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“Create great content! Create great content!” Are you sick of hearing this catchphrase yet? Well, it’s probably going to be a while before this one goes away, because it’s getting harder and harder to do SEO without having “great content” to leverage in the process.
Luckily, there are many paths to content greatness, and with some creative thinking, you can create compelling stuff no matter how boring your niche seems. If you’re lost and don’t know where to start, narrow down the possibilities by figuring out what your goals for content marketing are, then proceed from there. Defining your goals will help you help you figure out what approach to take with your content.
One of those content goals might be media coverage, whether you’re looking primarily for links from big publications in your industry or coverage in the news media. If so, here are three tips for creating content that is more likely to get talked about. (And remember, if you want media coverage, always create a press release to go along with your content!)Cover Big Brands
In SEO, we love to tear on Google for always favoring brands in the search results, but the truth is, everyone is interested in brands, whether we love them or just love to hate them. A good way to ensure that people will take an interest in your content—even if they’re not interested in your brand, yet—is to cover big brands.
One way to do this is to create a case study about a big brand. If you’re lucky enough to have a really big-name brand in your company’s client roster, ask them if you can feature them in a case study. But you can also write a case study about a brand that you’re not technically affiliated with in any way, from an outsider’s perspective. Or you could do a comparative study of two big brands in the same space (Pandora vs. Spotify, for example) or create a beautiful infographic with information on one or more big brands.
A printer supply company called Cartridge Save created an infographic called “If You Printed Twitter,”connecting their own teensy, not-very-sexy brand with a big popular brand. That’s smart marketing!
Google wrote a case study on how the American Red Cross uses the Google Search Appliance (an enterprise application) to “improve information ‘findability’ for internal and external users.” This a great vote of confidence. Companies that are considering using Google Apps for Business are looking for evidence that other big brands have been satisfied with their experience. (Google itself is a big brand, of course, but its apps aren’t necessarily trusted for business use yet, as much as something like Microsoft.)Get Experts Involved
Big-name experts in your field are similar to brands—people are naturally drawn to them and love talking about them. Your content will get more coverage and links if you feature expert names and opinions. Here are a few ways to get industry experts involved in your content:
Get a quote. If you’re writing a news-type article or covering some kind of trend, it’s a good idea to get a quote from an expert or two to lend extra depth and credence to your analysis.
Do an interview. Bring attention to your site by interviewing someone more famous than you!
Use “egobait.” Interview multiple experts in a group-style interview or create a list of must-follow experts in a given area.
Kristi Hines recently put together a list of “75 Must Read Marketing Blogs to Make Your RSS Reader Epic.” Not only is this a nicely curated list that is really helpful for beginner marketers who are thirsty for information, but everyone whose blog is named on the list will be anxious to share it, too, giving it extra-wide reach.
Scholastic, a publisher and distributor of books for children (remember those book fairs from grade school? Good times!), recently published an interview with child star Jake Short.Connect the Dots
Journalists are always looking for a story, and they don’t necessarily want to cook up that story from scratch. If you’re sitting on some interesting data, don’t just present the data and leave it up to your audience to figure out what it all means. Do the hard work and develop a narrative that makes sense of that data.
Speaking of SEOmoz, when Dr. Pete reported that the Google SERP had shrunk to just seven results for almost 1/5 of queries, he didn’t just drop that data on us and call it a day. He dug in to find out what types of queries are returning fewer results (mostly branded terms and searches that return sitelinks) and what we can do about it (nothing).
What methods have you found for getting more media coverage for your content marketing efforts?
You're reading 3 Ways To Get More Media Coverage For Your Marketing Content
4 Steps to Inbound Marketing Success
One of the biggest challenges business owners as well as marketers will face in 2014 is how they can use different online media together to achieve inbound marketing success. Many think of (social media, email, search…etc) in silos, and that’s the reason why many inbound marketing strategies may fail.
