leads to a lower quality or relevance score, which increases costs and lowers the chances of your ad showing.

Build unique landing pages for your ads. It requires more effort than using a few landing pages for everything, sure, but it’s worth the payoff. Specifically, check to make sure you have ad-landing page alignment between:

  • Your headlines
  • Any keywords, offers, or phrases used

Build unique landing pages for your ads. It requires more effort, but it’ll pay off #CRO #tips
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To succeed in PPC, you need consistent messaging and a solid CRO marketing strategy. Check out our PPC lead generation article for details on building a high-performance plan.

3. Waiting for Statistical Significance When It’s Unattainable (or Will Take Forever)

If you aren’t familiar with statistical significance, it’s a measure of how mathematically confident you can be that your new test is a winner. After all, data doesn’t lie. There are free statistical significance calculators online to help you do just that. It’s important to use this method, yet beginners often rely too heavily on it before launching a test.

In the real world, reaching statistical significance may never happen because you can’t get enough traffic. This problem is especially true for:

  • B2B industries
  • Small businesses
  • Small marketing budgets
  • High-ticket sectors (like real estate, information products, and software)

Sometimes, you can reach significance, but it will take months upon months instead of weeks. Often, it’s not worth waiting because you could instead test and launch new initiatives faster to see noticeable results. If you’re only conducting a change once or twice a year, your results will stagnate.

So what do you do if your budget or the size of your market limits your traffic?

First, roll out the test across all viable landing pages. Often, you’re running a test, like a button color change, on just one landing page. But most or all of your landing pages have a similar-enough format that you can run the same test across all of them. It’s the best way to get more data, faster.

Next, use your best judgment to decide on a winner even if the test hasn’t reached statistical significance. Conversion rate optimization strategy is part art and part science. In lower traffic environments, you run into many scenarios where math only gets you so far. In these cases, we recommend using a 50-click benchmark before deciding on a winner

Finally, you can work around this obstacle by testing significant changes rather than small ones, an approach we’ll cover in more detail in the next section. A bigger test is likely to impact your conversion rate more, which means you’ll need less traffic to reach statistical significance. Or you’ll be able to reach that 50-click benchmark more quickly.

Alexa’s Site Comparisons tool can accurately gauge the potential traffic you can get in your industry. It’s a great way of assessing the historical traffic of competitors to check if you can reach statistical significance.

4. Using Small Tests Before Big Ones

When it comes to conversion rate optimization fundamentals, this one is a big deal. Stop using small tests before big ones; start by testing big changes that will make a meaningful impact on conversions. Many advertisers make the mistake of testing something that may only have a minor effect on conversion rate, such as:

  • Button color
  • Button copy
  • Changes made below the fold
  • Copy changes in the body paragraphs
  • Slight design changes to the background

Instead, make significant changes that will leave a lasting, noticeable impact off the bat. These changes may include:

  • Redesigning the navigation menu
  • Redesigning the page above the fold
  • Redesigning the look and feel of the entire page
  • Moving more important elements above the fold
  • Changing the main appeal that you’re selling in headlines (fear of missing out versus status elevation)

Use psychographic segmentation to learn as much as you can about your prospects. By doing so, you can infuse the most compelling psychology into your CRO tactics and make the biggest improvement to conversions.

Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker and SEO Audit tools can give you ideas on how to optimize your page in an impactful way. Use them to discover ways to optimize your content to create a better user experience, improve visibility, and boost search performance.

improve seo performance tour

5. Running Too Many Tests and Pop-Ups on the Same Page at Once

Many beginners go crazy with conversion optimization techniques and run multiple tests on a page at the same time. It’s fantastic you’re pumped, but it’s also important to keep your data accurate.

Running multiple tests at once affects the accuracy of the analysis because each new element may be influencing (or confounding) the results of the others. Furthermore, running numerous pop-up boxes, hello bars, and site designs in the same user session disrupts the user experience. More than likely, your users will get annoyed and confused, which can compromise brand perception, session duration, and trust.

Running a test with many altered variables, called a multivariate test, usually only works for high-traffic sites and isn’t necessary to achieve excellent results. Leave this methodology to seasoned practitioners. Even they may not feel the need to use it. Instead, focus on the highest impact split tests, while being mindful of user experience.


Running tests with many variables (multivariate) usually only works for high-traffic sites. #CRO
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Conclusion

When it comes to conversion rate optimization strategy, most beginners don’t know where to start or what mistakes they could make. You can dramatically increase your conversions and eliminate wasted time and money by following the five conversion rate optimization best practices we covered here.

Before running a test, use this conversion rate optimization checklist to stay on track:

  1. Roll out changes based on data, not opinions.
  2. Make sure the messaging from the ad to the landing page is consistent and aligned.
  3. Don’t wait for statistical significance unless you have enough traffic to do so relatively quickly.
  4. Start by testing key elements, like headline and hero images, rather than less meaningful parts, like button color.
  5. Don’t test multiple elements at the same time.

You can apply these tips to any CRO marketing strategy, on any page. And for more guidance in that department, be sure to check out the ultimate guide to developing a marketing strategy.

Ready to optimize your pages for search?

Use these CRO best practices and Alexa’s SEO tools to prioritize optimizations to your site. Try the SEO Audit tool, On-Page SEO Checker, and more for free in the Advanced plan today.

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We’re Hiring a Demand Generation Manager https://blog.alexa.com/hiring-demand-generation-manager/ https://blog.alexa.com/hiring-demand-generation-manager/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2018 15:52:11 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5680 Are you skilled at managing integrated search marketing strategies? Do you strive to understand customers and what resonates with them? Alexa.com is hiring a results-oriented Demand Generation Manager to join our small team in San Francisco, California. If you're passionate about finding creative ways to connect with audiences, we want to talk to you! The [...]

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1 minute read

Are you skilled at managing integrated search marketing strategies? Do you strive to understand customers and what resonates with them? Alexa.com is hiring a results-oriented Demand Generation Manager to join our small team in San Francisco, California.

If you’re passionate about finding creative ways to connect with audiences, we want to talk to you!

The Candidate:

The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of successfully marketing and growing user bases for B2B SaaS companies. You will be able to share examples of your best work and clearly communicate the business objectives that drove your decision-making process and the quantifiable results that were achieved.

You’re a self-starter, tenacious, and highly analytical. You ask the right questions and are disciplined about digging into data to find the answers.

The Role:

The Demand Generation Manager’s role will primarily be to own SEO, SEM, and paid marketing efforts that drive awareness and customer acquisition. But as a member of our small team, you’ll have the opportunity to swim outside your lane and contribute to a variety of other email, content, and product marketing initiatives.

Get in Touch:

To read the full job description and to apply click here.

P.S. We’re also hiring a Lead UX Designer. Spread the word!

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Off-Page SEO Techniques: What Not to Skip https://blog.alexa.com/off-page-seo-techniques/ https://blog.alexa.com/off-page-seo-techniques/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 15:38:32 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5657 To get your website to appear in top search results, you need a complete SEO strategy. You can’t focus on just one aspect or approach to search optimization. You must implement a well-rounded strategy that includes on-page, technical, and off-page SEO techniques. The rest of this post will look at off-page SEO tactics and explain [...]

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6 minute read

To get your website to appear in top search results, you need a complete SEO strategy. You can’t focus on just one aspect or approach to search optimization. You must implement a well-rounded strategy that includes on-page, technical, and off-page SEO techniques.

The rest of this post will look at off-page SEO tactics and explain how you can execute them improve your website’s visibility and authority in search.

What Is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO techniques can help your website appear higher in search rankings. But unlike on-page SEO, off-page SEO is not related to optimizing your site or content itself. Instead, it uses tactics off of your website to increase your website’s authority.

To explain the difference between on-page and off-page SEO:

on-page seo vs. off-page seo

On-page SEO shows search crawlers what a website is about. It helps search engines see that a page is a good search result because it is relevant and useful.

Off-page SEO shows search crawlers that a website is important and valuable. It helps search engines see that a page is a good search result because the brand and website are authoritative and popular.

Let’s use Linkedin as an analogy. Think of the information on your Linkedin profile as on-page SEO. It tells other people what you’re about and what you’re good at. But the endorsements people give you, are off-page SEO. They’re votes of confidence that confirm what you’ve said about yourself is true.

The purpose of off-page SEO is to get search engines to see that your website is trustworthy, reliable, and therefore, a good search result.

You build this trust and authority through two primary factors: links and reputation.

Off-Page SEO Techniques for Link Building

The best way to show search engines that your website is trustworthy, valuable, and authoritative is by gaining links back to your site.

As in our Linkedin example above, search engines see links to your site as an endorsement. Because your site is valuable enough to be linked to by another site, search engines take this as a signal that your site is relevant and trustworthy. This is why link building is one of the most important off-page SEO techniques.

It’s important to note that not all links have equal value. Some links have more influence on search engines than others.

Search engines give links varying levels of value depending on the:

  • Linking site’s authority. Links from more authoritative sites have more value.
  • Relevance of the content on the linking page to the linked site. Links from pages that are relevant to your brand, industry, and linked content have more value.
  • Anchor text of the link. Links with anchor text that is relevant to your brand or content on the linked page have more value.
  • Number of links to the linking site. Links from sites that have a large backlink profile have a higher value.

So as you form a link building strategy, focus on gaining high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites, with relevant content and relevant anchor text.

