The Website Marketing Group Blog

About The Website Marketing Group Blog

Michael Doyle - Managing Director of The Website Marketing Group

After 14 years of working in this industry, every day is a new learning curve which is why I love the job.

In this blog, you will find some of our findings on various “the best things of the web” to keep you up to date with the latest news in the Internet business.

From small businesses to Australia’s leading brands across multiple sectors and disciplines, this means we know what works and what doesn’t, allowing us to deliver tangible results that benefit your business where it really matters.

Whether it is a new brand identity-logo design, a social media marketing,  a complex website, an email marketing campaign or all of the above and more, our team can deliver the solution for your business.
Contact us today on 1300 911 772.

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Congratulations to the TWMG Team ! The Website Marketing Group has been successful in making the Smart50 for the SmartCompany Smart50 Awards 2011.

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Top 9 Tactics For Finding New Customers Online (Infographic)

customer-trust

Are you looking for a way to grow your list of leads? You might want to try the following digital marketing methods.

Here are some  valuable insights:

Social media

1. Private message

There’s still incredible value in one on one exchange. Reach out to Facebook, Twitter or Google+ fans via private message, and offer personalized consultations or custom promotions.

2. Group and Communities Discussions

Join both private and public Google Plus communities, Facebook and LinkedIn Groups that relate to your industry. Build relationships with the members and eventually recommend your product.

3. Pay per click ads

If you currently have active social presence, try pay per click advertising. Facebook PPC offers effective and targeted solution. You can target based on age, gender, location, and other special interests.

Blogging

1. Optimise content for search

Focus on a group of 2 – 3 related keywords for every blog post. If posts are optimised, you’ll draw in qualified traffic, which in turn helps you cultivate a targeted customer base.

2. Guest post on authoritative industry blog

As a link building strategy, guest posting might not be the most effective. However, it still assists in strengthening your online reputation and labeling your business as a go to source.

For more detailed information, take a look at the following infographic.

9-tips-to-find-new-customers-online-infographic

Infographic credit: FindNewCustomers

The Hottest Social Media Trends in 2016 (Infographic)

the-state-of-australia-social-media-2016

80 percent of the global Internet traffic will be attributed to video content in 2019.

Overall, as a percentage of global internet users, YouTube still leads in every market. However, the gap has become narrower with 8 billion videos are viewed on Facebook in a daily basis. On the other hand, orders from Pinterest on mobile devices have increased 140 percent in the last two years and advertisers are turning to Facebook for video ads more than any other social media site.

This infographic illustrates five hottest social media trends that will impact your business in 2016.

2016-social-media-trends-infographic Infographic credit: Hootsuite

10 Internet Tools You Need To Start A New Business

Business man connection

Starting a new business takes a ton of work. Even with your initial passion, it’s never an easy undertaking.

There are a great number of things that you need to research, plan out, get created, etc. before you “launch.” And you’ll always be wondering, “Did I forget anything?”

In this post, you will find a list of great tools that you’ll want to know about (and possibly use) before you start your next business. More importantly, they cover the most important and common things you’ll need to address. These tools will help you do them faster, cheaper, and/or better than you would be able to do otherwise.

When you have a business idea, first you need to confirm that it’s a good idea. Basically, you need to answer two questions:

  • Is there a market for this type of product or service (if so, how big)?
  • Will that market like my product or service?

Those are the most important questions to answer. Beyond that, it’s helpful to know how the market is distributed and whether it will grow in the future. These tools will help you gain insight into your market.

1. Google Shopping Insights

google-shopping

You’ve probably heard of Google Trends but maybe not the Shopping Insights tool. They do similar things, but this tool is geared much more towards business. If part of your market is in the US, you’ll want to use this tool. It’s simple to use. Just type in a specific product (e.g., a competitor’s product) or a general type of product. You don’t get absolute numbers—this is a relative scale. But you can see whether your product type is trending up or down in popularity.

2. QWILR’s Ad Spend Calculator

qwilr

Getting traffic for your new business from the start is tough. There won’t be much organic traffic right away, and even content marketing takes a while to get going.

