Friday, 24 November 2017

"Why Did My SEO Ranking Drop?" How to Find and Fix Falling Blog Posts Before It's Too Late

Wanna see something scary?

ack (1)

That, my friends, is what I would call a definite downward trend -- and for a post that, at its high point, received 10,000 views per month.

Maybe it looks familiar. And maybe it doesn't, but it looks like something you want to avoid at all costs.

Either way -- if you're a marketer that plays any role in managing your brand's blog -- read on.

We're going to go over some of the ways to avoid that big, scary traffic trend above -- or to prevent it from happening again, if you've seen it before.

First, we'll begin with the questions you should ask if you've noticed your SEO rankings drop. Then, once we've covered all those bases, we'll get into how to proactively stay on top of your rankings, to get into good habits that can help you maintain your blog's SEO health.

Ready to get into diagnosing those problematic blog posts? Let's get started.

To demonstrate how this works, I’ll be diagnosing "40 Sales Interview Questions to Recruit the Best Reps in 2017," which got nearly 24% fewer views in September than May.

You'll need access to Google Analytics and SEMrush to follow these steps.

1. Is the search term itself losing traction?

Go to SEMrush and enter the post URL into the top search bar. Google Analytics (GA) doesn’t pull the “https://” part of a URL, so make sure you manually enter it. 

Find the highest-volume keyword the post is ranking in the top five for. It should be fairly general; for example, in September 2017, “40 Sales Interview Questions to Recruit the Best Reps in 2017” ranked #2 for “sales interview questions.”

Go to Google Trends and enter that keyword. The default time range is one year.

ga-10

You may need to change the date to see more micro trends; I went with 5/1/2017 to 9/30/17 to see the May through September changes.

trends

If interest in the term is steady -- or up and to the right -- it’s the post, not your audience.

2. Has the post declined in the rankings for a major keyword?

Go back to SEMrush and enter the post in the top search bar again. Change the date range under “Live data” in the top right to your highest-traffic month. (It should update to say “Historical data.”)

Export this list as a CSV. Don't exit the SEMrush page with the rankings for the post you're analyzing – you'll be coming back to it in a bit.

Open the spreadsheet, and rename the tab “[High-Traffic Month] [Year]” (for example, “May 2017”.)

Delete Columns D-K.

rank-changes (1)

Pull up the SEMrush window again. Change the date range to the most recent month.

Export this list as a CSV.

Delete columns D-K. Copy and paste the contents of this spreadsheet into a tab on the first spreadsheet. Rename the tab “[Most Recent Month] [Year]” (“September 2017”).

sept (1)-1

Go to the first tab. Add a Column D titled “[Most Recent Month] [Year] Rankings”. (For example, “September 2017.”)

Insert this formula into cell D2.

=VLOOKUP(A2, September 2017!A:B, 2, FALSE)

Click the small box in the lower right-hand corner to apply the formula to the remaining rows.

Add a Column E and call it “Up or down?”

Insert this formula into E2:

=B2-D2

Highlight Column E. Click “Apply Conditional Formatting” → “Highlight Cell Rules” → “Less Than” and insert “0.”

Now every negative rank change is highlighted in red.

negative-rank-changes (1)

Notice any particularly high-volume keywords you dropped in rank for. In this case, we went from #1 to #2 for "sales interview questions" (2900 monthly search volume) and from #1 to #3 for "inside sales interview questions" (720 monthly search volume).

3. How recently have you updated the post?

If you haven't touched it in over six months, a fresher and more comprehensive link might be winning.

Action item: Update the post with additional content, more recent links, etc.

4. How recently have you promoted the post in an email?

A big bump in traffic from our email subscribers usually lifts rankings:

email-promotion

Action item: Include the post in an email send, either as the first or second link. (Any lower, and it won’t get clicks, rendering this strategy pointless.)

5. Are the posts that have surpassed it in the search engine results pages higher-quality; e.g., more comprehensive, more examples, better graphics/visuals?

That probably means their time-on-page is higher and bounce rate is lower. They may be getting more referral traffic than you as well.

Action item: Do whatever your competitors are doing ... but better. If their guides feature a subject-matter expert, feature two subject-matter experts. (Because this is a time- and energy-intensive technique, don’t use it unless you’ve exhausted all the others, or this is a really competitive and important keyword.)

6. Are you getting fewer backlinks than your competitors/has your number of backlinks declined?

As websites disappear or change, you naturally lose backlinks.

You can find this information on SEMrush by entering the post URL in the top search bar and scrolling down until you see this:

backlinks (1)

Action item: Quote one or more influencers -- either by pulling from something they’ve published, or reaching out for a direct quote -- then, ask them to share the post with their audiences.

7. What if your ranking hasn’t dropped?

See if the keyword now has a search feature.

Search features include:

  • Featured snippet (FS)
  • People also ask (PAA)
  • Carousel

Here's an example of how a carousel result would look for a topic related to sales:

... and for the FS and PAA boxes:

These typically appear in what's known as the “position zero” slot, meaning everything below is bumped down. Suddenly, the #1 ranking is in second place.

