Category: Health

Backlinks: Your Free Link Analysis Tool

backlinks neil patel

Please note that you may have to clear your browser cache to see the latest version of Ubersuggest.

Do you want to know how many people are linking to you? Do you want to find more link opportunities?

Well, I created a free backlink tool that will allow you to do that (and much more).

I decided to call it Backlinks.

And, as you may have guessed, I integrated it within Ubersuggest so that way you can do more within one simple tool.

Here’s how Backlinks works…

How Backlinks works

The first step is to head over to the Backlinks landing page and type in a URL or a domain.

backlinks

You’ll then want to select the type of backlink report you want to pull up.

backlinks drop down

As you can see, there are 3 main options:

  1. URL – this report will pull backlink information ONLY for that specific URL.
  2. Domain/* – this report will pull backlink information for that domain EXCLUDING subdomains.
  3. *Domain/* – this report will pull all backlink information for that domain, including any subdomains. This option will typically give you the biggest backlink count number.

Once you figure out what type of query you want to run, select that option and hit the “Search” button.

The Backlinks report

At this point, you’ll see a report that looks something like this:

backlink overview

This report will show you the domain score (the authority of a domain), the total number of backlinks, how many of them are follow versus nofollow, number of referring domains, .edu and .gov backlink count, and the estimated organic traffic a domain and URL receive.

In essence, you can get a quick overview of how you are doing versus your competition in seconds.

Link analysis

When you pull up a Backlinks report, you will also see a full list of URLs linking to a website.

backlink report

By default, it shows one link per domain to make the report more useful. That way if someone links to you 100 times, you’ll see the best link from that site.

If you want to see all 100 links coming from the same site, unclick the “one link per domain” button.

one link per domain

In general, assuming the URL or domain you just pulled up has a lot of backlinks, you’ll see thousands and thousands of links.

In each row, you’re provided with:

  1. Source title – what is the title of the page linking to URL/Domain you looked up.
  2. Target page – where the link is pointing to. If you are looking up a URL, then it will be pointing to that specific URL. If you looked up a domain, you can see where their link is pointing to on that domain.
  3. Domain score – how authoritative is the linking site? The higher the number the better.
  4. Page score – how authoritative is the linking page? The higher the number the better.
  5. Link type – is an incoming link through an image or a text link?
  6. Anchor text – does the link contain any keywords? You can easily see this through the anchor text column.
  7. First seen – when did we first find this link?
  8. Last seen – when did we last crawl and find this link?

Advanced filtering

When you are looking for specific link opportunities, especially if you are looking up a competitor’s domain, you may want to use the advanced filters to find the best link opportunities.

backlink filters

Here’s how the advanced filters work.

  • Search box – in the box, you can type in any keyword or phrase and it will pull any URLs, titles, or anchor text that contain any of those words. That way you can find what you are looking for faster.
  • Zone – if you want to only include or exclude links with certain domain extensions, such as .net, .com, .com.br, .co.uk, etc., you can do so with zone filtering.
  • Referring domain – if you want to include or exclude links coming from a specific domain, this is the filtering option you can use.
  • Anchor – if you want to find links by a specific anchor text or exclude links with a specific anchor text you can do so with this filtering option.

And if you want to slice and dice the data in more advanced ways, you can always click the “export to CSV” button and play around with the data.

Links are everywhere

As you may know in Ubersuggest you can enter in a URL. Because of this update, we have integrated link data throughout multiple reports.

As you can see in the Overview report under the “Traffic Analyzer” heading, you not only get traffic estimations, but you also get link data.

domain overview

From referring domains to .gov and .edu links to domain score.

The best part about this update is you now get detailed link information on the Top Pages report.

If you aren’t familiar with the Top Pages report, it shows the most popular pages for any domain.

top pages

You’ll notice that you can see how many visitors go to each URL and if you click on “view all” under Est. Visits, you’ll see a list of keywords that are driving traffic to that URL.

top pages keywords

And if you click “view all” under backlinks, you will see all of the URLs that are linking to that page.

top pages links

Conclusion

I hope you like Backlinks. I put a lot of time, energy, and money into building it.

You can look up as many domains and URLs as you want… both from your site or your competition’s. Best of all, there are no restrictions. 🙂

So, head over to Backlinks and start typing in domains and URLs.

What do you think of the tool? Please leave a comment letting me know your thoughts or if you find any bugs.

PS: You can also access the Backlinks report through Ubersuggest.

PPS: I would really appreciate if you told people about Backlinks and shared it. 🙂

The post Backlinks: Your Free Link Analysis Tool appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Why You Shouldn’t Try to Rank #1 on Google

google

Do you know what the number one email request I get is?

Come on, take a guess. What do you think it is?

Ok, its people asking me for money.

But, do you know what the second most common email request I get is?

Companies asking me to rank them number 1 on Google for a specific term.

And I have to say, it’s a big waste of time for you to focus all of your energy on ranking number 1 on Google for a specific term or even a handful of terms.

Just take a look at my site… here’s my Google traffic over the last 31 days:

search traffic

As you can see from the graph, I’m generating 2,375,455 organic visits from search engines each month.

And can you guess how many keywords I’m tracking when it comes to my rankings?

A big fat ZERO!

I’m not saying I don’t do SEO, I’m saying I don’t focus on rankings.

Can you increase your search traffic without tracking rankings?

The short answer is yes.

As you saw from the graph above, I’m getting over 2 million visits from organic search each month. If you look back a year, I was getting 970,459 visitors a month from search.

2018 search traffic

In other words, I was able to grow my organic search traffic by 144% in roughly 12 months. That’s not too shabby considering I don’t focus on any one particular keyword.

So why don’t I focus on specific keywords or track my rankings?

Number 1 doesn’t guarantee the most clicks

Ahrefs recently did a study where they showed how being number 1 doesn’t guarantee the greatest number of clicks.

ahrefs number 1

The number 1 listing gets the majority of the traffic only 49% of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I would rather be number 1 than number 2, but getting there doesn’t guarantee the most amount of traffic.

