Tutorials and tips on How To Rank My Website.
This post was published by Neil Patel.
If you’ve spent any time learning about marketing analytics, you’ve probably come across the term “funnels.” What exactly are marketing funnels and why do they matter?
Marketing funnels are a useful tool to help you visualize the path customers take from first finding out about your brand to converting. Understanding them provides useful insight into why some customers convert — and some don’t.
What Are Marketing Funnels?
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the steps a visitor takes from first finding out about your brand until they convert. The most common type of marketing funnel is four steps:
- Attention: A prospective customer sees your ad, social media post, or hear about you from a friend.
- Interest: They think you can solve a problem and wants to learn more.
- Desire: The prospect has done their research and wants to convert.
- Action: The prospect takes action — they buy your item, schedule a demo, or take whatever other action you want them to take.
The action can vary based on customer and industry — maybe you want them to make a purchase, sign up, or fill out a form. When someone does something you want them to do, it’s known as a conversion. The visitor converts from browsing to taking the action you want them to take.
Think about the Amazon purchase funnel. There are several steps a visitor has to go through before they can purchase a product. Here’s how it looks:
- They visit Amazon.com
- They view a product
- They decide to add a product to the cart
- They complete the purchase
There are additional steps/actions that can be taken in between each of these steps, but they don’t matter in the marketing funnel unless they contribute to the final action. For example, a visitor may view Amazon’s Careers page, but we don’t need to count these in the funnel because they aren’t necessary steps.
Why is the set of steps to conversion called a “funnel”? Because at the beginning of the process, there are a lot of people who take the first step.
As the people continue along and take the next steps, some of them drop out, and the size of the crowd thins or narrows. (Even further along in the process, your sales team gets involved to help close the deal.)
Losing customers might sound like a bad thing — but it’s not. The truth is, not everyone in your funnel will convert. The top of the funnel is where everyone goes in (visiting your site or viewing a marketing campaign). Only the most interested buyers will move further down your funnel.
So when you hear people say “widen the funnel,” you now know what they are referring to.
They want to cast a larger net by advertising to new audiences, increasing their brand awareness, or adding inbound marketing to drive more people to their site, thus widening their funnel. The more people there are in a funnel, the wider it is.
What Are the Different Types of Funnels?
In this article, we’re focusing on marketing funnels, that is funnels that start with some sort of marketing campaign. That might be a PPC ad, content marketing campaign, white paper download, video ad, social media ad, or even an IRL ad. The point is the first step in the funnel is a marketing campaign of some sort.
Other types of funnels you might hear about include:
- Sales funnels
- Webinar funnels
- Email funnels
- Video marketing funnels
- Lead magnet funnels
- Home page funnels
Despite the different names, these all track the same exact thing — the steps a prospective customer takes to conversion. (Sometimes they are even called conversion funnels!)
What Can You Use a Marketing Funnel For?
You aren’t limited to using a marketing funnel strictly for signing up and/or purchasing. You can put funnels all over your website to see how visitors move through a specific website flow.
You may want to track newsletter signup (Viewing newsletter signup form > Submitting form > Confirming email) or a simple page conversion (Viewing a signup page > Submitting signup).
Figure out what your goals are and what you want visitors to do on your site, and you can create a funnel for it.
Once you have the data, you’ll be able to see where roadblocks are and optimize your funnel. Let’s dig a little deeper into that.
Why Are Marketing Funnels Are Beneficial?
Marketing funnels provide access to data, called a marketing funnel report, which lets you can see where you are losing customers. This is sometimes called a “leaky” funnel because it allows customers you want to keep to escape the funnel.
Let’s take your average SaaS business as an example. Here’s how a funnel may look for them:
- Visited site
- Signed up for a trial
- Used product
- Upgraded to paying
Do people have to use the product before paying? They don’t, but it’s a good idea to track it so you can see if it’s a roadblock.
For example, if you are losing a lot of conversions after the trial stage, you might need to update your onboarding process so people understand how to use the tool or even adjust the top of your funnel so you aren’t attracting people outside of your target audience.
A Real-Life Marketing Funnel Example
Let’s look at a funnel process for a retail store and see the corresponding steps in an e-commerce store. We’ll be tracking a purchase funnel.
The e-commerce store has the fortune of being able to see a funnel because they can track clicks, time on page, and other metrics. Their marketing would look something like this:
Okay, so now we have an understanding of what a funnel is and why it helps. Let’s take a look at a product that offers funnels – Google Analytics.
How Google Analytics Marketing Funnels Work
Google Analytics offers funnels, and I’ve written extensively about it in the past. This is an incredibly simple way to track the path prospects take before they convert. Sign in, then head to Admin > Goals > +New Goal > Choose a Goal to create a Google Analytics goal.
Here are a couple of things you’ll need to know when creating funnels in Google Analytics:
- It’s a pretty basic funnel: If you don’t want to dive deep into the data and optimize, you can go with this.
- You cannot go back and retroactively view data: Once you create your funnel, you’ll only be able to the funnel going forward as the data comes in.
Overall, if you are just getting started with marketing funnels, Google Analytics is a solid place to start. Learn how to set up a conversion funnel in Google Analytics.
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the steps a visitor takes from first finding out about your brand until they convert.
Video marketing funnels
Lead magnet funnels
Home page funnels
Marketing funnels provide access to data, called a marketing funnel report, which lets you can see where you are losing customers.
Visited site > Signed up for a trial > Used product > Upgraded to paying customers
Sign in, then head to Admin > Goals > +New Goal > Choose a Goal to create a Google Analytics goal.
We’ve covered just about everything you need to know about marketing funnels. Here’s a quick recap:
- When someone on your website does something you want them to do (i.e., sign up, make a purchase, fill out a form, etc.), it is known as a conversion.
- A funnel tracks the steps that lead up to that conversion. For example, e-commerce companies want people to purchase products on their website. Their funnel may have these steps: visited site > viewed product > placed product in cart > purchased.
- A funnel report shows you where people are dropping off in the path to conversion so you can optimize your conversion path and drive revenue.
- Google Analytics provides funnels as part of the free Google Analytics software. It’s a simple and free way to get started with marketing funnels.
Have you created a marketing funnel in Google Analytics? What did you learn?
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Tutorials and tips on How To Rank My Website.
The following post was published by Neil Patel.
Selling can be challenging because it involves s a complex process of human behavior and cognition.
More than likely, marketers who struggle to win customers either haven’t been prospecting the right way or aren’t putting in enough effort.
In this in-depth article, you’ll learn how to leverage the power of the human brain with neuroscience sales tips.
Whether you’re selling a digital product online or you run a brick-and-mortar business, these behavioral neuroscience principles will work for you. They’ll help you drive more visitors into your marketing funnel and convert casual visits into sales.
1. Influence Drives the Value of Your Product
Influence marketing is here to stay, so you should embrace it.
Influence is your ability to persuade others to adopt your own perspective. You believe in your product (e.g., online course, ebook, software), so you naturally want others to believe in it, too.
Your ability to persuade others in this way by appealing to their emotions will increase your sales. Influence increases the perceived value of your products.
You see, influential people tend to sell more product. It’s not because they’ve created the best product — sometimes, that’s just not true — but because over the years, they’ve built credibility. People trust their opinions.
For example, in the digital marketing world, people trust Seth Godin. That’s because Seth Godin has written over 20 bestselling books. He’s a sought-after public speaker and social media influencer.
Seth doesn’t waste words. Most of his posts have fewer than 200 words, like the one below, but the social sharing and engagement for these posts is amazing.
Remember that influence isn’t the same as popularity. They’re not interchangeable, though a lot of people regard them as such.
Brian Solis reports that one person responding to a survey he conducted with Vocus put it like this:
Popularity is just that people like you, influence is when they listen to you.
