Powering ecommerce success with the best tech stack

dotmailer recently gathered at the inaugural Shopify Plus meetup in New York City for an evening of fun, networking and education on this very topic. We brought together some big minds and bright ideas from retailers Minbie, dormify and Campus Protein to touch on firsthand lessons learned when negotiating contracts, getting the most out of your partner/vendor support teams, and learning about best-of-breed Shopify Plus technology partners (including Nosto, Addressy and TVPage).

The panel theme ‘Picking Your Ideal Tech Stack’ was moderated by Ben Staveley, dotmailer’s VP of Operations. One of the common pain points shared by the merchants was that they all have relatively small teams that need to wear a lot of hats. They offered some valuable tips that businesses of all sizes should consider when evaluating a technology solution.

When evaluating partners and their technology solutions, Russell Saks, CEO & Founder, Campus Protein, said:

The product needs to be one that is fairly intuitive. Before we actually schedule a demo it needs to be something that we are highly considering. Time is valuable and what typically follows is a lot of sales calls. We also evaluate what kind of extra customization we can add to an out-of-the-box piece of software. This allows us to have a better fit for our business and also gives us a competitive advantage. You have to remember everyone has the same access to the software that you do so it’s really how you utilize and fit it into your business that will truly give you that edge.

Our VP of Operations, Ben Staveley

Nicole Gardner, Chief Operating Officer, dormify suggested:

As partners evolve, others become irrelevant. We are always watching this so we are not wasting time/money as a company on non-performers. Look not just at what the tool does, but what is planned, how quickly the vendor/partner is releasing new features, and how often they have in the past. We expect everyone to be regularly releasing new features – in this day and age, an aggressive roadmap is essential.

 

According to Torquhil Anderson, Co Founder, Minbie:

There is always the temptation to gravitate towards the shiny new thing. Avoid this by applying a framework to rank which tools will actually move the needle most for your business. Once you have made your decision, don’t deliberate, just get in there and get your hands dirty. It’s only through testing the platform that you will truly see whether it adds value to your business.

To summarize the evening, merchants are looking to evaluate solutions that deliver the best ROI and those that continue to evolve as the needs of their eCommerce businesses evolve. For more information, check out why merchants are moving to Shopify Plus.

Not just education, we also said fun, right? Some refreshing Tipsy Scoop ice cream was a welcome treat on this hot summer night shared by many of our friends, partners and colleagues. We look forward to the next outing!

The post Powering ecommerce success with the best tech stack appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Content Marketing: What Are Blogging Best Practices for a B2B SaaS Startup Wishing to Generate Industry Visibility?

I … Continue reading “Content Marketing: What Are Blogging Best Practices for a B2B SaaS Startup Wishing to Generate Industry Visibility?”

The post Content Marketing: What Are Blogging Best Practices for a B2B SaaS Startup Wishing to Generate Industry Visibility? appeared first on OutreachMama.

Reblogged 1 month ago from www.outreachmama.com

5 of the best landing page designs I’ve seen (and why)

Let’s take length, for example. When it comes to landing page best practice, we know that both short and long forms perform well; it all depends on whether you want to generate a lot of (potentially) lower quality form submissions, or a smaller number of higher quality submissions.

Every page on your website needs to have a strategy, quantitative goals and a very specific business orientation to help your site to be found and to drive leads for your company.  Each of these pages needs to have a role in the prospect’s buyer journey. You want to have pages for people in the awareness stage, in the consideration stage and in the decision-making stage. This is where your landing pages come into play…

So, what is the difference between a landing page and a website? Landing pages are a form of a web page. They are usually intended for a very specific purpose such as a sign-up. The key difference is that they are simplified and have no distractions like websites do.

What makes a successful landing page?

I’ve listed 5 examples of the companies I consider having nailed their landing page design and the reasons why. If you want to improve upon your landing page design and strategy, it’s helpful to know what makes a great one and I’ve scoured the internet to devise this shortlist.

Zendesk

I like Zendesk’s Free Trial landing page because it’s simple in both copy and design. The two things that really stand out on the page are the CTA buttons and the egg drawing at the top; I like the way it wiggles as though it’s about to crack open. The form itself is simple and only requires a work email address and a password to create an account.

H.Bloom

This landing page is simply stunning and is a perfect example of just standing back and enjoying the simplicity and beauty. H.Bloom uses high-resolution photography and lots of white space, making it a pleasure to look at.

Beauty aside, the page has some great conversion elements; an ATF form, a clear and concise description of what will happen when you fill out the form, and a bright orange “submit” button.

