Must-have WordPress plugins for Content Marketing

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Categories: Marketing

If there was ever a buzz word that everyone’s been talking about for quite some time, it’s “content marketing”. Now, sometimes “buzz word” is used to describe something that’s a hype but not really true, but in the case of content marketing, the value thereof is enormous and if you’re embarking on any form of online marketing you should be thinking about content marketing. With most of us using WordPress as our publishing platform, we’ve got a treat for you: 5 excellent WordPress plugins that will assist you with your content marketing.

Word Stats – Download

This is an exceptionally useful plugin for anyone who wants to take content marketing seriously. The plugin gives you a fantastic dashboard with a bundle of statistics around word counts, keyword counters and readability analysis.

Editorial Calendar – Download

An incredibly important aspect of publishing content with the aim of creating a journey for your audience is to use a content calendar. A content calendar shows you what needs to be published and when. Editorial Calendar is a WordPress plugin that does exactly this, just like having a Google Calendar right in the Dashboard of WordPress.

Easy Content Templates – Download

If you publish content using a specific layout on a frequent basis then you might find Easy Content Templates incredibly useful. This plugin allows you to define templates or layouts for your posts somewhat like canned responses in Gmail. You can quickly apply a template to a post and then update the content accordingly in order to create continuity across your posts.

Search Everything – Download

Out the box, WordPress’ search functionality isn’t amazing. With the inclusion of Search Everything in your tool kit you’ll be able to enhance the standard search with a suite of useful options. Include comments, tags, custom fields and the likes in the results.

ImageInject – Download

This is a clever little plugin! The concept is really simple, ImageInject allows you to search for images whilst you’re writing your blog post and insert them directly into the post. Sourcing images is often a big hassle and this plugin aims to assist you with cutting that hassle out.

Conclusion

We hope that you find one of these plugins useful enough to start using on your website!

Gmail extensions that will make your life better

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Categories: Thought

As of February 2016, it’s been reported that there are roughly 1,000 million activate Gmail users around the world. The graph below shows the growth:

When looking at statistics like this, it’s clear that the market for useful Gmail extensions is wide. In this post we’re going to share 5 really useful extension with you that you might never have heard of before and that are worth giving a try. There are thousands of extensions available, but these are the ones that we think aren’t too common:

UglyEmail

This is a really useful extension if you’re worried about who’s tracking you. If you fear that senders are watching to see if you’ve received the email, this extension puts an “evil eye” next to the email in question.

Checker Plus

Have you ever wanted to be able to customise email notifications? In other words, you could choose that certain emails arrive as a push notification and others as desktop notifications. The whole idea here is to assist you in being able to act quickly to those important people in your life.

Ginger

If you send a lot of emails, you’ll know how easy it is to make a small spelling or grammar mistake. Ginger assists with spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure.

KeyRocket

Repetition is common practise when it comes to email, and KeyRocket aims to assist you with making those repetitive tasks even easier by teaching you what shortcuts are available in Gmail by using subtle popups.

Followup.cc

 

Do you have an extension that you can’t live without? Please leave it in the comments below and we might add it to this post.

Case Study: Importance of Momentum & Sustainability with SEO

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Categories: iMod Digital

In July 2014 we were commissioned by the founders of a startup to assist with their search engine optimisation. Their startup was poised to disrupt the events industry and they appreciated how important it was to get their search engine optimisation correctly position right from the beginning. We were brought in and assisted the design and development teams with ensuring that the right matters were in place on the website prior to the official launch.

Our first task was to ensure that the foundation was as optimised as possible. We performed an audit on the website as it stood and then guided the developers into making changes that would attract Google and the other search engines. Following the launch of the website, shortly after the initial implementation, we moved into a second implementation phase based on Google’s reaction to the website.

In the graph below we can see that implementation started towards the end of 2014 and some initial results were seen over the festive season. Our primary focus was on ensuring that the website and all of its parts were being indexed correctly with Google. From there we could affect changes that would encourage growth and an increase in organic traffic.

Organic Growth Chart

By the time 2015 rolled into the picture, iMod Digital was hired for 6 months to get hands on with the website and optimise it on a monthly basis. We commenced work with further implementation starting in February 2015 as indicated by the annotation in the chart below and continued working on the website until the end of July 2015. We set up an incredibly strong foundation for the website and shared a great deal of insight with the team to ensure that they were publishing effectively and not missing anything SEO related.

