The Future of Internet Marketing – Rand Fishkin, Duane Forrester, Wil Reynolds

It has taken me two weeks to really process the brain melting moments I experienced at Pubcon and since. It sometimes seems as though every thought leader in the industry had the same basic thought all at the same time.

What is this overpowering mental telepathy?

This moment in time will be the marker of the biggest shift in Internet marketing practices since businesses could create websites. All of the artificial and sometimes dumbed-down work-arounds created to help human beings find the digital information they needed most at the time and place they needed it are becoming a thing of the past.

No matter whether you talk to Rand Fishkin, Duane Forrester, or Wil Reynolds, they will all tell you that the name of the game from this moment forward is creating high quality content that inspires human behavior.


Let’s start with some thinking from Rand. Google has fully embraced the use of machine learning and now allows the algorithms to write algorithms. The machines pay attention to human click-through behavior and are weaning off of the need to be fed potential ranking factors like keywords, anchor text, and unique linking domains by human supervisors. The machines are demonstrating an ability to take in direct human interaction data, learn from it, and create a best-fit algo.


Duane picks up the thread of ideas from Fishkin and takes them a step further as we look closer into exactly how human beings access and interact with the internet. As of 2013 of the 7.1 billion human beings living on the planet 3.45 billion of them were mobile subscribers. Forrester points out that mobile internet usage creates a funnel effect taking everything on the web and narrowing it down to just what the individual user needs in that particular place and time.

“This is why mobile ranking algos exist – context and experience matters” Duane Forrester

The more human beings access data on the go and in the moment, the more it affects their behavioral interactions with the options that search presents. Users are becoming more able to express themselves in natural, intuitive ways and do not have to dumb down what they want or need to a key word or two.

“Search is advancing to be the bridge between a user’s intent and the experiences the world has to offer.” Duane Forrester

Wil Reynolds completes the brain-melting thoughts by forcing us to consider that our main SEO focus on organic ranking isn’t worth what it used to be.


Not only is the effort to win high quality organic search placement costly, it is constantly being bumped further and further down the search results page for rich answers that serve the user better than a link to a page deemed relevant to the search query. To continue winning the internet marketing game, your content has to be more that just brilliant, it has to give the people consuming that content the ability to become a better version of themselves.

“Is your content leveling people up?” Wil Reynolds

In light of all of this, what is a forward thinking digital marketer/SEO to do?

Is SEO dead?

According to Duane Forrester, search engine optimization is not dead, it still matters, but it is more complicated.


Rand says that it is critical to optimize for both algorithmic input and human behavioral output.


Wil recommends that rather than pouring effort into quickly producing more and more new content, take the time to reinvest in the top performing content that you’ve already produced. Transform it into something that will level up not only your business but also your customers. Make sure that the resounding answer to the following question is YES!


Do these comments from notable industry thought leaders jive with your own experience? What is jumping to the top of your 2016 innovations list? Most importantly, as you make changes to your digital marketing strategies, how do you see your tracking and reporting needs changing? Join in the conversation in the comments below.

The Changes in Search & Social in October

We all know that the search and social industry changes rapidly. There were many changes across the niches in October. You may have missed some of these changes, so here is a rundown of the items we feel could be important to you.


Google has confirmed RankBrain, which is what they call their machine-learning artificial intelligence system that’s used to help process search results. We have a collection of articles that will tell you everything you need to know:

A Google Warning for Webmasters

Google announced that they will take action on websites that intentionally or unintentionally place sneaky mobile redirects on their site in their blog post Detect and get rid of unwanted sneaky mobile redirects.

Google Penguin 4.0 Coming Soon

Get your sites ready. Search Engine Land reports that there will be a Penguin update in the next 2 months. SEL also reported in early October that Panda 4.2 was still rolling out.


Facebook Changes

Every business needs to pay attention to Facebook news because they are just getting more and more important for brands, large and small.

Instagram News

Twitter News

Twitter Releases Brand Management Feature For Advertisers

On Monday, October 26 Twitter announced their newest analytics tool, Brand Hub. With tweets about businesses being published each day, Twitter did a favor to their advertisers and designed a brand management tool. In doing so, they have also created an idea pool for business owners to generate new ideas for their company, while monitoring their brand.

