Without SEO, publishing content online is like sending a rocket to space without a destination.
If you don’t tell that rocket which direction to head (the moon or Mars?), you’re stuck crossing your fingers and hoping things work out. That’s not good marketing. Good marketing comes with predictability, data, and then some crossed fingers.
And that’s the perfect way to describe search engine optimization, SEO, in 2022.
SEO is part of the search engine algorithm:
Input = Keywords
Output = Content
For every keyword, there are thousands of pages of search results and plenty of content to choose from (outputs). But, page 1,000 isn’t nearly as useful as page 1. Even page 2 of search results can feel like no man’s land.
That’s why marketers care about SEO. Because all search engine pages are not equal. The power of ranking top 3 on page 1 of a search engine beats out ranking first on page 2 by 100x (honestly, maybe even 1,000x).
How do you land a coveted spot on page 1 of the search results?
By picking the right SEO keywords through these three steps.
3 Steps SEO Experts Use to Pick Keywords
SEO has been around long enough that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A new, innovative, never-before-seen SEO strategy that takes you months to implement and even longer to see results is the opposite of what SEO experts are doing.
The SEO experts writing high-quality content, landing on page 1 for relevant searches, and seeing results from their content are the ones following this tried-and-true SEO strategy.
#1: Ideate Keywords
There are two types of advertising: interruption-based and intent-based. Interruption-based advertising is an ad on your social media newsfeed. It’s the ads between paragraphs on the news article you’re trying to read. It’s a search engine ad strategically placed before the organic results. This isn’t your focus in organic SEO marketing, but this IS your focus in paid SEO advertising.
In SEO marketing, you’re focused on intent-based advertising. When somebody chooses to search for an answer to their question—that’s intent-based advertising. A search for “olive green cotton blanket” is an example of intent-based advertising.
And the search engine results are a mix of interruption (paid ads) and intent-based advertising (organic results).
When you’re ideating keywords for your products and brand, you’re looking at intent-based words. These are the words somebody needs to use to find your products or brand. For DigitalMarketer, these are words like:
Digital marketing training
Digital marketing help
Content marketing training
These keywords correlate directly to our products. They teach people how to be great digital marketers, either for their own company, their full-time marketing role, marketing consultancy, or their agency clients.
Your customer avatar asks specific questions and uses certain words to describe to search engines what content they want output. Use these questions to make a list of 20+ keywords you could rank for:
What questions do your customers ask surrounding your products or brand?
What single words would your customers use to describe your product or brand?
What phrases would your customers use to describe your product or brand?
These questions will give you a page full of keywords and keyword phrases (several words used in a search query) that you want to rank for.
Once you have those keywords, go to AnswerThePublic.com and automatically generate a list of questions people have asked search engines related to those keywords. See if there are any other keywords or keyword phrases you missed—and take notes of the questions people are asking. Those questions will be the topics of your content.
For example, if we see people asking “how to pick SEO keywords,” our team knows that content on picking SEO keywords is a great addition to our online library. You don’t want to chase every keyword that looks like a great piece of content, though.
First, you need to research the best keywords to see which are worth spending your time on.
#2: Research the Best Keywords
With your list of keywords and keyword phrases (which should be looooooooong by now), you’re set up to figure out which keywords to put your focus on. Unlike your pets, you’re allowed to play favorites here. You don’t want to choose keywords that are highly saturated and difficult to rank for. You also want to avoid the keywords that will only capture a minuscule part of your audience (at least, at first).
Time to bring in more help from our robot friends. Research the best keywords with tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Ahrefs, and seriously, there are so many other awesome SEO tools out there.
Here’s what keyword research for “running shoes” looks like in SEMRush:
A few things to take note of to compare your keywords/phrases and see which are the best option:
Volume is key to understanding if this keyword is worth creating content on or if it’s better to choose something with a higher search volume.
The keyword difficulty score shows you how hard it will be to organically rank for that keyword (good luck on getting on page 1 for running shoes!).
