Ecommerce Tips

ThinkTank Blogger Contest Winners Revealed

Awin and ShareASale are thrilled to announce the winners of our ThinkTank US 2020 Blogger Contest. From November 1 – December 25, 2019, all bloggers joined to our trusted Awin and ShareASale platforms were eligible to win one blogger ticket (valued at $250) to ThinkTank, our annual thought leadership, education and networking event, simply by creating content inspired by our 2019 Gift Guide.   We were thrilled to […]
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Mining Reddit for Content Ideas in 5 Steps – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by DanielRussellFor marketers, Reddit is more than a tool to while away your lunch break. It’s a huge, thriving forum with subreddits devoted to almost any topic you can imagine — and exciting new content ideas lurk within threads, just waiting to be discovered. In this edition of Whiteboard Friday, Daniel Russell takes you through five simple steps to mine Reddit for content ideas bolstered by your target audience’s interest.

Video Transcription
Howdy, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Daniel Russell. I’m from an agency called Go Fish Digital. Today we’re going to be talking about mining Reddit for content ideas.
Reddit, you’ve probably heard of it, but in case you haven’t, it’s one of the largest websites on the internet. It gets billions of views and clicks per year. People go there because it is a great source of content. It’s really entertaining. But it also means that it’s a great source of content for us as marketers. So today what we’re going to be talking about is two main groups here.
We’re going to first be talking about the features of Reddit, the different things that you can use on Reddit to find good content ideas. Then we’re going to be talking about five steps that you can take and apply today to start finding ideas for your company, for your clients and start getting that successful content. 
Features of Reddit
So first, Reddit as a breakdown here.
First, a big feature of Reddit is called subreddits. They’re essentially smaller forums within Reddit, a smaller forum within a forum dedicated to a particular topic. So there might be a forum dedicated to movies and discussing movies. There’s a forum dedicated to food and talking about different types of food, posting pictures of food, posting recipes.
There is a forum for just about everything under the sun. If you can think of it, it’s probably got a forum on Reddit. This is really valuable to us as marketers because it means that people are taking their interests and then putting it out there for us to see. So if we are trying to do work for a sports company or if we’re trying to do work for our company that’s dentistry or something like that, there is a subreddit dedicated to that topic, and we can go and find people that are interested in that, that are probably within our target markets.
Upvoting and downvoting
There’s upvoting and downvoting. Essentially what this is, is people post a piece of content to Reddit, and then other users decide if they like it or not. They upvote it or they downvote it. The stuff that is upvoted is usually the good stuff. People that are paying really close attention to Reddit are always upvoting and downvoting things. Then the things that get the most upvotes start rising to the top so that other people can see it.
It’s super valuable to us again because this helps verify ideas for us. This helps us see what’s working and what’s not. Before we even put pen to paper, before we even start designing everything, we can see what has been the most upvoted. The most upvoted stuff leads to the next big feature, which is rankings. The stuff that gets voted the most ends up ranking on the top of Reddit and becomes more visible.
It becomes easier for us to find as marketers, and luckily we can take a look at those rankings and see if any of that matches the content we’re trying to create. 
There’s the comments section. Essentially what this is, is for every post there’s a section dedicated to that post for comments, where people can comment on the post. They can comment on comments. It’s almost like a focus group.
It’s like a focus group without actually being there in person. You can see what people like, what people don’t like about the content, how they felt about it. Maybe they even have some content ideas of their own that they’re sharing in there. It’s an incredibly valuable place to be. We can take these different features and start digging in to find content ideas using these down here.
Reddit search & filters
Search bar
The search bar is a Reddit feature that works fairly well. It will probably yield mediocre results most of the time. But you can drill down a little further with that search bar using search parameters. These parameters are things like searching by author, searching by website.
Search parameters
There are a lot of different searches that you can use. There’s a full list of them on Reddit. But this essentially allows you to take that mediocre search bar and make it a little bit more powerful. If you want to look for sports content, you can look specifically at content posted from and see what has been the most upvoted there. 
Restrict results to subreddit
You can restrict your results to a particular subreddit. So if you’re trying to look for content around chicken dishes, you’re doing work for a restaurant and you’re trying to find what’s been the most upvoted content around chicken, you don’t want people calling each other chickens. So what you can do is restrict your search to a subreddit so that you actually get chicken the food rather than posts talking about that guy is a chicken.
Filter results
You can filter results. This essentially means that you can take all the results that you get from your search and then you can recategorize it based off of how many upvotes it’s gotten, how recently it was posted, how many comments it has. 
Filter subreddits
Then you can also filter subreddits themselves. So you can take subreddits, all the content that’s been posted there, and you can look at what’s been the most upvoted content for that subreddit.
What has been the most controversial content from that subreddit? What’s been the most upvoted? What’s been the most downvoted? These features make it a really user-friendly place in terms of finding really entertaining stuff. That’s why Reddit is often like a black hole of productivity. You can get lost down it and stay there for hours.
That works in our benefit as marketers. That means that we can go through, take these different features, apply them to our own marketing needs, and find those really good content ideas. 
5 steps to finding content ideas on Reddit
So for some examples here. There’s a set of key steps that you can use. I’m going to use some real-world examples, so some true-blue things that we’ve done for clients so that you can see how this actually works in real life.
1. Do a general search for your topic
The first step is to do a general search for your topic. So real-world example, we have a client that is in the transportation space. They work with shuttles, with limos, and with taxis. We wanted to create some content around limos. So the way we started in these key steps is we did a general search for limos.
Our search yielded some interesting things. We saw that a lot of people were posting pictures of stretch limos, of just wild limo interiors. But then we also saw a lot of people talking about presidential limos, the limos that the president rides in that have the bulletproof glass and everything. So we started noticing that, hey, there’s some good content here about limos. It kind of helped frame our brainstorming and our content mining. 
2. Find a subreddit that fits
The next step is to find a subreddit that fits that particular topic. Now there is a subreddit dedicated to limos. It’s not the most active. There wasn’t a ton of content there. So what we ended up doing was looking at more broad subreddits. We looked at like the cars subreddit.
There was a subreddit dedicated to guides and to breakdowns of different machines. So there were a lot of breakdowns, like cutaways of the presidential limos. So again, that was coming up. What we saw in the general search was coming up in our subreddit specific search. We were seeing presidential limos again.
3. Look at subreddit content from the past month
Step 3, look at that sub’s particular content from the past month. The subreddit, for example, that we were looking at was one dedicated to automobiles, as I had mentioned earlier. We looked at the top content from that past month, and we saw there was this really cool GIF that essentially took the Chevy logo back from like the ’30s and slowly morphed it over the years into the Chevy logo that we saw today.
We thought that was pretty cool. We started wondering if maybe we could apply that same kind of idea to our presidential limo finding that we were seeing earlier. 
4. Identify trends, patterns, and sticky ideas
Number 4 was to identify trends, patterns, and sticky ideas. Sticky ideas, it just means if you come across something and it just kind of sticks in your head, like it just kind of stays there, likely that will happen for your audience as well.
So if you come across anything that you find really interesting, that keeps sticking in your head or keeps popping up on Reddit, it keeps getting lots of upvotes, identify that idea because it’s going to be valuable. So for us, we started identifying ideas like morphing GIFs, the Chevy logo morphing over time. We started identifying ideas like presidential limos. People really like talking about it.
5. Polish, improve, and up-level the ideas you’ve found
That led us to use Step Number 5, which is to take those ideas that we were finding, polish them, improve them, one up it, take it to the next level, and then create some content around that and promote it. So what we did was we took those two ideas, we took presidential limos and the whole morphing GIF idea over time, and we combined them.
We found images of all of the presidential limos since like the ’50s. Then we took each of those presidential limos and we created a morphing GIF out of them, so that you started with the old presidential limos, which really weren’t really secure. They were convertibles. They were normal cars. Then that slowly morphed up to the massive tanks that we have today. It was a huge success.
It was just a GIF. But that idea had been validated because we were looking at what was the most upvoted, what was the most downvoted, what was ranked, what wasn’t ranked, and we saw some ideas that we could take, one up, and polish. So we created this morphing presidential limo, and it did really well.
It got coverage in a lot of major news networks. ABC News picked it up. CBS talked about it. It even got posted to Reddit later and performed really well on Reddit. It was all because we were able to take these features, mine down, drill down, find those good content ideas, and then polish it and make it our own. 
I’m really interested to hear if you’ve tried this before. Maybe you’ve seen some really good ideas that you’d like to try out on Reddit.
Do you have like a favorite search function that you use on Reddit? Do you like to filter by the past year? Do you like a particular subreddit? Let me know down in the comments. Good luck mining ideas. I know it will work for you. Have a great day.
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How to Win Friends and Influence People

When you think about the most iconic self-help books, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People often surges to the top of mind. The delightful read is packed with entertaining stories from successful politicians, businesspeople, and students who excelled at communicating.  How to Win Friends and Influence People […]
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Fall Back in Love with Valentine’s Day: Marketing Ideas for 2020

I have quite a few Valentine’s Days behind me, but the one I have the fondest memories of is when I was 13 years old.  February 14 was the day my parents yielded to peer pressure and bought a microwave oven, first ever in our household. To celebrate this purchase, I invited friends over to […]
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Publisher spotlight: Groupon

Groupon is well known for connecting the highest quality businesses and the world’s best customers, featuring new ways to explore your city. With Groupon, shoppers can discover the best a city has to offer with Groupon Local, enjoy vacations with Groupon Getaways, and find a curated selection of electronics, fashion, home furnishings and more with […]
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Seasonal Calendar 2020

Awin releases its annual seasonal calendar for 2020 covering internal, industry and seasonal events. The start of a year brings new events and networking opportunities for marketers. But first there tends to be a few chaotic weeks of trying to determine what important industry conferences and events to plan for over the next 12 months. That’s why each year we […]
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Publisher Payment Delay Retrospective

We recently experienced a delay in our December Publisher Payments as a result of unforeseen circumstances. I would like to offer my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused and my assurances that we are striving to administer timely payouts at all times.    The delay was a culmination of various unanticipated factors, unfortunately exacerbated by limited resources due to the festive break. […]
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Six Examples of Poster Advertising Done Right

Poster advertising can be difficult to get right. And the best poster advertising specialists understand far more than which print finish to use; it involves combining many disciplines – tapping into the brand image, creating something unique, and being eye-catching. When campaigns are executed perfectly they can last a long time in the memory and […]
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What Do High-Performance E-Commerce Websites Do Differently? Results from the 2020 KPI Study

