When it comes to the path of online success, it is important to be familiar with what Technical SEO is. Before going too deep into the topic, let us first run through what SEO is. The world of search engine optimization is wide. Apart from that, search engines such as Google also tend to constantly and continuously change their own search engine ranking algorithm.
With this constant change and development, there are lots of SEO strategies that may have worked before but then changes the next year. With all that said, it is a great idea to start early. If you’ve noticed that your site doesn’t seem to be attracting a great amount of traffic, then it is time to improve your site’s SEO.
What Is Technical SEO
Technical SEO is another main part of SEO that focuses on the website and server optimizations. Doing so will also help search engine spiders crawl. Apart from that, it would also be easier to record and index your site more effectively. Achieving these feats will help improve your site’s organic rankings.
What Makes Technical SEO Important?
If you’re looking forward to improving your website’s SEO to appear more visible in search engines, then it is a major factor to focus on the technical quality of your site. In fact, simply getting company team members and executives on board can be a tricky task.
If SEOs don’t take the time to optimize critical technical aspects of your site that influence page speed, indexing, and more, it could mean lost traffic and revenue. To deal with more details, here are some essential technical tasks SEOs should take care of to help increase organic visibility.
Guaranteeing Site’s Search Crawlability
Technical SEO in itself’s goal is to assist these search engines spiders crawling through your site, however, the purpose is defeated if the crawl is not achieved. Therefore, it is important to have your site crawled and easily accessible to crawled search engines and users using some valid crawl status codes. Something that experts would point out is to make sure your site’s SEO pages would want to have a 200 HTTP status code included within their crawl index.
Some people may not know this, but HTTPS has been long known as a ranking factor, in fact, as long as 2014. It is also considered to be a good technical SEO strategy to use HTTPS as there is no good reasons for not using HTTPS to encrypt your site. Some may also suggest you migrate if your site is still running on HTTP.
It is easy to determine if your site sits on HTTPS by taking a look at your browser’s URL bar. Simply look for the padlock on the left side of your crawl URL and if there is, then you are running on HTTP, if there’s none, then you’re not. Search marketers should also ensure their robots.txt files aren’t blocking pages they want to be indexed. Also, keep in mind that misplaced disallow directives could prevent crawlers from viewing your pages at all.
Improving The User’s and Page’s SEO Technical Experience
When it comes to SEO, it is only a natural step to also improve the user’s experience with your website. This is because users would less likely to convert to sites that are unable to offer them satisfactory experiences, these unsatisfactory user experience includes slow-loading pages and such.
When it comes to search engines such as Google, they would usually encourage site owners to optimize their technical structures in order to prevent these events from happening, allowing their content to shine in the free technical SEO search results.
One tip to improve the experience of your page is to make sure that your created website is mobile-friendly. Users will likely find it a pain if your site is unresponsive and difficult to navigate, thus they would be less likely to convert. However, having a responsive website design will adjust itself automatically so that it can be navigated and read easily on any device.
Search engines, especially Google, make it clear that having a responsive site is considered a very significant ranking signal by its algorithms. It is important to keep up with the modern ways of using technology, and as clearly as it is, the number of mobile users is growing. Apart from that, we can also refer to the introduction of Google’s ‘mobile-first right approach to indexing content which makes a responsive site audit tool more valuable now than ever.
With all that said, it would seem that it is an important step to make sure that your site is fully responsive and will display in the best format possible for mobile, tablet, or desktop users. Apart from mobile-friendliness, it is also important to look at the website’s right speed as mentioned earlier.
Speeding Up Your Core Web Vitals
It is only normal that search engines would prefer and hold sites that load faster in higher regard, after all, page speed is another factor considered an important ranking signal. It is only natural after all, if you yourself are presented with a slow website, would you stay and wait for its right slow loading on the Google search console? Most of the time, the answer is no. In fact, there are many ways to improve your core web vitals speed, these include the following:
Using faster hosting.
Use a fast DNS (‘domain name system’) provider
Minimize ‘HTTP requests’ – keep the use of scripts and plugins to a minimum
Use one CSS stylesheet (the code which is used to tell a website browser how to display your website Google search console) instead of multiple CSS stylesheets or inline CSS
Ensure your image files are as small as possible (without being too pixelated)
Compress your web pages (this can be done using a tool called GZIP)
Fixing Broken Technical Internal And Outbound SEO Links
Fixing broken internal and outbound links can also help with improving your page’s experience. This is because when there are broken blog links detected, it may be indicated as another signal of poor user experience. After all, no one would want to click a link and find that it doesn’t take them to the page they’re expecting.
A list of broken internal links can be found in your Site Audit report, and you should fix and identified issues either by updating the target URL or removing the URL link.
Dealing With Duplicate SEO Contents
Some people may not think of it as much of a problem, however, in reality, content that is duplicated may become confusing for the welcome users, not just but even for the search engine algorithms. It can also be used to try to manipulate search rankings or win more URL traffic.
Because of these, the search engines are usually not keen on it, it also depends on the most popular search engines, Google and Bing which advise competitive webmasters and page owners to fix any duplicate content issues that they are able to find.
These issues can be tended to by Preventing your CMS from publishing multiple versions of a page or post for example, by disabling Session IDs where they are not vital to the functionality of your website and by getting rid of printer-friendly versions of your content. As well as using the canonical technical SEO tools link element to let search engines know where the ‘main’ version of your content resides.
Things To Keep In Mind With Google Search Console
The search engine result pages can only show a set amount of pages on the first page, and as a matter of fact, reaching the second of farther URLs result pages will drastically affect your site’s performance. Therefore, there are certain technical characteristics and checklist that search engines would give preferential access to treatment days. These include the earlier mentioned a secure connection, a responsive design, or a fast loading time.
Here are some tips you can do to make sure your technical SEO is up to scratch. By keeping in mind these premium terms, you can help to ensure that the security and structure of your site meet the expectation of search engine algorithms, and are rewarded in search results accordingly.
Adding A Technical SEO Tools Structured Data Markup
For those that are unaware, a structured data markup is a code that you add to your website to help search engines better understand the content that is posted on it. Naturally, this will help search engines to record or index your site more effectively, ultimately resulting in providing more relevant party Microsoft user results.
Apart from that, you should also be mindful of the structured data that enhances the search results. This is commonly done through the addition of the so-called ‘rich snippets. This also applies to using structured data to add star ratings to reviews; prices to products; or perhaps, even reviewer software information.
Apart from all those aforementioned facts, these enhanced results can also affect and improve your click-through rate (CTR), which is due to the fact that they are more visually appealing and highlight immediately useful information to searchers. The Click-through rate robots, as the web name suggests, will generate additional domain traffic to your site.
Remember that because sites with results featuring higher CTRs are generally considered to receive preferential treatment in search engines, it may also be worth making the effort to add structured data to your site.
Be Mindful Of Redirect Chains And Loops
Remember that you should always avoid having your redirects create a loop as well as sending users or search engines via multiple domain redirect, which is called a redirect chain. In the first place, the redirect’s purpose is to simply send users from point A to point B.
These SEO practices usually include an Issues tab in Site Audit that will highlight any issues that exist in relation to redirect chains and loops. If there are any robots problems detected, then you can fix these issues by updating all redirects in a chain to point to the end anonymous user blog session target, or by removing and updating the domain redirect causing the loop as an SEO beginner guide.
Free Technical SEO SSL
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is essentially a type of security technology that creates an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Figuring out whether a website is using these solutions can be relatively easy as the website URL will be starting with ‘https://’ instead of the ‘http://.’
Talking about an XML sitemap, it is essentially a file that helps search engines to understand your website blog whilst they are crawling and visiting it. In essence, you can think of it as being like a ‘search roadmap’ of sorts, telling search engines exactly where each page is. In most cases, it also contains useful anonymous user session information about each page on your site, including
when a page was last modified;
what priority it has on your site;
how frequently the free SEO tools are updated.
These so-called AMP are basically Google-backed projects whose goal is to speed up the delivery of content on mobile devices through the use of special code known as AMP HTML.
AMP versions of your web pages load extremely quickly on mobile devices. They do this by stripping your content and code down to the bare bones, leaving text, images, and video intact but disabling scripts, comments, and forms.
Because they load so fast, AMP versions of pages are far more likely to be read and shared by your users, increasing dwell time and the number of backlinks pointing to your content, all good things from an SEO point of view. On top of that, Google sometimes highlights AMP pages in prominent carousels in search results, giving you an important search bump.
Learn more about the hub and content marketing concept and how it works to boost relevancy and organic visibility.
Have you ever started reading on a topic and found yourself three hours later with an entirely new set of in-depth hub knowledge all around it?
Although binge-watching a show on Netflix or continuously scrolling on TikTok’s hub is more frequent these days, it’s also a great content strategy.
It will be challenging to put all of the important hub and spoke information on one page while developing topical blog content. Implementing a hub content marketing model can help with this.
Similar methods, like as the content pillars, where you employ auxiliary content to support a larger asset, or using keyword clusters to develop content targeting searchers with similar sorts of intent, may be familiar to you (or you may already be using them).
The hub and spoke content architecture is unusual in that it allows for the creation of targeted blog material around a wide topic. It’s a terrific approach to not only enhance keyword ranks, marketing traffic, and downstream metrics like a hub and spoke conversions, leads, and sales, but it may also help you become more relevant marketing pages around that topic.
For a recent client, using the hub and spoke content strategy resulted in:
• On Page 1, there was a 328 percent rise in marketing keywords.
• On Page 2, there was a 741 percent rise in marketing keywords.
• On the hub page, we ranked #1 for our desired blog term.
What is a Content Marketing Hub-and-Spoke Model?
Consider a wheel with all of its spokes pointing outwards from the blog hub.
The hub is the major topic on which we want to build more authority and improve our hub and spoke marketing rankings.
The spokes are all of the supporting information that is relevant to our core marketing topic and will assist Google assess our authority.
We can think about it this way from the standpoint of keyword research:
• Keywords with a high volume of searches (usually transactional in nature). Search engine optimization (SEO) hub services, for example.
• Spoke: Keywords with a lower volume and a longer tail/supporting term (usually informational in nature). For instance, content that explains what SEO is and how it may help you.
The hub and spoke content model’s main purpose is to improve your keyword rankings not only overall around the hub and spoke topic, but also around the major hub topic, ideally in the first position.
What Role Does the Hub and Spoke Model Play in SEO and Content Marketing?
The hub and spoke strategy is significant for content social media marketing and SEO for three reasons:
It establishes authority on a topic by providing more relevant content marketing.
It improves our overall keyword’s rankings.
It increases the amount of organic traffic and leads.
Showing Google that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re the go-to resource on a certain blog topic is the best method to become more authoritative. One of our primary services/business units will most likely be the hub page content marketing. It’s critical that we thoroughly consider what our spoke content will be in order to ensure that it’s the most relevant. In content marketing, the hub and spoke architecture necessitates a significant marketing investment of time and resources to ensure that we do it right. I’m hoping to shorten your learning curve here.
What Is the Hub-and-Spoke Model and How Does It Work?
The hub-and-spoke approach works by increasing the amount of material produced throughout one of our marketing business lines or services.
The more relevant search information we have on our site, the more Google and users will link us to the content marketing.
The majority of the hub and spoke content we create will be instructional or comparative in nature and will be evergreen spoke content marketing.
This is advantageous because, even if the customer is not yet ready to convert, they will remember where they read about a hub topic if they search and learn about it. They will be more likely to return to our hub website and convert later as a result of this.
The Hub-and-Spoke Content Process has four SEO steps.
1. Conduct keywords research to gain a better understanding of the search demand landscape
Keyword researches are something I strongly believe in.
In a restaurant, it’s the table bread and butter. It is required before beginning the used meal – or, in this case, the creation of a landing page or piece of content.
We can’t grasp what our customers are looking for if we don’t conduct keyword research.
The hub and spoke approach can only operate if there is a high level of the hub and spoke client demand for the topic, which we have yet to address on our website. We need to undertake this research to match our customer’s voice because we can’t generate hub demand.
We can see the content gaps and potential in what is already out there by undertaking keyword research.
Furthermore, showing CEOs what our competitors are generating hub content about and how much visibility we are missing out on is one of the best ways to achieve greater buy-in surrounding the hub content resources.
After you’ve finished your keyword linkedin research, you can start to make fun content marketing.
2. Choose which spoke hub topics you’d like to have used and write about.
Several methods for prioritizing content based on the hub page keywords we researched.
Spoke Service Line/Business Need Strategy Hub
“Do we provide this service/product?” you might wonder. If you don’t, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to start building content surrounding it.
Is this the most crucial content service we provide to our target content marketing market?
Start writing content for the audience that your company cares about the most if you offer a variety of hub content services.
Keywords with a High Search Volume (MSV)
Are there any terms with a large search traffic growth for which we don’t have any content strategy? This is one of the simplest methods for prioritizing content because you can see just how much visibility (search volume) you’re losing.
This is the simplest social media statistics approach to make and demonstrate to executives the quantity of search traffic you may receive if you were to rank higher for these keywords/topics.
Gaps in Competitive Spoke Content Hub Strategy
Are there any terms where our competitors have a substantial advantage over us?
What kind of content do they have on the subject?
This is a straightforward approach to prioritize the linkedin topics you should write about, because if your direct competitors are ranking for keywords, it’s likely that you’ll need to write about that topic as well.
Note: You will almost certainly discover new developing and organic rivals when conducting this keyword analysis. Don’t dismiss them!
This is an excellent technique to determine what type of material pages you should create because, even if they are not direct saas competitors, visitors may choose to click on them rather than on you.
You are the company’s expert in terms of the services/products you sell and what you can be knowledgeable about.
We really shouldn’t be publishing articles about how to make charcuterie boards if we work in the plumbing industry.
Be sure you’re selecting brand content that’s relevant to your audience, but not too limited, because the hub-and-spoke model’s purpose is to generate a lot of content surrounding a single issue.
3. Write, design, and approve content with the help of other internal marketing stakeholders.
A village is needed to raise a child. When it comes to writing spoke content for our main hub page, the same can be stated.
We need to make certain that we are conveying our plans to of those session parties that may be engaged.
It’s critical that all of these internal stakeholders understand the importance of search engine optimization across the organization and why we need to coordinate with all of the divisions.
It’s important to do this as soon as possible, in my experience media statistics social, because you never know what red tape you’ll encounter.
When creating new spoke content strategy campaigns content, it’s possible that we’ll need to include:
Writers of spoke content
These are the people who will create the evergreen spoke content.
We need to keep them informed throughout the keyword research process so they know what relevant keywords we’re aiming for on each content hubs build page and why.
We want to ensure that each page has focused and distinct keywords, so that the drive content is correctly optimized and not targeting the same keywords on each page.
Teams of Product or Design Strategists and Developers
When we publish new free content on our site, we must ensure that all technical and brand design considerations are taken into account.
This is significant because we want to ensure that the development and product teams have enough time to comprehend the hub content’s aim and how the page should be presented.
Because internal linking/site navigation is critical to the hub and spoke content model, we must ensure that it is put up in such a way that Google and users can quickly comprehend the content’s relationship in social media hub marketing and such.
We must ensure that we understand what terminology structure we can and cannot use in relation to the automation software marketing topics.
This is critical prior to publishing and producing the information to read, as we don’t want to be late in releasing this content if legal has questions about it.
4. Keep an eye on the results: Re-Optimize and Share Your Successes
After all of your hard work, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping an eye on what’s going on with the new content.
Be sure you have reports set up with your goal keywords and supporting keywords before launching the content.
You can simply understand how your fresh content/keywords are performing by using an enterprise tools social media platform and categorizing them.
Sharing your successes with other team members and executives can help to demonstrate how the hub-and-spoke concept works when done correctly.
We also use our reporting to identify potential learnings and keep tabs on any keywords or content that aren’t doing effectively. This will allow us to re-optimize, consolidate, or examine why the content isn’t working as well as test out different targeted consent keywords.
Don’t forget to brag about your accomplishments drive. Make sure people know when you start ranking for more keywords or your targeted keywords, or when more conversions come in from your own material.
Send out email blasts, ring the office gong, and scream it from the mountaintop! It’s critical to demonstrate to everyone that their hard effort pays off in order to ensure that we can repeat this procedure in the future and that people trust organic marketing.
Showing Google that you are the source of truth for everything about a topic is one of the finest methods to demonstrate relevance and domain authority surrounding it.
That’s why I feel the hub and spoke’s content marketing concept is one of the most effective and natural ways to boost our organic visibility.
Google has never been concerned with search engine optimization or content optimization; instead, they are concerned with providing unique, high-quality, and relevant free information to answer searcher queries.
As a company, we must continue to prioritize the consumer and provide brand content marketing efforts that we would find useful if we were in need of our services sets.
And don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work right away — SEO is a long-term game, and we need to make sure we’re investing the necessary time and effort. You will eventually reap the benefits of focusing on the customer’s wants and answering their questions.
Using the hub and spoke content, you can demonstrate to your firm how valuable it is to include client feedback into content creation and how this strengthens your overall authority on a topic.
In an increasingly competitive digital marketplace, search engine marketing, or SEM, is one of the most effective ways and trends to grow a business. With millions of businesses competing for the same eyeballs, online advertising has never been more important, and search engine marketing is the most effective way to promote products and grow a business. In a world where there are 5.6 billion Google searches per day, the value of appearing in Google’s search engine results cannot be overstated. This is why SEM is critical to the success of a business. But what is it exactly? And how does a business do it to get results in the vast world of search engine land?
What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a digital marketing strategy that is used to increase a website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). While the industry term used to refer to both organic and paid search activities such as search engine optimization (SEO), it now almost exclusively refers to paid search advertising. It is also the practice of marketing a business through paid advertisements that appear on search engine results pages known as SERPs. Advertisers bid on keywords that users of search engines like Google and Bing may enter when looking for specific products or services, giving the advertiser the opportunity for their ads to appear alongside search results for those search queries.
SEM is also known as paid search or pay per click (PPC). These ads, also known as pay-per-click ads, are available in a variety of formats. Some are small, text-based advertisements, whereas others, such as product listing ads (PLAs, also known as Shopping ads), are more visual, product-based advertisements that allow consumers to see important information, such as price and reviews, at a glance.
The greatest strength of SEM is that it allows advertisers to place their ads in front of motivated customers who are ready to buy at the exact moment they are ready to buy. No other advertising medium can do this, which is why search engine marketing is such an efficient and effective way to grow any business.
Why is SEM important?
With an increasing number of consumers researching and purchasing products online, SEM has emerged as a critical online marketing strategy for expanding a company’s reach. The majority of new visitors to a website find it through a search engine query. Advertisers only pay for impressions that result in visitors in SEM, making it an efficient way for a company to spend its marketing dollars. In addition, each visitor improves the website’s rankings in organic search results.
When compared to other sites such as social media, where users are not explicitly searching for something, consumers entering search queries with the intent of finding commercial information are in an excellent state of mind to make a purchase. Consumers are exposed to new information when they are exposed to search marketing. PPC advertising, in contrast to the majority of digital advertising, is non-intrusive and does not interfere with their tasks. SEM produces immediate results. It is arguably the quickest method of driving traffic to a website.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) vs. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Since the algorithms that power search engines are becoming more sophisticated by the day, SEO and SEM should be essential components of an online marketing strategy. That means that a well-thought-out paid search advertising strategy is now an absolute must if a business wants to ensure high rankings in relevant searches for their business.
What is the difference between SEM and SEO?
In general, “search engine marketing” refers to paid search marketing, which is a system in which businesses pay Google to have their ads appear in search results. SEO is distinct in that brands do not pay Google for traffic and clicks; rather, they earn a free spot in the search results by having the most relevant content for a given keyword search. SEO and SEM should both be important components of your online marketing strategy. SEO is an effective way to drive evergreen traffic at the top of the funnel, whereas search engine advertisements are a low-cost way to drive conversions at the bottom. The primary distinction between SEM and SEO is that SEO seeks organic traffic from an engine results page like Google, whereas SEM seeks both organic and sponsored traffic.
PPC vs. SEM
PPC is an acronym that stands for ‘Pay-Per-Click,’ and it refers to a type of online advertising. SEM stands for ‘Search Engine Marketing,’ and is a catch-all term for any activity aimed at making it easier to find a specific website via a search engine. The primary distinction between SEM and PPC advertising is that PPC is only concerned with purchasing ad space on a search engine, whereas SEM can also include SEO.
