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How to Get the Most SEO Value Out of Contests

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How to Get the Most SEO Value Out of Contests

Contests and competitions can be great ways to stimulate an interest in your brand brand. When properly used, they can also maximize your SEO value.

This article highlights the ways you should execute competitions for direct SEO benefits.

seo-contests

Select a Target

Before creating a contest, you need have your goals in mind and what you want to achieve. The concept needs to be built around this. 

  • Define the page or section of your site for which you want to improve organic visibility
  • List sites you’d like to link to the contest.
  • Build a list of sites which you want as entrants ideal for the competition.

From this analysis and research, you can determine the nature of the competition as well as its prize. (more…)

Categories: SEO
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How to Build A Content Calendar Using Google Docs

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How to Build A Content Calendar Using Google Docs

Content is king! Content is king! Content is king!

That cheer has arisen from every quarter of the Internet community like an army in a Game of Thrones episode greeting their Khaleesi.

Content marketing has proven to be one of the most effective methods of reaching consumers and connecting brands with potential customers. We all love content marketing and content is the best thing since sliced bread and apple pie.

build-a-content-calendar

Until you have to manage and schedule that content. If you do not have a process in place to manage your content you will find yourself entering a world of pain. Content gets lost, content does not get posted at the right time, content is not written for the correct subject or to the right audience … The list of pratfalls is nearly endless if you do not plan ahead and have a content calendar system in place.

Smart marketers can take most of the pain out of the content marketing process by making their own content calendar. This will allow you and your content team to take the guesswork out of the content creation process.

It’s free and it’s fairly easy. (more…)

Google I/O 2015: Expectations for Google’s Android Extravaganza

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Google I/O 2015: Expectations for Google’s Android Extravaganza

The worldwide tech community is already feeling the heat of rising expectations from the upcoming Google I/O 2015, the Android Developers Congress from Google. Apart from facilitating a sharing platform for ideas and new Android products, the event draws particular attention to Google’s latest announcement of its bevy of Android products and surprising additions and enhancements to the platform.

During the 2014 event, we got a peek into Android development that came to reality over time: Android watch, Android TV, Android Auto and the launching of Android L.

In 2015, Google is expected to announce the next big Android mobile OS version: Android M. The expected announcement includes information about new wearables and Project Tango. We won’t know for sure until May 28, the day this mega event will occur. Let us have closer look at the most likely announcements from Google.

Google IO 2015

(more…)

How Established Companies Can Learn from Successful Startups

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How Established Companies Can Learn from Successful Startups

Many companies are looking for ways to optimize their business and explore new ways to grow.

companies-learn-from-startups

Over the last few years a new trend has emerged called Lean Startup. It’s behind the success of a range of old and new companies, and it just might help you grow your business smarter.

What Does “Lean Startup” Mean?

Lean startup is a method for developing businesses and products more efficiently. The goal is to shorten your product development cycles using hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative testing and “validated learning.” It simply provides a framework for businesses to reduce their market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding.

Basically, it prevents expensive product launches that end up being failures. (more…)

Why Your Big Brand Needs PPC

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Why Your Big Brand Needs PPC

megan-gineckiThis article was co-written with Megan Ginecki, Paid Search Manager at Empire Covers in Jenkintown, Pa. Megan has five years of PPC experience and spoke at Hero Conf in 2015.

 

 

Four weeks ago, Billy Corgan announced he was joining the world of professional wrestling.

Corgan was hired as the Senior Producer of Creative and Talent Development for TNA Impact, one of the most popular promotions in the industry. As a Pumpkinhead, I was intrigued by the rocker’s foray into sports entertainment. As a digital marketer, I was interested to see how the TNA wrestling website was doing on the SERPs.

impact-wrestling

Overview of impactwrestling.com in SEMrush (5/8/15)

The brand was doing very well organically, but had absolutely no paid search.

What gives?

I reached out to my friend, PPC specialist Megan Ginecki, and we reviewed why companies don’t do PPC. And, more importantly, why they should.

brand-needs-ppc

(more…)

Categories: PPC
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What is Google Now?

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What is Google Now?

The ever-increasing use of smart phones means that mobile search should be a high priority for web marketers. Google thinks so too.

What_is_Google_Now.jpg

The Google mobile update rolled out on April 21, 2015, with the main goal of providing more mobile-friendly results to its users. According to Google, “Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.

Why Did Google Do This Update?