Posted by Alan_ColemanHello Moz readers,
We’re proud to bring some insights from the Wolfgang E-Commerce KPI Study 2020.
The annual study provides KPI benchmark data which allow digital marketers analyze their 2019 performance and plan their 2020. The most popular section in the report amongst Moz readers has always been the conversion correlation, where we crunch the numbers to see what sets the high-performing websites apart.
We’re privileged to count a number of particularly high-performance websites among our dataset participants. There have been over twenty international digital marketing awards won by a spread of participant websites in the last three years. In these findings, you’re getting insights from the global top tier of campaigns.
If we take a five-year look-back, we can see the conversion correlation section acts as an accurate predictor of upcoming trends in digital marketing.
In our 2016 study, the two stand-out correlations with conversion rate were:
High-performing websites got more significantly paid search traffic than the chasing pack.High-performing websites got significantly more mobile traffic than the chasing pack.The two strongest overall trends in our 2020 report are:
It’s the first year in which paid search has eclipsed organic for website revenue.It’s the first year the majority of revenue has come from mobile devices.This tells us that the majority of websites have now caught up with what the top-performing websites were doing five years ago.
So, what are the top performing websites doing differently now?
These points of differentiation are likely to become the major shifts in the online marketing mix over the next 5 years.
Let’s count down to the strongest correlation in the study:
4. Race back up to the top! Online PR and display deliver conversions
For the majority of the 2010s, marketers were racing to the bottom of the purchase funnel. More and more budget flowed to search to win exposure to the cherished searcher — that person pounding on their keyboard with their credit card between their teeth, drunk on the newfound novelty of online shopping. The only advertising that performed better than search was remarketing, which inched the advertising closer and closer to that precious purchase moment. 
Now in 2020, these essential elements of the marketing mix are operating at maximum capacity for any advertiser worth their salt. Top performing websites are now focusing extra budget back up towards the top of the funnel. The best way to kill the competition on Search is to have the audience’s first search, be your brand. Outmarket your competition by generating more of your cheapest and best converting traffic, luvly brand traffic. We saw correlations with Average Order Value from websites that got higher than average referral traffic (0.34) and I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but display correlated with a conversion success metric, Average Order Value (0.37). I guess there’s a first time for everything!
3. Efficiencies of scale
Every budding business student knows that when volume increases, cost per unit decreases. It’s called economies of scale. But what do you call it when it’s revenue per unit that’s increasing with volume? At Wolfgang, we call it efficiencies of scale. Similar to last year’s report, one of the strongest correlations against a number of the success metrics was simply the number of sessions. More visitors to the site equals a higher conversion rate per user (0.49). This stat summons the final wag for the long-tail of smaller specialist retailers. This finding is consistent across both the retail and travel sectors.
And it illustrates another reversal of a significant trend in the 2010s. The long-tail of retailers were the early settlers in the e-commerce land of plenty. Very specialist websites with a narrow product range could capture high volumes of traffic and sales.
For example, could dominate the SERP and then affiliate link or dropship product, making for a highly profitable small business. The entrepreneur behind this microbusiness could automate the process and replicate the model again and again for the products of her choosing. Timothy Ferris’ book, The 4 Hour Work Week, became the bible to the first flush of digital nomads; affiliate conferences in Vegas saw leaning towers of chips being pushed around by solopreneur digital marketers with wild abandon.
Alas, by the end of the decade, Google had started to prioritize brands in the SERP, and the big players had finally gotten their online act together. As a result, we are now seeing significant ‘efficiencies of scale’ as described above
2. Attract that user back
What’s the key insight digital marketers need to act upon to succeed in the 2020s? Average Sessions per Visitor is 2, Average Sessions per Purchaser is 5.
In other words, the core role of the marketer is to create an elegant journey across touchpoints to deliver a person from two click prospect to five click purchaser. Any activity which increases sessions per visitor will increase conversion. Similar to last year’s report, another of the strongest and most consistent correlations was the number of Sessions per User (0.7) — which emphasizes the importance of this metric.
So where should a marketer seek these extra interactions?
Check out the strongest correlation we found with conversion success in the Wolfgang KPI Report 2020….
1. The social transaction
The three strongest conversion correlations across the 4,000 datapoints were related to social transactions. This tells us that the very top performing websites were significantly better than everybody else at generating traffic from social that purchases.
Google Analytics is astonishingly rigorous at suppressing social media success stats. It appears they would rather have an inferior analytics product than accurately track cross-device conversions and give social its due. They can track cross-device conversions in Google Ads — why not in Analytics? So, if our Google Analytics data is telling us social is the strongest conversion success factor, we need to take notice.
This finding runs in parallel with recent research by Forrester which finds one-third of CMOs still don’t know what to do with social.
Our correlation calc finds that social is the biggest point of difference between the high flyers and the chasing pack. The marketers who do know how to use social, are the tip top performing marketers of the bunch. We also have further findings on how to out-market the competition on social in the full study.
Here’s the top tier of correlations we extracted from a third of a billion euro in online revenues and over 100 million website visits:
To read more of our findings pertaining to:
The social sweet spotAverage conversion rates in your industryIn-store sales benchmarkedWhy data is the new oil2010 was the decade of the…And much, much moreHave a look at the full e-commerce KPI report for 2020. If you found yourself with any questions or anecdotes relating to the data shared here, please let us know in the comments!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!

43 Best T-Shirt Mockups PSD Templates For Your Online Store

Looking for the best t-shirt mockups and PSD templates for your online store? When you start an online t-shirt business with little investment the best thing to do is to use ready made mockups that cost very little. Whether you’re designing your own t-shirt or looking to add higher quality […]
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What is Entrepreneurship? Entrepreneur Definition and Meaning

While the definition of entrepreneurship has stayed constant for decades, the possibilities for wannabe entrepreneurs have evolved. Think about it: 100 years ago, what options did an entrepreneur have? If you didn’t have the skill to make something, and didn’t have the capital to buy something, you were out of […]
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How to Use Tools to Determine Which Content to Re-Optimize: A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted by Jeff_BakerWhy is everyone and their grandparents writing about content re-optimization?
I can’t speak for the people writing endless streams of blogs on the subject, but in Brafton’s case, it’s been the fastest technique for improving rankings and driving more traffic.
As a matter of fact, in this previous Moz post, we showed that rankings can improve in a matter of minutes after re-indexing.
But why does it work?
It’s probably a combination of factors (our favorite SEO copout!), which may include:
Age value: In a previous study we observed a clear relationship between time indexed and keyword/URL performance, absent of links:More comprehensive content: Presumably, when re-optimizing content you are adding contextual depth to existing topics and breadth to related topics. It’s pretty clear at this point that Google understands when content has fully nailed a topic cluster.It’s a known quantity: You’re only going to be re-optimizing content that has a high potential for return. In this blog post, I’ll explain how to identify content with a high potential for return.How well does it work?
Brafton’s website is a bit of a playground for our marketing team to try new strategies. And that makes sense, because if something goes horribly wrong, the worst case scenario is that I look like an idiot for wasting resources, rather than losing a high-paying client on an experiment.
You can’t try untested procedures on patients. It’s just dangerous.
So we try new strategies and meticulously track the results on And by far, re-optimizing content results in the most immediate gains. It’s exactly where I would start with a client who was looking for fast results.
Example: Top Company Newsletters
Example: Best Social Media Campaigns
In many cases, re-optimizing content is not a “set it and forget it,” by any means. We frequently find that this game is an arms race, and we will lose rankings on an optimized article, and need to re-re-optimize our content to stay competitive.
(You can clearly see this happening in the second example!)
So how do you choose which content to re-optimize? Let’s dig in.
Step 1: Find your threshold keywords
If a piece of content isn’t ranking in the top five positions for its target keyword, or a high-value variant keyword, it’s not providing any value.
We want to see which keywords are just outside a position that could provide more impact if we were able to give them a boost. So we want to find keywords that rank worse than position 5. But we also want to set a limit on how poorly they rank.
Meaning, we don’t want to re-optimize for a keyword that ranks on page eleven. They need to be within reach (threshold).
We have found our threshold keywords to exist between positions 6–29.
Note: you can do this in any major SEO tool. Simply find the list of all keywords you rank for, and filter it to include only positions 6-29. I will jump around a few tools to show you what it looks like in each.
You have now filtered the list of keywords you rank for to include only threshold keywords. Good job!
Step 2: Filter for search volume
There’s no point in re-optimizing a piece of content for a keyword with little-to-no search volume. You will want to look at only keywords with search volumes that indicate a likelihood of success.
Advice: For me, I set that limit at 100 searches per month. I choose this number because I know, in the best case scenario (ranking in position 1), I will drive ~31 visitors per month via that keyword, assuming no featured snippet is present. It costs a lot of money to write blogs; I want to justify that investment.
You’ve now filtered your list to include only threshold keywords with sufficient search volume to justify re-optimizing.
Step 3: Filter for difficulty
Generally, I want to optimize the gravy train keywords — those with high search volume and low organic difficulty scores. I am looking for the easiest wins available.
You do not have to do this!
Note: If you want to target a highly competitive keyword in the previous list, you may be able to successfully do so by augmenting your re-optimization plan with some aggressive link building, and/or turning the content into a pillar page.
I don’t want to do this, so I will set up a difficulty filter to find easy wins.
But where do you set the limit?
This is a bit tricky, as each keyword difficulty tool is a bit different, and results may vary based on a whole host of factors related to your domain. But here are some fast-and-loose guidelines I provide to owners of mid-level domains (DA 30–55). ToolKW DifficultyAhrefs

Publisher spotlight: Dealmoon

Dealmoon discovers great products and services to help people live better. Dealmoon works with 3000+ of world’s best brands and partners — including Nordstrom, Sephora, American Express, GNC, Dell, Nike and Dyson – to deliver a consistently high-end customer experience combined with great deals and products consumers won’t find elsewhere. Why and when was Dealmoon […]
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The Delivery Conference 2020

LONDON – 7 January, 2020– Metapack, the global leader in eCommerce delivery technology, today announces that it is hosting a wealth of influential brands, retailers and carriers at The Delivery Conference – TDC Global 2020 on February 4th 2020 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. Now in its 11th year, TDC Global is renowned for […]
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How to Build a Customer-Centric Strategy for Your Business

Your business lives and dies by the customer experience. Its culture, assets, structure, marketing, and sales all need to work together to deliver satisfactory outcomes. While focusing on the product and trying to sell as much of it as possible is natural, no longer can you afford to ignore the […]
The post How to Build a Customer-Centric Strategy for Your Business appeared first on Oberlo.

10 Best Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns

A holiday based around consumers spending money on their significant other can result in a big Q1 revenue boost for stores.

Building a Valentine’s Day buzz is all about knowing your audience and finding a strong way to elicit customer engagement – user-generated content is becoming a more and more popular strategy for doing that.

We took a look at the best UGC-inspired Valentine’s day marketing campaigns.

Here are the 10 that captured our hearts:
1) Tiffany & Co: Spreading the Love With Stickers
Everyone likes a little gift for Valentine’s Day, and Tiffany’s built that little present into their 2018 UGC marketing campaign, “The Tiffany Tattoo Shop.”

Tiffany’s created an a mini-site that allows you to select and customize a “tattoo” that can be used as a sticker on your Instagram posts. Each design is based on a classic tattoo style, and Tiffany’s asked customers to create their own and share it with the “#BelieveInLove” hashtag.