That leaves you with your standard public relations and paid advertising for the most part. This ad spend calculator is great for two reasons:

  • It makes a complicated topic simple
  • Everything is based on real numbers

The tool guides you through a few questions where you input one or two numbers about your business to find what your target CPC (cost per click) should be. Use this tool to plan your initial advertising budget for the first few months.

3. SurveyMonkey

Web

One thing that all good business launching guides will tell you to do is talk to your market. The only feedback about your idea and product that you must listen to is from your potential customers. If you know some of your potential customers in real life already, you might be able to interview them in person (or through Skype).

Consider using SurveyMonkey. Originally, the tool was used to create surveys and collect answers, but now it can do much more. Most importantly, you can pay a modest fee and get your survey sent to a panel of survey takers.

While you won’t get perfect targeting, it’ll be pretty accurate, and the results you get will help you design your product and know which features to focus on.

4. Buzzsumo

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Buzzsumo allows you to search for a keyword and see the most popular articles that focus on it (based on social shares). Immediately, you’ll be able to see which social network is most popular with your target audience.

On top of that, you can enter the URL of a competitor and find their most popular content. The next area of a business launch is your product and website (which may be one and the same).

The tools in this section will help you with your branding and creating a favorable first impression.

5. NameMesh

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Every business and website needs a name. You probably already know that it can be difficult to find a good one that’s actually available for registration (without paying thousands of dollars for it). Even if you’re good at coming up with names, it might take you an hour or two to do so. NameMesh is a free tool that may be able to help you with this.

6. Name Geniuses

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Sometimes you can find a great name with those free generators, but most of the results aren’t very good. You get what you pay for. Name Geniuses is not free. It’s a pay-what-you-want tool with a $20 minimum that allows you to crowdsource your domain name.

Basically, you pick the amount you want to pay. A large portion of this payment is offered as a prize to a few hundred users on the site. These users come up with domain names (that are available) and submit them to you. Then, you pick a winner whenever you want. The good part from your perspective is that only the winner gets paid. This incentivizes users to spend a lot of effort to come up with names that are much better than those created by a free generator.

7. DesignMantic

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After the name, comes the logo. While it’s sometimes optional, you’ll likely need some sort of logo. DesignMantic is a tool that is very quick and simple to use. All you do is type in your company name and then choose what industry it’s in. It will quickly generate several logos you can use, complete with your business name. They’re obviously going to be generic, but they’re fairly attractive and will work as temporary logos.

8. 99Designs

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At some point, you’ll need a unique, professional logo. No free tool will do that for you. You can cheap out on a designer from Fiverr, but that will cost you more in the long run and won’t get you a much better result than what you’ll get from the free tools.

99Designs is another crowdsourcing site / tool you can use. You buy a package and then get tons of designs (30+) from different designers. Again, you pick the winner, and they get paid. Just about all the designs are of great quality, so you can’t go wrong.

9. Freshbooks

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If you have a service-based business that requires you to send out invoices on a regular basis, Freshbooks is a great tool to help you stay organised. The time it’ll save you on generating invoices alone is probably worth the cost. On top of that, it will also let you send payments if you work with any freelancers or buy products for your business. You can then generate reports of all your invoices, expenses, and payments, which will make doing your taxes much easier. How much does it cost? Not much. Depending on whether you’re going to allow any employees to use the tool as well (you could have them handle invoicing and expensing, etc.), you’re looking at $30-40 a month.

10. ZenPayroll

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This is a great tool that helps you handle employees as you grow. You may not need it right away, but keep it in mind because you might in the future. The main purpose of ZenPayroll, as the name suggests, is to make your payroll simple. It automatically takes care of setting up taxes for new employees and paying contractors (and taking care of their tax needs), and it can even be set up to do automatic tax filings for you.

Keep in mind that this tool is made for the US.

6 Different POWERFUL Headlines You Can Create in 30 Second or Less

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Are you ready for the scary statistic? About 8 out of 10 (or 80%) of people never make it past the headline. Yikes!

