Google AdWords Guide on How to Create a Campaign

Transform your traffic and sales overnight using Google Adwords and follow the 10 steps below to create your first Adwords campaign today. Avoid the most common mistakes and save yourself hundreds of euros, time and frustration!

Benefits of Google Adwords

Here are three key benefits of online advertising and Google Adwords:

  1. Instant Results: Drive Targeted Round-The-Clock Traffic to Your Website in Minutes.
  2. Highly Targeted: Target by keywords, location, language, time of day & more!
  3. Cost Effective: You’ll only pay when someone clicks your ad. Pay per Click (PPC).

Google Adwords vs. Facebook Ads

Which is more effective? What to use for higher converting traffic? Both can be highly effective but they need a different approach because the users intent is different on both websites:

GoogleFacebook
People use Google to find a solution to their problem. e.g “Emergency plumber”, “wedding venue”. Therefore, AdWords is a good to target these people actively searching because you are theoretically providing that solution.People use Facebook to connect with people and share. Therefore, Facebook Ads can be good to leverage word-of-mouth as it’s already a social venue. This is perfect for problems people might have but not actively search, or problems they don’t yet know they have.

How Google Adwords Works

Ads on Google and it’s display network are sold by auction. Advertisers bid on keywords in order to serve an ad which, when clicked upon, leads the searcher to a website landing page. However, unlike traditional auctions, the highest bidder does not always win. Google takes 2 factors into consideration:

  1. Quality Score (expected clickthrough ratead relevance, and landing page experience).
  2. Bid (e.g. 1 euro)

Google multiple these two factors together to create a new measure: Ad Rank.

Ad Rank = Quality Score * Bid

The bidder with the highest Ad Rank gets the top spot and so on down to either the last ad qualifying.

Recommendation

Focus on consistently improving your quality score so you can reduce costs and out rank higher bidding competitors. See details about that keyword’s Quality Score by clicking the white speech bubble next to any keyword.


10 Steps to Set Up your First AdWords Campaign

1. Define Success and Set Up Tracking

Before paying for a single click, you first need to determine exactly what you want your advertising to accomplish. Always set your goals first and make decisions towards those goals. For example your goals may be to increase:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Online Sales
  • Phone Calls
  • App Dowloads
  • New Leads
  • In Store Purchases
  • Expand into a New Territory

It’s OK to change or refine your goals later on but if you don’t know exactly what you want. While Google can’t determine your goals for you, they try and make it easy for you to track your goals once you figure them out.

Recommendation
  1. Set up Goals in Google Analytics: AdWords may show a Keyword has a great click through rate (CTR) but when you look deeper in Google Analytics, you may see that term doesn’t convert well or has a high Bounce Rate. That kind of information can really help you effectively optimise your account.
  2. Link your Adwords Accounts to Google Analytics and Search ConsoleCreate an AdWords account and go to Google AdWords settings > linked accounts and pick the appropriate Analytics and Search Console profiles.
  3. Link Google Analytics to Adwords: Go to Google Analytics admin area > pick the correct profiles to link and you’ll have Adwords data in Analytics and visa versa.


2. Analyze your PPC Competition

The second huge mistake many people make is not doing any competitor research before they create their first campaign. This exercise gives you an instant advantage when writing your ad copy because you can improve on your competitors best strategies.

Recommendation
  1. Search Google: Check out the ads you’ll be up against by searching for some of your best keywords in Google.
  2. Note Down Compelling Ad Copy: What makes you want to click? Look for great offers, certain prices, deals or product benefits make the ads more compelling.
  3. Review Competitor Landing Pages: See what your competitors landing pages are like. Do they ads go to their homepage and are call to actions visible?
  4. Spy on Your Competitors: Use this free tool Spyfu to get even more insights.

3. Have a Good Landing Page

Having a landing page dedicated to your advertising campaign objective is a huge part of maximizing the return you’ll see from your ad investment.

One of the biggest mistakes that AdWords beginners make is driving paid traffic to their homepage. Your homepage is great for explaining what your business is about, but it’s never going to be as effective as a dedicated landing page at getting conversions. Especially for e-commerce businesses, they should send traffic to the appropriate product or category instead of the homepage.

Good landing pages, take customers exactly where they expect to go, and they don’t need to click to find what they were originally searching for in Google.

Recommendation
  • Begin with the end in mind: Remember, paid search won’t fix a bad landing page or a high-friction shopping cart experience. Before you get started, you should have a mobile optimized website or landing page that you want to send traffic.
  • Match your ad keywords with your landing page headline: Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Start with a high converting landing page template from a company like Leadpages and add your content from there.

4. Select the Right Campaign Type

When you start setting up your AdWords campaign, you’ll need to choose a campaign type and a campaign sub-type. The campaign type determines things like where your ads can show to customers on Google’s advertising networks, and what format they can be in, such as text or video.

Adwords Ads can be displayed in the Search Network (Google & partners sites) and across their Display Network (YouTube, Gmail, Wall Street Journal, New York Time etc.). There are six main campaigns types you can choose from:

  1. Search Network with Display Select (can be very broad!)
  2. Search Network Only (Google Search and Search partners)
  3. Display Network Only (Google’s network of partner sites)
  4. Shopping (Best ways to create Shopping Ads)
  5. Video (Video Ads on YouTube and across the Web)
  6. Universal App Campaign (Promote app, across Search, Display and YouTube)
Recommendation
  • Login into Google Adwords. For your first campaign, select on “Search Network Only”. Click “all features” and untick “include search partners” to target campaign even further.
  • Budgets are set at the campaign level, so creating separate campaigns if you want to run different types of campaigns for your can manage your budget.

