Wednesday, January 17, 2018

9 Keyword Research Tips

January 17, 2018 1
Keyword Research and Analysis SEO

Keyword research is one of the most important and high-return activities in the online marketing field. While searching for the right keywords, you also acquire an insight into what matters most to your customers.

Working on search engine optimisation is not about bringing visitors to a website, what matters most is getting the right visitors. To bring in the visitors you want, you need to assess the value that each keyword has for your services, making sure that the visitors are going to find what they are looking for.

The Basics of Professional Keyword Analysis

Who are your target customers? It's time to create your buyer persona!

The goal is to map out the different topics that your target customer searches for in Google. To do that, you need to identify what is that your potential customers care about.

Depending on your industry, you may have several different buyer personas.

Ask yourself these questions:

 What is their age?
 What is their income?
 What is their occupation?
 What level of education do they have?
 Where is your target market located?
 What are their buying habits?
 What is the main problem that your typical user wants to fix?
 Why would a website user favor your business over all other competitors?
 What makes your company and services unique?
 What benefits are important to your target prospect?

Where do you get all the buyer persona data

Demographic/ socioeconomic: Customer surveys, government data, Quantcast, comScore, Nielsen, Experian Simmons.

Psychographic: one-on-one interviews, social media platforms, customer surveys, buying patterns, forums, blog comments, Google analytics.

Trend information: TrendSpottr, BuzzSumo, Magazines, Online news sites, TV shows, Google trends, Customer surveys.

Questions/pain points: Quora, Yahoo Answers, Stack Exchange, Wiki answers, blog comments, Internal customer support, Google Analytics, customer events, conferences, sales team and other internal departments.

Social media content: Social Mention, Google Alerts, TweetReach,

Search: Google Analytics, Google Autocomplete, Ubersuggest.

Now that you have your list of niche topics, it’s time to find some keywords!

Keyword Research and Analysis Tools

1. Google Keyword Planner (GKP) is the most popular free keyword research tool. It is now integrated with Google AdWords and in order to use it, you must first sign in to your Google Adwords account and then click the Tools and Analysis drop-down menu and select “Keyword Planner.”

It can help you organize paid ad campaigns by finding new keyword and ad group ideas and helping you estimate the bid and budget that are right for you.

GKP is also very useful before you start creating the content for your website. Use it to get some inspiration on the keyword phrases that are valuable for your industry and then use all these knowledge when writing your content.

Still, there is a downside to the GKP. It only shows you keywords that are very intimately related to the keyword you gave it. It rarely shows keywords that are close - but not directly - related to what your company sells. No wonder so many keywords are next to impossible to rank for. Everyone is targeting the same keywords.

You should target the keywords that the GKP gives you, but don’t rely on this tool alone (or any other tool) to show you the full picture.

2. WordStream Keyword Tool enables you to identify negative keywords, keyword grouping, and finding keyword niches. The tool also has a paid version that delivers thousands of results for some keywords, with the top 100 available for free.

3. Wordtracker is a tool with an easy-to-use interface. For most any term, it gives you hundreds related words and phrases that real people have recently typed into search engines. It also computes how much competition you might face for the terms you select. You must complete a free account registration in order to use this tool.

4. MOZ Keyword Explorer brings out the top 10 rankings for any keyword, giving that keyword a difficulty score based on the pages that currently rank high for it. MOZ also has competitive keyword analysis metrics show you where a competitor is ready to be bumped out.

5. SEMrush gives you an insight into your competitor’s organic and paid keywords in the search. You can search by your competitor’s domain or search for competitors using specific keywords. You can see the top ten organic keywords, volumes, trends, and other data across ten different Google regional domains and Bing. Check out their Keyword Magic Tool.

These are five very good keyword tools that most SEOs use, but a keyword research process does not stop here. Here are some other tips that will complement the result reached using the any of the above tools.

Tip no. 1: Have a look at the competition

Select the first 5 top ranking competitor websites for highly relevant keywords related to your services. See what they are targeting by checking out their: title tags, meta descriptions and page headings on their website’s.

Tip no. 2: Use Wikipedia to discover industry related keywords

In Wikipedia, you can discover related keywords which are referenced and linked to within the content of a specific page. This is a valuable tool that allows you to uncover endless potential keywords browsing from page to page inside related topics. Since you’ll find many keywords that are not particularly relevant to your website, you must be able to filter these keywords.

