Author: Neil Patel

Here’s How to Perfectly Optimize Your Infographic for SEO

Infographics are amazing!

Besides being one of the best ways to explain a complicated topic with ease, they make information come alive.

Research found,

people following directions with text and illustrations do 323 percent better than people following directions without illustrations.

Maybe that’s why “infographics are ‘liked’ and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content.”

And the concept of relaying information through visuals is nothing new.

If you think about it, cave paintings and hieroglyphics dating back to 30,000 BC accomplished the same thing.

They were far less sophisticated but demonstrate just how hard-wired we are when it comes to visual information.

So it’s easy to see why infographics have become so ingrained in content marketing.

They get results!

Unbounce even went so far as to say “infographics are the most powerful tool in your content marketing arsenal.”

And like with any piece of content you create, you’ll want it to be SEO friendly.

But here’s the thing.

Doing SEO for an infographic demands a slightly different approach than the one you would use for a conventional blog post.

In this post, I explain the most vital components of infographic SEO to ensure yours gets proper visibility in the SERPs.

The biggest hurdle

Let me start by saying infographics are technically just images.

They are typically saved in image formats such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, etc.

Of course, they’re much more robust and contain far more information than a regular image, but that’s how Google views them.

This is important to know because Google can’t “read” images like it can text-based content such as a blog post.

Fortunately, there are several other elements that you can optimize.

Start with keyword research

You won’t be able to take advantage of keywords in the actual body of an infographic, but there are a few areas where you can insert keywords.

That’s why you’ll still want to do some keyword research to identify a primary keyword phrase as well as a couple of secondary phrases to target.

Let’s say I was planning on creating an infographic about productivity hacks.

A quick search on the Google Keyword Planner shows me that “productivity hacks” is low competition, which is good.

The only issue is that it’s a short-tail keyword with only two words.

But I could still probably make it work, especially if I added “infographic” to the end of “productivity hacks.”

In terms of secondary keywords, there are a few possibilities.

The bottom line here is to perform keyword research like you would for any other type of content.

The only difference is how you go about inserting those keywords.

File name

Selecting the right file name is vital.

This is one of the main factors that Google will analyze to determine what your infographic content is about.

You need to get it right.

I shouldn’t even have to say this, but you’ll obviously want to stay away from anything generic like Image001.png.

This tells Google absolutely nothing and is going to be a strike against your infographic SEO.

A better choice would be something like productivity-hacks-infographic.png.

It’s short and sweet and lets Google know exactly what your content is about.

Just make sure you’re not doing any keyword stuffing, using the same phrase multiple times or anything else that’s spammy.

But you already know that.

Alt text

Equally important is your alt text.

This is the text alternative of an image that lets someone know what an image contains in the event that it doesn’t load properly.

Screen readers for the blind and visually impaired will read out this text and thus make your image accessible.

More importantly, this gives you another opportunity to explain to Google what’s in your infographic.

Just follow best practices for your alt text and describe as succinctly as possible what your infographic is about.

In this case, I might want to use “Infographic explaining 15 productivity hacks.”


Your URL is important for obvious reasons.

As I mentioned in a post from that referenced Google’s top 200 ranking factors from Backlinko, when it comes to the significance of URLs, here is what we know:

  • URL length is listed as #46
  • URL path is listed as #47
  • Keyword in the URL is #51
  • URL string is #52

I’m not going to cover the nuts and bolts of URL optimization here.

You can find that in the post I just mentioned.

But I will tell you that you want to aim for a short URL that contains three to five words and a max of 60 characters.

This advice comes directly from an interview with Matt Cutts, so you know it’s gold.

When it comes to keywords, be sure to include one or two of them in your URL.

Research from John Lincoln and Brian Dean found that this is the sweet spot and considered as part of URL keyword best practices (at least for the time being).

H1 tag

Although you can’t capitalize on the H1 tags (or H2s, H3s, etc.) in the body of your infographic, you can still place one above your infographic so Google can “read” it.

Here’s an example:

See how the same keyword phrase that’s in the actual infographic is used as an H1 tag at the top?

This is a simple yet effective way to give your infographic a bit more SEO juice.

While H1s may not be as big of a ranking factor today as they were a few years ago, they certainly don’t hurt.

And they can be especially helpful for infographics where you have a limited amount of text to work with.

Meta description

Ah, the good ol’ meta description.

Here are a few best practices to adhere to when creating one for your infographic.

  • It should be between 135 and 160 characters in length.
  • It should include your keyword phrase (once).
  • It should accurately describe the content within your infographic.
  • It should have a CTA at the end to encourage search engine users to click on your content.

Getting it just right should make your infographic go further with Google and help you rake in more organic traffic.

For more on creating a killer meta description, I recommend reading this post from Yoast.

Supporting text

I really like hacks, shortcuts, loopholes, etc.

Call them what you will, little tricks like these are what help you gain the edge on the competition.

And there’s one specific hack I would like to point out in regards to infographic SEO.

It’s simple. Add some supporting text at the beginning.

Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about:

Notice that it’s nothing fancy.

It’s just a few paragraphs that expound upon the infographic and offer a quick preview of what it’s about.

This is helpful for two reasons.

First, it provides a brief description for human visitors, which should hopefully pique their interest and make them want to check out the infographic.

Second (and more importantly), it supplies Google with additional text to crawl and decipher meaning from.

This helps your infographic get found and increases the likelihood that it’s indexed under the right keywords.

So it’s a win-win situation.

There’s no reason to go overboard and write 1,000 words of supporting text, but 100 words or so can be a great help.

An added plus is that you can throw in a couple of internal links to relevant pages on your website.

Don’t force it, but try to work in some internal links as well.

Load time

Back in 2010, Google announced that page speed was a ranking factor.

Content that loads quickly will get preference.

Not only that, a faster load time tends to translate into a lower bounce rate, more time spent on your site and so on.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you should be conscious of how long it takes your infographic to load.

Keep in mind that infographics are fairly bulky images, so this can definitely be a concern.

Generally speaking, PNGs, GIFs, JPEGs, BMPs and TIFFs load the fastest, so keep this in mind when choosing a file format.

You can also test the loading speed of your infographic with this free tool.

Just type in the URL.

Then click “Analyze.”

Google will analyze it and grade it.

If there are any issues, Google will provide you with specific advice for speeding it up.