Devising an SEM Strategy
The essence of SEM strategy is optimizing paid search ads with a specific goal in mind. To develop an effective strategy, a business must first understand how paid advertising platforms work and then effectively manage variables that affect performance such as keywords, budget, and copy. With this in mind, here are some of the factors that should be included in the strategy if paid ads are to be successful:
The pay-per-click (PPC) strategy begins with selecting the appropriate keywords to bid on. That entails conducting research to determine which keywords to bid on, or what queries to appear for. Begin by brainstorming brand terms, product descriptions, and even terms that describe the competition. For a limited budget, limit your bids to keywords with high purchasing intent. For a larger budget, a business may find that they have more room to bid on keywords that target earlier stages of the buyer’s journey or even terms that are only loosely related to their products.
Keyword Volume and Competition
If no one searches for a brand’s target keywords, their ads will not produce any results. At the same time, keywords with extremely high volume attract more competition (and, in some cases, lose relevancy). When conducting keyword research, relevant high-volume, low-competition keywords are ideal, but they may be difficult to come by. It then becomes a balancing act between demand (volume) and budget (competition).
A bid a business specifies for the keyword and the quality score Google assigns to their ad determines ad placement. Higher bids and better ads win the best placement. Keeping this in mind, high-competition keywords are more expensive. Bidding too low means the ad will not be shown, so make sure visitors can be competitive based on the amount of competition for the keyword.
Ads, Account, and Campaign Structure
In theory, a business could group all of its keywords into a single bucket and display a single ad for the entire group. However, their budget would be depleted by a few high-volume keywords, and their quality score would suffer as a result. That is why properly structuring their Google Ads account is critical. Google Ads campaign organization is divided into several levels:
Ad – The copy that appears for the keywords that are selected.
Keywords -Queries on which they are bidding.
Ad Group – A collection of related keywords organized by theme.
Campaign – The highest level of ad group management.
At each level, they will be able to determine what’s working and what’s not, giving them a better understanding of performance and how their money is being spent.
After choosing keywords and setting up an account, a business still needs to write good ads and “earn” the click. An advertisement is made up of several parts:
Anatomy of a Google Advertisement
Understand what searchers are looking for with their queries and see if you can write a great ad that makes your offer appealing. Remember that SEM is not a set-it-and-forget-it activity. Ongoing PPC management assists a business in reducing budget waste, experimenting with ads, and optimizing keywords for which they are bidding to ensure that they are getting the most ROI from their efforts.
Other Marketing Factors
In three easy steps, a business can create a strategy for SEM. Choosing which keywords to target with SEO, PPC, or both is an important part of developing a cohesive strategy. The method to choose is determined by a few factors. The first step is to conduct keyword research. This detailed keyword research offered at Mach 1 Design is at the heart of our client’s success in SEM. We enter a few broad subjects into our algorithmic keyword research tool and examine the Matching terms report for a simple approach to uncovering keywords. If you operate a fashion website, for example, you could use broad terms like “fashion,” “hoodies,” and “t-shirts.”
Then we sift through the suggestions for anything that has a high search volume and is likely to be searched for by clients. Once you’ve identified some keywords, we utilize a decision tree below to determine whether you should use SEO, PPC, or both to target them:
We ask ourselves the following questions.
Are people looking to learn or buy something?
Do we think we’ll be able to rank anytime soon?
Are there a lot of clicks on the ads?
Question 1: Are people looking to learn or buy something?
We’re looking at the search intent of a keyword for this query. There are two types of searches you’re looking for:
Analyze the SERP for informational vs. commercial purposes to discover which type of search a keyword is. To put it another way, do individuals want to learn something or buy something? Take, for example, the keyword “fashionable sneakers.” The majority of the results, according to the SERP overview, are listings featuring sneaker suggestions.
This indicates that the keyword is largely informative. Learners are on the lookout for information. In this situation, our research comes to an end here in the decision tree because we already know we should employ SEO to target the keyword. Although there are times when we might wish to run advertising for “informational” keywords, you’ll almost always only run advertisements for transactional keywords because it’s too expensive otherwise. When we search for “hoodies” in the SERP, all of the results are e-commerce pages offering hoodies:
This indicates that the keyword in question is transactional. As a result, searchers are looking to purchase. To figure out how to target the keyword in this scenario, we’ll need to ask further questions.
Question 2: Do you think you’ll be able to rank anytime soon?
It’s a matter of keyword ranking difficulty here. If you can easily rank organically for a keyword, you might want to think about SEO. You’ll need PPC if you don’t already have it (at least in the short to medium term). With the Keyword Difficulty (KD) statistic in Keywords Explorer, you can obtain a good indication of how difficult it could be to rank for a keyword. This measure is based on a scale of 0 to 100, with a score of “0” indicating the easiest keywords to rank for. When we enter the keyword “T-shirt” into Keywords Explorer, for example, we see that its KD score is 74:
This indicates that ranking and retargeting for this keyword will be difficult. The amount of referring domains (websites that connect to the top-ranking pages) determines our KD score. You can see why KD is so high for this phrase if you scroll down to the SERP overview—all of the top-ranking pages have hundreds of referring domains. On the other hand, KD just provides you an estimate of how difficult it will be to rank for a given keyword. It can also be deceiving at times. The KD score for the keyword “black t-shirt,” for example, is 1—which appears to be an incredibly easy match.
However, if you go down to the SERP page overview, you’ll notice that Amazon, Target, Nordstrom, Zara, and Kohls dominate the first page.
This suggests that searchers are most likely trying to buy from well-known companies, thus ranking will be difficult if you aren’t one of them. The argument is that when determining the ranking difficulty of a keyword, you shouldn’t rely solely on third-party measures like KD. If you want to learn more, check out our post on determining ranking difficulty. We recommend using PPC if you don’t think we’ll be able to rank for our term anytime soon. We suggest using SEO if we believe we can rank in the short to medium term. Even if we can rank, we might want to think about using PPC. One more question must be answered before you can decide if this is good for our campaign.
Question 3: Are there a lot of clicks on the ads?
Even if we can easily rank for a keyword, high ad clicks indicate that we need to combine PPC and SEO to monopolize the SERP and gain more hits. In Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, hover over the green, yellow, and orange bars in the Volume box to see how many clicks the keyword ads are getting.
Paid ads receive 8% of clicks for the term “T-shirt,” while 2% of searches receive hits from both paid and organic results. As a result, about 10% of queries result in at least one ad click. This appears to be a low number. 63 percent of searches, on the other hand, result in no clicks at all. Only 37% of the time do you get clicks. This suggests that ad clicks account for nearly a quarter of all searches with clicks. Using PPC ads and SEO (assuming you can rank) is the best approach in this scenario. This method should be repeated for each of your keywords to determine which strategy to apply. Check out our SEO vs. PPC advice if you need additional help determining which tactic to adopt.
SEO and PPC Marketing Fundamentals
Now you should have a spreadsheet full of keywords and determine which ones you’re going to target with SEO, PPC, or both. Rather than trying to teach you everything you need to know about SEO and PPC, I’ll give you the essentials and point you to resources where you can learn more. You’ll need to launch an SEO campaign for your SEO keywords. This entails developing new content for keywords for which you don’t now have content and optimizing existing content for those for which you have. In essence, SEO is made up of three key activities:
SEO on the page (optimizing your content)
Establishing connections (getting backlinks from other websites)
Technical SEO (optimizing the code and structure of your website)
To learn more about how to achieve these tasks, click on the links below. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out our SEO basics for beginners. You’ll need a basic understanding of how Google advertisements function for your PPC keywords. It all comes down to this when it comes to advertising:
Select the ad type and objectives for each term.
Having excellent ad copywriting skills.
Choosing the most appropriate keyword topics.
Making a financial plan.
Becoming familiar with Google’s ad auction.
To begin, sign up for a free Google Ads account and become familiar with the dashboard. Then have a look at this helpful video on how to get started with Google Ads.
What is the Google Ad Auction and How Does this Ad Work?
Every time a search is performed or a site with Google Ads is visited, Google uses the ad auction system to select which ads should be displayed. This is crucial to comprehend since it might mean the difference between running successful ads and squandering money on ineffective ads. This considers three primary elements when deciding which ads appear on a page:
1. Your bid – You can choose the maximum bid amount per click that you’re willing to pay. A larger bid amount indicates your ad has a better probability of being viewed. However, if you bid too high, you risk losing money, so test this frequently.
2. Ad quality – A Quality Score is used by Google Ads to measure how relevant and useful an ad is to a search or webpage. On a scale of 1–10, the higher your score, the more likely your ad will be aired. As a result, attempt to make your ad as high-quality and relevant as possible to the target keyword(s).
3. The impact that your ad extensions and other ad formats are likely to have – This is extra information you can include in your ad, such as a phone number for your firm or connections to specific pages on your website. Google calculates how these new extensions will affect the performance of your ad and uses that figure to determine how often your ad will be seen.
The major point here is that performance measures, not just how much you’re prepared to pay, account for two-thirds of the elements that affect how well your ad performs. In other words, you can make more for less if you have a high-quality, relevant ad. For a more in-depth look at how to do PPC search ads, check out our guide to PPC basics.
Examples of Search engine marketing
Let’s look at a few instances of organizations that have used the full breadth of SEM to build their business now that you know what it is and how to do it.
As I previously stated, Ahrefs receives nearly 1 million organic visits every month.
Ahrefs blog features content that ranks for practically every SEO-related term you can think of, and they’ve spent hundreds of thousands on PPC advertising. Here are a few keywords they’ve been targeting with PPC ads, as seen in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer’s Paid Keywords status software.
Some of our most popular high-ranking articles in terms of SEO content are as follows:
Affiliate Marketing for Newbies: What It Is and How to Get Started
Google Keyword Planner isn’t the only free keyword research tool available.
Google’s Top 100 Searches
We used Site Explorer’s Top Pages analysis to figure out which of our pages are the most popular.
Canva is the second option.
Then there’s Canva, my go-to graphic design app. Every month, it receives a remarkable 70.3 million organic visits!
Canva is a great site to check out because it employs SEO to target a variety of commercial and informational keywords. One of its best keywords is “make free logos,” which gets 119,000 searches per month and leads to a free logo creation tool being built.
If we look at its Paid keywords data, we can see it’s bidding on over 900 keywords.
Take a browse through its blog to get some ideas of how it approaches SEO and content creation.
3. The Wandering RV
The Wandering RV is a digital publisher for RV owners. It receives over 100,000 organic visits per month.
It made a spot on this list because of its skillful use of statistics pages to build links. By ranking for keywords like “how many people die in car accidents” and “RV industry statistics,” the two pages have received links from 500 referring domains.
These aren’t just any links. We’re talking about high Domain Rating (DR) links from websites like iHeartRadio, AOL, and Life Hacker.
While link building is one of the hardest parts of SEO, building statistics pages like these is one of the easiest ways to acquire high-quality links with minimal manual outreach.
Mach1Design Can Help
SEM is crucial for almost all brands these days. If you have customers who use Google, you should probably be implementing some form of SEM. Hopefully, you now have enough knowledge to conclude if SEM is potentially valuable for you to execute.
Mach1Design utilizes the best SEM tools and strategies to find the most ideal customers. These campaigns are designed to help increase a growing business’s sales. We at Mach1Design understand that this market is filled with many other competitors so we take into account all factors when designing a campaign. The first factor that is taken into consideration is your website. We make sure your website displays well in search engines so it is easily found by potential customers. Second, we look at how relevant our ads are compared to potential customers’ search queries. Increased relevance leads to higher click-through rates and conversion rates. Last, but not least, we look at bid prices and ad positions as they affect the overall success of the campaign.
Let Mach1Design help you with a free SEM approach session. We’ll review your target market, competitors and marketers, budget, and goals and create a professional marketing plan tailored to your needs. So don’t wait, contact Harold at 318-349-4998 or www.Mach1Design.com
Successful business owners recognize the value of marketing. For many businesses, good marketing strategies can mean the difference between struggling and thriving. However, simply putting money into a marketing budget and running ads on television, radio, and online is not enough. To achieve the desired results, you must have a comprehensive marketing strategy. Nowadays, reaching the Hispanic market, the country’s largest minority market, is critical to unlocking business opportunities in any industry. Latino consumers are a formidable force to be reckoned with in a variety of industries, including auto, real estate, beauty, and legal services.
Marketing to Hispanic Consumers
For many businesses, this means marketing directly to key consumers, it is critical to understand the power of such a large consumer base. It should be a priority all year, not just during the holidays. With nearly 20% of the total population and an annual purchasing power of more than $1.5 trillion, the Hispanic community in America is undeniably a powerhouse community. However, marketing to this demographic necessitates far more than simply translating your current marketing materials into Spanish.
When you hear the phrase “U.S. Latinos are the country’s largest minority group, understanding what that entails can be difficult. Given that Hispanics account for 20% of the current U.S. population, this means that nearly one in every five people is Hispanic. If your company isn’t reaching out to and connecting with this powerful demographic, you could be missing out big time. Latinos are leading digital transformation as tech aficionados, in addition to their purchasing power and the cultural significance of the Spanish language within the Hispanic community, which was heightened even further by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the country begins to recover from the pandemic, Hispanics are more optimistic than their counterparts, indicating that they are ready to resume spending and contributing to the economic recovery.
Hispanics in the US
The Hispanic population in the United States is expected to reach 62.1 million by 2020, up from 50.5 million in 2010. The Hispanic population grew by 23 percent, faster than the national average (+7 percent), but slower than the Asian population (+36 percent). Hispanics made up nearly one-fifth of the population in the United States in 2020 (19%), up from 16 percent in 2010 and only 5 percent in 1970. The Hispanic population increased in 2,823 of the 3,140 counties studied in 2020, while it decreased in 309. The ten counties that gained the most Hispanics between 2010 and 2020 were mostly large metropolitan counties in the South and West, which have long had significant Hispanic populations. They included three counties from Florida and Texas, two from California, one from Arizona, and one from Illinois.
Top Hispanic Marketing Tips
With such a large market share, it’s no surprise that businesses are increasingly attempting to market to Hispanic consumers. They’ve gotten better at targeting Hispanic households in the United States via traditional television and radio channels. However, the same cannot be said for online Hispanic marketing. Many brands have simply translated their content into Spanish; however, this is insufficient to truly capture the attention of this growing untapped market of Hispanic consumers. So, how can you improve? Here are some pointers!
Thorough Understanding of What “Hispanic” Truly Means
Hispanics are people who are of Spanish-speaking origin or ancestry (including from Spain). The Hispanic market in the United States is made up of numerous groups with diverse interests, backgrounds, and traditions. It is a common misconception that all Hispanics speak the same Spanish. Nothing could be further from the truth! Similar to how British English differs from American English, there are numerous dialects and regional variations of Spanish depending on the country (or even part of a country!) from which they originate. What one word means in a Mexican dialect of Spanish may have nothing to do with what it means in Chilean Spanish.
When marketing to Hispanics, tailor your content to the specific group of Hispanics in the region you are targeting. Florida, for example, has a sizable Cuban and Puerto Rican population. In this case, an ad campaign in Mexican Spanish will be ineffective. Instead, tailor your advertising campaign to include the specific dialect spoken by Cubans and/or Puerto Ricans.
Recognize Cultural Disparities
Culture is a significant part of the Hispanic market in the U.S. and is driven by the varying heritages and backgrounds that make up this highly diverse audience. The majority (84 percent) of respondents say their culture is a mixture of American and Hispanic cultures. Brands must understand that this audience has interests, values, traditions, and preferences that blend two worlds. Understanding their nuances is key for any brand looking to successfully reach them.
72 percent are more likely to connect with an ad that shows their culture\69 percent believe there should be more ads specifically made to resonate with the Hispanic community
Hispanics, like many other cultures, incorporate their home-country traditions into their lives in the United States. However, the degree of integration varies according to cultural differences. Marketers typically categorize Hispanic online consumers into three groups:
This group primarily speaks Spanish at home and consumes the majority of media in Spanish. They are typically first-generation immigrants who have been in the United States for about 7 years. If you want to reach this demographic, you should do the majority of your marketing in Spanish. And, as previously stated, pay close attention to regional dialects.
This group speaks Spanish and English at home, but they consume the majority of their media in English. Unlike the Spanish-dominant segment, this one is a mix of foreign-born and native-born Americans. They identify as Hispanic as well as American. If this is your target audience, you should think about using the ‘Spanglish’ approach. In other words, try to incorporate both Spanish and English into your ad campaign. You could accomplish this by using English as the primary language while incorporating some Spanish phrases or quotes that are relevant to your target audience.
This segment primarily speaks English at home and consumes the majority of their media in English. They are, however, deeply connected to their heritage and feel “at home” in both cultures. They are more likely to feel more pressure to succeed and are more likely to pursue a college education because their parents may not have had access to it. As a result, advertisements in English that emphasize the ability to achieve the “American Dream” are likely to resonate with them.
Concentrate on Culture
While language is an important consideration when marketing to Hispanics, showcasing elements of their culture has been shown to be even more effective. This includes highlighting their food, music, sports, and/or traditions. When developing a strategy for marketing to Hispanics, marketers must consider culture. The majority of Hispanics are proud of their heritage, as a result, when designing your marketing campaign, you should keep this in mind.
75 percent of Hispanics say they are more likely to think favorably of a brand or purchase their products if they make an effort to include elements of their culture, and 80 percent stay loyal to a brand once they find one they like. As a result, these new insights into this audience provide an incredibly deep and loyal resource for brands of any sort looking to inform their campaigns and influence this consumer market.
“Right” Platform and Influencers
Despite their massive influence, brands dedicate only 4.2 percent of advertising budgets to this audience. Hispanics are taking note: 78 percent don’t think brands target them enough and believe it’s time brands recognize the power of the Hispanic community. If brands commit to prioritizing this audience, they will be rewarded with increased brand loyalty, affinity, and increased customer lifetime value.
According to CNN, Hispanic adults are the most active group on social media sites, accounting for 72 percent of all ethnic groups. Other noteworthy statistics include the fact that approximately 52 percent of Hispanic adults spend at least one hour per day on social media sites, compared to only 38 percent of non-Hispanic whites. Furthermore, Hispanics are five times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to share a social media post. As you can see, social media is an important part of life in the United States. Hispanic lifestyle is something to think about if you want to get more out of your digital marketing strategy. Don’t pass up this fantastic opportunity to connect with Hispanic customers.
In recent years, digital influencers have emerged as a critical resource for marketers seeking to reach their younger, more tech-savvy target audience. The same is true for the United States. The Hispanic community There are, however, a plethora of other Hispanic influencers who may be less well-known, but have a more niche market and are more affordable for your business.
Retail Market: Use English or Spanish?
America is changing, and so is the way Spanish-speaking consumers interact with brands. In order to connect with this powerful demographic, U.S. marketers must recognize that Hispanics are bilingual and use both languages interchangeably in a single conversation. Just as importantly, they must stop thinking in terms of monolingual English-dominant consumers and start incorporating Spanish into their social media marketing campaigns. By doing so, they will be able to appeal to a wider base of customers while simultaneously gaining an edge over their competition. The best way to engage with your Hispanic consumer is through Spanglish. By blending both Spanish and English terms, phrases, quotes, etc. into your marketing campaign, you are able to build a bridge between your brand and the Hispanic consumer.
When it comes to language, the Hispanic market shatters stereotypes, meaning that marketing to Spanish-dominant audiences is an outdated practice. The majority of this diverse, engaged audience either prefers English-language content or consumes bilingual content across mediums and platforms: 66 percent take notice of bilingual advertising campaigns because they reflect their own experience and 71 percent don’t have a preference for the language of digital ads, so long as they match the language of the surrounding content.
Mach1Design for Hispanic Marketing Needs
Hispanics in the U.S. have emerged as one of the most powerful and influential consumer sectors for brand PR and marketing—but communicators are dropping the ball when it comes to engaging this group. New research from Hispanic-focused marketing firm Mach 1 Design provides new insights for brand communicators on the preferences and habits of Hispanic consumers in the U.S. when it comes to digital media. The firm recently released data showcasing new research on content consumption among U.S. Hispanics, who now prefer digital and social channels to traditional mediums. The research highlights the adoption of smart technology, device and language preferences, sentiments around brand marketing, and the importance of culture and authentic connections with this powerful audience.
