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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…)

ICYMI: Mobilegeddon, Guest Blogging, Google’s Keyword Competitor Tools

Last week we featured articles on mobilegeddon, guest blogging and Google’s keyword competitor tools.

Did you miss any of these popular posts? Check them out after the jump! (more…)

Technology Then and Now: New Grads Week

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Technology Then and Now: New Grads Week

New-grads-week

This week on the SEMrush blog, we’re focusing on how digital technology has shaped various generations. We hope our insights and advice specifically provide guidance to recent graduates. We’ll bring you insights from members of the SEMrush team on upcoming podcasts as well as tips and messages of encouragement from other recent grads in the field.

In the spirit of this theme, I offer my thoughts on what my generation brings to the workplace.

Thirtysomethings and the Digital Landscape

In 1999, my ‘senior will’ said I’d make my living on the Internet. Everyone thought it was funny when I started making some extra cash by selling used clothing online. A teacher later admitted that he regretted missing out on an early opportunity for eBay stock after he learned about my enthusiasm and success with the then-nascent service.

Whether they were skeptical or intrigued, most of my high school classmates are also making money and increasing brand presence through established digital marketing strategies. Digital marketing isn’t just an option – it’s a necessity for new and established brands of all varieties. Beyond the success of early Internet champions like eBay, thirtysomethings have learned uniquely about the importance of the Internet and digital marketing – because we were the ones thirstiest for the technology as its implementation was just beginning.

What do Thirtysomethings Bring to the Digital Job Market Today?

I turned 34 in March. Thirty-four. At some point in the last decade I stopped being ‘a young professional who easily adapts to new media practices’ and started marketing myself as a ‘digital publishing veteran with ten years of experience in online content publication, management, and marketing.’

I hope that means I’m more experienced – without sounding like I am totally outdated when it comes to adapting digital technology. (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 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:

  • Your college’s career center
  • At networking events
  • Indeed.com

(more…)

Tech Networking Events: 4 Tips for Recent Grads

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Tech Networking Events: 4 Tips for Recent Grads

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.

If you’re a recent grad in the field of digital technology, you’re probably already a pro at online networking.

As someone who spends more time behind the keyboard than handling in-person introductions, networking events can be necessary but problematic. With so much of your credibility living online, how do you present yourself offline at tech networking events?

Networking Tips

1. Prepare Yourself

Research the event and its structure. Is it general mingling or structured speed networking?

  • Look up the hosts, featured guests, participants and their businesses. Go ahead and check out their LinkedIn profiles, and don’t be afraid of the network’s default feature that lets them know you’ve been looking at their profiles. This shows you’re prepared and interested in engaging. You can also use SEMrush to research a business’ area of focus and marketing strategy prior to meeting individuals from that organization.
  • Assume you will meet a variety of people, including recent grads, Google employees and people who don’t know the difference between ‘CEO’ and ‘SEO.’ Prepare to react accordingly.
  • Define your goals and determine what makes you different from every other recent grad out there. Prepare to sell those qualities.
  • Before you head to each networking event, think about what you want to get out of the event and what you have to offer to those that attend. Keep your goal in mind.
  • Be confident, clear some time after the event to follow up with connections and follow other general advice for networking success.

Additionally, if you still feel nervous, it’s not a bad idea to bring a friend. Just make sure you appear professional and facilitate introductions to each other. Sticking together the entire time could make you both less approachable. (more…)

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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…)

Food For Thought Friday: Hashtags, WordPress Hacks & Mobile Data

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Food For Thought Friday: Hashtags, WordPress Hacks & Mobile Data

This week we’re highlighting three articles about why you need to rock hashtags, HTML and WordPress hacks for self-professed non-coders, and mobile data analytics. (You might notice an SEMrush-centric theme this week ;))

Miss these stories? Read more after the jump. (more…)

How To Use List Magnets To Attract Highly Engaged Email Subscribers

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How To Use List Magnets To Attract Highly Engaged Email Subscribers

Just a couple of years ago, Internet marketing experts around the world were wondering whether the growth of social media and smartphones would signal the death of email marketing.

Almost halfway through 2015, we can safely say their apprehensions were wrong. Email marketing isn’t dead; far from it.

The smartphone boom has only increased the importance of email as a marketing and sales tool. Almost 50% of all emails are now accessed using smartphones and tablets — a 500% increase from 2011.

environment-growthSource: Litmus

  • 91% of U.S. consumers check their email at least once a day (Source)
  • 66% U.S. consumers (aged 15+) have made at least one purchase in the last year because of an email (Source)
  • More than 73% of marketers in the U.S. agree that email marketing is crucial to their business (Source)
  • 60% of marketers believe email to be a critical product enabler (up from 42% in 2014) (Source)

All these stats point towards a simple fact — if you’re not building an email list, you’re missing out on potential sales and revenue generation opportunities. (more…)

How Real-Time Advertising Can Get Your Customers to Act

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How Real-Time Advertising Can Get Your Customers to Act

Entire marketing careers have been spent trying to reach the right audience at the right time and get them to convert.

