As a result of the recent Penguin updates, link building has changed … again.
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As a result of the recent Penguin updates, link building has changed … again.
You've probably taken an IQ test at some point in your life. But have you taken an EQ test?
Measuring and improving emotional intelligence has become increasingly important in recent years as more and more research emerges on the connection between a person's Emotional Quotient (EQ) and professional success.Read More
I don't know about you, but there are a number of really awful things I'd rather endure than sitting through a boring Powerpoint presentation.
Seriously, I'd rather eat burnt popcorn, go get my oil changed, or dare I say it, get a paper cut in between my fingers than suffer through a bad deck.Read More
As we all know, content creation isn't as simple as just stringing together a few words and hitting "publish." At least all high-quality content creators know this.
If you really think about it, the editorial process has quite a few steps -- from ideation, to concepting, to production, to proofreading, editing and copyediting. Unfortunately, it's that last part that often gets undermined, rushed through, or altogether just swept aside as writers and content creators hurry to get content out the door.Read More
Musical artists don't become famous just because their music is good. (Just watch Katy Perry's lip-sync malfunction at the NRJ Music Awards and you'll see my point.) Believe it or not, pop stars have to market themselves just like we have to market our businesses.
And often, artists will hire entire marketing teams to do this, especially those trying to build their brand or rebrand entirely.Read More
When you're designing cover photos, graphics, and other social media assets, sometimes knowing the bare bones image dimensions isn't enough.
What if you wanted to place text or an arrow on your Facebook cover photo without it getting covered by the profile photo? And what about the shared link thumbnails on Facebook or in-stream photos on Twitter ... how big should those be?Read More
What’s the one thing business owners and their employees, partners and even customers all have in common? Well, at the most basic level, they’re all human. So why is it sometimes so challenging for businesses to showcase this in their marketing efforts?
Perhaps some people don’t want to show any biases that might deter any potential leads. Perhaps some may want to present themselves as strictly professional. Others may not care about their tone at all, but would rather focus on finding the right keywords to implement throughout their platforms. Some may not even realize just how robotic their brand’s voice really is.
In July 2014, a study analyzing the SEO of the top 500 retailers for Internet Retailer's Mobile 500 guide found that the mobile adoption rates across those top 500 retailers were as follows: 59% use dedicated mobile sites, 15% use dynamic serving, 14% had no mobile presence, just 9% were responsive. In all, that's less than 50 of the top 500 retailers using responsive, and that is still about a 3x increase from 2013 adoption rates.Read More
Image-based search is becoming more and more common. Pinterest and Instagram have conditioned people to use and trust this form of discovery, and oftentimes, I find it produces even more relevant results than text-based search. With images, you can quickly determine the quality, while text search results require you to scan the headline, description, and the URL to make a decision about the page's relevance.Read More
SEO is constantly evolving, leaving marketers to either keep pace with the updates or run the risk of falling behind.
While this is stressful in and of itself, these constantly changing tides lead to a ton of questions when it comes time to actually optimize a web page. Do social signals carry any weight? Should I still invest in pay-per-click advertising? How much does mobile really matter?Read More
When most people think about email marketing, they picture one-off emails sent to targeted portions of their database. While those emails are certainly a very important part of a healthy marketing strategy, there's another type of email that can be a powerful addition to your mix: transactional emails.
What is a transactional email? U.S. law defines it as any email with a primary purpose "to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender."Read More
How do you decide which topics to write about on your blog to attract the most traffic and leads? What about which types of blog posts to write? How many to publish in a week? How to promote them?
These are just some of the questions you might have when creating your blog strategy -- and knowing a thing or two about your top performing blog posts will help you find the answers.Read More
Today, Facebook announced three brand new updates to the News Feed algorithm specifically meant to improve user experience. How? By providing a better balance of updates from friends versus updates from businesses, publishers, public figures, and local organizations.
Every time Facebook updates its algorithm, brands and marketers freak out. To help you quickly get to the bottom of this change, here's a quick rundown of the three News Feed algorithm updates and how they might affect your Page.Read More
When I need inspiration for content that delights, email campaigns that actually work, and social media interactions that are genuinely fun ... I turn to one source: an online clothing store called ModCloth. My closet is proof that their marketing works. (Perhaps a little too well.) And watching them grow has been a master class in what a customer-driven company should look like.Read More
It sounds so promising. Create compelling content (consistently). Share and promote the content. Prospects engage, download stuff and become qualified leads.
Those leads are passed on to the sales team, who instantaneously reach out and are immediately welcomed into the prospect’s world. The meeting quickly turns into a bona fide sales opportunity. Proposals are requested, immediately acted upon and sales are made.Read More
For most marketers, this will sound familiar. You’re sitting around a conference room, trying to figure out how to best engage your leads and customers, sell more products, or just “stay top-of-mind” for your target audience, and someone decides there’s a solution that can solve all of those problems at once: an email newsletter!
