has 13+ years experience in web development, ecommerce, and internet marketing. He has been actively involved in the internet marketing efforts of more then 100 websites in some of the most competitive industries online. John comes up with truly off the wall ideas, and has pioneered some completely unique marketing methods and campaigns. John is active in every single aspect of the work we do: link sourcing, website analytics, conversion optimization, PPC management, CMS, CRM, database management, hosting solutions, site optimization, social media, local search, content marketing. He is our conductor and idea man, and has a reputation of being a brutally honest straight shooter. He has been in the trenches directly and understands what motivates a site owner. His driven personality works to the client's benefit as his passion fuels his desire for your success. His aggressive approach is motivating, his intuition for internet marketing is fine tuned, and his knack for link building is unparalleled. He has been published in books, numerous international trade magazines, featured in the Wall Street Journal, sat on boards of trade associations, and has been a spokesperson for Fortune 100 corporations including MSN, Microsoft, EBay and Amazon at several internet marketing industry events. John is addicted to Peets coffee, loves travel and golf, and is a workaholic except on Sunday during Steelers games.
We’ll get this out of the way first: Google rules the internet. Google’s 22 years of operation have seen their search engine become the reigning king of web indexing and the default framework by which consumers access the internet, evolving into an all-in-one tool through which the casual internet user experiences web content. As the internet’s commercial applications have matured, so has Google’s search technology; just like changing markets, the inner workings of Google’s search are always adapting, and the methods by which search results are recalled and ranked for viewing are updated as technology improves and consumer behaviors change. If you’re wondering how to bolster your online reach in 2021, these key SEO strategies should point you in the right direction.
In 2020, just over half of all internet use was attributed to smartphones. As smartphones get more advanced and traditional desktop and notebook computers shrink in relevance, the number of people using smartphones will only increase, so it’s in your best interest that your content is mobile-ready. While smartphone browsers will display regular web pages, the results are often frustrating; the palm-sized screen of a smartphone doesn’t lend itself to excessive zooming, horizontal scrolling, and pinhead-sized plaintext links, not to mention sluggish load times for heavily scripted and content-rich pages meant for computers. Thankfully, there’s AMP, Google’s universal framework and toolkit for rendering mobile-friendly websites that load quickly, make efficient use of screen real estate, and take advantage of the unique functionality of touch-screen devices. If you haven’t made use of AMP, there’s no better time than now.
Now that you’ve created a more mobile-friendly experience, it’s time to talk about security. Though the typical casual internet user might forgive unsecured web connections, Google won’t, and if your website doesn’t meet security standards, even the most daring internet cowboys will be discouraged by their browser’s almost impenetrable security warning screen. Additionally, an improperly secured website will suffer poor ranking in Google searches, limiting your exposure. So what does “unsecured” mean to you and me? There’s no need to dive too deep; it’s all about HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the foundational protocol for transferring data over web connections. (You might know it as those letters at the front of a URL). HTTP works well enough for data transfer, but it does little for security, and in 2018, Google began flagging HTTP URLs as “not secure” in an effort to make HTTPS (the S stands for secure) the new standard. If your website, or any individual pages, are still using the outdated HTTP standard, you should rectify this immediately to avoid a damaged ranking and user inaccessibility.
In the past, a successful search query was a lean search query. If you wanted to find helpful results quickly, your query would be limited to keywords. Efficiency was important. With voice command, this is no longer the case.
What began as one of Google’s wishful-but-clunky technologies has gradually been refined into “an ultimate mobile assistant that helps you with your daily life so you can focus on the things that matter,” and now 55% of smartphone users (those people who account for more than half of internet traffic) use voice command. If the past can serve as a lesson, voice command is poised to grow in use, and your website should be formatted with this in mind.
How do people around you use voice command? You’ll notice people are more likely to speak to their phone the way they speak to a person, with natural, casual syntax and little concern for efficiency. This goes double for younger internet users who might not have experienced the limitations of yesterday’s search conventions and committed proper search phrasing to habit. Instead of manually activating voice command and saying “grilled cheese recipe,” people are now more likely to ask, “Hey Google, how do I make grilled cheese?” Google’s search engine has learned how people talk, so questions, interrogative words, and conjunctions have become part of its vocabulary. To make your website more search-relevant, consider reformatting your site’s written content to reflect conversational language. F.A.Q. sections are an easy, helpful, and natural-looking way to include this type of language since all or most of your frequently asked questions will ideally have come from actual people. If your resources allow, this strategy can be expanded even further with the publishing of a blog, which is ideal for infusing text-rich content into what might otherwise be a textually sparse website with few opportunities for including conversational search phrases.
Are you noticing large numbers of unique IP addresses visiting your website, but confused to see no proportionate increase in search ranking or even a concerning drop in your ranking?