This is what you really need in order to sell. You can have the best offer or product in the entire universe, but if people don’t know about it, you’re not going to sell a single thing. That’s what direct response copy is all about: getting people’s attention on your offer. It all starts with the headline. If that doesn’t grab your prospects attention, then you’re way behind the competition. In short, the success of your marketing lies on the power of your headline.

In today’s post, we’re going to guide you through how you can develop your own powerful headline in 30 seconds or less after you’ve answered a few simple but important questions.

Think of this like a Marketing MadLib of sorts – its fun and it works like crazy!

Step 1: Answer these 6 questions:

1. Describe your audience in 5 words or less. (Example: Entrepreneurs who market their business.)

2. Describe the BIG BENEFIT they’ll receive from your services. (Example: Create Your Own Winning Sales Copy.)

3. Describe how long it will take your customer to see a result from your product or service. (Example: Within 48 Hours)

4. Describe one big objection that your prospect has. (Paying for a consultant is too expensive.)

5. Describe something your prospect needs or has had in order to be successful. (Example: Having taken a copy course.)

6. Describe a mistake that your prospects typically make. (Example: Overcomplicating the process of writing great sales copy.)

Now here’s the fun part… It’s time to turn these answers into copy!

Here’s HEADLINE #1:

How To [Accomplish Something] In [Short Amount of Time]

Now that you’ve already answered all the questions, you can VERY easily fill this in. Grab a benefit from question 2 and the time frame from question 3 and you’re done.

How To Write Your Own Winning Sales Copy In 48 Hours Or Less

Let’s try another one, HEADLINE #2:

How To [Receive Benefit] Without [Undesired Expenditure]

We’ll grab the same benefit for this example, and we’ll also get an objection from question 4.

How to Write Your Own Winning Sales Copy WithOUT Paying Through The Nose For a Private Consultant.

HEADLINE #3:

How To [Accomplish Something] Even If [You’reb Missing An Obvious Necessity]

This one has the same benefit, but the necessity from question 5.

How to Write Your Own Winning Sales Copy Even If You’ve Never Taken a Copy Course.

HEADLINE #4:

This one here only requires we fill in the answer from question 6:

The Guaranteed Method For Avoiding [Common Mistake or Misfortune]

Becomes…

The Guaranteed Method To Avoid Overcomplicating The Process of Writing Great Sales Copy.

HEADLINE #5:

Now, we didn’t include a question for one of these blanks, so fill the first one in with what you do.

World Renowned [Blank] Reveals “Top Secret” [# of] Ways To [Accomplish Result] With [Little Expenditure] Absolutely Guaranteed

Turns into…

World Renowned Copy Expert Reveals “Top Secret” 3-Ways to Write Your Own Winning Sales Copy WithOUT Paying Through The Nose For a Private Consultant: Absolutely Guaranteed.

HEADLINE #6:

And another one:

The Scientifically Proven Formula For [Accomplishing Something]

The Scientifically Proven Formula For Writing Your Own Winning Sales Copy

That’s it! You can now generate a head line in 30-seconds or less using these formulas. And what’s even better is that you can use this same technique to break down ANY headline into its parts and create your very own custom swipe file from the headlines in the world around you.

Good luck with your journey.

Facebook Post Optimisation: Is It Even Possible?

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Facebook’s Head of Product for News Feed Adam Mosseri has given an excellent in-depth explanation of how the News Feed works and how the algorithm decides what content to serve to each user.

However, there was one point that raised an important question which Mosseri didn’t elaborate upon in his notes. When discussing the key elements that Facebook takes into account when determining a post’s relevance – and thus, reach – Mosseri noted that when the post was created is an important signal, but not the most important.

As he explains:

“We look at when the post was originally created. We know that recency is a really important signal for relevance, but we think it’s not the only important signal. So an example would be I have a cousin, her name is Margaret, and she actually recently got engaged. If she had posted that on Facebook last Friday and I hadn’t been to News Feed since then, and this morning my brother had posted a picture of… I don’t know, a breakfast sandwich, I’m probably more interested in Margaret’s engagement story than my brother’s breakfast sandwich, even though her story’s a bit older. But hopefully, if we’re doing our job on News Feed, Margaret’s story would show up at the top, maybe followed by my brother’s sandwich.”