In order for you to be able to design a less siloed, more effective inbound marketing strategy, I have found you need 3 elements:
1. A defined customer journey
This begins when a complete stranger finds your brand online. They go through a conversion path that is designed to turn them into customers and then turn those customers into evangelists who will promote your brand for you. You might get lucky turning very few of those strangers into customers from the first interaction if your product and copy resonates with them really well, but then you’ll be missing on the vast majority of the remaining prospects that could really benefit from your products or services.
2. Applying the right media to support each step
Once you figure out the steps that lead to a purchase, you need to apply the best channels to support each step of the process. This ensures that you only use the right mediums for the right steps.
3. How these media should work together
As I mentioned before, all the online mediums that your business should be benefiting from should work together in order for the strategy to work. Isolating them will only waste your valuable resources.
That being said, here is a diagram that shows the inbound marketing funnel according to the originators of the inbound marketing concept:
Source: chúng tôi
As you can see in the diagram above, there are 4 main phases to turning strangers into loyal customers. Following this funnel will ensure that you don’t lose the other prospects who might be interested in what you’re offering, but they’re not ready to purchase yet.
Let’s do the maths!
Let’s say that you’re not a patient person and you want to jump through the funnel above by directing all of that traffic to a sales page.
That means that only 200 people of those 20,000 visitors will convert into paying customers.
What about the other 19,800?
They’ll probably leave and never come back again because your copy didn’t convince them, they don’t know you, they don’t trust you…etc.
Would you throw 19,800 visitors out the window while you can get more of them to convert into paying customers?
That’s what the above inbound marketing funnel is for. It’s about maximizing your conversions. If you ask every marketer on earth, they’ll always tell you that people buy from businesses they know, like and trust which are the outcomes the funnel above achieves for your business!4 steps to Inbound Marketing
So, now let’s jump into each step in detail:
This step is all about turning complete strangers who probably never heard about your business before into visitors who see your content multiple times.
This is the awareness phase where you get your brand in front of your prospects. You won’t obviously ask for the sale directly here, you’re just educating them about your brand, your products or services.
In order to achieve this step and get to the next one, there are several effective mediums that you can use. However, I’m going to mention 2 of the most effective:
Blog: having a blog that you update consistently is proven to bring you more traffic. According to a HubSpot study, companies that blog get 55% website visitors than companies that don’t!
Blogging if done correctly will help your business attract strangers and turn them into visitors who check your content regularly.
Social media: Many businesses use social media as a direct selling tool and that’s exactly why they get disappointed when they don’t get results from this medium. They then start blaming the medium instead of analyzing why exactly this medium doesn’t work in terms of direct selling.Do you remember the 2nd condition to inbound marketing success?
It’s applying the right media to the right situation.
Each medium is good at something, and social media happens to be very good at getting awareness for your brand as well as retaining existing customers and turning them into promoters as you can see in the previous diagram.
Now that you have visitors who showed interest in your brand, the next step will be getting them into an email list because this medium happens to be very good at converting your prospects into paying customers.
When I say landing pages, I mean any mechanism that you use to collect emails. Some people call them squeeze pages, others call them opt in pages, and they all basically have the same job.
Getting your prospect permission to email them! For this you’ll need a lead magnet or as some people prefer to call it an ethical bribe + a landing page to show the benefit of that lead magnet.
A lead magnet could be any free offer from ebooks and reports to video series and webinars. Just make sure it’s perceived as high value by your prospects so you get better conversion rates.
Let’s say that in your buyer persona, your prospects objections were: I don’t think your product is right for me, I don’t have time, I don’t have budget, Why would I trust you…etc.
By answering all of those questions in an automated email autoresponder series, your prospects will be more likely to buy from you since those objections are the only thing that was holding them from buying.
The great thing about email autoresponders is that they save you tons of time and help you automate the process of overcoming your prospects objections. Each time a person becomes a lead, they’ll go into the same autoresponder sequence. So you basically create the content once, and it’ll continue to serve you for months or even years to come!