Google knows it is providing a service. Because of this, its results need to provide users with the best possible search results, including good quality content, a website that is viewable and a fast loading site time (page speed). (more…)

4 Essential Characteristics of a Great Marketing Dashboard

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4 Essential Characteristics of a Great Marketing Dashboard

One of the primary responsibilities in any job today includes tracking, applying and understanding of business numbers on a daily basis. From content marketers to product design specialists to financial analysts, no function is spared the need for translating their work and its impact on the business in pure numerical format.

While spreadsheets are the simplest way to allow individual users track data related to their scope of work, dashboards become a common sight when the same piece of data is to be utilized or reviewed by multiple people. The reason for this is simple.

marketing-dashboard

Data in spreadsheets may or may not have be organized in a clearly recognizable pattern. In a dashboard, data is represented in such a way as to convey clear messages at a single glance. For instance, a line graph depicting sales figures with a single upward trending line can mean only one thing: growing sales. A good dashboard aggregates data and represents it in easily understandable formats. So what does it take for a marketing dashboard to be called a “good” one? (more…)

5 Mobile Landing Page Opportunities You May Have Overlooked

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5 Mobile Landing Page Opportunities You May Have Overlooked

If I ate a banana for every time I heard the word “mobile” and “marketing” in the same sentence, then I’d probably be looking exactly like Ron Swanson by now.

Eat your bananas

 

Eat your bananas

It’s a little nauseating, right? (GIF sources)

But as much as our favorite blogs and thought leaders have covered the topic of mobile to death, it’s important to take it for what it truly is: a new device that requires different tactics that you might not have thought of before.

mobile-landing-page

So that’s exactly what we’ll do: Finish our banana like adults, and talk about some mobile landing page strategies that can take your conversion rates to the next level. (more…)

SEMrush and AdStage: Expand Your Keyword Targeting

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SEMrush and AdStage: Expand Your Keyword Targeting

There are always different KPIs for different stages for your marketing funnel. In this post, we’ll discuss how to extend your reach to a larger audience by expanding your keyword targeting. This strategy will help you rapidly grow reach; and, if you’re doing this correctly, you will ultimately decrease your competitors’ traffic, giving you a win-win situation. This is part 1 of a 4 part series that covers how to grow your advertising efforts with SEM tools.

semrush-and-adstage

Part 1 – Expand Your Keyword Targeting in Minutes

So let’s say you’ve noticed that some keywords are doing really poorly, either a low click-through rate (CTR) or high cost per acquisition (CPA). The best thing to do is to pause them so you don’t have to spend anymore money on them. However, this leaves you with extra budget. Figuring out what to do with the rest of your budget could be as simple as testing new keywords. There are many strategies that you can use to expand your keyword list. I’m going to take you through an example using an SEMrush account and an AdStage account. (more…)

The Secret to Creating a High-Converting Landing Page

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The Secret to Creating a High-Converting Landing Page

Imagine you’re strolling through New York City and you suddenly get a craving for a pretzel. New York City is a very good place to be for a pretzel aficionado and, luckily, you find yourself right in front of a pretzel shop!

You step through the front door, and … you’ve actually walked into Macy’s Herald Square, the largest department store in the world.

macys-nyc

Image source: Flickr

Somewhere within this 2.2 million square foot, 11-floor nightmare labyrinth is a single Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop, on the fourth floor next to children’s clothing. (This is true.) It will take you at least 15 unpleasant minutes to get to it.

How likely are you to stay, versus simply walking right back and getting a pretzel from one of the street vendors that can be found at any corner in the city?

If Macy’s had the technology to immediately send customers from the front door to the part of the store where they were most likely to buy something, they certainly would.

Yet every day, PPC marketers are paying for clicks that drop leads onto generic website pages, leaving it to the prospect themselves to figure out how to find what they came for.

And those same prospects turn right around by hitting the back button in their browsers.

While a keyword is simply a keyword to you, it’s a uniquely formed query in the mind of the searcher. They are — oftentimes, very literally — asking a question and expecting an answer.

creating-a-high-converting-landing-page

(more…)

Categories: PPC
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Why I Worked 80 Hour Weeks (and Sacrificed My Social Life) So I Could Get Involved In The SEO Industry

Most people who know me understand I’m pretty laid back. I like to just see what happens throughout life in most respects. I left school, went to Sixth Form, realized it wasn’t for me so left after six weeks, got on board with a business apprenticeship and from then on practically fell into jobs. In fact, with the exception of a placement within the first few months of my apprenticeship, I’ve never really had an interview.

And I’ve always been happy with this approach. I’m a huge believer that your gut instinct is alive and well, telling you what to do and to all intents and purposes, your path is laid out for you. I’m not saying you can’t deviate from it – our actions today influence our future in some way, shape or form – but most of us will do just fine in life if we go along the path that feels right.

