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How to Think About SEO

How to Think About SEO

seo

Don’t you hate how it takes forever to get results when it comes to SEO?

Everyone says it takes 6 months to a year and even in some cases many years to see results.

Well, I have some bad news and some good news for you.

Let’s start with the bad news…

SEO is a long-term strategy. It’s not about doing it for a few months and forgetting about it. And if you stop focusing on it eventually your competitors will outrank you.

And now let’s get on to the good news.

You can get results in the short run. You may not get all of the results you want right away, and you may not rank for your ideal keywords, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get results within 90, 60, and even potentially 30 days.

So how do you get results within a few months?

Well first, let’s rewire your brain so you think about SEO in the correct way.

SEO isn’t just content and links

If you want to rank number 1 on Google, what do you need?

Well, the data shows you need to write lengthy content. Because the average web page that ranks on page 1 of Google contains 1,890 words.

word count

And of course, what’s content without links? Because the 2 most important factors that affect rankings according to the SEO industry are domain level links and page level links.

moz links

But here is the thing: SEO isn’t what it used to be. Until 2010, you used to be able to add keywords in your meta tags and you would get rankings within a few months.

And as the web got more crowded, you could then get results by doing the same old thing but you also had to build a few links. That worked really well between 2010 and 2013.

As more businesses popped up, everyone started focusing on content marketing. That was the hot thing. From 2013 to 2017, if you created tons of text-based content, got a few social shares, and picked up a few natural backlinks you could dominate Google.

But now, there are over a billion blogs if you include WordPress.com, Medium, and Tumblr.

That means Google has their choice when it comes to determining what sites to rank at the top.

In other words, just because you write lengthy content or build backlinks it doesn’t mean you are going to ranks. Millions of other sites do that as well.

And even if you got in early and your site is 10 years old, it’s no longer that easy to dominate the web.

Just look at sites like Wisegeek. They used to dominate the web as it’s a site with thousands of informative articles.

And now look at their traffic

wisegeek

According to Ubersuggest, they get roughly 49,211 visitors a month from Google within the United States. It may seem like a lot, but their traffic is continually going down.

When I met the founder years ago it was in the millions… but not anymore.

It doesn’t even matter that the site has 8,761,524 backlinks from 74,147 referring domains.

wisegeek links

Now you may make the argument that Wisegeek doesn’t have the best content. But I have tons of examples of sites with amazing content that have the same issues.

For example, Derek Halpern from Social Triggers creates great content. Just go check out some of his blog posts if you don’t believe me.

But let’s dive into his traffic stats

social triggers

According to Ubersuggest, he gets roughly 26,640 visitors a month from Google in the United States and he has 993,790 backlinks from 5,678 referring domains.

And he ranks for some great terms. Just look at the top pages he is ranking for with terms like “how to become more confident.”

social triggers top pages

But even Social Triggers has struggled to keep their traffic over time. It’s nothing to do with Derek, he’s a smart entrepreneur, but he decided to quit and focus on his new venture Truvani, which has been doing well.

In other words, content and links don’t guarantee success.

So, what’s the best way to get rankings these days?

You have to go after low hanging fruit.

Sure, you need content, you need links, and you need to optimize for the other 198 factors Google keeps track of the optimal amount of traffic. 

But it’s UNREALISTIC for you to do everything. Even if you hire an SEO agency to help you out.

And there is no way you can wait 12 months to get results from an SEO campaign.

Which means your only solution is going after the low hanging fruit.

Now I wish I could tell you the exact low hanging fruit to go after, but it varies for every site. What I can do is show some of the simple tactics that have worked for me and are easy to implement.

Strategy #1: Don’t put dates in your URL

I used to have dates in my URL because it was a default option from WordPress. I didn’t think twice about it. But the moment I removed the dates from my posts, my search traffic went up by 58%.

Best of all, it only took 30 days to get the boost in traffic. 🙂

Strategy #2: Link to the most popular posts in your sidebar

Have you noticed that I rank for terms like “online marketing” and “SEO”?

I’m currently number 2 for the term online marketing:

online marketing rankings

And number 5 for the term SEO:

seo rankings

Do you want to know a hack that helped me rank higher for those terms? Well, I’ll give you a hint… you’ll find it in my sidebar.

sidebar links

As you can see, I’ve linked to all of my major guides in my sidebar. It helps give them the juice they need so they can rank higher for terms like SEO and online marketing.

If you haven’t done this, you should consider trying it out as it will provide a quick win.

You won’t see the results in 30 days, but within a few months, you’ll notice that those pages will climb in the ranks.

Strategy #3: Land and expand

I’ve talked about this one a lot in the past, but only because it works really, really, really, well.

It’s also one of the main reasons I’ve made Ubersuggest into a robust SEO tool. Not just for you, but also because I use it for the land and expand strategy to grow my search traffic.

It’s how I get 2,105,896 visitors a month from just Google…

search traffic

So, what’s this land and expand SEO strategy I use?

You need to first log into Google Search Console.

Once you are logged in, click the “performance” link and you’ll see a list of keywords you are currently ranking for.

search console

Then click on the most popular term you rank for. Make sure that keyword isn’t your brand name.

Then click on “pages.” You’ll see the page that is ranking for that keyword.

search console pages

I want you to then head over to Ubersuggest and type in that keyword. Once the report loads click on “keyword ideas” in the sidebar. You’ll see a report that looks something like this:

ubersuggest keywords

You’ll see a long list of keywords that are variations of the main keyword that you already rank for. Most of those terms are pulled from Google Suggest.

If you take the popular phrases that are related to the main term you already rank for and integrate them into that page, you’ll notice within 30 to 60 days your search traffic will shoot up.

But when leveraging this strategy you need to make sure you adjust your content. You can’t just shove in more keywords, you have to rework your content so it makes sense and it flows naturally.

The reason this SEO strategy is my favorite tactic of all time is that content marketing is a hit or miss. Just because you write content and build links, it doesn’t guarantee success. But if you expand the pages that Google already loves, there is a high chance that you’ll get more traffic.

Strategy #4: Expand internationally

In many of my companies, I generate more revenue from outside of the United States than I do within the United States.

For that reason, plus it was a piece of advice I got from a Google employee, I’ve translated my site into multiple languages.

Just look at my traffic from Brazil…

brazil

And here is my traffic from Germany…

german

And the Spanish market…

spanish

What I learned from a Google employee is that they lack content in regions where English isn’t their primary language. So if you focus on these regions, you’ll quickly notice a quick traffic boost and your conversion rate from visitor to customer within those regions should also go up.

Strategy #5: 5-minute brand hack

Google loves brands. It really is the future of SEO. In addition, brands are more defensible.

As the EX-CEO of Google said:

Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.

In other words, if more people search for your brand name on Google, you’ll notice that your rankings will go up.

As more people typed in “Neil Patel” within Google, my traffic went from 185,980 a month:

feb traffic

to 454,382 visitors a month:

august traffic

That’s a huge increase considering I saw the increase in a 6-month time frame. And even though I pulled that off back in 2016, it works even better today.

Building a brand isn’t easy and it is a long-term approach. But I am going to give you a head start… one that only takes 5 minutes.

Before I break it down, it follows the rule of 7. Someone needs to see your brand 7 times before they build up loyalty to it. In other words, if you can keep getting people to come back to your site in the short run, you’ll start building a brand and you’ll find your brand queries increase in the long run.

Now here’s a screenshot of my stats so you can see it in the works:

push traffic

So far, I’ve gotten 42,316 people back to my site 174,281 times. That’s roughly 4 times, which means I have 3 more to go according to the rule of 7.

How did I do this?

I used a tool called Subscribers.

In which I send out a push notification every time I release a new blog post:

neil subscribers

Plus, it allows me to generate 4,000 plus visitors for every push I send. 🙂

subscriber stats

Strategy #6: Optimize your click-through-rate

You don’t have to write new content or build links to boost your rankings.

You can do something as simple as optimizing your click-through-rate.

Just think of it this way, if 1,000 people performed a Google search and everyone clicked on the second listing instead of the first listing, what does that tell Google?

It tells Google that the second listing should, in theory, be the first listing. And that’s what Google does… they take the listings people are clicking on and move it up to the top and move down the ones people don’t click on.

If you want step-by-step instructions to increasing your click-through-rate, follow hack #1.

It works really well and fast too. It’s how I boosted my search traffic for one of my main keywords by 1,289 visitors in 30 days.

social media marketing

Strategy 7: Update your old content

SEO and paid ads have something in common, in which if you stop doing it your traffic goes down.

Paid ads are a bit worse in which once you stop paying your traffic goes back down to where it was.

With SEO, once you stop you’ll see a slow decline over time.

Now, this strategy is so effective that I employ a full-time person to help me out with it and this is all they do.

Remember how I talked about there being over a billion blogs on the web now?

Well, I have one full-time person updating my old content to ensure it doesn’t get out of date.

Because Google has so many options to choose from when it comes to ranking sites for any keyword out there, they are going to rank sites that are fresher.

By updating your old content, not only do you ensure that you’ll maintain your traffic, but you’ll also get more traffic.

There isn’t any real strategy to this other than to go through your old pieces of content that get traffic and make sure they are up to date.

Sometimes you won’t have to make any changes, other times you may have to change a few sentences or links, and hopefully, not too often will you have to re-write a whole article.

And every blue moon you’ll need to delete a page or a post because it is irrelevant. For example, I’ve deleted my older blog posts that discuss social networks like MySpace that no one uses.

Conclusion

Yes, SEO does take time if you think about it the same way everyone else does.

But if you think about it from a strategical perspective, you’ll find new opportunities that can provide quick results.

You may not get all of the traffic you want tomorrow but going after the low hanging fruit will give the quickest results.

If you want help finding the low hanging fruit with your SEO campaign, you can always reach out to my ad agency and someone will help out. Or you can leave a comment below.

So, are you going to stop thinking of SEO as just link building and content and start thinking of ways to get quick wins?

The post How to Think About SEO appeared first on Neil Patel.

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How to Build Backlinks in Less Than 1 Hour

How to Build Backlinks in Less Than 1 Hour

backlinks

I have a question for you…

How do you build links?

If I had to bet, chances are you spend little to no time on link building.

Why? Because it’s hard.

But why should link building be hard?

Most parts of SEO are much simpler and cost-effective.

For example, if you want to write content… you just go and write it.

It may not be great content, but nothing is stopping you starting, learning, and improving.

On the other hand, if you want to build links, where would you start?

That’s a bit tricky because link tools cost money… and a lot of money if you are just starting out.

But that’s going to change in 30 days with your help!

Link building made simple

As you may know, I released a new version of Ubersuggest a few weeks ago. And with your help, I want to roll out a free link tool.

Here’s what I am thinking and, before I roll it out, I want to get your feedback.

So, with the new Ubersuggest, I made it where you can put in a URL.

Let’s say I’m your competitor… neilpatel.com.

You would head over to Ubersuggest and just put in neilpatel.com

You’ll end up with a report that looks something like this:

ubersuggest

Now, the most useful part of the tool (and this is where I want to integrate link building) is the top pages.

It shows you the pages on your competitors’ sites that are the most popular.

The way most SEOs grow their traffic is by finding out what’s working for their competitor and then copying them or, even better, one-upping them.

So if you were competing with me, you could see all of my most popular pages based on Google traffic.

top pages

You can even click on “view all” under the Est. Visits column to see all of the keywords that are driving traffic to my site.

top keywords pages

I know this report isn’t perfect, but it gives you a really good idea of what you should be targeting if you want more traffic.

Because if something is working for your competitors, it will probably work for you.

But there is one big issue… if you just write similar content to your competition, there is no guarantee that you will beat them. Unless you build more links than them.

So on that same report, I was thinking about adding a drop-down that breaks down the exact links that drive traffic to each specific URL.

It would look something like this:

backlink data

I know the data is fake and junk, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what I am thinking.

This one report will allow you to see who is linking to your competitor’s most popular pages, the anchor text they are using, when the link was last seen, and even the authority (page score) of the backlink.

Now, before you give me feedback on this report, there is one more report I’m thinking about launching within the next 30 days.

Backlinks

For those of you who are advanced SEOs, I was thinking about making it super easy to see who links to you as well as your competition.

I want to start off with something basic so I can get you this report/feature within 30 days.

It would look something like this:

backlink report

You’ll be able to see the authority of the page or a domain, the total number of backlinks, how many nofollow links, referring domains, and even referring IPs.