The explanation makes perfect sense, as Facebook needs to ensure stories about important life events take precedence so users don’t miss any major updates from their friends and family. The question, however, is how does the algorithm determine that post’s elevated importance?

When you look at the important ranking factors for posts in the News Feed, they are:

  • Who posted it
  • Interactions with the post
  • When it was posted
  • Type of content

Using Mosseri’s example of his cousin getting engaged, there’s nothing obvious in that particular update that would push it higher in priority, other than interactions with the post – if a post from a relative or close friend is getting a heap of response, then it’s likely to show up higher in your News Feed. But that still wouldn’t necessarily cover the use case Mosseri’s highlighted here. What if the news of his cousin’s engagement only generated a few responses, yet it’s still important news – how can the News Feed determine that this is a significant announcement that you need to see based on the data available?

If too many people start using these terms in a non-genuine way, that might skew the algorithm and impact the user experience.

A Message From Zuckerberg

The first reports that suggested Facebook’s algorithm might use trigger words when ranking posts came from a story involving the CEO, Mark Zuckerberg himself back in 2014. Apparently, so the story goes, Zuckerberg was looking through his News Feed one day and he came across a story about the birth of his niece, way down in the feed. The top story in his feed that day was the birthday of a co-worker. This made no sense, so Zuckerberg urged the News Feed team to come up with a new way to rank posts to ensure important content, like significant life events, shows up higher in the feed.

Their solution, in this case, was to give a boost to posts when the word ‘congratulations’ appears repeatedly in the comments. That makes it harder to game, as you can’t just add in ‘congratulations’ in your own update, you have to elicit this response from other users.

And the result? The post generated 134 Likes and 62 comments and appeared at the top of a lot of his friends’ feeds. While this experiment was conducted some time ago now (July 2014) and you would expect the algorithm to have evolved since then, the test does give some validity to the fact that Facebook’s system uses trigger words as a means of ranking posts. Of course, Garling’s post also got a heap of Likes and comments, so those would definitely have contributed, but the fact that the post even reached that many people in the first place adds weight to the argument.

And as noted, it makes sense. Definitely, in the case of ‘congratulations’ in post comments, there’s a simple logic there – the types of posts that people are sending you congratulatory messages for are, most likely, more significant than others, but even in the case of an engagement, as per Mosseri’s example, it’s logical that Facebook could use this as a trigger to ensure that content gets seen, even if it’s not as recent.

A Facebook spokesperson told The New York Times that:

“We estimate that the number of these types of [experimental] posts is very very small. In addition, while these types of posts probably work for people one time, there’s a good chance that their friends are likely to ignore or hide future posts like these, meaning that they would appear much lower in News Feed.”

The statement, in itself, adds more credence to the fact that Facebook uses trigger words in their assessment – but other than ‘congratulations’, how, exactly, could such terms be used? And what might those other trigger terms be?

Basically, you could try and game the system, but you’d ultimately be gaming yourself – working to generate real, genuine response and interest from your audience is a far more effective and sustainable practice. It might take more time, but trying to cheat the process any other way won’t come with any guarantees – other than the fact that it’ll annoy your followers.

VietAir ‘Bikini Stewardess’ Will Make Vietnam’s First Woman Billionaire

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A Vietnamese entrepreneur who has made a fortune by staffing an airline with women in sexy bikini attire is on her way to becoming Vietnam’s first female billionaire.

VietJet Air CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao’s idea of dressing up the airline’s flight attendants with sexy outfits is about to pay off big time. Her fortune is expected to increase to $1.37 billion when the privately-owned airline goes public within the next three months.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, VietJet Aviation CEO. Source: VietJet Aviation JSC

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, VietJet Aviation CEO. Source: VietJet Aviation JSC

Thanks to Thao’s idea, the company has grabbed more than 30% of Vietnam’s airline market share in just a few years. The brilliance of the company’s campaign, which boasts the motto “Enjoy Flying!”, is further highlighted by its very effective marketing tool: steamy calendars featuring the sexy attendants.

Thao, who made her first million at 21 by selling fax machines and latex rubber while studying finance and economics in Moscow, brushes off criticism of her unique business’s approach.

