Guest post by Ariel Applbaum.
There is an old adage that says “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” So the question is–are there things that today’s B2B marketers can learn from history, specifically, the tremendous success of Facebook and the rise, fall and possible resurrection of Myspace?
Background on the two social media sites
From its founding, Myspace took off like a rocket ship while Facebook had a much slower ascension from launch. The two companies were created six months apart; Myspace was founded in August 2003 and by July 2005 was bought by News Corp for 580 million dollars. In contrast, Facebook was founded in February 2004 and only took in its first outside funding of 12.7 million dollars from Accel Partners in May 2005.
In 2006, Myspace was the most visited U.S. social web site, surpassing Google in site visits. Myspace’s dominance would not last though. In 2008, Facebook surpassed Myspace in number of unique worldwide visitors and one year later claimed that title as well in the U.S. Myspace’s user base decline resulted in a tremendous loss in valuation; in fact, News Corp sold substantially all of its Myspace ownership in May 2011 for a rumored 35 million dollars.
The differences in the birth, development, nurturing, growth and monetization of these two companies go a long way in explaining the reversal in their fortunes and the sustainability of their successes. These differences can and should provide valuable lessons for B2B marketers. These lessons include three main points: market to those of greatest relevance; create an atmosphere conducive to experimentation, new idea generation, & creativity; maintain relevance; and avoid rigid corporate structures.
A bigger user base is not always better
Myspace was created by Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, two former employees of internet marketing company eUniverse. They had both been users of Friendster, which was initially a social networking service intended to maintain contacts and share online content and media. The Myspace founders saw both the potential of social networks and ways to improve on the Friendster offering and experience.
Myspace jump-started its subscriber base when they held a contest to see which eUniverse employees, who were the initial Myspace users, could sign up the largest number of users to the new Myspace website. This incentivized quantity over quality. Anderson and DeWolfe contacted 20 Million eUniverse users. Because of their campaign, thousands of users signed up for Myspace, and Anderson and DeWolfe began focusing exclusively on growing the social network.
But these users were not necessarily interconnected. Because those who signed up for Myspace did not know one another or had no reason to meet, then there was no ongoing incentive to use the website. What the Myspace founders and eUniverse CEO did not understand was that the most appealing aspect of a social network is that friends can connect or reconnect or share anything from photographs to experiences to news.
The importance of the Network Effect
Facebook, by contrast, started out as a social media outlet for Harvard. While Facebook started out with a far smaller prospective pool of users, specifically only 27,000 students, they all had reason to be interested in one another, thus creating an engaged and devoted user base. Because of the relevance, satisfaction and engagement with Facebook, users recommended it to their friends and other college students, creating a massive network of similarly aged, highly connected people with mutual interests.
This created a virtuous network effect which further increased Facebook’s relevance for its users. The takeaway lesson for marketers is that while it is important to get the word out, unless you are reaching qualified leads, it does you no good. Don’t send emails to everyone in your address book, rather, choose your recipients carefully. Don’t spray and pray. Choose the right market and create a strong connection and relevance to it; otherwise, you might have a lot of misleading nibbles but no fruitful bites. It is important to segment your data and your customers to better understand and access useful people who will find you useful.
Make customers happy before you worry about money
While Myspace probably thought it hit the jackpot with its 580 million dollar sale to News Corp, the sale might have actually been the seed of its downfall. Startups often focus on quality of product and a strong user base before monetization. While Myspace was still in startup mode when acquired, its high acquisition price and obligation to a public company created immense pressure to hit quarterly targets. It hastened the monetization process, which led to over-advertising and increased focus on making money, as opposed to focus on making the customer happy or the product better.
Due to the pressure to hit numbers and the fear of underperforming, Myspace was not as receptive to innovation or user input. Tinkering with the model, platform, or product would have led the company to new and unknown territory with customers, and Myspace couldn’t run experiments that didn’t predict sufficient user growth or enhanced profits.
In addition to putting pressure on Myspace to perform, News Corp designed a rigid business plan for Myspace, which hindered it from being more focused on enhancing user experience and satisfaction and slowing willingness to adapt and change.
