Megan Marrs's blog
You already know that visual assets are essential to creating viral blog posts.Those crisp, clear, captivating images draw in your reader and keep them hooked. The truth is that you can’t have a truly great blog post without images.Despite the overwhelming necessity of blog images, writers can often get bogged down by confusing copyright stipulations.
Don’t worry though – things are about to get a whole lot easier. We’re presenting you with the ultimate guide to blog images, in which we’ll be covering:How to find free images for blogs (100% free, no attribution)How to create custom text over image graphics How to customize and repurpose blog images for social mediaWelcome to the world of photos – let’s get started.Finding Free Pictures For Your Blog: Open Source ImagesGood ne... > Read more
Online surveys are a great way to engage your audience and get feedback from them. You can use online surveys in any number of ways, including using them to:Find out what topics your readers want to learn more aboutGet product feedbackConduct market researchGet customer service feedbackGauge employee satisfactionPlus plenty of other uses!Making an online survey is easy – there are many great online survey creators out there to help you craft that survey.
Let’s take a look at your options!When it comes to online survey tools, you can choose between the free or paid route. If you’re just looking to do some light audience research, you should get on just fine with the free tools available.Usually the paid versions offer added capabilities like:Survey logic. Survey logic uses information... > Read more
It seems that every few months something huge is going down in the world of online marketing. It’s such an action-packed industry that it’s often easy to miss some of the awesome content and major milestones that occur in the field.It’s no fun to be behind the times, which is why we’re bringing you the 31 best internet marketing articles from a variety of sources and experts.
From modern link building guides and content promotion plans to industry news and groundbreaking studies, there’s something for everyone.Best Internet Marketing Articles: Content Marketing and Promotion1. How to Create a Winning Content Promotion PlanBuzz Stream gives a run down on how to create a top-notch content promotion plan, ensuring that your stellar content gets the attention it deserves. 2. How to Cr... > Read more
With social media as steadfast cornerstone of nearly all marketing (regardless of industry), there’s cutthroat competition for attention across all social networks.You need all the help you can get to promote your content on social media and be noticed. We’re singling out 24 tools, recommended by industry experts and marketing mavericks, that are promised to supercharge your social endeavors.
1. Infogr.amA sweet tool to help you make snazzy looking infographics in a matter of minutes. While you won’t be able to have ultimate customization, with plenty of graphics to choose from and some great drag-and-drop vector art, it’s a fine place for those who want a simple, high-quality looking infographic.The free version lets you share your infographic and embed it on your website. To ... > Read more
Don’t have many bucks to spend on your biz? No worries – there are plenty of marketing tactics you can make use of that won’t blow your budget. Let’s see how far you can stretch those dollars! Here are 20+ marketing ideas for small businesses working on a small budget.1. Publish Great Content.
I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc. I shared a bunch of creative content marketing ideas here, and Elisa recently... > Read more
When the classic strategies aren’t delivering, you send in the guerrillas. They’re the extra-special forces – the ones that implement killer strategies to turn the tide and defeat the enemy.Guerrilla marketing is a great alternative to traditional marketing. It thrives on original thinking and creativity, where imagination and ingenuity beat out big budgets.
Guerrilla marketing tends to be cheaper than traditional marketing, relying on smaller, more localized brick and mortar strategies like:Graffiti: Graffiti marketing uses city streets and alleyways as a giant canvas. While smaller, more covert operations will make their mark wherever they want, for most businesses it’s recommended to get permission from a property owner before going Monet on the walls of their establishmen... > Read more
Timing is everything – right? It may not be everything, but it certainly matters, especially when it comes to getting subscribers to notice and open your emails.So when is the best time to send newsletter emails? We have some advice and we’re eager to share.Best Email Send Time: General AdviceThese general email send time tips are widely accepted by the email marketing community.