To gauge the authority of a website and determine the value of the link, consider the site’s Alexa Rank. Alexa Rank indicates how authoritative a site is online. The lower the number, the higher the influence. For example, Google’s Alexa Rank is “1” because it is the most authoritative site online.

To research a site and find its Alexa Rank, use Alexa’s Site Overview Tool. Enter the site URL to find both the global and U.S. ranking.

alexa rank site authority

As you measure and monitor your link building, give a higher value to links you get from sites that have a strong Alexa Rank.

Guest Blogging

One of the most effective off-page SEO techniques is guest blogging because it helps with both link building and reputation building.

When you write a guest post for another website or blog, the site often lets you link back to your website in the post or author bio. This link adds a site to your backlink profile. It comes with an added benefit of reputation building as your name and brand are being featured on another website.

To implement this tactic, start by finding sites that would be good potential guest blogging opportunities. Use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find a list of sites. Enter the URL of up to 10 of your competitors and receive a map of sites that share the same audience. Sites on this list are ideal guest blogging sites, as you know you can use them to gain a link and get in front of your ideal audience.

guest blogging off-page seo techniques

To make sure a site is authoritative and that the link you gain will have high SEO value, click on a site to see its Alexa Rank. This data will help you see if the site is worth reaching out to.

analyze guest blogging sites

Once you determine a site is a fit because of good audience overlap and strong online authority, start guest blogging outreach to create a relationship and submit a post to the site.

find and reach audience tour

Brand Mention Link Acquisition

Guest blogging helps you gain links by reaching out to sites and getting your content published on other sites with a mention and link to your brand. But if your brand is popular or growing, it’s likely that you may have already been mentioned on other websites.

Search for your brand, product names, and taglines to find sites that have mentioned you on their site. If you find that a site has mentioned your brand but not linked back to you, reach out and ask them to add a link in their copy.

Broken Link Acquisition

Another way to research link building opportunities is by looking for sites that have broken links. In some cases, a website links to a resource or source only to later have the linked page be removed or taken down. This leads to a broken link on their site and an opportunity for you to replace it.

Look for sites that are relevant to your industry or topic and have broken links (using tools like Broken Link Builder or Check My Links). If you come across a broken link that could lead to a resource on your site, reach out to that site. Notify them of the broken link and provide the possible replacement to your site.

Competitor Research

To find even more link building opportunities, look to your competitors and see what sites have linked to them. When you look at the backlink portfolio of your competitors, you can find opportunities for your site to gain links from the same websites.

If a site has included a competitor (in an article roundup, directory listing, or featured post), it’s possible that the site will be interested in also featuring your site. So reach out to those sites and pitch them on mentioning and linking to your brand.

To perform a competitive analysis, use Alexa’s Competitive Backlink Checker. Enter the URL of one to 10 of your competitors and run the tool. The report produces a list of all of the sites that link to your competitors. You can see which sites are linking to which competitors and click to view the actual URL of the page that links to each competitor.

off page seo technique to find competitor backlinks

Off-Page SEO Techniques to Build Reputation

Links send concrete signals to search engines telling them that your website is high quality, relevant, and well-known. But you don’t always need a link to show search engines that your brand or website is important and popular. There are a few other non-link reputation signals that matter too.


Links send concrete signals to search engines that your website is high quality and well-known.
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Business Social Media and Directory Profiles

Setting up a website is the first step in building a web presence for your business. The next step is creating a business directory and social media profiles. Developing profiles on other authoritative sites shows search engines that you are a legitimate business with an established presence.

Plus, these profiles often allow you to link back to your site, which helps to build your backlink portfolio.

Create business profiles on all leading social media and business directory sites related to your industry. If you are a brick-and-mortar business, also set up a Google My Business page as this helps your brand appear as a rich result in search.

local off page seo techniques

Social Media Marketing

While it hasn’t been fully proven that social media shares and likes are an off-page SEO factor,, there are some compelling reasons to engage in social media marketing as a part of your off-page SEO techniques.

A strong social presence builds authority and reputation. It creates brand fans, spreads your content online, and drives people back to your site. This increases your site traffic and views, which does have a proven correlation to improve SEO.

Make social media marketing a part of your SEO strategy by creating shareable content, adding share buttons to your content, and having active social media pages.

Influencer Marketing

Another way to build your reputation is by using the reputation of others online. Through influencer marketing, you can form relationships with other influential brands and people and invite them to share your content and promote your brand.

When online influencers share your content or mention your brand, it has the same impact on SEO as other reputation drivers. It sends traffic to your site, increases the mentions of your brand online, and adds authority to your brand.

So as you build your reputation online, don’t do it all on your own. Find strategic partnerships and form mutually beneficial relationships with other influencers who can help you get more exposure from the right audiences.

Check and Improve Your Off-Page SEO Techniques

Off-page SEO techniques aren’t just the tactics that improve your search rankings. They also require monitoring and measuring to understand the effectiveness of your strategy.

You should use off-page SEO tools to monitor your links and reputation to see how your online authority is improving and changing.

For reporting and monitoring, use Alexa’s Site Audit Tool. The tool performs a scan of your site once a month and provides a report on the status of your off-page SEO (as well as many other SEO factors). The reputation metric helps you monitor your influence.

improve off page seo techniques

The report also includes a breakdown of your link profile and compares it to other sites so you can see how competitive you are online.

check link profile off-page seo

Bookmark this post and use it as your off-page SEO checklist to ensure you cover the most important tactics related to off-page SEO. Use these off-page SEO techniques along with your on-page SEO and technical SEO tactics to create a holistic strategy that helps your site compete for top spots in search.

For help with creating a complete SEO plan, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. It includes all of the Alexa tools mentioned in this post along with other research and planning tools that help you build a holistic SEO plan from start to finish.

improve seo performance tour

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The Quick Client Onboarding Checklist Every Agency Needs to Memorize https://blog.alexa.com/client-onboarding-checklist/ https://blog.alexa.com/client-onboarding-checklist/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 16:06:51 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5638 Getting off on the right foot is key to building a lasting, productive relationship between a client and digital marketing agency. From the start, the agency needs to make a professional and expert introduction, which is why a client onboarding checklist is so helpful. A client onboarding checklist outlines the best process for moving forward [...]

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6 minute read

Getting off on the right foot is key to building a lasting, productive relationship between a client and digital marketing agency. From the start, the agency needs to make a professional and expert introduction, which is why a client onboarding checklist is so helpful.

A client onboarding checklist outlines the best process for moving forward with a new client and ensures an agency never misses a step while building a strong foundation and relationship with their new partner.

So if you operate an agency, use this client onboarding process flow to create a welcome procedure that gives both you and your customer what you need to succeed.

Gather Preliminary Information From the Client

A great client onboarding process starts with gathering information from the client. So before you have your first kickoff call, use a new client onboarding questionnaire that lists the initial information you need.


A great client onboarding process starts with gathering information from the client.
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Document the following information about the client.

  • Budget
  • Website URL
  • Target audience
  • Competitors
  • Goals
  • Existing marketing initiatives
  • Current marketing tools
  • Point of contact within the organization

Assign Your Lead Team (and Know Your Roles)

Once you have initial information about the client, begin to get your team ready to work with them. Assign the lead team that will manage the account. Depending on the size of your agency, each client may have an:

  • Account manager: who communicates with the client and manages the project
  • Lead strategist: who leads the plans for the project
  • Creatives and specialists: who execute the plans (If at this point, you don’t have a strong enough plan to assign these roles, that’s fine. You can come back to assign these roles once a more defined plan is put in place.)

Before you talk to your new client, it’s essential to outline roles for your internal team members. If you are unclear about responsibilities within your organization, it will be noticeable to the client and potentially create confusing and uncomfortable situations.

Send a Welcome Email

The next item on your client onboarding checklist is scheduling a kickoff call where your client and team can get on the same page. To set up the call, send your client a welcome email that gives them a brief introduction and plan for the meeting. Include a:

  • Request for times for the kickoff call
  • Introduction to your team members who will be involved with the project
  • Outline of who needs to be on the call from the client’s team
  • Agenda for the kickoff call

Have a Productive Kickoff Call

As you go through your client onboarding checklist, the next task is to execute the kickoff call. Use the following client onboarding best practices for your first call with a new client.

Include your team members who will be working closely with the client. Often the person who made the sale to the client will make and lead the kickoff call. Other people who should be involved are the account manager, lead strategist, and other top members of your creative or strategy team. 

Gather your team and review the client before you place the call. It’s helpful for your entire team to quickly review the client and goals one more time before you get on the call.

Make introductions. Once you connect with the client, introduce each member of your team and explain what their role will be regarding the project.

Review the new client onboarding form. If you followed the client onboarding checklist, you already have initial information about the client. Now, use the call to dig deeper into those details. Go over their answers to make sure you are both on the same page.

Dig deeper. Then dive into a conversation about topics that are too detailed to ask in a questionnaire. Discuss the following information with the client:

  • Current challenges
  • Metrics they use to measure success
  • Sales processes
  • Buyer personas
  • Approval processes

Explain the next steps. End the call by giving the client clear expectations for what the next steps will be. If you follow this client onboarding checklist, the next steps will be to create a marketing strategy plan and send it to the client for review. Let them know when they can expect this first deliverable from you.

