LinkedIn Updates, New Facebook Ads, and the New Facebook Design

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore LinkedIn updates with Erik Fisher, new Facebook ads with Amanda Bond, the new Facebook design,

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LinkedIn Updates, New Facebook Ads, and the New Facebook Design

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show with Michael Stelzner, we explore LinkedIn updates with Erik Fisher, new Facebook ads with Amanda Bond, the new Facebook design,

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– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

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The Perfect Blog Post Length and Publishing Frequency is B?!!$#÷x – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

The perfect blog post length or publishing frequency doesn’t actually exist. “Perfect” isn’t universal — your content’s success depends on tons of personalized factors. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains why the idea of “perfect” is baloney when it comes to your blog, and lists what you should actually be looking for in a successful publishing strategy.

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the perfect blog post length and frequency

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about blog posts and, more broadly, content length and publishing frequency.

So these are things where a lot of the posts that you might read, for example, if you were to Google “ideal blog post length” or “ideal publishing frequency” will give you data and information that come from these sources of here’s the average length of content of the top 10 results in Google across a 5,000-keyword set, and you can see that somewhere between 2,350 and 2,425 words is the ideal length, so that’s what you should aim for.

I am going to call a big fat helping if baloney on that. It’s not only dead wrong, it’s really misleading. In fact, I get frustrated when I see these types of charts used to justify this information, because that’s not right at all.

When you see charts/data like this used to provide prescriptive, specific targets for content length, ask:

Any time you see this, if you see a chart or data like this to suggest, hey, this is how long you should make a post because here’s the length of the average thing in the top 10, you should ask very careful questions like:

1. What set of keywords does this apply to? Is this a big, broad set of 5,000 keywords, and some of them are navigational and some of them are informational and some of them are transactional and maybe a few of them are ecommerce keywords and a few of them are travel related and a few of them are in some other sector?

Because honestly, what does that mean? That’s sort of meaningless, right? Especially if the standard deviation is quite high. If we’re talking about like, oh, well many things that actually did rank number one were somewhere between 500 words and 15,000 words. Well, so what does the average tell me? How is that helpful? That’s not actually useful or prescriptive information. In fact, it’s almost misleading to make that prescriptive.

2. Do the keywords that I care about, the ones that I’m targeting, do they have similar results? Does the chart look the same? If you were to take a sample of let’s say 50 keywords that you cared about and you were to get the average content length of the top 10 results, would it resemble that? Would it not? Does it have a high standard deviation? Is there a big delta because some keywords require a lot of content to answer them fully and some keywords require very, very small amounts of content and Google has prioritized accordingly? Is it wise, then, to aim for the average when a much larger article would be much more appreciated and be much more likely to succeed, or a much shorter one would do far better? Why are you aiming for this average if that’s the case?

3. Is correlation the same as causation? The answer is hell no. Never has been. Big fat no. Correlation doesn’t even necessarily imply causation. In fact, I would say that any time you’re looking at an average, especially on this type of stuff, correlation and causation are totally separate. It is not because the number one result is 2,450 words that it happens to rank number one. Google does not work that way. Never has, never will.

INSTEAD of trusting these big, unknown keyword set averages, you should: A. look at your keywords and your search results and what’s working versus not in those specific ones.

B. Be willing to innovate, be willing to say, “Hey, you know what? I see this content today, the number one, number two, number three rankings are in these sorts of averages. But I actually think you can answer this with much shorter content and many searchers would appreciate it.” I think these folks, who are currently ranking, are over-content creating, and they don’t need to be.

C. You should match your goals and your content goals with searcher goals. That’s how you should determine the length that you should put in there. If you are trying to help someone solve a very specific problem and it is an easily answerable question and you’re trying to get the featured snippet, you probably don’t need thousands of words of content. Likewise, if you are trying to solve a very complex query and you have a ton of resources and information that no one else has access to, you’ve done some really unique work, this may be way too short for what you’re aiming for.