Not only does Tiffany’s ge …This story continues at Yotpo

The Ultimate Guide to Customer Satisfaction

Do you know how happy your customers are with your products, services and their overall experience with your company?  If your answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” then you need to take action and figure it out.  Measuring customer satisfaction can show you where your business is getting it […]
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Intro to Python – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by BritneyMullerPython is a programming language that can help you uncover incredible SEO insights and save you time by automating time-consuming tasks. But for those who haven’t explored this side of search, it can be intimidating. In this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Britney Muller and a true python expert named Pumpkin offer an intro into a helpful tool that’s worth your time to learn.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!
Video Transcription
Hey, Moz fans. Welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Today we’re talking all about introduction to Python, which is why I have a special co-host here. She is a ball python herself, total expert. Her name is Pumpkin, and she’s the best. 
What is Python?
So what is Python? This has been in the industry a lot lately. There’s a lot of commotion that you should know how to use it or know how to talk about it. Python is an open source, object-oriented programming language that was created in 1991.
Simpler to use than R
Some fun facts about Python is it’s often compared to R, but it’s arguably more simple to use. The syntax just oftentimes feels more simple and common-sense, like when you’re new to programming. 
Big companies use it
Huge companies use it. NASA, Google, tons of companies out there use it because it’s widely supported.
It’s open source
It is open source. So pretty cool. While we’re going through this Whiteboard Friday, I would love it if we would do a little Python programming today. So I’m just going to ask that you also visit this in another tab, Download the version for your computer and we’ll get back to that. 
Why does Python matter?
So why should you care? 
Automates time-consuming tasks
Python is incredibly powerful because it helps you automate time-consuming tasks. It can do these things at scale so that you can free up your time to work on higher-level thinking, to work on more strategy. It’s really, really exciting where these things are going. 
Log file analysis
Some examples of that are things like log file analysis. Imagine if you could just set up an automated system with Python to alert you any time one of your primary pages wasn’t being crawled as frequently as it typically is. You can do all sorts of things. Let’s say Google crawls your robots.txt and it throws out a server error, which many of you know causes huge problems. It can alert you. You can set up scripts like that to do really comprehensive tasks. 
Internal link analysis
Some other examples, internal link analysis, it can do a really great job of that. 
Discover keyword opportunities
It can help you discover keyword opportunities by looking at bulk keyword data and identifying some really important indicators. 
Image optimization
It’s really great for things like image optimization. It can auto tag and alt text images. It can do really powerful things there. 
Scrape websites
It can also scrape the websites that you’re working with to do really high volume tasks. 
Google Search Console data analysis
It can also pull Google Search Console data and do analysis on those types of things.
I do have a list of all of the individuals within SEO who are currently doing really, really powerful things with Python. I highly suggest you check out some of Hamlet Batista’s recent scripts where he’s using Python to do all sorts of really cool SEO tasks. 
How do you run Python?
What does this even look like? So you’ve hopefully downloaded Python as a programming language on your computer. But now you need to run it somewhere. Where does that live? 
Set up a virtual environment using Terminal
So first you should be setting up a virtual environment. But for the purpose of these examples, I’m just going to ask that you pull up your terminal application.
It looks like this. You could also be running Python within something like Jupyter Notebook or Google Colab. But just pull up your terminal and let’s check and make sure that you’ve downloaded Python properly. 
Check to make sure you’ve downloaded Python properly
So the first thing that you do is you open up the terminal and just type in “python –version.” You should see a readout of the version that you downloaded for your computer. That’s awesome. 
Activate Python and perform basic tasks
So now we’re just going to activate Python and do some really basic tasks. So just type in “python” and hit Enter. You should hopefully see these three arrow things within your terminal. From here, you can do something like print (“Hello, World!”). So you enter it exactly like you see it here, hit Enter, and it will say “Hello, World!” which is pretty cool.
You can also do fun things like just basic math. You can add two numbers together using something like this. So these are individual lines. After you complete the print (sum), you’ll see the readout of the sum of those two numbers. You can randomly generate numbers. I realize these aren’t direct SEO applications, but these are the silly things that give you confidence to run programs like what Hamlet talks about.
Have fun — try creating a random number generator
So I highly suggest you just have fun, create a little random number generator, which is really cool. Mine is pulling random numbers from 0 to 100. You can do 0 to 10 or whatever you’d like. A fun fact, after you hit Enter and you see that random number, if you want to continue, using your up arrow will pull up the last command within your terminal.
It even goes back to these other ones. So that’s a really quick way to rerun something like a random number generator. You can just crank out a bunch of them if you want for some reason. 
Automating different tasks
This is where you can start to get into really cool scripts as well for pulling URLs using Requests HTML. Then you can pull unique information from web pages.
You can pull at bulk tens of thousands of title tags within a URL list. You can pull things like H1s, canonicals, all sorts of things, and this makes it incredibly easy to do it at scale. One of my favorite ways to pull things from URLs is using xpath within Python.
This is a lot easier than it looks. So this might be an xpath for some websites, but websites are marked up differently. So when you’re trying to pull something from a particular site, you can right-click into Chrome Developer Tools. Within Chrome Developer Tools, you can right-click what it is that you’re trying to scrape with Python.
You just select “Copy xpath,” and it will give you the exact xpath for that website, which is kind of a fun trick if you’re getting into some of this stuff. 
What are libraries? How do we make this stuff more and more powerful? Python is really strong on its own, but what makes it even stronger are these libraries or packages which are add-ons that do incredible things.
This is just a small percentage of libraries that can do things like data collection, cleaning, visualization, processing, and deployment. One of my favorite ways to get some of the more popular packages is just to download Anaconda, because it comes with all of these commonly used, most popular packages.
So it’s kind of a nice way to get all of it in one spot or at least most of them. 
Learn more
So you’ve kind of dipped your toes and you kind of understand what Python is and what people are using it for. Where can you learn more? How can you start? Well, Codecademy has a really great Python course, as well as Google, Kaggle, and even the website have some really great resources that you can check out.
This is a list of individuals I really admire in the SEO space, who are doing incredible work with Python and have all inspired me in different ways. So definitely keep an eye on what they are up to:
Hamlet BatistaRuth EverettTom DonahueKristin TynskiPaul ShapiroTyler ReardonJR OakesHulya [email protected] yeah, Pumpkin and I have really enjoyed this, and we hope you did too. So thank you so much for joining us for this special edition of Whiteboard Friday. We will see you soon. Bye, guys.
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Find Competitive Keywords, Ranking Distributions, & Common Questions: 3 Workflows for Smarter Keyword Research

Posted by FeliciaCrawfordWhat keywords do your top competitors both rank for that you’re missing out on? How do you know how much top real estate your URL or page owns in the SERPs? How can you discover answers to your searchers’ most common questions and beef up that FAQ page?
We can answer all of those questions with some super-simple workflows using Keyword Explorer. In our last post in this series, we covered how to find ranking keywords, uncover new opportunities, check rankings, and more. This time around, we’re diving into three more quick and easy workflows you can use to bolster your keyword research and work smarter, not harder.
Ready to get started? Follow along in the tool with Britney Muller as she shares her very favorite Keyword Explorer features:
Follow along in Keyword Explorer
And remember, if you have a Moz Community account that you use to thumbs-up and comment on Moz Blog posts, you already have free access to Keyword Explorer — let’s show you how to use it!
1. How to discover competitive keyword opportunities

This is my favorite feature of all in Keyword Explorer and let me explain why. Let’s say that you’re this website, They create projects and tutorials on Raspberry Pis. The two competing websites for Raspberry Pi, which is a mini computer, are and
If this is your site, we could paste that in here, select Root Domain, and do a search. Then we’re going to grab these other two sites. We’re going to copy their URLs and enter them in these additional site areas. 
This is essentially going to look at the ranking keywords for your competitive sites that your site doesn’t rank for. So it’s a really great, high-level overview of what those keywords are.
Pi My Life Up is pretty good. Then you can view the Domain Authority for the sites. Where it gets really exciting is over in Ranking Keywords. Here you can see this is, and this is the amount of keywords that they rank for. This blue circle is Pi My Life Up, and then the yellow is CanaKit.
What you want to look at are the keywords that both CanaKit and right here rank for that you don’t. So you click on the competing overlap keywords, and they will populate here below. You can export all of them, which is great.
Or you could filter by various things, like search volume or difficulty in ranking. What I suggest doing is going through some of these by hand and selecting the keywords that you think might be opportunities for your site.
From here, what you can do is, after you select and click around to the ones that you want, you can add them to a keyword list. So you can keep track of all of these keywords. Let’s do Pi Opportunities. I’ve already saved these in a list over here that’s populated.
From a high-level overview, you can see what the popular SERP features are. There are lots of images for these competing keywords. If I want to be competitive in those keyword spaces, I know I need to create content that has images. There are also lots of related questions.
Then from here, I can filter by SERP features or organic click-through rates. Maybe most interestingly I can add a URL. Let’s say we’ll enter Pi My Life Up, and again we’re not seeing any rankings here because this was that overlap that Pi My Life Up didn’t rank for but the two competitive sites do.
This is confirming that we don’t currently rank for any of these keywords, but we can work on that. What’s so great about these saved lists is that you can come back after a couple of weeks or a couple of months and you can select all of the keywords and refresh the data.
You might want to come back to this keyword list, refresh it, enter in your URL, and then filter by rank and see where you’re starting to pop up for these keyword terms. It’s a really exciting way to dig into the competitive keyword space. There’s tons you can do with this, but this was the high-level overview of finding those keywords that your competitors currently rank for that you don’t.
2. How to discover a URL or an exact page’s ranking distribution of keywords

You can just paste in the URL or an exact page into Keyword Explorer. Let’s just use From here, you get the Overview page. But if you scroll down to the very bottom, you see the ranking distribution.
You can see how many keywords are currently in positions 1 to 3 versus 4 to 10, all the way down to 41 to 50.
3. How to discover common keyword questions

This is one of my favorite features that we offer with Keyword Explorer. Just put in your keyword. Click Search, and from here you can navigate over to Keyword Suggestions. In this view, you can filter display keyword suggestions that are questions.
Here you’ll see all of the results that are questions, and you can sort by various things. You can add all of these to a list, incorporate them into an FAQ page, whatever your end goal is.
Discover anything new or especially useful? Let us know on Twitter or here in the comments, and keep an eye out for more ways to use your everyday SEO tools to level up your workflows.
Try out some new tricks in Keyword ExplorerSign 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!

Facebook Chatbots for Business: The Definitive Guide

You’ve set up a visually stunning cover photo for your Facebook business page, chalked a marketing plan, and are almost done setting up your shop on the social network too. But when it comes to a Facebook chatbot for Messenger, you find yourself scratching your head.  Should I give it […]
The post Facebook Chatbots for Business: The Definitive Guide appeared first on Oberlo.

How to Protect Your Online Store with Free Tools and Mindful Habits

Where there’s money, sharks circle. And in ecommerce, there’s plenty of both—the market saw it’s fastest growth in seven years at the end of 2019. That makes small business owners valuable targets to malicious hackers who can commandeer compromised accounts to defraud you and your customers.  But if you’re like me, you’re a bit bored […]
The post How to Protect Your Online Store with Free Tools and Mindful Habits appeared first on Blog – Printful.

The 8 Best Brand Communities and Why They’re Successful

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 11, 2018 and was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on January 7, 2020.
Imagine having customers that continue to engage with you beyond your products. This is a sign of a loyal brand community, and some of the most successful businesses are strong because of it.
Building a great brand community can be done in three steps: 
First, you need a captivating reason for members to join. 
Secondly, you need to make it worth their time to engage with each other and with your brand. 
Finally, it has to be easy and valuable for members to share your community with others and help it grow. 
Once you have all three steps working together, you’ve got yourself a brand community.

The 45 Best Podcasts to Help You Get Ahead in 2020

You’re ambitious. You want to grow and succeed – but how? How can you start a successful business? How can you get more customers and scale it? What can you do to learn more about yourself, other people, and society? How can you stop procrastinating and become more focused, balanced, […]
The post The 45 Best Podcasts to Help You Get Ahead in 2020 appeared first on Oberlo.