Create a Strategic Marketing Plan

The initial marketing plan you send to the client sets the tone for your working relationship. It outlines what you plan to accomplish and how you can help your client. It should start by sharing a competitive analysis that highlights their strengths and weaknesses. It should also include a section on opportunities and strategies that will help them reach their goals and overcome their challenges.

Complete a Competitive Analysis and Identify Weaknesses

The client may have given you a list of who they think their competitors are. This is useful and a good starting point for you to do your own research. But at this point in the client onboarding checklist, go deeper into competitor research.

Create a more detailed list of competitors. Further research the client and their competitors by entering the client site or a list of their known competitors in Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. The tool will produce a report that includes dozens of sites that have a similar audience to the target site. From here, you can see and select the sites that are the closest competitors to the client site.

client onboarding checklist know competitors

Select the “Table View” to see a list of similar websites along with their Blended Overlap Score and Alexa Rank. This information can help you determine which sites are the closest competitors. (Sites with a higher overlap score and strong Alexa score show a site has both similarities and online authority.) From there, add sites you want to research to a list and save it.

find client competitors

Once you add sites to the list builder, you can use it to run a variety of other reports.

client onboarding competitive research

Compare site statistics. Run a Site Comparisons report to get a variety of information about each site on your list. You can compare website traffic statistics such as the number of page views and unique visitors. You can also see and compare Alexa rankings, bounce rates, and times on the sites.

client onboarding site comparisons

The Site Comparisons report also includes reputation metrics, traffic sources, and demographic details of all of the entered sites. This information allows you to research and compare competitors and see how your client stacks up against their website performance and audience. 

check traffic sources for client onboarding checklist

Research competitor keywords. Run the Competitor Keyword Matrix to get insight into top keywords for the list of sites. The Share of Voice report shows which websites get the most traffic (both paid and organic) from keywords related to the sites. This information helps you see which competitors have the most control over industry keywords.

client onboarding checklist share of voice

The Competitor Keyword Matrix report also presents more detailed information about the terms. The report lists top keywords along with their popularity score (which indicates how many people are searching for the term) and competition score (which indicates how difficult it is to rank for the term).

The report also shows how well individual terms perform for each site. You can see the paid and organic traffic score for each term related to the sites entered. This data gives you insight into how competitors are performing, how the client site ranks, and what keyword opportunities might be available.

client onboarding checklist keyword research

Research competitor backlinks. Use the Competitor Backlink Checker to gather information about the link profiles of your competitors. Run the report to view how many sites are linking to your competitors, along with a list of the sites that are linking to them.

When you conduct a competitor backlink analysis, this information is useful because it shows what the client will need to do to compete. They will need to match the number of backlinks of their competitors if they want to be competitive in search rankings.

It’s also helpful because it highlights opportunities to find backlinks for your client. You can see the websites that link to one or more of your competitors, and then determine which sites might be opportunities for your client to gain links too. Click on the link to see the exact URLs leading to competitors and get more insight on link building opportunities.

find backlinks during client onboarding

Identify Opportunities and Create a Plan

Once you complete a competitive analysis, you will be able to identify both weaknesses and opportunities for your strategy. Use this information to put together a plan that will help the client reach their goals.

For tips on how to put together a full strategic marketing plan, check out our guides:

Create a Project Welcome Packet

The next step in the client onboarding checklist is introducing your plan to the client. Put together a welcome packet and:

  • Outline the strategy. Give the client a look at the competitive analysis you performed along with the plan for how you will overcome challenges and reach goals.
  • Set expectations. Outline how the project will work and what the client should expect as it relates to communication, turnaround times, and types of deliverables.
  • Include a style guide: If creative work is involved, include a style guide that outlines the way you will approach content and creative development.

Don’t just send this welcome packet to the client and get started on the project. Set up a follow-up call with the client to review the welcome packet and plan.

This preliminary meeting creates an opportunity for the client to ask questions and for you to reinforce your ideas and plans – vital ingredients for creating a strong and successful partnership from the start.

Execute This Client Onboarding Checklist

A client onboarding checklist helps your agency ensure you don’t miss a step while bringing on a new client.  It helps set the stage for a lasting, productive relationship that will be beneficial to both your agency and the client. So if you don’t currently follow a detailed client onboarding process, now is the time to start.

To get help with executing this client onboarding checklist, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Agency Plan. It includes all of the tools mentioned in this post to help you put together a powerful competitive analysis for your new client plans.

try alexa free for 7 days

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PPC Lead Generation Secrets for B2B Revealed (Hint: It’s About Buyer Intent) https://blog.alexa.com/ppc-lead-generation/ https://blog.alexa.com/ppc-lead-generation/#respond Thu, 03 May 2018 14:49:33 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5537 PPC lead generation can get complicated, and this is especially true in B2B marketing. This article reveals some core B2B PPC strategies and lead generation best practices we’ve crystallized over 10 years, thousands of campaigns, dozens of industries, and tens of millions in spend. You’ll walk away with the top PPC B2B lead generation secrets: [...]

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8 minute read

PPC lead generation can get complicated, and this is especially true in B2B marketing.

This article reveals some core B2B PPC strategies and lead generation best practices we’ve crystallized over 10 years, thousands of campaigns, dozens of industries, and tens of millions in spend.

You’ll walk away with the top PPC B2B lead generation secrets:

  • Understand the strategic differences between B2B and B2C
  • Lay the groundwork for PPC lead generation success
  • Measure B2B PPC results in an accurate, fair and transparent way
  • Prioritize targeting by buyer intent and allocate budgets accordingly
  • Appeal to multiple buyer personas in various stages of the buying cycle
  • Leverage remarketing to reduce costs and improve PPC lead generation

Let’s get started.

Understanding the Differences Between B2C and B2B PPC Strategy

Some people say that B2B and B2C are no different because “it’s all people-to-people.” But that’s like saying basketball and soccer are the same because they both use a ball.

You’re leaving money on the table by not optimizing for your target audience.

Here are the top differences that distinguish B2B from B2C that you should account for in your PPC strategy:

  • More expensive
  • Longer sales cycles
  • More buyers involved
  • More complicated products and services
  • A handful of sales can make a huge difference
  • You don’t actually hard-sell. The goal of content is to facilitate buying with attention, interest, desire, and action (AIDA)

Laying the Groundwork for PPC Lead Generation Success

B2B lead generation best practices come down to a few principles:

  • Conduct thorough keyword research
  • Maintain a content inventory
  • Facilitate the purchase rather than push it
  • Set up proper tracking for closed-loop reporting

Keyword Research

A core part of an effective PPC strategy is thorough research to identify all possible keywords you can target. Unfortunately, many marketers drop the ball here and fail to uncover worthwhile opportunities.

For that reason, use multiple keyword research tools to cover your bases. Alexa’s competitive analysis tools, such as the Keyword Clusters tool, are a great way to identify high intent buyer keywords and discover your competitor’s keywords.

find keyword opportunities using alexa

Additionally, Alexa’s Audience Overlap tool can help you visualize where your search market share is converging with competitors.

A Content Inventory

Work with your team to identify what content and assets you already have. Based on your results, you can often repurpose content and save tons of time and energy. This also allows you to prioritize and designate your existing theme and future content which you can then use to test for increasing conversions.

Facilitate The Purchase

In B2B, prospects don’t take well to the hard-sell.

Instead, 80% of the work should already be done before the call via the effectiveness of the content you’ve put in front of them. Bonus: woo them further with a structured remarketing strategy (we’ll show you how to do this later). You’ll practically have them drooling by the time you get them on the phone.

And that brings us to tracking, which is so important it deserves its own section…

Measuring B2B PPC Results in an Accurate, Fair and Transparent Way

Data tracking is like building a house. Without a rock-solid foundation, everything is bound to crumble.

Without proper tracking, you’ll never truly know what’s working and what’s wasting money. Thus, you can’t decommission ineffective campaigns and double down on revenue generators.


Data tracking is like building a house. Without a rock-solid foundation, everything will crumble.
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It seems like common sense, but from experience, tracking is often set-up improperly.

If you aren’t skilled at installing and optimizing tracking code, don’t be afraid to reach out to an expert who is. That investment will pay off in the long run – and maybe even in the short run.

Even if you are confident that your reporting is set up properly, make sure you test and double-check on a recurring basis. Proper tracking can break over time as new updates and software roll out.

In addition, when you have closed-loop tracking, meaning you can follow a prospect all the way from that first click to becoming a customer, you are empowered by your data and can iterate constantly.

For example, with proper tracking and reporting, we found that SEO as a medium wasn’t producing conversions for one of our client’s product lines. We were able to prove this with data and re-allocate resources to double-down on PPC for that product line. We also showed that our online marketing efforts translated into 13 highly profitable deals closed.

Unfortunately, many B2B businesses have a big, cloudy question mark when it comes to which marketing efforts are attributable to sales outcomes.

To have perfect tracking, set up an air-tight integration with your CRM that uses proper tagging as prospects move through the funnel.

Not only can you align with the sales team effortlessly, you’ll also easily see the quality of the leads you bring in, which allows you to tweak and iterate your marketing efforts over time to improve results.

Prioritizing Targeting by Buyer Intent and Allocating Budgets Accordingly

Focus your B2B PPC strategy around a single metric that you can quickly iterate, test, and measure.

In B2B, this one big metric ends up being some variation of the number of quality leads obtained.