Doing SEO for an infographic isn’t dramatically different from doing SEO for any other type of content.

It incorporates many of the same techniques and strategies.

The main thing you have to work around is the fact that an infographic is an image and therefore Google can’t “read” it like it can regular text-based content.

Fortunately, there are several ways to get around this and ensure your infographic is perfectly optimized for search engines as well as humans.

By covering all the bases, you’ll position it to climb the rankings and achieve maximum visibility in the SERPs.

Do you have any other recommendations for doing SEO for an infographic?

How to Get Your Content to Rank for Seasonal Keywords

When you hear the phrase seasonal keywords, what comes to mind?

Is it Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas and general holiday-related keywords?

Well, that’s definitely part of it.

Of course, you’ll want to put the extra energy into optimizing your keywords for the holidays.

After all,

holiday retail sales during November and December brought in $658.3 billion in 2016.

This translates into holiday retail sales representing 20% of total retail industry sales.

But there’s a lot more to it than that.

When I say seasonal keywords, I’m referring to any particular time of the year when there’s a spike in a particular search phrase and when there’s a predictable increase in sales in a given niche.

Some examples include:

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • 4th of July
  • Back to school
  • Halloween

You get the idea.

See, there are opportunities abound throughout the entire year for SEO marketers.

It’s simply a matter of capitalizing on trends and using seasonal keywords to your advantage.

I would like to share with you a formula I’ve developed for identifying seasonal keywords and getting your content to rank for them.

This way, big opportunities for increasing your overall sales won’t be wasted.

Use Google Trends for research

The first thing you’ll want to do is go to Google Trends.

It truly is a marketer’s best friend and is jam-packed will all kinds of helpful insights.

To begin, type in the seasonal event you’re interested in.

I’ll use Father’s Day as an example:

After pressing “Enter,” here’s what I get:

Scroll down just a bit, and you’ll see two important sections: “Related topics” and “Related queries.”

Both serve as a great starting point because you can look at the data from previous years to determine what types of Father’s Day-related searches people use the most.

Click on the right arrow at the bottom to browse through the rest of the list:

This will quickly give you a sense of what people are interested in and searching for as it relates to a particular seasonal event.

For instance, I might be interested in “Father’s Day gifts”:

It could serve as a topic I could potentially create content around.

Plugging a broad keyword into the Google Keyword Planner

Let’s say after a little research on Google Trends, I’ve found a broad keyword I’m interested in.

I know for a fact people have searched for it in the past, so I know they’ll be searching for it this year as well.

What you want to do now is plug that broad keyword into the Google Keyword Planner for a larger list of keyword ideas.

Type it in under “Your product or service.”

Click on “Get Ideas” at the bottom:

Here’s what I get:

The first results don’t look all that great because they’ve all got a high competition level.

That’s a problem for many industries, so I’ll need to do some extra searching to find the diamond in the rough.

After scrolling down some more, I begin to see some keywords with lower competition, like this one:

Ideally, you’ll choose long-tail keywords because this means less competition and often a higher conversion rate.

This is the heart of smart keyword research.

And remember: 70% of all search traffic involves long-tail keywords.

That’s almost always your best bet.

This is a really simple example, but this formula will work for virtually any seasonal event.

Just start with Google Trends to find a broad keyword.

Then plug it into the Google Keyword Planner to fine-tune it, and find a long-tail phrase you have a strong likelihood of ranking for.

To cast a wider net, you may want to repeat the process a few times until you have a handful of keyword phrases at your disposal.

Using Ubersuggest

Here’s another tip.

Ubersuggest has a nice little feature that can give you some additional ideas.

Here’s how it works.

Go to the Ubersuggest homepage.

Type in the seasonal event.

Click “suggest.”

You’ll see this:

Now click on “Word Cloud.”

Here’s what I got:

This is another simple way to see which keywords related to your seasonal event are commonly searched for.

The bigger the word, the more often people include it in their search queries.

I find this can be a nice way to round off your keyword research, and Ubersuggest will provide you with just a bit more data.

Sometimes, you can insert one or more of these keywords into your overall keyword phrase.

Creating your content

At this point you should have an understanding of what some of the most popular searches are and have at least a few long-tail keywords.

Now, you’ll want to base your content around those searches and keywords.

I probably don’t need to say it, but you’ll want to create robust, comprehensive content that’s better than that of at least 90% of your competitors.

You’ll also want to include plenty of images and data whenever it makes sense.

I suggest doing a quick Google search to see what you’re up against to ensure you kill it with your final product.

In terms of content length, you can use this post from as a reference point.

It highlights how long your blog articles should be by industry.

You may also want to learn about the skyscraper technique from Brian Dean if you haven’t done so already.

And don’t think you have to limit yourself to a conventional blog post.

There are plenty of other content options.

Here’s what’s trending with B2B marketers in 2017:

Video marketing is scorching hot right now and is a medium I suggest experimenting with.

Knowing when to post your content

Besides simply finding the right seasonal keywords and creating killer content, it’s essential you post your content at the right time.

This is a biggie, and you need to strike while the iron is hot.

But how do you know when to post?

To find out, you’ll need to go back to Google Trends and do the following.

After searching for a seasonal event, you’ll see a series of options directly above the graph.

Click on the down arrow beside “Past 5 years.”

This will allow you to set the date and choose how far back you want to go.

I recommend searching last year’s results because it’s an easy way to tell when people really start searching hot and heavy.

Click on the “Past 12 months.”

Here’s what pops up:

All I have to do now is determine when the trend in Father’s Day-related searches begins.

In 2016, things started picking up between May 7 and May 13 and peaked between June 11 and 17.

This tells me my content needs to be ready to go by May 7 in order to take full advantage of the spike in searches.

But, of course, I’ll want to have it posted at least a couple of weeks in advance.

That’s because it can take Google anywhere from four days to four weeks to index content.

So, you’ll want to give it some time to simmer.

I tend to err on the side of caution, so I would probably aim for posting my content somewhere around April 7.

This should ensure everything has time to get indexed and claim its rightful place in the search results.

However, if you were in a crunch, you could push it to the beginning of May.

But keep in mind this could reduce your content’s impact and probably wouldn’t bring nearly as much organic traffic as it would otherwise.