They are great when you’re starting off, but be sure to read on and see why they won’t always work.Daytime vs. Nighttime. While this one may be obvious, it’s usually better to send out your email campaigns during the daytime. You know, when people are awake. Not asleep.Mad Mondays. The general consensus is that should avoid sending out email blasts on Mondays. Why? People are already bummed out about the... > Read more
Calling all tweeters – Twitter’s new and improved analytics is a major upgrade that provides rich Twitter data you could only dream about before. And as of yesterday, it's available to everyone, not just advertisers!How to Access Twitter AnalyticsTwitter analytics hasn't been getting a ton of attention, likely due to the fact that the analytics were hidden away within the ad platform.
Now you can find this new analytics data by visiting https://analytics.twitter.com/. Then prepare to be amazed.New & Improved Twitter Web Analytics: Sweet Tweet Data!Upon first logging into the new Twitter analytics, you’ll feel like a fat kid at an ice cream factory. Sorry, I mean big boned kid in an ice cream factory. We can only hope you aren’t lactose intolerant, because it’s time to gorge.T... > Read more
We live in a wondrous age my friends. Knowledge and learning can be obtained with a few clicks of the mouse, opening education and intellectual stimulation to anyone with a scholarly spirit.Below is a list of our favorite online marketing courses, most of which are free or very nearly free. Let the learning begin!WordStream’s PPC UniversityPPC University.
Our new PPC University is an awesome one-stop shop for learning all the ins and outs of PPC. With easy-to-browse lessons for beginners and advanced PPC users, there’s something for everyone at the grand old PPC University. In addition, PPC 101 is available as a free marketing course download. Toga, toga, toga!Google’s Online Marketing ChallengeGoogle Online Marketing Challenge. Is there a better source to learn about online marketin... > Read more
What is a Rank Checking Tool?There is an abundance of SEO rank checking tools on the web, each promising to deliver results on where your site ranks on Google for your chosen keywords.For most keyword rank checking tools, all you need to do is type in a keyword, and the tool’s bot will scrape data from Google and spit out a number showing where you rank in Google for your key phrase.
Sounds like a dream come true? Well, sure. But a dream is all it is. In truth, keyword rank checking tools are pretty useless.The Ranking Myth: There’s No Such Thing as RankingThere was a time, years ago, where SEO rank checking tools were fairly accurate and could provide a decent assessment of how your site was performing and allow you to check website SEO rankings.But those days are over, and this is no ... > Read more
Everyone knows the old saying – the more email subscribers you have, the better you feel, so get folks to signup, and give them a good deal! What, you’ve never heard that one before? Something about beans? Whatever, you’re crazy.Email newsletter subscribers are valuable soft leads that, with the right amount of gentle cajoling, could end up one day as full-fledged customers or clients.
That’s why today, we’re bringing you 27 genius (if I do say so myself) strategies to boost newsletter subscribers! Can you sense the impending full inbox? I sure can! Here we go.RELATED: Perfect Timing: What's the Best Time to Send an Email Campaign?Blowout the incentives. One DMA report shows that 60% of users sign up for an email newsletter to receive offers and sales. So push it – push it good... > Read more
Marketers get by with a little help from their friends – well let us introduce you to 32 new friends! These free and nearly free content marketing tool should help make your job a little easier.Note: The aim was to only list free content marketing tools, but there are a few paid ones in the mix as well (freebies only get you so far).
Unless marked as a paid tool, all content tools listed here have at least some kind of free offering.Content Curation Tools (finding great stuff to share)Content Creation Tools (create your own awesome stuff to share)Tools for Finding Content Creators (find folks to make custom content for you)Content Promotion and Management (sharing and managing your content)Content Analytics & Measuring (analyzing and measuring your content's effectiveness) Other... > Read more
It’s easy to let headlines take the back seat in your writing process. Headlines can wind up as a quick afterthought, but really should be treated with much more consideration. In fact, your headline is arguably more important than the article itself. After all, who cares how great your blog post is if no one even reads it?Headline writing rules have changed quite a bit since the great online migrationOut of all the folks who read your headline, only 20% will read the article copy.