When you’re selling online, becoming popular shouldn’t be your ultimate focus. Spend time building your influence. It takes time, but it’s worth the effort.
In the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, author Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D., identifies the 6 factors that get people’s brain function to do something that they wouldn’t have ordinarily done.
In my experience as a content marketer who’s built a loyal audience, influence can be achieved through consistently creating useful content for your target audience and forming relationships with influencers and readers.
If you’re a blogger, you’ve already cleared the first hurdle of building authority and influencing people. Macallan persuaded 32 people to do marketing for the company. This resulted in a huge increase in exposure and influence over an audience of 150,000 people.
Next, give adequate time to content creation and building friendships. Reply to comments, answer questions, and, every so often, visit a reader’s blog and give them some free feedback or tips on how to improve their site.
Public speaking is another way to establish your personal brand and build a loyal following.
2. You Have to Sell Yourself Before You Can Sell Your Product
Make no mistake: You’re a product; and like any product, you have to successfully communicate the value of that product. Until that happens, you’ll find it difficult to sell your actual products or services.
Before anybody is going to buy from you or your company, they’ve got to ‘buy’ the idea that you’re somebody worth working with. In other words, just like a job candidate, your first task is always selling yourself.
Email marketing is the most effective lead generation tactic, followed by websites/landing pages and then content marketing. But guess what? Each of these tactics will work better when you first sell yourself, then the product.
Selling yourself isn’t an insurmountable challenge. There are lots of opportunities in today’s world of marketing to appeal to the human brain. However, with many opportunities come an increase in competition.
In a sea of writers, bloggers, freelancers, consultants, public speakers, etc., how do you stand out from the crowd?
It’s simple: Become passionate about your product.
When you’re selling yourself, you’re not concerned about the money. Your responsibility is to educate others’ human minds as you convey your brand’s core message.
HelpScout doesn’t just try to sell help-desk software. Instead, it also sells itself as a brand.
Learning how to sell yourself first is critical to your success. No matter what product you’re offering for sale, do your best to connect with and communicate your core brand values to your prospects.
3. Build Interest with Features; Build Desire with Benefits
Sell the benefits, not the features.
Most people and companies think products and services sell because of their great features. That’s not the case.
Harvard Business School conducted a research study and found that products of all kinds sell because of their benefits. The benefits that drive sales aren’t always obvious from the customer’s perspective though.
Whether you’re selling via email, direct mail, or social selling, highlight the benefits as well as the features of your product.
Starting with the strongest benefits of your product will reassure customers that you care about them, not (just) their hard-earned money, providing social security.
Selling with benefits means that you’re transparent with your customers. That’s exactly what their cognitive function wants.
Copywriters know how to sell benefits.
For example, Dan Kennedy wrote sales copy that generated over $10 million in sales over the years. It’s the same with Eben Pagan, Frank Kern and several top digital entrepreneurs.
These people were successful because they focused on benefits, not features. Successful selling boils down to one thing: showing your customers how your offer/product meets their needs.
Kat Night agrees that quantifying the benefits of a product is more likely to result in a sale than describing its features.
However, in order to avoid misleading prospects and customers, you have to start by building interest with features. Then, you increase their desire for your product with benefits.
When people are searching for a solution to meet their needs, what their brain function is actually looking for is a future that appeals to them. According to BufferApp, “people don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves.”
Consumers are happy to spend money on products that’ll make their lives better. Before the iPod was invented, there were MP3 players on the market. So iPod sold the benefit: “1,000 songs in your pocket.”
What’s the difference between a benefit and a feature?
This is how the folks at User Onboard explain:
In a nutshell, benefits are what you (or your prospects) can do with a product. Features are what the product can do. They sound similar, right? Yet, they’re totally different things.
“You can get fit without straining your joints with an elliptical trainer” targets the benefit. “Easy-glide motion, timer, and adjustable intensity settings” are all features.
See the difference?
Customers’ cognitive functions are different depending on where they are in the buying journey. Their human brains all must first recognize a need, then seek potential solutions, evaluate the solutions, decide to take action, and finally make the purchase.
Use features at stages 1 and 2; benefits will work better on their brain activity when they’re actually making purchase decisions (stages 4 and 5).
Professor Albert Wenben from the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a study on the topic of “Consumer Values, Product Benefits and Customer Value: A Consumption Behavior Approach.”
He found that “from the customers’ perspectives, products are viewed as a bundle of benefits, not attributes” (features).
MBA Skool suggests that a product benefit is usually the answer to customer’s questions. You probably already know that questions are driven by the psychological phenomenon of an emotional desire to know more.
The level of satisfaction derived from a product will differ depending on human behavior and cognitive neuroscience. After all, two people may both need a product, but one can need it desperately, while the other could get along without it.
To get the best results, highlight 70% of your product’s benefits, and 30% of the features.
Let’s look at an example in the world of marketing consulting services and products.
If you help businesses set up a Facebook marketing campaign (including a fan page), you need to sell with benefits while targeting your ideal customers (e.g., those without a functional website or with low-performing sites).
People buy products emotionally, and justify the purchases logically. When you use brain science to build interest with features and create strong desire with benefits, you’re meeting your prospects where they are and giving them the social security and social proof they need to feel confident in the purchase.
When you evoke the appropriate emotions, customers may not even know why they’re responding to your product. But they’ll buy it.
Remember that benefits are the things that you can do with a product, while features are what the product can do. Let’s look at a few real-world examples:
Twitter is a unique micro-blogging platform. It helps you update your timeline in real-time. It all began from their value proposition, based on the platform’s benefits: “start a conversation, explore your interests and be in the know.”
Volusion.com has a unique value proposition that simply and strongly projects the core benefit of its software.
It’s your responsibility to study your product and know its features, benefits and advantage over your competitor’s product.
4. Sell the Results by Painting a Clear Picture
Are you selling your product’s results?
If you don’t do that consistently, you’ll likely struggle to acquire qualified leads and increase conversion and revenue.
These days, most of us are selling to a new generation of customers: the millennials.
Millennials are a unique set of people born between 1982 and 2000 and making up 26% of the world’s population. Over 23% of millennials hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, making them the most educated generation in history.
Even if today’s consumers haven’t graduated college, they do know what they’re after in a product. They want results and they won’t let their human brain function be swayed by fancy copy that doesn’t give at least a sneak peek of the results that they can expect.
To market successfully to this group of consumers, you need solid research and data.
A study conducted by Harvey Research on “How to Sell with Ad Readership Studies” found that “one of the primary reasons for conducting an ad readership study is to obtain research which will help your organization sell advertising.”
When this research is documented and the data shared with advertisers, it becomes a marketing partner.
In advertising, the result is the data — that is, the actionable metrics. If your product helped a customer increase lead generation by 27%, that’s a metric that you can use to win more clients.
Have you ever wondered how introverts successfully sell products? An introvert is a person whose motives, actions, social preferences and human brain functions are directed inwards. Introverts generally don’t enjoy the human behavior associated with convincing or negotiating.
They’re reserved. Selling is not their preferred task, yet many of them end up becoming top salespeople and industry power players.
Brian Tracy was an introvert, but by studying consumer psychology and cognitive science and learning what social signals prompt people to buy, he’s become exceptionally successful through neuroscience principles of sales.
One of the sales secrets that the introvert masters know is that it’s much better to sell the results of a product, instead of the product itself.
Selling the result can be likened to painting a clear picture of your target in an ideal future setting — a point in time where they’ve conquered their challenge or solved their problem successfully — and displaying it on a shelf.
People who know that person will be captivated by the promise of the painting.
In the same vein, when you paint the picture of your product’s results and show people how easily they can use it, you’ll build interest and inspire action in them.
According to Tara Gentle,
People aren’t looking for your service (or your product, or your program). They’re looking for results.