If you want to get granular, you can, by just looking at new links or lost links or even one link per domain.

And of course you can see all the details of the link, such as title, URL, anchor text, authority, if the link was a text link or an image link, and when the link was last seen.

If you want to drill down further, the filters will allow you to do that.

backlink filters

Once you have the data looking the way you want, you’ll be able to easily export the data.

Conclusion

The whole purpose of this tool would be to make link building easier for you. You’ll be able to type in any URL, find out who links out to them, and easily hit them up and ask for them to link to your site.

The reports won’t take more than 10 seconds to load… so finding opportunities won’t be difficult. Crafting emails and doing the outreach will be the hard part.

I know this won’t automate all of your the link building efforts, but it will make the process easier and much more efficient for you.

So, what do you think, should I release this feature within the next 30 days?

And if you think I should do it, what other features would you want me to release?

Oh, and the link data would be fresh and updated daily.

The post How to Build Backlinks in Less Than 1 Hour appeared first on Neil Patel.

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17 Hidden Facebook Marketing Tools That Will Increase Your Engagement by 154%

17 Hidden Facebook Marketing Tools That Will Increase Your Engagement by 154%

facebook

Facebook engagement is easier and more valuable than you ever imagined.

I found this out the hard way.

At one point, I was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a month on Facebook Ads.

Sure, I was getting some huge successes. But I was also wasting a ton of money.

For example, I once spent $400,000 on Facebook fan page likes.

I still feel dumb for that one…

The engagement just wasn’t there. I had a large number of fans but very little actual engagement.

I had no idea that hidden tools within Facebook’s apps, extensions, insights, tactics, and bots that could have made my Facebook ad spend 80 times more effective.

Facebook marketing is like an iceberg. Most people see the top part — Facebook ads. They spend their entire time optimizing that little bit of potential.

The real power is underneath. It’s hidden.

And that’s why I created this list.

I want you to know exactly what those hidden Facebook marketing tools are and how you can increase your engagement by 154% as I did.

Now before we get started, for the first few hidden tools you need Mobile Monkey to utilize all of the tactics (it’s free). In addition to that, some of the hidden tools that I’ll uncover are within Facebook… you just don’t know about them. 😉

Hidden Tool #1: Facebook Messenger Marketing

Okay, I’m starting out with a big, broad one.

It’s hiding in plain sight: Facebook Messenger marketing.

For some reason, not very many marketers are taking advantage of Messenger marketing, even though it’s the hottest opportunity in digital marketing today.

What does this mean for you? It means that you can gain first mover’s advantage.

Using Facebook Messenger for marketing is as simple as it sounds… you send messages to customers on Facebook Messenger.

What makes this channel different from other marketing methods like email marketing is the results.

Where else can you get engagement results like that?

I don’t know of any, and I’ve done quite a bit of online marketing.

The best way to get started with Facebook Messenger marketing is with MobileMonkey.

MobileMonkey is a powerful chatbot builder that I use personally. Chatbots are essential for scoring sky-high open rates, CTRs, and conversion rates.

And best of all, it’s free.

Hidden Tool #2: Comment Guard (Private Reply via Messenger)

A comment guard is a Facebook Messenger marketing feature that allows you to add new contacts to your contact list when they comment on your Facebook post.

It’s like a magic elixir for engagement.

It works like this.

  1. You post something on Facebook as usual.
  2. People comment on your post.
  3. Anyone who comments on the post gets your automatic private reply in Messenger.
  4. When they engage with this reply, they are added to your Facebook Messenger contact list.

The mobile screenshot below displays exactly what happens.

Someone comments on the post, and they immediately receive a Messenger message.

Imagine this. You post something on your Facebook page that has high engagement potential… a meme, a quiz, a contest, a question, whatever. All the comments that you rack up aren’t just comments anymore, they’re warm leads.

You’ll need to use MobileMonkey in order to pull this off, but it’s really easy.

  1. Just click the “FB comment guard” button using the MobileMonkey app.
  2. Create an autoresponder message.
  3. Point them to your Messenger chat landing page.
  4. Add the comment guard to your selected Facebook post.

Hidden Tool #3: Click to Messenger Ads

A Click-to-Messenger Ad is a normal Facebook ad with a twist. Instead of sending people to a landing page, you send them to a Facebook Messenger bot sequence.

It looks like this:

Once the person starts that Facebook Messenger sequence, they are a lead. And that’s when a chatbot takes over to bring them down the conversion funnel.

For example, you could have your chatbot ask users questions, and send them offers that they’re interested in.

It can be hard to manually respond to thousands of message inquiries. Instead, you can direct those chat sessions derived from your Messenger Ads directly to a MobileMonkey chatbot, which can ask qualifying questions and engage users at scale.

Check out this article, for step by step instructions on leveraging this ad unit

Hidden Tool #4: Chat Blaster

Chat blasting is a powerful method for getting your message in front of your entire Facebook Messenger list in minutes.

I’ve managed chat blasting campaigns that scored a 96.9% open rates in just sixty minutes.

With MobileMonkey you can schedule chat blasts, bulk send, develop interactive Messenger sequences, create special offers, and anything else that helps your marketing.

To start, just click “Chat Blaster” in the app.

One of the things that I like about the Chat Blaster is the ability to segment audiences. Many of the campaigns that I manage involve thousands of contacts, so I want to narrow down my contacts to just the right targets.

Creating segments is simple using MobileMonkey, which allows you to “Create Audience” with a click.

Your audience can perform self-segmentation when the chat blast sends.

Hidden Tool #5: Messenger Scan Codes

Remember QR codes? They didn’t really catch on that big, but the idea is gaining new ground with Facebook Messenger codes.

Anyone who’s on Facebook Messenger has a unique code.

  • In Messenger, tap on your profile picture in the upper right.
  • Then tap your profile picture again
  • The image that appears is your Messenger code.

From this screen, you can also scan a code.

Your Facebook page’s unique scan code is an excellent way to add people to your Messenger contact list. A person simply scans your code and they’re part of your list.

I can see applications for this at conferences, on bulletin board ads, merchandise, or even business cards.

Hidden Tool #6.  Warm Engaged Invites

One tactic that I’ve used to build my Facebook audience is by personally inviting people who have engaged with my facebook page, to become a page fan.

From your business Facebook page (desktop), find a post that has engagement.

Using this tool, you view the people who engaged with your post and can invite people to like the page.

The reason why this is valuable is that you’re able to target engaged fans. If you have a lot of Facebook fans, but not a lot of engagement, Facebook’s algorithm will punish you.

Instead, identify those people who will be engaged and manually invite them.

Hidden Tool #7: Send Personal Invites in Messenger

A similar hack is inviting your friends to like your business page, and also sending the invite in Messenger.

This is the method that I recommend since you can also personalize the message and give them two touches instead of just one.

Click on the … button on your Facebook page, then click “Invite Friends.”

Here, you can invite friends and create a personalized message. Be sure to check the box at the bottom to send the invite using Messenger.

Hidden Tool #8: Invite People to Your Facebook Group by Email

I love hacks that combine two platforms. I can leverage one of my marketing channels by combining it with another.

You can invite people to join your Facebook group by sending them an email. Obviously, you’ll need an email list to do this.

Here’s how.

From your Facebook Group page, click “members” on the left side.

From the next page, you can add email addresses and personal notes to invitees.

Currently, the only way I know how to do this is manually. If you have a large email list, it could take some time. :/

Hidden Tool #9: Competitor Ad Espionage

I’m a huge fan of ethical espionage.

In the world of SEO, it’s not that hard.

Just plug in a URL to something like RankSignals.

Boom, instantly you have intel.

And some of it is really helpful.

But with so many brands now spending millions on Facebook ads, how do you get a handle on that kind of information?

You will not be able to get your competitor’s targeting info and ad spend but you can find out where, how often, and what the competition is advertising.

Let’s say I’m the competition and you want to spy on me. First, find my Facebook page and tap the “i” button on the right side.

On this page, you can find out if the page has ever changed names, when it was created, and where the page managers are located. This can be handy intel.

Tap on “Active Ads.”

If the page is running ads, you’ll be able to see them here.

Hidden Tool #10:  Page Competition Gauge

I like to have a solid understanding of who my competition is and what they’re up to.

But how do I know who my competition is? Thankfully, Facebook’s algorithm has figured it out for me.

To use this feature, go to your Facebook Page Insights. From Insights, scroll down until you see “Pages to Watch.”

By default, Facebook shows you five potential competitors, but you can view more by clicking “See More Suggested Pages.”

When you add a competitor to your watched pages, you’ll be able to keep up with their activity, growth rates, total likes, and the frequency of their posts.

This information will help you understand how you’re doing and what you might need to change.

Hidden Tool #11: Find Where You’re Gaining Followers

It is important for you to figure out where you’re getting your followers so you can know how to get more.

One helpful way to get this information is again through Page Insights. Tap “Followers” and scroll down until you see “Where Your Page Follows Happened.”

Facebook shows you follow quantities according to five locations:

  1. On Your Page
  2. Search
  3. Uncategorized Desktop
  4. Your Posts
  5. Others

If a particular source shows large follow rates, try to reverse engineer what happened, then do it again.

Hidden Tool #12: Identify Audience Signals on Page Insights

One way that I use metrics to leverage my marketing efforts is to view my Facebook page insights, particularly the demographic information.

When viewing this information, I’m looking for strong positives — indications that my audience favors a particular demographic.

For example, this page demonstrates a strong positive for men and women between the ages of 25-44.

If you’re 21, there’s only a small chance you’re going to be interested in my page. By contrast, if you’re a 30-year old male, there is a far stronger likelihood that you will have an interest in this page.

This information helps me know how, where, and upon whom to focus my marketing and advertising efforts.

Hidden Tool #13: Pull Email Addresses

I love this hack.

You know how hard it is to get people’s email address these days, right? No matter how appealing your content upgrade, asking for someone’s email address is tantamount to asking for their social security number.

With Facebook Messenger marketing, that’s no longer the case.

You can create a Facebook Messenger chatbot that asks for an individual’s email address. Then, all they do is click a button to pre-fill their address.

Facebook does all the work for you.

Here’s what the bot looks like in MobileMonkey.

As long as you set the input type as email, Facebook will know to pull the user’s email address exactly as they’ve entered it when creating a Facebook account. No typos, nothing.

This is another case of using two different channels to get information and engage your users. When you use a chatbot, it makes the process automatic and easy.

Hidden Tool #14: Pull Phone Numbers

If there’s one thing harder to get from a customer than their email address, it’s their phone number.

Again, powered by chatbots, it’s a cinch. Using input type “phone” in MobileMonkey means that you’re guaranteed to get the user’s primary phone number as they provided when and if they stored their phone number in Facebook.

It’s understandable that people are hesitant to enter their phone number on an unfamiliar platform — a contact form on your, for instance.

It’s quite a different level of comfort when they are asked for a phone number in a familiar messaging app, and Facebook automatically adds the number.

Literally, all that your contact has to do is tap their phone number.

Hidden Tool #15: Website Chat Widget

This one seems obvious, but again it’s surprising how few websites are putting the power of a website chat widget to work.

Check this out. If you go to MobileMonkey’s website, there is a chat widget on nearly every page.

If you’ve logged into Facebook Messenger on that browser, all you have to do is click and you’re introduced to a Messenger sequence with MobileMonkey.

This sequence powered by a chatbot brings you further down the funnel.

One of the unique and powerful features of this funnel is that it is self-guided. You feel as if you’re in control — making choices and selecting options.

Regardless of your choices, however, you are making deeper connections with the product and the marketing funnel.

Hidden Tool #16: Track Specific Facebook Conversions

The good thing about Facebook Ads Manager is that you have access to a ton of information.

The bad thing about Facebook Ads Manager is that you also have access to a ton of information.

Take conversions, for example.

If you’re tracking them, good for you. But which conversions are you tracking? Here are the options:

I call this one “hidden” because true conversions are essentially in Ad Manager underneath a lot of other noise.

You have to narrow down your conversion tracking to just the conversions that you need to know about.

For one of my businesses, I only focus on five types of conversions.

Everything else is useless.

I’ve written about this before when you get clarity on what to track, you’ll do a lot better at making real progress with your Facebook advertising.

Hidden Tool #17: Messenger Drip Campaigns

If you’ve been in Internet marketing for any amount of time, you know how potent a good drip campaign can be.

