SEO Philippines| SEO Hacker Blog http://seo-hacker.com SEO Hacker is an SEO Services Company and SEO Blog in the Philippines Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:10:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 How to Run your First A/B Experiment for Free Using Google Content Experiments http://seo-hacker.com/run-ab-experiment-free-google-content-experiments/ http://seo-hacker.com/run-ab-experiment-free-google-content-experiments/#respond Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:10:00 +0000 http://seo-hacker.com/?p=8850 AB Testing

You read blogs everyday that tell you this and tell you that – and promise you that you’ll get an X% amount of increase in revenue, traffic or conversion. It’s crazy how people apply some of these things and come out disappointed. That’s because not everything works for everyone. There’s only one way to really know if a strategy or a tool or a design change is the right fit for you – test it.

(Note: This entry is part of our Google Analytics Tutorial series.)

Data vs Intuition

One of the best things you can do in your website is to know what really works. As marketers and webmasters we often rely on intuition – or on other people’s case study and advise. While this isn’t wrong, it’s the long way to go.

I’ve tracked clicks, outbound links and user behavior in SEO Hacker for a long time now. One thing I haven’t really tracked though is a comparison test or an A/B test of themes. And that’s because I haven’t changed our theme for a long time. However, starting up Qeryz enabled me a whole new platform to generate data using A/B testing.

Thus enabling me to write this post.

I’m actually glad you’re here to read it.

First Release

We didn’t have a lot of time to invest in the Qeryz homepage. So I drew out whatever came top of mind to a piece of paper and handed it over to my web developer. It was a rough wire frame so I won’t show here anymore. But here’s how it looked like after Kevin (our web developer) coded it from scratch:

Qeryz first Homepage

It actually looked pretty good. Very minimalistic with a relatively loud call-to-action button right at the middle of the page. There are only two other links in the menu bar and a login button. Nothing much to do but to sign up.

It was the perfect landing page.

Or so I thought.

Want to know the average conversion rate we got from this?

11.83%

Not bad, right?

Until we tested a competing variation.

I signed up for Unbounce just to check what can come out of it. I saw their vast array of templates, put together whatever I can throw in to make a new homepage to pit the original version against. I came up with a this:

Qeryz B Variation

Nothing fancy. Most of the elements in the page deals with copy – underlying problem, benefits and features. I placed a login button on the upper-right hand corner of the site because we have existing users and then I placed a big fat call-to-action button that says “Get my Free Account Now!”

The resulting conversion rate?

21.26%

Yep, that’s a boost of 80% in conversions. It was obvious who the winning landing page is.

Here’s the Point:

The original design and framework of the Qeryz homepage was working fine. We got an 11.83% conversion rate. I was supposed to be happy, and I was.

Until we tested a variation and pitted them against each other with a 50-50 random split of traffic.

Is A/B testing important?

You bet.

Getting Started with A/B Testing

The thing with A/B testing is you need a designer or lots of time to burn in tools like Unbounce or Optimizely. The problem is, a lot of marketers don’t have the initiative to tamper with code. And even with Optimizely and Unbounce, you have to face a little cPanel configuration with Advance DNS options and setting up a subdomain.

While it’s relatively easy, most marketers would just raise their hands and give up. Too bad.

Just like what happened to me, you might be missing out on 80% more conversions.

For this tutorial, I will assume that you have a web designer and developer to create another variation of your landing page for you. That’s the one and only thing you need – a variation page and a Google Analytics Account.

For Qeryz, we are currently running an experiment. You can check out the variation page here and the original version here (although Google Analytics may redirect you to either page because as of today, the experiment is still running).

Step 1: Open your Google Analytics Account and go to the Behaviors Tab

Google analytics Step 1

Step 2: Go to the Experiments subfolder

ExperimentsStep 3: Click on ‘Create Experiment’ on the upper-left section

Create ExperimentStep 4: Name your experiment

Name your ExperimentStep 5: Select a Metric to measure your experiment’s conversion with. In this example, I’ll choose a Goal I have previously set-up.