5. Target your Audience

The ability to target your ads is one of the the key benefits of online advertising. It allows you to control your costs and also drive more targeted (and high converting!) traffic to your website.

5 Ways to Target Your Adwords Ads:

  1. Location (city, zip code etc.)
  2. Language
  3. Time of day (ex: show ads during business hours only)
  4. Device targeting (mobile, tablet, desktop, certain operating systems, carriers etc.)
  5. Keywords (target your audience further by selecting keywords – step 9)
Recommendation
  • Use Available Data: To improve the accuracy of your targeting, use available data in Google Analytics and from your Facebook Page.
  • Language: If you want to target two languages, it’s best to create a separate campaign for that language so that you can control the budget separately for that campaign and include only relevant language ads.

6. Determine your Bids and Budgets

Choose the right bidding strategy for your marketing goals.

Set the Bids for your Ads in 7 Ways:

  1. Search Page Location Target: Automated bidding strategy to show your ad on the top of the page or on the first page of Google search results.
  2. CPA Target: Bidding strategy that sets bids to help get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) you set.
  3. ROAS Target: Automated bidding strategy across multiple campaigns, ad groups, and keywords to help achieve an average return on ad spend (ROAS) equal to the target you set.
  4. Outranking Share Target: Automated bidding strategy that help your ads outrank ads from another domain.
  5. Maximise Clicks: Automated strategy to help get as many clicks as possible within your budget.
  6. Enhanced CPC: Raises your bid for clicks that seem more likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website.
  7. Manual CPC: A bidding method that lets you set your own maximum cost-per-click (CPC) for your ads. This differs from automated bid strategies, which set bid amounts for you.
Recommendation

For your first campaign, enter the info below in the 3 fields in Adwords:

  • Bid Strategy: Select “Manual CPC”
  • Default bid. Enter “1 euro”.
  • Budget: Enter “20 euros” a day

7. Write Effective Ads

Follow these 6 tips to write effective text ads:

  1. Match your ad to your landing page: People might leave your website if they don’t find what they expect.
  2. Highlight what makes you unique: Free shipping? Dazzling variety? Tell people! Showcase the products, services, or offers that make you competitive.
  3. Include prices, promotions, and exclusives: If you have a limited-time discount or stock an exclusive product, say so.
  4. Empower customers to take action: Include calls to action like purchase, call today, order, browse, sign up, or get a quote make clear what the next steps are.
  5. Include at least one of your keywords: For example, if you’ve included digital cameras as a keyword, your ad headline could be “Buy Digital Cameras.”
  6. Follow Google’s editorial guidelines: Don’t overuse CAPLOCKS, exclamation points, use GiM!M1CkY TEXT and S.P.A.C.I.NG. More info here.
Recommendation

Use all characters given to write your text ad: Your are paying for space. Get to zero in each line – it helps push other competing ads further down the page.


8. Choose Profitable Keywords

Start with 10-20 keywords for each ad group. Choose phrases that customers would use to search for your products and services. Be specific: avoid one-word keywords. Research Keywords by spying on competitors and also using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool.

Of of the most expensive mistake people make is not using the appropriate match types. These control when your ads appear.

  • Broad Match: Default match type. Shows ads to searches for similar phrases or searches. very broad!
  • Phrase Match: Enter keywords in Adwords using quotes marks on “keyword” for phrase match targeting.
  • Exact Match: Enter keywords in Adwords using square brackets on [keyword] for phrase match targeting.
  • Broad Match Modifier: Add plus sign on +keywords for broad modifier match.
  • Negative Match: -keyword. Ex: free, cheap, torrent, youtube.
Recommendation

Start with 10 keywords for each ad group: Focus on keyword that show intent to buy (not people just learning about a topic).


9. Advanced Campaign Settings

  • Negative Keywords: Add Negative keywords to the negative keywords tabs.  -keyword. e.g. free, cheap, torrent, youtube.
  • Ad Extensions: Create more reasons to click your ad and increase it’s prominence in the search results. Enhance your ad with Site Links, Call Links, Location. More info here.
  • Remarketing: Great to show ads to people who have visited your website or used your app. More info here.

10. Measure and Optimize

Don’t just set it and forget it. Running ads is a constant game of optimization. There’s always new opportunities to pursue for growth so don’t let it just sit there. If you want to get the most out of your AdWords campaigns remember to test things like ad copy, bid price, and landing pages.

Recommendation
  • Optimise or pause underperforming ads.
  • Reinvest budgets in ads that are working have high CTR’s and conversion rates.

Share your experiences using Google AdWords in the comments!

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

How to Improve your Copywriting Skills

copywriting skills
Learn how to improve your copywriting skills using the A.I.D.A formula. This simple process can be used to write landing pages, sales pages, emails, social media posts & more! Avoid many common mistakes and remember: copywriters aren’t born, they practice!

What is Copywriting?

Before telling you how to improve your copywriting skills, it’s important to understand what this is really about. Copywriting is using written words to persuade people to take the action you want them to (e.g. make a purchase, submit an email, request a demo).