What is Brand Hub?

Brand Hub is Twitter’s new conversation tracker. By connecting conversations about specific companies, marketers are able to track what advertising channels are saying about their brand. This type of information helps business owners develop new products, offer better services and correct branding mistakes. Brand Hub is designed to simplify the overall tracking process for marketers and allow a one stop place for brand management.


Who is Brand Hub Available to?

Like most new marketing releases, Brand Hub is currently only available to a select few. Twitter has released the tool exclusively to large brand advertisers and medium-sized businesses in English-speaking countries. Similar to what Pinterest did when they released Promoted Pins and Instagram when they released advertising spots, businesses can request accesss to join. To see if your brand is eligible, visit or log in to and choose Brand Hub. If Brand Hub isn’t appearing for your account, you’ll need to connect with your account team.

How Can Brand Hub Help Marketers?

A tool like this can help marketers enhance their efforts, while monitoring how their brand is discussed on Twitter.  Using TrueVoice™, a metric within Brand Hub, advertisers can track conversations in real time, instead of missing the ball on new branding opportunities. TrueVoice™ works by analyzing different Tweets about a brand and it’s competitors. Using that information, TrueVoice™ can identify what percentage of impressions are owned by the brand and which impressions they’re missing out on. Having the ability to track impressions, engagement, and mentions in real time separates your brand from the rest and gives you the ability to react immediately.

Twitter reached out to a few of their clients and asked how they would implement a tool like Brand Hub with their marketing efforts.

“I could see this information better informing our client’s content and media strategies, especially during key competitive periods — it provides agencies direct insight into competitive activity and brand conversations, which allows us to recommend real-time shifts in content and media strategies and ultimately, drive better results.”

Christine HickeyMedia Director, Performics

Not only does Brand Hub provide real time results about brand conversations, but also provides in-depth information about the audiences discussing the brand. As marketers and business owners, you’re going to want to know everything about the person tweeting about your brand.

Where do they live?

How old are they?

What do they do for a living?


How much do they make annually?

Using information from Twitter data and Twitter Official Partners, Brand Hub is able to provide the answer to each of these questions, while keeping individual user data private. This will help advertisers target their top brand influencers, as well as create a new demographic for future advertisements.


If you were given access to Brand Hub would you use it? Comment below with your take on Twitter’s new branding tool.


4 Tips to Increase Your Mobile Conversions

Not only does Google favor mobile-friendly websites, but people do, too. Everyone from the laying in bed browser to the Pinterest addicted online shopper is using their mobile device more than ever. That means the opportunity for conversions is at an all time high for responsive websites, especially since mobile shoppers are converting at a whopping 160% more often on mobile-friendly websites.

Unfortunately, not all businesses are seeing high percentages due to their slow, poorly designed websites. found that 43% of users won’t come back to slow mobile sites and 40% will choose to go to a competitors site instead. Don’t let your business lose out on mobile conversions to the competitor. Implement these four tricks to improve and increase your mobile conversions.

1. Design a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page

Mobile-friendly landing pages should be designed to enhance the mobile conversion process. Whatever goal has been designated for the landing page (contact form fill-ins, webinar signups, purchases, event registration, etc.), it needs to be easily achievable on mobile. That means simplifying the entire design process for mobile users.


Using a designer, coder, or premade template choose a landing page layout that emphasises your goal with call out buttons and simple contact forms. You’ll also want to decrease the amount of “about us” and filler information on the mobile version of the landing page so that the call to action is the focus. Keep the landing page tight and simple to achieve the most conversions.


Here’s a few different companies that specialize in mobile-friendly landing pages:

  • Unbounce. Ranging from $49 to $199 a month, Unbounce is a great choice because of it’s integration features with sales programs like Infusionsoft.
  • Instapage. Need to get a landing page up quick? Instapage has templates designed for your conversion goals, making the setup process quick and easy.
  • Leadpages. This is the landing page company tool junkies love. Several features and integration options come with Leadpages, making work on multiple projects a sinch.