Television, print and outdoor advertising had too much spillage in terms of audience and were never cost-effective enough for traditional marketers. Radio was too local. PR was expensive and often unreliable. Early digital ads were a hit or miss proposition — no one really knew whether they worked or not.

The last few years have seen all of that change drastically. With the entry of real-time marketing (RTM), nearly every medium is now poised to speak to users at the right place and the right time.

How Real-Time Advertising

Why is timing so key, you ask? (more…)

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How To Take A Digital Break And Not Destroy Your SEO Career

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How To Take A Digital Break And Not Destroy Your SEO Career

The digital world. The Internet of Things. The fact we’re “always connected.”

In many ways, without sounding over-dramatic, it’s a fantastic time to be alive. Being able to speak (almost) face-to-face with someone at the other end of the world or track your health even when sleeping? Yes, please!

And I genuinely do love it. For me, there’s something fascinating about integrating digital into my everyday life, from my role as an SEO Specialist to a husband, dad and friend.

But — and I’m certain I’m not the only one who thinks this way — every now and again I need a break. Sometimes it’s just a couple of hours without e-mails; other times it’s a couple of weeks without access to any type of social media. It’s essentially a digital detox.

The problem is, when you’re working in the digital industry, it can be difficult to do so.

How to take a digital break

(more…)

ICYMI: BuzzSumo Director Steve Rayson Q&A, SEO on LinkedIn, #BloggerLife Problems and Solutions

Last week we featured featured panelist Q&As, posts all about improving SEO on LinkedIn and a quick guide to fixing common content issues bloggers face.

Did you miss any of these popular posts? Check them out:

SEMrush Q&A: BuzzSumo Director Steve Rayson

BuzzSumo Director Steve Rayson answers panel follow-up questions in this informative Q&A about social signals and monetizing SEO tools.

9 Ways Optimized Content Can Improve LinkedIn Visibility

LinkedIn Expert Victoria Ipri offers 9 solid tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile to help you make the right connections and get found for your industry or area of expertise.

#BloggerLife: My Top 4 Problems and Solutions

Do you have trouble starting your blog? Is it hard for you to remain focused on a specific topic? I offered some advice to bloggers on how to cut through these common challenges. (more…)

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Data-Driven Marketing #semrushchat

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Data-Driven Marketing #semrushchat

Data-driven marketing

Hello SEMrush Blog readers! Hope you had a nice and inspiring weekend and that you’re full of energy for applying new techniquess that we are ready to share. Open your Google Analytics and dive into recap of Data-Driven Marketing SEMrush Chat with amazing Annie Cushing, VP of Marketing for YourTango.

(more…)

The Wisdom of Quora: Analyzing Thousands of Marketing Optimization Questions [Infographic]

The Dynamic Yield team loves crunching data. We’re always looking for new ways to discover valuable insights about our space. To that end, Quora, the world’s largest and most popular question and answer site, is a gold mine of data.

After crawling, reading and analyzing thousands of questions relating to marketing optimization topics, we gathered the top questions and answers based on a weighted interest score combining views, answers, upvotes, and Quora members who indicated they “want answers” to that question. Here are the results. (more…)

Spring into SEO with the Best of the SEMrush Blog for March

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Spring into SEO with the Best of the SEMrush Blog for March

It may not feel like it yet, but March coming to an end means it’s springtime here in the U.S.

Spring is a time of renewal and growth. After a cold winter, the seeds you planted in the fall start to flower and bear fruit. But like most things, you need to nurture what you plant if you want them to take root in the spring.

The same goes for your SEO skills. If you don’t keep up with the trends, your skills will wither and dry up.

Read the SEMrush blog regularly to keep your skills growing!

Spring SEMrush Blog (more…)

SEO for Social Media

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SEO for Social Media

If you have been creating search engine optimized (SEO) content for some time now, you may have heard that all of your hard work is down the drain….that your mad skills might as well sit in a box on a dusty shelf and you just need to curl up in a ball and die already.

Well, I am not sure that is exactly true. There are many places in social media that your skills are still vitally important and today we are going bust that “SEO is dead myth” once and for all!

Social SEO is Definitely Different

People who have been in the SEO world for a long time have brains that are wired differently. We lost the ability to just freely write and are constantly dropping keywords into sentences, even if not doing it on a cognitive level! We would never dream of doing something fluffy and fun that would have no hope of ranking on Google.