Facebook, on the other hand, kept its ear to the ground, listened to user input and adapted accordingly. In fact, Facebook actively chose not to take the big payout and focused on developing its product. In 2006, Facebook turned down two large offers, the first from Viacom for 750 million dollars and the second from Yahoo at one billion dollars. Facebook has never been boring. If anything, people complain about too many new features and too many updates.
The lesson for marketers is that it is important to maintain flexibility and willingness to adapt and change and remain interesting and relevant. Listen to user input and feedback and don’t be afraid to change what you are doing. Your business plan can project 300 percent returns over one year, but that doesn’t do you much good if customers and prospects lose interest in your offering. Focus less on making money and more on making your customers happy–money usually follows.
The importance of targeted ads
Myspace was rolling in the dough–earning 800 million dollars in revenue in 2008. If you ever used Myspace back then, you would remember the amount of advertisements on your screen. However, they were more ad than content. The advertising was not interesting, or applicable, and hence would be very annoying.
Facebook, on the other hand, played the advertising game right, as it uses the information it has about you to create relevant and targeted ads. Facebook targets ads based on your profile, your likes, and information it gets about you from your Facebook friends. Generally, Facebook knows your age, location, education, relationship status, and more; Facebook would not push an ad to 18-25 year old males about the newest and hottest bras from Victoria’s Secret or Estee Lauder make-up, but rather, ads for the newest Michael Jordan sneakers would appear.
Facebook made it a priority to run directed, interesting, and relevant ads in appropriate quantities. Facebook has paid attention to how many ads get pushed to users without annoying them. One Facebook rep was quoted in an Edgerank Checker post in October 2012, saying, “we’re continually optimizing newsfeed to ensure the most relevant experience for our users.”
It is of the utmost importance as a B2B marketer to target the right people in the right quantities. It is not enough to have tons of ads on high traffic websites; you have to reach the right people on the right websites about the right subjects. To be successful, design your ads to be suitable to the people you want to be reading them, and put them in the right places for the right people.
Continued success and an attempt to rejuvenate
Facebook went public in May 2012 at a then record valuation of 104 billion dollars. After some minor hiccups at the start, it now trades at a 220 billion dollar valuation. This past quarter alone the company’s revenue grew around 61 percent to nearly 3 billion dollars. The company now has over 1.4 billion users.
In late 2013, Myspace users numbered approximately 36 million–less than half the number of unique users Myspace had at its peak in Late 2008. Necessity, rather than creative destruction, recently forced Myspace to reinvent itself into a social entertainment website when it was jointly purchased from News Corp for $35 million dollars by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake. They have revamped Myspace into a music sharing website which they hope will have value and relevance to producers, artists and even casual listeners.
While the original Myspace had an element of music sharing, the current strategy clearly is a re-visioning of the company. Although too early to deem the strategy successful, the company seems to be headed in the right direction.
Myspace’s story and history illustrates the importance of admitting failure and moving on by learning from past mistakes and being willing to let go of old ideas. Vinod Khosla, a successful and well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has been quoted as saying, “Most entrepreneurs–good entrepreneurs–are just not afraid to fail… the ability to think outside the box is the Silicon Valley mindset.”
For B2B marketers, it is important to remember if a specific campaign, article or eBook does not succeed, or even gets negative feedback, and to learn from that failure or feedback and respond accordingly.
About the author: Ariel Applbaum is a Content Marketing Specialist at Radius, the data company that’s engineering decision science for B2B marketers. Ariel is studying entrepreneurship at Washington University in St. Louis. At Radius, he’s focused on building a community of innovative marketers through content partnerships.
- • For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25.
- • 91% of consumers use email at least once a day.
- • When asked which medium consumers would like to receive updates from, 90% preferred an email newsletter, while only 10% chose Facebook.
- • 60% of marketers say that email marketing is producing an ROI for their organization.
However—as email inboxes get more crowded and both the sophistication and expectations of consumers and business buyers increase, marketers need to refine their tactics in order to build their opt-in email lists, retain subscribers, and drive leads and sales through email marketing.
So what are the most effective tactics for building an opt-in email list today? What are the best practices to maximize open and click-through rates? What worst practices or pitfalls should email marketers avoid? What’s the best day of the week to send emails?
Find the answers to those questions and many more here almost two dozen expert guides to email marketing.
