How to Use Facebook Groups for Business: A Guide for Marketers

 Why Should I Join Facebook Groups for Business?

Facebook groups bring together individuals who share a common interest. When you join a group that’s made up of people who match your target customer, you’ll have multiple opportunities to improve awareness of yourself and your business by being helpful.

To reveal those opportunities, simply type a keyword or topic into the search box on the right-hand menu of the group’s page.

If you type the search term

If you type the search term “Facebook ads” inside a group, you can see all posts related to that topic.

You’ll see that people are asking a lot of questions inside groups. Find the questions that will let you demonstrate your expertise or specialized skills. You can answer the questions outright, share a helpful blog post, or even mention your own products and services.

Posts like this one are a perfect opportunity to provide a solution to another group member.

Posts like this one are a perfect opportunity to provide a solution to another group member.

This kind of marketing is very powerful because it’s highly targeted. People need answers to their questions and if you can provide solutions on a regular basis, you and your business will start to become top of mind with members of the group. People may even start to look to you for answers by tagging you in comments.

You can also use these searches to gather FAQs and create original content for your potential customers.

How Do I Find Groups on Facebook?

Think of groups run by other people as mini-communities. There’s a group for virtually anything and everything, and you can join up to 6,000 groups. Here’s how you can join a Facebook group or two, and engage daily with other members.

Log into your Facebook personal profile account and find Groups on the left-hand side of your Home page in the Explore section.

Access Facebook Groups from the Explore section of your Facebook personal profile.

Access Facebook Groups from the Explore section of your Facebook personal profile.

Once you click on the Groups tab, you’ll automatically be sent to the Discover Groups landing page. This is where Facebook suggests groups for you based on criteria such as pages you’ve liked, groups your friends are members of, and so on. Facebook will also let you see which of your friends are members of the groups suggested to you.

Browse the Discover Groups page to find groups that will likely include people matching your target customer.

Browse the Discover Groups page to find groups that will likely include people matching your target customer.

As you browse through the suggested Facebook groups, you’ll see both public and closed groups.

Hover over any group name to see whether it's an open or closed group.

Hover over any group name to see whether it’s an open or closed group.

Click on any group to learn more about it by reading the description to understand the group’s mission. Be sure you’re a fit before you ask to join.

Many group owners will also post specific rules for engaging inside the group. Rules are often posted in the Description area or in a post that’s been pinned to the top of the timeline. It’s important to read the rules so you don’t get barred from the group.

Here's an example of Facebook group rules.

Here’s an example of Facebook group rules.

Once you find a group to join, just click the Join button. Be aware that some groups, like this one, will ask you to answer a few entry questions before sending your request along to the group owner.

Some group owners will ask you to answer some pre-qualifying questions when you join.

Some group owners will ask you to answer some pre-qualifying questions when you join.

After you answer the questions, you’ll get a message letting you know that your request is pending and you’ll get a notification when your request to join has been approved.

You'll get a notification that your request to join a group has been received.

You’ll get a notification that your request to join a group has been received.

When the group is opened to you, spend some time looking through the posts to get a feel for how it operates. Once you understand the tone of conversation, and the way other members ask and answer questions or offer advice, you’ll be able to successfully do the same.

Why Should I Create My Own Facebook Group?

While participating in Facebook groups managed by others can help you promote your brand and business, you have to play by others’ rules. Managing a dedicated Facebook group of your own lets you control the entire group experience and use your group for a specific purpose.

Before you begin to build your group on Facebook, you need to decide why and how you’ll use the group. Here are four ways groups are commonly used by business owners.

Create Community Around Products: Many groups are created by businesses as a bonus when somebody buys their product or service. Creating communities around the products and services you sell makes members feel exclusive and provides an area where they can get additional help and training from you.

Groups like this one let you create community around your product.

Groups like this one let you create community around your product.

Establish Authority: Create a group for email subscribers to further inspire and educate them with helpful posts and prompts. Share helpful articles, tips, tricks, and even tutorials in the group to help improve members’ lives and businesses.

Create a Topic-Focused Community: Rather than using your business name to identify your group, give it a name that reflects a specific topic on which you’re an expert; for example, Social Media for Health Care Providers. This will draw people who are interested in that topic.

Once you’ve decided how and why you’ll use your group, you can start to build it.

#1: Create a Facebook Group for Business

Click on Create a Group on the main Group page we accessed from the left-hand side of your Facebook personal profile. You’ll then see a screen where you give your group a name, add people, and set the group’s privacy level.

You’ll need to add at least one person to your group before you can create it. Choose someone who knows you’re building the group but will keep it under wraps until you’re ready to launch.

Give your group a name, add people, and decide on the privacy setting.

Give your group a name, add people, and decide on the privacy setting.

Facebook groups can be public, closed, or secret, depending on the goal of your business. The descriptions below can help you decide which is right for you.

Public Facebook Groups: Anyone can join and everyone can see the group posts. Public groups can attract people who join simply to spam other members with their own content. If you decide to build a Facebook group community around a certain topic or event, a public group may work well.

Closed Groups: Anyone can ask to join, but requests have to be accepted by a group administrator. If you’re not a member of a closed group, you won’t be able to see group posts. This is helpful because you can educate your members with tutorials without giving everyone the ability to see your training. The closed group is the most popular for business.

