Author: Neil Patel

How to Improve Your Alexa Ranking in 30 Days or Less

Numbers don’t lie.

When it comes to the popularity and overall value of your business, it’s important to have a solid Alexa Ranking.

Why? It’s a common metric that potential business partners, investors, etc. will use to determine the state of your business.

They’ll use it to gauge your business’s health and whether it’s trending up or down.

The lower your Alexa Rank, the better, and vice versa.

This is why so many business owners agonize over their Alexa Rank and work tirelessly to improve it.

In this post, I’d like to discuss two key things.

First, I’d like to talk about the factors that Alexa assesses when determining rankings.

Second, I’d like to offer a tangible strategy you can use to improve your Alexa Ranking in 30 days or less.

Let’s hit it.

What’s an Alexa Rank?

Just to be sure we’re on the same page, allow me to formally define an Alexa Rank.

According to Avangate,

“It’s a ranking system set by (a subsidiary of that audits and makes public the frequency of visits on various web sites.

Alexa’s support section clarifies matters even more by explaining how its traffic rankings are determined:

“Alexa’s traffic estimates and ranks are based on the browsing behavior of people in our global data panel which is a sample of all Internet users. Alexa’s Traffic Ranks are based on the traffic data provided by users in Alexa’s global data panel over a rolling 3 month period.”

Here’s what Google’s Alexa Rank looks like at number one:

And here’s what Quick Sprout looks like at the moment:

Not nearly as good as Google but solid nonetheless, considering the fact that the lowest ranked website is somewhere around 30 million.

Which factors does Alexa analyze?

Before we can formulate a game plan, it’s important to understand what Alexa is looking at when assigning a ranking to websites.

Fortunately, Alexa is very upfront about how its data is calculated.

According to the Alexa Blog, “Every day, Alexa estimates the average daily visitors and pageviews to every site over the past 3 months. The site with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews over the past 3 months is ranked #1.”

“The site with the least is ranked somewhere around 30 million. If no one in our measurement panel visited a site over the past 3 months there is no rank at all for that site.”

They also provide a couple of graphs to illustrate this:

Of course, Google receives more traffic than any other site on the Internet.

It gets more daily visitors and pageviews, so it sits at the top of the mountain.

Alexa also points out the fact that the closer you get to the top of the plot, the harder it gets to move up a rank.

While it may be fairly easy for a site ranking 24,500,132 to move up to, say, 20 million, it’s significantly more difficult to climb from 50 to 40.

The main takeaway is that it’s all about two key factors: (1) average daily visitors and (2) pageviews over the last three months.

That being said, here’s what you need to do in order to improve your Alexa Ranking quickly.

Certify your site metrics

If you don’t mind making a small investment, it’s a good idea to use Alexa’s Certified Site Metrics.

This will give you an Alexa Certified Code, which will directly measure your site’s traffic.

It offers several advantages:

  • You get a more accurate Alexa Rank
  • You have access to more in-depth analytics reports (there’s a private dashboard)
  • You can closely monitor your site’s performance
  • You also have the option of displaying unique visitors, pageviews, and ranks publicly

Here are the different pricing options:

It’s also important to note that you get a free monthly SEO audit with the “Insight” plan and a full site audit with the “Advanced” plan every two weeks.

This is just something to keep in mind when choosing a plan.

Here’s a screenshot from Alexa support, explaining how to get your site certified:

The bottom line is that certifying your site metrics gives you an advantage over other websites.

You can gain a clearer perspective on the health of your site and are equipped with tools to improve your ranking.

Produce epic content

Sorry if I sound like a broken record with the whole “epic content” thing.

But when you break it all down, it’s an essential component of online marketing on many levels.

I’m not going to bore you with all the gory details, but it’s extremely important to create A+ content that genuinely satisfies your audience.

Check out this guide I wrote on Neil Patel for pretty much everything you need to know on the subject.

This will be a necessity for boosting your Alexa Ranking.

Get quality backlinks

What are two critical factors that Google takes into account when assigning a ranking to your website?

Trust and authority. In fact, “Domain trust/authority represents 23.87% of Google’s ranking algorithm.”

One of the most straightforward ways to increase your site’s trust/authority is to obtain quality inbound links.

You know the drill. They need to be from reputable, relevant websites.

I realize this is obviously easier said than done.

I wish it was as easy as putting out a few decent blog posts and having multiple big name publications chomping at the bit to link to you.

Of course, it’s a fairly arduous process.

But at the end of the day, it all goes back to creating great content.

In fact, I like to adhere to the 90/10 rule of link building, where “90% of your effort should go into creating great content, and 10% into link building.”

And when it comes to the process of link building, there’s one technique that outshines all the rest: guest-posting.

Now, I’m not going to rehash what I’ve already written about this topic here. But you can learn the essentials from this guide on Quick Sprout.

If you can get even a few guest posts published on reputable websites, this should result in an improved Alexa Ranking within a month.

Analyze your competitors’ keywords

Here’s a question for you.

What’s your motivation behind wanting to improve your Alexa Ranking?

I bet it’s to have a better ranking than your primary competitors. Right?

Of course, you’ll want to outperform the competition. But how do you go about it?

One of the best ways to gain an edge with your Alexa Rank, and with SEO in general, is to analyze your competitors’ keywords.

You’ll want to know which keywords are bringing them the most traffic, generating backlinks, and so on.

Once you know which keywords are driving the bulk of traffic to their websites, you can optimize your site for those keywords and build momentum.

It’s like killing two birds with one stone. Not only will your Alexa Rank improve, your overall SEO rankings should improve as well.

But how can you analyze their keywords?

I recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner.

There are a lot of tools out there, but this is perhaps the most universal. Besides, Google is usually the go-to source for Internet data.

Here’s what you do.

Go to your Keyword Planner dashboard.

Click on “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.”

Under “Your landing page,” type in the URL of a competitor.

I’ll just use as an example:

Click on “Get Ideas” at the bottom, and your screen will be populated with a list of competitor keywords.