Planning in advance

The key to targeting seasonal keywords successfully and raking in big traffic is to stay ahead of the game.

You don’t want to do this at the last minute. That’s only going to minimize your impact.

If possible, do some initial planning a few months beforehand.

In the case of Father’s Day, which occurs in mid to late June, I would want to start planning sometime around March or April.

This would ensure I have adequate time to perform my research, select my keywords, create my content, post it and allow Google to index it.

That way, I don’t have to rush or stress myself out.

Do whatever makes the most sense to you, but try to think ahead.

Otherwise, it’s like cramming for a huge test the night before.

Seldom does it end well.


Seasonal keywords are a gold mine.

And remember: this goes way beyond just the holiday season.

Depending on your niche, there are opportunities to crush it year round with seasonal keywords.

The best part is the formula is quite simple.

It’s a matter of gauging interest, figuring out popular search trends and doing keyword research like you would for any other piece of content.

From there, you just need to be sure you publish your content with enough time for Google to index it and before people start searching on a mass scale.

Have you ever cashed in on seasonal keywords before?

These Are the Best Ways I’ve Discovered to Get More Facebook Followers Free

Facebook marketing is somewhat of a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, Facebook had 1.94 billion monthly active users as of Q1 2017.

That’s the most users of any social network by far.

On the other hand, its organic reach is lousy.

According to a study by Social@Ogilvy,

Organic reach has declined to just six percent.

This means that out of 100 of your followers, only six will actually see the content you post.

That’s not ideal.

This means one thing.

You need to grow your following.

If you apply Social@Ogilvy’s findings:

  • having 100 followers means six people would see your post
  • having 1,000 followers means 60 people would see your post
  • having 10,000 followers means 600 people would see your post

…and so on.

Although the interaction rates across social platforms naturally decline as followings grow…

…it’s obviously beneficial to have a large following.

That’s how you make real headway, generate leads and boost sales.

With years of Facebook marketing under my belt, I’ve learned a thing or two about building a following.

Here are some of the best ways I’ve discovered to get more Facebook followers free and grow your network organically.

Strive for transparency

There’s no lack of megalithic, faceless, overly corporate brands these days.

They’re a dime a dozen.

But these aren’t usually the types of brands people connect with and relate to.

If I had to use one adjective to describe what people love and admire in a brand, it’s transparency.

I don’t care how far we advance as humans and how much technology is integrated into our lives, we all have a deep, innate desire to connect with others.

And let’s be honest.

It’s hard to do that when a brand shares nothing about its philosophy, values, culture and general underpinnings of its activities.

But what does create a connection is being honest, straightforward and transparent.

This is what gets results.

Take TOMS for example.

They posted this video snippet featuring their founder Blake Mycoskie talking about the darkest period of his life, his fear of failure and how it helped motivate him in his business.

He clearly expressed his vulnerability, which is something we all feel at some point.

Needless to say, content like this was an asset to TOMS.

Just look at their massive following.

This isn’t to say you need to take it to this level and discuss your deepest, darkest fears or anything like that.

But it goes to show that putting yourself out there has its benefits and can help you build your following.

I’ve made it a point to incorporate this formula into my Facebook marketing, which is evident in several of the pictures I’ve posted.

And just look at the engagement levels.

Rock solid.

And this is no coincidence.

I don’t care how serious or formal your brand is, a little transparency goes a long way.

Make it a point to throw in some “behind the scenes” posts every now and then.

Post videos

Don’t get me wrong, posting good old-fashioned articles is fine.

I do it all the time.

But that’s what everyone is doing.

Most people get tired of the same old format, and their interest gradually wanes.

I’ve found posting alternative types of media, and video in particular, is a great way to spice things up and get people excited about my content.

Let me give you an example.

On average, the posts on the Neil Patel Facebook page receive a reasonable amount of engagement by most brand’s standards.

Not too shabby. I’ll take it.

But in terms of comments, it’s a little lackluster.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve posted multiple articles on Facebook that received numerous comments.

But take a look at what happened when I posted a video recently.

There was solid engagement in terms of likes and shares.

But check out the comments.

There’s no comparison.

The point I’m trying to make here is that people love video.

They eat it up.

Just look at how the number of Facebook daily video views grew in just one year.

It’s ridiculous!

As engagement increases, so do your odds of gaining more followers.

I know I’ve had tremendous success with video and can say with certainty it’s been a contributing force in helping me gain over 900,000 followers.

Video is definitely something you’ll want to incorporate—if you haven’t done so already.

It’s just starting to hit its stride and is poised to dominate social media (and the Internet in general) over the next few years.

Promote your Facebook page with a Follow button

Think of all the different ways your audience interacts with your brand.

There’s your homepage, landing page, personal email, newsletters, social networks and so on.

Each of these presents an opportunity to grow your Facebook following.

It’s simply a matter of making it as convenient as possible for people to follow your Facebook page.

I recommend creating a Follow button and installing it everywhere where it makes sense.

It looks something like this.

Creating a button is fairly simple, and this guide from CCM will walk you through the process step by step.

Once you’re done, you’ll get a piece of code to copy.

All you have to do then is paste the code into the source code of your site or wherever you want to feature your Follow button.

That’s it.

What I love about this tactic is that it doesn’t require any additional effort once you’re set up.

Anyone who comes into contact with your content instantly becomes a potential Facebook follower.

With a single click, they’re following your brand.

If you want to increase the odds of someone following you even more, include a Follow button on a popup.

That’s what Wishpond did, and it seemed to work for them.

However, I would use caution if you go this route because over-the-top interstitials can result in penalties from Google, especially if they dramatically diminish the user experience.

You can learn more about it in this article from Search Engine Land.

But as long as you’re not obnoxious about it, you should be good to go.

Utilize Facebook groups

As of early 2016, there were one billion people using Facebook groups in some capacity.

And I can see why this number is so high.

Facebook groups are a great way to exchange thoughts and ideas with other like-minded people.

Each group focuses on a very specific niche so users can get great input from experts and enthusiasts.

Here’s the “Being Boss” group—a community for creative entrepreneurs and business owners.

As you can see, it’s got a sizable number of members.

Groups also present an excellent marketing opportunity and are perfect for getting more followers.

There are two ways to go about leveraging Facebook groups.

Option #1

One way is to simply join groups relevant to your industry and area of expertise.