Suddenly you're "volunteered" to do it. And you've got make sure that open and clickthrough rates don’t dip. Oh, and the first one needs to go out tomorrow.Read More
As a marketer, you may feel that getting anyone to buy anything at all is hard enough. What happens when you build a company entirely around something people don’t really want anyway? Maybe you sell memberships to the local gym. Maybe you provide tax services or software to help people manage their money. What happens then?Read More
The live video streaming app Meerkat was the talk of the town after its appearance at SXSW in March 2015 -- but its popularity was short-lived. Just a few weeks later, Twitter released Periscope, a similar live video streaming app. Although Meerkat kicked mobile video streaming off with a bang, you'll see in this Google Trends graph of each app’s interest over time that Periscope might be winning the race:Read More
Marijuana smokers. Pot heads. Stoners. They’re a bunch of dirty hippies, right?
And boy are they lazy! These “pot smokers" live in their moms' basements. No job. No routine. Ok, maybe they have a routine, but that routine consists of getting stoned, giggling, eating Funyuns, and doing it all over again.
That, my friends, is the “stoner" stigma; the stereotype that people who use marijuana are dirty, lazy, stupid, or otherwise unsavory.Read More
Body language: It's one of the most subtle, yet important things to master at work. If you're not in tune with what your posture, facial expression, and other nonverbal cues are telling others, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
For example, let's say that you're in an important meeting and want to show your boss that you're a leader on the team.Read More
Event planner, lawyer, daycare owner, tow truck driver. Regardless of our chosen professions, it’s fair to say that we all want to build our businesses’ customer bases. It’s how we thrive. So it’s only natural for us to want to market our products or services to everyone, in hopes of capturing a larger audience, and thus making more money.
If you've ever wondered how designers at Apple defined every little element in iOS as they were building it, then you're in the right place. Ready to nerd out and get inspired all at the same time? I sure am.
You might be familiar with the concept of content style guides, which align members of a company on all the grammar and punctuation rules they should follow. In this post, I'll be showing you examples of the version of these style guides for web designers, which we call digital style guides.Read More
How often should you post to your business' Facebook Page?
"It depends." Hmph. Not the definitive answer most people want.
Truth is, this response isn't wrong, as frustrating as it is. It does depend -- on your followers' age range, interests, Facebook habits, and so on. But that doesn't mean we can't glean some valuable insights on how post frequency affects clickthrough rate.Read More
Go to any grocery store and walk to the condiment aisle. You’ll see dozens of varieties of mustard -- Dijon, honey, whole grain, yellow, spicy, brown -- but probably fewer than five types of ketchup from a small handful of brands. Of those brands, one reigns supreme: Heinz, boasting a number one or two market share position in over 50 countries.Read More
Most people believe that if you are ranking well with Google, you must be doing well with Bing and Yahoo, but that is just not the case. Unfortunately, I found that most of the blog posts on this topic were favoring one search engine over another. However, I believe that it is important to optimize for all three-- you could be missing out on some great business opportunities if you are not optimized correctly for each of these search engines.Read More
Lead generation is a major component of inbound marketing. It's an exchange of information: You offer people valuable content, and they offer you valuable information about themselves, like their name, email address, and company.
When it comes to meeting your lead generation goals, landing pages are the strongest tools marketers have -- which is why it's so important to get them right.Read More
Let me tell you a quick, cautionary tale about copyright law and using photos and images online. A couple years ago, a popular stock photography vendor claimed copyright infringement on an image we used in one of our ebooks.
Embarrassed, I quickly investigated.
As it turned out, another internet user had purchased the offending image from that same stock photography service and uploaded it to a photo-sharing website under a Creative Commons license. So while on the surface it looked safe for the taking, it was in fact falsely promoted as a royalty-free image ... and we were in the wrong. Scary story, right?Read More
Have you ever spent a big chunk of time analyzing your marketing data, only to realize partway through that you didn't approach the analysis correctly? This happens to me from time to time, and trust me -- I know how frustrating it can be. I find myself wishing I could go back in time and warn my past self about the mistake so I could avoid losing all those hours.
Trial and error is the nature of analysis, though.Read More
Great storytelling is a great differentiator.
Imagine you're walking down the snack aisle at a grocery store. How do you make sense of the hundreds of choices on either side of you? What's going to be on your mind when you decide what to buy? Perhaps you choose one product over another because that company donates a percentage of their proceeds to a great cause.Read More
Basic accounting rules require marketing costs to be listed as expenses on a company’s P&L. However, today’s marketers and smart executives consider marketing an investment in driving revenue rather than a cost. This is where an overall mind shift is needed. Marketing needs to be considered an investment, and your content an asset.Read More
Starting on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, Google is going to make a massive change to the way it ranks websites. How massive? This change outranks both Panda and Penguin in terms of its scale of impact on search results, according to Google's Webmaster Trends analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji.
The change comes down to one very important criterion: whether your website, landing pages, and blog are fully optimized for mobile.Read More
The internet has an infinite amount of benefits, but one in particular that has wholly disrupted business operations. See, the world wide web allows for equal and fair access to websites, which means that startups and small businesses are essentially on an equal playing field with their big box competitors when it comes to ecommerce.Read More
"If you're going to start a company, you have to do it for the right reasons."