“You have the right to wear anything you like, either the bikini or the traditional ao dai [traditional Vietnamese clothing]. We don’t mind people associating the airline with the bikini image. If that makes people happy, then we are happy.”

Thao, who owns 90% of the airline, also holds a 90 percent stake in Ho Chi Minh City’s Dragon City development and majority stakes in three resorts in Vietnam.

Take a look at the promotional video below:

Google : “YouTube Offers Better ROI Than TV Ads”

new-youtube-logo

Google has released a report that says ads on YouTube give marketers a better return on investment than expensive TV commercials.

The study is based on analysis across eight countries and shows that four out of five times YouTube ads were more effective than their TV counterparts at driving sales. According to the report, Google advises that advertisers should be allocating up to six times more of their budgets to YouTube than they currently do. However, it should be stressed that the report should be put into context as it only focused on European markets.

Interestingly, YouTube announced plans late last year that would allow users to pay a monthly premium that would block pre-roll ads.

Google said of the findings: “In more than 80 per cent of media mix optimizations we studied, data showed that the recommended spend on YouTube should be at least double that of current levels.” A spokesperson for one of the analytical firms behind the research said of the findings: “We found that while TV maintains a powerful impact in the digital age, digital video is under-invested in several categories we measured in the UK, France and Germany.”

However, the report contradicts findings by UK TV marketing body ThinkBox from 2014 that showed for “every £1 spent on advertising, TV is the best profit generator.”

Thinkbox’s planning director, Matt Hill said that Google’s new research “misses the point” of TV advertising. “The true value of TV advertising is not just its return on investment [getting people to buy stuff], but that it achieves the best return on investment at the highest levels of investment. TV builds brands better than anything else and creates the most profit.

“Online video should increase but this should be funded by using money from less effective ad budgets, such as online display, or finding new money.

“What this study really shows … is that online video is a better advertising investment than other forms of online advertising. Advertisers involved in Google’s research make it clear they see online video not as a replacement for TV, but as an addition and a complement,” Hill said.

The 75+ Practical SEO Checklist (Infographic)

persuade-your-boss-to-use-seo

One of the most important things about running a successful website is the meticulous implementation of actionable search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies.

However, thanks to Google’s extensive list of more than 200 ranking factors, it difficult to pick and choose the ones which will give the most beneficial outcome. Still, when it comes to SEO, there is no single strategy or approach that can yield the desired results and bring your website at the top of the search engine rankings. In this scenario, the most logical course of action is to select and combine the best SEO practices, both off-page and on-page, and implement them for your website.

Take it easy as you’ll find the answer in today’s infographic. It is extensive, yet simple and easy to understand, so that you encounter minimum trouble while planning and integrating these tried-and-tested SEO strategies for your website.

killer-seo-checklist-infographic

Infographic credit: Capsicum Mediaworks

How To Create A Successful Customer Onboarding

brand-loyalty-for-customers

The notion “customer onboarding” has come up a lot lately. This is a great momentum, since having a poor onboarding experience for your customers can pretty much kill your business growth.

The first in-app experience your customer has with your product sets the tone for your relationship, and if it’s confusing, overwhelming, or otherwise puts up barriers to achieving success (or at least recognising the value potential in your product), you’re in trouble.

Regardless of whether it’s a high-touch or low-touch scenario, 100% of the time, the problem is that the SaaS vendor either doesn’t know what the customer or prospect’s desired outcome is or forgot that solving for that is the most important thing.

The Definition of Onboarded Customer

customer-onboarding

Most people think in terms of “functional” or technical onboarding; getting their customers and users to go through the motions to get “up-and-running” with their product rather than equating onboarding with a value delivery milestone.

But even if they focused on value delivery, there’s still no universal definition of a fully-onboarded customer; it’s simply different for every company.

And for SaaS vendors – where customers can start small and (ideally) expand their use of the product over time – the notion of “onboarded” as a status is even harder to nail down than it was with traditional Enterprise software.

What “initial success” does my customer need to achieve when all parties understand that the breadth and depth of use will continue to evolve and expand over their lifetime as a customer? That’s a great question to keep top of mind as you go through this process.