Bounce rate is SEO-speak for the percentage of unique visitors who leave your website without making meaningful engagements, like buying something, submitting contact requests, or clicking an internal link to another of your webpages. If your bounce rate is high, Google will notice, and your ranking will drop. Diminished rankings manifest as fewer unique visits since fewer people will be directed to your website by Google. It might be terrible for you, but imagine you’re a consumer with limited time: would you rather your search engine point you toward a poorly constructed website with broken links, unclear navigation, and an unintuitive point of sale system, or a sleek and well-organized website that allows you to quickly and easily access whatever information or product you’re after? Google’s handling of bounce rate is a form of quality control, with every bounced visitor akin to a bad review. The best way to conquer quality control is to improve quality.
Updating your security protocol, making your site mobile-friendly, and translating your written content will already go a long way to reducing bounce rate, but there are likely more improvements to be made. Pretend you’re a first-time visitor and do some exploration; do you notice any dead links that lead to 404 pages or blank screens? Are there glaring formatting issues that will benefit from editing your HTML tags? Are images crisp and clean, or are you using poorly compressed .jpeg files for your banners? Do a Google search for something that is found on one section of your website; when you click the link, are you directed to that section, or to your website’s homepage? If you sell material goods, what payment methods are available, and are they convenient?
Your website should be visually welcoming and easy to navigate, appear professional, and be reasonably transparent if you want people to not only visit but feel comfortable and confident enough to stick around.
If you don’t feel old yet, here’s a fun fact: it’s been fifteen years since Google’s $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube. What at first seemed like a weighty business gamble has more than paid off, with YouTube growing in popularity thanks to Google’s infrastructure, and Google supplied with a functionally infinite pool of video content, which can usually be found at the very top of a Google search.
YouTube is triply useful, providing a standalone platform for your business, videos that are easily embedded on your website, and increasing your Google search presence. YouTube’s own sophisticated search engine — the worlds second-largest — responds to SEO strategies just like Google’s search, with emphasis on written material. A YouTube video has three major searchable components: its title, its description, and its hashtags. Making the most of video titles, descriptions, and hashtags is key to your channel and videos enjoying maximum search visibility.
Your video title is the first thing people will see. If you can, try to find the middle ground between keyword-rich and concise, but don’t worry if your title is wordy — wordiness is better than sparseness. If your video is about Thai resorts, and you’re trying to attract viewers seeking information on possible vacation destinations in Thailand, consider scrapping titles like “Jeff’s Favorite Vacations” in favor of more specific ones, like “Best Thai Resorts for the Budget Conscious Traveler.” Your description should include as much information as possible; this is your opportunity to pack your video with keywords. Some video publishers hire transcription services for their videos, or perform the transcription themselves, in order to have the full content of the video in written form and searchable as part of their video description. Lastly, you should never neglect hashtags. While they are less important on YouTube than they are on some other platforms, they still boost your search visibility and help categorize your videos, making it easier for viewers to stumble upon them during trips down the topical rabbit hole.
Mind mapping was popularized in the 1970s by British author Tony Buzan and today is a massively popular technique for visual thinking. The concept is simple: place a key idea in the center, branch out to associated ideas, then branch out again in ever-increasing detail. The result is a radial, tree-like structure that’s easy to scan and think about. Since those early days, numerous mind mapping software tools have been created, making the process way more sophisticated. Today, you can change colors and format, add images and videos, engage collaborators, generate presentations, and more.
In this quick guide to mind mapping tools, we’ll mix popular “heavy hitters” with lesser-known applications.
MindMeister is a market leader in mind mapping software, with all the convenience of a web-based application. You can use it anywhere on any device, retaining your work across different platforms.
As with all similar tools, you begin with a blank space and place a single thought in the center. This is your “big idea” from which everything else will be derived. Clicking a simple plus sign generates a “child” concept that branches out from the center. To begin with, you might surround your big idea with four or five related concepts. Each of these can have their own “children”, and so forth. Formatting is easy because MindMeister provides a menu of options next to your mind map that you can use for changing fonts, background colors, etc. That’s where you also add images, videos and more extended notes to your map. Visual customizing options are almost unlimited.
It’s the extra features, though, that make MindMeister a powerful tool for personal and group thinking. You can easily turn your ideas into tasks and assign people, prioritize, create due dates, and mark as completed. You can even trigger email reminders. What’s more, you can export your mind map in multiple formats. PDF and text might be expected, but MindMeister also exports to rival mind mapping tools, which is smart. And you can generate a slide show out of your mind map. Finally, MindMeister makes collaboration easy, allowing you to add users and manage their permissions. There are good reasons why MindMeister holds the leadership position it enjoys today.
By contrast, Braincat is a little-known upstart with a radically different take on mind mapping. In Braincat, the visual map is not the beginning of your thinking process. It’s the end result —one of several possible outputs. That’s because Braincat is based on a quite different understanding of how the human mind works. While traditional mind maps begin with a “big idea” and then add increasing detail, Braincat assumes you’re starting out with a mass of unsorted stuff — and you don’t yet know what the big idea is! That’s why Braincat calls its process “reverse mind mapping.” You’re going from many to one, instead of one to many.