And over time it’s just going to get worse.

Just look at how SERP listing pages looked in 2014.

serp 2014

Now let’s look at how SERP listings look today.

2019 serp listing

What are the big differences that you see?

  1. Paid listings blend in – paid listings aren’t as clearly defined as they used to be. In other words, they blend in, which helps ads generate a higher percentage of the clicks.
  2. Localized listings can be ads – the first listing in the localized listing is also paid.
  3. The right side no longer has ads – most of the elements on the right side, when you click on them, drive you to perform another Google search.
  4. Less organic listings – the homepage only has 9 organic listings if you exclude the localized listings.
  5. Organic results are pushed down – not only do the paid and local listings show first, but news results are also in-between the organic results. This causes the 3rd, 4th, 5th… organic result to get fewer clicks.

The common trend is people are focusing on the paid ads more than the organic listings. And organic listings are no longer guaranteed to be as high up as they once were.

Just look at this eye tracking study of a Google SERPs result.

eye tracking

It clearly shows how the paid ads have the majority of the attention.

So, does this mean you should give up?

No, I am not trying to paint a picture of how you shouldn’t try to rank high on Google or that SEO is useless. Because although Google keeps adjusting the layout of their SERPs page, it’s still the most popular site in the world.

google similarweb

Commanding 57.34 billion visits a month means… you have no choice but to do SEO!

But you shouldn’t waste your time thinking about each and every change Google is making because it’s out of your control.

Just look at how many algorithm changes they made in the last 12 months. It’s too hard to keep up with each change or predict Google’s next move. That’s why I take a different approach to get ahead of Google’s upcoming algorithm changes.

I focus on user experience.

What should you do?

You aren’t going to be able to control your rankings for every single one of your keywords… especially if you are doing SEO the right way.

The majority of your traffic should be coming from long tail phrases. Just look at my blog, I rank for 477,000 keywords.

That’s far too many keywords to track on a regular basis.

I focus on 3 things:

  1. Create an amazing user experience – Google doesn’t want to rank sites at the top that are the “best optimized.” They want to rank the site that users love the most at the top. So, focus on providing that and, in the long run, you should rank higher.
  2. Overall organic traffic growth – keywords have trends and they change in popularity over time. Instead of focusing on a handful of keywords or even a few hundred, I just focus on increasing my overall organic traffic. As long as it keeps climbing quarter over quarter, I’m happy.
  3. Conversion rate – more traffic doesn’t guarantee more sales. I continually optimize my conversion rates so that each additional organic visitor I get has a higher chance to convert into a customer.

And I know I said I focus on 3 things, which is true… but every once in a while I focus on one more thing. It’s updating my old content.

If I had to add in a 4th, it would be updating my old content. Even though I know SEO fairly well, there is no guarantee the even my traffic keeps going up and to the right.

Just like you, my traffic drops every once in a while.

641 decline

It sucks when your traffic just drops 6.94% in a week and it is scary when that trend continues. But when it does happen, follow this and you can reverse the trend of your declining traffic.

Which strategy should you follow?

There are a few SEO strategies I use to get more traffic that still work well today. If you follow them, you should get more traffic over time:

  1. Globalization – search isn’t too competitive outside of English. That is changing fast though, so I would follow these globalization tips as soon as possible.
  2. Off-page SEO – it still impacts rankings significantly and you can’t ignore it. Here are 6 off-page strategies you should follow.
  3. Link building – here’s one of my favorite strategies for link buildingit works really well. Even if you have a new site and no one knows who you are, you will be able to build links using it.
  4. Land and expand – you already rank for terms on Google. This strategy will allow you to turn one ranking into hundreds.
  5. Brand building – Google wants to rank brands higher than non-brands. Follow this as it will help you build a brand.

There are tons of other tactics and strategies that people are using, but the 5 main ones I mentioned above still work well in today’s competitive search landscape.

Conclusion

Yes, you want to continually improve your search traffic over time, but obsessing over whether or not a keyword is ranking number 1 doesn’t mean much.

SEO has moved to a long-tail strategy. The goal isn’t to rank for one keyword, or even a hundred or a thousand… the goal is to rank for hundreds of thousands if not millions of keywords over time.

And as long as that trend is continually going up and to the right, you’re fine.

One way to see if things are going directionally right is to use Ubersuggest. When you put in your domain, you’ll see a chart that looks something like this:

keyword rankings

You want the total number of keywords to increase over time and you want the small green bar to continually go up over time as that means a higher portion of your listings are moving up in Google.

So, are you going to continue focusing on rankings?

The post Why You Shouldn’t Try to Rank #1 on Google appeared first on Neil Patel.

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17 Charts That Show Where Social Media is Heading

social shares

You already know it’s harder to get traffic from the social web unless you spend money on ads.

There’s nothing new with that fact… just look at the graph above: It breaks down how the average number of social shares per blog post has been dying year over year.

But the reality is you can’t ignore platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube or any other new contender that comes out and gains traction.

These social sites command so much traffic, that we have no choice but to be on them.

Just look at the Similar Web numbers for Facebookthey get an estimated 19.2 billion visits a month.

That’s ridiculous! And it’s not just Facebook either… according to Similar Web, all of the big platforms get tons of traffic:

  • LinkedIn – 917 million visitors a month
  • Twitter – 3.62 billion visitors a month
  • YouTube – 22.77 billion visitors a month
  • Instagram – 2.86 billion visitors a month

In other words, whether you like their algorithm tweaks or not, you have no choice but to be on these platforms as they attract so many eyeballs.

So, what should you do with your organic social reach? How should you combat their algorithms so you can generate a positive ROI as their ad prices keep going up?

Well, I surveyed 183 companies that generate at least 5 million dollars in revenue a year all the way up to $1.7 billion to show you where social media is headed and what you should do to succeed in the landscape.