Tip no. 3: Use Google Related Searches

At the bottom of the first page in Google search, until you find a related searches list and you can add them to your keyword list or you can then use these keywords to see what else Google suggests. The research opportunities are endless.
Google Keyword research

Tip no. 4: Focus on long-tail keywords

Very popular short-tail search terms actually make up less than 30% of the searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% are "long tail" searches. The long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that comprise the majority of the world's search volume.

Long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying/conversion cycle. A person searching for "gloves" is probably browsing around, and not ready to buy. On the other hand, someone searching for "best price on Gucci Snake embossed leather gloves" practically has their wallet out!

Read more about the advantages of using long tail keywords from the Yoast blog.




Monday, November 13, 2017

Personas - How to Create User Personas Examples

November 13, 2017 0
User Personas Examples
Image source: Pixabay

Create User Personas for Your Buyers

Most websites have not been planned with the conversion needs of target visitors in mind. If you overlook the importance of discovering your target user’s unique needs, you will not be able to write content that addresses those needs. This will sure keep your visitors from converting to customers.

Your target website users have unique personality traits. You must understand their common needs and goals as well as their buying psychology. The composite personality archetypes of your website’s visitors are called “personas”. In user-centered design and marketing, personas are defined as fictional characters created to represent the different user types that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way.*

Creating your user’s persona helps you target different personality types and maximize your conversion rate. You can discover the personas of your potential customers by conducting user interviews, by observing focus groups, and by analyzing search behavior.

Who are your target customers? It's time to create your buyer persona!

The goal is to map out the different topics that your target customer searches for in Google. To do that, you need to identify what is that your potential customers care about.

Depending on your industry, you may have several different buyer personas.

Ask yourself these questions:
  •  What is their age?
  •  What is their income?
  •  What is their occupation?
  •  What level of education do they have?
  •  Where is your target market located?
  •  What are their buying habits?
  •  What is the main problem that your typical user wants to fix?
  •  Why would a website user favor your business over all other competitors?
  •  What makes your company and services unique?
  •  What benefits are important to your target prospect?
Build a list of these benefits beginning with the most important! Knowing this information allows you to write content that speaks to the heart of your website’s visitors.

What are the biggest frustrations and objections that your website visitors have when conducting business with companies in your industry? Do they have specific questions that you can answer on your website?

This information allows you to create content that reduces your users reluctance to buy. To address their objections, provide answers to their most pressing questions. You can also encourage them to buy by offering free shipping, low prices, satisfaction guarantees, toll-free phone numbers, FAQs, or easy financing.

What specific factors do your users look for when making decisions to buy your products or services?
Knowing this information allows you to write content that positions you as the expert in the industry who helps customers make good decisions.

How can you encourage your clients to trust you?
Risk-reversal techniques create offers that many customers can’t refuse. For example 100% satisfaction guarantees, free return shipping, free trials, and unconditional money-back guarantees.

What keyword phrases does your target market use in search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing Search to find your product or service?
Incorporate these search terms into your web pages and optimise your site for search engines.

Your writing style affects your conversion rates. Be consistent throughout your online writing to build customer confidence and reduce customers’ perceived risk of buying from your company. Use the personas you have developed to target your writing towards your audience.

You can either approach your copy from a positive, benefit-oriented perspective or show your visitors what they’ll lose if they don’t go with your company. Avoid changing voice, tense, or pronouns in the middle of your pages. It confuses the reader.

Be consistent and reliable in your communications and you will realize that smartly written and targeted content is the key to success.

Where do you get all the buyer persona data

Demographic/ socioeconomic: Customer surveys, government data, Quantcast, comScore, Nielsen, Experian Simmons.

Psychographic: one-on-one interviews, social media platforms, customer surveys, buying patterns, forums, blog comments, Google analytics.

Trend information: TrendSpottr, BuzzSumo, Magazines, Online news sites, TV shows, Google trends, Customer surveys.


Questions/pain points: Quora, Yahoo Answers, Stack Exchange, Wiki answers, blog comments, Internal customer support, Google Analytics, customer events, conferences, sales team and other internal departments.

Social media content: Social Mention, Google Alerts, TweetReach,

Search: Google Analytics, Google Autocomplete, Ubersuggest.