- Matt Salzberg, Founder & CEO, Blue Apron [Click To Tweet]
Blue Apron is one of today's fastest-growing food delivery businesses -- and they've taken a unique approach to what it means to deliver food. Instead of shipping out finished meals, they let their customers be the chefs, delivering recipes and fresh ingredients to people all over the United States.Read More
Sometimes, when it comes to budget, marketers and their colleagues in the finance can find themselves on different pages. If you've ever asked to move budget from one budget to another, or requested more money to support an idea that wasn't part of the yearly planning process, then you know what I mean. The back-and-forth can be frustrating for Marketing and Finance alike.
If this sounds a little like the relationship you have with your finance department, then you're not alone.Read More
Just see a great tweet? Want to share it with others by reposting, AKA retweeting or RTing, that tweet? Cool! Sounds like you're getting the hang of how to tweet on Twitter. Now do me a favor, and don't touch that retweet button!
Not yet, at least. First, let's talk about the change Twitter's made to its retweet feature -- a really good change, in our opinion.
When you're first starting to learn something new, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated.
Why? Maybe it's been a while since you've deviated from the things you're good at and know well. Or maybe you had to make a pretty significant monetary or time investment, and you're feeling the pressure. Perhaps you have all the drive in the world to learn ... but you're having trouble finding the right resources and references to learn from.Read More
Even if you've never heard the term before, chances are you've experienced permission marketing.
Ever subscribe to a company's blog to receive notifications when they publish new posts?
That's permission marketing -- you're volunteering your information up to the company, giving them permission to contact you.Read More
For most of you, customers can come to you from any country in the world. That means all of your potential customers -- the people visiting your website, reading your blog posts, and clicking on your calls-to-action -- might speak a myriad of different languages or live in totally different time zones. Once they reach your content, how well will it resonate with them?
As your international traffic grows, you'll want to be sure that you can convert that traffic into leads -- and that means keeping your international visitors in mind every time you write about a holiday or publish data with certain units of measurement.Read More
What is an ecommerce company to do when one of their “most trusted” payment options gets a big slap on the wrist from the US Treasury? Most are learning right now, though data isn’t yet available to report. So, what exactly happened, and how might it affect your small to medium ecommerce business?Read More
From Serial to StartUp and Bill Simmons, it's no secret that podcasts are gaining immense popularity. According to Edison Research, 17% of Americans (46 million and counting) listen to podcasts on a regular basis. That’s up from just 9% in 2008.
As more consumers become comfortable with on-demand audio, podcasting is becoming an attractive content format for businesses looking to grow their reach. Podcasts allow your content to reach people when they aren't just sitting at their computers -- instead, it can reach them on their drive to work, at the gym, or while they’re doing work around the house.Read More
From her own witty introduction in her AMA on Inbound.org, Joanna Wiebe makes it clear that she has a lock on copywriting. And she's not just any copywriter. Joanna's a “conversion copywriter” (a phrase my copywriter friends may want to adopt for their LinkedIn profiles), meaning she writes content that drives conversions and sells products. And she has a lot to say about how to make your words count -- in dollars and sense.Read More
Since its inception in 2009, Houzz.com has quickly become a valuable tool to help home builders increase online exposure. According to Houzz, the site is home to 25 million users looking for unique home design ideas and possessing an average household income of $125,000.
For home builders, there’s no question the target audience is there. The challenge lies in maximizing Houzz exposure to convert Houzz users into leads you can actually follow up with.Read More
Most of the content I read online is short and sweet -- and for the most part, I like it that way. While skimming articles on my commute or between meetings, it's nice when the author gets right to the point. But when I have the time, there's something really special about getting totally engrossed in a gripping, detailed, spun-out story.
That's what a great long read does.Read More
Just like some words are more persuasive than others, some designs are more persuasive than others, too. A landing page's layout, the fonts and colors used, image placement, form length, and other design factors can have an impact on how many people actually choose to fill out the form.
Want to design a landing page that persuades people to convert? Then you'll need to take a step back from the aggregate data about site visits, conversion rates, and lead numbers, and think hard about the human behind the screen.Read More
In 2007, I was brand new to the storied advertising agency DDB, having been appointed chief communications officer. One of the first memos that hit my desk was a “heads up” that Doyle Dane Bernbach was going to be featured in a new television series. Creator Matthew Weiner had consulted with the agency prior to production and my arrival, but we did not know how we were to be treated in the storyline for Mad Men.Read More
In a world where the phrase "pics or it didn't happen" is a widespread mantra, people of all ages are sharing a wide range of information about themselves on social media.
Of course, social media websites were designed to encourage sharing. Many of us spend a large chunk of our days sharing lots of professional information on social, whether we're managing our company's Facebook account or tweeting pictures of the event we're attending.Read More
"We’re getting to common version, which is a superset of the functionality being built in Rainbow 5, which uses version 2 of the Asian code,” said our new client in a kick off meeting.
Yes, people really speak this way. Especially, when they work in complicated or regulated industries. While it’s one thing to banter about codes and supersets, or BI, ERPs and CRMs, when you’re behind the scenes developing amazing new tools for people to use, the conversation loses its flare when industry jargon becomes part of your customer facing content.Read More
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