Let’s dive into the data…

Expect less traffic from the social web, even if you pay for it

Look at the graph below. What do you see?

social shares per post

Since 2015, the amount of shares a blog post receives from the social web has been declining. One of the large reasons for social sites to clamp down on organic reach is that that makes it so you need to spend money to get the reach that you were once used to and relied upon to generate traffic.

Now let’s look at the percentage of digital ad spend going towards social media sites.

ad spend

Over time it has increased, and you’ll notice that things really started to ramp up in 2016.

An interesting fact is that in the United States during mid-2017, Facebook had more advertisers than inventory. In other words, the demand was higher than the supply which caused CPM and CPC rates to increase.

But similar to the game of cat and mouse SEOs play with Google, marketers also play that game with social networks. In recent years, marketers have figured out how to reverse the trend of their dying organic reach.

organic social traffic

2017 was a low point, but since then marketers have figured out a way to boost organic social traffic.

It won’t last forever… but can you guess how?

Don’t expect your employees to help

Well, it’s not by asking your employees to share your content.

employees content share

Roughly 74% of the companies we surveyed asked their employees to share their content. Might as well get those extra likes and comments, right?

I know I used to do it.

employees don't share

But then I stopped because the majority of my employees didn’t want to share the content. And it’s not just my companies, other companies experienced the same thing.

In other words, the first few times you ask your team members to share, they’ll do it. After a while, they’ll ignore you.

So how are marketers boosting their organic reach?

You have to use chatbots

Here’s how much time companies are spending on each form of social media content.

time spent on content

As you can see, everyone loves posting images and text-based updates because they are easy to post.

But they don’t produce the best engagement. It’s actually live video and other forms of video.

socialcontent

Social platforms are trying to compete with television networks and they are even competing with platforms like Netflix.

So, if you want the most engagement you have to feed into their goals. If you start producing live video or even recorded video, you’ll find that you can boost your engagement. What this will do is get more of your followers engaged so when you post other forms of content they’ll be a higher probability that the content will be seen.

The other reason videos work so well is because they keep people on these social platforms versus driving people back to your site.

But of course, you want your followers to go back to your site… and you can do that through chatbots.

biggest social gains

As you can see, 41% of the companies reported that chatbots (also knowns as messenger bots for social sites) provided their biggest traffic gains.

In other words, if you want to drive people from social sites like Facebook, you’ll have to start using messenger bots like Mobile Monkey.

The chances are you aren’t using messenger bots yet, but they are super effective. Just follow this guide and it will walk you through setting them up.

Now, not every social network has messenger bots, but over time you’ll see this change.

You’ll have to start expanding globally

I’ve been blogging a lot about global expansion from an SEO perspective, but the same goes from a social media perspective as well.

social traffic english

The chart above clearly shows how people are now getting traffic from regions where English wasn’t the native language.

And as companies noticed that trend, they also started posting their social content in multiple languages.

language post in

You’ll see a trend of this continuing over the next few years in which companies will be leveraging globalization as social marketing campaigns in non-English speaking countries in most cases is more profitable.

If you want the most out of your organic social traffic and paid ads you should consider posting content in multiple languages.

Some social networks like Facebook give great targeting options where you can pick which regions you want to show your content in.

languages

For other platforms like Twitter and Instagram, this doesn’t exist yet.

When you also look at it from an advertising perspective, ads are expensive in regions like the United States, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany… but they aren’t as costly in most parts of Latin America and Asia.

Now let’s look at social media from a sales perspective.

Here’s how to maximize your social media revenue

Similar to content marketing, don’t expect social media visitors to convert right when they land on your site.

On average, a social media visitor will convert after 3 visits.

visit before customer

That means you are going to have to focus on getting people to continue to come back to your site if you want more sales.

In other words, you’ll have to play the long game.

The simplest way to do this is to remarket your social visitors. But there are other solutions as well that you aren’t currently using.

convert social customers

You can use a combination of the methods above. You’ll find that one won’t be enough and you’ll have to combine a handful of methods, including SMS.

You’re probably not using SMS marketing yet, but did you know that when I send SMS messages my response rates are 68%?!

That’s crazy high!

I’m not talking about opens, I am talking about responses!

For email, you can use tools like Hello Bar and for push notifications, you can use tools like Subscribers.

But there are multiple ways to boost your sales from social media, including focusing on specific content types.

Did you know that if you leverage chatbots (messenger bots) and post video-based content you’ll generate more sales on average than if you just posted status updates?

organic sales

I know that sounds counterintuitive as it is easier to drive people to your site using status updates than to create a video, but you have to consider that social algorithms favor video.

You can also optimize your sales by picking specific social networks

Sales is a complicated formula. There’s more to growing your revenue than just focusing on specific types of content social media sites love and optimizing your landing pages.

To get a full picture, you also have to look at the first touch and last touch sales.

First touch sales are the traffic source that people first found you from. They don’t necessarily convert right then and there, but it’s the way they first found you.

first touch sales

It’s no shocker, but Facebook is the leader when it comes to first touch sales.

Now let’s look at last touch sales, which is where a visitor comes from right before they convert. Remember, someone may have found your site from Facebook, but they may not convert right away.

last touch

Sure, Facebook is still the winner, but YouTube is a close second and, shockingly, WhatsApp is in 3rd place.

It makes sense as texting has an extremely high open and click rate. I know you aren’t using WhatsApp for your business yet because that’s what the data shows, but you should check out their business API.

social platform

Conclusion

Over the upcoming years, you can assume social algorithms are going to get tougher from both an organic and paid perspective.

Social media companies are facing heavy governmental pressure due to fake news, privacy concerns, and issues related to political campaigns.

But that doesn’t mean you can ignore the social web or stop using it. It’s not dying and it is here to stay.

customers find you

The data shows social media is on the rise. Sure, these sites aren’t growing at a rapid pace anymore but that’s due to the majority of the world already being on one of these platforms if not a few of them.