How do you do that, exactly? It comes down to presenting an argument strong enough to convince visitors that what you’re going to provide them with (ex: a product, an email newsletter, a free quote) is worth more than what they’re giving you in exchange for it.


Why Are Copywriting Skills Important?

The main benefit of having good copywriting skills is that it increases sales! Ask yourself if you think that doubling your traffic is easier than doubling your conversion rate with better copy. Driving double the traffic to your website is not always easy, as traffic does not come on demand – it can also be a costly choice if you are paying for the traffic. Doubling your conversion rate from 1% to 2% however is much easier with good copy. That is how powerful good copy is!

All these activities will benefit from better copywriting skills:

  • Market Research: Explain the benefits of people completing your survey.
  • Email Marketing: Writing subject lines that people will open.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Creating SEO optimised content.
  • YouTube: Writing video headlines and scripts.
  • Facebook & Twitter: Creating post people will engage with.
  • Google Adwords: Writing effective ads.

How to Write for your Buyer Persona

You cannot write effective copy unless you know:

  • Who you’re writing it for
  • How that person thinks
  • What that person needs

Avoid writing to a large crowd. To write great copy, you need to understand your buyer persona so that you know how you can best serve them. So, start your research by creating a buyer persona and unique selling proposition – I wrote a whole article about this.

Before you write a single word, you need to start by setting goals. When your goals are set, you need to find out how to best achieve them. Each page should have one goal. After choosing your goal, think about which action you are trying to persuade your readers to take, and notice if there is anything on the page distracting visitors from that goal. Also, don’t forget that every headline, image, subject line, etc., should tie back to your buyer persona and persuade them to take action.


A.I.D.A Formula

This is the most powerful way to structure your sales copy:

  1. Attention: Get the readers attention with a magnetic headlines.
  2. Interest: Connect with their problem.
  3. Desire: Make them “feel” the transformation.
  4. Action: Lead the reader to action.

1. Attention: Headlines are Very Important!

If you want your blog post, email, course to have an impact on your readers you must first get their attention and cause them to want to read further. At first, your reader will only be interested in knowing “What’s in it for me?”. That’s why headlines are so important!

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

David Ogilvy

Most of us make it harder to get results from copywriting than it needs to be. We pour energy and resources into small gains, instead of focusing our attention on the simple changes that make a huge difference. Improving your copywriting skills is about working smarter, not harder!

My recommendation is that you start with the headline. Think about it this way:

  • Blog posts don’t go viral, headlines do. It’s the headline that people share on Facebook. It is also the headline that people talk about. Complex ideas do not go viral. On the contrary, viral ideas are usually simple, yet impactful.
  • Headlines set the expectation for the rest of the article. If you put the blog post first, only to realize that the idea can’t be summed up into a viral headline, you either settle for a crummy headline, or you write up a misleading one.

11 Tips for Writing Magnetic Headlines

Practice

If you want more clicks, you need to practice. Write 25 Headlines for every piece of content. You’re more creative than you think!

Model the Best In The Business

Look at other blogs or websites that are doing a good job, and try to learn some tips from them! (Ex: http://www.jeffbullas.com/)

Start with Numbers

Try to write titles that start with numbers: “Top 15 Website to Free Images For Your Content Marketing”, “21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now”, “7 Ways to Make Yourself a Happier Person Every Day”, 7 Secrets, 7 Proven, 7 Reasons, 7 Tips, etc.

Use “How to” Headlines – they still work!

Use headlines that start with ‘How’, because people Google that a lot! Ex: “How to Make Lavender Lemonade to get rid of Headaches & Anxiety“. Use these formulas: How to [Blank] Even if [Common Obstacle] and How to [Blank] Without [Common Objection].

Use Punctuation

It’s a simple technique to use. Place your main keyword before the colon or hyphen, and add your benefit headline after it. This will help you when it comes to SEO. Ex: Marketing Plan Template: Create Your First Marketing Plan in 5 Steps

Be Ultra Specific

Define what the article is about. Remember, headlines set the expectation for the rest of the article. Example of a bad headline: “Write a Song” / Example of a good headline: “How to Compose Your Own Song: Songwriting 101”

Flag Common Mistakes

Examples: “16 Copywriting Mistakes You’re Probably Making (and How to Fix Them)” / “Are You Making These 10 Common Google AdWords Mistakes?”

Ask Questions

Examples: “Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Read This Guide First” / “Think You Know SEO? Quiz Yourself and Find Out!”

Remember the 5Ws

These engaging, interrogative words are used to gather information. By using them in your headlines, you articulate to readers the kind of information you intend to provide: Who, What, When, Where and Why.

Pay Attention to Headline Length

If you want your headlines to look good in Google and prevent them from being cut off, make sure your headlines stay under 60 characters.

 Use an Image to Enhance Your Headline

It’s always a good idea to use a picture – 100% of readers will see it! Use images across all social media post. Communicate the headline in your picture to get attention. Use free images: create your own on Canva or find them on websites like Unsplash or Pexels.


2. Interest: Connect with Their Problem

Once you’ve hooked a reader with the headline, it’s time to turn that attention into interest. If you don’t hold their interest in the first paragraph, you’ve lost them!

Show you understand their problem by sharing any personal experiences or other people’s stories. You can also invent fictional stories to make it entertaining (as long as the humor furthers your goal). The goal here is to create a piece of content that informs, educates, and entertains, to sparkle an emotional reaction.