Select Metric for ExperimentStep 6: Define how much of your traffic will be included in the experiment. I always choose 100% since I have only a few site visitors for now. You can opt to lower this down to as low as 1% – as long as you will still get meaningful data from 1% of your site traffic.

Percentage TrafficStep 7: Click on Advanced Options

Advanced OptionsStep 8: Turn on the Distribute Traffic Evenly across all variations feature. This will ensure that each variation you’ll make will receive the same amount of traffic – keeping the data pure.

Distribute Traffic Evenly

Step 9: Select how long your experiment will run and what your confidence threshold is in order for the experiment to determine a winner. I usually leave it to run at 2 weeks and on a 95% confidence threshold. If you’re done, click on Next Step.

Time and Confidence Threshold

Step 10: Now you can input the pages you want to test. In this case, I’m letting the winning Qeryz homepage butt heads with the variation created by my web team. Whoever wins the experiment will take the throne of the homepage’s URL.

Configuring Experiment Pages

Step 11: Here’s the part where most people give up. Don’t. It’s easy to put this code where it’s supposed to be. Take a close look at the instructions. This is supposed to be pasted after the opening <head> tag only on the original page. Make sure you have your Google Analytics Tracking code inside the original and variation page you’re testing out.

Google Analytics Content Experiment Code

Step 12: That’s it! The Review and Start section will tell you if you got anything wrong. Since you’re following this step-by-step guide, I doubt there will be errors on your end. Click on Start Experiment and pat yourself in the back. Congratulations.

Review and StartSneak Peek: Here’s how your Google Content Experiment will look like after it has run for 2 weeks. I’m showing you data from my first experiment where a winner was chosen with an 80% increase in conversions.

A-B Test DashboardOne thing you have to take note of in running an A/B test, you have to set-up your canonical tags correctly. You don’t want your variation page to be seen as duplicate content by Google. That’s exactly what I did with the variation page of Qeryz.

Also, if you don’t have a lot of traffic, you may want to consider running Google or Facebook ads to boost people coming in your site.

I’ll be coming up with more A/B testing tools for WordPress in my next entries.

Hope this tutorial helped you get out of the boat and start your first A/B testing for your site. It’s not too difficult.

Best of all, it’s free.

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Five Content Marketing Lessons You Can Learn from Simon Cowell http://seo-hacker.com/content-marketing-lessons-learn/ http://seo-hacker.com/content-marketing-lessons-learn/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 03:26:03 +0000 http://seo-hacker.com/?p=8500 Lessons Learned from Simon Cowell

I’ve always been a fan of Simon Cowell. The moment he stepped out of American Idol, I immediately stopped watching it and switched to X-Factor – only because he’s there.

Note: Watch out for our post about experts advises on starting your content marketing campaigns. We are very privileged to have advises from Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, Jerod Morris and a lot more! Subscribe to our mailing list, and be the first to have this.

Most people think that he’s nothing but an insulting guy, but he’s more than that. One of his great characteristics that I really admire is being stinking honest, and although I know this trait had hurt thousands of people, if taken positively, his comments are somewhat a guide to work harder and become a better performer.

In my years of watching him, I got used to his harsh words, and instead of seeing them in a bad light, I took them as constructive criticisms, applied ‘em in my life, and even on my blog. So, here are some of my favourite quotes from him, and how they relate to content marketing, yes, content marketing!

1. “It was like ordering a hamburger and getting only the buns.” 

These are the exact words he said to Brooke White of American Idol Season 7 after she sang “Hero”. Brooke is a great singer, although that time I was definitely on Simon’s side, for the reason that even I didn’t feel she’d given her best. This is the same with content marketing.

What makes content marketing special is that it wasn’t made for search engines, but for actual readers who are fishing for really useful content. So, if your audience is expecting a hamburger of ideas but only get buns, I don’t think you’re doing it right.

Make sure that the most important part of your business, which is the consumer, is getting the best out of your blog. Sing your best! Give them the patties, not just the buns.

2. “I’m tempted to ask if you sang that the night before your wife left you.”