In other words, your product isn’t the selling point, so why make it the focus? For example, instead of writing your copy headlines using your product name, focus on the product’s results.
A few ways to sell results instead of products are:
Lead with the value of the product, not the title: If your product helps people cut 5 hours off their workweek, lead with that. It’s your competitive advantage.
If your offer (e.g., service, program, online course, etc.) helps people lose 10 pounds in 60 days, let your copy focus on that core benefit.
Derek Halpern sells the result of his online course, “Yes Engines.” See the captivating title?:
Showcase before and after results: Fitness trainers know how to use “before” and “after” pictures and videos to improve self-esteem, inspire action, and improve positive cognitive function.
If you’re looking to lose weight, would you be excited when you see amazing case study results from people like you and then find out you can do the same?
The same thing applies to makeup products or tutorials. If you’ve been searching for a makeup training program and you came across the before & after pictures below, would you want to know more?
In selling the results of a product, rather than the product itself, you’ve got to use visuals that allow your customers to see themselves getting the results they want. Don’t just describe what the end result will look like; represent it with visuals.
Even scientists are in sales. How do scientists sell brain science, cellular neuroscience or experimental psychology to the public? The public isn’t naturally interested in subjects such as developmental neurobiology, computational neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging, or neural systems.
Also, difficult and upsetting subjects such as Alzheimer’s disease, brain damage, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other mental health issues can be difficult to sell to a reader.
Are there any typical results they have to show, the way a blogger who created an online course on how to “get 1000 email subscribers” would?
More than likely, the scientists don’t have visual results to show. Instead, they sell the validity of a case study and its importance to appeal to the reader’s cognitive psychology.
A study by Vanderbilt University concluded that scientists sell scientific data and ideas by convincing their peers and colleagues of the study’s validity and importance.
Since the population usually can’t fully understand all of the wide range of implications of scientific data, a scientist’s “pitch” is often translated by the news media into something that a lay audience can understand.
In many niches, before you can sell a product you need to first acquire leads, nurture them, and convince them to buy.
Selling isn’t a one-way street. Several factors play a vital role. The platforms where you generate your leads matter. Most people have generated more leads through Facebook ads than Google Ads.
On the other hand, the quality of leads of Google Ads tends to be higher.
When it comes to giving people value for their time and money, Google leads the pack. Google sells advertising, not search results.
That is why paid ads in Google are clearly marked and set apart from the actual search results. When it comes to displaying the right results, here’s what Google says:
Google search results take into account who links to a web page as well as how relevant the content on that page is to your search. Our results reflect what the online community believes is important, not what we or our partners think you ought to see.
As you can see, Google sells advertising on its search engine, but it delivers the most relevant, valuable, and helpful search results in its organic listings. Site owners can neither pay to stay at the top of the search results pages, nor manipulate their rankings (at least, not for long).
Google is the leading digital advertising company because first, it understands what people want, and second, it’s committed to providing the best search results.
5. Credibility Depends on Trust and Expertise
You are more likely to make sales when you have built credibility.
You can build credibility in a number of ways, including by providing top-notch customer service.
Customers want to reach an agent who can help them resolve problems quickly. They also want to interact with real people and gain access to information to resolve issue themselves.
Trust + expertise = credibility.
You can’t succeed in business if you lack credibility. Top brands can boast about their products, because over the years they’ve become known and are credible, offering social security.
That’s why it’s difficult for a new marketer, organization, or company to dominate the marketplace.
Customers’ cognitive functions are scared to trust you or your product. After all, you might take their money and vanish. Customer service is the hallmark of credibility. It builds credibility from the ground up.
The viral effect of bad customer service is alarming. More people share negative experiences than they share good ones. 66% of customers who experienced negative (bad) customer experience want to discourage others from buying from that company.
86% of people completely stopped doing business with companies over bad customer experiences. It negatively affects their human brain functions.
Every day, I wake up and ask myself a question: “What’s the best thing I can do for my customers today?”
It’s a simple, slightly dramatic exercise that reinforces for me the importance of building trust in prospect’s minds. People won’t trust you unless you’ve proven yourself and delivered immense value over a period of time.
How do you establish credibility when you’re an online business owner?
Stanford Web Credibility Research compiled 10 guidelines for building the credibility of a website. This can be applied to your product, personality, and brand.
Most local businesses know how to build credibility. They use sentiment to affect human behavior. While others are struggling to earn a customer’s trust, local businesses donate to schools, sponsor children’s sports teams and participate in community events bulletin boards.
Be willing to work hard. People respect people who work hard. But, don’t make it all about yourself. Credibility is best earned by looking out for the interests of other people.
Here are a few simple ways to improve your credibility:
Answer questions correctly: Trust and transparency are just as important to corporate reputation as the quality of products and services. If you give incorrect answers it will damage your reputation.
When people ask you questions, if you don’t know the right answer, then say so. Offer to do some research and get back to them.
Whatever you do, don’t spout off with something you’re not sure of just to sound intelligent. The more you answer questions correctly, the more people will trust you.
Produce valuable content regularly: There is no shortcut to content creation. You either do it yourself or outsource it to a knowledgeable freelance writer.
Always publish new content that helps people achieve their goals more easily. Your credibility level will increase.
Don’t just create generic content. Instead, focus on creating custom content that will be relevant to your audience and in sync with your goal.
Offer to solve relevant problems: If you have unique skills, you can offer to solve relevant problems for your target audience.
For example, if you’re a website developer, you could offer to help readers tweak their WordPress themes, or show them how to do it easily themselves.
Build relationships: We all need to treat others fairly, recognize their inherent worth, and respect them.
Don’t let your human behavior be solely consumed by the amount of money you can make. Instead, now and again, help people for free. Brenton Hayden recommends that you follow a few specific strategies if you want to up your credibility:
In today’s marketplace, brands and products disappear as quickly as they appear. Most of them won’t stand the test of time.
It’s obvious that the way to improve your credibility is to build relationships with prospects and customers and earn their trust.
You can also build credibility by showcasing customer success stories. If you don’t have any authority at all, it may be hard for people to trust you. The best approach to appeal to their cognitive functions is to show that your product really works.
Drew Manning, founder of Fit2Fat2Fit, knows how to showcase real-life results. He discovered that most people who sell fitness programs and products are athletic, fit people who have never been overweight.
How can they possibly understand the human brain functions behind the struggles that overweight people endure and what that feels like?
Drew Manning did things differently. He spent 6 months gaining over 70 lbs. He then spent another 6 months taking the weight off.
This transformation was a source of confidence to potential customers. They thought, “If it worked for him, it’ll work for me, too.”
6. Sales Is a “Give and Give” Relationship
Giving usually comes into focus during the holiday season.
In The Science of Giving: Experimental Approaches To The Study of Charity, author Daniel M. Oppenheimer estimated that Americans donate over $300 billion each year to charity.
When you’re selling a product online or offline, giving should be in the form of value.
For example, you could give 1 – 10 GB free to customers who register your cloud storage solution, as pCloud does.
If you’re an author, you could give away the first two chapters of your book for free.
Giving is what I do on a daily basis because it’s the only way to build a sales relationship with potential customers.
I spent $30,000 on content creation; and instead of selling it, I gave the content away for free.
Your customers are your best salespeople. Before they can recommend your product to other prospects, you need to make up your mind to give and give. That’s the relationship between you and customers.
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, there is a way to sell that is rewarding, positive, and even enjoyable. It’s called relationship marketing and it’s a message Dale Carnegie started delivering over 80 years ago.
When you first establish a relationship with prospects, it affect their neural development and becomes easier to sell to them. The best salespeople are the best givers.
Contrary to what most people think, it’s not a “give and take” relationship, because you’re not taking anything from your audience.
If you love your customers (of course you should), then look for ways to give them as much value as possible and let it be more than what they’ll pay for.