Email List Building Guides
Daniel Burstein reports that most marketers struggle with growing their opt-in lists–but also offers tips from the happy minority enjoying rapid list building success. Among them: “63% of marketers found registration during purchase to be very effective…If you could start, or improve, only one element of your opt-in program this year, you should strongly consider taking a look at how you offer customers the chance to register for your list when they’re making a purchase. Only 41% of marketers are using this tactic to drive their organization’s email list growth.” Online events are also effective, while social media sharing buttons are at the other end of the scale, cited as “very effective” by only 9% of marketers.
10 Top Tips to Grow Your Email List by jeffbullas.com
Jeff Bullas suggests 10 ways to grow your opt-in email list, from the common (offer a free ebook, or use a pop-up box–which he concedes is annoying, but they work anyway) to the less obvious (do some guest blogging, use annotations in YouTube videos, or use SlideShare Pro (“the premium version of Slideshare…offers a pop up box to capture emails and leads”).
4 tips for growing your email list by iMedia Connection
Reporting, regarding the continuing importance of email as a marketing tactic, that “Fifty-four percent of organizations generate 20 percent or more of overall revenue through email marketing. For 21 percent of respondents, email marketing accounts for 60 percent or more of all digital business revenue,” Monique Torres presents four helpful tips for building opt-in email lists, including offering incentives for signing up, which may include content, exclusive access, tesimonials, or discounts.
Email List Growth: Marketers Rank Their Most Popular – and Effective – Tactics by Marketing Charts
It’s not surprising that, according to research from ExactTarget, a majority of marketers use tactics like placing a general email signup form on their websites, or signup forms specific to different sections of their sites. But among some findings that are less obvious, this post notes “While only 23% capture email during inbound sales calls, 71% rate this tactic as being effective.”
16 Ways to Capture Email Addresses for Your Email Marketing List by Blue Kite Marketing
Frequent best-of honoree Laura Click serves up more than a dozen helpful tactics for growing an opt-in email marketing list, from offering an incentive to sign up (“such as eBooks, webinars and video series”) and social media channels to digital ads, contests, and collecting email addresses at trade shows and other industry events.
Guest author Marya Jan steps through seven common roadblocks to growing a subscriber list, and explains what to do instead in order to quickly build a large opt-in email list. For example, not providing an incentive to sign up: “the best opt-in offers are those that offer some sort of short cut of doing a task. A cheat sheet of sorts…a report, mini ebook, white paper or a short webinar works well.”
General Email Marketing Guides
10 email best practices to remember (Infographic) by iMedia Connection
Erik Matlick showcases an infographic detailing 10 best practices for effective marketing emails, from subject lines (punctuation is unnecessary; capitalizing all words results in higher engagement) to content and CTAs (questions spike interest and encourage click-through; orange and red are the best colors for CTA buttons).
11 Email Marketing WORST Practices by Bourn Creative
Shifting the focus from email marketing best practices to worst practices, Jennifer Bourn here helpfully warns marketers to avoid these potentially costly email mistakes, such as buying email lists (“This tactic is guaranteed to result in a lot of spam complaints, angry consumers, and damage to your brand”), using a bait-and-switch opt-in (“Don’t sneak your ezine in after the fact and trick new subscribers”) and buring out your list with over-mailing.
Personalized e-mails drive shoppers to buy—and buy more—in stores and online by Internet Retailer
Want your marketing emails to be more effective? Make them personal. According to Amy Dusto, “77% of online shoppers say they’re more likely to buy from a retailer when its e-mails are personal…and 82% of web shoppers say they’d likely buy more items from a retailer if its e-mails were more personally relevant.”
Email Deliverability: 8 tactics help you overcome rising B2B challenges by MarketingSherpa
“There are plenty of layers to permeate when it comes to deliverability. In the B2B market, those layers thicken. You bear a bulk of ongoing challenges including a longer sales cycle, complex reputation score hurdles and high employee turnover, resulting in multiple inactive email addresses.” To overcome these challenges, Allison Banko walks through eight tactics for improving deliverability specifically for b2b email marketers, from careful segmentation to optimizing emails for mobile devices.
Noting that typical email conversion rates are significantly higher than for search or social media, Ian Cleary passes along conversion tactics from nine top marketing professionals, among them John Jantsch (use a bright color for your call-to-action button and “never use your call to action button color anywhere else on your site”) and Melanie Duncan: “Melanie has a great picture of her with a visual cue (i.e. she’s pointing to where you have to subscribe).”