Imagine increasing this potency by 10x.

That’s exactly what a Facebook Messenger drip campaign can do. Again, the power is in the chatbot builder.

MobileMonkey’s drip campaign feature just takes a click to get started.

Unlike an email drip campaign which can take days or weeks to complete, a Facebook Messenger drip campaign can be completed in a matter of minutes or hours.

Plus, when you use a chatbot, the entire sequence can be interactive. You can create choices and engage the user on a far deeper level.

Conclusion

There’s way more to Facebook than meets the eye.

I have a strong sense that Facebook marketing isn’t going to decline in the next 2-4 years. It’s going to become exponentially more powerful.

There’s a reason why so many of the hidden marketing tools above focus on Facebook Messenger.

Facebook Messenger marketing has fundamentally changed the game, and it’s done so in two  areas where marketing rises or falls:

  • Interactivity or dialogue — Messenger marketing, even when powered by a bot, has a personal feel. Instead of bullhorn marketing — telling your audience to do, buy, read, visit, watch. You’re asking for their feedback and opening up a conversation.
  • Speed of engagement — Unlike the glacial speed of email marketing (like drip campaigns), Messenger marketing has a much swifter cadence. Many people have a pavlovian response to the crisp ding of their Messenger notifications. They want to see who’s sending them a personal message. This means your open rates and click through rates are shooting up.

It’s not going to last forever. Like the banner ads of decades past, Messenger marketing will lose its luster as people become accustomed to it.

By engaging Messenger marketing now, you’ll have a far stronger advantage.

What Messenger marketing tactics does your brand or business currently use?

The post 17 Hidden Facebook Marketing Tools That Will Increase Your Engagement by 154% appeared first on Neil Patel.

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The Ultimate SEO Tool: Ubersuggest 3.0

The Ultimate SEO Tool: Ubersuggest 3.0

ubersuggest

In 2018, I promised you I would release a better version of Ubersuggest for free, and I did that.

But there was one big issue: Ubersuggest only worked on a keyword level. When you put in a keyword, you get a list of more keyword ideas and content ideas.

And then when you put in a URL, nothing happened.

Well, that was before.

You can now get domain level metrics!!!!

So let’s dive into the new Ubersuggest.

Traffic Analyzer Overview

The traffic analyzer is broken down into 3 main sections: overview, top pages, and keywords.

The overview looks like this:

overview

The first section breaks some basic stats and a graph of the domain’s search traffic.

domain metrics

As you can see from the screenshot above, you’ll see how many keywords a domain ranks for, the total estimated search traffic from that region, the number of paid keywords a site is bidding on, and how much they are spending on Google Ads.

In addition to that, you’ll see a traffic graph that shows estimated search traffic a site receives over time.

And of course, a domain level overview won’t be complete without data such as backlinks, referring domains, the number of .edu and .gov links, and how much the organic traffic is worth if you had to pay for it.

Now, before you head over to Ubersuggest and type in a domain, there is one thing you need to keep in mind… Ubersuggest treats subdomains as a separate site. So if you enter in store.nike.com you will get different results than if you typed in nike.com. By typing in nike.com, you would NOT see any of the data from their store unless you typed in store.nike.com.

We did this on purpose as it allows you to analyze sites more thoroughly.

Also, within the traffic analyzer, you’ll see bar graphs that contain the overall positioning of the keywords you rank for over time.

keyword rankings

The chart above shows how many keywords a domain ranks for that are in the top 3 positions in Google, the top 10 positions, the top 50 positions, and the top 100 positions.

You already know no one clicks beyond page one, but over time you’ll want to see your site climbing the ranks. Hence, we track how many keywords are ranking in the first 100 positions.

Now let’s get into my favorite feature of the traffic analyzer.

Top SEO Pages

The second part of the traffic analyzer is a list of the most popular pages for a given domain.

top pages

For each page, you are given the title, URL, the number of visits a page receives from Google on a monthly basis, and the number of times the URL has been shared on the social web.

My favorite part about the top SEO pages report is when you click on “view all” you’ll see a list of keywords a page ranks for.

top pages

This one report will not only list out each keyword a webpage ranks for, but the position, estimated visits, cost per click data if you paid for that keyword, and how difficult it would be to rank for it.

What I love about this report is that I can put in a competing URL and see what’s working really well for my competition and then copy them. Or even better, create a more in-depth page than my competition.

Plus, if you have clients who are global, you can click on the flag at the top and see the top pages for any domain in all of the major countries.

For example, here are my most popular pages in Brazil.

top pages brazil

Top Keywords

The last section in the new Ubersuggest is top keywords.

Whether you put in your own domain or competitors, you’ll be able to see all of the organic keywords and paid keywords a site is going after.

organic keywords

When you click on the “paid” button you’ll see the list of paid keywords as well.

paid keywords

And just like the keyword research reports within Ubersuggest, you’ll have data on URLs, paid difficulty and SEO difficulty.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoy the new version of Ubersuggest. I know there are still some bugs in which the reports don’t load as fast as you want (Top SEO Pages can take up to 20 seconds to load) and you may have to clear your cache to see the new features, but hopefully, you enjoy the updates.

There are also some issues with duplicate keywords and misspellings. The engineering team is continually looking to fix this.

We do know there are many issues with duplicate keywords and misspellings in our Japan database, but we are working on fixing this as soon as possible.

So overall, I know it’s not perfect, but what do you think so far?

And if you haven’t tried it, head over to Ubersuggest and type in a domain.

PS: If you find any bugs, please email [email protected]

The post The Ultimate SEO Tool: Ubersuggest 3.0 appeared first on Neil Patel.

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The Power of No: How This One Little Word Will Change Your Life

The Power of No: How This One Little Word Will Change Your Life

no

When I started my journey as an entrepreneur, I made a huge mistake. And sadly, it took me years to figure out what I was doing wrong.

The issue with this mistake is that it isn’t obvious. Not just entrepreneurs, but people, in general, make it for the majority of their lives.

Can you guess what that mistake is?

I was a people pleaser. I kept saying “yes.” Especially when it came to business.

The moment I stopped saying yes, things started to change. I started to make more money, my customers were happier, people stopped trying to walk all over me, and my team members were happier with me.

I know what you are thinking… this sounds crazy, right? By telling people what they don’t want to hear everything miraculously gets better?

Sounds too good to be true…

Well, here’s how it works.

Why do you say “yes?”

Well, the reason you say yes is probably the same reason I also said yes.

You want to please people.

And if you keep saying yes, believe it or not, it won’t make them happy. In fact, it will make them more upset.

Of course, there is a time and place to say yes to people, but not always. Sometimes people ask for things that are unrealistic.

A lot of the time it is asking for a drastic discount on your product or service… a discount that will make you lose money.

Or sometimes a boss may ask you to complete a task within a very tight deadline that you know isn’t possible.

Now think about it this way: when you say yes just to please people it will make things worse.

For example, when it comes to reducing the price or your service so much that you’ll lose money, it won’t motivate you to help out your client. And even more important, you won’t be able to spend the time and energy your client will need because you’re losing money.

This means that not only will you regret your decision, but they will be upset with you because of the poor performance.

Same goes with your boss. If he or she asks you to meet a tight deadline that isn’t possible, and you agree to it and miss the deadline, they are going to be upset with you.

In other words, saying yes when you shouldn’t might make people happy with you temporarily, but in the long run, they are going to be disappointed and, in many cases, angry with you.

So, what should you say instead of yes?

No!

It really is that simple. All you have to do is say no.

Of course, you’ll have to explain why, but it’s a very powerful word that won’t make people upset with you as long as you use it right.

For example, with my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital, people ask for discounts all of the time.

Can you guess what my sales team says?

No!

But they say it nicely and usually tell potential customers….

We can’t go down in price. We charge this much because we know what it takes to provide results, and if we went down in price, we won’t be able to provide you with the service you are expecting.

I know it may make you feel a bit uncomfortable to be this direct but you need to. It will do wonders for you and your business.

Even when your boss asks you to complete a task that isn’t realistic, you should say something like…

I want to help you get the task done, and I don’t mind working extra hours, but it won’t be feasible for me to meet your deadline. The reason being is because of X, Y, and Z. If it is more important to complete this task than the current tasks I am working on, I can always push them back if you are open to it. Or if we can reduce the scope of the project, I may be able to get it done within Y timeframe.

When it comes to your boss, you’ll want to be creative.

Instead of just saying “no” you’ll want to come up with possible solutions. Your boss may not like any of the solutions but being proactive and thinking outside of the box at least shows your boss that you are trying to do what’s best for the company.

Now let me forewarn you when it comes to saying no to your boss…

If you are truly right, there is no issue with saying no. But if you are lazy and a slow worker and other people can get the task done within the time they are proposing, then things aren’t going to work out for you.

In other words, don’t just use the word no because you are lazy and don’t want to do extra work. Use it when it really makes sense.

How does this help with sales?

Have you ever heard the saying… “play hard to get.”

From a psychological standpoint, we have a higher perceived value for things that may be out of reach. In other words, saying no makes you seem more desirable because you are making yourself a bit more out of reach.

To give you an example of this, I was once in a meeting in New York where someone offered me a job.

It didn’t make sense for me to take the job as I have a business that I love. So I said no.

Their response was…

Well, you don’t even know what I am going to offer you… so just hear me out.

They then made me an offer of a million-dollar salary.

I kindly responded with, I appreciate the offer, but I am still going to decline.

And you know what they said next?

They offered me $2,000,000.

I said no, but I offered to help find them someone for free who might be a good fit.

Long story short, they weren’t happy with my response and they offered me all the way up to a $4,500,000 annual base salary plus bonuses.

And of course, I still said no.

You’re probably not going to have the same experience as me (at least not yet if you are starting out), but when you start saying no you’ll have similar experiences.

People will more likely work with you and pay your price if you hold your ground.

See, here’s the big issue with saying yes in sales when people are asking for more or want to pay less:

The moment you say yes, the first thing that goes through their mind is “what else can I get?” And they’ll keep asking more and it won’t stop.

Then you’ll find yourself with a deal that doesn’t make sense for you.

So, do yourself a favor and start saying no, especially when it comes to sales.

Why should you tell your customers no?

Similar to sales, once people join as a customer it’s a slippery slope to keep telling them yes.

The moment your clients sees you move an inch, they’ll take a mile.

So, when they start asking for you to do things out the scope, you should say no. Even when they are small things as it will lead to bigger asks in the future.

Now, I am not saying that you shouldn’t keep your clients happy. You should provide the product or service they paid for. And every once in a while, if you want to go above and beyond for them… you should. But it should be you making that decision and not them asking for you to make it.

Just for a moment, think about what I just said…

If you want to go above and beyond for your customer or client when they aren’t expecting, that’s fine and it will make you look good. But if your customer is asking for you to go above and beyond, it will set a bad precedent.

Why it’s ok to tell your co-workers no

Out of all of them, this is the trickiest one because you don’t want to create a bad work environment and have people hate you.

But if people are having you do stuff that isn’t the best for the business and it doesn’t logically make sense, there is nothing wrong with saying no.

I will warn you though, just saying “no” and providing no explanation or alternative solutions will cause problems for you.

As long as your explanations are reasonable and logical you’ll be fine. Also, the reasons need to be best for the business as well. In addition, you’ll need to provide alternative solutions… this is the key as it shows you are a team player and proactive.

You’ll want to make sure that you are thinking things through before you give your response.

People will respect your decision if it makes sense… maybe not right then and there, but in the long run, they will.

On the flip side, if you keep telling your co-workers no when they are right, or your boss no because you are lazy, you’ll probably get fired. Especially if you don’t give them alternative solutions.

So, you’ll need to be careful with this.

Conclusion

Stop saying yes to everything. All it will do is make your life miserable.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

Over the next week, I want you to try something…

When someone asks you for something that is unreasonable, just say no. You should provide an explanation and potentially even provide an alternative solution.

Yes, this sounds crazy, but it works. Just like anything else, it takes practice and you’ll get better at it over time.

So, are you going to start saying “no” now?

The post The Power of No: How This One Little Word Will Change Your Life appeared first on Neil Patel.

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How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2019

How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2019

google revenue

Digital marketing is going to change drastically in 2019. And sadly, you aren’t going to like a lot of the changes.

And no, I don’t mean change from a competition standpoint. You already know that each year marketing gets more expensive and more competitive. That’s just a given.