Secret Groups: Only members will see group posts and the group can’t be found in search. Secret groups are a great way to establish the authority of your business. Secret groups are for very specific members and are often centralized around a service you provide like high-level coaching. You can even have people pay a monthly fee to join your group.

After you choose your privacy settings, click Create and your new group will be ready for you to load images, details, and settings preferences.

#2: Customize Your Facebook Group

Add a cover photo that’s 828 x 315 pixels. When the image shows on the group’s timeline, click on it to create a thorough description and the rules for your group.

Add a cover photo that represents the focus of your group.

Add a cover photo that represents the focus of your group.

Now click on the ‘…’ button to complete the Settings options for your group.

Decide on the Group Type

The type of Facebook group designation you choose will depend on its purpose. Will you educate people, provide customer support, or create a group around an event for your business?

Choose the right Facebook group type to let Facebook know how to categorize your group for search results.

Choose a group type that reflects how you want to be categorized in search.

Choose a group type that reflects how you want to be categorized in search.

After choosing a group type, complete the Description, Tags, Locations, and Web and Email Address settings.

When your group looks the way you want it, it’s time to add three to five posts so new members have something to read. Make sure one of those posts is a set of rules members should keep in mind, then pin that post to the top of your timeline. This will help you save time because the rules are clear and agreed upon.

#3: Invite People to Join Your Group

Now that your group is up and running with a few posts, it’s time to invite people to the group.

Depending on the type of group you created, decide if your personal friends would be a good fit. Do you own a local restaurant? Invite your family and friends to the group to showcase new menu items, events, and so forth.

For many business owners, friends and family are not paying customers. While they would be happy to support you, you may want to keep them out of the group. Focus on people your group serves and find out where they are.

Invite website visitors to join your Facebook group.

Invite website visitors to join your Facebook group.

Here are a few options for you to consider:

  • Add an invitation for website visitors to join your group.
  • Send your email subscribers an email introducing your new group and give them a link to the group’s page.
  • Share the link to your new group on all of the social media platforms you’re active on.
  • Add a social button on your website that takes people to your group’s Facebook page to join.
  • Include an invitation to join your group on the thank-you page for your lead magnet.

#4: Curate Content for Your Group

Before launching your Facebook group, take some time to define a long-term content strategy that supports the group’s goal. For example, is the goal of your group to sell to members? Do you want to create a support group for people who’ve already purchased from you?

You’ll also need to decide what type of content you’ll serve. Will you provide inspirational, educational, or entertaining content? Will you prompt group members to engage?

A long-term plan and content strategy will make your group successful.

Remember, groups rely on engaged members, and a long-term plan and content strategy will make your group successful.

Finding Content for Your Group

If every post you publish brings value to the group, members will be more likely to engage with your content. Here are a few places to find trending or interesting content to share with your members.

  • Buzzsumo.com: Buzzsumo shows users what topics are trending in the moment. You can also search specific topics related to your group to find the most popular articles and which social media platform they were shared on. Here’s what Buzzsumo comes up with when I type in “social media marketing.” These are the top three articles in the past week. I can share this popular content inside my group to support and educate members.

Use Buzzsumo to find relevant topics to share with your group.

Use Buzzsumo to find relevant topics to share with your group.

  • Google News: The quickest way to find the most recent articles to share with your group members is to type your search query into Google and then select News to filter the most recent articles. Sharing relevant and recent content establishes you as the expert for the group.

Browse Google News search results to find timely content that will keep your group members informed.

Browse Google News search results to find timely content that will keep your group members informed.

  • Industry awareness: Listen to podcast episodes about your group’s topic and continue to stay up to date with other types of content your group members might like.

Above all, read and comment on member questions and interactions with other members.

#5: Encourage Members to Engage

If you want to create a successful group for your business, make sure to post things that will spark interaction with your content or among group members. Use these six ideas to create and deliver custom content for your own group.

  • Challenges: Challenges have become a very popular activity inside groups. Do you provide a consulting service? Design a challenge and invite members to join it. At the end of the challenge, invite them to work with you one on one if they’re ready to take their learning to the next level.
  • Tutorials: Tutorials are a great way to continue establishing your business as the leader in the industry. Each week post a tutorial video that seeks to help and support your members.
  • Live Q&As: The live question and answer type activity has become popular in larger groups. As your group grows, you can offer a Q&A session once a week to continue to help and support your group members.
  • Quizzes: Quizzes are fun for group members, and they’re also helpful to gather data from members of your group. Use quizzes to find out what your next product or service should be by asking members to take the quiz.
  • Polls: Need new content ideas? Create a poll for your group to vote on. Create polls for your next blog title, logo, or type of content for the next month.
  • Daily Theme Prompts: Daily prompts allow group members to post about a certain topic each day. Typically, there’s a promotional day when group members can share their latest blog post or product. Ask members to post photos of your place of business or product. These daily prompts can be a great way to set expectations for members and give them a chance to share about themselves.

Consider Hiring a Community Manager

As your group grows and becomes active, you may need to hire a community manager. A community manager will help monitor all posts and comments so you can focus on the weekly objectives of the group. Most community managers are found inside the group. You’ll likely have one or two group members who are very active and helpful inside the group. They’re your ideal candidates for helping you manage your time inside the group.