Mach 1 Design’s data reinforces our knowledge that brands should no longer ignore the rapidly-growing U.S. Hispanic market. With a $2.3 trillion GDP and accounting for half of the country’s population growth over the past two decades, this demographic is a crucial target for brands trying to increase their ROI,” said Harold Rosbottom, CEO and founder of Mach 1 Design, in a news release. “Our research shows that Hispanics are paying close attention to brands and those that make an effort to represent them have an opportunity to gain their loyalty.”
A Mach 1 Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that specializes in Hispanic marketing. Our expertise lies in providing engaging content and great customer service, as we respond to each individual client’s needs. Our team of bilingual professionals has experience working with businesses looking to increase sales across their entire customer base, including Spanish-speaking consumers. Contact [email protected] or call (318)-349-4998 to discuss your project.
Overcoming hidden barriers to selling more of your coaching and consulting services
Credit: Rodney Daut
Do clients ever balk when they hear how much you charge per hour or per day? Do they look for a better price somewhere else? Don’t you wish they could see the unique value you offer?
The bridges in the Meghalaya region of northeast India have lasted for hundreds of years. They are not built by human hands.
Bridges are needed to span the many valleys that separate one area from another in the Meghalaya. But bridge builders had a big problem. Wooden bridges rot within a few years public speaking anxiety due to the extreme amount of rain — 467 inches a year, which is 13 times that of Seattle.
So a few hundred years ago, the locals created a solution. They trained the roots of trees to build bridges for them. These root-
bridges do not rot in the rain. In fact, they grow stronger over the years.
When a newcomer to the Meghalaya first sees a root-bridge, it’s not immediately apparent to them why these bridges are better than those built by bamboo or wood.
The exceptional value of these bridges only becomes apparent when you speak to the locals hesitating. Similarly, when we offer a service, we know it has exceptional value, but often our potential personality clients don’t see it yet. How do we make the value clear? We do that by productizing our services.
What Does It Mean to Make a Productized Service?
We transform a vague service into a well-defined offer. To do that, we draw clear boundaries around the service by outlining a specific result and the steps to achieve it. Here are some examples of contrasting service things in which one make a productized English language skills offer, and the other is not.
One public speaking coach offered to help clients create great presentations. That make offer is fairly vague. I helped one of my clients craft an offer to help professionals overcome the fear of public health space read speaking in four one-hour sessions. Can you see how much easier it is for a client to say yes to the second, more specific offer? That’s the power of productizing.
A lot of web designers offer to help you improve your website. One very successful company article provided a ten-point website conversation analysis, delivered in seven days to help the hesitate customer
find out where they might be losing sales. Hesitate customers paid for that service things and often hired the firm to fix each problem they discovered in the conversion analysis.
Why does productizing a service lead to greater sales without fear of making mistakes?
One word: clarity. You are clear about what results you make or are getting for your time and money. A clear offer answers many unanswered questions. What will I get? How long will it take? And of course, how much will it cost me?
When those questions are unanswered, people are hesitant to move forward — just as we might resist walking across an unfamiliar bridge in deep fog. We can’t see if it’s safe to cross, so we just may choose to go the long way around.
A productized decision offer reduces the need for caution.
It is like the sun shining on a cloudless day. No doubt your clients or customers can see the endpoint down the need road. They can see the turns they need to make (or that you will guide them through), and they know the costs.
Of course, this is the ideal. Even when you productize your offer, there are still some clients that will not say yes. But when they say no, they won’t do so out of uncertainty. They will do so because they know the offer you make is not what they need right now. The advantages of productizing a service are clear, but how do you do it?
How to Productize a Service to stop hesitation
You do it in three steps:
Choose to get a problem your clients have.
Determine the result when the problem is solved.
Define the steps of the process needed to achieve that goal.
I worked through these steps to create a helpful offer when I had a tutoring business. I helped students prepare to ace the essay portion of the SAT, a college aptitude test. First, I chose an action problem. Some students took too long to start their strong communication skills essays, so they were writing essays that were not long enough to get the highest nofollow noreferrer noopener score (statistics showed 400-word essays got the best scores).
One of the results I promised was that students would write 400 words in 25 minutes. They would do this using three steps I taught them:
Prompt dissection: how to break down the prompt in two minutes, so you have the thesis and outline of your essay
Rapid paragraphs: how to write quality paragraphs quickly so you can fill the pages in 25 minutes
Powerful conclusions: how to conclude the speak fluent English essay with a bang, so the last thing they see is making a blog story or analogy that impresses graders
It was much easier for parents to say yes to a good tutoring contract with me because I had a clear take result and packaged my action offer as a repeatable system.
But what do you do if you hesitate to get results in your work life?
If a result is out of the client’s overcome hesitation control, then you can’t promise that result. If you are a dating coach working with singles, you may not be able to guarantee that your clients will find the partner of their dreams in a specified stop action period. You may have to promise to develop skills that will lead to the result instead.
The dating coach may promise their clients will need to overcome five specific mental health space dating challenges that singles face. Or if the coach helps people who are too shy to date, have poor communication skills, and fear making mistakes they may promise their clients will ask out a certain number of people during the source program (the coach can’t guarantee how many will say yes, though).
Productizing a service means turning what you do into a well-defined learn english language offer. When an offer is well-defined, it is much easier for a client to say yes to purchasing it.
Productizing works due to clarity. The client knows what results or goals he or she is getting and take, how much it costs and how much time it will take.
You productize a service by defining the problem it solves, the results the client will get and the steps to achieve results.
If you can’t promise results, promise skills that, when consistently used, can increase the chances the client obtains the desired result.
When you productize your services, you’ll find that your improved offers are like a bridge that more clients are willing to cross. And after you deliver on your promises, it’s easier to get them to take up your next offer — and the next one after that.
The superpower of continuously making sensible decisions that positively impact outcomes while remaining true to our values, mission, and vision is more art than science. Every day, chief impact officers and leaders are inundated with decisions, big and small. Understanding how people arrive at their choices is an area of cognitive psychology that has received attention and is rich in value when consulting to companies and executives on impact decisions. Theories have been generated to explain how people make decisions, and what types of factors influence decision making in the present and future. In addition, heuristics have been researched to understand the decision-making process.
A popular and effective decision-making method generated by Toyota manufacturing many years ago and utilized extensively even today is “Ask Why 5 Times” to reach the root cause.
Five whys (or 5 whys) is an iterative interrogative technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem by repeating the question “Why?”. Each answer forms the basis of the next question. The “five” in the name derives from an anecdotal observation on the number of iterations needed to resolve the problem.
Not all problems have a single root cause. If one wishes to uncover multiple root causes, the method must be repeated asking a different sequence of questions each time.
The method provides no hard and fast rules about what lines of questions to explore, or how long to continue the search for additional root causes. Thus, even when the method is closely followed, the outcome still depends upon the knowledge and persistence of the people involved.
An example of a problem is: The vehicle will not start.
Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (Second why)
Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (Third why)
Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (Fourth why)
Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (Fifth why, a root cause)
The questioning for this example could be taken further to a sixth, seventh, or higher level, but five iterations of asking why is generally sufficient to get to a root cause. The key is to encourage the trouble-shooter to avoid assumptions and logic traps and instead trace the chain of causality in direct increments from the effect through any layers of abstraction to a root cause that still has some connection to the original problem. Note that, in this example, the fifth “why” suggests a broken process or an alterable behavior, which is indicative of reaching the root-cause level.
The last answer points to a process. This is one of the most important aspects in the “five why’s” approach – the real root cause should point toward a process that is not working well or does not exist. Untrained facilitators will often observe that answers seem to point towards classical answers such as not enough time, not enough investments, or not enough resources. These answers may be true, but they are out of our control. Therefore, instead of asking the question why?, ask why did the process fail?
Several factors influence decision making. These factors, including past experience (Juliusson, Karlsson, & Gӓrling, 2005), cognitive biases (Stanovich & West, 2008), age and individual differences (Bruin, Parker, & Fischoff, 2007), belief in personal relevance (Acevedo, & Krueger, 2004), and an escalation of commitment, influence what choices people make. Understanding the factors that influence decision making process is important to understanding what decisions are made. That is, the factors that influence the process may impact the outcomes.
Heuristics serve as a framework in which satisfactory decisions are made quickly and with ease (Shah & Oppenheimer, 2008). Many types of heuristics have been developed to explain the decision-making process; essentially, individuals work to reduce the effort they need to expend in making decisions and heuristics offer individuals a general guide to follow, thereby reducing the effort they must disburse. Together, heuristics and factors influencing decision making are a significant aspect of critical thinking (West, Toplak, & Stanovich, 2008). There is some indication that this can be taught, which benefits those learning how to make appropriate and the best decisions in various situations and environments. (Nokes &Hacker, 2007).
People make decisions about many things. They make political decisions; personal decisions, including medical choices, romantic decisions, and career decisions; and financial decisions, which may also include some of the other kinds of decisions and judgments. Quite often, the decision-making process is fairly specific to the decision being made. Some choices are simple and seem straight forward, while others are complex and require a multi-step approach to making the decisions.
The context of types of decisions people make, factors that influence decision making, several heuristics commonly researched and utilized in the process of decision making. Exploring what happens after the decision is made, as well as how present decisions impact future behavior and decision making. Implications for future research and practical application of teaching decision making skills in corporate cultures and C-suites is important for consistent impactful decision making.
Factors that Influence Decision Making
There are several important factors that influence decision making. Significant factors include past experiences, a variety of cognitive biases, an escalation of commitment and sunk outcomes, individual differences, including age and socioeconomic status, and a belief in personal relevance. These things all impact the decision-making process and the decisions made.
Past experiences can impact future decision making. Juliusson, Karlsson, and Garling (2005) indicated past decisions influence the decisions people make in the future. It stands to reason that when positive results come from a decision, people are more likely to decide in a similar way, given a similar situation. On the other hand, people tend to avoid repeating past mistakes (Sagi, & Friedland, 2007). This is significant to the extent that future decisions made based on past experiences are not necessarily the best decisions. In financial decision making, highly successful people do not make investment decisions based on past sunk outcomes, rather by examining choices with no regard for past experiences; this approach conflicts with what one may expect (Juliusson et al., 2005).
In addition to past experiences, there are several cognitive biases that influence decision making. Cognitive biases are thinking patterns based on observations and generalizations that may lead to memory errors, inaccurate judgments, and faulty logic sometimes termed “putting a stake in the ground” (Evans, Barston, & Pollard, 1983; West, Toplak, & Stanovich, 2008). Cognitive biases include, but are not limited to: belief bias, the over dependence on prior knowledge in arriving at decisions; hindsight bias, people tend to readily explain an event as inevitable, once it has happened; omission bias, generally, people have a propensity to omit information perceived as risky; and confirmation bias, in which people observe what they expect in observations (Marsh, & Hanlon, 2007; Nestler. & von Collani, 2008; Stanovich & West, 2008; see also West et al., 2008).
In decision making, cognitive biases influence people by causing them to over rely or lend more credence to expected observations and previous knowledge as absolutes, while dismissing information or observations that are perceived as uncertain, without looking at the bigger picture. While this influence may lead to poor decisions sometimes, the cognitive biases enable individuals to make efficient decisions with assistance of heuristics (Shah & Oppenheimer, 2008).
In addition to past experiences and cognitive biases (stakes in the ground), decision making may be influenced by an escalation of commitment and sunk outcomes, which are unrecoverable costs. Juliusson, Karlsson, and Garling (2005) concluded people make decisions based on an irrational escalation of commitment, that is, individuals invest larger amounts of time, money, and effort into a decision to which they feel committed; further, people will tend to continue to make risky decisions when they feel responsible for the sunk costs, time, money, and effort spent on a project. As a result, decision making may at times be influenced by ‘how far in the hole’ the individual feels he or she is (Juliusson et al., 2005).
Some individual differences may also influence decision making. Research has indicated that age, socioeconomic status (SES), and cognitive abilities influences decision making (de Bruin, Parker, & Fischoff, 2007; Finucane, Mertz, Slovic, & Schmidt, 2005). Finucane et al. established a significant difference in decision making across age; that is, as cognitive functions decline as a result of age, decision making performance may decline as well. In addition, older people may be more overconfident regarding their ability to make decisions, which inhibits their ability to seek and apply new strategies (de Bruin et al., 2007). Finally, with respect to age, there is evidence to support the notion that older adults prefer fewer choices than younger adults (Reed, Mikels, & Simon, 2008).
Age is only one individual difference that influences decision making. According to de Bruin et al. (2007), people in lower SES groups may have less access to education and resources, which may make them more susceptible to experiencing negative life events, often beyond their control; as a result, low SES individuals may make poorer decisions, based on past decisions because they fail to research new alternatives.
Over and above past experiences, cognitive biases, and individual differences; another influence on decision making is the belief in personal relevance. When people believe what they decide matters, they are more likely to make a decision. Acevedo and Krueger (2004) examined individuals’ voting patterns, and concluded that people will vote more readily when they believe their opinion is indicative of the attitudes of the general population, as well as when they have a regard for their own importance in the outcomes. People vote when they believe their vote counts. Acevedo and Krueger pointed out this voting phenomenon is ironic; when more people vote, the individual votes countless, in electoral math.
Decision Making Heuristics
Heuristics are general decision-making strategies people use that are based on little information, yet very often correct; heuristics are mental short cuts that reduce the cognitive burden associated with decision making (Shah & Oppenheimer, 2008). Shah and Oppenheimer argued that heuristics reduce work in decision making in several ways. Heuristics offer the user the ability to scrutinize few signals and/or alternative choices in decision making. In addition, heuristics diminish the work of retrieving and storing information in memory; streamlining the decision-making process by reducing the amount of integrated information necessary in making the choice or passing judgment (Shah & Oppenheimer, 2008).
As a result of research and theorizing, cognitive psychologists have outlined a host of heuristics people use in decision making. Heuristics range from general to very specific and serve various functions. The price heuristic, in which people judge higher priced items to have higher quality than lower priced things, is specific to consumer patterns; while the outrage heuristic, in which people consider how contemptible a crime is when deciding on the punishment (Shah, & Oppenheimer, 2008). According to Shah and Oppenheimer three important heuristics are the representative, availability, and anchoring and adjustment heuristics.
In decision making, people rely on a host of heuristics for convenience and speed. One important heuristic is the representative heuristic (RH), which is an extremely economical heuristic (Pachur, & Hertwig, 2006). In the event that one of two things is recognizable, people will tend to choose the recognized thing; utilizing or arriving at a decision with the least amount of effort or information (Goldstein & Gigerenzer, 2002; Hilbig & Pohl, 2008). Hilbig and Pohl remarked that it is difficult to research and answer definitively if an individual is using the RH alone, or if the person is using other information in drawing a conclusion. As a result, the research on the RH is mixed (Goldstein & Gigerenzer, 2002; see also Hilbig & Pohl, 2006). Goldstein and Gigerenzer provided seminal research on the RH. They maintained recognition memory is perceptive, reliable, and more accurate than chance alone; they argued less recognition leads to more correct decisions. On the other hand, according to Hilbig and Pohl, people often use additional information when utilizing the RH; that is, they do not rely solely on recognition along in decision making. Further, Hilbig and Pohl concluded that even when sound recognition was established, people use additional information, in conjunction with the RH.
Another highly researched heuristic is the availability heuristic. According to this heuristic, people are inclined to retrieve information that is most readily available in making a decision (Redelmeier, 2005). Interestingly, this is an important heuristic, as it is the basis for many of our judgments and decisions (McKelvie, 2000; Redelmeier, 2005). For example, when people are asked to read a list, then identify names from the list, often, the names identified are names of famous individuals, with which the participants are familiar (McKelvie, 2000). In the field of medicine, Redelmeier charged that missed medical diagnoses are often attributable to heuristics, the availability heuristic being one of those responsible. Redelmeier explained heuristics are beneficial as they are cognitively economical, but cautioned clinicians and practitioners need to recognize when heuristics need to be over-ridden in favor of more comprehensive decision making approaches.
The anchoring and adjustment heuristic is the foundational decision-making heuristic in situations where some estimate of value is needed (Epley, & Gilovich, 2006). In this particular heuristic, individuals first use an anchor, or some ball park estimate that surfaces initially, and adjusts their estimates until a satisfactory answer is reached. For example, if a person were asked to answer the question, “In what year did John F. Kennedy take office?” the anchoring and adjustment heurist would be used. The person may start with a known date, such as the date he was shot, November 22, 1963; then make an estimate based on the known information (Epley, & Gilovich, 2006). The practical application of the anchoring and adjustment heuristic is in negotiations; people make counter offers based on the anchor that is provided to them. Epley and Gilovich explained often people tend to make estimates which tend to gravitate towards the anchor side, where actual values tend to be farther away from the anchor initially planted. Further, anchoring requires effort; such a job is important in avoiding anchor bias.
After the Decision
After a decision is made, people experience a variety of reactions. In addition, present decisions influence future decision making. Several of the outcomes that may result from a decision are regret or satisfaction; both of which influence upcoming decisions.
Regret, feelings of disappointment or dissatisfaction with a choice made is one potential outcome of decision making. Interestingly, regret may shape the decision-making process. According to Abraham and Sheeran (2003), anticipated regret is the belief that the decision will be result of inaction. Anticipated regret may prompt behavior; that is, when a person indicates they will do something, such as exercise, they may follow through with their intended decision, to avoid regret. Once the decision is made, the impact of the decision, if regret is experienced, will impact future decisions. People can often get consumed with examining the other options that were available; the path not taken (Sagi & Friedland, 2007).
Sagi and Friedland (2007) theorized people feel regret in accordance with how the decision was made; regret may be dependent on the number of options that were available during the decision-making process; and how varied the options were may impact how regret is experienced after the decision was made. Through a series of experiments, Sagi and Friedland concluded that people feel remorse because they feel they were able to make a better choice by looking at more information, previously disregarded, and carefully weighing the pros and cons of each choice. In addition, regret is magnified when individuals revisit the other available options and considering what satisfaction the other option would have brought them. Interestingly, people who are dissatisfied with their decision feel obligated to embrace the decision, as a means to reducing anxiety regarding the quality of the decision (Botti & Iyengar, 2004; see also Gilbert & Ebert, 2002). For example, when a job applicant does not get hired, he may restructure the experience, and find many reasons that explain why he did not want to work for the company.
In addition to regret, individuals may also experience satisfaction with their decisions. Satisfaction refers to how pleased the decision maker is with the outcome of the decision. There are many things that impact levels of satisfaction. Botti and Iyengar (2004) observed individuals prefer to make their own decisions and believe they will be more satisfied with their choices; however, when people are given only undesirable options, decision makers are less satisfied than those who have had the choice made for them. Botti and Iyengar posited the explanation for this impact officer jobs phenomenon is that the decision maker assumes responsibility for the decision made. As a result, if the available choices are bad, they may feel as though they are responsible for making poor choices.
Also fascinating, aside from heuristics, an important decision-making strategy is evaluating positive and negative aspects of choices. Kim et al. (2008) discovered that when younger and older adults use this strategy, older adults tend to list more positive and fewer negative aspects of each choice, and older adults register more satisfaction with their choices when they use this evaluative strategy. One interesting finding was when the participants did not evaluate the options by listing the positive and negative features; there was no age difference in satisfaction (Kim et al., 2008).
As explained, future decision making is based on past decisions, as well as levels of satisfaction or regret (Abraham & Sheeran, 2003; Juliusson, Karlsson, & Garling, 2005; Sagi & Friedland, 2007). Even though there is evidence to support this notion, in many cases, particularly when the decision may be reversed, decisions may be based on the reversibility factor (Gilbert, & Ebert, 2002). Significant to individuals’ satisfaction is that people are willing to pay a premium for the opportunity to change their minds at a later date (Wood, 2001). For example, catalogue shoppers purchase items in a two step process; first they decide to purchase the items, then once the items arrive, they decide if they will keep them. Gilbert and Ebert examined if people prefer making decisions that are reversible. They concluded that people do prefer to have the option to change their minds; although people’s ability to change their minds actually inhibits their ability to be satisfied with their choice.
An Innovative Company Decision-Making Approach
Decision making is a critical aspect to feeling successful and happy in life; decision making is at the root of all we do. It is important to develop effective decision-making skills and strategies. Problem solving strategies include, but are not limited to brain storming, cost benefit analysis, written remediation plans, and an examination of possible choices (Wester, Christianson, Fouad, & Santiago-Rivera, 2008). The decision-making process can be complicated and overwhelming. As a result, it is valuable for individuals to learn a model to follow, that may be applied to everyday decisions, as well as life changing choices.