User Personas Examples

Of course, while discussing buyer personas, who better to consult than the Buyer Persona Institute?

In Amanda’s multi-tab persona profile, her wants, needs, and sticking points are all clearly addressed. This way, when someone from the company enters into conversation with an Amanda, he will already have done his homework on what makes her tick.


buyer persona examples

Buyer Persona Example from HubSpot

BEST PRACTICES
  1. Semi-fictional 
  2. Day in their life 
  3. Demographic and biographic info 
  4. Personas' goals 
  5. Pain Points 
  6. Information search process 
  7. Type of experience desired 
  8. Common objections 
  9. Story format 
  10. Images




 *William Lidwell; Kritina Holden; Jill Butler (1 January 2010), Universal Principles of Design, Rockport Publishers , p. 182, ISBN 978-1-61058-065-6

Sunday, October 22, 2017

How to Optimize an E-Commerce Website

October 22, 2017 0

E-Commerce websites face unique challenges when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO). Why is it that search engines don’t bring E-Commerce websites on the first page? Most of the times it’s because E-Commerce website owners do not take into account any SEO practice, focusing only on sales.

This article is both useful for a new E-Commerce business, as well as for an already established online store with thousands of products. There is no recipe for success that can apply to each and every business, but there are some aspects that must be taken into account for any E-Commerce marketing strategy. If used smartly, SEO can significantly increase sales.

1. Avoid duplicate content

One of the important issues from an SEO viewpoint is avoiding duplicate content. Here's how you can avoid such issues.

Try to avoid using the manufacturer’s product descriptions or list of specifications from a sell sheet. Write the product description for your customer, making sure that it includes unique selling points.

Keep the content smart, unique and attractive. Don’t stuff it with keywords! That won’t do your website any good in search results and it will certainly not do your client any good.

If you have different listings for the same types of products, make sure to concentrate all the options for a particular product on one page and use canonical URLs to give the main product page the SEO juice.

A canonical URL tells search engines which is the preferred content that the robots can index and show in search.

You can add a “rel=canonical” tag on the page or by a number of other methods.

Pick one of two or more pages as the canonical version. It should be the version you think is the most important. In our case, the main product page. Make sure that you pick the one with the most links or traffic.

Add a rel=canonical link from the non-canonical page to the canonical one. Link to the canonical URL by adding a link in the <head> section of the page accompanied by the "link rel="canonical" tag.

<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/product/xyz/">

If your site runs on WordPress, you can use the Yoast Plugin to set canonical URLs.

If you want to do this right, check Yoast's Ultimate Guide to rel=canonical URLs.

2. Do some keyword research and know your clients

To make the most out of the keywords related to your products, you need to read your client’s mind. What will most people write in the search field when interested to buy one of the products you have on your E-Commerce website? You can do this in a very simple way, no need to spy on anyone :).

By using keyword research tools, you can find out how many people search for a particular keyword per month, and even check more specifically for your own country or city.

Read more about how you can do a thorough keywords research and analysis.


3. Optimize the URLs for people and search engines

Ideally, URLs (uniform resource locators) should say something about each page, containing keywords which are related to it. Where possible, instead of using ID’s or parameters, it’s simpler, clearer and more descriptive to use real words.

4. Use unique title tags

In terms of SEO, properly written <title> tags (or HTML Title Element) are very important for an online business. Make sure that the ones you have on your E-Commerce website are unique and free of duplicate content.

5. Use unique meta tag descriptions for each page

A meta description tag is an HTML attribute provides a short description of the contents of a web page. Considered an extremely important search marketing component, this piece of content can help draw readers to a website from the search engine result pages (SERPs). It’s your big chance to advertise your content to searchers.

6. Allow users to post comments and reviews

Allowing users to post comments, questions and product reviews is a great way of generating unique content on your website. Reviews and feedback also help you offer good customer support. Keeping your customers happy is the most important thing of all. Always have that in mind whatever you do!


7. Smartly use images and videos

People like having a good look at what they are buying and while buying online, quality images help sell a product. It’s good to keep things simple. A white background is ideal for most products.

It’s always good to have at least two images for each product. Granting users that already purchased the products the right to upload their own images using the product or just unwrapping it, is a great way to improve your conversions because it shows the application of your products to real life.