At the end of our 6 month contract, the company was forced to move their budget around into other matters. We explained that they would be alright for a few months because of the strong foundation we’d built and that from this there would be momentum. Unfortunately, after a few months it’s very clear that the momentum we created started to lose traction and the organic traffic started to drop.

We’re often asked about SEO and whether it’s a once off process or a continuous one. The answer is fairly straight forward:

Google are continually updating their algorithm that decides which website appears where, and because of these continual changes it’s crucial to sustain your SEO. There are a dozen other reasons, but this is one of the most important – momentum.

It’s essentially that people understand the importance of momentum and sustainability when it comes to search engine optimisation. Embarking on an SEO journey should not be done lightly, there will come a point in many projects where a website carries itself for a certain amount of time provided the company doing the SEO has done things exceptionally well, but this momentum will simply not carry itself indefinitely and without sustaining the work, a website will drop its search visibility as can be seen in the graph above.

All too often, companies feel that when the SEO is underway that a website will continue to grow without further work. Unfortunately this is a common mistake and one that results in a lot of companies wasting a great deal of money when their website regresses.

This Week In Search: 27-5-2016

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Categories: Findings Friday

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION

Google’s New Serp Layout – The Winners & Losers

With the changes to the length or size of the SERPs, Larry Kim takes a look at the winners and losers.

Client Onboarding Tips For SEO Agencies

Onboarding clients is a vital part of ensuring that your relationship is a long term success. Don’t neglect this process!

Google Reveals 20 Percent Of Queries Are Voice Searches

Mobile is definitely were search is at the moment with mobile searches outstripping desktop searches in 2015, but of all of those queries, Google reveals that 20% are voice searches, while Bing says it is closer to 25%.

Can You Get Your Company Profile In The SERPs?

This LinkedIn discussion expands on a new feature that sees brands get their brand profile attached to their search results and how the knowledge graph handles this.

8 On Page SEO Principles In 2016

Let’s take things back to basics and ensure that we have these 8 on-page principles in place before

Wired’s First HTTPS Rollout Snag

Wired recently committed to moving their site to HTTPS and promised to be transparent in the process. This is a great example of demonstrating how important security is, and just how difficult it is to get right.

How To A/B Test Every Element In Your Content Strategy

A/B testing is a great way for you to gather data about which elements work vs which don’t. With SEO, having data to impact your decisions is vital and this is a great post on how to evaluate your content.

 

PAY PER CLICK

A Sneak Peak Into The New AdWords Interface

Larry Kim gives us a sneak peak into the changes coming to Google AdWords.

Google Expands Text Ads – 10 Things You Need To Know

There are changes coming to Google AdWords. Here are 10 things you need to know to stay ahead of the game.

 

GENERAL

Is Mobile Getting The Budget & Attention It Deserves?

10 years after the release of the iPhone and people still seem to be making the joke that this year is the year of mobile. Brands still don’t seem to get it…

Twitter Stops Counting Photo’s & Links In 140 Limit

Those pesky moment where you craft an amazingly funny tweet with a link and an image only to find out that your link has now taken you over the 140 character limit are now over!

BONUS

We Are HIRING – SEO Strategist iMod Digital is looking for an SEO strategist. Check out the job post and send us your CV if you think you have what it takes.

This Week In Search: 13-5-2016

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Categories: Findings Friday

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION

Optimizing Google PageSpeed to 100 in WordPress

I didn’t believe the title of this post, so your skepticism is valid as well. However, through a great deal of effort, he did manage to get his site to score 100/100.

Google Making Aesthetic Changes To The Search Results?

It would seem that people aren’t too impressed if Google changes even the slightest thing about everyone favourite search engine. Did you notice anything different recently? Black or blue?

Testing The New Keyword Explorer Tool From Moz

Larry Kim test drives the new Keyword Explorer Tool from Moz which has recently had a makeover. Yay or nay?

Why Blog Comments Are Good For SEO & Users

Well, that title certainly got our attention and this provided an interesting read. We touched on this a few weeks ago on the iD blog.