Even though they may buy your product, that doesn’t mean you’re taking from them. The value of your product/service is expected to be higher than the price they paid for it.
Don’t get tired of giving. It’s your life as an entrepreneur, whether you run a brick-and-mortar business or are an online marketer.
Creating relationships that drive sales is critical to your business. That’s how top brands like Amazon, Zappos, Home Depot, and the like thrive in this competitive age.
The existing brain science research in psychology, economics, and neuroscience exploring the benefits of charitable giving has been largely correlational. Does it cause more happiness and fulfillment? Or is the connection between happiness and giving just a happy accident?
Happiness is a positive form of emotion, the province, and function of the limbic brain region.
To sell more products, give more value for free. According to Dunn and Norton, a study on happiness shows that the most satisfying way to use money is to invest in others. This might explain why so many people donate to charities that work in developing countries.
You can learn from two of America’s leading billionaires: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Buffett donated 99% of his wealth to help charitable causes, saying “I couldn’t be happier with that decision.”
Both billionaires give quite a bit to the world. Yet, here they willingly moved themselves down from being billionaires to millionaires. Heartfelt giving brings more into your life and your business.
Successful internet marketers who generated 6 or 7 figure incomes when they launched their products online followed this strategy.
They first started by giving tremendous value, well before selling. Eben Pagan, Frank Kern, Jeff Goins, Bill Baren and others launched their products in this manner.
For example, before Brian Dean opened his premium course “SEO That Works,” he first taught the best way to get top rankings for free in a blog post. I’m subscribed to his email list, so I can tell you that the value he provided made purchasing his online course a very simple decision. because he had already created tons of value for me.
If you don’t have a product to sell at the moment, it shouldn’t stop you from giving a richer experience to your prospects. Create high-quality content consistently.
I’ve been blogging for over a decade. Since that time, I’ve been creating 3 – 5 in-depth, relevant and valuable pieces of content for my audience each week.
That’s why you see huge traffic spikes in my blogs and a growing customer base for my software businesses.
New studies prove that giving is beneficial not just for the recipients, but for the givers’ health and happiness. Giving promotes cooperation, positive human behavior, and social connection.
This is what you need to boost sales.
A study by sociologists Brent Simpson and Robb Willer showed that “when you give to others, your generosity is likely to be rewarded by others down the line—sometimes by the person you gave to, sometimes by someone else.”
7. To Close More Sales, Stop Selling
Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko and SEO That Works, understands how to persuade people to sign up for his online course.
Even though his online course is closed, he still sells by requesting that you join the waiting list.
Why does he do this?
Well, when people join his waiting list, they get quality advice and case studies of people achieving first page rankings, etc. By the time the course re-opens again, subscribers who joined the waiting list will be desperate for the online course.
The majority of them will eagerly enroll. After all, they’ve already received tremendous value, free of charge.
In other words, stop pushing your products to the target audience. Instead, push high-value content. Answer questions and show the results of your services or products.
One company that sells its products quite successfully without sounding too salesy is BlendTec. BlendTec took a novel approach way back in 2007 with its “Will It Blend?” series.
The founder, Tom Dickson, understands that what people are looking for in a blender is the blade’s sharpness and the motor’s strength.
In each video in the “Will It Blend?” series, Tom tests his blender by blending anything from cell phones to wooden rakes.
Don’t try to push sales too much. Instead, educate more. Become a teacher. Become passionate about helping other people.
Brian Clark, the founder of Copyblogger, discovered early in his content marketing business that “Teaching Sells.”
When he started teaching instead of selling, he turned his blog into a multi-million dollar software business. He also went on to start another new business called RainMaker.fm.
When you teach, you’re giving away value that people can’t find elsewhere. If you continually educate and inform your target audience, you’ll sell more products or services in the process.
If you can tap into how your customer’s brains works at different stages in the purchasing process or lead funnel, you may be able to drive more sales with less effort.
The neuroscience sales tips we’ve provided should help you get started thinking about how you can leverage the power of the human brain in your own digital marketing strategy.
If all of this sounds intimidating and you want help enacting these principles, let us know. Our team of experts are ready and waiting to partner with you to create a stellar SEO or marketing plan that drives sales by considering how your customers think.
Which of these cognitive neuroscience principles have you applied to increase your product sales online?
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The following article was first published by Neil Patel.
Education is the key to success in business but I’m not just talking about your college or university; I’m talking about self-education.
Understanding the finances behind your business can help you increase your profits, cut back on expenses, and operate more smoothly. Contribution margin ratio is one of these financial terms that sounds more complicated than it is. In this article, we’ll cover how to calculate it, what it means, and how to improve it.
What Is the Contribution Margin Ratio?
A contribution margin ratio is the difference between sales and variable costs within a company. For example, if an ecommerce store sells t-shirts for $20 and the variable cost of producing the t-shirt is $10, then the contribution margin ratio per unit is $10.
To learn how to get the contribution margin ratio, you subtract the variable costs of producing a product or service from the overall sale price of the product or service.
The difference will then get used for fixed costs, like rent and insurance.
It’s important to understand the contribution margin ratio formula because it helps identify changes in your margins and determine the source of the problem.
Here’s another example: let’s say you’re the manager of an SEO agency, and you charge your clients $2,000 per month. Typically, you operate at a 50 percent margin, which means you spend approximately $1,000 each month on variable expenses and take in a $1,000 margin to cover fixed costs. The remainder would then serve as your net profit.
One month you notice you only have a $500 margin, so you start investigating. Turns out one of the agencies you outsource to overseas increased their rates, and it’s cutting into your bottom line. You can now handle the situation by either increasing your rates, renegotiating your contract with your vendor, or shopping around for someone more affordable.
Without watching the set contribution margin each month, you couldn’t identify these types of issues.
Fixed Costs Vs. Variable Costs
Part of understanding how to calculate the contribution margin ratio involves fixed costs vs. variable costs. You need to understand the differences and similarities between these two sets of expenses.
Fixed costs refer to expenses that remain the same month after month and do not change, regardless of your volume or production. Some examples of fixed costs are:
- rent or lease
- interest charges
These are predictable costs, and that’s why we use our margin to pay fixed costs because we know how much they’re going to cost each month and how much money we’ll need to pay them and still have profit left over.
On the other hand, variable costs change each month and vary based on the level of production.
For example, if your company produces 100 t-shirts one month, and 200 t-shirts the next month, there are added costs associated with the extra 100 products. You’ll have additional materials and labor. If you understand your contribution margin ratio, that shouldn’t matter because you’re bringing in a certain amount of profit from each product you produce.
This impacts how companies scale and profit. While variable costs may increase, fixed costs stay the same unless you invest in a larger facility or add new employees, which may increase insurance and benefits costs.
Variable costs help companies identify issues in their system. If you find your margin is way down on a specific t-shirt, you can research to figure out what happened. Maybe the cost of purchasing the shirt went up, which reduced your margin from 50 percent to only 25 percent.
Whatever it is, understanding how variable costs change can help you price products and adjust as the market fluctuates.
How to Calculate Your Contribution Margin Ratio
To calculate your contribution margin ratio, use the following formula:
The simplest way to break it down is to look at it by individual product or service. Using the ecommerce example again, if your company sells custom rugs for $50 and it costs you $30 to source the materials and produce the rug, your margin is $20.
In this same scenario, your margin would be 40 percent because you’re taking in a 40 percent margin for every piece of product you produce.
The same applies to services.
If you run a web design company, you may not have costs associated with goods, but you’ll have labor and potentially variable costs in the tools and applications you use. Some applications may have fixed costs, while others might charge based on how you use them.
Let’s say you charge $1,000 for a website, and it costs you $500 to produce it. Your contribution margin would be $500, or 50 percent.