Action item: Try to improve upon the current FS. Can you provide the same information but with less jargon? With more detail? Greater accuracy? This obviously changes on a case-by-case basis, but usually, the snippet isn’t perfect.

See if there's an ad -- or several.

Paid results can also -- sometimes simultaneously -- be at fault.

Take a look at the results for “How to use CRM”:

Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done about these paid results -- except to just accept the dip in traffic.

Use Google Search Console.

Google Search Console can also help diagnose the issue.

In the left sidebar, choose Search Traffic → Search Analytics:

sc-1

Next, click “Pages” → “Filter Pages” → “URLs Containing”, then paste the URL of the post you’re analyzing.

“URLs Containing” is preferable to “URL is exactly” because you don’t want to miss any modified versions of that URL, i.e. one with UTM parameters.

Then, click “Dates” → “Set date range” → “Last 90 days” -- that’s as far back as Google will go.

sc-2

Here's what those top checkboxes mean:

  • Clicks: The raw number of clicks from the SERPs
  • Impressions: The number of times the page showed up on the SERP
  • CTR: Clicks divided by impressions
  • Position: Average ranking for all the different queries this page shows up for. (Take this metric with a grain of salt -- if you’re #1 for a low-volume query and #9 for a high-volume one, your Position will be 5, even though one rank is far more valuable than the other.)

It may be helpful to look at the changes in Clicks, Impressions, and CTR individually, as checking all of them gives you this:

ahhhh.jpg

A little overwhelming, no?

First, let's look at clicks. (I'm still analyzing "40 Interview Questions.")

clicks-1

Looks like clicks are going down slightly. (The valleys are the weekends, when far fewer people are searching for professional/educational content.)

impressions

Impressions are fairly stable.

CTR-1

Aha! Here's the issue. In late September, clickthrough rate (CTR) started falling.

Analysis 101:

  • If impressions are steady, but your clicks (and therefore CTR) are dropping, your rank is dropping and/or a search feature is pushing your result farther down the page.
  • If impressions are decreasing, but clicks and CTR are constant, seasonality/declining search interest is probably to blame. Verify with Google Trends.
  • If impressions are increasing and CTR is dropping, meaning clicks aren't growing proportionally higher, check if you're ranking for an image. You should also check whether your post has started ranking for more long tail keywords -- ranking for more keywords, while a good thing (topics/over keywords), will always lead to higher impressions, but clicks may suffer as you may not always rank highly for those longer tail keywords.

Now scroll down and look at the most common queries leading people to your page. Does the content on the page reflect what they’re looking for?

I've highlighted the queries this post will not answer.

queries

Decide whether it's worth updating the post to address these content gaps. Since this one is about interviewing salespeople, not marketers, I'm not going to add marketing interview questions – that'd be too out of left field. And since "sales interview exercises" sounds like an entirely separate post, I'm not going to add that in, either.

However, sometimes you find a relevant angle that's missing from your post. When that's the case, by all means, go ahead and include it -- it can only help.

How to Stay on Top of Your Rankings

If you're a blog editor, writer, or manager, I recommend running a report at the end of every month to see which of your property's top URLs have lost traffic.

Periodically reviewing these:

  • Helps you rescue pages before they permanently slip in the rankings
  • Reveals search trends
  • Gives you a sense of your audience’s interests -- both stable and changing

The first time you do this analysis, pick your highest-traffic month from the past half-year. Using a medium- or low-traffic month will give you a more conservative estimate of which URLs have declined in organic traffic, which may disguise pages in trouble.

In GA, go to the left-hand sidebar and click “Behavior” → “Site Content” → “All Pages.”

ga-1.jpg

Add your segment and select your date range.

If you’re analyzing a property that doesn’t have a given segment, click “Advanced” and apply this filter:

“Include” “Page” “Containing” “[Property URL]”

Scroll to the bottom and change “Show rows to 500.”

ga-4

Click “Export to CSV.”

Open your spreadsheet, name the first tab “[Month] [Year]”, then rename Column B “Views [Month] [Year]”, and delete all other columns.

Go back to GA. Change the date range to the most recent fully completed month (i.e. if you’re doing this on October 30, the date range would be September 1, 2017 - September 30, 2017.)

Your filter and the number of rows from the previous month you pulled should still apply, so all you have to do is click “Export to CSV.”

Open your spreadsheet, rename Column B “Views [Month] [Year]”, and delete all other columns. Copy the contents of this spreadsheet, then paste it into the second tab of your highest-traffic month spreadsheet. Name the second tab “[Month] [Year]”.

Go back to your first tab. Name Column C “Views [Month] [Year].”

ga-5

In cell C7, insert this formula:

=VLOOKUP(A7, 'Sept 2017'!A:B, 2, FALSE)

Click the box in the right-hand corner of the cell to apply this formula to the remaining rows.

Rename Column D to “15+% decline?”

Insert this formula into D7:

=IF(C7<(B7-(B7*0.15)), "YES", " ")

Apply the formula to the remaining rows.

Click “Conditional Formatting”, “Highlight Cell Rules,” “Text that Contains…” and set “Specific text” “containing” “Yes” to red.

excel-1

And So, If You Remember Nothing Else ...