An image that has a description and an “alt text” attribute will also do well in image search. Adding a few words about your image and keeping them meaningful and relevant will also make your website easier to use by people who are visually impaired. Make sure you don’t just stuff the description with keywords.

Videos also help sell and you can consider creating very short presentation videos outlining your product’s best features. If you have a short 60-second video clip of how to use your product, consider using that clip on your Instagram account.


8. Add sharing buttons to each product

It’s important to get your products shared on social media. This increases your website’s social media exposure, but most importantly,  it improves the organic search performance by providing back links which are very influential in all aspects of SEO. Establishing a presence on social media sites is a perfectly natural way of earning backlinks.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Email Management Tips - Get It all Done On Time!

October 07, 2017 1
Email Management Tips

Are you wasting time trying to manage your Inbox?

Nowadays we all receive way too many emails and spend a lot of time trying to manage them.

If you feel like you are wasting too much time on emails and things are getting out of control, you need to re-evaluate the way you manage it!

Did you ever find yourself scrolling through your inbox looking for that certain email that contains essential information you need right away? Just how much time did you waste like that?

But don’t worry, I’ve put together some tips to help you regain control over your inbox, so you can allocate your precious time to more important things. Don’t let your email manage you!

1. First, delete unnecessary messages

When you open your email inbox in the morning, the first thing you must do is delete unnecessary messages, without spending too much time on them.

It’s good to do this before opening and reading high-priority email, so you can start your day clean and focus on what really matters.

2. Unsubscribe from alerts and various notifications

If you end up every day deleting emails from the same source without opening them, it’s time to unsubscribe. It’s things you don’t really need and they pile up in your Inbox every day.

To make your life easier, take some time to unsubscribe from any newsletter you are not interested in and cancel any notifications coming from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and other sites you subscribed to.

If you don’t want to stop these notifications or if you think that once a month you may actually feel like opening a newsletter, then just create a folder and set some rules so these e-mails are directly delivered to these folders and not to Inbox. Then, whenever you feel like it, you can check them out.

3. Turn off email notifications so you can stay focused

Does an alert pop up every time you receive a new message? That’s rarely helpful.

If instant alerts are pertinent to your job (and you’ll know if they are), leave them alone.

Everyone else, however: turn them off permanently! Email alerts are highly distracting.

4. Organise your emails into folders

Having a full Inbox all the time can be highly distracting and unproductive.

It’s important to understand that the Inbox is just space where you should temporarily store messages, it shouldn’t be a filing cabinet where everything gets tossed without being sorted.

Make a little library out of your email client. You can have folders for persons, institutions you’re working with, social media related emails etc.

It’s always important that you organize things in a logical way. That will help you save a lot of time when you plan to retrieve a certain email.

5. Mark important emails as unread

The “Mark as Unread” option can really change the way you work with emails. You can quickly glance through your inbox and mark unread those items you’d like to come back to once you have the time. This way, you won’t forget about them.

Try to end each day with as few items marked unread as possible, with the goal of having none. If you can’t manage that, just start the next day with the emails you marked as unread on the previous day.

6. Give some thought to the recipients

For many people, the To: and Cc: fields in email have become synonymous. Well, they’re not!

Use them to make a distinction between who the email is being sent to and from whom you expect a response from (the To: field); and who is being copied so they have the appropriate context (Cc:).

Try to be clear about who you expect to respond. Five people in the To: field will most likely have the unintended consequence of generating five different email responses…and yes, your Inbox will go BOOM!! You may actually even overlook that ONE answer you needed.

The more people addressed, the more crowded your Inbox is likely to become.

You have control over that.

These are some of the most valuable Inbox practices I’ve learned over the years. Implementing them every day, helped me stay organized and efficient.

Here’ also a good Outlook Organisation Tutorial, for the Microsoft Office Users.

If you have other email management tips that work great for you, I’d love it if you took the time to share your experience.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

10 Chrome Extensions for Marketers

September 17, 2017 2
I used to change my browser at least once a year. I tried different versions of Opera, Safari, Firefox, even IE, but I decided to stick with Google Chrome. It's fast and it has a lot of crazy good extensions that help me do my marketing job a little bit better.

A good thing to have in mind is that Google Chrome's Extensions, much like Android's Apps, are full of garbage with a few gold nuggets hidden amidst the madness.