Of course, we all want a contribution margin as close to 100 percent as possible, but that’s not likely. Most businesses operate at a less than 50 percent margin, but it won’t be the case on every product or service.
Some products may yield a 75 percent margin, while others only bring in 10 percent. In many cases, those 10 percent margin products are lead magnets, while the larger margin item is an upsell.
What’s most important is understanding how to calculate this and use it to maximize your profits.
Why Should You Use the Contribution Margin Ratio?
Why is contribution margin ratio important? Even small businesses need to know their ratio to:
- identify changes in variable costs
- determine how much you can pay yourself
- increase or reduce the cost of goods and services
- make labor changes based on volume
- ensure you have enough to pay fixed costs each month
The list could go on, but it’s all part of being a business owner. Understanding how to identify issues with your margin isn’t always easy, but we can help you if you’re struggling.
How to Improve Your Contribution Margin Ratio
Now let’s talk about some actionable steps you can take to improve your margin to increase your costs or cut more profit for yourself.
Increase Customer Retention
Doing everything you can to retain customers will help improve your margins. Spending a lot of money on sales each month will cut into your bottom line, especially if you’re not bringing in new customers as a result of your efforts.
As your business grows, you can determine how much it will cost you to acquire a new customer. This will happen when your business develops a duplicatable system for driving in new business.
Get Creative With Reducing Expenses
If expenses for producing products or paying for services are cutting into your margins, it might be time to look deeper. Take a look at how much it costs to produce your product, and figure out ways to reduce the cost without lowering the quality.
Shopping around for vendors might be a good place to start. Someone else may offer the same product at a lower price. You may also be able to reduce your cost by purchasing more upfront if it’s a product that sells well.
The same goes for service businesses. Perhaps your labor is too high on a specific service. It could be due to poor practices, new hires, or bad training procedures. You’ll want to look into this and identify the bottleneck running up your labor. Automating parts of your process might also help.
Consider Price Changes
I am not saying to raise your prices across the board. Instead, identify areas where you could raise your prices. During the investigation, figure out ways to offset the additional cost in other areas.
For example, you might have to raise your shipping fee because the cost has gone up, but you can use a different vendor to source a product, thus reducing the overall price of your product. This will ensure you don’t upset customers and while increasing your margin.
In some cases, you need to charge what the market will bear. An across-the-board price increase may be necessary if you haven’t raised your prices in a while, a quick email or call to your best customers can help remedy the situation. If you’re in the B2B market, most customers will understand.
Keep in mind that everything has a “trickle-down” effect. You’re raising your prices because the cost of producing your goods has gone up. Chances are, your customers will raise their prices as a result.
Amazon does a great job with this by recommending products relevant to current purchase or related to items customers have browsed in the past.
For example, if you sell grill accessories, you might want to add certain items such as grill brushes or cleaning materials.
Another great way to increase sales is by bundling items together. While it might be great to sell all those grill accessories separately, offering them in a bundle could make things simpler for the customer and motivate them to purchase everything all at once. It could also help you save on shipping costs.
You can also look internally at your sales and marketing strategy. What can you do to improve? Does your team need more training, do they need a refresher, or do they simply need a little more motivation?
Sometimes it’s not simply one action, but rather something you need to do collectively as a team to increase your sales. For example, focusing your sales team on attracting long-term, high-profit customers or spending more time qualifying leads.
Reduce Shipping Costs
Shipping costs add up quickly, and this variable expense will cut into your margin if you aren’t paying attention to the fluctuations in shipping. I mentioned bundling is a great way to save money, and that’s one reason why most ecommerce stores and businesses won’t charge for shipping if you spend $25 or $50.
Requiring customers to purchase a certain number of products to get free shipping is a great way to take the load off your shoulders. Now you’ll know that shipping costs are covered, no matter what. If they choose not to purchase over the threshold, then they’re responsible for paying for shipping.
Sometimes this isn’t feasible because your products are very large or heavy. In this case, you need to cover the cost of shipping or at least factor it into your overall price.
Looking at different vendors or methods of shipping might be your only option.
Planning and organization are key when it comes to shipping. If you’re constantly falling behind on your production times and forced to pay for overnight or next-day packages, that will cut into your margin. Extending your delivery time, charging for faster delivery, or speeding up production could save you a bundle.
Understanding how to calculate your contribution margin ratio is important, but leveraging that information is key to long-term business growth. The goal of every business owner is to have as much as possible left over after all expenses are paid; that’s obvious.
Not every business owner knows how to get there, though. Self-education opens the door to success. Educating yourself on the economics of your business sets you up for increased profits and a more successful business.
The backbone of any good business is a solid marketing plan, and if you need help with that we have you covered. Reach out to our team of digital marketing experts and we can get help you get started.
What is your contribution margin ratio, and how do you ensure that you hit it each month?
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This article has been previously posted on this site: https://feedpress.me/link/9375/14424827/long-tail-seo.
Head keywords. Long-tail keywords. The chunky middle. The chonky thorax. Is it any wonder why most people outside of SEO think we’re talking gibberish? Ask a dozen SEOs what keywords qualify as “long-tail” and you’ll get 13 opinions and 17 fistfights.
What we can agree on is that — due to Google’s advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) — the long tail of search has exploded. However, I will argue that NLP has also imploded the long tail, and understanding how and why may save our collective sanity.
What is the long tail of SEO, exactly?
The long tail of search is the limitless space of low-volume (and often low-competition) keywords. Tactically, long-tail SEO centers on competing for a large number of low-volume keywords instead of focusing on a small set of high-volume keywords.
Long-tail SEO encourages us to let go of vanity, because high-volume, so-called “vanity” keywords are often out of reach or, at best, will empty our bank accounts. Low-volume keywords may be less attractive on the surface, but as you begin to compete on hundreds or thousands of them, they represent more traffic and ultimately more sales than a few vanity keywords.
You’ve probably seen a graph of the long tail like the one above. It’s a perfectly lovely power curve, but it’s purely hypothetical. And while you may smile and nod when you see it, it’s hard to translate this into a world of keywords. It might help to re-imagine the long tail of SEO:
I’m not sure the “reclining snowman of SEO” is ever going to catch on, but I think it helps to illustrate that — while head keywords are high-volume by themselves — the combined volume of the long tail eclipses the head or the middle. Like the familiar curve, this visualization dramatically underestimates the true scope of the long tail.
What are long-tail keywords?
In the words of the ancient SEOs, “It doth depend.” Typically, long-tail keywords are low-volume, multi-word phrases, but the long-tail is relative to your starting point. Historically, any given piece of the long tail was assumed to be low-competition, but that’s changing as people realize the benefits of targeting specific phrases with clear intent (especially commercial intent).
Targeting “widgets” is not only expensive, but searcher intent is ambiguous. Targeting “buy blue widgets” narrows intent, and “where to buy Acme Widget LOL-42” laser-focuses you on a target audience. As searchers and SEOs adapt to natural language search, previously “long-tail” keywords may become higher volume and higher competition.
The long tail has exploded
Google has told us that 15% of the searches they see every day are new. How is this possible? Are we creating that many new words? That’s sus, bruh!
I can explain it to you in a very short story. The other day, my (half-Taiwanese) 10-year-old daughter couldn’t remember what her Chinese zodiac sign was, so she asked Google Home:
Hey, Google, what’s the animal for the Chinese new year calendar thingy for 2010?
It’s easy to get hung up on the voice-appliance aspect of this, but whether or not you believe in the future of voice appliances, the reality is that voice search in general has driven the need for natural language search, and as Google becomes better at handling natural language, we’re reverting to using it more often (it’s our default mode). This is especially evident in kids, who never had to learn to dumb down their searches for antiquated algorithms.