All right. Let’s switch over to publishing frequency, where you can probably guess I’m going to give you similar information. A lot of times you’ll see, “How often should I publish? Oh, look, people who publish 11 times or more per month, they get way more traffic than people who publish only once a month. Therefore, clearly, I should publish 11 or more times a month.”

Why is the cutoff at 11? Does that make any sense to you? Are these visits all valuable to all the companies that were part of whatever survey was in here? Did one blog post account for most of the traffic in the 11 plus, and it’s just that the other 10 happened to be posts where they were practicing or trying to get good, and it was just one that kind of shot out of the park there?

See a chart like this? Ask:

1. Who’s in the set of sites analyzed? Are they similar to me? Do they target a similar audience? Are they in my actual sector? What’s the relative quality of the content? How savvy and targeted are the efforts at earning traffic? Is this guy over here, are we sure that all 11 posts were just as good as the one post this person created? Because if not, I’m comparing apples and oranges.

2. What’s the quality of the traffic? What’s the value of the traffic? Maybe this person is getting a ton of really valuable traffic, and this person over here is getting very little. You can’t tell from a chart like this, especially when it’s averaged in this way.

3. What things might matter more than raw frequency?

  • Well, matching your goals to your content schedule. If one of your goals is to build up subscribers, like Whiteboard Friday where people know it and they’ve heard of it, they have a brand association with it, it’s called Whiteboard Friday, it should probably come out once a week on Friday. There’s a frequency implied in the content, and that makes sense. But you might have goals that only demand publishing once a quarter or once a month or once a week or once every day. That’s okay. But you should tie those together.
  • Consistency, we have found, is almost always more important than raw frequency, especially if you’re trying to build up that consistent audience and a subscriber base. So I would focus on that, not how I should publish more often, but I should publish more consistently so that people will get used to my publishing schedule and will look forward to what I have to say, and also so that you can build up a cadence for yourself and your organization.
  • Crafting posts that actually earn attention and amplification and help your conversion funnel goals, whatever those might be, over raw traffic. It’s far better if this person got 50 new visits who turned into 5 new paying customers, than this person who published 11 posts and got 1 new paying customer out of all 11. That’s a lot more work and expense for a lot less ROI. I’d be careful about that.

*ASIDE:

One aside I would say about publishing frequency. If you’re early stage, or if you were trying to build a career in blogging or in publishing, it’s great to publish a lot of content. Great writers become great because they write a lot of terrible crap, and then they improve. The same is true with web publishers.

If you look at Whiteboard Friday number one, or a blog post number one from me, you’re going to see pretty miserable stuff. But over time, by publishing quite a bit, I got better at it. So if that is your goal, yes, publishing a lot of content, more than you probably need, more than your customers or audience probably needs, is good practice for you, and it will help you get better.

All right, everyone. Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Whiteboard Friday. We’ll see you again next week. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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How to Optimize Your Facebook Ads: A Proven Approach

Want to improve the performance of your Facebook campaigns? Wondering how to successfully test and fine-tune your Facebook ads? To explore his process for optimizing Facebook ads, I interview Azriel Ratz. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy

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How to Find Out What Keywords Are Relevant to Your Business

How to Find Out What Keywords Are Relevant to Your Business

Keyword research is everything for the average business. This article describes how to go about it.

The right keywords can bring the right people to your business—and by investing your time in keywords research, you can identify popular search terms your customers are using and learn more about what goes on in their mind. Try putting yourself in their shoes and you’re one step closer to finding terms that can get you ranked in search engines.

If you’re still in the first stages of figuring out how to get discovered in search results, this article will help you as it outlines the top ways to find relevant keywords to your business. You can then implement these keywords into your website and campaigns to attract the right kind of visitors and leads.

1. Brainstorm first

Start first by writing down the list of terms and phrases that your target customers are most likely to use.