The key to Braincat is categorizing: deciding what headings to place your details under. You look at each item and ask yourself, “What kind of thing is this?” or “What is this a case of?” Once you’ve reduced hundreds of bits and pieces to four or five categories, you can take a look at those categories and ask yourself, “What’s the big idea?” Now you’ve arrived at that elusive center of your thinking: and the software automatically generates a mind map.
Braincat is ideal for any brainstorming situation — alone or with others — where ideas are flying thick and fast and you don’t want to kill creativity by organizing too fast. The mental process of categorizing gives you a special mastery of your material. And the visual mind map is your satisfying reward. It provides an “aha” moment when you clearly see the hidden structure of your thinking.
Another key feature of Braincat is sequencing. Whether you’re writing an article or planning a project, it matters what comes before what. The strength and limitation of a mind map are that it shows everything simultaneously. So Braincat also generates an outline that’s sequenced by your choices. That’s especially useful for writers, project managers, syllabus writers, and anyone who has to produce something out of their thinking.
For some, Braincat will provide a complete alternative to traditional mind mapping. For others, it will be the perfect complement.
MindNode is another major player in the mind mapping software universe. The underlying logic of MindNode is the same as MindMeister: a radial map with a central idea that branches out to subordinate concepts. The software has powerful formatting tools to make your mind map visually interesting and lots of options for uploading additional content.
Again, though, it’s the additional features that make MindNode a leader in its class. One of these is “quick entry” which allows you to drop ideas onto the page without organizing them first. This may sound similar to Braincat, but it’s different because in MindNode you drag and link the ideas into a mind map. This works best if you don’t have too many items to begin with, otherwise, you’ll get visually overwhelmed.
MindNode boasts what it calls an “infinite canvas,” meaning your map can expand in all directions way beyond what’s shown on the screen. Fortunately, there’s a “focus mode” that allows you to look at just one element of your mind map — a single idea and its connected details — while hiding the rest. Upload options include the ability to add an image and capture any text it includes with in-built OCR (optical character reading). Turning ideas into tasks is also easy, and there are some neat project management tools. Finally, MindNode has a tagging system that helps you find things fast, which is great for a really large mind map on that “infinite canvas”!
TheBrain is all about mind mapping at scale. The fundamental logic is familiar: a central idea with radiating branches and sub-branches. You can link ideas that appear on different branches, drawing a line between them and naming the link. You can also create “jump thoughts” that are not yet connected to the overall mapping structure.
The key distinction of TheBrain is how it organizes large numbers of inter-related mind maps. With a single click, any idea, at any level of the hierarchy, becomes what is called the “active thought.” It moves to the center of your screen and is now the “big idea” for a distinct mind map, with its own subordinate elements. This means that just by clicking, you can generate an unlimited number of mind maps, each centered on its own “active thought” — and they are all interlinked. Every “active thought” can have its own associated notes, links, images, videos, etc. These are accessed in a panel to the side of the mind map.
The intention of TheBrain is to provide a vast digital memory that resembles the way your own brain holds and links information. Needless to say, the success of this solution depends on its searchability. In the side panel, any search term will generate a list of thoughts, links, associated files, or uploads. When you click a result, you generate a mind map with that element in the center. All the material directly connected to your search result will appear with it. TheBrain is an interesting fusion of mind-mapping and digital filing and is used by a loyal following of both individuals and corporations.
Mind mapping is a powerful way to visualize your ideas and has been adopted enthusiastically by millions of people. Digital applications have greatly expanded the uses of this simple tool, and no doubt the evolution will continue. Conventional mind mapping works best when you can easily organize your thoughts as you capture them, or you only have a few ideas to drag and drop around a screen. If you’re starting with a mass of unsorted ideas and information, you might want to explore “reverse mind mapping” as a different kind of process. For maximum productivity, you’ll probably want both kinds of tools!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple years, then surely you have heard of the app Tik Tok. It’s the app that has people from practically every age group doing short dance and singing videos. In this article, we are going to do a deep-dive into Tik Tok and analyze why this app has been considered one of the best marketing strategies for brands all over the world.
Launched in 2018, Tik Tok was created in China as a video-sharing app, mainly targeted towards the so-called Z generation. At first, the app seemed to be a little strange since we haven’t seen anything like this before; however, it quickly made the headlines around the world. Today, it’s one of the most successful apps, especially popular among teens. What’s more, its fame seems to be growing by the minute since many celebrities are using it to share their dance moves and fun times. A few years ago, the app bought out Musical.ly, which practically helped migrate users to the new, very well structured, and combined Tik Tok social media.
But apart from teens and celebs, can companies grow on the platform and attract potential customers there? Keep reading to find out!
Do you know that Tik Tok has already generated billions of installs? Well, it sure is a huge milestone for Tik Tok’s marketing team, although they’re just at the very beginning of becoming the next massive social media, used by everyone.