Here's a recap.

1. Every month, run a report to identify the top posts that have declined in traffic.

2. Determine whether the search term is declining in traffic (nothing you can do) or whether the post itself is dropping in rank (lots you can do).

3. If it's the latter, diagnose the specific issue(s) using SEMrush and Google Search Console.

Yes, this process is a time- and energy-intensive one. But it's easier to fix your car than buy a new one -- and hope you haven't gotten a lemon).

Performing maintenance on your blog's greatest hits takes fewer resources than writing a net-new one ... and is usually far more successful.



from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/find-and-fix-seo-ranking-drop

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

How Facebook Local Will Affect Local SEO

If you run a local business, it’s time to reframe your view of Facebook as a purely social play to a social and search channel. Nearly half of people already use social networks to find local businesses. With the introduction of Facebook Local, that number’s about to go way up. Launched in early November in North America, Facebook Local is the new and improved version of its Events app. It’s a directory of local businesses and events, all organized by category and whether or not your friends frequent them. It’s like Yelp if it factored your friends’ preferences into its ranking algorithm, and if it had the over 1 billion daily (and 2 billion monthly) user base of Facebook. In case anyone’s wondering, Yelp has fewer than 100 million monthly users.
Facebook Local3Facebook Local

Facebook Local 4Facebook Local 2

Like Yelp, Facebook Local relies on user-generated content to organize photos taken at businesses, note busy times, and rank them based on the Facebook user reviews for over 70 million business pages. Where Facebook Local stands out is in its attention to the friend factor. Facebook understands people’s inherent need to fit in. That’s why it shows users where their friends are going and where they went. This search based on popularity by friends—not strangers and Yelp Elite—differentiates it from Yelp. Instead of using general user reviews to find the best hair salon, Facebook Local helps you find the best hair salon, according to your friends.

Facebook Local is currently available for iOS and Android. However, the app’s information is all available within the formerly “Nearby” tab in the Facebook app (now called “Local” for consistency), so local search marketers can’t afford to ignore this announcement, whether or not users opt to download the separate app en masse.

Here are five predictions for how Facebook’s Local app will affect local SEO.

1. Reviews Are Here to Stay

With Facebook Local, Facebook has tackled the problem facing the review sites: credibility. While 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends, a quarter of them have to believe the reviews are real first. There is a rising prevalence of fake reviews and an awareness that they exist.

On Facebook Local, businesses are ranked by their popularity among people Facebook users know, trust, and respect—not strangers or business owners posing as reviewers. This highlights the continued importance of reviews and the need for businesses to prioritize Facebook Local just as much as they do Yelp or Google My Business.

2. For Local Guides, Context Matters

David Pierce of Wired said, “At a quick glance, [Facebook Local is] not quite as complete a database as Yelp’s, nor does it have as many reviews or ratings, but it’s a pretty useful tool. Where Facebook starts to differentiate is by letting you search ‘comedy’ and ‘literature,’ and sort by ‘late night,’ to find something to do after dinner.”

This is why businesses must take care to ensure their Facebook pages are filled out accurately and completely. Make sure that your business name, address, and phone number are correct. Add more relevant business categories. Don’t hold back on the text fields of your profile like the About section, where you can mention keyword-rich information like how people love to frequent your business for happy hour. Remember: the more you fill out your profile, the less you force Facebook to crowdsource an incorrect answer.

3. Check-Ins Indicate Popularity

By scanning its billions of users’ accounts, Facebook can look at check-ins to see which businesses are the most popular and when.

Encourage check-ins at your business to signal to Facebook that your business is hopping. Like Yelp’s check-in offers, let customers unlock unique discount codes if they show you a successful Facebook check in on their phone. Run a contest for the best photos taken at your restaurant. Enable appointment and reservation booking buttons. The key is to get customers in the habit of using Facebook as part of their experience with your business.

4. Events Boost Visibility

In their efforts to bring the social into local search, Facebook has tied events and a business directory into a single app. Facebook Local integrates with your calendar, syncs your events in one place, and includes Trending Events and Discover tabs to show what’s popular right now and among your friends.

Hosting events increases your discoverability within the platform and your likelihood of being included in your customer’s’ feeds. Create events often and for anything you can, including product launches, sales, and obviously, traditional events.

5. Ads Are Sure to Come

Facebook Local product manager Aditya Koowal told TechCrunch, “We’ll think about advertising way further down the line.” So Facebook Local doesn’t include advertising yet, but that’s a big yet. If you haven’t already, start experimenting with advertising on Yelp and Facebook it may make sense to start now and experiment. Pay attention to what works,  so you can apply those learnings later on to Facebook Local ads.

This isn’t an isolated incident. Facebook has been making plays in the local search space for years, and Facebook Local is just one in a long line of efforts. Lest you forgot, Facebook recently expanded Marketplace to include car listings, apartment rentals, and mobile food ordering. With Facebook Local, Facebook has created a very worthy competitor to local search giant Yelp. Whether Yelp will reign supreme is yet to be seen, but marketers should be adjusting their strategies now to include Facebook Local if they don’t want to be left behind.