They are effective because people trust what they see on these sites and that should continually increase as they fix issues like fake news.

As long as you follow the tips above, you’ll be able to maximize your social media traffic and revenue even when the algorithms change in ways that don’t favor you.

So how are you maximizing your social media traffic?

PS: If you want to know where content marketing is heading, check this out.

The post 17 Charts That Show Where Social Media is Heading appeared first on Neil Patel.

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How to Create a Global SEO Strategy

world

As a child, I did everything that most kids did. I played outside with friends, I watched a lot of TV, I loved eating cereal for breakfast, and I went to school.

My childhood wasn’t too much different than yours. But there was one thing that was a bit unique.

I grew up watching Bloomberg before I went to school.

Now, I don’t want you to think I was some child prodigy because I wasn’t. The only reason I watched Bloomberg in the morning is that my dad dabbled in the stock market and wanted to know if his stocks were going up or down.

Plus, we only had one TV… so I didn’t really have a choice.

But from all of those years of watching Bloomberg, it wasn’t too hard for me to spot trends. And one of the big ones is globalization.

See, as a kid, most of the financial news channels discussed how things were progressing in America.

But now, due to technological advances, companies no longer see themselves as regional or even national. Things like headquarters no longer matter.

Companies look at themselves from a global perspective. And every big company out there has done well because they focus on attracting customers from all over the world as it’s a much bigger pool and opens up more potential revenue.

And it’s not just businesses, it’s people too. When children go to school these days, their parents think about how they are going to stack up against kids in other countries versus kids just from their own classroom.

So, with everyone thinking from a global perspective, why do you think of your SEO from a national or regional perspective?  

Don’t beat yourself up just yet, I used to think about SEO from a national perspective until a Google employee opened up my eyes.

And once I cracked the nut of international SEO, my traffic exploded…

So how much traffic do I get?

Here’s how many visitors NeilPatel.com received over the last 7 days.

7 day traffic

In the last 7 days, there were 972,026 sessions on my site that generated 1,501,672 pageviews. And of those visitors, 584,294 where unique people. Hopefully, you were one of those unique people. 😉

But this is where it gets interesting…

global traffic

The United States only makes up 22.35% of my traffic.

The rest is coming from other countries and, in many of them, English isn’t their primary language. Just look at the chart above… Brazil, India, Germany, Spain, and France are all examples where I am generated a lot of traffic from.

Of course, there are people all around the world that speak English, but the big reason for the growth is that I started to expand internationally by doing things like translating my content.

Just click on the language selector next to my logo and you’ll see some of the regions I am going after.

languages

So how does one go after organic traffic from different countries?

The simple answer is to translate your content. If you translate your content into different languages, in theory, you should get more traffic.

Just look at the most popular languages all across the globe:

  1. Mandarin Chinese (1.1 billion speakers)
  2. English (983 million speakers)
  3. Hindi (544 million speakers)
  4. Spanish (527 million speakers)
  5. Arabic (422 million speakers)
  6. Malay (281 million speakers)
  7. Russian (267 million speakers)
  8. Bengali (261 million speakers)
  9. Portuguese (229 million speakers)
  10. French (229 million speakers)

But what most people won’t tell you (because they haven’t done it enough times) is that translating your content isn’t enough. Even if you translate it and adapt it to a specific country, it doesn’t guarantee success.

I had to learn this the hard way.

Case in point, here are the traffic stats during the last 7 days for the Portuguese version of my blog:

brazil

And here are my traffic stats during the last 7 days for Spanish:

spanish

I get a whopping 238% more traffic on the Portuguese version of NeilPatel.com than I do on the Spanish version.

Here’s what’s interesting…

  1. There are 298 million more Spanish speakers than Portuguese speakers.
  2. My team doesn’t just translate articles for both of those regions, we optimize them and make sure they are adapted to the local markets.
  3. We do keyword research to make sure we are going after popular terms.
  4. And I have more backlinks to the Spanish version of the site than I do to the Portuguese version.

Here’s the backlink profile to the Spanish version:

spanish links

And here is the backlink profile of the Portuguese version:

brazil links

As you can see, the Spanish version has 52% more backlinks.

Are you puzzled why the Spanish version of my blog isn’t as popular? There is a reason and I’ll give you a hint. Here’s a quote from Eric Schmidt who used to be the CEO of Google:

Brands are the solution, not the problem. Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.

Need another hint?

Here’s how many people land on my site from branded queries (people searching for my domain name or variations of it) in Spanish speaking countries:

spanish brand

And here’s how many people land on my site from brand queries in Portuguese speaking countries:

brazil brand

That’s why I get so much more traffic from Portuguese speaking regions like Brazil. I have 104% more brand queries.

It’s something Google values so much that most people ignore.

And it’s not just me. I have analytics access to 18 other companies that have a global strategy due to my ad agency. I obviously can’t share their stats, but it just shows the power of brand queries from a global perspective.

So, what’s the real secret to ranking well globally?

Based on my site and helping 18 other sites go global, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. Sadly, I made one too many mistakes, but you won’t as long as you follow the advice below.

Localizing

You have to translate and adjust your content to each region you want to target. You can do so by hiring translators on sites like Upwork, but the quality may be low.

Now, this doesn’t mean Upwork is bad, more so you should consider getting an editor who knows the local market, speaks the local language and speaks English, and understands the niche you are working in.

This way they’ll understand your goals, your original content, and the market you are going after.

And similar to finding translators on Upwork, you can also find editors there too. Just interview a few and ideally look for people with experience in your field.

The last thing you want to do is translate 100 articles to find out that they were all low quality and you have to do it all over again.

Keyword research

Popular keywords in one language aren’t always popular in other languages.

Read this article to get an overview of how I rank for 477,000 keywords. It teaches you the concept of key expansion and it’s important for your translators and editors to understand the process. You’ll want them to use it.

In addition to that, have them use free keyword research tools like Ubersuggest as it will give them more ideas. I would also have them check out this tutorial as it will teach them how to get the most out of Ubersuggest.