How can we hope to target keyword phrases that are literally evolving as we speak? Fortunately, NLP cuts both ways. As Google understands context better, the algorithm recognizes that many variations of the same phrase or question are essentially the same. Which leads us to…
The long tail has imploded
Back in 2019, I did a keyword research case study at SearchLove London on UK mega-retailer, John Lewis. In my research, I was surprised to see how many searches Google was automatically redirecting. There’s the obvious, like Google assuming that people who searched for “Jon Lewis” in the UK probably meant “John Lewis” (sorry, Jon):
It’s interesting to note that Google has gradually, quietly moved from the previously more prevalent “Did you mean?” to the more assertive (some might say aggressive) “Showing results for…” In this case, optimizing for Jon Lewis in the UK is probably pointless.
I expected a rabbit hole, but I landed in a full-on bunny chasm. Consider this search:
Hjohjblewis?! I landed on this misspelling entirely by accident, but I imagine it involved an attention-starved cat and cat-adjacent keyboard. This level of rewriting/redirecting was shocking to me.
Misspellings are just the beginning, however. What about very similar long-tail phrases that don’t surface any kind of rewrite/redirect, but show very similar results?
Note that this same set of terms in the US overwhelmingly returns results about former US Representative and civil rights leader, John Lewis, demonstrating just how much not only intent can shift across localities, but how Google’s re-interpretations can change dynamically.
That same year, I did an experiment for MozCon targeting long-tail questions, such as “Can you reverse a 301-redirect?”, demonstrating that posts written around a specific question could often rank for many forms of that question. At the time, I didn’t have a way to measure this phenomenon, other than showing that the post ranked for variations of the phrase. Recently, I re-analyzed my 2019 keywords (with rankings from April 2021) using a simplified form of Rank-Biased Overlap (RBO) called RBOLite. RBOLite scores the similarity between two rank-ordered lists, yielding a score from 0-1. As the name implies, this score biases toward the higher-ranked items, so a shift at #1 will have more impact than a shift at #10.
Here are the scores for a sampling of the phrases I tracked for the 2019 post, with the title of the post shown at the top (and having a perfect match of 1.0):
You can see visually how the similarity of the results diverges as you change and remove certain keywords, and how this creates a complex interaction. What’s fascinating to me is that changing the question phrase from “Can you” to “How do you” or “How to” made very little difference in this case, while removing either “301” or “redirect” had more impact. Switching “you” vs. “I” by itself was fairly low impact, but was additive with other changes. Even the SERPs with “undo” in place of “reverse” showed fairly high similarity, but this change showed the most impact.
Note that the week-over-week RBOLite score for the initial phrase was 0.95, so even the same SERP will vary over time. All of these scores (>0.75) represent a fair degree of similarity. This post ranked #1 for many of these terms, so these scores often represent shifts farther down the top 10.
Here’s another example, based on the question “How do I improve my domain authority?”. As above, I’ve charted the RBOLite similarity scores between the main phrase and variations. In this case, the week-over-week score was 0.83, suggesting some background flux in the keyword space:
One immediately interesting observation is that the difference between “improve” and “increase” was negligible — Google easily equated the two terms. My time spent debating which keyword to use could’ve been spent on other projects, or on eating sandwiches. As before, switching from “How do I” to “How do you” or even “How to” made relatively little difference. Google even understood that “DA” is frequently substituted for “Domain Authority” in our industry.
Perhaps counterintuitively, adding “Moz” made more of a difference. This is because it shifted the SERP to be more brand-like (Moz.com got more mentions). Is that necessarily a bad thing? No, my post still ranked #1. Looking at the entire first page of the SERPs, though, adding the brand name caused a pretty clear intent shift.
The long tail is dead. Long live the long tail.
In the past decade, the long tail has exploded and then imploded (in many ways, due to the same forces), and yet somehow we’ve landed in a very different keyword universe. So, where does that leave us — the poor souls fated to wander that universe?
The goods news of this post (I hope) is that we don’t have to work ourselves to death to target the long tail of search. It doesn’t take 10,000 pieces of content to rank for 10,000 variants of a phrase, and Google (and our visitors) would much prefer we not spin out that content. The new, post-NLP long tail of SEO requires us to understand how our keywords fit into semantic space, mapping their relationships and covering the core concepts. While our tools will inevitably improve to meet this challenge (and I’m directly involved in such projects at Moz), our human intuition can go a long way for now. Study your SERPs diligently, and you can find the patterns to turn your own long tail of keywords into a chonky thorax of opportunity.
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This video was provided by Brian Dean.
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This post was first provided by Neil Patel.
Blogging is a pain.
Not because content is hard to write (worse case you can just hire a writer or agency), but due to the fact that no one can guarantee that your blog post gets read or not.
Just think about it… you spend all this time writing content, but no one can guarantee that it gets seen, shared, or even linked to.
So, I thought it would be fun to analyze popular blog posts and see what common characteristics that they have.
That way you can replicate what they are doing and increase the likelihood that your post gets read.
Now for this study, we deemed a popular blog post as anything that generates at least 1,000 visitors a month from Google organic search (this was based on Ubersuggest data).
We also didn’t exclude any countries and looked at the data from a global level.
Here’s what we learned.
A popular post tends to rank for at least 38 keywords
A big thing in common was that popular blog posts rank for at least 38 keywords.
What’s interesting though is posts that generate at least 5,000 visits a month from Google rank for 51 or more keywords.
But the big difference between posts that generate at least 1,000 visitors versus 5,000 wasn’t the number of keywords that they were targeting, it was more so that they were ranking for keywords that were searched on average 984 times a month.
Now granted they didn’t get 984 clicks for each keyword that they ranked for, as no site really gets all the clicks, and there is no guarantee that they were in the number 1 spot.
When looking at this data we decided to dig in a bit more and we randomly picked 300 blog posts that generate at least 1,000 visits a month from Google to see how many keywords they mentioned on their page that contained at least 50 searches a month.
Can you guess what the number was?
Well, after we removed generic one-word terms that aren’t really considered keywords (such as how I mentioned words like “analyze, month, generate, data” within this post but I am not really targeting those keywords), the number comes out to a staggering 76 keywords.
But wait, how do you come up with 76 keywords for every blog post you write?
Before I break down how you can come up with a laundry list of keywords to include in every blog post you write, keep this in mind…
- You should never stuff keywords in a blog post for the sake of getting SEO traffic. Your post should flow and adding the keywords should feel natural. (If you are hiring a writer, a good writer shouldn’t struggle with this.)
- There are outliers and some blog posts generate a lot of traffic without targeting dozens of keywords within their content.
- You shouldn’t write blog posts just for “Google traffic”. If the content doesn’t provide value to the user, it is going to hurt your website rankings in the long run as you can get hit by Google algorithm update if your site is deemed to have low-quality content.
Now that we got that out of the way, you can head to Ubersuggest and follow the steps in the video below to come up with blog post ideas as well as 76 plus keywords per post.
The average blog post that is popular contains 1839 words
Over the years the SEO game has changed. Generally, the longer your content, the more traffic you can get. But there are a lot of edge cases to that rule.
And Google doesn’t really care about word count these days as much as they do for user experience.
See, a user doesn’t really care if a blog post is short or long, they just want to be satisfied with what they have just read.
Nonetheless, we looked at the word count to see what the average post length was for a popular post.
What’s interesting is that posts that generated over 5,000 visitors a month on average weren’t that much longer than posts that generated 1,000 visitors.
The biggest difference was they included more popular keywords within their content. They didn’t necessarily rank for each of those terms, but this gives a post more opportunity to potentially rank and be found.
As I mentioned though, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, there are popular topics like “how to tie a tie” and you don’t really need tons of words to explain how to tie a tie. You more so need images or even video.
Blog posts that are popular are somewhat new
When we looked at every popular blog in our database, we noticed that a lot of sites didn’t include a publish date or an updated date (updated date is used for content that was originally published years ago but was more recently updated).