Here are some examples of this metric as they relate to the marketing funnel:

  • EBook downloads (high or mid-funnel)
  • Webinar attendance (mid or low-funnel)
  • Case study downloads (mid or low-funnel)
  • Contact Us submissions (low-funnel)
  • Appointment requests (low-funnel)

If you want the highest-quality conversions at the lowest cost, optimize PPC campaigns and nurture prospects by buyer intent.


For the highest-quality conversions at the lowest cost, optimize PPC campaigns by buyer intent.
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Spend as much as possible on low-funnel intent first because they convert the best. Then, move up to mid-funnel.

Target high-funnel intent when you have more budget or want to expand campaigns in new directions.

To optimize conversions, understand the differences between intent on each platform and prioritize by effectiveness.

Contrary to popular belief, B2C platforms, like Facebook, are useful in B2B if done right. They can seem costly if not applied with strategic focus, but you can produce a positive ROI if you use effective advertising practices.

Here’s a list of major platforms ordered by effectiveness in B2B. You should prioritize your B2B lead generation strategy accordingly:

  • Remarketing (all platforms can do this)
  • AdWords
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook

The difference in PPC B2B lead generation for these platforms comes down to buyer intent. For example, people are on Facebook to connect with others and entertain themselves rather than to buy.

But those impressions “ad” up, and we’ve developed many ROI-positive campaigns for B2B clients on Facebook.

Conversely, when prospects are on Google, they can express red-hot intent with their searches, using buying keywords, and you can target them directly with ads.

AdWords Lead Generation

AdWords is extremely powerful for many B2B industries because unlike Facebook, where the user intent is lower and difficult to segment, you can access prospects who are definitely looking to buy.

To optimize results and see clear data in your reporting, organize the keywords you target into groups by buyer intent.

Start out with three large buckets: high-funnel, mid-funnel, and low-funnel buyer intent keywords.

If a lead is high-funnel, they are still in the research phase of their journey.

They are browsing around, and their buyer intent is low. They could be just looking for information and search a phrase like, “How can I improve team communication?” or “How can I see competitors’ PPC keywords?”

They’re not necessarily interested in a paid solution yet.

A mid-funnel user demonstrates higher buyer intent with searches like, “Email marketing tools price comparison.”

A low-funnel user has shown clear signs that they are getting ready to buy.

In B2C, this is indicated by a search like, “Where to buy red Nike Air Jordans.” In B2B, the intent isn’t as immediate because of the price tag, so it may be phrases like, “call tracking software” or “get a quote for email analytics software.”

As you get more advanced, group keywords by specific branded queries around your company’s name and services versus non-branded topics and location.

Usually low-funnel gets the lion’s share of budget in B2B search marketing, but this isn’t always the case.

Low funnel keywords tend to have the highest competition, which means they are also the most expensive.

Consequently, you may get more yield by going after mid-funnel keywords.

One huge mistake digital marketers often make with PPC lead generation is overemphasizing the conversion rate. However, what most companies ultimately care most about is getting the highest volume of quality leads at the lowest cost.

This is why mid-funnel keywords can be a sweet spot. Although conversion rates can be much lower, search volume is higher and CPC is lower. You can afford to compete, and you end up delivering more leads.

We can easily write entire articles about LinkedIn and Facebook ads. But to keep it concise, we will touch on the most important B2B lead generation strategies for each. These platforms are harder to generate a return on investment, so start with AdWords.

LinkedIn Lead Generation

This is the social media platform for B2B. Every day, tons of high-level professionals congregate there. Moreover, you are able to segment your targeting by business demographic data, including industry, company size, job title, and years of experience.

This makes it a gold-mine for B2B. But if your efforts aren’t based on timeless marketing principles, you may be disappointed with the results…

Despite LinkedIn’s robust targeting, its industry CTR is lower than other platforms. Increasing the conversion rate can be just as difficult because the audience tends to be far more discerning.

As a result, your CPC and CPL will be higher than what you see on other platforms because you’re paying for higher quality leads.

It is possible to turn a profitable ROI on LinkedIn, so persevere through the sticker shock.

The core ways to improve response on LinkedIn include effective hyper-targeting, personalized messages, compelling creative, irresistible offers, and retargeting.

Alexa’s Audience Overlap tool is a great way to identify related businesses you weren’t aware of which you can use to target your ads. This gets you a wider audience without compromising the quality of your targeting approach.

alexa audience overlap tool

Facebook Lead Generation

Some people claim that Facebook ads are a waste of time for B2B because of it’s consumer focus. But the truth is that almost the entire world has a Facebook account. And guess what?

Many of those consumers chatting up friends and family also need to buy stuff at work. Without testing Facebook, you are probably leaving a pile of money on the table.

Facebook tends to have a CTR at 2% if you have a good ad. You can aim for this benchmark to start.

With Facebook, a common mistake is to target too broadly. Most marketers don’t put in that extra work to learn more about their industry and are unaware of many prime Facebook pages they could target. Going after audiences of specific pages is a great way to infer demographics and interests that are aligned with your ideal customer profile.

In addition to strategic targeting, we recommend creating and testing engaging imagery and landing pages that drive the click and woo prospects to opt-in with a no-brainer offer.

Go beyond the standard “Get a free quote/appointment” offer you often see.

Appealing to Multiple Buyer Personas in Various Stages of the Buying Cycle

It’s critical that you understand the three key B2B buying personas and speak differently to each.

These personas are:

  • The economic buyer, the person who releases the budget
  • The user-buyer, the person who uses the product or service
  • The technical buyer, the person in charge of vetting solutions against user requirements

By taking extra time to understand the personas, industries, influencers, and interests of your ideal prospect, you can optimize targeting and messaging by channel and increase the quality and responsiveness of the audience reached.

Leveraging Remarketing to Reduce Costs and Improve PPC Lead Generation

Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is the process of targeting someone with ads who has already shown interest in your site with a visit or interaction.

When it comes to PPC, remarketing is certainly the highest ROI activity you can implement for your business. Think about it…

Prospects have already shown that they’re familiar with your brand and expressed some degree of buyer intent by visiting your site, especially if they hit service or product pages. A lot of the work has already been done by your prospects who are actually showing you what they want.

Whether you have a small or giant budget, we recommend spending as much as you can on remarketing first. But make sure you do so in a productive and responsible way. Show prospects your ads, but don’t annoy them by showing these ads excessively.

Today, you can retarget based on a prospect’s Google search, number of pageviews, or specific interactions on your site. You can also retarget with a YouTube or Facebook video ad or a display ad.

If you’re not retargeting yet (and lots of marketers aren’t), start simple with basic AdWords display retargeting to site visitors. Effective retargeting can transform your business.

So that wraps it up when it comes to our secrets for optimizing your B2B strategy for PPC lead generation.

Start building a better PPC lead generation strategy today.

Sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced plan and get all the tools you need to find, reach, and convert your target audience effectively.

try alexa free for 7 days

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The Essential Keyword Optimization Cheat Sheet for Better SEO https://blog.alexa.com/keyword-optimization/ https://blog.alexa.com/keyword-optimization/#respond Tue, 24 Apr 2018 06:48:36 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5470 When you publish a new post or page, you should always use keyword optimization tactics that help search engines understand what the content is about and improve the page’s chances of ranking. To help you through this process, use this keyword optimization cheat sheet to make sure you never miss a step while optimizing your [...]

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4 minute read

When you publish a new post or page, you should always use keyword optimization tactics that help search engines understand what the content is about and improve the page’s chances of ranking.

To help you through this process, use this keyword optimization cheat sheet to make sure you never miss a step while optimizing your next post or page. Also, get even more use out of this list by going back and doing an audit of your previously published posts to make sure they are fully optimized too.

Step 1: Do Keyword Research

You can’t optimize a web page before you have assigned it a target keyword, so the process of keyword optimization actually starts with keyword research. You must first find the best keywords to use as the primary and secondary terms for each page.

find content ideas tour

Find the Best Primary Keyword

To identify a strong primary keyword for your page, use this three-step process.

1) Choose a primary keyword that is relevant to your site. Put together an SEO keywords list of the best terms to use on your site. Enter a topic or term related to your brand or industry into Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. Use the relevance filter to find terms closely related to the main phrase.

keyword optimization research

2) Make sure the primary keyword is popular with users. Once you have a list of relevant terms, look for keywords that are commonly searched for. These terms have a high popularity score.

popular keyword research

3) Make sure the primary keyword is within your site’s competitive power. Finally, select low-competition keywords that your site can rank for. These keywords have a competition score that is within your site’s range. Alexa’s Marketing Stack suite of tools assigns a competitive power score to your site and indicates on the keyword difficulty report if you can compete for a specific term. The terms within your competitive range are highlighted in the competition column.

low competition keyword optimization

Using this process, choose a primary keyword that will attract audiences and give your website a chance to rank. Assign that term to one page of content on your site and use it as the primary keyword when you go through the keyword optimization process.

Pro Tip: Use the Competitor Keyword Matrix to find popular keywords your audience loves, and your competitors are already getting traffic for. Take a tour »

Find Four to Five Relevant Secondary Keywords

Once you assign a primary keyword to a page, perform the second round of keyword research. Look for terms you can use as secondary SEO keywords.

Secondary keywords are terms closely related to the primary keyword. Related terms are helpful for keyword optimization because they add context to a page and send extra signals to search engines to help them understand and rank the page.