Here are just a handful that popped up from my search:

The great thing about using the Keyword Planner is that you can instantly determine the volume of monthly searches and the level of competition for each keyword.

Creating better content that outperforms your competitors is a great way to gradually boost your SEO and at the same time improve your Alexa Rank.

But in order to see a significant improvement within 30 days, I would suggest first going after the “low hanging fruit,” meaning keywords with minimal competition and a lot of searches.

Focus on those initially for a surge in your ranking.


In many ways, your Alexa Rank directly affects the health and progress of your business.

It’s something that key stakeholders will often look at when determining whether or not your company is worth doing business with.

Therefore, achieving a favorable ranking (at least in the top 100,000) should be a priority.

If you follow this formula, I can pretty much guarantee that you will see at least a reasonable improvement fairly quickly.

However, if your site ranks really poorly, it may take awhile to get to the point where your business is attractive to stakeholders.

And because your Alexa Rank is such an important metric, I recommend making your efforts at improving it ongoing.

How big of a factor has your Alexa Ranking been in terms of business partnerships and opportunities?

7 Tools for Generating Infinite Content Ideas for Your Blog

Blogging sucks.

Okay that’s a bit extreme. In fact, there’s a lot that I enjoy about blogging—mainly connecting with you guys.

But what does suck is having to constantly come up with new ideas for blog posts.

It’s a grind that can be quite exhausting, especially if you’re simply coming up with ideas off the top of your head.

Research from The Content Marketing Institute found that “57% of B2B marketers say that producing content consistently is their biggest struggle.”

And the struggle is real.

If you’re like me and writing up to eight posts per week while juggling multiple businesses, it can be seriously draining.

So out of pure necessity, I’ve experimented with a plethora of different tools to aid me in the process of generating new content ideas.

Some have been home runs and some have been strikeouts.

But there are seven in particular I really like and want to share with you.

Using one or more of these tools will allow you to generate an infinite number of content ideas for your blog—without having to do any heavy lifting.

1. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

This is one of my favorites for generating a handful of ideas quickly. Five to be exact.

I love it because it’s incredibly easy to use.

Literally within seconds, you’ll have five legitimate blog post titles at your fingertips.

All you have to do is enter up to three nouns in the search boxes:

In this case, let’s try “content marketing.” Here’s what happens:

Voila! I instantly get five viable blog topics.

If you want more, click “Try Again,” and it will take you back to the home screen.

From there, you can perform another search using the same keywords, or you can experiment with different keyword options.

I will say that HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator isn’t ideal if you need to come up with dozens of ideas right out of the gate.

But it’s a great starting point.

2. BuzzSumo

You may have heard me mention BuzzSumo before.

I love this tool and have been using it to guide my content marketing efforts for a few years now.

It’s awesome because it does more than just provide you with content ideas. Much more!

It also does the following:

  • tells you the number of shares and social engagements content receives
  • identifies key sharers
  • displays backlinks
  • shows you top trending content

In other words, you can quickly tell how well content is performing and what’s resonating the most with readers.

This information is helpful because it lets you know which angles to take with your blog and makes it easier to strike while the iron is hot when topics are peaking.

Here’s what happens when I search for “content marketing” on BuzzSumo:

Notice that it provides me with an in-depth glimpse of the content that’s crushing it at the moment.

More specifically, I can see the number of:

  • Facebook engagements
  • LinkedIn shares
  • Twitter shares
  • Pinterest shares
  • Google+ shares
  • Links
  • Total shares

If you look to the right of this info, you’ll notice two more features: “View backlinks” and “View sharers.”

Both add a whole new dimension to the content prospecting process.

But let me give you a heads up.

The free version is fairly limited and won’t necessarily show you the big picture. You also can’t take advantage of all the features.

That’s why I recommend using the Pro version if you’ve got the budget.

As of early 2017, it costs $79 per month.

I know this may seem steep to some marketers, but it’s a worthwhile investment in my opinion.

3. Alltop

This is basically a news aggregator that lets you know what’s happening online.

Alltop runs the gamut in terms of topics and covers everything from science and religion to photography and fashion. It’s all there.

Here’s what you see when you first land on the Alltop homepage:

It’s basically a hodgepodge of different content.

Skimming through the homepage may help you generate some ideas, depending on your niche.

But what I recommend is searching for a specific topic in the search box.

Here’s just a fraction of what I get when I search for “content marketing:”

Alltop displays five posts from relevant blogs, and you can simply browse through the list for ideas.

Or you can take it one step further and click on a specific blog and scan it individually.

I’ve found this to be helpful, and you can potentially find some epic new resources you haven’t been aware of before.

The bottom line is that you can usually come up with a ton of ideas in a short period of time.

You can also get a feel for overarching trends to gauge what’s popular at the moment.

4. UberSuggest

Using this tool is simple.

Enter a keyword, and UberSuggest will supply you with dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of phrases that include your keyword.

Here’s a screenshot of what popped up when I used “content marketing” as a keyword:

It’s kind of like the Google Keyword Planner but more streamlined.

UberSuggest won’t provide you with info such as search volume, competition, etc., but it’s perfect for coming up with content ideas for your blog quickly.

Another cool feature is “Expand this keyword,” which you’ll see after clicking on a particular keyword.

Here’s what happens when I expand “content marketing strategy.”

Notice that it’s a more comprehensive list of keyword phrases based on “content marketing strategy.”

Pretty cool.

In theory, you can use one simple keyword to generate thousands of content ideas with UberSuggest.

5. Google Trends

I’m sure you’re at least somewhat familiar with Google Trends.

I use it for several marketing purposes, mainly to perform market research and determine interest in a particular topic.

But did you know that Google Trends can be used for generating content ideas as well?

It’s true.

Now let me say that this isn’t nearly as comprehensive as the previous tools I listed, but it definitely serves a purpose. Three to be exact.

Again, let’s use “content marketing” as an example.

First, you can browse through “Related topics” to see what’s popular.

This can help you identify other influential resources you may want to check out, which can potentially give you additional ideas.

Second, you can scan through “Related queries” to see which search queries are most popular on Google at the moment:

Third, you can use Google Trends to determine whether a topic is trending up or down.

