5 tools, tips and hacks to maximize your SEO output

This article was co-authored by my colleague at Go Fish Digital, Chris Long.

Part of being an effective SEO is being incredibly efficient with the tasks at hand. You just aren’t going to have the time needed to go deeper and continue to add value if you’re spinning your wheels doing manual, repetitive tasks.

Because of this, we have always valued things that can make you more efficient: tools, scripts, automation, and even interns!

Today, we dig deep into our toolbox to pull out five of our favorite ways to maximize your SEO productivity output.

1. Automate Google Analytics data extracts & reporting

Generating monthly reports is one of those repetitive tasks that can consume a day or more at the beginning of the month (especially in the agency world!).

If you’re manually pulling data from Google Analytics, you need to be constantly checking that your date ranges are correct, that you’ve applied the proper segments, that you’re analyzing the right metrics, and that you’ve accessed the primary profile in the first place. Not only would automating this type of reporting save time, but it would also ensure consistency and eliminate mistakes.

And while scheduling reports in Analytics is fine, reporting can really be taken to the next level with the Google Analytics Add-On for Sheets. This add-on is a lifesaver for us during reporting time!

By adding this to Google Sheets, you can pull data directly from the Google Analytics API without ever having to log into the Analytics interface. To start, you’ll need to configure which metrics, date ranges, segments and profile the API should be pulling. Next, you simply run the report; the data is then loaded into your spreadsheet automagically.

The beauty of this whole system is that once you have set up your reporting framework, the amount of time spent gathering Google Analytics data each month should be drastically reduced.

For most of my reports, all I do is adjust the date ranges at the beginning of each month, and I let the API apply all my segments and collect only the metrics I need. I also create charts in the same spreadsheet that reference the cells this data gets pulled into.

With some very minor changes to the spreadsheet each month, I’m able to pull all of the data I need and have it formatted into easy-to-read charts.

This little add-on easily saves me about a day’s worth of work every single month.

2. Find…

Spend Management Experts to Bring Supply Chain Viewpoints to the C-Suite Network

Partnership to deliver insights and opportunities to executives looking to maximize efficiencies within the supply chain.

New York, NY – August 1, 2017 – C-Suite Network today announced a new content sharing partnership with Spend Management Experts, a leading supply chain spend management consultancy. Together they are launching a content driven group providing C-Suite Network members industry news, events, content and networking opportunities.

C-Suite Network, the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, hosts a variety of partners who share relevant content and services with its members. This partnership is significant as it marks the network’s expansion into transportation and distribution content.

The group is an open forum for discussions surrounding supply chain networks varying from, and not limited to, lowering transportation costs, distribution planning, vendor inbound freight, outbound freight, disruptors, carrier advancements, consumer expectations, and warehouse fulfillment strategies.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Spend Management Experts to offer our members first-hand expertise and leading industry news in supply chain spend management,” said Thomas White, CEO of C-Suite Network. “Members have the opportunity to not only read and learn from the content but to also engage and network.”

The C-Suite Network seeks sponsors and partners that provide added value to their community of C-level executives. Each one has been carefully vetted to ensure they provide executive quality services and exceptional value to members.

“Our goal is to bring C-Suite Network members techniques, strategies, and market knowledge to optimize efficient transportation and distribution networks, especially as customer expectations and technology advancements transform the supply chain landscape,” said John Haber, founder and CEO of Spend Management Experts.

To learn more about the C-Suite Network or to request to become a member, visit: https://c-suitenetwork.com/

###

About C-Suite Network
C-Suite Network is the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders, with a focus on providing growth, development and networking opportunities for business executives with titles of vice president and above.