Shopify

Shopify’s trial landing page keeps it simple. The user-oriented headline is just a few words and the page relies on simple bullets, not paragraphs, to communicate the trial’s details and benefits. There are only a few fields you need to fill out before you get started; all of this makes it easier for you to get to the point – selling online with their tool.

To top it off, this landing page looks gorgeous on any device you’re using. Responsive design for the win!

Barbour

Beachcomber Competition – May 2017

I loved the high-end photography and simple layout of this Barbour landing page, which was part of a competition the brand ran during May 2017. They were not afraid of using white space and followed a very structured grid system. The logo took a prominent position of top centre, with the image and text sitting side by side. The instruction is clear and the form is short so not to detract the end user. And who wouldn’t want to be in with a chance of winning Barbour products?

Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson is one of the most evocative brands in the world and I’m proud that they’ve made my top 5. The combination of interactive imagery, dropdown answer fields and checkboxes make the landing page succinct and provides a slick UX, thus giving users more time to tinker with their Harley. What I love most about this landing page is the edgy black and white styling; it’s striking and totally on brand.

Want some more landing page guidance?

Get a copy of our free landing pages guide which is full of best practice tips and inspiration.

The post 5 of the best landing page designs I’ve seen (and why) appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 4 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Tools and tips for data best practice

When sitting down to devise an email marketing strategy, it is always best to start from the very beginning. Review the core component of all emails: data; specifically the email address. Where has it come from? How did you get it? How clean is it?

Great quality data can act as rocket fuel to your email campaigns, which is no surprise when data sits at the core of all one-to-one marketing. But equally, bad data can severely affect your deliverability, particularly in light of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which is just around the corner.

Now would be the best time to review your data hygiene. Here are three dotmailer tools and tips to put you on the road to data best practice:

Watchdog

The Watchdog acts as the trusted guardian for your data when importing into dotmailer. Although the responsibility for the data very much remains with you (the data owner), the Watchdog screens all data imported into the platform and flags any questionable or risky content in order to protect your sender reputation.

It protects you on two levels:

  1. The Watchdog protects you from sending emails to any questionable data that’s been uploaded, ensuring high inbox placement and deliverability nurture.
  2. It also protects you from being affected by any other users sending to questionable data.

In summary, he’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Dark Knight A Data Watchdog.

GSL

Data can and will decay if it’s not properly monitored, soiling your once pristine database; the recipient could have moved companies; perhaps they’re a B2B organisation and have changed name; it could even be that the recipient has abandoned their email addresses, due to the sheer volume of emails they receive.

Continuing to send to these email addresses is dangerous for your business. At best, you’re delivering emails that go unopened, or that are hard-bouncing. At worst, the email address is reclaimed and turned into a spam trap – and you could quite easily be blacklisted.

This is where the dotmailer’s Global Suppression List (GSL) comes into play. It scans your existing database against a list of known bad email addresses and can suppress these before they do any damage to your sending reputation. You can regularly use the GSL to clean up your data – find out how to do so by clicking here.

Sun Setting Policies

The last item on the agenda is implementing sun-setting policies for long-term un-engaged customers. In essence, what you are doing is filtering your database of all the contacts that have not opened your emails for a set period to answer the question: ‘Does the recipient still want to receive my emails?’

You could reach out and ask them the following:

  • If they want to continue being a subscriber
  • Ask them to manage their email preferences
  • Show them some love with a discount or special incentive

If they still don’t open or respond the next question should be: ‘Are they really receiving any value from me?’ Your communications aren’t improving your relationship with this customer and, if anything, are probably having a negative impact. Maybe it is time to send a ‘We’ll miss you, but good bye for now’ email. This communication informs the customer that you’ll be removing them from your marketing communications to avoid any potential annoyance, which in turn, saves you sending any more emails that don’t add value to the customer (also a great way to avoid sending to a recycled spam trap). Be sure to include a link to your preference center and, perhaps, a direct newsletter signup box, so that the customer can reengage at any time.

Adopting these tools and tips demonstrates you take data hygiene seriously by keeping your data as clean as possible within dotmailer. Being pro-active and giving your recipients a choice demonstrates responsibility and builds trust. However, as laws and legislation concerning data evolve, so will the road to data best practice. It’s important to keep up to date with new rules and regulations.

Ultimately, keeping your customer at the heart of everything you do will ensure you stay above board and can continue to provide extraordinary brand experiences.

To find out more on deliverability best practice, take a look at our 5 minute cheatsheet!