Here’s what the interest in content marketing looks like at the moment:

When you put it all together, Google Trends can be quite handy for generating ideas.

6. Portent’s Content Idea Generator

If you’re looking for a super quick way to come up with a click-worthy blog title, look no further than this tool.

While it’s by no means as robust as, say, BuzzSumo, it works great for generating a title that your audience will eat up.

Here’s an example:

For more ideas, click the refresh button.

I like Portent’s Content Idea Generator because it’s an easy way to come up with cool and catchy titles.

It’s particularly good if you’re looking for a dash of humor.

7. Content Row’s Link Bait Title Generator

So here’s the deal with link bait.

It can potentially be detrimental to your marketing campaign.

I mean it may drive some initial traffic to your blog, but you’re likely to have a high bounce rate and a minimal number of return visitors if your content doesn’t actually measure up.

For that reason, I don’t recommend using titles purely intended for link bait without actually having high quality content.

That being said, Content Row’s Link Bait Title Generator is still a pretty awesome little tool to have.

The concept is simple. You enter a subject, and a handful of relevant link bait title ideas will appear.

Here’s what pops up when I enter “content marketing.”

Not too shabby.

This isn’t to say you’ll want to use every single idea this tool suggests, but you can definitely use it to streamline your brainstorming.

Most of the time, you can come up with some pretty catchy titles that will bring in considerable traffic.

Just make sure your content hits its mark.


I think we can all agree that coming up with fresh content ideas is a pain at times.

If you’ve been blogging for over a year, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

But fortunately, you don’t have to sit around brainstorming on your own, trying to come up with new ideas from scratch.

There are numerous tools available (many of which are free) that will assist you with this process and enable you to come up with pretty darn good ideas.

In fact, it’s tools like these that have enabled me to make continual progress and establish the audience that I have.

If you’re a serious blogger, I suggest at least checking out each of these seven tools and doing a little experimenting.

This should make it much easier to populate your blog with killer content without driving yourself crazy in the process.

Can you suggest any other tools for generating content ideas?

These Six Content Marketing Tactics Will Give You 142% More Traffic in Six Months

You don’t need me to tell you how potent content marketing is.

I could spout off a laundry list of stats, e.g., “conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters” or “content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.”

You get it.

But the term “content marketing” is a wide umbrella, encompassing a nearly infinite number of strategies and variations.

What you really need to know is which content marketing tactics will get you legitimate results—which ones will boost your traffic and generate sustained leads.

In other words, which strategies are truly worth your time?

In this post, I’d like to discuss six key tactics I feel are most pertinent for content marketers in 2017.

More specifically, these tactics will give you 142% more traffic in six months.

Here we go.

1. Create multiple landing pages

I’m sure you have a landing page on your website.

But there’s absolutely no reason to stop at just one.

In today’s digital marketing world, customer segmentation is vital, and the one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it.

Take a look at this data from HubSpot, demonstrating the correlation between the quantity of landing pages and leads generated.

According to HubSpot, “While most companies don’t see an increase in leads when increasing their total number of landing pages from 1-5 to 6-10, companies do see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.”

Here’s the impact that multiple landing pages can have for both B2Bs and B2Cs:

The point I’m trying to make here is that the more landing pages you create, the more opportunities you have to rank for different keywords, generate more organic traffic, and ultimately increase conversions.

After all, leads are more likely to convert when they arrive on a landing page that’s fully customized to address their specific needs and concerns.

Now, I’m not saying you necessarily need to create 10 or more landing pages. That may be an overkill in some cases.

But what I am saying is that it’s smart to segment your audience and create an individual landing page for each specific customer type.

Here’s an example:

This approach is almost guaranteed to help you reel in more quality traffic.

2. Make infographics an integral part of your content formula

I feel a little bit like Captain Obvious by pointing out the impact of infographics.

But the bottom line is that this medium is your ticket to massive traffic.


It’s simple. Infographics get shared like crazy.

In fact, “Infographics are Liked and shared on social media 3x more than other content.”

Here are a few more stats that prove the traffic-generating potential of infographics:

They’re visual. They’re easy to follow. And they make it incredibly simple to digest complex information that would be difficult to consume in a traditional, text-based format.

Not to mention they’re fun.

There’s something inherently playful about infographics that makes people “eat ’em up.”

Just check out the number of shares this infographic from Copyblogger has gotten since the day it was published back in 2012:

Pretty impressive.

I realize there are definitely newer, sexier content marketing tactics out there.

I also realize that interest in infographics has waned slightly over the past few years.

But they’re still one of the top forms of content in terms of traffic-generating potential.

That’s why I recommend making infographics a top priority this year.

Check out this post from and this post from Quick Sprout to learn the essentials.

3. Create “cornerstone” blog posts

If you’ve been following any of my blogs for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed I like going big.

By this I mean that I:

  • create long-form posts (typically over 1,500 words)
  • include a lot of visuals
  • include statistics
  • cover a lot of facts and details that others may not always touch on

In other words, I strive to provide my audience with as much value as possible.

Keep in mind I don’t always drive the ball out of the park with each blog post, but there’s a consistent level of depth I strive to achieve.

And this has been a big part of my success over the years.

This is why I can’t stress enough the importance of creating “cornerstone” blog posts, and not merely your average, run of the mill posts so common on the Internet.

In a post on Kissmetrics, I highlight just a few of the benefits of creating comprehensive, long-form content:

  • higher rankings in search engines

  • increased time on site
  • success in social media
  • a position of authority

One technique I’ve found useful for creating cornerstone content is to treat each blog post like a be-all and end-all guide.

Attack it with the intent of creating a definitive post that will answer nearly any question your audience may have.

Cover the entire spectrum.

I really recommend checking out this post I wrote on to learn more about this process.

It also includes some concrete examples you can use to guide your efforts.

Now, of course, you probably won’t have the time to create five-plus posts like this each week (or even three).

That’s why I suggest at least considering scaling back your content and focusing on creating fewer but higher quality in-depth posts rather than churning out dozens mediocre ones.