 

Summary

Groups can be a powerful way to establish your expertise; create an engaged community; and find new customers, peers, and partners.

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The 5 Key Components of Rapid Business Growth

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Make sure your business doesn’t become another statistic by following these growth tips.

 

1. Identify what sets you apart from your competition.

It’s important to understand your competition inside and out, figure out what specifically sets you apart and then use that as an advantage for growth opportunities. Moreira’s time spent working with recording artist Soulja Boy helped him where he could improve his business.

“I have a background in politics and public relations, and that skill set enabled me to find success early on in the music industry. We are able to provide artists with a complete package and handle all aspects of their career, from recording and distribution to public relations and personal branding. Being that one-stop solution has helped us stand out from the competition,” explains Moreira.

2. Know who your ideal customer is.

Moreira had a keen grasp on the type of artists he wanted to attract from the beginning, explaining, “Understanding the artists is what has enabled us to attract great talent early on, and it’s what was responsible for our long-term deal with Sony Music. If you don’t fully understand your ideal customer, there is no way you can provide the kind of value that’s going to attract them to your business and keep them satisfied. You have to understand their needs and wants, and offer a solution that is a perfect fit. Doing this will help you quickly establish your business as a viable solution.”

This applies to every business — if you don’t know who your ideal customer is, you will be casting a wide net and are more than likely not attracting the right consumers. When you find your ideal customer, you can improve your targeting, advertising, marketing and brand message.

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

3. Understand your key performance indicators.

To grow, you need to know what is working and what isn’t. Every business is going to have key performance indicators, and if you don’t track, measure and optimize these numbers, you have no idea what to scale to achieve that desirable growth.

“From the beginning, we tracked and split-tested everything, from social media marketing to plays across all music streaming services. We were able to quickly identify what contributed the most to album and singles downloads as well as personal brand growth for each artist. This has essentially reduced the ramp-up time for each new artist we sign, helping us to grow exponentially as a company,” said Moreira.

4. Have a firm grasp of your business financials.

If you don’t know your numbers, your business growth could be cut short unexpectedly. You have to be able to account for every penny that comes in and goes out. Things like bootstrapping as much as possible and being very frugal when it comes to expenses will help you grow much faster.

“As a former member of the Youth Development and Outreach Program, an initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank and a fellow student of the World Bank Institute, I always understood the financial aspect of entrepreneurship. I feel a lot of new startups look for funding and then spend recklessly, assuming there is more money right around the corner. By not carrying debt, you can put yourself in the position to take on a business loan when that growth opportunity is placed in front of you,” suggests Moreira.

Related: 5 Habits of the Wealthy That Helped Them Get Rich

5. Invest in the right talent.

A company is only as good as the team behind it, and Moreira’s recording company is no different. “There is no doubt that we wouldn’t have experienced the same early success if we had the wrong team members in place. Your team is directly responsible for your success, and the sooner founders understand this, the sooner they will prioritize creating the best possible organizational team.”

In the early stages of a new business, it’s very rare that you will be able to offer huge salaries, bonuses and perks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attract the best talent. Create a company culture that has a clear vision and mission — it will help you attract team members who want to be a part of the journey.

 

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3 foundations of a stellar content marketing strategy

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By Amanda Colocho 

A lot goes into creating and implementing an effective content marketing strategy.

Keeping content fresh, interesting and engaging is important if you want readers coming back, but many components on different platforms can help guide audiences to more of your content and increase click-through rates.

Here are a few of those elements, broken down by platform, to help keep content reader-friendly, navigate your target audience and generate more leads. Whether you’re capturing leads through offers or raising awareness through blogging and social media, don’t miss out on simple opportunities to optimize what you create:

1. Start by blogging.

Blogging frequently drives traffic, improves SEO and fosters a connection with your target audience. Don’t forget these simple components to increase user-engagement and navigate blog visitors:

  • Headline and headers. The headline is the first thing people see, so keep it catchy and concise. Headers organize and divide sections of the copy, helping readers quickly find what they’re looking for.
  • Meta description . This brief summary of your blog post should include commonly searched keywords and phrases surrounding the blog topic. Google search automatically cuts off the description after 160 characters, so keep your description to the point.
  • Hyperlinks and calls to action . Once someone has clicked to read your post, keep them clicking. You can navigate users on a blog post by including a reference and linking to older blog posts. In addition to links throughout the post, include a visual CTA for offers that will help capture leads or ask readers to join a subscription.
  • Categories . If you haven’t already done so, create categories for your blog. Tag each post to help organize blog posts in the archive. If a potential customer clicks to read a blog about “blogging,” they’re probably interested in your other posts on that topic.
  • Visuals. Use images to complement your post. Depending on the length, sprinkle in additional images and graphics that include stats or serve as an example.

2. Optimize your website’s landing pages and offers.

Guides, how-to columns, e-books, worksheets, metrics and trend reports—the list of content offers goes on and on. What do they have in common if you’re following a strategic inbound marketing campaign? They’re all available as gated content through landing pages.

[RELATED: Join us at Microsoft, and learn tactics and strategies to conquer all your biggest communications challenges.]