 

The post Tools and tips for data best practice appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 6 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Follow these best practices to increase newsletter sign-ups

For your email newsletters to be effective, you need to reach a wide audience and appear relevant to all of the people in it. But the first step is to convince people to join your mailing list, by standing out in the sea of online marketers.

Opt-ins

Opt-ins are the gold standard of increasing sign-ups: they give your target audience the ability to choose whether or not to sign up for your email newsletter. They also provide you with numerous ways to lure people in, including:

  • On-page opt-ins: this option prompts site visitors to sign up while they’re browsing a page on your site.
  • Slide-up opt-ins: this opt-in slides up from the bottom of a website. It is minimally intrusive, can be displayed on every page, and gives the site visitor the option of closing it or responding.
  • Pop-ups: Popovers are everywhere, and for good reason—they work! With the right online tool, you can customize these pop-ups and decide what pages they appear on, when they appear and who they display for. They can take on many forms, including:
    • Standard pop-up stating the benefits of joining the list
    • Incentivized pop-up
    • Discount-led pop-up
    • Shopping cart-abandonment pop-up, encouraging the user to create an account

Remember, it’s important that no matter what type of opt-in you use, you should provide your subscribers with a double opt-in option. This means they not only opt in when they see the initial offer, but also they receive an email confirmation that they want to receive your newsletter.

By doing this, you are ensuring a loyal online newsletter reader who is more likely to remain subscribed and engaged. Additionally, it will reduce the number of people marking your email newsletters as spam.

Landing pages

Often, a potential subscriber wants to see what you have to offer before they make a decision to sign up for your email newsletter. You can create a landing page that’s specifically designed to show users what the benefits are for subscribers.

One of the best aspects of the email-specific landing page is you can direct all external traffic to this page, whether they are from web searches, social media, blogs, or another source. Keep this page short and sweet and let people know what they will be receiving in their inbox. Examples of what you can offer them include:

  • Coupons
  • Weekly tips
  • Product reviews
  • Interviews with experts
  • DIY/how-to guides
  • Anything else you include in your newsletter

Whether users are directed to these email-specific landing page or to other parts of your website, be sure to have call-to-action (CTA) buttons on every page. Doing so means you don’t miss out on any potential subscriber, no matter where on your site they’re browsing.

Offers

You can increase the number of sign-ups you have simply by giving potential subscribers special offers. These offers come in many forms and can be introduced on a range of platforms (e.g. your social media accounts), such as:

  • Coupons
  • Courses and webinars
  • Content downloads, such as whitepapers
  • Contests/sweepstakes
  • Rewards
  • Surveys
  • Referral offers

The key to online newsletter effectiveness is to be creative and use the technology at your disposal. The more distinctive you make each of these methods, the more successful you’ll be in gathering those engaged subscribers.

Check out our free list acquisition cheatsheet for more advice on collecting email addresses for your database.

The post Follow these best practices to increase newsletter sign-ups appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 9 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Simply the Best: 2016’s Top Content from the Moz Blog

Posted by FeliciaCrawford

Now that we’ve comfortably settled into the first two weeks of 2017, it’s time to revive an annual Moz Blog tradition: the Best of 2016 is here!

I’ve carefully collected data on all the posts, comments, and commenters you remarkable readers liked the most this past year, compiling it all into one big, beautiful blog post. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll rue the day you ever downloaded Pocket. But as we commence our journey into the insights and revelations of yesteryear, my sincere hope is that you’ll feel inspired. That you’ll learn something new, or reflect on what’s changed. That you’ll tack a new task onto your bucket list (“Become a Moz Top Commenter” is way more hip than traveling to all 7 continents, people).

Flip on some classic Tina Turner to set the mood and join me as we sift through what you decided was simply the best of 2016.

Table of Contents

  1. Top posts by 1Metric score
  2. Top posts by unique visits
  3. Top YouMoz posts by unique visits
  4. Top posts by number of thumbs up
  5. Top posts by number of comments
  6. Top community comments by thumbs up
  7. Top commenters by total thumbs up
  8. New: Category-specific RSS feeds!

1. The top 10 posts according to our 1Metric score

1Metric is our handy-dandy internal metric that measures how well a piece of content is doing. There were quite a few high scores in 2016, with a clear, strong trend toward core SEO topics. You might notice some posts making it onto a few different lists — consider those the absolute must-reads, and make sure you didn’t miss anything big!