PAY PER CLICK

A Guide To Search Engine Marketing (Paid) For Startups

Startups need to be nimble and creative in their marketing efforts, and often don’t have the budget to hire an agency to help them. This means that your entire process needs to be thought out a bit more carefully and deliberately, but where do you start? Right here, that’s where.

5 Critical PPC Tips For Small Business Budgets

The joy and main advantage of digital marketing is the fact that smaller budgets can compete with bigger competitors if you are clever and leverage some nifty tips and tricks. Here are 5 critical tips to help you get the most out of your PPC budget.

GENERAL

Web Design Trends of 2016: The Definitive Guide

This post is the definitive guide for all things web design. This really is a fantastic post and one that I urge you to read slowly and understand.

Instagram Rebrands Entirely – The Instagram Blog

Instagram rebranded entirely recently and the Instagram blog covers all the changes that were made and how you can benefit from these changes.

These 5 Things Will Happen To Social Marketing By 2017

We love prediction posts and there are some bold predictions in this post. It will be interesting to see how things change between now and 2017 and how many were correct.

Pagination Best Practices 101

Pagination. What is it, how does it work, and how do I handle it properly from a user perspective? This should explain all.

BONUS

Magnus – Free WordPress Photography Theme

We love the WordPress community and they often come out with true gems. This theme doesn’t appear to be WooCommerce ready, but it is absolutely gorgeous and will do a fitting job of showcasing your work!

This Week In Search: 6-5-2016

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Categories: Findings Friday

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION

DuckDuckGo Is Giving Away $225 000

While Google dominates the search landscape, DuckDuckGo is determined to prove that they can still make inroads in the market, and are indeed making a profit. Go DuckDuckGo!

The Ultimate Guide To HTTP/2

What the flip is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit you? Well, this new protocol will speed up the web and you need to get onboard!

Introducing Jelly: A New Type Of Search Engine

Biz Stone, one of the minds behind Twitter has launched a new type of search engine where technology meets humanity. Find answers you didn’t even know you wanted.

24 Steps To Get You Unstuck In the SERPs

Well, apart from using Serperture to see what you are still missing, you could use this infographic to try and find out why your site is stuck on page 2. Or, you could use our tool ;)

What 300+ Content Marketing Campaigns Can Teach You About Earning Links

Earning links through content isn’t easy, so why not dive into the insight that 300+ campaigns can provide?

PAY PER CLICK

13 Advanced AdWords Optimisation Strategies For Conversions

It’s no longer amateur hour and instead is time for some advanced tactics to get better conversions from your AdWords budget.

GENERAL

What Is The Best Strategy To Follow For Facebook Engagement?

This Search Engine Land group thread on LinkedIn dives into what is the best strategy to follow to achieve engagement on Facebook for your brand.

BONUS

Free Responsive Office Icons

These responsive icons come in various sizes to ensure that you can use them correctly and make sure that even the icons that you use on your site are responsive. #Winning

Synthetica One Page Free Template

Who doesn’t like freebies? This one page template is a great place to start when looking to redesign your site. It’s our pleasure ;)

This Week In Search: 29-4-2016

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Categories: Findings Friday

Search Engine Optimisation

March 2016 Google Algorithm Updates

Find out what happened with Google during the month of March with this comprehensive wrap-up post.

Hreflang – The Ultimate Guide

Country codes and different languages present a difficult challange for SEO’s. This ultimate guide from Yoast will help you understand all you need to know.

The Future of Links?

Jon Cooper has gone a little quiet in terms of the link building front, but the man is still at the top of the game and provides some fantastic insight into the future of link building.

Link Building: How Long Does It Take To Influence Rankings?

Sticking with the link building theme, we investigate how long it takes for you link building efforts to have an impack on your rankings.

Beginners Guide To Traffic Drop Analysis

Your traffic starts dropping – oh no what is going on? Don’t panic: we have a beginners guide to ensure that panic doesn’t get the better of you.

What is HTTPS?

We break out the hacker lexicon and dive into what HTTPS encryption actually is.

How Does Google Secure Your Analytics Data?

Google Analytics handles a lot of very important data about your website. How does Google go about securing all of that data?

 

Pay Per Click

Google Finally Starts Redesigning AdWords

Google makes the majority of revenue off of AdWords. It is finally paying attention to its biggest cash cow and giving it a redesign.