Use Keyword Variations to figure out if there are other keywords you can try to rank for that are similar but less competitive.
You can also use tools like Google Trends to see which times of the year certain searches spike. For example, the keyword phrase “plants for desk” had its highest search volume between July 27th and July 3rd. From October to the end of November, it has the lowest search volume.
This data can tell you what time is the best to push interruption-based search paid ads—and if there’s specific content you can create around the seasons or months where you see these spikes.
Once you know which keywords you’re going all-in on, it’s time for a quick chat with your finance team.
#3: Check Bid Estimates (For Paid Advertising)
If you’re not putting money behind your SEO strategy and aiming to get organic traffic through high-ranking content, skip to the next section. If you’re looking to put your ad budget towards SEO, keep reading.
Once you’ve narrowed down the keywords to prioritize based on factors like search volume and difficulty score, it’s time to run your keywords through their last filter: cost. Every keyword comes at a different cost to win the ad auction. The ad auction is how Google determines which ad trying to rank for the same keyword wins an ad placement depending on the user.
Your Bid: This is your maximum budget for an ad click.
Ad Quality: Google won’t show your ad to everybody searching for your keyword—they’ll show it to the people most likely to click based on past behavior and data they have on the user.
Extensions and Ad Formats: Google likes when you use extensions, like phone number and other links, as well as the other ad formats you’ve chosen and can boost you in the auction for a lower price.
Understanding how the auction works is necessary to figuring out how much you can afford to spend on ads and what your expected ROI should be. For example, in the SEMRush example for the search “running shoes” the cost-per-click is estimated to be $0.84. This tells you that if you want 10 clicks on your ad per day, you need a minimum $8.40 budget. Of course these numbers are a lot smaller than what you’ll really be working with, but this gives you an idea of how to figure out your SEO budget.
This is why Step 3 is so important. If your SEO budget is $100 per day, you don’t want to splurge on keywords with a cost-per-click of $10 each (unless you’re certain they’ll lead to conversions!). Instead, you want to create a broader strategy that encompasses several keywords and keyword phrases that make up your $100 per day budget.
You have your keywords, researched and ready to go. There’s only one more thing left to do.
What Do You Do After Picking SEO Keywords?
After you’ve chosen your SEO keywords, it’s time to create the content and ads. There are 3 types of content and ads to create:
Top-of-Funnel Content and Ads
When your customer avatar is first introduced to your brand, show them top-of-funnel content (TOFU). Think of this content as the getting to know you phase relationships (professional, family, friends, or even with your pets!). Every relationship goes through a stage of learning more about someone’s goals, values, and challenges. Your customer avatar wants to know who your brand is, what your goals are, and if your values align with theirs. They’re also looking to see if you understand their challenges.
Here’s an example of TOFU at DigitalMarketer: What is Digital Marketing? In this article, we’re introducing the reader to digital marketing which means we’re not trying to turn them into a customer just yet. It’s not the right time.
And the same applies to paid ads. You’re looking to educate at the top-of-the-funnel. Check out how these productivity apps use the limited amount of space on their ad to educate Google users about their productivity app.
Middle-of-funnel content and ads take things a step further.
Middle-of-Funnel Content and Ads
Middle-of-funnel content (MOFU) and ads are still educating the reader, but they’re *really* hinting at the product. The productivity apps above had to talk about their product in their TOFU content (they didn’t have another choice), but there’s a difference between their TOFU content and their MOFU content.
At the MOFU level, they’re flaunting their features and actively talking about why the competition isn’t the best option. An example of our MOFU content is this Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing. This guide is LONG, and anybody reading it clearly trusts us as their teacher. This content is designed to build a stronger relationship with this lead and get them to give us their email address (so we can send them even more valuable content).
Notice the “Download as PDF” button? If you click that, a pop-up form appears asking for your First name, last name, email address AND two questions:
Are you an agency or marketing consultant?
Do you manage a sales and/or marketing team?