So for each page on your site, find related keywords and choose four to five terms that support the primary keyword. The simplest way to find related keywords is to enter the primary keyword into a Google search and choose from the list of related searches.

related keyword optimization

Step 2: Follow This Keyword Optimization Checklist

Once you know the primary keyword and secondary keywords for your page, create your content and optimize your post. Use this checklist to make sure you use proper keyword optimization techniques throughout the entire page.

  • The primary keyword is in the page title.
  • The primary keyword is near the beginning of the page title.
  • The primary keyword is in at least one subheading.
  • The primary keyword is in the first paragraph of the body copy.
  • Content is between 300 and 10,000 words.
  • The primary keyword density is about 2%.
  • The primary keyword is near the end of the page.
  • Each secondary keyword is used at least one time.
  • Content uses semantic search phrases that reinforce your topic and primary keyword.
  • The primary keyword is in the permalink.
  • The permalink is under 128 characters.
  • The primary keyword is in the meta title.
  • The primary keyword is near the beginning of the meta title.
  • The meta title is unique and not a duplicate of other meta titles on your site.
  • The meta title is 66 characters or less.
  • There is only one meta title tag assigned to the page.
  • The primary keyword is in the SEO meta description.
  • The primary keyword is near the beginning of the meta description.
  • The meta description is 320 characters or less.
  • A least one image is on the page.
  • The primary keyword is in an image alt tag on the page.
  • The primary keyword is in an image file name used on the page.
  • There are internal links to the page from pages on your site that are relevant to your topic and primary keyword.
  • Internal links lead from the page to other pages on your site using the linked page’s target keyword.
  • There are outbound links on the page.
  • Outbound links lead to related content on high-quality sites.

Use this checklist to make sure you cover all your keyword optimization bases.
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Step 3: Check Your Work

The best way to ensure you didn’t miss any of the steps in this keyword optimization cheat sheet is by using a keyword optimization tool to check your work.

Once you publish your post, enter the page URL and primary target keyword into Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker. The tool will check your page against all of the best practices outlined in this post and return a report on the status of each point.

keyword optimization report

Along with a report on the status of your on-page SEO, the tool will also provide a list of suggestions and directions for improving SEO elements you may have missed.

check keywords on-page SEO

Performing keyword research and optimizing each page on your website increases your chances of ranking higher, driving more traffic to your website, and attracting more leads and customers.

Each time you publish new content on your site, use this keyword optimization cheat sheet to ensure every page is optimized for both search engines and readers.  And go back and double-check your work once it’s live. Never miss an optimization opportunity by using Alexa’s tools to check on-page SEO for your newly and previously published pages.

To make it easier to go through this process, get access to Alexa’s SEO Audit Tool, On-Page SEO Checker, Keyword Difficulty Tool, and other competitive, keyword, and market research tools. Sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan.

find content ideas tour

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How to Get SEO Clients With Data-Driven Outreach https://blog.alexa.com/how-to-get-seo-clients/ https://blog.alexa.com/how-to-get-seo-clients/#respond Wed, 18 Apr 2018 07:33:04 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5485 If you are an SEO agency or consultant prospecting for new clients, this post will take you through a step-by-step workflow for how to get SEO clients. As a bonus, we’ve included outreach email templates to help you close more deals using highly customized and compelling pitches. Your success in winning new SEO clients depends [...]

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9 minute read

If you are an SEO agency or consultant prospecting for new clients, this post will take you through a step-by-step workflow for how to get SEO clients. As a bonus, we’ve included outreach email templates to help you close more deals using highly customized and compelling pitches.

Your success in winning new SEO clients depends on these two critical steps:

  1. Finding highly qualified prospects
  2. Making your pitch impossible to ignore

In the steps below, we will show you how to get SEO clients who are a perfect fit for your agency’s area of expertise. And we’ll help you zero in on the prospects who have the highest likelihood to hire you. Then, we’ll help you uncover the low-hanging fruit growth opportunities that you can propose to the prospect.

How to Get SEO Clients in 2 Steps

1. Find Highly Qualified SEO Prospects in Your Industry

First, let’s define what a “highly qualified” prospect is. Your ideal SEO client should be someone who has some amount of success in organic search but is not yet the leader among their competitors. If they are already at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), then they probably don’t need your help. Reaching out to them will be a fruitless effort. If they are not in the SERPs at all for many relevant keywords, they might not be ready to invest in an SEO strategy. You might spend countless unbillable hours educating them about SEO before you can even start to sell them on your agency.

Takeaway: Look for prospects who have started to invest in SEO. This is a sign that they value SEO as a strategy and might be willing to invest even more in it. Perhaps they just need a little help – your help – to move up in the SERPs.

When finding SEO clients, it’s important to focus on prospects in an industry you have experience and success in. This will make it easier to earn their trust. By sharing your past success stories that are relevant to them, you will make it easy for them to envision how you might help and the positive results you’d generate.

Takeaway: Leverage your past success stories to find and convince similar SEO clients that you can do the same for them.

1. Start by identifying a keyword in the industry you serve and would like to target. For example, an SEO agency that serves B2B software companies may choose the term “document management software.” You’ll use this term to look for sites that are not at the top of SERPs but, with a little help, can get there.

2. Enter the term into Alexa’s Keyword Share of Voice Tool. Share of Voice (SOV) is the percentage of exposure a brand gets for a particular keyword. When you enter the term into the tool, you will see the brands that have the highest SOV at the top of the list. These sites likely don’t need your services, as they are already performing well. But the sites that appear in the range of roughly number 10-30 on the list may be ideal clients.

find qualified seo prospects

3. Browse through the list to find sites that could be ideal clients. These sites aren’t already at the top, but they show potential. They have a fighting chance of getting more SOV and traffic for the keyword if they invest in the effort. To get additional information and learn more about a site, view their Site Keywords and note how much of their organic traffic is coming from those keywords.

research how to get seo clients

How important is the keyword to their organic traffic? Also, note what SOV they have for that keyword. Is it the biggest traffic driver, yet their SOV is small compared to the top site in the keyword SOV list? All of this information helps you as you learn how to get SEO clients, because it allows you to see if the client has potential to improve their SEO, and, therefore, be an ideal client for your agency.

get SEO clients

For example, maxxvault.com might be an ideal client because they get 17.40% of their organic traffic from one keyword – “document management software” – which is the keyword that drives the most organic traffic to their site. Yet, they only have 1.63% SOV for that keyword compared to the No. 1 site that gets 28.8% SOV (which you can see on the Alexa Share of Voice report).

4. Once you identify one ideal prospect, you can expand your outreach list using Alexa. Repeat steps 2 and 3 and save all sites that look interesting by clicking the star.

how to get seo clients

Enter any of the sites you found into Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool to find similar sites that may also be good candidates for your SEO outreach efforts. Build your SEO clients list by selecting relevant sites and saving them to a list. That way you can go back and pull data for each site as you fill in the outreach email templates.

build SEO clients list

2. Prepare a Pitch They Can’t Ignore

Once you have gone through the client prospecting process, the next lesson in how to get SEO clients is putting together outreach emails.

Use one of the email templates below that proposes an opportunity for the prospect’s site.

Support your pitch with SEO data about their site and graphics to illustrate key points. Use Alexa tools to find data and take screenshots to add visual interest to the proposal. The more personalized insight you can provide, the more you will stand out from the competition.

To make your SEO client outreach emails convincing, include a case study that shows the results you’ve achieved for similar clients. This shows the client that your experience is backed up by proven results – improving the chances that they will respond to your outreach.

Finally, end the email with a call to action to schedule a call to review the information.

Grow Your SEO Clients List Using a Data-Driven Pitch

Every prospect has an opportunity to improve in some way. You just have to surface the data that proves it.  Below are a few opportunities you can uncover using Alexa data followed by the corresponding email templates to help you pitch those opportunities.


Every prospect has an opportunity to improve. You just have to surface the data to prove it.
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Pitch No. 1: Highlight Opportunities to Improve Share of Voice

Show potential clients the difference between their Share of Voice versus the top competitors for an important keyword. From Site Keywords, find a term that looks important to the prospect’s site.Then run a Keyword Share of Voice report to find out how much SOV they are leaving on the table.

opportunity to improve share of voice

In your email, incorporate the data you found from Site Keywords about how much traffic the target keyword already drives to their site. Point out that with a higher share of voice, they could attract even more traffic for that term. This reinforces that you already understand what keywords are important to the prospect.

site keywords share of voice

Here is a template email you could send to maxxvault.com based on their opportunity to improve share of voice. To create an email for one of your potential SEO clients, change out the information in brackets.

Hi [NAME],

I noticed that [maxxvault.com] is getting good organic traffic for the term “[document management software].” According to Alexa.com’s estimates, it drives the most organic traffic to your site for all your keywords. [17.4%] of your organic search traffic comes from that keyword.

I also saw that you currently only have [1.63%] share of voice for that keyword compared to the [29.83%] share of voice that the top site for that keyword gets. With such a high-volume topic, there is a lot more traffic you could be getting for it. 

prospect share of voice opportunity

You can get this screenshot by using the Keyword Share of Voice report.

I have a few ideas that could help you capture a greater share of voice for “[document management software].”

I’ve successfully helped other sites in the B2B software industry increase their share of voice and drive more organic traffic. I’ve attached a case study that I think is relevant to you.

Do you have 30 minutes to talk through these ideas this week?

Cheers,

[NAME]

Pitch No. 2: Highlight Missed Keyword Opportunities

Another way to get SEO clients is to show them what their keyword gaps are and how you can help them fill those gaps. Using Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix, you can uncover keywords your potential client is missing in their strategy.