2020 Local SEO Success: How to Feed, Fight, and Flip Google

Posted by MiriamEllis
Image credit: Migaspinto
If you own or market a business location that makes a real-world community more serviceable, diverse, and strong, I’m on your side.
I love interesting towns and cities, with a wide array of useful goods and services. Nothing in my career satisfies me more than advising any brand that’s determined to improve life quality in some spot on the map. It does my heart good to see it, but here’s my completely unsentimental take on the challenges you face:
The Internet, and Google’s local platforms in particular, are a complete mess.
Google is the biggest house on the local block; you can’t ignore it. Yet, the entries into the platform are poorly lit, the open-source concept is cluttered with spam, and growing litigation makes one wonder if there are bats in the belfry.
Google comprises both risk and tremendous opportunity for local businesses and their marketers. Succeeding in 2020 means becoming a clear-eyed surveyor of any structural issues as well as seeing the “good bones” potential, so that you can flip dilapidation into dollars. And something beyond dollars, too: civic satisfaction.
Grab your tools and get your teammates and clients together to build local success in the new year by sharing my 3-level plan and 4-quarter strategy.
Level 1: Feed Google
Image credit: Mcapdevila
Information about your business is going to exist on the Internet whether you put it there or not.
Google’s house may be structurally unsound, but it’s also huge, with a 90% search engine market share globally and over 2 trillion searches per year, 46% of which are for something local.
Residents, new neighbors, and travelers seeking what you offer will almost certainly find something about your company online, whether it’s a stray mention on social media, an unclaimed local business listing generated by a platform or the public, or a full set of website pages and claimed listings you’ve actively published.
Right now, running the most successful local business possible means acquiring the largest share you can of those estimated 1 trillion annual local searches. How do you do this? 
By feeding Google:
Website content about your business location, products, services, and attributesCorroborating info about your company on other websitesLocal business listing contentImage contentVideo contentSocial media contentRemember, without your content and the content of others, Google does not exist. Local business owners can often feel uncomfortably dependent on Google, but it’s really Google who is dependent on them.
Whether the business you’re marketing is small or large, declare 2020 the year you go to the drafting board to render a clear blueprint for a content architecture that spans your entire neighborhood of the Internet, including your website and relevant third-party sites, platforms, and apps. Your plans might look something like this:
I recommend organizing your plan like this, making use of the links I’m including:
Begin with a rock-solid foundation of business information on your website. Tell customers everything they could want to know to choose and transact with your business. Cover every location, service, product, and desirable attribute of your company. There’s no chance you won’t have enough to write about when you take into account everything your customers ask you on a daily basis + everything you believe makes your company the best choice in the local market. Be sure the site loads fast, is mobile-friendly, and as technically error-free as possible. Create a fully complete, accurate, guideline-abiding Google My Business listing for each location of your business. Build out your listings (aka structured citations) on the major platforms. Automate the work of both developing and monitoring them for sentiment and change via a product like Moz Local.Monitor and respond to all reviews as quickly as possible on all platforms. These equal your online reputation and are, perhaps, the most important content about your business on the Internet. Know that reviews are a two-way conversation and learn to inspire customers to edit negative reviews. Moz Local automates review monitoring and facilitates easy responses. If you need help earning reviews, check out Alpine Software Group’s two good products: GatherUp and Grade.Us. Audit your competition. In competitive markets, come check out our beta of Local Market Analytics for a multi-sampled understanding of who your competitors actually are for each location of your business, depending on searcher locale. Once you’ve found your competitors, audit them to understand the:quality, authority and rate of ongoing publication you need to surpassstrength and number of linked unstructured citations you need to buildnumber and quality of Google posts, videos, products, and other content you need to publishsocial engagement you need to create. As to the substance of your content, focus directly on your customers’ needs. Local Market Analytics is breaking ground in delivering actual local keyword volumes, and the end point of all of your research, whether via keyword tools, consumer surveys, or years of business experience, should be content that acts as customer service, turning seekers into shoppers.Use any leftover time to sketch in the finer details. For example, I’m less excited about schema for 2020 than I was in 2019 because of Google removing some of the benefits of review schema. Local business schema is still a good idea, though, if you have time for it. Meanwhile, pursuing relevant featured snippets could certainly be smart in the new year. I’d go strong on video this year, particularly YouTube, if there’s applicability and demand in your market.The customer is the focus of everything you publish. Google is simply the conduit. Your content efforts may need to be modest or major to win the greatest possible share of the searches that matter to you. It depends entirely on the level of competition in your markets. Find that level, know your customers, and commit to feeding Google a steady, balanced diet of what they say they want so that it can be conveyed to the people you want to serve.
Level 2: Fight Google
Image credit: Scott Lewis
Let’s keep it real: ethical local companies which pride themselves on playing fair have good reason to be dubious about doing business with Google. Once you’ve put in the effort to feed Google all the right info to begin competing for rankings, you may well find yourself having to do online battle on an ongoing basis.
There are two fronts on which many people end up grappling with Google:
Problematic aspects within productsLitigation and protests against the brand.Let’s break these down to prepare you:
Product issues
Google has taken on the scale of a public utility — one that’s replaced most of North America’s former reliance on telephone directories and directory assistance numbers.
Google has 5 main local interfaces: local packs, local finders, desktop maps, mobile maps and the Google Maps app. It’s been the company’s decision to allow these utilities to become polluted with misinformation in the form of listing and review spam, and irrelevant or harmful user-generated content. Google does remove spam, but not at the scale of the issue, which is so large that global networks of spammers are have sprung up to profit from the lack of quality control and failure to enforce product guidelines.
When you are marketing a local business, there’s a strong chance you will face one or more of the following issues while attempting to compete in Google’s local products:
Being outranked by businesses violating Google’s own guidelines with practices such as keyword-stuffed business titles and creating listings to represent non-existent locations or lead-gen companies. (Example) Being the target of listing hijacking in which another company overtakes some aspect of your listing to populate it with their own details. (Example) Being the target of a reputation attack by competitors or members of the public posting fake negative reviews of your business. (Example) Being the target of negative images uploaded to your listing by competitors or the public. (Example)Having Google display third-party lead-gen information on your listings, driving business away from you to others. (Example) Having Google randomly experiment with local features with direct negative impacts on you, such as booking functions that reserve tables for your patrons without informing your business. (Example)Being unable to access adequately trained Google staff or achieve timely resolution when things go wrong (Example)These issues have real-world impacts. I’ve seen them misdirect and scam countless consumers including those having medical and mental health emergency needs, kill profits during holiday shopping seasons for companies, cause owners so much loss that they’ve had to lay off staff, and even drive small brands out of business.
Honest local business owners don’t operate this way. They don’t make money off of fooling the public, or maliciously attack neighboring shops, or give the cold shoulder to people in trouble. Only Google’s underregulated monopoly status has allowed them to stay in business while conducting their affairs this way.
Outlook issues
Brilliant people work for Google and some of their innovations are truly visionary. But the Google brand, as a whole, can be troubling to anyone firmly tied to the idea of ethical business practices. I would best describe the future of Google, in its present underregulated state of monopoly, as uncertain.
In their very short history, Google has been:
The subject of thousands of lawsuits by global entities, countries, companies, and individualsHit with billions of dollars in fines. A cause of employee protest over a very long list of employer projects and practices.I can’t predict where all this is headed. What I do know is that nearly every local business I’ve ever consulted with has been overwhelmingly reliant on Google for profits. Whether you personally favor strong regulation or not, I recommend that every local business owner and marketer keep apprised of the increasing calls by governing bodies, organizations, and even the company’s own staff to break Google up, tax it, end contracts on the basis of human rights, and prosecute it over privacy, antitrust, and a host of other concerns.
Pick your battles
With Google so deeply embedded in your company’s online visibility, traffic, reputation and transactions, concerns with the brand and products don’t exist in some far-off place; they are right on your own doorstep. Here’s how to fight well:
1. Fight the spam
To face off with Google’s local spam, earn/defend the rankings your business needs, and help clean polluted SERPs up for the communities you serve, here are my best links for you:
Simple Spam Fighting: The Easiest Local Rankings You’ll Ever EarnGMB Spam Fighting 101 – Get The Basics Down, Then Take Out The Trash[2019] The Ultimate Guide to Fighting Spam on Google MapsFighting Review Spam: The Complete Guide for the Local EnterpriseFollow Mike Blumenthal and Joy Hawkins for frequent reporting on local spam, and keep tuning into the Moz blog. 2. Stay informed
If you’re ready to move beyond your local premises to the larger, ongoing ethical debate surrounding Google, here are my best links for you: publishes ongoing articles regarding class action litigation against [email protected] on Twitter charts employee/employer conflicts specifically at Google.The Tech Workers Coalition is a labor organization dedicated to organizing in the tech industry, at large.If you belong to a local business association like the Buy Local movement, consider starting a discussion about how you community can become more active in shaping policy and reach out to groups like the American Independent Business Alliance for resources.Whether your degree of engagement goes no further than local business listings or extends to your community, state, nation, or the world, I recommend increased awareness of the whole picture of Google in 2020. Education is power.
Level 3: Flip Google
Image credit: Province of British Columbia
You’ve fed Google. You’ve fought Google. Now, I want you to flip this whole scenario to your advantage.
My 2020 local SEO blueprint has you working hard for every customer you win from the Internet. So far, the ball has been almost entirely in Google’s court, but when all of this effort culminates in a face-to-face meeting with another human being, we are finally at your party under your roof, where you have all the control. This is where you turn Internet-driven customers into in-store keepers.
I encourage you to make 2020 the year you draft a strategy for making a larger portion of your sales as Google-independent as possible, flipping their risky edifice into su casa, built of sturdy bricks like community, pride, service, and loyalty.
How can you do this? Here’s a four-quarter plan you can customize to fit your exact business scenario:
Q1: Listen & learn
Image credit: Chris Kiernan, Small Business Saturday
The foundation of all business success is giving the customer exactly what they want. Hoping and guessing are no substitute for a survey of your actual customers.
If you already have an email database, great. If not, you could start collecting one in Q1 and run your survey at the end of the quarter when you have enough addresses. Alternatively, you could ask each customer if they would kindly take a very short printed survey while you ring up their purchase.
Imagine you’re marketing an independent bookstore. Such a survey might look like this, whittled down to just the data points you most want to gather from customers to make business decisions:
Have pens ready and a drop box for each customer to deposit their card. Make it as convenient and anonymous as possible, for the customer’s comfort.
In this survey and listening phase of the new year, I also recommend that you:
Spend more time as the business owner speaking directly to your customers, really listening to their needs and complaints and then logging them in a spreadsheet. Speak with determination to discover how your business could help each customer more.Have all phone staff log the questions/requests/complaints they receive.Have all floor/field staff log the questions/requests/complaints they receive.Audit your entire online review corpus to identify dominant sentiment, both positive and negativeIf the business you’re marketing is large and competitive, now is the time to go in for a full-fledged consumer analysis project with mobile surveys, customer personae, etc.End of Q1 Goal: Know exactly what customers want so that they’ll come to us for repeat business without any reliance on Google.
Q2: Implement your ready welcome
Image credit: Small Business Week in BC
In this quarter, you’ll implement as many of the requests you’ve gleaned from Q1 as feasible. You’ll have put solutions in place to rectify any complaint themes, and will have upped your game wherever customers have called for it.
In addition to the fine details of your business, large or small, life as a local SEO has taught me that these six elements are basic requirements for local business longevity:
A crystal-clear USPConsumer-centric policiesAdequate, well-trained, personable staffAn in-demand inventory of products/servicesAccessibility for complaint resolutionCleanliness/orderliness of premises/servicesThe lack of any of these six essentials results in negative experiences that can either cause the business to shed silent customers in person or erode online reputation to the point that the brand begins to fail.
With the bare minimums of customers’ requirements met, Q2 is where we get to the fun part. This is where you take your basic USP and add your special flourish to it that makes your brand unique, memorable, and desirable within the community you serve.
A short tale of two yarn shops in my neck of the woods: At shop A, the premises are dark and dusty. Customer projects are on display, but aren’t very inspiring. Staff sits at a table knitting, and doesn’t get up when customers enter. At shop B, the lighting and organization are inviting, displayed projects are mouthwatering, and though the staff here also sits at a table knitting, they leap up to meet, guide, and serve. Guess which shop now knows me by name? Guess which shop has staff so friendly that they have lent me their own knitting needles for a tough project? Guess which shop I gave a five-star review to? Guess where I’ve spent more money than I really should?
This quarter, seek vision for what going above-and-beyond would look like to your customers. What would bring them in again and again for years to come? Keep it in mind that computers are machines, but you and your staff are people serving people. Harness human connection.
End of Q2 Goal: Have implemented customers’ basic requests and gone beyond them to provide delightful human experiences Google cannot replicate.
Q3: Participate, educate, appreciate
Now you know your customers, are meeting their specified needs, and doing your best to become one of their favorite businesses. It’s time to walk out your front door into the greater community to see where you can make common cause with a neighborhood, town, or city, as a whole.
2020 is the year you become a joiner. Analyze all of the following sources at a local level:
Print and TV newsSchool newsletters and papersPlace of worship newsletters and bulletinsLocal business organization newslettersAny form of publication surrounding charity, non-profits, activism, and governmentCreate a list of the things your community worries about, cares about, and aspires to. For example, a city near me became deeply involved in a battle over putting an industrial plant in a wetland. Another town is fundraising for a no-kill animal shelter and a walk for Alzheimer’s. Another is hosting interfaith dinners between Christians and Muslims.
Pick the efforts that feel best to you and show up, donate, host, speak, sponsor, and support in any way you can. Build real relationships so that the customers coming through your door aren’t just the ones you sell to, but the ones you’ve manned a booth with on the 4th of July, attended a workshop with, or cheered with at their children’s soccer match. This is how community is made.
Once you’re participating in community life, it’s time to educate your customers about how supporting your business makes life better in the place they live (get a bunch of good stats on this here). Take the very best things that you do and promote awareness of them face-to-face with every person you transact with.
For my fictitious bookseller client, just 10 minutes spent on Canva (you have to try Canva!) helped me whip together this free flyer I could give to every customer, highlighting stats about how supporting independent businesses improve communities:
If you’re marketing a larger enterprise, a flyer like this could focus on green practices you’re implementing at scale, philanthropic endeavors, and positive community involvement.
Finally, with the holiday season fast approaching in the coming quarter, this is the time to let customers know how much you appreciate their business. Recently, I wrote about businesses turning kindness into a form of local currency. Brands are out there delivering surprise flowers and birthday cakes to customers, picking them up when they’re stranded on roadsides, washing town signage, and replacing “you will be towed” plaques with ones that read “you’re welcome to park here.” Loyalty programs, coupons, discounts, sales, free events, parties, freebies, and fun are all at your disposal to say “Thank you, please come again!” to your customers.
End of Q3 Goal: Have integrated more deeply into community life, motivated customers to choose our business for aspirational reasons beyond sales, and have offered memorable acts of gratitude for their business, completely independent of Google.
Q4: Share customers and sell
Every year, local consumer surveys indicate that 80–90% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends and family. But I’ve yet to see a survey poll how much people trust recommendations they receive from trustworthy business owners.
You spent all of Q3 becoming a true ally to your community, getting personally involved in the struggles and dreams of the people you serve. At this point, if you’ve done a good job, the people who make up your brand have come closer to deserving the word “friend” from customers. As we move into Q4, it’s time to deepen alliances — this time with related local businesses.
In the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street, the owners of Macy’s and Gimbel’s begin sending shoppers to one another when either business lacks what the customer wants. They even create catalogues of their competitors’ inventory to assist with these referrals. In Q3, I’m hoping you joined a local business alliance that’s begun to acquaint you with other brands that feature goods/service that relate to yours so that you can begin dedicated outreach.
Q4, with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, is traditionally the quarter in which local businesses expect to get out of the red, but how many more wedding cakes would you sell if all the caterers in town were referring to you, how many more tires would you vend if the muffler shops sent all their customers your way, how many more therapeutic massages might you book if every holistic medical center in your city confidently gave out your name?
Formalize B2B customer referrals in this quarter in seven easy steps:
Create a spreadsheet headed with your contact information and an itemized list of the main goods, services, and brands you sell. Include specialties of your business. Create additional rows to be filled out with the information of other businesses.Create a list of every local business that could tie in with yours in any way for a customer’s needs.Invite the owners or qualified reps of each business on your list to a meeting at a neutral location, like a community center or restaurant.Bring your spreadsheet to the meeting.Discuss with your guests how a commitment to sharing customers will benefit all of youIf others commit, have them fill out their column of the spreadsheet. Share print and digital copies with all participants.Whenever a customer asks for something you don’t offer, refer to the spreadsheet to make a recommendation. Encourage your colleagues to do likewise, and to train staff to use the spreadsheet to increase customer sharing and satisfaction.Make a copy of my free Local Business Allies spreadsheet!
Q4 Goal: Make this the best final quarter yet by sharing customers with local business allies, decreasing dependence on Google for referrals.
Embrace truth and dare to draw the line
Image credit: TCDavis
House flipping is a runaway phenomenon in the US that has remodeled communities and sparked dozens of hit TV shows. Unfortunately, there’s a downside to the activity, as it can create negative gentrification, making life less good for residents.
You need have no fear of this when you flip Google, because turning their house into yours actually strengthens your real-world neighborhood, town, or city. It gives the residents who already live there more stable resources, more positive human contact, and a more closely knit community.
Truth: Google will remain dominant in the discovery-related phases of your consumers’ journeys for the foreseeable future. For new neighbors and travelers, Google will remain a valuable source of your business being found in the first place. Even if governing bodies break the company up at some point, the truth is that most local businesses need to utilize Google as a search utility for discovery.
Dare: Draw a line on the pavement outside your front door this year, with transactional experiences on your side of the line. Google wants to own the transaction phase of your customers’ journey. Bookings, lead gen, local ads, and related features show where they are headed with this. If Google could, I’m sure they’d be glad to take a cut of every sale you make, and you’ll likely have to participate in their transactional aspirations to some degree. But…
In 2020, dare yourself to turn every customer you serve into a keeper, cutting out Google as the middleman wherever you can and building a truly local, regenerative base of loyalty, referrals, and community.
Wishing you a local 2020 of daring vision and self-made success!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!