The success of the platform is so huge that it absolutely outshined Google Play and other apps. Only in March 2019, TikTok made over 1.1 billion downloads, and each month it makes about 500 million installs. With such exposure, businesses should definitely consider experimenting with its features and functionalities. Youngers mainly use it, however, it’s specifically popular among celebrities as well, promoting their or somebody else’s brand. So, can you make money there? Of course, you can! There’s always room for experiments and tests, especially when there’s a new tool, social media, app, etc. Wondering how to get started? Here are a few ways to do it properly.
People love playing games, especially with hashtags. Need some proof? If you know Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show, then you must know how huge this thing is.
For the rest of you, though, who have no idea what this is all about, here’s how it goes. Let’s say that the hashtag word is #myworstdate, and then people start sharing stories with this hashtag. With TikTok, though, hashtags challenges are usually accompanied by videos, which is the core of the platform. And, as we all know, videos are one of the easiest, cheapest, and most entertaining way to reach more people.
What’s more, teens are more prone to taking part in such games and fun activities, so the viral effect is almost guaranteed.
Such challenges and games are actually what made Tik Tok such a fun, exciting, and desired place for people. It came out of nowhere, making everybody scratch their heads in confusion, but now it’s the most viral app in recent history. The hashtag challenges work for both celebrities, being in the role of influencers, and also for new or famous brands. These challenges could be done in different ways. Some may require to have a particular inherent talent, while others may be just for fun. Whatever the purpose, the main focus should be making people want to engage with your brand and participate in your games! Celebs have already found the way to do it. Need an example? Why not check out Jennifer Lopez’s challenge video?
A year ago, the famous soccer club B. Munich signed up for the new social media channel with the primary goal of reaching more young followers. At first, it seemed a bit odd for a soccer club to be on this type of platform; however, they had something in mind when releasing clips of their team.
Generally, the app is all about spreading viral, short clips of people doing funny or quirky things; but the soccer club decided to film a video of their players dancing on the field. Since the club signed up for the platform, it has reached over 80 000 new fans, and it only took them about a few posts per week to get over 4 million views in total!
The app may still be a baby, but there’s always some opportunity for growth if you have eyes for it! One of the most significant benefits of Tik Tok is that it’s still a new one, so there’s really not many advertisers there; and it’s certainly not as crowded as Facebook, Instagram, or even Snapchat. Also, your top competitors are probably not there yet, so now is the perfect time to get more exposure and fans.
By the way, if you want to venture into ads as well, do it now while it’s still cheaper. Although, if you ask us, start with organic posts first to test the waters and build from there. Generally, the app offers endless opportunities to be more creative, so gather your marketing team and think of a way to reach more fans with entertaining content.
Note that, according to statistics, 53% of Tik Tok users share video content. Maybe this is why Taylor Swift got the attention so quickly.
Although the use of ads on this platform is still pretty much new, you can try it and see how it works for you. At least you will get the attention of the users, and the ads are still relatively cheap. Similarly to other social media channels, you should pay attention to key metrics, such as impressions, clicks, reach, etc. These takeover ads can be used for your brand’s landing page as Tik Tok offers a special package for categories. In other words, you can take over a specific category per day, which sounds very good. These takeover ads could be images, GIFs, or videos. Your choice!
Another form of ads is the so-called branded ads. One of the first brands that were brave enough to use them was Guess. The brand came up with the #InMyDenim challenge, and everyone who opened the app was instantly directed to it, eventually getting over 36 million views.
It’s a form of sponsored hashtag challenges that are like banner ads on the discover page. When clicked, it directs users to a challenge page with instructions for the challenge itself, with some original content that addresses the hashtag. This luxury will inevitably cost you some cash, but it’s 100% worth testing!
In-feed native video ads are an effective way to catch people’s attention while scrolling through the feed. The format is still being tested, as it shows sponsored videos in the main feed alongside a “learn more” button. When clicked, the button encourages you to tap to get more info. According to Tik Tok’s creators, this button could be customized to fit your needs, but it’s still being tested, so there could be some limitations. The native video ads are about the same length as the regular TikTok clips (between 9-15 sec), as the test ad runs for only 5 seconds.
The ads are full-screen and are similar to Instagram Stories ads, but can be skipped by users. The format also supports call-to-actions for app downloads and site visits. As for analysis, marketers can measure the effectiveness of an ad by total video views, video engagement, click-through rate, average video duration, etc. But to find out whether it’s the best format for your brand, there’s no other way but to run a few tests.
Which TikTok strategy would you implement first?
Well, if you ask us, you should test the waters by experimenting with all of them. If you can’t find a way to get started, you can always check what other brands are doing. Generally, Tik Tok makes a fantastic way to promote your business and expand your marketing activity.
It’s a relatively new social media platform, and that’s the beauty of it – it’s not as crowded as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc. So, get your team together, sign up for the app, and think of ideas for fun videos, challenges, and content in general.