How will your business utilize Facebook Local in your 2018 marketing plan? What advertising potential do you see? I’m interested in your thoughts. Let’s keep the discussion going in the comment section below.

The post How Facebook Local Will Affect Local SEO appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.



from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/11/facebook-local-will-affect-local-seo.html

Stop Obsessing: Here Are 7 Areas Where Perfectionism Hinders Good Writing [Infographic]

Not long after I began working at HubSpot, my manager introduced me to a term that was new to me: analysis paralysis.

How had I never heard of this concept before? I was certainly familiar with what it described: the paralyzing nature of habitually over-analyzing one's work in an unrealistic quest for it to be perfect.

Breaking news: No one's work is perfect. Okay, maybe BeyoncĂ©'s is. But mine certainly isn't.

It's one thing to hold yourself to high standards. As marketers, we all know a thing or two about tearing something down and starting it from scratch again and again because there's something about it that's just not quite there. 

The problem is, as marketers, we also enjoy streamlined processes. And analysis paralysis? Well, that ain't it, folks -- especially when it comes to writing.

Luckily, the talented Henneke Duistermaat of Enchanting Marketing is here to help. Not only has she identified seven key areas of the writing process where our perfectionism tends to get the best of us, but she also compiled it into this extremely helpful -- not to mention, adorable -- infographic that explains simple ways to overcome it.

writing-process-infographic.jpg



from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/perfectionism-streamlined-writing-process

5 Super Quick Ways to Get More Messages on Your Facebook Business Page

You’ve probably heard some buzz about Facebook Messenger of late, but most brands still don't understand how to leverage it effectively. With 2.4 billion messages exchanged between businesses and people each month, it's time to make the most out of the channel.

After all, 53% of people who message businesses say they are more likely to shop with a business they can message. And 67% of people say they plan to increase their messaging with businesses over the next 2 years. And, messages you send through Messenger will appear on a user’s locked phone screen -- so your odds of reaching a user are greatly increased from sending a follow up email.

So, how can you make the most of this network? We're outlining five quick wins you can start using today.

5 Ways to Get More Messages on Facebook

1) Optimize your page for messages.

Having a Facebook page that encourages users to message your page is the first -- and easiest -- way to encourage visitors on your business page to message your brand. It seems overly simple, but just optimizing your page to point users towards messaging you can have a huge impact on the number of messages you receive from interested or curious potential customers.

Try:

  1. Setting your default Facebook Page CTA to Message Us.
  2. Prompting visitors to message your page with the copy in your business description.

2) Setup response assistant.

Response assistant is Facebook’s own version of a “baby-bot” and can help you field incoming messages -- even when you aren't around to catch them personally.

Response assistant allows you to: 1) set instant replies 2) stay responsive when you can’t get to your computer or phone and 3) set a messenger greeting. In each of these you can use personalization tokens and greet those who message your page with a personalized message. You can also include a link to your contact us page, FAQ, or even your phone number in these messages.

3) Comment on posts with your m.me link.

Facebook has a new feature that allows you to comment on posts with your brand’s messenger link. If you run a Facebook ad that people are asking questions about, be sure to reply with this link to continue the conversation within Messenger.

4) Run a “Send to Messenger” ad.

Messenger Ads are Facebook’s newest ad type. They allow you to target audiences just like any other ad, but you can encourage them to message you directly from the Ad. Keep in mind, you’ll want to have your inbox modified to ensure it is money well-spent. But, as this is a new Facebook Ad type -- the best time to experiment with these ads is now.

5) Commit to actually using it daily.

The best way to make the most out of Facebook Messenger is to monitor the channel just like you would monitor your own inbox, or your favorite Slack channel. The nature of the conversational channel encourages on-demand action, so the more responsive you can be, the better.

Finally, keep it light on the channel, after all, it is conversational. Messenger is a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality using GIFs and emojis that appeal to your audience.

 



from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/quick-ways-to-get-more-facebook-messages

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

6 Tips For Sending Your Email Newsletter At The Right Time

Have you ever noticed that it seems like every single company seems to send their email newsletter at the same time?

Usually they’re sent very late at night or extra early in the morning.

Which is, funny enough, when most of their audience is sleeping, so we wake up with an overstuffed inbox each morning.

I am guessing that you have also run into this somewhat minor annoyance.

But it literally is one of my biggest pet peeves.

If you are like me, the deleting of most of these newsletters has become part of your morning ritual.

It is pretty refreshing to send them all to your trash folder and get back to inbox zero.

I mean I love reading about data driven marketing tips but not at 7 in the morning.

We are constantly plugged into our email accounts with those supercomputers we call phones.

The days when you would check your email once in the morning and once at night is over.

But, alas, some companies still seem to be sticking to that email schedule.

This strategy is as outdated as that jewel colored iMac or Gateway computer sitting in your basement.

And all the effort you put into great content will be wasted if you pick the wrong time to send.

So I set out to find when the best time to send an email newsletter is, in the most scientific way ever, by signing up for 100 different newsletters and recording all of their send times.

1. Send it from 11-12PM, 1-2PM, or 2-3PM

If you were looking for the best time to send an email I would recommend selecting a time where there is little competition.