1. 8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 29th
Are you guilty of living in the past? Using methods that were once tried-and-true can be alluring, but it can also prove dangerous to your search strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out eight old school SEO practices that you should ditch in favor of more effective and modern alternatives.
2. My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic by Cyrus Shepard, January 27th
“If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe.” Are you focusing too much on the content, rather than the user? In his last post as a Mozzer, Cyrus Shepard offers his single greatest SEO tip for improving your web traffic.
3. On-Page SEO in 2016: The 8 Principles for Success – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 13th
On-page SEO is no longer a simple matter of checking things off a list. There’s more complexity to this process in 2016 than ever before, and the idea of “optimization” both includes and builds upon traditional page elements. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores the eight principles you’ll need for on-page SEO success going forward.
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4. 301 Redirects Rules Change: What You Need to Know for SEO by Cyrus Shepard, August 1st
Google blew our minds when they said 3xx redirects no longer lose PageRank. Cyrus is here to give you the low-down on what this means for SEO.
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5. 10 Predictions for 2016 in SEO & Web Marketing by Rand Fishkin, January 5th
Rand examines the accuracy on his predictions for 2015 and, if he does well enough, taps into his psychic ability to predict 2016. Spoiler alert: He’s pretty accurate.
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6. 8 Rules for Choosing a Domain Name – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, July 15th
8 rules for choosing a domain name: Make it brandable, pronounceable, short, intuitive, bias to .com, avoid names that infringe on another company, use broad keywords, and if not available, modify.
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7. Can SEOs Stop Worrying About Keywords and Just Focus on Topics? – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, February 5th
Should you ditch keyword targeting entirely? There’s been a lot of discussion around the idea of focusing on broad topics and concepts to satisfy searcher intent, but it’s a big step to take and could potentially hurt your rankings. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses old-school keyword targeting and new-school concept targeting, outlining a plan of action you can follow to get the best of both worlds.
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8. Weird, Crazy Myths About Link Building in SEO You Should Probably Ignore – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, September 9th
From where to how to when, there are a number of erroneous claims about link building floating around the SEO world. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand sets the record straight on 8 of the more common claims he’s noticed lately.
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9. How Long Does Link Building Take to Influence Rankings? by Kristina Kledzik, August 21st
The eternal question: How much time does it take for a link to affect rankings? Kristina Kledzik breaks out the entire process from start to finish.
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10. SEO for Bloggers: How to Nail the Optimization Process for Your Posts – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, June 3rd
With the right process and a dose of patience, SEO success is always within reach — even if you’re running your own blog. Optimizing your blog posts begins as early as the inception of your idea, and from then on you’ll want to consider your keyword targeting, on-page factors, your intended audience, and more. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out a step-by-step process you can adopt to help increase search traffic to your blog over time.
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2. The top 10 blog posts by unique visits

Rand and his Whiteboard Fridays steal the show this year, with some fantastic cameos by our good friends Cyrus and Dr. Pete, and a promoted YouMoz post that’s worth its backlinks in gold.

One interesting thing to note: You really loved last year’s “Predictions for SEO” post. While 2016 was unpredictable on multiple levels, Rand still made the cut — be sure to check out his predictions for 2017, released just yesterday.

1. 8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 29th
Are you guilty of living in the past? Using methods that were once tried-and-true can be alluring, but it can also prove dangerous to your search strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out eight old school SEO practices that you should ditch in favor of more effective and modern alternatives.
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2. 8 Rules for Choosing a Domain Name – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, July 15th
8 rules for choosing a domain name: Make it brandable, pronounceable, short, intuitive, bias to .com, avoid names that infringe on another company, use broad keywords, and if not available, modify.
blogvisits2.png
3. My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic by Cyrus Shepard, January 27th
“If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe.” Are you focusing too much on the content, rather than the user? In his last post as a Mozzer, Cyrus Shepard offers his single greatest SEO tip for improving your web traffic.
blogvisits3.png
4. On-Page SEO in 2016: The 8 Principles for Success – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 13th
On-page SEO is no longer a simple matter of checking things off a list. There’s more complexity to this process in 2016 than ever before, and the idea of “optimization” both includes and builds upon traditional page elements. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores the eight principles you’ll need for on-page SEO success going forward.
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5. Title Tag Length Guidelines: 2016 Edition by Dr. Pete, May 31st
Google is testing a wider left-column, and with it, wider display titles. We dig into the data to see how long your titles should be. TL;DR? Stick to under 60 characters.
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6. 301 Redirects Rules Change: What You Need to Know for SEO by Cyrus Shepard, August 1st
Google blew our minds when they said 3xx redirects no longer lose PageRank. Cyrus is here to give you the low-down on what this means for SEO.
blogvisits6.png
7. 10 Predictions for 2016 in SEO & Web Marketing by Rand Fishkin, January 5th
Rand examines the accuracy on his predictions for 2015 and, if he does well enough, taps into his psychic ability to predict 2016. Spoiler alert: He’s pretty accurate.
blogvisits7.png
8. How to Achieve 100/100 with the Google Page Speed Test Tool by Felix Tarcomnicu, April 3rd
The website loading speed is imperative for the overall user experience, and it’s also one of the hundreds of SEO ranking factors. The truth is that nowadays, people don’t have the patience to wait more than five seconds for a page to load. If your website is not loading fast enough, you will lose potential customers.
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9. Targeted Link Building in 2016 – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, January 29th
SEO has much of its roots in the practice of targeted link building. And while it’s no longer the only core component involved, it’s still a hugely valuable factor when it comes to rank boosting. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand goes over why targeted link building is still relevant today and how to develop a process you can strategically follow to success.
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10. How to Create 10x Content – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, March 18th
Have you ever actually tried to create 10x content? It’s not easy, is it? Knowing how and where to start can often be the biggest obstacle you’ll face. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand talks about how good, unique content is going to die, and how you can develop your own 10x content to help it along.
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3. The top 10 YouMoz posts by unique visits