Social media SEO is not exactly the same as website SEO. The social algorithms are not as focused on long-tail keywords, instead tending to favor keywords and hashtags that gain wide response from a broad range of users.

SEO for Social Media

(more…)

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Upgrade Your Product Descriptions to Boost Sales

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Upgrade Your Product Descriptions to Boost Sales

E-commerce stores rely heavily on good product descriptions. While some brands may think using generic product descriptions or ones given by the manufacturer or suppliers is acceptable, it’s an ineffective strategy. Search engine algorithms reward websites that offer unique and useful content in the form of targeted and motivated organic search traffic.

Below are strategies you can follow to create compelling product descriptions, increase your ranking and make your site more useful to visitors.

Upgrade Product Descriptions (more…)

Most common legal and ethical aspects of blogging and content marketing

 

Legal and Ethical Questions of  Blogging and Content Marketing

Content marketing has the highest priority in marketing these days. It’s a naturally growing trend, not just a temporary fad that serious marketers can easily neglect.

“86 percent of B2B marketers report that their organizations are using content marketing, and 70 percent of them are creating more content than they did one year ago.contentmarketinginstitute.com

But as we all know, if there’s profit to be made, there are those who will take advantage of it with shortcuts. While black hat techniques may work to an extent, using them comes with a price —losing not just your search positions, but your reputation. Along with your users’ trust, your reputation is your most valuable asset.

Professional writers are not just individuals with verbal skills; real professionals can enrich your community with new knowledge, change minds and influence readers’ decisions. But more importantly – professionals stay responsible and don’t allow themselves to cross borders beyond which writers’ interests harm readers, editors and other writers.

We decided to find information on the most common legal and ethical aspects of blogging and content marketing, discuss ethical borders and make a roundup useful to both novice writers and experts.

Don’t forget to check out the SlideShare presentation – it contains additional information and useful links on the topic.

We are very glad to introduce guest experts of this roundtable who shared their experiences and thoughts on dealing with sharp, ethical questions.

3Kerry Butters
Technology writer, founder and director of markITwrite, digital content agency.

 

 

2Amberly Dressler
Managing Editor at Website Magazine.

 

 

8Gideon Greenspan
Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and CTO of Copyscape, the web’s leading search engine for textual plagiarism.

 

 

5Susan Gunelius
President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., marketing communications company offering copywriting and content writing, published author.

 

 

1Andrew Hutchinson
Award-winning author, blogger and social media and media monitoring consultant.

 

 

6Kelsey Jones
Managing Editor at Search Engine Journal.

 

 

Untitled designKelley Keller
Intellectual property (IP) attorney, speaker, and educator, CEO of Innovation to Profits.

 

 

4Trevor Klein
Content Strategist at Moz.

 

 

7John Rampton
Entrepreneur and writer; was recently named #3 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes.

 

(more…)

Demystify Content Marketing’s ROI With a Data-Driven Methodology

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Demystify Content Marketing’s ROI With a Data-Driven Methodology

“Our engagement is good, but where’s the ROI?”

This is the question that all content marketers dread, but it’s one that’s popping up more and more.

Sixty-nine percent of B2C marketers are creating more content now than they were a year ago, but with the increase in content volume comes increased expectations of value. Sixty-five percent of marketing organizations say they’re feeling more pressure to prove the value of what they do, and only 23% say they’re successfully tracking the ROI of their content marketing efforts.

While early forays into content marketing have proven valuable, they haven’t proven invaluable just yet. At the same time, brands have realized that the investment isn’t as small as they thought due to the time and manpower required to create impactful content.

Brands want hard numbers to justify their investments, but quantifying the ROI of content marketing has proven difficult. Attribution isn’t a new challenge; PR and traditional advertising firms have struggled with this for years. Content’s digital orientation makes it frustrating because most marketers and brands believe it should be doable.

Why Are Marketers Struggling With Accountability?
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How to Create a Strategic Dashboard in Excel Using SEMrush Data [Excel Template Included]

Human brain processes images faster than text – 60,000 times faster. That makes dashboards much more effective communicators than spread sheets full of numbers. Still, pretty dashboards alone will be of little help, with no analysis, proposed actions, or a picture of a better future.

Dashboards help quickly understand patterns and relationships within the data. In addition, dashboards need insights: new developments in tracked key performance indicators (KPIs), observations about what is not obvious. The insights become the foundation of actions needed to keep improving the business. Once you estimated business impact of every proposed action, focus on most impactful tactics first.

Focused dashboard is a key to efficient decision making. As the data becomes bigger, your dashboards should become simpler. Cut the clutter and show only the metrics that are crucial to decision making. Understand your audience, create strategic or tactical dashboards, helping your stakeholders see only what is important to them.

Strategic Dashboard

(more…)

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