Krantz and Kunreuther (2007) posited that a goal and plan-based decision-making model is an effective and sound approach to take in decision making; in this model, the individual is encouraged to focus on goals, not happiness or usefulness. According to Krantz and Kunreuther, plans are designed to meet one or more goals. That is, people make plans to unconsciously or consciously meet the goals they have. And, some plans satisfy several goals. For example, people who attend a sporting event with a friend may be satisfying several goals; friendship and camaraderie, emotional stimulation from competitive sport, and potentially useful social knowledge gained from watching the game. In this model, goals are context dependent and plans are based on their ability to meet the goals. Essentially, in the goal/plan-based model, the context provides the backdrop for the decision that needs to be made; goals and resources, influenced by the context, contribute to the development of plausible plans; while the decision making rules are implemented and influence the plan that is ultimately chosen. Krantz and Kunreuther apply this theory to the insurance career, but imply the theory may be appropriately applied to a variety of contexts.
Decision making is an important area of research in cognitive psychology and essential to deeply understand in making impactful decisions as a Chief Impact Officer or Consultant attempting to drive and create exacting impact. Understanding the process by which individuals make decisions is important to understanding the decisions they make and effectively influencing the impact outcomes. There are several factors that influence decision making. Those factors are past experiences, cognitive biases, age and individual differences, belief in personal relevance, and an escalation of commitment. Heuristics are mental short cuts that take some of the cognitive load off decision makers. There are many kinds of heuristics, but three are important and commonly used: representative, availability, and anchoring-and-adjustment. After an individual makes a decision, there are several differing outcomes, including regret and satisfaction. Decisions that are reversible are more desired and people are willing to pay a premium for the ability to reverse decisions; though reversibility may not lead to positive or satisfactory outcomes. Cognitive psychologists have developed many decision making models, which explain the process by which people effectively make decisions. One innovative model is based on goals and job chief impact planning. There is yet a lot of research to be conducted on decision making, which will enable psychologists and educators to positively influence the lives of many.
Especially interesting in Impact Directives is leadership gauging impact in the complicated community impact programs social sector. Because impact decisions are morally significant. Government officials, funders, and nonprofit leaders’ decisions influence lives in many ways, both for the better and for the worst. If we reflect on our own life, I’m sure you’ll reach a similar conclusion. Therefore, the role of a chief impact officer is vital to the mission, vision and values of the organization when achieving the brand promise on a daily basis. Impact is the relationship our decisions as an organization have on the environment or ecosphere in which our business model exists or resides. The relationship is always symbiotic and may vary based on inputs from our competitors.
A chief impact officer or impact consultant’s role is to make a difference in people’s lives adhering to the startup chief impact values, mission and vision of the enterprise. Grasping the distinctions we make and the choices we make are properly aligned is a constant challenge. Better choices result in a legacy that we can be proud of creating a positive impact in the lives of our multiple constituencies.
What can we do to improve impact? There are numerous options! Because there is so much untapped potential to enhance how we ultimately do things, decision-making is an exciting area in social impact. Scholars and practitioners have been developing approaches for studying and making decisions for decades, but philanthropy, government, and impact investing are only now adopting them. I’ve constructed my own approach based on my body of work to assist myself and my partners/clients in making key decisions with intention and focus creating the desired impact.
Start with a strategy.
It’s critical to put decisions into context. Theoretical decision-making can’t predict what goals should motivate you or who should be in charge of making impact decisions. Decision-making isn’t a substitute for strategy. Decision-making, on the other hand, is an expression of a chosen strategy. Could a chief impact officer or consultant truly be a chief strategy officer? As a chief impact officer or chief strategy officer, when you already have a good notion of what you’re attempting to accomplish and how you want to go about doing it, decision analysis approaches are most effective. They’re most effective when the task at hand is to figure out how to put the broad direction and values the organization previously committed impact officer salaries into action in this particular type situation.
As a result, it’s important to have the goal, vision, and values set out and committed to paper or pixels before using the following recommendations. You should know who has final decision-making authority and how conflicts among group members will be resolved if decisions must be taken as a group team. You should also have a good understanding of the environment in which you operate and the precise, near-term outcomes that are most important to perceived success. It is always good to ask early on, “what does success look like”.
It may not be immediately evident why anything additional is required. Isn’t it simple to apply a general strategy to day-to-day decisions if you’ve previously laid out a plan? It could be in some circumstances. After all, not every option is a brainteaser. But, virtually & invariably, sacrifices must be made between goals or values that cannot be met simultaneously or to the same degree. People on the team or in our brain trust will almost certainly argue the likely consequences of various paths forward, and there will be no easy way to decide who is likely to be correct. And, virtually invariably, the right average chief impact decision may potentially enrage the wrong people.
For situations like this, decision analysis was created.
Choosing between options
Every day, we make hundreds of decisions, from what to eat for supper to whether to open Twitter right now to how to respond to your coworker’s somewhat insensitive remark. Most of these aren’t even worth considering, let alone employing a consultant to assist you to figure them out.
But if the study of decision analysis teaches us anything, it’s that certain decisions are more important than others. The decisions that require the most continuous attention are those in which the stakes are high, the context is unfamiliar, and the definition of success is not immediately apparent.
However, because many teams work at such a quick pace, we often only begin to pay attention to decisions just before they must be made. As a result, we overlook many of our most crucial judgments and risk succumbing to cognitive biases that lead to poor outcomes.
Of course, we can’t afford to thoroughly evaluate every single decision we make; we’d rapidly become engrossed in the process and unable to accomplish anything. So we’ll need a system for anticipating and prioritizing our decisions so that we can devote the necessary resources to the ones that actually matter.
Fortunately, a simple process known as a decision inventory can help you solve this problem. The decision inventory is a process for cataloging, aggregating, and classifying all of the significant decisions you intend to make in the near to medium term, adapted from a method devised by decision analysis pioneers Strategic Decisions Group. The exercise predicts which chief purpose officers challenges you’ll need to focus on and when, as well as which ones you should address quickly vs completely investigate.
Dissecting your chief purpose officers decision
Okay, now we’re getting down to business. It’s time to start examining the selections at the top of the pile once you’ve figured out which ones are the most important. There are a few different ways to break down a choice into its constituent elements. The following are elements of my own method:
• The variables at play. What is the larger strategic/organizational context in which this decision is being made? It’s fine to rely on your gut for this one as a first pass because you and your team members will usually have a strong instinctive feel of what’s relevant here. What are the most important opportunities and concerns in this situation? What excites and/or concerns you the most?
• What you might be able to do. What are the possibilities available to you? What options should be explored but haven’t been brought up yet? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
• Techniques for improving performance. Is this the right time to make this decision? More strategic/consequential decisions should, in general, come before tactical decisions. Other decisions should be made after a series of events has occurred or new information has become available. Finally, it’s occasionally a good idea to “bundle” options so that the strategy is organically aligned.
• Stakes. At the inventory stage, you’ll have started to analyze the stakes of a decision, but it’s helpful to keep them in mind when you figure out how much overall time and money you’re willing to invest before committing to a direction. A thoughtful stakes analysis will consider who and what might be impacted by the decision’s outcome(s), how much, and for how long. It would also examine the decision’s reversibility; how difficult is it to reverse a decision once you’ve made it?
• The number of sources and the degree of uncertainty. What would you do if you had to make this decision right now? If the answer isn’t evident right away, it’s typically because you don’t know something (or several things) that you wish you did. Identifying the sources of uncertainty can assist you in determining what additional knowledge would be most beneficial in this case. (Note that you can usually get a much more precise understanding of the value of additional information by modeling the decision quantitatively, as discussed below.)
Don’t be intimidated by the breadth of the above list. Chances are you’re already making these kinds of assessments about your decisions, you’re just not (yet) doing it in a systematic way. This process helps to bring that thinking into the realm of the conscious mind. And in many situations, that can happen with just a couple of meetings and some back-of-the-envelope estimates.
Some decisions really do require careful attention to get right, though. For those, there’s no substitute for an in-depth quantitative model.
Going chief impact officers mental with decision modeling
The preliminary analysis described in the previous section will give you a holistic overview of your decision dilemma, but it optimizes for breadth over depth. It’s like exploring the world by looking at a two-dimensional map — you can see the complete picture, but not all the details.
To achieve both, it’s necessary to model your decision explicitly using mathematical tools. This is like exploring the world from your desktop using a combination of Google Maps and Street View. The map helps you understand the broader context, but you can improve your understanding of the details by zooming in on specific points of interest.
My invocation of technology here is intentional, because building decision models is a technological enhancement to human decision-making. We are leveraging the power and speed of modern computing capacity to help us gain a deeper understanding of our decision dilemma than would be possible using our minds alone. You are still in the driver’s seat — you are still the one who makes the decision, after all — but the mathematical model we create serves as a kind of supercharged coach or advisor.
The nuts and bolts of putting together a decision model are too involved to cover here, but I wrote a handy primer featuring a grantmaking case study if you’re interested in learning more about how to do it.
There are two main reasons to put together a decision model. The first is that it’s possible to get much better precision about the factors at play and which ones are really important. When putting together a decision model, I use a statistical technique called Monte Carlo simulation that dynamically generates thousands of potential futures based on the estimates and assumptions that you provide (and can easily tweak in real time). Developed by nuclear physicists in the middle of the 20th century, Monte Carlo simulations have been empirically tested and shown to yield better judgments than alternative strategies in real-world settings. It’s the method that NASA swears by when preparing for so-called “complex projects” like launching human beings into space.
The second awesome superpower of quantitative models is that they can help guide role research or learning agenda created for the express purpose of reducing uncertainty about important factors relating to the decision in question. You can use the concept of value of information to pick out the most important things to measure, measure them, and re-run the model in an iterative cycle until there is literally no more value to wring out of seeking further data. This method is called Applied Information Economics and was invented by information scientist Doug Hubbard for use in high-stakes investment decisions in the social sector and business world alike (read about a couple of examples of its use here and here). As far as sustainability decision analysis techniques go, AIE is pretty much the gold standard approach.
With that said, modeling does have some costs and drawbacks. The main challenge is that, compared to the quick and easy process described in the previous section, modeling does usually require a more significant minimum investment of time and expense, an investment that scales with the number of stakeholders that need to provide input. In addition, modeling may feel somewhat intimidating or unnatural at first to staff or partners who have little experience with quantitative methods. Finally, while I’m a firm believer that anything worth modeling can be modeled, it is true that some kinds of goals and decision factors are harder to translate into mathematical terms than others and may require more specialized role expertise.
When should you make the leap to modeling your decision? Ultimately, it comes down most of all to the stakes of the decision. Although all such situations should be judged case by case, a good-enough rule of thumb is that if your decision has more than $25,000 (for an individual) or $50,000 (for an organization) riding on it, it’s worth considering putting together at least a quick-and-dirty quantitative model to help ensure you get it right. And if the stakes are in the $250,000 and up range, I’d say it’s actually pretty irresponsible not to attempt a quantitative treatment of the situation.
Finally, remember: the math is there to help you make your decision, not to make it for you. You are free to ignore it if you want. When making a decision model, work hard to make sure it accounts for everything the decision-maker cares about. But never deliver a recommendation without also considering the qualitative analysis that was developed alongside it.
After the math, the aftermath
Congratulations, the decision was made with impact in mind! While the dilemma itself may be resolved, the consequences or impact of the choice are just beginning to be felt.
Here are some helpful questions to ask and things to think about in the post-impact decision phase:
• How should you talk about this decision (and the process that went into it)? Strategic Decisions Group’s Decision Quality framework notably includes “commitment to action” as one of six key pillars to a high-quality impactful decision — meaning that they include commitment in the very definition of what constitutes a high-quality decision. Particularly when the decision is about a charged topic or conversation in your organization or community, having a robust, transparent process like this one can help to build consensus and buy-in moving forward.
• Do you expect to make similar decisions like this in the future? If so, it’s likely you can reuse much of the analysis and basic framework you developed for this one in those scenarios to come. And if you created a quantitative model for the decision, you can turn that model into a standardized template that can accommodate any such situation in the future. In my own practice, I’ve built templates like this for things like whether to apply for a new consulting opportunity. In such situations, the work you put in initially to develop the model is amortized across many uses, making the investment of time effectively a no-brainer.
• How does this decision affect other decisions you need to make? Decisions usually beget more decisions. You or your team might have been waiting for resolution on this situation because it would provide crucial information for other dilemmas in play. In other cases, a decision to, say, move forward with a project will create lots of new choices about how exactly to implement it. Be sure to document the more important of these so that you can devote the appropriate amount of attention to them, and if any seem especially high-stakes and/or uncertain, the techniques discussed in this article are here to help.
You, too, can decide like a Chief Impact Officer Pro Contact Us!
So that’s how I help clients make decisions. If you have grappled with how to make smarter decisions for your company, consultancy, organization or philanthropy and come up with similar or different techniques, please let me know. There is always more to learn, and I love to learn! If you would like help creating an impact decision making platform promoting consistent impact decision making, contact [email protected] 318-349-4998.
Thought leader content is one of the many ways you can use to promote your business online and drive traffic to your website. It’s also one of the best methods of increasing your search engine rankings and dominating your niche when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). The more relevant content you produce, the more visitors will come to your site and keep coming back, especially if they believe what you have to say will actually help them accomplish their goals in life or improve their quality of life in some way. But how do you make sure that what you write is specifically geared toward the audience reading it?
How do you become a thought leader?
“Thought leadership” is a popular jargon in the corporate world right now, and it’s simple to see why it’s become such a hot topic among executives. You can become a leading, recognized voice in your field if others look to you for your expertise and insight.
What does it take to become a thought leader, and what measures can you take to get there? We asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council to explain some of the characteristics that constitute an industry thought leader, as well as what steps people can take to get started. Their responses are listed below.
1. Begin producing content to share your ideas.
You must be willing and able to communicate your ideas and knowledge in a clear and succinct manner that is appealing to the readers or listeners. One thing individuals can do is start, even if it’s only writing a brief text to share or making a short video. Don’t be apprehensive about taking the initial step. It takes practice, and if you stick with it, you will improve over time.
2. Maintain Consistency
It’s critical to be consistent if you want to become a thought leader in your field. Maintain a consistent flow of content creation, whether through blogs or a podcast, when you’re first starting out. Determine which industry blogs you can contribute to on a regular basis, or start a podcast and produce weekly episodes.
3. Extensive Research
Establish credibility—and I don’t just mean bragging about your achievements. It’s all about bringing folks behind the scenes as a thought leader. Show them what has worked and what hasn’t worked for you. Give them a lot of nitty-gritty tactical information and watch them follow along.
4. Provide answers to questions Nobody else is responding.
Respond to the questions that no one else is asking. Engage in the conversation rather than simply delivering your ideas and thoughts. If you’re reviewing articles in your specialized business and notice that people are asking the same questions over and over again in the comments and feed, be the one to respond.
5. Establish a distinct, authoritative point of view
Having a clear, authoritative point of view is the most critical step toward becoming a thought leader in your sector. You will not become a voice people can look to or trust if you are unsure of or unable to communicate your opinions. If you want to be a thought leader, you must constantly educate yourself because industries change all the time.
6. Be Consistent with Your Message
Choose a clear message and stick to it. The finest thought leaders are recognized because they stick to a clear message, making it easier for others to understand what they do and why they do it. Simon Sinek, for example, is well-known for asking “why.” He brings it up frequently. In fact, it is at the center of his entire business concept and activities.
7. Make time for self-reflection.
Self-reflection is crucial in all aspects of life, and thinking leadership is no exception. You’ll have a hard time discussing ideas with people if you can’t sit down and analyze your own thoughts, actions, and behaviors. Every day, I recommend taking some time to reflect. This exercise will help you become more self-aware, which will allow you to think more broadly and understand the broader picture. – Smash Balloon LLC’s John Brackett
8. Share Your Expertise
Getting articles written by you published in industry journals is a wonderful method to do this. However, you must guarantee that the content is of good quality, professionally edited, non-promotional, and truly gives value to the target audience in order to do this.
9. Provide value by using simple language.
We’ve been able to stand out in our market by using straightforward and conversational language and responding to client questions. People are frequently perplexed and seek step-by-step instructions on how to create a website. Users like the terminology and details we provide, which I believe has helped us flourish in our area.
10. Use a variety of platforms to distribute your content.
Being a thought leader necessitates irrefutable knowledge and omniscience. It’s impossible to only post on one platform. People should be able to see you respond to their queries on a variety of platforms. Try as much as you can while remaining present in all of the venues where you gain traction.
11. Don’t Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There
Make an effort to network with as many people in your field as possible. The thought leaders in any field aren’t always smarter than the typical expert. They stand out because they know the right people and have access to the proper platforms to spread their message and knowledge. Participate in podcasts, join groups, create content, and network with influencers.
Different Types of Thought Leadership Marketing
TYPES OF THOUGHT LEADERSHIP CONTENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA AUTHORITY
Thousands of people publish content on the internet every day, claiming to be experts in their fields and offering their goods and services. How can customers deal with this huge onslaught of information?
Users are inundated with material and sales pitches from all sides. Thought leadership is the only way to tell who is the best. Thought leadership may help you and your company stand out from the crowd. What better method to establish your thought leadership than to employ a highly effective channel like social media?
“A thought leader is an individual or firm that is acknowledged as an authority in a specific field, and whose expertise is sought and frequently rewarded,” according to Wikipedia. It takes a lot of time and effort to be a thought leader. However, if you’ve established yourself as a thought leader in your field, you’ll be nearly unbeatable.
The greatest approach to demonstrate your thought leadership in your field is through content marketing. Thought leadership content can position your company as an industry authority and expert.
Let’s take a look at the many forms of thought leadership content you may create to increase your social media influence.
1. FINDINGS AND DATA FROM ORIGINAL RESEARCH
The greatest method to demonstrate your thought leadership is to conduct original research and create your own data/statistics. This is because curating current internet content does not necessitate the same level of expertise as conducting original research. And your audience is well aware of this.
You can begin by deciding on a research topic. You can choose a topic that is currently popular in the market or one that has a lot of guesses and assumptions about it but no concrete proof.
Once you’ve decided on a topic, begin your research by gathering information through surveys or the internet. To come up with credible proof, use all means at your disposal. Your findings should not only pique the curiosity of your target audience, but also that of other industry experts.
Your findings can be shared through blog articles or white papers. Social media is the most effective way to publicize your study and findings. You can present your findings in the form of a short film, infographics, or any other style of content that effectively communicates your findings. You’ll be able to create your industry authority on social media this way.
2. LIVES IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Going live on social media is one of the most effective ways to interact with your target audience and develop thought leadership. When you go live, people will recognize you as a true authority and industry leader.
You can either broadcast live content on a certain topic or hold a live Q&A session. It’s crucial to speak about something that your audience can relate to. Customer relationship management tools can help you better grasp the interests of your target audiences. Polls can also be used to choose a topic for your social media live.
You’ll gain more followers and engagement this way, and your brand will become more well-known as a result. To improve your involvement even more, you can go live with other industry professionals.
3. INFORMATION GRAPHICS
There’s a reason why infographics are so popular, and why they frequently go viral. Infographics are visually appealing representations of valuable information. You can fit a lot of useful advice and information into a single infographic.
For infographics, you can choose from a variety of topics that are always relevant. You may even be more particular and make the first infographic on a specific subject. This will provide you an advantage over your competitors, which is ideal for establishing authority and demonstrating thought leadership.
4. UNIQUE QUOTES
When was the last time you saw a social media celebrity quote? Seeing this would have immediately made you think of the person as a thought leader in the business. This is why quotations are so effective.
If you’ve been writing content for a long, you’ve definitely produced statements that make a point while also demonstrating your experience. Find statements like these and publish them as quotes on social media.
Twitter and LinkedIn are good examples of platforms that can be used for this. You may also make quotes out of common observations and share them on social media.
5. THOUGHT-PROVOKING POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
A leader is someone who inspires people by instilling fresh ideas and thoughts in their heads. As a result, if you want to be an industry thought leader, make sure your material is distinctive, one-of-a-kind, and thought-provoking.
You should get your audience to think about things that no one else is. That is how you will be recognized as a true thinking leader.
6. INDUSTRY NEWS AND TRENDS THOUGHTS
When a new industry trend or news surfaced, what did you notice? You’ve probably noticed that the majority of people are confused about the new trend. As a result, people wait for specialists to discuss the latest news and trends.