Late in 2016, we lost another old friend. And while YouMoz can’t claim to have sung the best song about an astronaut you’ll ever hear, we still loved it dearly while it was with us. Retiring our process for community contributions was a hard but ultimately necessary decision, and while we hope to have a newer, sleeker process in place someday, let’s take a moment to revisit the most popular posts from the final year of YouMoz.

1. How to Use Six Google Analytics Reports to Complete a Website Content Audit by Daniel Hochuli, February 18th
In this article, I will show you how a content audit with six important Google Analytics reports can help you make some smart decisions about the health of your current site, what your audience wants from your content, and how you can benchmark your performance for future content marketing efforts.
2. How to Find and Fix Structured Data Markup Errors via the Google Search Console by Al Gomez, April 7th
Make your content easier for the search bots to read by eliminating data markup errors from your website.
3. 5 Essential E-Commerce Rich Snippets for Your Store by Aleh Barysevich, February 2nd
When it comes to online marketing bang for your buck, rich snippets are hard to beat.
4. 5 YouTube Tools to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts by Ann Smarty, March 3rd
YouTube marketing can be overwhelming. Ann Smarty shares her favorite video marketing tools that let you discover more opportunities and allow you to achieve better results.
5. Here’s How to Automate Google Analytics Reporting with Google Sheets by Gabriele Toninelli, February 25th
When it comes to automating your Google Analytics reporting, Google Sheets is your friend.
6. How to Perform an Image Optimization Audit by Ryan Ayres, January 20th
Have you made image optimization a priority for your website? If not, there’s no time like the present.
7. Here’s How My 5-Step YouTube Optimization Strategy Generated 5,121,327 Views by Amir Jaffari, January 28th
In this article, Amir Jaffari explains how following a 5-step process enabled him to increase his annotation CTR by 22,400% (from 0.2% to 45%), how he received 150,000 views from annotations, and how this resulted in millions of views.
8. Hacking Facebook’s Local Awareness Ads: 5 Advanced Tips by Garrett Mehrguth, January 26th
For years, local businesses relied solely on direct mail, stickers, flyers, referrals, and word of mouth. These were the life-blood of their business. Now, in the digital age, we can replace these tactics with a more affordable digital channel that has the power to bolster all of our other marketing channels.
9. 10 Simple Steps for Creating a Blog Your Readers Will Adore by Martina Mercer, March 21st
The keys to making your blog a success is knowing who’ll be reading it and what they desire in the way of content.
10. Here’s How to Visually Map a Content Strategy by Katy Katz, June 13th
When it comes to building a content strategy to guide your brand, seeing is believing, so creating a visual roadmap can help mightily.

4. The top 10 posts by number of thumbs up

If the heated debate in 2016 was whether technical SEO was necessary or important, the trends here suggest an answer: it is. While you’ll see some overlap with our top posts by 1Metric here, be sure you don’t miss Dave Sottimano’s challenging (yet rewarding) task list for Junior SEOs or Mike King’s masterpiece analysis of the technical SEO renaissance.