These content elements will encourage landing-page visitors to take action and move toward buying something:

  • Headlines . Like your blog posts, the headline on a landing page should grab attention immediately and inform readers what the offer, product or service is about.
  • Sub-headlines . These should use persuasive language and inform visitors why the offer will benefit them.
  • Visuals. Pictures and graphics should be large and relevant to your offer. Step it up by creating a custom graphic that includes information about the offer.
  • Form . The purpose of the landing page is to collect valuable information in return for your offer.
  • Calls to action on the Thank You page . When someone has acted to receive your offer, offer more content. Some options to consider include linking to related blog posts to keep them clicking through the website or inserting another CTA for a related offer.

3. Share content on social media.

Once you’ve crafted optimized, must-read blog posts and landing pages, it’s time to share them online. Follow these tips:

  • Spreading and differentiating catchy copy. Luckily, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn auto-populates the header and image; the downside is you can no longer use the same headline as that on the social media post. So be sure to use more attention-grabbing language in the copy of your social media post that’s different from your header.
  • Tagging. If a person, organization or business is the subject of your blog, start tagging. Tag the business, their personal account and anyone else you may have mentioned or referenced. This will prompt them to share it with their network, getting more eyes on your blog.
  • Hashtag. Before going on a hashtagging spree, type it into the social platform’s search box to see how popular it is. Chances are there are multiple variations of a hashtag you are trying to use, so go with the versions that have the most mentions.

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Your Rankings Have Dropped – 10 Things to Do Now

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Step 1: Check the ABCs of Your Site

In deploying and monitoring keyword performance, it can be all too easy to focus on advanced strategies while underestimating the importance of the ABCs of on-page SEO.

Why stress about anchor text ratio, link velocity, or citation optimization, when the answer to your rankings problem could be an easy fix directly on your site?

Does your site return a 200 status code?

200-series status codes indicate that your site can be communicated with successfully. The standard 200 OK status code indicates a successful HTTP request.

Use a free tool like HTTP Status Code Checker to confirm that your site is returning a successful request. If not, you can troubleshoot based on the failed status code, like 404 (page not found) or 410 (page permanently removed).

HTTP Status Code Checker

Can bots crawl your site?

Robots.txt is a text file located in the top-level directory of your web server that instructs bots on how to interact with your website. Within the file, you can set inclusions and exclusions to your heart’s content, for instance disallowing bots from crawling a dev site or indexing duplicate pages.

Have you accidentally set the restrictions too tightly, preventing search bots from crawling any of your main pages? Double check the robots.txt file using Google’s free Robots Testing Tool – if you spot anything amiss, upload a more permissive file to the server.

Step 2: Check SEO Basics

While basic SEO elements are declining in importance as a search engine ranking factor, they still have an influence. Check that basics like title tags, meta descriptions, and headings aren’t holding back your rankings.

Do you have optimized home page title and meta tags, and do they display correctly in search results?

Your home page’s title tag represents a massive yet simple opportunity to tell search bots what your page is about. If it’s generic, or if it’s failing to pull properly, it can affect your rankings.

While its companion meta description doesn’t directly affect SEO, a relevant, persuasive meta can improve click-through rates.

SEJ Search for Algorithm Update

You can customize title and meta tags within in the head section of your site’s HTML. If your site runs on WordPress, install a free plugin like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack to easily manage titles and tags across your site.

Does your homepage have an optimized H1 tag?

In addition to the info you provide in the title tag, the main heading lets users know the main purpose of the page. However unless it is contained an H1 tag, search bots won’t be able to differentiate it from the rest of the content on the page.

Search Engine Journal H1 Example

Check your site’s code to ensure a single, relevant H1 is being used on each page.

You would be surprised how often rankings drops are caused by one (or more) of these essential elements. Fix the problem, and search performance will improve in kind.

Step 3: Check for Google Algorithm Updates

Now that link algorithm Penguin and quality algorithm Panda are part of Google’s core algorithm and updated in real time, you always have to be on your toes about how small tweaks can affect your rankings. Take a look at SEO news sites and follow influencers like Danny Goodwin, Barry Schwartz, and Google’s Gary Illyes to stay on top of breaking developments.

If you can’t find concrete information, do a search on Twitter. If you see other webmasters panicking, it’s a sure sign something has been adjusted.

If you’re doing things the right way – think in-depth content, clean and intuitive site layout, fast load times – don’t stress about rankings fluctuations due to algorithm updates. You’re doing it right and will be rewarded in the long run.

Twitter Search for Google Algorithm Update

Step 4: Check Google Search Console

As opaque as algorithms can be, Google is clear about what they expect from a website. Follow their guidelines and action their feedback for improved search performance.

Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and optimize your site’s visibility in search results.

Check GSC to see if there are any crawl errors interfering with the indexing or visibility of your site. Do you see DNS errors, server errors, or URL errors? Navigate to Crawl > Crawl Errors so you can address any offending issues one by one. Once complete, mark as fixed.

Google Search Console Errors

Through Google Search Console, you can submit an XML sitemap that charts the structure of your site. Once loaded, check to see if there is a discrepancy between the number of URLs submitted and the number of URLs indexed by Google.

If the numbers don’t add up, it is possible important pages are being blocked from search bots. Crawl your site with a scanning software such as Screaming Frog, which will zero in on the issue.