Last but not least, make sure to keep an eye out for the trends out there. Be active, check other people’s profiles; see what celebs are doing and how they communicate with their following there. But most importantly, make your brand visible for others on TikTok. It may be a completely different experience for your brand, but it can also bring you many benefits. Whatever strategy you come up with, remember this: be active on Tik Tok, engage with people, and don’t be too shy to explore new things on the platform.
Andriu is a full-stack digital marketer who is originally from Venezuela. For the past 5 years, he has freelanced on everything from PPC to copywriting to SEO. Now he writes his insights, guides, and tutorials on Internet Marketing Bro.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple years, then surely you have heard of the app Tik Tok. It’s the app that has people from practically every age group doing short dance and singing videos. In this article, we are going to do a deep-dive into Tik Tok and analyze why this app has been considered one of the best marketing strategies for brands all over the world.
Just about everyone wants a chance to rank highly on Google. After all, this is usually the easiest way to get in touch with potential customers and leads. However, reaching that goal can sometimes seem impossible, and consistently adding content to your site might not always be feasible.
Thankfully, Google offers a variety of tools to help boost your rankings that don’t involve writing another keyword-rich blog post. Below, we’ll discuss a few opportunities to consider that can help you achieve higher organic search results.
If your business is a local service or has a brick-and-mortar location, achieving a coveted spot in the Google Maps “three-pack” is a pretty big deal. This means that your contact information and website link will show up in the first three Google Maps spots when a person searches for a specific local solution. To increase your chances of securing this ranking, be sure to claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing, a public profile that displays important information about your organization.
Google Maps is one of the first things people see when they look for a specific business within their local area. If you aren’t listed, it makes it much more difficult for customers to find you. Furthermore, there’s a good chance that your competitors are already using this method, so you must follow suit to ensure your potential leads aren’t going straight to them.
Adding your organization to Google Maps is relatively simple. First, you’ll need to sign up for a Google My Business account. Then, you can add your company by searching it on the GMB website and choose whether you want your location to appear on Google Maps. After adding in the requested information, such as your business category, you’ll need to verify your identity to Google (either by mail, phone, or email).
Another option is called FAQ schema markup. This should be added anywhere there is a question and corresponding answer on your website. When someone searches that question, the special code allows for a portion of the answer to show up in search results. In short, this can be a valuable way to score added traffic.
One of the easiest ways to connect with your audience is to position yourself as a knowledgeable leader in your industry. Using these schema markups, you are making it easy for Google users to see that you have answers related to what they want to know. This puts you in a prime trust position when they’re ready to make a purchase or invest in your services.
To start using FAQ schema, you’ll first need to write and publish question-and-answer style content. You should format the text so that the question is in bold or uses a header tag. Then, you’ll need to insert the schema markup, which requires a bit of HTML knowledge. Here is the official explanation of how to do this from Google’s developer site.
Of course, it isn’t just Google Maps and FAQs that achieve the upper level in Google search results. Other snippets happen when content is deemed informative and valuable. While there isn’t a way to do this on your own, the easiest method is to continue to add engaging content regularly and keep track of what’s working well.
Again, this goes back to positioning yourself as a leader in your industry. Google uses snippets all the time, so it’s crucial that internet users see your content – not your competitors’. Therefore, you need to secure as many snippets as possible to maintain visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are a variety of strategies to optimize for certain Google snippets. For example, using H2 and H3 tags or highlighting top learning points in your text can really help. Again, this comes down to publishing high-quality content on a regular basis.
Another great tool to consider utilizing as a part of your Search Engine Optimization strategy is Google Discover. While there’s no way to control whether or not your website is featured, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances. First, make sure the content you create is centered around a specific key entity, which is the term Google uses to describe particular interest groups. Next, create blog posts and articles for your website that are generally time-sensitive. Google Discover only includes content on what’s happening now and for a short period of time.
More than ever, people are turning to the internet to stay connected with what is going on in the world. By looking up topics on Google Discover and publishing content on your website that could be featured, you’ll put yourself in front of a wider audience. In the end, this equates to higher traffic and more potential for leads.
Take a look at Google Discover to see where other businesses in your niche are featured or identify specific trends. Then, publish content on your website that includes these categories or topics.
With so many different ways to use Google to increase your organic search rankings, choosing the best strategies can be somewhat overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to work with a digital marketing partner you can trust. These experts can help you cut through the noise and determine which additional steps to take—or skip—to improve your overall ranking and increase traffic. Best of all, they usually have a whole list of other tips to get your entire marketing plan on the right path, which often means the difference between success and spinning your wheels.
Alyssa Anderson is the Content Manager at Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM), a digital marketing agency in Madison, CT. ZGM is known for developing overarching marketing strategies and specializes in Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Social Media, Development, Design, and eCommerce services.
It’s June 2020, and the “closing bell” of Magento 1 support termination has rung. Although the deadline has been previously postponed several times, this time it’s final: online stores that are built on Magento 1 won’t be supported any longer. While they’ll still be functioning, they won’t be getting any more updates (and YES, this regards the crucial question of security patches and means that such stores will be deprived of new functionality). The bottom line, there’s no more time left to put the process off. And due to that, many Magento 1 store owners who haven’t begun their migration yet are biting their nails in anticipation of what they are to encounter ahead.