That’s YOUR definition of success; don’t confuse that with THEIR definition of success.

Not Sure How they Define Success? Ask.

qualifying-questions

How do you figure that out? That was a great question to ask BEFORE you built your product. At least you’re asking it. The easiest way to figure out what success looks like for your customer – before you can break that down into milestones – is to ask them.

  • What is their Desired Outcome?
  • How do they measure success themselves?
  • How are they measured by their boss?
  • What are they trying to achieve with your product?

However, to be absolutely clear, you’re getting them to tell you the outcomes they desire, and maybe the milestones needed to get to that “success” with your product.

You’re not asking them what they need or want (features, functionality, or even workflows) since they’ll just tell you what they’ve done before or what they wish they could have done; if you build end up simply being iterations on existing ways of doing things. You can make big leaps forward by understanding not what they need to “do” but what they need/want to achieve and using your creativity/engineering prowess/entrepreneurial spirit to solve for that. This is where desired outcome thinking really shines.

Iterating on existing processes isn’t fun or really the lucrative in the long run.

Just Focus on the Next Success Milestone

The cool part of breaking down the onboarding process like this is that while you must keep the overall goal of success in mind, you only have to solve for the next success milestone with your lifecycle messaging, app design, etc.

Once they reach that milestone, onto the next one and so on. This makes creating those email or in-app lifecycle messages easier and results in them being much more effective. Keeping this “success milestone” way of thinking after they become a customer – or are otherwise past the customer onboarding process – will allow you to surface upsell/cross-sell offers, as well as advocacy requests, at the perfect time so you’re more likely to get a positive result.

Design School’s 1 Million Traffic Project (A Case Study from Canva)

new-design-school-canva

How did Canva increase Design School’s traffic to 1 million visits? You’ll find the answer in this post.

Here’s the secret: it doesn’t need much. What you really need is nothing more than a tweak here and there to take it to that next level.

A look at the Design School— from launch to now

The screenshot below, taken from Google Analytics:

design-school-1

Now, after a six-month concerted effort from its small content team and a talented team of freelance writers, Design School can scrape their way atop. Here are Google Analytics screenshots showing the session stats for each article, inclusive of their date of publication in July 2015 until the end of February 2016. You can just see how significant the difference is between the sustainability of the traffic from the socially-geared morning rituals article (the first graph) and the traffic from the search-geared social media icons article (the second graph):

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The difference? This is the proof that search traffic is self-sustainable. You can publish an article geared for social and it will hopefully implode. However, because it’s not a topic people search for, it delivers a limited traffic life.

On the other side, publish an article on a topic that people search for regularly, and that group will continue to find it months after its published, which gives you an enduring supply of monthly traffic. Extrapolate this theory out to 50 or 100 articles a year, and you’ve got 50 or 100 self-sustaining articles.

Optimising for SEO: The importance of an audit

Another important thing Design School did on the path to the million was an SEO content audit. A content audit is like a spring clean of your blog, where you review every article published and determine which should be kept, which should be trashed and redirected, and which should be improved.

The reason for the audit is to avoid keyword cannibalisation, which can hurt your SEO pulling power. It also just tidies up your blog, which delivers a better user/reader experience.

In a nutshell, the steps in content audit were:

  1. Scraped a list of all the articles we’ve published on the blog and dumped them into a ‘master list’ tab on a spreadsheet
  2. Added four other tabs to the spreadsheet: New— for articles with great content that just need a new URL slug, optimised for SEO. Combine— for multiple articles on the same topic that need to be merged into one super article to centralise the reader value and to avoid keyword cannibalisation. Keep— for articles that meet a good standard of SEO optimisation and content quality, and don’t need any extra love. Improve— for articles that partly or fully need to be re-written, because the content is poorly SEO-optimised for the topic they’re about, and/or because they fall short of the blog’s content quality standards, to the point where they deliver a negative-value experience to the reader.
  3. Went down our master list and added every article to one of our four tabs, per the criteria above.
  4. Executed on the changes/improvements needed for each article.
  5. Actioned any redirects required so there were no dead-end URLs as a result of the changes.