Marketing Research Chart: Which day is best to send emails? by MarketingSherpa
Daniel Burstein (again) shares research on which day of the week marketers believe is most effective for sending marketing emails. (It’s Tuesday, followed closely by Wednesday.) However, he also points out the value of testing (as your mileage may vary), the importance of accurate measurement, and international considerations.
Justin Bridegan shares four key lessons from his email marketing experience, including the importance of providing value over just selling: “Your emails should be an ongoing conversation and always offer real value. Ask yourself, ‘Does this pass the ‘so what’ test?’ If not, then scrap what you have and start over.”
The 4 Pillars of Email Marketing by MarketingSherpa
Astutely noting that “If you focus on everything, you focus on nothing,” Daniel Burstein (once more) presents the four focus areas for presentations at MarketingSherpa’s email summit, along with supporting content. These focus areas included list building, design, automation, and integration (“The optimization of email integration tactics with social media, websites, mobile, offline and testing”).
5 Reasons Why Most Email Marketing Messages Get Ignored by Blue Kite Marketing
Laura Click (again) muses upon several reasons marketing emails have low open rates, including an excessive focus on selling (“Yes, it’s important to use email to sell. But, that shouldn’t be the only thing you do. It needs to be balanced with other compelling content”), boring content, and terrible subject lines.
24 Tips for Responsive Email Design by Get Elastic
Noting that “43% of email is currently opened on mobile devices, headed towards 50% by the end of the year,” Linda Bustos explains how responsive email design works, and supplies a set of practical tips for design, content, and calls to action (“Make links look like links. Sound like Web usability kindergarten? It’s still important, especially since modern designs style links as colored text without underlining”).
Email Marketing: 7 Things You Should Do Before Hitting “Send” by The 60 Second Marketer
May Advincula walks through seven items to check before hitting the “send” button on a marketing email message, among them, covering the basics (“Do you have an easily accessible unsubscribe link?”) and keeping it simple (“Once your subscribers get past the subject line and open your e-mail, make sure the reason why subscribers have signed up for your e-mail is prominent”).
Simple ideas for integrating social and email by iMedia Connection
Drew Hubbard contends that contrary to the notion that social media has “killed” email, in fact, “the explosive popularity of social networking is an opportunity to boost the effectiveness of email marketing.” He then details a handful of ways social media can be used to leverage email marketing efforts, such as encouraging sharing: “Remember back in the day when email marketers did backflips when subscribers chose to ‘forward to a friend?’ Well, with social networking, email subscribers today can choose to ‘forward to ALL friends.'”
Email Subject Lines and Copywriting Guides
Infographic: 10 Commandments of Email Copywriting by The Point
Howard J. Sewell shares clever and practical commandments for effetive email copywriting, from “Thou shalt not direct people to ‘learn more'” (“‘Learn more” is the worst possible call to action. It means absolutely nothing. What is it that you’re offering, exactly?”) and “Thou shalt use ‘you,” not ‘we'” to “Thou shalt not serve up multiple calls to action.”
Email Subject Lines: Words and Tactics That Boost Open Rates by MarketingProfs
Among other research findings detailed here, Ayaz Nanji reports that “Email subject lines that convey a sense of urgency, such as those that contain the words ‘urgent’ and/or ‘important,’ have open rates that are much higher than normal…(also) email recipients are much more intrigued by subject lines that contain positive solicitations rather than negative admonitions: Words such as ‘announcement’ and ‘invitation’ have significantly higher open rates than those containing ‘reminder’ and ‘cancelled.'”
Which Email Keywords Get the Highest Open and Click-Through Rates? by The Daily Egg
**** 5 STARS
Sherice Jacob notes that, as email inboxes become ever more crowded, “The competition is only going to get fiercer…now more than ever—word choice matters.” She then delves into research on how small changes in subject line word choice can make a big difference in results. For example, “save” vs. “sale”: “‘sale’ enjoyed an over 23% increase in open rates and over 60% in click-through rates, whereas ‘save’ flat-lined at 3.4% and -25.2% respectively.”