1. My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic by Cyrus Shepard, January 27th
“If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe.” Are you focusing too much on the content, rather than the user? In his last post as a Mozzer, Cyrus Shepard offers his single greatest SEO tip for improving your web traffic.
2. On-Page SEO in 2016: The 8 Principles for Success – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 13th
On-page SEO is no longer a simple matter of checking things off a list. There’s more complexity to this process in 2016 than ever before, and the idea of “optimization” both includes and builds upon traditional page elements. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand explores the eight principles you’ll need for on-page SEO success going forward.
3. Can SEOs Stop Worrying About Keywords and Just Focus on Topics? – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, February 5th
Should you ditch keyword targeting entirely? There’s been a lot of discussion around the idea of focusing on broad topics and concepts to satisfy searcher intent, but it’s a big step to take and could potentially hurt your rankings. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand discusses old-school keyword targeting and new-school concept targeting, outlining a plan of action you can follow to get the best of both worlds.
4. 8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 29th
Are you guilty of living in the past? Using methods that were once tried-and-true can be alluring, but it can also prove dangerous to your search strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out eight old school SEO practices that you should ditch in favor of more effective and modern alternatives.
5. Weird, Crazy Myths About Link Building in SEO You Should Probably Ignore – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, September 9th
From where to how to when, there are a number of erroneous claims about link building floating around the SEO world. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand sets the record straight on 8 of the more common claims he’s noticed lately.
6. Linking Internally and Externally from Your Site – Dangers, Opportunities, Risk and Reward – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 15th
Navigating linking practices can be a treacherous process. Sometimes it feels like a penalty is lurking around every corner. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand talks about the ins and outs of linking internally and externally, identifying pitfalls and opportunities both.
7. Targeted Link Building in 2016 – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, January 29th
SEO has much of its roots in the practice of targeted link building. And while it’s no longer the only core component involved, it’s still a hugely valuable factor when it comes to rank boosting. In this week’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand goes over why targeted link building is still relevant today and how to develop a process you can strategically follow to success.
8. An Essential Training Task List for Junior SEOs by David Sottimano, August 10th
With 5 detailed projects that drag you through the technical trenches, this customizable training program for Junior SEOs should put you on the road to skill mastery (and a nice career edge) in just a couple of months.
9. The Technical SEO Renaissance: The Whys and Hows of SEO’s Forgotten Role in the Mechanics of the Web by Michael King, October 25th
Technical SEO is more complicated and more important than ever before, while much of the SEO discussion has shied away from its growing technical components in favor of content marketing. Mike King makes a compelling case for exactly why and how a returned focus on technical SEO will rejuvenate and revolutionize the search game.
10. A Step-by-Step Process for Discovering and Prioritizing the Best Keywords – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, May 6th
Rand outlines a straightforward and actionable 4-step process (including an array of tools to check out) for uncovering and prioritizing the best keywords for your SEO campaigns.

5. The top 10 posts by comment volume

By the end of 2016, commenting on the Moz Blog took a sharp 180°. We implemented sophisticated filters to catch a higher volume of spam, with even more improvements in the works. I declared it my personal quest to improve comment quality (I can only deny so many invitations to join the Illuminati before it starts to get freaky), and we worked to spark creative discussion from the get-go.

Without further ado, I give you the top blog posts in 2016 that struck a chatty chord:

1. My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic by Cyrus Shepard, January 27th
“If content is king, then the user is queen, and she rules the universe.” Are you focusing too much on the content, rather than the user? In his last post as a Mozzer, Cyrus Shepard offers his single greatest SEO tip for improving your web traffic.
2. 8 Old School SEO Practices That Are No Longer Effective – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 29th
Are you guilty of living in the past? Using methods that were once tried-and-true can be alluring, but it can also prove dangerous to your search strategy. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand spells out eight old school SEO practices that you should ditch in favor of more effective and modern alternatives.
3. Weird, Crazy Myths About Link Building in SEO You Should Probably Ignore – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, September 9th
From where to how to when, there are a number of erroneous claims about link building floating around the SEO world. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand sets the record straight on 8 of the more common claims he’s noticed lately.
4. Linking Internally and Externally from Your Site – Dangers, Opportunities, Risk and Reward – Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin, April 15th
Navigating linking practices can be a treacherous process. Sometimes it feels like a penalty is lurking around every corner. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand talks about the ins and outs of linking internally and externally, identifying pitfalls and opportunities both.
5. How to Build a Facebook Funnel That Converts – Whiteboard Friday by Ryan Stewart, October 14th
Are you getting the most out of your Facebook ads? In this guest-hosted Whiteboard Friday, Ryan Stewart outlines his process for using remarketing and targeted content creation to boost conversions.
6. How Long Does Link Building Take to Influence Rankings? by Kristina Kledzik, August 21st
The eternal question: How much time does it take for a link to affect rankings? Kristina Kledzik breaks out the entire process from start to finish.
7. Accidental SEO Tests: How 301 Redirects Are Likely Impacting Your Brand by Brian Wood, January 19th
Those 301 redirects could be more costly to your brand than you previously imagined. Brian Wood dives into the results of an accidental SEO test that turned out to be serendipitous.
8. The 9 Most Common Local SEO Myths, Dispelled by Joy Hawkins, April 19th
Have you taken any of these statements as truth? In this post, Google My Business Top Contributor Joy Hawkins shares and debunks the Local SEO myths she runs into most frequently.
9. 301 Redirects Rules Change: What You Need to Know for SEO by Cyrus Shepard, August 1st
Google blew our minds when they said 3xx redirects no longer lose PageRank. Cyrus is here to give you the low-down on what this means for SEO.
10. Four Ads on Top: The Wait Is Over by Dr. Peter J. Meyers, February 19th
In a 2-week timeframe, Google AdWords top ad blocks with 4 ads jumped from 1% to 36%, and right-column ads disappeared entirely (moving to the bottom-left position).