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Facebook Live Tools: An Essential Checklist for Creators

Wondering what tools and desktop software you need to produce a Facebook Live show? Looking for a guide to tech setup and pre-show production? In this article, you’ll discover how to manage the technical side of a Facebook Live show. #1: Gather the Equipment You Need for Your Live Broadcast During any Facebook Live show,

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How to Use LinkedIn Native Video

Do you want more video views from LinkedIn? Wondering how uploading native video can help? Using the mobile app to record and share original, autoplay video directly on LinkedIn can boost views and engagement for your content. In this article, you’ll discover how to upload and share native video on LinkedIn via the mobile app.

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Own Your Errors and Do Not Fauxpologize

Own Your Errors and Do Not Fauxpologize

You can’t fix a problem that’s already happened. You don’t have a time machine. But every time you make a mistake, you have complete and total control over what happens next.

Yet, time and again, when businesses mess up, their leaders blow it when it’s time to ask for forgiveness.

And we WANT to forgive. We’re a forgiving society in every regard and respect. Which is why it’s puzzling and frustrating that so many people seem to have an Apology Allergy that takes a bad situation and makes it worse.

Of course, in recent months, the classic apology allergy example is United Airlines. When airport police officers forcibly drag a passenger from your aircraft, you should apologize fast and without equivocation. Instead, United first blamed the passenger. Then, after they were pilloried in social media and beyond, they offered a feeble apology and admitted the flight had been overbooked.

When the crowd still wasn’t buying it, United’s chief executive released a formal apology to passengers who sat through the experience. Several equally embarrassing missteps later, United executives had an epiphany (thanks to boycotting customers and partners). In a final statement, the company took “full responsibility” for a situation it admitted shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It took them days to apologize right.

Don’t Fauxpologize

When an angry mob is marching your way, the natural reaction is to either run away or fight back. It’s understandable. But shouldn’t CEOs know better? Some CEOs might avoid apologizing out of fear that their words might appear to be a legal admission of guilt, but that’s a gross oversimplification of the law. Any prosecutor worth her salt knows proving liability involves more than holding up an “I apologize wholeheartedly” tweet in front of a judge.

If you or your CEO enjoys conflict, you could always decide to argue instead of apologizing. This might sound like a worse option than simply saying nothing, but it happens all the time. Denis Grisak, the founder of Garadget, decided to retaliate after a customer left negative reviews of his company online. Grisak opted to sever the angry customer’s server connection, meaning the customer was effectively unable to open his garage door. Not a good plan.

A Satisfactory Sorry

As bad as United’s apology was, it’s certainly not endemic to their industry, as competitor Southwest Airlines is a particularly sound example of how to apologize the right way.

In 2016, a technology failure left thousands of Southwest flights—and paying customers—grounded. Instead of hiding its head in the sand or trying to deflect the blame, Southwest executives faced the complaints directly by using Facebook Live. It might seem like a gamble, but the live broadcast notched more than 800,000 views and received nearly nine times more likes than angry emojis.

Elon Musk is also a great case study in how to apologize well. A Tesla driver who was upset about the wait time to charge his vehicle tweeted at Musk, and the Tesla CEO offered a direct response within 20 minutes. The apology didn’t stop there, as six days later Tesla developed a system to streamline the long lines plaguing some of its charging stations.

In less than a week, Musk made a major change that benefits countless Tesla customers. He helped himself and his company come across as accountable and open to consumer feedback.

Apologies Create Advocacy

Customer service and efforts to remedy mistakes are powerful tools to create devoted brand advocates. Customers are more likely to do business with companies that can solve their problems, and they’re incredibly loyal to those companies.

My research with Edison Research for my book, Hug Your Haters, found that ignoring irate customers reduces loyalty and advocacy by up to 50 percent. At the same time, addressing these issues promotes loyalty and advocacy by as much as 25 percent. Even if you aren’t able to completely solve their problems, these customers will be more faithful to your company simply because you responded and were genuinely sorry.

Stop looking for ways to not apologize or to pass blame or to half-heartedly say you’re sorry. If you screwed up, own it. It’s amazing how far that goes in creating customer loyalty.