Email Design Awards and Inspiration
The 10 most innovative marketing emails of 2013 by iMediaConnection
Chris Marriott takes a close look at some of last year’s more effective email marketing campaigns, from best abandoned cart email (“Too many abandoned cart emails read along the lines of, ‘Hey dummy, you didn’t finish checking out.’ Not here. Bare Necessities strikes just the right tone with subject line, ‘Thanks for checking us out.’ That thought is repeated in the email itself, along with dynamically placed pictures of what was left in the cart”) and best coupon email (CVS) to best newsletter (P&G Home Made Simple) and best re-activation email (Clinique UK).
MarketingSherpa Email Awards 2014, presented by ExactTarget by MarketingSherpa
***** 5 STARS
Get design and campaign inspiration from the MarketingSherpa Email Awards winners in these 17 illustrated examples, including Dell’s Ultrabook program for e-commerce creation and design: “Dell wanted to support the launch and ongoing promotion of an innovative product. The main feature was a flip-hinge design allowing a user to transform the device from an Ultrabook to a tablet. Dell marketers saw an opportunity to demonstrate the key feature of their product using a unique approach – a short animated GIF. Touting high compatibility with email clients and browsers, this solution saw an increase in revenue of 109% against the quarterly benchmark for similar campaigns.”
Guest post by Dave Landry.
Google+ seems to be an enigma in the social world, the quiet kid in the corner of the room that most are afraid to interact with. This is particularly so in marketing. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, Google+ can be friendly and a resource with amazing results when a respective marketer learns how to utilize it in the right manner.
Google+ is all about visibility, exponentially so when it comes to B2B campaigning. Learning about Circles, Communities, Influencers and Authorship is the first key to G+ B2B domination. You’ll also need to be prepared to:
- • Keep Up With Your Plus Stream
- • Share Content Daily
- • Reach Out to Influencers
- • Use Google Hangouts
- • Use Communities
- • Monitor Follower Growth
Need more details? No sweat! This infographic below will have you on track to G+ B2B marketing success. Good luck!
About the author: Dave LJ is a financial expert who also studies and writes about social media’s use in business and marketing efforts. He is very excited to contribute to Webbiquity.
Guest post by Logan Strain.
If you’ve invested the groundwork necessary to build a Twitter account, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing it actually gain steam. Your best tweets get retweeted on a regular basis, you can count on discovering more followers every time you check in, and you can see that you’re developing a strong presence on a noisy platform.
But all accounts reach a level of stagnation if you use the same tactics over and over again. If you see your growth starting to level off, it might be time to shake things up a bit with new techniques.
How can you break through a Twitter plateau and take your account to an even greater level of success? Use these these five helpful Twitter tools and strategies to build upon what you have already established.
1) Improve Multimedia With Twitter Cards
A highly powerful yet underused optional feature of Twitter is the Twitter card. This feature, developed by Twitter, allows accounts to create media-rich experiences that can help you stand out in the mostly text platform. Accounts can use one of seven different cards in a single tweet.
- • Gallery cards that display images
- • Photo cards that include a single image
- • Summary cards with a link
- • Summary cards with images
- • App cards
- • Player cards which showcase videos
- • Product cards
For example, if you want to show off a few different photos of a brand new product on Twitter, you can use the gallery card to display shots from several angles. Or you can use the photo card to add a large picture to your tweet when you link to your blog.
Using one of these cards increases click-throughs and engagement, since they make your tweets look so much different from those ones in your followers’ feeds.
While Twitter cards have been adopted by some major brands, they are still not used by everyone. To learn more, check out Forbes’ great comprehensive overview on this nifty feature and how to implement it.
2) Use Tweriod For Perfectly Timed Tweets
When you tweet can have a huge impact on how much engagement your tweets generate. While there have been some studies on the best overall tweeting time, every account is different. So how do you find a tweeting schedule that is perfect for your particular niche?
Tweriod is a powerful (and free) tool that can give you actionable analytics to supercharge your tweeting. The tool analyzes your tweets and your followers tweets, and lets you know what tweeting times give you the best results. With this information in hand, you can fine tune when you tweet using your tweet scheduler.
3) Experiment With New Hashtags
Hashtags, of course, are essential to getting attention on Twitter. If Twitter is one giant cocktail party, then hashtags are how you take part in a conversation. Most established accounts use a handful of hashtags, either ones directly related to their industry or market, or ones that have successfully garnered engagement in the past.