4. Get cozy with video

Here are some quick stats from HubSpot regarding the state of live video.

  • “Cisco projects that global Internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all Internet traffic by 2019.”
  • “4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it.”
  • “43% of consumers wanted to see more video content in 2016.”

No matter which way you slice it, a steady diet of video content is going to crank up your traffic.

This brings me to my next point.

5. Behold live video

I’d like to take it one step further and discuss a key video trend that’s catching on currently.

And that’s live video.

Platforms such as Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube offer live streaming, allowing your audience to watch your video content in real time.

In my opinion, live video is one of the top ways to increase engagement levels and bring a massive influx of traffic.

Here are some numbers to back this up:

  • “A significant number (50%) of marketers plan on using live video services, and 50% want to learn more about live video.”
  • “People spend 3x longer watching video which is live compared to video which is no longer live.”
  • “Facebook generates eight billion video views on average per day.”

I love this medium because it allows me to create an authentic, one-on-one-connection that’s nearly impossible to create otherwise.

It’s also cool because most live video services allow you to answer your viewers’ questions, giving you the opportunity to interact with them in a very personal way.

If you haven’t experimented with live video yet, I recommend giving it a shot.

It can push your traffic numbers off the chart.

Check out this post to learn how to use live video to build your personal brand.

6. Harness the power of content curation

At first thought, content curation might make you feel that you’re being lazy or maybe even unethical, as if you’re a poser who’s taking credit for the hard work of others.

But it’s not like that at all.

In fact, “only 5% of marketers worldwide never share other organization’s content, while nearly 1/3 share blogs, industry publications, or other resources on a daily basis.”

Content curation is an integral part of social media marketing, and almost every legitimate brand participates in it to some extent.

When you do it correctly, this practice can do the following:

  • boost your brand equity
  • establish you as a thought leader
  • bring in a steady stream of high quality traffic

More specifically, “41% of marketers that curate content indicate it has increased the number and/or quality of their sales-ready leads.”

The key is to curate content the right way.

By this I mean upholding rigorous quality standards and always ensuring that the content you select is relevant to your audience.

One person in particular who I feel crushes it at content curation is Brian Dean of Backlinko.

Just check out his definitive guide on link building.

Embedded within the guide are plenty of links to external resources that greatly enhance the content and provide additional insights.

Here’s what I mean:

Of course, this is just one example. There are plenty of other ways to go about it.

Just use your imagination.


In my opinion, all six of these content marketing tactics are incredibly useful for revving up your traffic.

They target your audience in different ways, and when used collectively, they can produce a traffic surge.

I’ve experimented with each one and have seen positive results. Collectively, they helped me increase my traffic by 142% in six months.

Be sure to work these into your 2017 content marketing plan.

Which specific content marketing tactic have you had the most success with?

Brand New Blog. No Traffic. Here’s What to Do.

Ever feel as if you’re the only person reading your blog?

It’s possible it’s not just a feeling. In today’s digital marketing landscape, it’s difficult to get users to read blogs if they’re not relevant to them.

Even if the blog is relevant and the content is great, in a world of rapid-fire of competing messages from millions of companies, it still doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

If you want to get more eyes to your blog posts and see more interaction from your target audience, read this post—I’ll give you some tips that can generate a larger audience.

Content marketers today can’t afford to ignore the power of social media. Social media platforms often mirror your target audience and act as an echo chamber for your content.

Utilizing a variety of platforms is an easy way to get exposure and to entice new readers to visit your blog.

Actually offer valuable content

The most important and most basic step in getting new visitors is to give them meaningful and relevant to their lives information.

Why am I telling you something you already know? Because you’ve heard it a thousand times, yet most people still focus on “me too” content, which offers little to no actual value.

Experiment with different kinds of information formats, e.g., a video of the top three tips for completing a task related to your industry, insider news that they get from you first, or a humorous spin on a topic related to your business.

The key here is to give your readers engaging and useful content they can apply in their lives right now.

Don’t plagiarize other content. Take a topic trending in your industry, and find a way to make it uniquely yours.

GrooveHQ started their blog with minimal traffic, but now they’re cruising it with tons of engagement.

How did they do it? They took the standard ho-hum help desk content, amped it up, and made it exciting. They started dishing out value.

SumoMe has done a great job of this with their guides. These guides, often exceeding 10,000 words, make a major splash in their industry.

It’s all about the value. People will love that and share it, and you’ll benefit.

Run a contest

Especially when you are just starting your blog, you need to promote it heavily and get it in front of the right readers.

There’s nothing wrong with creating a little buzz about your new blog by incentivizing readers to visit your blog.

I’ve run contests several times. They’ve been particularly successful on Instagram, where I gave away hundreds of headphones and other prizes.

I’ve also teamed up with other companies to promote their giveaways. Every time, it’s been a ridiculous success.

Run a contest, give away free swag, run a trivia contest on social media. These tactics are great ways to encourage new users to check out your blog. Remember, everyone loves free stuff.

To get the pulse on current giveaways in your niche, try out one of Buzzsumo’s features.

Using Buzzsumo, type in the keyword for your niche. I’ll use “content marketing.”

Make sure you filter down the date so you don’t source old contests that are already over.

Now, filter the content type by “giveaways.”

If there are some recent contests, you’ll see them in the results.

You can take this a step further by viewing the sharers for each giveaway.

If they shared a contest in the past, they might be likely to share yours too.

You can message the sharers directly in Buzzsumo, asking them to share and promote your giveaway.

Post shareable images and graphics

What we all know about social media is that striking photos and graphics grab people’s attention.

I never make a post on any platform—website, blog, or social media—without some kind of visual.

Make that your goal as well. A photograph can evoke happiness, laughter, frustration—whatever emotion fits with what you are trying to communicate on your blog.

For example, my homepage on includes a video:

Most of my long-form articles (3,000+ words) include dozens of images.

It’s also great to make graphics of shareable quotes or stats that are meaningful to your target audience.

There are plenty of free apps that can help you make quotes.


First, write a quote.

Then, select a visual.

You can save, share, and add it to your blog.