6. The top 10 community comments by thumbs up

One of the best things about the Moz Blog is what happens in the comments section. You folks support each other immensely, and that’s nowhere as apparent as in how you interact. The top comments from 2016 tended to be on the longer side, thoughtful, TAGFEE, and full of love and concern for our Moz community when times got rough. These are the top comments from 2016, as voted by you.

1. Gianluca Fiorelli | August 17th
Commented on Moz is Doubling Down on Search
2. Gianluca Fiorelli | February 5th
Commented on Can SEOs Stop Worrying About Keywords and Just Focus on Topics? – Whiteboard Friday
3. Rand Fishkin | March 28th
Commented on Are Keywords Really Dead? An Experiment
4. Mark Jackson | August 17th
Commented on Moz is Doubling Down on Search
5. Devendra Saxena | February 19th
Commented on Four Ads on Top: The Wait Is Over
6. Gianluca Fiorelli | March 18th
Commented on How to Create 10x Content – Whiteboard Friday
7. Tomek Obirek | April 15th
Commented on Linking Internally and Externally from Your Site – Dangers, Opportunities, Risk and Reward – Whiteboard Friday
8. Gianluca Fiorelli | August 2nd
Commented on Wake Up, SEOs – the NEW New Google is Here
9. Gianluca Fiorelli | January 27th
Commented on My Single Best SEO Tip for Improved Web Traffic
10. Wil Reynolds | September 8th
Commented on The Future of the Moz Community

7. The top 10 community member commenters by total thumbs up

When you’re in charge of the Moz Blog, you get to know your regular commenters. These folks put a great deal of time and effort into stating facts, asking questions, and more than anything else, reading. Say hello to the top community commenters of 2016 by total thumbs up earned!

1. Shalu Singh, username Shalusingh
MozPoints:

505 | Rank:

214

2. Larry Kim, username larry.kim
MozPoints: 2,809 | Rank: 34
3. Samuel Scott, username

SamuelScott
MozPoints:

3,694 | Rank: 25

4. Mustansar Iqbal, username Ikkie
MozPoints: 1,026 | Rank: 127
5. Joe Robison, username

Joe.Robison
MozPoints:

1,218 | Rank: 111

6. Joy Hawkins, username

JoyHawkins
MozPoints: 580 | Rank: 190

7. Tom Capper, username

Tom.Capper
MozPoints:

905 | Rank:

134

8. Tomas Vaitulevicius, username

TomasVaitulevicius
MozPoints:

200 | Rank:

566

9. Alexandra Tachalova, username

Alex-T
MozPoints:

468 | Rank:

224

10. Jennifer Slegg, username

jenstar
MozPoints:

784 | Rank:

147

Category-specific RSS feeds (Whiteboard Friday fans, rejoice!)

Historically, the only way to subscribe to Moz Blog updates via RSS feed was to commit to the entire thing — every post, every topic, even if you were only into content marketing and didn’t care a fig for anything technical.

That was back in 2016, though. In this bold new odd-numbered world, we now have RSS feeds for our most popular categories. Whiteboard Friday devotees, it’s time to party.

Here’s a list of feeds you can now subscribe to; if you have a desire to follow a category we haven’t covered here, let me know in the comments and we may be able to make it a reality. (Key word: may. I’m only a Level 5 blog mage, after all.)


Onward and upward!

Thanks to everyone who works and plays so hard to keep the Moz community thriving; this place could never be what it is without our readers, commenters, authors, and behind-the-scenes Mozzers. Much earnest thanks to Moz Blog veteran Trevor Klein for some key SQL help, which made my life while writing this post easier by leaps and bounds.