By understanding which keywords to go after in new markets, you can start creating new content (beyond just translating) to target keywords that are relevant and have high search volume. By understanding where there are gaps in the quality of the competition’s posts, you’ll be able to produce new, high-quality content that can rank quickly.

The article on my Portuguese blog, for example, that gets the most organic traffic from Google is an article that only exists in Brazil. We found a keyword to go after that had low competition but high search volume and were able to rank very quickly for it. In the last 30 days, that article has had 17,197 visits.

Build links

Building links in English may be hard, but internationally it’s easy.

No one really sends those cold outreach emails begging for links, so when you do this for countries like Brazil, you’ll find that it is fishing with dynamite.

Again, you’ll want someone who knows the language to do the outreach… this can be your editor or someone you hire from Upwork.

Once you have the person who is going to be in charge of your link building, have them start with this. It will break down what they need to do step-by-step.

Make sure you let them know to avoid spam sites, paying for links, and even building rich anchor text links.

Remember in these markets SEO isn’t as competitive, so it won’t be too hard to get rankings. 

Hreflang

Google doesn’t penalize for duplicate content… especially when it is in a different language.

If you translate your content, it isn’t as simple as popping it up on landing pages. You have to tell Google which version to show for each country/language. You would use hreflang for that.

Here’s a video that explains how it works:

And here is a tool that’ll help you generate the hreflang code needed for your site.

Subdomains over subdirectories

On NeilPatel.com, you’ll notice that I use subdirectories for each language/country over subdomains.

They say subdirectories are better because more authority and juice flows through your site versus using subdomains.

But here’s what I learned the hard way, you are much better off using subdomains from everything that I tested than subdirectories.

Not only is it easier to rank as it is treated as a separate site, but it ranks faster from my experience. And if you don’t mind spending the extra money, I would even consider registering the international variation of each domain and forwarding it to the respective subdomain.

Browser redirects

Similar to how Google Analytics shows you the browsers people are using and countries and languages people come to your site from… your server is also getting that data.

What you’ll want to do is redirect users once you’ve translated your content and set up your hreflang tags.

For example, if you were to visit this site form Brazil and your browser told us that your preferred language is Portuguese, we would automatically forward you to the Portuguese version of the site. Not just to the homepage, but to the correct page you were originally browsing, just the translated version.

Now if you were visiting this blog from India and your browser stated that your preferred language was English, we wouldn’t forward you to the Hindi version of the blog. We would keep you on the English version as that’s what you prefer.

If you don’t forward people, you’ll find that it takes search engines much longer to realize that they should be ranking the language and country-specific sections of your site instead of the English version.

Build a community

As I mentioned above, international SEO isn’t just about backlinks or content, it’s about building a brand.

I pay in each country to respond to my blog comments as I don’t speak Spanish and Portuguese so I can’t personally respond to them.

I show them how I respond to comments in English so they can replicate me.

I also spend money on boosting posts on Facebook within those regions as it helps me attract new potential readers and get my brand out there.

And most importantly, I hire people on the ground in each country to help build up my brand. That’s why I do so well in places like Brazil over the Spanish market.

I have more people on the ground in Brazil focusing on brand building. From attending conferences to representing my brand on webinars… they put in the effort to truly help people out when it comes to anything marketing related.

That’s how you build a brand. Just look at my Instagram channel, the content is in English, but a lot of my followers are from Brazil due to the localized brand building efforts.

instagram countries

AMP

Do you remember Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)? No one talks about AMP anymore, but it does help increase traffic.

What we’ve found through testing is that in regions like the United States, AMP doesn’t do much, if anything, for your traffic.

But for regions like Brazil and India, where their infrastructure is still developing, we found that leveraging AMP boosts mobile search traffic by anywhere from 9 to 32%.

If you don’t want to use AMP that’s fine too. Just make sure you optimize your load speed times. Not only does it boost traffic, but it also boosts conversions.

Time

Similar to how it takes forever for you to get Google rankings in English speaking markets, it does take time internationally. Typically, not as long as it does for the United States or United Kingdom markets, but it does take time.

Typically, if you are doing everything above, you’ll see some results within 3 months. Things will really take off at the 9-month mark and after a year you should be crushing it.

Now as your traffic and rankings go up, this doesn’t mean you should slow down. Just like how you can lose rankings on your English site, the same can easily happen for any other region.

What countries should I target first?

You got everything done when it comes to international SEO… all that’s left is tackling the right regions.

It would be great to go after every language and country at once, but it’s going to be too resource intensive and costly.

You could try tactics like automatically translating your content through machine learning, but the translations won’t be great and your user metrics such as bounce rates will go through the roof. This typically will lead your whole site’s rankings to tank.

You don’t want to do that.

Another approach people take is to go after the markets with the highest GDPsuch as the USA, China, Japan, UK, Germany, etc…

But going after markets that have money doesn’t guarantee success either because culturally each region is different. Some may not care for your products or services.

What I like doing is to look at your Google Analytics and see where your traffic is coming from. Are you getting traffic from countries where English isn’t their main language? And, if so, are people from those countries buying your products and services?

If they are, now you have a list of potential countries to go after.

Then what you’ll want to do is look at your competition and see if they are going after any regions by translating their sites. Chances are if a region that isn’t predominantly English speaking is driving you sales, and your competitor is translating their content for that region, then you should be going after it as well.

Conclusion

SEO is no longer about ranking your site in one country or even just English-speaking countries.

You have no choice but to think of it from a global perspective. Not only is it more affordable, but there is less competition and you can see results faster.

Sure, the total market of some of these international countries may only be a fraction of the United States, but there won’t be much competition, which means you can gobble up the market share.

So what countries are you focused on with your SEO?

The post How to Create a Global SEO Strategy appeared first on Neil Patel.

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17 Charts That Show Where Content Marketing is Heading

content

I started content marketing in the early days. So early that when I first met the WordPress founder, he had just raised $1.1 million for WordPress.