The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up an Instagram Shop

Instagram marketing is essential to ecommerce business. Not using Instagram to promote your products would be like a carpenter deciding wood saws just aren’t that useful. Crazy. Especially when you consider that more than 200 million Instagram users actively engage with brands by visiting at least one business profile per […]
The post The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up an Instagram Shop appeared first on Oberlo.

Google Advanced Search: Tips and Operators for Better Searches

Google advanced search lets you cut through Internet clutter – and there’s no shortage of clutter on the Internet – to zero in on exactly the search results you are looking for. Google advanced search has applications for web users of all types, and especially for ecommerce entrepreneurs: implementing advanced […]
The post Google Advanced Search: Tips and Operators for Better Searches appeared first on Oberlo.

Elevate your performance marketing with the Awin Group at ASW

Join Awin and ShareASale at ASW, and learn more about the ways in which we can drive new partnerships for your business across our trusted platforms.  The Awin Group is once again serving as official global sponsors of Affiliate Summit West, January 27-29 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Across the three days, we’re available to […]
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How to Create a Powerful Marketing Funnel

Whether or not you know it, you have a marketing funnel. There are a lot of companies that have no clue what a marketing funnel is or how to measure it. In fact, over 68 percent of companies don’t know. But they still have one. If you have an amazing […]
The post How to Create a Powerful Marketing Funnel appeared first on Oberlo.

How to Create 10x SEO Reports – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by Cyrus-ShepardNew year, new you — when it comes to SEO reporting, at least! We’re kicking off 2020 with a comprehensive yet gloriously simple recipe from Cyrus Shepard for creating truly effective SEO reports. From tying KPIs to business metrics to delivering bad news effectively, your reports have never looked so good.