Take a tour of the Competitor Keyword Matrix now »

Starting with the Audience Overlap Tool, input your prospect’s site to find sites that share an audience with them. Select up to 10 sites, including the prospect site, and run a Competitive Keyword Matrix report for the group of sites.

prospect keyword competition

Once the report populates, filter the report by organic keyword gaps for the prospect’s site.

prospect organic keyword opportunities

Note the SEO keywords that look interesting that the site is not getting traffic for, and find a few surprise keywords the client might not have thought of. The Keyword Clusters view can help you uncover unexpected keyword themes. Report what you find in the client outreach email template. 

SEO client keyword data

Hi [NAME],

I noticed that [maxxvault.com] is getting good organic traffic for the term “[document management software].” According to Alexa.com’s estimates, it drives the most organic traffic to your site for all your keywords.

I have ideas for capturing traffic for additional keywords that are related to your industry and popular among your target audience. You are currently missing these keywords, and they could provide high-quality, relevant traffic to your site. They include “[client document management],” “[property management software documentation],” “[hr document best practices],” and more.

My goal would be to increase your share of voice among your top organic search competitors. Currently, you have [6.5%] share of voice in organic search compared to these sites shown below.

SEO client share of voice

You can get this screenshot by using the Competitor Keyword Matrix report and entering the target site along with a few of their competitors.

I’ve successfully helped other sites in the B2B software industry increase their share of voice and drive more organic traffic. I’ve attached a case study that I think is relevant to you.

Do you have 30 minutes to talk through these ideas this week?

Cheers,

[NAME]

find content ideas tour

Pitch No. 3: Highlight Untapped Link Building Opportunities

Another way to get SEO clients is to show them how you can help them improve their inbound link profile. Use Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker to uncover gaps and underperformance in their link profile compared to their competitors. (Reminder: In pitch No. 2, we showed you how to use Audience Overlap to find your prospect’s top competitors to use for this analysis.)

Find backlinks to your prospect’s competitors that your prospect does not have. If the competitors have more links than the prospect, let them know that in your email. For example, if the prospect only has 500 backlinks, but their competitors have an average of 2,000 – let the client know they need backlinks to build authority and be competitive.

Hi [NAME],

I noticed that [maxxvault.com] is getting good organic traffic for the term “[document management software].” According to Alexa.com’s estimates, it drives the most organic traffic to your site for all your keywords.

You could drive even more traffic to your site for that keyword and other related industry terms if you improve your site’s authority. To do this, you must increase the size of your site’s backlink portfolio. According to Alexa.com, your site has [118] sites linking in, while your top competitors have an average of [182]. I see that your competitors have received links to sites that your brand has not – some of which include: [stuffgate.com] and [websitelists.in].  

SEO client backlink opportunities

You can get this screenshot by using the Competitor Backlink Checker and adding your target site along with a few of their competitors.

I have ideas to help you earn links on the sites that are already linking to your competitors – which will help boost your online authority and search rankings.

I’ve successfully helped other sites in the B2B software industry increase their share of voice and drive more organic traffic. I’ve attached a case study that I think is relevant to you.

Do you have 30 minutes to talk through these ideas this week?

Cheers,

[NAME]

Pitch No. 4: Highlight Fixes to Technical SEO Problems

Agencies that specialize in technical SEO services can also use Alexa SEO Tools to uncover opportunities for their prospects and show the value of their SEO services.

Using the SEO Audit Tool, run a report on a potential client site to discover optimization opportunities that you can mention in the email. The report produces a full list of action items to improve the site’s visibility in search. You can copy these tips and put them in the email.

get SEO clients site audit

You can even pull specific numbers from the report to let the client know exactly what is wrong with their site. Or you can provide a graded report that shows the status of their site.

SEO audit for new clients

Hi [NAME],

I noticed that [maxxvault.com] is getting good organic traffic for the term “[document management software].” According to Alexa.com’s estimates, it drives the most organic traffic to your site for all your keywords.

You could drive even more traffic to your site for that keyword and other related industry terms if you improved some technical SEO elements on your site. I noticed that you could make some improvements to help your site appear higher in search rankings. Some of these changes include:

-Fix broken anchor text links – your site has 10 broken links. For example, on [insert specific page], the link to [insert specific link] is broken.

-Give each page a unique title tag – your site has over 300 pages with similar title tags. For example, the same title tag is used on [insert specific page] and [insert specific page].

-Fix search crawler errors – your site has nine pages with crawler errors. For example, [insert specific page] has [insert specific error]  

-Resolve 301 redirect errors – (your site has 40 redirect pages).

My goal would be to optimize your site, so it appears higher in search rankings, and increase your organic share of voice. As you can see in the screenshot below, your website has a much smaller organic share of voice compared to your competitors.  

SEO client share of voice

You can get this screenshot by using the Competitor Keyword Matrix report and entering the target site along with a few of their competitors.

I’ve successfully helped other sites in the B2B software industry increase their share of voice and drive more organic traffic. I’ve attached a case study that I think is relevant to you.

Do you have 30 minutes to talk through these ideas this week?

Cheers,

[NAME]

How to Get SEO Clients and Grow Your Agency

Getting more SEO clients is fast and easy when you have Alexa’s Agency Plan to help you quickly find qualified prospects and uncover opportunities for them in a matter of minutes.  Use the insights you find in Alexa and the email templates above to create customized and personalized outreach emails that will help you win more SEO clients.

This personalized approach will help you stand out from the generic emails your competitors send and give clients the data-driven proof they need to trust your agency, knowledge of the industry, and the power of well-formed SEO strategies.

To improve your process for how to get SEO clients and deliver impressive results for all your clients, sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Agency Plan

try alexa free for 7 days

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Win More Clients and Accelerate Their Growth with Alexa’s Agency Plan https://blog.alexa.com/win-clients-accelerate-growth-alexas-agency-plan/ https://blog.alexa.com/win-clients-accelerate-growth-alexas-agency-plan/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 19:57:54 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5396 When the success of your agency relies on a robust client portfolio, you need tools that help you understand your client’s industry, competitors, and audience quickly. Whether it’s pitching an SEO plan to new prospects, or developing a marketing strategy for an existing client, you should always feel confident answering the question, “How can your [...]

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3 minute read

When the success of your agency relies on a robust client portfolio, you need tools that help you understand your client’s industry, competitors, and audience quickly.

Whether it’s pitching an SEO plan to new prospects, or developing a marketing strategy for an existing client, you should always feel confident answering the question, “How can your agency help us grow our business?”

Alexa’s new Agency plan provides a complete SEO and competitive analysis toolset for crafting and managing holistic growth strategies for new and existing clients.

Use it to prove your agency’s value, earn trust, and become indispensable to clients. Keep reading to learn how Alexa’s Agency plan can help you be the champion of your clients’ growth strategies.

try alexa agency 7 days free

5 Ways the Alexa Agency Plan Helps You Accelerate Your Clients’ Traffic and Growth

Comprehensive Competitor Analysis

To win and keep clients, your agency must have a deep understanding of your clients’ competitive landscape.

Using the competitive analysis tools in the Agency plan, you’ll be able to present a holistic view of a client’s popularity, traffic sources, audience, keywords and backlinks side-by-side in direct comparison to competitors.

Not only that, you’ll reveal gaps in their strategy they can fill to improve their share of voice and accelerate growth.

This insight will set you apart from the competition, help you win new clients, and be a primary contributor to their growth engine.

alexa audience overlap tool

Portfolio Management and Tracking

With the Agency plan, you can see all of your client projects at a glance. That way you can monitor for negative traffic changes or SEO problems that need attention right away.

project hub project management

Pro Tip: If you spot a change, you can dig into why it happened using Alexa’s competitor research. If something changed for your client, did it also change for the rest of their competitors? What caused the change? Do you need to make an adjustment to your client’s strategy?

The Project Hub also serves as your jumping off point into other Alexa tools for keyword or competitor research. Consider it your home base.

Better People Management

When all team members are on the same page, you can more effectively serve your clients.

With the Agency plan, you can assign team members to projects so you can collaborate on research to produce the best results. Keep the team focused on executing strategy and all eyes on client performance.

agency people management

Competitor Keyword Research

Deliver a keyword strategy that targets low-competition opportunities your clients have never seen before.

Using the Competitor Keyword Matrix, you can uncover new SEO keywords their audience loves and your clients haven’t targeted yet. This niche marketing approach will drive more loyal, qualified traffic for your clients.

Improve their share of voice and boost their performance with targeted and competitive keyword research that differentiates them in search.

competitor keyword matrix

Recurring Site Audits

Prove the value of your SEO services by uncovering missed opportunities for clients. Using the SEO tools in the Agency plan, you can quickly determine a client’s performance in search and where there are opportunities to optimize their content and website.

improve seo performance tour

When you pitch prospects, use the SEO Audit tool to create an SEO Audit report that outlines issues that may be keeping them from ranking in search behind the scenes. Being able to detail actionable steps for improving performance will build trust and prove just how valuable your agency is.

alexa site audit

The Agency plan is a win-win for your clients and your business. Use the Agency plan to:

  • Improve your close rate by identifying the most highly qualified, relevant prospects to pitch.
  • Reduce unbillable hours by slashing time needed for competitive research and surfacing insights.
  • Earn trust and loyalty by uncovering untapped growth potential and crafting highly personalized, actionable strategic plans.