These two questions help us tag our email subscribers so we know which content, products, and offers are best suited for them. We can build out specific funnels based on their responses and get first-party data that we can continue using in the future (take that iOS 14!).
Bottom-of-Funnel Content and Ads
Bottom-of-funnel content (BOFU) and ads have a direct call-to-action to join, buy, or sign-up. There isn’t any fluff. Think of this as a sales page—there’s only one action to take on that page and it involves contact information or a credit card.
For the search, “mailchimp vs. constant contact vs. sendinblue,” Constant Contact created a BOFU ad. How can you tell?
They’re giving you a special offer to sign up now
They’re promoting their 60-day full access, free trial
Their link extensions are promoting product features
BOFU content cuts straight to the chase.
Every great SEO strategy involves these 3 types of content.
You’re Ready to Pick Your SEO Keywords
You don’t have to classify yourself as an expert before you choose your keywords. You finished this article which means—you’re ready. You have the 3 steps to follow:
Research the Best Keywords
Check Bid Estimates (For Paid Advertising)
And you know what to do after you’ve chosen them (create TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU content and ads). The only thing left to do is put what you’ve learned into practice. Remember that every SEO marketer started where you were, unsure how to use the Google ads platform and scared they’ll run through their marketing budget without an ROI.
Just like we’re not telling you to put your entire life savings into Gamestop stock, putting your entire ad budget into your first SEO strategy is the wrong move. Take a percentage of that budget and start testing out ads, seeing their CTR, and how much each keyword or keyword phrase costs.
Build up from there. If you take this route, you’ll feel comfortable enough with your SEO strategy to add another story on top of it, and another in the future, and eventually you’ll have a solid building on your hands. That’s when you’ll look back at yourself reading this article and think—wow, that was just the beginning.
Scan the leading websites in your industry – whatever your industry – and you’ll be struck by the ubiquity of chatbots.
Even five years ago, these automated tools were regarded as having a fairly niche set of uses, and were seen as so expensive and complicated that only the biggest brands were able to use them. But in the space of five short years, that’s all changed. Chatbots are now an incredibly important tool for businesses, and can be added to your customer-facing portals very easily.
Alongside the widespread adoption of these tools has also come an increasing recognition from customers: as we’ve previously pointed out, approximately 47% of customers are now open to shopping for items using a chatbot, and many now find them invaluable for searching for products.
This is not the only use of chatbots, however. Incorporating them into your digital marketing strategy has a number of key advantages, from increased lead generation to the ability to generate instant feedback on product ideas. In this article, we’ll take a look at four of these advantages, and show you how chatbots can improve the efficacy of your digital marketing.
1 – Lead generation
When it comes to generating leads, chatbots have a huge advantage over their human “colleagues” – they don’t have to sleep. This means that they can interact with customers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and can do so in real time. This means that potential customers don’t have to send an enquiry form, and wait for a response from one of your employees. Instead, you can offer them instant, tailored advice on your products.
That might sound like a small extra service to offer your customers, but research indicates that the impact it can have on your sales is enormous. Surveys indicate that about 64% of consumers see 24-hour service as the biggest benefit of chatbots.
These stats have led to a corresponding increase in the use of chatbots across a wide range of industries, and in many circumstances chatbots have been given high levels of responsibility in the sales process. Research shows that by 2019, over half of all companies were using automation for part of their businesses processes.
2 – Instant feedback
Another important advantage of integrating chatbots into your digital marketing campaigns is that they can be used to quickly and efficiently elicit feedback from your customers, and intelligently respond to these suggestions.
This is not a commonly mentioned advantage of chatbots, because many brands still see them mainly as a tool that requires data to function, rather than one that can be used as a source of business intelligence. It’s true that training chatbots to respond to customer queries normally requires large datasets, but there are other ways of using them that don’t require this level of technical infrastructure and knowledge.