Losing a wife is probably the worst thing that could ever happen to a husband. As a content marketer, losing a reader is the worst thing that could happen. Do not write something that will only disappoint and force them to leave you.

When Neil Patel wrote his entry entitled “Why Successful People Are Douchebags”, I was shocked, intrigued and couldn’t believe that he actually used the word “douchebags”. Two days after, he wrote a sort of follow up post that shows how that controversial article affects his traffic and revenue. And although he said its traffic increased by an extra 4,061 visitors, he also admitted that his income dropped by 26%, and the unsubscribe rate was three times higher than the usual rate of a regular post.

You’re not yet Neil Patel, you can’t afford to lose.

3. “I want people to understand that from the minute Lady Gaga arrived, she created a new set of rules: being different is good; embrace it.”

What makes content marketing different from other marketing strategies is that it demands creativity and uniqueness.

Avoid writing stuff that was written a hundred times already. Try to add twist into your title because a compelling title generates more leads, but take note that you should never ever mislead your audience by putting a great title with nonsense body – do not fool your readers.

4. “My dad said to me, ‘work hard and be patient.’ It was the best advice he ever gave. You have to put the hours in.”

Content marketing is a constant battle with your competitors. If you stop writing fascinating articles, you’ll definitely lose the battle. If you stop because you’re not ranking well enough, take a deep breath and be patient. Results don’t come out in the blink of an eye, you’ll need to work hard to achieve it, and if you still think it’s not working, I have 3 options for you:

  • Wait more.
  • Do more because you’re probably just doing it wrong.
  • Stop. Maybe it’s really not for you.

Although, I don’t recommend number 3 until you’re sure about the first two. Just work hard and be patient, you’ll get there!

5. “The only people with power today are the audience. And that is increasing with Twitter, Facebook and everything else. We cater to their likes and dislikes…”

As a content marketer you should cater to your audience’s likes and dislikes.

On one of many e-books produced by Copyblogger, they said that the first thing you must do before actually starting your website and writing a post is to know who your target audience is and what are the things that will hook them forever.

Whether you like it or not, the audience has been blessed by a great power – if you don’t give them what they like, they don’t give you what you want.

Conclusion

It’s not the way he criticized people, or how hard his words hit people’s hearts that made me admire him so much, rather the lessons I get from him, and how I was able to apply those in marketing, and even in my personal life.

Maybe you have content marketing tips that you’d like to share. Do not hesitate to do so! Share it here by commenting below.

P.S Thank you to Pithree Leonardo for always being an awesome editor of SEO Hacker!

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Secrets to Successful Guest Blogging http://seo-hacker.com/secrets-successful-guest-blogging/ http://seo-hacker.com/secrets-successful-guest-blogging/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 03:20:33 +0000 http://seo-hacker.com/?p=8830 Secrets to Successful Guest Blogging

First of all, link building is not dead. This is like saying you can’t have links to any websites aside from your own. We know it will never happen. Getting a link back from other sites will always be one of SEO’s main goals, and Google will always value this because in the first place it helps Google bots crawl the web much faster.

My favourite link building technique is guest blogging, for the reason that it doesn’t only give the opportunity to plant links, but also to share to a larger audience and improve my author rank. And although many were alarmed with Matt Cutts post about guest blogging losing its value, I know it is far from dead.

In this article, I will share to you the right process to successful guest posting – from prospecting to getting your article published.

Prospecting

Our team uses a tool called Scrapebox. It generates URLs from Google, Bing and Yahoo in seconds. It makes prospecting much faster and easier.

But in my case, I prefer doing things the hard way. What I do is go to Google, search for anything related to my niche and list down all the websites that appeared on the first and second page, then I will search another term, and do the same process.

I will then visit and analyze those sites, check the about page, blogs, guest post guidelines (if any), services and even analyze who their target audience is. Based on those analyses, I will then think of topics to contribute – something that will fit them, something that will benefit their readers.

You may ask, what if they don’t accept guest post? You wouldn’t know until you asked the owner or the team, or they have a specific page telling that they don’t accept guest blogs.

Lastly, take note of contact details. Try to get email addresses first. Contact forms should only be your second option.