Fast forward to today and WordPress is worth over a billion dollars.

Similarly, when I first started with content marketing, there were less than 30 million blogs that existed and now there are over a billion.

In other words, things have changed drastically and now it’s what more competitive.

We are at a point where you already know you need to leverage content marketing. But what areas of content marketing should you focus on?

How many blog posts do you need to write? What are the best ways to monetize your traffic?

How can you ensure that what you are doing will work in the future?

To shed some light on where content marketing is headed, I’ve gathered data from 183 companies who are all leveraging content marketing. Each company makes at least 5 million dollars in revenue a year and generates less than $1.9 billion a year.

These companies are in all different sectors, from B2B to B2C, and are part of all the major industries out there. Most importantly, they have been leveraging content marketing for at least 8 years.

Now, I know many of you don’t have a company that generates at least 5 million dollars a year, but the stats and data I will show you are still relevant to your blog.

So, let’s dive into the stats to see where content marketing is headed.

Expect less traffic from social sites

What do you think has happened to social shares over time?

social shares

As you probably guessed, social shares have gone down because the algorithms (like on Facebook) really limit organic reach.

In the early days, people saw big lifts in their social share count due to the fact that these social sites were still growing in popularity. But once their growth slowed down, so did the number of times the shares each piece of content generated.

If you are wondering why just think of it this way… when people share content on social sites it drives users off of the platform. By keeping people on Facebook longer (or any other social platform), they make more money as people click on ads.

If you are expecting to grow your blog through the social web, think again. It’s slowly driving less and less traffic each year and you should expect it to get worse.

You need to take an omnichannel approach, but focus on search

Can you guess what’s the most popular traffic channel for a blog?

traffic by channel

SEO made up 51% of the blog’s traffic and to no surprise, social media was the 5th most popular channel.

But what was surprising is that referral traffic was in 3rd place at 11% and email was at 9%.

Instead of just focusing on link building to boost your rankings, you should focus on link building to also increase your referral traffic. In essence, you can get more bang for your buck by increasing two different ways to drive traffic with one strategy.

Whether it is guest posting or generating PR, you should try and get as much referral traffic as possible as it creates steady traffic that isn’t too affected by algorithm updates.

As for email, you may think it’s dead, but it’s alive and kicking strong. Remember, everyone who works in the corporate world still uses email.

Don’t be shy about collecting emails. You can use tools like Hello Bar to do this with ease.

Now going back to SEO for a moment… here’s why you have to blog.

organic traffic

As you can see from the graph above, Google has continually shifted from ranking web pages to pushing up content over time. And it doesn’t look like that the trend is stopping anytime soon.

Blogs are generating, on average, 60 to 62 percent of a site’s search traffic. Sure, it’s going to be different for the Amazon’s of the world, but you aren’t them… and neither am I.

SEO is also getting more competitive because there are more blogs popping up and people are creating tons of content. But you have no choice but to do the same if you want to keep up.

You need to build a content marketing team…

Well, just look at it this way…

employees

On average, mid-sized companies now have at least 2 full-time employees managing their blog. It’s because they know content marketing isn’t going anywhere without putting in real effort and you need to take it seriously if you want to grow fast.

And on top of having dedicated employees, the average mid-sized company has a bit more than 10 contractors working on their blog.

contractors

Now, I don’t want you to get scared by that number as a lot of those contractors are writing content. They are not working full time… it’s as simple as some of them writing only a handful of content pieces a month.

Or it could be as simple as them helping you produce video content or create infographics.

With your blog, you should consider hiring more contractors as writers instead of hiring full-time employees as it is cheaper.

It’s also more efficient to have contractors as you can scale up and down faster. On top of that, you’ll find that you will save money in the long run as contractors and consultant tends to be cheaper than full-time employees.

You need to write on average 5.7 articles a week

Out of the 183 blogs we talked to, they publish 22.8 pieces of content per month on average.

posts published

And can you guess how long each of them is?

post length

Well, they say that if you want to rank on page 1, you need to write content that is 1,890 words.

Most of the blogs we analyzed and talked to all followed one common theme… as time went on, they started writing longer posts.

They are now averaging 2,118 words per post. In 2016 that number peaked out at 2,381 words because people started producing in-depth guides, which caused that number to spike.

But what they found over time is that writing content that is too in-depth, such as guides, doesn’t necessarily guarantee higher rankings.

To give you an idea, years ago I wrote a 30,000-word guide on SEO. Can you guess what page it ranks on for the term SEO?

It ranks on page 2.

Now, this guide to SEO is much shorter and ranks on page 1.

rankings

In other words, it is better for you to create more content than it is to create one super long blog post.

Think of your content as fishing hooks. If you have more fishing hooks out, there is a greater chance of catching a fish.

The same goes with blogging, the more content you create (assuming it is high quality), the higher the chance you’ll have of attracting more visitors.

customers blogging

Think of your blog as a funnel.

At the top of the funnel, you want to attract as many people as possible. The more people you attract, the more revenue you’ll eventually end up generating.

As you can see from the graph above, 24% of customers first found out about the company through their blog.

Now, that doesn’t mean they converted into a customer right when they landed on the blog for the first time. More so, they learned about the company first through their blog.

Not only do search engines love blogs, so do people. And the trend is continually rising over time.

Blog readers will boost your conversion rate

When someone reads your blog, it builds trust and causes your conversion rate to increase.

conversion rate

The graph above shows how someone who reads your blog is 74% more likely to convert into a customer compared to someone who hasn’t read your blog.

Advertising is only getting more expensive each year. By blogging more frequently, you can boost your conversion rates.

But don’t expect people to convert right away when they read your blog.

number of visits

The average number of times someone needs to come back to your blog before they convert is 3.15 times and they tend to convert over a 2-week period of time.

weeks

Now, you’ll also find that as you create content people don’t just open up their wallets and give you their money. You need to push them to convert.