Many businesses stop when they get the customer. I’m not saying this is wrong or anything, but I believe we’re here to maximize conversions, right?
Why stop at that point, when we can get those customers to become promoters for our business.
The best promoters are customers because they used your products or services and when they recommend them to anyone inside their circles, they’ll respond.
Some of your customers might have a friend or a family member that can benefit from your product. Others might have a huge online audience that can also benefit from your product.
A study from Nielsen reveals that the number 1 thing people trust when it comes to purchasing is recommendations from other people they know.
Email and social media are both great mediums to delight your customers. You can use them to deliver exceptional customer service, over deliver on what you promised or get personal with the most loyal customers. Some businesses go even further and send personal hand written thank you notes to some of their customers. I’ve even seen some cases where CEOs write thank you notes and send them to some customers! This is delighting your customers at its best!
In today’s day and age, markets can change direction in the blink of an eye and huge trends can show up overnight only to die down a few weeks later. Plus, customers are better informed and require more than just your good intentions to pay attention to your brand.
Therefore, businesses must adapt to the crazy fast pace of the market and find new ways to cope with the coming and going of the trends. That’s where
truly shows its value as it takes over routine tasks and frees up time for ingenuity, creativity, and strategy.
But you can’t have marketing automation without the right tools. Luckily, the offer is incredibly diverse with smart automation tools that can help improve the customer experience while also shedding hours off your schedule. However, it can be a bit confusing when trying to decide which tools work the best for your needs.
For instance, did you know you can use
social media monitoring tools
to automate and enrich your campaigns? Here’s how:Use Social Listening
Social listening is the process of monitoring what people are saying about topics of interest to you online. With the right tools, you can learn more about your customers’ opinions about your brand, products, and more.
You can check brand mentions across all platforms, so you don’t waste any marketing opportunities. Brand mentions mean people are talking about you, therefore, you have to make sure you’ll be a part of the conversation.
Plus, you can use social media monitoring tools to take a peek at your competitors’ strategies and campaigns. After all, inspiration can come from a wide range of sources, right?
Overall, social listening is great for your marketing because it keeps you up to date with popular topics and lets you know what’s trendy on the market.Gain Valuable Insight
Luckily, some of these tools also have analytics built into the system, which means you can create default and customized reports to better understand trends and currents. With the right data, social media can paint an accurate picture of your customer, which is incredibly valuable information especially in today’s day and age.24/7 Customer Support
Customer support is the one service you know for sure it can improve your chances on the market when done right. When customers and interested buyers reach out, you must reply quickly and swiftly to keep their satisfaction levels high.
Luckily, nowadays you don’t have to hire a call center company to cover basic interactions. Intelligent chatbots are not new technology, but small and medium-sized brands are not extremely keen on using them.
However, with minimal initial investment and the data provided by social media monitoring tools, you can set up user-friendly chatbots that can take over routine questions and even basic actions. Plus, chatbots can stay active 24/7 and they use AI algorithms to learn from the collected data how to better talk with your customers.
: There are plenty of AI tools you can use to up your marketing and
social media strategy
. Also, these tools are quite affordable even for small brands, so there’s absolutely no need not to use them.Wrap Up
The basic definition of ad rank has not changed over the years.
While we all know that ad rank is the main factor in your ad positioning, what exactly are those factors?
What goes into the calculation of ad rank? What can you control to improve your ad rank?
If you’re not sure where to start with ad rank, this is for you.
While ad rank may seem like a simple calculation, it can feel like an uphill battle trying to improve it.
You’ll find out everything you need to know about ad rank, why it matters, and how you can improve it without spending more.What Exactly Is Ad Rank?
For example, if your ad shows up in the second position on the page, your ad rank for that particular search is a two.
But, what factors actually impact your ad rank?
Before 2023, ad rank was a more simple calculation involving your max CPC and the number of competitors relative to the search.
Since Google Ads introduced some key changes to the way Ad Rank is calculated, such as thresholds and machine learning, it’s become much more complex.