Whether it’s for email subject lines, blog posts, ebooks, or webinars, you need a powerful, sexy headline to make readers swoon.Modern online article headlines are tricky – they need to be SEO keyword friendly, but also should be unique and creative. The end result needs to be super clickable, irresistible... > Read more
Good visual content is a key component of online marketing. Similar to how beautiful, customized visual assets are crucial to a successful blog, posting pictures and illustrations on social media networks helps brands boost engagement and get noticed by fans.Our social media images guide seeks to provide you with everything you need to know about using images on social networks.
We’ll be covering:Where to get free social media imagesOptimizing images for dimensions and sizing on various social networksTechniques for using images creatively on social mediaWhere to Get Social Media ImagesWhen it comes to using images online, it’s best to play it safe by using social media images that are under a creative commons license. What is a creative commons license?Creative Commons licenses let cr... > Read more
Word of mouth marketing (lovingly nicknamed WOMM) can make or break your biz. It can build you up and tear you down faster than an OC socialite. Do word of mouth marketing right and you’ll have (almost) no need of an ad budget; customers will share stories of your sublime service at dinner parties across the country, and that’s better than any billboard.
The popularity of sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, and even Health Grades for the medical industry, show how important the old Word o’ Mouth is. While anonymous online word of mouth is plentiful, savvy users are aware of how reviews can be manipulated and faked, which is why person to person WOM is still the most powerful form.The WOMM wombat shares it’s opinions with friendsWord of mouth marketing is, at its heart, using happy ... > Read more
Social media sharing is a big aim for many businesses looking to build their brand, extend their reach, and generally make the most of their online marketing efforts. So how do you rack in the likes, tweets, pins, and +1s? Here are 15 super social sharing secrets to keep you basking in the lime light of adoring online fans.
Image courtesy of kanate of FreeDigitalPhotos.net1. Ask people to share your content. The first step is admitting you need help. It sounds like such an obvious no-brainer, but it really does make a difference. Make a point of asking for social shares, and you’ll be more likely to get them.For example, some sites use a pop-up that says "If you liked this post, share it on Facebook!" It's a gentle reminder to (social) share the love.2. Make great content people want... > Read more
We’ve all hit it – that wall that seems to sap away all your magical creative marketing juices. Suddenly you feel like Peter Pan without his pixie dust.If you’ve never seen Run Fatboy Run, it’s a great movie!All you need is a bit of help to kick your marketing strategy back on track. And guess what? We’re dishin’ out 64 creative marketing ideas and inspirational tips to help you bust through that brick wall.
Let’s get started with…Social Media Marketing IdeasUrban Marketing IdeasContest Marketing IdeasMarketing Ideas for Contest PromotionContent Marketing IdeasSocial Media Marketing IdeasPush your handles – If you’re really looking to bump up those Twitter followers, you can’t be afraid to be a bit shameless. Speaking at a conference? Put your Twitter handle on the sl... > Read more
Hurrah! A visitor has come to your site and completed a conversion – whether it be a white paper download, a webinar signup, or a purchase order, you should be feeling pretty good.Don’t pat yourself on the back yet though – you need a thank you page, and it can’t just be any hodgepodge mess that’s thrown up by the nearest website lackey.
In order to get the most out of your coveted converted user, you need a stellar thank you page.What is a "thank you page"? Your website's thank you page is where users are taken after completing a desired conversion. Often a website thank you page features – big surprise – a “thank you” message in response to a visitor’s order/download. A great thank you page has more than just that though…Yes, You Need a Thank You Page!Why do you nee... > Read more
With so much traffic being driven these days via social media, it’s important to implement designated social media landing pages as part of your marketing strategy. Remember, folks who click your ads and links from social media sites are valuable visitors – they’ve actively engaged with your brand on a social network.