Without a doubt, you won’t make it without a devoted team who’ll provide you with professional Magento 2 migration services. But what are the possible stumbling points that you can face along the way? In this post, we bring you a detailed explanation of what you can expect and give recommendations on how to prevent unfortunate turns of events.
Before we jump right over to the possible issues that may occur, let’s dot a couple of “I’s”. As stated earlier, there are many reasons why it makes sense to migrate your Magento 1 store to Magento 2. As such, you wouldn’t want your website to lack behind in terms of modern features that are so vital in the ever-changing and progressing world of eCommerce. You surely don’t want your store to be unsafe either, as you’re legally responsible for safeguarding the data and contact details of your customers (data leaks on your fault can result in large fines, that’s how it works).
So although the idea of keeping things just as they are for now is tempting (after all, your M1 store works pretty fine as it is), you’ll still have to eventually make the move from Magento 1. Of course, this means investment from your side, but it’s a great chance to:
So why later than sooner? Wild guess: because you’ve most likely heard a lot about the struggles and long time frames that it takes to make the move?
Fair enough, the process is as far as easy as it can get. Thinking that the migration is some simple copy-paste is a common misperception. The root of the problem lies in the fact that even though Magento 1 and Magento 2 differ in a single digit in the name, these two versions are completely different from each other on fundamental levels. At times migration to M2 can basically mean the same as building the entire thing from scratch (what store-owners often tend to do). It takes a lot of coding, untangling data, bug fixing, testing, upgrading, and implementing custom solutions to get things done the right way.
The mentioned above are just some of the things explaining why the process is hard, but what can cause serious roadblocks for your worry-free migration?
As simple as this may sound, it’s true. Despite the fact that there are many Magento developers out there, finding those specialists who are competent in both Magento 1 and Magento 2 is not an easy task. Especially keeping in mind that, by all means, you want people with previous migration experience to handle your store.
Things can go completely wrong just because those who you’ve entrusted to work on your case might not have the needed expertise that’ll be equal both for M1 and M2, who might not have the necessary knowledge of the core differences between the platforms, and who don’t really know how to deliver a seamless migration.
You don’t want your store to be the field for trial and error, this is a waste of your money, time, and resources. So how do you choose the right people? Pay special attention to:
Avoiding the planning phase as a way to “win time” is a rookie mistake. Making up your mind regarding what you want after the migration process has already started always results in bottlenecks. If doing so, you:
Hence, it follows that with a clear vision of the result and a mapped out journey, you can count on better communication and migration. Tip: get your development team on board as you plan the work ahead, this way, you’ll all be on the same page.
Practically every store makes use of external plugins, third-party extensions, and even custom modules, apart from the functionality that’s offered by Magento out-of-the-box. When it goes down to the work with module migration there are many things to be handled:
But these four points only cover the cases when that can be done with the currently used modules. If there are no analogs for them or when there was a custom-designed solution on Magento 1, this may result in the necessity to develop new custom solutions. And custom development takes time.
Moreover, migration is the moment when store owners generally want to recalibrate their website and introduce innovations. Meaning not only the migration of old modules but a pack of new ones that’s been added on to the top of the pile, resulting in… Yes, you’ve guessed correctly, additional hours for implementation, testing, etc.
How can you solve this problem?
The scope of data for migration is much bigger than you think. It’s not just the modules, it’s not just your product inventory. We’re talking about all of your information that has been collected over the years: orders, clients, logs, the list can go on for good.
At times barriers arise when stores have product inventories kept in external custom systems. For such situations, there can be a need in custom transfer logic, and that’ll gobble uptime. Other backpedaling situations that could be mentioned include dealing with the required data reorganization or re-systematization. Not to mention the long hours spent on fishing out what to dispose and what to move to Magento 2.
Again, here you can confront multiple progress stoppages. The best advice is to make sure that this stoppage isn’t you! Be open to new enhanced solutions as opposed to sticking to the way things were done in the good old days. Ask yourself questions like: “Are logs from 2008 really that important to the business to be transferred?”
As mentioned before, many things can influence how long the project takes: bad planning, poor team performance, unexpected difficulties with implementing new features, or shifting what’s been accumulated over the years. So it’s no surprise that the estimated deadlines are often pushed forward. Sometimes this isn’t critical. The question is how far are they pushed?
When agreeing with your developers on deadlines, you’re most probably counting on them to be met. Most often, expectations might not be fulfilled due to either broken promises or real issues that have occurred in the course of work.
How can this be avoided? Don’t forget to be involved in the process after you’ve agreed on the migration but don’t push it over the top. Your presence matters but it shouldn’t be distracting. Talk to your developers, ask for updates on what has been completed, request intermediate results, establishing milestones that help a lot too.