That’s it! Here’s my finished product. Five seconds of work.

That extra visual sizzle can go a long way in making your article shareable and engaging.

Budget for ads

If you have the budget, try paid advertising on your social media channels.

Many social media platforms are selective about what users see, but by investing a little money in a targeted ad, you can select who among your target audience can see your call to action and messaging.

My preferred platform is Facebook. The level of targeting and reach is excellent.

I don’t think you have to pay for ads all the time or even frequently. But if you have a little money to play with, it’s an effective tactic to target your audience in a very specific way.

Create a team of ambassadors

Many people don’t realize that you can get a lot of free exposure by sharing meaningful content with people who are willing to share it with their circles of influence.

This strategy can start organically. You can identify loyal customers who are active on social media.

You can tag them on Twitter or Facebook to see if they naturally share your content.

Over time, you can formalize the process and invite them to join an official team of ambassadors whom you can task with sharing your content.

Show you can be trusted

I can’t offer you a better or more important tip for not only getting people to your blog but also getting them to come back: you’ve got to build trust. The way to do this is by creating an online community your users can trust.

When you see your readers commenting on your blog posts or asking questions, jump in there and talk with them.

Create a relationship with them and give them information that is true and genuine. They’ll start looking up to you because they’ll see you as an expert they can trust.

This ultimately gets to the issue of personal branding.

Personal branding can be a powerful tool for launching your blog to a wider audience. Leverage what you already have to promote what you’re building: your blog.

If you don’t have a personal brand, infuse your blog with personality so it becomes a shareable and engaging place.

Noah Kagan used his personal blog to help him build several businesses:

His blog is still a helpful place where to hang out and get great information, but it’s also a useful tool for Noah’s other pursuits.


If you’re managing a blog but not leveraging social media to get more visitors, you’re missing out on a viable and free tool.

With 1.7 billion daily active users on Facebook, you have the chance to get your best content in front of the largest target audience possible.

Add Facebook ads, and you’ll have even more control in targeting a niche-specific audience who will want to read your blog.

Your blog is a critical part of your content marketing strategy. You can use it to give your audience relevant news about your industry, share lists of pro tips to help them with their daily tasks, and post videos that tell stories about how your company is making a difference.

With all the time you spend creating excellent content, you need to make sure your loyal customer base—as well as new users—see that content.

Remember these six expert tips for maximizing the impact of social media platforms on reaching and engaging your audience and pointing new visitors to your blog.

You’ll be glad you did when you see your blog traffic rise.

Have you tried generating traffic for a new blog? What social media methods did you use?

Without Emotional Advertising, Your Landing Page Won’t Work. Here’s How to Get It Right.

Emotions guide nearly every facet of our lives.

And it’s no different when it comes to what we choose to buy.

Our purchasing decisions are largely guided by emotions rather than cold logic or stark objectivity.

Some experts even suggest that “90 percent of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously.”

In other words, they’re based on emotions.

I think that one of the biggest mistakes marketers make with their landing pages is failing to make an emotional connection.

Sure, they present some facts, sprinkle in a bit of data, yada yada yada, but they just don’t connect on an emotional level.

Maybe this is why “only about 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.”

It’s a serious problem.

From my experience, emotional advertising is by far the most critical component of a landing page.

It’s essential for getting the conversion rate you’re looking for.

I would now like to take a closer look at the science behind emotional advertising and explain how you can use certain principles to fully optimize your landing page.

Let’s dive in.

What science says

When I’m making marketing decisions, I like to use concrete data as my main guide.

One particular study that I found interesting was conducted by Martin Lindstrom who “was selected by Time Magazine as one of the ‘2009 Time 100’ for his work in the area of neuromarketing.”

In it, Martin uses the fMRT process, which is short for functional magnetic resonance imaging to “get a glimpse into the head of consumers.”

Here’s what he found:

  • “Our brains usually run on autopilot, despite making us believe we know what we are doing.”
  • “90 percent of all purchasing decisions are not made consciously.”
  • “Most purchasing decisions take as little as 2.5 seconds.”
  • “Brodmann Area 10 in the human brain’s frontal cortex is activated if someone ‘thinks a product is really cool’. This area is linked to self-awareness and emotions.”
  • “Brands and products that evoke our emotions, like Apple, Coca-Cola or Nivea, always win.”

According to Peter Noel Murray Ph.D.,

fMRI neuro-imagery shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions (personal feelings and experiences) rather than information (brand attributes, features and facts).

The bottom line here is that we’re far from being rational creatures with our purchasing decisions.

We’re quite the opposite, actually.

At the end of the day, we’re largely compelled to buy one product over another simply because it appeals more to our emotions.

But what drives these emotions?

Emotions are ultimately interconnected with our needs.

While each person’s specific needs can vary, all humans have virtually the same basic needs, and we are continually pursuing them.

This brings me to an old school psychological concept (from 1943) that I feel still carries just as much weight today as it did back then.

It’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which looks like this:

This model shows our hierarchy of needs and breaks them down in terms of importance and priority.

Our most pressing need at the moment motivates our behavior.

Whether it’s as basic as buying bottled water when we’re thirsty or buying the latest model iPhone to gain the respect and admiration of our peers, we’re always looking to have our needs fulfilled.

Your job as a marketer

When you get right down to it, your job is quite simple and breaks down into three basic steps:

  1. Understand the needs of your audience
  2. Understand what their psychological drive is compelling them to seek
  3. Influence their behavior to appeal to their needs

Of course, there’s a lot involved with this. It’s a huge topic to tackle.

But here are the essentials of emotional advertising on your landing page.

Following these basic principles should point you in the right direction and can increase your overall conversion rate considerably.

Start with visuals

I think we can all agree that humans respond well to visuals.

In fact, I’ve written multiple articles on the power of images.

But there’s one particular type of image you’ll want to focus on with your landing page: pictures of people.


This is one of the most effective ways to evoke an emotion in a visitor.

In fact, there’s a term in psychology known as mirroring, where “one person subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern or attitude of another.”

It’s a scientific fact, ya’ll.