Google Search Console Sitemap

In your Search Console Preferences, be sure to check “Enable email notifications” so you are quickly alerted to any big issues, but make it a habit to check in with Google Search Console on a regular basis before problems have a chance to snowball and affect your rankings.

Step 5: Check Google Analytics

Google Analytics shows if there is a drop in traffic or user metrics like time on page, pages per session, or bounce rate. Did you make any changes to the site content, design, or functionality that coincide? If so, reverting the changes or going in a different direction can help traffic bounce back.

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Google Analytics is a treasure trove of information about how people find your site, how they behave while on your site, and what pain points cause them to leave before completing an action.

For even more insight, segment your audience by mobile and desktop browsers, because they have different intentions and interactions with your site.

Google Analytics Traffic

For more, check out How to Understand User Behavior With Google Analytics.

Step 6: Check Content

Quality content has never been more important. Is your content unique, rich, and interesting? Or is it duplicate, thin, and low value? This can have a major effect on rankings.

Users don’t connect with bad content. While the value of content is mostly subjective, there are a few metrics you can reference. For instance, if users aren’t staying on a page for long or if they are exiting the site without clicking deeper, it indicates that the content isn’t connecting.

If addition to manual analysis of your site’s content, Copyscape and Siteliner are helpful tools to check that your site is original. If any issues with internal or external duplicate content are flagged, you can correct them by rewriting or expanding the content.

Ready to take your content to the next level? Check out 12 Ridiculously Simple Ways to Make Your Content Better.

Step 7: Check Site Speed

Does your site take more than three seconds to load? If yes, you’re behind the curve already. Speed is essential.

Free tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights tell you how fast your page is, and give actionable recommendations to improve load times.

Even blazing fast sites can take it to the next level with optimizations like leveraging browser caching, minifying code, optimizing images, and enabling resource compression:

Google PageSpeed Insights

Find even more info on How to Conduct Quick & Thorough Page Speed Audits.

Step 8: Check Mobile

With Google’s mobile-first index on the horizon, it’s never been more important to ensure your website is clean, intuitive, and provides value to users. Not every element or function that works on desktop makes sense for mobile, and you don’t want to turn away searchers with a clunky, slow, or complicated site.

To see if mobile compatibility could be affecting your rankings, run your site through Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test. If your site is not considered mobile friendly, this tool will provide recommendations, such as removing intrusive pop-ups or fixing or removing unplayable content, among others.

Google Mobile Friendly Test

Here are 5 Important Tips to Make Your Mobile Design SEO Friendly.

Step 9: Check Backlink Profile

Backlinks are instances of another site linking to a page on your site. Backlinks matter because they prove to search engines that your site matters, says something of value, and is trusted by others.

If you have a small backlink profile, few links from authority sites, or tons of links from spammy sites, it can hurt your ability to rank.

When your rankings drop, it’s always wise to audit your backlink profile to make sure nothing is wrong. Tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic, and Open Site Explorer can show you what sites are linking to you, which pages they’ve linked, and what anchor text is used. They also try to give a sense of how authoritative a linking domain is, based on its own link metrics.

Majestic Backlink Profile

If you see a thin backlink profile, work to build it with proven link building strategies – check out Link Building: 9 Dos and 5 Don’ts for best practices. Spammy backlink profile? Read How to Clean Up Your Bad Backlinks.

Step 10: Check Keyword List

If you’re tracking the wrong keywords, does it matter if your rankings fall?

For instance, say you run a digital marketing agency but stopped providing graphic design services and removed that service page from your site. You’re naturally going to fall for that keyword, and that’s OK.

However, if you start to trend downward for primary keywords that drive traffic and leads, an intervention is needed.

The right keywords should check all of the following boxes:

  • Most highly searched by your target audience
  • Most realistic to rank on Page 1
  • Most likely to result in a conversion

The targeted keywords that make sense today may not be the ones that made the most sense when you started the campaign, so make sure to re-evaluate periodically.

If you aren’t proactive with adding or removing the keywords you are tracking, it can become an echo chamber that distracts you from true rankings success.

If you have a high-value keyword that you’re on page one for but it’s not in your reporting software, you’re missing an opportunity to optimize and hit top position for that term.

SEMRush Screenshot - Keyword Rankings

Ditch the keywords that are unrealistic or won’t result in conversions. They aren’t doing you any favors, and they only cloud the true picture of your search performance.

Instead, strategically monitor high-value keywords that you can dominate with small on-page optimizations like writing new targeted content or tweaking titles, metas, and H1s.

Conclusion

If your site experiences a drop in rankings, you can reverse the trend with small and simple optimizations.

Follow these 10 steps and you’ll likely be alerted to issues you can correct on the spot.

Keep your eye on the rankings and watch them rebound in no time.


Image Credits

Featured Image: Shutterstock with edits by Brock Murray, July 2017
All Screenshots taken by Brock Murray, July 2017

 

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11 Marketing Experts Whose Insights Could Change Your Business

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 1. Hope Horner

Raised in Tennessee,now living in Southern California, Hope Horner has been featured as one of Inc.’s 25 Inspiring Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017.

Currently the CEO of Lemonlight Media, an emerging video marketing company that’s winning kudos across the nation, Horner has shared her personal insights and stories — many gleaned from her Pepperdine University beginnings and her three startup ventures –through the biggest publishing platforms on the internet, including Entrepreneur and the Huffington Post.