I have here 10 Chrome extensions that I couldn't live without.
Chrome extensions for marketers

1. Grammarly

Grammarly's Chrome browser extension is my best friend when writing something.
It makes sure that my messages, documents, and social media posts are clear, mistake-free, and impactful. 

Grammarly detects correctly spelled words used in the wrong context.
You can stop worrying about miss-using homophones like lose/loose, affect/effect, lie/lay, there/their/they’re, and many other commonly confused words.

The grammar checker can fix hundreds of complex grammatical errors, including subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement, to name just a few.

Download Grammarly for Chrome.

2. Link Redirect Trace

Link Redirect Trace is a search engine optimization browser extension that I find very useful due to the fact that it helps me discover On-page and Off-page SEO issues in seconds.

Just imagine that you do a website re-launch with the de-index option checked on.
If you don't monitor your website's performance in the SEPRs,
you can lose 100% of your traffic and revenue in days.

Even if you then get all the traffic back the damage can be massive.
On a website relaunch that went wrong I've seen a 25% traffic loss in the 1st week
and an 80% traffic loss on the page that generated the most revenue.

The Link Redirect Trace browser extension helps you find such problems in a second.
It detects every link redirect hop, analyzes robots.txt for every hop,
analyzes HTML <head> NoIndex, NoFollow per redirect hop,
analyzes the HTTP header X-Robots Noindex, Nofollow, NoArchive,
shows cookies set for each redirect hop so you understand those affiliate ad links.

Download Link Redirect Trace for Chrome.

3. Facebook Pixel Helper

A great Chrome extension for marketers that do Facebook ads or measure the results of the Facebook campaigns. The Facebook Pixel Helper is a troubleshooting tool that helps you validate your pixel implementation.

It works in the background to look for conversion or Facebook pixels and provide real-time feedback on the implementation. A small number will appear on the Facebook Pixel Helper icon to indicate the number of pixel events.

You can check if your pixel is active on the pages that are important for your website's conversion tracking.

Download the Facebook Pixel Helper for Chrome.

4. Google URL Shortener Extension for Chrome

Shorten URLs on the fly with a single click in your browser. This extension saves me a lot of time every day.

Download the goo.gl URL Shortner for Chrome.

5. Tag Assistant by Google

I use the Google Tag Assistant extension for Chrome to troubleshoot installation of various Google tags including Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and more.

It checks most Google tags including Google Analytics, Adwords Conversion Tracking, Google Tag Manager and more. I sometimes use the Google Tag Assistant Recording to record a typical user flow to and through my website and instantly validate, diagnose, and troubleshoot issues with your Google Analytics implementation.

6. AdBlock for Chrome

One of our favorite extensions, this will block unwanted ads and pop-ups, making your browsing experience much more enjoyable.

AdBlock for Chrome works automatically, but you can customize it. You can choose to continue seeing unobtrusive ads, whitelist your favorite sites, or block all ads by default. Just click "Add to Chrome," then visit your favorite website and see the ads disappear!

7. Buffer

Buffer is the best way to share great content to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn from anywhere on the web, with just one click. I use it to create custom social queues with interesting content that is scheduled to be published on my social media channels. I like to keep my audience entertained with the best content out there.

Sharing content across multiple social media platforms can require a lot of copy and paste that you don’t want to do. Buffer makes it easy to share to all of your social media sites with just one click, cutting out the long process and helping you get your content viewed and shared across the web.


8. OneTab

I've tried other tab-management solutions in the past, but this is the first one that I actually use. It optimizes for exactly the right workflow: "I have too much clutter right now, let's collect it all up and make it easy to sift through."

If you find you regularly go past the number of manageable tabs and never know if you really want to keep some or close them all, this is the plugin for you.

When you’re going to write an article and you find yourself with too many tabs open, all you have to do is run the OneTab extension for Google Chrome. Active web pages will be closed, but their URLs will be automatically saved within a single tab.

9. Pablo

I'm not a designer, but I know that an image can worth 1000 words. That's why my social shares always have an image. How I do it? I use Pablo by Buffer. This extension enables you to grab images you find, format them for social media networks, add your text and make minor design edits, and publish them using Buffer.

Download Pablo for Chrome.