A good example of this is the campaign that was run by Absolut Vodka in 2018. This marketing campaign, as reported by entrepreneur, used a chatbot to interact with potential customers over Facebook messenger. The purpose of this outreach was partially to perform a survey on the most popular vodka-based cocktails among Absolut’s customer base. However, the technique also led to a x2 conversion increase via Facebook messenger, and allowed Absolut to open another way to interact with their key customers.
3 – Data acquisition
Take the approach we’ve mentioned above to its logical extreme, and you’ll see that chatbots can actually be an incredibly useful and effective way of collecting data from your customers.
This technique is still in its infancy, but is already showing great promise. The idea is simple enough – since a chatbot (if correctly trained and used) can potentially interact with a huge number of customers simultaneously, it makes sense to use these bots to collect information on your customers, even if all this involves is a simple question about their habits.
This information can be used for a variety of purposes. First and foremost, chatbots asking customers to rate their experience, and to collect suggestions on how your sales process can be improved, can instantly help you to improve the efficacy of your customer service offering. Information like this can also be used to inform your SEO process, by providing a finer-grained analysis of how customers arrived at your site.
The potential applications of these data go way beyond on-site marketing, though. They can be used, in other words, to inform all of your marketing channels, including arguably the most important – email.
According to Ottawa-based software developer and online marketer Gary Stevens of Hosting Canada, email remains the most effective marketing channel today, stating “Despite some outcries to the contrary, email is far from dead and is, according to all statistics and expert predictions, actually gaining traction as a marketing modality, making it more important than ever before that you have the right systems in place to ensure you aren’t leaving any money on the table.”
And last but definitely not least, this information can be fed back into your chatbot itself, and used to train it to respond more effectively, and in a more sophisticated way, to your customers. In this way, using your chatbots to collect data is essentially a way of getting them to train themselves.
4 – Building a relationship
Finally, it’s worth recognizing that when used correctly, chatbots can work in parallel with human marketers towards the most important goal of all – building a truly engaged relationship with your customers.
This is often forgotten about, because many brands still see chatbot development frameworks as a way of automating away human marketers and customer service staff. This, however, is the wrong approach – instead of seeing chatbots as an automated replacement for humans, marketers should see them as an efficiency tool. Chatbots, ultimately, can save your human marketers time that they can then spend working on more useful tasks.
Taking this approach can provide real advantages to brands. This is because it’s not just your marketing team who will applaud you for making their jobs easier – your customers will also value the more streamlined purchase process that chatbots can provide.
Examples of this kind of approach can be found in many industries, but perhaps the most prominent is Pizza Hut’s chatbot. This tool is primarily focused on providing a friendly interface for customers making online purchases. However, as part of this service it also collects information on customers, and remembers it to speed up the checkout process for future purchases.
Automate your marketing
If, after running through the advantages above, you are ready to take your first step into the exciting world of chatbots, you now have plenty of options available to you. There are a few solutions that provide ready-to-use chatbots requiring very little in the way of training.
These can be a great solution for new companies, or those who are relatively new to the world of advanced digital marketing and want to super-charge their data acquisition process. Just remember, whichever approach you take, that chatbots are there to help your marketing staff, not replace them.
Ericsson’s mobile ad technology business, Emodo, today announced a partnership with web-based augmented reality (WebAR) company 8th Wall to establish an end-to-end WebAR advertising solution. This solution aims at providing agencies and brands the ability to create and distribute WebAR ad campaigns.
This end-to-end solution introduces new embeddable AR ad types, as well as giving advertisers the capability to place WebAR content inside ad units directly alongside publisher content. The 8th Wall-powered WebAR ad experiences are distributed through Emodo’s ad supply chain and audience targeting solutions.
8th Wall’s WebAR experiences work in-browser, without requiring an app to download. They can be viewed on iOS and Android phones, desktop computers and AR or VR headsets. The embeddable AR ads enable viewers to experience the ad directly on the publisher’s page. It uses 8th Wall’s Inline AR capability, and is a unique ad format to 8th Wall and Emodo.