How to Write PPC Headlines Like a Boss

Write PPC headlines that get your users to convert. This is no longer amateur hour and the game is serious – write headlines like a boss.

5 Ways PPC Accounts Are Like Toddlers

PPC accounts can be tricky things to manage and sometimes need to be treated like kids. Learn a trick or two about handling toddlers and PPC accounts together!

New Merchant Center Feed Rules helps you submit your product data into Google Shopping feed format

Google shopping feed format is one of those tricky beasts that seems impossible to actually get right, but with updated Merchant Center Feed rules, this will hopefully makes things a little easier.

The State of Paid Search

Where is Pay Per Click advertising at the moment and where is it headed? We have the current state of search.

 

General

10 New Facebook Features Every Marketer Should Know

Facebook has become a vital aspect of every marketer’s strategy. Do you know about 10 new features that will improve your marketing?

The Beginners Guide To Chatbots

Chatbots seem to be the new biggest thing. What are they are how do they work? Here is your beginners guide!

 

BONUS

WIN A FREE SEO COURSE

Want to get your hands on a FREE SEO COURSE from iMod Education? Click here to enter in a matter of seconds!

This Week In Search: 22-4-2016

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Categories: Findings Friday

 

Search Engine Optimisation:

Getting Started with Accelerated Mobile Pages

AMP pages are here and speed is more important than ever. How the flip do you get started? Well now you know…

Google Officially Kills Toolbar PageRank

Link builders around the world dispair – Google has officially killed the Toolbar PageRank which was the little number out of 10 that many viewed as the be all and end all of SEO, even though the metric hasn’t been regularly updated for a number of years.

 

Pay Per Click:

The Highest & Lowest Average CTRs in Google AdWords By Industry

This in-depth piece looks at a number of high profile industries and what the average click-through rates are. Some surprising results, but some fantastic insight.

Who Really Suspends Your AdWords Account?

Even been in hot water with Google over your AdWords account? MemeBurn takes a look into who really makes the decision to put your account in the naughty corner.

Remarketing On Facebook – A How To Guide

Facebook advertising isn’t quite as simple as you would think it should be. This guide introduces you to remarketing on Facebook – something that you should definitely be covering!

 

GENERAL:

Getting Back Into WordPress After Getting Hacked

Oh no! Your site has been hacked and now you are scrambling to fix it. This guide shows you some steps on how you can reclaim your WordPress site and get back into the dashboard.

Data Science – Your Most Common Questions Answered

What the flip is a data scientist and how can you use them to uncover valuable insight into your customers thinking?

Google’s PageRank has been turned off!

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Categories: SEO

Google have been saying for some time now that it was going to remove the 1 – 10 ranking given to websites on the internet. One might say that PageRank was one of the biggest factors that lead to Google’s growth and one of the biggest factors that have shaped the web. Despite PageRank being a dead metric for many years, it looks like Google are officially moving away from it.

This past Friday, webmasters from around the world commented on PageRank no longer appearing in Google’s Toolbar. Page Rank started in 2000 and has contributed not only to a lot of good, but unfortunately a lot of bad too. Just think of how many emails you’ve received saying you need a higher PageRank, think of all the link spam that has been generated because of this metric and think of how frustrated you feel when someone brings up PageRank as if it’s a factor you should be considering.

“No, this update does not change anything for webmasters or SEOs in how their sites show up in search. Webmasters can use Search Console to get details about their content’s presence in Google Search, including information about links pointing to their sites. As the Internet and our understanding of the Internet have grown in complexity, the Toolbar PageRank score has become less useful to users as a single isolated metric. Retiring the PageRank display from Toolbar helps avoid confusing users and webmasters about the significance of the metric.”

We’re pleased to see this move by Google. It’s about time that the metric was dropped and that people who aren’t in the know aren’t horribly mislead by a useless number. We look forward to people not focusing on isolated metrics and rather focusing on just doing great search engine optimisation that results in target audiences coming to your website for relevant information based on what they searched for.

Bye bye PageRank, may you RIP dear friend.

Blog Commenting as part of a Link Building Strategy

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Categories: SEO

Acquiring links to your website has always been an important optimisation factor and this is yet to change. Although there are talks about links becoming less important considering Google’s RankBrain algorithm update, links still remain important and you simply cannot ignore them. The whole concept of link building is highly involved and the purpose of this blog post isn’t to address that. There are plenty of resources online if you’re looking for a broader understanding of link building. For this blog post, though, we’re going to address a form of link building that anyone can do.. blog commenting.