10. Buzzsumo

While I browse the web, I'm always curious to see how popular is an article on social media. I use Buzzsumo for Chrome to see the real social media share counts, but also the top most shared content for any website.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Free Online Marketing Tools - My Personal List

September 03, 2017 0
I love online marketing and while I think that there are tools out there that are worth all the money, I know that every freelancer or small business has a very low online marketing budget to start with.

There are free tools that can make your online marketing work easy and fun.

I made a list of the free online marketing tools I love most and hope that everyone will find at least one useful free tool in here.

Write a comment on this blog post and let me know what's your favorite online marketing tool and why.

Hope you enjoy reading my post.

Free Browser Extensions

There are a few browser extensions that help me save time and do my marketing work in a smarter way. I published a top 10 Chrome extensions for marketers.


list of Free Online Marketing Tools

Easy & Commission-Free Payment Processor

Paydemic

Paydemic is the fastest way to get paid for your client work.

As a content seller, you receive the exact amount you specified for the Purchase Link when a payment occurs.

The buyer is charged the amount you specified, plus a commission.

My tip: offer clients a discount if they prepay using Paydemic that way you don't have to worry about not getting paid for work down the road. There's nothing worse than having to chase a client for money.

If you sell online content, for example, Paydemic allows you to bundle it however you wish - from ongoing subscriptions to payment for a single article - and sell it directly to your consumers.

The platform enables you to package and sell your articles, videos, images and audio in just a few clicks, with a comprehensive solution incorporating micro-payments, paywall, content hosting, reporting and invoicing to open up lucrative new revenue streams.

Paydemic takes away the risk associated with implementing a new e-commerce platform as it is easy to integrate and you don't need to pay any fees upfront.

Get your free Paydemic account and start selling now.

Free Anti-Virus to protect your great work

AVG

Anti-virus software is a must if you work from a PC / Windows based machine, but nowadays it also comes in very handy on your phone.

I've used several different ones in the past, but AVG is my favorite.

It seems to alert me when I've hit a virus and does the best job at preventing it from getting out of hand. There's nothing worse than losing productivity time because your machine is destroyed by a virus.

I have it both on my mobile phone and on my computer and I'm very happy with it.

You can download your free AVG software here.

Useful Free Tools From Google

Gmail

Gmail is my favorite email platform. Ever.

You can search and actually find emails easily.

You can label and filter emails in a variety of ways to easily manage your inbox.

You can connect with people who email you on Google+ right from your inbox.

You can use Google Labs to add easy access to your favorite apps right in your inbox - I use it to see my latest five Google Docs.

I could keep going, but I will just say that if you are using other email providers, you are missing out.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool you can use to monitor mentions of your name, your blog, or your business online.

You can set it up to email you each time it finds a mention of a particular search or have the mentions sent as an RSS feed to your RSS reader.

You can also use it to monitor the latest news in your niche by keyword to help come up with new topics to write about.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free analytics tool that you can install on your blog and freelance writing portfolio to help you determine how much traffic you are receiving and where it is coming from.

If you market yourself using social media, guest blogging, or other online marketing strategies, Google Analytics will let you know which ones are working the best at sending clients to your website.

Google Docs

Google Docs (now Google Drive) is an easy way to share files with clients. I love it for the fact that I can access my documents and spreadsheets anywhere I go on the Internet which can be handy since I switch between my desktop, laptop, and iPad often.

I have several collaborators who, once I've written a document, I will share it with them. Then they can easily send me notes or questions without having to send files back and forth. I can also create spreadsheet examples to share publicly in my posts that readers can download or save to their own Google Drive.

Google Search Console (GSC)

Google Search Console (GSC) is a free tool that helps you learn more about your website's performance on the web.

You can use GSC to submit a sitemap of your website to Google search, see a list of your backlinks, learn more about how your website ranks for particular keywords and see click through rates, get suggestions for on-site search optimization, and much more.

It's also easy to detect crawling errors. If you see a page on your website that is linked from many places but now has a 404 status, make sure that you re-establish that page or you do a 301 redirect as soon as possible.

Every day that goes by and you're not aware of such issues, you are wasting traffic and with that, you're wasting money.

Free Social Media Tools

Buffer

Buffer makes keeping your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts updated a breeze.

Simply set a schedule of when you would like to send updates for each account, then start adding updates to your Buffer. It will put those updates in the next available time slot so you aren't bombarding your followers with tons of updates for the one hour you're online reading a day.