But for the posts that did contain a date, whether it was the publication date or when the content was updated, we did notice something interesting.
Content that generates 1,000 visitors or more a month on average tends to be 388 days old.
And content that generates less than 1,000 visitors tends to be 593 days old.
This doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t want to rank new, fresh content as in both categories there was fresh, new content that did generate traffic. But a lot of the ranking blog posts were a bit old (but not too old).
Again, keep in mind there are always exceptions to the rule. Going back to the how to tie a tie example, even if that article was 3 years old, it probably would still be relevant as much hasn’t changed when it comes to ties.
But with over 1 billion blogs on the web, it seems like Google prefers newish content over outdated content.
If you have older content, don’t worry, you can always update it to ensure that it continually gets more traffic.
The way you would do this is by following these steps:
It’s so effective that I have a team of people who just update my old content.
Whether you like it or not, if you are going to write content you should do keyword research first.
Picking the right keywords versus the wrong ones can mean that your content doesn’t get traffic or gets thousands of visitors a month.
Now of course there are other elements to your SEO like links and on-page SEO, but for this analysis, we wanted to focus on the characteristics (ones that you can easily control) that make a popular post.
Out of curiosity, do you do keyword research before you write content?
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I hope that you found the above useful or interesting. You can find similar content on our blog: https://rankmysite1st.com/blog/
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The following article was first published by Neil Patel.
There was a time when Pandora was all the rage. Everyone everywhere was streaming music, listening, and sharing it with their friends. In came Spotify and in no time, the platform reached 345 million users.
Spotify now has 34 percent of the market share compared with Apple Music, Amazon Music, and others. What does all of this mean for you? It means Spotify ads are popular, and advertising on this platform could make a significant difference in your business.
In this post, we’re breaking down every last detail you need to know about Spotify ads and how to set them up.
Spotify Ads: What You Need to Know
If you’re considering running Spotify ads, there are a few important factors you’re likely thinking about. How much does it cost, what types of ads do they have, and how do they play the ads on the platform?
Here are more details so you can firmly understand all the minor details before I discuss how to set up and run your ads.
Spotify Ads Cost
There was a time when Spotify only dealt with large brands with big bank accounts. The cost for a campaign previously was $25,000. But that’s not the case anymore.
Spotify has opened the doors to smaller companies and brands by setting up a self-service Spotify Ads Studio where you can set your budget at $250 and let it go from there.
The process of bidding on eyeballs is similar to Facebook and other social networks, and your ads will vary in price based on deliverability and target audience. The actual price you’ll pay can differ depending on the competition but most pay between $.015 and $.025 each time your ad is served.
To convert, someone will either click or tap based on the device they’re using, and you can then bring them to your target page. The destination page will also play a role in the success of your Spotify ad because of relevancy. If you’re unsure how to set up a sales page or landing page, we have plenty of resources to help you.
Once you’ve determined advertising on Spotify fits into your budget, you’ll want to consider the type of ad format that will work best for your business. Advertising on a music and podcast streaming platform may not work for everyone, but there are a variety of different methods and demographics to target.
Here are the different types of ad settings you can run:
The first is the simplest way: running your ad on all platforms. This means your ad will reach your target audience no matter what device they’re using, and the ads will play in between songs when users are active on the platform. You also get a clickable display unit so people can click or tap it and go to your target URL.
If you’re experimenting with advertising on Spotify, starting this way will help you understand who receives your ads and who converts. When you’re first starting, you don’t have any data about how well the ad will perform and who will respond to it the best. As a result, widening your deliverability will help you collect the data so you can narrow it down later on.
These types of ads display on mobile and tablet only. Sponsored sessions play 30 minutes of uninterrupted music or podcast in exchange for the user watching a full-length advertisement.
At the start of a mobile session, the user receives a prompt that gives them the option to watch a snippet of the video. Then, they can continue watching it until the end in exchange for 30 minutes of uninterrupted music. At this point, they can accept the offer or click away and continue with regular platform advertisements for the duration of their session.
This could potentially work well if you have an ad you know converts. Instead of playing a small snippet and trying to get people to convert in between their sessions, you can play the whole thing right in the beginning and potentially get someone to decide before they begin listening to something and won’t want to click away.
This ad strategy is a powerful one that displays on mobile and tablet only. Now instead of just audio, you get a complete video that provides a more premium experience for the user and helps to make your ad appear more engaging. It comes with a clickable companion unit so users can click over to your target URL.
The overlay ad is a fixed-advertisement displaying when someone returns to the app. There’s no audio or video, and it mimics a banner ad like you would see on an app or website.
This type of ad only works on desktop and it’s a standard display advertisement. You’ll earn yourself a spot on Spotify’s Homepage for 24 hours with a clickable ad that supports rich media. You can include interactive elements to make the ad more engaging.
On desktop and the web player, you can display this type of ad on the Spotify leaderboard for 30 seconds.
The sponsored playlist works on all platforms and allows you to reach the most listeners by serving as a sponsor of Spotify. Your ad displays on Spotify’s sponsored playlists so you essentially own the real estate when you choose this type of ad placement. As someone listens to the playlist, only your ads will display as they stream it.
Why Should You Run a Spotify Ad Campaign
While Pandora held the market share of music listeners and streamers for many years, Spotify has stepped in and grown to more than 345 million monthly viewers and 199 million ad-supported users.
That’s a lot of eyeballs and ears to reach with your advertisements. With the introduction and success of the Ad Studio, they’ve made it possible for brands and businesses of all sizes to advertise on the platform. Let’s look at some of the reasons you may want to consider Spotify for your ads.
Spotify Ads Can Drive Revenue for Your Business
One of the primary reasons anyone advertises anything is to increase brand awareness. We may not always be looking for a conversion or a special action to take place; sometimes we’re merely trying to get the word out and let people know we’re here.
Spotify is a great way to do this because a majority of the ad types play in between music when someone is already tuned in and accustomed to listening even if they know it’s an advertisement. If you create an engaging ad with interesting audio and video, you may be able to get the attention you want on this platform.
Spotify Helps You Create Excellent Ads
Spotify offers so many resources to help their advertisers create the best ads they can. They’re on your side and they want to see their sponsors succeed because ads are what pay the bills.
In addition to offering a variety of ad experiences as mentioned, they also offer an assortment of free services like voice-over actors, scripts, background music, and different audio effects.
The Spotify ads-free services also allow you to choose which type of business you are and your goal with the advertisement. You can choose between types of businesses or brands and a goal, such as driving revenue or building awareness.
Spotify Ads Help You Reach Engaged Listeners
One thing I find separates advertising on a streaming platform like Spotify in comparison to Instagram or Facebook ads is this: People are already listening. They’re tuned in, they want to listen, and even if they’re not happy about the ad, they’re still listening.
People are engaged with whatever it is they hear and chances are they intend on sticking around for a while. Whether they have headphones in, they’re at the gym, they’re cleaning their house, whatever it is; they’re listening.
If you’re serving an interesting ad to the right audience, you’ll cling on the emotional engagement of a person 15 percent better than other advertising platforms.
Not to mention the number of targeting demographics help you narrow down your ad to ensure you reach the emotionally engaged audience. You can target based on listening activity, genre, mood, age, generation, location, behavior, listening time, and much more.
Spotify Users Spend More Time on the Platform
Spotify users in North America spend an average of 140 minutes per day listening to the content on the platform. That factor makes it one of the top 10 most popular apps in the world. That’s around 70 hours per month, per user.
How to Set Up a Spotify Ad Campaign
Now I want to break down the steps you need to take to create your first ad with some Spotify ad examples.
1. Create Account
The first step is to create an account if you don’t have one already. You’ll enter standard information about yourself and your business. Once you’ve created your account, it will bring you to a dashboard like the one below. From here, we can get started on setting up our first Spotify ad.
