3 TIPS FOR CONDUCTING EFFECTIVE KEYWORD RESEARCH

24.Feb.2020
CONDUCTING KEYWORD RESEARCH IS A CRITICAL FIRST STEP TO ANY SEO WORK YOUR BRAND DOES. It can be extremely effective in helping you drive the right traffic to your owned media and is often an overlooked part of SEO. But first, what is it? Keyword research is when you identify popular terms and phrases people are using in search engines to find your website or your competitors’ sites. This ultimately lies in determining what search terms people within your target market are searching for and the format they want to consume that information. At Bitly, we follow a three-step process when conducting keyword research. ✅ CREATE A LIST OF TERMS YOU WANT TO TARGET The first step after defining your broader SEO strategy (the SEO experts at Moz put together a comprehensive post on how to do this) is to create a seed list of terms you want to target, or that you think your target market is searching for. For example, at Bitly a couple of terms we always want to rank for is “URL shortener” and “link shortener.” These speak to who we are and what we do as a platform, and people who search these terms will be looking for a service like ours. The trick to starting your list is to think of it from your prospects’ perspective. How would they search for the products or services you offer?  Finally, don’t be afraid to build a list to cover all aspects of your business. For example, at Bitly we also help influencers and businesses maintain a consistent and distinguishable brand experience using branded links, so our keyword list includes terms that people would search for if they were interested in these aspects of our business. ✅ USE A KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL TO EXPAND THIS LIST The second step is to expand this list using keyword research tools.  One of the most popular is Google’s free keyword explorer tool which suggests related terms as well as their monthly search volume related to anything you input. A keyword tool can help you explore variants of your original terms, build groups of terms, and narrow in on more specific keyword phrases. Other popular tools you can use to conduct keyword research include: Moz SEMRush Keyword Tool ✅ CONDUCT COMPETITIVE RESEARCH TO REFINE YOUR LIST The final keyword research step is to refine your list with competitive research.  This simply means visiting your competitors’ websites and see what they’re doing. Look at which terms they’re targeting and what type of content they’re creating. This research should give you a list of many different types of keywords you can use to build out your content strategy, or iterate upon the one you already have in place.  Some keywords will be very competitive, meaning they’re harder to rank for because more people are searching for them. Some will be niche to your brand and others will be what’s known as “long-tail” search phrases, which are usually questions or very specific three- and four-word searches.  It’s best to have a mix of all three types of keywords in your strategy.

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THE BEST SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

24.Feb.2020
WHEN IT COMES TO SELECTING THE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS FOR YOUR BRAND, IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ON EVERY CHANNEL.  This is especially true if you don’t plan or have the bandwidth to leverage them. For example, it wouldn’t look good if you were on Twitter but hardly ever tweeted. Instead, choose a few channels that are amenable to what you’re trying to accomplish.  In this blog post, we’ll break down some of the core social media channels that brands use to market themselves. More importantly, we’ll cover the expectations people have of brands across each of those channels.  This is really important because you’re investing your time and your brand’s resources to engage your audiences. So, you’ll want to know that your target audience is A) on the channels you’re on and B) expecting and wanting the content you’re sharing.  Let’s start with Facebook.   1- FACEBOOK Facebook is notorious for allowing brands very little organic reach on their posts. In other words, businesses have to “pay to play.” Facebook has a huge active user base. (In fact, the platform recently reported that it has almost 1.6 billion daily active users.) According to a Sprout Social study: Of those who use Facebook, 74% of them log in daily. In fact, half of them actually check Facebook several times a day. If you weren’t sold on advertising on this platform before, it may suddenly sound pretty compelling. HOW DO PEOPLE ENGAGE ON FACEBOOK? According to HubSpot, a large portion of Facebook users, younger consumers, use the channel to consume content - such as “online news, business, and lifestyle stories.” This is important for marketers to note. It tells us Facebook is a good platform for our most important information, like company news and product releases.  So, if this content suits your brand, Facebook could be a great lever to pull to engage your audience. To find out for sure, dig into your Facebook audience insights and see if your followers on the platform align with your target audience. If they do, it may be worth investing time in this channel. If not, remember you can also explore running paid ad campaigns on Facebook to build the right followers for your brand. 2 – TWITTER Now let’s look at Twitter. While people often think of Twitter as a channel for word-of-mouth marketing, the platform also provides a lot of outbound marketing opportunities. It’s relatively simple for brands to meet their customers where they already are and hop into relevant conversations. Here’s a stat from Hootsuite we really like: People are 31% more likely to recall what they saw on Twitter. So, people are about a third more likely to remember content from Twitter than anywhere else on the internet. Why? It could be because tweets are formatted in an easily digestible way. Or, it could be indicative of the mindset people have when they visit the platform. They’re curious and eager to consume new and interesting information. Whatever the case, this gives you a foundation for how to think about the content you should share on this channel. For example, you may want to tweet facts about your industry or your brand’s perspectives on news and information relevant to your space. WHAT SEPARATES TWITTER FROM OTHER CHANNELS? People have come to expect brands to respond to customer service inquiries on Twitter. If your brand is on this channel, make sure you have a process and the personnel to handle these messages. Beyond support, Twitter is also a great platform to connect with your users and customers to build trust between them and your brand. In fact, according to Brand Watch: Companies using Twitter for customer service see a 19% lift in customer satisfaction” and “76% of consumers are likely to recommend the brand following friendly service. Again, there are lots of opportunities to improve your customers’ relationship with your brand. There are even more opportunities to build meaningful connections with customers, which are so important and impactful.  3 – INSTAGRAM OK, moving on to Instagram.  Instagram has a very active user base, with 500 million people accessing the app each and every day. So, there are tons of opportunities for brands to reach their audiences in an effective way. This is true whether you’re an influencer or business—or a business wanting to connect with influencers. We love this stat by the Global Web Index because it’s very telling of how people engage on this channel. More than one-third of Instagram users have used their mobile devices to buy something online. That’s 70% more likely than people who are not on Instagram. OPTIMIZING THE CUSTOMER PURCHASE FLOW If you’re like us, you see ads on Instagram all the time. The platform has made it extremely easy for a user to go from an ad straight into a purchase flow. Beyond that, another reason you may want your brand on Instagram is that your competitors are already there—most likely. According to Instagram Business: Approximately 80% of all Instagram users follow a business on Instagram. We wouldn’t usually advocate for being on a social channel just because your competition is. But say, for example, you’re a retail company. Instagram’s easy purchase flow and the purchasing habits of its users could be a key component of your social media marketing initiatives. 4 – LINKEDIN And that brings us to the final platform we’re going to cover: LinkedIn LinkedIn is the top-performing social media platform for B2B lead generation. It has a very niche user base—people who are in the headspace for solutions to their professional and career endeavors. The content shared on this channel is less saturated by a huge array of topics and much more focused on advice, tips and tricks, job postings and related information. A SPACE FOR PROFESSIONAL CONTENT According to LinkedIn Business: 91% of executives rate LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content. This tells us a lot about the kind of content that is valued across this channel, and therefore the kind of content your brand can share that would be pertinent to LinkedIn users. People spend time on social—due to boredom, to pass time or to seek entertainment. But they invest time on LinkedIn.  LinkedIn Business also says that 80% of B2B leads come from this platform. People are eager to learn and absorb content that’s going to help build their skill sets and elevate their careers. So, if your brand is B2B, LinkedIn can be a goldmine for lead generation and audience engagement, or a great recruitment tool for any brand’s HR team. — Now you know more about the core channels you can leverage to execute upon your social strategy. But, do you have a strategy in place to put these channels to work for your brand?

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