This tends to be the easier route because you can join a group that’s already well established and has plenty of followers.

What you want to do is get in the habit of consistently engaging with the group by leaving great comments.

It takes some time, but believe me, people will take notice.

After a while, you’ll be on the radar of other group members.

You should inevitably pique their curiosity enough so that they check out your Facebook page.

Many of these people will ultimately follow you.

Option #2

The other option is to create your own group from scratch.

I’ll be honest with you.

This takes a significant amount of time and energy.

Generating initial interest and getting the ball rolling can be difficult.

But the payoff is huge if you can get solid membership.

Just think about it.

If you’re the admin of a group, you’ll get an immense amount of exposure.

After all, your profile is one of the first things people will see when landing on the group page.

You also have a high level of control.

You make the rules and can share files and tag various members to spark a discussion.

And generally speaking, you can expect a considerably higher level of engagement with a Facebook group than you would with a typical Facebook page.

The bottom line is building a thriving Facebook group is going to increase your visibility in a big way.

More people will end up landing on your brand’s page, and your following should increase.

For me, it’s worth putting in the time when you look at the long-term impact.

If you need some direction on how to grow a Facebook group effectively, check out this post from


Facebook’s reach isn’t exactly stellar.

But you can jump over that hurdle by simply growing your following.

While there are a myriad of ways to go about this, the points I mentioned in this post are the ones that have worked the best for me and my clients.

This will provide you with a framework for gaining more followers organically without having to invest any money into paid promotions.

What’s your number one strategy for increasing your Facebook following? What are your favorite free methods?

How to Combine PR with SEO for the Biggest Success

It used to be that PR and SEO were two very different marketing tactics with virtually zero overlap.

With roots going all the way back to the founding of the colonies in the New World in the 16th century, PR is like a grizzled old vet,

while SEO is more of a young whippersnapper with a history that reaches back a mere 25 years at best.

Traditional PR is based on old-school, offline techniques, while SEO has been completely digital from the start.

But in the late twenty-teens, it’s apparent there’s now a high degree of overlap between the two.

Just think about it on the most basic level.

One of the top ranking factors of SEO is links from high-quality, relevant websites.

A sound PR strategy can be the catalyst for gaining these links and thus improving search rankings.

When you think of it like this, it’s clear that PR and SEO are two marketing strategies you should focus on simultaneously.

When you’re able to get them working in tandem, you can accomplish several important things.

You can:

  • improve your reputation
  • build trust and authority
  • increase your brand equity
  • expand your reach to a larger percentage of your target market
  • improve search rankings
  • drive a higher volume of organic traffic to your website
  • crank up sales

In this post, I’m going to highlight some strategies that will allow you to effectively combine PR with SEO for maximum success.

I will also mention some specific outlets I’ve had success with.

Let’s get right down to it.

Create an overarching persona

I’m sure you’ve heard me talking about personas before.

You know the vibe.

Personas are a fundamental element of customer segmentation and key for getting the right marketing materials in front of the right leads.

SEO is big on using audience research to unearth information about your customer base and segmenting them accordingly.

PR involves doing media research to determine which outlets are best for reaching your target audience.

For instance, a tech startup might be interested in media outlets such as Wired and TechCrunch.

A vital first step of the process involves combining SEO audience research and PR media research to create an overarching persona.

This will encompass your audience as a whole and will help guide you throughout the rest of the steps.

Develop a list of keywords

I think we can all agree keywords play a significant role in SEO.

Back in the day, simply using the right keyword density could often propel your content to the first page of the SERPs (or even the number one spot).

Although they may not have the same level of impact they did several years ago, recent research from Backlinko explains that keywords are still important.

Among Google’s 200 ranking factors, the following factors involve keywords:

  • keyword appears in top level domain
  • keyword as first word in domain
  • latent semantic indexing keywords in content (LSI)
  • LSI keywords in title and description tags
  • Quantity of other keywords page ranks for

Here’s a pie chart from Moz that shows the different ways keywords impact SEO:

So, yeah, they’re still a big deal.

Although you may use a wide variety of keywords, depending on the topics you’re covering in your content, I suggest condensing them into a handful of keywords for PR purposes.

You can think of it as a master list.

Why is this important?

To combine PR with SEO effectively, you need to have a finite number of keywords to target.

You’ll use variations of these keywords in a variety of settings:

  • in press releases
  • during interviews
  • in guest posts on industry publications
  • in executive bios
  • in social media bios
  • for brand mentions

As a result, those keywords will become synonymous with your brand.

Reporters will use them when mentioning your company; your demographic will associate them with your brand; and so on.

When it’s all said and done, when people enter these keywords in their searches, your brand should appear in the SERPs.

The bottom line is you want to choose your keywords carefully and make sure they fully describe your brand.

Align your message

Just like you’ll want to achieve consistency with your keywords, you’ll want consistency with your overall brand message.

You want to make sure whoever is representing your company understands your brand’s core message and relays it to the outlet they’re using.

Whether it’s an executive having an interview with a news outlet or your content team writing a guest post for an industry publication, there needs to be a sense of cohesion.

I recommend creating a formal document that outlines your target keywords and brand message you’re looking to get out there.

Providing this to your team should minimize any confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Identify optimal channels

Let me recap what I’ve discussed so far.

You’ve created an overarching persona, established a list of keywords to target and developed a unified message for your PR and SEO teams to use.

At this point, you’ll want to research potential channels (online and offline) you can use for your combined PR/SEO campaign.

Ideally, you’ll target a variety of different channels so you can achieve a nice balance and reach the largest possible portion of your demographic.

Here’s an illustration to give you some ideas:

This shows the multitude of ways you can go about it.

But for maximum effectiveness, I recommend narrowing it down to a manageable list of just a few channels initially.

You don’t want to spread yourself too thin or risk diluting your brand message by trying to be featured on a million outlets.

Keep in mind you can always expand later, once you’ve got things popping.

With that being said, there are five specific outlets I suggest focusing on right off the bat.

I’ve had tremendous success with all of these, and I know you can benefit from them as well.

Leading publications

If you can land some real estate in a major publication in your industry, the world instantly becomes your oyster.

Like I mentioned before, getting featured in Wired would be huge for a tech startup’s PR.

And the link could take its SEO to the next level.

Not to mention the surge in referral traffic it could generate.