But if you keep using the same hashtags, you’ll keep getting the same results. Break out of your tweeting routine by exploring other hashtags to connect with. One easy way to brainstorm new hashtags you can try is use the app in Hashtagify.me.
Just enter your most common hashtags, and it will give you other common hashtags that are commonly associated with it. Now you have several more ways to connect with Twitter users with which you can experiment.
4) Create Your Own Branded Hashtag
There’s no reason why you have to use hashtags that are already popular. You can really break through by creating a hashtag of your very own. For example, to promote their “Share A Coke” campaign, Coca-Cola created the hashtag #shareacoke.
In promoting their breakfast items, Taco Bell joked that “Breakfast Burrito from a burger place? That’s like taking a T Rex to yoga.” They then encouraged other followers to create their own jokes in that vein using the hashtag #thatslike. Think of an interesting or funny way you can engage your potential customers with a clever and original hashtag.
5) Optimize Tweet Length
Since 140 characters is so short, many social media marketers take advantage of the full amount of space available with every tweet. But that strategy may overestimate the attention span of the users of the most hyperactive social network on the Internet. Some studies even suggest that the optimal length of a tweet is a paltry 100 characters.
Shortening tweets below Twitter’s limits has resulted in increased engagement for some marketers. Try your hand at extreme brevity for a week of tweeting and see if it has an impact in shares and favorites.
Never Stop Testing
How do you know you’re making the most of the time you spend building up your Twitter account? By consistently trying new things, and keeping what works. Any Twitter account can see steady growth if you simply maintain a steady and consistent tweeting schedule. But if you want to supercharge your growth, you’ll need to rethink your tactics on a week by week basis.
Logan Strain is a web content creator who regularly contributes to Instant Checkmate’s blog, a father, and a podcast addict. When he’s not browsing reddit, playing with his daughter, or binge-watching Netflix, he’s creating top notch web content. Follow him on Twitter @LM_Strain.
For nearly as long as there have been people working on search engine optimization, there have been SEO tools. The first tools handled only the most rudimentary tasks, like rank checking or keyword density analysis.
As search engine algorithms, and SEO professionals, have become more sophisticated over time, so have the tools. Today, there are (in many cases free, or low-cost) tools covering nearly every aspect of content design, on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.
Find out in this compilation of web tools and expert tool reviews from the past year and a half.
Helpful SEO Tools
This outstanding tool from Google evaluates the speed of both mobile and desktop access for any specified website, returns an overall score, and provides technical recommendations on for decreasing load time and improving site speed.
A slick free tool that reports, for any full URL: linking domains, inbound links, most linked countries, most linked keywords, page rank of linking domains, and new links within the past 30 days. This one deserves consideration for every SEO’s toolbox.
One of the best free broken-link checking tools available, the Online Website Link Checker will crawl for and report broken links on up to 500 pages and three levels down on any specified website, optionally across a whole domain or only a specified subdomain.
Expert SEO Tools Reviews and Guides
Free and Useful On-Page Optimization Tools by Internet Marketing Ninjas
Online tools expert Ann Smarty presents five useful tools for on-page optimization from the SEO Chat free tools beta are, among them the On-Page Optimization Analysis Tool , which analyzes “everything from meta data to keyword use iysis/n content and link accounting. It then breaks this all down for you, so you can get a more thorough look at how well your page has been optimized, and how you can optimize it even more.”
SEO Report: How to Track Blog Performance on Google by Razor Social
“To find out how likely it is that the blog posts you write will have an ongoing impact, you need to find out how well your blog content is currently doing. You can do this with an SEO report,” writes Ian Cleary; he then steps through the process of creating such a report using a series of tools, like SEMRush to discover what keywords your site ranks for, and Monitor Backlinks, which will “will email you every week with a summary of new and old links that changed in status.”
Free Local SEO Tools that Belong in Your Kit by The Moz Blog
Miriam Ellis provides detailed descriptions of more than a dozen helpful and free tools for local SEO, including the Generate local AdWords and keywords lists tool (much more helpful than Google Keyword Planner when trying to identify keywords with value in a specific geographic area) and the Free Local Analysis Google Places Tool, which, she writes, “Provides more rich data for local SEOs than almost any other free tool I’ve found!…I can also compare them to other local businesses using the tool.”