2. Erin Berman

A self-described storyteller and brand strategist, Erin Berman founded Blackbeard Studios after consulting for dozens of startups and traveling to the farthest corners of the globe.

Her fresh insights into company scalability — fostered by effective, contemporary storytelling — have made her a sought-after workshop presenter across the Bay Area. No stranger to Silicon Valley, Berman earned her master’s degree in creative writing from the University of San Francisco.

3.  Roy Raanani

As CEO and co-founder of Chorus.ai, which provides conversation intelligence for sales teams, Roy Raanani combines his engineering background with his passions for sales, customer success and marketing to leverage the power of artificial intelligence.

Raanani has mastered the intersection of technology and marketing science to deliver a new take on targeting audiences and improving the sales process for companies of all sizes. His career has involved creating his own startups as well as advising on strategy and operations.

Related: 10 Online Marketers to Follow for Inspiration and Growth

4. Mihael Mikek

Mihael Mikek is the founder and CEO of Celtra, a creative-management platform that helps companies create effective native and video ads as well as other formats that are targeted and relevant.

His vision led to the development of a pioneering cloud-based SaaS platform that helps the largest global advertisers improve their creative. The company now powers advertising for two-thirds of the Fortune 500 companies and delivers ad experiences in more than 30 global markets per year.

5.  Stacy Durand

Stacy Durand is the CEO of Media Design Group, a media-buying agency that prides itself on meeting audiences wherever they may be.

Durand has said she sees herself as an energetic cheerleader for her company, helping her team stay creative, attentive, energetic and knowledgeable in order to zero in on a company’s target audience with TV advertising in an ever-expanding world of streaming and smart devices.

6. Jørn Lyseggen

Jørn Lyseggen is the founder and CEO of Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence. In 2008, Lyseggen founded MEST (Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology) in Accra, Ghana, on the belief that talent is everywhere, though opportunity is not.

This belief has been the foundation for MEST, which is working to create work and wealth in Africa through a new generation of successful global software entrepreneurs on the continent.

7. Marcus Sheridan

When Marcus Sheridan saved his floundering swimming pool business after the dramatic economic crash of 2008, the New York Times dubbed him a web marketing guru.

Sheridan’s powerful story of resilience inspired the book Mashable called the No. 1 marketing read in 2017, They Ask You Answer. Lovingly referred to as “The Sales Lion,” Sheridan has displayed a digital marketing acumen that’s becomes internationally well known and has made him a trusted corporate brand advisor.

8. Jay Baer

One Jay Baer keynote is all it takes to understand why this New York Times best-selling author is a hit with audiences and readers. The founder of strategy consulting firm Convince & Convert, Baier consistently delivers trend-worthy and notable content across multiple channels as resources for business executives.

In addition, he’s an active venture capitalist looking for new places to invest.

9. Mari Smith

Mari Smith has become known as a digital marketing expert, training small business owners in the ways of building traffic, subscribers, clients, alliances and targeted media attention. Smith has built these skills over the course of 10 years, with specialties in Facebook and Twitter.

The Canada native travels to the United States  regularly to present keynotes and training seminars and has shared a stage with notable figures like the Dalai Lama, former South African President F.W. de Klerk, and celebrity Paula Abdul.

10. Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen is arguably one of the most well-rounded marketers working today. Her expertise is not limited to one domain. From textiles to financial services to entertainment, Cohen has honed her skills into her Actionable Marketing Guide, a blog providing insights on social media, mobile, branding, public relations, and small business.

11. Andy Crestodina

Co-founder and strategic director of Orbit Media Studios, an award-winning Chicago-based web design company, Andy Crestodina specializes in content marketing, social media and analytics. Crestodina seeks to make each topic accessible.

With more than 20 years of keynote speaking experience, Crestodina is consistently named a top presenter at prestigious events, including Content Marketing World’s 2015 conference. He is also the author of Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing, which addresses web marketing and theory in practice.

 

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This Aerial Photographer Took Her Hobby to New Heights With Instagram

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 Natalie Amrossi worked in finance for three years before realizing how social media could help an artist like her make a living.

Peter Kmec courtesy of Natalie Amrossi
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Natalie Amrossi was exhausted. She’d been up all night shooting photos of luxury cars, and in the morning, she was struggling to brush off her sleepiness — and her thoughts of the photos of Jaguars on her computer, waiting for her to edit them.

She’d been building a following with her Instagram account, @misshattan, for a year at that point. It was then, at age 25, that she decided to resign from her finance job at J.P. Morgan and pour all of her energy into freelance photography. Her lifelong hobby had become her side gig, thanks to exposure via Instagram. But juggling both was becoming overwhelming.

The native New Yorker’s ultimate passion was taking aerial photos: She started on rooftops, which led to an offer to take her first helicopter ride. Breathtaking shots featuring her legs dangling above skyscrapers became a staple of her brand, but she also lent her skills to companies such as Jaguar, Cadillac, Nike and more. As inquiries piled up in her inbox, she became increasingly confident that she could make a living taking photos full time.