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Video Transcription
Okay, so we have 400 broken pages. Ah, we rank number 7 for best plumbers in Idaho. Oh, hey, Moz fans. I’m Cyrus Shepard. Today I’m talking about SEO reports, specifically how to create 10x SEO reports.
I’ve gotten hundreds of SEO reports like this in my career, and I’ve got to tell you that’s useless. No one is reading those. This is unfortunate because this is your direct way to communicate the value of what you’re doing, drive action, and essentially make more money with your job. Now a good SEO report tries to accomplish three things:
You want to tie the report directly to your business metrics. You want to show the value of SEO, what you’re doing, how SEO is delivering to those business metrics. Finally, you want to drive action. When people read your SEO report, you want them to take action on specific things, fix site issues, those sorts of things, etc. But people make a lot of mistakes. Typically, if you’ve created SEO reports, if you’ve read SEO reports, you’ve seen these mistakes over and over and over again: 
It’s not a site audit. It’s not a list of every single thing that is wrong, every single traffic metric. It’s usually just the top things, the things that we want to focus people’s attention on. It’s not something that only delivers good news. You see these time and time again, SEO reports, they paint a rosy picture. But people aren’t dumb. They know that if their business is not improving and you’re continually delivering good news, you’re not really tying SEO to the business.So we want to create even reports. 
5 things to include in every SEO report
Now over the years, with the reports I’ve created, I find that there are generally five key things that you want to include in every SEO report that help you drive action and show the value of SEO and ultimately help you make more money. 
1. 2–4 KPIs
The first thing that you want to include in every SEO report is KPIs. These are key performance indicators. These tie directly to your business metrics. Generally, you want to include about two to four of these. You want to keep them top of mind. 
A) Conversions, goals, sign-ups, downloads, etc.
Now, generally in SEO, these can be conversions, goals, e-commerce, how many things are you selling. It can be sign-ups for your email newsletter. It can be downloads.
Generally, anything having to do with money, your business metrics, or your key performance indicators, these are good things to include. 
Pro tip: When reporting on your key performance indicator, organic traffic, the SEO work that you do is often the last conversion channel that people will use. So it’s good to use assisted conversions.
This is often found in Google Analytics or whatever analytics program that you use. This will set a look-back window and show how organic traffic, how your SEO efforts contributed even if their last visit was direct. So it’s good researching that and understanding how you can use assisted conversions in your reporting. 
B) Traffic MoM, YoY
Another key performance indicator that is very common in SEO reports is traffic. In fact, some people like to lead with it. I like to lead with the business metrics. But it’s inevitable that if you’re doing an SEO report, you’re going to include traffic. 
Now if you want to make that traffic report a little more valuable, you need comparisons, generally month-to-month comparisons or more useful year-over-year comparisons. This helps avoid the problem of like traffic was down because of Christmas or a certain holiday or regional event.
So when you compare year-over-year, you can show actual performance that varies a little more reasonably. 
2. Search visibility & share of voice
Second, and this is where a lot of people stumble, search visibility or share of voice (SOV). Now where people stumble is this is not a rankings report.
A lot of SEO reports include rankings. Rankings, I’ve got to say, really aren’t the best thing to include in your reports. Rankings fluctuate. They are so personalized from country, device, and individuals. So including rankings for individual keywords is not very informative. Fortunately, there are many great alternatives that you can include that are much superior to rankings. 
A) Search visibility (click estimates)
Search visibility, you’ll find this in many SEO tools. Moz has it. Different SEO tools have it. It’s basically an estimation of clicks for all your tracked keywords. So if you’re tracking hundreds or thousands of keywords, search visibility can show you an estimation of how much traffic you’re actually getting from those keywords based on rank and search volume and things like that.
B) Share of voice (visibility & volume)
Share of voice is very similar to that, but it’s not based on clicks. It’s based on visibility and volume. For enterprise, STAT does an excellent job with share of voice. What’s cool about share of voice is it tracks all of your keywords against all of your competitors for those keywords. So if you have 200 keywords ranking for best plumbers in Wisconsin, it will show you where all your competitors are and how much of that traffic you are actually gaining, whether it’s 13% or 30%. That way you can track against your competitors. It’s a much better metric than those individual keywords that don’t tell you much. 
C) Rank index (grouped keywords)
Finally, if you don’t have access to the premium SEO tools, you can do something which is called a rank index. A.J. Kohn has an excellent post on this. It’s a little older, but still very relevant.
A rank index is basically grouping all of your keywords by type. For example, maybe they all have the word “plumber” in them. You track their rankings together as a group, hundreds or thousands of keywords, and you can see fluctuations. That gives you a much better performance indicator than those individual keywords.
3. Site health
This is your on-page work, your technical SEO. Again, where most people stumble, this is not an audit. You don’t want to list every issue on your site, all the 404s, all the 500s, and things like that because no one really wants to read those things. They get very repetitive.
Focus on your most important issues
Instead you want to focus only on your most important issues. Generally, when I create an SEO report, that’s three to five issues. If people want more information, you can deliver it to them. You can give them in-depth downloads, site stats, and all that. But for the report, we only want to focus people’s attention on three to five issues, that they can actually fix, that you want them to work on. We’re going to list the most important issues on there that we want them to take action on. 
Pro tip: When you’re writing your site health report, use the word “because.” When you use the word “because,” it helps people take action. For example, “We have a lot of 404 pages on the site because we introduced some new broken links.” That tells people that we have a problem, this is why, and they want to take action. 
Show progress
Also, if you’ve made any progress since the last time you showed the report, you fixed those 404s, this is a good place to include it. 
4. Content performance
One thing I like to include, that often isn’t, is content performance. This is your top content, whether it’s a blog or whatever content you produce, by links, shares, and traffic.
Drive actions through recommendations
Now the reason I like to point out to the site owners content performance is because I want to show them what’s performing well to encourage them to create more of it. I want to drive action through recommendations. This content, this blog post that Britney wrote did very, very well. We should have Britney write another one on this.
Suggest topics, keywords, and authors
By doing this, you’re helping your client or your boss or whatever help you by creating that content that’s going to do well. 
Highlight low-performing content
Also, if you want to highlight low-performing content or content that has gone stale and is going down, this is also a helpful place to do that, just to help inform the decisions of your content team.
5. Opportunities
This is probably the most important one. This is the crux of the SEO report — opportunities. Opportunities is the key that you’re trying to drive here. These are recommendations. 
4–5 recommendations per month
Based on everything that we talked about here, what are the four or five most important things that we can do right now to improve SEO next month?
You want to prioritize. This is the most important. This is the second. 
Keep it simple
We want to employ KISS. If you’re not familiar with KISS, it’s an acronym, keep it simple, stupid. You’re not stupid. You’re just going to keep it simple.
You want to make your recommendations as simple and easy to follow as possible. One, two, three, four, that’s it. We’re not going to include everything. A lot of SEO reports want to list dozens of things. We want to hold those back. If you have dozens of fixes that you need fixed on the site, it’s probably not a great thing to put them in there because you’re going to overwhelm your clients and bosses and people taking action.
Provide exact steps monthly
Again, four to five a month or whatever sort of cadence you’re on, weekly, monthly, and how many things you think your client can reasonably tackle. Next month you’ll give them four to five more, and you’ll stay employed and you’ll continually have a new list of things to work on. 
Tie fixes to KPIs
You want to make sure they’re tied to the KPIs.
We want to fix these because they directly influence these. In fact, I want to shake things up a little bit. I know we listed number five as opportunities. Don’t end your report with that. Make opportunities the number one thing in your report. Open it up, here are the opportunities, and then here are KPIs, search visibility, etc., so they know exactly what they should be working on. 
We just released a new guide on SEO reporting. You should check it out:
Read the Guide to SEO Reporting
We released some new functionality in Moz Pro too if you’re into that sort of thing. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. If you like this, please share. Thanks, everybody.
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How to Grow Your Store with Sublimation Printing

With digital textile printing on the rise, it’s time to look into the technique that’s projected to be the most lucrative—sublimation printing. Sublimation printing is used to print on all sorts of products, from household decor to apparel and accessories. Because of this, sublimation printing is high in demand. It’s become so popular that the […]
The post How to Grow Your Store with Sublimation Printing appeared first on Blog – Printful.

E-Pack Asia 2020

Event date: 3-5 June 2020 Event location (venue and/or city): Singapore Following the resounding success of E-Pack US and E-Pack Europe, we’re excited to announce the launch of the new E-Pack Asia, taking place in Singapore from 3-5 June 2020. Asia’s young population, with access to 5G, super apps (eg wechat) and giant ecommerce suppliers […]
The post E-Pack Asia 2020 appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

Sustainability in Packaging Asia 2020

Event date: 1-3 June 2020 Event location (venue and/or city): Singapore Following our success in Europe and US and strong customer demand we are bringing Sustainability in Packaging to Asia, Singapore from 1-3 June 2020.  Asia is becoming a key arena for sustainability discussions because the consumer base is growing quickly and with it demand […]
The post Sustainability in Packaging Asia 2020 appeared first on ECN | E-Commerce Nation.