Just look at the graph above: that’s Google’s annual revenue. As you can see, during the last recession, Google made more and more money. They didn’t even have a down year.

One of the big reasons we are seeing digital marketing change so much is because of the adoption of new technologies. But also because the web is getting saturated… there are 1,805,260,010 websites on the web.

That means there is 1 website for every 4 people in this world. That’s crazy!

So, let’s dive into it… here’s how digital marketing is going to change this year.

Drastic Change #1: SEO won’t look the same

I’m starting with this one because I know you are going to hate this. SEO is moving to voice search.

In 2018, 2 out of every 5 adults used voice search once per day. But in 2020, 50% of all searches will be done through voice search according to ComScore.

And it won’t just be people speaking into their microphone on their cell phone or laptop, 30% of web browsing won’t even take place on a device with a screen. That means more people will be searching through devices like Google Home or Alexa.

I know you don’t like this because every time I blog about voice search, no one really reads the article. It’s one of those topics that SEOs just wish didn’t exist.

Why?

Well, being on page 1 doesn’t matter when it comes to voice search. Either Google pulls from your website or they don’t.

And secondly, conversions from voice search will be lower because people won’t be going to your website. Google will just be giving them the answer. At least, until we can figure out how to solve this as marketers.

But instead of looking at voice search as a bad thing, just think of it this way, no one cares to read articles about it, which means most SEOs won’t be prepared for it.

This is your chance to get ahead of your competition and gobble up that traffic before the market shifts into using voice.

Here are some articles that will teach you how to maximize your voice search traffic:

Drastic Change #2: Expect algorithm updates to be more complex

According to the Moz algorithm changelog, there were 12 updates in 2018.

Although it sounds like a lot, it isn’t. In 2017 there were 13 updates and in 2016 there were 11. In other words, Google has been averaging 12 updates per year if you combined the confirmed updates with the “unconfirmed” ones.

But let’s look at the older updates…

On July 17, 2015, Google released Panda 4.2. I know you may have hated the Panda update, but it wasn’t too bad. All Google did doing was get rid of spammy sites with low-quality content.

They didn’t want to rank sites that had thousands of 300-word blog posts with duplicate content.

Could you blame them for that?

And what about the change Google made on September 27, 2016, the Penguin 4.0 update?

If you built spammy links, they no longer would just penalize you, in most cases, they would devalue those links instead.

That means if you did something shady like buy a ton of backlinks and get caught, those links would just be de-valued instead of causing your whole site to get banned.

Now if you look at the latest algorithm updates, they are getting more complex and harder to beat. And it’s because technology is evolving so fast.

Google no longer has to just look at metrics like content and backlink count to figure out if a site ranks well. They can look at user metrics, such as:

  • Are users spending more time on your site than the other ranked sites on Google?
  • Are people bouncing off your site and heading back to the Google listing page?
  • Are your brand queries increasing over time? Or do people not see you as a brand?
  • Do people find your site more appealing… in other words, is your click-through-rate higher?

If you want to beat Google, you have to shift your mindset. It’s not about understanding Google, it’s about understanding users.

Google has one goal: to rank sites that users love the most at the top. That causes people to come back, keep using Google, and increase their overall revenue.

If you can put yourself in your users’ shoes, you’ll be better suited to do that.

The first step in doing this is to realize that when someone performs a search for any keyword, they aren’t just “performing a search,” they are looking for a solution to their problem.

By understanding the intent of their search, you’ll be more likely and able to solve their problems. You can use tools like Ubersuggest to help you with it as it will show you long tail phrases (problems people are trying to solve for).

Once you do that, you’ll be able to create the best experience, the best product, or even service that people deserve.

This is how you make your site continually rank well in the long run even as they make their algorithm more complex.

Drastic Change #3: You can’t build a company off of 1 channel

You familiar with Dropbox?

Of course, you are, it’s a multi-billion-dollar company… and you probably have it installed on your computer.

When they first came out, they tried to acquire users through Google AdWords. Can you guess how much it cost them to acquire a customer?

It ranged between $200 and $300.

Do you know how much Dropbox costs?

$60 a year.

The math doesn’t work out. Why would you spend $200 to acquire a user who only pays $60?

Even when someone pays you $60, it’s not all profit. Because of that, Dropbox had to grow using growth hacking.

dropbox flow

Dropbox gives you more free space the more users you invite. That’s a great example of growth hacking. And it’s how they grew into a multi-billion-dollar company.

Nowadays, if you created a similar invite flow within your company, it won’t work that well. You can no longer build a company using one channel like how Dropbox grew.

And do you remember how Facebook grew?

When you signed up, they would tap into your email address book and send out an email to every single one of your contacts inviting them to use Facebook, even if you didn’t want them to.

facebookfriends

That one channel helped Facebook grow into the multi-hundred-billion-dollar company that we know today.

Nowadays, if you get an email saying your friend is inviting you to join a new site or social network, you’ll probably just ignore it.

Again, you no longer can build a big business leveraging only one marketing channel.

So, what does that mean for you?

First of all, popular marketing channels that are profitable get saturated fast and you are going to have a lot of competitors.

Due to that, you have to leverage all channels. From content marketing and paid ads to social media marketing and SEO to email marketing… you have to leverage all channels out there.

It’s your only option to doing well in the long run.

One channel won’t make your business anymore. But if you combine them all, you can still grow your business.

And hey, if something happens to one channel like an algorithm change, at least your business won’t go down too much because you are diversified.

No matter how much you love one form of marketing, never rely on it. Adopt an omnichannel approach.

Drastic Change #4: Blogging won’t work too well

I got into this a little bit at the top… the web is saturated. There are just way too many sites.

Sure, most of those 1.8 billion sites aren’t being updated and a lot are dormant.

Now out of those 1.8 billion sites, roughly 1 billion of them are blogs. That’s roughly 1 blog for every 7 people out there.

When I started my first blog in 2005, there weren’t as many people online creating sites or producing content. There also weren’t as many people using Google.

Nevertheless, Google loved content. Everyone was saying how content is king because if you produce high-quality articles Google would rank them due to one simple fact… they lacked content in their index.

But as time went by, Google no longer had a shortage of content. I would even go as far to say that there is too much content for them to choose from.

For that reason, they can be pickier if they want to rank your website or not. It’s not just about backlinks or optimizing your on-page code, it’s about providing what’s best for the end user.

That means Google is going to rank fresh content that isn’t regurgitated.

If you want to take the route of just writing dozens of articles each way and trying to rank for everything under the sun, you can. It’s still possible, but it will take more time and it will be harder as there is more competition.

More so, the way content marketing is changing in 2019, and we saw a little of this in 2018, is that you need to update your content.

No longer can your strategy be to write a lot of content. You are going to have to plan on updating your content on a regular basis.

For example, I have one person who works for me full time going through my old blog posts to update them. Also, I now only have time to write once piece of content each week. There is no way I can go through my blog and update over a thousand blog posts.

You’re going to have to do the same if you want to maintain your search traffic. If you are established and have an old blog, spend half your time updating your old content. If you are a new blog, you don’t really need to spend more than 5% of your time updating your old content.

Drastic Change #5: You’ll need to focus on new search engines and new content types

We can all agree that text-based content is saturated.

If you don’t agree with me, just scroll back up to Drastic Change #4 😉

We all know it takes forever to rank on Google. If you aren’t willing to give it a year, you shouldn’t spend much time doing traditional SEO.

What if I told you there was another form of SEO in which you can see results very, very fast?

So fast, that within 30 days (or even a few days!) you can rank at the top. And, better yet, those rankings mean you will get traffic.

Just look at my search traffic from this different kind of search engine:

youtube search

Can you guess that what search engine this is?

YouTube!

I generate 198,380 views every month from YouTube search. And those people watch my content for an average of 559,237 minutes a month.

I’m generating over 388 days of watch time each month just from YouTube search. That’s crazy!

YouTube isn’t nearly as competitive as Google. Nor is optimizing for the iTunes store if you have a podcast.

Don’t just focus your efforts on Google.

Focus your efforts on less-saturated forms of content like video and audio while optimizing for less common search engines like YouTube and iTunes.

Plus, these new channels have a very lucrative audience as they are engaged. Did you know that 45% of podcast listeners have a household income of $75,000 or more?

Here are some articles that’ll help you out:

If you don’t have a big marketing budget no worries. These channels aren’t as expensive or competitive yet. You also don’t need a studio to film or record. You can just bust out your iPhone and start recording yourself.

Believe it or not, a lot of people prefer that over studio quality content as it is more authentic.

Drastic Change #6: Budgets will start shifting into conversion rate optimization

At the beginning of this post, I broke down Google’s yearly revenue.

As you can see it has continually increased even during recessionary periods.

Sure, some of it has to do with more people coming online. But also, the cost per click is rising.

Same with Facebook Ads. I literally know hundreds of affiliates who used to make over a million dollars a year in income because Facebook Ads were so affordable.

But in June/July 2017, Facebook crossed a point where they had more advertisers than inventory… at least in the United States.

Over time, that trend continued into other countries, which mean Facebook Ad costs drastically increased.

Just look at the graph below. As you can see, companies spend the majority of their budget on Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.

marketing by spend

Now let’s look at what channel produces the highest ROI. Can you guess what it is?

marketing roi

SEO, right?

Although the chart shows SEO produces the biggest ROI, in reality, it is the second runner up.

What’s hard to see because it is classified as “other” in the chart and it is grouped with other marketing channels, is conversion rate optimization. And that channel produced the biggest ROI by far. It beat SEO by leaps and bounds.

It was just hard to see that because not enough companies spend money on conversion rate optimization. And when they do, it is a very small portion of their budget.

In 2019, start running A/B tests. Whether you use Crazy Egg or any other solution out there, don’t forget to include it in your marketing arsenal.

Drastic Change #7: Marketers will learn what funnels are

You may have heard of marketing funnels or sales funnels, but I bet you aren’t using them.

And no, a funnel isn’t something as simple an email sequence.

Because ads are getting more expensive, you’ll find yourself doing things like running more A/B tests (as I mentioned above), but it will only help so much.

As your competition also starts running A/B tests, you’ll find that ad prices will go up again.

So, what should you do?

You are going to have to upsell and downsell your visitors. I learned this tactic from Ryan Deiss years ago and he was spot on.

The best way to generate revenue isn’t to get more customers, it’s to get more money out of your existing customers.

Sure, your customer base is only going to spend so much. But if you offer upsells and downsells you can see increases in revenue from 10% to 30%. And some cases you’ll even double your revenue.

The key points with upselling and downselling are as follows:

  1. Offer at least 2 or 3 upsells (or downsells).
  2. If people don’t take the offer, considering offering the same offer again with monthly installments.
  3. The best offers are speed and automation. In other words, if you can help people get results faster or in an automated way, they are much more likely to take it. People are lazy and impatient, hence speed and automation always win when it comes to upsells.

At this point you are probably wondering how to do all of this upselling or downselling, right?

You have to build a marketing funnel. The good news is, you don’t have to hire a developer, you can use solutions like Click Funnels and Samcart.

They are easy to use, and you can get started in minutes.

Conclusion

Expect 2019 to be a crazy year. What worked once, won’t work in 2019.

Technology is more sophisticated and with things like machine learning and artificial intelligence knocking at the door, we are going to be on a crazy rollercoaster.

Don’t be afraid, though!

If you take the concepts above and start working on them now, you are going to be in for a much smoother ride with fewer downs and more ups.

So what do you think is going to change in 2019?

The post How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2019 appeared first on Neil Patel.

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7 Marketing Mistakes That Nearly Broke Me… Literally

7 Marketing Mistakes That Nearly Broke Me… Literally

neil patel sad

When you look at me, what do you see?

Someone who is a marketer… maybe even an entrepreneur.

As you may already know, I’ve co-founded a handful of companies. I’ve received a handful of awards from people like President Obama and the United Nations. And I am a New York Times bestselling author. The list keeps going on and on.

In other words, most people see me as successful.

But what if I told you that behind that success is a bunch of failures?

Sure, overall, I’m up, and my successes have more than made up for my failures. But just like everyone else, I have failed many times.

And many of the failures were so big that they cost me a lot of money

In other words, I’ve screwed up a lot. But what helped me do so well was that I was able to learn from my mistakes and avoided making the same ones over and over again.

Today, I thought I would do something a bit different. I want to share with you the biggest marketing mistakes I have made. Hopefully, you will learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes as me.