Remember to make it scannable and visually appealing. In order to do that, you can use bullets and subheadings, and break up the text to make your points stand out.


3. Desire: Make them ‘Feel’ the Transformation

The goal now is to build their interest in what you have to offer, and show how it can solve their problem. In other words, the end goal is to cause a shift in their mind and they start to imagine themselves in the solution.

One common mistake is to sell the product features vs. benefits for the customer. So, focus less on all of the great things about your product and more on how your product will make the visitor’s life better. Be sure to focus on the right benefits. Finally, show the reader what is missing by not trying the product.


4. Action: Lead Readers to Action

Last but not least, the call to action. The CTA is your final instruction to your reader. You’ve worked hard so far. Since you’ve gotten their attention, hooked their interest, created desire, isn’t it appropriate to ask for action?

5 Tips to Create an Irresistible Call to Action

  1. Have a Call-to-Action on Every Page: Everything you write should have a call to action – after all, you’re creating a piece of content for a specific reason.
  2. Start With an Command Verb: Words like “buy,” “shop,” or “order”, “download” or “subscribe”, “watch”, “share”, “fill out a form for…” or “find out how…”
  3. Create Urgency: Use discrete measurements of time in your call to action. For example, phrases like “click now” or “try our software today” give the user an understanding of how easy and immediate the action will be.
  4. Use Contrasting Colours: Contrasting colours can draw the user’s eye to the action you want them to take. If your site is cool blue and gray, use a red or orange graphic.
  5. Use a no-obligation statement that removes or reduces risk: for example, Udemy uses “Take This Course” rather than “Buy Now”. 

Try to pay attention to the call-to-actions you come across and note down what makes you click and what holds you back!


And this is it! If you keep this A.I.D.A formula in mind when you’re writing a piece of content, you will most likely start seeing the results!

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

Create a Buyer Persona & Unique Selling Proposition

Who are your customers and what problem are you solving for them? If you don’t know, you may struggle to grow your business. Find some tips on how to create a buyer persona here!
Who are your customers and what problem are you solving for them? If you don’t know, you may struggle to grow your business. Find some tips on how to create a buyer persona here!

If you don’t have clear answers to the two questions below you may struggle to market your business or even get it off the ground: Who exactly are your customers and what problem are you solving for them? How will your product or service succeed in the marketplace where others may have failed? Here are some tips on how to create a buyer persona and identify your Unique Selling Proposition.


Step 1 – Develop a Buyer Persona

Who exactly are your customers and what problem are you solving for them?

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. This is the person you are creating your content, products or service for. They can’t wait for you to launch because you solve a problem they have!

What are the benefits of creating a buyer persona?

Instead of focusing “target market” or something abstract, you humanise your marketing and make it real. Developing a buyer persona results in stronger and more cost effective marketing. It allows you to convey a more tailored message, minimise advertising waste and discover objections holding back customers. When you can put a name to your customers, you can hopefully meet their needs better.

Are there any tricks to developing a buyer persona?

  • If you have an idea for a business, more than likely it came from a frustrating experience you had. A problem you needed fixing. A solution that didn’t get the results or was just too hard to implement
  • You may also have observed a pain point of someone you have close contact with
  • It’s unlikely your buyer persona is someone you’ve never met before. How could you understand intimately what’s holding them back from achieving their goal?

7 More Ways to Gather Buyer Persona Data

  1. Quora.com: see the most common questions for your niche
  2. Facebook Groups: review profiles of group members
  3. Online Marketplaces & Review Sites: AmazonYelp, AppStore etc
  4. Typeform: ask what is your biggest fear/ frustration with topic x
  5. Google Analytics: review demographic &  interest reports
  6. Facebook Analytics: review demographic reports
  7. YouTube Analytics: review demographic reports

Finally, remember your buyer persona is a theory. Test this theory with the feedback and data you’ll collect about your audience as you grow.


Step 2 – Identify your Unique Selling Proposition

The second is step is to identify your unique selling proposition. How will your product or service succeed in the marketplace where others may have failed? Tough question, I know. However, this is not a small detail you can skip over – it’s critical to your success!

What is a unique selling proposition (USP)?

A unique selling proposition defines your position in the marketplace and lets you stand apart from competitors.

How can you identify your unique selling proposition quickly?

  • Easy. Fill gaps left by your competitors
  • Find these gaps by reading customer reviews on AmazonAppstoreYelpTripadvisorFiverrUdemyUpWork or the online marketplaces and review platforms where your competitors or related products are
  • Filter straight to the 3 and 4 stars reviews. The real jackpot comes when you find a review that starts with “I would have given it 5 stars if….”
  • Having said that, whatever comes after that “if” is the gap you can fill and the key to your point of differentiation

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

The Ultimate SEO Checklist for 2020

This SEO checklist outlines the most important things you should do when starting a new website or performing an SEO Audit. It covers technical SEO, Keyword Research, On-Page SEO, Link Building and more!

SEO Best Practices for Websites and SEO Audits

If you want to know more about what SEO is actually about, you can read this post. This SEO checklist outlines the most important things you should do when starting a new website or performing an SEO Audit. It covers Technical SEO, Keyword Research, On-Page SEO, Link Building and more.

Follow these 26 SEO best practices to increase long-term targeted traffic to your website.