C-Suite Network brings leaders together through a private online community for executives. C-Suite Network also offers invitation-only conferences held three times per year, custom-tailored content on the C-Suite Network blog, C-Suite TV, C-Suite Radio, C-Suite Book Club, and educational programs from C-Suite Academy. Learn more at www.c-suitenetwork.com, or connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

About Spend Management Experts
Spend Management Experts is a leading supply chain spend management consultancy that helps companies optimize spend across the supply chain reducing costs by 20 percent or more. Our finance background and experience analyzing shipping costs relative to carrier profitability enables us to develop effective supply chain optimization strategies across transportation, distribution and fulfillment. We leverage cutting-edge proprietary models to identify savings opportunities and build negotiation strategies based on data and meaningful business cases, while providing clients with straightforward details on exactly how savings are derived. For more information, please visit www.spendmgmt.com. Connect with Spend Management Experts on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and the Spend Management Experts blog.

How to Explain Content Marketing to Anyone

how-explain-content-marketing-anyone

The concept of content marketing has been around for hundreds of years (see this example from 1672), and the discipline has gained incredible popularity since 2007, according to Google Trends.

Google-Trends-Content-Marketing

But, when we recently launched a new e-book that answers common content marketing questions, we learned that many of our readers are just getting started. As such, we want to make sure we continually cover the basics. Whether you are new to the practice, need a new way to look at what you’ve been doing, or need help explaining this to your relatives, this post is for you.

Content marketing as your family would understand

When people ask what you do, does your response receive a quizzical look? “So, what is it exactly that you do,” they ask after you explain your job.

My husband was in this camp until he told me about a newsletter that covers trends affecting financial markets. He looks forward to receiving it each day. He explained that the newsletters didn’t have anything to do with the funds the broker was selling, but the information was solid and valuable – and it was useful research for the investments he makes.

“That’s content marketing,” I explained. It was an aha moment for my husband’s understanding of content marketing – content marketing is educational but is not about the products the company sells. The vendor offers such good information that you become loyal to the brand.

I can share another example that is close to my daughter’s heart. American Girl uses content to transform something that is a commodity – a doll.

American Girl has so much content – and so many content experiences – for its audience, that it’s truly staggering. For instance, it offers:

While all the ways American Girl connects to its audience are too numerous to cover in this one post, I’m particularly amazed by its print publications. For instance, The Care and Keeping of You is a book all about growing up for girls. It ranks second in its category (and 76th most popular among all books on Amazon.) It’s from a brand selling dolls – but the subject has nothing to do with the dolls.

product-details-american-girl-book

American Girl Magazine is a top seller in several categories.

product-details-american-girl-magazine

In short, American Girl’s content marketing focuses on how a child can interact with the doll or things that are important to this demographic.

For parents, think about BabyCenter. When I was pregnant and then raising my older daughter, I considered BabyCenter to be required reading. It’s a perfect example of content marketing. According to its website, it is the No. 1 pregnancy and parenting digital destination, and eight in 10 new and expectant moms online use BabyCenter each month. The site is owned by Johnson & Johnson, which sells products for babies.

Content marketing explained to marketers

Hopefully, those examples make it clear that content marketing isn’t about the brand, your products, or your services. It’s about your audience. What do they care about?

And, more importantly, how can you be the one to provide something no one else is, which in turn elevates your brand from a commodity to something people embrace?

Content marketing is different than traditional product marketing efforts like sales collateral and other product-specific info. Content marketing…

Marketing Day: SnapChat ads, SEO projects & Evidon

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.

From Marketing Land:

P&G Slashes Digital Ads by $140M Over Brand Safety. Sales Rise Anyway

Credit: Courtesy Procter & Gamble/Business Wire

Procter & Gamble‘s concerns about where its ads were showing up online contributed to a $140 million cutback in the company’s digital ad spending last quarter, the company said Thursday. That helped the world’s biggest advertiser beat earnings expectations. Perhaps even more noteworthy, however, organic sales outperformed both analyst forecasts and key rivals at 2% growth despite the drop in ad support.

P&G didn’t call out YouTube, the subject of many marketers’ ire earlier this year, in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings release, but did say digital ad spending fell because of choices to “temporarily restrict spending in digital forums where our ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications.”