Related: How This Physics Student Turned His Passion for Beautiful Landscapes Into Instagram Fame

Three years later, @misshattan is Amrossi’s brand across a variety of social platforms including Facebook and YouTube, but her largest community is on Instagram, where she has 427,000 followers. Her feed is still mostly comprised of Manhattan cityscapes, but she occasionally posts photos of other destinations, such as Hong Kong or Morocco. When relevant, she features her brand collaborations on her account. Her roster of clients includes tech companies such as Google and Apple, alcohol beverage companies such as Heineken and Absolut Vodka and even travel and tourism organizations such as the city of Las Vegas. She views her photography as a way to chase her own dreams while inspiring others to chase theirs.

Amrossi spoke with Entrepreneur about the opportunities for not just photographers, but artists of all types to broaden the reach of their talents using social media.

1. How did you get your start with Instagram?
A friend of mine recommended that I download the app and check it out. I immediately really enjoyed the interaction from people all over the world. I never knew that I could touch people from different parts of the Earth with my photographs. I kept on posting, because the more I would post, the more engagement I would get.

I was working at J.P. Morgan, straight from college, and it was just a side project, just for posting for fun. Then slowly but surely, my following started to grow, and grow rapidly. I guess a year into it, I hit tens of thousands. Different companies would ask me to take photos for them for their social media. So that’s how that started, in terms of starting my own brand and working with other brands as well.

2. What other platforms do you use and what percentage of the time do you spend on them vs. Instagram?
I definitely spend half of my time on Instagram and the other half of my time on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat — YouTube, even, I’m starting to dabble in.

I think YouTube just tells a story differently. The fans on YouTube, also, if they like travel photography, they’re going to really dive deep and really follow up with everything. A lot of people like to watch TV, and now with smart TVs, there’s an app for YouTube where you can easily watch different YouTube channels. It’s adding on to your platform on Instagram to have this full YouTube channel.

I love Instagram stories. I think it’s a great way to show different things on your account without adding them to your feed. I think it’s great for behind the scenes and stuff like that that your fans are really interested in. When I travel or have a photoshoot, I’ll try to get in a few things on my story to give a different perspective of what I’m doing.

3. What makes Instagram a better platform than other social media?
I’m first and foremost a photographer, so just being able to see different photos and different artists inspires me. Just scrolling through my feed or looking at the explore page gets me excited. And I have my own community on Instagram. When I post, I like to interact with my fans from all over the world.

4. How much of your time do you devote to it?
When I wake up in the morning, I tend to just scroll on Instagram, probably for like … (laughs) you know, you get carried away. Like a good 15 or 30 minutes, just scrolling, and then you look at the time and you’re like, “Wow, I didn’t even realize how fast time went.” So, I’d say maybe two hours a day, so 14 hours a week, if I had to make an educated guess.

A lot of the work that I do, I don’t post on Instagram. My followers enjoy the travel aspects of my photos. So if I posted portraits and stuff like that, I don’t think as many people would be as interested than if I posted something of like, an aerial shot of Morocco, or wherever else I’ve been. It’s definitely tricky, because sometimes I’ll post portraits, but the majority of the time, I will post different aerial shots or cityscapes.

With different brand work that I do, depending on the brand, or if I really do love a shot, I post it.

I resigned from my job about three years ago, and at first I was on Instagram heavily. But I think in order to survive as a freelancer, I’m more on the back-end side of things, so I’d say that my time on Instagram has been maybe less than what it used to be. But it varies. It really depends on how busy my week is and what I have going on.

5. How do you promote your account? What’s your number-one way to gain followers?
One is doing Instagram meetups, which are called Instameets, where people who have the same interest in photography go shoot around in different locations. Also, a lot of people on Instagram tend to repost your photos. Their followers see your work, and if they like what they see, they follow you, too. I would post photos of New York from perspectives that not a lot of people would otherwise see, especially my aerial perspectives, and a lot of reposting action is how my followers grew. It could either be just an average person with 1,000 followers that were their friends, or a photography account page with more followers featuring different photographers. That and collaborating with other photographers and taking portraits of each other is another way I grew my followers.

6. How do you engage with others on the platform?
I go into their profile and check out their work and comment. I think the more you engage, the more engagement you’ll get. It connects you differently with your audience, and it’s a fun way to kind of communicate.

There are so many different ways that you can engage with different people, whether it’s commenting on your own photo and just writing back to somebody — if they write a nice comment to you, you could do the same in return. Clicking on a hashtag of a common interest and just commenting on photos that you like and liking different pictures as well as, now you can search different locations, and on the explore page, you can just scroll through. The Instagram algorithm already has posts in there that they think that you would like. So I think that’s another great way to engage with other users.

7. How often do you post?
I try to at least post once a day. But it can go from one post a day to like four or five. It really depends on my time and my mood.

I try not to post too late at night. But, when you start to have a following, you have people from all over the world. So, if you post, let’s say, at 3 a.m. your time, although it might not do as well as it could do if it was earlier in the day, there will still be people liking and commenting on that photo. So that just reaches a different audience, and that reaches audiences in different parts of the world. As long as you don’t let the numbers affect you too much, it’s another way to grow your following.

I know people who, I don’t know if they still do it, but every four hours, they would have a post up there, even if it was, you know, 4 in the morning, they would just keep posting.

8. What’s your content strategy?
I just try to stay consistent. People follow you for a certain reason, and if you just stay consistent to that, then you’re going to grow your following faster.