But, why do I prefer the longer version?

Simply because the top results are quality blogs, and writing for quality blogs is the number 1 rule in guest blogging. Using a tool is okay, I’m all for that. But, sometimes, it also lengthen the process because it generates even the low quality ones.

Pitching

Now, it’s pitching time.

Before you pitch, take the time to know things about your email/ message recipients by visiting their social sites or personal blogs, and stalk them in a good way. In this way, you’ll be able to adjust the tone of your voice.

Warning number 1: Avoid guessing. I have a blogger friend who’s name is Jess, and she’s a “she,” but this guest blogger called her “Mr. Jess”.

Warning number 2: Do not ever say, “Dear webmaster.” Just don’t.

Simple detail but it could ruin everything when done wrong.

I mentioned all these stuff because the number 1 rule in pitching is to make it personalize. Call that person by name, mention some personal stuff that will catch attention, or congratulate for a job well done. Then introduce yourself, but try to make it short.

Next, go to your main point. I find it effective when I give short explanation about the topic I’m planning to write, and how the readers would benefit from it.

And last, say something like, “Thank you, it will be an honor to write for your amazing readers.”

Tips for keeps: Make your email short, direct to the point, and credible.

Writing your post

Your efforts shouldn’t end with the pitch, work even smarter by writing the topic you proposed. Here are the things you should do for your article to be accepted and published.

  • Write high quality articles. High quality means useful, informative and shareable.
  • Link to reputable sites. It looks spammy when you’re only linking to your site, so try not to be too selfish.
  • Interlink. I’ve said it before, I’m going to say it again. Editors will most likely interlink, so do this for them instead to save their time and show that you know about their site.
  • Write for the audience. If you’re guest posting for sites with business owners as readers, you may want to sound more professional.
  • Build up your social following. I know you want to promote your website, but putting your social URLs in your author bio is helpful too. Readers will be able to easily reach out to you.

Conclusion

Guest blogging will always be a huge part of internet marketing, and it’s still one of the most effective strategies to better rank both on Google and people. This technique will stay, it’s how we implement that will change everything.

What do you think?

What do you think about guest blogging? What are some of the strategies you’re still using to increase your approval/ acceptance rate? Let us know by commenting below.

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Five Sure Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates http://seo-hacker.com/ways-increase-email-open-rates/ http://seo-hacker.com/ways-increase-email-open-rates/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:30:04 +0000 http://seo-hacker.com/?p=8796 Increase Email Open Rates

Email marketing works, that’s for sure. You won’t get tons of emails everyday if companies didn’t find it effective. In fact, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than social media.

Yet, you fail to see its beauty; you think that doing it is only a waste of time. Why? Because your open rate is low – perhaps too low that you don’t consider trying it again.

In this article, I’ll enumerate 5 sure ways for your email to be noticed, opened and your message to reach the right people.

1. Start it with a good subject line.

33% of email recipients open email based on subject line. Subject line is basically what your readers will first see. You need to make it catchy, and at the same time, in line with your real message, because your real goal is not just to have your email opened, but to make your readers engage with you.

Best email subject lines are short, descriptive, and provide readers with a reason to explore message further.
In an email subject line study conducted by MailChimp, they found that their old recommendation which is to keep it simple and to the point still stands.

Staples

Avoid words such as “free” because they tend to trigger spam filters, and “help”, “percent off” and “reminder” because they negatively affect open rates.

2. Personalize your emails by conducting surveys.

You can use Qeryz to put up a short survey in your website. You can ask for their needs, views, and opinions, and these information will help you come up with great newsletter, these will also serve as a guide for you to improve your products, services and even your marketing strategies.

On the other hand, you can also use your email as the actual survey form. Email your audience about customer satisfactory levels, potential product ideas, interests and needs – encourage customer engagement.

3. Manage your list.

Checking and managing your email list will improve your open rates. Don’t make it a habit to send emails to inactive subscribers, or email addresses that do not exist at all. It’s important that email recipients know who you are and expect to receive emails from you, or else they will treat your email as spam.