Here we go…

Mistake #1: Spending $400,000 on Facebook fan page likes

I used to have the philosophy with social networks that the best thing you could do was build up your following.

If you have more followers, then whenever you have a message that you want to put out there then, hopefully, thousands of people will see it.

But you know what’s common with all social networks… not just the ones Facebook owns?

They all have a pattern or restricting your reach. And by doing that, it leaves you no choice but to spend money on ads.

But me, being a smart aleck, I thought I would outsmart Facebook by continually growing my fan page. That way after I built up a good user base, I wouldn’t have to spend money on ads.

Boy was I silly.

I am not saying you shouldn’t spend money on ads, but with any social network, you should avoid spending money to build up a community. Just think of it this way…

Why would you spend money to build up a community when you can’t control if they will see your message?

This is one of the biggest and silliest marketing mistakes I have ever made. History has proven that social networks continually change their algorithms and restrict your reach, yet I still blew money trying to build up a community.

The two big lessons I want you to take away from this first mistake are:

  1. Have a direct ROI – If you are going to spend any money on ads, make sure it is cash flow positive. Trying to get an indirect ROI on your ad dollars is silly unless you are willing to experiment and potentially lose a lot of money.
  2. Be cautious, not slow – Every major marketing channel has algorithms. Start off small and as long as the numbers work out, scale up as fast as possible.

Mistake #2: Picking too small of a niche

In business, we call it total addressable market (TAM)… you want to go after a big TAM.

It’s really hard to own 100% of a market no matter how small or big it is. It’s much easier to own 1% of a market. So you should go after a huge market so your 1% is worth something meaningful.

In marketing, everyone talks about how you need to pick a niche. But here is what people don’t tell you… it takes almost the same amount of effort to market a business in a small niche as it does to market a business in a much bigger market.

So, why not go after a big market as it will help you make more money?

With one of my earlier startups, Crazy Egg, we created a heatmap solution that helps show you where people clicked on your site.

Eventually, we added mouse tracking, A/B testing, and a handful of other features.

But we should have done that years before. If we had done it sooner, the company would have easily been double the size, just like how Optimizely generates over 100 million a year in revenue.

What’s crazy is that there isn’t much more work to expand our marketing to include keywords like A/B testing from an organic or even paid perspective. It also isn’t hard for us to write blog posts on these new areas.

Sadly, this mistake is one I’ve made one too many times. I kid you not, my net worth would have an extra 0 at the end if I just chose big enough markets from day 1.

Now there are a few ways to figure out if the market you are going after is large enough:

  1. Google Trends – type in the space you want to go after. Look for verticals that are bigger than “digital marketing” as a rule of thumb.
  2. CrunchBase – look to see if there are any venture funded competitors. If someone has raised over 10 million dollars, the chances are it is a big enough market.
  3. Publicly traded companies – if you have any competitors that are public, look at their market cap. The bigger the number, the better. Keep in mind that most publicly traded companies offer multiple products and services, so this number is usually inflated.

Mistake #3: Not all search traffic is the same

NeilPatel.com isn’t my first blog. Technically it’s my third.

And because it was the last marketing blog I created I was able to do things a bit differently because I was able to learn from my previous blogging experiences (I had more money).

The way I grew NeilPatel.com was simple… type in a competitor URL into SEMrush, see what their top pages where, and then write better versions of it.

Once I did that, I would then go to tools like Ubersuggest, find popular keywords that I wasn’t going after, and then create content focusing on all of those terms.

That strategy has helped me get over 3 million monthly visitors of which 1.8 million of them are unique.

But what’s wrong with that strategy?

Well, first of all, not all traffic is equal. But that wasn’t my mistake because I was smart enough to look for keywords that had a high cost per click, as that is a leading indicator that the keyword is more valuable.

The big mistake I made was not focusing on regions. When doing keyword research and competitive analysis using tools like SEMrush I focused on creating content that would generate traffic from the right keywords… but I never looked at regions.

I am Indian, and I love India. But traffic from India doesn’t generate me anywhere near the amount of revenue as traffic from the United States.

Now here are my traffic stats per region:

regions

As you can see, the United States is my most popular region, but it is not the majority. Over time it has gotten better as now when I do keyword research, I focus all of my effort on the United States.

Even when I find popular articles written by my competitors, I plug them into Ahrefs, and I look at the traffic stats per region before deciding on whether or not I want to create something similar.

Mistake #4: Traffic doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t convert

The last startup that I created was called KISSmetrics. It didn’t work out as well as I wanted, and I eventually bought some of their assets.

I raised over 17 million dollars and we were off to a fast start. We even had some Fortune 500 companies who were interested in potentially acquiring us early on.

When we started, our traffic was up and to the right.

kissmetrics

And then came a competitor, Mixpanel, who copied a lot of our features and didn’t know marketing as well as me. Just look at their traffic stats:

mixpanel

Considering that we had almost 3 times more traffic than them, how much do you think KISSmetrics was worth during our peak?

Let me give you a hint… Mixpanel’s last valuation that they announced was $865 million!

mixpanel value

So, what do you think? Maybe we were worth double them… or at least the same valuation.

Nope. Guess again.

We weren’t even worth 10% of their value.

That’s when I realized that the real formula to marketing isn’t just who is getting the most eyeballs, it’s about focusing on monetization.

Don’t just focus your efforts on traffic acquisition, focus on conversion optimization. It’s the area I didn’t spend enough time on early on.

And to give you an idea of how many companies are making this mistake… I interviewed 208 companies that generate over a million bucks in revenue. Here’s where they are spending their marketing dollars.

marketing spend

And here are the channels producing the biggest ROI.

roi

Do you see what’s wrong?

SEO produces a higher ROI than paid advertising for most businesses, yet very little budget gets allocated to it.

And what you don’t see in the chart, as it is classified in “other,” is conversion optimization produced the biggest return, yet very few companies spend money on it.

Mistake #5: Not monetizing early enough

Speaking of monetization, I also make this mistake too often.

I love giving everything away for free and then when it comes time to monetize, my numbers don’t look as good as they should.

It’s not that I don’t know how to monetize. It’s more so that I’ve trained my users to expect everything for free.

The moment you switch things up, the numbers never look as great.

I learned this lesson from Ramit Sethi. When I launched my first ebook course on Quick Sprout, I couldn’t generate more than $30,000 a month. Don’t get me wrong, that’s good money, but not when you are generating over 200,000 unique visitors a month.

On the flip side, I monetized NeilPatel.com much earlier than Quick Sprout and, of course, I got better at marketing and entrepreneurship at the same time.

But when I released an ebook/training course (I no longer sell it), I was able to generate $650,000 a month from just 450,000 visitors during my peak.

As the course got older, my monthly revenue dropped but it stayed around $381,722.

revenue

The point I am trying to make is don’t wait too long before you monetize.

There is nothing wrong with charging for a product or a service. But if you wait too long before you start charging, people will have this notion that it will be free forever and they won’t be as likely to convert in the future no matter how good you are at marketing.

Mistake #6: Taking people for granted

I have a skill set that I have always been good at. Can you guess what it is?

It’s making websites popular. 😉

Just because I know how to make a website popular (and I can even convert those visitors into customers) doesn’t mean I am going to be successful.

I’ve always tried to run my companies lean in which I never wanted to have more than 50 employees.

Over the years, I’ve more than surpassed that number and I have hundreds of people working for me. But I should have done that much sooner.

Without people, you won’t grow that fast no matter how much of a scalable business you have.

You need great operators and managers if you want to see fast growth.

For example, my business partner, Mike Kamo, doesn’t know marketing as well as me. I have more experience as an entrepreneur and I’m more book smart.

Yet every time he takes my traffic and monetizes it, he generates more revenue from the same traffic than I do. And again, I know more about marketing and business than him.

But because he is great at hiring and building up people, he is able to generate more revenue from the same amount of traffic.

For example, he hired Nick Roshon as our VP Sales, who is amazing. In December, which is one of the worst months for us due to holidays, Nick’s team closed $1,585,093 million in revenue.

Not too shabby for a 30-day period!

And even Nick knows, without his team, he wouldn’t have had a good December. It’s all about the people and you shouldn’t ever forget that.

If you want to grow fast you need to hire people. Hire people who are process oriented and know operations well. Don’t be afraid of headcount… remember teams build great businesses, not individuals.

Just look at Elon Musk, he’s one of the most brilliant people of our times, but without his team, Tesla and SpaceX wouldn’t be as big as they are today.

Mistake #7: Control your own destiny

As an SEO, I have ranked for some of the most competitive terms on the Internet. And I am not just talking page 1… I’m talking the number the #1 spot on page 1.

Some of the terms I have ranked for over the years are online gambling, online poker, web hosting, credit cards, and auto insurance to name just a few.

Those are super competitive terms!

All of the sites that ranked for those terms generated me a nice amount of money from ads and lead generation.

But do you know what? It didn’t last forever.

Eventually, those sites stopped ranking for one reason or another and my income went down to 0.

Sure, some of the ranking drops I deserved because I used black hat techniques to get there, but over time I learned to only use white hat tactics and to think long term. I still lost revenue, however, due to circumstances out of my control.

With some of those sites, I was pulling in over $100,000 a month in affiliate income.

And sadly, I’ve had similar issues with Facebook Ads and even Google AdWords.

I was making a killing and for no reason I got my ads pulled because Facebook thought they were politically related when they had nothing to do with politics.

In other words, sometimes things go wrong even when you do all of the right things. And there is little you can do about it.

This has taught me to have an omnichannel approach to marketing. Sure, you know me as an SEO, but I do a lot more than SEO.

Just look at NeilPatel.com, I have text-based content, video content, a podcast, and even free tools.

I never rely on 1 traffic channel anymore.

Even the people I surround myself with are skilled at other marketing channels than just SEO. My head of paid, Chris, is amazing at Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. Funny enough, he is an ex-Facebook employee.

The point I am making is you are going to have ups and downs with your marketing. But if you want your business to be a bit steadier, diversify your marketing. Don’t just stick to one channel. Heck, I even recommend doing things like releasing free tools so you aren’t reliant on any channels.

And now my free tool generates 213,967 unique visitors a month.

app users

Conclusion

Just like I did, you are going to make mistakes. All entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, make mistakes.

This is fine. Don’t worry about it.

But what separates the great entrepreneurs from the mediocre ones is that they learn from their mistakes and avoid making the same ones over and over again.

You have a list of some of my big marketing mistakes above. Learn from them and avoid making the same ones as me.

Have you made any big marketing or entrepreneurial mistakes?

The post 7 Marketing Mistakes That Nearly Broke Me… Literally appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Fall Academic Seminar: “Barbarians at the Gate?”

Fall Academic Seminar: “Barbarians at the Gate?”

At a fall academic seminar, Turner shared the most current issues discussed during the recent Swedish election, meanwhile providing background on the political system. He explained the political spectrum in Sweden, listing what parties lie on the left, right, and in the center, and detailed each parties’ principles and goals.

One of the more surprising outcomes of the most recent election in Sweden was the rise of the Swedish Democrats – a conservative and right-wing populist party. Turner identified the reasons for their increased popularity, as well as the upswing of right-wing leaders and governments around the world. The presentation ended by looking at the future of Swedish politics and the complexities of immigration facing many European nations.

At DIS, we look forward to hosting academic seminars this spring semester, which will continue to focus on important current topics debated in Sweden and the world.

 

Are you interested in learning about Swedish politics and the government during your semester abroad?

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How to Drive Traffic to a Brand-New Site with Little to No Money

How to Drive Traffic to a Brand-New Site with Little to No Money

budget

I know what you are going through.

You were excited to launch your brand-new site until you realized no one is coming to it.

So, you head to all of the marketing blogs to learn how to fix this, but for the life of you, your traffic won’t go up no matter which tactic you leverage.

What you’re feeling right now is very common. Not only have I experienced it, but when I was starting out, I even took the small life savings that I made from cleaning restrooms and sweeping up trash to pay a marketing firm to help me out.

And can you guess what happened?

They took my money and provided no results.

See, what most marketers aren’t telling you is that there are two main reasons why you aren’t getting traffic to your brand-new site (other than the fact that you don’t have much money to spend on ads):

  1. Marketing is a long-term game – almost all of the tactics marketers, including me, talk about are long-term tactics. They take 6 months or even longer to see any results.
  2. Your execution needs to be flawless – if you don’t implement the tactics correctly, you won’t see results.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t see short-term results or sales. More so you have to change up your strategy.