I do play around with that, and the engagement might not be as strong as what you usually post, but you do reach a different audience and you add to your following growth. I think as long as you stay true to what you like and what you enjoy, other people will follow that.

But there are so many times that I want to post something personal, but I’m like, “You know what? Yeah, some people will enjoy this, some people won’t. But this isn’t true to my brand and what my end goal is, so why post it?”

9. How has your content strategy evolved as Instagram has added features?
Instagram has made it so much easier to communicate with people. If you hold down on their username it pops up with an easy way to reply. In the top right corner, you can send a message easily. Essentially, Instagram is a communication tool.

If I’m traveling abroad — or even if I’m in New York, people come to visit. It’s so much easier to say, “Hey, let’s collaborate together, let’s go take some photos and create more.” It definitely helps with doing that, with the updates.

I’ve met people who were following me and they wanted to host me and take me around. So we’d meet at a location and kind of start there. And you know, that sounds a little creepy, but you get a vibe off people, and once you meet somebody, you can see if you guys have a good connection between each other. That’s happened to me in Dubai, in Hong Kong, in Tokyo — even in New York.

Related: This Former Math Teacher Now Gets Paid to Travel the World and Take Pictures of Her Meals

10. What’s your best storytelling trick?
When I post a photo, I can use Instagram stories to say what happened in that photo or whether it’s in the caption, kind of describe how I was feeling in that photo, as well as, when people comment, replying back and asking questions. You get more of a deeper connection and one-on-one storytelling, and other people can scroll through and view that as well.

11. How do you set yourself apart from others on the platform?
My editing style is different from other photographers. Everybody has their own aesthetic when it comes to editing their photos, so I think that helps tremendously as well as perspective and seeing things in a different light.

I kind of use similar tones within my photos — brightening up the highlights and going with a more colder look, which adds more of a bluish tint to my photos.

I think it’s how you play with the light when you take these photos. The light hits something in a certain way, and with that, you can kind of play with the shadows, make it darker and bring out the highlights and just make the photo more vibrant. With different editing tools, you could bring up certain colors, like oranges and blues, and bring down other colors, like yellows. So, it really depends on your mood. If I edit a photo today and tomorrow at the same time and I feel a different way, the photo will look completely different because of how I feel in the moment.

12. How do you leverage your Instagram and to what extent do you monetize it?
I went to school for finance, and, you know, I wanted to live comfortably, and I never knew that you can make a living as an artist. People think that artists starve, but that’s not necessarily the case. And especially now, with social media, there are so many platforms, and there are so many brands out there that need help in that department in terms of making content for it.

Instagram definitely gave me my initial connections with different brands to start creating for them, and then from there, whether it’s word of mouth or people moving companies and just building relationships or going to events, I think it really does help you meet up with a global brand for social media. There are so many that you can work with. So I think as long as you keep interacting with people and going to events, you can meet more people and work with different brands.

Then there are also brand sponsorships, like I have with Heineken. We’ve been working together for the past six months doing different activations and stuff. But there are many different routes that you can go. I’ve definitely done over 20, 30 sponsorships.

A lot of brands need creators to create for their social media, beyond just Instagram. They need content for their pages, so you don’t even necessarily need to have a huge following to do that. As long as you put yourself out there, there are so many events out there that people want you to go to, if you go and you meet the right people and decide to work together, that’s just a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Sometimes [I repost the content I create for brands onto my own feed]. If I like the photo enough, then yes. If I think it fits within my aesthetic of my brand, then yes. But not always, because I think it’s important to brand yourself and differentiate yourself from other brands. So, posting other brands isn’t necessarily going to help you accomplish that. It really depends on the brand and it depends on how much you like the photo for your feed.

13. What advice do you have for other Instagram influencers or people who want to build brands on the platform?
Stay consistent, and figure out what you want the vibe of your feed to be and what you want your brand to represent. Stay true to that, and keep posting and engaging and interacting with as many people as possible.

Most of the people that you engage with on social media, they probably won’t be able to help you in any way or give you a job or something. But they do spread your name around and tell their friends about you. The more that you just engage with the opportunities that come up, the more likely it is that you’ll meet somebody who can help you.

Related: How to Become an Instagram Millionaire

14. What’s a misconception many people have about Instagram?
I think people think that it’s really easy, and it really is hard. You really do have to kind of stay focused and stay true to your brand and find different creative ways to collaborate with people on the platform.

For instance, I’m a photographer, and I take these photos. So, a lot of these images, I don’t want them to just live on the internet. I do want people to be able to have these photos hanging up in their homes and stuff like that. I think it’s important to realize that you can build your own business behind that. I set up my own print shop, and that has been super great and helpful for my survival through this freelance photography life, as well as brand partnerships. I think it’s just more of what your end goal is. So, for me, it would be to have galleries and the opportunity for people to purchase the photos.

If you stay consistent and people follow you for a specific reason, when you post that you have a product available, then, whether you have 2,000 followers or half a million followers, those are like your customers for your store. I know people who, for instance, do a lot of lifestyle things and fashion. They’ll have links on their website where you can purchase some of the things that they wear and they get kind of a commission off that. So it really depends on what you want to achieve on social media and what you want your brand to represent.

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