Technical SEO Checklist

  1. Install Google Analytics. Essential to measure key SEO metrics like website traffic, conversions and revenue. Use Ahrefs to measure keyword ranking and link building.
  2. Using WordPress? Download the Yoast SEO Plugin. It will make your life 10x easier. Use it to complete many of the Technical and On-Page SEO best practices in one place.
  3. Verify Your Site in Google Search Console. This free tool allows you to check how the search engines view your site with reports about indexing status, search queries, crawl errors and penalties. To learn more, read this helpful guide.
  4. Improve Website Performance & Speed. Analyze your site with Google PageSpeed Insights. Aim to score 80+. Speed things up with WordPress Plugins: Better Delete Revision, WP Smush and W3 Total Cache .
  5. Take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. Your site should deliver a great user experience across all devices. Extra important now that Google’s algorithm favours mobile friendly sites.

Keyword Research Process

  1. Develop a Buyer Persona. Getting into your customers shoes is the first step to keyword research. Remember, customers are not searching for your site. They are searching for valuable information to solve their problems. Having a buyer persona is a crucial first step to to figuring out what your best customers are typing into Google.
  2. Keyword Strategy. Aim to target less competitive “body and long tail keywords” that competitors have overlooked. Create content around a portfolio of keywords rather then one single term.
  3. Brainstorm for Keyword Ideas. Hack Wikipedia for Topic Ideas and Synonyms. Generate 1000’s of long tail keywords ideas using 3 automated tools: Google Autocomplete, Ubersuggest & Keyword Shitter . Discover untapped keywords and topics using Quora.
  4. Narrow Down Your Keyword List. Use search volume data from Keyword Everywhere Extension or Google Keyword Planner to cut down the list. Be sure to consider commercial intent using Cost-per-click (CPC) figures as a guide.
  5. Choose Target Keywords. Once you have a list of possible keywords & phrases, start by reviewing the first page of Google for each keyword. Look to see if there are well established sites with high quality content. Then, use data from the MOZ SEO Toolbar to see the authority and number of links competitors have. Eliminate overly competitive keywords and focus on keywords you actually have a chance to rank for. Your chosen keywords will be the centerpieces of your content.

On-Page SEO Checklist

  1. Pick One Keyword Per Page. You’ll generally want to start with lower-volume keywords.
  2. Write Title Tags Search Engines Love. Every page of your website should have unique title tag, preferably starting with a relevant keyword. Include modifiers like “best”, “2016” etc. to stand out and to pick up long tail searches. Keep title tags 55 characters or less or they’ll appear truncated in search results.
  3. Follow Best Practices for URL’s. Use short and sweet URLs that include your target keyword. e.g. http://www.yourdomain.com/target-keyword. Avoid numbered urls like http://www.yourdomain.com/p=123. Always-use-hyphens-in-urls. Never_use_underscores_in_urls.
  4. Skyrocket Clickthrough Rate with Meta Descriptions. Highlight the benefit of your post or product compared to competitors who already appear in the search results. Keep meta descriptions 160 characters or less or they’ll appear truncated in search results.
  5. Optimize for the Google Image Search Results. Create with Canva. Include target keyword in the filename and add keyword-rich alt text to images when uploading.
  6. Reduce Bounce Rates. Make the topic clear by including your target keyword in the first 100 words of your article.
  7. Give Your SEO a Boost with Heading Tags. Include your keyword once in an H2 or H3 subheading.
  8. Include Outbound Links. At least 2 outbound links to authority sites (popular blogs, news sites and .edu and .gov resources) in every piece of content that you publish.
  9. Add Internal links. 2-3 internal links to older articles when you publish a new one.
  10. Publish Longer Content. At least 300 words. 1500 words for competitive keywords.
  11. Use Prominent Social Sharing Buttons. Make sure your social sharing buttons are front and centre on blog posts and articles. Use DiggDigg WordPress plugin.
  12. Double-check everything. Once you’re live with an SEO Audit Tool.

Link Building

  1. Link Building Strategy. Not all backlinks are created equal. Your goal should be to earn quality “do follow” back links from high ranking pages in your niche. Earn these naturally by creating (and promoting!) content worth linking to.
  2. Analyze Your Competitor’s Backlinks, Rankings & Traffic. This is the easiest way to get started with link building. Look at each of Top 10 search results for your target keyword, views link for each page using the MOZ SEO Toolbar. Focus on their “Inbound Links” from “Only External” sources to see who has linked to them. You can also use Ahrefs, Majestic SEO & SimilarWeb to uncover competitors marketing strategies you can replicate.
  3. Maximise Links for Your SEO Campaigns. Find authoritative links in the tools above and reach out to those sources to pitch your latest blog post or product. Expect 5% response rate from these cold emails. You can also search for existing non-linked content using Mention or Buzzsumo. Contact the owner or author of the piece and ask them to kindly link back to you if possible.
  4. Create Content That Generates Links & Social Shares on Autopilot
  5. Model Successful Content. Use Buzzsumo to find proven content ideas & formats.
  6. Put Together Best of Lists. e.g. search for the Best Infographics for Internet Marketers
  7. Crowdsource Content. e.g. 7 Experts On Why Building Your Email is So Important
  8. Publish Survey Results. e.g. SEO Pricing: 600+ Agencies Share Costs & Pricing Model
  9. Create Infographics. e.g. Noob Guide to Online Marketing. Tools: Piktochart, Infogram, Canva.