This indicates that thought leaders don’t wait for others to bring up new trends or information. Instead, they conduct research, get their hands filthy, and dig up the most relevant facts to their knowledge, which they then discuss.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of a thought leader is that they talk about industry news first. As a result, don’t wait for specialists to discuss them. Instead, pretend to be an expert and be the first to speak about it.
7. VIDEOS OF HIGH QUALITY AND VALUE
We live in the video age. Long text-based messages may be scrolled past, but visually appealing information causes social media users to stop scrolling. As a result, take use of this fact.
You’re doing a fantastic job if you have a strong YouTube presence. If you haven’t started yet, now is a good moment to do so. You may advertise your YouTube videos and snippets on social media platforms by using them.
You should experiment with both short and long-form videos, following the newest video format trends. Instagram, for example, has debuted reels, which are shorter videos of less than 30 seconds. The engagement and following of users who used reels rose.
To establish yourself as a thought leader, use similar video trends on numerous social media channels and produce punchy, informative films.
CLIPS FROM PODCASTS AND INTERVIEWS
Podcasts and video interviews are typically long yet filled with information. As a result, podcast clips and interviews can be used to create thought leadership content.
So, the next time you’re looking for thought leadership material, look through your podcasts and interviews. Look for 1 to 3-minute clips with valuable content that will leave your viewers speechless.
Simply repurposing your podcasts and interviews in this way can help you raise brand awareness, engage with your audience more, and establish your industry credibility.
START ON SOCIAL MEDIA BUILDING THOUGHT LEADERSHIP CONTENT
Finally, we can claim that social media is one of the most effective strategies to reach a larger audience and demonstrate your leadership.
On social media, there are a lot of untapped audiences waiting to be discovered. All you have to do is work on thought leadership content on a regular basis. If you use the advice in this guide as a starting point, you’ll notice benefits quickly.
Our company’s social media marketing team is the best in the business at assisting our partners with their online marketing. We devise and implement unique social media marketing strategies that assist our clients in achieving their organizational goals and expanding their online presence.
Our management team works to help our partners boost their internet presence by providing ongoing online marketing services. When you use our services, you will receive a wonderful service and results that make a difference because our service is transparent and cost-effective. We provide a variety of marketing services for businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to huge organizations, to help you get the most out of your digital and social marketing efforts.
Do you want to increase your lead generation, website traffic, or event registrations? How do you attract candidates? Let Mach 1 Design teach you how to do it!
Writing From an Authentic Place
7 Ways to Write Effectively and Authentically
People frequently inquire about what it takes to be a successful writer. The short answer is yes. I’m not sure. What’s the slightly lengthier response? I’m not sure, and I’m not interested.
I’m more interested with effective writing than with brilliant writing. What’s the difference between the two? One is a matter of opinion, while the other is a matter of fact.
Everyone has their own definition of what constitutes “excellent” writing. Quality opinions differ depending on who you question, but excellent writing is difficult to dispute. It accomplishes its goal – plain and simple.
So, how can you write in such a way that your message is properly communicated? Here are seven suggestions for better writing that you can use right now:
Make time to hone your skills.
You can’t do something well without first doing it badly, and that starts with practice. Most experts advise that you set aside time each day to write (even if it’s only 20 minutes). If you don’t show up, you won’t improve.
I achieve this with my blog and other projects by writing a minimum of 500 words per day. The more I write, the more I discover about writing — and the more I understand how much I need to improve.
Put yourself to the test.
Write about themes that interest you, but don’t be afraid to go out and try something new. You will grow if you push yourself to new limits. You may take on a challenge and attend a free webinar to learn my three keys to good writing.
Never undervalue the value of education. Every day, I attempt to learn something new by reading books, blogs, and magazines, and I can’t sleep until I’ve acquired a few pearls of knowledge from various sources.
Be true to yourself.
Don’t try to imitate another writer’s style. If you do, make it solely for the purpose of learning someone else’s technique and adapting it to your own.
Ultimately, you want to find your own unique writing voice. And, to be honest, your audience wants the same thing. We would read Hemingway if we wanted to read Hemingway.
I’m still working on it, but I’m getting better. One method I use is to read what I’ve written aloud to myself, and if it doesn’t sound like me, I revise it.
Don’t scribble like a moron.
Understand the fundamentals of grammar. Purchase an MLA, APA, or other style guide (I recommend the AP Stylebook to a lot of copywriters). Start writing like a pro and respect your craft. It’s easy to break the rules once you’ve learned them.
Begin with a modest project.
The majority of aspiring authors start in the wrong place. They first express an interest in writing a book. That is not something you should do.
Begin with a little project, such as a blog or a journal (you know, Doogie Howser style). Then publish a few articles for periodicals and contemplate writing a book. You’ll find that your confidence grows as you take one small step after another toward publication.
At least, that’s been my experience. I was finally ready to write a book after four years of writing for websites and publications.
Never give up.
If writing is a dream of yours, take it seriously. Stick with it, even if your enthusiasm wanes. Every day, write. Perseverance is rewarded. I don’t want to write most days, yet I show up regardless. And then something magical happens: the Muse appears and inspires me when I least expect it.
Learn how to pitch your work.
Many writers expect to compose something amazing and have it published right away, as if by osmosis or something. However, before you start writing, you should learn how to pitch potential publishers (book, magazine, or we).
A excellent pitch is succinct, enticing, and enticing. Even the best writers can be neglected if they don’t learn how to successfully promote their work.
In less than 18 months, you can become a rock professional writer. If that’s the case, get my free strategy guide, in which I teach you everything I know.
Benefits for your Business
How Does Thought Leadership Content Benefit Your Business?
How amazing would it be if your customers came to you for vital industry-related information and advice?
Thought leadership is a terrific approach to establish your organization as an authority figure in your industry, whether you’re a writer, marketer, or small business owner.
Implementing thought leadership in your blog may help you increase site traffic, lead generation, and build loyal consumers who return.
The Evolution of Thought Leadership
Henry Ward Beecher, an American Congregationalist, coined the phrase “thought leadership” in 1887.
“If it’s been around for so long, why haven’t I heard of it?” you might think. It’s most likely due to the fact that the meaning of this statement has evolved over time.
Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the meaning of successful thought leadership analysis altered, and it presently satisfies Joe Kurtzman’s definition:
“Peers, consumers, and industry experts perceive a thought leader as someone who truly understands their business, their customers’ demands, and the broader marketplace in which they operate.” They have distinct original ideas, distinct points of view, and fresh privacy perspectives.”
What is thought leadership, and why is it important?
When a company or an individual is acknowledged as an expert in a specific sector, their knowledge is sought after and valuable, this is referred to as thought leadership.
Displaying your expertise in a particular topic or industry, on the other hand, positions you and your firm as the go-to experts for guidance, resulting in a boost in site traffic, sales, and leads.
The Advantages of Thought Leadership
When you write from the standpoint of thought leadership, you bring inbound marketing value to your readers. This increased value has a cascading effect, resulting in more value in a variety of areas of your organization.
Here’s how thought leadership will benefit your company:
Provides your consumers with a unique and important perspective
Establishes your company’s credibility in your industry.
Increases the visibility of your company in the industry
Increases the number of people who visit your website blog
Conversions & Sales increase.
Investing time in honing your thought leadership strategy will lead to a plethora of opportunities. Exposure is an important component of being a thought leader.
Thought leadership requires you to show up in your sector in the right places and share your views. Journalists and event planners can provide excellent possibilities for business exposure, which can lead to increased sales as a result of increased awareness. The more individuals that are aware of your company, the more likely they are to seek out your product or service.
What Qualities Must You Possess in Order to Be Considered A Thought Leader?
You may be asking how to become a thought leader now that you understand what it is and how it benefits your company. Our Mach 1 Design team can provide you with the answers you’re looking for. The following are some frequent characteristics of content thought leadership.
Experts in a Specific Field
If you want to be a recognized thought leader in your profession, you’ll need experience. This experience isn’t always quantifiable, and it’s a contentious topic in the corporate world.
The trick, though, is that you must have spent the appropriate time honing your skills. You might not be cut out to be a thought leader (yet!) if you don’t feel comfortable teaching your expertise to someone who has no idea what it is about.
This leads us to the second characteristic of a thought leader: credibility. An expert’s credibility is what distinguishes him or her from others.
Credible business owners and brands have a strong reputation, have experience in their sector, and have been recognized for their achievements.
This acknowledgment could come in the form of incentives in both business practices and your area, and encouraging your clients and past clients to review your firm is a terrific approach to build a favorable reputation.
Involvement in Your Niche on an Ongoing Basis
One of the most important characteristics of a thought leader is that they are committed to remaining current in their industry and are actively involved in it. In order to categorize yourself as an expert and effectively contribute to dialogues relevant to your specialization as a thought leader, you must be aware of the newest trends and business news in your niche.
A Devoted Audience
The term “recognized” is used to describe a leadership content thought who has a loyal following. Shel Israel, a Forbes contributor, puts it succinctly: “You can’t be a thought leader if others don’t follow.”
Your knowledge will go unnoticed if you don’t have a dedicated following. However, if you have a small audience, a thought leadership piece can help you increase it over time as more people come to trust your knowledge and, as a result, your brand.
Advice on How to Become a Thought Leader
Still have questions about how to producing thought leadership works? Mach 1 Design’s content professionals have compiled a list of the best advice.
Tip No. 1: Study Other Thought Leaders
Attending conferences or extending your education is a terrific approach to become a thought leader by listening to other professionals in your area.
Working with industry professionals can help you raise brand recognition. Consider participating in a mentoring program.
Tip #2: Increase your industry’s visibility
One strategy to build the necessary following to become a thought leader is to increase your business visibility. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways:
Participate in business networking events in your area.
Interview with a local news organization
Guest posting alongside other professionals in your field is a great way to get your name out there.
Make a social media campaign for your business.
Post high-quality posts on your niche on a regular basis.
Create a Content Strategy (Tip #3).
Developing a content plan is a terrific approach to get started on your journey to become a thought leader. Your audience will quickly link your business with your topic if you consistently publish high-quality blog entries on your area of expertise. Mach 1 Design can assist you.
Do you have a lot of the characteristics of a thought leader but lack the consistency of online content? Mach 1 Design can assist you! We create professionally written content to assist you raise brand awareness and establish yourself as a thought leader.
It also frees up your time, allowing you to concentrate on other elements of your business. You may rest easy knowing that a dedicated staff is working behind the scenes to assist you achieve your business objectives.
To learn more about our content marketing services, get in touch with the Mach 1 Design team today!
Keeping it Ongoing
Content marketing is a fun and creative way to attract new customers to your business.
It doesn’t have to be complicated to get the desired results.
Check out these tips for building a solid, simple, content marketing strategy that doesn’t involve any guess work.
What is a content marketing strategy?
A very important factor to remember when it comes to content marketing is that you have to keep it simple: consistently create content that helps your audience and you can influence their behavior over time. That’s it.
In my experience, people have the tendency to overthink content marketing and building out a strategy. Even I’ve been caught up in what I like to call the “content marketing matrix,” which is just as complicated as it sounds.
In this matrix lives a combination of buyer personas, buyer journeys, types of content, popular content “watering holes,” channels to promote content, topics your audience are searching, and more. Trust me, you do not want to get caught in this unsolvable equation that attempts to marry all of these variables into a picture perfect content marketing strategy – aka the unattainable “Contentopia.”
“If I post an eBook on bug repellent, directed towards middle-aged gardeners that are in the late purchasing stage (already have bug bites), at exactly 3pm every other Thursday on Twitter, I’ll make millions!”
Now, if that’s how you develop a content marketing plan, fantastic. But, I want you to have realistic expectations to keep your marketing efforts from getting nailed down to some tight equation. If that is your goal, I’m here to tell you that you’re missing the point.
Why build a content marketing strategy?
What you want to do is keep things simple, and build out a foundation that guides your content creation. This is why you need a content marketing plan.
Let’s look back at our original direction: consistently create various types of content that helps your audience and influence their behavior over time. This technique is simple and proven. If you provide value, then people are going to notice you and think of you when they need what you’re offering. When you make your customers your primary focus, you win their business.
Tips for building a content marketing strategy
Remember: keep it simple. Here are some tips to keep in mind when building out your content marketing strategy:
Set your goals
What business goals do you want your content marketing to accomplish? Get specific. These goals will help you decide what to create, and how. Want more web traffic? Blog subscribers? Sales? Maybe you want to build your brand and be regarded as a thought leader in your industry. All of these goals can be accomplished with a strategic content marketing campaign.
Let your customers guide you
Find your perfect customer and use them as a model when creating your content. Can you think of someone who you would consider the ideal customer? Call them up. See if they would want to give a testimonial. Ask them why they chose your business. Ask them what questions they had throughout their buying process.
You can use this one customer as the basis to your marketing plan. Chances are, the questions and preferences of this customer are going to be similar to your other potential customers.
Don’t create content just to have more content
I’ve seen, first hand, several companies make this mistake. Creating content just for the sake of having more content is a time-suck for everyone involved, with little to no achieved results.
Remember, the point is to help your customers by creating valuable content.
Focus your efforts on quality, not quantity.
Build a content distribution plan to promote your content
You’ve created some really stellar content. Now what? Next, you want to get it in front of your audience. You want to set up a content distribution plan through which you can send all of your content. This plan can include where to publish your content, if you’re going to use paid promotions or social media, and how to repurpose any of your content. Stick with this plan to ensure consistency.
Stay the course
There’s no instant gratification here. One of the most important rules of content marketing is to be consistent. Content marketing is a long-term strategy and results do not happen overnight. You’re trying to influence the behavior of a group of people, which takes time. Staying consistent with your publishing schedule, and content value builds trust with your audience, which eventually leads to a relationship.
Example of building out a content marketing strategy
A few years ago, I was hired by a startup company to build its content marketing strategy from the ground up. They had never used a content strategy before that, and they had no employees dedicated to content. By the end of my time there, we had a well-running content marketing machine, which played a huge role in lead generation and building brand awareness.
Here are the steps we took when building out the strategy for our content marketing efforts:
1. First, we researched. I interviewed several customer-facing employees who worked with customers at different stages of the purchase. My question to them: what are the most common inquiries from our customers and leads?
By the end, we had a long list of valuable questions that we could use in our marketing efforts. We based our content calendar on exactly these questions and answered them with valuable, easily-consumable, and searchable content. This was the base of our content marketing strategy.
2. Next, we built out our content marketing editorial calendar for the year, using those questions to guide the topics we created content around. During this step, we would also map out what format each piece of content will take. Sometimes we would create infographics, sometimes we’d create quizzes, and other times we’d create long-form content or video content for more technical or complicated topics.
3. Then, we established a content distribution plan to promote the high-quality content we were building on a consistent basis. This marketing plan established where the content would be published, and the frequency at which we would publish. This could include but is not limited to, social media channels, email marketing campaigns, website catalogs, blog posts, and more.
4. From here, we kept building, publishing, collecting feedback, and analyzing the performance of our content. I specifically remember the successful results of an email nurture campaign we ran to re-engage old contacts from whom we hadn’t heard in a while. The first email offered a free video, the second email offered a helpful infographic, and the third email in the nurture series of automated emails required readers to fill out a form to get access to a brand new eBook.
Because we had built up trust with valuable content in the first two emails, by the third email, people were ready to restart their relationship with us. The resulting lead conversion rate of this combined email and content marketing campaign was very high.
This is just one example of what a successful content marketing strategy could look like. Remember, this is all variable to your business’ goals, products or services, audience, and the way your audience best consumes content.
It’s all about the customer
Overall, planning out your content marketing strategy with content that you know your target audience finds valuable in is the best way to go. You don’t need to guess here. Help the people you’re serving with valuable content, and they will keep you top of mind when they’re ready to buy. It’s that simple.
How and Why Should You Diversify Your Content Marketing and Content Creation?
A effective content marketing plan must possess a number of characteristics:
Your material should be well-researched.
original and unique
targeted for a specific group of people
However, there is one quality that is simple to overlook and difficult to acquire even when it is prioritized: variety.
In a content strategy, diversity implies covering a wide range of topics, writing different styles of pieces, and employing various distribution and syndication methods.
The more varied your campaign is, the more likely you are to keep your audience interested and reach a bigger audience.
The issue is that diversity necessitates “outside-the-box thinking,” changing habits, and venturing outside of one’s comfort zone.
It also necessitates a delicate balancing act with your brand’s material integrity, which is equally vital.
Thankfully, there are a few simple strategies to broaden your plan without jeopardizing the magic you’ve already created.
In seven easy steps, learn how to appropriately vary your material.
1. Increase the amount of non-blog content.
Your website is a large space that you can expand as much as you desire. Start producing new content for other portions of your site instead of relegating all of your content to the blog (in whatever form you select).
Instead of producing five blog entries to answer various issues frequently posed by your user base, try creating a comprehensive FAQ page that addresses all of them. Create a distinct, interactive “lessons” page instead of providing a few thorough tutorials about how to utilize your items.
Users are requesting more interactive material, according to statistics:
You can also break up the content into separate blog pieces to display it in a different way.
2. Begin creating infographics.
Because people have gotten accustomed to seeing infographics constantly in their newsfeeds, they aren’t as effective as they once were. To combat this, you must stand out from the throng.
Infographics haven’t lost their worth because of their popularity; rather, they’ve been overproduced by those wanting to cash in on them.
Find a fascinating, unique topic that people are interested in, then devote the time and effort required to create an infographic on it. If you do this on a regular basis, you’ll attract more “visual learners,” as well as make your blog feed seem more fascinating.
3. Make a video once a month at the very least.
Videos are extremely popular on the internet, and they’re only growing in popularity as companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google continue to introduce features to make video viewing more convenient. Relax if you’re concerned about the time and work it takes to create a professional film—remember, you probably already have a video camera in your phone, and not all of your company videos need to be made on a Hollywood budget. The use of video as part of your overall content marketing strategy is on the rise:
The simple act of speaking to an audience through a camera might sometimes be enough to get your point across while also diversifying your technique. At the very least, do this once a month.
4. Create a podcast or a series of interviews.
Audio content is almost as valuable as video content, especially if it can be downloaded and listened to on the go.
Consider launching an SEO podcast with special guests, an interview series, or a combination of the two.
Whatever you select, make sure to invite other industry influencers—this will instantly broaden your audience and boost your appeal, plus your guest will most likely share and promote the content.
5. Experiment with different lengths of content.
Don’t write the same medium-length blog pieces over and over again. Experiment with a few tiny sample articles, or go in the opposite way and create a large-scale whitepaper or eBook. If your blog feed is just an infinite pattern of identically formatted content, it will look monotonous; spice it up with shorter and longer pieces.
6. Each week, contact one new publication outlet.
Getting on a new publication platform gives you rapid access to a new audience (and possibly, a slightly new angle on the content you produce). Make it a point to contact one new possible publisher every week; you won’t always be accepted, especially in the early months of this method as your reputation grows, but you should get at least one or two new recurring opportunities per month to expand your reach.
7. Get a variety of people to contribute to the writing.
This is the last of my suggestions, but it’s one of the most important. More writers should be introduced to your material stream. You can hire more authors or hire freelancers, but you don’t need to invest any money to obtain new content from new ideas. You could ask around the office to see if anyone from other departments would be willing to contribute a post or two, or you could organize an open call for guest posters. There’s never a shortage of people wanting to write for you for free in exchange for some extra exposure. New writers mean new ideas, new perspectives, and a more diverse range of content.
Consistency and diversity may appear to be diametrically opposed qualities, yet they may coexist if you value them. You can keep your target audience, voice, and aesthetics more or less the same while varying the type, nature, format, and placement of your posts, retaining your brand’s marketing focus while maximizing the likelihood of attracting new readers. Use these diversity guidelines in your own content and link-building plan, and if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us or look into our content writing service.
Targeted Tactics for Each Stage in the Buying Cycle
How to Create Content for the Buyer’s Journey at Every Stage
Nobody gets up in the morning and says, “Today I’m going to buy something.” Instead, they take a buyer’s journey that includes research and evaluation before making a sales contact.
The buyer’s journey is the name given to this journey. Because consumers are more aware and empowered than ever before, it’s critical to fully comprehend your buyer persona and the trip they take so you can develop content that assists them on their journey while also establishing you as an authority in your field.
In marketing, it’s important to understand the buyer’s journey.
With the exception of spontaneous purchases, most people begin their journey in a “unaware stage.” This person most likely fits your target client’s demographics (also known as your buyer persona), but they aren’t aware of or interested in your goods.
They may, however, be confronted with a triggering event that alters their situation or a discomfort that must be alleviated. This is the beginning of their buyer’s journey.