2. Increase Loading Speed

Not only does load time affect rankings, but a slow loading mobile website affects conversion rates drastically. People have little patience browsing on desktop and even less patience browsing on mobile. Google recommends above the fold content on mobile to load within one second. While the rest of the mobile content is loading, users can at least interact with the top portion.

Because everyone has a different cell phone provider, and an even more unique data plan, your website is being accessed on mobile from 2G, 3G, and 4G network users. Obviously the higher network is the better performing, using a 4G network with only 50-100 ms versus a 200-300 ms roundtrip times for a 3G network. The most common network is 3G.

To accommodate various networks and enhance overall load speed on mobile, try these tips:

  • ​Limit the amount of redirects a site has. ​If possible, Google recommends not having any redirects, but if you must it’s best to only have a small amount. Each redirect can add multiple roundtrips and cost time, affecting the speed on slower 2G and 3G networks.
  • Avoid using render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content.
    Each time a page is rendered it has to be parsed. This means if there is anything Google has to download in order for a page to load properly, the load time will be increased. To avoid this, all JavaScript and CSS need to be inlined above the fold.
  • Optimize all images.High resolution images with large file sizes means increased load times. Reduce the size of each image, while maintaining resolution, using plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer, WP, and SEO Friendly Images. Make sure the image optimization plugin you choose is compatible with the theme of your website before installing.

3. Simplify The Payment Process

Shopping online is becoming easier and more popular for consumers. Mobile ecommerce sales are expected to reach as high as $77 billion by the end of the year according to a report by eMarketer. Let’s continue to increase mobile sales by simplifying the mobile shopping experience.

Spooktacuar ᐧ Super Sale ᐧ-2
  • Sell products using images. Try using different layouts on your mobile ecommerce page that feature all images. This is a more attractive layout for people to shop through their phone, while viewing inventory. Users can easily click on an image to read the full product description, as well as swipe through additional images and a one-click “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” button.
    • Install one-click buttons on purchase pages. Filling out each form with all of a user’s information, as well as credit card numbers, is tedious and takes too much time on mobile. Buttons allow for quick and easy purchases on the go. Create buttons that integrate with a payment system so users can automatically fill in their contact and billing information. IMG_3429
      • Provide a common billing solution. PayPal has over 169 million active accounts, meaning your customer most likely has a PayPal account and can easily login to automatically input their payment details. Using a popular payment system like PayPal or Masterpay is an easy solution for mobile users to make purchases through their phone. The user’s billing information will be automatically generated allowing for a quick on the go purchase.



4. Test Your Mobile Process

You’ve designed a beautiful landing page, made sure the speed is top notch, and enhanced the buying experience, but have you tested it? So often businesses find themselves digging their own grave simply because they didn’t test their process. Conversions aren’t happening because your button link is broken, or the landing page loads differently on Android devices.

Testing is the final step and the cherry on top, but you can’t just test on one device. Performance and user experience is drastically different from IOS to Android, making testing both devices imperative. Any business office is likely to have iPhone users and Android users. Have multiple people test both platforms and gauge what their experience was like.

Any hiccups in the process? Did the forms work? How fast did the page load?Do IOS users have a better experience than Android?-2

The answers to the above will help your team polish off the user experience, as well as decide who to target best. If IOS is offering a better experience than Android target your mobile ads for IOS users.

What ways are you increasing conversions on mobile? Comment below with your favorite mobile conversion optimization tips!

Tips For Making Your Facebook Page Stand Out During The Holidays

This is going to be a great year for businesses to increase their holiday sales online and on mobile. The National Retail Foundation is even predicting online sales to increase 6 to 8 percent, around $105 billion from last year. That’s an increase your business needs to be a part of and can reach using  Facebook marketing during the holidays.

We all know Facebook is mandatory for businesses all year long, but the holiday season creates an extra opportunity for businesses to really showcase what they have to offer. People are searching for gifts, new brands, and businesses their loved ones shop with in order to make new purchases. Make your brand stand out during the holidays and achieve real business goals with these Facebook marketing tips.
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Design a Content Calendar For the Holidays

Most marketers use a content calendar to manage blog posts throughout the year. Just as helpful as they are for blogs, content calendars for social media help manage goals and engagement during the holidays. Before you can develop a social media content calendar specify what goals you want to accomplish with Facebook this season. Do you want to increase sales using Facebook? Is there a specific milestone that you need to surpass from previous years?