I suggest identifying a handful of leading publications and pitching them your ideas.

Social media influencers

Did you know that “71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference?”

Getting key influencers to endorse your brand can send your brand equity soaring through the roof.

Check out this post I wrote to learn the fundamentals of getting promoted by social media influencers.

Major bloggers

It’s amazing the influence today’s top bloggers have and how much money is generated from their blogs.

For instance, Brian Clark’s CopyBlogger earns around $1 million each month!

I’ve always been a sucker for guest-posting and recommend reaching out to major bloggers as an initial first step in your PR/SEO conquest.

Besides the valuable links and instant exposure you’ll get, this can have an impact on your branded search volume as well.

People will naturally be curious about your brand, and many will search for you.


Interviews are a huge reason why I’ve gotten to where I’m today.

For instance, this interview on Groove HQ was a tremendous help.

It’s well worth the time to seek out interview opportunities.

If you’re not sure how to go about this, check out HARO.

Speaking events

Believe it or not, I’ve spoken at hundreds of conferences.

I’ve spoken at Tech Cocktail Celebrate, Conversion Conference and Affiliate World Bangkok Asia, just to name a few.

And you know what?

It’s had a profound impact on my brand.

While not every conference will be worth your time, the PR boost can be dramatic.

Check out this resource from Famous in Your Field for information on finding speaking opportunities.


It’s interesting how PR and SEO have evolved over the years.

Though they were once disparate marketing tactics, they now overlap in a big way.

When you get right down to it, PR often impacts SEO.

As your link profile grows and expands, your rankings climb and improve.

But this doesn’t just happen on its own.

In order to combine PR with SEO, you need to have a solid strategy and know which direction you want to take.

You need to know which underlying persona you’re looking to reach, which keywords you need to target and which outlets enable you to gain the publicity you’re looking for.

But once you break it down, the formula is fairly straightforward.

This infographic from Moz sums up the process of integrating PR and SEO quite nicely:

With proper planning and execution, you can rev up your PR while stepping up your SEO.

Which areas of PR do you think have the biggest impact on SEO?

Here Are the Research Hacks I Use to Come up with a List of Target Keywords Fast

Keyword research is synonymous with SEO.

I remember, back in the day, when keyword research was SEO.

The recipe was simple.

Use the Google Keyword Tool (now known as the Google Keyword Planner) to type in a broad search phrase.

Find a keyword phrase that receives a considerable number of searches with minimal competition.

Stuff the crap out of it in your blog post.

And voila! You’re on the first page of Google!

That was when SEO was pretty archaic and Google’s algorithm was much less sophisticated than it is today.

Back then, pretty much anyone could game the system with a little know-how.

Heck, I remember when people would actually “spin articles” and get solid rankings by keyword stuffing.

But Google obviously stamped that out with major algorithm updates like Penguin and Panda.

Nowadays, keyword research is a bit more complex, but many of the same principles still apply.

Over the years, I’ve come up with quite a few research hacks that help me come up with a list of keywords in a hurry.

In this post, I’ll point out some of my favorites that you can also implement.

Use Ubersuggest

This is a tool that’s not on everyone’s radar but is great for quickly amassing a list of potential keywords.

Here’s a screenshot of the tool’s description:

Let me say that it’s not as robust as the Google Keyword Planner, but it does offer a few different features I love.

Using it is simple.

From the Ubersuggest homepage, enter a broad keyword.

I’ll use “3D printer” as an example.

Here’s what pops up:

Just like that, I have 361 different keyword ideas!

If you want, you can copy and paste some or all of these keywords into a file, spreadsheet, etc.

Just click on “View as text.”

Then you’ll see this:

This is a lightning-fast way to generate a huge list of keywords.

From there, you can pick and choose the ones you want to target.

But let’s say you want to expand on a particular keyword to come up with even more ideas.

Click on it:

Then click “Expand this keyword.”

You’ll then get another list of keywords based on the one you clicked on:

For this particular search, I got 217 additional keywords.

Another cool feature is that you can gauge interest in a particular keyword by seeing how it’s performing on Google Trends.

Just click on the keyword:

Then click on Google Trends:

From there, you can get a pretty good idea of whether it’s trending up, trending down or just neutral.

But wait, there’s more!

Ubersuggest has another feature, called “Word Cloud,” that will show you additional keywords frequently used along with the keyword you’re searching for.

From the top of the page, click on “Word Cloud.”

Here are the results I got:

The larger the word, the more searches the keyword phrase has received.

I love visuals, so this is an intuitive way for me to get keyword ideas without much work.

The only drawback of Ubersuggest is you can’t see the number of monthly searches a keyword receives or the competition level and suggested bid.

But you can always plug whatever keyword you’re interested in into the Google Keyword Planner.

Nonetheless, it’s a great tool for generating a big list of target keywords fast and has some great features that provide you with valuable intel.

Use BuzzSumo

Let me just say I love BuzzSumo!

It’s hands down one of the best tools for generating new content ideas, seeing how popular a topic is and even for finding influencers to reach out to.

But you can use it for keyword research as well.

Here’s what you do.

Type in your broad keyword:

You’ll get a list of content that includes that keyword.

Here are a few of the results I got for “3D printer.” There were 882 results in total:

Now what you want to do is scan through the results and look for other keywords paired with your broad keyword.

Here are a couple of examples:

What I love about this technique is that I can tell how much interest there is in a particular keyword by simply looking at the amount of engagement the content has received.

For instance, the second keyword I highlighted—“ultra high-def 3D printer”—had 13.9k shares.

Of course, interest may have been piqued because the piece was about creating futuristic death masks, but there’s obviously some interest there.

I suggest browsing through the list and copying and pasting the keywords that catch your attention and are getting some buzz.

You can also get a few additional ideas by scrolling to the bottom of the page and checking out “Related Searches.”

Just click on a particular search phrase and repeat the same steps.

Use Google’s auto-complete feature

Google is the ultimate enabler for lazy people.

We don’t even have to type out our full search inquiry anymore.

Just type in a few characters, and Google will auto-complete your inquiry based on popular searches.

I use this all the time.

It also happens to be perfect for getting instant keyword ideas.

Here’s what pops up when I search for “affiliate marketing”:

Now, I realize this doesn’t give you a massive list of keyword ideas, but you can bet there’s a high level of interest for almost anything that pops up.