Simply put, Ad Rank is calculated by:
Your bid amount.
Auction-time ad quality.
Competitiveness of auction.
Context of a user’s search.
Expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.
Each specific keyword search is analyzed by determining the above factors to give it an Ad Rank.
That means that every search is fundamentally different. That means in one search auction, you could have an Ad Rank of one. But the very next search auction, you could have an Ad Rank of four.
In order to fully understand Ad Rank, let’s dive deeper into each of the factors above.
Your bid amount: This is the amount you are willing to pay to show up in a specific position when a user searches a keyword. There are the minimum and maximum thresholds. For example, if you set a maximum CPC of $2 and the next highest bidder has a max CPC of $1.60, you would then pay $1.61 in that auction.
User signals and attributes: These signals include things such as location, device type, and time of day. Ad rank thresholds will vary based on these factors.
Context of search: Two different people could search the same keyword and have two completely different contexts.
Competitiveness of auction: Your ad rank can also depend on the auctions for related but similar searches. For example, [wedding invitations] and [wedding invites] search terms could be informed by each other because they are similar in nature.
Expected impact of ad extensions and other formats: Google will look at your ad extensions for the relevancy, CTR, and overall experience with the ad.
In the world of complexity, that is not the case anymore.
While there are many differences between organic and paid searches, they do function similarly in the fact that Google will favor more relevant information for searchers.
Now that we’ve gone through the basics of ad rank and how it’s calculated, here are three ways you can improve your ad rank – all without spending more money.1. Improve Your Ad Relevance
Ad relevance is a major component of your ad rank. As mentioned above, ad relevance is one of three components that comprise of ad quality or quality score.
According to Google’s official definition, ad relevance is “how closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search.”
So, how do you improve your ad relevance?
Start by auditing your current ad copy and cross-reference the keywords that you’re bidding on.
Do your headlines or descriptions include keywords that a user is searching?
Responsive Search Ads are a great way to test out different copies to determine what resonates best with a user.
Google does give some reporting on headlines and descriptions, including how they rank from “low” to “best” in terms of performance.
If you have found a winning ad copy that performs well, you could also pin your top-performing headline to the top of your ad, ensuring that it always shows up in your ad.
Now, while you should focus on including relevant keywords in your copy that a user is searching, don’t get this confused with keyword stuffing.
Gone are the days of focusing on SKAGs (single keyword ad groups). It used to be easy to have higher ad relevance with SKAGs because you were almost always matching a particular search term with your headline.
Secondly, part of Google’s definition of ad relevance is how much the ad matches a user’s intent.
Say I search for [keyword research tool cost]. I’m clearly looking for how much a tool like that would cost me per month.
The headline aligned with my search query.
Good use of sitelink extension to compare plans and pricing.
Provides brand authority with over 10 million users.
Additional trial period to test out before purchasing.
This example above hits on all the key points of a good ad:
To sum it up, ad relevance is not just trying to fit keywords as many times into your copy as possible.
Google is focused more on the intent of a user and how well your ad can help that user solve a problem.2. Focus On Ad Extension Content
Ad extensions are something that can easily be forgotten when setting up new campaigns and ad groups.
While they may seem tedious or unimportant to set up, the contrary is true.
Ad extensions are a vital part of increasing your ad rank on Google. They help increase your CTR, therefore in turn help increase your ad rank.
Why do they help increase CTR? Glad you asked!
Ad extensions allow you to give users additional information about your business that you couldn’t convey in your ad. After all, we are still limited by character count with headlines and descriptions.
However, don’t just add extensions for the sake of adding them.
In fact, if you add extensions to a campaign or ad group that don’t align with the search terms, this could actually lower your ad rank.
So, what should you use ad extensions for?
As of now, these are the available ad extensions you can create:
Location (and Affiliate Location).
With all these options, how do you choose which ones to add?
Ideally, you should create ad extensions based on your campaign goal(s).