I can’t wait to see what our next year brings. Hope to see you somewhere on this list come 2018!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 9 months ago from tracking.feedpress.it

Top 10 site search best practices for the Holidays

This winter, ensure that every aspect of your business is prepared for shoppers so you can have a high impact and low-stress holiday season by following these simple site search best practices.

1. Include autocomplete
Autocomplete is a great addition to an ecommerce site as it works by completing a word in the search box while the customer types and provides intuitive, relevant, and error-tolerant search suggestions. Autocomplete can also help detect and correct spelling mistakes, as well as guide consumers to the right product regardless if a mistake was made. Retailers can also use autocomplete to promote certain products of higher margin or products they’d like to sell quickly throughout the holiday season by pushing them to the top of their autocompletion suggestion box as recommendations to shoppers.

 

 

2. Improve site search with synonyms
By properly configuring synonyms into your site search, you’ll not only be able to quickly drive revenue to your online store but you’ll also be able to ensure that your customers can always find exactly what they’re searching for regardless of what they search. Being aware of synonyms isimportant to your on-site search so that you can always provide your customers with accurate results regardless of the language customers use in their searches.

Through Nextopia’s advanced search tools, you have the ability to set up “synonym redirects” which will automatically direct a customer to products they were searching for regardless of the product name. For example, if you run a shoe store and none of your products have the keyword “sneakers” in them, you can manually set up a redirect so every search for “sneaker” goes to the results page for “running shoe”.

By configuring synonyms, you’ll can reduce how much your customers visit the dreaded “no results found page” directing your customers to the products you offer, reducing customer frustration and thereby creating an exceptional user experience.

3. Easy-to-locate search bar
The search box is an often overlooked feature of an ecommerce store, despite how powerful it is. A retailer’s site search box is the pathway to improved sales, better user experience, and most importantly, higher average order value and conversions. Ensure your search bar is easy to locate by keeping it front and center and on every page of your site.

4. Have a mobile-optimized site

 

In 2015, 36.16% of online sales were generated via mobile devices and this figure is only expected to grow over time.  Consumers are now turning to their smartphones to research deals, products and reviews, and for the sheer convenience. Make sure your product pages are optimized for smaller screens, your search box is easy to locate and use, and that site text and product images display correctly on mobile devices.

5. Use product images effectively
To further enhance the online shopping experience, it’s important to include images of your products in your search results so your site visitors can see your products without having to search through your product pages. Make sure that your product photos are clear in thumbnail form, and are flattering to your product. The chances of a customer buying increases when images are displayed along with a product description. Showing product images along with suggested search terms in your autocomplete can help further turn browsers into buyers.

6. Site navigation
Site navigation allows customers to refine their search results without having to use the search bar again. You can refine and sort your products by any attribute you’d like, such as by price, color, size, gender, brand, or any otherrefinements that best describe your product offerings. Enhancing your navigation will help bring your customers to their desired items much more efficiently, which results in higher conversions, happier customers, and more revenue.

7. Ask for customer feedback
Taking the time to ask your loyal customers for feedback will provide you with valuable insight into your website’s performance. You can get this information simply by asking “Did you find this search useful?” with a link to a survey somewhere on your results page, or by adding “How’s our navigation?” below your dynamic filters.
By listening to your customers, you’re ensuring that your site is catering to exactly the right group — the people who are actually using it.

8. Improve ‘no results found’ page
If you don’t sell an item your customer is searching for or perhaps it’s currently out of stock, rather than sending them to the ‘no results found’ page improve the experience by providing them with other calls of action. Provide them with product recommendations that they might find interesting and relevant or links back to the homepage, category pages, or the contact us page. This will help eliminate your site visitors leaving to go search on a competitor’s site.

9. Include category pages
For the holiday season, take the time to create some category pages that cater to your holiday shoppers. For example, highlight the deals and promotions on your site by creating a festive clearance page. This will drive your low-cost items to one page and help your customers access these products more efficiently.

10. Customer ratings and reviews
Seeking out online reviews and ratings has become a standard part of the buying process for consumers, which is why retailers need to include them. A positive customer review can become the powerful social proof that shoppers are looking for when making an online purchase, and considering 63% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has user reviews this needs to be a feature that’s added to all ecommerce sites.

These next few weeks are going to be crucial for retailers. Ensure your ecommerce site is ready for the influx of traffic and by following the best practices listed in this post. With only a few shopping weeks left, there’s no better time to improve your site search and in turn increase your sales and conversions this holiday season.

The post Top 10 site search best practices for the Holidays appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 10 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com