For something to appear on auto-complete, it obviously has to receive a high volume of searches.

You can also do this on Quora as well:

Check out related searches

Here’s another easy way to extract even more info from Google.

Enter a broad keyword phrase, and scroll to the very bottom.

You’ll see a section called “Searches related to [your keyword phrase].”

That right there will instantly give you eight keyword ideas.

But you can get more by clicking on an individual keyword phrase:

After scrolling down to the bottom again, here’s what I got:

You can go on infinitely to get as many ideas as you need.

Just follow the same sequence of steps.

FYI, you can do this on Bing as well.

“Soovle it”

If you’ve never heard of Soovle, it’s a sweet little tool that will give you keyword suggestions from popular sites like Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, Bing, etc.

And it’s incredibly easy to use.

Just type in your keyword into the search box:

Within seconds, the page will be populated with keyword ideas from each of these sites:

It’s pretty awesome.

If you want to do some more research, just click on the keyword you’re interested in.

I’ll click on “3D printer software” from Bing:

This will show you the results so you can see what type of content competitors are creating and what’s ranking the best.

Scrape ideas from Bing ads

Bing is dwarfed in terms of its user-base when compared to Google.

It even fell behind the Chinese search engine, Baidu, recently.

That little red sliver of the pie chart is Bing’s search engine market share in 2017.

A mere 7.31%.

But who cares?

It serves multiple purposes from a marketing standpoint.

One is coming up with target keywords.

This hack I came up with is actually based on one of Brian Dean’s tactics for finding keywords for titles and description tags.

In his post, Brian talks about how you can scan through copy of Google AdWords ads to find potential titles and tags.

The only issue with this is that AdWords doesn’t always have an abundance of text-based ads.

See what I mean?

But look at what I get when I enter the same search phrase in Bing:

And that’s just part of it.

Scroll down to the bottom, and I get even more text-based ads:

All I have to do is look for keyword phrases.

Here are a few potential ideas:

Now, I’m not saying jam-packing ads like this into search results translates into a great user experience, but it’s perfect for coming up with target keywords.

And keep in mind that companies are funneling a considerable amount of time and money into these ads, which means they’ve done their keyword research.

Capitalize on their work, and you’re likely to get favorable results.


Keyword research has changed quite a bit over the past five or so years.

And it’s definitely become more sophisticated.

But at the end of the day, it still revolves around the same concept, and it doesn’t need to be unnecessarily difficult.

What I love is the increased number of tools available today.

You’re not limited to using only the Google Keyword Planner.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great and all.

But everyone is using it, including your competitors.

So it’s best to come up with different, less common, approaches.

The research hacks I discussed here are all effective for unearthing keyword ideas and will help you create a list quickly and easily.

Using them should also give you an edge because most of your competitors aren’t aware of these tactics.

It’ll put you ahead of the game and will keep you supplied with high-quality keywords.

How big of a role does keyword research play in your SEO strategy?

How to Tweak Your PPC Strategy During the Holiday Season

Just like in life, there’s an ebb and flow to marketing success.

That means a huge part of finding success as a marketer is being adaptable.

This allows you to capitalize on trends and strike while the iron is hot.

And if there’s any time of year that impacts sales and marketing, it’s the holidays.

In fact, nearly a fifth (19.2%) of retail sales take place over the holiday season.

It’s big business.

And holiday retail sales are only continuing to grow, which is great news for marketers.

While there was a drop off in 2008 and 2009, during the recession, sales have been growing each year ever since.

Here’s a graph that illustrates that growth:

Of course, you want your slice of the pie.

But to get it, you’ll need to modify your approach in several areas of marketing.

One area in particular is PPC.

When it comes to your PPC campaign, you’ll want to tweak your strategy during the holiday season to cash in on the surplus of sales.

And considering the fact that “PPC visitors are 50% more likely to buy than organic visitors,” the holidays are rife with opportunity.

It’s almost like shooting fish in a barrel.

In this post, I’d like to point out some specific adjustments you can make to your PPC strategy that should minimize your CPC, increase your CTR and maximize your ROI.

Start by creating a new campaign

Let’s start with a couple of preliminary steps.

First, I strongly recommend creating an entirely new campaign, specifically designed for the holidays.

This will allow you to shift from the holiday season to the post-holiday season with ease and zero disruption.

It’ll also make it easier to stay organized and will minimize any confusion later on.

And when next year comes around, the campaign will already be set up for you.

If you’re using AdWords, check out this guide for step-by-step instructions on how to create a new campaign.

Analyze last year’s data

This won’t be applicable if this is your first year running a PPC campaign during the holidays.

But if you’ve done it in the past, it’s super helpful to take a look at last year’s, as well as several previous years’, data.

Some specific elements you’ll want to examine are:

  • keyword performance
  • CPCs
  • CTRs
  • overall conversion rates

Looking at the CTRs of this list of keywords provides instant insights:

Make note of any interesting trends that could give you an edge this year.

Then write down your top four or five keywords because these can serve as the nucleus of this year’s campaign. You can build around those.

If you notice any keywords that bombed or vastly underperformed, you may want to scrap them because there are bound to be better, more profitable keywords out there.

Use holiday modifiers

Once you’ve analyzed last year’s data, you should have a handful of keywords to focus on.

These are good to go.

But what you can also do is adjust the ad copy of your top performing keywords you use normally throughout the year by adding holiday modifiers to them.

This is pretty easy to do, and some quick keyword research should supply you with plenty of ideas.

Here’s an example.

From your Google Keyword Planner dashboard, enter the term “holidays.”

Scroll down just a bit, and you’ve got hundreds of different keyword ideas to choose from:

Now, all you have to do is add a holiday-related keyword phrase to your existing keyword.

For example, you might use “Holiday deals on [keyword].”

Use Google Trends for insights

Here’s another helpful trick you can use to see how people are responding to certain holiday-related phrases.

Go to Google Trends, and enter a few different search terms you want to compare.

I’ll use “holiday special,” “holiday sale” and “Christmas savings” as an example.

First, I’ll set it to the “Past 12 months” option to see which search terms received the most interest last year.

As you can see here, “holiday sale” has received the most interest among these three choices.

Then, I’ll set it to the “Past 5 years” option for an even better perspective:

Everything looks consistent.