For example, if you are a local business and trying to drive in-store traffic, you’d benefit from adding location extensions.
If your goal is to drive more web traffic, try adding relevant sitelinks to different areas of your site that can help solve a user’s problem.
To summarize, be specific about the extensions you add to your campaigns. Aligning them with your campaign goals could help significantly increase your ad rank.3. Create Better Landing Pages
Landing pages are often a forgotten piece of the conversion puzzle.
However, I’d like to argue that this is the most important part to get right in improving your ad rank.
As a searcher, the user experience can make or break whether or not they purchase from you.
Your search query should be a direct indicator of what you expect to see when you get to a website.
Well, in theory, that’s good, right?
It is good – if you are helping them solve a problem. If you’re creating landing pages with fluff copy just to match the search term, you’ve got it all wrong.
If you haven’t noticed the theme of Google lately, it’s all about intent.
We need to stop worrying about our landing page headline matching exactly what a user searches for and more about what they actually see when they land.
There are many things to consider in creating a good landing page:
What device a user is on.
How much “white space” (or unnecessary space) there is on the page.
Whether there is a clear call-to-action (CTA) before a user has to scroll.
The list can go on and on if you get my drift.
The point is, that your landing page experience has to be of quality and consistency in order to improve your ad rank.
So much so that Google even adopted the landing page experience into its Quality Score metric!
By putting in the legwork now on your landing pages, the results will show over time.Conclusion
When it comes to improving ad rank, are you more apt to manipulate your bids and budgets?
If this has been your go-to strategy, I encourage you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of your campaigns.
Improve your ad copy to align with a user’s search intent.
Increase your ad’s CTR with strong and relevant ad extensions.
Focus on improving the landing page experience for higher conversion rates.
Once you’ve put in the work on these pieces, then you can feel comfortable with shifting bids and budgets to dominate the top search position.
Featured Image: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock
3 Ways to Get Rid of the Certificate Validation Failure on VPNs
The most common reason for certificate validation failure on VPN is an expired certificate.
VPN certificates are essential because they are a more secure way for authentication than preshared keys.
Users reported that updating the certificate will solve the certificate validation failure error.
INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE
To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool
Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:
Download Fortect and install it on your PC.
Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem
Fortect has been downloaded by
readers this month.
VPN, an acronym for Virtual Privacy Networks has certificates by a public authority that manages them. They are essential electronic documents, as VPN devices use them to indicate if they are the ones you connect to. Thus, it is imperative to quickly fix any VPN certificate validation failure.
Digital certificates of VPN are also used for authentication, and this is more secure than preshared keys. VPN certificates expire due to security reasons and when there is a need to replace them.
It used to take a more extended period of time for a valid VPN certificate to last, however, in 2023, SSL certificate expiration was reduced and a valid certificate lasted for 12 months only.
Still, this may not be the sole reason you are getting a failure in certificate validation. There are many other reasons why this may be happening with Cisco or some other VPN service provider.
Virtual Privacy Networks improve your security and privacy as you browse the Internet, which is why people use them. Therefore if you cannot validate VPN security, the purpose of getting the VPN in the first place is defeated.How do I get a VPN certificate?
To have access to generate a new VPN certificate, you need to create an Azure Microsoft account. Microsoft has a free trial that you can use to gain access before you need to pay.
When your VPN certificate expires, you need to update it. If you do not update your VPN certificate, you lose security and become exposed to threats that make your private and classified information vulnerable.
How do I update my VPN certificate?
Do VPN certificates expire?
VPN certificates are issued with an expiration date for the sake of increased security. After that date has passed, the certificates must be updated with fresh ones.
There is a validity period of three years attached to the VPN certificates that were issued by both the Internal RSA CA for Gateways and the Internal ECDSA CA.How do I fix VPN validation failure? 1. Check the validity of your VPN certificate
After you check, and find that your VPN certificate may have expired, proceed to renew it.