Once a direction is clear, then you can start developing posts. I recommend focusing on one month at a time for the holiday period. Finish up October with your Halloween and fall inspired posts and ads. Start November with Veterans Day promotions, leading up to celebrating Thanksgiving and ultimately Black Friday deals. Whether or not your business is in retail, you can still offer Black Friday type of deals for your services.

With so many holidays in such a short time, it’s easy to get wrapped up in just seasonal posting. Space out your holiday promotional posts on the content calendar with everyday posts, such as regularly scheduled blog posts, #MondayMotivation, etc. Not every single post from now until New Years needs to relate to the season.

Promote Holiday Offers Using Facebook Ads

More and more consumers are choosing businesses based on referrals from in-person and on social networks. When a friend “Likes” a new business page it can appear in their newsfeed, spreading awareness. Use Facebook advertising to increase this type of exposure and promote holiday offers.

Create Tracking Pixels. Whether you setup a pixel for cart purchases or contact form fill ins, you can ensure a full return on investment during the holidays with Facebook’s tracking pixel. Install a custom Facebook pixel into your website or landing page that will track customer action. The pixel is designed to work with your website and mobile apps to track key business goals like:
– Checkouts
– Registrations
– Leads
– Key Page Views
– Adds to Cart
– and more!
Facebook Tracking PixelFacebook

Build a New Audience. Think outside the box and create a brand new audience for holiday advertising on Facebook. Your regular 45-year old male who purchases home improvement tools online typically won’t be shopping for himself during the holidays. Instead, change up your demographic to target 35-50 year old females who are married and own a home. Create holiday ads to entice the gifter, instead of your normal customer.
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Budget For Peak Ad Times. Organize your budget to show the most important ads at the most important time. For example, the Black Friday Facebook ads should go live at least a week before Black Friday with about 40% of the budget. As it gets closer to Black Friday, throw a majority of your budget, the other 60%, towards the ads to help make your Black Friday specials stand out when it matters most.

Run a Holiday Themed Contest

One way to really make your Facebook page appear during the holidays is by hosting a holiday contest or sweepstakes. Here’s a few of the most successful and easiest ways for fans to enter a contest on Facebook:

  1. Post a Photo. Encourage fans to share a specific type of holiday photo on your business page. This will increase engagement tremendously, as well as increase exposure to people outside of your fanbase. Choose a relevant theme such as,

    “Share a collage of your family’s funniest Thanksgiving moments on our Facebook page to be entered to win a…”

    Post examples from employees before and during the contest to inspire fans and give them an idea of what you’re expecting. You can also share entries as they’re posted to show how popular the contest is.
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  2. Enter Through a Tab. Using third parties like Woobox, you can create a sweepstakes entry form on the Facebook page. This is a great way to collect other information, aside from engagement. Make “Liking” the page and including the name, email, and phone number part of the entry to obtain the most information from your new holiday leads.
  3. Pose a Question. A contest can be as simple as answering a question about the holidays and choosing a winner. Choose a question that fits with your industry and a specific season/holiday. The answer does not necessarily have to be the “best” answer, but perhaps the most engaged or unique. For ultimate fairness, have someone who isn’t working directly on the contest and monitoring engagement to pick a winner once the contest is done.

Whichever type of contest you decide to run during the holidays, make sure it’s relevant and offers a prize that makes sense for your business and fans.

Post Coupons and Holiday Offers

Wondering if sharing a coupon on Facebook will be effective? Mainstreethost claimed that in 2014, 67% of consumers said they would be likely to share a digital coupon on Facebook during the holidays.

Increase exposure – CHECK
Increase branding – CHECK

The types of offers you share on Facebook should be exclusive to your Facebook fans. Yes, you can share the normally scheduled holiday offers, but also create offers just for your Facebook fans. It’s a great way to thank them for being fans and following the brand, as well as gives fans a reason to keep following you on Facebook.