The trend we saw is that blogs are leveraging more methods than ever to convert visitors into customers.

convert blog

Email marketing is the main method bloggers are using, which isn’t a surprise. But the number 2 method is remarketing.

When I dug into it, these companies on average spend $51,409 a month on paid ads. And each year they saw their ad costs drastically increase. But what’s helped reduce their blended CPA is remarketing all of their blog readers.

In the coming years, remarketing will overtake email as the main way companies are converting readers into customers.

You’ll want to leverage this channel as well as it is much more affordable than search ads.

Growth opportunities are outside the United States

What countries do you think most blog readers are coming from? You probably are going to guess the United States or other native English speaking countries.

It used to be that way 10 years ago, but things have changed.

countries

At one point it was 91% but now it has dropped down to 53%. This has also created a trend in which companies are now translating their content to different languages.

languages

It’s taken a while for companies to adopt the concept of globalization with their digital marketing but now it’s catching on fast.

I was able to ride the trend before most people because I got pushed to do so by a Google employee. It was the best marketing advice and it seems to be true for pretty much every blogger out there.

traffic gains

As you can see from the chart above, the biggest traffic gains content marketers are currently getting are from translating their content into multiple languages.

The second biggest gain is coming from updating old content. Content marketing is no longer a game of cranking out hundreds of articles a month. If you want to continually do well, you have to maintain and keep your old content up to date.

When you are building out your content marketing team, focus 50% of their effort on updating old content.

Move over WordPress

The last biggest trend is WordPress isn’t the only content player these days. If you are going to write a blog post, might as well get the most traffic by placing it everywhere.

platforms

Medium and Tumblr are also great for content. Remember, Google doesn’t penalize for duplicate content. There is nothing wrong with putting content on your blog and then publishing it on Medium and Tumblr a week later.

You can do the same with the social shares… in addition to sharing your content on Facebook, you can publish your whole post a week later on Facebook.

And if you are creating video and audio content you can upload them to Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and any other platform that will accept it.

content types

You’ll see huge growth in video and audio content over the next few years.

Facebook, YouTube, and every major platform want their slice of the television market.

Because of that, their algorithms are acting more favorable to content types that keep people on their platform and engaged for hours… hence, you need to expand outside of just text-based content.

It’s also why I’m big on YouTube right now. It diversifies your traffic sources in case you get hit by a Google algorithm change.

Conclusion

If you are going to take one thing from the charts above, you need to focus on translating your content to other languages as it isn’t as competitive.

In addition to that, you need to focus on creating video and audio-based content. Videos have already starting to take off, podcasting isn’t there yet, but it will within the next few years.

I would also tell you to blog, but you probably already have one. 😉

What other content marketing trends have you noticed?

The post 17 Charts That Show Where Content Marketing is Heading appeared first on Neil Patel.

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How to Find the Right Keywords to Rank #1 on Google For

keywords

Do you want more traffic?

Well, who doesn’t?

The reason you want more traffic is that you think more traffic equals more revenue.

But here is what you’ll learn the hard way… as your traffic goes up, your revenue won’t increase at the same pace.

And in many cases, as your traffic goes up, your revenue won’t increase one bit.

In other words, if you get the wrong kind of traffic, you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels and becoming frustrated.

It happens to all of us.

So let me show you what I’ve learned the hard way.

So how good is my search traffic?

Take a look at the screenshot below.

neil patel keywords

That’s a laundry list of keywords that drive me the most traffic. But there is an issue with a lot of those keywords. They drive traffic but not revenue.

Keywords like affiliate marketing, SEO analyzer, SEO checker, and statistical significance calculator are all terms that won’t drive me any revenue.

I don’t offer affiliate marketing services and anyone searching for terms like “SEO analyzer” are looking to do SEO themselves as opposed to paying my agency to do it for them.

Even terms like “statistical significance calculator” don’t drive revenue. Anyone searching for that is looking to see how their A/B tests are performing versus hiring my agency to run tests for them.

If I naturally ranked for these terms without any effort, that’s one thing. But I created dedicated landing pages, like this one, because I was trying to rank for them.

In other words, I spent time and money ranking for keywords that don’t drive any revenue.

Now, there is a reason why I rank for these terms and I do want this traffic, even though they don’t drive revenue, but I will get to that later in this post.

First, let’s go over how you can pick the right keywords to rank number 1 for.

How to pick the right keywords

You probably already have some ideas that are a good fit for your business. I want you to type them into Ubersuggest.

online marketing

Ubersuggest will show how many people search for that keyword within a particular region as well as the SEO difficulty and paid difficulty.

In addition to that, you’ll see a laundry list of keyword ideas if you click on the “keyword ideas” navigational option.

keyword ideas

What you’ll want to look for are keywords that have high paid difficulty, which means the keyword is so valuable that a lot of people are competing for the paid ad spots.

In addition to looking at the paid difficulty number, you’ll want to find keywords that have a low SEO difficulty score.

When a keyword meets those 2 requirements it means it is easy to rank and people find it valuable enough to buy ads on the keyword. And if they find it valuable enough for people to buy ads, that means the traffic is converting into customers.

That’s more important than just finding popular keywords because traffic doesn’t always equal sales.

And when you are doing keyword research, make sure you pick the right regions.

Not all traffic is equal

Again, you already know I get good traffic. But as I mentioned earlier, not all of the traffic is equal.

Just look at the regions that made up my traffic in the last 7 days:

regions

The United States makes up a large portion of my traffic. Over time I’ve expanded globally, hence you are seeing my traffic increase in regions like India and Brazil. Even Japan, which is the newest region I have been expanding to, has been growing rapidly.

Knowing the split between regions, which one would you say makes up the largest portion of revenue?

If you guess the United States, you are correct. But what region do you think is in second place?

If you guess India or Brazil, you are wrong.

I love those two countries, but the United Kingdom generates more revenue than both of those regions combined, even though it produces just 25.6% of the traffic as Brazil and India combined.