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5 Tips to Help Show ROI from Local SEO

Posted by JoyHawkins

Earlier this year, when I was first writing my advanced local SEO training, I reached out to some users who work for local SEO agencies and asked them what they’d like more training on. The biggest topic I got as a result was related to tracking and reporting value to small business owners.

My clients will often forward me reports from their prior SEO company, expressing that they have no idea what they were getting for their money. Some of the most common complaints I see with these reports are:

  • Too much use of marketing lingo (“Bounce Rate,” “CTR,” etc.)
  • Way too much data
  • No representation of what impact the work done had on the business itself (did it get them more customers?)

If a small business owner is giving you hundreds or thousands of dollars every month, how do you prove to them they’re getting value from it? There’s a lot to dig into with this topic — I included a full six pages on it in my training. Today I wanted to share some of the most successful tips that I use with my own clients.

1. Stop sending automated Google Analytics reports

If the goal is to show the customer what they’re getting from their investment, you probably won’t achieve it by simply sending them an Analytics report each month. Google Analytics is a powerful tool, but it only looks awesome to you because you’re a marketer. Over the past year, I’ve looked at many monthly reports that made my head spin — it’s just too much data. The average SMB isn’t going to be able to look at those reports and figure out how their bounce rate decreasing somehow means you’re doing a great job at SEO.

2. Make conversions the focus of your report

What does the business owner care about? Hint: it’s not how you increased the ranking for one of their 50 tracked keywords this month. No, what they care about is how much additional business you drove to their business. This should be the focus of the report you send them. Small business call conversions

3. Use dynamic number insertion to track calls

If you’re not already doing this, you’re really killing your ability to show value. I don’t have a single SEO or SEM client that isn’t using call tracking. I use Call Tracking Metrics, but CallRail is another one that works well, too. This allows you to see the sources of incoming calls. Unlike slapping a call tracking number on your website, dynamic number insertion won’t mess up NAP consistency.

The bonus here is that you can set up these calls as goals in Google Analytics. Using the Landing Page report, you can see which pages on the site were responsible for getting that call. Instead of saying, “Hey customer, a few months ago I created this awesome page of content for you,” you can say “Hey customer, a few months ago, I added this page to your site and as a result, it’s got you 5 more calls.”
Conversion goal completion in Google Analytics

4. Estimate revenue

I remember sitting in a session a couple years ago when Dev Basu from Powered by Search told me about this tactic. I had a lightbulb moment, wondering why the heck I didn’t think to do this before.

The concept is simple: Ask the client what the average lifetime value of their customer is. Next, ask them what their average closing ratio is on Internet leads. Take those numbers and, based on the number of conversions, you can calculate their estimated revenue.

Formula: Lifetime Value of a Customer x Closing Ratio (%) x Number of Conversions = Estimated Revenue

Bonus tip: Take this a step further and show them that for every dollar they pay you, you make them $X. Obviously, if the lifetime value of the customer is high, these numbers look a lot better. For example, an attorney could look like this:Example monthly ROI for an attorneyWhereas an insurance agent would look like this:
Example monthly ROI for an insurance agent

5. Show before/after screenshots, not a ranking tracker.

I seriously love ranking trackers. I spend a ton of time every week looking at reports in Bright Local for my clients. However, I really believe ranking trackers are best used for marketers, not business owners. How many times have you had a client call you freaking out because they noticed a drop in ranking for one keyword? I chose to help stop this trend by not including ranking reports in my monthly reporting and have never regretted that decision.

Instead, if I want to highlight a significant ranking increase that happened as a result of SEO, I can do that by showing the business owner a visual — something they will actually understand. This is where I use Bright Local’s screenshots; I can see historically how a SERP used to look versus how it looks now.

At the end of the day, to show ROI you need to think like a business owner, not a marketer. If your goals match the goals of the business owner (which is usually to increase calls), make sure that’s what you’re conveying in your monthly reporting.

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