Bonus Tip: Leverage the high domain authority of other websites like to quickly get to the top of the search results: Guest Posting, YouTube, Slideshare, Udemy, Quora & more. Publish your content on these sites and drive traffic back to your website.


I hope you found this SEO checklist helpful 🙂

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

The Best Digital Marketing Tools to Grow a Business

Here you can find the best digital marketing tools to grow a business! From Similar Web to Google Trends for Market Research; From Bluehost for WordPress to Mailchimp for Email Marketing; From Google Search Console to Ubbersuggest for SEO; From Canva to Inpreview for Social Media Marketing.

Best Digital Marketing Tools to Grow a Business

Here’s a list of some of my favorite digital marketing tools. Enjoy!


Market Research

Digital Marketing Tools for Market Research
Google Analytics It is Google’s free web analytics service that allows you to analyze in-depth detail about the visitors on your website. 
Keyword EverywhereThis used to be free but it is now a paid tool. Use Keyword Surfer as a free alternative. Browser addon that shows search volume & CPC in Google & many other keyword research tools
Keywords SurferFree alternative to Keywords Everywhere
SimilarWeb Gain insight into any website’s traffic data while you browse
Google FormsBuild market research surveys to collect feedback and email addresses
Google Trends Find sizzling hot topics ideas for any business

WordPress

Digital Marketing Tools for WordPress
MyThemeShopPremium WordPress Themes For Any Site
NameVineInstantly Find a Domain, Facebook and Twitter Account
NamestationRun a contest to crowdsource 150+ domain name ideas
BluehostReliable and Inexpensive Domain Registration & Hosting
MonsterInsightsGoogle Analytics Plugin for WordPress

Email Marketing

Digital Marketing Tools for Email Marketing
MailchimpEmail marketing software – free up to 2000 subscribers
WP Subscriber ProWordPress Plugin to capture email addresses with pop ups & side bar sign ups forms
LeadpagesCapture email addresses with Landing Pages & Leadboxes

SEO

Digital Marketing Tools for SEO
SEO Audit ToolEnter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase
AhrefsSEO Backlink Checker (alternatives: OpensiteExplorer, MajesticSEO, Semrush)
Google Search ConsoleView your site from Googles perspective with reports about indexing status, search queries, crawl errors and penalties
Google PageSpeed InsightsEnter the URL of your homepage or blog article to get customised tips to speed up your site
WP Revision ControlFrees up storage e.g. only keeps the latest five versions of each page on your site
WP SmushWordPress Plugin to improve your website speed by compressing all of your images in one click!
WP Super CacheWordPress Plugin to speed up your website by using browser caching (just install it – you don’t need to understand it!)
UbersuggestGenerate 1000’s of keywords ideas in one click. Install Keyword Everywhere (above) for search volume & CPC data
BuzzsumoFind proven content ideas & formats from around the web

YouTube

Digital Marketing Tools for YouTube
VidIQUncover the secrets to success behind your favorite YouTube videos
CanvaUse templates to easily create YouTube Thumbnails, Facebook Covers, Twitter Headers and much more! I did a whole post about this tool.
ScreencastomaticBasic Video Recording & Editing Software
CamtasiaProfessional Video Recording & Editing Software

Facebook

Digital Marketing Tools for Facebook
ImgurFind the most viral photos to share
PinterestFind viral quotes images to share
GleamCreate a contest and give people an incentive to like and share

Twitter

Digital Marketing Tools for Twitter
Google URL ShortenerCreate short URLs that can be easily shared, tweeted, or emailed to friends
Twitter PublishEmbed tweets, timelines or follow buttons on your website
RitetagFind the best hashtags to increase your visibility
BufferSchedule posts and manage all social media accounts all in one place

Instagram

Digital Marketing Tools for Instagram
Facetune 2Mobile app to edit images
LightroomMobile app to edit images
InpreviewApp to see how a new post is going to look like on your feed
Record it!Record something that you are doing on your phone and use it as a story
bit.lyShorten the URLs to put in bio

Quora

Digital Marketing Tools for Quora
QuoraBecome An Authority & Drive Long-Term Website Traffic by Answering Simple Questions

Adwords

Adwords
Google Ads / AdwordsTransform your traffic and sales overnight with paid advertising
SpyfuDownload Your Competitors’ Most Profitable Keywords and Ads

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

Why You Should Use WordPress for your Blog

WordPress is, by far, the most popular open source CMS and it has a flexible and simple interface with thousands of plugins and templates. Learn how to create a website on WordPress in just 5 easy steps!

Why WordPress?