Are you picking the right regions?

When you are doing keyword research, you need to think about regions. This is also the main reason why I integrated regions within Ubersuggest.

You can’t just focus on keywords that have high paid difficulty and low SEO difficulty. You need to focus on the countries where the majority of your customer base is.

Now, you know SEO is competitive and it takes a while to rank. So if you can go after up and coming regions that you know you’ll want to target in a few years, then you should go after those keywords right away.

It takes a while for people to see this, but the reason I have done pretty well when it comes to picking the right terms is that I focus on regions that aren’t ready for my company just yet but will be over the next 5 to 10 years.

I know that sounds crazy, but to do well you need long-term goals and a strategic outlook for your business.

To give you an idea of how I think, let’s look at how the worlds GDP is going to change over the next 10 years:

That video bases GDP growth off of historical data. Companies like Standard Chartered believe there will be much more aggressive GDP growth, especially coming out of Asia.

  1. China: $64.2 trillion
  2. India: $46.3 trillion
  3. US: $31 trillion
  4. Indonesia: $10.1 trillion
  5. Turkey: $9.1 trillion
  6. Brazil: $8.6 trillion
  7. Egypt: $8.2 trillion
  8. Russia: $7.9 trillion
  9. Japan: $7.2 trillion
  10. Germany: $6.9 trillion

No matter what source you look at, almost everyone is coming to the same conclusion… countries with big populations will see faster GDP growth.

If I were you and I was trying to pick the best keywords to rank number 1 on Google, I wouldn’t just focus on countries that are already established and saturated, I would also focus on countries that are growing fast and aren’t competitive yet.

Even in the short run, although some of these countries may not have as much demand, there is no competition, which means it will be easier to take up a larger chunk of the market.

How do you find popular keywords in these countries?

Doing keyword research in new countries isn’t as simple as typing in random keywords and seeing what’s popular.

You can do that with tools like Ubersuggest, but that may still cause you to pick the wrong ones.

For example, in the United States, the keyword “SEO” is more lucrative than the phrase “digital marketing.” But in Brazil, the phrase “marketing digital” (their version of digital marketing) is more lucrative than the term SEO.

In other words, cultures are different.

So, what you should do is use a tool like Similar Web to see who your closest competitors are. When I look at NeilPatel.com on Similar Web, it gives me the following results:

similar web

You can then take those competing URLs and enter them into Ubersuggest.

ahrefs

What I want you to do is first look at the “top pages” report. This report shows you the most popular pages that are driving traffic to any given site.

The best part about this report is that you can break down popular pages by country.

top pages

From there you can see the popular pages and even the keywords that drive traffic to that page within that country.

ahrefs top pages

And similar to the top pages report, you can do the same thing with the keywords report.

ahrefs keywords

With the combination of the top pages and keywords report, you should have a list of great keywords to go after. Not just from a domestic standpoint, but from a global standpoint as you can see the popular keywords for each country in Ubersuggest.

But how do I rank number 1?

Once you have a list of keywords, it’s time to create content and focus on ranking at the top of Google. But you already know that. 😉

The real question is, how do you rank high?

Well, I have tons of blog posts on that. Here are a few of my favorites that will help you out:

  • How to dominate Google – there are over 200 factors in Google’s algorithm. One too many for you to follow. In this post, you’ll find a 4-step process that will help you climb to the top. It’s made SEO more feasible as there is no way you are going to focus on all 200 of Google’s algorithm factors.
  • How to build links when no one will link to you – link building is still a huge part of Google’s algorithm. This post breaks down how to do link building when nobody knows you and you don’t have money to spend on link building.
  • The future of SEO – if you want to rank high and maintain your rankings, you need to know the future of search and how algorithms are going to change.
  • How I think about SEO – this post breaks down my personal SEO strategy for NeilPatel.com. If you copy it, you will do well. Look at the brand hack I mention in that post, it helps a lot with rankings.
  • The advanced SEO formula that helped me rank for 477,000 keywords – this is how I rank for thousands of keywords on Google.

Once you start ranking for the terms you want to go after, you need to do one last thing.

The last step

Remember how I said earlier in this post that I rank for terms like “SEO analyzer” that don’t drive me any sales?

And how I want to rank for those terms?

Once you rank for the main terms and even the long tail ones that will drive you direct revenue, you need to start winning mindshare.

The way you create a successful SEO campaign is to capture an audience before they are even ready to become your customer. This way your brand will grow with all segments of your potential customer base.

Just think of it this way, when people Google the term “SEO analyzer” and land on my site, the majority of those people will want to do SEO on their own.

But a small portion of those people may get frustrated and realize that they should just hire someone to do it for them.

And then there is another group that will search for that term, want to do SEO for their own site, and they’ll even get great results over time. Then when their friends asked them how they did it, they’ll mention how they used a free tool on NeilPatel.com.

Their friend will probably check out my site and maybe even contact me for services as they don’t care to do their own SEO.

In other words, when you are doing keyword research, you’ll want to focus on ranking for all the terms in your industry if you want to build the biggest brand and dominate.

The mistake I made is I went after those terms too soon. It worked out in the end, but I should have first focused on keywords that drove direct sales and then went after the keywords that would grow my brand.

Conclusion

SEO isn’t free! It takes time and money.

You have to look at it as an investment just like you would with paid ads.

So, if you are going to rank for keywords and do SEO, go after the correct terms. Spend a little bit of time doing keyword research and competitive analysis because you don’t waste a year climbing to the top of Google only to find that the term you went after doesn’t drive any sales.

And if you happen to be lucky enough to have extra money to invest in SEO, consider expanding internationally. It’s the best move I made, and I am dumping in as much money as I can to dominate the globe.

Businesses no longer have to live within one city, region, state, or even country. You have to think global if you want to win in the long run.

So, what do you think about my keyword research process?

The post How to Find the Right Keywords to Rank #1 on Google For appeared first on Neil Patel.

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