Better Site Speed: 4 Outside-the-Box Ideas

Posted by Tom-AnthonyMost of us have done site speed audits, or seen audits done by others. These can be really helpful for businesses, but I often find they’re quite narrow in focus. Typically we use well-known tools that throw up a bunch of things to look at, and then we dive into things from there.
However, if we dig deeper, there are often other ideas on how site speed can be improved. I often see plenty of opportunities that are never covered in site speed audits. Most site speed improvements are the result of a bunch of small changes, and so in this post I’m going to cover a few ideas that I’ve never seen in any site speed audit, all of which can make a difference.
A different angle on image optimization
Consider optimized SVGs over PNGs
I was recently looking to book some tickets to see Frozen 2 (because of, erm, my kids…) and so landed on this page. It makes use of three SVG images for transport icons:
SVG images are vector images, so they’re well-suited for things like icons; if you have images displayed as PNGs you may want to ask your designers for the original SVGs, as there can be considerable savings. Though not always better, using an SVG can save 60% of the filesize.
In this case, these icons come in at about 1.2k each, so they are quite small. They would probably fly under the radar of site speed audits (and neither Page Speed Insights or GTMetrix mention these images at all for this page).
So you may be thinking, “They’re less than 5k combined — you should look for bigger issues!”, but let’s take a look. Firstly, we can run them all through Jake Archibald’s SVG compression tool; this is a great free tool and on larger SVGs it can make a big difference.
In this case the files are small, so you may still be thinking “Why bother?” The tool compresses them without any loss in quality from ~1240 bytes to ~630 bytes — a good ratio but not much of an overall saving.
However… now that we’ve compressed them, we can think differently about delivering them…
Inline images
GTMetrix makes recommendations around inlining small bits of CSS or JS, but doesn’t mention inlining images. Images can also be inlined, and sometimes this can be the right approach.
If you consider that even a very small image file requires a complete round trip (which can have a very real impact on speed), even for small files this can take a long time. In the case of the Cineworld transport images above, I simulated a “Fast 3G” connection and saw:
The site is not using HTTP2 so there is a long wait period, and then the image (which is 1.2kb) takes almost 600ms to load (no HTTP2 also means this is blocking other requests). There are three of these images, so between them they can be having a real impact on page speed.
However, we’ve now compressed them to only a few hundred bytes each, and SVG images are actually made up of markup in a similar fashion to HTML:
You can actually put SVG markup directly into an HTML document!
If we do this with all three of the transport images, the compressed HTML for this page that is sent from the server to our browser increases from 31,182 bytes to 31,532 bytes — an increase of only 350 bytes for all 3 images!
So to recap:
Our HTML request has increased 350 bytes, which is barely anythingWe can discard three round trips to the server, which we can see were taking considerable timeSome of you may have realized that if the images were not inline they could be cached separately, so future page requests wouldn’t need to refetch them. But if we consider:
Each image was originally about 1.5kb over the network (they aren’t gzipping the SVGs), with about 350 bytes of HTTP headers on top for a total of about 5.5kb transferred. So, overall we’ve reduced the amount of content over the network.This also means that it would take over 20 pageviews to benefit from having them cached.Takeaway: Consider where there are opportunities to use SVGs instead of PNGs.
Takeaway: Make sure you optimize the SVG images, use the free tool I linked to.
Takeaway: Inlining small images can make sense and bring outsized performance gains.
Note: You can also inline PNGs — see this guide.
Note: For optimized PNG/JPG images, try Kraken.
Back off, JavaScript! HTML can handle this…
So often nowadays, thanks to the prevalence of JavaScript libraries that offer an off-the-shelf solution, I find JavaScript being used for functionality that could be achieved without it. More JS libraries means more to download, maybe more round trips for additional files from the server, and then the JavaScript execution time and costs themselves.
I have a lot of sympathy for how you get to this point. Developers are often given poor briefs/specs that fail to specify anything about performance, only function. They are often time-poor and so it’s easy to end up just dropping something in.
However, a lot of progress has been made in terms of the functionality that can be achieved with HTML and or CSS. Let’s look at some examples.
Combo box with search
Dropdown boxes that have a text search option are a fairly common interface element nowadays. One recent article I came across described how to use the Select2 Javascript library to make such a list:
It is a useful UI element, and can help your users. However, in the Select2 library is a JavaScript library, which in turn relies on some CSS and the JQuery library. This means three round trips to collect a bunch of files of varying sizes:
JQuery – 101kbSelect2 JavaScript – 24kbSelect2 CSS – 3kbThis is not ideal for site speed, but we could certainly make the case it is worth it in order to have a streamlined interface for users.
However, it is actually possible to have this functionality out of the box with the HTML datalist element:
This allows the user to search through the list or to free type their own response, so provides the same functionality. Furthermore, it has a native interface on smartphones!
You can see this in action in this codepen.
LonelyPlanet has a beautiful website, and I was looking at this page about Spain, which has a ‘Read More’ link that most web users will be familiar with:
Like almost every implementation of this that I see, they have used a JavaScript library to implement this, and once again this comes with a bunch of overheads.
However, HTML has a pair of built-in tags called details and summary, which are designed to implement this functionality exactly. For free and natively in HTML. No overheads, and more accessible for users needing a screen reader, while also conveying semantic meaning to Google.
These tags can be styled in various flexible ways with CSS and recreate most of the JS versions I have seen out there.
Check out a simple demo here:
…and more
For more examples of functionality that you can achieve with HTML instead of JS, check out these links: Examine the functionality of your sites and see where there may be opportunities to reduce your reliance on large Javascript libraries where there are native HTML/CSS options.
Takeaway: Remember that it isn’t only the size of the JS files that is problematic, but the number of round trips that are required.
Note: There are cases where you should use the JS solution, but it is important to weigh up the pros and cons.
Networking tune-ups
Every time the browser has to collect resources from a server, it has to send a message across the internet and back; the speed of this is limited by the speed of light. This may sound like a ridiculous thing to concern ourselves with, but it means that even small requests add time to the page load. If you didn’t catch the link above, my post explaining HTTP2 discusses this issue in more detail.
There are some things we can do to help either reduce the distance of these requests or to reduce the number of round trips needed. These are a little bit more technical, but can achieve some real wins.
TLS 1.3
TLS (or SSL) is the encryption technology used to secure HTTPS connections. Historically it has taken two round trips between the browser and the server to setup that encryption — if the user is 50ms away from the server, then this means 200ms per connection. Keep in mind that Google historically recommends aiming for 200ms to deliver the HTML (this seems slightly relaxed in more recent updates); you’re losing a lot of that time here.
The recently defined TLS 1.3 standard reduces this from two round trips to just one, which can shave some precious time off the users initial connection to your website.
Speak to your tech team about migrating to TLS 1.3; browsers that don’t support it will fallback to TLS 1.2 without issue. All of this is behind the scenes and is not a migration of any sort. There is no reason not to do this.
If you are using a CDN, then it can be as simple as just turning it on.
You can use this tool to check which versions of TLS you have enabled.
Over the last 2-3 years we have seen a number of sites move from HTTP 1.1 to HTTP 2, which is a behind-the-scenes upgrade which can make a real improvement to speed (see my link above if you want to read more).
Right off the back of that, there is an emerging pair of standards known as QUIC + HTTP/3, which further optimize the connection between the browser and the server, further reducing the round trips required.
Support for these is only just beginning to become viable, but if you are a CloudFlare customer you can enable that today and over the coming 6 months as Chrome and Firefox roll support out, your users will get a speed boost.
Read more here:
Super routing
When users connect to your website, they have to open network connections from wherever they are to your servers (or your CDN). If you imagine the internet as a series of roads, then you could imagine they need to ‘drive’ to your server across these roads. However, that means congestion and traffic jams.
As it turns out, some of the large cloud companies have their own private roads which have fewer potholes, less traffic, and improved speed limits. If only your website visitors could get access to these roads, they could ‘drive’ to you faster!
Well, guess what? They can!
For CloudFlare, they provide this access via their Argo product, whereas if you are on AWS at all then you can use their Global Accelerator. This allows requests to your website to make use of their private networks and get a potential speed boost. Both are very cheap if you are already customers.
Takeaway: A lot of these sorts of benefits are considerably easier to get if you’re using a CDN. If you’re not already using a CDN, then you probably should be. CloudFlare is a great choice, as is CloudFront if you are using AWS. Fastly is the most configurable of them if you’re more of a pro.
Takeaway: TLS 1.3 is now very widely supported and offers a significant speed improvement for new connections.
Takeaway: QUIC / HTTP3 are only just starting to get support, but over the coming months this will roll out more widely. QUIC includes the benefits of TLS 1.3 as well as more. A typical HTTP2 connection nowadays needs 3 round trips to open; QUIC needs just one!
Takeaway: If you’re on CloudFlare or AWS, then there is potential to get speed ups just from flipping a switch to turn on smart routing features.
Let CSS do more
Above I talked about how HTML has built-in functionality that you can leverage to save relying on solutions that are ‘home-rolled’ and thus require more code (and processing on the browsers side) to implement. Here I’ll talk about some examples where CSS can do the same for you.
Reuse images
Often you find pages that are using similar images throughout the page in several places. For example, variations on a logo in different colors, or arrows that point in both directions. As unique assets (however similar they may be), each of these needs to be downloaded separately.
Returning to my hunt for cinema tickets above, where I was looking at this page, we can see a carousel that has left and right arrows:
Similarly to the logic used above, while these image files are small, they still require a round trip to fetch from the server.
However, the arrows are identical — just pointing in opposite directions! It’s easy for us to use CSS’s transform functionality to use one image for both directions:
You can check out this codepen for an example.
Another example is when the same logo appears in different styles on different parts of the page; often they will load multiple variations, which is not necessary. CSS can re-color logos for you in a variety of ways:
There is a codepen here showing this technique in action. If you want to calculate the CSS filter value required to reach an arbitrary color, then check out this amazing color calculator.
Interactions (e.g. menus & tabs)
Often navigation elements such as menus and tabs are implemented in JavaScript, but these too can be done in pure CSS. Check out this codepen for an example:
CSS3 introduced a lot of powerful animation capability into CSS. Often these are not only faster than JavaScript versions, but can also be smoother too as they can run in the native code of the operating system rather than having to execute relatively slower Javascript.
Check out Dozing Bird as one example:
You can find plenty more in this article. CSS animations can add a lot of character to pages at a relatively small performance cost.
…and more
For more examples of functionality that you can achieve using pure CSS solutions, take a look at: Use CSS to optimize how many files you have to load using rotations or filters.
Takeaway: CSS animations can add character to pages, and often require less resources than JavaScript.
Takeaway: CSS is perfectly capable of implementing many interactive UI elements.
Wrap up
Hopefully you’ve found these examples useful in themselves, but the broader point I want to make is that we should all try to think a bit more out of the box with regards to site speed. Of particular importance is reducing the number of round trips needed to the server; even small assets take some time to fetch and can have an appreciable impact on performance (especially mobile).
There are plenty more ideas than we’ve covered here, so please do jump into the comments if you have other things you have come across.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!

How to Build a Successful Brand Community

If you’ve ever joined a dedicated Facebook group for your favorite clothing brand, or commented on a Reddit thread about that new movie you loved, then you’ve engaged with an online brand community. When you’re passionate about a brand, the chance to share your thoughts and opinions with a group of like-minded people is exciting. That’s what creating a strong brand community is all about.  

The Not-So-Secret Value of Podcast Transcripts – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by NikiMosierWhat are the benefits of transcribing your podcasts and what’s the best way to go about getting them on your site? Niki Mosier breaks it down into 8 easy steps in this week’s episode of Whiteboard Friday.

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Video Transcription
Hey, Moz fans. Here’s another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Niki Mosier, a senior SEO account manager at Two Octobers, and I’m here today to talk to you about the not-so-secret value of podcast transcripts.
I got the idea to play around with podcast transcripts after hearing Moz’s Britney Muller talk about machine learning and podcast transcripts at TechSEO Boost last fall. 
+15% increase in organic traffic, +50% keyword lift
I ended up getting the opportunity to play around with this a little bit with a pro bono client we had at a previous job, the Davis Phinney Foundation. They do Parkinson’s research and Parkinson’s education. They were already podcasting, and then they also had a pretty robust blog, but they weren’t adding their podcast transcripts. After about three months of adding a couple of podcast transcripts, we saw some pretty good value for them. We saw a 15% increase in organic traffic to the website and a 50% increase to some keyword lift around the keywords that we were tracking.
Google is now indexing podcasts
Why we think this is relevant right now, as you may know, Google announced, at I/O 2019, that they are indexing podcasts. If you do a search for your favorite podcast, you’ll see that come up in the Google search results now. So adding that podcast transcript or any audio transcript to your website, whether that’s video, a webinar, or anything, just has some really good value.
How to transcribe & optimize your podcasts
I’m going to walk you through the process that I used for them. It’s super easy and you can turn around and apply it to your own website. 
1. Download your audio file
So obviously, download the audio file, whether that’s MP3 or MP4 or whatever you have, from your video, podcast, or your webinars if you’re doing those. 
2. Transcribe it
You need to be able to get that text transcript, so running it through either Temi or, both two resources that I’ve used, both really good. seems to be a little cleaner out of the gate, but I would definitely obviously go through and edit and make sure that all of your text and speaker transitions and everything is accurate. 
3. Figure out which keywords the content should rank for
Next up is figuring out what keywords that you want that content to rank for, so doing some search volume research, figuring out what those keywords are, and then benchmarking that keyword data, so whether your website is already ranking for some of those keywords or you have new keywords that you want those pages or those posts to be ranking for.
4. Get a competitive snapshot
Next up is getting a competitive snapshot, so looking at who’s ranking for those keywords that you’re going to be trying to go after, who has those answer boxes, who has those featured snippets, and then also what are the people also ask features for those keywords. 
5. Get your content on-site
Obviously getting that content on your site, whether that’s creating brand-new content, either a blog or a page to go with that podcast, video, webinar, or whatever it is, or adding to it to existing content.
Maybe you have some evergreen content that’s not performing well for you anymore. Adding a transcript to that content could really kind of give it a lift and make it work better for you. 
6. Optimize the content
Next up is optimizing the content on your site, so adding in those keywords to your metadata, to your image alt tags, your H1 tags, and then also adding any relevant schema, so whether that’s blog post schema most likely or any other schema type that would be helpful, getting that up there on the page as well.
7. Make sure the page is indexed in Search Console
Once you’ve done all the hard work, you’ve got the transcript up there, you have your content and you have it optimized, you obviously want to tell Google, so going into Search Console, having them index that page, whether it’s a new page or an existing page, either way, dropping that URL in there, making sure Google is crawling it, and then if it is a new page, making sure it’s in your sitemap.
8. Annotate the changes in Google Analytics
Then the last thing is you want to be able to track and figure out if it’s working for you. So annotating that in Google Analytics so you know what page, when you added it, so you can have that benchmark date, looking at where you’re ranking, and then also looking at those SERP features. Have you gotten any featured snippets?
Are you showing up in those answer boxes? Anything like that. So that’s kind of the process. Super easy, pretty straightforward. Just play with it, test it out. 
If Google is indexing podcasts, why does this matter?
Then kind of lastly, why is this still important if Google is already indexing podcasts? They may come out and do their own transcription of your podcast or your video or whatever content you have on the site.
Obviously, you want to be in control of what that content is that’s going on your site, and then also just having it on there is super important. From an accessibility standpoint, you want Google to be able to know what that content is, and you want anyone else who may have a hearing impairment, they can’t listen to the content that you’re producing, you want them to be able to access that content. Then, as always, just the more content, the better. So get out there, test it, and have fun. Thanks, Moz fans.
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They’re the Best Around: The Top 25 Moz Blog Posts of 2019