Those cuts amounted to nearly a percentage point of profit margin for the quarter, with cuts to agency and production fees further boosting profits.

People familiar with the matter said P&G left YouTube in March over brand-safety issues, though P&G has also had problems with ads appearing on video content that didn’t match its goals. It’s unclear whether or to what extent the digital cuts came from other venues, though Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller in a media call also noted Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard’s broader efforts to eliminate “a significant amount of waste” in the digital media supply chain.

YouTube parent Google reported strong revenue growth last quarter despite what appears to be a dwindling advertiser brand-safety revolt. But P&G isn’t in a hurry to resume spending either. Despite the cuts P&G had “very strong relative organic sales growth,” Moeller said. “So we stand in pretty good net as a result of all those choices.”

Asked whether P&G sees any need to put that…

Should You Trust Artificial Intelligence to Drive Your Content Marketing?

artificial-intelligence-drive-content-marketing

Before breakfast, I check my Facebook and LinkedIn newsfeeds for a quick synopsis of the day. As I jump in the shower, I hit “download” on a recommended movie on Netflix, knowing I have a long flight this evening. While wolfing down my cereal, I click once to buy a gift for a friend’s birthday next week. My iPhone pings to tell me that I need to leave now if I want to make that early meeting 54 miles away. And as I get in my car, I use voice activation to play my favorite Spotify playlist, and Apple Maps informs me it will take five minutes to drive to the train station this morning.

With real examples of demonstrable value in the market, we can no longer sarcastically joke that AI means “almost implemented.”

We are all being conditioned to rely on technology in our daily lives, not just for communication, but also for decision-making. This ever-deepening interface with technology is rewiring our brains to process information differently, as Nicholas Carr writes in The Shallows. It is the same with our customers.

Popular consumer apps have led to the unconscious mass adoption of advanced, predictive technology. And yet … while we are increasingly outsourcing our cognitive processes to myriad consumer apps and tools, the enterprise is only now waking up to this new level of customer expectation. This lopsided adoption is most clear when we consider that we now trust a car’s built-in collision-avoidance system to protect our lives, yet still question whether a machine can recommend what to write next in a marketing program or which customer should receive a new product offer.

We trust artificial intelligence to drive our cars safely but not to recommend marketing strategy.

Inconvenient truth

Over the past 10 years, marketing automation has grown into a billion-dollar industry by promising to bring personalization and efficiency to marketing programs. The siren call of automated lead nurturing, lead scoring, and triggered responses to critical prospect activities has proved irresistible to B2B organizations: There were nearly 11 times more companies with marketing automation in 2014 than there were in early 2011 (SiriusDecisions), and 60% of companies turning over at least $500 million adopted marketing automation by 2014 (Raab Associates).

However, the inconvenient truth about first-generation marketing automation is that it is not really automated. It is a fantastic central workflow tool that can achieve scale, but it requires resource to set up, integrate, manage, and optimize. Indeed, in many B2B organizations, the phrase “feed the beast” has been accepted into marketing parlance as a way of describing the resource demands of marketing automation. Most fundamentally, there is the issue of rule creep. As you set up campaigns, you define business rules: “If A happens, then do B” or “If the individual has this characteristic, then put them in segment 4.” These can be simple to start with, but are always an inadequate reduction of complex and varied buyer journeys. So, you add more rules to make the campaign more targeted. And every time you measure results, the outcome is that more rules need to be written. Some of our enterprise clients estimate that they spend $500,000 per year on these manual elements of marketing automation – and that is disregarding the vital and significant investment in ongoing content creation.

While marketing automation promises the world, what it actually does is automate the execution of content marketing, while decision-making remains an impractically manual effort. It offers marketers a strong workflow and even insights, but fails to provide an automated way to act on those insights at scale. Fundamentally, the content in those systems is dumb; the system doesn’t understand what the content is about and who should read it. To track those looking at how to address this, Forrester recently started a new research theme it calls “content intelligence,” which it defines as “the use of artificial intelligence technologies to understand and capture the qualities inherent in any content.” As the marketing technology analyst David Raab says, “Something has to give: Either marketers stop trying to make the best decisions or they stop relying on rules.”