10 SEO Tools and Plugins You Need in 2014 by Web Content Blog
The English isn’t perfect, but the reviews are spot on. Most of the tools Gazalla Gaya reviews here are familiar (such as the outstanding WordPress SEO by Yoast, but a few are off the beaten path, among them HitTail (a fee-based long-tail keyword research tool) and the Virante AuthorRank tool for analyzing the influence of online authors according to Google ranking factors.
Ann Smarty (again) explains what rich snippets are, why they are important (“These little details are what causes your listing to ‘pop’ in a search, catching the eye of the user no matter what place on the first page you occupy”), and how to use specialized tools from SEO Chat to create specific types of snippets, such as the Event Rich Snippet Schema Generator to “show (event dates and times for quick reference.”
30 Awesome Free SEO Tools for Small Businesses by Search Decoder Blog
Matthew Capala offers links to and brief descriptions of two-and-a-half dozen free tools, from the the AdWords keyword traffic estimator and Übersuggest for keyword research to WidgetBox (a dynamic web widgets generator), Yext] for monitoring local SEO listings, and Visual.ly for creating infographics.
21 Best FREE SEO Tools for On-Page Optimization by Search Engine Watch
***** 5 STARS
Noting the importance of providing the best user experience to achieve and maintain top search results, Chuck Price reviews more than 20 free tools for onsite optimization, for functions like keyword research, content analysis, technical SEO, schema creation, and image optimization.
Google SEO Tools: 7 Tools to Drive more traffic to your blog by Razor Social
Ian Cleary (again) explains how to use Google’s free tools to help out with SEO efforts; not just the obvious ones (e.g., Webmaster Tools, Keyword Planner) but Google Trends, advanced search commands, and desktop and mobile speed search: “When Google makes available a tool to test out the speed of your website and provides suggestion for improvements you know you should be paying attention to this. When they provide similar for mobile you know you should pay attention to this also.”
15 Free SEO Tools For Evaluating Your Clients by Brad S. Knutson
The obnoxious full-screen pop-up unfortunately prevents this from getting a five-star rating, but once your past that, you’ll find here an outstanding list from Brad Knutson of free tools for evaluating key aspects of SEO: technical SEO, content and keyword research, local search, inbound links, traffic estimates, and social analytics.
Cyrus Shepard presents a huge, categorized list of completely free, free with paid option, and paid with free trial tools covering pretty much every aspect of SEO, from link research, rank checking and site speed testing to keyword research, link building and technical SEO.
A closer look at Google’s Webmaster Tools revamp by Econsultancy
Zoe-Lee Skelton provides a detailed look into GWT’s mid-2013 redesign, explaining the new navigation setup, what’s included under each heading, and new features, such as the ability to block pages: “You’re also able to request the ‘removal of URLs’ from Google’s Index if not already blocked in the robots.txt file. Use this feature if you have pages that you don’t want Google to find.”
3 Free SEO Tools for Auditing and Troubleshooting Onsite Issues by Search Engine Journal
Writing that ” It’s not uncommon in today’s SEO landscape to wake up and find a sudden drop of organic search traffic and/or keyword rankings…By taking advantage of the intelligence that is available for free, brands with low budgets can recover from SEO issues,” Marc Purtell recommends using Google Webmaster Tools, Screaming Frog, and the BrowSEO Spider Simulator to investigate and help correct ranking loss issues.
3 Must-Have SEO Tools: 17 SEO Experts Weigh In by Powered by Search
Troy Boileau reports on the results of asking several well-known SEO experts about their favorite tools: among the group, Aaron Wall (who’s produced some pretty awesome tools himself) likes different tools for different purposes, for example, “surface level metrics from Majestic SEO, Ahrefs & Open Site Explorer”; Brian Massey cites Google Analytics and AdWords, plus Visual Website Opimizer; and Heidi Cohen notes the value of WordPress and Flickr.
SEO On A Budget: 10 Free Tools by MediaPost
***** 5 STARS
Marc Purtell (again) lists 10 helpful free or low-cost tools to help with site analysis and optimization efforts, including Rank Checker, several Google tools, and Screaming Frog: “Screaming Frog is a free spider that…can help identify server errors, redirects, URI issues, duplicate meta data and much more.”