Between the Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends, you should be able to generate plenty of good ideas for ways to adjust your ad copy to appeal to holiday shoppers.

Incorporate discount-oriented keywords

The holidays are synonymous with deals and discounts.

There’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.

One way to attract shoppers and increase your CTR is to use keywords involving some sort of a deal.

Here are a few examples you see quite frequently:

Again, you can use Google Trends to see just how receptive shoppers are to these various keywords.

A quick comparison of “coupons,” “promotions” and “specials” lets me know that “coupons” gets far more searches than the other two:

Of course, you’ll actually need to back up your offer by offering discounts on the products you feature in your ads.

Needless to say, simply using discount-oriented keywords without an actual discount is going to hurt your conversion rate and send your CPC through the roof.

But incorporating the right deal-oriented keywords should bring shoppers’ attention to your ads and improve your CTR.

Experiment with other promotions

Besides traditional discounts, there are other types of promotions that shoppers respond favorably to.

Here’s how they break down:

You can cash in on this by working these types of promotions into your PPC campaign.

I did some quick keyword research on the “buy one get one” phrase and was amazed to see the low competition levels.

See for yourself:

Although you need to be conscious of your profit margins when executing promotions, this can level up your PPC strategy and send an influx of eager shoppers your way.

Throw in time-sensitive offers

I’ve talked about the importance of incorporating urgency into your headlines.

But urgency can be applied to a lot of different situations.

It’s a marketer’s best friend.

It can be especially potent for holiday PPC ads.

Here’s why.

There is a handful of specific events throughout the year that are intrinsically time-sensitive.

Here are some examples, and this doesn’t even include New Year’s:

They each have a very distinct cut-off date, and once that date has passed, it’s over, baby.

Shoppers will have to wait until next year to cash in on sales and discounts.

Leverage these different events by creating time-sensitive offers that expire once a certain date has passed.

Here’s a great example of a Facebook ad from just before Thanksgiving:

Keep in mind that the majority of holiday shoppers are in the “buy now” mindset.

So it’s not so much about nurturing leads and gradually moving them through the sales funnel.

It’s more about going for the throat and compelling shoppers to take action right away and buy.

I’ve found creating urgency through this tactic is one of the best ways to accomplish this.

Adjust your budget

Considering the fact that roughly a fifth of all retail sales come during the holiday season, it’s reasonable to expect an increase in searches for your product.

You’ll need to account for this increase by adjusting your budget accordingly.

If you currently have a $100-a-day budget, you may want to raise it by to $150 or even $200 to ensure you’re able to capitalize on increased searches.

You don’t want to miss out on opportunities simply because your budget ran out.

And there are two particular dates when you’ll want to be especially loose with your budget:

Thanksgiving/Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Just look at how online conversions surged for one company on these days:

These actually dwarfed the week leading up to Christmas and the day after.

While this won’t necessarily be the trend for everyone, be prepared to spend considerably more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Again, I recommend looking at the data from past years to gain insights on this and for direction on setting your budget.


I love PPC advertising for the simple fact that it can lead to massive sales in a short period of time.

Unlike other digital strategies—like content marketing, social media and SEO (which I love) that typically take a long time to pay off—PPC can get almost instant results as long as you know what you’re doing.

PPC can be lucrative any time of the year, but the holiday season is where the money is really at.

But in order to take advantage, you’ll need to tweak your PPC strategy accordingly.

The things I mentioned here should enable you to:

  • create highly effective ads your demographic will respond to,
  • come up with enticing offers and
  • send shoppers chomping at the bit to buy to your site.

And once you get the hang of it, simply rinse and repeat for the next holiday season.

Can you think of any other adjustments that can rev up your PPC campaign during the holidays?

15 Essentials to Creating a Trust-Boosting YouTube Profile Page

Did you know that more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day?

That’s mind-boggling!

But here’s what’s really crazy.

In 2017, “more video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years.”

These two stats demonstrate just how huge YouTube and video marketing in general have become.

And what I really love about video as compared to other mediums is the trust-building opportunity it presents.

Don’t get me wrong.

Traditional blogging, guest-posting and other text-based formats are great.

But they have inherent limitations when compared to video.

Someone can read one of my blog posts and get a feel for my personality, style, sense of humor and so on.

But watching even a brief video lets them see the whole package:

They can see me, hear my voice, read my body language and get a feel for what I’m really like as a person.

With trust being such an integral part of marketing, video is almost a necessity and should be a part of any well-rounded campaign.

This leads us to a very important question.

How do you create a trust-boosting YouTube profile page?

In this post, I’ll cover some essential elements your YouTube page should have as well as some practical tips for engaging your viewers.

1. Start with a customized banner

Here’s Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube page:

And here’s Pat Flynn’s:

Both have solid followings and are well trusted in their industries.

Once I land on their YouTube homepages, one of the first things my eyes are drawn to is their professional, fully customized banners.

They both pop from an aesthetic standpoint and lend an air of legitimacy to their channels.

I can’t stress enough how vital your banner is.

Not only does it need to look great, it needs to capture the essence of your brand.

That’s what I aimed for with my YouTube banner:

I suggest staying away from a generic banner and creating a customized image tailored to your brand.

Check out the YouTube Banner Maker from FotoJet for more on this.

2. Beef up your About section

Have you ever heard the term tabula rasa?

It’s Latin for blank slate.

And that’s how I like to think of first-time visitors to a YouTube channel.

They’ve probably never heard of you, have zero idea of what you’re about and have no clue what type of content you cover.

Your job is to quickly and succinctly tell them what your channel is about.

The description on your About page needs to be spot on.

Here’s a great example from Brian Dean’s YouTube page:

In just a few words, the opening line explains precisely what his channel is about.

From there, visitors can read on for more details.

But the first line immediately grabs the attention of most of his demographic.

Pat Flynn also does a great job of this:

Be sure you’re following this same formula with your About page.

3. Nail it with your “explainer” video

Whenever visitors first land on a YouTube homepage, they’re presented with an introduction, or “explainer” video.

This gives them a brief overview of the channel and informs them about the theme, subject matter, etc.

If you’re a big brand like TED Talks, you can slap up pretty much any video you want because you’re already established.

There’s already built-in trust.

But what if you’re a fledgling brand, trying to get your name out there?

You need to explain your mission and what you do.