Expectation gap

In the face of relentlessly rising customer expectations, leading marketers are investing in AI-based tools – a category that encompasses everything from personalization tools that “learn” from individuals’ online behavior to recommend content more effectively, to tools that can detect minute patterns across massive consumer data sets and predict future behavior. These are some of the most interesting on the increasing list of potential applications for AI in marketing:

  • Content strategy – recommending what content to create next
  • Campaign strategy – recommending what sequence of communications to deliver
  • Personalization – recommending the right content for each customer based on behavior
  • Segmentation – clustering customers based on behavior or intent
  • Copy automation – automatically generating subject lines and descriptions
  • Lead or account prioritization – ranking leads or accounts by their likelihood to close
  • Sales strategy – recommending the right product/service offering and content to use in sales
  • Sales intent – predicting the right product offering, deal size, and close date
  • Retargeting – recommending the right content within retargeted ad units

Since the major marketing suites have yet to fully deploy or productize their AI offerings, adopting AI usually requires a blend of point solutions and…

Cannes Lions Interview: Ben Barokas, Co-Founder And CEO, Sourcepoint

Advertisement
Ben Barokis, Founder and CEO, Sourcepoint
Ben Barokis, Founder and CEO, Sourcepoint

On the occasion of the 2017 Cannes Lions, I spoke with serial entrepreneur Ben Barokas about the state of digital publishing and his journey to founding Sourcepoint.

“The reason I started Sourcepoint, and why I’m so focused on the publisher, is that I believe that there needs to be additional transparency. If the user wants to pay for content by consuming advertising and providing data, or if the user wants to be able to pay directly for that content in a micro–transaction, the user should be able to do that. And we should make it as frictionless as possible in order to make that happen,” says Sourcepoint Co-Founder and CEO, Ben Barokas.

His company Sourcepoint provides the software, tools, and data to enable digital publishers to monetize their audiences through a variety of content compensation (payment or free) options. Founded in 2015, the New York City based company works with publishers such as AOL, Advanced Digital, Dennis, and Gruner and Jahr, to help them deal with what the firm refers to as “existential” threats from ad-blockers, ad fraud, and the struggle many, if not most, publishers face in adequately monetizing their content. The firm is backed by $26 million in venture funding from Accel, Foundry Group, Greycroft Partners, Northzone, and Spark Capital.

“This all started with AOL. I trafficked lots and lots of banners.” Says Barokas, who began a career in the digital advertising business as an ad trafficker for the pioneering online service 17 years ago. He eventually worked his way up to running the ad inventory management team and was responsible for ad product development up through to the merger and integration with Time Warner, and later what he termed the “disintegration” of the company.

“AOL Time Warner provided me with such incredible experience on what it takes to run a business like that at scale. While running advertising products, I had a number of interactions with Brian Adams, who later became my co–founder of my previous business, Admeld,” says Barokas.

He would leave AOL Time Warner to work for a start-up…

Why Motorola CMO Jan Huckfeldt is leaning heavily on TV

Fourteen months have passed since Jan Huckfeldt took the marketing reins of Motorola. Prior to his arrival, Ashton Kutcher was the cell phone company’s pitchman, and Droga5 was responsible for its creative. Today, Karina Kolokolchikova, a largely unknown actress, is the face of the brand, and Ogilvy, its creative AOR.

It’s a lot of change in not a lot of time, but when Apple and Samsung hold a combined 72.6 percent of U.S. market share and Motorola claims just 4.3 percent, every minute is precious. Thus, Huckfeldt has positioned Motorola as a challenger to its smartphone competitors.