Like a time when almost no emails are being sent.

I mean why would you want your newsletter competing for your audience’s attention with a bunch of other emails?

That is just a recipe for low open rates and a drop in subscribers.

So to avoid that I would shoot for a period when no other emails are sent.

In fact, from 11-12PM, 1-2PM and 2-3PM not a single email was sent in our study.

Like not a single one:

Now you may be asking what is the best chunk of time out of those three periods?

And I would have to say that 2-3PM has the most potential.

From 11-12PM and 1-2PM are too close to the lunch hour and could get lost in the shuffle.

Unless your newsletter deals with a fun topic that they would want to read about on that break, I would avoid those two.

Instead try from 2-3PM.

Your audience will most likely be back from lunch by then and feeling a bit recharged.

They have already cleared their emails from the morning and are maybe looking for a little procrastination opportunity.

And boom, your email newsletter is there to help them out.

2. Or from 10-11AM

Now if you don’t want to be the only one sending an email during a certain time period, I have a perfect time for you.

This is another period where almost zero email newsletters were sent out in our study. In fact there were only one email sent out in that whole time period.

And I think that your email can handle a little competition.

This period happens to be from 10-11AM.

As you can see in the graph above there were a few other periods when only a few emails were sent.

But I do not think that they will be as fruitful as from 10-11AM.

For example, from 9-10AM is when a lot of people’s workday starts and 4-5PM is when it usually ends.

That means you are going to be fighting a lot more for their attention than just a few emails.

So to avoid these outside distractions I would choose from 10-11AM.

By then your readers will be settled into their desk, the coffee has kicked in and they are probably at inbox zero.

It is almost a perfect time for an interesting newsletter to pop up in their mailbox.

Additionally, I do find it a little odd that from 10-11AM has been pushed by experts and thought leaders.

But exactly one email was sent.

It really does not make sense, but it does present a new opportunity for your email newsletter to shine.

3. Never between 6-7PM

After carefully counting on both of my hands I was able to determine the worst time to send an email.

This time period was so crowded that more than 10% of all the emails in the study were sent during this hour chunk each day.

That is almost triple what an average hour should have received.

If you have read the graphs above you saw that 6-7 PM got the most emails of any period.

As you can see in the graph above if you decide to send your newsletter in this time period you are going to have some competition.

So I would avoid sending your newsletters during this period based on the jump in competition.

When you compare it to the times we already highlighted above there are 50x more emails during this period.

Even some of the times that got 5x more emails are looking pretty good to me right now.

Unless you want your open rates to plummet from that increased competition I would avoid sending from 6-7PM.

It does kind of make sense why brands would decide to send their weekly email at this time.

Their audience has made it home from their jobs and starting to relax. They should be pretty open to receiving a newsletter about their hobby, interest or activity.

But again, you are brawling in their inbox with a ton of other well-crafted emails for their attention.

Or it will be ignored and rolled into the next morning’s inbox clearing.

4. And avoid after 9PM or before 7AM

One of the easiest ways to fall into that morning deleting spree is to send your email late at night.

Like when your audience is sleeping, so they will see it in the morning.

I never really got the idea behind this practice.

Other than that brands think we want to read about the newest social media marketing tip at 6am.

I know that is the last thing on my mind at that time.

Now if it was an email about coffee being delivered to my bed that would be a different story.

But alas, I saw a ton of companies using this somewhat outdated topic.

We can access our emails at literally any time, the novelty of waking up to news or a newsletter no longer exists.

Or it is so far down the list in their inbox, they will never even see it.

Between 9PM and 7PM more than 60% of all emails in the study were sent.

With nearly 40% of them were sent between 9PM and 2AM. Or about double of what should have been sent if all things were equal.

That is a lot of emails your newsletter is going to be fighting.

Plus your audience is most likely not even awake, and the people who are up at that time probably don’t want to read your newsletter at that moment.

That means, you guessed it, that it will be put off until the next morning.

From there it goes right into the morning delete spree or simply forgotten about.

And all your hard work on the newsletter goes ignored.

Do not let your content be wasted because you chose the wrong time to send a great email.

5. Wednesdays & Saturdays Have Potential

Just like in the previous sections you are going to want to pick a day that has the least competition.

By sending your email on a day like this it is going to stand out like a beacon of good content.

The best day to send your email is Wednesday, with Saturday coming in at a close second.

As you can see they were some of the days to receive the least emails overall.

In our own tests we have seen Wednesday perform well, with some newsletters getting double the open rate of previous days.

I think that Wednesday is the perfect day to send your email newsletter.

Especially if your newsletter is related to their job or work.

They will feel a lot less guilty about losing themselves in your content for a few minutes.

Plus if it is really amazing they will want to share it with their coworkers!

And that means that if your topic deals with a fun hobby or interest I would send it on a Saturday.

Your audience will a lot more receptive to reading about something they could do later that day.

Or they will have a lot more time to absorb all of your fantastic content.

Either way both of these days are a great point to start testing to find what your own best day!

Before we go on I think it is important to highlight why I did not select Sunday as the best day.