You can use the free plan for a limited amount of scheduled up dates for three social networks, but they also have paid plans that offer so much more awesome stuff.

You can sign up for your free Buffer account here.

Hootsuite

HootSuite is a social media management tool that lets you monitor different streams of social updates on one screen. I use it to manage my Twitter accounts so I can see my mentions, direct messages, important Twitter lists, and keyword searches all organized in a few different tabs.

You can use the free plan to manage up to three social profiles and one user.

You can get your free account here.

Walls.io

Did you ever run a cool hashtag campaign for your blog, for a giveaway, for your birthday....well you name it! :) Hashtag campaigns are cool! Walls.io helps you collect and showcase the best posts, photos or videos from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & others by hashtag or from specific profiles.

Here's how it can look like: https://walls.io/7DxXgy4ph

You can get your free account here.

IFTTT

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a free service that allows you to automate tasks between applications and social networks. It helped me grow my Twitter followers and it mkes my online marketing work so much easier with all the integrations it offers. I will not write here a long description about it. PCMAG has here The 110 Best IFTTT Recipes. 

You can join IFTTT for free here.

Facebook

Use your Facebook profile and Facebook Page to promote your blog and freelance writing business. Both allow you to connect with people in different ways - with profiles, you can have public updates that you share with subscribers and with pages, you can have fans and use advertising options like Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts to get your content seen by an even larger audience.

Facebook Ads

In addition to using Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts, try using Facebook Ads to get your page or freelance writing portfolio in front of potential clients at companies you would like to write for.

Quora

Quora is a great network to use to build authority in your niche by answering questions, drive traffic to your blog by including links to posts as references to answers you share, and find new topic ideas by looking at the questions people are asking. You can also get yourself some cool links from there.

Don't stress too much about the fact that they have rel=nofollow attributes. These links will bring you relevant traffic and they will pass on trust to your website. You have a lot to win and nothing to lose if you invest a bit of time in Quora.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the top social network for professionals. As a freelance writer looking to work with other businesses, it's essential to keep a current profile and active account. Some ways to attract freelance writing clients on LinkedIn is to use LinkedIn Answers and Groups to interact with people in the industries you write about. LinkedIn Ads are also a good way to go to get your profile or portfolio in front of specific companies that you want to write for. Hint: look at LinkedIn company pages for the businesses you write for, see what they classify themselves as, and target your ad towards businesses in similar categories.

Twitter

Twitter is an easy social network to use to connect with other bloggers and potential freelance writing clients. You can also use their new ad network to promote your account and tweets to help get more exposure for yourself and your content.

Free Online Marketing Tools - Social Media


Free tools for more technical online marketers

Filezilla

Filezilla is a free FTP utility that you can use to upload files to your website. If you use WordPress themes, it's a must to have on hand to backup your custom functions file before editing it just in case you break your site and need to restore the original file.

You can download Filezilla for free here.

Pingdom

Pingdom allows you to monitor your website and get email alerts any time it is down. You can get a free account to monitor one domain, but it also has a lot more fancy features. This way you can make sure your website is always up and running so you can continue to get business.

Sign up for the free version of Pingdom here.

Sublime Text

For those who like to do a bit of coding, Sublime is a free tool for Windows that allows you to edit PHP, .htaccess, XML, and other files and save them without the extra formatting that will mess up the functionality. Great for those editing WordPress themes, custom tracking pixels, and other website files.

You can download Sublime Text here.

Image Editing Tools

GIMP

GIMP is a free cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. I use it mostly to crop and resize images for blog posts, but it can really do so much more.

You can download GIMP and learn how to use it with their easy tutorials here.

Paint.NET

With layers, filters and plugins, Paint.NET will make your photos shine

Sometimes it's best if your photo editor isn't overloaded with bells and whistles. Paint.NET's simplicity is one of its key selling points; it's a fast, easy to operate free photo editor that's perfect for those little tasks that don't need the sheer power of GIMP.

It has nothing to do with Microsoft's Paint editor. It has added essential editing tools like layers, an undo history, a raft of filters, numerous community-created plugins, and a brilliant 3D rotate/zoom function that's useful for recomposing images.

You can download Paint.NET here.

If you need professional design tools, then Adobe's Creative suite is the way to go. But if you\re just doing marketing like me, you'll need some simple image-editing hacks from time to time. And you can do it all for free.