Make Your Agency Indispensable to Clients

Be the trusted source of information and strategy for your clients. Spend less time researching and speculating, and more time uncovering valuable opportunities to accelerate your clients’ growth. Get started now with a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Agency plan. You’ll get access to all of the tools and features mentioned in this post, including SEO Audit tool, Competitor Keyword Matrix, and more.

try alexa free for 7 days

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50 Best Practices for SEO That Will Ignite Growth https://blog.alexa.com/best-practices-for-seo/ https://blog.alexa.com/best-practices-for-seo/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 13:50:33 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5456 Search engine optimization isn’t one single task or strategy you implement to boost your website to the top of search engine rankings. An effective optimization plan combines a variety of best practices for SEO that come together to help websites gain authority in SERPs. If you want to increase your website’s rankings, help more [...]

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10 minute read

Search engine optimization isn’t one single task or strategy you implement to boost your website to the top of search engine rankings. An effective optimization plan combines a variety of best practices for SEO that come together to help websites gain authority in SERPs.

If you want to increase your website’s rankings, help more people find your brand through search, and grow your digital authority, you should use as many best practices for SEO as possible. Here’s a comprehensive list of the strategies you should focus on.

SEO Best Practices Checklist

Keywords

Conduct keyword research. Conduct keyword research to gain insight into the phrases your target audience searches for and to discover the keywords you’re able to rank for. To find the best keywords for your website, use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool to gain insight into search term popularity and keyword competitiveness.

keyword research best practices for SEO

Assign one primary keyword per page on your website. When you find the keywords you want to target, assign each term to one page – and only one page – on your website. Once you decide which primary keywords go with which pages, optimize those pages for the terms using on-page SEO factors described later in this post.

Don’t assign the same primary keyword to multiple pages on your website. Never assign the same target keyword to more than one page or post on your site. Using the same keyword on more than one page can lead to keyword cannibalization, which can have a negative impact on your ability to rank in search.


Never assign the same target keyword to more than one page or post on your site.
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Use the primary keyword in the page title. Best practices for SEO include using the primary keyword in the page title. If possible, place the target keyword as close to the front of the title as possible.

Use the primary keyword in the page’s URL. To write an SEO friendly URL, include the primary keyword in the link structure of the page. It’s also a URL structure best practice to keep the URL fewer than 128 characters.

Use the primary keyword in the first paragraph. Help search crawlers understand the page right from the start by using the primary keyword in the first paragraph of copy on your page.

Use the primary keyword in at least one subheading. Continue to support the page’s topic by using the primary keyword in at least one subheading in the content. This tactic should be one of the easiest best practices for SEO, as the content should primarily share information related to the keyword, making this a natural task.

Use the primary keyword in the meta title. Meta titles are headlines that appear with results on a search page. Include the primary keyword in this title as it helps crawlers understand the page, but more importantly because it helps searchers find relevant results on SERPs. Keep your title to 65 characters or less so the full headline is visible in results. Also, include the primary term as close to the front of the title as possible to help catch extra attention.

meta title best practices for SEO

Include the target keyword in the meta description. The meta description appears below the meta title in search results. It’s also important for the primary keyword to show early in this copy, so use the target term near the beginning.

Use the primary keyword in an image alt tag. When you include media on a page, show that the image is related to the topic by including the primary keyword in the image alt tag. This sends information to search crawlers about the page and also describes the image if the graphic doesn’t load.

image alt tag best SEO practices

Use the primary keyword throughout the text. As you write your content, naturally use the primary keyword throughout the content. Avoid keyword stuffing by keeping your keyword density to about 2%. This is one of the most essential best practices for SEO.

Assign secondary keywords to each page on your website. Search crawlers use the content around your keywords to help understand the page. You can give them extra context about your page by using secondary keywords. Secondary keywords are terms closely related to your primary keyword.

Use the secondary keywords at least once on the page. Once you find related keywords, use each term once on the page to send extra context signals to search crawlers.

On-Site Content

Don’t publish shallow content. There is no magic word count for the exact amount of copy you should write for SEO content. But as far as best practices for SEO go, you should always aim to write at least 300 words. However, your content will be more likely to rank if it thoroughly fleshes out and explains a topic, which often can’t be done with just 300 words. So write as much as you need to cover your subject fully.

Write high-quality, high-value content. Don’t just write to reach a word count. If you want your content to rank, use these content writing tips to create high-quality evergreen content that is well-written and extremely useful and valuable. Search engines want to provide the best results, so build the top resource for your topic if you want to rank.

Regularly publish and refresh content. Send signals to search engines that your site is active and up to date by regularly publishing new content and also refreshing old pages on your site. Ensure that all of your content provides the best, most relevant information on a consistent basis to improve your search rankings.

Don’t publish duplicate page copy. One of the best practices for SEO that relates to content is not to publish copy that is the same as copy on other pages of your website. Duplicate content on your site makes it difficult for search crawlers to understand and rank your pages, which has a negative impact on your SEO.

Don’t steal content from another website. You also do not want to copy content from other websites and publish it on your site. This is a poor, unethical practice, and it can lead to search penalties. For strong on-site SEO, publish fresh, original content.

find content ideas tour

Use canonical tags on duplicate content. If you need to publish content that is already published on another webpage (whether it is on your site or another website), use a canonical tag that tells search bots to ignore the duplicate content. This tag points the crawler to the original copy. It doesn’t add SEO value to your site, but it helps you avoid duplicate content penalties.

Don’t publish duplicate meta title tags and descriptions. Just as you don’t want to publish the same copy on pages, you don’t want to publish duplicate SEO meta descriptions. Write unique meta titles and descriptions for each page on your site. Also, keep the description to under 320 characters and don’t use special characters to ensure that your entire description will show up properly on SERPs.

Include images and graphics on your pages. Search crawlers look for the best information to return as top results. They often consider content that supports copy with graphics as a better resource, and therefore, give it higher rankings. So include rich media, like images, graphics, and videos on your pages.

Use brief, descriptive image file names. When you add images to your pages, pay attention to the name of the file. Use brief file names that describe the image, and also include the primary keyword in the file name. Like the image alt tag, this is one of the best practices for SEO, as it sends bonus signals to search engines.

Links

Include links on each page of your website. Online audiences use links to navigate around a website. Include links on each of your pages, so users aren’t met with a dead end that requires them to use the back button or leave your site.

But don’t include too many links. On the flip side, too many links can be confusing to users and make your site difficult to navigate and crawl. So best practices for SEO include keeping the number of pages with more than 100 links to a minimum and avoiding pages with more than 1,000 links.

Link to other internal pages on your website. Links on your website should lead to other pages on your site to help users navigate and find information. Internal links also send signals to search engines and help them crawl and understand your pages.

When adding internal links, use the page’s target keyword as the anchor text. To make internal links on your site more useful to search crawlers, link using the page’s target keyword as the anchor text.

Link to other high-quality websites. Don’t just link to your internal pages on your site. Also, show search engines that your site is connected to the larger digital world. When relevant, link to sources and resources that add value and context to your pages.

Pro Tip: Always set outbound links to open in a new window to keep users on your page.

Fix broken links on your site. Links that don’t work, are broken, or generate an error instead of going to the expected page, file, or image have a negative impact on SEO. Ensure that all of the inbound and outbound links on your site work.

Avoid having too many redirects. Clean up links on your site to improve SEO by avoiding redirecting too many of your site’s pages to other pages. Replace redirects with direct links. If you need to redirect some of your pages, configure your server to return a “301” or permanent redirect instead of a “302” temporary redirect.

Attract backlinks from high-authority websites. Links pointing to your site are just as important, if not more important, than the links on your site. A major ranking factor is how many high-quality sites link back to yours.  Best practices for SEO must include a strong strategy for attracting high-quality backlinks  to your site.

Remove links from low-authority websites. Backlinks leading to your site can have a negative impact if they are coming from a spammy, low-quality site. So use Alexa’s Site Linking In Tool to review a list of the sites linking to your site. Attempt to remove links from low-quality sites by reaching out to ask them to take down the link or by using the Google Disavow Tool. (Google doesn’t like you to overuse this tool, so only use it when necessary.)

on-site seo backlinks

Local SEO

Set up a Google business page. Best practices for SEO as they relate to local searches include creating a Google My Business page. This practice is especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses as it shows a rich result on local Google SERPs.

local SEO best practices

Add your website to relevant business directories. Work to build your online presence by creating profiles for your business on relevant digital directories. Choose general business directories (like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc.) as well as listing sites that are relevant to your industry. Always include a link back to your website in your profile.

Link to your website on all social media profiles. Create social profiles for your business that also include a link back to your website. These links help build a strong backlink portfolio while driving traffic to your site.

Make sure all of your NAP entries are consistent. NAP stands for name, address, and phone. NAPs for businesses are often included in business directories. Make sure all of your business’ NAP references are accurate as one of the best practices for SEO as it relates to local search.

Include your address in the footer of your website. Help search engines connect your business with a specific geographic region to improve your local search rankings. Include the physical location of your business (or multiple locations of your business) in the footer of your website.

Technical SEO

Add an SSL certificate to your site An SSL certificate adds a layer of security to your site. It changes your site URL from “http” to “https.” If your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, search browsers will alert users that your site could be unsafe, and it can have a negative impact on your search rankings.