So, I thought I would do something a bit different today. I am going to break down what you should be doing during the first 12 weeks after launching your site.

I’ll be sharing a tactic for you to follow each week and, if you follow it, you’ll notice that your traffic will start going up right away. From there, you’ll start to see sales coming in.

Before I dive into the 12 tactics, note that you won’t have to spend much money, if any at all. I am also not going to give you advice that is extremely time-consuming, like writing blog posts, as you’ll also be running your business at the same time.

And of course, the tactics work for both B2B and B2C sites. It doesn’t matter if you are an ecommerce site or a SaaS company. Follow the steps below exactly.

Week #1: Respond to comments on other people’s blog without spamming

Have you heard of a popular site called Mashable? It was founded by Pete Cashmore.

When he launched his competing site to TechCrunch, no one knew about him and no one cared to listen to him as he was based in Scotland instead of Silicon Valley.

But do you think that stopped him? Of course not!

So, what did he do? He went out there and commented on every competing tech blog. And not only did he comment, but he always tried to be the first commenter.

See, when you leave a comment on a blog, most ask you to put in your name, URL, and comment.

jetpack

Assuming you are leaving valuable comments and nothing spammy, you’ll notice that you’ll get referral traffic in your Google Analytics.

This will be because a very small percentage of people are clicking on your name when you leave a comment.

And considering some of the most popular blogs on the web receive millions of visitors each week, it’s not that hard to drive a fraction of a percent of their traffic back to your site.

The key with this strategy is to be one of the first commenters as that ensures your comment is at the top. The other key, of course, is that your comment must add value.

For example, if you own a marketing related product or service, marketing blogs would be a great place to comment. But what do you think will happen if you leave this kind of standard comment:

Nice post! Keep up the good work!

Nothing. On the flip side, if you put in some effort to write something that benefited the reader, you’ll have a chance at getting some traffic.

An example could be something like this…

Neil, I love the actionable tips on generating traffic for a brand-new site within the first 3 months of launching it. But I know you didn’t discuss much if any about SEO.

I know SEO is a long-term strategy, but people should get a head start right away or else it will take that much longer to get loved by Google.

One thing that I recommend every site to start off with is simple keyword research. You can use any free keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner and type in your competitor URL. Google Keyword Planner will then suggest keywords and even show you the cost per click.

By going after keywords that aren’t competitive and have a higher cost per click, you’ll find that you can generate search traffic at a much faster pace and these keywords will drive sales. As keywords with a high cost per click tend to mean that they convert.

Do you see what I mean by writing thoughtful comments that help people?

This tactic works!

Jared, who runs Skincare by Alana, still leverages this tactic today. When he and his wife launched their ecommerce store they commented on other popular blogs and social sites when it came to all things skin related.

This helped them generate 931 visitors during their first week and 12 sales.

I know it’s not a lot, but you have to start somewhere and grow from there.

I also have leveraged this tactic for years. Instead of focusing just on blogs, I commented on relevant social sites too.

quora

As you can see from the screenshot above, I’ve generated over 1.9 million views on my Quora responses.

Here’s an example of one of my responses:

quora response

You’ll notice that in my response I also link out to my own site which drives traffic back to me.

Yes, the response looks very long, and you may think I put in tons of work, but I literally copied and pasted a blog post I had already written and added it to Quora.

Google doesn’t penalize for duplicate content. 😉

If you are going to use this strategy during week one, try to leave at least 10 solid comments per day. I would try to leave 20 as it shouldn’t take you more than two hours per day… assuming you haven’t done this before.

I can typically leave 15 comments in less than 50 minutes. So, throughout the first week try to speed things up and spend no more than an hour on this tactic per day.

Week #2: Be helpful on Twitter and you’ll get tweets

Before I go into week 2, keep in mind you’ll still want to maintain the tactics I share in the previous week.

By week 12, you’ll want to be following all 12 tactics each week.

Of course, you won’t be able to put in the same number of hours into each tactic and that’s fine, but you can still do them a bit. For example, you can still leave 5 comments a day instead of leaving 20.

So, let’s dive into week 2, which is all about Twitter.

This tactic I learned from my brother-in-law Hiten Shah. He used to leverage this tactic for every one of our startups… Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics, and he now leverages it for his newest company FYI.

If you look at Hiten, he built up his personal brand and influence in the tech space because of Twitter. Sure, people like me may have a bigger brand or more Twitter followers, but he has much, much, much more authority on Twitter than I do.

twitter responses

As you can see influential people on Twitter are tweeting about Hiten’s latest company.

He even tweets and connects with well-known entrepreneurs like the founder of HubSpot and Drift because of Twitter.

So how is Hiten getting all of these people to show him some Twitter love? Well, he has a 3-step formula…

  1. Help people
  2. Help people
  3. Help people

And no, I am not joking, that is his formula. He doesn’t care to promote his business, he just helps people.

Let’s look at his Twitter profile to dive deeper into his strategy.

hiten shah

hiten shah

If you look at the tweets above, you’ll notice that Hiten continually pushes out advice on his Twitter profile. He rarely mentions his own company, but instead just tries to help people.

And when people ask questions or need help, he constantly responds to people’s tweets.

Not everyone takes his advice, but his mentality is to just be helpful no matter what. Just look at how he responds to people’s tweets.

hiten shah

Lastly, he retweets stuff that he likes. Whether you are an influencer or an average joe, he doesn’t care. He just wants to share the best information out there.

hiten shah

This is why so many people tweet about his product FYI. It’s because he is super helpful, so people naturally want to help him out without him even asking them to.

Now I know this strategy that Hiten uses seems like it is going to take forever to get results, and it does. But there is a hack that he uses to get immediate results.

Every day you should search Twitter for people talking about your competitor. When people have questions about your competitors’ products or services (or they have complaints), try and help them.

Don’t pitch them on your company, just try and help them.

What you’ll find is people will be shocked that you are helping a competitor. And if you are this kind and helpful, then what kind of service would they get if they took their business to you…

In other words, being helpful wins you goodwill and it will cause people to switch from your competitor over to you.

And if you go above and beyond like Hiten, people who haven’t even used your product or service will help promote you. Just like how one of his followers tweeted about FYI and he hasn’t even used it yet.

twitter fyi

His strategy to help, help, and help some more has made Twitter one of FYI’s biggest traffic source. It accounts for roughly 25% of their weekly traffic.

Week #3: Go after small affiliates

No matter what industry you are in, there are affiliates. If you aren’t familiar with affiliate marketing, check out this post.

When you are starting out you probably haven’t created an affiliate program yet in which pay other marketers every time they drive you a sale or a lead.

You can always use software like Hasoffers to set one up or go through a network. There are literally hundreds of options and with a few quick Google searches, you can find one which is the right fit for you.

Now, what most people will tell you is that no one is going to promote your affiliate offer because it is unproven and new.

Although it’s true that your offer is unproven, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

During your third week, I want you to copy the strategy ConvertKit used when they first launched.

The strategy I am about to break down helped them grow from a few thousand dollars a month in revenue to over a million a month.

convertkit revenue

What ConvertKit did was they went to all of their competitors’ sites and looked to see which ones had an affiliate program. One of those competitors happens to be Aweber.

Then once they had a list of competitors with affiliate programs, they performed a Google search for “competitor name vs.” An example would be “Aweber vs”…

aweber

From there they would email each of those site owners asking them to include ConvertKit in the article or even write a unique article about ConvertKit. Just like this one.

convertkit affiliate

Just think of it this way, if someone is willing to be an affiliate for one company, they won’t mind throwing in a few extra competitors. All it does is give them the potential to make more money.

When leveraging this tactic, consider sending out 10 emails a day. It shouldn’t take long and people typically don’t mind adjusting their web pages to add in another link that could potentially earn them extra money.

Now compared to most tactics, this one will drive the least amount of visitors.

But the traffic will be very qualified and more likely to convert as you are going after “versus” articles. When someone types in “Company X VS Company Y” into Google, they are researching which solution is ideal for them. These posts rank well and they tend to drive sales.

Week #4: Hire guest writers

Now the strategy I am about to break down for you in week 4 is my favorite strategy.

This is what I used in my last startup KISSmetrics to grow our blog traffic to over a million visitors a month.

If you head to the KISSmetrics site you’ll notice that it now redirects to NeilPatel.com as I bought the site.

So how much traffic did the KISSmetrics blog get from this strategy?

kissmetrics speak

As you can see from the image above, we peaked at 1,260,681 unique visitors a month.

Our strategy was simple… hire writers who had a social following.

We went to the Problogger Job Board and posted a job looking for writers.

The job description looked something like this…

Are you a marketing expert? Do you know marketing like the back of your hand?

That’s great because I have an opportunity for you.

KISSmetrics is a leader in the web analytics space and we are looking to work with expert writers who know marketing and analytics.

We’re currently looking to expand our team of writers with passionate enthusiasts for digital marketing and with expertise and passion for writing.  We are hiring individuals for each of the following categories:

  • SEO
  • Content marketing
  • Social media
  • Web analytics
  • Conversion optimization
  • Paid advertising
  • Web design
  • Branding
  • Email marketing

Please go to our blog for examples of content we’re looking to create. [insert URL of your blog]

We would like to build a long-term relationship with you that is on a project basis. Initially, we will have you submit a list of topic ideas you would love to blog on, then we will pick one, have you outline it… and of course, you’ll then be off to the races.

The articles will be anywhere from 1,000 words to 3,000. Our goal isn’t to enforce a word count, we are more interested in high-quality content.

We’re looking for someone who is:

  • Looking for a long-term working relationship
  • Has 1 year of working experience as a writer
  • Has a good level of knowledge of digital marketing
  • Is willing to research and learn more about marketing
  • Has great grammar and spelling skills as well as proficiency in English
  • Likes working with deadlines and structure
  • Has a social following and doesn’t mind promoting the content you are writing as it will be published under your name

How to apply

Send an email to [insert your email] with – Applying For Writer Position in the subject line. Your email should include:

  • A bit about you as well as links to your social profiles
  • Why you’re a good fit for this position
  • Links to 2 -3 articles you have written
  • Your rate per 500 words.

The way we scaled up to over a million visitors a month was by publishing 5 blog posts a week. And every time a writer wrote a blog post for us, they didn’t mind promoting it to their social following as their name was on the article.

Once we got over 50,000 visitors a month, we noticed that we started to get inbound inquires of people willing to write for us for free. So eventually we slowly transitioned to a model where people wrote for us for free and we didn’t need to hire or pay writers.

You’ll notice that this will happen with your blog as it gets more popular.

What’s great about this strategy is the more writers you get, the more people that will find out about your company as each writer has different people following them on the social web.

Week #5: Create a podcast and interview guests

Have you listened to my podcast Marketing School? If you haven’t listened to it yet, check it out.

My co-host Eric Siu and I give marketing advice each day in under 5 minutes.

But don’t worry, the strategy I want you to implement isn’t to copy Marketing School or even listen to it (although I would be honored if you did listen to it).

Instead, it’s to copy my co-host, Eric Siu. He has another popular podcast called Growth Everywhere where he interviews someone new each and every single week.

You don’t have to do a weekly podcast, but I want you to interview someone in your space at least once a month.

And instead of making a separate site for your podcast, just pop it onto your main site.

Now when you publish each of these interviews, ask the guest to share it with their audience. From their social profiles to posting it on their own blog to even emailing their own list.

Although Eric has built a brand in the marketing space, he wasn’t well known when he started Growth Everywhere.

Just look at his stats from leveraging this tactic:

growth everywhere

Eric’s generating over 15,300 unique visitors a month. That’s a lot of traffic considering Eric hasn’t even tried to grow the traffic to Growth Everywhere.

Best of all, you can generate similar results to Eric. But the key to doing this is interviewing people within your space so that way the traffic that comes to your site is relevant and over time those visitors will convert into customers.

If you don’t know how to start a podcast, watch this:

You could buy fancy equipment, but I would just use whatever’s built into your computer until you start seeing results from this tactic.

And if you really want to make your podcast popular, check this out.

Week #6: Become a rising star

Do you want to be a rising star? Well of course you do… who doesn’t?

Now you probably wondering, what the heck is a “rising star?”

Well, let me first start off with, Facebook groups.

Whatever industry you are in, whoever your ideal customers are… you can find them in a Facebook group.

Look for niche groups on Facebook related to the product or service you are selling. You want to join these groups as long as they have over 1,000 members.