In fact, J. Crew found that:“customers who engage with us via our social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram) generally spend approximately 2x more than the average J.Crew customer”Twice as much is a pretty big deal! So roll out the red carpet, and don’t you dare just send your social fans to the homepage.Many of the same rules that are used with PPC landing pages apply to social media landing pages as well, the core essentials being:Landing ... > Read more
If you're at all familiar with Reddit, you know about their AMA series, AKA, Ask Me Anything. Superstars from Obama to Rob Delaney have done AMA's, committing to answer questions from anyone and everyone who shows up to submit a question. And in recent months, a number of top SEO's have been doing Ask Me Anything sessions in the SEO subreddit (r/bigSEO).
Today, we’re bringing you the best of the best: hand-picked advice from the top SEO experts who took to Reddit to share their wisdom in the AMA series.Our panel of SEO experts answered myriad questions posted on Reddit, which we’ve sorted into the following categories for your convenience:Social SignalsLocal SEOLink BuildingContent MarketingGuest BloggingGeneral SEOLearning SEO AdviceSEO PredictionsSearch Spam & Black Hat SEOPageRan... > Read more
What is the fabulous and extraordinary thing that is UGC? No, it’s not the latest clog variation of UGG boots - it’s none other than user-generated content!Today we’re looking at different kinds of user generated content, examples of user-generated content, where to find it, how to use it, and more!What is User Generated Content?A user generated content definition: UGC is anything on the web that users have a hand in making.
Most of the photos, videos, and posts you see on the web are pieces of user generated content. Basically, UGC is anything not made by a brand, though brands do leverage user-generated content for ranking.Different Kinds of User Generated ContentThe variations of UGC are endless. Some major kinds include:Blog commentsFacebook comments or postsReviewsUser generated... > Read more
If you’re like me, you’re checking Gmail constantly. Despite how much time you spend on Gmail, I bet that good old Google Mail is still holding out a few secrets on you! Well we’re blowing its cover and showing you some of the most valuable Gmail tips and tricks to make your email checking a bit easier.
Gmail Keyboard ShortcutsDid you know you can use a number of Gmail keyboard shortcuts from within Google Gmail? Some general Word shortcuts apply so that when you’re composing messages, you can use Gmail shortcut keys like:Ctrl + b | Make your text bold.Ctrl + i | Make your text italicized.Ctrl + u | Make your text underlined.Ctrl + Shift + 7 | Create a numbered list.Ctrl + Shift + 8 | Create a bulleted list.Ctrl + k | Insert a hyperlink for highlighted text. (Note: For Gmail ke... > Read more
Let’s face it, the internet is full of clowns and jokers.While Amazon is largely a site of purposeful, insightful reviews, under the darkness of night you may find it transformed into a local comedy club, full of amateur stand-ups looking for a laugh. Plenty of folks employ Amazon consumer reviews to poke fun at some of the outrageous products found on the web in a movement dubbed “customer review comedy.
”Today we’re giving you the top 10 funniest Amazon products and their hilarious reviews.1. Three Wolf Moon ShirtArguably the most popular Amazon internet joke is the Three Wolf Moon Shirt. Since its introduction onto Amazon in 2008 it has gone on to earn over 2,790 reviews and has become its own meme. The shirt’s viral explosion increased the shirt’s sales by 2,300%. The r... > Read more
Why You Need Amazon Customer ReviewsOnline reviews are the modern media world-of-mouth; they’re immensely powerful and can have a huge affect on how your business is perceived. A study last year found that:79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business moreWhen you wish upon five stars, it makes no difference who you are – your business dreams come true! OK, in truth you’ll need a lot more than wishing to obtain a great Amazon star count.
In this post we’ll talk about why Amazon customer reviews are important and the various ways you can earn them (both legitimately and not-so-legitimately).What Amazon Custo... > Read more
How many unread emails do you have in your inbox? 300? 800? Or maybe, if you’re like me and are on countless mailing lists, 2,644? And that’s after a little Gmail spring cleaning!We get a TON of emails every day, and a lot of them are never opened. People are inundated with boatloads of information – more than ever before in history! But we don’t have more time to soak it all in.