2. Set Your Budget, Objectives, and Schedule
Now, you’ll name your campaign and choose an objective. For this example, I’m offering half off my agency services for the month and the goal of this ad is to increase brand awareness.
On the next page, you’ll choose which type of ad format and platform you want. You can choose between audio or video and pick the platform you want to display the ad as well.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll choose the ad schedule for when you want the ad to start, stop, and what time of day you’d like to display it. You can also set your budget limit so if you reach a certain budget, the ad will stop displaying so you don’t run over.
3. Define Your Target Audience
Next, you’ll choose your target audience based on their country, location, postal codes, age, gender identity, interests, context, music genre, and more. I’m impressed with the level of targeting Spotify has. They allow you to narrow it down.
Most of you won’t narrow down that much in the beginning until you compile data, but this tells me Spotify has a lot of data on its users, which is good from an advertising perspective.
4. Create Your Ad
On the next page is where you’ll create your ad. You can upload a video, add an image, and decide which type of call-to-action you want. Spotify will show you what your ad looks like on both mobile and desktop.
5. Monitor Your Ad’s Success
Once you’ve created your ad, the only thing left to do is monitor its success. They offer plenty of analytics in the back end to keep track of all the data and determine how you’ll want to narrow down your audience over time. Starting as broad as possible will help you gather as much data as possible right away so you can then see who is receiving your ad, who is converting, and who is not.
You’ve seen the back end of the powerful Spotify ads manager and you’ve seen how to set up an ad from top to bottom. The only thing left to do now is to give it a spin and see if it works for your business and your brand.
Be sure to have a customer avatar in mind as you set up your ad, and don’t be afraid to put content out there that’s less than perfect. The most important thing is you’re putting your brand out there to increase awareness, and it doesn’t have to be 100 percent perfect all the time.
Do you think Spotify is a viable advertising avenue for small businesses? Why or why not?
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In May 2020, Google took the step, as they occasionally do, of giving SEOs a heads up about a big change coming to their algorithms. At Moz, we’ve taken advantage of this warning and are introducing a feature that will help SEOs keep their sites up to speed.
So, today I have the pleasure of announcing a new open beta feature available to all Moz Pro subscribers: our new Performance Metrics suite.
The suite includes bulk analysis (on mobile and desktop), of the three Core Web Vitals metrics that are set to become part of Google’s Page Experience update next month. This is part of Moz’s dedication to technical SEO resources in 2021, along with our recently launched Technical SEO Certification, and some more features and content pieces that we’ll be able to share soon.
In this post, I’ll go through the background of Core Web Vitals, and how the new tools from Moz will help to spot, track, and fix page performance issues as they happen. But if you’re eager to just jump in and get started:
Sign up for Moz Pro to access the beta!
Already a Moz Pro customer? Log in to access the beta!
Hang on, Core Web … what now? Is this SEO?
Yes — if you care about organic rankings, you need to care about Core Web Vitals and performance metrics in general. As such, this is one of those pieces of technical understanding that is going to have to enter general SEO knowledge, just like its predecessors in mobile friendliness and HTTPS. Fortunately, it’s not as daunting as it can at first seem.
Here’s a quick recap on the history of next month’s update:
Sitespeed has factored into Google’s rankings since 2010.
In May 2020, Google announced that three specific performance metrics, called “Core Web Vitals,” would be explicitly used to measure page experience. They later pushed back the effective date to May 2021, then again to summer 2021. The three new metrics are:
Largest Contentful Paint
Cumulative Layout Shift
First Input Delay
To get a ranking boost, Google’s says that you’ll need to pass a threshold on all three metrics, as well as pass four other basic technical hygiene checks:
No intrusive interstitials
This ranking boost might only apply on mobile.
The three new Core Web Vitals performance metrics are measured using CrUX (Chrome User Experience) data, which means it’s being measured in the browsers of real Chrome users. Interestingly, it’s likely that pages without enough traffic to reach this threshold will miss out on any boost.
As with Google’s previous efforts to shape the web (particularly with HTTPS and mobile friendliness), the initial impact may be minimal. However, past experience suggests it will ramp up significantly over the next 1-2 years.
So what is Moz doing about it?
Feedback from our users suggests the majority are currently routinely getting these key metrics by querying URLs one at a time in Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool. This data is then difficult to aggregate, sort, filter, prioritize, and so on. Alternatively, they might use CrUX data (like the recently-launched Google Search Console report), but this only works if you’re working on pages that already get a lot of traffic, can’t be re-analyzed when you need it, and isn’t a controlled test. We wanted to deliver the tool that combined the metrics SEOs care about, identified potential fixes, and could analyze and track large quantities of pages. Based on this feedback, it was clear that there was a chance here to address all of these frustrations, and in doing so, to improve SEO practitioners’ day-to-day working lives before this summer.
Our initial beta is open to all Moz Pro subscribers, and can be found in the left hand navigation of Moz Pro, nested under the Campaigns’ Site Crawl tool.
We’ve taken the liberty of pre-populating 100 of your top pages by Page Authority with mobile and desktop performance data. But, you can also choose a list of pages to analyze from a variety of sources like top ranking pages, pages with other crawl issues, or all pages – currently up to a maximum of 6,000 pages per campaign per month.
More sources are coming soon, and what you select here will also affect the overview bar chart at the top of the page. You can then further refine the pages you wish to analyze by narrowing down with URL text, such as /blog.
What’s included in the beta?
Once you’ve selected your batch of URLs to analyze, you’ll be presented with a table like this one:
As you can see, my personal site requires some TLC.
This data can be filtered and sorted. The “details” dropdown arrow in each row highlights key suggested fixes for that URL at quick glance.
If you click through to “View Report,” you can see more detailed information for each URL:
Note that we’re using Total Blocking Time as a proxy for First Input Delay. Google will be using “field data” as mentioned earlier in this post, whereas for scalability reasons we’re using Lighthouse “lab data,” like you see in Google Pagespeed Insights and other similar tools. It isn’t possible to measure First Input Delay in this context because there is no user to make an input, but Total Blocking Time is a good approximation.
These metrics can each be expanded to give more context on each metric, and what is considered a good or bad score:
And lastly, we’re providing some suggested areas of focus, which can be expanded to provide human-friendly explanations:
Why should I use Performance Metrics beta?
You might want to:
Identify URLs that are likely to miss out on any Core Web Vitals ranking boost
Identify URLs that are performing poorly
Report on performance in bulk and identify the scale of any problems
Find out what to do about each issue
I’m confident Moz Pro is, by some margin, the easiest way to get this kind of data at scale.
To draw some quick comparisons with the current state of the market:
CSV download, more data, and continual improvement
However, all that doesn’t mean we’re done quite yet. We were eager to solve certain problems SEOs are facing before next month’s big rollout, but this is a beta, and the SEO significance of Core Web Vitals is likely to rise gradually for some time, so we do have a host of improvements already planned.
One particular enhancement I wanted to call out is a CSV export. As a long-time SEO data junkie, this is one of my most requested features for any tool like Moz to have. When I first made my Moz profile back in 2013, I listed “endless Excel use cases” as my favorite thing about SEO. I still have a soft spot for being able to manipulate and combine data to my heart’s content in a live environment. Even if you’re more onboard the recent Python SEO trend yourself, CSVs are still a great way to get data into that environment.
Beyond that, we’re also looking at features to track performance over time, and various UI enhancements to make sure the most actionable data is always surfaced.
Get started, and tell us what you think!
That said, this is a beta, which means half the point is to get your opinion on what should come next. You can get started here:
Sign up for Moz Pro to access the beta!
Already a Moz Pro customer? Log in to access the beta!
Let us know what you’d like to see added in the comments below.
You can find content similar to this right here on our blog: https://rankmysite1st.com/blog/