You may also find groups that have over a million members. You’ll want to avoid these groups.

Focus on groups that are between 1,000 members and 17,000 members. Those groups are big enough to where you can generate traffic and small enough where you’ll be noticed.

What you’ll want to do is join a handful of groups and post 4 to 5 times in the group during your first month.

Assuming you are creating posts that are engaging in which people are responding and interacting with you, then you’ll get a rising star badge.

rising star

That means people are interacting with your posts. So then when you mention your product or service, you’ll find that not only will people see it, but they are going to head on over to your site.

The key with posting to Facebook groups is to create a high amount of comments and replies. If you just link out to your site you’ll get very few clicks and you will look like a spammer. Posting links and nothing more will get you banned from the group.

But if you link out within context or answer someone’s question with a link to your site or share something from your site that will help group members, you are much more likely to get clicks.

But if the content isn’t engaging and people don’t care to leave comments, you won’t see much traffic from your Facebook group.

I have a private Facebook group with 2,616 members.

amp facebook

When you post something that is engaging, you’ll get featured as a “top recent post” and I’ve found with my 2,616 members I can generate 119 to 184 visitors when I post something that is super engaging that links to my site.

But instead of creating a group as I did, just join other popular groups. You’ll save a ton of time.

Week #7: Co-publish content

Have you ever thought about co-publishing content with other site owners? Even if you don’t have a huge audience, people will still love co-publishing content with you.

Why you may ask?

Well, they may have the audience, but they may be too busy to continually create new content.

Just look at me… I co-published so many guides with other writers.

advanced seo

And…

online marketing guide

And…

personal branding

These writers got tons of exposure and did the majority of the work.

Over time, these guides have generated well over a million visitors. But I know they are time-consuming to create, and I’m not asking you to create guides.

Instead, you can co-publish blog posts together, record a webinar together, create a white paper, or anything else that you feel could be a good fit.

A good example of this is how my team co-published content together with a company called Hotmart in Brazil.

They wrote about Ubersuggest. They even co-published a video about SEO and, of course, my team mentioned Ubersuggest.

hotmart

That helped make Brazil the most popular country when it comes to usage for Ubersuggest.

google analytics brazil

If you are going to try and co-publish content with others, make sure you are willing to do the majority of the work.

Hit up other sites within your space and make your offer. Let them know how they won’t have to do much work and, of course, mention what they’ll get out of it.

When you co-publish content, you can’t just talk about your company, you also have to talk about theirs.

Week #8: Product launches

Have you heard of Drift?

It’s a chatbot tool that a lot of people in sales and marketing use.

What I love about Drift is their Product Hunt strategy. Every time they release a new feature, they push it hard on Product Hunt.

drift

You probably don’t have a ton of new feature releases as you have a brand new site but every time you have one you should consider pushing it out on Product Hunt or even a Sub-Reddit.

But for now, why can’t you launch your site on Product Hunt or on a Sub-Reddit?

Sure you site maybe live for a few weeks, but you haven’t announced it to the world yet. 🙂

Product Hunt is super effective when it comes to traffic generation. When FYI launched via Product Hunt they got over 1,000 votes. It was so successful, the HubSpot co-founder even offered them funding.

hubspot product hunt

I did something similar with Ubersuggest. Every time I release a new feature, I announce it on Product Hunt. So far it has driven me 12,319 visitors.

product hunt uber

The key with doing well on Product Hunt is:

  • Get as many votes right when you release it… ideally within the first hour (so ask your friends and co-workers to vote)
  • Participate in the community before you submit your own site. Ideally, you want someone else to submit, but if you don’t know any active Product Hunt users, participate for a bit before you submit your own site.
  • Make sure you respond to every single comment as this helps with engagement.
  • Submit your site very early in the morning Pacific Standard Time. Product Hunt resets every night, so consider submitting it around 4 am Pacific Standard Time.

I know self-promotion might be a bit difficult for you when you are starting off but you need to embrace it. There is nothing wrong with pushing your own company… if you don’t, no one else will.

Week #9: The gram

Honestly, what do you think of Instagram?

Well, whether you like it or hate it, it is one of the most popular social networks out there. And influencer marketing is becoming one of the most effective promotion channels.

Anytime a Kardashian talks about a product, it flies right off the shelves.

fittea

That’s how companies like FitTea came out of nowhere and grew to 7 figures in revenue overnight.

I know what you are thinking: It’s going to be too expensive to pay Kim Kardashian to talk about your business. And you are right, it will be too expensive.

Heck, anyone who has over a million followers will try and charge you too much. Anyone with over 100,000 will also probably charge you too much.

Instead, I want you to look for micro-influencers who have at least 10,000 followers. Find people within your vertical who aren’t too popular but whose followers would be your ideal customer.

Now I want you to reach out to these influencers and offer them a bit of money to promote your product or service.

When it comes to making your offer, don’t pay them money for a post because it will be too expensive, pay them to create an Instagram story.

See, the moment someone hits 10,000 followers, Instagram enables the “swipe up” feature. This means they can tell their followers to swipe up to head over to any website. And in this case, they will be telling their followers to swipe up and head over to your website.

You’ll find that influencers will create a story for pennies on the dollar as it expires within 24 hours.

Typically, if someone has 10,000 to 20,000 followers, I am able to pay them a few hundred bucks for 3 stories over a 2 week period.

I prefer this over a post because this drives traffic to your site and you can track the number of sales you are generating from each campaign.

You can also leverage sites like Influence to find influencers.

A friend of mine, Timothy Sykes, does this often. He goes crazy and pays influencers with over a million followers to do this because he has been able to make each campaign profitable.

Typically, you find that 1% to 2% of the person’s followers will swipe up and head to your site, assuming the story is good. With this strategy, you won’t get a ton of visitors, but the visitors you do get are more likely to convert into customers as they’ve already been pitched during the story.

Week #10: Wikipedia

Have you ever thought about Wikipedia as a traffic source? I know I didn’t until I attended a marketing conference years ago and heard someone from Comedy Central speak.

This marketer was breaking down how Comedy Central gets millions of visitors a month, which isn’t shocking because it’s a popular television channel.

But what was shocking is how they broke down how they generate over 100,000 visitors a month from Wikipedia.

You heard me right, they get well over 100,000 visitors a month just from Wikipedia.

How’s that possible?

Well, they go in and modify Wikipedia articles and mention Comedy Central whenever it is relevant.

But before you go off and modify hundreds of Wikipedia articles, know that you won’t get the same result as Comedy Central.

It’s more realistic for you to generate a few hundred visitors a month… and maybe even work your way up to a few thousand visitors a month over time.

The key with editing Wikipedia articles is to first adjust tons of pages that aren’t about your website. It’s not just about linking to your site, it’s more so about providing value to the community.

So, during this week, I want you to adjust 12 to 15 articles. Once you do that you can then adjust any relevant ones to your business and include your own company when it makes sense.

Again you won’t get a ton of traffic from this, but you can easily get a few hundred visitors.

Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to edit articles on Wikipedia.

Week #11: Speak at a virtual summit

By now you should have some traffic coming to your site. It may not be a lot, but if you followed all of the steps above, your visitors should be highly qualified.

And now I want you to leverage those visitors to get you a speaking spot at a virtual summit.

Search Google for a virtual summit in your industry. You should be able to easily find one.

It doesn’t matter if they are charging people to attend the virtual summit or if they are giving tickets away for free. Offer yourself to speak and promote the event.

You’ll be shocked at how many people will say yes if you are willing to promote their event.

Remember, unlike a physical conference it doesn’t cost them much to add hundreds of speakers and keep the summit going for an extra day or two.

When speaking, be sure you can promote your company during your speech and you’ll notice that you’ll be able to generate some visitors and sales. But that’s not why I want you to speak at the virtual summit.

Instead, I want you to ask the host of the summit to share the attendee list with you. Assuming they have the right terms of service and privacy policies this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

You’ll also have to make sure they aren’t breaking any GDPR rules.

What you’ll find is this is a common practice with most virtual events in which the speakers will promote the event and the virtual summit will share the attendee list with the speakers.

This will give you a list of super qualified people that you can promote your blog posts to or even your product and services.

Week #12: Scripts and tools

You know I love SEO and it’s an amazing long-term strategy. But to do well with SEO you need backlinks.

The more relevant sites linking to you, the better off you are going to be.

And as you get more backlinks, in the short run it will provide referral traffic. In the long run, it will cause your search traffic to skyrocket.

Just to show you how powerful referral traffic is, just look at my referral traffic:

referral traffic

Over time, all of those sites linking to you will start driving thousands of visitors.

So, what’s the best way to get more backlinks?

Well, you don’t want to buy them. And manual link building takes a long time and isn’t as effective as it used to be.

Instead, what you should do is release free tools, like how I released the SEO Analyzer years ago. And over time, it’s naturally produced 2,369 backlinks from 450 referring domains.

analyzer backlinks

Now, I know what you are thinking: building a free tool is expensive and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. You can buy existing tools and put them on your website for pennies on the dollar. And over time, they will naturally get backlinks without you needing to do anything more.

For example, if you have a real estate website, you can always add a mortgage calculator to your website. And can you guess how much it would cost for you to add one to your site?

$13. That’s right, it only costs 13 bucks! How crazy is that!?

There’s a site called Code Canyon where you can buy tools for almost any industry.

You can use these tools as your own and put them on your site with a few clicks of a button.

Just head over to Code Canyon and perform some searches. You’ll quickly find some tools that can work for you.

Keep in mind that these tools won’t be 100% perfect compared to building your own tool. But that’s ok, you have to start somewhere. Plus, people will still link to your tool even if it isn’t perfect.

Conclusion

I know some of the tactics I mentioned above won’t drive you thousands of visitors right away but they can drive you hundreds. And hundreds of visitors is a great place to start!

And when you combine them over time, it will help you get thousands of visitors. You just have to be willing to perform all of the steps in each week… no matter how silly the tactic may appear.

More importantly, the tactics I broke down above will drive you visitors that convert into customers and leads. All you have to do is take the next 12 weeks and follow them.

It may seem like a lot of work at first, but you’ll get faster at them as time goes on.

So, what do you think about the tactics above? Are you already using them?

The post How to Drive Traffic to a Brand-New Site with Little to No Money appeared first on Neil Patel.

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My Secret Playbook: 28 Hacks Guaranteed to Grow Your Traffic and Sales

My Secret Playbook: 28 Hacks Guaranteed to Grow Your Traffic and Sales

neil patel

Are you tired of algorithm updates?

Well, who isn’t?

From Facebook to Google, marketing is continually changing and getting harder. Even if you are willing to give these platforms money, it still doesn’t guarantee success.

You can experiment, run tests, but digital marketing isn’t as easy as it used to be. Years ago, when I started as an online entrepreneur, companies used to raise money to hire engineers and build infrastructure.

But nowadays, technology has become easy to build and companies like Amazon Web Services save you millions on infrastructure costs.

So, these days companies raise money for one main thing… can you guess what it is?

Marketing!

It’s become so much easier and cheaper to build companies that the majority of the money is spent on customer acquisition.

This is why marketing has become so competitive. But that shouldn’t stop you from succeeding, it just means you need to get creative in this ultra-competitive landscape.

So, to start you off… here are 28 digital marketing hacks that I still use and still work in today’s marketing landscape.

Hack #1: Video remarketing

The highest converting marketing tactic I have ever leveraged is to remarket everyone who visits my checkout page but does not convert. I then show them a video of what it would be like to be a customer… these videos appear on Facebook and YouTube.

For every dollar I spend, I typically am able to get a 17-20x return on my ad spend. If you are going to take away one thing from this post, start using this tactic.

Whether you are in B2B or B2C, this tactic works extremely well. Just keep your video to under 5 minutes in length.

Hack #2: Do the opposite

Most remarketing campaigns don’t work well because you are driving people back to the same page that they didn’t convert in the first place. So instead of doing that, when you are remarketing users, send them to a page that has the opposite pitch.

For example, if your original sales pitch was logical, try a landing page that leverages emotions instead of logic.

Just think of it this way, that person didn’t buy from you the first time for a reason. You need to show them something different if you want them to convert into a customer.

Hack #3: 2-step checkouts beat one step

From my experience, I am usually able to get a 9 to 11% lift by making my checkout pages 2 steps.

Whether it is an e-commerce site or a B2B lead generation site, 2 steps typically beat out 1 step.