Businesses spend a lot of time and money in building a brand. From an SEO perspective, there are two reasons why you must focus on branding. Firstly, branded search queries are relatively easier to rank for. search engines, including Google, are likely to rank your website on top if it’s your brand that the user is looking for. Studies also show that branded search queries have a higher CTR than non-branded queries.
There are however a few challenges to contend with. Because of the relatively lower competition that branded searches face, it is easier for competitors to influence the search user with content that disputes your business’ claims. For example, a search for a query like “MailChimp” or “Salesforce” can show results containing reviews of these products that are put up by competitors. These reviews could undermine the product to show competing products in a better light.
Owning these brand searches is thus critical to ensure that your branding exercise is not hijacked by competition. Here are a few tips to get this going.
Create content on third party websites
Marketers have little trouble in ranking first for their brand search. However, you have nine other spots in the organic listing on Google that can be hijacked by competitors. To avoid this, it is a good idea to create company pages on authoritative third-party platforms. For instance, a search for “Hubspot” will show results from websites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Crunchbase, Facebook and Pinterest that all point to profiles owned by Hubspot. This leaves little room for competitors to butt in with counter-claims about your brand or your products.
Simply creating these pages alone may not be enough to get these pages to rank on Google. To achieve this, it is important to work on a coordinated link building strategy that will make these pages move up the ranks on Google search for your brand query.
Over time, Google has constantly redesigned their search results page to give more primary real estate to paid results. As a result, it is not uncommon for more PPC ads than organic search results in the top-fold of SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages). What this means is that competitors can occupy a slot above your organic listing if they paid Google for this. The only way to own this space is by advertising for your own brand query.
Not surprisingly, a search for terms like ‘MailChimp’ or ‘Hubspot’ will show you two results to their homepage – one from the ad spot, and the other from the organic listing. But unfortunately, this is still inadequate to completely own your listing. Competitors can still bid for the second or third spot on the Paid results and this can take away a significant number of visitors to competitor pages.
You can avoid this by creating landing pages on multiple domains and advertising them all for your brand search. If you are targeting the mobile web, you may also advertise the Play Store or App Store link for your app. If your mobile analytics shows a lot of search coming for app-related queries (example: “GPS app for Android”), then you may also create content targeting these queries and advertise them.
This shoots up the ad costs for competition and acts as a disincentive. While this may not completely protect you from competitor ads, it is still a viable strategy to keep most of your search users on your own websites.
Branded search queries do not stop with just the search for your brand name. Prospective buyers also lookup several other related brand searches pertaining to your pricing, reviews, and alternatives. Given the long-tail nature of these keywords, it is not realistic to rank for all these terms with just your homepage or third party profile pages.
Content marketing is an effective strategy to tackle this issue. This refers not just to your blog content, but also your YouTube channel, Facebook posts as well as guest contributions you make on related industry blogs. With hundreds of such content pages, it is possible to rank prominently for your related brand search queries.
Similar to your website SEO, it is a good idea to build backlinks for all these third party platform pages as well. Google typically restricts the number of search results from any one domain to two per result. Building backlinks to all your third party platform content is a good way to get all these pages ranking for your long-tail brand searches.
Sometimes, Google tends to show your business profile prominently on the right side of its brand search results. This is usually the case with big brand businesses. These business profile boxes also contain links to reviews posted by users on the Google business page. Invest resources in capturing reviews from legitimate buyers on your Google business page. This allows prospective new buyers to get a real-world account of your product or service and helps them make an informed choice about your business.
As your business grows, the volume of visitors coming to your website from branded queries is only expected to increase. With the right strategy, it is possible to make sure that visitors who come to your website off such queries continue to trust your business and convert into paid customers.
Online visibility is essential for building a business. Being seen on the web directly leads to business and brand growth which is what makes the acquisition of new website visitors so valuable, especially today when the competition is very high.
One of the best ways for increasing your website traffic is through a joint effort of content marketing and SEO. The collaboration of these particular fields has provided us with all kinds of strategies and techniques getting more and more people to visit your website. In a sea of different possibilities to incorporate, one stands out for being extremely effective – the Skyscraper Technique.
What Is the Skyscraper Technique?
in 2015 Brian Dean first described The Skyscraper Technique in a case study where he explained how he discovered a method to double his organic website traffic in just two weeks!
Over the years, the Skyscraper Technique has been replicated many times along with some minor tweaks and embellishments. Still, the core of the strategy remains pretty much the same which is to find content with lots of backlinks and create a better version with a goal of collecting a portion of those backlinks.
The Skyscraper Technique plays on our psychological tendencies to be attracted to the very best and finest. The idea is that people will take a look at your improved version of content and will feel inclined to enrich their page with a link to yours. Following that logic, the more obvious it is that your content is superior the better your chances of acquiring a backlink are.
How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique Properly
In the last four years, many have tried to replicate Brian’s method and managed to increase their website traffic profusely. Ryan and folks from Creative Live used it to promote an infographic on calculating your freelance hourly rate which resulted in over 70 000 new page views along with just under 3500 new subscribers.