SEO audits might seem difficult, but they’re not. And they represent the concrete slab of session growth— the foundation upon which all your efforts from then on can be built.

Here’s some GA screenshots depicting the immediate effect the audit had on three of our articles:

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While these tweaks to how we approached SEO were crucial, they weren’t the only thing we changed. Another important change we made was to our editorial cadence.

Editorial cadence: Going from blog to publication

So in December, 2015 we decided Design School needed to improve our editorial cadence. It is the rhythm a publication needs to publish regularly and reliably. For us, it was another major contributor to our steep growth.

To build our cadence, from December 2015, Design School needed the following:

  • Publishing consistency — Ensuring an article is published every US work day, without fail. Publishing consistency is a staple feature of any publication striving to be the best;
  • Depth to the editorial calendar — always having articles scheduled at least 6 weeks in advance;
  • Editorial consistency — Ensuring each article goes through an editorial process so each is consistent and meets a publishable standard; and,
  • New writer onboarding — The hiring process of new writers is now a structured process with email templates, a review process, and an article trial process.

Publishing consistency — Ensuring an article is published every working day

We’ve always used CoSchedule to plan our editorial calendar, but we’re now dedicated to scheduling at least one article per US work day. The difference in consistency can be clearly seen when you compare what our calendar looked like in late November/early December last year:

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With how busy it looks now, in Mid-February to Mid-March:

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While this move to be more consistent and to publish more regularly is a long way short of blogging rocket science, it took some time to set in stone.

Adopt an editorial process and use it consistently

Some of the items on the checklist include:

  • Keeping the number of words between the article headline and the first image in the article to 150 words (because images are SUPER important to the success of our articles);
  • Making sure all paragraphs are short and readable;
  • Making sure article subheadings are numbered correctly;
  • Making sure all images are displayed correctly;
  • Making sure all images are cited properly;
  • Increasing the number of internal links in each article to other Design School articles; and,
  • Making sure all links included in the article go to the right destination.

Before we built out this checklist, we were editing articles on a case-by-case basis which left the door open for every article to be edited differently from any other. The checklist takes the guesswork out of achieving editorial consistency, and has become a reliable feature of our growth.

The importance of blog artwork

Facebook has always been the number 1 social traffic contributor to the blog. However, on 1 August 2015, there was a change of the guard to second biggest social contributor for the first time since our blog launched in November 2014: Pinterest overtook Twitter.

You can see the daily rise of our Pinterest graphic in the Google Analytics graph, below.

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This evolution from Twitter to Pinterest is indicative of another crucial ingredient in our growth to the million.

Design School and Canva have always been extremely proud of our writers’ abilities to curate the best graphics from around the web to include as examples in their articles. Here’s a couple from an article we published in February:

Food. Love it? You’ve never seen it look like this.

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You can imagine how much value these graphics add to an article’s aesthetic. And in 2016, Design School are planning to create a lot of custom graphics ourselves in Canva, like these:

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The value of creating custom graphics is that they can retain complete control over those assets, the brand, and the impact they want to have.

Want to create your own?

Each of these graphics took no longer than an hour to design ourselves in Canva. If you’re new, design your first blog graphic now (and perhaps a social media graphic to help promote the article), and if you get stuck here’s an article to get you started.

Blog banners

Besides blog graphics, other artwork you can focus is blog banners. You might think this is expensive and/or time-consuming, but it’s really not. Here are five of our best in 2016, each of which took less than an hour to put together in Canva:

1. Food. Love it? You’ve never seen it look like this. We can promise you that.

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2. Instagram for Business

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3. 60 Free Outline Icon Sets Perfect for Contemporary Designs

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4. 10 Marketing Experiments You Can Run Yourself to Improve Your Reach on Social Media

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5. Spring Design: 30 Tips & Examples to Inspire Your Spring-themed Social Media Graphics

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To reiterate, each of these only took about an hour to design, but they set the Design School apart from other blogs in our space (and other blogs in general), because they draw readers into our articles.

Good luck on achieving your big blogging goals for 2016 and, as always, happy designing!