In September, the marketer directly went after them by taking out a full-page ad in The New York Times, prompting consumers to “Skip the Sevens,” as in the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy 7s. In November, Motorola boldly took a swipe at Apple by pointing out that “rose gold isn’t an idea, it’s a color” in the brand’s “Hello Moto” spot—its first TV ad since 2011. Now, the brand launches its latest video titled “Hello Dinner,” which demonstrates that the Moto Z brings users together with Mods by connecting them in gaming, video projection and music speakers.

All three ads are part of Motorola’s “Different is Better” initiative, and Campaign U.S. caught up with the CMO to discover just how different Huckfeldt intends Motorola to be.

Motorola has undergone many changes—from being owned by Google to now Lenovo and from being an industry leader with the Razr in the early 2000s to now no. 4 in the U.S. How are you adapting the brand to fit this shifting landscape?
When I took on this role, I found myself with quite a number of brands. I made a pretty simple and straightforward, strategic decision to focus on Motorola only. If you look at the smartphone business, it is highly competitive. You cannot be in that market unless you are highly focused. We basically went from probably four or five different brands, which we entertained globally, to just one brand.

Secondly, we reduced our product lineup from over 45 products to 10 to 12 products.

The other thing that I did, I brought back some of those key brand aspects. Certainly the batwing [logo] was one of them. The batwing had almost disappeared in our marketing materials and from our product. The batwing is probably the sexiest icon in the IT industry besides the Apple logo.

The other thing was “Hello Moto,” which was a sound mnemonic used very successfully and was a beautiful brand asset because most brands are just appealing to the human eye. But here is one that appeals to the human ear. It’s a perfect additional brand device.

And how did these changes affect Motorola’s advertising?
I think if you look at our advertising, whether it’s the TV campaigns or our other materials to date, they very clearly speak of a highly distinctive brand. Most of our competition is following the less-is-more approach from the two big players, which influence each other. We are clearly speaking and standing out. We were influenced by some of the passion brands, like the Amazon Kindle. I think it helps us a lot.

The other thing that we adopted is the tone of voice that is very much that of a challenger. When we launched our highly differentiated product, Moto Z with those Mods, in the beginning, we actually focused our efforts in the U.S. in terms of advertising predominantly on reaching those Android users within Verizon. We decided that to target them, let’s rely on digital and social and hit those consumers at a very high frequency. Now, with those efforts, all our metrics were green. In fact, Facebook used our case, our approach, as a best-in-class case during their earnings announcements in the fall of last year. It didn’t really make an impact. All these efforts on digital and social, didn’t really make an impact for the brand and for the selling of our product.

We looked at this picture again and said, we have to be much bolder. We have to advance our change of visual identity, which we had planned for January. We did this. We then adopted this challenger-brand attitude. I also sent an open letter inviting consumers to skip the seventh…

Performance Based Leadership: Are People Born Leaders?

Best Seller TV, one of the top online business shows on C-Suite TV, is announcing its latest episode featuring an in-depth interview with leading business author Joshua Spodek, author of Leadership Step by Step: Becoming the Person Others Follow. This episode also kicks off the show’s fifth season.

Joshua Spodek, author of Leadership Step by Step: Becoming the Person Others Follow, talks about how people aren’t born leaders but instead develop leadership skills throughout life as a result of the obstacles life throws at them. He states that every great leader has learned leadership, but “no one’s born leading.”

Spodek also says he treats leadership as a performance-based field and that people have to practice being good, effective leaders — much like one has to practice playing the piano or sports in order to get better. As an adjunct professor at New York University, Spodek says that academia teaches people about leadership, but no one teaches you how to become a leader.

 

READ MORE

This Wild Apple Ad Shows That, Yes, The Rock Can Do Anything (With Some Help From Siri)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has the kind of can-do spirit that makes it easy to believe he can do anything—fly a plane, take a selfie in space, design a fashion line—and still be on set in time to nail his scene on the first take.

At least, that’s the plot of Apple’s new longform spot, “The Rock x Siri Dominate the Day.”

With this nearly 4-minute spot, the irrepressible and seemingly…