The trick here is to use images of people exhibiting the emotion you want your audience to feel.

Take this landing page from Lyft, for example:

Their goal was to show how easy and enjoyable it is to make money as a Lyft driver.

And here’s another little trick.

Using images as a guide to your CTA can have a powerful impact.

According to Talia Wolf of Unbounce,

60 percent of our brain is geared towards visual context, so the first thing we see is visual. It’s important to use the images on your page in order to guide user attention.

In other words, you should use your images as directional cues whenever possible.

For instance, you might have a person looking at your CTA.

Use the right color scheme

Next, there’s the issue of color.

Color is huge, and you don’t want to haphazardly construct a landing page without taking this factor into careful consideration.

How do you choose a color scheme?

Well, it starts with understanding colors as emotional triggers.

Here’s an illustration of a color wheel to show you what I mean:

The key is to match your color scheme with the emotion(s) you’re trying to draw out of your visitors.

I’ll give you an example.

Here is a screenshot of a landing page on

Notice that I chose orange as my color scheme. This wasn’t by chance.

My goal was to connect with optimistic business owners hungry to grow their companies. I love connecting with eager, growth-driven people. Orange is the perfect color for that!

I also wanted to convey feelings of friendliness and approachability.

Now, I’m not saying that you have to follow the color wheel to a T, but you should definitely use it as a rough guide when determining which colors to use on your landing page.

That, right there, can have a tremendous impact.

Set their minds at ease

Let’s be honest.

Many of the leads visiting your landing page will be skeptical.

There are a lot of charlatans and snake oil salesmen out there who over-promise and under-deliver.

You need to make it a point to calm your visitors’ anxieties and alleviate any fears they may have.

Below is an example of a landing page that does this well.

It’s from H.Bloom, a luxury flower delivery service:

Notice how they clearly explain the three-step process of “design, schedule and enjoy.”

The page very simply highlights what people can expect if they choose to do business with H.Bloom.

Customers know that they won’t get sucked into some over-complicated service that’s only going to cause them stress.

There are several other areas you may want to address to set your leads’ minds at ease, which can include:

  • testimonials from satisfied customers
  • mentioning the number of customers you’ve served (e.g., over 100,000 customers have used our software)
  • Trust icons like the ones at the bottom of this Shopify landing page (being featured by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and so on immediately adds legitimacy)

Use language that reminds visitors of their pain

If you really want to grab someone’s attention, remind them of their primary pain point.

For instance, an acne removal product might remind visitors of the distress that severe pimples are causing them.

A company selling a knee brace might remind visitors of how difficult it is living with chronic knee pain.

You don’t want to go overboard, but a subtle reminder can serve as a strong motivator to buy your product/service.

I think LifeLock really nails it with this landing page:

In this case, they rouse your fear of being a victim of identity theft.

The point here is to present a specific pain point and show how your product/service will alleviate it.

Use emotionally-driven words

The last thing I’d like to discuss is the actual words you use in your copy.

Copywriting relies upon more than simply writing well.

For it to be effective and turn leads into customers, it must:

  • have a clearly defined purpose
  • target your core audience
  • be simple
  • be persuasive
  • lend credibility to your brand
  • motivate visitors to buy

I don’t have the time here to tackle copywriting in its entirety.

But I do have a simple tip that can help you effectively evoke the right emotions from your leads.

And that’s to use emotional words.

Here’s an example of words associated with pleasant feelings:

Check out this link for a more comprehensive list of emotional words. It also includes words associated with unpleasant

This list should help you decide on a few key words to include into your copy.

For a more exhaustive look at copywriting, I recommend reading The Definitive Guide to Copywriting that I co-authored.

It covers virtually everything you need to know.


Let’s recap.

Humans are emotional creatures, and most of our purchasing decisions are based primarily on emotion.

There’s just no getting around it.

Understanding this phenomenon is the first step to creating an airtight landing page.

By utilizing the right psychology-based strategies, such as visuals, colors, and so on, you can target key emotions and increase the odds of your leads responding favorably (making a purchase).

And the payoff is obvious: an increased conversion rate for maximum ROI.

If your landing page is lacking emotional advertising, you’ll want to address this issue right away.

Can you think of any other ways to target landing page visitors on an emotional level?

Here’s Why Your Customer Acquisition Strategy Isn’t Working

Customer acquisition is arguably the most important aspect of business operations.

Before you can even think about retention and having loyal, long-term customers, you need that initial acquisition to take place.

But the process of turning leads into paying customers comes with a lot of twists and turns.

What looks great on paper doesn’t necessarily translate into tangible results.

Like most aspects of business, successful customer acquisition typically begins with a formal strategy.

You need an airtight game plan.

But what if your strategy isn’t working?

If this sounds like you, you’re definitely not alone.

In fact, “only about 22 percent of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.”

Maybe you’ve tried your best to get all your ducks in a row, but it’s just not working out.

Maybe you even get a sizable number of leads, but your conversion rate is far less than what it should be.

After helping several companies generate more traffic and maximize conversions, I’ve spotted some trends.

Of course, the specifics are always a little different, but there are some very common mistakes people make when devising a customer acquisition strategy.

Here are a few problem areas I’ve seen time and time again that could be holding you back too.

You’re treating all your leads the same

If there’s one thing that businesses are guilty of across the board, it’s assuming that all their leads are at the same stage in the buying process.

But that’s just not the case.

One portion of your leads may be in “wallet-out, ready to buy” mode, while another portion may simply be performing some preliminary research on a product and nowhere near the buying stage.

In other words, there’s a big disparity in terms of which stage your leads are at in the buying process.

Here’s a graph that illustrates the different stages:

But here’s a crazy stat from HubSpot:

“61 percent of B2B marketers simply send all of their new sales leads directly to the sales team, but only 27 percent of these leads are actually qualified and ready to buy.”

Are you guilty of this?

If so, there’s a serious hole in your customer acquisition strategy, and it’s going to complicate things tremendously.

What’s the solution?

It starts with qualifying your leads.

You need to analyze a few key elements, including their:

  • interest level
  • intent
  • need
  • position of influence (are they a C-level executive or an intern?)