To fix certificate validation failure VPN Cisco, and certificate validation failure VPN anyconnect, you have to first verify that the hostname and host address are still valid and then check if the certificate has expired before you proceed to install a new certificate or update the existing one.3. Turn on OCSP Nonce on the Windows server
OCSP is Online Certificate Status Protocol, and it is a method that browsers use to ensure that a security certificate is valid. Enabling OCSP service nonce protects secure network communication.
Microsoft Windows uses RFC 5019 while Cisco AnyConnect VPN ASA uses RFC 2560. This disparity causes VPN validation failure, and as such needs fixing.
When OpenVPN certificate verification failed and VPN certificate validation failure occurs, these are the steps that you can follow to rectify them.
Also, for IBM VPN certificate validation failure, there is a renew certificate application in the IBM store that can help you with renewing your certificate if it is outdated.How do I add a VPN certificate to Windows 10/11? Is there any good 3rd party VPN for business?
There is another security method to protect all your business data and avoid certificate validation failure for your VPN protection.
You can use the Perimeter 81 as a Zero Trust Application Access software and secure any sensitive data from public use. This way, you guarantee private communication with IPSec or WireGuard technology.
Plus, it provides safer digital support against data leaking or cyber threats with access by role, a cloud-based interface, or monitoring tools.
⇒ Get Perimeter 81
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Is it a knockout or a points decision?
According to a report produced by Royal Pingdom, Internet 2011 in numbers, there were more than 2.2bn email users in 2011 and 3.4bn email accounts, this figure growing by 500m. According to Radicati, this number is expected to grow to 4.1bn by the end of 2023.
There is always a tendency when new technologies come along to throw out the old in favour of the new. Email is often seen as out of date and its value diminished by the exciting opportunities that social media appears to open up.
Of course it’s essential to build in emerging channels to our marketing strategies to keep us in contact with our growing audiences but as its true that marketing cannot rely on digital alone, so it is that we need to ensure we are maximising all channels we have at our disposal. And while social is a constantly changing environment, email remains a core feature in our everyday lives and has proved its effectively time and time again.
While social media can be great for raising a brand’s profile, most consumers still respond better to offers made in an email. In this sense, social media is the tool that acts to warm up the audience with email coming in to close the deal.
Like anything, email must evolve to remain relevant and we have already started to see some more social elements in its functionality. However most of us would be hard pushed to imagine a world where we carry out our business transactions through Facebook Messenger or MSN chat or request our bank statements be IM’d to us each month.
Abi Clowes, Head of Marketing at Pure360 says “As a marketer I see social as another channel to send messages through – no different to mobile or email, it’s great that it expands our reach and allows us to target the person not just the title or consumer. As Pure360, we are seeing huge growth in the number of emails sent out each month, certainly not a decline. We’re talking 3 billion emails being sent a year. In addition we’ve taking steps to better integrate email and social campaigns so people can send their messages regardless of channel.”
Dave Choplin, Head of Microsoft’s Envisoneers team agrees,
“I think that email is dead when it comes to social media in the same way that snail mail was dead when it came to email. Time and again, it’s always the same thing. Enter the bright shiny new technology stage right, therefore old boring technology must exit stage left.
When all we had was email we would use email for everything.
Now we’ve got this wonderful selection of different kinds of communication. What’s nice is that our email starts to be for those communications that do truly need the kind of functionality that email offers.
The key thing for me is to dispel the myth that a lot of social media ‘luvvies’ would have you believe, that email is dead. Everything has its place and it’s really understanding which is the right tool for the job.”
If you’re looking for some clear and helpful guidance to maximise on the success of our email marketing, check out our Email Best Practice Guide as well as our Podcast Episode 43 where we talk to Sean Duffy, Principal Email Marketing Consultant for Emailcenter.
To answer the question we posed at the start of this post, Hostpapa has created an interesting infographic comparing email and social across 5 major success factors; Benefits, Growth, Usage, Reach and Features with an interesting, but maybe not unexpected result.
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