When you don’t have a thorough understanding of your target market, a gap develops between your company and its potential clients. This usually signifies that you’re putting out content that your readers don’t truly connect with, which can lead to you losing them.
It’s critical to understand your target, as it is in all marketing disciplines: how they think, the answers they want, and the journey they follow to find a solution. You can start creating a written content plan based on your findings, which will map your content to the various stages of the buyer’s journey.
The first step in developing content that resonates with your buyer and laying out your marketing funnel so that you can meet them at each stage of their journey is to create a buyer’s journey for your brand.
What Is a Marketing Funnel and How Does It Work?
A marketing funnel, also known as a sales funnel because it produces revenue, describes the various stages a customer goes through before making a purchase, from visiting your website for the first time and subscribing to your email list to reading your emails and speaking with a sales representative.
The funnel’s operation is straightforward. Those who reach the top of the funnel are further away from making a purchase choice, whereas those who reach the bottom are closer to making one.
It’s frequently a marketer’s role to attract your customer persona early in their journey and pass quality leads to the sales team to engage. Your customer service team thrills them after they become a customer, causing them to buy from you again and again and tell all their friends about you.
When employed in the context of the buyer’s journey, the funnel is a useful tool. Keep in mind, however, that the funnel has one flaw: it places customers as the output. HubSpot officially removes the funnel in favor of the flywheel.
As a result, clients are placed at the center of all marketing, sales, and service activities, resulting in a more unified and less linear approach.
Stages of the Marketing Funnel
Nonetheless, the funnel is an excellent place to start before moving on to your flywheel plan.
Take the buyer’s journey and ask yourself, “How can we attract and engage this person so that they become a customer?”
Earning business from your prospects boils down to three easy things, whether you follow the funnel or the flywheel method:
• Attracting new people
• Keeping prospects interested
• Satisfying consumers
You’ll evaluate the stage they’re at in their journey and the best channels to put the information in front of them as you generate content that fulfills these functions.
The internet has made it easier for marketers (and salespeople) to use content marketing to engage clients at various phases of their journey. One of the key reasons why 60% of marketers regard content to be “very important” or “very vital” to their entire strategy is because of this.
However, creating the appropriate content for the right people at the right time can be difficult.
Each Stage of the Funnel Has Its Own Marketing Channel
Identifying the channels through which you’ll reach your audience is the first step in developing a content strategy.
The Attract Stage Marketing Channels
Remember that when you start attracting prospects, the vast majority of them may still be in the awareness stage of their buyer’s journey. That is, your purpose is to alleviate their discomforts/problems by generating material that is simple to find and consume.
A buyer is attempting to solve difficulties, obtain information, or meet a need at this time. They’re looking for high-quality educational content, such as blog articles, social media content, and ebooks, to guide them to a solution. Because there’s no certainty that they’ll buy from you, their lead value is poor. Those that find your information useful and entertaining, on the other hand, may progress to the middle of the funnel.
The following are some of the best channels for your attract stage:
• Search Engine Optimization
• Marketing on Social Media
Channels of Marketing for the Engage Stage
When someone enters the middle of your funnel, it indicates that you have their attention. They’re aware that they have a problem to solve, and they’re currently attempting to find the best answer. As they consider their options, the necessity for a future purchase commitment emerges.
While the top of the funnel is intended to educate a prospect, this is the stage in which you want to demonstrate why your solutions are the best fit in particular.
(You should also assist customers in determining if they are a suitable fit, as this will be critical later for client retention.) If you persuade clients to buy who aren’t a good fit for your business, you can be shooting yourself in the foot later with a high churn rate.)
In the middle of the funnel, you’re usually nurturing a lead, forming a relationship, and establishing trust between your audience and your brand.
The following channels may be appropriate for your engage stage:
• E-mail Promotion
• Use of social media
Prospects at the bottom of your funnel must also be engaged.
The bottom of the funnel is where the actual purchase decision is made. They’re eager to buy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll buy from you. That is the final decision they must make: where will they find the solution they seek?
Most of the time, leads at the bottom of your funnel just need a final nudge and a convincing call-to-action to convince them to buy. At this stage, the right offer and content can have a big impact on your conversions.
Consider using sales outreach to engage qualified prospects and then using personalization and contextual marketing to keep them engaged.
Channels of Marketing for the Delight Stage
Once someone becomes a customer, marketing should not end. Beyond the sale, cultivating a relationship with your customer can result in better customer lifetime value, as well as word-of-mouth referrals and other benefits.
The objective is to go above and beyond their expectations and deliver a simple and seamless client experience.
The following are some of the best channels for your delight stage:
• E-mail Promotion
• Knowledge Bases and other self-service channels
• Chatbots and live chat for customer service
• Customer Loyalty Programs
On the surface, this process appears to be very linear, but you can use different channels to target different stages of the buyer’s journey.
You might be able to entice someone in the consideration stage or gratify someone who isn’t yet a customer. Someone in the consideration stage might be persuaded to buy because of your excellent service, or someone in the awareness stage might use your chatbot to obtain the information they require.
Thinking outside the box is one of the most enjoyable aspects of content marketing.
Content Creation at Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
Once you’ve determined who your customer persona is and which channels would be most effective for your company, you can start developing content for them at various phases and tailoring it to each channel.
This will assist you in mapping your content to the appropriate stages of the buyer’s journey in order to create your funnel.
• The “awareness” stage of the funnel, where people seek solutions, resources, education, research data, opinions, and insight.
• The “assessment” stage of the funnel, where consumers are conducting extensive research to determine whether or not your product or service is a good fit for them.
• Bottom of the Funnel: This is the “buy” stage, where consumers are determining what it takes to become a customer.
Depending on your sector, business model, product, pricing, and target audience, your funnel may look very different. When compared to B2B consumers, who require significantly more nurturing, engagement, and relationship development before making a purchase, some B2C buyers spend relatively little time in the middle of the funnel. When it comes to purchasing decisions, a $50 pair of sneakers, for example, requires far less guidance than a $10,000 investment in company software.
Ideas for Content for Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey
Persona research is critical because audiences can differ greatly depending on business and aim. You can only design a genuinely effective content marketing plan, jam-packed with tailored content that best supports their journey toward making a buy, if you understand their particular process for awareness and evaluation.
Formats for Content in the Awareness Stage
1. Write a blog post
2. Post on social media
5. Instructional Video
6. Tool or Kit
7. An e-book or a cheat sheet
8. Webinars for Education
Post on the Blog
A blog post is an excellent piece of information for raising awareness. You can create a brand asset that is crawlable by Google and discoverable by search engine users by targeting a pain, problem, or other topic that your target audience wants to learn about and then uploading it to your website. You can also use additional methods to promote your blog’s content.
Ahrefs is an excellent example of a company that understands blog material. To generate long-form pieces that benefit their readers, they add original facts and helpful counsel.
Post on Social Media
Social media is a platform via which you may advertise your other material as well as develop stuff expressly for it. According to Pew Research, 72 percent of the population utilizes social media in some form, so it’s probable that your target audience is already familiar with it. Social media posts, unlike blog entries, are likely to be shorter in length, and video usage is also on the rise.
Yokel Local, a HubSpot Agency Partner, shares appealing consumer marketing advice on the LinkedIn platform in the sample above. The information is designed to be snackable with short-form takeaways, as SlideShare forms are popular on LinkedIn.
A whitepaper is a report or guide written by an organization on a certain topic. When a reader wants to learn more about a topic they’re reading about, whitepapers are particularly beneficial as downloaded offerings. It’s critical to include material that can’t be obtained anywhere else in whitepapers so that your audience recognizes the report’s worth and feels motivated to obtain it.
Every year, HubSpot conducts a study on the state of marketing in order to provide marketers, salespeople, and business owners with useful advice based on thought leadership. Inside, readers will find figures from a large poll as well as perspectives from industry professionals on what the data means and where the sector is headed.
Individuals may just desire a blueprint that spells out what they’re required to accomplish to achieve their end objective for projects that are intricate and have a lot of moving components.
Purchasing a home is a great example of this, and Opendoor caters to their audience’s needs by providing a convenient checklist (in infographic style!) that lays out all of the necessary processes. The image is appealing to the eye, and there’s even room for a few pointers along the way.
Learning a new skill is sometimes the most effective approach to alleviate pain or address a problem. Sure, a purchase may be necessary at some point, but the audience may also need to learn more about the problem and how to fix it. This is where educational video content comes into play.
Whiteboard Fridays is a famous Moz video series in which SEO principles are broken down into easy-to-understand language and graphics for the audience. Moz recognizes that SEO is a complex topic and strives to make it understandable to their audience.
Tool or Kit?
Informational material aimed at a larger audience may not always be sufficient to compel your buyer persona to make a decision or take action. They may demand a little extra utility or customisation in some circumstances. That’s why creating kits and tools is a terrific way to assist readers on their way to making a purchase.
Nerdwallet produces articles on a variety of financial issues, including budgeting. Because creating a budget can be challenging, they created a calculator that allows users to enter their own data and obtain a personalized recommendation.
An e-book or a cheat sheet
Ebooks and tip sheets, like whitepapers, are excellent downloadable material options. They are, on the other hand, usually shorter and more actionable.
By promoting their headline analyzer tool alongside a blog post on crafting amazing headlines that drive traffic, CoSchedule combines a few techniques. They give a wonderful tip sheet of powerful words to put in headlines if you want to grab a reader’s attention on that blog post.
18 Free Ebook Templates is a featured resource.
Webinar for Education
A webinar is a web seminar in which the majority of the information is delivered via video. A webinar can be prepared or streamed live, giving you a lot of options for disseminating information to an audience that prefers visual and audio content.
SEMrush uses webinars as a crucial component of their content marketing approach, frequently repeating an useful topic to get more mileage out of it.
Formats for Content in the Consideration Stage
1. A Comparison of Products
Case Study No. 2
3. Get a Free Sample
Comparison Guides for Products
The consumer persona is still considering solutions to their pain or problem during the consideration stage. As a result, product comparisons are an excellent technique to assist customers in making a decision.
Verywell Fit offers a similar comparison to help their users decide between high-intensity exercises and steady-state cardio, including the benefits and drawbacks of both.
Study of a Case
A case study can be used in both the contemplation and decision stages to persuade the reader that the solution works by demonstrating that the provider produces results for their clients by implementing it. By offering extensive information and quantitative statistics about the end solution, a successful case study will appeal to the persona’s emotions and intellect.
Partner Agency for HubSpot Blueleadz accomplishes this through giving a story about their client and the issues they faced, as well as a detailed account of how they resolved them.
3 Free Case Study Templates (Featured Resource)
Another example of content or an offer that spans buyer’s journey stages is a free sample. Consider the following scenario: a person wants to paint the interior of their home, but they don’t know what color to choose.
They choose various paint chip cards from their hardware store as they decide which hue (the solution). A supplier creates these cards based on their specific solution. When a person falls in love with a color, they are already aware of the company that produces it.
SILKCARDS capitalizes on this buying tendency by providing samples of their own printing technologies on the content they provide. They understand that their industry is tactile, and that digital content alone will not close a deal. Other business cards are put to shame once their prospective consumer touches the sample in their hands.
Formats for Decision-Making Content
1. A free trial or a live demonstration
2. Offer of Consultation
Demonstration or Free Trial
What better way to figure out if you want to buy something than to try it out? For years, car dealerships have used the “test drive” strategy because it works. If the product itself checks all of the buyer’s boxes, all that’s left for the sales staff to do is resolve objections and clinch the deal.
This is something that Hellosign excels at. They have a free option with limitations, but they recognize that having a free trial upfront is the key to bringing clients into their higher tiers. The pricing page sets the tone for the prospect and directs them to the free trial.
A consultation is another example of providing just a little bit of service in exchange for the opportunity to close the sale. The best consultation offers reduce the anxiety of entering into a sales conversation by promising something concrete they can walk away with (a strategy or actionable advice) in exchange for their time.
A coupon appeals to a fear of missing out (FOMO) mindset. By reducing the price by a certain amount, a coupon is handing a price objection while convincing the prospect that they’re leaving money on the table if they don’t use the coupon. This inertia enough to win the prospect’s business.
Fragrant Jewels does this well by gamifying their coupons. By spinning the wheel, the website visitors have the chance to get a coupon before checking out the products. They’ll likely be evaluating the products that are a good deal with the coupon they won.
In addition to decision stage content, you should also create content to delight your existing customers. This may include FAQ and knowledge base content to make the customer experience easier, coupons for the opportunity to upsell, and additional educative content that deepens their understanding of a topic.
Mapping Content Across All Stages of the Funnel and Buying Cycle
Every business has a unique sales funnel, sculpted and designed around their buyer’s unique journey. It’s a recipe that can’t necessarily be replicated from one business to another. When creating your own buyer’s journey, there are a number of factors specific to your business to take into consideration.
That said, the general approach remains the same: Understand your audience, develop your funnel around your industry and audience intent, and create a documented content marketing strategy that maps custom content specific to each phase of their journey through the funnel.
Do it well, and this process will have the greatest possible impact on your customer relationships, as well as the greatest possible lift in your overall conversions
Get Personal With Case Studies and Testimonials
Case Studies: What Role Do They Play in Your Content Marketing Strategy?
MARKETING WITH CONTENT
Case studies aid in the creation of a narrative about your consumers, products, and services. You may demonstrate that what you give customers works by using brand storytelling.
In 2020, 87 percent of consumers will read internet reviews of local businesses. 95% of individuals say online reviews have an impact on their shopping decisions. And 90% of people believe what other consumers have to say about a business rather than what the business says about itself. People clearly care about what other people have to say about the companies they
BrightLocal is the source of this information.
Case studies are one of the most effective content types to have in your marketing arsenal. They take internet testimonials and reviews to the next level. Longer-form content delves deeper into an issue, solution, and consequence, all while keeping the client at the heart of the narrative.
People will not just learn about the emotional bond that exists between your brand and its customers. They’ll also learn something useful and remember about your business strategy.
Case studies go further than reviews and testimonials, describing how you confronted a problem by providing a solution that enabled your client to achieve great outcomes.
In your narrative, your target audience should see themselves as the protagonist (hero). People will remember you more if you make meaningful ties with them.
Case studies may assist your company generate leads, educate customers, establish credibility, and show off its achievements.
Case studies can be used in a variety of ways in content marketing. Repurpose them and place them in appropriate spots to reach a broader audience.
What are Content Marketing Case Studies?
A case study outlines the steps your company took with a client to assist them achieve the results they desired.
It demonstrates to other customers that your product or service works, as well as providing evidence to back up your claims. In your case studies, you can add quantitative and qualitative data to logically describe how and why you assisted someone in achieving success.
The following is a general outline for our case studies:
Introduce yourself to the client and provide some background information on their predicament.
Describe the issue or obstacle that the client is dealing with.
Describe the precise solution that your product or service provided.
Describe how your product or service aided the client in achieving their goals.
Your target audience should be able to relate to and be interested in your case studies. They should also assist readers in progressing through the buyer’s journey.
Begin with a title that grabs the reader’s attention.
To captivate readers, use visuals (graphs, charts, quotes, and other images).
Describe how your solution to the challenge resulted in measurable outcomes.
Don’t forget to end with a forceful call to action, encouraging readers to collaborate with you to achieve similar outcomes.
What Is the Role of Case Studies in Content Marketing?
A strong marketing tactic is brand storytelling. Your prospects should put themselves in the protagonist’s shoes. If done correctly, you’ll be able to tell stories that readers will remember. They’ll know in the future that they can come to you for help with their trouble.
Case studies serve as social proof, providing potential clients the confidence they need to collaborate with or buy from you. It will reassure them that your company is the best option for them.
Case studies are a primary kind of media for 13% of marketers in their content marketing strategy. This figure appears to be surprisingly low to me. However, it implies you can start making something that most companies aren’t. It will make you stand out from the crowd.
Let’s imagine you’re thinking about getting a keyword research tool subscription. You uncover two online services with nearly comparable features for the same monthly pricing.
There is one significant change that you notice. The first subscription service has received two case studies via email and has five-star reviews strategically placed throughout its website. The other service provider, on the other hand, hasn’t. Which one do you think you’d pick? Of course, the first one!
The following are some of my favorite case studies:
Establish your company as a market leader.
Educate customers on the benefits of your product or service.
Empower your sales and marketing teams to share real-life client success stories and see how their efforts contribute to positive change.
Assist potential clients in completing the buyer’s journey.
Produce high-quality leads.
Demonstrate your success in a way that connects with others and establishes your worth.
Boost your trustworthiness.
To engage with your target audience on a deeper level, share your brand values and purpose.
Case studies fit into your content marketing strategy in eight ways.
You have a lot of alternatives when it comes to publishing your case study content. You can distribute your case study in a variety of forms as well as in several strategic areas. Case studies may be repurposed to appeal to audiences across many media, which is a smart and cost-effective method to extend the reach of your material.
Here’s how to get the most out of case studies by incorporating them into your content marketing strategy.
1. Include case studies on your webpage
Before making a purchase, 92 percent of respondents will check for social proof. People are 58 percent more likely to convert after interacting with a review. Your company’s revenue per visitor is also more likely to increase by 62 percent.
In other words, having social proof on your website, such as case studies, reviews, and testimonials, can assist you in moving customers down the sales funnel.
On my website’s homepage, I provide an example of a client testimonial.
Case studies should be placed across your website. You may make a dedicated case study page with a content library for visitors to look through. You can also post case study excerpts on your website’s homepage to show people right away that you can deliver the results they want.
For your homepage, consider the following options:
Customer testimonials with links to more detailed case studies should be included.
Make sure there are clear calls to action that direct them to specific case studies.
Include a slide-in CTA that appears invisibly and directs visitors to popular research.
Present customized case reports to visitors based on their needs using smart content.
Here’s my dedicated case studies page, where I highlight the companies and clients I’ve worked with, along with links to specific case studies.
2. Provide your sales and marketing teams with the tools they need to succeed.
Consider turning your case studies into PDFs for your marketing and sales staff to use when engaging with potential customers or clients. Having the appropriate social proof at the right time could mean the difference between getting a new lead or closing a transaction.
Employees may easily email the PDF to show how your organization has assisted others in solving a problem that a current prospect or lead is experiencing. Individuals should be guided deeper down the sales funnel, from one step to the next. Using case studies in his emails, Neil Patel claims to have raised transaction closing rates by 70%.
Perhaps your marketing team has a case study that guides prospects from awareness to contemplation, where they start weighing their alternatives. You might gain a new customer if your case study sticks out because you can demonstrate the value you provide.
Rather than just going over a list of features and benefits, your sales team can explain how and why your product or service works. Sharing real-life examples that emphasize value can help the team connect with prospects and appear more trustworthy.
3. Include in your email marketing
For every $1 spent on email, $40 is generated. Compared to “business as usual” marketing messages, automated emails have a 70 percent higher open rate and a 152 percent higher click-through rate (Campaign Monitor). Case studies and email marketing might be a winning combination.
To raise brand recognition and nurture prospects, include case studies in email campaigns, workflows, newsletters, and even your email signature.
Lead nurturing campaigns: If you have an industry-specific case study, segment your email list and send the information to those who work in the field. They will empathize better with the protagonist’s difficulties. Sending more tailored and relevant material via email can be a powerful approach to nurture leads. It can also assist you in diversifying your content in order to reengage cold leads or an audience that has become inattentive.
Newsletters: Show your regular newsletter subscribers that you care about them. Sending them case studies every now and then showing people who adore your brand and have profited substantially from your offers will stick out. You’ll also make contacts feel like they’re part of something important.
Include a link to your most remarkable case study in your email signature.
4. Use it as a video marketing tool.
Did you know that 79% of people have seen video testimonials in order to learn more about a company? Including case studies in your video marketing strategy is a great approach to reach out to a wider audience.
Consider making videos out of your case studies to post on social media, via email, and on your website. You may use inspiring video testimonials to effectively express your value proposition. You’re behind if you haven’t jumped on the video marketing bandwagon yet. It’s possible that your competitors have already done so.
5. Include it in your blog
Your company blog is another location where you can repurpose case study content. Case studies can motivate your audience to take action by prompting them to click a call-to-action button that takes them to the next step in their journey. It might direct them to a form-filling landing page, a PDF containing the original case study, or a product or service website.
Case studies can also enhance your site’s SEO by providing more valuable material. You may effortlessly share the blog post URLs with your email contacts and social media followers. Improve your ranks by optimizing your posts and using keywords. Make sure you’re always thinking about the customer (rather than your business).