With all this in mind, it’s therefore a little out of the norm for me to have had such a strong passion to be involved in the SEO industry. Right from just after I left school in 2003, the whole digital landscape was beginning to truly hit its growth period and for some reason, SEO stood out to me.

I’d love to be able to say now that the past 10 years or so have been a fantastic, always-positive journey; one from being a complete non-digital marketing related individual to my role as SEO Specialist at a multi-award winning agency that works with brands such as British Airways, Sage and ASDA (Walmart).

But, as you may have already guessed by the title of the post, this was anything but the case. I wanted to be involved in the industry – practically saw my future within it – and although it didn’t seem it at the time, I now realize I almost took a completely blinkered approach whilst establishing myself within it. (more…)

How to Get Started in Social Media and Content Marketing

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How to Get Started in Social Media and Content Marketing

New-grads-week

College graduation season is upon us! Join SEMrush for New Grads Week, which features Q&As, podcasts, blog posts and surveys on how technology has changed in our personal and working lives since we left school. Join the conversation on social media with #NewGradsWeek.

It feels like I graduated from college just yesterday. Six years sure does fly by! Social media and content marketing has undoubtfully evolved since I was searching for my first full-time job. And, in my opinion, finding a job straight out of college in the field has only increased as juniors and seniors are now taking classes in the space. As someone who has been there and hires content and social media employees, allow me to share my advice on what I believe it takes to get started.

Real World Experience is a Must

As a college graduate, if you don’t have any real world work to show in the field, my first bit of advice to you is to create a resume and find an internship. Don’t be too proud to intern after graduation. Sure, you may be able to find a job without doing so, but I can’t say it’s going to be easy. Having writing published is one quality that I bet any social media /content marketing director can tell you they find desirable in any level employee, especially an entry level employee.

How to Get Started Social Media Content Marketing

With the need for help in social media and content marketing on the rise, finding an internship in this space should not be difficult. In my blog post “Getting Started with a Career in Marketing: Advice for Students,” I offer several places to look, three being:

(more…)

Recent Grads in Tech: Interview with Madison Moore, Delaware Valley University

New-grads-week

College graduation season is upon us! Join SEMrush for New Grads Week, which features Q&As, podcasts, blog posts and surveys on how technology has changed in our personal and working lives since we left school. Join the conversation on social media with #NewGradsWeek.

Millennials have had a rough start when it comes to their overall reputation; they’re seen as anything from modern day moochers to the next generation of brilliant entrepreneurs.

As the media formulates its image of millennials, there’s one thing most generally agree upon: millennials are used to the fast pace of new technology and have no trouble adapting. That means something else, as well — they’re expected to learn and retain a fair amount of information in a short amount of time.

I first encountered Madison Moore when she contacted me for an interview on behalf of philly.com. After following her on LinkedIn, I became amazed at how many professional and academic roles Moore fills – with little evidence of stress. I’ve seen this trend in digital marketing and content creation among students and recent graduates.

Moore is a graduating senior (May, 2015) at Delaware Valley University (formerly Delaware Valley College) in Doylestown, PA, USA. She will graduate with a BA in Media and Communication. She has received practical experience in news writing and reporting, blogging, social media management and PR and marketing.

Recent Grads in Tech

I asked her about her effective management of these roles as well as her plans for her future. (more…)

How To Create Data-Driven Content That Drives Millions Of Visitors: Part I

Blink… blink… blink. The cursor blinks back at you mockingly as you stare into the blank white screen of your computer, trying to imagine what content to create that will magically capture your audience’s interest and catapult you to the top of the search engines.

How many times have you found yourself staring at your screen trying to think of what to create next? If you’re like most people trying to come up with a steady stream of original and interesting content ideas, this probably happens to you more often than you’d like to admit.

Roland Frasier

The fact is that all too often, we drive our complete content marketing strategy based on wild guesses and group brainstorming sessions trying to read the tea leaves to determine what will appeal to our audience and drive traffic to our websites. (more…)

5 Mobile Marketing Tips for Small Business Success

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5 Mobile Marketing Tips for Small Business Success

Now that #Mobilegeddon has arrived, it’s time to make optimizing the mobile experience an absolute priority. At the end of 2014, mobile usage had surpassed desktop usage for the first time. Some 60% of digital media is now consumed on smartphones and tablets, a figure that is up 10% from a year ago. With mobile devices now serving as the primary screens of 2015, it’s time to seriously take a look at your marketing campaigns within the mobile mind frame – specifically, how they are viewed on the go. Listed below are five tips for small businesses looking to optimize their marketing strategy now that we’re living in the post #Mobilegeddon world.