The first, and free way to share coupons on Facebook is by posting an image of the coupon with a caption describing the deal as an “Offer” post. Customers can either use a promo code from the image to enter online, click on the offer, or print the coupon to use in stores. This will also help track if a sale came from Facebook by using an exclusive promo code and coupon design.
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The second way to promote holiday offers on Facebook is through Facebook ads. When creating a new ad on Facebook choose the “Get people to claim an offer” option. Choosing the offer you want to promote, target a specific demographic that could use this offer for gifting and place a budget. As with all Facebook ads you must test, test, and test again. Keep an eye on the engagement and adjust as needed.

Add a Little Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Last but not least, don’t bah humbug all over your business page. Throw a few snowflakes here and there to adapt to the holiday season. Take advantage of fall, Thanksgiving, winter, Christmas, and all of the fun holiday themes by updating your Facebook page, cover photo, and posts with holiday flair. Incorporating the season will give your page an extra excuse to share new products, as well as ones that pair perfectly with the holidays.

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​Google Grants Adwords Users Wishes with Customer Match

Google has always been focused on user experience, removing the bad and creating the good. Their newest announcement and feature is no different. In order to better improve the user experience, as well as the advertising experience for businesses, Google has created Customer Match. Announced during Advertising Week at Times Center Stage, Google’s Customer Match is essentially a way to upload your email lists to target pre-existing customers based on their behavior.

We all know Google knows everything, really everything. This is even more true if you have ever advertised with Google. Their advertising connects you based on what customers are doing, where they are, what they’re looking at, and what kind of device they’re using to look online. To help avoid being spammy, Google’s Customer Match makes connections with existing customers and lookalikes based on relevancy to consumer intent and context.

In their blog post announcement on Sunday, Google claimed 70% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, and relevance of a brand’s message influences their perception of a brand. That’s a reassuring percentage for marketers who believe branding can be everything for a business. To further branding tactics with customer success, Customer Match is able to connect your business with it’s customers based on their exact behaviors.

“With Customer Match, your brand is right there, with the right message, at the moment your customer is most receptive. Only Google can help you do this to delight your most loyal customers in the moments that truly matter.”  
– Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce

What Can Customer Match Do For My Business?

Create a better connection! Customer Match serves a main purpose of reaching your best customers at the right time on Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube in a secure and “privacy-safe” way. You accomplish this by following these steps:

  • Sign into Adwords. Access your Adwords account to begin uploading email addresses for Customer Match.
  • Upload a list of email addresses to the Adwords account. Visit your “Shared Library” on Adwords to access Audiences. You’ll then click on “+Remarketing list” and select the custom option. This will allow you to upload your list and name it. Google is accepting .csv format file types 17MB and under. Think strategically when choosing what list to upload. Try different lists that include email addresses for hot leads, recent buyers, or a list of your most loyal customers. Google is able to match the email addresses you upload to accounts logged in on Google using a secure and “privacy-safe” way, of course.
  • Build campaigns and ads specific to the email lists. One of Google’s requirements for Customer Match is that the campaign reaches 1,000 or more active visitors. The type of campaign and ad you create should be based on the type of email list you uploaded. While some campaigns can be more broad, other types of ads will be directed specifically to a smaller portion of your audience for the most success. Keep track of how often your list is refreshed so it’s consisting of your most recent and most important contacts to reach.
  • Create Similar Audiences on YouTube and Gmail. Reach new customers on YouTube and Gmail using Google’s Similar Audience feature. Like Facebook’s Lookalike Audience advertising feature, Google can create an audience that has the same characteristics or behavior patterns as the customers you’re already targeting. Luckily, you won’t have to manually create the Similar Audience list. Google will automatically generate this audience based on your Customer Match email list.This will be especially helpful to YouTube marketers. Remarket potential customers on YouTube by connecting your YouTube and Adwords account. Then, you can reach people who have watched, engaged, or viewed any of your videos or subscribed to the channel.

Customer Match will be available to advertisers over the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye out and frequently check your Adwords account to see when it’s available to you.