  • WordPress powers an astonishing 25% of all websites. It is a free website management tool that makes it very easy to create and update your own website
  • WordPress is not just for blogs. It has a massive plugin and theme ecosystem that enables you to make any type of website (ecommerce, social network etc.) without needing to know how to code. See live examples: www.wordpress.org/showcase
  • Plugin Ecosystem: Plugins allow you to easily add custom functions and features to your WordPress site. Find plugins in the WordPress Plugin Directory
  • Theme Ecosystem: A WordPress theme provides all of the front end styling of your WordPress site, like page layouts, fonts and colors. This makes it very easy to make a great looking site quickly even if you don’t know how to write code

Step 1 – Choose a Domain Name

First, follow these simple guidelines when choosing your domain name:

  • .Com: Go for “.com” extension as it’s easy to remember and trustworthy
  • Brandable: Make it distinct, easy to remember so that it rolls off the tongue
  • Length: Keep it less than 20 characters
  • Keywords: You don’t need to include keywords in your domain name but it is a good idea to have a name that suggests what your business is about e.g. Facebook, Dropbox etc.
  • Check availability: Use NameVine to check the availability of your domain name on all domains extensions and social networks

Step 2 – Domain Registration & Hosting Account

  • Domain Registration & Hosting Account. Get a free domain, 24/7 support and 60% off your hosting cost with Bluehost
  • Add Ons:I did not sign up for any of the extra web hosting services but review them and add where appropriate
  • ICANN verification: Required within 15 days of purchasing the domain or your domain may be suspended. Simply, verify your registered email address by clicking the link in the ICANN verification email you automatically receive
  • Support: Contact your domain registrar or hosting company to resolve any issues experienced during this set up process

Step 3 – Install WordPress

Then, login into your  hosting account (like Bluehost) and take these steps to install WordPress:

  • Click on your domain name to open up the cpanel (control panel)
  • Scroll down the page to the ‘CGI Scripts’ section. Click on the Install WordPress logo and wait for the new page to load
  • Create a WordPress account and click on ‘Install WordPress’
  • Log into WordPress using the username and password created in the previous step
  • You will now have access the the WordPress Dashboard. This is the backend of your website where you can edit your site and add content
  • To see what you site looks like click on your domain name at the top of the dashboard and then ‘visit site’

Step 4 – Add Pages/ Posts

  • Add Pages: Click Pages > Add New in the sidebar of your WordPress Dashboard. Click “change permalinks” and select “post name” to set the url by default to the post title.Set up these 2 pages to get started: “/about” + “/thank-you”.
  • Add Menus: Click Appearance > Menus > create a new menu. Select created pages and click “add to menu”. Select new menu as your “primary menu”.
  • Add Posts: Click Posts > Add New (the same process as creating new pages).

Step 5 – Install Google Analytics for WordPress

  • Install Plugin: Monster Insights for Google Analytics. Easy to use & free!
  • Login into Google Analytics. Go to Admin> Create a New Property to generate a tracking ID for your new website
  • Add tracking id to website. Click in ‘Authenticate with Google’ inside the plugin to start collecting data from your website
  • Filter Internal Traffic so you don’t skew your data: Click admin> filters>add filter>predefined filter> exclude traffic from IP address
  • Enable Demographics Reports: Collect age, demographics and interest data so you can understand you audience better. Click admin>property settings> enable demographics and interest reports
  • Goal Tracking: Set up goals – ex: track email sign ups

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

Step-by-Step Guides in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Koala

Let’s create a cute koala character in Illustrator. This is an easy, fun tutorial for those who’ve just started to learn how to use the tool!

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Raccoon

Let’s create an adorable raccoon! We’ll use basic shapes and warp effects. Just follow the step-by-step indications with this Adobe Illustrator tutorial!

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Little Red Riding Hood

Let’s create this cute character in vector.  You will use the Pen Tool (P) and basic shapes such as the Rectangle Tool (M), the Ellipse Tool (L) and the Polygon Tool. This is a great tutorial for those who are getting the hang of Adobe Illustrator’s basic tools. Follow the steps below.

Adobe Illustrator Tutorial: Cactus

Let’s create this cactus character in vector with basic shapes, Line Segment Tool and Warp Effect. Follow the steps of this Adobe Illustrator tutorial now!


Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

Canva, an Amazing Tool to Create Quick Designs!

canva
With Canva, you can create beautiful designs in minutes — no design skills necessary. You just gotta have the vision, and Canva helps you bringing it to life. Turn imagination into a finished design in minutes with this amazing free website!

What is Canva?

Canva is an online graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. Users can choose from many professional designed templates, and edit the designs and upload their own photos through a drag and drop interface.

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How to use Canva

1. Choose your design type

When you log in to Canva, you’ll land on the homepage. To start designing, click on ‘Create a design’ in the toolbar, or simply type your chosen design type into the search bar.

You can create the following design types:

Social Media

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Documents

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Personal

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Education

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Marketing

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Events

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Ads

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Canva has pre-set the ideal dimensions for each design type, whether you’re creating a logo, letterhead or Facebook post. You can also set custom dimensions by typing “custom” into the search box.

2. Choose and customize a template

Once you’ve chosen what kind of design you’d like to create, you’ll find yourself inside the Canva editor. This is where the magic happens! To help you get familiarized with the parts of the editor, here are its most basic parts:

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11Menu bar: this is the menu bar on the very top of the editor. From here, you’ll be able to access the features like Undo, Redo, Resize, Share, Download, Order prints, and others. You’ll also be able to see your design’s saving status from here.

22Side panel: this panel that appears on the side of the editor is where you’ll be able to access the templates and elements you can use in your design. It’s divided into 6 tabs dedicated to Templates, Images, Text, Uploads, Folders, and Apps.

33Canvas: at first, this is the blank white space occupying the majority of the editor. Consider this your main workspace since this is where you’ll work on your designs.

Templates are your shortcut to good design (you can also design from scratch, as you’ll later in this post, but templates are the best way to get started quickly). In the side panel you’ll see a range of templates that you can choose from – you can also search for a specific theme in the search bar. Every template is fully customizable, which means you can change the fonts, colors, images – everything! – to your tastes.