The chances of your email being ignored are pretty high – unless of course, you have a rockin’ sockin’ subject line.Your subject line is your first (and maybe your last) impression on users. In many ways, your email subject line is more important than your email body. After all, a great newsletter is worthless if it never sees the light of day.There are a few different schools of thought when it come... > Read more
Today we'll be covering everything there is to know about explainer videos. They're fun to make, will jumpstart conversion rates, and are overall great to have for any startup business. Let's get started!What is an Explainer Video? Types of Explainer Videos5 Best Explainer Video ExamplesHow to Make an Explainer VideoScriptVoice OversVideo ProductionMusic & Sound EffectsMeasuring PerformanceEnjoying the Advantages of an Explainer VideoWhat is an Explainer Video?Explainer videos are short online videos used to explain your company’s product or service.
Explainer videos, often placed on a landing page, your website’s home page, or a prominent product page, have become extremely popular – some sites boast of conversion rates increasing by as much as 144% after including an expla... > Read more
With the release of WordStream’s new landing page grader tool, we can’t get landing pages out of our heads! Surfing the wondrous web, landing pages are everywhere – both good and bad. We’re taking today to show some real-world landing page examples, so get ready for some breathtaking brilliance and miserable monstrosities.
Before we get started, it’s important to remember that landing pages aren’t just about the page itself. Process comes into play as well – what did visitors click to be brought to your landing page? If it was an ad, what did the ad say? If it was a newsletter blast, what links did they click? The “landing” process and movement through the funnel is just as important as the physical page design.In the spirit of competitive analysis, I spent some time Googl... > Read more
What are landing pages? A landing page is the page a visitor arrives at on your website after clicking an ad (for example, a Google text ad or display ad). Inexperienced marketers often direct all of their PPC traffic to their homepage, but this can be a big mistake. Specific landing pages tailored to different offers are essential for providing a quality experience for visitors and driving conversions with a targeted message that matches each user’s need.
But don’t just check off received landing page best practices. What makes a great landing page? How can you make awesome landing pages that boast off-the-chart conversion rates? We’ll walk you through what you need to know to make it happen.New! Try WordStream's FREE AdWords Landing Page ToolBefore You Build a Landing PageBefore cre... > Read more
We've got a huge collection of tips and pointers for mastering Facebook advertising and marketing. We'll be covering...Facebook Advertising 101: General Tips & TricksFacebook Advertising Budgeting & Bidding Tips: How to Control Costs4 Ways to Create More Engaging Image Ads with Facebook Advertising7 Secrets for Better Facebook Ad Targeting20 Facebook Marketing Tips: Posts and Promotions to Help Your BusinessFacebook Advertising Tips 101: 11 Basic TipsWe're starting off our Facebook Advertising & Marketing Guide with some general tips and tricks for advertising on Facebook.
Learn to select your campaign objectives, use various Facebook advertising formats for different needs, control the costs of advertising on Facebook, and more.1. Go in with established goals. Do you wan... > Read more
What is the YouTube Keyword Tool?The YouTube keyword research tool, also known as the YouTube keyword suggestion tool, is a barebones tool used to generate and discover new keywords for YouTube videos. It looks like this:How to Use the YouTube Keyword ToolThe YouTube keyword tool is pretty straightforward – simply choose your language and tailored countries, insert a keyword or phrase, and click “Get keyword ideas.
”Some of those keyword suggestions (heck, maybe a lot of them) will make no sense whatsoever. But, buried in that strange, bizarre rubble of YouTube culture, you may find some gold nuggets than can really help you out when it comes to content strategy.While these keyword results aren’t very long-tail in the literal since of having lots of words, they can certainly be cons... > Read more