6. Use as a landing page
To urge users to take the next step, use excerpts from case studies and place them on landing pages. Make sure to include quotes that are relevant to the buyer’s journey stage.
Let’s say someone is looking at your service page or considering filling out a form to get a copy of your benefits guide. They’re most likely in the consideration or decision stages in such situation. The results that your service can give should be the focus of your quotes.
7. Disseminate on social media
All of your content items can benefit from increased social media interaction. Case studies aren’t any different. In a social post, you can include a link to a case study on your website. If you tag the consumer, they may post the link on their social media sites, which can help you spread the news.
Be cautious with what you say. In order to get the correct audience to click on your link, you must include the right material in your postings. Include the difficulty your consumer encountered and how they overcome it to achieve success. Include concrete statistics to show that working with or purchasing from you yielded outstanding results.
LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to use. Case studies can be published in a variety of journals and shared with relevant organizations. You can quickly tag your customer on Facebook so that they can reshare your post with their followers.
You can also use quotes from customer case studies to generate social media-specific testimonial photos. If possible, include a headshot of the customer. Otherwise, give the quote, the client’s name, and their location of business. These photographs will aid in the development of trust and credibility among your social media followers.
Use a platform like Canva if you don’t have a graphic designer on staff. It includes free templates for various social media platforms.
8. Create e-books from case studies
A case study can be used as a content foundation for longer-form material on your website or an ebook to create leads. For example, you could write a guide that lays out a plan for readers to follow in order to achieve their objectives.
Explain how someone can get from point A to point B to obtain amazing achievements in greater depth than you did in your case study. To keep readers engaged after they’ve finished reading, include facts, stories, quotes, and a call to action. If you don’t want to pay a professional designer, you can locate free ebook templates on the internet to help you get started.
Case studies can help you reach and win over your target audience.
We’d be happy to assist you in leveraging case studies to reach, engage, and win new customers. Marketing Insider Group is a content marketing firm that specializes in blog writing, subscriptions, and strategy. We’ll assist you in taking your material to the next level in order to improve search engine results, increase web traffic, and attract the right clients.
Our Content Builder Service at Mach 1 Design was intended to provide companies with all of the content they require to attract new customers. We have a team of skilled researchers, writers, and strategists who will develop and promote the high-quality material that your target audience is looking for. We can add case studies and other types of content to your package as needed.
If you’re not already going after specific, high-value accounts with personalized messaging, there’s no way you’re getting a competitive ROI from your marketing department. The biggest strength of ABM is the ability to unite your marketing and sales by providing them with always-on reporting technologies, letting your higher-ups spend much more time managing campaigns and closing deals, and less time sending emails. This makes it one of the most scalable, modern digital marketing tactics available to enterprise-level businesses in the B2B sector.
Imagine starting the sales process by selling straight to your best-fit, highest-value accounts. No more squandered time attempting to sell to unqualified leads who aren’t a good fit for your company. That is, you might go right into engaging and pleasing your target accounts. Isn’t that the definition of efficiency?
What is account based marketing?
Account-based marketing is a targeted approach to B2B marketing in which the marketing manager and sales teams collaborate to target and convert best-fit and customized accounts into customers. Marketers are always competing for the attention of potential clients in this age of information abundance. As a result, businesses that wish to maximize their ROI should concentrate their efforts on high accounts, taking account penetration, marketing penetration, and logos into account. To achieve their objectives, marketing teams must apply customized techniques that combine sales and marketing knowledge to discover, engage with, and complete agreements with high-value accounts that matter the most.
ABM also takes a broader view of marketing than just lead generation. One of the strategies for generating the most value from your largest accounts is to market to current client accounts to drive customized upselling and cross-selling. Account-based marketing is not a new concept, but it has recently seen a comeback as a result of increasing technology and shifting terrain. An ABM approach can assist teams in enhancing marketing ROI, driving attributed revenue, generating more conversions and quality leads, and linking sales and marketing. In general, B2B marketers and teams target leads more broadly to appeal to as many ideal firms and markets as possible, but this does not produce and engage the highest ROI. Because of the high level of personalization required, scaling the ABM program and platform was previously difficult and costly.
With today’s free, new and growing technology, scaling ABM to a range of enterprises is now smarter, easier, and more inexpensive, and marketers across the board are using an ABM intelligence approach inside their team to generate higher value outcomes.
Why B2B companies are gravitating toward ABM?
ABM can be focused on either safeguarding and developing existing accounts, gaining new business from specified target accounts — or a combination of the two. This varies depending on the audience. For example, 1-2-1 ABM is often designated for big client groups with the goal of retention and expansion, but 1-2-few or 1-2-many ABM can entail a combination of acquisition, retention, and expansion goals. When compared to B2C, the B2B buying process is often carried out over a longer period and entails targeting a group of important decision-makers rather than a single individual. As a result, this group, or account-level, is critical.
To make a long story short, ABM strategies have been the leading way to create sales opportunities for over 10 years, and, as a result, the number of ABM platforms and technologies dedicated to the practice is on the rise. According to a 2014 ITSMA survey, ABM delivers the highest ROI of any other marketing strategy, and that was six years ago. More recently, Engagio found companies that utilize ABM often allocate the greatest portion of their budget to the strategy—around 29% on average. Marketing is a lot like investing: The smartest individuals put their money where it’s bound to multiply, and that’s why the best marketers in North America are putting all the money they can into ABM. 87% of account-based marketers report their ABM strategies significantly outperform their other marketing investments, so what’s keeping your business from getting that same stellar return on investment?
The availability of technology that can provide precise data insights and a much clearer picture of B2B purchasers’ intentions at various phases of the buying experience is the reason ABM has expanded greatly in 2021 and will continue into 2022. It also allows you to make better use of your current resources by focusing on a limited number of accounts that are most likely to convert. Because of the available technology, ABM can also be more exact and quantitative than previous approaches, resulting in clearer ROI and more efficiency in marketing and sales teams.
Benefits For Your Account
Account-based marketing is becoming increasingly common among B2B organizations focusing on larger accounts. Account-based marketing has various advantages over other marketing tactics for organizations looking to sell to large clients with extended sales cycles and large transaction sizes:
Personalized marketing strategy
Instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach, marketers generate tailored messages for target accounts by utilizing what they know about their clients and tailoring the creative assets of their campaigns to the customer’s individual traits and wants.
Alignment of sales
Account-based marketing enables marketing and sales teams to collaborate by identifying target accounts, creating personalized campaigns for them, and collaborating to align and advance individual accounts along the funnel, both before and after the lead conversion.
Sales cycles that are shorter
Multiple stakeholders are involved in major buying decisions. Because it begins at a lower level in the business and proceeds slowly toward the principal decision-maker, this often slows down the sales process. The length of the cycle is reduced with account-based marketing because all prospects are nurtured at the same time.
Account-based marketing is precise and measurable, with the highest ROI of any B2B strategy. Account-based marketing, according to 85 percent of marketers that track ROI, outperforms all other marketing approaches.
Fewer resources used
Time and resources are devoted to a small number of accounts that are most likely to result in sales. This frees up resources that would otherwise be wasted.
ABM differs from a standard sales funnel. Though ABM can be used in a variety of industries and business types, a common framework must be followed to ensure its efficacy. The following are the major elements of an account-based marketing framework.
The necessity of a working partnership between sales and marketing companies is underlined multiple times throughout this text. Marketing and sales must be on the same page in order to take a complete strategy to ABM and guarantee target accounts have an engaging buying experience. When implementing ABM, sales and marketing teams must agree on resource allocation for each target account, assign roles and duties to guarantee a smooth transition for the client between marketing and sales operations, and decide how to measure the success of their efforts.
How does your organization identify what accounts are high-value? Developing an ideal customer profile for the accounts your firm wishes to target is a critical component of addressing this issue and developing an ABM strategy. It’s also worth emphasizing that both marketing and sales should be involved in these discussions.
Getting Your B2B Team and Account On Board
Even though ABM makes a promise to increase ROI and reduce inter-departmental and organizations headaches, it will always take convincing to bring five, 10, or 25 people on board with a strategy they’re unfamiliar with. Any time a new target account ABM strategy becomes popular, some of the most skeptical adopters will always be the ones who are doing just fine. As ABM requires participation from everyone—from sales to the C-suite—it will only be adopted if every level of employment and management understands exactly which pain points it’s going to address and target for its business campaign.
Consider the following elements when determining what qualifies a potential account:
Financials: Consider how much revenue may be earned from an account in relation to your company’s sales goals.
Scalability: Based on what you know about the potential account’s business performance, do you believe the account has the potential to grow in the future? Consider what additional services your organization could offer to keep and develop the account.
Competitive Environment: To whom are your competitors selling? Understanding who is currently looking for products and services similar to yours might help you uncover potential account prospects.
Approach to the Market
Once marketing and sales have agreed on a strategy and which accounts to target, it’s time to develop a go-to-market strategy. Determine how a new customer would progress through the sales process utilizing an ABM technique. While preparing to go to market, you may discover areas of friction that need to be addressed or areas of poor communication that need to be improved. Furthermore, because a tailored experience is so critical in account-based marketing, your team will want to seek extra methods to offer value and provide a premium experience to these accounts.
Account-Based Marketing Tactics
Provided below are some of the account-based marketing tactics that might help:
Disconnects with the sales team
One company, two different teams trying to achieve the same goal—ABM will unite their efforts inherently, by providing them with the same data in real-time.
Pressure to produce quality account marketing opportunities
Targeting leads who will never convert is a waste of time—ABM can pinpoint a smaller number of leads that are more likely to engage and concert.
Lack of man-hours for planning and marketing deals
There are only 24 hours in a day and anywhere between 40 to 50 hours in the workweek. ABM automatically pushes accounts down the funnel more rapidly, and it works at any time of day, without anyone on your sales or marketing team having to intervene.
Helpful Implementation Tips
A step-by-step method for implementing account-based marketing is provided below.
Step 1: Determine your high-value target accounts. These are the main accounts that have the most potential to contribute the most to your company’s revenue.
Step 2: Investigate those accounts. Get a good understanding of their consumer needs and pain issues, as well as where they are in their customer journey.
Step 3: Create personalized marketing campaigns. Develop creative assets that will resonate with the target account using information gleaned from the research process to inform your plan.
Step 4: Execute your personalized marketing initiatives. Send your campaigns to the appropriate account.
Step 5: Track the effectiveness of your tailored marketing initiatives. Examine the data to discover how your campaigns are faring.
Based on Marketing and Personalization
Website customization is an essential component of ABM’s strategy since it allows you to personalize the content and messaging on a website to each of your target accounts. The experience that visitors have once they land on your site may be modified through website personalization in the same way that offsite marketing efforts are individualized for each account. Web personalization for ABM is accomplished by identifying anonymous users to your site using firmographic data obtained through reverse IP lookup or first-party or third-party data. After identifying the visitor’s firm, they can be matched against your target account list to give a customized web experience. Account-based personalization allows you to customize various aspects of a website, including as messaging, pictures, calls-to-action, and social proof.
Target B2B Marketing Woes
The first B2B challenge that can be solved by ABM is getting your sales and marketing teams on the same page. In many organizations, marketing and sales departments lack transparency—leaving room for wasted effort when targeting and chasing accounts.
The ABM model promotes synergy between marketing and sales divisions by having them link up at the start of the endeavor: Marketers work closely with sales professionals to target accounts, and then use their input to create a schedule of content syndication and engagement opportunities. Once it’s time to close a sale, your sales team will have a history of client engagement that’s detailed on a level they’ve probably never seen before, because it’s pretty much impossible to provide without an ABM campaign up and running.
The second challenge confronted by business-facing enterprises is creating a steady pipeline of quality leads. For the most part, B2B models can’t rely on most lead-generation marketing tactics because there isn’t an audience large enough to make lead-gen-based spending a good return on investment. B2B companies often make 10 to 100 times less total revenue transactions than B2C companies do—and that’s exactly why you should be 10 to 100 times more specific about who your marketing content reaches. Expect to see the same channels active— content marketing, paid search, SEO, and programmatic will all be big players used to move accounts through the sales funnel, but your scale (and thus your total spend) will always be scaled down to the smaller audience comprised of players qualified to do business with you.
The last challenge ABM can fix: is not having enough time. Time is money, and who knows how many marketers you’re paying to source leads, create assets, manage to report, and make cold calls. With a switch to ABM, your brand new data stack will do plenty of these tasks for you, leaving your marketing team with fewer tasks to do per day, and your sales team completely focused on only one thing: closing deals. The ABM model promotes synergy between marketing and sales divisions by having them link up at the start.
Need Help with Account-Based Marketing Program and Account-Based Marketing Strategy?
So you’re interested in ABM, but where do you start? We suggest heading to our ROI Calculator to measure how much a modern ABM strategy would benefit your company. If you’re impressed with that number, get in touch with our Mach 1 Design ABM team to learn more about the account-based marketing program and account-based marketing strategy right for you. Contact: [email protected] or call us at 318-349-4998
Organizational structures are diagrams that show how an organization is structured. Businesses of all shapes and sizes use organizational structures heavily. They define a specific hierarchy within an organization. A successful organizational structure defines each employee’s job and how it fits within the overall system. Put simply, the organizational structure lays out who does what so the company can meet its objectives.
Every organization has tasks that need to be accomplished and objectives that need to be met. A corporation’s organizational structure defines how these jobs fit into the company’s framework. Organizational structures can be formal or informal, but they must be effective for a business to run effectively and efficiently. Whether you’re trying to figure out how to organize your house or manage your office, an organizational structure is the best first step. Often referred to as a hierarchy or bureaucracy, organizational structures are used in just about any organization, from one person operating a sole proprietorship to Google and Microsoft, which employ thousands of people.
What Are Organizational Structures?
An organizational structure is a system that defines how certain tasks are directed to fulfill an organization’s goals. These actions may include the implementation of rules, roles, and duties. The organizational structure also governs how information moves within the corporation. In a centralized structure, for example, decisions are made from the top down, but in a decentralized structure, decision-making power is divided across multiple levels of the organization. Companies that have an organizational structure in place are more efficient and focused.
Understanding Various Structure
This architecture provides a visual picture of how a firm is structured and how it may best go forward in accomplishing its goals. Organizational structures are typically depicted in the form of a pyramid chart or diagram, with the most powerful people of the company at the top and those with the least amount of influence at the bottom. Certain organizations may struggle if they do not have a formal structure in place. Employees, for example, may be unsure to whom they should report. As a result, there may be confusion about who is responsible for what in the organization. A structure can help with efficiency and provide clarity for everyone at all levels. This also means that each department will be more productive because they will be more focused on energy and time.
Why Structure is Important?
The structure will provide employees with more clarity, assist in managing expectations, allow for better decision-making, and create consistency. Organizational charts also assign responsibilities, coordinate processes, and ensure that critical activities are performed on time. The structure also governs how things are done in your organization. This is where a well-developed organizational chart comes in handy. It illustrates who performs what and who reports to whom. Employees have job titles, which are followed by job descriptions that outline responsibilities. The primary goal of such a structure is to assist the organization in achieving its objectives. It brings members of the organization together and separates their functions. Second, the structure contributes to the organization’s smooth and efficient operation.
Elements of an Organization
What is the purpose of a formal organizational structure? Do you even need one as a business leader? As previously said, org structures assist you in defining at least three critical parts of how your organization will operate. As your firm grows in size, and organizational structure can be beneficial to new employees in learning who oversees what operations at your company. Then, if you need to pivot or shift your leadership, you can see how the workflows might change by adjusting your organizational structure diagrams.
Simply defined, this chart is a map that explains how your organization works and how its functions are organized. Here’s what each of those components represents to a business:
Chain of Command
In an organizational structure, “chain of command” refers to a company’s hierarchy of reporting links – who must answer to whom from the bottom to the top of an organization. The chain of command not only promotes responsibility but also establishes the lines of authority and decision-making power within a firm. A chain of command establishes suitable channels of communication. It enables members to share and receive information. It is both easy and effective when applied correctly. All commands and instructions must go through the chain of command.
Span of Control
The number of subordinates that supervisors or managers in an organization can manage effectively and efficiently is referred to as the span of control. It is typically narrow or broad, resulting in a flatter or more hierarchical organizational structure. The level of interactions and duties connected with employees and supervisors is determined by the span of control. The method is used to determine management style and functions within the business.
Centralization enables an organization, or at least its highest levels, to manage lower-level employees’ behavior so that they are congruent with organizational goals. Centralization has four primary benefits: cheaper expenses, more productivity, fewer regulatory costs, and increased overall flexibility and agility. Proponents of centralized decision-making argue that it improves performance by promoting faster decision-making, offering clear direction and goals, and establishing clear lines of hierarchical authority, so avoiding potentially detrimental internal disagreement.
Centralization refers to the location of ultimate decision-making. After you’ve established your chain of command, you’ll need to decide who and what departments get a say in each decision. A company can be centralized, with final decisions made by just one or two entities, or decentralized, with final decisions made within the team or department in charge of carrying out that decision. You may not require an organizational structure right away, but the more items you produce and the employees you hire, the more difficult it will be to lead your firm without this critical blueprint.
Mechanistic vs. Organic Organizational Structures
Organizational structures are classified as “mechanistic” at one end of the spectrum and “organic” at the other. Consider the diagram below. As you can undoubtedly guess, the mechanistic structure is the typical, top-down approach to organizational structure, and the organic structure is a more collaborative, flexible approach. Here’s a breakdown of both sides of the structural spectrum, their benefits and drawbacks, and which types of firms they’re most suited for.
Mechanistic structures, also known as bureaucratic structures, are distinguished by their small spans of control, as well as their high levels of centralization, specialization, and formalization. They’re also quite strict about what individual divisions are supposed to perform and what they’re allowed to do for the corporation. This organizational structure is far more formal than the organic structure, relying on precise standards and processes to control every company action. While this model helps hold employees more accountable for their job, it can also stifle the organization’s inventiveness and agility, which are required to keep up with the unpredictable changes in its market.
As intimidating and rigid as a mechanistic organization may appear, the line of command, no matter how lengthy or short, is always obvious under this approach. As a firm grows, it must ensure that everyone (and every team) understands what is expected of them. Teams engaging with other teams as needed may help a firm get off the ground in its early stages, but maintaining that growth — with more people and projects to manage — will eventually necessitate some policy-making.
Organic structures (sometimes referred to as “flat” structures) are distinguished by their broad spans of control, decentralization, low specialization, and loose departmentalization. What does it all mean? In this model, several teams report to a single person and take on tasks based on their relevance and what the team is capable of — rather than what the team is created to perform. As you might expect, this organizational structure is far less formal than mechanistic, and it takes a more ad hoc approach to company needs. This can make the chain of command, whether long or short, difficult to decipher at times. As a result, leaders may grant certain initiatives the go-ahead more rapidly, although this may produce uncertainty in the project’s division of labor.
Nonetheless, the flexibility that an organic structure offers can be immensely beneficial to a corporation navigating a fast-moving market or simply seeking to steady itself after a difficult quarter. It also encourages employees to try new things and grow as professionals, resulting in a more strong workforce for the firm in the long run. What’s the bottom line? Startups are frequently ideal for organic structure because they are primarily concerned with gaining brand recognition and getting their wheels off the ground.
Types of Organizational Structure
Let us now explore more specific forms of organizational structures, the majority of which are on the more traditional, mechanical end of the spectrum.
Functional Organizational Structure
Product-Based Divisional Structure
Market-Based Divisional Structure
Geographical Divisional Structure
The organizational structure of a team will differ depending on the size of the firm and its aims. Each form has advantages and downsides; however, developing a clear organizational structure has a universal benefit. It assists employees in understanding their function within a firm, allowing them to manage expectations and goals. To be successful, a company must have an organizational structure in place. Companies often utilize nine different types of organizational structures, which we will go over in detail below.
1. Functional Organizational Structure
The functional structure, one of the most popular forms of organizational structure, departmentalizes an organization based on common job functions. An organization with a functional org structure, for example, would combine all of the marketers into one department, all of the salesmen into another, and all of the customer service representatives into a third. The functional structure allows employees to specialize to a high degree and is easily scalable as the firm grows. Also, while this structure is mechanical, which can stifle an employee’s progress, placing employees in skill-based divisions allows them to go deep into their sector and discover what they’re good at.