I really think that it is too much of a wildcard day and the email could be lost in the shuffle of that day.

Then it gets pushed into the Monday morning mass inbox cleaning.

And although you may have loved to read the content you just don’t have time to.

This has happened to me too many times to count and I am guessing many people can relate.

6. Thursdays are the Worst Day to Send

Finding the best day to send an email was a little difficult and not very straightforward.

Thankfully the worst day was a lot easier to find.

And that day was Thursday.

thursday is the worst day to send an email newsletter

It received more than double the amount of emails when compared to Wednesday and Saturday.

Exactly 25% of all the emails were sent on a Thursday, with no other days really coming close.

That put it well above the 70 or so emails I received per day on average.

Some experts proclaiming that Tuesday and Thursday are the best days to send a newsletter probably cause this.

I am guessing that people have been blindly following this advice for the past few years.

And now we are in a situation where the best day to send an email has actually become the worst day.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the best and worst times for you to send an email newsletter!

I now need to go click unsubscribe on about 100 different emails.

Or I may just cut my losses with that email address from now on.

But that sacrifice of an email address was definitely worth it because I was able to get some interesting findings.

Those findings will hopefully keep you from sending an email newsletter at the wrong time or day.

Just remember:

  1. Send newsletters during these time blocks: 11-12 PM, 1-2 PM & 2-3 PM.
  2. Between 9 and 11 AM is another great block of time.
  3. If your newsletter is related to their job, send it during the workday.
  4. Do not send newsletters at peak work movement hours, like 8 AM and 5 PM.
  5. Emails sent during the night or early mornings are a bad idea.
  6. Thursday is the worst day to send an email.
  7. Mondays and Fridays should be avoided as well.
  8. But the best day to send a newsletter is on Wednesday.

And finally, it is important to remember to test all of these findings with your audience first. These tips should always be used a testing points for your new emails, not set in stone facts.

About Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics combines behavioral analytics with email automation. Our software tracks actions of your users across multiple devices allowing you to analyze, segment and engage your customers with automatic, behavior-based emails in one place. We call it Customer Engagement Automation. Get, keep and grow more customers with Kissmetrics.

 

 

About the Author: Ryan McCready went to the University of Arkansas and graduated with a degree in economics and international business. Now instead of studying the economy he writes about everything and enjoys stirring the pot.



from The Kissmetrics Marketing Blog https://blog.kissmetrics.com/sending-newsletter-at-the-right-time/

7 Tips for Making Your Website Content Interactive

Whether you’re a news publication, a travel blogger, or a digital advertising platform, being aware of what drives or deters readers on your site is a marketing skill essential to any successful business. While we all can intuitively differentiate websites that speak to us from their not-so-pleasing counterparts, it’s not so easy to pinpoint the features that make or break a good site.

Of all the features that clue us into whether a website is good or not, reader engagement is a significant contributing factor. A good website, then, can be roughly defined as one that keeps readers engaged. And, of course, it’s important to remember that the number one reason that customers don’t engage is irrelevant content.

While there are a few different strategies to improve your engagement rates, one of the most important is to ensure your website content is interactive. Interactive content maximizes reader engagement by ensuring that your reader isn’t just visually engaged, but that they’re also physically engaged using their keyboard or mouse.

In this blog, I’ll cover seven of my favorite strategies for making your web content interactive.

Ask for Ratings

Asking your audience for feedback, whether through ratings or comments, is a great first step in driving user interaction. While many sites are already doing this, some methods are more effective than others.

The typical pop-ups that ask for ratings can easily come across as annoying, disrupting what should be a seamless user experience on your website. To make the rating question less intrusive, you can experiment with placing it at the end of your content pieces rather than as a pop-up. You can also use emoticons rather than the typical 5-star ratings; since emoticons have become a standard part of our everyday digital language, users tend to perceive them as entertaining rather than annoying.

Incentivize with Gamification and Rewards

Gamification is the incorporation of gaming elements, such as points or levels, into non-game contexts. Gamifying your articles and blog posts encourages users to interact with your site by giving them an incentive to engage. In addition to generating user comments with calls to action, you can also get users to comment by providing rewards. Once users get points or coupons for commenting on articles, they’re motivated to read and comment even further.

Just as leaderboards have proven effective in games, they’re also a useful tool for your site. Publishing a ranking that highlights top commenters and ranks users with high rewards is an effective way for getting users to interact with your site on a regular basis. Giving users badges for obtaining a certain commenter status is also effective, as it’s the equivalent of incentivizing users to reach a higher level in a game. TripAdvisor is a great example of a site that effectively uses appropriately themed badges, offering users Passport badges for reviewing places in multiple countries and Explorer badges for being one of the first to review an attraction or location.

Incorporate Quizzes, Polls, and Stories

In addition to gamifying your site itself, you can embed interactive forms of entertainment generated by third-party platforms.

Incorporating personality quizzes, which exploded in popularity through BuzzFeed and other sites, is a great way to draw in readers. If you’re using WordPress, there are plenty of plugins available that you can use to build and add thematically relevant quizzes to your web pages. WP Pro Quiz is one of the most popular quiz plugins, with a simple style that boasts lots of customization options.