It’s counter-intuitive but once someone gives you their name and email, they are more likely to give you the rest of their information because they’ve already started the process. You can also email everyone who didn’t complete the registration process and convert some of those people.

If you have a strong brand like Nike or Amazon, this doesn’t matter as much. But if you don’t, which is more likely your case, use a 2-step checkout page. Whether it is a lead generation page or an e-commerce checkout page, use a 2-step.

Hack #4: Don’t forget sidebar links

Within your blog, link to your cornerstone content within your sidebar on every page. And I literally mean every page of your blog.

You don’t have to make the links rich in anchor text… but this one little thing will give more juice to your cornerstone content.

And within a year of doing this, those pages will shoot up to the top of Google for competitive terms. This is how I rank for terms like “Google AdWords” on page 1.

Hack #5: Blend in keywords from Google Suggest

If you are already ranking for popular terms, take them and put them into Ubersuggest.

It will provide a list of long-tail phrases that people search for. Integrate those keywords (at least the ones that are related) into the same page that ranks for the main head phrase.

This one little hack will increase the traffic to your most popular pages within 30 to 60 days.

Just be careful when using this tactic because you can’t keyword stuff. You need to adjust the content to also be relevant to the long-tail phrases if you want this hack to work.

Hack #6: Don’t stop with email

Email marketing is something that most blogs and sites leverage. If you add in push notifications and you add in chatbots, however, you’ll double up the traffic you were getting from email.

In other words, if emails drive you 1,000 visitors a month, push and chatbots combined should also drive you at least another 1,000 visitors a month.

You also find that push notifications and chatbot notifications generate higher click-through rates than email, but they also receive substantially more unsubscribes.

So, the next time you are sending out an email, don’t forget to also send out that same message to your push notification and chatbot list.

Hack #7: Brand queries is the fastest way to increase rankings

No matter which industry you are going after, the more people that type in your brand name into Google and click on your site, the faster your rankings will climb.

And not just your rankings for brand related terms, more so for all of your terms.

If you want to boost your brand queries, you have to do crazy PR stunts. Companies like PRserve do them on a performance basis.

You can also monitor if the PR stunts are working by typing your brand name into Google Trends. This one trick helped me rank on page 1 for the term “online marketing.”

If you are successful with this strategy, you should see results within 2 or 3 months.

Hack #8: YouTube only cares about the first 24 hours

If you want to do well on YouTube, your video needs to do well in the first 24 hours. It’s the opposite of traditional SEO. On YouTube, you’ll rank right away and get tons of traffic if you can make sure the first 24 hours are successful.

Every time you release a video, promote it to your email list, push notification list, and messenger bot list. It’s a great way to ensure your video does well.

Hack #9: Facebook loves comments

One of the largest parts about Facebook’s algorithm is how many comments you generate. The more comments you generate the more views your videos will get and the more reach your status updates and posts will get.

Asking people to leave a simple comment helps more than a like or share.

For example, in a video, I may ask the question of… “Do you use voice search? If you do, leave a comment with yes and if you don’t, leave a comment with no.” It doesn’t matter what people type as their comment, but this is the easiest way to ensure you get 2 to 3 times more reach from Facebook’s algorithm.

I’ve tested this a handful of times and the key is to make it easy for your fans to leave a comment. If you ask them to type up a sentence or a paragraph, you’ll get fewer comments.

Hack #10: Adding the year to your title tag increases CTR

If a lot of your traffic is generating from your blog, the easiest way to boost your rankings is by getting a better click-through-rate than all of the other listings.

Adding the year in your title tag lets people know your content is up to date and relevant and typically it helps get more clicks than anything else.

For example, the title “The Complete List of SEO Tools (Updated in 2018)” would do better than “The Complete List of SEO Tools”.

Another example that worked well was, “How to Start a Blog in 2019.” That generated way more clicks as people want to know how to start a blog in today’s competitive environment.

On the flip side, if you add a year to your title tag and your content is old and outdated, you will get a lot of bounce backs, which means your rankings will go down. So be careful when using this hack.

Hack #11: Don’t put dates in your URL

A lot of bloggers and site owners put dates in their URL in hopes that news sites will crawl them.

Don’t do this!

I removed the dates in my URLs and my search traffic went up 58%. It was the easiest and dumbest marketing win I ever got. When I removed the date in my URLs, it took 30 days to see the results.

And if you leverage this hack, make sure you use 301 redirects and you update all of your internal links to the new URL.

Hack #12: Subdirectories over subdomains

People love using subdomains, but Google passes more juice to subfolders. When I changed blog.crazyegg.com to crazyegg.com/blog, I saw an instant 11% increase in search traffic.

Now, it didn’t happen overnight, but it was close enough… I saw the results within 7 days. Same when I moved the blog on TimothySykes.com into a subfolder.

If you are going to use this hack, you also need to change your internal links to the new URL and, of course, 301 redirect the old URLs to the new ones.

Hack #13: Hreflang works better with subdomains

I know above I said subdirectories work better than subdomains, but that is not true when you are translating your content into different languages.

For example, if you are expanding your website into Portuguese for Brazil you are better off creating URL structure that is br.yourdomain.com than youdomain.com/br/.

I need to fix this on NeilPatel.com still, but when I tested this on 2 other sites that focused on the global market, one saw a 17% increase in international search traffic within 3 months and the other saw a 23% increase in international search traffic within 3 months.

Hack #14: Start with the Link Intersect

Links still matter when it comes to SEO. And it will for a very long time because it is becoming harder to build them.

The easiest way to build them is by using the Link Intersect feature by Ahrefs. What this Ahrefs feature does is it shows you everyone who links to your competitors but not you.

If someone is linking to 3 or 4 of your competitors, this tells you that they don’t mind linking out and there is a good chance you can get them to link to you.

Hack #15: It’s easier to build up a personal brand

From social profiles to blog traffic, people relate more to personal brands than they relate to corporate brands.

If you want more followers on your social profiles and you want to quickly grow your traffic fast, make everything around a personal brand.

But keep in mind, a personal brand is harder to sell and grow into a multi-billion dollar company.

Hack #16: The best way to get podcast listeners is through an exit popup

If you want more listeners for your podcast, the best way is to add an exit popup to your mobile site.

And on your mobile exit popup, ask people to subscribe to your podcast. Don’t use the same exit popup for all mobile devices, you should be sending people who use iPhones to the iTunes Store and people using Android to their version of the iTunes store.

Keep in mind that showing an exit popup on mobile devices is irritating, so wait at least 30 seconds before you show mobile users an exit popup.

Hack #17: LinkedIn prefers video

If you want to get the most attention from LinkedIn, upload videos instead of text-based content. Videos on LinkedIn get 2 to 3 times more engagement than text.

So, if you want more traffic from LinkedIn, upload videos.

And if you want more traffic from any social network, look to see what type of content they are lacking. If you provide them with that type of content, you’ll notice that your traffic will go up.

Hack #18: Journies and courses convert better than ebooks

Typically, most people offer ebooks in exchange for an email. And although it is more effective to give away an ebook in exchange for an email address than it is to ask people to opt into your newsletter, it still isn’t the best strategy.

If you offer a 30-day course or if you offer a journey, you’ll generate more email subscribers.

A good example of a 30-day course is, “30-Day Free Course: Double Your Traffic in 30 Days.” A good example of a journey is, “Follow My Journey to $100,000, I Am Learning a Lot and So Will You.”

Hack #19: Buying sites is cheaper than buying traffic

If you know certain pay-per-click terms convert extremely well, why not just buy a site that already ranks for all of those terms.

That’s what I did when I recently spent $500,000. I bought a website that already has traffic.

If you buy a site that already has the traffic, keep in mind that the traffic won’t convert as well as paid traffic.

With paid traffic, you are able to control your landing page more, limit the amount of text, and optimize for conversions. Nonetheless, it is still worth buying sites who already have your audience.

Hack #20: Quizzes collect more leads than lead forms

Most people collect leads by asking people to fill out lead forms. It’s not as effective as collecting leads through quizzes.

Here is a good example of this.

When I converted my lead form pages into a quiz, I increased my lead count by 281%.

If you don’t know how to create a lead generation quiz, you can always use tools like Lead Quizzes.

Hack #21: Tools generate more traffic than content marketing

The upfront cost is higher, but the long-term cost is significantly less.

For example, when I created the SEO Analyzer I put in around $25,000 in money and another $1,800 each month for hosting, but it consistently brings in 73,201 visitors a month.

Ubersuggest costs me more, but it brings in 492,394 visitors a month.

In general, tools are easier to maintain and are more affordable in the long run for how many visitors they generate.

Hack #22: Send paid traffic to content first

Marketing is like dating. You can’t expect to send cold traffic to a product or service and expect people to buy a high-ticket item.

You’ll find that paid advertising is much more effective and affordable for selling high ticket items if you send people to an educational piece of content such as a blog post. And then remarketing those visitors and then driving them to your product or service.

In the long run, this is cheaper if you are selling products for above $500 and it is more effective as paid ads to content are cheaper than paid ads to landing pages.

Hack #23: Facebook Info and Ads

Are you struggling to run Facebook Ads that convert and are profitable when you know your competitors are crushing it on Facebook? Well, struggle no more.

Go to your competitor’s fan page and in the left navigation bar click on “info and ads.” This will show you all of the ads that your competition is currently running.

Now when you create Facebook ads, start off by running similar ads to your competition. This will give you the best shot at success.

Hack #24: Respond to comments with a question

As I broke down in hack number 9, Facebook loves comments.

Another simple hack, which works for Facebook and every other social network, is to respond to comments answering their question and of course also asking another question.

This keeps the momentum going and it causes a portion of the people who left a comment to come back and leave another comment.

By doing this on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn, you will find yourself getting more reach for every single thing you share on each of those networks.

I know this hack sounds dumb, but it works really well and no one leverages it.

Hack #25: Don’t forget about the AMP framework

No one talks about Google’s AMP framework, but it is a simple way to get more mobile traffic.

If you are targeting traffic from the United States or even most parts of Europe like the UK or Germany, the AMP framework won’t give you a lift in traffic.

But if you are also targeting international markets where their infrastructure isn’t as great, AMP framework will give you a boost in search traffic.

For example, when I rolled out the AMP pages in Brazil, I got a 28% increase in mobile search traffic.

For markets where their infrastructure isn’t as developed and people rely on mobile devices, enabling the AMP framework will typically give you a 20 to 30% boost in mobile search traffic for those regions.

Hack #26: Webinars are the best way to sell ebooks and courses

If you want to monetize your blog, the best way is usually selling ebooks and courses. But driving people to a sales page to sell an ebook isn’t too effective.

Instead, if you create a webinar and then sell a $497 or $997 ebook/course, it is much more effective.

It’s so effective, in fact, that I am able to get 3.6 sales for every 100 webinar registrations. This video will teach you how to do it step-by-step.

Hack #27: Order bumps don’t hurt conversions, they help increase revenue

On your checkout page, you don’t just want people to buy, you want them to spend more money.

The easiest way to generate more revenue from each customer, without reducing your conversion rate, is order bumps.

As long as you make your order bump a really good deal, it can typically add $5 to $15 to every purchase on average.

If you don’t have an order bump, you should create one right away.

Hack #28: Share your content over and over again

You spend all of this time writing content, but then you spend very little time promoting it.

What most people do is write content and then share it on all of their social profiles. A few people send out email blasts notifying people about their content, which you should also do.

But if you want to double your social traffic, what I do is share the same piece of content 6 times throughout the next 12 months. In other words, retweet that content 6 times. Share the same post on LinkedIn a few times over the next 12 months.

As for Facebook, sharing the same URL over and over again doesn’t work, but the other social networks are fine with this.

This one simple hack has doubled the amount of traffic I get from social sites on a monthly basis. Best of all, no one really complains as the majority of your social connects won’t see the content the first time you post it.

Conclusion

I know some of the hacks I mentioned above seem simple, but they work. And if I had to bet you a dollar, you don’t do most of those “simple” hacks.

No matter what vertical you are marketing in, it’s competitive. You aren’t going to find one hack that’ll drastically increase your traffic. You’ll find that you need to do a lot of little things.

But don’t take them for granted because all of those little things add up to a massive amount of traffic over time.

What other hacks do you leverage to increase traffic and sales?

The post My Secret Playbook: 28 Hacks Guaranteed to Grow Your Traffic and Sales appeared first on Neil Patel.

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