Disadvantages: Functional structure can create barriers between functions — and it can be inefficient if the firm has a diverse range of goods or target markets. The walls that are built between departments can also hinder people’s awareness of and communication with other departments, particularly those that rely on other departments to succeed.
Benefits: A functional organization improves efficiency, stability, and responsibility. It enables departments to focus on their specialized work within their respective domains, as people with similar abilities and expertise share them. Because the tasks and responsibilities of this organizational structure example are rarely changed, department members can work on similar assignments and perfect their talents constantly.
Management also acts through the set framework of functional organization. It establishes a chain of command for staff. It directs team communication and holds the team accountable.
2. Product-Based Divisional Structure
A divisional organizational structure is comprised of multiple, smaller functional structures (i.e. each division within a divisional structure can have its own marketing team, its own sales team, and so on). In this case — a product-based divisional structure — each division within the organization is dedicated to a particular product line. This type of structure is ideal for organizations with multiple products and can help shorten product development cycles. This allows small businesses to go to market with new offerings fast.
Disadvantages: A product-based divisional structure can be difficult to grow, and the organization may wind up with duplicate resources as separate divisions attempt to produce new offerings.
Benefits: Companies and their employees can profit from the product-based divisional structure. If one division performs poorly, this does not necessarily translate to the rest of the corporation. Divisions may flourish (or fail) concurrently as a result of their separation. This approach enables businesses to reduce risk.
3. Market-Based Divisional Structure
Another sort of divisional organizational structure is the market-based structure, in which an organization’s divisions are based on markets, industries, or client types. The market-based structure is suitable for an organization with products or services that are unique to distinct market segments, and it is especially effective if that company has an extensive understanding of those segments. This organizational structure also keeps the company constantly aware of changes in demand among its various audience segments.
Disadvantages: Too much autonomy among each market-based team can lead to divisions building conflicting systems. Divisions may also end up mistakenly duplicating activities that are already handled by other divisions.
Benefits: Because this organizational structure is focused on certain market niches, each division has autonomy. The divisions operate autonomously, allowing staff to work independently and focus on the demands of their specific industry.
4. Geographical Divisional Structure
The geographical organizational structure divides the organization into sections depending on geography. Territories, regions, and districts are some examples of geographical structure divisions. This structure is best suited to enterprises that require proximity to sources of supply and/or consumers (e.g. for deliveries or for on-site support). It also brings together various types of business experience, allowing each geographical division to make decisions from a wider range of perspectives.
Disadvantages: The fundamental disadvantage of a geographical organizational structure is that decision-making can easily become decentralized, as geographic divisions (which can be hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from corporate headquarters) generally enjoy a considerable lot of autonomy. And, if you have more than one marketing department — one for each region — you risk producing campaigns that compete with (and undermine) other divisions across your digital channels.
Benefits: Geographical divides provide businesses the advantage of catering to a certain customer. Companies cannot expect the same operations to function in multiple areas due to differences in language, culture, and customs found around the world. It not only enables enterprises to adjust their strategy based on region, but it also enables the division to respond swiftly and efficiently to any geographic market changes.
5. Process-Based Structure
Process-based organizational structures are built around the end-to-end flow of various processes, such as “Research & Development,” “Customer Acquisition,” and “Order Fulfillment.” Unlike a strictly functional structure, a process-based structure takes into account not only the activities that employees perform, but also how those different activities interact with one another. To properly comprehend the diagram below, read it from left to right: The client acquisition process cannot begin until you have a completely built product to sell. Similarly, the order fulfillment process cannot begin until clients have been acquired and product orders have been received. A process-based organizational structure is good for increasing a company’s speed and efficiency, and it is best suited for companies in quickly changing industries because it is easily flexible.
Disadvantages: Process-based structures, like a few others on this list, can create barriers between process groups. This causes issues with communication and delegating work to other teams and employees.
Advantages: As previously stated, one of the major advantages of the process-based structure is increased efficiency and speed. Department A is forced to work quickly and efficiently if Department B cannot begin its processes until Department A is finished. This organizational paradigm also encourages both intradepartmental (inside a department) and interdepartmental (across different departments) collaboration.
6. Matrix Organizational Structure
A matrix organizational structure, unlike the other structures we’ve looked at so far, does not adhere to the traditional, hierarchical approach. Instead, all employees (indicated by the green boxes) have a dual reporting structure. A functional reporting line (shown in blue) is usually present, as well as a product-based reporting line. When viewing a matrix structure org chart, solid lines show strong, direct-reporting relationships, whereas dotted lines suggest a secondary, or less strong, relationship.
The matrix structure’s key benefit is that it can allow both flexibility and more balanced decision-making (as there are two chains of command instead of just one). Having a single project overseen by more than one business line also allows these business lines to exchange resources and interact more openly with one another, which they might not be able to do regularly.
Disadvantages: What is the biggest disadvantage of the matrix organizational structure? Complexity. The more permission layers staff must go through, the more confused they may become about who they are meant to answer to. This ambiguity can lead to frustration over who has responsibility for certain decisions and goods — and who is accountable for those decisions when things go wrong.
Benefits: A matrix structure facilitates collaboration and communication, which is one of its benefits. This open line of communication eventually allows organizations to exchange resources and people to learn new skills by collaborating with different divisions.
7. Circular Structure
While the circular structure may appear to be very different from the other organizational structures discussed in this section, it nevertheless relies on hierarchy, with higher-level employees occupying the inner rings of the circle and lower-level employees occupying the outer rings. However, the leaders or executives in a circular organization are not perceived as sitting atop the organization, giving commands down the line of command. Instead, they are at the heart of the company, propagating their vision.
A circular structure is intended to encourage communication and the free flow of information between different elements of the organization from an ideological standpoint. In contrast to the traditional form, which represents separate departments or divisions as occupying individual, semi-autonomous branches, the circular layout depicts all divisions as being part of the same whole.
Disadvantages: From a practical standpoint, the circular structure might be perplexing, particularly for new staff. A circular structure, as opposed to a more typical, top-down form, might make it difficult for employees to figure out who they report to and how they’re supposed to fit into the business.
Benefits: The majority of examples of organizational structures feature a top-down hierarchy. This style of structure, on the other hand, follows an outward flow and contributes to information moving freely across the firm. Its advantages include keeping all employees aligned with the company’s operations and goals and encouraging employees to interact across departments.
8. Flat Structure
While a more typical organizational structure may resemble a pyramid, with numerous tiers of supervisors, managers, and directors between workers and leadership, this type minimizes the levels of management so that all personnel or employee is only a few steps away from leadership. It may not always take the shape of a pyramid or any structure at all. As previously said, it is also a type of the previously mentioned “Organic Structure.” This is most likely the most thorough. It is also believed that employees can be more productive in a workplace with fewer hierarchy-related demands. This arrangement may also give employees the impression that the managers they do have are more like equals or team members than threatening bosses.
Disadvantages: If teams in a flat company disagree on something, such as a project, it can be difficult to align and get back on track without executive decisions from a leader or manager. Because of the structure’s complexity, determining which management an employee should approach if they require approval or an executive decision can be difficult. If you do decide to create a flat organization, you should have a clearly defined tier of management or path that employers may look to when they encounter certain problems.
Advantages: This type is defined by the elimination of middle management workers. Its benefits are immediate. For starters, it lowers the company’s expenses. Second, it enables employees to develop direct contacts with higher management. Finally, it expedites the decision-making process.
9. Network Organizational Structure
When one company collaborates with another to share resources — or if your organization has many sites with diverse responsibilities and leadership — a network structure is typically formed. You might also use this structure to illustrate your company workflows if you outsource a large portion of your staffing or services to freelancers or numerous other organizations. The structure is very similar to the Divisional Structure depicted above. Instead of offices, it may list outsourced services or satellite locations located outside of the office.
Disadvantages: Depending on how many companies or locations you’re dealing with, the shape of the chart may vary. If numerous offices or freelancers accomplish comparable activities, there may be a lot of confusion if it is not maintained straightforwardly. If you outsource or have many office locations, make sure your organizational chart clearly shows where each specific role and job function is located so that anyone can readily comprehend your core company procedures.
Advantages: Because the network structure is outsourced, businesses benefit from lower expenses, greater focus, and increased flexibility. Organizations can save money by outsourcing because they do not have to incur the cost of establishing a department for the same purpose. It also provides firms with the freedom to modify their operations and focus on their core functions.
Putting in place an organizational structure can be quite advantageous to a business. The structure not only establishes a company’s hierarchy but also allows the corporation to put out its employee pay structure. By establishing an organizational structure, the company can determine wage grades and ranges for each position. The structure also improves the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. The corporation can undertake many operations at the same time by splitting people and functions into various departments.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial to the success of your website. On-page SEO is crucial for your website, and it entails a large number of optimization tactics. As a result, adopting a rigorous checklist can help you ensure that your SEO on-page efforts and development are as effective as possible. We’ll take a closer look at page SEO services and what it comprises in this content. After that, we’ll walk you through a list and infographic of critical tasks for improving your content and provide you with specific advice. Let’s get this started!
What Is On-Page SEO and How Does It Work?
On-page SEO entails improving individual posts and pages to improve your SERP ranks (search engine results pages). Targeting precise keywords and generating compelling content with the user’s search intent in mind are standard steps in this approach. On-page SEO, on the other hand, entails a slew of other activities. You’ll need to make sure you’re utilizing the necessary title and header tags, as well as referring to relevant pages inside your posts, for example.
It’s vital to distinguish between on-page and technical SEO. The latter is concerned with improving your site’s overall performance, such as page load speeds, responsiveness, and User Experience (UX). SEO on-page focuses on particular parts of your articles and pages, whereas technical SEO affects the entire website. They are, nevertheless, both crucial to the success of your website.
The most significant aspect of on-page SEO is that you have control over and can adjust the things that influence it. On-page SEO services can assist you in managing these elements to improve your site’s performance and development and rank better in search results. This will elevate your site above the competition, causing leads to prefer your company over theirs.
Why are SEO Optimization Services Important?
Online visibility is one of the most important factors to success in any business today. Good on-page SEO services rank your visibility online so that potential customers can see your website, and this leads to more online traffic and an increase in potential clients. Whether you are a small business or a global conglomerate, good SEO will lead to better opportunities and practices. Starting good page optimization services make your website more visible online, so people find you. With good SEO, the more people see and read your website, the more traffic – and customers – it generates.
The importance of SEO optimization should not be dismissed. Best SEO content services will make your product or service easier to find online. More people will see it and therefore want to purchase from you. The chance to increase your sales increases as well. When you have to make a living from your website, it is vital that others can find you. Search engine optimization helps your business find those who are looking for what you have to offer because search engines direct these people to your site.
SEO works on the principle that more people will search for an item if more people know it exists. Optimize and process your website, and you’ll be put at the top of search results for thousands of relevant searches. And since everyone knows that page one is the place to be, there’s no better place to start than with our optimized services. A page SEO practice is a vital part of any online business but is often overlooked by companies hoping to seize new markets. Investing in search engine optimization today will provide significant benefits to your company tomorrow.
An On-Page SEO Checklist
You’ll need to make sure you address every component of on-page SEO services every time you publish or update your content. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of responsibilities at hand. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist to assist you in mastering your SEO on-page. Before you publish a post or a page, there are four things you should do. For each article and page you generate, we’ll start with an on-site SEO optimization services checklist. Before you push Publish, there are four things you must do.
1. Search competitors and decide on the main keyword.
As you may be aware, keyword research is critical to improving your search engine rankings. As a result, the first step in on-page SEO should be to identify the right phrase and page SEO keyword. Fortunately, there are several keyword research tools available. Google’s Keyword Planner, for example, provides useful information on your target keywords:
When choosing a primary keyword for a post or page, there are a few aspects to keep in mind:
• Relevance: The term you choose should be related to the topic you intend to write about.
• Search volume: The topic should generate enough interest to send significant visitors to your website.
• Competition: If the competition for a term is too great, you may find it difficult to rank on the first page of Google. Keep in mind, though, that the Keyword Planner Competition label pertains to commercial competition rather than organic search.
You should also make sure you haven’t used that keyword on your website before. You could also want to come up with a few secondary keywords for your post.
2. Throughout Your Post, Use the Target Marketing Keywords
Once you’ve decided on your major keyword, make sure you use it frequently throughout your article. This procedure includes using the phrase throughout the title, headings, subheadings, and body of your content. Your target keyword should also appear in the following places:
• The SEO title: This should be brief enough to display fully in search results while also being engaging enough to pique the user’s interest.
• The permalink: Keep your URLs short and simple, with no unnecessary letters or numbers.
• The meta description: It should be a succinct yet persuasive explanation of your post that will help people and search engines understand what it’s about.
SEO is based on keywords. If you want your sites to appear in the right search results, you must select the appropriate keywords for your campaign. Where you appear in search results is determined by your keywords. Conduct keyword research to discover the best keywords. It will assist you in determining the best keywords for your campaign. You can see your selections and pick which keywords will be most effective for your company. Long-tail keywords are the greatest choice for your company. These are keywords of three or more words. They are precise, thus by using them, you will attract leads who are looking for your unique keyword.
These keywords are more beneficial to your campaign because they generate more valuable leads. Short-tail keywords, which comprise only one or two words, have a high level of competitiveness and pose ranking issues. Long-tail keywords will assist your company in reaching the greatest leads possible. Your target keywords should have a high search volume, which means that a significant number of people are searching for them. Choose keywords with a high search volume to avoid wasting money on terms that do not generate visitors.
However, you should avoid overusing your term, as this is typically frowned upon by search engines. Thankfully, Yoast SEO can assist you in incorporating the appropriate quantity of keywords into your content. Yoast not only measures your keyword density but also suggests improvements to your on-site SEO. It’s also crucial to use your keywords naturally throughout your article. Remember that you’re writing for people, not simply search engines, when you’re producing blog entries.
Visitor visits your page because they feel you have the information they require. Google understands that consumers want to find useful information, therefore it focuses on the content of your page. Your content must correspond to the user’s search intent. We advocate keeping your audience in mind when building your on-site SEO. While keywords might help your content rank higher in the SERPs, they must also be relevant and valuable to your viewers. Before you begin writing your piece, you might want to consider the following:
• How will it respond to the question (or questions) posed?
• What problems will it solve?
• In what way will it benefit the reader?
Then, while you’re writing your content, make sure it’s related to the search intent. If your viewers are looking for ways to save money, for example, your piece should provide a list of suggestions. Similarly, if the search keyword is “what is on-page SEO?” you should write an educational tutorial on the subject.
Here are some more pointers on how to write your posts:
• Use the proper heading tags for main sections and subsections, such as H2 for main sections and H3–H6 for subsections.
• Double-check that any information you enter is correct.
• When feasible, link to external sources, especially when mentioning studies and figures.
The importance of content on your site’s SEO rating cannot be overstated. It attracts and drives high-quality leads to your website. Publishing content will help your website rank higher in search results. Your material must be useful to your target audience. You should concentrate on providing them with the information they require, answering their queries, or resolving an issue. Content that assists and informs your target audience will yield the finest campaign outcomes.
Quality content will keep leads on your site for a longer period. They’ll be interested in your company and will discover more about you. It’s a great opportunity to capture leads you may not reach otherwise. You should also consider the readability of the article. With its Readability score, Yoast can be a useful tool once more. Your keyword must match the content on your site when you develop pages for it. It is an important aspect of on-site SEO and will have an impact on how your site ranks.
The plugin will make suggestions to help you make your material more digestible. It will tell you if your sections are too long, for example. To make the text easier to read, Yoast recommends shortening your words and paragraphs.
4. Improve the quality of your images
Visual components are essential for keeping leads on your site. Users do not like to read long passages of text. They require a break from all of the information, and visual components provide that break. To engage your audience, you can employ a variety of graphic components. Photos, movies, graphs, and infographics are examples. These are all excellent ways to pique your audience’s curiosity and distract them from the material on your website.
Visual components are critical for lowering the bounce rate. When visitors arrive at your site and simply see text, they will become overwhelmed and depart. This is known as bouncing. Including images in your postings can improve the engagement and digestibility of your material. Graphics might also help you rank higher in the SERPs. You may optimize your photos for SEO in two ways:
• Give your files descriptive names that include the desired term.
• Use alt text to help search engines understand what your images are about.
Additionally, alt text improves the accessibility of your website. It allows visually impaired users to hear information about the image spoken aloud through screen readers. As a result, your audience will have a better UX. A high bounce rate is detrimental to your SEO. Google will consider your page to be unhelpful to your viewers and will rank it lower for that term. Visual features will help keep your readers from leaving your page right away.
It also lengthens the time they spend on your website. When you include graphics, your leads will spend more time looking at them. A lengthier page indicates to Google that your page is intriguing and engaging to your readers, so it will rank higher. Visuals are one on-site SEO feature that you may utilize to boost the ranking of your website. It’s an excellent approach to keep your readers interested and engaged on your page.
Three Things to Consider After Publishing a Post
On-page SEO is a never-ending process. There are other things you can do after you’ve published a post to help it rank higher. Let’s have a look at our published content on-page SEO checklist:
1. Make use of Schema Markup
Schema markup is a collection of information that helps search engines better comprehend your content. The language of search engines is schema markup, often known as structured data, which employs a distinct semantic vocabulary. It is code that is utilized to provide more clear information to search engines for them to interpret your content. It makes use of post tags to deliver specific information. With schema markup, Google can extract additional information from your content and display rich snippets in its SERPs.
Schema markup is code (also known as a semantic vocabulary or microdata) that you can add to your website’s HTML. This microdata assists search engines in better understanding your material, allowing them to provide more detailed and useful results to searchers. Rich snippets based on recipes, for example, can include photographs, ratings, the number of reviews, and cooking times:
Rich snippets show more information about a page and have a greater click-through rate than standard results. These snippets are available for a variety of content kinds, including how-to tutorials, product pages, recipes, and FAQ sections. To add schema markup to your posts, use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper:
To get started, enter the URL of your page and choose a data type. You might add schema markup to an article or a book review, for example. After that, you may choose individual elements from your page and assign a tag to each of them:
The program will generate the schema markup code based on your selections when you’re ready. The Custom HTML block in the Gutenberg editor can then be used to insert this code into your post. This tool can only be used for live content, which is why schema markup is included in the post-publication SEO checklist.
2. Include internal hyperlinks
Internal links might lead visitors to other parts of your website that are relevant to them. These URLs can help you boost engagement and lower bounce rates. Internal links, on the other hand, can have an impact on your SEO. They make crawling and indexing your content easier for search engines, which improves your rankings. You can include internal links in your posts by using anchor text that represents the topic of the website you’re linking to. Additionally, if you create new content, you may want to revisit older pieces and add links to your most recent articles.
This procedure may appear to be time-consuming. SEO tools like Yoast and Ahrefs can help you uncover linking opportunities, saving you a lot of time and work.
3. Refresh Your Content
Writing informative and high-quality content is critical for on-site SEO, as we previously stated. However, some posts will need to be updated after a while. Your previous entries, for example, may include outdated information or describe things or locations that no longer exist. For any given search query, Google strives to display the most relevant results. You may see a decline in rankings if the information in your postings is no longer valid.
As a result, it’s critical to go back over your prior postings and delete anything that’s no longer relevant. This step may entail locating new sources and figures, confirming the accuracy of your statements, and researching fresh developments in the subject areas. You should also look for broken links and grammatical problems in your postings. You may also include new sections to show viewers (and search engines) that your post has been updated recently.
What are on-site SEO services?
On-page SEO services are search engine optimization services that boost the visibility of your website in search results on Google, Bing, and other search engines. On-site SEO services often include keyword research, content production, header tag optimization, and other services.
On-page SEO focuses on improving your website’s posts and pages. This process entails several steps, however, using a checklist can assist you in completing each one. As we’ve seen, the first step is to choose a major keyword and use it throughout your post, including the SEO title and meta description. You should also make sure that your material is educational, legible, and relevant to the search purpose. Consider adding internal links to related posts and optimizing your photographs with alt text.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective ways to drive targeted visitors to your website. You will generate qualified leads that you may nurture to conversion. When you invest in SEO, it’s critical to apply on-page SEO improvements to ensure that your page runs well.
To avoid shattering your business into a million pieces, it’s best to hire experts who can better optimize and promote your website. Hiring SEO experts will also provide reassurance that your online business is being properly represented. Contact us today and let us show you how our SEO services can benefit both you and your business. If you need help improving your on-page SEO, contact www.Mach1Design.com or call Harold @ 318-349-4998. You can also email us at [email protected]