Posted by FeliciaCrawfordWell, folks, it’s that time of year again. It’s hard to believe we’ve already gone another turn around the ol’ sun. But I’ve consulted my analytics data and made my SQL queries, and I’m here today to present to you the list of the top Moz Blog posts of 2019!
For a little perspective, we published 207 blog posts, averaging out to about 4 per week. Out of those 207, the twenty-five I’m sharing with you below were the most-read pieces of the year. If you’re strapped for time (and who isn’t in our industry?), survey says these are the articles that aren’t to be missed. And bonus — a good chunk of them are videos, so bring out the chocolate popcorn and settle down to watch!
(If chocolate popcorn sounds new and unfamiliar to you, I implore you to check out the Cinerama in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood the next time you’re in town for MozCon. It is life-changing. Get the mix of regular and chocolate and never, ever look back.)
I’ll be sharing the top keywords each post ranks for according to Keyword Explorer, too, to give you some idea of why these posts have continued to be favorites throughout the year. Gotta love that “Explore by Site” feature — it makes my job way too easy sometimes! 😉
(For the Keyword Explorer nerds in the audience, I’ll be filtering the rankings to positions 1–3 and organizing them by highest monthly search volume. I want to see what we’re ranking highly for that gets lots of eyeballs!)
Ready to get started? I sure am. Let’s dive in.
The top 25 Moz Blog posts of 2019
1. On-Page SEO for 2019 – Whiteboard Friday
Britney Muller, January 4th
57,404 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: seo 2019 (#3, 501–850), seo best practices 2019 (#3, 501–850), homepage seo 2019 (#1, 0–10)
On-page SEO has long been a favorite topic for y’all, and the top number-one winner, winner, chicken dinner post of 2019 reflects that loud and proud. In this expert checklist, Britney Muller shares her best tips for doing effective on-page SEO for 2019.
And if you want a hint on one reason this puppy has been so popular, check out #10 in this very list. 😉
2. The 60 Best Free SEO Tools [100% Free]
Cyrus Shepard, June 10th
51,170 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: seo tools (#1, 6.5k–9.3k), free seo tools (#1, 1.7k–2.9k), free seo (#1, 501–850)
This post is a testament to the power of updating and republishing your best content. Cyrus originally authored this post years ago and gave it a sorely needed update in 2019. There are literally hundreds of free SEO tools out there, so this article focused on only the best and most useful to add to your toolbox.
3. The Ultimate Guide to SEO Meta Tags
Kate Morris, July 24th
42,276 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: seo meta tags (#1, 501–850), 1-page meta (#2, 501–850), what are meta tags (#3, 501–850)
Here’s another vote for the power of republishing really good content that you know your audience craves. Originally published in November 2010, this is the second time we’ve asked Kate to update this article and it continues to deliver value ten years later. SEO certainly changes, but some topics remain popular and necessary throughout all the ups and downs.
4. The One-Hour Guide to SEO
Rand Fishkin, throughout 2019
41,185 reads for the first post (143,165 for all six combined)
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: moz seo guide (#2, 201–500), moz beginners guide to seo (#3, 101–200), moz guide to seo (#2, 11–50)
A “best of the Moz Blog” list wouldn’t be complete without Rand! His six-part video series detailing all the most important things to know about SEO was originally published on the Moz Blog as six separate Whiteboard Fridays. We’ve since redirected those posts to a landing page in our Learning Center, but the first episode on SEO strategy earned over 41k unique pageviews in its time live on the blog.
5. A New Domain Authority Is Coming Soon: What’s Changing, When, & Why
Russ Jones, February 5th
38,947 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: moving a 60 da to a 90 da seo (#1, 0–10), moz da update 2019 (#1, 0–10), upcoming domain change(#1, 0–10)
When we upgraded our Domain Authority algorithm in March, we knew it would be a big deal for a lot of people — so we put extra effort into education ahead of the launch. Russ’s initial announcement post introducing the coming changes was the foremost source for information, earning ample attention as a result.
6. How Google Evaluates Links for SEO [20 Graphics]
Cyrus Shepard, July 1st
38,715 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: free google picture of created equal (#2, 0–10), google 1 page 2 links (#2, 0–10), google top rankingillustrations (#2, 0–10)
All right, I admit it: we did a ton of content updating and republishing this year. And it seriously paid off. Cyrus revamped a perennially popular post by Rand from 2010, bumping it from ten graphics to twenty and giving it a much-needed refresh almost a decade after the original post. The top keywords are kind of weird, right? Check out the title on the original post — looks like we’ve got a little work to do with this one to get it ranking for more relevant terms!
7. Do Businesses Really Use Google My Business Posts? A Case Study
Ben Fisher, February 12th
32,938 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: google my business posts (#2, 201–500), how to post on google my business (#3, 101–200), google business post (#3, 51–100)
Even a couple of years after Google My Business Posts became an option, it wasn’t clear how many businesses are actually using them. Ben Fisher asked the important questions and did the legwork to find the answers in this case study that examined over 2,000 GMB profiles.
8. Announcing the New Moz SEO Essentials Certificate: What It Is & How to Get Certified
Brian Childs, May 1st
32,434 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: moz certification (#3, 101–500), moz seo certification (#2, 51–100), moz academy (#3, 51–100)
One of our most-asked questions from time immemorial was “Does Moz offer an SEO certification?” With the launch of our SEO Essentials certificate in May of this year, the answer finally became yes! 
9. Optimizing for Searcher Intent Explained in 7 Visuals
Rand Fishkin, March 23rd
29,636 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: user intent moz (#2, 0–10)
What does it mean to target the “intent” of searchers rather than just the keyword(s) they’ve looked up? These seven short visuals explain the practice of intent-targeting and optimization.
10. 7 SEO Title Tag Hacks for Increased Rankings + Traffic – Best of Whiteboard Friday
Cyrus Shepard, June 7th
26,785 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: title tags for landing page (#2, 11–50), moz free hack (#1, 0–10), title tag hacks (#1, 0–10)
Title tags can have a huge impact on your click-through rates when optimized correctly. In this Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus shares how to use numbers, dates, questions, top referring keywords, and more to boost your CTR, traffic, and rankings.
11. E-A-T and SEO: How to Create Content That Google Wants
Ian Booth, June 4th
25,681 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: eat seo (#2, 201–500), eat google (#2, 51–100), eat google seo (#1, 11–50)
Ian Booth covers the three pillars of E-A-T and shares tips on how to incorporate each into your content strategy so that you can rank for the best search terms in your industry.
12. 10 Basic SEO Tips to Index + Rank New Content Faster – Whiteboard Friday
Cyrus Shepard, May 17th
24,463 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: how to index a link faster (#2, 11–50), blog seo index (#1, 0–10), fast on-demand seo (#2, 0–10)
When you publish new content, you want users to find it ranking in search results as fast as possible. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks in the SEO toolbox to help you accomplish this goal. Sit back, turn up your volume, and let the Cyrus Shepard show you exactly how in this episode of Whiteboard Friday.
13. Page Speed Optimization: Metrics, Tools, and How to Improve – Whiteboard Friday
Britney Muller, February 1st
24,265 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: page speed optimization (#1, 51–100), page speed metrics (#3, 11–50), optimize page speed (#1, 0–10)
What are the most crucial things to understand about your site’s page speed, and how can you begin to improve? In this edition of Whiteboard Friday, Britney Muller goes over what you need to know to get started.
14. How Google’s Nofollow, Sponsored, & UGC Links Impact SEO
Cyrus Shepard, September 10th
24,262 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: how to send my publishers no follow links (#1, 0–10), moz nofollow links (#2, 0–10), rel= sponsored (#2, 0–10)
Google shook up the SEO world by announcing big changes to how publishers should mark nofollow links. The changes — while beneficial to help Google understand the web — nonetheless caused confusion and raised a number of questions. We’ve got the answers to many of your questions here.
15. How to Identify and Tackle Keyword Cannibalization in 2019
Samuel Mangialavori, February 11th
21,871 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: keyword cannibalization (#2, 201–500), ahrefs keyword cannibalization (#3, 11–50), what is keyword cannibalization (#3, 11–50)
Keyword cannibalization is an underrated but significant problem, especially for sites that have been running for several years and end up having lots of pages. In this article, learn how to find and fix keyword cannibalization before it impacts your SEO opportunities.
16. How Bad Was Google’s Deindexing Bug?
Dr. Pete, April 11th
17,831 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: google de-indexing again (#2, 11–50), google index bug (#3, 11–50)On Friday, April 5, Google confirmed a bug that was causing pages to be deindexed. Our analysis suggests that roughly 4% of stable URLs fell out of page-1 rankings on April 5, and that deindexing impacted a wide variety of websites.
17. What Is BERT? – Whiteboard Friday
Britney Muller, November 8th
16,797 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: what is bert (#2, 11–50), moz wbf (#2, 0–10)There’s a lot of hype and misinformation about the newest Google algorithm update. What actually is BERT, how does it work, and why does it matter to our work as SEOs? Join our own machine learning and natural language processing expert Britney Muller as she breaks down exactly what BERT is and what it means for the search industry.
18. How Do I Improve My Domain Authority (DA)?
Dr. Pete, April 17th
16,478 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: how to build domain authority (#2, 501–850), how to increase domain authority (#2, 501–850), how to improve domain authority (#1, 11–50)Written to help research and inform his MozCon 2019 talk, this article by Dr. Pete covers how and why to improve a Domain Authority score.
19. How to Get Into Google News – Whiteboard Friday
Barry Adams, January 11th
16,265 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: how to get on google news (#3, 101–200), google news inclusion (#3, 51–100), getting into google news (#3, 11–50)How do you increase your chances of getting your content into Google News? Barry Adams shares the absolute requirements and the nice-to-have extras that can increase your chances of appearing in the much-coveted news carousel.
20. Topical SEO: 7 Concepts of Link Relevance & Google Rankings
Cyrus Shepard, April 1st
15,579 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: link relevance (#2, 0–10), read more on seo (#2, 0–10),relevant links (#2, 0–10)To rank in Google, it’s not simply the number of votes you receive from popular pages, but the relevance and authority of those links as well.
21. The 5 SEO Recommendations That Matter in the End
Paola Didone, March 26th
13,879 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: seo recommendations (#1, 11–50), 10 seo recommend (#1, 0–10), seo recommendations report (#1, 0–10)What are the most steadfast, evergreen SEO recommendations you can make for your clients? These are the top five that this SEO has encountered that consistently deliver positive results.
22. An SEO’s Guide to Writing Structured Data (JSON-LD)
Brian Gorman, May 9th
13,862 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: json structured data (#3, 0–10), seo json content (#3, 0–10), seomoz structured data (#3, 0–10)This guide will help you understand JSON-LD and structured data markup. Go beyond the online generators and prepare your web pages for the future of search!
23. A Comprehensive Analysis of the New Domain Authority
Russ Jones, March 5th
13,333 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: does post clustering build domain authority (#2, 11–50), who invented domain authority (#3, 11–50), domain authority curve (#1, 0–10)A statistical look at Moz’s much-improved Domain Authority. Find out how it performs vs previous versions of Domain Authority, competitor metrics, and more.
24. The Practical Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email Address
David Farkas, November 26th
13,263 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: N/A in positions #1–3The never-ending struggle with link building begins with finding contact info. David Farkas outlines a few simple and easy ways to discover the right person to reach out to, plus some tips on which tools and strategies work best.
25. How to Use Domain Authority 2.0 for SEO – Whiteboard Friday
Cyrus Shepard, March 8th

12,940 reads
Top keywords according to Keyword Explorer: domain authority 2.0 (#2, 11–50), thought domain authority keywords (#1, 0–10), domain authority for seo (#2, 0–10)Domain Authority is a well-known metric throughout the SEO industry, but what exactly is the right way to use it? In this Whiteboard Friday, Cyrus Shepard explains what’s new with the new Domain Authority 2.0 update and how to best harness its power for your own SEO success.
That’s a wrap for the top posts of 2019! Did we miss any that were on your own must-read list? Let us know in the comments below. We can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store!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!

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