Before we get started, most people will read this blog post, understand it and want to implement it. However, only a few will take the time to do so and those few will have the edge thanks to everyone else who will start and then forget.

Getting Started

Anything that comes easily gets exploited, that’s just life and that’s especially prevalent in the SEO world. Blog commenting became incredibly popular when WordPress started to grow into the massive content management system it is today. Most blogs allowed people to leave comments and as this became more and more popular, so did people take advantage. Everyone started leaving comments and people hoping to crook the books started to leave comments using their keywords instead of their names. See, WordPress allows you to leave a comment on the blog and attach a link to your name thus linking your name back to your website. But with everyone forcing keywords into the name field, so did the system become abused. Don’t see this as a bad thing, Google caught on and although this is debatable, said abused links are no longer carrying much back link value.

However, finding great pieces of content and leaving well informed comments with your name or brand as the anchor text is still a valid method which should be used. What most people don’t think about is their anchor text ratios. Anchor text refers to the text that is linked and in general when you receive contextual links on the internet, people use keywords as the anchor text. For example, someone might write something along these lines: “I read a really great article on <insert topic here> and you should read it too”. The website receiving this contextual link is receiving a topical or keyword anchor text link. Algorithm updates that target anchor text have shown that in order for your website to rank really well (or at least one of the factors that contribute to your visibility), you need a good mix between brand/keyword/nofollow/dofollow links. If you’re receiving a lot of keyword anchor text links through various contextual sources, then leaving blog comments with your name or brand is going to assist with the brand/keyword ratio – diversity.

#1 Prospecting For Blogs

Alright, we’ve covered the basics, but now we need to find blogs that allow commenting. Sure, we can start clicking around to find them but that’s just going to take too much time so we need to get clever. With the help of Google and some search operators we can find blogs that allow commenting. In the example below, we’ve asked Google to search for web pages that have “cooking” in the URL and that the page contains the words, “leave a reply”. “leave a reply” is very common with WordPress and is the text that exists in the comments section, thus showing that comments are turned on and accepted. We’re now presented with all the prospects and we can click through to the ones where we feel we may be able to add value. By way of example, let’s suppose we have a website on cooking, in this example we’ve searched for all website’s about cooking that allow commenting.  inurl:cooking “leave a reply”

If your search turned up very few results, try varying the “leave a reply”, to perhaps “leave a comment” or “have your say. Furthermore, be sure to look in other search engines too, Bing has some great content. We shouldn’t stop there though, with the search tools we can choose to show recently published pages and/or country based pages. This combination allows us to be commenting on fresh content that is in the right country. By choosing pages in South Africa from the past week we can see that there are 4 different blog posts that are accepting comments.

#2 Crafting Your Comment

What’s really important when venturing out onto the internet to leave comments is that you leave great comments. Here are some things to avoid:

  • One or two liner comments.
  • Copy/Pasting comments to multiple web pages.
  • Writing something useless.
  • Not adding value to the web page.
  • Not putting your name or brand in the name field.

In other words, we need to write comments that are relevant, at least a paragraph or two long, authentic and hold something valuable.

#3 Bonus

When you’re prospecting, create an Excel spreadsheet and keep track of the websites that allow comments. If your niche results in hundreds of possible web pages to comment on, you certainly don’t want to sit and write hundreds of comments. Rather load the website addresses into a Spreadsheet and use a plugin such as SEO Tools for Excel to order the links by value or specific requirements (e.g. links).

Another useful trick is to use BuzzSumo’s Most Shared Content Research Tool to crawl the websites that have comment sections to determine which blog posts are the most popular on their site. In other words, if you use an inurl search operator and find a brilliant blog, put the blog through the content research tool and find the most popular pieces of content on said blog. Even if a blog post is old, it might be ever green and it might still be getting value from all the shares and backlinks, it wouldn’t harm to leave a great comment there.

 

Conclusion

Even if you aren’t interested in the SEO value from this, leaving excellent comments do attract attention from readers and they build reputation. Anyone with a website who’s interested in attracting new visitors should be actively participating in the industry and leaving comments is one of the easiest ways to do so.

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