Qualifying leads is an art in and of itself, and I don’t have time to fully go into it right now.

But check out this resource from Salesforce to find out how to qualify a lead in under a minute.

From there, I recommend ranking your leads into one of three categories:

“A” leads are the ones you want to pounce on immediately. They’re ready to buy.

But “B” and “C” leads are going to take some nurturing.

In this case, you may want to:

  • Provide them with some educational content so they can learn more about your product/service
  • Encourage them to sign up for your newsletter
  • Encourage them to follow your business on social media

When you do this correctly, you can have a massive payoff.

In fact, “companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales ready leads at a 33 percent lower cost.” Also, “nurtured leads make 47 percent larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.”

Check out this brief guide from Marketo for more on this process.

You’re failing to retarget leads

Let’s say your initial attempt to reel a lead in doesn’t work out and they don’t buy right off the bat.

Do you let them off the hook?


In my experience, this isn’t the right approach to take.

I’m a proponent of retargeting (also known as remarketing) qualified leads who weren’t ready to buy at a particular time.

Here’s a graph from AdRoll to show you why:

Considering the fact that roughly only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit, this technique helps you reach at least a portion of the remaining 98%.

I think one illusion some marketers have is assuming that first-time visitors will end up converting into customers.

Some even have the notion that a large percentage will be loyal customers or brand advocates.

It doesn’t work like that.

But don’t take it personally. Most leads need a little “buttering up” before they’re ready to pull the trigger and buy.

Retargeting takes care of that.

This term is defined by HubSpot as “a method of digital advertising that aims to entice users back to an advertiser’s site after they have left. Advertisements are shown to customers who have demonstrated what we call intent, which is an action they’ve performed on an advertiser’s site that shows they’re interested in a product or service.”

Some examples of retargeting include:

  • creating banner ads that target previous leads who had an intent to buy
  • using Facebook Pixel to track key actions
  • emailing a prospect after they abandoned your online shopping cart and providing more information about the product they expressed interest in
  • showing content leads have viewed previously

And don’t forget to retarget past customers as well!

If they bought from you before, there’s a good chance they’ll buy again.

In fact, “the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.”

For some creative ways to retarget, use these ideas from WordStream.

You’re following the herd

Don’t get me wrong.

It makes sense to utilize proven customer acquisition methods.

If it’s worked for countless other marketers, it should work for you too.

I get it.

But I’ve seen many businesses do this to the point of mindlessly following the herd at the expense of their ROI.

Here’s a really simple example.

Let’s say one of your primary means of generating quality leads is through Google AdWords—what most would consider the premier PPC platform.

You naturally want to use it because everyone else does and because it provides you with the most reach.

But the downside is that it’s super competitive and the cost-per-click (CPC) is fairly high (and growing).

This ultimately results in a less than ideal ROI.

But if you ventured out a little and “swam to the deep end of the pool” by using Bing Ads, you’d have less competition and usually a lower CPC.

Here’s an actual CPC comparison between Google and Bing so you know I’m not full of crap:

Obviously, you won’t have the same level of reach, but you’re highly likely to get a solid ROI.

Pound-for-pound, it makes sense.

By zigging when everyone else is zagging, you can stay away from crowded marketplaces and increase the likelihood of seeing a favorable return.

In other words, going the safest, most comfortable, most conventional route with your customer acquisition strategy isn’t always the best move.

Sometimes, you need to look for other opportunities and capitalize on them.

Now, I’m not saying you should take foolish risks that could potentially capsize your strategy, but being a mindless follower is a bad approach to take.

You’re ditching your strategy prematurely

There’s one final mistake I see marketers consistently make.

And that’s ditching a customer acquisition strategy prematurely before it has time to fully gel.

Allow me to use a sports reference as a metaphor.

In the past decade, there have been a few “super teams” in basketball where multiple superstars joined forces.

Just think LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat and Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson with the Golden State Warriors.

Although the potential is obviously there, it still takes some time for these teams to reach their peak.

There’s just no way around it.

This concept applies to customer acquisition and marketing in general, but many business owners freak out when they don’t see instant results.

Maybe they invest a few thousand into reaching their demographic but don’t immediately get it back.

So they completely abandon it and try something else and get the same result.

The bottom line is that it often takes some time for things to simmer, which requires some degree of patience.

I’m not saying you should keep funneling time and money into a hopeless strategy that’s gotten little to no results over a stretch of time.

But I am saying that a little perseverance can go a long way.

Just be sure to pay close attention to key metrics such as:

  • bounce rate
  • average time on site
  • click-through rate


The way in which you acquire new customers is a serious contributing factor to the success of your business.

Do it right, and you’ll probably crush it.

Suck at it, and you’ll face an uphill battle.

If your current customer acquisition strategy isn’t working, you should take a step back and analyze what the problem is.

There’s a good chance you’re making one of the mistakes I listed.

If so, go ahead and make the necessary adjustments to get things back on track.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered with your customer acquisition strategy?

What Should You Do if Someone Attacks You Online?

Online trolls are an unfortunate part of life. While the Internet connects us, it also enables people to spew hate for no apparent reason.

A survey from The Daily Mail, a leading UK news agency, provides insight into some of the platforms that attract the most trolls, with Facebook taking a commanding lead.

I’ll be upfront with you about the way I handle haters of my personal brand.

I ignore them.

That’s my method, so I’m not telling you to do the same. It’s simply been an effective method that has allowed me to stay sane and keep my personal brand intact. Ignoring it.

Obviously, not every brand can ignore the hate.

Some companies respond in creative and humorous ways that turn into huge wins.

As brands such as Nestle, Amy’s Baking Company, and Dark Horse Cafe found, managing your online reputation by responding to attacks can backfire, creating havoc for the brand.

Because of the high risk of big mistakes in online reputational management, I put together this guide for what to do if someone attacks you online.

But first, we’ll review what trolls are and the true costs of negative comments.

What is an online troll?

Online trolls are people who frequent forums, chat rooms, comment wells, social networks, and other corners of the Internet to incite strong angry responses from their victims. These people are typically proud of their accomplishments. This troll even brags about his exploits.