43% of email recipients click the spam button based on the ‘from’ name or email address.

  • Include a checkbox in your email that encourage readers to opt in to your mailing list. This will help you get the right people – those who are really interested with you.
  • Ask email subscribers to confirm their email address before you add them to the list to avoid sending emails to those who aren’t interested with what you’re offering. This will also show them that you respect your subscribers.

4. Set expectation.

Setting expectation will not just increase your open rates but will also keep your readers from following your newsletter. When you include something to your email that should be expected from you, chances are they will keep subscribed, wait for your next letter, and read when it arrives.

Inform your readers on what type of emails you will be sending, and how often it will be.

5. Remind your subscribers why they subscribed to you.

Your users are probably signed up to tons of products and services, and it’s not impossible for them to forget about you. It’s helpful to include a line of text in your email, reminding why they signed up for your newsletter, and then give a short overview of your products or services.

Red Marble

A message from Ramit Sethi, author of the New York Times bestseller “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”, changed how Zapier handle their email marketing strategy.

“When you’re sending out an email, please refresh everyone as to what you actually do.” –Ramit Sethi

End note:

Email marketing isn’t dead. You just have to develop your strategies. Include all these key takeaways and tell me how your open rate is performing.

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Co-citation vs Co-occurrence: An Overview http://seo-hacker.com/cocitation-cooccurrence-overview/ http://seo-hacker.com/cocitation-cooccurrence-overview/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 01:45:46 +0000 http://seo-hacker.com/?p=8729 Citation

Two new topics within the SEO community has centered on “Co-Citation” and “Co-occurrence”. Often discussed together, these concepts are similar in a lot of ways yet still very much distinct and different from each other. What is without question though is that the two concepts will be at the forefront of the next wave of changes in Google’s search engine strategy, with all algorithm updates giving center-space to both co-citation and co-occurrence.

Co-citation and co-occurence are the first real steps taken by Google towards what I have chosen to call a “nolinks” approach – an approach where backlinks are completely dismissed as a ranking factor. Russian search engine Yandex is already practicing the method for their top money keywords – they were simply forced to cause the high influx of spam. Google has been testing as well, but according to Google’s Matt Cutts the results were far, far less than good. Well, now let’s get going explaining these two terms.

What is co-occurrence?

Co-occurrence is a concept which refers to the common presence, frequency of occurrence, and close proximity of similar keywords present across several websites. Co-occurrence may include keywords that are similar to each other and based on the same topic, but are not exactly the same.

The idea of co-occurrence was born out of the observation that search engines throw out what they consider to be “relevant answers” to a query that is submitted by the user. So, when a website has a certain number of keywords for which the webmaster wishes to rank for, the search engines will seek out the site and display it on their results when the keywords of the site become “relevant”. After last year’s Hummingbird update, the focus of SEO specialists have been redirected to rank for concepts, ideas, questions and answers rather than specific keywords.

Amit Singhal of Google made a succinct verbal painting saying:

The future of search is to become that Star Trek computer, that perfect loyal assistant, that is there by my side whenever I need her.

Gbotr

The trick to co-occurrence is that it is not fully dependent on links. Just great content with mentions of the keywords or the key phrases on the web pages can bring a website into prominence, even if it barely has any links at all. Besides the “relevance” of the keywords in search queries, co-occurrence is also said to occur when two or more search queries are made with similar terms. This is especially true if the terms are searched for consecutively.

Let’s consider an example. If a user looks for a term, say, “Ford Pinto Craigslist” and also looks for “used Ford Pinto car for sale”, Google starts interlinking the two terms, concluding that used Ford Pinto on Craigslist are what people look for when they search for Ford Pinto that are for sale. If a lot of people use these queries, then the link between the two queries is only enhanced and become related, even when used in different contexts by different search terms. In other words, a co-occurrence have occured.

The idea is not exactly new. Co-occurrence was first introduced by the Google Caffeine update 5 years ago. Matt Cutts correctly described the concept of co-occurrence then, without actually mentioning it by name, stating that Caffeine “allows easier annotation of the information stored with documents, and subsequently can unlock the potential of better ranking in the future with those additional signals.”