Tip #1: Optimize Email

You can put all your energy into crafting a strategic masterpiece of an email campaign, but when it’s all said and done, it’ll be for naught if you fail to take into account that a majority of people view emails first on their phones nowadays. Research shows that users open 65% of emails on their smartphones, not laptops. In addition, 25% of users who open your email on mobile will then go onto revisit that email on another device. Don’t let your emails end up lost in the depths of the inbox; make them stand out. Some of the best ways of doing just that include:

  • Keep emails short and to the point
  • Emphasize simple design and call to action
  • Add the recipient’s name for a personal factor
  • Use location-specific advertising

5 mobile marketing tips

(more…)

Guest Blogging Strategies That Work #semrushchat

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Guest Blogging Strategies That Work #semrushchat

Guest blogging is definitely a dead end in terms of link-building. Don’t resort to guest spamming in hopes of getting links without putting some effort into content creation; and don’t be unscrupulous when selecting websites to post on.

But good content still matters. So keep calm and continue guest blogging. Check out this recap of our last SEMrush Twitter Chat with the amazing and charming guest expert Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor of Website Magazine. Find out what benefits can give you collaboration with other blogs and how to build a strong relationship with them, and of course how to write quality content that bears no resemblance to spam.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 7.58.43 PM

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A 4-Step Formula for Writing Fantastic Facebook Ads

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A 4-Step Formula for Writing Fantastic Facebook Ads

Not seeing the results you want from your Facebook ads? Then it’s probably time you looked a little more closely at the words you’ve been using in them.

And while you don’t have to be a professional writer to create Facebook ads that convert, following the formula below will help your ads attract more attention and convince your target audience to perform the action(s) you desire.

Let’s get started!

(Side note: For this post, I am referring specifically to Desktop News Feed ad copy.)

Step 1: Define Your Objective

This might seem rudimentary to some, but a clearly defined objective is the first, and arguably most important, step in the creation of your Facebook ad.

After all, knowing why you’re writing this ad is going to dictate the words you use and the tone you write it in.

Decide what your desired outcome is first – and then start writing.

Write Facebook Ads

(more…)

What Your Agency Wants You to Know About Your Sales Attribution Strategy

If you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet you have an attribution problem.

I’m basing this entirely on the fact that attribution is one of the biggest issues and conversations we have with the majority of our clients.

Unfortunately, the result of those conversations is often “agree to disagree.”

Why are marketing teams so inclined to stick with their current system in lieu of exploring attribution in a way that is more accurate and more insightful?

What do they say about that quote, “We’ve always done it that way?” They’re the most expensive words in business. Accepting flawed results in favor of the easy approach can cost you millions in the long run.

Earlier this year, Webmarketing123 found that 38% of organizations don’t even have an attribution model in place. And the vast majority of marketers who are analyzing some level of attribution consider only first- and/or last-click sources.

Attribution Sales

(more…)

Categories: PPC
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How Has Technology Changed? An Internal SEMrush Survey

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How Has Technology Changed? An Internal SEMrush Survey

New-grads-week

College graduation season is upon us! Join SEMrush for New Grads Week, which features Q&As, podcasts, blog posts and surveys on how technology has changed in our personal and working lives since we left school. Join the conversation on social media with #NewGradsWeek.

We decided to poll our U.S. office about the evolution of technology in the workplace. The ages of our colleagues range from new college grad to “older to know better.”

We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed putting it together! Continue reading after the jump. (more…)

4 Reasons Web Marketing Can’t Be Project Managed

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4 Reasons Web Marketing Can’t Be Project Managed

A while back, our company hired a project manager to oversee the implementation of our clients’ web marketing strategies. At the time, it seemed reasonable that a project manager with web development project management experience would be able to jump in and learn the nuances of web marketing, and then take the ball and run with it. We quickly found out that it’s not quite as easy as it sounds.

Running web marketing as a project is a recipe for failure. That has little to do with the skills or qualifications of the project manager but more about the execution differences of a project vs., well, something that isn’t a project.

Web Marketing

So why can’t web marketing be managed as any other project? Here are four reasons why:

Web marketing isn’t a project, it’s a process

By definition, a project has a defined amount of work that must be done before it’s considered complete. If you’re managing a web development project, the goal is to roll the site out for the world to see. Within that project, there might be several small projects such as wireframes, creating the navigation architecture, building tools, etc., but those mini projects still have an ultimate completion point. (more…)

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