Increase the speed of your website. The load speed of your website affects the user experience, conversion rates, and the number of pages that search engines index. Use tactics to optimize your site for speed and user experience.

A two-second delay in web page load time increase bounce rates by 103 percent. (Source: Akamai)

Use a responsive, mobile-friendly design. Mobile-responsive websites adapt to fit the screen size of the user. It’s one of the best practices for SEO and also user experience to use this type of design.

Consider using AMP pages. To make your site even more mobile-friendly, use AMP pages that make blog posts easier to read and quicker to load on handheld devices.

Create a Google Webmasters account and submit your sitemap. Give Google a good look at your site by setting up a Google Webmaster account and submitting a map of your site.

Create a Bing Webmasters account and submit your sitemap. Bing is also a popular search tool for users, so also set up a Bing Webmaster account and submit a sitemap to their directory.

Properly use robots.txt. A robots.txt file tells search engines whether they can access and crawl parts of your site. There are situations where you want to use this file. You may want to hide unimportant or sensitive pages on your site. But you also need to ensure that this file isn’t blocking pages on your site that you want crawlers to access.

Add structured data markup. Structured data are code you can add to your sites to better explain your content to search engines. Use this data to send better signals to search engines and improve the appearance of your search results – as structured data or schemas can add additional information to search engine results.

structured data best practices

Point all domains to the same host. Many sites allow users to visit them through different hostnames (e.g., both http://domain.com and http://www.domain.com). It is one of the best practices for SEO to make sure that both of these points to the other.

Utilize organized and natural site architecture. Sites with good page hierarchy and structure are more visible in search engine results because the search engine crawler can find more pages. Set up your site so that it is well-structured and well-linked.

Track analytics and monitor website activity. The only way to continue to improve your SEO is to track and monitor the activity on your site. Install Google Analytics to view trends and user habits to learn how to improve your site layout and optimization.

Readability

Use natural language in your copy. Along with technical factors and keyword optimization, the structure and quality of your copy is still a major ranking factor. Readability impacts a page’s ability to show up in search, especially voice search. So use natural, well-written language to provide a better experience for readers and to improve semantic SEO.

Write for an eighth-grade reading level. Writing well doesn’t mean writing for a high-reading level. The best SEO-friendly copy is written for an eighth-grade reading level because it is easy to absorb and understand.

Make content easy to read and scan. Another way to make copy easy to understand is by formatting the content so it’s clear and scannable. Use short paragraphs, include bullets, and use bolded font intuitively to make your copy easy for both readers and search crawlers to review and understand.

See If You’re Following the Best Practices for SEO

Even with this SEO best practices checklist, it’s still easy to miss important steps that can be influential in boosting your SEO.

Make sure you never miss an opportunity to improve your SEO by using Alexa’s SEO Audit Tool. The tool runs a report on the entire SEO status of your site, pointing out errors and providing directions for improving elements that will boost your search visibility.

best practices for SEO audit

Then, make sure each page on your site is properly optimized for its target keyword. Use Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker to audit each page on your site. Enter the site URL and target keyword to get a report on how to improve the page to match best practices for SEO.

on-page seo checker

With so many steps, trying to remember all of the best practices for SEO can be challenging. But executing each strategy is easy when you have Alexa tools that point out where you are missing optimization opportunities or making mistakes.  Try the tools today. Sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan to get all of the tools mentioned in this post, along with other useful keyword research and SEO reports and tools.

find content ideas tour

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35 Marketing Plan Tools for a Winning Growth Strategy https://blog.alexa.com/marketing-plan-tools/ https://blog.alexa.com/marketing-plan-tools/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2018 14:43:18 +0000 https://blog.alexa.com/?p=5442 When you have a deep arsenal of marketing plan tools to help you organize your strategy, outline your goals, and get your team on the same page, you and your marketing will be much more successful. To help you get your plans and team in order (and improve the effectiveness of your overall marketing strategies), [...]

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4 minute read

When you have a deep arsenal of marketing plan tools to help you organize your strategy, outline your goals, and get your team on the same page, you and your marketing will be much more successful.

To help you get your plans and team in order (and improve the effectiveness of your overall marketing strategies), we’ve put together a list of our favorite marketing plan tools. Use these tools to put together a strong strategy, present your plans, coordinate with your team members, and effectively execute a powerful plan of action.

For Collaboration

If you’re going to have multiple team members working on your marketing strategy plan, you should start the process by setting up a collaboration tool.

A collaboration tool allows every member of your team to share information in one place (so information doesn’t get lost) and track their progress (so two people don’t work on the same task). It limits the amount of back-and-forth a team needs as their project is outlined in the collaboration and project management tool.

Basecamp is a streamlined tool that makes it easy to assign tasks and group projects by teams and categories. With messaging tools, schedules, file uploads, and more, it’s great for in-office teams that work in the same space or remote groups that work from different locations. This is one of the marketing plan tools that will hold both you and your team accountable for executing your work.

marketing plan tools basecamp

Other Collaboration Tools

For Creating a Marketing Plan

When you’re developing a marketing strategy, one essential task is creating the documentation and framework for your plans. You need an outline of your marketing plan.

There is no reason to start from scratch when putting together this documentation. There are plenty of resources that provide a marketing plan template or marketing plan example to help you expedite the process and get a head start.

Alexa put together a free marketing plan template to help you get started right now. The template includes sections on setting goals, assigning a budget, perfecting your brand messaging, defining your target market, leading customers through the buyer’s journey, and identifying the best marketing channels for your goals.

marketing plan template alexa

Other Marketing Plan Tools

For Market Research

Once you have a marketing plan outline, do a market analysis to gather data that informs your strategy.

Some of the most important marketing plan tools relate to researching your industry, competitors, and customers – as these are the most important aspects of your business.  Your marketing planning must include a stage of market research that helps you gather real data and insights about these topics.

Alexa’s Marketing Stack includes a suite of tools that help you perform keyword research (to find the top keywords people are frequently searching for), conduct a competitive analysis (to learn about others in your industry), and find similar sites (to see what other interests a specific audience has).

keyword research marketing plan tools

Other Market Research Tools

Check out our roundup of sites for market research for even more tools, websites, and resources.

For Audience Research

Once you research your industry and trends as a whole, you should dive deeper into researching your ideal customer. Use marketing plan tools that help you understand your audience and craft an informative buyer persona.

Unsure what information to include in your buyer persona? Use this buyer persona template to help guide you through the process.

Alexa also has tools to help you find the information needed to complete your buyer persona. Use our Site Overview Tool to break down specific demographic details about website users.

demographic marketing plan tools

Or, use the Audience Overlap Tool to see what other websites are popular with your audience.

audience research marketing plan tools

Other Buyer Persona Research Tools

find and reach audience tour

For Charting and Planning

Once you set the foundation for your marketing strategy and complete your research, you can start developing a concrete, step-by-step plan using marketing plan tools for charting.

Charting tools help you lay out your plans using visuals and flowcharts. Detailed workflows make it easier to envision customer journeys, each purchase funnel level, drip campaign processes, and multichannel marketing connections. This visual approach helps teams get a more holistic understanding of the marketing plan as they can see it laid out in front of them.

Lucidchart is a great tool for charting diagrams of your marketing plans, so they are easy to digest and absorb. The software allows you to drag and drop sections of your chart, easily share and collaborate with teams in real time, and save multiple iterations of your plans.

mapping marketing plan tools

Other Charting and Planning Tools

For Presentations

One of the final items you need in your arsenal of marketing plan tools pulls all of your work together. It is a presentation tool.

Presentation tools help you present your marketing strategies in beautiful and powerful ways to decision-makers, executives, and clients. If you put together a high-quality presentation that looks good and also clearly explains your strategy, you will be more likely to get approval and support.  So use a professional presentation software that will make your proposal look high-end and polished.

Prezi is a tool built on principles of powerful presentations – strong visuals, storytelling, and emotional connections. Prezi makes it easy to create compelling, memorable, and persuasive slideshows. And they also simplify presenting. The slideshow uses multiple internal links so you can jump around if you’d like to skip over slides or click to a new section, making it easy to use when presenting and answering real-time questions.

marketing tools for presentations

Other Presentation Tools

For Measurement

Once your marketing plans are approved, in place, and ready to launch, you need to set up one more suite of tools. You need to prepare a system for measurement.

Measurement tools are essential as they help you monitor your results and analyze your work. They allow you to see where you succeeded with your marketing plan and where you can grow. So before you launch your marketing initiative, set up tools that will monitor your work from the start. Because there are a lot of different marketing metrics to keep track of, you will need a variety of tools for different purposes.

Google Analytics will always be an essential marketing measurement tool as it can track a variety of data from traffic, user engagement, bounce rates, and even sales and conversion goals. Also, if your marketing plan includes A/B testing, Google Optimize will help you identify which pages, copy, and marketing messages performed best.

marketing tools for measurement

Other Measurement Tools

Get All the Marketing Plan Tools You Need

Putting together an effective marketing plan is a process. It requires multiple brainstorming sessions, team members, stages of research, and presentations.

All of that work and planning is much easier to manage, organize, and execute with the right marketing plan tools.

By using a mix of paid and free marketing planning tools, you can streamline your work efforts, use your time and resources more wisely, and create better, more informed marketing strategies. Try the tools mentioned in this post and sign up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan to test out the powerful research and marketing tools outlined above.

try alexa free for 7 days

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