Apester is another useful platform that lets you incorporate visual storytelling as well as quizzes and polls. Visual storytelling is an effective supplement for your content since it involves telling stories in a way that requires user participation. Embedding visual storytelling into your websites encourages your readers to connect with your articles on a personal level as they scroll and click-through the narrative.

Encourage Reader Feedback

When it comes to encouraging comments from your audience, it often isn’t enough to just open a comments section. Instead, you should use creative calls to action to drive your users to make comments. These can range from telling your readers to respond to a question you pose at the end of your post, to asking your readers to add to your post’s numbered list.

Comments aren’t just good for getting users to respond to your content; users also tend to read the comments of other users, so they’ll tend to linger longer on articles that are full of comments. On top of that, comments add clout to your articles and are great for SEO, as they naturally add additional keyword variations to your articles that help you improve your search rankings.

Post User-Generated Content

Incorporating user-generated content signals to users that their input and engagement is appreciated and valued. This feeling of value and appreciation, in turn, incentivizes users to engage even more.

There are a couple different ways to display user-generated content. One way is to write articles that specifically address top-rated comments in existing blog posts. You can even begin these articles by directly quoting the user who made the comment. This will give users an additional incentive to make top comments on your site while helping you center your articles around the issues most relevant to your audience.

If your site sells products directly to customers, encouraging customers to post images of themselves using the items is another effective way to drive user interaction. You can even create Instagram campaigns and not only re-post customer-generated Instagram photos on your company’s Instagram account but also feature the images directly on the company site. This will get users scrolling through your Instagram feed, navigating to your site, and perhaps even posting images themselves.

Include Social Media Buttons

You should always keep in mind that with every valuable piece of content should come an option to share it with friends and followers. Tools like Sharethis.com and Addthis.com let you install social media for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social channels on your site.

There are a few techniques for incorporating social media buttons in a strategic way. The buttons should be placed in locations that are intuitive on your site, like at the top or bottom of a blog post, or on the sidebar of your site. You can even go a step further and creatively integrate the buttons into the design of your site. Well-designed social media buttons can create a seamless transition between your content and the sharing buttons, making it more natural and intuitive for the reader to click on the sharing buttons as they navigate your site.

Don’t Forget About Internal links

Once a user is reading one of your blog posts, it’s essential that you get them to scroll through your additional pages as well. To facilitate reader interaction with your site, provide relevant links within each of your posts that navigate to other articles on your blog. When readers see a link to an article that promises to provide further information about the same topic, they’re likely to click to learn even more.

The best place to incorporate links within your posts is at the end of each post or within the articles themselves. If you choose to embed the links within your paragraphs, be sure to link to words that adequately describe the content of the post you’re linking to. Another option is to add a question at the end of each post (e.g., “Interested in learning more about social media marketing?”) and provide links to the articles that can provide the users with that information.

Moving Forward

Getting your readers to interact with your site should be an integral part of your website design and content strategies. While it’s essential to continue to generate informative and insightful online content, your web pages should be bolstered with features that make your content easily shareable and enjoyable to read.

What strategies have you used to increase customer engagement with your content? How might you utilize the techniques I’ve suggested in your 2018 content marketing plan? Tell me about your plans in the comment section.

The post 7 Tips for Making Your Website Content Interactive appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog - Best Practices and Thought Leadership.



from Marketo Marketing Blog https://blog.marketo.com/2017/11/7-tips-making-website-content-interactive.html

No One Trusts Social Media, but They'll Keep Using It Anyway [New Data]

I'll just come right out and say it: The internet has a massive mess to clean up.

You may have heard about it. For instance, earlier this month, you may have followed the testimony from senior leaders at Facebook, Twitter, and Google that outlined, in detail, the quantity and nature of ads purchased and published on their platforms by operatives in Russia and other foreign states.

And yeah, of course -- we all have our take on it, and many of us are clamoring to share it.

But my colleague, HubSpot's own research boss Mimi An, had a better idea: Let's ask everyone else what they think.Click here to learn about using social media in every stage of the funnel.

And so, in light of these recent events, An's team ran a consumer study to gather sentiment data from 1,000 U.S. adults to find out just how they feel about this big, steaming internet mess. 

Here are the results.

A Few Notes on the Data

During the week of October 30, 2017,  three major online content-sharing and discovery platforms -- Facebook, Twitter, and Google -- testified before representatives of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Because those were the three companies present for the testimony, the questions asked of survey responses focused only on them, despite the possible involvement of other social media networks in ongoing election interference investigation.

When we distribute surveys, we describe in as much detail the exact issue that we want participates to respond to. The language used to phrase the survey questions describes what has taken place so far in a continuously developing situation as factually as possible within such constraints of online surveys as character limits and anonymity -- and, therefore, an inability to follow up with respondents.

1. Ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Google are viewed with distrust.

 

On average, close to half of all respondents would describe ads these platforms as "very untrustworthy," compared to an average of 5.5% who find them to be either somewhat or very trustworthy. Note that this is the sentiment around the ads appearing on these platforms, and not the platforms themselves.