Click on a template to edit it. To change an element, click it and then edit it using the toolbar at the top of the editor – this is where you can change things like color, size, transparency, and more.

3. Publish your design

Once you’re happy with your design, it’s time to publish it. Click on the ‘Publish’ button in the menu bar and you’ll see a drop down list of all of your options.

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You can download, share to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, or even order professional prints delivered to your door. There are endless possibilities, so head here to read more about publishing your design.

Be careful with one thing: if your design has any premium items (pictures, fonts, etc), you’ll have to confirm the purchase before you are able to download your design without watermarks.


How to create designs from scratch in Canva

Canva’s free templates provide a shortcut to good design: they’re fully customizable, so you can change the colors, images and more to suit your taste. They have tens of thousands of templates for every design need. But sometimes you need something completely custom-made. How do you ensure what you create actually looks good?

1. Choose the right dimensions for your design

To begin, choose your design type from the Canva homepage. These are set to the optimal dimensions for each graphic, whether it’s a social media post, flyer or more. Or you can use custom dimensions by searching for “custom size”. You can choose from pixels, millimetres or inches.

2. Choose a background

The background for your design could be a color or an image.

Different colors tell different stories. For example, purple is associated with individuality, orange relates to activity, and green conjures images of nature. Think about what colors best suit your needs. For help choosing a color palette, try Canva’s Color Combinations tool.

To use a photo as a background, first add a grid. Once placed on a grid, photos can be resized, cropped, flipped and layered to create a variety of visual effects. Next, search for images or upload your own. Then, drag and drop your image onto the grid: it will snap to fit. You can add filters to change the brightness, saturation and clarity of the photo. This can help when layering text and elements.

3. Add your elements

Your design might include text, icons, photos or illustrations. These need to be combined in a way that is visually appealing.

Keep it simple. Don’t overload your design with too many elements, as it can confuse the visual message of the image. This is something designers call visual hierarchy, which involves the arrangement of elements according to their importance. Try playing with size, color, and placement in order to see what works best.

Harness the power of negative space. Negative space, also known as white space can be any area within a design that is free from text, images, or embellishments (it doesn’t have to actually be white). Designers love it because it can help create grouping, add emphasis and improve legibility.

4. Choose the right fonts

The look of your fonts can have a huge impact on your design. Choosing one font is hard enough. But your design may need more than one typeface. I suggest you never use more than two fonts in a design, as too many fonts tends to make a design look “messy”. You’ll want to choose complementary fonts, which add visual interest while working well together.

Canva has hundreds of pre-set font combinations to choose from. You can find these in the ‘Text’ tab, in the side panel.

Canva-Text-Tab

Or you can create your own combination. Again, simple is best: if you’re choosing an elaborate font, ensure you pair it with a simpler font so your design is balanced. Canva’s Font Combination tool can help, and Traditional combinations like a sans serif font and a serif font can be very powerful. Don’t forget about readability. If your fonts are too complicated, they can detract from your message.

Here’s a tip: typographic hierarchy establishes the order of importance given to different design elements. By applying different fonts, color and scale to your text, you can dramatically change the way your message is received.

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You don’t have to study for hundreds of hours to be good at design. But, like most things in life, you’ll get better with practice, so don’t be disheartened if your first design doesn’t turn out perfectly. Instead, keep practicing and keep creating. You’ll be creating brilliant, polished images in no time!


Final Notes

Canva revolves entirely around intuitive controls and editing elements on your canvas is almost a no-brainer. It wont replace Adobe Photoshop for everything, but it’s a good alternative for simple tasks!

While many Canva elements are completely free to use, most images you’ll see on search results are Premium, and will cost you $1 per image once you download your design. You can, however, easily upload you own photos or graphics, so you definitely can use it without the Premium paid version. You can find royalty-free images in websites like Unsplash and upload them to Canva.

In summary, Canva is an amazing tool for the clueless, and can come in handy for professionals too. The simplicity and richness of the tools will get you coming back for more every day – I personally use Canva to create all the designs related to this blog and its social media pages and it has made my life much easier. I just love it!


Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog

Guerrilla Marketing and Inspiring Examples

Guerrilla Marketing
Guerrilla Marketing is an advertising strategy that focuses on low-cost unconventional marketing tactics that yield maximum results. This alternative advertising style relies heavily on unconventional marketing strategy, high energy and imagination!

What is Guerrilla Marketing?

Guerrilla Marketing is an advertising strategy style relies heavily on unconventional marketing strategy, high energy and imagination. Guerrilla marketing is about taking the consumer by surprise, make an indelible impression and create copious amounts of social buzz.

Guerrilla marketing is said to make a far more valuable impression with consumers in comparison to more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. This is due to the fact that most guerrilla marketing campaigns aim to strike the consumer at a more personal and memorable level.

Here are some of my favorite examples of guerrilla marketing campaigns:

Guerrilla marketing is often ideal for small businesses that need to reach a large audience without breaking the bank. It also is used by big companies in grassroots campaigns to compliment on-going mass media campaigns. Individuals have also adopted this marketing style as a way to find a job or more work.


If this is something that interests you, you can click on this link to see more examples of creative guerrilla marketing campaigns.

Check other posts about marketing in the Marketing section of my blog