This is how I approached my YouTube profile page:

Chris Ducker does something similar with his “YouTube Channel Intro:”

I recommend doing this with your homepage video because it will answer first-time viewers’ questions, spark interest and create some initial trust.

4. Record in HD

Presentation is everything.

The last thing you want is to create grainy, low-quality videos on your channel.

You need to record in HD.

In fact, a study analyzing 1.3 million YouTube videos found that “68.2% of all videos on YouTube’s first page are in HD.”

It’s a significant ranking factor.

These days, standard definition isn’t going to cut it.

If you expect people to take you seriously, you need your content to be in HD.

And if you need help making HD videos on YouTube, check out this video.

5. Record videos just under 15 minutes

One of the biggest questions new YouTubers have is about the length of their videos.

Some prefer quick snippets, while others opt for longer, more in-depth content.

According to research,

the average length of a video ranking on the first page of YouTube is 14 minutes, 50 seconds.

So just under 15 minutes.

YouTube even confirmed that video “watch time” is a definitive ranking signal:

This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right length for everyone.

In fact, most of my videos are considerably shorter.

But it’s a pretty good length to aim for, especially if you’re just starting out and looking to build trust with your audience.

Just under 15 minutes should allow you to explain a topic in-depth without overwhelming your viewers.

6. Upload at least one new video per week

The other main question is, “How frequently should I upload a new video?”

Most experts would agree it should be at least once a week.

That’s the frequency Marie Forleo sticks with.

However, two or three times should work as well.

Your goal is to build your subscriber base by supplying viewers with fresh content so that they don’t forget about you or lose interest.

But at the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm them by posting every day.

Creating one to three videos per week is a safe bet.

7. Encourage comments

Comments are one of the main forms of currency YouTube uses to decide where to rank videos.

Just look at how the higher number of comments correlates with higher rankings:

Comments can also boost your trustworthiness, especially when they’re positive.

Just think about it.

Which would you take more seriously?

A video with five comments or 5,000?

I know I’m a little skeptical when the comment section of a YouTube video is a ghost town.

If no one else cares, why should I?

My point here is you should get in the habit of encouraging your viewers to leave their comments and weigh in with their opinions.

Better yet, ask a question at the end of each video to spark a discussion.

8. Encourage likes and shares

Likes and shares are other key forms of YouTube currency.

Not only does this type of engagement correlate with higher rankings, it can crank up the level of trust the viewers feel toward you as well.

Of course, getting a high number of likes and shares is easier said than done.

But asking viewers to engage by using a CTA at the end of a video will help.

Here’s a really simple script you can use:

Thanks for watching this video. Be sure to leave your comments and like or share if you found this content helpful.

9. Bring in influencers

What if your brand equity is only so-so?

One of the quickest ways to elevate it is to feature a well-known influencer on your channel.

That’s what Pat Flynn did a few years ago:

This particular video was posted on Halloween 2014, back when Pat could still be considered an up-and-comer.

It obviously paid off and helped him elevate his brand and gain more recognition.

This isn’t to say that you need to feature someone of a Gary Vee status to make an impact.

Just try to find someone with a big enough following to make a splash.

Getting in touch with someone via YouTube is easy.

Just click on the “Send message” box on the About page:

10. Be helpful without ulterior motives

Content marketing differs from most conventional outbound techniques in that it provides value without asking for anything in return.

It’s more about helping the consumer than shamelessly promoting your product.

And this is why content marketing is so effective.

Most people are sick and tired of being barraged by ads.

Just look at the growth of ad blocking software over the past several years:

Adblock Plus, the world’s most popular ad blocking extension, has been downloaded over 500 million times!

The moment you blatantly try to push your product on YouTube viewers is the moment you lose their trust.

Instead, place your focus on helping and informing your viewers without having any ulterior motives:

Obviously, you’re looking to promote your brand, but taking this approach will boost your trustworthiness and ultimately lead to sales.

11. Redirect viewers to helpful resources

You can cover a lot in your videos, and your knowledge goes a long way.

But you’ll never have all the answers.

Often, it makes more sense to send your viewers to external resources, where they can learn more about the topic.

This is just another way to prove you’re genuinely invested in helping, which is huge for boosting trust.

12. Create an intimate feel

What I love about YouTube is that it allows me to connect with my audience in a way that isn’t possible with most other mediums.

When creating your videos, it’s super important that you achieve an intimate feel and come across as personable and approachable.

HubSpot pulls this off well.

Even though they’re a fairly big company, most of their videos are delivered in a direct, one-on-one manner.

13. Stick to your niche

I didn’t get to where I am today by trying to wear a bunch of hats.

My focus has primarily been on business and digital marketing, and I haven’t strayed from it.

Just look at the topics of my YouTube videos:

They all fall under that umbrella.

I’m not saying you should pigeonhole yourself into a single micro-niche, but you need to stay focused on your area of expertise.

This will enable you to be recognized as an authority and help you build trust.

Otherwise, being seen as a generalist can hurt your credibility.

14. Promptly respond to comments

A survey from Altitude found that

84% of consumers expect companies to respond within 24 hours after posting on social media.

But in reality, most people expect it even quicker than that.

I’ve heard that some people even expect a response within 30 minutes!

The bottom line is when someone takes the time to leave a comment, they want to know you’re seeing it and they want to be acknowledged quickly.

I realize it’s not feasible to respond to every single comment within minutes. That would require you to live on YouTube.

But you should try to respond within 24 hours.

It’s going to help you from a trust standpoint and can lead to some extremely loyal subscribers.

15. Live-stream a portion of your content

The concept of live video is fairly new.

But it’s blowing up like crazy, and YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and others all have their own versions of live streaming.

Not only can viewers watch you in real time, they can send in their comments and questions live.

For YouTube, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers, so it’s not viable for tiny channels.

But if you have 1,000+ subscribers, I highly suggest doing live streaming for at least some of your content.

Just check out this guide from YouTube to learn more about live streaming.


The amount of trust you’re able to build with your audience directly impacts their receptiveness to your brand and their likelihood of buying.

That’s why trust building should be at the forefront of your mission.

Fortunately, YouTube is the perfect resource for building trust that can spill over to your broader marketing campaign.

It’s just a matter of zooming in on the right areas and following the essentials.

What makes you trust a brand on YouTube?