2. Twitter's response generated the least satisfaction, but the sentiment is low across the board.

While respondents were generally unsatisfied with network responses to political ad purchases on their respective platforms, it seems as though they have the least faith in Twitter. (The score for "somewhat satisfied," for instance, was three percentage points lower than those for Facebook and Google.)

It's worth noting that Twitter first testified before U.S. Congress about this same issue prior to the November events were all three companies were present, when it told representatives that it roughly 200 Russian-linked accounts -- a figure that many found to be paltry and underestimated, including Senator Mark Warner, who called these initial efforts "frankly inadequate".

How much influence that initial testimony (and Congressional response) had on survey respondents is uncertain, but it is an important historical point in the context of the particularly low sentiment toward Twitter.

Although the rates of dissatisfaction are fairly equal across the board, this survey was administered prior to a Recode report that Facebook filed comments with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that indicated its support of rules that would require the network to provide greater visibility and transparency around the political ads used on its site.

However, that support is limited in nature, in that Facebook only indicated that it would agree to these terms around ads pertaining to specific candidates, and not issues -- and a significant portion of Russia-bought ads during the 2016 presidential election concerned such highly-contested and somewhat divisive issues as gun control and immigration.

Google, on the other hand, filed comments with the FEC that actively requested more detailed guidelines around issue-based ads, requesting further direction as to how those within its industry can and should better approach organizations attempting to promote propaganda.

Twitter, meanwhile, did file comments, but had little to say other than a request for the FEC to maintain awareness of the network's character limits when establishing rules.

3. Trust in social media networks has been eroded by the political ads controversy.

In addition to ad content appearing on content-sharing and discovery platforms, it would appear that trust has fallen in the platforms themselves. Facebook was particularly hard hit here, with just shy of half of respondents saying that they find this channel to be less trustworthy.

However, an even higher amount of respondents answered with "none of the above," signaling the possibility of no less trust in any of these channels. That data is once again reflected with our findings in other areas of the survey, including respondents' plans to decrease or stop their use of social media -- more on that in a bit.

4. 77% of Americans believe platforms need to vet the ads they sell and display.

Across the board, respondents stated a strong belief that it's the responsibility of the platforms themselves to vet ad content purchased and displayed on their channels. An average of 77% of survey participants agreed with this sentiment, regardless of age, indicating that most social media users expect to see proactive changes in ad policies and best practices.

5. Though Americans are angry about the ads controversy, few plan on using the affected platforms less.

However, despite the general sentiment that these platforms are untrustworthy -- as are the ads displayed on them -- and need to do better about vetting paid or promoted content, the same respondents have indicated that, for the most part, they don't plan to reduce their use of Facebook, Twitter, or Google.

In fact, despite being the least satisfied with Twitter's response to the political ad crisis, less than a quarter of respondents plan to use it less. That number is even lower for Google, and only slightly higher for Facebook.

6. ... and, even fewer Americans plan to stop using the platforms altogether.

Even if some intend to momentarily step away from social media, over 75% of survey respondents say they plan to leave these Facebook, Twitter, or Google altogether.

The last of the three is particularly difficult to give up entirely -- after all, it's commonly referred to as a "search giant" for a reason. But even so, a noticeably small number of survey participants would consider ceasing all use of Facebook and Twitter, as well.

But what does all of this information mean? What does it say about our online behavior and habits, and what are the implications for marketers?

The Takeaways

If nothing else, these numbers -- and where they almost seem to contradict each other -- illustrate a dependence on these contested channels.

Despite the overwhelming distrust in them, as well as the ad content published on them, survey respondents have no plans to curtail or cease using them -- perhaps because they need to use them for work (after all, we are marketers), or because they simply enjoy them too much to step away.

That speaks to the power and influence they hold over users day-to-day. We spend a significant amount of time on these channels -- about a third of Google's visitors are based in the U.S., and on average, we spend about 35 minutes each day on Facebook (for context, that's about 2.4% of the entire day). Thirty-five minutes may not seem like a ton of time, but when you think about how much time you spend on activities that are actually essential to your livelihood -- like eating, for example -- how does it compare?

The point is, the people behind this political content were likely aware of how much time we spend using the platforms where it was displayed. It's no wonder that 126 million Americans were exposed to it -- there's a good amount of content to be consumed in a mere 35 minutes.

The main message to marketers, however, is this: These platforms are extremely useful and effective. In fact, that's why people are highly concerned over the presence of Russian ads -- there's a very good chance that, if the intent behind them was to influence the U.S. presidential election in a certain direction, they worked. That's why these representatives from these platforms are being summoned before a federal body. This level of effectiveness is a big deal.

By no means is this to say that marketers should cease using these channels to promote content and build brand awareness. As I said: It's extremely effective and should continue to be used for growth. But with that effectiveness comes great responsibility, and that growth must be built with a commitment to transparency and truth.

That's how I see it, anyway. 

As always, feel free to chime in. What's your take on this data? Let me know on Twitter, or weigh in with any questions you have about it.

Social Media at Every Stage of the Funnel

  How to Use Social Media at Every Stage of the Funnel E


from Marketing https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/social-media-ads-trust