This was among the earliest acceptances of the fact that Google search technology, which had so far been based completely on links and link building, had been changing, and how important it was for SEO experts and analysts to get themselves acclimatized to these new concepts.

Finally, with co-occurrence being put on the fast track to approval by Google, its importance to SEO analysts will only increase greatly in the near and foreseeable future when it is expected to reach a high degree of sophistication, allowing Google to throw up far more relevant results.

Source

The source site mentions all three sites – A, B and C, which is why all four are related. A and B has a higher relation since they appear closer to each other and may also be more closely related to the source since they are both found in the beginning of the text.

What is Co-citation?

Co-citation occurs when a website is mentioned, but not necessarily linked, by two different sources.
The term was first used in an SEO context by Moz founder Rand Fishkin, and it’s quite simple to understand. Google was based on the concept of linking one website to another, with sites that have a lot of backlinks rising up high on the SERPs.

Co-citation is a major change on that, as it requires a website to be cited or mentioned by two different sources without the compulsion of having a hyperlink involved. As more websites mention or refer to a particular site – not necessarily linking to it – its authority is established and it may rank more prominently in the SERPs. Also, co-citation happens even though the reference to the website is purely incidental or indirect.

Using Co-citation is one of the oldest tricks in the book for Blackhatters trying to fly under the radar. I remember how, as far back as 10-15 years ago, when people packed their (spammy) doorway pages with links to government authorities, universities, etc. just to avoid quick detection. Since Black Hat SEO is a short term game, you know that you could get wiped from the index at any given day, but with these kinds of tactics, you can expect your site to late a whole lot longer.

Spam

In fact, I see the same happening a lot today, and the trick is the same, but with great and relevant content that links out to different kinds of authority sites. You can also benefit by linking out in the same way celebrities benefit by constantly mentioning other stars in order to expand their fanbase. If you can rub shoulders with thought leaders of your niche, you establish yourself as a significant member of the elite.

Celebrity

Co-citation is also called by many observers as “link building without links”. There are two main ways in which two different sites are connected in a co-citation relationship.

  • They should share a common mention of the same site without having to link to it.
  • They should discuss a common or a similar topic. Now, this doesn’t mean that they should be using the exact same keywords. The keywords have to be similar, not an exact match – just as in co-occurrence, which has been discussed earlier.

To iterate, what co-citation does is to provide a signal to the Google algorithm that the mutually mentioned site is relevant and important. This now means that all the three websites, the one that is being mentioned and the two that mention it, are now symbiotically interrelated.

Few people have regarded “mentions” as a ranking factor, but it indeed is. Similarly, nofollow links will give your site cred even if no actual link juice is being transferred. This is yet another subject which I will get back to in a future article.

The significance of co-citation to search technology is that it serves as a possible replacement to anchor texts. While SEO analyst Bill Slawski was of the opinion that in spite of the increasing importance of co-citation, SEO analysts shouldn’t merely depend on it as anchor texts are still the deciding factor that is used by Google to judge its relevance.

Fact is, more SEOs are making serious studies of co-citation and co-occurrence due to the fact that Google has several times declared the diminishing value of exact keyword anchors. While yours truly hasn’t seen any significant change with regards to it at all, I am surely keeping it in mind while working.

There are many who appreciate co-citation as being the best thing to have happened to Google for a long time. One of which are those building “brands” that are now able to make an association without any hyper aggressive promotion – particularly since no links are needed for it.

What co-citation really does is to somewhat ”decrease” the importance of SEO techniques. A site may be ranking higher on Google by purely concentrating on creating great content that causes the site to be referred to by other websites.

Now, creating great content in order to get backlinks isn’t really new, but we all know that the adage “content is king” isn’t really effective by itself. The same goes for the principle of “build it and they will come” isn’t either, but the point is, they will certainly become more relevant when such strategies are practiced.

Ranking higher with a no links co-citation/occurrence approach will mean that newer or lesser known sites with excellent content may get the chance to rank high even if they don’t have a fulltime SEO/link builder working for them.

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