That being said not everyone was able to reach similar levels of success. Such is the case with Olga and her team at Chanty. In an in-depth post-mortem, they described that missing the keyword was the critical point that completely derailed their Skyscraper link building attempt. It’s clear that a lot of it has to do with proper preparation and execution.
1. Discover the Right Candidate
There are several characteristics that will help you make the right choice for your brand when deciding on which content you want to compete with. First and foremost, explore top-ranking content that is relevant to the services you’re providing. This will ensure that your efforts will attract the right type of audience for your brand, meaning they’ll be more likely to become your clients or customers.
Use Google Search to find content that is already performing and ranking very highly for a popular topic relevant to your niche. While exploring various topics, analyze the number of backlinks to a high-performing piece of content using SEO tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush. Acquiring a backlink profile for a particular page will help you determine the number of backlinks, where they are coming from and some other useful metrics like URL and domain authority.
The key factor that should help you decide should be the sweet spot between the number of backlinks a content page has and the perceived room for improvement. If you are able to find a piece of content that has lots of backlinks but you’re confident you can produce something significantly better – you’re on the right track!
2. Create a Tempting Alternative
Now that you’ve narrowed down the topics and the competitors, you can work on creating a superior piece of content that will provide a more up to date, richer and more insightful experience for the readers.
Some of the characteristics that make a piece of content more appealing are length, freshness, structure, design and rich media. However, all of these factors need to contribute directly to the quality of your content. Adding 5 lukewarm tips to a pretty extensive list just to make your version longer will actually hurt the quality of your article!
The most important thing is that your content does a better job of presenting the topic to the reader. Your main focus should be on providing them with a unique perspective and revealing valuable insights in a way that’s truly engaging. If you’d like to learn more about how to make engaging content – click here!
3. Reach Out to Your List of Targets
The first two steps will set a framework for your success but only by doing quality email outreach will you be able to realize its full potential. From the backlink profile you’ve acquired in the first step, you can create a list of targets for your outreach campaign. You’ll need to explore all pages that have linked back to the content you’re trying to top and find people are the decision-makers for those particular pages.
When reaching out, explain why you’re doing so, provide a link to your superior content, clarify what makes it a better fit and ask them directly to refer to your link instead. Getting the right formula will take some time and effort but always be mindful of the fact what’s really in it for them.
And don’t get discouraged if you get negative responses – it’s just a part of the process. The Skyscraper Technique is in its essence a numbers game. This just goes to show why you should target content with lots of backlinks in the first place!
The Skyscraper Technique has proven its value through many different case studies. Still, it’s not exactly hard science and lots of aspects are context-related making it very difficult to write an overarching bulletproof guide. Additionally, lots of different external factors will contribute to the results. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a large online presence and a strong personal brand it may prove to be less effective and more difficult.
The great thing about it is that it guides your content but in no way limits what you can do with it once you’ve finished the process. Good, quality content is a useful marketing asset in and of itself meaning you can gain value from it in more ways than one. There are other ways in which you can promote it or even repurpose it. Whatever happens, if you’re flexible and resilient – none of your work goes to waste!
Web Moves is excited to begin collaborating with the American Society of Pharmacovigilance. ASP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit biomedical and healthcare network with membership open to all healthcare professionals nationwide. Its primary mission is to rapidly and dramatically reduce the high rate of suffering and mortality due to adverse drug events in the US. ASP represents the unity of different areas of expertise coming together to have a bigger impact on addressing the fourth leading cause of death in the US.
As most of us (hopefully) know, one of the greatest problems facing our planet today is pollution. Tons of carbon emissions and immense trash heaps drown the environment, and this problem only increases with the population. We continue to create more and more waste, and fail to find an effective way to manage it.
But what does this have to do with Google search results?
Well, there is another kind of waste hiding beneath the headlines, impacting our daily lives: digital waste. This “digital waste” clouds up our search results, inhibiting us from finding the answers we need.
Google uses a variety of highly complex algorithms, with simple and often adorable code names (like Panda or Pigeon) to bring us results for each query we make. Googlebot constantly crawl public websites and add them to the system index. These sites are ranked on many factors to determine where they appear in the results page. The most important factors include technical aspects, popularity of the site, quality of the content, and age of the site. Google’s algorithms mostly produce accurate, relevant results from authoritative and trusted websites, and everyone’s happy. However, in specific types of searches this system fails, leaving us with stale results, feeling frustrated.
Stale results pop up when the older, authoritative sites are shown by Google, even when they are offering outdated, maybe even inaccurate information.
Let’s look at some examples.
Here you would like to know the shortcut for taking a screenshot on your mac computer, so you search “how to screenshot on mac.”
For awhile we have known that speed is an important factor in Search Ranking but over the last week we have seen an interesting notification for this being tested. As reported on SearchEngineLand, Google has been testing a bright red “Slow” warning that can be found in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) for sites that are slower than normal. This way users can be warned that clicking the link will result in a slow page load time. (more…)