Why we care. Marketers want to use technology that is widely adopted and adaptable, which is what Emodo promises with this new partnership. With all the talk about VR experiences and the metaverse in recent months, it’s useful to step back and consider how experience has improved using all kinds of 3D imaging and augmented techniques, from virtual try-on to OOH digital billboards.
Emodo’s focus on mobile ads, along with 8th Wall’s app-free experience, gives marketers the opportunity to deliver a tech-forward AR ad to consumers who are out in the world, or in-store, close to a point of sale.
About The Author
Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.
What is the single most important thing every business must do?
We bet millions of thoughts are going through your mind, so let us answer the questions right now: A company has to build a unique brand identity in order to succeed. This is the only chance you have to distinguish your organization from competitors and grow your business steadily and long-term.
But how do you build a brand identity?
Well, this question has more than one answer as it requires a fair share of planning and strategic thinking to come up with a memorable brand identity. Our job is to help you with that, so here’s a complete guide on how to build a brand identity.
The Basics of the Concept
The sheer phrase ‘brand identity’ may sound obvious and self-explanatory, but it is actually vague and convoluted.
There are many definitions of the concept, but we like the one claiming that the brand identity is a set of ideas and features that a company wants people to connect in their minds with its products or brand. It is a broad explanation, but that’s just because brand identity is a broad phenomenon. Here are the major components of brand identity:
Logos, color schemes, fonts
Visual templates and graphic design
Images and iconography
Data visualization patterns
Videos materials, GIFs, animations, and illustrations
Content writing style
But the sum of all elements is not enough to make a great brand identity. On the contrary, it also needs to fulfill certain criteria in order to reach the desired level of quality.
Jake Gardner, a web designer at the best essay writing service, explains that brand identity has to be specific and different than competitors’ brand identities: “It also needs to be appealing and memorable because you want customers to remember it quickly. Besides that, it must be simple enough for different kinds of designers to apply it to their products.”
Practical Tips to Build the Brand Identity
Building a brand identity is obviously complicated, but it gets a lot easier if follow a few basic rules in a step by step manner. Here are the most important tasks on your to-do list:
1. See where you are right now
If you are about to launch a totally new company, you can skip step one. But most companies don’t think about brand-building from day one, so they need to reconsider it somewhere along the way. For this reason, it all starts with a question: What is the current status of the brand identity?
Our advice is to analyze the opinions of your employees, business partners, and clients in order to figure out how they perceive your company. This helps you distinguish between the pros and cons of the existing brand identity.
2. Make a plan
Now you know how all parties involved in the process see your business, but what is your point of view? How do you want people to perceive the brand?
It’s a critical step because you are the one who makes the plan and decides which way to go. This is exactly why it’s necessary to analyze the purpose of the business, its values, mission, and vision. It is also important to determine key brand messages and come up with a unique selling proposition.
3. Create a buyer persona
Who is your typical client? Is it a 15-year old girl or a retired police officer? Target groups vary significantly, so you have to create the average buyer persona and learn what really inspires this person to show interest in a brand and to take action.
4. Analyze your competitors
The next step is to analyze your competitors and see what they are doing to build a unique and memorable brand identity. Do it the same way you would analyze your own company. In other words, try and check all elements of their brand identities one by one.
The point is to pinpoint common features that you have to add to the strategy, too. On the other side, you also want to identify their weaknesses and learn how you can do better than other companies in your niche.
5. Create brand identity visuals
After everything you’ve done so far, creating brand identity visuals should be much easier for you and your team of designers. For instance, if the audience consists of young and passionate individuals, you know your visual messages need to be direct, clear, upbeat, and energetic.
Building a powerful brand identity is a key marketing task for every organization or company, but it’s not as simple and obvious as it may seem at first. In this post, we showed you a step by step guide on how to build a memorable brand identity. Do you think you can do it like this?
Alice Jones is a full-time digital marketer and a part-time blogger from San Francisco, CA. As a member of the professional dissertation writing service, Alice is making blog posts about branding, entrepreneurship, and personal development. Besides that, she is a passionate traveler and a dedicated yoga practitioner.