When you get upset with trolls, you are playing into their hands—you are feeding them.

Do not feed the trolls.

Feeding the trolls only makes them stronger, and they push harder. It also lowers you to their level, where they’ll always win because of their vast experience. You’ll only get upset and act irrationally—while doing it on public forums.

This means it’ll stay on the Internet forever for other people to see. Sometimes, your reactions will be saved as screenshots so you can never delete them.

It makes the costs of negative comments left by trolls high.

The cost of negative online comments

While there’s an old adage that purports that all press is good press, this isn’t necessarily true, as Amy’s Baking Company found in its war against trolls.

Despite what insurance commercials on TV say, people turn to the Internet for information. They especially trust product and company reviews.

A negative review left by a troll can have a lasting impact on sales numbers.

A recent survey by Moz found that nearly 70% of respondents were turned off of buying a product or service because of negative online reviews.

And that’s not all. Online reviews aren’t the only trustworthy source. Word of mouth on social media has been shown to effectively work both for and against brands.

Recent research by the Internet Sales Group found one negative social media review can cost you 30 new customers.

Unhappy people simply enjoy banding together and making their voices louder, so while a happy customer will discuss your brand with 3-5 people, an unhappy customer will tell over 20 people about their bad experience.

This inspired Adrien Chen and Jason Pontin at the MIT Technology Review to explore the true costs of trolling, although they ended up focusing more on what it costs the troll than the victim.

And it turns out, responding to trolls (although not directly) may actually be the most effective policy.

How to respond

I don’t respond to trolls, but others do. It’s a stigmatizing issue, and clearly even adults don’t know what to do about bullying.

Some marketers, like Curtis Snyder at Make Your Mark Media, recommend confronting trolls head on. There’s value in that although Kendall Walters at Hootsuite reminds us not to confuse a troll with a genuinely upset customer.

Whitney Gibson at Social Media Explorer posits that the decision whether or not to respond to negative comments depends on a variety of factors. You have to assess the risk of the attack before determining the correct course of action, and it needs to be done fast.

Social media moves fast, and you have a maximum of 24 hours to respond to negative comments effectively. It’s a very small window.

To help make these split-second decisions, here’s a handy infographic on how to respond to negative social media comments. It’s full of useful advice on how to keep calm and carry on:

Of course, how you handle the situation is up to you. Some brands with edgier attitudes find success shutting down online trolls the way a stand-up comedian treats hecklers. Others have run into PR nightmares attempting to retort.

I don’t personally respond to negative comments or reviews, but if I ever come across something false, I do report it to be removed.

I’ve never minded legitimate feedback and criticism, even the occasional hater, but I won’t tolerate lies and misinformation.

Reporting trolls to admins

Regardless of the platform, there are community rules and guidelines for how people should act. In places like 4chan or the darknet, the rules are looser, but on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, they’re extensive.

Here’s how to deal with Facebook trolls. Profiles, comments, and posts can be reported to group admins, or blocked and reported as abusive to Facebook directly.

If you read an offensive tweet, you can simply block the person so you won’t see them ever again. They can still see your tweets, however, and everyone else can still read theirs.

When Twitter trolling gets out of hand, reporting it is easy: click or tap the three dots at the right of the tweet and report each tweet before reporting the individual who posted them to Twitter’s admin.

Yelp reviews can be reported similarly to Facebook’s. If you receive a bad review from a Yelp troll, don’t be afraid to swing the banhammer. And yes, Yelp trolls do exist, and there’s an entire underground community of them.

And it doesn’t stop there: you can report inaccurate and false content to Google, FourSquare, Reddit, Instagram, or wherever else you find it online.

It doesn’t stop at social networks, forums, and online review sites. The Internet is regulated much more than you think, and there are checks and balances in place on every level to keep things as civil and clean as possible.

That’s right, if a blogger or other outlet creates a site that falsely represents you, it’s possible to even have it removed from Google search results. This should be done only in extreme cases and may require alternative means of removing false information.

Alternative ways to remove false information

The Internet has been around long enough now that disputes over negative online content have reached every level of our court system.

In response to negative publicity, some online SEO and marketing agencies rebranded themselves as reputation management services. These firms use SEO techniques to help bury negative search results under pages of positive ones.

The ethics of such services is debatable, though I suppose the same could be said of legitimate SEO and marketing services.

Some companies take things as far as the court system, suing people over negative reviews. The courts have sided with web services and platforms such as Yelp, placing liability on consumers to post honest reviews.

Still, web-based lawsuits in every industry continue being heard in federal courts:

Because of the first amendment’s rights and freedoms and the split between content creators and platform owners, web admins aren’t always required to remove web content.

Sometimes Google will adhere to court orders regarding search results; however, there are volunteer and nonprofit projects that are dedicated to archiving and documenting any web pages Google removes due to court orders and other actions.

Attempting to shape conversations in this way can quickly become a slippery slope, which is why I typically do my best to avoid it.

Still, every situation is different, and if you’re reading this article, you need all the information possible, which is what I’m aiming to provide.

I want to remind you once again (and I realize I’m getting repetitive) that if at all possible, ignoring the situation is best. I do, however, work in a B2B industry, so I deal with more professional clients and reviews.


You never know when it will hit. One minute you’re minding your own business, commenting on an article you just read, and the next thing you know, you’re defending your religion, sexuality, political affiliation, race, age, profession, and your entire life because of some stranger.

Trolls lurk in every corner of the Internet, seeking to victimize people, spreading their negativity.

Responding to trolls only feeds them and makes them stronger, so it’s best to ignore them whenever possible.

However, sometimes negative commenting escalates to personal attacks, false information, and other dirty tactics meant to disrupt business in unethical and often illegal ways. Sometimes, trolls take things too far, and it affects your business.

In these cases, it’s okay to respond, defend yourself, and work in the backend to have inflammatory and malicious content removed from the Internet.

The web will never be a safe place, but it’s up to you to take the high road.

How have you dealt with online attacks on your brand or business?